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Secrets Hidden in Windows XP


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Dear All:

We have many experts here, but not all current or coming members know the same things so I thought about starting this thread and let it be for XP secrets that make it much better, If I posted any thing wrong... Please correct me

So PLEASE if any member know any thing and think that it may help others ... PLEASE go ahead

Defrag

Secret - Hidden Command Line Switch

Instructions - Go to "Start", "Run" and Type defrag c: -b to defragment the Boot and Application Prefetch information.

Notes - Windows XP will run this automatically every three days or so, during system idle periods. BootVis will evoke this when you run the "Optimize System" function. There is no need to manually run this unless you wish to immediately optimize a newly installed application's load time.

Shutdown

Secret - Display Hibernate Option on the Shut Down dialog

Instructions - Go to "Start", "Turn Off Computer..." and press either Shift key to change the "Stand By" button to "Hibernate".

Support Tools

Secret - Over 100 Windows XP Support Utilities are on the install CD

Instructions for Pre-SP2 users - If you do not have SP2 installed, put the original Windows XP CD in the CD-ROM Drive, run the D:\Support\Tools\setup.exe file.

Instructions for SP2 users - If you have SP2 installed, Download the Windows XP Service Pack 2 Support Tools and install.

Secret - Hidden Uninstall Options

Instructions - Warning: Proceed at your own risk! Browse to C:\Windows\inf\ and make a backup copy of sysoc.inf. Then open the original file C:\Windows\inf\sysoc.inf in notepad. Go to "Edit" and select "Replace". In "Find what:" type ,hide and in "Replace with:" type , then select "Replace All", save and close the file. Go to the "Control Panel", "Add/Remove", select "Add/Remove Windows Components". You will now see many more Windows components to uninstall. Do not remove anything with no label or that you do not recognize or fully understand what it does. Doing so can break certain functionality in Windows.

Edited by MGadAllah
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Want to remove shared documents folder from My Computer window

Instructions

Open registry editor by going to START-RUN and entering regedit. Once in registry, navigate to key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Explorer \ My Computer \ NameSpace \ DelegateFolders You must see a sub-key named {59031a47-3f72-44a7-89c5-5595fe6b30ee}. If you delete this key, you have effectively removed the my shared documents folder.

Want to have more options in the Add/Remove program list ?

All programs that are available on your Windows XP system are not available for removal. For example wordpad. I mean you don't want to remove wordpad from Add/Remove program list, but that serves just as an example. So why are some programs in the list and some not. Its not a game of Random numbers. There many a few unique methods through which we can control what appears on list and what does not. If you have installed Windows in C: drive , Go to C:\WINDOWS\inf (substituting the correct drive letter for your version of Windows) and open the sysoc.inf file. File contents looks like this: See the components that have word HIDE as second last item on the row. This hide tells system to not to display those items/apps in the Add/Remove program list. If you want to have this item in list, simply replace it with blank. I think you understand what am I saying

[Version]

Signature = "$Windows NT$"

DriverVer=07/01/2001,5.1.2600.0

[Components]

NtComponents=ntoc.dll,NtOcSetupProc,,4

WBEM=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,wbemoc.inf,hide,7

Display=desk.cpl,DisplayOcSetupProc,,7

Fax=fxsocm.dll,FaxOcmSetupProc,fxsocm.inf,,7

NetOC=netoc.dll,NetOcSetupProc,netoc.inf,,7

iis=iis.dll,OcEntry,iis.inf,,7

com=comsetup.dll,OcEntry,comnt5.inf,hide,7

dtc=msdtcstp.dll,OcEntry,dtcnt5.inf,hide,7

IndexSrv_System = setupqry.dll,IndexSrv,setupqry.inf,,7

TerminalServer=TsOc.dll, HydraOc, TsOc.inf,hide,2

msmq=msmqocm.dll,MsmqOcm,msmqocm.inf,,6

ims=imsinsnt.dll,OcEntry,ims.inf,,7

fp_extensions=fp40ext.dll,FrontPage4Extensions,fp40ext.inf,,7

AutoUpdate=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,au.inf,hide,7

msmsgs=msgrocm.dll,OcEntry,msmsgs.inf,hide,7

RootAutoUpdate=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,rootau.inf,,7

IEAccess=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,ieaccess.inf,,7

Games=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,games.inf,,7

AccessUtil=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,accessor.inf,,7

CommApps=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,communic.inf,HIDE,7

MultiM=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,multimed.inf,HIDE,7

AccessOpt=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,optional.inf,HIDE,7

Pinball=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,pinball.inf,HIDE,7

MSWordPad=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,wordpad.inf,HIDE,7

ZoneGames=zoneoc.dll,ZoneSetupProc,igames.inf,,7

[Global]

WindowTitle=%WindowTitle%

WindowTitle.StandAlone="*"

How to remove recycle bin from your desktop

Open Regedit by going to START - RUN and type Regedit and hit enter. Then you should navigate to following entry in registry

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\

Desktop\NameSpace\{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E} and delete it. This action should remove recycle bin from your desktop.

Having problem with slow boot time or is it taking long to resume ?There are a variety of reasons why your windows XP system would boot slowly. Most of the times it this has to do with the startup applications. If you would like to speed up the bootup sequence, consider removing some of the startup applications that you do not need. Easiest way to remove startup apps is through System Configuration Utility (Go to START-RUN and enter MSCONFIG) and going to Startup tab and deselecting application(s) that you do not want to startup at boot time. If this works, great ! If not you can also look into SERVICES tab and possibly deselect WORKSTATION option and see if that helps.Want to know more about boot time and what Microsoft is doing about it ? Visit Microsoft web site on fast boot /fast resume at http://www.microsoft.com/hwdev/platform/pe...oot/default.asp Go to Download section and you would see a software called Bootvis.exe. It is Microsoft Boot Performance trace visualization tool and has option to optimize your boot sequence.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you deselect WORKSTATION option from SERVICE tab and reboot, a warning message window may come the very next time which you can choose not be displayed by checking "do not show this message again" option.

Edited by MGadAllah
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Speed up shutdown times

It's not only start-up that you'd like to speed up; you can also make sure that your system shuts down faster. If shutting down XP takes what seems to be an inordinate amount of time, here are a couple of steps you can take to speed up the shutdown process:

  • Don't have XP clear your paging file at shutdown. For security reasons, you can have XP clear your paging file (pagefile.sys) of its contents whenever you shut down. Your paging file is used to store temporary files and data, but when your system shuts down, information stays in the file. Some people prefer to have the paging file cleared at shutdown because sensitive information such as unencrypted passwords sometimes ends up in the file. However, clearing the paging file can slow shutdown times significantly, so if extreme security isn't a high priority, you might not want to clear it. To shut down XP without clearing your paging file, run the Registry Editor (click Start > Run, then type regedit in the Run box) and go to:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management

  • Change the value of ClearPageFileAtShutdown to 0. Close the Registry, and restart your computer. Whenever you turn off XP from now on, the paging file won't be cleared, and you should be able to shut down more quickly.

Note: Please be careful when editing the Registry; you can do a lot of damage here. Don't change or delete anything unless you know exactly what it is.

Disable services that run at start-up

  • Constantly running in the background of XP are services--processes that help the operating system run or that provide support to applications. Many of these services launch automatically at start-up. While you need many of them, some are not required, and they can slow down your system when they run in the background.
  • You can disable services at start-up by using the system configuration utility, similar to the way that you halt programs from running at start-up, except that you use the Services tab instead of the Startup tab. But the system configuration utility doesn't necessarily list every service that launches on start-up. A bigger problem is that disabling services is more of shot in the dark than disabling programs. When you disable a program, you can get a sense of what the program does. But when you disable a service through the system configuration utility, there's often no way to know what it does.
  • A better way of disabling services at start-up is via the Services computer-management console. Run it by typing services.msc at the command prompt. The Services computer-management console includes a description of all services so that you can know ahead of time whether a particular service is one you want to turn off. It also lets you pause the service so that you can test your machine and see whether that service is needed.
  • After you run the console, click the Extended tab. This view will show you a description of each service in the left pane when you highlight the service. The Startup Type column shows you which services launch on start-up--any with Automatic in that field. Click that column to sort together all the services that automatically launch on start-up. Then highlight each of those services and read the descriptions.
  • When you find a service you want to disable, right-click it and choose Properties. In the Properties dialog box that appears, choose Manual from the Startup Type drop-down list. The service won't start automatically from now on, but you can start it manually via the console. If you want the service disabled so that it can't be run, choose Disabled. To test the results, turn off any services that you don't want to run by clicking Stop The Service in the left pane, or by right-clicking the service and choosing Stop.

Here is a list of some common services you might want to stop from running at start-up:

Portable Media Serial Number

Retrieves the serial number of a portable music player attached to your PC.

Task Scheduler

Schedules unattended tasks to be run. If you don't schedule any unattended tasks, turn it off.

Uninterruptible Power Supply

Manages an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) connected to your PC.

Automatic Updates

Automatically checks for Windows updates. (You can check manually by going to http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com/.)

Telnet (service available on XP Pro only)

Allows a remote user to log in to your computer and run programs. (This will not be found on all versions of XP Pro.)

Wireless Zero Configuration Service

Automatically configures a Wi-Fi (802.11) network card. Disable this only if you're not using a Wi-Fi network card.

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whats wrong with disabling services? (apart from dependencies, but that can be easily fixed with a trip to your neighborhood windows forums)

you can disable "Wireless Zero Configuration Service" if your not using the windows software to configure your wifi card.

Edited by cygnus
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iv had no problems with disabling services on my own machines.

say your running win2k on a PII 233 with 32 - 64mb of ram, you'll do w/e you can to help it. with the services disabled plus the help from nlite, i had win2k running on 28mb of ram on a 64mb system. 32 was too little, so i had to upgrade to 64. i didnt want to run windows 98 on that machine because it didnt work right with the wifi card i had in it, so i did that. and it worked just fine, brought new life back into that computer :)

i also run xp on my inspiron 7000, PII 366 with 384mb of ram. i have tweaked the services, and im sure that because of this, my computer has become very secure. iv been running this installation of windows for just over 2 months now with no virus/spyware/malware programs, and i have never gotten a virus. how can i tell? lets just say, i know my computer. it runs very well, i monitor the services, and my disk space. right this second, i can tell you of the top of my head, im running 9.90gb used (i also keep an eye on the bytes in use as well)

tarun, the person that ran that test is basing it entirely on performance for games. which isnt necessarily the wrong thing, but hes gotta keep in mind, there is a security benefit to this practice. i myself have never had a virus on any of my computers and i have actually just stopped installing virus software on my system because of that. im not saying its the smartest thing to do, but because of my ability to wipe my system and do a fresh install in about 2 hours, is no trouble for me at all.

the novice user should no disable services, rather, he/she should have a good set of malware and spyware and virus tools on hand in case of an emergency to keep the system running alright.

Edited by cygnus
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The problem with people disabling services is that when they go to install a new software or hardware that may/is dependent on a certain service you disabled, it will complain or not install. It's especially a pain in the ass when people disable their services, then bring their machines into the shop talking about something not installing or function properly when it's because they disabled services follow those idiot's guides to disabling services. Idle services take up no resources at all. So disabling all those idle services isn't changing a thing.

If you knew what you (not you as in YOU, but you as in anyone) were doing, you'd know not to disable services at all. Also, disabling idle services offers zero performance gain. Idle services take no RAM or CPU power at all. I'd love to quote the MSDN article, but I can't find it at the moment. The basic summary is that disabling a service that wasn't doing anything frees absolutely no resources.

You should never disable the error reporting service either. Error reporting allows the end-user to obtain information after "serious error" crash dumps (STOP errors/BSoDs). It also provides the user with feedback if an issue has already been resolved. Example: http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=894391

I had submitted an error report about this crash one day, and got no response back. The problem kept happening, and on multiple computers, so a few days later, I submitted it again, but this time, error reporting took me to a page stating that the cause was unknown but it research was in progress. Four days later, I submitted it again, and it took me to a page with the patch and the error never happened again.

There will be a program just to undo all the bull**** that users are doing to their systems these days, including disabling what they think are "unused" services. If there weren't used, why would they exist? If they were unused, then they would be idle, and not taking up any resources at all. When the time comes to use the service, it will work fine, and all will be well. 6 months later, a program attempts to use a service that you've disabled because you think you are better than your OS, and you get a generic error: "The RPC server is unavailable". Now you think that the program you're using is a piece of crap, or Windows is a piece of crap, and you format/reinstall, and it works for a while... until you do your "tweaking" routine again.

In summary, if you continue to disable "unused" services, and I meet you on the street, I should punch you right there in the center of your face.

100% Accurate Tweaking Guide. In fact, it's the only one you should ever listen to.

My bottom line is I really hate stupid people. As far as I'm concerned, people who screw with their services fall into that category; because they obviously are lacking the intelligence to leave the services well enough alone.

Edited by Tarun
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You also missed the part of the test where he based his statistics on many other things aside from gaming benchmark programs

File Compression & File Decompression in MB/s

File Encryption & Virus Scanning in MB/s

Grammar Check in KB/s

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Untrue. Compression and decompression depends on disk space, RAM and other items.

I've also not had a virus or any form of malware for over 9 years. The ones I did have, I knew of or they were false positives.

"Tweaking" should be avoided completely. I at one time thought tweaking services was good, but I found issues with it. Things I'd want to install wouldn't work because I disabled the service(s) needed. I reset all of my services to default, as they are supposed to be. I also let Windows manage my pagefile. My system works better and faster without any tweaking than with it.

Anything a person thinks they know about tweaking is wrong. Become or learn from a real pc technician and you will see that tweaking is a terrible thing. But then again, that should be common sense.

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you seem to have the atitude that your a genious and the rest of the computer world is an idiot. which is, untrue.

sure, you may have some good points, but it also seems its all an opinion piece.

tweaking is good for some, tweaking is bad for the rest. im no idiot when it comes to computers (self proclamation is pretty low, but its the **** truth) and i tweak my computers for a reason, it suites me. i dont constantly install stuff, nor do i keep an installation of windows around for very long (maybe 2 or 3 months at tops, then i wipe and clean and start fresh)

i hate getting into arguments like these, but jesus christ, people can do what they want with their computers. if they have a problem, they ask at a forum for help and some advice (which is the whole reason for a forum anyway <_<) and they fix their problem. now, provided, a lot of them do not give thanks or even acknowledge that a person helped them, so it does piss of the people like me and you, but its the way the world is. however, the rest (like me and you) will learn from the problem, give thanks, and then be on their marry way. and then people are happy on both sides.

end of post, i gotta finish my homework (16 pages more of written notes for history >_<)

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"Tweaking" should be avoided completely
I do not have any tend to debate here... But I disagree with you in this point, because even Microsoft itself issues hotfixes, service packs,...etc to solve things in the OS, and when it come to main or mandatory thing they issue a new Operating System.

But if tweaking stops; many software providers will close its doors......hahahahahaha :D

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I'm not claiming to be a genius, but the majority of my life has been computers. I work with them daily and I'm also employed as a pc technician. I often have to fix issues that are caused by users screwing up their services. I've had to fix SSL and HTTPS issues that was caused by services being disabled.

Let's analyze the services listed above.

Portable Media Serial Number

Retrieves the serial number of a portable music player attached to your PC.

Disabling this will stop your iPod, Rio, Creative brand and many others to no longer be able to communicate or transfer your music or videos. Leave this one alone (Home: Automatic. Pro: Manual).

Task Scheduler

Schedules unattended tasks to be run. If you don't schedule any unattended tasks, turn it off.

This will break prefetching, will helps to speed up your computer and help programs (even Windows itself) load faster. Disabling this will also stop many anti-virus, backups, defrag utilities, etc. softwares from being able to update or function properly, as they add a small task into the Task Scheduler. It's best to leave this service set to Automatic

Uninterruptible Power Supply

Manages an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) connected to your PC.

Disabling this will stop Windows and your computer from communicating with your UPS. If you don't have one it won't matter because this service is set to Manual.

Automatic Updates

Automatically checks for Windows updates. (You can check manually by going to http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com/.)

If you want to SAFELY disable Automatic Updates, right click My Computer > Properties > Automatic Updates. Simply set it to "Turn off Automatic Updates". Do not disable this service, because if it's not doig anything it is idle and takes up no resources.

Telnet (service available on XP Pro only)

Allows a remote user to log in to your computer and run programs. (This will not be found on all versions of XP Pro.)

Not available on XP Home, as of SP2 it's disabled. So no need to even mess with it. If you're on anythnig before SP2 simply update to SP2.

Wireless Zero Configuration Service

Automatically configures a Wi-Fi (802.11) network card. Disable this only if you're not using a Wi-Fi network card.

This service is also needed for 802.1x which can be used with a wired connection. When this is disabled, you won't get the authentication tab in the network connection properties. Should you ever install a wireless card, this will function very well. If you never use it, this service will be idle and take up no resources.

Need any other service myths debunked? :P

BlackViper and the other guides are pure idiocy. Several years ago my best friend got a Windows XP Home machine and wanted to do the entire BlackViper guide. So we did, and I witnessed just how broken a machine is if you follow those kinds of guides. He could barely use Internet, WMP failed to work without ten errors. A majority of the websites we visited would not load.

To me, BlackViper is as much an idiot as Steven Gibson of GRC. "Unplug & Pray", etc. The only good thing he ever made was SpinRite. In fact, Gibson is a joke to the tech community.

You have one thing right though. People can do what they want with their computers, even if it's the wrong thing to do. I don't complain much because it's those tweakers and many others that help me earn my paycheck. :)

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I'm not claiming to be a genius, but the majority of my life has been computers. I work with them daily and I'm also employed as a pc technician. I often have to fix issues that are caused by users screwing up their services. I've had to fix SSL and HTTPS issues that was caused by services being disabled.

you may think your aren't, but its really becoming aparent in the fact of you calling blackviper an idiot (as for the other guy, i dont know who the hell he is) blackviper took the time to come up with a guide on which services you can disable. he may have been wrong on the fact of performance (but maybe for him, like me, it did do some things) but thats no reason to call the guy an idiot. that would be like me basing an entire opinion of you, just on the simple fact you've made some gammatical mistakes (mind you, every one does now in the age of computers now) don't be so fast to jump the gun. just because you haven't had the success some other people have, doesn't give you the right to call them an idiot. theres some people in the HVAC world that really shouldn't be there. they don't know which end of a wrench to hold, or how to change a compressor in an air conditioner. you probably don't know how to fix half the stuff i know, as i wouldn't know how to fix a lot of computer problems. im a self taught computer user, im certainly not novice, but im no IT guy (mind you the IT guys around here don't know much either <_< overrated as far as im concerned) im a more mechanical type of person, i fix machines (like cars and hvac equipment)

anyway, on to the services you talked about

Portable Media Serial Number

Retrieves the serial number of a portable music player attached to your PC.

Disabling this will stop your iPod, Rio, Creative brand and many others to no longer be able to communicate or transfer your music or videos. Leave this one alone (Home: Automatic. Pro: Manual).

first off, portable media serial number can be disabled and the ipod will still work just fine. all 3 of my XP machines are running perfectly fine with my ipod and all 3 have that service disabled. hell, it even works in 2000 and that service doesn't exist there. oh, and my creative mp3 player works just fine too.

Task Scheduler

Schedules unattended tasks to be run. If you don't schedule any unattended tasks, turn it off.

This will break prefetching, will helps to speed up your computer and help programs (even Windows itself) load faster. Disabling this will also stop many anti-virus, backups, defrag utilities, etc. softwares from being able to update or function properly, as they add a small task into the Task Scheduler. It's best to leave this service set to Automatic

task scheduler can be disabled, but the only program i have noted any problems with is bootvis. but then again, that program doesnt work, so why should my task scheduler be running? oh, and it could be used by malicious code to start other bad programs.

Uninterruptible Power Supply

Manages an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) connected to your PC.

Disabling this will stop Windows and your computer from communicating with your UPS. If you don't have one it won't matter because this service is set to Manual.

ups, doesnt matter either way, why did you include that one?

Automatic Updates

Automatically checks for Windows updates. (You can check manually by going to http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com/.)

If you want to SAFELY disable Automatic Updates, right click My Computer > Properties > Automatic Updates. Simply set it to "Turn off Automatic Updates". Do not disable this service, because if it's not doig anything it is idle and takes up no resources.

automatic updates? use my update pack :P or just leave the service enabled, i dont have it on mine because i dont feel like doing updates when ms thinks i should. ill wait until its been tested properly, if they couldn't get it right in the first place, they may not the second time.

Telnet (service available on XP Pro only)

Allows a remote user to log in to your computer and run programs. (This will not be found on all versions of XP Pro.)

Not available on XP Home, as of SP2 it's disabled. So no need to even mess with it. If you're on anythnig before SP2 simply update to SP2.

telnet service, again, why did you include that one if its been disabled by ms now?

Wireless Zero Configuration Service

Automatically configures a Wi-Fi (802.11) network card. Disable this only if you're not using a Wi-Fi network card.

This service is also needed for 802.1x which can be used with a wired connection. When this is disabled, you won't get the authentication tab in the network connection properties. Should you ever install a wireless card, this will function very well. If you never use it, this service will be idle and take up no resources.

wireless zero configuration service, this service can be disabled and your wireless card will work just fine. provided your using the bundled software that came with your card. if your planning on using the windows stuff to cofigure your card, leave this service enabled.

Need any other service myths debunked?

nope that pretty much sums it up for me.

anyway, im going to have a shower. iv just spent the last 3 hours sitting here writing up jot notes for history class (20 pages) and i feel like crap :tired:

im tired of getting into arguments like these :sigh:

might be back later on, but, at this point i dont care anymore. :sleeping:

Edited by cygnus
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Look into all of those services more; you may learn some things. ;)

Here's a very accurate Myths page that points to debunking myths. The website is by a technician who has written Dial-a-fix (which is getting high recognition by Microsoft). Even this guy clearly knows "tweaking" is bad.

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id rather not be ridiculed by everyone because i choose to tweak my system.

my system, runs well, does what i want, leave people alone. if they bring a system into you (im sure that less than 50% of the people who do) have tweaked their services and are complaining of it. just say, you disabled this service, and its causing this dependency link. simple as that, you don't need to call them an idiot or anything, because then you'll lose business.

i tweak my system, because i can. windows gives me that oppurtunity, and it handles it quite well. my system boots in less than a minute (pii 366, so don't fly off the handle) and it handles a lot of intensive things quite well.

im tired of being called an idiot because im not a "technician" or anything, what does it matter that i don't have a degree or certificate saying i'v completed a coarse or w/e. i often feel, a self taught person can be smarter than a person with a degree because they have REAL WORLD experience. real world experience is better than book smarts. you can learn better from things in the real world than in a book as far as im concerned.

iv been brought up in a world that its ok to have an opinion. and you have no right to call me an idiot based on that. shame on you :P

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