Saturday, August 30, 2008 - Write emails, text messages and post to your blog via phone

After two and half years has finally come out of beta. This unique service allows you to write emails, set reminders and calendar appointments, post to twitter or your blog, all without hitting a single key on your keyboard. Just call Jott, tell them where you want the message to go and then say your message. Your voice will be recorded, transcribed and the message sent as email or set as an appointment in Google calendar or posted to your blog, just as you wish. Sounds interesting.


Jott is available in three plans - Jott Pro ($12.95/month), Jott ($3.95/month) and Jott Basic which is free. The details of the plans can be viewed here. As you can see, the free version is limited, which is expected. The recording time is only 15 sec (for Basic) and 30 sec (for Pro) which is actually too small to create long messages. If you are thinking about updating your blog through Jott, you will need to buy additional recording time.


The Voice-to-Text Notes is unlimited so you can create as many reminders as you want. These notes can be viewed at The premium plans allow these reminders and notes to be sent to your email. The email and text messages option is also unavailable in Jott Basic. Jott links that enable you to post to your blog and create Google calendar entries, among numerous other services, are available to all plans. But some premium Jott links are available only at a price.

There are a couple of Jott applications that you can use with your Blackberry and iPhone to view and manage your reminders. The Jott for Outlook integrates your Jott reminders with Outlook Express and the Jott for iGoogle adds the Jott gadget to your Google homepage.

Friday, August 29, 2008

View more in one page with Repagination

Often the contents of a website is spawned over several pages. Search engine results are arranged into groups of ten; long articles are broken down into several pages. While website pagination is intended to keep the sizes of the pages within acceptable limit, sometimes it gets irritating to keep clicking on the Next button to read an article even though the entire content could easily have been accommodated in one page (most websites use this silly trick to increase page view counts).

An incredible Firefox addon called Repagination allows you combine or concatenate several pages into one single page. Just right-click on "next" or on a numbered list and you will see Re-Pagination. Then choose an action from the sub menu - all or a limited number of pages and it will automatically append the next pages into one long page. This is good for reading forums, articles, search results .. anything.

repagination repagination2

This extension hasn't been updated since 2006. Thankfully, Andrei has hacked it so that it works in Firefox 3. Get it from here. Another addon based on Repagination is antipagination. It works the same but requires you to register on Mozilla since it is an experimental addon.

Get Windows Vista Ultimate's Shadow Copy function in Vista Home

The Shadow Copy feature of Windows Vista is something like the system restore, but on a larger scale. From time to time Windows Vista creates point-in-time copies of files as you work, so you can easily retrieve versions of a document you may have accidentally deleted. Even though Shadow copy is automatically turned on in all versions of Windows Vista, this feature is accessible only in Windows Vista Ultimate, Business, and Enterprise editions. Since the Shadow copy service is already included in all Vista editions, all it takes is a tool like ShadowExplorer to access the shadow storage and restore files from it.


Image courtesy: Backup HowTo

Shadow Explorer is easy to use. Just launch the explorer like program, select a drive and browse through the shadow copies of files created. You can also select the dates on which the backups were created to find your files quickly. Once you get the file you want to restore, right-click on it and use the 'Export' button. Ha! and Microsoft thought they could restrict it to only Vista Ultimate.

[via Shell Extension City]

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Extract music, movies and textures from games with Dragon UnPACKer

Often game files include game music, sounds, cut scene videos, images etc in a format incomprehensible to Windows. Sometimes they are embedded inside huge pack files. Dragon UnPACKer is an open source tool that can help you unpack such game files in an explorer-like interface and then extract the content at will.


More than 80 games are directly supported, meaning, Dragon UnPACKer knows the file format used by these games and you can open these game files natively. If a game is not supported, a tool named HyperRipper, included in the software, will search for known patterns in unknown file formats. If it is successful in deciphering the contents, you can extract texture, sounds, music and more from the game.


To extract any content from a game, you should know or at least have an idea of where that content like music and video could be. This means that you can't simply point the game's EXE file to Dragon UnPACKer and expect it to automagically reveal all contents within the game. Dragon UnPACKer is only an unpacker, that can look into 'pack files' used by games. So you have to identify those pack files or game files within the game folder. That isn't so hard as it may sound. Games usually place these files inside folders named "main" or "scenes" or even easy to recognize folders like "sounds", "movies" and "texture". Inside these folders however, you will find files that Windows can't recognize. Dragon UnPACKer will help you here. Use this software to open these files. Once Dragon UnPACKer successfully opens the file, extract the files you require.

Dragon UnPACKer isn't perfect but still it is an incredible tool for gamers.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Free full version of PC Tools Desktop Maestro 2

With the release of a new version of Desktop Maestro earlier this month, PC tools as always, have given Vnunet the exclusive rights to distribute Desktop Maestro 2 free of charge. The product is valued at $40 but you can obtain it from Vnunet for free. But what is Desktop Maestro?

From the publisher's description:

Desktop Maestro is an all-in-one application that integrates registry cleaning, system monitoring and privacy cleaning. It combines the features of PC Tool's other products, Registry Mechanic and Privacy Guardian to ensure that you have the range of tools at your fingertips to ensure optimal system performance, stability and user privacy.


Desktop Maestro has three main modules - Registry Cleaner, Privacy Protection and System Optimization.

The Registry Cleaner will scan your entire registry for any invalid entries and list the registry errors found so you can choose to selectively clean each item or automatically repair all errors. The list is further sorted by priority, so it's easy to find what you need.

The Privacy Guardian erases all records of your online activity that are stored in temporary files, cookies, system registry and the index.dat file.It securely erase sensitive files from Windows, Microsoft Office, Netscape, Windows Media Player and Internet Explorer.

Desktop Maestro also provides optimization and performance features that allow you to actively monitor system usage, processes, CPU, memory and disk space.

How to get your free download

Visit this page and click on Download. Install the software and then from within it click the ‘Register’ button and then ‘Get Free License’.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Add extra columns to Windows Explorer with Aurionix FileUsage

Aurionix FileUsage is a plugin for Windows Explorer that adds a bunch of extra columns to Explorer's Detail View. The most useful ones include total size of a folder, total number of files in a folder and the percentage of disk space used by a particular folder. This plugin will give you the much needed information about folders which Windows Explorer fails to give.


aurionix2Aurionix FileUsage is particularly useful for folders containing media files, because it has a whole bunch of columns to display all sorts of information related to media files. Some of these columns are - Artist, Album Title, Year, Bit rate, Duration, Genre, Sample size, Channels and a lot more.

Aurionix FileUsage is also useful for folders containing images taken by your digital camera for there is a column to display the date the picture was taken on. If you have more than one digital camera, then you can also turn on a column to display the camera model. The dimension of the images can also be displayed through yet another column.

Additionally, you can choose to display all those information that is viewable through file properties like the date the file was created, modified and accessed, file attributes and file versions. The total number of columns available are 41.

Aurionix FileUsage works with Microsoft Windows 2000, XP or 2003 and requires .NET framework 2 to function.

Also read: Top 10 freeware plugins for Windows Explorer

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Display Google results in multiple columns

If you have a wide screen monitor, you can make use of the wasted spaces by displaying Google's search results in two or more columns instead of one by using a Greasmonkey script called GoogleMonkeyR. This script breaks down the search results to create a second or third (or even fourth) column on the search page. This requires lesser amount of scrolling to read the page while making the most out of your screen's real estate.


GoogleMonkeyR also has a number of enhancement which are all configurable via a 'GoogleMonkeyR' link that appears at the top-right of the search page (just next to sign-in). Click on the link and you will find a number of different features.

  • Adjust number of columns from 1 to 4
  • Remove 'Sponsored links' from the search page
  • Number the results
  • Select the background color for the search results
  • Make Google links open in a new tab
  • Disable Google tracking of your search results

There is another option of auto-loading the next page whenever you scroll to the bottom of the page, but it's not working for me.


If you are located outside the U.S and Firefox automatically redirects you to the local search, for example I get redirected to, then you need to install version beta (given on the same page), otherwise this script won't work. The auto-load feature could be broken for the same reason and might actually be working fine with But I have no way of finding that out.

If you are only interested in displaying two columns and don't intend to use the rest of the features in GoogleMonkeyR, then you can use another Greasemonkey script called Two column Google. This script wraps the lower half of every Google search result page onto a second column on the right-hand side of the screen. No configuration is required; just install and use. However, there is a small difference between the two scripts. The order of displaying the results in GoogleMonkeyR is horizontal whereas in Two column Google it's vertical, just like a newspaper layout.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Keep track of your printer's usage with PaperCut Print Logger

Do you know how many pages were printed by your last cartridge before ink ran out? Is somebody using your printer while you were away? It's odd that no printer manufacturer provides software with their printers that can keep track of the printer's usage. Such printer monitoring tool is essential, particularly in an office environment, where office resources are often misused. If you are wondering why the printer cartridge ran out of ink prematurely, you need to get a print logger. In any case, printers often lie about ink levels. So you should have your own tools for keeping track of the number of pages printed by the printer.

PaperCut Print Logger is a free print logging application for Windows that provides real-time activity logs detailing the usage of all printers, local and networked. Information that are tracked includes:

  • The time of print
  • The name of the user who printed
  • The total number of pages printed and copies made
  • Document names and titles
  • Other job attributes such as paper size, width/height, color mode etc


If your server is setup up to host print queues and workstations print to these shared queues, then Print Logger installed on the server will monitor all printing jobs. However, computers with individually attached printers will require Print Logger to be installed locally to monitor those printers. There is an option to ignore particular printers from monitoring, say a virtual PDF printer, which can be done by editing the configuration files.

The application runs as a service, secretly in the background, recording each use of the printer like a keylogger. The log files containing the printer's usage history can be viewed as HTML or imported as Excel sheets.

PaperCut Print Logger is essential for anybody who shares their printer on a network or for any printer which is accessible to other users.

Friday, August 22, 2008

How to get a spell checker on Opera

Unless you are a walking dictionary or an extremely deft typist, you are bound to make mistakes. Thankfully, most applications that require typing also has a spell checker. Word processors had auto correct since ages. Even Firefox detects typing errors and highlights them with a red wriggly line. Opera doesn't have any spell checker. However, it does support a third party spell checking tool and integrates it within Opera, just like a plug-in. This tool is Aspell, a GNU software. Download Aspell and also  download one or more dictionaries from the same page. Currently, there are dictionaries for 22 different languages. Install both Aspell and the dictionary(s) and restart Opera. On startup Opera will automatically recognize the installed Aspell and the dictionaries.

aspell  aspell2

Now whenever you get a text box on any page, right click on it and you should see a new item on the menu called "Check spelling". This item will be grayed out unless you type something into the box. After you have completed typing, click on "Check spelling" to launch Aspell. The spell checker won't auto detect the errors though, and won't correct it unless you manually spell-check it. So you aren't going to see any red lines under mistyped words. Still, something is better than nothing.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

How to automate downloading from Rapidshare

The most annoying thing about Rapidshare is that downloads doesn't begin immediately. Users are first required to click on FREE and then wait till the counter gets to zero, which can take up to a minute, and then click on Download. Only then does the file download commence. If you move away to other sites during the wait period and then forget about it, after some time the session expires and you have to start all over again.

rslogo But using userscripts in Firefox you can automate this entire process. Two Greasemoneky scripts that does it are Rapidshare Flukke's autodownloader and Rapidshare Robot. If you don't already have Greasemonkey, then download it and install any of the two scripts.

Now when you open a Rapidshare link in a tab, the script will automatically click on the FREE button, wait for the counter to finish counting and then automatically click on the download button and start downloading. No user intervention is required. These scripts make downloading from Rapidshare just like any other file download.

How to run Windows applications as services

What are the advantages of running regular Windows applications as services? Plenty, particularly if your computer is shared by multiple users each having their own accounts. Turning applications into services will enable you to force these applications to run no matter who is logged-in into the computer. You will notice that critical Windows applications are always run as services; third party anti virus applications, firewalls, anti spywares etc are run as services too. Running applications as services has several benefits

  • Services always start even before a user logs on to Windows, unlike startup programs that launch only after a user session has begun. By the time a user logins and gets to access the desktop, the services are already running. This is ideal for user monitoring applications like parental control software, keyloggers etc.
  • Services can be executed with specified user rights and priority
  • Services automatically launch themselves after a Windows crash or reboot

In order to turn applications into services we will require two tools - Instsrv.exe, a service installer and Srvany.exe, which allows any Windows application to run as a service. Both these tools are a part of the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit which contains plenty of other useful tools. If you don't want to download the whole pack, then you can download only the two required tools from here.

1. Copy both Instsrv.exe and Srvany.exe to C:\Windows\System32 folder.

2. Open command prompt (Start>Run>CMD) and issue the following command

C:\Windows\System32\Instsrv.exe Service Name C:\Windows\System32\Srvany.exe


This will create a service "Service Name" in the Services manager and set up  the necessary registry keys. Give a proper service name so that you can recognize the application.

3. Now open the Registry editor by typing regedit in the Run box. Navigate to this registry key.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\service name

From the Edit menu click New>Key and name it Parameters. Again from the Edit menu click New>String Value and name it Application. Right click on Application and click Modify. In the "Value data" field give the full path of the application you want to run as a service. After you are done, it should look like this


4. Close the registry editor and open Service Manager by typing services.msc in the Run box. There you will find your newly created service. You can now adjust the behavior of the service by clicking on Properties.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

25 (most) beautiful Firefox Themes

Enjoy this collection of some of the best looking themes for Firefox.

1. Camifox


2. Kempelton


3. Phoenity Reborn


4. Strata Aero

strata aero 

5. ACE Safari Foxdie  : Comes in 6 different versions




6. Abaca classic


7. Abstract Zune


8. Abstract Classic

abstract classic 

9. Just Black (A Cylence theme for Firefox 3)


10. Cavendish


11. iPox


12. Miint


13. Noia 2.0 (eXtreme)


14. Vista-aero: The best IE7 theme for Firefox


15. Office 2007 Black: The Office 2007 look


16. Firefox 2 theme for Firefox 3: Get back that old look




18. Mario Bros: Not exactly beautiful but cute. You will like it if you are a fan of the game


19. Aero Silver Fox


20. MidnightFox


21. Eternal


22. Urethane Light


23. Bister


24. Longhorn Duo


25. Dreamland


nHancer - Advanced Control Panel for nVidia cards

nhancer is a tweaking program for nVidia display cards that enhances the quality and performance of games by providing the user with a wide range of controls to fine tune every aspect of the card's rendering engine. nHancer co-exist with the default nVidia control panel and improves the features provided by it with an easy to use and intuitive layout, giving you access to a whole range of settings without getting lost.


Each setting on the control panel is accompanied by extensive explanations which are directly shown in nHancer, enabling newcomers to immediately understand the effects of those settings. Experts, on the other hand, can use the advanced options to adjust every detail to their preferences.

One of the most prominent features of nVidia graphic cards is the support for automatic profiles. By using those profiles it's possible to optimize the rendering for every game or application without the need to manually adjust all the settings each time before starting it. nHancer greatly improves the management of those profiles. Besides, nHancer offers additional Anti Aliasing and Anisotropic Filtering modes, that are not available through nVidia's control panel.

nHancer supports Forceware/GeForce drivers version 60 and later, including the new 177+ versions. It support all GeForce cards, including the new GeForce GTX 2x0 lines. It also supports single card, SLI, Quad-SLI and DirectX 10 SLI systems.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Locate32 - The fast free alternative to Windows Search

Locate32 is a search tool for Windows that can perform searches at the blink of an eye. This is possible because unlike Windows' default search application, Locate32 does not search the hard drive in real time. Instead, it first scans your hard drive and builds a databases to store information about the files on your hard drives and the directory structures, and then uses these databases to perform searches. Actually, this technique of indexing and using the index to search is used by all desktop search applications like Google Desktop Search and Copernicus Search, with one exception. Other search applications run continually in the background to index files. Locate32 on the other hand, has a scheduler to update the database and runs only at specific time. The updating is fast and takes just a couple of minutes for indexing a few tens of gigabytes of stuff.


Locate32 is ten times better than the Windows search. If you use the search features, which I guess you do, I don't see any reason why you should use the default Windows tool.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Earth Alerts - Not just another weather program

Personally, I don't see what is so great about weather programs and why people use it, unless you are a meteorologist or something. Sure, I like to know what's the temperature or humidity outside but I don't understand why it should sit on my desktop or sidebar at all times. So when I heard about Earth Alerts, I was a little skeptical. But as it turned out, Earth Alerts isn't just a simple weather program telling you how hot the day is. It's much more.

Earth Alerts provides you with reports and satellite imagery on various types of natural phenomenon that are occurring real-time around the world, and that includes earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, hurricanes, typhoons, tornadoes, thunderstorms, floods, wildfires, landslides and so on. Earth Alerts retrieves these information from different organizations such as the National Weather Service, U.S. Geological Survey and numerous other agencies. The program also integrates with Google Earth to provide high resolution close-up views of any location you have selected in Earth Alerts, as well as satellite views of specific earthquake events and volcanoes

earth-alerts earth-alerts2

To use Earth Alerts, you simply select the specific natural phenomenon (Earthquakes, Tsunamis, Volcanoes, Tropical Cyclones, Local Weather, etc.) and locations you are interested in. The application will then automatically retrieve the latest information from various live data feeds on the Internet, and then present it to you. Alerts and notifications can be configured to be sent to your email. Alerts for severe and major weather conditions like tsunami, earthquake of magnitude 5.0+, tornado warnings etc can be also sent to your cell phones.

Earth Alerts is for those who want to keep themselves updated of all natural phenomenon occurring on earth and not just the weather.

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