Skip Mass Effect 2 Intro Movies and Cerberus Network

Want to skip the opening movies and not have to wait for the Cerberus Network every time you start ME2? Easy, just requires two tweaks to your system (instructions for Windows only).

1. Add the -nomoviestartup argument to your ME2 shortcut

a) Go to C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Mass Effect 2 to find your Mass Effect 2 shortcut

b) Right-click and select Properties

c) Change Target from (including quotes: ")
"C:\Program Files (x86)\Mass Effect 2\MassEffect2Launcher.exe"
"C:\Program Files (x86)\Mass Effect 2\Binaries\MassEffect2.exe" -nomoviestartup

and change Start in from
"C:\Program Files (x86)\Mass Effect 2"
"C:\Program Files (x86)\Mass Effect 2\Binaries"

then click OK

Now when you launch ME2 it should skip the Bioware and EA animated logos and go straight to Press a key on launch.

After this you still have to wait for ME2 to talk to the Internet before you can click the all important Resume. Let's fix that.

2. Block ME2 from accessing the Internet in Windows Firewall

a) Go to the Control Panel and open Windows Firewall (eaisest way is to hit the <Windows> key on your keyboard, type 'Windows Firewall' and then hit <enter>), then click Advanced settings

b) Select Outbound Rules on the left, then click New Rule… on the right

c) Accept the default selection of Program and click Next

d) Enter the path as c:\Program Files (x86)\Mass Effect 2\Binaries\MassEffect2.exe

e) Accept the default Block the connection and click Next

f) Accept the default of all networks and click Next

g) Give the new rule a name, e.g. ME2 Block, and click Finish

Done! You should now be able to get back into your game as quickly as possible.

Skip Mass Effect 2 Intro Movies and Cerberus Network

Solution: Get What the Tech video via DoggCatcher

Some time ago the host for GFQ's What the Tech,, decided to limit access to their content to iTunes and their own Blip TV app.


If you're quick, or view the downloaded video on your computer, you may see the above message


Or you may just see this error message

So what if you're using DoggCatcher or one of the other great Android podcasting apps? Well there's a fix. (note: I do not know whether Android podcasting apps other than DoggCatcher support spoofing their User Agent; your mileage may vary)

  1. Open DoggCatcher and tap the Add button (the + icon, top-right)
  2. Scroll down and select 'Feed RSS URL'
  3. Scroll down and select 'RSS URL'
  4. Enter and tap the down arrow to dismiss the keyboard (if your phone has hardware buttons, the back key should perform this function)
  5. Tap 'Ok'
  6. What the Tech should show up at the bottom of your DoggCatcher feed list. Tap the overflow/menu button (top right icon looks like '…')
  7. Select 'Settings'
  8. Scroll down and select 'Miscellaneous'
  9. Select 'User Agent'
  10. Enter iTunes/10.1.6 and tap the 'Ok' button
  11. Done! Return to the DoggCatcher home screen. You may need to force the first What the Tech video to download again as the automatic download that took place before updating the User Agent will have failed, depending on your settings.


Thanks to the guys at the DoggCatcher forum for finding this workaround:

Solution: Get What the Tech video via DoggCatcher

Pin anything to the Windows 8 start menu

This little hack allows you to pin anything to your Windows 8 (or RT) start menu.

  1. First we need to create a registry file; open Notepad
  2. Copy and paste the following into notepad


    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
  3. Go File > Save As …

  4. Save as PinToStartGack.reg

  5. Now, open the location you saved the .reg file and double click it. When prompted if you wish to continue click Yes

  6. You can now right click any file or folder and select 'Pin to Start'

How to undo the change

  1. Open regedit (Win + R)
  2. Go to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shell\
  3. Delete the pintostartscreen key
Pin anything to the Windows 8 start menu

Delay email sending in Outlook alla Gmail

Gmail has a handy feature whereby, after hitting the 'Send' button, you have some time to realise you made a typo, forgot to attach a document or that you really don't want to send that message after all–or at least, not to the person you accidentally put in the 'To:' field.

This can be simulated in Outlook:

If you use Microsoft Exchange Server, you can delay delivery of an individual message. Everyone can use rules to delay delivery of all messages by having them held in the Outbox for a specified time after clicking Send.

Delay delivery of a message

  1. In the message, click Options.
  2. Under Delivery options, select the Do not deliver before check box, and then click the delivery date and time you want.

Delay delivery of all messages

  1. On the Tools menu, click Rules and Alerts, and then click New Rule.
  2. Select Start from a blank rule.
  3. In the Step 1: Select when messages should be checked box, click Check messages after sending, and then click Next.
  4. In the Step 1: Select condition(s) list, select any options you want, and then click Next.



    If you do not select any check boxes, a confirmation dialog box appears. Clicking Yes applies this rule to all messages you send.

  5. In the Step 1: Select action(s) list, select defer delivery by a number of minutes. Delivery can be delayed up to two hours.
  6. In the Step 2: Edit the rule description (click on an underlined value) box, click the underlined phrase a number of and enter the number of minutes you want messages held before sending.
  7. Click OK, and then click Next.
  8. Select any exceptions, and then click Next.
  9. In the Step 1: Specify a name for this rule box, type a name for the rule.
  10. Click Finish.

Source (shamefully copied from)

Delay email sending in Outlook alla Gmail

Solution for Cannot adjust display brightness

The problem is caused by Windows incorrectly identifying the notebook's screen.

To fix, open the Device Manager, expand 'Monitors', select your monitor, right-click it and select Uninstall. Then, click the 'Scan for Hardware Changes button. You should now be able to adjust the display's brightness again!


Solution for Cannot adjust display brightness

How to install .Net 3.5 on Windows 8

When installing applications on Windows 8 you may be prompted to install the .Net framework. Windows will helpfully offer to download and install it for you, how nice…until it fails. You may be asked to reboot your machine or check it is connected to the Internet but nothing helps.

If you have access to your orginal installation media (which you may not if it was preinstalled on your machine), you can install .Net 3.5 directly.

  1. Open a Command Prompt with administrative previlages (right-click Command Prompt and choose 'Run as administrator')
  2. Where 'D:\' is the location of your mounted Windows 8 installation media run the command
    DISM /Online /Enable-Feature /FeatureName:NetFx3 /All /LimitAccess /Source:d:\sources\sxs

Notes: /All (enable all parent features of .Net Framework 3.5), /LimitAccess (prevent DISM from using Windows Update) and /Sources (location of the installation files)

Source and further reading

How to install .Net 3.5 on Windows 8

Change Window’s CMD to behave more like PuTTY

Having used both the Windows command line and then used PuTTY to control Linux machines, I miss the simple copy and paste functions PuTTY offers however these are already built into CMD!

Simply open a command prompt, click the C:\_ icon in the top-right and select Properites… In the Options Tab, in the Edit Options group, tick the Quick Edit Mode and Insert Mode check boxes.

There you have it, now selections in the command prompt will automatically be copied to the clipboard and right-clicks will perform the paste operation alla PuTTY.


Change Window’s CMD to behave more like PuTTY

How to create a unique TeamViewer ID after imaging

If you include TeamViewer as part of your system image or clone an existing computer with TeamViewer installed, the newly set-up computer will have the same TeamViewer ID as the source computer however each computer needs its own unique ID to work.

To fix, open regedit (Start > Run OR WinKey+R, enter 'regedit' and hit <enter> or press 'ok') and delete two registry keys: ClientIC and ClientID which can be found at:

64 bit Windows


32 bit Windows


where 'X' is the version of TeamViewer

Note that this will not work on the source computer as the ID is calculated based on the hardware of the computer, therefore if this procedure is carried out on the source machine, it will just recreate the same ID.


How to create a unique TeamViewer ID after imaging