Tagged With configuration

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Can you remember the last time you wiped your MacBook and reinstalled everything? I'd guess somewhere around "never," but there are plenty of reasons you might want to Exterminatus your system, ranging from the serious (a major error with macOS) to the so-so (your system feels sluggish after all the crap you've put on it over the last three years).

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Hooray. You bought a brand-new Windows laptop and, for whatever reason, the manufacturer was nice enough to let you go through the installation process yourself instead of filling your new system full of crapware for you. Just kidding. It's rare when that happens, and buying a laptop that's full of junk is one -- but certainly not the only -- reason why you might want to reinstall your operating system from scratch.

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Windows 7 (beta) only: Even the earliest leaked Windows 7 betas haven't been around long enough for multi-purpose tweaking tools to come around. SetteMaxer, though, offers a few of the tweaks familiar to the customisation crowd. The screenshot above is exactly what SetteMaxer is—just a handful of check boxes and an "Apply" button. It's definitely worth reading at the project page below what specifically each feature does when applied, though most are familiar fixes like User Account Control/Defender disablers, menu speed options, and program crash controls. Still, with any tweaking utility of this type, be absolutely sure you want to make a change before you do so—some options, like "disable task scheduler," can have some serious, system-endangering punch to them. If you see anything worth enacting in the list above, grab the executable, run it, apply the change, and you can delete it if you want, as SetteMaxer is a stand-alone file. It's a free download for Windows 7 beta systems only. SetteMaxer for Windows 7

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Linux only: Any Linux user clutching a mouse with more than the standard two buttons and a scroll wheel doesn't have it easy trying to match the same kind of configuration options given by the manufacturer's setup software, which is almost always Windows or Mac-only. The Flow of Consciousness blog walks through installing btnx, a program that can assign nearly any mouse click to a huge variety of actions. Got a Logitech with left and right buttons? Feel free to set them to switch workspaces or even rotate a four-sided desktop cube. The tutorial requires a fair bit of command line work, as the package isn't available in most respositories, but the Ubuntu-related instructions can be adapted to most any distribution. btnx is a free download for Linux systems only. HOWTO Install btnx for better mouse control in Ubuntu Hardy

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The Workers' Edge blog at CNET posts a handful of shortcuts and tweaks for Firefox and Internet Explorer, some of which we've covered here before, but the author points out a Firefox configuration tip that can be a real help to browsers of JavaScript-powered web sites. Using Firefox's about:config dialog (by entering that into the address bar), type in the following:dom.disable_window_open_featureFrom there, you can choose exactly which features show up on file uploaders, options dialogs, and other script-launched windows. For a more graphical and explanatory route into Firefox's guts, check out the Configuration Mania extension.
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