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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

IMPORTANT: Xmarks Sync to be Discontinued

Sadly, Xmarks will be shutting down our free browser synchronization service on January 10, 2011. This page contains details on how to transition to recommended alternative services. For more detail on why we're closing our doors, please see our blog post.

Best regards,
-Team Xmarks

What you need to know:

  • Browser Sync Alternatives

    While you may have to give up cross-browser sync when Xmarks goes away, there are a lot of good browser-specific sync options available:

    Sync Alternative
    Xmarks Data Types Supported

    Firefox Sync
    Bookmarks, passwords, history, tabs

    Chrome Sync

    Internet Explorer
    Windows Live Essentials

    Bookmarks, passwords

    You can also create an html backup of your bookmarks at any time by using the Export feature at

  • Service End Date and User Support

    Xmarks Sync for Firefox, Chrome, IE, Safari, and iPhone will continue to operate until January 10, 2011. Email support is no longer available, but our user support forums on GetSatisfaction will continue to be a place for users to help each other.

  • Uninstalling Xmarks Extensions (Sync, Thumbnails, and SearchTabs)

    Instructions for uninstalling Xmarks can be found on this wiki page.

  • Privacy and Your Data

    We understand that you have entrusted us with the task of storing your personal browser data and we take that responsibility very seriously.

  • Other Shutdown Questions

    Please see our Shutdown FAQ if you have questions you don't see answered above.

  • More Sync Options

    If you have need of syncing more than just bookmarks between computers, here are two great services we recommend you try out. Both offer a free plan with no payment obligation.

    Evernote lets you save entire webpages, including text, links and images. It keeps everything synchronized across your computer, phone and the web. In addition to storing webpages, Evernote also allows you to take notes, store to-dos, snap photos and more.
    SugarSync is easy, secure online file sync and backup. Keep your files, photos, and music stored in the cloud so you can access them anytime. Works with PC and Mac plus mobile devices like iPhone, iPad, Android, and more. Try it Free!



Sunday, September 26, 2010

Tips and tricks for getting the most out of your desktop gadgets (windows 7)

Desktop gadgets are mini programs that offer information at a glance and provide quick access to frequently used tools. But did you know that there are lots of ways to make your gadgets more efficient, useful, and fun? Here are a few tips and tricks you can try.

Tip: Resize gadgets to get more information

You've heard the expression "less is more," but that isn't always true—especially when it comes to information. You can resize some gadgets to get even more info, like news headlines and weather, on your desktop.

  • Right-click the gadget that you want to resize, point to Size, and then click the size that you want the gadget to be.

    (Not all gadgets can be resized.)

  • Try this with: The Weather gadget and the Currency gadget.

Picture of the Weather gadget in its small size and its large size
The large Weather gadget shows more information.


Trick: Sneak a peek at your gadgets

You can use the Show desktop button to take a quick look at your gadgets even when they're buried under a pile of open windows. No need to interrupt your train of thought (or even minimize any windows).

  • Point to the Show desktop button at the end of the taskbar. The open windows fade from view, revealing the desktop.

    To make the windows reappear, move the mouse away from the Show desktop button.

Picture of the Show desktop button
The Show desktop button

  • Try this when: You want to peek at your gadgets then go back to what you were doing.


Tip: Change the face of your gadgets

Don't like the look of some of your gadgets? Many of them can be customized. For starters, you can change the pictures in the Slide Show gadget and the Picture Puzzle gadget. Or you can change the appearance of the Clock gadget entirely.

  • Right-click the gadget that you want to change, and then click Options.

    (Not all gadgets have options.)

  • Try this with: The Clock gadget and the Picture Puzzle gadget.

Picture of the Clock gadget's options
You can change the look of the Clock.


Trick: Hide gadgets for a cleaner desktop

Have you ever wished you could make all of the clutter on your desktop go away? In Windows 7, you can hide the gadgets on your desktop when you feel the need to tidy up your PC and then bring them back whenever you want. Your gadgets are restored the way you left them, with their options and locations on the desktop intact.

  • Right-click the desktop, point to View, and then click Show desktop gadgets to clear the check mark.

    (Note that hiding your gadgets doesn't remove them from the desktop.)


Tip: Get more gadgets

Looking to add to your gadget collection? There are lots more available for download on the Windows website. You're sure to find at least a few that pique your interest.

You can also open the Windows website from the Desktop Gadget Gallery:

  1. Right-click the desktop, and then click Gadgets.

  2. Click Get more gadgets online to open the Personalization Gallery on the Windows website.

  • Try this when: You're tired of looking at the same old desktop.


Want to learn more about desktop gadgets? Check out Customize desktop gadgets, Desktop gadgets: frequently asked questions, and Give your PC some personality with desktop gadgets from Windows Live Gallery.


What is mscorsvw.exe and why is it eating up my CPU? What is this new CLR Optimization Service?

mscorsvw.exe is precompiling .NET assemblies in the background. Once it's done, it will go away. Typically, after you install the .NET Redist, it will be done with the high priority assemblies in 5 to 10 minutes and then will wait until your computer is idle to process the low priority assemblies. Once it does that it will shutdown and you won't see mscorsvw.exe. One important thing is that while you may see 100% CPU usage, the compilation happens in a process with low priority, so it tries not to steal the CPU for other stuff you are doing. Once everything is compiled, assemblies will now be able to share pages across different processes and warm start up will be typically much faster, so we're not throwing away your cycles.

If you are really want to get rid of mscorsvw.exe from your task manager, just do:

ngen.exe executequeueditems

which will drain all the queued up work.


Removing additional Passport (.net messenger) Accounts in Windows XP

Removing additional Passport Accounts in Windows XP

When you sign-in to passport based services such as MSN Messenger you will see that it list the accounts of all users who have logged on from your machine. After a while this can get a tad annoying, if you left your friends sign in on your system you will end up with a huge list. To remove accounts from this list open User Accounts from the control panel and click on your username.

User Accounts

Now select to manage your network passwords. When the stored user names and passwords window appears you can remove accounts simply by highlighting them and selecting remove. Passport.Net\* indicates the account associated with your user account
Stored User Names and Passwords

Note: If your machine is part of a domain you can access the stored user names and passwords dialog by going to
Start > Run and typing in control userpasswords2
Once the user accounts window has opened select the Advanced tab > manage passwords button
If you are not an administrator on your local machine and attempt this you will be presented with an error, if you select the 'manage your passwords' text in the lower paragraph you will be able to access the stored user names and passwords dialog.

How can I prevent Windows XP associating Microsoft Passport details with my user account?

After installing Windows XP you may be prompted you to associate a Microsoft Passport account with you Windows User account to enable access to certain Internet communication features (such as Windows Messenger). To bypass this wizard take the following steps.

Go to Start, select run and start the registry editor by typing in regedit. Then in the registry navigate to  HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\MessengerService. If a registry value called PassportBalloon does not already exist here, go to the Edit menu, select "New, Binary Value", enter a name of PassportBalloon, and then click Enter.

Double-click on the PassportBalloon value, set it to 0A 00 00 00, and then click OK. To reverse this right click and delete the PassportBalloon binary entry entirely.


Friday, September 24, 2010

Seagate GoFlex Desk breaks the 2.2TB barrier for Windows XP


Seagate wins the 3.0TB race with the industry’s first 3TB hard drive.

It just so happens to be an external drive in the crtically acclaimed Goflex family and it’s available now.

altWhat makes this drive unique, in addition to the massive capacity, dual support for Windows and Mac support, and flexibility of the GoFlex system? It works with Windows XP!  There has been a ton of coverage around the limitations of Windows XP as hard drive manufacturers move to 4K sectors.  Windows XP users would not be able to see anything above 2.2TB because the OS only recognizes 512b block sizes. Well, GoFlex Desk 3.0TB takes care of that by incorporating logic on the bridge chip that enables Windows XP to allow the drive to work in 4K byte chunks instead of the typical 512 bytes.

The catch is that this works only within the GoFlex solution since it’s embedded in the bridge chip, so don’t feel compelled to take the drive out of the enclosure and install in your PC or another storage system. If you do, you’ll lose 800GB of available storage.  You’ll need that 800GB for all those HD movies, games, music, and photos… why else would you buy 3.0TB?  Internal versions I expect will be available in the coming months.

Check it out.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

iTunes 10 was released!

New features:

Introducing iTunes Ping. Make your music more social.

Discover new music by going social with Ping. Learn even more about your favorite artists and friends starting with their bios. See what they’ve been up to — even listen to 30-second previews of music they like. Find out when and where artists and bands are on tour, and check out photos and videos they’ve posted. With Ping, a community of the world’s most passionate music fans is just a click away.

TV show rentals. Just 99¢ an episode.

À la carte television.

Watch what you want, when you want, without commercial interruptions, and in HD. iTunes 10 features thousands of your favorite commercial-free HD episodes available to rent for just 99¢ each. Watch TV rentals on your iPhone or iPod touch, iPad, the all-new Apple TV, or Mac or PC.1 You have 30 days from the moment you rent an episode to start watching, and 48 hours to finish it. Plenty of time for you to be in the know for all those watercooler conversations.

AirPlay. Listen without wires.

Let the tunes flow.

iTunes 10 and AirPlay make it simple to play your favorite music in any room or everywhere in your house. Without a hitch. AirPlay wireless technology will be arriving inside speakers, AV receivers, and iPod accessories — making it possible to enjoy your entire iTunes Library — every song and every playlist — in every room.

Lots to see here.

The sleek new Apple TV has been completely retuned for your entertainment. It’s 80 percent smaller than the previous generation. Which makes is perfect for sitting neatly on a widescreen TV stand or squeezing into a crowded media cabinet. But don’t let its size fool you. Apple TV now gives you the world’s largest selection of HD movies and HD TV shows on demand. Hook it up and suddenly you’ve got instant access to new movies the day they’re released on DVD, commercial-free TV episodes, Netflix content, YouTube videos, photos, music, and more.

Improved syncing. Feed your devices, faster.

A simpler way to sync.

iTunes gives you even better ways to sync your media from your computer to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod. There’s a new capacity bar that tells you exactly how much space you have left on your device in real time. And it’s even easier to organize all your apps on all your devices because you do it right in iTunes. Shop the App Store on your computer, iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. Then connect to your Mac or PC and go to your iTunes library to arrange (and rearrange) your apps and add or delete Home screens that sync back to your devices automatically.