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.

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.

dragonunpacker

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.

hyperripper

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.

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.

aurionix

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

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

printerlogger

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.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

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

services-cmd

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

services-regedit

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.

services

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

25 (most) beautiful Firefox Themes

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

1. Camifox

camifox

2. Kempelton

Kempelton  

3. Phoenity Reborn

Phoenity 

4. Strata Aero

strata aero 

5. ACE Safari Foxdie  : Comes in 6 different versions

ACE1

ace2

ace3

6. Abaca classic

ABACA 

7. Abstract Zune

abstract-zune 

8. Abstract Classic

abstract classic 

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

Just-black

10. Cavendish

cavendish 

11. iPox

iPox

12. Miint

Miint

13. Noia 2.0 (eXtreme)

Noia

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

vista-aero 

15. Office 2007 Black: The Office 2007 look

Office2007-black

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

FF2

17. GNOME

Gnome 

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

mario

19. Aero Silver Fox

aero-silver-fox 

20. MidnightFox

midnight1 

21. Eternal

Eternal_Skin

22. Urethane Light

Urethane_Light_for_Firefox_2_by_Miamoto

23. Bister

Bister_Firefox_by_sky1983628 

24. Longhorn Duo

Firefox_Duo_by_paradox31102 

25. Dreamland

Dreamland_firefox_by_juneyong

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.

nhancer

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

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.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Enable/Disable Windows hibernation on demand

Hibernation is a wonderful feature. Not only does it allow you to power-off your computer with all programs running and unsaved, it actually speeds up the process of switching ON and OFF your computer. However, one downside of hibernation is that Windows creates a hibernation file (HIBERFIL.SYS) on your C drive which is exactly equal to the size of the physical memory or RAM on your system. If you have 2GB of RAM, the hibernation file on your hard disk will be of 2GB. This 2GB is huge if you are low on disk space. The other downside of hibernation is that this HIBERFIL.SYS file is stuck on the C drive and there is no way of moving it to another partition or hard drive.

So the space occupied by that HIBERFIL.SYS is space wasted, a sort of, since you only require it at the time of hibernation.

To deal with this problem we will create a batch file, two actually, that will enable Windows hibernation only when you need to hibernate and then disable the hibernation file once you resume from hibernation.

Open Notepad and copy paste the following lines into it and save it with an extension CMD, like hibernate.CMD

powercfg /hibernate on
rundll32.exe PowrProf.dll, SetSuspendState

The first command will enable Windows hibernation. The second command will hibernate your computer. This CMD file will be your shortcut to hibernate your computer.

Now, we need to disable hibernation after the computer resumes from hibernation. Open Notepad again, copy paste the following line and save it with the CMD extension too, but with a different name, say disable_hibernation.CMD.

powercfg /hibernate off

This command will disable Windows hibernation. In order to run this file automatically after the computer resumes from hibernation, we will use a small tool called Hibernate Trigger. This program allows you to automatically launch application after the computer resumes from standby or hibernation. Now you just have to configure this program to run the second CMD file you created on resume.

hibernate-trigger

Every time you want to hibernate, use the first CMD file you created to enable hibernation and then hibernate the computer. When you resume from hibernate, Hibernate Trigger will run the "powercfg /hibernate off" file and disable hibernation. Thanks Jim for the tip.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

HitMeLater: A Snooze Button For Your Email

Adbrite's co-founder Philip J. Kaplan has started a new service specially for procrastinators. Called HitMeLater, this brand new service, the only one of it's kind, allows you to delay your emails by up to forty-one days. It works this way: whenever you get an email that you don't feel reading at the moment, forward it to 24@hitmelater.com and it will send it back to you 24 hours later, putting it on the top of your inbox. Of course, you can just flag your mails and read them later but then you have to search for it and if you get dozens to hundreds of mails per day, it can easily get lost.

hitmelater

You can delay your mails by any number of hours up to a maximum of 1000 hours, which is a little more than forty-one days. For example, forwarding your mails to 12@hitmelater.com will send you mails back 12 hours later. Alternatively, you can put in a day like Wednesday@hitmelater and it sends  back the mail the next Wednesday. If you send it something it doesn’t understand, HitMeLater sends back a polite email message saying “We’re not sure what you want.”

I love such creativity.

[via TechCrunch]

Learn how to install Windows XP with a mock installation

Even though Windows XP is now nearly seven years old, many people are yet to learn how to install it. Many users, usually the non technical ones, are afraid of installing Windows because they fear that they would mess up something and Windows would fail to work, or worse, lose their data. If you are one of such kind then Windows XP Setup Simulator is the perfect tool for you to start learning.

Windows XP Setup Simulator creates a mock up of the installation procedure so that you can practice on it before going into the real thing. It simulates the procedure right from the booting of the computer (your computer isn't really booted) to the end of installation. Every step of the installation process is convincingly recreated. You can interact with the setup process just like the real one - create partition, select partition, format it, set usernames and passwords, set date and time and so on. All these steps are fake, of course, and causes no change to the system. The whole process completes in about 5 minutes or less.

xp-simulator1 xp-simulator2

xp-simulator3 xp-simulator4

The mock screens look fairly similar to the real ones, though an experienced user will spot the difference instantly. Some of the changes were done on purpose, in my opinion, lest Microsoft charge them of copyright infringement. For example, the boot screen shows the scrolling bar moving from right to left. On the actual boot screen it moves from left to right. This is certainly deliberate. Then during the period when the setup is in progress the remaining time, in the mock screen, shows 10 minutes and later jumps to 90 minutes. In the actually setup, you will recall that it begins with 39 minutes. However, the following goof up is certainly unintentional.

xp-simulator-error

Microsoft would be damned if they can't spell

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Shepard Scale: An Amazing Auditory Illusion

A Shepard tone, named after Roger Shepard, is a sound consisting of a superposition of sine waves separated by octaves. When played with the base pitch of the tone moving upwards or downwards, it is referred to as the Shepard scale. This creates the auditory illusion of a tone that continually ascends or descends in pitch, yet which ultimately seems to get no higher or lower. To experience the illusion, play the clip and then play it again and again. After you have heard it a couple of times, you are surely going to question your sanity.

[via Geeks Are Sexy]

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Preview contents of archive files before downloading on Firefox

Every now and then I come across a Firefox extension that makes me say Wow! This is one such extension. The addon ArchView makes it possible to preview the contents of a zipped file without downloading it, online, right inside the browser! That's not all. You can even selectively download the contents within the archive file without having to download the whole thing. It even works with archive files uploaded to Rapidshare. Imagine how useful can that be.

ArchView

Viewing the contents of a zip file without downloading it

ArchView currently supports RAR, ZIP formats and ISO CD image; HTTP, FTP and file protocols.

Limitations
- Can't open SFX file.
- Not support multi-volume archive.
- Not support RAR decoding, need third-party software.
- Can't open encrypted file in ZIP.
- Can't show RAR comment.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Grouped, Multi-row tabs on Firefox with Tab Kit

Tab Kit is a powerful tab manager for Firefox that packs a wide variety of tweaks and features for managing tabs. With Tab Kit you can move the tab bar from the top to the left, right or bottom of the browser. When moved to the sidebar, the tabs take the form of a tree which is resizeable with a splitter. Tabs can also be arranged in to multiple rows and grouped by domain or by opener; the groups identified by different colors. When you group them by opener all tabs that originated from a particular website are grouped together. These groups can be further collapsed to just a single tab which can save a lot of space.

tabkit1 tabkit2

Tab Kit also has a sorting feature which can be used to sort tabs by address, last loaded, last viewed, order of creation, origin or title. Other useful features like duplicating tabs or groups, copying, dragging between windows etc are supported. A few mouse gestures like using the scroll wheel to switch between tabs are supported too.

tabkit3

Tab Kit brings the functionality of several tab addons into one and at the same time adds a bunch of new ones.

Contact Form

Name

Email *

Message *

Popular Posts