Scaling Remote Desktop To Specific Resolution (aka still show your taskbar)

There’s no denying that Remote Desktop is one of the greatest features of Windows. It’s incredibly handy and it’s speed and performance beats VNC and many other remote control solutions in speed and picture quality.

One gripe I have had with Remote Desktop is that I want to be able to connect to my desktop machine (my work laptop) at a resolution which would allow it to be a full size window but NOT full screen. In other words, I want it full screen but still showing MY taskbar. It turns out scaling the window to fit without scrollbars isn’t that difficult; you just can’t do it from the GUI.

Here’s how to pull this off:

  • Configure your remote connection from the GUI as usual.
  • In “Local Resources, make sure that “Apply Windows key combinations” is set to “On the remote computer”.
  • Save the connections settings to a file. Call it for example “MyLaptopRDP.rdp”.
  • Open Notepad and edit the file you just created. Here’s a shortened version of what you’ll see:
screen mode id:i:1
desktopwidth:i:1280
desktopheight:i:800
session bpp:i:16
winposstr:s:0,3,0,0,800,600
compression:i:1
keyboardhook:i:1
  • Add a new line with this text: “smart sizing:i:1?
  • Change the desktop width and height to what you want (for example I set mine to the laptops 1600×900).
  • Save and quit Notepad. Double click on MyLaptopRDP.rdp (this part is important… you have to use the NEW RDP connection file to launch to get this to work) and now you’ll have an RDP session that fits on your screen but still shows you default machines taskbar. Super sweet!

Windows 7 has God Mode? I dont think so.

A rather silly “trick” ( and really that’s all it is, has been making headlines over the last few days. From what I can tell it was really brought to the forefront by Ina Fried from CNET who says:

“By creating a new folder in Windows 7 and renaming it with a certain text string at the end, users are able to have a single place to do everything from changing the look of the mouse pointer to making a new hard drive partition.”

So somebody decided to call this “God Mode” because to enable this “trick” you make a folder called GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C} and double-click on it. What you end up with is… drum roll… the control panel; it’s just in a different view than you’d normally see.

First of all, the text ”GodMode” has nothing to do with making the trick work. You can call the folder “IFreakinRawk.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}” and now you’ve discovered the magical “IFreakinRawk” feature hidden in Windows.

In reality all you have discovered is:

A documented feature of the shell. Folders can be easily made into ‘namespace junctions’. The whole thing is described on MSDN. Basically, any folder named <DisplayName>.<CLSID> will show up with just the <DisplayName> portion visible in Explorer, and navigating into the folder will take you to the namespace root defined by the <CLSID> portion of the name. This isn’t for USERS, it’s really more of a developer feature.

The second thing is that it’s really the “All Tasks” folder. This is a special shell folder which is used as the source of the “Control Panel” search results seen in the Start menu. This folder was not designed to be browsed to directly, as the normal Control Panel folder (accessible via Start -> Control Panel) contains all the same items but with a custom view designed to be easier to navigate. The “All Tasks” folder has no custom view, so you just see the standard Explorer list view and little else.

The existence of this folder and its CLSID are implementation details and should not be relied upon by anybody for any purpose.

Windows 7 USB Download Tool Lets You Install Windows from a Thumb Drive

If you’re trying to install Windows 7 on a netbook (or are having issues with your PC’s optical drive), the free USB Download Tool from Microsoft allows you to take a .ISO image and turn it into a bootable flash drive.

This was created not only for netbook users, but for anyone that opted to download Windows 7 from Microsoft in lieu of ordering an installation DVD. Windows 7 USB Download Tool can create a bootable flash drive (or DVD, if you prefer) from the downloaded .ISO file in quick fashion—just install it and follow the on-screen prompts. Note that if you opt to use a flash drive, it must be 4GB or larger to hold all the files.

The coolest part: Microsoft has open sourced this little app. Why, you ask? They got a bit of flak early on in the project for re-using open-source code and improperly documenting it (as well as making the program itself closed source), but true to their word that it was only a mistake, it’s been brought back and declared open source for all to use. So if you still haven’t gotten Windows 7 installed on that netbook of yours, head on over to CodePlex, Microsoft’s open-source repository, and download the tool now.

Family Guy Windows 7 Clips: Microsoft smartly did not run these

WOW – lame excuses for ads.  It’s no secret the Microsoft is constantly destroyed in the ad space. Apple always seems to one up them… in an attempt at hipness they teamed up with Seth MacFarlane’s Family Guy to do a spot promoting Windows 7. To their credit they did NOT run these, to their discredit, they released them on YouTube.