Archive for the ‘Windows’ Category

Child-proofing a computer

While it isn’t always easy (or even possible) to completely child-proof a desktop, there are ways to come darned close. I built my son’s computer this weekend, but due to constraints, had to leave it out and accessible. I set the desktop up on the top shelf to make it harder for his sisters to get to it, but I know that they’ll still get there eventually.

I set up the desktop so that only it’s front is accessible. I then disabled the power button in XP via power settings. The only other button on the front is to open the CD-ROM drive. After doing some searching, I found Sidi 1, a freeware app which can do just that. Run it, and it locks the cd-tray. It can still be opened using Sidi.

Now if only there were a way to keep the mouse out of my daughter’s hands…

TorPark – an easy way to try out Tor

Want to try out Tor, the anonymizing TCP service? TorPark makes it easy with a customized version of Portable Firefox altered to communicate via Tor.

With TorPark on a USB flash drive, you can bring the power and flexibility of Firefox with you when you travel — and count on Tor to keep your browsing anonymous and secure at the same time.The current TorPark package ( is available as a 5.6MB self-extracting Windows archive, localized for more than 30 languages. Expand the archive and inside you will find a folder that you can copy directly onto any rewriteable medium (flash drive, hard drive, etc.). TorPark will not run from a CD, since it must write to a local directory.

The folder contains a portable build of Firefox 1.5, a pre-configured Tor installation, and the Torpark.exe executable. Running Torpark.exe establishes an encrypted circuit to the distributed anonymous network of Tor routers, then launches Firefox. You can test whether TorPark is running by pointing the browser at a Web site like; the IP address reported by the site should be different in TorPark than it is in a native browser.

Lower Firefox’s memory use (Windows-only)

Another amazingly useful Firefox hack, this one instantly reduces Firefox’s memory usage on Windows.

This little fix will move Firefox to your hard drive when you minimize it, and as a result it will take up less than 10MB of memory while minimized. So far, from my experiences with using this today, when you maximize Firefox it will obviously increase the memory usage. However, it does not seem to go back up to the insane amount that it was at before minimizing it.

I am very impressed with the hacks that are found to improve the performance of our favorite web browser. Hopefully a lot of these hacks are incorporated in the next release.

Profile picI am a 40-ish uber-geek, Daoist and family man. Blessed to have one incredible wife and three wonderful kiddos. Dao has been kind to me.

October 2019
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