Lock XP Workstation You can lock your XP workstation with two clicks of the mouse. Create a new shortcut on your desktop using a right mouse click, and enter 'rundll32.exe user32.dll, LockWorkStation' in the location field. Give the shortcut a name you like. That's it -- just double click on it and your computer will be locked. And if that's not easy enough, Windows key + L will do the same. Remove Windows XP system software XP hides some system software you might want to remove, such as Windows Messenger, but you can tickle it and make it disgorge everything. Using Notepad or Edit, edit the text file /windows/inf/sysoc.inf, search for the word 'hide' and remove it. You can then go to the Add or Remove Programs in the Control Panel, select Add/Remove Windows Components and there will be yourprey, ex posed and vulnerable. New commands For those skilled in the art of DOS batch files, XP has a number of interesting new commands. These include 'eventcreate' and 'eventtriggers' for creating and watching system events, 'typeperf' for monitoring performance of various subsystems, and 'schtasks' for handling scheduled tasks. As usual, typing the command name followed by /? will give a list of options -- they're all far too baroque to go into here. Windows XP supports IPv6 XP has IP version 6 support -- the next generation of IP. Unfortunately this is more than your ISP has, so you can only experiment with this on your LAN. Type 'ipv6 install' into Run... (it's OK, it won't ruin your existing network setup) and then 'ipv6 /?' at the command line to find out more. If you don't know what IPv6 is, don't worry and don't bother. Kill tasks from the command line You can at last get rid of tasks on the computer from the command line by using 'taskkill /pid' and the task number, or just 'tskill' and the process number. Find that out by typing 'tasklist', which will also tell you a lot about what's going on in your system. Enable ClearType by default XP has ClearType -- Microsoft's anti-aliasing font display technology-- but doesn't have it enabled by default. It's well worth trying, especially if you were there for DOS and all those years of staring at a screen have given you the eyes of an astigmatic bat. To enable ClearType, right click on the desktop, select Properties, Appearance, Effects, select ClearType from the second drop-down menu and enable the selection. Expect best results on laptop displays. If you want to use ClearType on the Welcome login screen as well, set the registry entry Code: HKEY_USERS/.DEFAULT/ControlPanel/Desktop/FontSmoothingType to 2. Run program as different user You can run a program as a different user without logging out and back in again. Right click the icon, select Run As... and enter the user name and password you want to use. This only applies for that run. The trick is particularly useful if you need to have administrative permissions to install a program, which many require. Note that you can have some fun by running programs multiple times on the same system as different users, but this can have unforeseen effects. Speed up the Start Menu The Start Menu can be leisurely when it decides to appear, but you can speed things along by changing the registry entry HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Control Panel/Desktop/MenuShowDelay from the default 400 to something a little snappier. Like 0. Rename multiple files at once You can rename loads of files at once in Windows Explorer. Highlight a set of files in a window, then right click on one and rename it. All the other files will be renamed to that name, with individual numbers in brackets to distinguish them. Also, in a folder you can arrange icons in alphabetized groups by View, Arrange Icon By... Show In-Groups. Protect Your Files From Unauthorized Users Other users with permission to delete a file (users with Modify or Full Control permission) can't use your encrypted files-but they can make them difficult for you to use. Any such user can rename your files, which can make them difficult to find, and can also delete your files. (Even if the user merely deletes them to the Recycle Bin and doesn't remove them altogether, the deleted files are unavailable to you because you don't have access to any other user's Recycle Bin.) Therefore, if you're concerned about protecting your files from other authorized users as well as from a thief who steals your computer, you should modify the NTFS permissions to prevent any type of modification by other users. Shutdown Your System in a Hurry If you need to shut down in a hurry-or if a frozen application prevents you from shutting down in the normal ways-you can use the following procedure. Be aware, however, that you won't get an opportunity to save open documents. To perform an emergency shutdown, press Ctrl+Alt+Del to display Task Manager. Open the Shut down menu and hold down the Ctrl key as you click the Turn Off command. Poof! If your computer is part of a domain, the procedure is similar. Press Ctrl+Alt+Del and then hold down Ctrl when you click Shut Down. In this situation, you'll get a warning message pointing out-quite correctly-that this should be used only as a last resort.