How To Show Hidden Files in Windows Explorer

In order to get at certain folders and files within Windows you will need to show hidden files and folders.

In Windows XP:

Open My Computer and click on Tools > Folder Options > Click on the View tab > and select Show Hidden Files and Folders

Show Hidden Files and Folders XP

On Windows Vista/ 7:

Same process just a different naming convention.

Computer > Organize > Folder and Search Options > View Tab > Check ‘Show Hidden Files and Folders

Show Hidden Files Vista

Applications Opinion

Open Source Software

Here at AG you will often see me recommend open source and/or free software. There are four main reasons for this:

  • Most are cross platform. That means you can use the same programs and files on Windows, Linux, and OS X without running into problems. Additionally, you can transfer the programs preferences and stuff between platforms with a little prodding around. Often times configuration files are in easy to read XML files.
  • Data lock in isn’t an issue because the file formats are open and can easily be opened with another application or a converter can be built.
  • Price is a big factor for me at least. I operate on a shoe string budget and if I can save money on software I will. I don’t believe in pirating software so if I cannot find a free alternative I’ll gladly go without.
  • Do one thing and do it well. With few exceptions the common thread in open source software is that each application does ONE thing and does it well. Often times on the commercial side you see applications that do many things like a Swiss army knife but rarely do they do all the things they claim to do well.

There are a few other reasons why but that covers most of it. Reading around the internet the common arguments against open source software seems to be it’s insecure because you can view the source. Quite the opposite since it’s source visible anyone can audit the code and secure it. It’s free so it must be worthless, I cannot rebut that because I don’t understand the logic there.

My biggest issue with open source programs is many projects fall by the wayside some of the less popular programs I’ve used have not seen updates in a couple of years. I suppose developers loose interest or move on to bigger and better things which quite frankly sucks however commercial software also goes by the wayside too. Developers either discontinue support for older versions or stop making the application all together. I don’t have an statistics but I’ve venture to say the number of abandoned applications on both sides of the fence are similar.

In conclusion unless I win the lottery, you will see a lot of free software  recommendations here. Even if I win the lottery I’ll probably still be using many free programs because that’s what I’m used to using. 🙂  What software do you use and why?

Almost Geek Stuff


If you have followed technology blogs and forums for more than a couple of days you certainly seen the flame wars that erupt over operating systems (Linux/windows/OS X) or gaming platforms (Xbox/Playstation/Wii) some people do make good points but any of the good gets lost in rabid flaming of anyone with differing opinions.

Your editor here at Almost Geek is of the school of thought that computers are just tools to get work done and perhaps some entertainment out of them. It does not matter if you use Windows, Linux, or OS X to get your job done so long as you get your job done with as little heartache as possible with the tools at hand. I have very little patience for “X is better than Y because I say so.” or the ever present folks who cannot see the any negative attributes of their platform while they point out the other platforms negative points.  Please don’t start any of that flame war carp here. 🙂


How to get a command prompt in Windows

A command prompt is simply a way of manipulating files and running scripts via text command instead of the pointing and clicking of a mouse. Command prompts are the original way of navigating computers. Before Windows there was DOS which was nothing but a command prompt. For some tutorials here on Almost Geek a command prompt will be necessary and they will be linked to this post.

In Windows XP:  Start > Accessories > Command Prompt

In Windows Vista / Windows 7: Start > type ‘cmd’ and press enter. For an elevated (administrative access) command prompt you will need to right click on ‘cmd’ in the start menu search results and click “Run as administrator”