Sunday, March 30, 2008

How to turn off Google's lights forever

Yesterday Google "turned off" the lights on Google's homepage across various domains as a gesture to raise awareness of a worldwide energy conservation effort called Earth Hour. The Earth Hour event first took place on March 31, 2007 in Sydney, when over 2.2 million Sydney residents and over 2,100 businesses switched off their lights leading to a 10.2% energy reduction across the city. The Earth Hour 2008 took place yesterday (March 29) and was reportedly participated by 24 cities across the globe by switching off their lights at 8:00PM local time for one hour. Google took part in their own way by turning their homepage black.

Last year a blogger estimated that a black Google could save 750 Megawatt-hours of energy a year. Unfortunately, Google's blackout lasted for only a day. Those who wish to permanently switch off Google's lights for ever, there is a way to do it.

Firefox has the ability to change the appearance of websites by using what is known as userstyles, which are CSS files that can override the default CSS file of a particular website. You can switch off Google's light by using a usestyle.

To use a userstyle first download the Stylish extension for Firefox that'll let you manage styles. Now go to Google Web Search - dark gray redesign (vC) and click on the "Show Code" button just below the screenshot. Copy the code to the clipboard. Now click on the Stylish icon   in the status bar (lower right) and click Manage Styles. Click on Write, give a description and paste the copied code into the box below. Click Save.

stylish manager

Now visit Bingo! you just broke Google's light bulb! If you feel you had enough of the darkness and want to revert back to the original look, just launch Stylish Manager and disable the userstyle.

google black

google black

Saturday, March 29, 2008

How to setup your own web server at home

Why would you want to set up a server at your home when there are so many free web hosting services available? Simple, because it's fun! Besides, there is no better way to learn than to set up your own server. Setting up a web server is very easy, thanks to software packages like EasyPhp, Abyss Webserver, XAMPP etc. You don't need to have any knowledge about Apache, PHP or ASP to use them. Each software allows it be configured according to your needs but you can safely leave it to its default settings. I choose Abyss Webserver because it has a very user friendly GUI and is very easy to configure.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Regulate your browsing bandwidth on Firefox and Internet Explorer

Why is it necessary to monitor your internet connection bandwidth? Because you might be on a limited bandwidth plan and if you don't keep track of your downloads you might cross the allotted bandwidth and then you will have to pay a fat bill. Also you might have some download in progress through another application like BitTorrent or a download manager and also browsing at the same time. So it might be necessary to throttle your browsing bandwidth so that the download speeds are not affected. You might also need to throttle the bandwidth if you are sharing the internet connection with another computer or computers.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Create photorealistic landscapes with Terragen

Terragen is one of those unfortunate tools that get very little exposure in spite of the results it can achieve. Wikipedia describes it as being popular among "amateur artists" which is so inaccurate. Terragen is a 3D landscape generator and if used with skill can create some truly breathtaking scenes. The truth is: you need little skill to work with this program. Take for instance the following scene, which I created in 3 minutes flat. I know it isn't that great, but considering that I used most of the default settings, it isn't any bad either. Wait till you see some professional work.

Creative Docs.NET - The freeware alternative to Adobe Illustrator

Creative Docs .NET is a multifaceted application similar to Adobe Illustrator. It is a vector-based graphic design tool with support for rich text, ideal to quickly write short documents, manuals, posters, illustrations, schemas, plans, flow charts, and much more. Creative Docs. NET runs on top of the Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 so you will require it in order to run this application.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Read your Gmail mails in a feed reader

Gmail never ceases to surprise me. Another cool feature found in only Gmail is the ability to subscribe to your Gmail inbox in a feed reader. Just like you read your favorite websites in a feed reader, it's possible to read your mails in a feed reader too. The feed URL of the Gmail inbox is which shows the most recent items from your inbox. Gmail also supports feeds for individual labels

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Download Full Version of Ashampoo Photo Commander 5 for Free

Ashampoo Photo Commander 5 makes managing and organizing even the largest collections of digital photos easy. Its powerful integrated photo editing tools make it a one-stop solution. Instead of switching to a graphics application you can do all your adjustments and enhancements directly in the organizer. Remove the red-eye effect, adjust colors, contrast, hue and many other parameters, resize, crop, rotate, add a wide range of special effects and more. All without leaving the program.

Friday, March 21, 2008

11 places to get University courses for free

Not everybody can go to the MIT or the Oxford or the Yale university, but you can get courses from these universities for free. Such courses are popularly know as Open Courses and are perfect for people with jobs, children, disabilities, or commitments that make attending regular classes an impossibility. So here is a list of 11 places where you can get access to thousands of courses and lecture notes from some of the top universities of the world you wish you were able to study at.

Get notified of new emails using ePrompter

Email notification tools are small applications that run on your desktop, usually runs background, and alerts you whenever you receive a new email. Email notification tools are extremely handy for it doesn't matter which email client you are using or whether you are using any at all. Email notification tools run independent of your email client. And if you don't use any email client then you will find it even more useful.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Snippy - A unique screen capture tool

Often we take screenshots in order to show a particular area on the screen. For bloggers like me who blog about computers and softwares, taking screenshots become second nature. In order to highlight the area where we want to draw the readers attention, we crop the image or add arrows, circles etc in an image editing tool. All these hassles can be avoided by using Snippy.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Transform your USB drive into a portable PC with MojoPac

MojoPac is a free software virtualization product that transforms your iPod, USB Hard Drive, Flash drive, USB-enabled cell phones and USB-enabled digital cameras, into a portable computing environment. Just install MojoPac on any USB 2.0 compliant storage device, upload your applications and files, modify your user settings and environment preferences, and take it with you everywhere.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Add power boosters to Opera with Opera Handy Menu

There is only one word to describe Opera Handy Menu - "Awesome". Opera Handy Menu adds a plethora of features to Opera which already has quite a handful of it. Once you install it you will find Opera's menus overflowing with options, settings and features. Let's take a look at some of the best features you get with Opera Handy Menu.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Vista Visual Master - The Windows Vista customization pack

Vista Visual Master is a free application that will help you to customize your Windows Vista easily. With a clean and simple interface it brings you an All-in-One set of powerful and neatly classified tools, settings and tweaks. Now You can change the look of the windows and buttons, change the system icons and hundreds of file icons, reconfigure the boot and logon screen, patch and apply your new themes, and you can customize Windows Vista according to your wishes.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

360desktop - The 360-degree panoramic desktop

360desktop is new concept that aims to revolutionize the computer desktop as we know it. The desktop provides a very limited space to work upon, despite the fact that today's computers are designed for extensive multitasking. The concept of multiple desktop is there but it is not very useful since we have to completely switch from one desktop to the other. 360desktop is different. It brings an entirely new concept which they call the Desktop 2.0.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

How to schedule emails to be sent later automatically

LetterMeLater provides an exciting service. It allows you to schedule your emails to be sent out at a date and time in the future. This is that kind of feature no email service provider gives you, and you don't even feel the need for it until you start using it. Then all of a sudden it becomes indispensable and you wonder why it is missing from your email service. Indeed, scheduling email for future delivery is extremely useful.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Download Ashampoo Burning Studio 6.6 for Free

Ashampoo Burning Studio 6 is a complete CD/DVD burning suite worth £20 that is now available for free download, as a special offer. The version 6 of Ashampoo Burning Studio keeps all the advantages of its predecessor and adds multi-disc file backup, an integrated audio CD ripper and further improved support for the exciting new Blu-ray format with capacities of up to 25 gigabytes per layer.

7 free movie organizers for managing your personal collection

Organizing your movie collection is much more than making a list of it. Apart from helping you to quickly browse through your personal collection, with a movie organizer you can tag movies, add notes, browse the Internet for reviews, information, links etc, and much more. A movie organizer not only helps you to organize your movie collection on hard disk but also DVDs, CDs and VHS tapes you own.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Monday, March 10, 2008

Customize Windows XP's common task folder panel with FindeXer

The common task panel in Windows XP is the panel on the left hand side of Windows explorer. It displays some common tasks like Create New Folder, Share Folder, Print Picture, and shortcuts to My Computer, My Documents etc. The common task pane is considerably helpful. It would have been more if it was customizable. Unfortunately, Windows doesn't allow it. So what we will do is replace common task with a customizable and a better panel with FindeXer.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Fun Weekend: Heaven to Ocean, an addicting game

Here is a game that will keep you hooked for hours. Heaven to Ocean is a 2D puzzle cum physics game where the user has to control the game world in order to move a drop of water from it's source, i.e. heaven to it's final destination, i.e. ocean. By tilting the "world" or the screen you have to maneuver a body of water through various levels filled with hazards and obstacles. To move the water drop requires skill, proper timing and fast reaction time.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

How to turn any application portable and run from a USB drive

Portable applications are great because they don't need to be installed, they don't mess with the registry and you can carry it along with you in a pen drive. Portable applications aren't only for using in portable devices. They can be used on a PC too and the best thing about it is, as I've mentioned, you don't need to install it. Just copy it to your hard disk and run. Several applications are already available in a portable format, but not all. So I'm going to show you how to turn any application into a portable one. Let's do it with Microsoft Office 2003.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Joe's Goals - The online habit tracker

Joe's Goals

Joe's Goals is a simple and funny, yet excellent tool to keep track of your goals and habit. The interface consist of a grid with the seven days of the week on one side and your goals on the other. The goals can be positive like exercise, read more, drink water etc. There are also negative goals that you may want to avoid like eating out, drinking etc. For every positive goal achieved you get a green checkmark, and for every negative goal you get a red checkmark. At the end of the day your points are tallied and you get a daily score. The objective is to improve your score as much as you can. You can add as many goals you want. There is also provision to share your score with others; inspire others with what you have achieved and get inspired from others achievement. By turning your daily goals into some sort of a game, Joe's Goals can actually help you to get more control on your life. A great online tool.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

KatMouse - The Mouse wheel enhancement for Windows

KatMouse is a Windows freeware utility that enhances the functionality of the scroll wheel of mice by offering 'universal' scrolling: moving the mouse wheel will scroll the window directly beneath the mouse cursor (not the one with the keyboard focus, which is default on Windows OSes). This is a major increase in the usefullness of the mouse wheel. This is particularly useful when you are typing in some online text box, say for example in a forum. Here you will get two scroll bars - one for the page you are viewing and one for the text box you are typing into. KatMouse will allow you to scroll either of the two scroll bars without having to shift focus from one to the other.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Microsoft products for students at free of cost

The Microsoft DreamSpark student program makes available, at no charge, a broad range of development and design software for download. The program is now available to 11 countries, namely United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, China, Germany, France, Finland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Belgium. Microsoft plans to add more countries to this program in the coming months.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Sunday, March 2, 2008

How to stream music from your home computer to your office

The size of the music library you can carry with you on your portable music player to work is limited by the size of it's memory. What if you have a very large collection of music and you can't decide which song to put into your player and which to leave out? The solution to this is to discard your music player and instead, stream music from your home PC to your office with full access to your complete music collection.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

24 sites to look for free video tutorials

It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words. In the same way we can say that a video is worth a thousand pictures. Indeed, we can learn a lot faster by seeing somebody doing a task then attempting to do the task by self by reading tutorials. Video tutorials are hence, quite popular these days. You can find quite a lot of these on YouTube and Google video but you could waste a lot of your time looking for them and in the end you might not even get what you were looking for. What you really need is a site dedicated to video tutorials. So here you go. I'm going to give you not one but 24 top sites to look for video tutorials.

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