The past few days I've been dealing with access-control lists (ACLs) quite a bit. These things aren't the simplest in the world, so the Security tab that's available in the file Properties window (right click a file or folder and select Properties), really comes in handy. It provides access to Windows' built-in ACL viewer and editor, a tool that let's you see exactly what users and what groups are granted/denied access to any file or folder on your system, as well as a lot of other good stuff.
However, if you're using Windows XP Home Edition, this tab doesn't exist in the file Properties window unless you boot into Safe Mode. Anyone who's been in Safe Mode -- i.e, "bare-bones mode" -- knows that while it can be useful, it's definitely not a good environment to do your daily activities in, and who wants to reboot their system every time they want to look at or edit the ACL of a file or folder?
So after booting in and out of Safe Mode a few times, I finally Googled and found that you can "unhide" the Security tab in the file/directory Properties window by downloading and installing Microsoft's free Security Configuration Tool.
After you download, just extract the contents to the location of your choice, right click setup.inf and click Install, and once everything is complete, you should be good to go.
If you're like me, likely you've accidentally enabled FilterKeys in Windows at least once in your lifetime. To enable FilterKeys, you have to hold in the right Shift key for at least 8 seconds -- I usually do this when I'm about to start a sentence (with a capital letter, of course) and then pause to think about what I actually want to type.
After you hold the key in for about 8 seconds, a dialog pops up (and your computer speaker beeps) asking you if you'd like to keep FilterKeys enabled or not -- you're supposed to press "OK" if you want to keep it enabled, or "Cancel" if you don't want to keep it enabled.
Well, every single time this dialog pops up, I click "Cancel" to disable FilterKeys, and something funky happens. If I type without holding down the Shift key, all letters show up in uppercase; if I type with the Shift key held down, all letters are made lowercase instead of uppercase. Oddly enough, FilterKeys apparently has nothing to do with the Shift key in any way; according to the description in Control Panel -> Accessibility Options, FilterKeys is to be enabled "if you want Windows to ignore brief or repeated keystrokes, or slow the repeat rate".
Usually I need to reboot in order to fix this -- disabling it in the Control Panel does nothing for me -- but I just discovered (by reading the StickyKeys description, actually) that if you press in both Shift keys at once, things go back to normal again.
Definitely weird. I just disabled the shortcut under Control Panel -> Accessibility Options -> FilterKeys -> Settings, so hopefully it won't be happening again anytime soon.