Off the Balloons Tip:
One of the features that's new to XP is the pop-up balloons to let you know that a tour, or hotfix, or network connection (etc.) is available. If you find these simply annoying, you can add the following Registry entry to kill them off for good.
Key: Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer \Advanced
Data Type: REG_DWORD
If you later decide that you want the balloons back, you can delete the entry, or set its value to 1. As always, please use caution and frequent backups when editing the Registry.