Archive for December, 2008

Credit Information Bureau (India) Limited – What everyone must know about CIBIL

December 30, 2008

This is the era of high spending. The truth is today people spend more than their grandparents or parents ever did.

Increasing incomes, the desire to own a house in one’s early twenties, the availability of variety in lifestyle and brand choices, a booming economy, a growing number of entrepreneurs, new business establishments, etc, are leading to a tremendous amount of money outflow.

Money rotation is a key factor in a progressive economy and this means there is a lot of lending. In the event of such rapid money outflow from bank coffers, several questions — like how does one keep a tab on all the credit lent, how does one identify defaulters and refrain from re-lending to them — began to crop up.

To seek a solution to these queries, the government of India and the Reserve Bank of India [Get Quote] got together to bring CIBIL (Credit Information Bureau India Ltd) into existence.

Currently banks, financial institutions, state financial corporations, non-banking financial companies, housing finance companies and credit card companies are members of CIBIL.

The idea behind setting up CIBIL is to gather all existing consumer and commercial credit information and pool it in a one-point source, for reference.

As in, an individual or commercial establishment could have accounts in several banks and credit from different lending institutions. All such data can be pulled out at one single point, for a quick reference check on the individual or commercial establishment seeking a loan.

This helps the lender, be aware of the repayment track record of the loan seeker and quickly decide on loan eligibility. According to the nature of the track record, a borrower is given a credit score. A poor credit score will make getting a loan, a difficult proposition for the borrower.

CIBIL acts as weeding mechanism that helps identify poor repayment track records. It helps protect lenders from giving credit to people and establishments who are unlikely to repay what is lent. Even if credit is provided, it is done so at a very high rate of interest, thereby ensuring that the bank is able to recover a considerable sum of money even if a default happens some time into the loan tenure.

On the other hand, if you have an impeccable repayment track record, you can reap benefits from it! Banks provide a lower interest rate for sound credit profiles that have excellent credit scores and such ‘Credit Information Reports’ can work to your advantage.

It also helps lenders and banks quickly process a loan, without wasting valuable time on research and background check on the loan applicant.

Well, this is the brighter side of things. There is a flip side to this, too. As with all mass processing systems that are not dependent on a single source for information, there are quite a few things that could be incorrectly recorded in the credit information reports, which are stored with CIBIL.

Here are a few instances, detailed for your understanding:

Lack of updated info: You might have defaulted on a sum of money, say Rs 12,000 but repaid the sum later, maybe well past the due date for the payment. There could be instances where CIBIL did not get the updated info for its records. This will show up as a default and will affect the calculation of a good credit score.

Confusion of names: There can be thousands of names that are similar in the CIBIL database. Things can go haywire if a person who shares your name has defaulted and all his defaults get recorded in your file.

There was this one instance, which a loan applicant reported. Her name, Anju Jadeja, was confused with Anjum Taneja. Turns out Anjum Taneja passed away tragically in a freak accident, with nobody able to identify her until bank authorities decided to investigate the applicant after CIBIL corrected and ratified Anju Jadeja’s credit report.

Till that point in time, the bank had put down Anjum’s bouncing cheques, as defaults on loan payments in Anju’s credit report. Today, Anju is a relieved woman.

Human input error: The information that goes from the banks to CIBIL on a loan or credit card payment default may have been erroneous due to a simple input error by one of the bank employees.

There was this instance when there was an accidental default of a month overdue payment of Rs 18,000 of one Tanushree Omkar. She cleared it the next month. However, the record that went to CIBI, had two additional zeroes, which made the default amount to Rs 18 lakh (Rs 1.8 million)!

Identity theft: This is the most serious of all causes of errors and can have a disastrous impact on a person’s credit profile.

In recent times, identity thefts are on the rise. Right from a petty shopkeeper who swipes your card several times to sneak in an unofficial payment, to a terrorist who wants to access a billionaire’s account in a remote corner of the world, identity theft is becoming a serious crime that needs to be checked.

If you are a victim of identity theft, like Anupam Shekar was, then it is time to get your financial log in order. Keep track of all the cards that you use or do not use. In Anupam’s case, an impostor had captured his PAN card details using a clever ploy. Anupam recalled that someone had wanted to deliver a mail from his local bank only on the basis of identification and had been examining the PAN card given with great curiosity.

It was then that it struck him that anyone could access his mailbox in the huge apartment complex he resided in. The impostor then went on to open an account with a bank entering all the details he had gathered on Anupam by accessing his mailbox. Anupam did not know for a long time about this until he decided to apply for a new credit card and his bank rejected him outright, labelling him a defaulter. Anupam had to go to great lengths, spending precious time and energy, to clear his name.

Apparently, the impostor had directed all bank communication to another address, got a credit card on that account and spent indiscriminately until the card was locked by the bank due to several defaults on repayment.

The account was frozen but the impostor walked away scot free to scout for his next victim, but not before Anupam Shekar’s credit report was tarnished beyond repair.

Fixing an incorrect CIBIL record

If you need to seek clarifications in your credit report, here are the steps you should follow:

a. Contact the bank that declined a credit card or loan application on the basis of your poor credit score. Ask them for a clarification on the poor credit score and request them to provide the control number for your credit report.

b. The bank will provide you with the control number of the credit report and also share the information on the credit report that is responsible for your poor credit score.

Get in touch with CIBIL by calling their help desk numbers at 1800 – 224 / 245 or +91 22 6638 4600 / 2281 7788 provided on their Web site,

You could also drop in an email at referring your credit report’s control number. When attempting to clarify the information on your credit report, you need to inform CIBIL about the exact nature of the discrepancies in the report that you have been made aware of, by the bank.

The importance of the control number

The control number is a nine-digit unique number that helps CIBIL track an individual’s credit t report from its database.

Banks feed in borrower data and personal information, which the CIBIL systems pool together. The control number is generated when banks pull out your credit report on a requirement basis.

The control number is generated every time any bank or credit institution pulls out a credit report on you. CIBIL requires this number because it enables them to view the exact details that the bank has seen when they drew a report on you. Hence, it is important for you to request the bank to provide you the control number.

Dealing with an uncooperative bank

When the bank is uncooperative you could post a complaint on the bank’s Web site and if the bank does not respond within 15 days, you can register a complaint with the banking Ombudsman, presenting a copy of the complaint posted on the bank’s Web site as proof.

You can either register this complaint through their Web site, or locate the nearest branch office through this link, to register your complaint.

Need for direct access to credit reports for borrowers

It is the need of the hour for CIBIL to allow borrowers to access their respective credit reports not only on cases when the information needs to be verified but also as a way for individuals to keep a tab on their money inflow and outflow.

This will help them weed out errors, clarify facts and more significantly, identify impersonations before it is too late.


FireTune is a freeware that speeds up Firefox to the extreme.

December 29, 2008

FireTune is a freeware that speeds up Firefox to the extreme.

Applicable to Firefox

Now that you’ve taken the baby step to speed up Firefox why not take an extra step to make Firefox superfast? FireTune is a freeware tool that helps you optimize Firefox so that it can work on the turbo speed mode.

FireTune allows you to configure the level of optimization that it can do by letting you choose the kind of computer and the internet connection that you have. The optimization that FireTune does is possible because of the fact that the developers of Firefox (or any other browsers for that matter) targets the users who have dial-up connection. They assume that if they can make the browser perform decent for the dial-up users then obviously the high-speed internet connection users will get a better speed performance. But that’s not the case all the time. That’s when FireTune comes in to speed up Firefox to the extreme.

Follow these steps to configure FireTune to optimize Firefox to get better speed,

Step-1: Close all of the Firefox instances

Close all of the Firefox instances that’s running on your computer. FireTune will fail if Firefox is running, so close all the instances of Firefox on your computer.

Step-2: Download and run FireTune

Download FireTune and unzip the file. You can use one of these WinZip and WinRAR alternatives if you don’t have WinZip or WinRAR installed on your computer. Once unzipped, launch FireTune.exe.

Step-3: Backup Firefox configuration

Backup Firefox configuration warning message

Once you run FireTune it asks you to backup Firefox configuration. Just click on the “OK” button.

Backup Firefox configuration successful message

When FireTune launches click on the “Create backup of configuration” button as shown above. FireTune will acknowledge with a “Backup successfully created!” message once done.

Step-4: Performance Optimizations

FireTune Performance Optimizations tab

Click on the “Performance Optimizations” tab if the focus is on another tab. Here you can choose the type of computer and internet connection that you have. In my case I have a fast computer and a really high speed internet connection, so I chose “Fast computer/Fast connection” option. Choose the one that applies to you the most.

Step-5: Other Optimizations

FireTune Other Optimizations tab

Click on the “Other Optimizations” tab and make sure to check the “Enable some performance tweaks common to all configurations” option.

Step-6: Other Useful Settings

FireTune Other Useful Settings tab

Click on the “Other Useful Settings” tab and make sure to check the “Optimize Firefox memory usage” option.

Step-7: Speed up Firefox now

FireTune Tune It button

Click on the “Tune it!” button once you are ready to let FireTune do its job.

FireTune Successful Optimization message to speed up Firefox

FireTune will optimize your Firefox installation to the chosen settings and will notify you of the status like above. The message to restart Firefox is erroneous. Since there is no instance of Firefox running there is no point of restarting Firefox. Anyways, ignore the details of the success message and just go ahead and launch Firefox.

You should be able to see a remarkable improvement in the performance of your Firefox browser.

FireTune Restore Original Configuration button

In case if things go wrong you can always use the “Restore original configuration” button to restore your Firefox configuration to an earlier stage. Things will be back to normal if you use this option, if you have to.

99 Performance Tips for Windows XP

December 25, 2008

via : 99 Performance Tips for Windows XP

Table of Contents
Preparing Your System (1-8) Graphics Performance Tweaks (47-55)
  1. Use ‘whole system’ performance benchmarks
  2. Tweak insurance part 1: backing up and editing the registry
  3. Tweak Insurance part 2: Creating a system restore point
  4. Saving your hard drive space from the system restore utility
  5. Tweak insurance part 3: Restoring BIOS defaults
  6. Tweak insurance part 4: Use hardware profiles to experiment with system settings.
  7. Editing BIOS settings
  8. Editing registry settings without restarting

BIOS tweaks and Insight (9-13)

  1. Change memory Latency times
  2. Set the correct AGP mode
  3. Update your bios
  4. Disable unneeded ports
  5. Disable built-in features on your motherboard

Overclocking your processor and memory (14-16)

  1. Overclocking the memory/front side bus
  2. Changing the CPU multiplier
  3. Modify Processor and memory voltage

WindowsXP Software and Registry Performance Tweaks (17-46)

  1. Stop the ‘last access update’ stamp
  2. Disable the 8.3 naming convention
  3. Keep Windows operating data in main memory
  4. Obtain the newest drivers for your hardware
  5. Disable performance counters
  6. Move the page file from system drive
  7. Create a ‘permanent’ page file
  8. Optimize your page file size
  9. Defrag page file with PageDefrag utility
  10. Set priority for important programs
  11. Check your hard drives with scandisk
  12. Force XP to unload DLL files after closing a program
  13. Thaw out your desktop
  14. Speed up mouse movement, part 1
  15. Speed up mouse movement, part 2
  16. Create a RAID configuration
  17. Disable the themes service
  18. Remove the desktop picture
  19. Change to the NTFS file system
  20. Perform a manual Application and Boot file Defrag
  21. Disable the hibernation feature
  22. Disable automatic sensing on network cards
  23. Use the prefetch switch to load applications faster
  24. Verify DMA mode is set for all drives
  25. Do a windows repair install
  26. Stop hard disks spinning down
  27. Reduce recycling bin reserved space
  28. Enable write caching on hard disks
  29. Defragment your hard disk(s)
  30. Turn off the indexing service
  1. 3d game benchmarks
  2. Change your Monitor’s refresh rate (CRT monitors only)
  3. Fix the refresh rate for 3d games
  4. Enable AGP Master 1WS Write/Read
  5. Enable AGP Fast Write
  6. Set Video Memory Cache Mode
  7. Overclocking ATI video cards
  8. Overclocking Nvidia Video cards
  9. Disable VSYNC

Network and Internet Performance Tweaks (56-66)

  1. Increase maximum number of simultaneous connection in Internet Explorer
  2. b’ devices slow down 802.11g networks
  3. Proprietary modes for wireless networking
  4. Closer is better for wireless
  5. Enhance your Internet connection.
  6. Increase DNS cache size
  7. Disable DHCP with DSL connections
  8. Do not cache failed DNS entries
  9. Use CTRL+ENTER to speed up Internet address entering
  10. Get a faster network connection to Windows 9x/ME computers
  11. Remove the QoS Bandwidth Reserve Setting

WindowsXP User Interface Shortcuts and Hints (67-78)

  1. Create shortcut keys
  2. Create a custom shortcuts toolbar
  3. Using ALT+TAB to switch between applications
  4. Add the address taskbar to desktop
  5. Disable error reporting
  6. Reduce menu delays
  7. Restore the Quick launch bar
  8. Increase desktop graphic performance
  9. Make ‘my computer’ open faster
  10. Remove the need to enter a password to login to XP (be careful!)
  11. Sort out spam
  12. Keyboard shortcuts using the Win Key (ÿ)

Improving Windows XP boot speed (79-94)

  1. Disable floppy drive seek
  2. Set primary display adaptor
  3. Enable quick POST/memory test
  4. Eliminate unwanted programs from boot up
  5. Scan your PC for spyware and Adware
  6. Disable boot virus detection
  7. Change boot sequence.
  8. Disable the XP loading screen
  9. Eliminate unwanted fonts to increase boot speed
  10. Turn off bios disk detection
  11. Use the Bootvis utility
  12. Use the Intel application accelerator
  13. Disable unnecessary services
  14. Disable unneeded devices in device manager
  15. Disable auto detection for empty IDE slots
  16. Reduce wait time after XP boots

Increasing XP shutdown speed (95-99)

  1. Increasing shutdown speed by reducing wait times part 1
  2. Increasing shutdown speed by reducing wait times part 2
  3. Increasing shutdown speed by reducing wait times part 3
  4. Disable the Nvidia driver helper service
  5. Auto kill tasks on shutdown

Page 1: — Beginners Guides: 99 Performance Tips for Windows XP
Page 2: Preparing your system: Tips 1 – 3
Page 3: Preparing your system: Tips 4 – 5
Page 4: Preparing your system: Tips 6 – 8
Page 5: BIOS Tweaks: Tips 9 – 11
Page 6: BIOS Tweaks: Tips 12 – 14
Page 7: Overclocking Memory / CPU: Tips 15 -16
Page 8: WinXP Software and Registry Tweaks: Tips 17 – 20
Page 9: WinXP Software and Registry Tweaks: Tips 21 – 22
Page 10: WinXP Software and Registry Tweaks: Tips 23 – 25
Page 11: WinXP Software and Registry Tweaks: Tips 26 – 28
Page 12: WinXP Software and Registry Tweaks: Tips 29 – 31
Page 13: WinXP Software and Registry Tweaks: Tips 32 – 35
Page 14: WinXP Software and Registry Tweaks: Tips 36 – 40
Page 15: WinXP Software and Registry Tweaks: Tips 41 – 43
Page 16: WinXP Software and Registry Tweaks: Tips 44 – 45
Page 17: WinXP Software and Registry Tweaks: Tips 46 – 48
Page 18: Video and Graphics Tweaks: Tips 49 – 52
Page 19: Video and Graphics Tweaks: Tips 53 – 54
Page 20: Video and Graphics Tweaks: Tips 55 – 57
Page 21: Network and Internet Speed Tweaks: Tips 58 – 61
Page 22: Network and Internet Speed Tweaks: Tips 62 – 63
Page 23: Network and Internet Speed Tweaks: Tips 64 – 66
Page 24: WinXP Interface Tweaks and Shortcuts: Tips 67 – 69
Page 25: WinXP Interface Tweaks and Shortcuts: Tips 70 – 73
Page 26: WinXP Interface Tweaks and Shortcuts: Tips 74 – 77
Page 27: WinXP Interface Tweaks and Shortcuts: Tips 78 – 81
Page 28: Improving Windows XP boot speed: Tips 82 – 84
Page 29: Improving Windows XP boot speed: Tips 85 – 88
Page 30: Improving Windows XP boot speed: Tips 89 – 91
Page 31: Improving Windows XP boot speed: Tips 92 – 94
Page 32: Increasing XP shutdown speed: Tips 95 – 99

Increasing XP shutdown speed: Tips 95 – 99

95. Increasing shutdown speed by reducing wait times part 1

Windows XP

stores a couple of values in its registry which are responsible for determining how long to wait before shutting down (killing) open applications and services once the shutdown command has been given.

By editing these two settings and changing them to lower values, you can considerably decrease the amount of time that Windows XP needs to successfully shut itself down. The first part of this tweak deals with setting the amount of time Windows will take to kill open applications

on shutdown.

Open REGEDIT and navigate to ‘HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\’
Highlight the ‘WaitToKillAppTimeout’ value.
Set it to ‘1000’ (the default should be 20000).
Now highlight the ‘HungAppTimeout’ value
Set it to ‘1000’ also.

96. Increasing shutdown speed by reducing wait times part 2

The second part of this tip changes the same settings, this time for all users on the system.

Open REGEDIT and navigate to ‘HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop’
Highlight the ‘WaitToKillAppTimeout’ value.
Set it to ‘1000’ (the default should be 20000).
Now highlight the ‘HungAppTimeout’ value.
Set it to ‘1000’ also.

97. Increasing shutdown speed by reducing wait times part 3

In the third part of this tip, we will alter a second registry setting to decrease the amount of time Windows XP will wait before shutting down active services after receiving a shut down command.

Open REGEDIT and navigate to ‘HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\’

Highlight the value ‘WaitToKillServiceTimeout’

Change this value to ‘1000.’

This should help to considerably speed up the time windows XP takes to shut itself down.

98. Disable the Nvidia driver helper service

This service, included with recent NVIDIA Detonator driver packages, is of indeterminate function. Nothing is found on the NVIDIA site about it, and the only thing that people in the hardware community can seem to agree on is that it can considerably slow down boot up time and especially shutdown time.

Hence, if you do have an Nvidia video card, consider searching for and disabling this service. Chances are it will improve your shutdown times.

To disable the Nvidia Driver Helper service:

Right click on ‘my computer’ and select ‘manage.’

Expand ‘services and applications’ and select ‘services’ to open the services window.

Locate and highlight the ‘Nvidia Driver Helper’ service. Right click it and select ‘properties.’

Set the ‘startup type’ dropdown box to ‘disabled.’ Click ‘ok.’

99. Auto kill tasks on shutdown

By default, Windows XP will prompt the user for input if there are one or more applications which have crashed or are not responding and it receives a shut down command. This halts the shutdown process entirely until the user approves the stopping of the non-responsive app.

By altering the registry slightly, Windows XP can be set to close crashed applications automatically. While this does not technically speed up the shut down process, it does streamline it, and ensure that the user will not give the shutdown command then get up and leave, only to find the PC still powered on because Windows never received input on what to do with a hung application.

To allow Windows XP to close non-responsive applications automatically upon shutdown:

Open REGEDIT and navigate to ‘HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop’

Highlight the value ‘AutoEndTasks.’

Change the value to ‘1’

XP will now be able to close hung applications without user input during the shutdown process.

Spammers – Best wishes for 2009!

December 23, 2008

via: Spammers – Best wishes for 2009!

While many bloggers and mainstream tech pundits are pulling together their legitimate “Best of 2008” column or “Trends for 2009” predictions, I thought I’d take a different approach this holiday season. I’d like to send best holiday wishes to those tireless workers (and their army of 24/7 zombie computers) who craft the spam that fills up our in-boxes.

1) My first wish goes out to a group of people who all seem to know me but I’ve nonetheless never met. Apparently, we’re somehow related as I’ve been mentioned as a potential inheritor to many of their estates. I hope all the relatives of those people who died in Nigeria, Sierra Leone and other places where the dearly departed left over $1 billion this year alone in special bank accounts are able to find a way to get those monies released without me. You know, your heart has really got to go out to these people who need so many of us to give them our bank info just so they can get some of that cash for themselves. Good luck to all of you!

2) I’d also like to wish a great 2009 to all of those Asian pharmacies who seem to think I need a lot of Viagra. I don’t need the stuff but thanks for asking. Maybe next year, you folks could afford a spell checker so that you can spell all those brand names, like Cialis, the way the manufacturers intended them to be spelt.

3) I’d also like to thank all those folks who emailed me about their lists of doctors and dentists. I hope that next year I can figure out why you think these are valuable. I have a Yellow Pages book at the office that lists hundreds of MDs right here where I live.

4) I’ve also got to thank those spammers who are writing on behalf of the FBI and its Director, Mr. Mueller. Nothing says you’re a ballsy spammer than by spoofing the very agency that investigates these things. Here’s hoping 2009 brings you more oversight from the real FBI.

5) Let’s all send a big wet-one to those dauntless spammers that asked us to confirm our bank accounts. How did we exist all those centuries without electronically verifying the accounts we didn’t even have at banks we don’t even do business with? Thank goodness spammers were on the job here!

6) I’d also like to single out all those spammers who thought I had bought something huge on EBay and forgot to pay for it. Thank goodness they emailed me right away so that I could get my money order or PayPal payment to those needy sellers in Romania.

7) Santa also wanted to get a shout out to those spammers who pitched us all those multi-level marketing opportunities this year. If our house didn’t already have so much junk in it, we might have bit on those offers. Maybe next year fellows…

8) Just today, a lady emailed multiple times telling me that she is selling goods in Europe to people in Asia. Apparently, she needs my help to cash all those checks and money orders that she’s getting. Unfortunately, I don’t use a bank and my mattress can’t process foreign currencies. If only they made an EFT enabled Posturepedic?

9) To all those spammers who think I need breast (or other body parts) enlarged, be advised that the doctor wants me to lose weight these days not put more on. Thanks for asking though.

10) (And last but seriously) Kudos to the folks at Knujon for doing a great job of reducing spam for all of us!

hack your way to running Windows XP at top speed.

December 23, 2008
Put your Registry-hacking knowledge to good use: hack your way to running Windows XP at top speed.
Creating and marketing tuning and customization utilities for the Windows XP operating system is quickly becoming big business. A Google search will turn up hundreds of sites and programs dedicated to tweaking Windows XP. But no matter what type of interface is developed to make system tweaking easier and safer for the average user, the end result is that the changes are
reflected in XP by modifying the Registry. For some people, commercial tweaking utilities might be the method of choice, but with a few precautions and safeguards it’s possible to enhance system performance using only those tools supplied with Windows XP. You you can use the Registry Editor [Hack #83] to edit the Registry. Make sure you take the precautions outlined in that chapter and back up your Registry [Hack #86], no matter how comfortable you are editing the thing.
No single tweak is going to take an ancient PC and turn it into a gamer’s dream machine. It’s even unlikely that a number of tweaks will achieve substantial performance gains, but every little bit does help. As long as you keep your expectations realistic, you’ll learn something about the Registry and hopefully see a performance increase in the process.

Menu Speed
When XP first appeared, there was a lot of conversation about the new interface, both good and bad. In spite of the initial complaints, most users stick with the default settings rather than reverting to the Classic interface found in previous Windows versions. But you might want to change the delay you notice when you click the Start menu. I see no reason for there to be any delay when I click the Start menu. Effects are pretty, but I wouldn’t click it if I didn’t have business inside, so let’s get it open and get moving. The default speed can be adjusted with a quick Registry hack.

Go to the Registry key
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\MenuShowDelay. The default value is 400. Set it to 0 to remove the delay completely, but if you do that it will be nearly impossible to move the mouse fast enough not to activate All Programs if you mouse over it enroute to your final selection. Pick a number that suits your style, make the change, and then test it until you find a good compromise between speed and usability.
Place Windows Kernel into RAM
It’s a given that anything that runs in RAM will be faster than an item that has to access the hard drive and virtual memory. Rather than have the kernel that is the foundation of XP using the slower Paging Executive functions, use this hack to create and set the DisablePagingExecutive DWORD to a value of 1. Perform this hack only if the system has 256MB or more of installed RAM! Edit the Registry key
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\SessionManager\Memory Management\DisablePagingExecutive
to 1 to disable paging and have the kernel run in RAM (set the value to 0 to undo this hack). Exit the Registry and reboot.

Alter Prefetch Parameters
Prefetching (the reading of system boot files into a cache for faster loading) is a commonly overlooked component that can have a significant impact on system boot time. This tweak allows you to select which components will make use of the prefetch parameters. To see which files are gathered using each setting, clear the prefetch cache located at C:\Windows\Prefetch and then enable one of the settings listed in this hack. Clear the cache and repeat
for each setting. Set the Registry key
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\SessionManager\Memory Management\PrefetchParameters\EnablePrefetcher
to 0 to disable prefetching, 1 to prefetch application launch files, 2 to prefetch boot files, or 3 to prefetch as many files as possible.

Disable 8.3 Name Creation in NTFS
Files that use the 8.3 naming convention can degrade NTFS drive performance. Unless you have a good reason for keeping the 8.3 naming convention intact (such as if you’re using 16-bit programs), a performance gain can be achieved by disabling it. Set the Registry DWORD key
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\FileSystem\NtfsDisable8dot3NameCreation to 1. Exit the Registry and reboot.

Fiat Palio Diesel Multijet Test Drive Report

December 17, 2008
After the Stile, not much has changed, the most prominent are the new logos and the new grille, which looks much better than the old one. It looks stunning in white, even after all these years in production.
It’s old, but still not a bad looker.
The interiors aren’t really anything to write home about. Its shocking that the interiors are the same the Palio first came out with years ago. Sure they’ve added beige to the interiors, but the slider controls for the AC and exposed metal in the doors cannot hide the age of this car. Even an Indica comes with moulded door panels. The ergonomics are fantastic though. The driving position is good and the seats are comfortable. Its spacious and rides very well. I hated the handbrake lever which seems to have been taken off a Padmini and the flat rear-view mirrors are just not done.
Interiors look dated.
The same engine does duty in the hot selling Swift as well. The Swift is a punchy performer and is very frugal as well. Has anything changed in the Palio? Well, the Palio is a heavier car than the Swift so there has been some impact on the performance and efficiency. Its not as efficient as the Swift, expect around 12kpl in the city and about 16-17kpl on the highway. Till 2000rpm, there is decent pull, but the actual action starts past that and goes up till about 4000rpm where it runs out of breath.
The same engine does duty in the Swift DDIS as well.
But there are good bits as well. The Palio handles very well, not only for a small car too. The ride is comfortable, the suspension absorbs the bumps really well, though its a tad stiff at low speeds. The steering is well weighted and gives you a lot of confidence in corners which most other hatches lack. The brakes too are much better than what we are used to hatchbacks especially when you compare it to an Indica whose brakes aren’t that great.
Worth it?
You get similar levels of performance as the Swift at a lower price, so it does look promising. But Palios don’t have good resale, but the since this is a diesel, this is expected to have better resale than its petrol sibling. But one thing is for sure, you do get good value for money. Its available in SD, SDE and SDX version. Its a tough fight with the Swift, but personally I’d go for the Swift because its a more modern design, the interiors are better and its a Maruti so aftersales shouldn’t be too much of a problem. But if you are on a budget and can’t choose between the Indica Turbo/Dicor and this, then I’d definately go for the Palio.

Palio_Stile_Diesel images and Palio_Stile_Diesel wallpapers

Palio_Stile_Diesel images and Palio_Stile_Diesel wallpapers

7 Historical Figures Who Were Absurdly Hard To Kill

December 11, 2008
article image


Edward Teach a.k.a. Blackbeard

Why He Had to Go

Blackbeard or Edward Teach was a famous English pirate and a massive asshole by all accounts. He had between fourteen and sixteen wives, most of them about a biscuit older than Dakota Fanning. One wife in particular would be routinely forced to run a train with the crew while Blackbeard watched and “buffed his peg leg” so to speak. He burnt hemp beneath his … um, black beard, to make it look like he was breathing fire, which worked to intimidate his enemies but likely alienated his crew since such a stunt would make an 18th century pirate smell like a snowman made of dogshit.

He’d also occasionally murder his first mate, just to keep everyone on their toes.

“I can’t even remember why I was mad at you.”

How He Went Down

Blackbeard eventually retired to North Carolina to spend his senior years rolling around in gold coins. But the Governor of Virginia put out a hit on Blackbeard, sending two ships after him, commanded by Robert Maynard.

Rather than running from the two enormous ships sent to kill him, Blackbeard boarded Maynard’s ship. Well, first he bombed the deck with an assload of primitive grenades like Jim Brown in The Dirty Dozen. That’s when things got all sorts of stabby. Blackbeard nearly severed the fingers on one of Maynard’s hands with his sword, and Maynard broke his fucking sword stabbing Blackbeard back.

At the end of the fight, Blackbeard had been stabbed twenty times and suffered at least five gunshot wounds, before bleeding to death while trying to reload his pistol to keep the party going. Maynard then cut Blackbeard’s head off and hung it from the bow of his sloop, partly for effect but mostly because he needed the head to collect his reward. He was paid 100 pounds for his trouble, the modern equivalent of about $18,000 or a 2006 Buick Rainier.

Go ahead. You’ve earned it.

Pablo Escobar

Why He Had to Go

Escobar was the head of the Medellin Drug Cartel, a Colombian drug empire that moved 80 percent of the world’s cocaine (the remaining 20 percent was trafficking its way through Dennis Hopper). In 1989, Forbes magazine famously named Pablo Escobar the seventh richest man in the world with an estimated worth of $25 billion. He was immediately rocketed to prominence in the world of rap lyrics and airbrushed t-shirts.

Not pictured: historical context.

Escobar was personally responsible for over 4,000 deaths, which is roughly 100 times more people than you will ever meet. He ordered the assassination of a Colombian presidential candidate who supported an extradition treaty with the United States. Then he blew up a commercial airliner to kill a man that wound up not even being on the plane, and leveled several city blocks in the bombing of a government building in Bogota.

He routinely murdered judges and politicians, and had a standing public bounty on police officers. He ordered two to three car bombings a day, enough that we’re surprised people didn’t just start walking to work.

How He Went Down

A special task force consisting of U.S. Delta Force operators, SEAL Team 6 and the Colombian police was formed with the explicit purpose of taking Pablo down. They were known as the Search Bloc, and they were in no way fucking around.

We are in no way fucking around.

They joined a posse of vigilantes known as Los Pepes, made up of the friends and family of the people that Pablo had murdered. They tracked Escobar to a barrio and a bullet festival ensued.

The shootout led to the rooftops of Medellin, with Escobar jumping from building to building, absorbing gunshot wounds to the legs and torso. Finally fed up with the hail of gunfire, he shot himself in the head to avoid capture.

However, the authorities claim that the fatal shot was from one of the several thousand they fired at him, a story which is supported by the painting below depicting Escobar as a King Kong-sized Jack Black being attacked by rubber space capsules.

There was also a book written about Escobar called Killing Pablo. Chances are if the title of a book about you refers to how you were kicked off the planet, you probably stepped on a few too many toes.

The only thing missing from this picture is Richard Dreyfuss measuring his bite radius.

Ned Kelly

Why He Had to Go

Ned Kelly was an infamous Australian outlaw in the late 19th century, responsible for two major bank robberies and the murder of three policemen. He’s an icon in Australian history, alongside such heroes as Paul Hogan and the dude who brews Fosters.

It should be noted he shot the three policemen while trying to escape an attempted murder charge. So it was like punching your wife in the face to get her to stop lying about being punched in the face.

How He Went Down

Ned Kelly and his gang took over seventy hostages at the Glenrowan Inn after learning a train full of policemen were on their way to arrest them. Despite an attempt to derail the train, the police managed to corner Kelly and his men in the inn. The outlaws, taking the next logical step, donned homemade suits of motherfucking battle armor.

Kelly marched straight outside and started firing at the police while the rest of his gang remained behind. Bullets pinged off Kelly’s armor, but his legs and groin were comparatively unprotected (a huge oversight, in our opinion).

Body armor as designed by Cracked Staff.

Kelly took enough shots below the belt that he eventually went down. But while the rest of his gang was killed during the shootout, Kelly survived and was arrested. Two weeks later they put him on trial and ordered his execution.

When the judge handed down the death sentence, Kelly responded, “I will see you there when I go.” The judge died a few weeks later, proving that on top of everything else, Kelly was a dark wizard.

Leon Trotsky

Why He Had to Go

In 1917, Trotsky was Lenin’s right hand man when the Bolsheviks came to power in Russia. He created and commanded the Red Army and was a member of the Politburo, which oversaw all other branches of Soviet government and made all policy decisions. He also wore glasses and had a wicked goatee, so you know he read books and shit.

Quiet, I’m reading this shit.

After Lenin died, Trotsky was expelled from the Communist party and kicked out of Russia. In return, Trotsky attempted to enter the United States to testify before Congress that Stalin was a major douchebag. Upon hearing this, Stalin decided his next move would be to expel Trotsky from life.

How He Went Down

Trotsky was denied entry into the U.S. and eventually found his way to a home in Mexico City. It was there that he was attacked by Ramon Mercader, an assassin working for Stalin.

While Trotsky was home reading some shit, Mercader buried an ice axe into the back of his skull.

This just pissed Trotsky off.

He stood up from his desk, axe in head, and spit on Mercader. Then he went after the assassin, wrestling with him. Trotsky’s bodyguards heard the commotion (where the fuck were they a few minutes ago?) and came running in to subdue the assassin and get Trotsky to the hospital.

“I gotta say, you seem- Oh. Okay, I see the problem.”

Trotsky made it to the hospital and underwent surgery before finally dying a day later from complications related to being brained with a goddamn ice axe. We’re hoping he lived long enough to fire those bodyguards.

Gabriel Garcia Moreno

Why He Had to Go

Moreno served as president of Ecuador in the mid-19th century. He was a devout Catholic and founded country’s Conservative Party. He also looked like F. Murray Abraham.

One Moreno. Two Morenos. Whhaaaaaa?

Moreno established a law that made Catholicism the official religion of Ecuador, and required that anyone who ran or voted for office be Catholic. While this is awesome for Catholics, it’s kind of a drag for everyone else. And so, the “everyone else” constituentcy of Ecuador decided that it was time to punch Moreno’s ticket, F. Murray Abraham be damned.

How He Went Down

As he left the cathedral in Quito, Moreno was brutally attacked by a group of assassins. Armed with machetes, the group sliced through the president’s neck, skull and brain, and severed his left arm and right hand.

He stayed on his feet. The man was the Black Knight from Monty Python.

Undeterred, his attackers shot him six times in the chest. He was slashed a total of fourteen times before he finally fell to the ground. Even then he was alive enough to write “God does not die” on the ground… in his own fucking blood.

After the assassins fled, the cathedral priests took Moreno back inside the church, where he lived for fifteen more minutes. When his body was examined after death, physicians observed he had balls of wrought iron [citation needed].

Moreno’s left testicle, artist’s conception.

Ferdinand Magellan

Why He Had to Go

Magellan was a Portuguese explorer who was the first person in history to circumnavigate the globe, and was the first European to reach the Philippine Islands. Incredibly, he also discovered the Strait of Magellan. Who saw that coming?

Magellan agreed to kill a man named Lapu-Lapu, an enemy of two different Philippine kings that he was friendly with. It was originally his plan to convert Lapu-Lapu to Christianity, but in lieu of conversion, the sweet, sweet embrace of death would have to do.

“Can’t say I didn’t try.”

How He Went Down

Magellan and his crew landed on Lapu’s home island of Mactan. However, Lapu apparently knew they were coming, because he had an army waiting.

Magellan was hit with a poison dart almost immediately, but he trucked onward into the mass of native warriors, possibly shouting the Portuguese equivalent of “MOTHERFUCKERS!” as he did so.

He was stabbed in the face with a bamboo spear, to which he responded by burying his lance in the attacker. Magellan tried to draw his sword to keep fighting, but his arm was slashed and soon his leg as well, and he fell to the ground more or less mortally wounded.

Actual photograph of Magellan.

The natives then surrounded him and began stabbing and clubbing him as he lay defenseless. He kept looking up to see if his crew had made it safely back to their boats and, upon seeing that they finally had, Magellan allowed himself to die. We like to think that with his last breath, he screamed and chucked a spear that left a single cut in Lapu’s cheek.

Grigori Rasputin

Why He Had to Go

Grigori Rasputin, the patron saint of dying hard, was a mystic that lived with Tsar Nicholas II in the early 20th century. The tsar and his wife Alexandra believed that Rasputin had the power to heal their hemophiliac son Alexei, so they kept Rasputin around the house as sort of a turn of the century Kato Kaelin. Rasputin’s influence was so heavy that anyone seeking an audience with the royal family had to consult with Rasputin first.

Rasputin, by all historical accounts, was overtly full of shit. He was a drunk and a lecher, and routinely accepted bribes from people seeking his guidance. Rasputin’s dubious lifestyle arguably added to the diminishing support of the Royal family, which ultimately led to revolution (see Trotsky, above). And he was gutted by a prostitute in public in 1914, which we imagine must do wonders for your image.

How He Went Down

After Rasputin recovered from the by-all-accounts gnarly stab wound delivered by the prostitute, a group of Russian nobles decided to finish the job by poisoning him to death with tainted wine and cake. History cannot agree whether any of the poison ever entered Rasputin’s system (the poison in the cakes probably evaporated during baking), but this did little to diminish the conspirators’ surprise when Rasputin didn’t die.

So, Rasputin continued to hang out, eating cake, until one of the nobles finally grew impatient and shot Rasputin in the back. Content that he was dead, the murderers left the palace. One member of the party forgot his coat though, and when he returned to collect it, Rasputin sprang up from the floor like Skeet Ulrich in Scream and started strangling him.

The others arrived in time to shoot Rasputin three more times in the back, dropping him to the floor. But was he dead? Fuck no. He was still struggling to stand, so the conspirators clubbed the everloving shit out of him.

They wrapped Rasputin’s body in a sheet and dumped him in the freezing Neva River. When they found Rasputin’s body later, riddled with poison, gunshot holes and club wounds, they determined he had died… of hypothermia.

It was evident the bastard had managed to partially claw his way out of his wrappings, and if he had done it a few minutes faster, he probably would have wound up on the assassins’ doorstep, dripping wet and pissed off.

We’re guessing the conspirators slept with the lights on every night for the rest of their lives.

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December 11, 2008

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December 11, 2008























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Johnnie Walker – Keep Walking!

December 4, 2008

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