Windows 7 tip: (elevated) command prompt anywhere

via Download Squad by Lee Mathews on 2/9/09

The command prompt here power toy was a feature that a lot of users requested be built-in to Windows 7. Microsoft listened, and added it to a secondary context menu.

By holding shift and right-clicking a folder, you’ll see additional commands not listed on the standard menu, such as open in new process, copy as path, and open command window here. Suppose you need a command window with elevated privileges. Then what?

In Windows Vista, it could be done through the start menu by typing cmd into the search box and holding shift+control and hitting enter. This works in Windows 7 as well.

Combine the two, and you’ve got a right-click elevated command window shortcut: shfit+control+right click on a folder and choose open command window. Check your title bar: if it starts with Administrator, you’re set!

Some other sites have posted registry hacks to add a context menu entry for the admin option, but why bother? It’s already there – just hidden!

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How to Get Your Copy of Windows 7 on Friday

via Wired Top Stories by Michael Calore on 1/8/09

Windows7

Microsoft will make the first public beta of Windows 7, the next version of its desktop operating system, available as a free download on Friday. There are several limitations, however, so even if you’re excited and committed to trying out Windows 7 Beta 1 on your home PC, check out this list of rules, requirements and considerations.

We culled this list from a post on the official Windows blog and its comments, so check it out before taking the plunge:

  • Windows 7 Beta 1 will be made available for a limited time during the day on January 9, 2009.
  • Visit the Windows 7 page on Microsoft’s website for the link.
  • It will only be made available to the first 2.5 million people to download the code. Demand will be huge, so prepare to act quickly.
  • Microsoft has not announced a specific time on Friday for the release, but we can expect it will be later in the day so the west coast of North America isn’t left out.
  • Windows 7 Beta 1 will be offered as an ISO image. It’s around 2.5 or 3 gigabytes, so you will need a DVD burner if you want to install it.
  • You will be required to register before downloading so Microsoft can give you a product key.
  • It will be build 7000.
  • The beta will only support Windows Vista SP1 to Windows 7 upgrades. If you’re not running Vista SP1 right now, upgrade before you try to install the Windows 7 beta.
  • There is also a clean install option for the Win7 beta.
  • There is no upgrade path from XP.
  • There’s only one version of the beta, which Microsoft says “is roughly equivalent the Ultimate edition of Windows Vista.”
  • The Windows 7 Beta will expire on August 1. You will probably be forced to go back to using Vista SP1 on August 1 (or maybe upgrade to Win7 Beta 2?).
  • English, German, Japanese, Arabic, and Hindi versions will be available Friday.
  • Both 32-bit and 64-bit versions will be available (except for Hindi, which only gets a 32-bit version).
  • If you’re upgrading, remember to back up your PC. It’s a beta, stupid!

If you miss out, there will be other ways to get the beta in the near future. It’s likely Microsoft will be handing out hard DVDs of the code at developer events and consumer conferences throughout the year. And of course, (cough) there’s always BitTorrent.

Calgoo goes free: sync Google Calendar, iCal, and others for free

via Download Squad by Danny Mendez on 7/28/08
calgoo ical google calendar sync

Since the dawn of time Google Calendar, we’ve been waiting for a free, easy way to fully synchronize our Google Calendar to desktop calendar clients like iCal. We’d love to be able to access the same calendar data across multiple computers, but it’s always been a messy affair, not free, an incomplete solution, or PC only.

Well, Calgoo has been one of those paid options up until now, but the minds behind the program just announced that it is free from here on out. That’s right, Calgoo is now the free option in Google Calendar and desktop caledar synchronization. Calgoo officially supports 30 Boxes, Apple iCal, Microsoft Outlook, and — of course — Google Calendar.

Calgoo’s “Chief Owl” will not employ ads in the app in order to pay for the costs of developing the program, but the team will begin to run ads on Calgoo Hub and possibly other future products. As for the software itself, it’s pretty easy to use, and it provides for two-way synchonization, which means that any changes on one calendar will apply to the other.

[via WebWorkerDaily]

Opera turns 9.51

via Download Squad by Brad Linder on 7/3/08
Opera 9.5.1

Hot on the heels of Opera 9.5, the Opera team has released version 9.5.1 of their desktop web browser. The new version includes some recommended security and stability updates. But there are also some other handy changes. Here are a few highlights:

  • Fine-tuned the new default skin
  • Saved images no longer recorded in the file transfer window
  • Fixed an issue that could be used to display arbitrary code
  • Fixed a stability issue with Yahoo! Mail
  • 64 bit Linux package now available

Overall you won’t notice a ton of changes to the interface. But if you’re currently using Opera 9.5, we’d recommend updating for the security enhancements alone.

Skype to launch unlimited international calling plan

via Download Squad by Brad Linder on 4/21/08
Skype unlimited plans

Have friends, relatives, or business contacts located in faraway lands? Internet telephony company Skype is launching its first plan that lets you make unlimited international PC to telephone calls, assuming you’re calling a landline in one of 34 countries covered by the plan.

Most of Europe is covered, as well as the US, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Korea and Taiwan.The $9.95/month plan doesn’t cover calls to cellphones in all areas, but you can call mobile phones in the US, Canada, China, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

Or you can just convince everybody you know to install Skype on their computers and mobile phones so you can make Skype to Skype calls for free.

[via AP]

Sneak peek at OpenOffice.org 3.0

via Download Squad by Brad Linder on 3/20/08
OpenOffice.org 3.0 beta

OpenOffice.org 2.4 may be just around the corner. But if you laugh at stable releases and always want to have your hands on the latest beta software, you can download an early beta version of OpenOffice.org 3.0 today. Just check out the list of OpenOffice.org mirrors, choose a download site, and then find the Developer folder and the DEV300 supfolder and you should be able to download a Windows, Linux, or Mac installer. That’s right, there’s even an OS X installer. OpenOffice.org 3.0 will be the first version of OpenOffice to feature a native Mac client.

So what else does OpenOffice.org 3.0 have that version 2.3.1 is missing? Well, a bunch of bugs. This is a developer preview, after all. But there’s also a ton of new features, including the startup screen you see above. That’s what you’ll get if you launch OOo-dev without choosing a specific application like Writer or Calc first. Here are a few other changes:

  • Multi-page view in Writer
  • Office 2007 document support
  • New Calc theme
  • Maximum number of columns in Calc jumps from 256 to 1024
  • Multiple users can edit spreadsheets simultaneously

These are just a few of the changes already included in OpenOffice.org 3.0 beta. There are thousands of other tweaks and bug fixes in the works. What features would you most like to see in the next major release? OpenOffice.org 3.0 is scheduled for a September, 2008 launch.

[via OpenOffice.org Ninja]

No Vista installation CD? You can still download a Vista recovery disc

via Download Squad by Brad Linder on 1/26/08
Vista Recovery Disc

The Windows Vista installation DVD includes more than just the files you need to install an operating system. There’s also a recovery center which helps you deal with operating system problems. It can search for problems, find system restore points, restore from backups, or fix a broken boot manager. The problem is that many, (if not most) home computer users don’t have a real installation disc. What they have is a system restore disc provided by their computer manufacturer.

A few months ago we discovered that you could create your own standalone system recovery disc using tools included in Windows Vista SP1. But if you haven’t downloaded the beta version of SP1, or if something has gone horribly wrong and your computer is in an unbootable state, you might need to look elsewhere.

Fortunately the folks at NeoSmart have put together a downloadable recovery disc image. The ISO is about 120MB, and you’ll have to burn it to a disc before you can use it. So you’ll need a working computer of some sort to play. If you’re running Vista and you don’t already have an install disc or a recovery disc, we’d highly recommend creating one now. The recovery center is really one of the most useful new features included in Windows Vista.

[via CyberNet]