Some people like to know how to overclock an Athlon. Some people like to know how to write good, concise C++ code. Some people like to know how to create/break various forms of encryption.
Not I; I prefer Stupid Computer Tricks (and semi-colons; but let’s not get into that).
You know, like changing the “Start” button in Windows to your name. Or changing the picture Windows displays when it boots up. Or changing the color of the scrollbar in your browser with a CSS.
In other words, the useless, inane, and utterly fascinating little things one can do with equal parts computer and spare time.
Does anyone know any neat-o Stupid Computer Tricks?
I offer this one to get things started:
Changing The Start Button Text
Make a copy of EXPLORER.EXE and save it somewhere safe. This is just a precaution.
Change the file attributes of EXPLORER.EXE so that it is no longer read only.
Open EXPLORER.EXE in a text editor (a PURE text editor; one that doesn’t add its own formatting). I strongly recommend DOS’s EDIT.COM for this. I used the command “edit /70 explorer.exe”. This opens the file and displays it with 70 columns, making it easier to find what we’re looking for.
Scroll waaaay down to near the end of the file. Eventually you’ll see words, instead of the code gibberish. Keep scrolling until you see what appear to be words whose letters are seperated by spaces. Ex: U n a b l e t o r u n t h i s c o m m a n d
Look for the word “Start” spaced out this way. There should be a clover symbol to the left of it.
Change the text to whatever you want. Keep in mind that the “spaces” between the letters must remain there, and that they are NOT spaces! They are ASCII value 0, which can be typed by holding down ALT while pressing 0, then releasing ALT. Also note that the clover symbol is ASCII 5 (move the cursor to that symbol; look in the lower right corner of EDIT’s screen and it will say “Value:5”). If you change the “S t a r t” to something with more (or less) than 5 letters, you must also change the clover symbol to the character that is represented by the ASCII value of the number of letters. For example, if you changed it to “R i c h a r d” you need to change the clover into ASCII 8. You can do this by holding down ALT while pressing 8, then releasing ALT.
Save the file after you’ve made your change.
You will need to restart Windows (or at least explorer) for the change to take affect, IIRC. Also, although I haven’t tested this myself, I believe there is a 255 letter maximum for length.