Thursday, September 29, 2011

How to Make Photos of Documents Look Like Scanned Copies

If you have a digital camera you already have a basic scanner, except photographs from your camera just doesn’t look like a scanned copy. The problem with using a camera as a scanner is perspective.

Perspective is a great thing when you know how to use it to your advantage. Photographers and digital artists love to toy with perspective to produce astonishing optical illusions like tilt-shift and 3D. But when scanning documents, perspective is the ultimate spoilsport. Perspective makes photos of documents look skewed - get too close to the document, and the camera will produce a fish-eye like effect; get too far, and the photo will appear dark because the light from your camera flash cannot illuminate the scene/document enough.

How to Restore Specific Files from Windows System Restore Points

It is hardly necessary to recapitulate how useful and convenient Windows System Restore feature is. Whether an operating system file got corrupted, or a rogue software disabled some core Windows feature, or an unstable driver rendered the OS dead, System Restore can bring the computer back to life and running as before. Basically, restoring a computer to an earlier date undoes all changes made to the system. User files are spared but new program and updates installed will be lost. If your primary reason for restoring a computer is to recover only a specific program or file, there is a better way to do it.

Download Individual Components of Kingsoft Office Suite 2012

kingsoftEarly this month, Kingsoft unveiled a completely free office suite program, Kingsoft Office Suite 2012, which is fully compatible with all Microsoft Office document making it an excellent free alternative to the commercial product. According to users, Kingsoft Office Suite 2012 can handle Office documents having complex layouts with ease, and even better than its open source counterparts like LibreOffice and OpenOffice.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

How to Darken Entire Screen Except the Active Window

If you frequently deal with business clients to whom you have to show things on your laptop screen, you might feel uncomfortable showing your desktop, the running programs on the taskbar and various other things on your computer, personal or professional. Is there any way to hide the contents on the screen leaving only a small viewport to see through? Of course there is, and we shall see how that’s possible.

Monday, September 26, 2011

How to Put a Second Image on Top of Your Desktop Wallpaper

We put all sorts of things on top of our desktop wallpaper - icons, clocks, RSS Feeds, calendars and widgets. Why not another image? Overlap Wallpaper is a neat utility that lets you display an image on top of your desktop background. You can keep a photo of your beloved one, or an image of your daily schedule, a reminder, some phone numbers, anything that can be saved as a picture.

The History and Future of Laptops

"Portability" has long been an important goal in the world of computers. ENIAC, generally considered the world's first computer, weighed 27 tons and took up 1800 square feet of space. It's hard to say whether or not the developers expected or hoped that all that computing power would ever fit in the palm of one's hand, but since that time (1946, to be exact), developers' dreams of creating "personal computers" led to machines that have been getting smaller, while functionality has been skyrocketing. This is all obvious though, as it's likely that you're reading this on a laptop right now anyway. But how did we get from that massive computer to something that we can easily slip in a backpack? And what's the overall staying power of a laptop anyway? Aren't people just going to be using phones and tablets in the future? Well, first let's take a look at...

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Backup Windows and Office 2010 Activation With Advanced Tokens Manager

Everyone knows the benefit of backing up files and data, but what is the use of backing up license and activation keys of software such as Windows? The advantage of backing up your software activation is two fold. First is allows you to recover your license key in case you lose it, which is quite obvious. Second, it lets you activate your copy of Windows and Office without going online. This again is useful in two different cases – one, when you don’t have an internet connection, and the other, when you have run out of online activation attempts.

PickMeApp Transfers Installed Programs from One PC to Another

Whether you’ve bought a new computer or just re-installed Windows on your old one, one chore that we all hate doing is reinstalling programs. I detest this operation so much that I have devoted a number of articles on this subject, and wrote a few guides on how to perform this task with the smallest effort and fastest time. Interested readers can follow my guide on Windows Easy Transfer, the Automatic Software Installation guide or read about various bundled software packages like Ninite, FreeApp, FreewareUpdater, and Windows Package Manager among others. Another tool that has some potential is PickMeApp.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Keep Both Old Start Menu and Metro at the Same Time [Windows 8]

Currently, there are no less than six different utilities that let you switch between the old Windows 7 styled Start menu and the new Metro start screen in Windows 8 – the tools ranging from portable switchers, and installable programs to desktop gadgets. Through any of these programs, you can enable either the old start menu or the Metro interface. But a large number of users want to know if there is any way to keep both together. Yes, there is.

GCompris Educational Games Suite for Kids

GCompris is an open source educational games and software suite which contains a wide range of activities meant for young children in the 2 to 10 year age group, though it seems to focus more towards the younger side of the range. GCompris comprises of over 100 individual games that offer various activities aimed at covering a variety of fields such as the functioning of the computer, using the mouse and keyboard, general learning, reading, writing, foreign languages, algebra, as well as various activities such as memory and logic games, scientific experiments etc.

Monday, September 19, 2011

3 Volume Control Tools With Pretty On-Screen Displays

When watching movies on my computer, I like to a have large on-screen display of volume level when I use the dedicated volume control keys on my keyboard or on my remote. Unfortunately, on-screen volume indicators are not a part of Windows. If your computer has one, it was either installed by the keyboard or the sound card software package. Some laptop and desktop PC manufacturers also include it, but the majority of Windows users have only a tiny volume indicator, the default one, on the system tray. Here we will look at some of the alternatives.

More Dismantlement Games + Walkthroughs

The Dismantlement series from is a popular series of point-and-click puzzle games where you dismantle everyday household objects - innocent looking but with a sinister secret buried deep inside. Each game features a gadget that you have to take apart using nothing more than a screwdriver. The insides of the gadgets won't be familiar to anyone who has actually pulled apart the real thing, and often hidden inside the rear panel you’ll find surprise objects such as a ticking bomb!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

How to Make File History Backup to Local Drives in Windows 8

In my previous article I introduced the File History utility in Windows 8 and described its various settings and usages. Now the industry recommended strategy for safe backup is to use either an external hard drive or a storage location that is offsite to prevent data loss from physical damage or natural hazards. This explains File History’s annoying restriction – it can only backup to external hard drives or networked storage. But what if you want to utilize a local disk for saving backups? This guide will teach you how to.

Use File History to Backup and Restore Previous Versions of Files in Windows 8

With Windows 8 Microsoft introduced a new back up and restore tool called File History. Just like System Restore is able to restore the state of your computer to an earlier date, File History is capable of restoring your files to a specific date and time, thus allowing users to turn the clock back in time and retrieve data and files that have been previously edited or deleted. File History is a vast improvement over the Previous Versions (or Shadow Copy) feature introduced in Windows Vista, in a way that it offers the user better control over what to the back up and keep and how often to back up.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

How to Setup Picture (Pattern) Password in Windows 8

Aside from the regular text password based login, Windows 8 has a gesture based login process made exclusively for touch screens but can also be used on regular mouse/keyboard based desktop PCs. Commonly found in smartphones and often called pattern password, this login process allows you to lock and unlock your computer by drawing a unique pattern on the screen, either with the finger if it’s a touch screen or with the mouse for regular PCs. This guide will show you how to setup a pattern password in Windows 8.

Friday, September 16, 2011

How to Change Fahrenheit to Celsius in Metro Weather App [Windows 8]

The Weather App in Windows 8 Metro start screen displays temperatures in Fahrenheit. This obsolete scale is popular only in the United States, and maybe in some other countries; the rest prefer to use the standard Celsius temperature scale. So if you want to change the scale from Fahrenheit to Celsius in the weather app, here is how to do it.

Easily Change File Extension From Context Menu

Changing extension of files is quite a chore in Windows. First, you have to enable display of file extension in explorer by choosing the appropriate option in Folder Options dialog box and only then you are able to edit the extension of the file. After you are done, it is wise to disable the option once again because it is very easy to accidently mess with the file extension when renaming a file. A file with an incorrect extension wouldn’t open in its intended program.

A New Windows 8 Theme for Windows 7

All Windows 8 visual styles for Windows 7 that has been released till date are based on either leaked builds of Windows 8 or or screenshots published in blogs and media (see: 8 skin pack and Windows 8 UX Transformation Pack). The Windows 8 Developer Build is the most recent build that is legally available to the public and although still a work in progress, it is closer to what the real user interface will look like when the operating system debuts next year.

How to Disable Metro, Get Old Start Menu But Keep Explorer Ribbon in Windows 8

If you downloaded Windows 8 Developer Preview and playing with it, like millions of others right now, there are some things you might be probably not impressed with. The most obvious one is the Metro start screen. The Metro is a fantastic interface for touch based screens but not ideal for desktop PCs or any kind of for serious computing. Microsoft is likely to give us an easy way to disable Metro or switch between the traditional desktop and the Metro start screen, before Windows 8 goes into RTM. But until that happens we have to rely on registry hacks.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

How to Share Wireless Internet Connection Without a Router

Most people who have more than one computer and internet capable devices such as laptop, mobile phones or game consoles, have a wireless network at home. But if you are stuck in a place that doesn’t have a wireless network, it’s very easy to setup one using Windows 7. You don’t even need to have a router.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Settings Necessary to Install Windows 8 in VirtualBox

In my last post I mentioned that I couldn’t get Windows 8 to install on VMware Player, which is how I discovered the new Blue Screen of Death. I found out that I was not alone. Next I turned to VirtualBox, and discovered that installing Windows 8 on that was a bit tricky too. Apparently, there are a few conditions that has to be fulfilled before you can successfully install Windows 8 on VirtualBox. The following article will guide you through the important steps.

Windows 8 Gets a New Blue Screen of Death

So I was trying to install Windows 8 Developer build in VMware Player and got the screen below. Apparently, the installation had failed. Initially, I thought this error message was from VMware Player, but upon looking closely I realized that it was from Windows 8. A trip to Google confirmed my suspicion. Windows 8 has a new BSOD a.k.a the dreaded Blue Screen of Death, only this time it looks less dreadful.

Collage Making Software CollageIt [Giveaway]

Collage is a form of art where you assemble multiple images of different sizes and forms to produce a single image. You often see collages in print media such as magazines, newspaper, and websites. Collage is also used artistically by many artists. They are also a fun way to create posters to hang on your wall, or create greetings card and scrapbooks.

How to Create Windows 8 Bootable USB Drive

The Windows 8 Developer Preview which Microsoft revealed at the BUILD conference yesterday is an ISO file, of course, just like any other operating system available for download. If you are preparing to write the ISO image file on to a blank DVD, wait! You don’t have to waste that disk. You can boot it straight from a USB Flash drive. This is how to do it.

Folder Options X Brings Extra Features to Windows 7 Explorer

Folder Options X is a free Windows Explorer add-on that brings three simple features to Windows Vista and Windows 7 explorer.

The first thing you can do with Folder Options X does is disable full row select in Windows explorer. When you select files in Details view in Windows 7 explorer, the entire row gets selected. After disabling full row select, only the fill name gets selected. I’m not sure if this is useful, other than that it looks a bit better… or worse, depending on your preference.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Comodo TrustConnect VPN for Free

Comodo-TrustConnectComodo TrustConnect is an OpenVPN service from the creators of the popular Comodo Firewall, that allows you to surf the web safely. TrustConnect provides a strong 128-bit encryption through Secure Sockets Layer that lets you surf the web anonymous and safe while at Coffee shops, Hotels, Airports, Public Wi-Fi hubs, and unlock social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Hulu, Pandora, Youtube etc.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Friday, September 9, 2011

6 Digital Comic Book Readers (or Image Viewers)

Digital comic books are usually archives of individual page images saved with the extension CBZ or CBR, which are simply renamed ZIP and RAR files for convenience. The format was made popular by CDisplay – one of the first comic book reader - but is now used by many other comic book reading programs. Essentially, comic book readers are sequential image viewers with the ability to display images contained within archives, and often comes with extra features designed to allow comfortable reading of comics. Today, we will look at a number of different eComic readers available for Windows.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Why You Shouldn’t Save JPEG Images in Quality 7 in Photoshop

When trying to resave a digital image in the JPEG file format, one is often required to make a decision as to what quality setting or level of compression to use. The JPEG (or JPG) format allows one to make a trade-off between file size and image quality by selecting an appropriate level of compression. But the scale used to indicate compression level is not consistent across all image editors or cameras. This is because there are thousands of different ways a JPEG image can be compressed, and software developers and camera manufacturers prefer to use methods they feel are right for their product. Some developers have even coded their own algorithms.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

NbuExplorer: Extract Contacts, SMS, Pictures, Notes from Nokia PC Suite’s Backup File

The Nokia PC Suite software package enables Nokia phone owners to manage their devices from their computer. The software allows tasks such as transfer music, photos and applications from the computer to the phone, send SMS messages or use the phone as a modem to connect the computer to the Internet. But mostly it is used to backup up contents of the phone to the computer.

Kingsoft Office Suite 2012 Goes Freeware

Kingsoft Office Suite 2012 is a complete user-friendly office suite for Windows that offers a number of features for creating, viewing and editing personal and business documents. Kingsoft Office 2012 includes Kingsoft Writer, Kingsoft Presentation and Kingsoft Spreadsheet which are compatible with all the latest Microsoft Office formats. Furthermore, Microsoft Office can view and edit all documents created by Kingsoft Office as well. Previously, available only as a paid program, Kingsoft Office Suite 2012 is now a free product.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Novelo Turns Your Facebook Page Into an eStore

If you run an online store and also have a prominent Facebook page, there is a new app that makes it possible for you to merge both into one. The Facebook app called Novelo is a complete ecommerce platform running inside Facebook that allows brands and online store owners to sell their products inside Facebook. Using Novelo anybody can setup their own e-store, completely integrating the sales process with the Facebook experience allowing fans, friends and people to shop, share and recommend products without leaving the social networking site.

Google Correlate: A New Tool to Find Search Trends by Drawing Graphs

Last May, Google launched an experimental new tool on Google Labs which enables you to find queries whose search trend over a period of time is similar to a target data series. The target can either be a real-world trend that you provide (e.g., a data set of event counts over time) or a query that you enter. Recently, Google Correlate was graduated from Labs to become a feature on Google Trends. Additionally, Google Correlate now has its own Labs, and the first Lab tool is a fascinating one called ‘Search by Drawing’.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Test Your Document's Readability in Microsoft Word

Readability is the ease in which text can be read and understood, as in the quality of written language. This should not be confused with ‘legibility’ which is a measure of how easily individual letters or characters can be distinguished from each other. An article can be perfectly legible but difficult to read (poor readability) and genuinely well written but illegible (Jane Austen in green text over blue background). Here, I’m talking about readability.

Friday, September 2, 2011

World's First Virtual Store Opens in Korea

A major South Korean retailer has opened what it appears to be the world's first virtual store geared to smartphone users, where shoppers can scan barcodes of products displayed in a Seoul subway station. Homeplus, the nation’s second largest discount chain, is offering 500 items including food, electronics, office supplies and toiletries at its "store" at Seolleung station in the south of the city of 10 million.

3-Month Long Free Accounts of SailfishVPN

Warning: Based on their failure to deliver on promises, I suggest all people looking to signup for Sailfish VPN to look elsewhere. Here are some good alternatives: Hostizzle, Cyberghost, HideIPVPN.

Last year we gave away a couple of accounts for SailfishVPN, a relatively new US based VPN service provider. We are back with another round of giveaway. This time Nickle from SailfishVPN has graciously provided us with 50 accounts which will remain active for three months, starting from the day you register. If you are interested in getting one, read along.

How to Delete/Remove Macro Viruses From Word Documents

A macro virus is a malicious program that is written by using the macro language built into a software application such as Word. Since Microsoft Office allow macro programs to be embedded within documents, so that the programs may be run automatically when the document is opened, this provides macro viruses with a distinct mechanism to spread. The virus can infect other Word documents and propagate itself among data files and can even harm your computer's operating system.

Bitdefender Safego Protects You From Twitter Malware

Bitdefender Safego is a free tool designed to scan links posted on a user’s social network accounts and detect spam, scams and other e-threats, while also keeping users aware of personal information exposure. Bitdefender Safego was initially launched for Facebook. Now the security company has released an application for the micro-blogging network Twitter.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

How to Find Amazon Merchants that Ship Items to Your Country and Internationally

packagesAmazon is a global marketplace where sellers and buyers from around the world can sale and buy goods. The company being based on the U.S. can ship to buyers in the United States freely often providing with free shipping through the Super Saver Shipping and Amazon Prime programs. Amazon have marketplaces in a couple of other countries as well – Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and United Kingdom, at the time of this writing. Buyers from these countries can buy from their respective Amazon marketplaces and avail offers such as free shipping.

Free BDlot Video Converter, WinX DVD Ripper and WinX Blu-ray Decrypter

A number of DVD and Blu-ray related software from Digiarty Software, Inc. and LotSoft are currently up for free grabs. Digiarty Software’s products WinX DVD Ripper Platinum Streamer Edition is available for free until September 10, 2011 and WinX Blu-ray Decrypter is free till September 15, 2011. LotSoft (creator of the recently reviewed BDlot DVD ISO Master) is also giving away BDlot Video Converter for free, until September 10, 2011.

Enable Full Context Menu in Windows When Multiple Files Are Selected

When you right-click on Windows explorer after selecting multiple files or folders, Windows presents a context menu which is different from the one you get when you select a single file or folder. Often this context menu is reduced with several items such as open, print and edit missing. Recently Microsoft published an article explaining why this happens and how to fix it.

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