Keyboard shortcut for Windows Task Manager in Windows 7 and Vista

In order to get to Windows Task Manager using CTRL + ALT + DEL shows you screen (with following options: Lock this computer, Switch User, Log Off, Change Password, Start Task Manager):

Starting Windows Task Manager using CTRL+ALT+DEL

Some times getting to that screen is not easy and it takes a lot of time especially if some application is stuck or it’s using all CPU power or allocated lots of memory.
But there’s are two quicker ways to do start Windows Task Manager directly, without that blue screen, that is really slow sometimes.

1. Right-click on empty space in your Windows 7 taskbar and select “Task Manager”, like on the picture below:

Starting Windows Task Manager taskbar rightclick

2. Press CTRL + SHIFT+ ESC. The result will be the same: Windows Task Manager will start:

Windows Task Manager
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How to auto rotate images based on EXIF Orientation tag?

How to auto rotate images based on EXIF Orientation tag-1Everyone of us probably has hundreds if not thousands of images taken with his digital camera or cell phone. When viewing these pictures on computer (or TV) you will find that lots of pictures needs to be rotated to be displayed correctly. Doing this by hand can really take some time. Luckily, I have found an easier way of solving this problem. It’s also very fast and easy to use!

Most of modern digital cameras (and cellphones) save many extra data to JPEG. That’s called EXIF data. Many useful information about how the picture was taken is stored in there. In sample I provided on the right you can see part of the EXIF data saying that the picture was made using my Nikon D50, that I didn’t use the flash and that exposure time is 1/250 sec and that focal length was 80mm. Beside that, there are many other details that are not displayed in this sample, and among those is Orientation tag that says how the camera was positioned in time of shooting.

Our mission is to automatically rotate multiple images in batch using data saved under that field. For that purpose I will use FastStone Image Viewer that you can download from my favorite software download site FileHorse.com. This software is free for personal use (professionals should buy a license). It’s really amazing piece of software for image manipulation (viewing, converting, cropping, re-sizing, watermarking – you name it!)

How to auto rotate images based on EXIF Orientation tag-2

Ok, once you’ve downloaded, installed and started FastStone Image Viewer, you need to find images that you need to rotate. Once in folder with images select them by pressing CTRL+A and then go to Tools – > JPEG Lossless Rotate -> Auto-Rotate based on EXIF Orientation Tag just like on picture above. A popup will ask you are you sure you want to do it, press yes and wait until your photos are auto rotated (if you have lots of photos or slower computer it can take some time to process them all). It’s easy as 1-2-3! Take a look at the samples below:

Before Rotation
How to auto rotate images based on EXIF Orientation tag-before

After Rotation
How to auto rotate images based on EXIF Orientation tag-after

Feel free to leave your comments in the comment box below!


How to block Google Ads on Windows computer?

If you (like me) hate ads and malicious sites there is a simple solution for all your problems. While most plugins just hide displaying of ads, while they are being requested and and loaded into your browser or blocks ads only in one browser, this hack totally blocks ads from even loading on whole computer. For this sample I’ve used Google AdSense text and picture ads and Yahoo ads but you can use any ad network. It’s good idea to block ads on your computer when you work a lot on your website so you cant make any accidental clicks since clicking on ads on your own site can get your account closed and get you accused of click fraud.

The whole process is easy as one, two, three!

1. Before you go you will need text editor. Notepad is fine but if you’re Geek pro you should use Notepad++. Start your text editor. If you are on Windows 7 or Vista start program as Administrator (Right click on editor icon and select “Run as Administrator”).

2. Now locate “hosts” file. (File has no extension only filename “hosts”).You can locate it at
– Windows 9x, ME at C:\WINDOWS
– Windows NT (and some 2K) at C:\WINNT\system32\drivers\etc
– Windows 2K, XP, 2003, Vista, 7 at C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc

3. Add following lines to the bottom of the file

127.0.0.1 pagead.googlesyndication.com
127.0.0.1 pagead2.googlesyndication.com
127.0.0.1 ad.doubleclick.net
127.0.0.1 ypn-js.overture.com

Go to the first blank line at the bottom of the file and copy/paste these few lines or write your own. Make sure you leave no blank lines before this entry. That’s it. Just save the file and test it out. Some systems might require reboot. If you’ve followed the instructions carefully you should never see Google AdSense ads again, and this will work under all browsers and on all accounts on computer.

How does this stuff works? Well, instead of getting ads form where they are located (eg. Google servers), the ads are requested from 127.0.0.1 (localhost) your computer and since you don’t have those – it displays nothing. It is perfectly safe to use.

This way you can also easily block malicious sites, annoying ads or ad networks, specific sites from your kids or block Facebook access. I have found two sites that have full databases of harmful sites and you can just copy/paste their hosts file for maximum protection: http://www.hosts-file.net and http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.htm and if you’re really geekish you can download Hostess, a specialized host file editor.

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