Archive for June, 2008

Windows Software: Real Australian Pokie Machine ROM’s

Most of the pokie/slot machines in Australia are made by a company called Aristocrat. They make interesting games which are lots of fun to play. Their games all include special features, lots of playable lines, great animations, and an amusing soundtrack. All of these things make them very popular.

Evidence of this popularity can be seen in pubs around the nation, which almost always have a dedicated pokie room. The only problem is that it is against the law to get one of these machines installed at home without a license.

We can now play these games in the comfort of our own home, and there’s no need to spend a cent. This is supposedly thanks to someone internal to Aristocrat releasing these ROMs to the public. These are not remakes, but the actual ROMs that are used in the machines that are played in clubs all across Australia.

There are 4 ROMs in all to download. These include 50 Lions, Atlantis, Orchid, and one of my favourites, Indian Dreaming (shame about the included link feature). Each ROM comes with an emulator which represents the buttons on a real Pokie machine.

The ROMs are downloaded from RapidShare, so if you are not a member, you may need some patience for the download to be made available to you.

Read more, see more screenshots, and get the links for the ROMs from the Reproserv.

Windows Software: PC Login Now 2.0

Difficulty: 0.5

Screenshot_selectUserEver been unable to log into Windows due to a lost password? This used to require a reinstall of the operating system to regain access. This often meant some data would be lost, as it could no longer be accessed.

Because of this common need to recover passwords, a few tools have been created to get past this problem. I once heard of a program called Ophcrack, but it looked a bit tricky to use.

A tool called PC Login Now was recently made available as freeware, so I tried it out. The download is an iso file that needs to be burnt to a CD, using just about any CD burning software. The result is a Linux Live CD. Restart your computer and ensure that the computer will boot from your CD drive first (most will by default). Watch the Linux Live CD boot to life.

PC Login Now will work with any Windows install, and it can even handle dual boot machines. The opening screen shows you the operating systems available on the computer. Select the operating system you want to tinker with and press next. You should now be able to see all of the user accounts for that system.

You can then reset the password of any account, as well as enable or disable accounts. You can pretty much perform any of the basic user account options available in Windows. This program does not show you the old password as some tools do, but resetting the password is just as useful in most circumstances.

Once your computer reboots, a disk check will be run. When prompted, try to login leaving the password blank. You should be able to get into the system. PC Login Now claims a 100% success rate, and so far I have had no failures on the 3 machines I have tested. It couldn’t be quicker or easier to use.

This will not work for computers which login to a domain, but there is normally a local user account on these computers, which you can use to gain access.

Take some caution using this in the workplace as many companies don’t like these tools.

PC Login Now 2.0 is available for free from

Windows Software: Take control of your file types with Types

TypesIn Windows, each file has an extension in its filename which is used to identify which program will open the file, and which icon should be attached to that file. These can be changed fairly easily from within “folder options”, but the interface is not all that user friendly.

Types is a worthwhile replacement to the inbuilt Windows file type utility. It works on both Windows XP and Vista. It also offers a large display window so that you can easily find the extension you want tinker with.

To use Types, right click on the extension you want to edit and select properties. From the window that opens, you are able to change which program will open up the file, the extensions icon, and a few class options, but you shouldn’t need to worry about those.

This program does a small job well, and it is an improvement on the inbuilt Windows options.

Types is available for free from SourceForge.

Windows XP Software: Update the appearance of Windows with XPize

XpiseThe appearance of the default Windows XP theme still looks modern for an operating system that is almost 7 years old. After several years of the same theme, it is time to freshen up the system, and make it look new again. Working through the various other themes that come with Windows, it does not take long to discover that you will need to look elsewhere for more modern looking themes.

XPise is a nice addition to any Windows XP install. It’s main features include:

  • Patches for more than 150 system files without user interaction.
  • Updates tonnes of old resources still existing in Windows XP, which have come from the Windows 95/98/2000 days.
  • Gives Windows XP a fresh new look, with new animations, icons and images.
  • Installs some cool extras, such as a boot screen, logon screen, screensaver and more.

After looking around my system, once I had installed XPise, I was amazed to see how many things had been changed. All the changes seemed to be for the better in the time I had it up and running. Everything was recognisable, but with a modern look and feel.

XPise also comes with TaskSwitchXP Pro 2.0, which is an alt-tab task switcher replacement. This is a great leap forward from the default alt-tab task switcher. As well as seeing the title of all the programs you have open, each program shows a large screen shot, making it easy to know what is what.

Upon install, XPise pops up a prompt offering to make you a system restore point. It is good that this is offered. I have tried many programs that do this kind of theme changing, only to find my system in a bit of an aesthetic mess after uninstalling it.

If you want even more theme choices, get your hands on XP All-In-One Styler. I had no success changing my login screen using this, but the themes that come with it are something else. You can use a combination of the various components to make your own personalised theme.

There are so many ways to change the appearance of XP. It is just one way to make the workday a little more interesting.