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Whats needed: Windows 7 Home Basic, Home Premium,  Professional, Enterprise or Ultimate. Windows 7 Starter will not work.    Skill: Beginner

You may be using Windows 7 without one of it’s coolest features, the Desktop Wallpaper shuffler. That’s right, Windows 7 can automatically switch your desktop wallpaper at intervals that you choose. Heres how to set it.

1. right click the desktop and click Personalize. Click on change Change Desktop Background
2.  check all the desktop backgrounds that you would like to rotate
3. check the shuffle box and choose  how often you want them to rotate. minimum will be 10 second and maximum is 1 day.

And that’s  all you have to do to have cool rotating desktop wallpaper that a lot of your friends will envy.

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You can now follow TechBytes on Twitter! It’s ever so easy. Just visit our Twitter page and click the Follow button. And then you’ll will start receiving tweets of new articles, promos, contests and a ton of other useful information including stuff not even available on the blog!

Whats needed: A computer with any version of Windows XP installed
Skill: Advanced

Okay, over half of all computer users use Microsoft Windows XP. If you don’t have Windows XP ignore this how-to. So, Windows XP waits 20 seconds before killing the system processes and shutting down. But why wait 20 seconds when you can shut down immediately? You shouldn’t. Here is how to make XP shut down almost immediately.

1. Click Start, and then click Run.
2. Type Regedit, and then click OK.
3. navigate to HKEY_USERS\DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop and change the value for “WaitToKillAppTimeout” to 1000
4. now navigate to HKEY_CURENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop and change the value for “WaitToKillAppTimeout” to 1000
5. now navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control and change the value for “WaitToKillAppTimeout” to 1000

Windows XP will now end processes immediately and shut down a lot faster. Enjoy!

Ubuntu Lucid Lynx now available

The all-new Ubuntu release 10.04 Lucid Lynx is now available. To check out it’s features see here. You can download it by clicking the box on the left sidebar.

People are excited over the new Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Lucid Lynx, which is to be released in only 2 days. Ubuntu 10.04 is going to be one of the most important releases ever. Although it is a Long Term Support release (meaning the primary focus is stability and bug fixtures), Ubuntu 10.04 will bring some awesome new features. Check these improvements out!

1. Faster Boot Speed – It was the goal of the Ubuntu developers to achieve 10 second boot from a cold system to a fully functional desktop. Some people have even claimed starting it 3.6 seconds using a SSD. A lot of work has been put into Upstart for this. Ten seconds will be a great improvement, especially for netbook users. Compare this to the 25 seconds it took to start 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope!

2. Major User Interface & Artwork Changes – Finally the yucky brown look is gone! Who ever liked Human theme anyway?  Lucid gives Ubuntu a nicer purple & orange look. The 2 new themes are Ambiance (dark) and Radiance (light). The whole desktop experience is much more welcoming. Controversially the Maximize, Minimize & Close buttons have been now moved to the left side of the screen like the Mac OS X. Mac users will love this but Windows users might not be so quick to adopt it. Lucid also includes a completely new logo and boot screen.

3. Social Networking Built into the Desktop – So many people are into social networking nowadays the building it right into the desktop is sure to be a hit. Ubuntu has added a new menu (called the Me Menu) in the top right corner of the screen. The program Gwibber is what makes this work, and the Me Menu is the front-end for it. This awesome new feature will support Digg, Facebook, Flickr, Identi.ca, Jaiku, Twitter and RSS feeds.

Ubuntu 10.04

4. Change of Default Programs – Ubuntu has decided to make it easier for users by only including the best easy-to-use software by default. And if the user want the more advanced software all they have to do is install it. XSane the previous scanner was so complicated to use that I completely gave up. Lucid will include Simple Scan instead. Lucid will also introduce PiTiVi, an open source video editor similar to something like Windows Movie Maker. It can do all the basic functions that the average user would need. GIMP will also not be included for the first time ever. The rational is that most users will never need the advanced features that it includes. Also Lucid will only include 5 games pre-installed down from the 17 that previous versions had.

Other notable changes include: a manual for the first time ever, the new Ubuntu One Music Store, more user-created themes and a few other minor changes.

I hope this gave you an idea of what to expect from Ubuntu 10.04. Lucid Lynx will clearly be a release like no other in the cycle of Ubuntu releases. It will be a great update to Karmic (9.10) users and even more worthwhile to Hardy (8.04) & Jaunty (9.04) users like me.

Whats needed: A computer with internet access      Skill: Beginner

United States treasuries and the Canadian government are “safeguarding” over 32 billion dollars. This money is from forgotten tax rebates, insurance refunds, bank accounts and others. Some of this money might be yours, all you have to do is claim it! To find out if some of the money is yours go to www.missingmoney.com and search under your name. It currently works for most American states and Canadian provinces. And if your state/province happens not to be part of the database then the site will link you to another site for your state/province.

Crap, there was no money waiting for me. Maybe you’ll have better luck. 🙂

MissingMoney results for John Smith

MissingMoney results for John Smith

Well the votes have been cast and the results are in for the Linux Consumer Choice awards for 2009. Every January-February LinuxQuestions.org has Linux users from all over the world vote for their favorite Linux programs of the year. Here are the results for 2009.

Format is, Example Category: WinnerName (% of total votes)

Desktop Distribution of the year:

  1. Ubuntu (30.13%)
  2. Slackware (16.7%)
  3. Fedora (10%)

Desktop Enviroment of the year:

  1. Gnome (41.96%)
  2. KDE (40.37%)
  3. XFCE (11.29%)

Web Browser of the year:

  1. Mozilla Firefox (65.21)
  2. Google Chrome (13.77)
  3. Opera (9.18)

Mail Client of the year:

  1. Mozilla Thunderbird (53.5)
  2. Evolution (14.77)
  3. Kmail (11.38)

Instant Messaging App of the year:

  1. Pidgin (48.74)
  2. Skype (12.18)
  3. Kopete (11.76)

Office Suite of the year:

  1. OpenOffice (90.76)
  2. KOffice (4.47)
  3. GNOME Office (1.88)

Graphics Application of the year:

  1. GIMP (66.48)
  2. Inkscape (12.66)
  3. Blender (5.77)

Open-Source Game of the year:

  1. Battle for Wesnoth (15.45)
  2. Open Arena (9.27)
  3. Nexuiz (8.99)

Virtualization Product of the year:

  1. VirtualBox (67.43)
  2. VMware (15.24)
  3. KVM (6.67)

Audio Media Player of the year:

  1. Amarok (38.81)
  2. Rhythmbox (16.83)
  3. Audacious (9.37)

Video Media Player of the year:

  1. VLC Player (46%)
  2. Mplayer (36.28)
  3. Xine (6.36)

File Manager of the year:

  1. Nautilus (24.92)
  2. Dolphin (19.66)
  3. Konqueror (18.8)

Full results can be viewed here.

Well after a year of hard work Google has finally released Linux & Mac beta versions of it’s Chrome web browser. Beta software means it is still in testing, however most beta’s are still very usable for daily purposes. The Mac version works for OSX 10.5 or higher, and the Linux version only works for Ubuntu, Debian, OpenSuse & Fedora. Chrome however may support more Distros in the future. Google is also launching ChromeExtensions for Windows & Linux, over 300 of them in fact.

You can get the Linux beta here, and the Mac beta here.

We are happy to announce that we’ve now setup a Facebook page, RSS feeds & Email subscriptions as options for our readers to follow (also called subscribing) this blog.

To follow us on Facebook: click here (log into Facebook if necessary) and then click the “Become a fan” button at the top of the page.

To follow us using RSS feeds: click on the “RSS – Posts” button located on the left sidebar. You can then choose how the RSS feed will notify you, this will be depend on which web browser you use.

To follow us using Email subscriptions: enter your email address (at the spot for it on the right sidebar) and click “Sign up”. Or if you are logged into WordPress all you have to do is click the sign up button.

Fall 2009 has seen many OS releases. All 3 major platforms had an OS release in the last 3 months. I’ll give you some general information on each of them.

Mac OSX 10.6 (Snow Leopard) was released to the general public on August 29. It is available as an upgrade for Leopard users using an Intel-based Mac since PowerPC is no longer supported. Some of the programs such as QuickTime and Safari have received updates but the major change is with the OS itself. Boot speed has been increased and Finder and many of the applications have been rewritten in 64 bit code. Many Macs will be using the new 64-bit Mac kernel.

Cost: $29.99 (upgrade for Leopard users)

System Requirements: Intel processor, 1 GB RAM, 5 GB hard drive space, DVD drive

Microsoft Windows 7, which many people consider to be the best Windows OS since XP, was released on October 22. It expected to sell very well and make up for Vista’s lack of acceptance. It is built on the same Windows core version as Vista (NT 6.x) is, but feature wise it is quite different. One of the major changes you would notice first would be the updated Taskbar which had basically been the same since Windows 95. It has been almost completely redone. It is now much more like the Dock on the Mac OSX. Two other major feature include Libraries and XP Mode. Libraries let you group folders, and view them through one folder interface. XP Mode is a Virtual Machine setup that gives the user almost full backwards compatibility with Windows XP, if a XP program does not work in Windows 7 just install it in the XP VM and the program will appear in your Start Menu just like any Win7 program. It even works for devices like printers too. Some of this may be a tad difficult to understand, but the best way is to try Windows 7 and see it for yourself.

Cost: $199.99 (Full version), $119.99 (HomePremium upgrade for XP & Vista users)

System Requirements: 1 GHz processor, 1 GB RAM, 16 GB hard drive space, DirectX 9 & WDDM 1.0 compatible graphics card

Ubuntu Linux 9.10 (Karmic Koala) was released on October 27, only 5 days after Windows 7. Ubuntu is the most popular Linux Distribution, with about one-third of all Linux users using it. Karmic Koala is the latest update for Ubuntu users. New features in Karmic include: improvements in Cloud computing, Ext4 as the default file system, better performance on Intel graphics cards and new software management. Software management is probably the biggest change. The old Add/Remove programs application has been replaced by the Ubuntu Software Center. In the next version of Ubuntu the Software Center is planned to also replace the functions of Synaptic & Update manager.

Cost: Free, both Full version or upgrade for 9.04 users

System Requirements: 700 Mhz processor, 384 MB RAM, 5 GB hard drive space

Mac, Windows & Linux