Monthly Archives: March 2007

Free PDF Writer

Through my years in IT support I have tried out a few different free pdf writers. The easiest one that I have used so far has been CutePDF Writer.

CutePDF works just cheap nursing shoes like a regular print driver on your computer. All you need to do is select CutePDF from your printer list when you go to print it and print it. It will then ask you for a place to save it.

After that you can then distribute your pdf file however you want. CutePDF Writer leaves no watermark or evidence of itself on your final pdf document. It also leaves no adware or spyware on your computer that I can find, and there are no advertisements displayed when using it.

CutePDF writer is free for personal and commercial use and only has one option for saving your pdf documents. If you are looking for more options you can purchase CutePDF Pro on their web-site.

Just a note: When installing CutePDF you will need to have Internet access as it needs to download a PS2PDF converter. The installer handles this all by itself as long as you have Internet access.

You can download CutePDF Writer at their Website:

Free Training from MIT

MIT is currently offering a good size chunk of their course material for free on-line. Although the free on-line training material will not grant you a degree, or any sort of certificate, if you are after gaining the knowledge alone, it looks like a fantastic resource.

As of November 1, 2006 there are 1,550 courses published on the site. The course is dependent on the MIT faculty collecting their own course content and making it available on the Web. In addition to the written material available there is also audio and video files available for download for some of the courses.

In reading some of the feedback on the site there are some gaps in the course coverage. To quote one reviewer:

some of the courses have great material posted. some have handwritten class notes from a student — great notes, for sure, but just notes. and some are incomplete — for instance Molecular Principles of Biomaterials Lecture Notes has just half the lectures. this is a great great resource but it is still pretty spotty.

You can access the MIT resources at MIT OpenCourseWare | OCW Home.

Source: Ed Bott’s Windows Expertise – Go to MIT for free

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Free Registry Cleaner

After my messy experience trying to use Registry Booster to clean up my new / used laptop I had another look around to find a good (and free) utility to clean out the registry and profiles on my system.

I stumbled upon CCleaner after reading a few blogs and forums about the topic of cleaning your Windows registry. Previously I had used CCleaner on my older Windows XP Professional system, and had been quite happy with it then, so I decided to revisit it.

Once again I was not disappointed with CCleaner. I managed to clean the registry and profiles on my Windwos XP system pretty well with no limitations, like Registry Booster was full of, and without causing any problems with my system.

You can read more about it, and download it at

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What’s In Your Windows Quick Launch Toolbar?

I have seen some pretty massive Quick Launch Toolbars in my time servicing Windows computers. Some of them take up the entire width of the screen, and then some.

In my Windows Quick Launch Toolbar I try to keep it to only six applications. Currently those six icons are:

  1. Microsoft Office Outlook 2003
  2. Mozilla Firefox
  3. Microsoft Internet Explorer
  4. Link to My Documents
  5. Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection
  6. Show Desktop

If I did enlarge it at all I would probably add Microsoft Windows Media Player and Notepad++ as they would probably be my next most used applications.

What do you have in your Windows Quick Launch toolbar? Is it only a select few icons, or do take up your entire taskbar with them?

How To Put “Show the Desktop” in Windows Quick Launch

I somehow managed to delete the “Show Desktop” icon from my Windows Quick Launch bar while I was configuring my new computer. I usually try to only keep six icons in the quick launch bar, and the show desktop icon is one of them.

I was hoping for an easy way to put the icon back, but I could not find an easy way to do it, so I resorted to trolling through some forums to find out how to do it. This is what I found out to restore the show desktop icon in the windows quick launch toolbar.

1. Create a text file with the following content:


2. Save it to your “Quick Launch” folder with the name “Show Desktop.scf”.

After doing that I now have my favourite six icons in the Windows Quick Launch Toolbar again.

Source: Lost Desktop Quick Launch

How To Uninstall Registry Booster

I made a stupid mistake today on my new laptop and installed a registry cleaner without doing my research. The program that I installed was Registry Booster by Uniblue.

I wanted a free program to use on the new laptop, but Registry Booster is only free for 15 errors, and no more. My computer had over 400 errors, so 15 was not even a drop in the bucket.

My problem came when I went to uninstall and completely remove Registry Booster from my computer. There is no link to the uninstall program in the start menu folder, and Registry Booster doesn’t register itself with the Windows Add or Remove Programs application either.

Thankfully after finding the program folder for Registry Booster I found the uninstall program in there. After running it I seem to have removed it completely from the system, but now I am again on the hunt for a good and FREE registry cleaning program…