How to Change your Windows 7 Password

Lots of people, whether they’re at home or at work, have passwords on their computer. Now, these are not necessarily passwords to things like your email account if you have GMail or Yahoo Mail or something, and it’s not your Facebook password – just the password to unlock your computer either when you first turn it on, or if you’re coming back to it and it has been on a screen saver for a while. Some people don’t even have passwords set up – but let’s say you’re at a coffee shop – it might be heavily crowded enough that you can go order another drink without someone stealing it, but they may sit down and tinker. If you want to prevent them from doing so, here’s the easiest way to set or reset your password in Windows 7:

  1. On your keyboard, press Control+Alt+Delete
  2. On the next screen, select Change a password
  3. On the final screen, enter your current password (you may not have one at all, in which case just leave the top space blank), then enter your new password twice and press enter or click the blue arrow to the right of the last password field.

This part calls for a special note: if your computer is a member of a corporate network, you probably want to do this while you are IN the office, otherwise it can cause a few things like Exchange & Outlook based email and other services to get a little crazy. Also, those corporate networks usually have pretty strict security policies, about passwords being changed every so often and being a certain complexity (8 or more characters, no more than 2 sequential characters, upper case letter, lower case letter, number, and symbol, can’t match any of your 20 previous passwords, etc…) – so it may take you a little while to put in a password that the darn thing will accept, but keep plugging away at it. If this is your personal computer, however, and you just use it at home and take it with you on the road, you shouldn’t need to worry about much. Enjoy the peace of mind a fresh new password provides!

UPDATE: If you don’t have your old password and need to “hack” or “crack” you password, you can use the tool NTPassword to do that.

2002 – Lucky 7 – Lucky7


In the late 90’s and early part of this century, there was a website that combined an emerging technology, with emerging musicians. This website was the original MP3.com. This website introduced me to an electronica band called Trance][Control who I haven’t been able to find since those glorious days. There was another band, Lucky 7, who put out a second album, after the MP3.com era had come and gone. But Lucky 7 was destined not to be, and the California pop-punk band never took off to the mainstream. But I loved them at the time. I bought both of their albums: their debut, Miss Fortune, and their self titled second album. When the self titled album arrived, I remember the package had been pracically crushed in shipping. But the disc was still good. Miss Fortune, to this day, is one of my favorites. Shortly after I ordered, the band’s website (feelingluckypunk.com) went offline, and I assume the band members all went on to get office jobs.


Lucky 7 has more energy than any CD should be able to contain – and some of their songs have a sugary sweet romantic side that the girls in my high school just loved. It’s been a decade, and the songs might not hold up as well, but when you listen to the samples on Amazon you have to admit that California Girl is catchy, Come Monday is introspective, and Face the World showcases their talent.

It’s funny to listen to the sample for Be The One, because that is one of the MP3.com free downloads I specifically remember. Why I remember this 10 years later is unknown to me, but in the original release of the song, the lead singer recalled “eating at Denny’s after 3, and watching Real World on MTV.” In the album version of the song, and as you can hear in the sample, he merely says “on TV.” It’s those slight differences that stick in my mind from my younger days and make me wonder what this band, which MP3.com highlighted their “unique drumming,” is up to these days. But sometimes it’s better to not know, just sit back, and listen to the music.

How to change your Xbox Live Gamertag

I’ve been using the name NuAngel on the internet since long before Xbox Live existed, over 13 years now. But like many of us online geeks, I had to ‘settle in’ to a name a liked, while going by several other monikers first. Well, the good news for you is that Xbox Live allows you to change your gamertag. The bad news is, it costs $10 (here in the U.S., anyway). So you have a decision to make. You could just abandon your Windows Live ID and your Gamertag – along with any Gamerscore and/or Microsoft points you already have in your account. Or you can pay the 800 Microsoft Points and change your Gamertag. In some cases, Microsoft will let you change your Gamertag one time for free.

Once you’ve decided to change your gamertag, here is what you need to do.

First: Make up a new gamertag. I see search engines drag my site all the time on people trying to find cool or unique gamertags. You’re not going to find them online. You need to find what works for you. Think of something else in your life, think of your personality, think of your favorite book, childhood toy, musician, or movie – any other hobbies you have! Make it perosnal, and make it yours. For a little bit of inspiration, you can use the Gamertag generator on the Xbox 360 dashboard, or see below where the Gamertag registration process will offer you alternatives to already taken Gamertags.

  1. Visit http://live.xbox.com/en-US/MyXbox/GamerProfile
  2. Once logged in, click Change Gamertag next to your name
  3. Enter your desired new Gamertag (yes, it can have spaces, no it cannot start with a number), click Check Availability
  4. IF THE GAMERTAG IS TAKEN, you will see an orange bar pop up telling you so, and it will offer alternative suggestions at the bottom of the page
  5. Once you have a gamertag that isn’t taken, you will see a green CLAIM IT button, click that.
  6. Your Gamertag is now… – click DONE and… you’re done!

As expected, Microsoft has some very good step-by-step instructions for changing your gamertag using your Xbox 360 Console itself.

Wing Commander IV now available on GoG!

I’m downloading my latest GoG.com purchase as I write this. I realize I missed yesterday’s gaming post (with good reason), so I figured I would make for it by letting you know that one of the best games of all time is now available for a less-than-a-pizza $5.99.

What makes it even better? It’s big. It’s not just the version that originally had so much video content it had to span four CD-ROMs, it’s the version with DVD quality video, that had to span two DVDs. This was the first time, without a doubt, that you were literally playing a movie – you couldn’t blame pixelated video for your ability to suspend disbelief. Wing Commander IV is beautiful, and I would’ve paid any price for it from GoG – finding all of this hotness packaged into a six dollar download? Just makes it that much sweeter. So head on over to GOG and go blast some Border Worlders.