Here's a quick and easy one for you. This will give you UNIX-style command line completion in a Windows command prompt, also known as DOS boxes. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, when you open a console in Linux, for example, the 'Tab' key will auto-complete file names, or folders after you type the first letter. This is similar to the auto-nick-completion seen in mIRC.
Windows XP users already have this feature enabled, so this is for NT/2K systems. In the registry browse to HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Command Processor. If it doesn't already exist, create a REG_DWORD and call it CompletionChar. Give it a hex value of '09', which represents the 'Tab' key. You can assign any key you like, but the Tab key is the only one that has no real use in the command window. You will need to reboot for the changes to take effect, but it works like a charm.
This tweak was submitted by 'Zeromancer'. Schweet! Back in issue 35
, I asked for help on removing the pathetic animations from the XP search screens. I was swamped with offers ranging from skinning the puppy alive, through to something about dead bunnies. Well, thankfully not everyone is a psychotic nut. Here is selection of some of the other suggestions.
ABOVE: Do you skin it alive or tweak the registry instead? Dilemma.
Wazza, MoRoSiS and iNTiGOD suggested this registry hack:
Browse to HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Explorer/CabinetState and add a new string (REG_SZ) called 'Use Search Asst' and set it to 'No' and then in HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/ Internet Explorer/Main set 'Use Search Asst' to 'No'.
This is for the current user, however. Should you want to bury the puppy for all users, then 'Duffy' suggests navigating to HKEY_USERS/.Default/Control Panel/Desktop/WindowMetrics, then modify or create the value data type(s) and value name(s) as detailed below.
Data yype: REG_SZ [String Value] // Value Name: MinAnimate
Setting for Value Data: [0 = Animations Disabled / 1 = Animations Enabled]
And of course, do the reboot dance.
'Benxor's' solution was short and sweet:
-- Click Start, Run, and enter '%systemroot%/inf' (or even: c:/windows/inf)
-- Click Okay to open the INF folder.
-- Locate the file Srchasst.inf
-- Hurt it.
Paul Aslin suggests that un-registering the appropriate DLL should do the job cleanly. From a command prompt type 'regsvr32 C:/WINDOWS/srchasst/srchui.dll /u'. With that DLL un-registered, Windows won't use it. Of course, if you miss the dopey little animations, just re-register the DLL by typing 'regsvr32 C:/WINDOWS/srchasst/srchui.dll', from the nearest command prompt.
'Cordo' simply deleted the windows/srchasst/chars and the windows/msagent/chars folders.
I had a suggestion from 'HeNrY' that I rename the entire srchasst folder. It's a little tricky to do this as Windows considers that folder as 'in-use', but you can work around that with a few little tricks. If you managed to rename the folder, it will cause some interesting errors on reboot, as Windows will think that there is a system problem. The directory will be recreated, but with nothing in there.
Finally, neophyte recommends entering this into notepad:
then save it with a .reg extension and run it!
A number of people suggested utilities such as Power Toys, TweakUI, and Xteq. While these utilities are not without merit, we prefer to get our hands dirty. Why get a mechanic to work on your car, when you can dive under the bonnet yourself?
Thanks to all those who sent in their suggestions.
Feedback is always welcome. Let us know how Phr33x Tw33x has helped. Tell us your tweaking stories. Is your PC running faster and smoother, or does it run like a donkey? Did you do before and after bench-testing? What results did you get? Have you got a tweak that we haven't seen yet? Email firstname.lastname@example.org