How to create a .ics file?

Whether you use calendars in your Apple products or Microsoft Products or web based systems like Google or Yahoo, the connecting thread is the .ics file. You import/export calendar information using the .ics files.

Traditionally you paid for the software that permitted you to create .ics files. Programs like MS Outlook or iOS. If you didn’t pay for the software, you had to pay for the connectivity to generate an .ics file from a web based calendar service.

I discovered, just today, that Sunbird 1.0 beta1, a standalone free calendar program by Mozilla foundation now lets you work offline and create .ics files. I just want to put in the good word. Does Sunbird handle time zone differences and daylight savings well? Well, I don’t know for sure but I think we have program that fills a sweet spot.

How to : Program a MS Excel Form

If you are trying to make an excel form, chances are you lost at the many objects lying around on your form and are baffled as to how all the pieces fit together.

They key thing in writing a form is understanding how many objects are used and what minimum code must support each object and action. If you are lost and dont know what piece of code to write next, here are some simple guidelines I follow myself in programming my forms for performing engineering calculations.

1. Throw all objects you want on a form. Inputs and Outputs.

2. For an engineering calculation, if any input parameter changes, all outputs must vanish. Otherwise your form risks the possibility of displaying the incorrect value from a previous calculation before the current calculation is performed.

3. Initialize the form using built in “UserForm_Initialize()” function.

4. Initialisation of the form can be performed by a separate macro which pouplates the initial values to be displayed.

5. Use the most common three buttons as set in 6, 7 and 8

6. “Close” button unloads the form

7. “Clear” button can be used to invoke the initialization macro or clear the all input and output fields by making them blank.

8. “Calculate” button begins the calculation sequences.

9. When starting a calculation, first step is to check the inputs.

10. Check the inputs one by one. If inputs are not correct dont perform the calculation. If inputs are correct, read and interpret the inputs alongside.

11. Perform calculations. Use UDFs as necessary.

12. Estimate results. Diplay results as Label Captions.

Have Fun!

How to : Edit Background Graphics in Powerpoint?

Problem:
You have an PPT file from an older version of MS Office that opens in Office 2007. There are images on the master slide that seem to be not  editable. But you can hide them by selecting on “Hide Background graphics”. How do you edit whatever graphics that are controlled by the Background Graphics button?

Solution:
Go to view, slide master then make sure you select the first slide in the list on the left. When you are on that first slide you can select and edit these types of background items.

How to : Multiple login in yahoo messenger

You can have multiple instances of yahoo messenger which can be used to login with different IDs – without any download or patch .
To have multiple instances of yahoo messenger, follow these steps :
1. Go to Start —-> Run . Type regedit, then enter .
2.Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER ——–> Software —>yahoo —–>pager—->Test
3.On the right page, right-click and choose new Dword value .
4.Rename it as Plural.
5.Double click and assign a decimal value of 1.

VBA support in OpenOffice.Org Calc

For many years till yesterday, I knew about OpenOffice.Org Calc. Today, I’m excited about it.

I tried OpenOffice many years ago. It could do few things back then, but I immediately dismissed as inadequate for my needs. I have always been a fan of what VBA could do for Excel.

Last week, I completed the most complex piece of VBA application I’d ever written. I am a VBA newbie and it took me a week  to finish my code that could be printed on 28 A4 pages. My spreadsheet till date works flawlessly on XP/Office 2003 like it is supposed to, but I wrote most of my code in Vista/Office 2007.

When I upgraded to Debian Squeeze, Openoffice.org 3.1.1 came with it. I checked out the new version and was impressed that one could write macros in Python, Javascript, BeanShell in addition to BASIC.

I tried to open my most complex piece of VBA code in Openoffice.org and I was bombarded with hundreds of repetitive error messages that I had to kill the spreadsheet from the command line. I was convinced that VBA and OOoCalc are not compatible, till I discovered this site by accident when trying to learn to write Javascript Macros in OOo.

OK. All I needed to add was “Option VBA Support 1″. That didn’t sound too difficult, so I tried opening my spreadsheet  again and had to again kill everything from command line.

Some thing was not right and I wasn’t being able to run VBA despite the promised compatibility.

So I decided to go slow. No matter how many times, I couldn’t run the macros when I opened the native excel file. So I decided to open the excel file with macros disabled. That let me open the spreadsheet, but nothing was working. I found that OOoCalc automatically had added “Option VBA Support 1″ to my modules.

I saved the file as .ODS and proceeded to debug by enabling macros again. This time, errors didn’t come in a flood.They came one at a time and it was easier to debug.

The first set of errors related to variables which did not have an explicit Dim statement. VBA in Excel seemed more forgiving in handling varaibles without proper Dim statements. But OOo Calc didn’t like it. So I ended up adding a few Dim statements for some variables.

The next set of errors was with Excel UDF names. OOo Calc likes to see Functions being invoked with uppercase letters. So if you’d used lower case letters in Excel, they would show up as errors. This could be easily fixed by use of find and replace feature.

With just these two things, fixed my new .ODS file worked perfectly. I then saved it as .xls and re-opened the .xls and everything was still working. Though OOo Calc  documentation still says that not all VBA features are supported, VBA runs well on OOoCalc for all practical engineering calculations. So now is the time for me to make the switch.

Now if you have difficulties, in getting  your VBA code to work  in OOo Calc, dont give up soon.

WP-Hive upgrade prevents WordPress login

I upgraded the wp-hive plug-in to version 0.5 earlier today. It wasn’t an active plugin for me and I needn’t have upgraded it. But I did it earlier today and didn’t think twice about it.

Later, I found out that I could not login into WordPress as an administrator. Everything else seemed to be working fine. Site was up and running as usual, but I couldn’t access my dashboard.

When I checked the WordPress database through phpMyAdmin the wp_options table was perfect. I was soon able to figure out that this was not a WordPress problem.

So I started troubleshooting by trying to undo my last set of actions, one of which was upgrading the wp-hive plugin. Renaming the wp-hive folder gave an serious error and brought the site down. With that I was able to narrow down the problem to the file

/wp-contents/db.php

I remmed out the line

/*require_once( WP_CONTENT_DIR . ‘/plugins/wp-hive/do-prefix.php’);
*/

Everything is back to normal for me now because I dont use wp-hive.

I didn’t find anything about this problem in Google, so I decided to write this down.

LiberKey applications work on Debian through Wine

There is this beautiful portable suite called LiberKey which is really a collection of hundreds of open source applications for Windows.

For months, I have searched and tried out several portable applications for Windows. None of them even came close to LiberKey in terms of the range, stability and upgrades.

I’ve used LiberKey from the same USB device on both XP and Vista machines with equal ease. You can update LiberKey on XP machine and run it on Vista and viceversa. In fact, I’ve copied LiberKey onto my “C:\Program Files” on Windows drives and I enjoy free updates of all my open source applications.

What was a good Windows solution, has now proven to be a good Linux solution too.

Today, I tried out several LiberKey applications on Debian through the Wine interface and most of them seemed to be working well. The only fall back is that these applications dont work through the Liberkey interface. But rather each application needs to be run from its folder manually. This is not a set back  as all it takes is a link to a application to open it.

Debian users sure wont have to miss their little windows programs on GNOME or KDE.

Howto: Change a menu in excel based on user input from another menu

Let us say there are three types of products:
Cakes, Drinks and Chocolates

Let us say each product type has varying number of sub-types:

  • Two different types of cakes: Cake A, Cake B
  • Four different types of drinks : Drink A, Drink B, Drink C, Drink D
  • Three different types of Chocolates : Chocolate A, Chocolate B, Chocolate C

Let us say we need to give the user two comboboxes, one to select the product type and one to select the product sub-type. In such a case,  the choices and number of choices displayed in the sub-type combobox will depend on the users choice of product type.

Macros can be used change one combobox based on the selection in another.

Let us start by setting up the first combobox.

  • Type values Cakes, Drinks and Chocolates in cells H4:H6.
  • Draw a combobox whose name is say Drop Down1
  • Right click the combobox. Select Format Control. Set the combobox to take inputs from range H4:H6 and return selection to H.

Let us next create the second combobox whose name is Drop Down 2. This combobox is still empty. To fill up this combobox we need four macros.

  • First macro menu_cakes fills the combobox if the user selects cakes.
  • Second macro menu_drinks fills the combobox if the user selects  drinks.
  • Third macro menu_chocolates fills the combobox if the user selects chocolates.
  • Fourth macro menu_product_selector decides which of these macros should be used depending on users selection.

Let us start creating these macros in the VBA editor.

  • Start the editor by pressing (Alt+F11).
  • Select Insert – > Module
  • Type in the code for the macros

Sub menu_cakes()
ActiveSheet.Shapes(“Drop Down 2″).Select
With Selection
.ListFillRange = “$J$4:$J$5″
.LinkedCell = “$J$2″
.DropDownLines = 2
.Display3DShading = False
End With
Range(“A1″).Select
End Sub

Sub menu_drinks()
ActiveSheet.Shapes(“Drop Down 2″).Select
With Selection
.ListFillRange = “$K$4:$K$7″
.LinkedCell = “$K$2″
.DropDownLines = 4
.Display3DShading = False
End With
Range(“A1″).Select
End Sub

Sub menu_chocolates()
ActiveSheet.Shapes(“Drop Down 2″).Select
With Selection
.ListFillRange = “$L$4:$L$5″
.LinkedCell = “$L$2″
.DropDownLines = 3
.Display3DShading = False
End With
Range(“A1″).Select
End Sub

Sub menu_product_selector()
Dim n As Integer
n = Range(“H2″).Value
‘This is where the user input is taken into account
Select Case n
Case 1
Call menu_cakes
Case 2
Call menu_drinks
Case 3
Call menu_chocolates
Case Else
MsgBox “Error is selecting product from Menu”
End Select
End Sub

The last part is to tie-all these macros for execution.

We do this by right clicking on the product type combobox (Drop Down 1), selecting Assign Macro and asking it to run the macro menu_product_selector. This way every time the user makes a selection on this menu, it will invoke the macro menu_product_selector which in turn will invoke other macros that control the second combobox.

One assumption made is that all combobox objects will be on the activesheet. It is not a bad assumption to make as the user would definitely be present on the worksheet containing the comboboxes to make a selection.

Is there a better way of doing this?

Excel Howtos

Howto: Call one Excel Macro from another

If you have a spreadsheet that has multiple macros, it is possible to invoke one from the other. You need to use the statement “call [name of macro to be called]” each time you want a particular macro to be called.

eg: Body of macro0 could contain following code to invoke other macros

if x=1
call macro1
else if x=2
call macro2
else
call macro3
endif

*Edited later*

This applies only to Macros and it does not seem to be possible to invoke macros using the call function from user defined functions.

Howto: Add buttons, checkboxes, comboboxes in Excel2007

Office 2003 had “Forms toolbar” that contained all the objects like buttons, checkboxes, comboboxes etc.

In Office 2007, this functionality has been moved to the Developer tab. You have to manually enable the Developer tab in the ribbon bar as follows.

  • Click on the oversized Office logo button in the upper left corner
  • Click on the Excel Options button to display the Excel Options dialog
  • Click on Popular in the list in the left hand side of the dialog.
  • Check ‘Show Developer tab in the Ribbon’
  • Click the OK button.

In the Developer tab now should appear in the Ribbon bar. If you open the developer tab, you can find the Controls section which has a drop-down menu labeled Insert where the form and ActiveX controls are placed.

Howto: Change values of individual cells through macros

To store number 3 in cell F3, use the following command in the body of the macro:

Range(“F3″).Value = 3

This would place the value 3 into cell F3 of the active worksheet of the active workbook.

To place the value in another workbook use the following command.

Workbooks(“BookName”).Worksheets(“SheetName”).Range(“F3″).Value = 3

The .Value property can also read a value from a cell.

x = Range(“F3″).Value

Whether .Value property is used to read a value or assign a value depends on which side of the equal sign it is placed.

However, this applies only to Macros and not user defined functions. Though  it is possible to read a value to a user defined function and it does not seem to be possible to assign a value to a cell.

How to : Mount an NTFS drive for read-write in Debian Lenny

Traditionally, Linux users mount NTFS partitions for read-write by first obtaining the libfuse2 and ntfs-3g packages and then manually editing the /etc/fstab file. This process required you to remember several things tedious and there was a risk of making the system non-bootable if the /etc/fstab file was incorrectly written.

Today, I was able to do the same thing with the help of a new module called disk-manage on Debian Lenny and Gnome.

Disk-manager detects, mount new unmounted partitions, including NTFS-partitions in real time without requiring a reboot. Disk-manager  can be also used to set mount point for the partitions.

To install disk-manager:

# apt-get install disk-manager

To start disk-manager

System->Administration->Disk Manager

Howto: Manually assigning X authorisation for Debian superuser

Today, while running Debian I noticed that I was able to run some programs as a normal user. But when I logged in as a super user, the program wont run.
eg:
$ gedit starts gedit
# gedit fails giving the following error
———————————————
krishnanondebian:/home/krishnan# gedit
No protocol specified
cannot open display:
Run ‘gedit –help’ to see a full list of available command line options.
———————————————-

X authorisation for the superuser seems to be an issue that has been discussed several times. There is a sux command which is technically “su+x authorisation”. I didn’t know about the sux command so I took the longer route:

1. open a console and login as ROOT : su

2. see who can launch an “X program” : xauth list
if you get an error or the list is empty(you dont get anything) then continue to read on-probably this is you solution.

3. open a console and as USER see who is authorized to open the X programs : xauth list
This should give you something like this :
desktop/unix:0 MIT-MAGIC-COOKIE-1 395a5228d995d958a0cc59a5afe9d521
193.5.93.21:0 MIT-MAGIC-COOKIE-1 45891337dd1f30ea26f45bb6b70449b0
desktop:0 MIT-MAGIC-COOKIE-1 370116e6e873fc798aa4f1429f536219

4. now as ROOT add the ones (hostnames) you want to be able to launch X programs on your DISPLAY :

xauth add desktop/unix:0 . 395a5228d995d958a0cc59a5afe9d521

Do the same for the other entries as well(if you want to be able to launch from other hosts too-try adding all if you dont know which one is the correct one).Notice that the long numbers at the end are the same with the users before!ALSO NOTICE THE DOT “.” between the “desktop/unix:0″ and the number. Now you should be ok.Try to launch the program as ROOT. Should work

Source  : http://ubuntuforums.org/archive/index.php/t-166863.html

Howto: Upgrade to Debian Squeeze

My first attempt to upgrade to Debian Squeeze failed. It was because I lost power in the middle of the upgrade and my PC got switched off. It was so bad that I could not get the installation to work again. I had to re-install.

I made a second attempt today and succeeded. Briefly, this is what happened.

18:45 hrs
I pop in the Debian 5.03 DVD 1 and start a vanilla install of Lenny with GNOME.
20:35 hrs
Debian Lenny  installation completes.
20:40 hrs
I edit the /etc/apt/sources.list file to change all instances of “lenny” to “squeeze” and all instances of “.in” to “.us”. This is the only preparatory step required. Nothing else is necessary as the entire squeeze installation happens by a download.
20.41 hrs
I use the update manager to check for updates. Smart Upgrade feature  identifies 1101 packages adding to 881 MB.
20:42 hrs
I begin to download the squeeze upgrades on my 512 KBPS connection
12:58 hrs
All 1101 package downloads complete and squeeze installation starts. Thankfully, I didn’t lose power this time.
01:25 hrs
Installation freezes when attempting to restart the hardware abstraction layer.
01:27 hrs
After waiting for two minutes, I press Enter a few times and Ctrl+c a few times. Disk whirls and installation continues.
01:35 hrs
Installation completes. Update Manager throws out a long list of dependency problems reproduced below. PC freezes again and wont power down.
01:36 hrs
I manually power down the machine, wondering if the upgrade worked
01:38 hrs
When I boot, I notice that the Vanilla installation of Squeeze is near perfect. Everything works flawlessly.

The addition of  multimedia drivers, third party software etc. are for another day.

————————————————————-
Dependency problems during a normal squeeze install.
————————————————————-
E: dbus: subprocess installed post-installation script killed by signal (Interrupt)
E: dbus-x11: dependency problems – leaving unconfigured
E: gconf2-common: dependency problems – leaving unconfigured
E: libgconf2-4: dependency problems – leaving unconfigured
E: gconf2: dependency problems – leaving unconfigured
E: libgnomevfs2-common: dependency problems – leaving unconfigured
E: libgnomevfs2-0: dependency problems – leaving unconfigured
E: libgnomevfs2-extra: dependency problems – leaving unconfigured
E: libedataserver1.2-11: dependency problems – leaving unconfigured
E: libcamel1.2-14: dependency problems – leaving unconfigured
E: libebook1.2-9: dependency problems – leaving unconfigured
E: libecal1.2-7: dependency problems – leaving unconfigured
E: python-evolution: dependency problems – leaving unconfigured
E: libgnome2-common: dependency problems – leaving unconfigured
E: gvfs: dependency problems – leaving unconfigured
E: libgnome2-0: dependency problems – leaving unconfigured
E: libbonoboui2-0: dependency problems – leaving unconfigured
E: libgnomeui-0: dependency problems – leaving unconfigured
E: libpanel-applet2-0: dependency problems – leaving unconfigured
E: python-gnomeapplet: dependency problems – leaving unconfigured
E: libgnome-desktop-2-11: dependency problems – leaving unconfigured
E: python-gnomedesktop: dependency problems – leaving unconfigured
E: gnome-media-common: dependency problems – leaving unconfigured
E: libgnome-media0: dependency problems – leaving unconfigured
E: python-mediaprofiles: dependency problems – leaving unconfigured
E: metacity-common: dependency problems – leaving unconfigured
E: libmetacity-private0: dependency problems – leaving unconfigured
E: python-metacity: dependency problems – leaving unconfigured
E: libtotem-plparser12: dependency problems – leaving unconfigured
E: python-totem-plparser: dependency problems – leaving unconfigured
E: python-gnome2-desktop: dependency problems – leaving unconfigured
E: python-gconf: dependency problems – leaving unconfigured
E: python-gnome2: dependency problems – leaving unconfigured
E: consolekit: dependency problems – leaving unconfigured
E: policykit: dependency problems – leaving unconfigured
E: hal: dependency problems – leaving unconfigured
E: xserver-xorg: dependency problems – leaving unconfigured
E: xserver-xorg-core: dependency problems – leaving unconfigured
E: xserver-xorg-input-kbd: dependency problems – leaving unconfigured
E: libebackend1.2-0: dependency problems – leaving unconfigured
E: libedata-book1.2-2: dependency problems – leaving unconfigured
E: libedata-cal1.2-6: dependency problems – leaving unconfigured
E: libegroupwise1.2-13: dependency problems – leaving unconfigured
E: libsoup-gnome2.4-1: dependency problems – leaving unconfigured
E: libgweather-common: dependency problems – leaving unconfigured
E: libgweather1: dependency problems – leaving unconfigured
E: libedataserverui1.2-8: dependency problems – leaving unconfigured
E: libexchange-storage1.2-3: dependency problems – leaving unconfigured
E: libgtkhtml3.14-19: dependency problems – leaving unconfigured
E: libgtkhtml-editor0: dependency problems – leaving unconfigured
E: evolution-data-server: dependency problems – leaving unconfigured

Howto: Automatically start a program in Debian

Some times, some of us may need to start a program when starting Debian. One example could be the instant messenger program Pidgin or it could be Vuze for people who want their downloads to start automatically.

GNOME has an elegant solution for this. Go to System -> Preferences -> Sessions and here you can add a list of programs you want to start with every session.

*Edited later*

In KDE4 there is a similar choice in Control center -> autostart.

If you are using KDE 3.5, which comes with Debian Lenny as a default, you will need to add the program manually to ~/.kde/Autostart

Why does Debian smell like freedom?

I bought my first desktop computer in 1999 and Windows ’98 came with it. I thought it was pricey, but I didn’t have a choice. Since then, I’ve bought two more desktops and three more laptops for home use at regular intervals and each one of them came with an XP or Vista license. In the couple of decades that went by, learning Windows was a necessity. Windows ’95 didn’t exist when I was in college and was never taught to me. At that point in time, I didn’t mind coughing up the money for personal licences, to cope with the corporate hunger for Windows.

Now when I ask myself if I would like to pay for the newest Windows, I come up with a big no. This is not the first version of Windows and it certainly wont be the last. Clearly, the more I invest in Windows today, the more I will re-invest in the future. And the money usually buys me features that dont really matter to me. Even if one ends up buying Windows, he’d soon have had to pay for an MS-Office licence, if it weren’t for the open source folks who gave the world atelast a possibility of opening a spreadsheet before opening your wallet..

I re-built my PC recently. Instead of dual booting with OpenSuSE, I now dual boot with Debian 5.

When I get back from work and power up my PC and watch GRUB ticking, I am faced with a hard choice every day. Should I boot into Debian by default and use the less known programs like Iceweasel, Pidgin and Transmission or should I boot into Windows so that I can update my virus definitions, install windows updates and use the programs with nice names?

I’ve learnt by practice that when I boot into Debian, my heart feels free and light. With every boot, the conviction grows stronger. I dont have to worry about buying software. Its sure is not the easiest way to do things. But atleast a programmer wont make me open my wallet again because he couldn’t write the best program in the first go.

I believe that the real solutions for the world today should be simple, transperant,  driven by collective intelligence and  accessible to the masses. If it weren’t for piracy, most commercial software would be lot less popular today. Things were different when people were not computer savvy and depended on other companies to get their software. But as people begin to know more and more about about computers, they are not waiting for companies to step in to solve their problems. They write their own solutions and strive to make it better.

If we can understand that human beings are natural problem solvers who strive to improve the quality of life, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they’ve learnt to solve the coding problem. The companies that made hay while the sun shone were the lucky ones. Clearly, open source  has come of age and it will only get better as the average user learns more.

Debian smells like freedom because it reflects my own growth into a mature user who can understand and evalute choices.

How to: Carry Wikipedia content on a USB pen drive

This instruction is meant for Windows users.

You’ll need atleast a 16 GB pendrive to carry Wikipedia.

Method 1 : Easy method
For those who are not willing to go through a lot of pain in learning new things, this is the simpler method

  1. First download the latest content from Wikipedia. This is a single file of size 5.1 GB as on today and downloading could take hours.
  2. The latest dump is presently at http://dumps.wikimedia.org/enwiki/latest/enwiki-latest-pages-articles.xml.bz2. Copy the downloaded .bz2 file to, say C:\wikipedia.
  3. After this 5.1 GB download is complete, it is necessary to download the software that can read this huge file.
  4. The simplest is wikitaxi. Download Wikitaxi and unzip to the same folder, C:\wikipedia
  5. You should see two executable files now. The wikitaxi executable is the one that should be used to run wikipedia. The wikitaxi importer executable is the one we need to use to convert the .bz2 file downloaded into a .taxi file.
  6. Run the wikitaxi importer executable and let it convert the .bz2 file into a .taxi file. This takes a long time and produces a single 9.2 GB file with a .taxi extension.
  7. Once .taxi file is made run the wikitaxi executable and open the .taxi file. You should be able to browse  the content of wikipedia, but with a slightly different look.
  8. Now copy the C:\wikipedia folder to a pendrive and you have a portable version for personal reference.


Method 2: For the geeks

You probably don’t need to read this, but the best way is to clearly to host the entire content on the same platform that Wikipedia does.

  1. Install XAMPP on a pen drive
  2. Install Mediawiki on XAMPP
  3. Download the latest Wikipedia dump
  4. Import the dump to Mediawiki.

Voila! You have the portable and perfect replica of Wikipedia.

How to: Extract links from Rapidshare Linklists

I’ve noticed that some Rapidshare users create rather large link lists some times containing over 500 files per list.
Ever come across a massive list whose list you wanted to extract in minutes?

Here are the steps
1. Save the linklist as a text file from your browser
2. Open the text file, select all text and paste in excel
3. On the next worksheet copy this formula give below on the first cell
=IF((LEFT(Sheet1!A1,(5))=”http:”),Sheet1!A1,””)
4. Copy the formula across how many ever lines you need the links to be extracted from
5. Your list of links is ready to be exported to Rapidshare Manager :)

How to : Add Quotes with Excel Concatenate function

I use excel to create the HTML code for large tables.

Whenever I need to publish a large table, I first  type it out in excel.
Then I open the next sheet, create my HTML code using the concatenate function.
Its a neat trick that has always worked well.
I just manage the data (in one sheet) and the code (in the other sheet) is managed on its own.

The only trick is to be able the add ” symbol on to the hyperlinks.

To create one ” symbol, you will need four “s in your code.
eg:
=concatenate(“”””,”A”,””””) produces the output “A”

So, now you know, even if you didn’t know already…

How to turn on automatic logon in Windows XP

I note this down because I keep forgetting this.

Method 1:

1. Click Start, and then click Run.

2. Type control userpasswords2, and then click OK.

Note : When users try to display help information in the User Accounts window in Windows XP Home Edition, the help information is not displayed. Additionally, users receive the following error message:
Cannot find the Drive:\Windows\System32\users.hlp Help file. Check to see that the file exists on your hard disk drive. If it does not exist, you must reinstall it.

3. Clear the “Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer” check box, and then click Apply.

4. In the Automatically Log On window, type the password in the Password box, and then retype the password in the Confirm Password box.

5. Click OK to close the Automatically Log On window, and then click OK to close the User Accounts window.

Method 2:

1. Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.

2. Locate the following registry key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon

3. Using your account name and password, double-click the DefaultUserName entry, type your user name, and then click OK.

4. Double-click the DefaultPassword entry, type your password under the value data box, and then click OK.

If there is no DefaultPassword value, create the value. To do this, follow these steps:
a.    In Registry Editor, click Edit, click New, and then click String Value.
b.    Type DefaultPassword as the value name, and then press ENTER.
c.    Double-click the newly created key, and then type your password in the Value Data box.

If no DefaultPassword string is specified, Windows XP automatically changes the value of the AutoAdminLogon registry key from 1 (true) to 0 (false) to turn off the AutoAdminLogon feature.

5.    Double-click the AutoAdminLogon entry, type 1 in the Value Data box, and then click OK.

If there is no AutoAdminLogon entry, create the entry. To do this, follow these steps:
a.    In Registry Editor, click Edit, click New, and then click String Value.
b.    Type AutoAdminLogon as the value name, and then press ENTER.
c.    Double-click the newly created key, and then type 1 in the Value Data box.

6.    Quit Registry Editor.

7.    Click Start, click Restart, and then click OK.

See also http://support.microsoft.com/kb/315231