Category Archives: Windows 7

Fixing intercepted address bar searches in IE9

When I try to perform a search by typing my search text in the address bar in Internet Explorer 9, my search request is hijacked (“as a courtesy”—huh?) and redirected to a site that allows me to search on Ask.com, as shown here.

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This is aggravating not just because it requires an extra click to initiate the search I requested, but more important, because it ignores the default search engine I’ve configured in IE9. (Believe me, when I have a choice, Ask.com is not my preferred provider!)

I’ve done lots of Googling and Binging (but no Asking) to find a solution, but all the fixes revolve around the Search Providers tab in the Manage Add-ons dialog box—which has no effect on this problem created by my ISP. (FWIW, this occurs on my office T1 service from XO, but I’ve seen similar hijacking on other ISPs, including Charter Cable, which I use at home.)

Although the symptoms are similar to a browser that has been hijacked by malware, the problem is external to my machine; no add-on, other software, or cookie is installed here. It’s simply the DNS service at the ISP that is doing me this wonderful favor.

Read on for two workarounds and a solution… Continue reading

Send to Clipboard

My business partner finally retired his XP machine and got a new Dell Vostro 230. As you can imagine, there has been a steady stream of “What happened to…” queries coming out of his office as he makes the transition to Windows 7 Professional.

The other day he asked where to find Send To Clipboard, an add-in for Windows Explorer in Windows XP that allowed him to copy the path to a folder or file to the Clipboard, so that he can then paste it in a document or message.

Not necessary, I told him.

  • To copy the path to the current folder:
    In Windows Explorer, right-click the address bar and choose Copy Address As Text.
  • To copy the complete path to a file, including the folder path and file name:
    In Windows Explorer, hold down the Shift key, right-click the file name, and choose Copy As Path.

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In this example, choosing Copy Address As Text places the following text on the Clipboard: C:UsersCarlDocumentsOneNote NotebooksWork Notebook

Btw, if you’re pining for other Send To features that are not included with Windows 7, check out a nifty utility called Send To Toys from Gabriele Ponti.

Years, months, and daze

Earlier today I was poking around in the Calculator app that’s included with Windows 7. (Hey, it was a slow day.) The lowly Calculator app remained unchanged from Windows 3.0 in 1990 up through Windows Vista, but it’s been overhauled for Windows 7.

New options at the bottom of the View menu cause Calculator to sprout special purpose calculators to the right of the familiar keypad. These calculators perform all types of unit conversion in addition to calculations such as mortgage payment and fuel economy.

But the one that caught my eye today was the Date Calculation panel. Hmmm, how many days since I was born? I was astonished to see that the answer is 19,999 days! Tomorrow my odometer rolls over as I celebrate the big Two-Oh. Oh, oh, oh.

Calculator19999

If you want to check your age—or see how much older I am than you—open Calculator and then choose View, Date Calculation or press Ctrl+E. In the meantime, I’m going to party like it’s 19999.

OMG!

The first big Windows 7 story of the new year is the “discovery” of “GodMode“–a supposedly undocumented hack that exposes all manner of secret settings in Windows. Except it doesn’t.

Shortly after the news hit the twitterverse, Ed Bott explained what God Mode really is (and isn’t). Today, he follows up with a list of other god mode (demi-god?) shortcuts.

Most of these shortcuts are well documented–if you know where to look. Check “Canonical Names of Control Panel Items” at MSDN, for example.

As Ed noted in his posts, we’ve covered this technique in previous Inside Out editions, but omitted coverage in Windows 7 Inside Out. Why? Frankly, it provides nothing useful in Windows 7. The Search box in Control Panel provides a much faster, easier, and more convenient method for finding Control Panel functions; you don’t need to know the name of the applet (many of which have changed in recent versions of Windows) or where it lives in the hierarchy. You don’t even have to spell correctly, because (as Ed points out in his blog) MS has put in several common misspellings as search keywords. 

Say, for example, you want to change the screen resolution. Begin typing “screen,” “display,” “monitor,” “resolution,” “size,” “pixels,” “adjust,” or “change.” (I’m sure there are other valid keywords; these are just the first few that occurred to me.) The short list invariably includes Adjust Screen Resolution under a prominent Display heading.