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Showing posts from September, 2008

Notepad 2008 - A text editor with the Ribbon UI

Like the ribbon in MS Office 2007? Well, here is text editor for you with a lovely ribbon interface - Notepad 2008. Notepad 2008 is slightly more functional than the default Windows Notepad application and closely resembles Wordpad. You will get the basic formatting functions - justification, font type and size, plus a search and replace feature. The ribbon, accompanied by three different themes, gives a nice facelift to an otherwise bland text editor. The tabbed interface is also a must these days. It is a good replacement for Notepad but falls short of better Notepad applications like Notepad++. You may require .Net framework 3.5 to run Notepad 2008. Download (direct download) [via Lifehacker ]

Tile opened tabs in Firefox with Split Browser

One of the latest features of Opera version 9.5 is the ability to arrange tabs in cascade or in a grid. Open source developers were quick to come up with yet another extension to mimic the same effect in Firefox. The addon called Split Browser , allows you to split the viewing window of your browser so that you can view multiple tabs at the same time. Split Browser is flexible and you can arrange the tabs in whatever way you like. To be honest, it's a little confusing and except the horizontally tiled, and the grid layout, any other layout pattern is essentially useless. The one and only use of this addon is if you want to compare multiple web pages, or want to keep a particular page on display at all times. Going by the download figures, however, it seems that it's quite a popular addon. A lot of screen real estate is essential to do anything productive with this feature turned on. A productive Split Browser layout A not-so productive Split Browser layout

Track and recover stolen laptop with open source Adeona

A few months ago I wrote how you can prevent laptop theft , track and recover stolen laptops with four different tools and services. Here is another addition to it - Adeona , the first open source laptop tracking software. A small software client is installed in your laptop which continually monitors the current location of the laptop, gathering information such as IP addresses and local network topology, that can be used to identify its current location. This information is then encrypted and sent to the Open Source OpenDHT distributed storage service. Only the laptop owner can retrieve these information from the storage. If your laptop gets stolen, Adeona will continue to transmit location information of the laptop unknown to the thief which will hopefully enable you to zero in on him or her. The Mac version of Adeona can also capture picture of the laptop user or thief through the built in webcam like this.   Wanted: Dead or Alive!   Interestingly, each of these tracking to

An open source tool to split and merge PDF files

PDF Split and Merge or pdsam is a free, Java based open source utility to split and merge PDF documents. The program's interface looks dated but that's because it runs on the Java platform. And because it runs on Java it is platform independent. Pdsam is simple to use. To merge documents, select Merge/Extract from the left pane and load the PDF files you want to merge. Arrange the files in the order you want to merge. If a PDF file is password protected, there is a provision to enter the password for the files. You can merge all pages of the file or selected pages by specifying the page numbers, the same way you do when printing pages. To split a PDF file, select the Split option and load the file. There are different ways in which the file can be split. Split the pdf file into single pages, one pdf file-one page Split the pdf file into files each made of  "n" pages Split the pdf file every even page Split the pdf file every odd page Split

Reorder buttons in Windows taskbar with Taskix

Taskix is an extremely small Windows program that allows you to reorder the buttons on your taskbar by simply dragging and dropping. If "Group similar taskbar buttons" is set, you can move these groups around and even reorder buttons inside a group. However, you can't move buttons out of a group. If you are looking for some more functions, then try Taskbar Shuffle . Apart from allowing drag and drop of taskbar items to rearrange them, Taskbar Shuffle also allows you reorder your tray icons in the same way, close buttons with the middle-click and some minor tweaking of taskbar buttons grouping. Taskbar Shuffle takes up a little more memory space compared to Taskix, but I'm sure you can afford 4MB of memory footprint. [via Lifehacker ]

Run Linux live CDs within Windows without a restart

Sometimes you might want to run a Linux live CD but don't want to reboot your computer because you are working on something else. One solution to this problem is to set up a virtual system and test the Live CD on it. But if you don't want to bother even with virtualization then MobaLiveCD is the tool for you. MobaLiveCD is a freeware Windows only application that allows you to run Linux live CDs within Windows. Based on the QEMU emulator, MobaLiveCD does not require any installation. It's extremely light and you can run it from a thumb drive and simply point it to the ISO file. You can also install a small context menu addon that will enable you to run live CDs directly from within Windows Explorer by right clicking on an ISO file. It also allows you to create a virtual hard drive and save data from your live CD sessions. MobaLiveCD does not require you to burn any CDs, but that is also a disadvantage of this program. It can run only ISO files, which means that if

How to add a start page to your Blogger blog

In Wordpress there is an option where you can choose what to display on your homepage - your blog posts, like everybody else, or a static page that works as a welcome page. In Blogger there is no such option, or is there? You will find out soon. Blogger is extremely customizable and a lot of Wordpress features can be replicated in Blogger with some clever coding. Today I will show you how to add a static start page to your Blogger blog that shows only when you visit the homepage. At first you might like to see a live demo . Since every blogger template is different, particularly the custom made ones, you will first have to understand the structure of the blogger template in order to know where to make the edits. At first backup your blogger template, which is a must before you do any sort of editing. A typical layout of a blogger template, with one sidebar and a single footer is shown in the figure below. Some templates have an extra wrapper enclosing the main wrapper and the sideb

Read deleted Wikipedia articles on DeletionPedia

Wikipedia articles get deleted all the time. It's no secret. Articles that do not meet the relevant criteria for content of the encyclopedia, as put down by their Deletion Policy, are identified and removed from Wikipedia. Each day , Wikipedia deletes approximately five thousand pages! What if you want to read an article that's no longer on Wikipedia? Visit, DeletionPedia . There is a high chance of finding the deleted article there. DeletionPedia is a non-wiki based database that automatically picks up articles dropped from the English Wikipedia. Non-wiki based means, it's contents can't be edited. It currently archives more than 63,000 articles. Some of these articles are fit to be deleted, even from DeletionPedia. I mean, who the hell needs a " List of films with monkeys in them "? [via Lifehacker ]

How to create your own fractal wallpapers

You must have seen this kind of unique wallpapers with colorful abstract patterns and intricate, complex designs. These are fractals. Fractals are mathematically generated geometric patterns that repeat themselves infinitely at smaller scales. The following two examples will give you an idea of how mathematics is related to patterns and how it occurs infinitely.    Fractals are never ending and can be zoomed in on infinitely to reveal more and more intricate patterns. When you zoom in even more, you will notice some of the shapes that you saw in the beginning reappearing, but in large numbers. It's just mind boggling. The fact is, nature is full of fractals. One good example is the snow flake. Another example is the coastline. How...? If you measure the coastline with a mile long ruler you will get a certain finite length. But if you take foot long ruler and measure every small turns and twists the coastline makes, you will find that the coastline is actually longer than you

How to use a background image on an image

Sometime earlier I showed how you can use background images to create cool effects on your website. Recently, I read a nice trick of using background images on images to create cool animations. You already know that we can set a background image on any element of a website, and under texts. Using the same technique, we can set a background image under an image. Look at the following example. These are two separate GIF animations.    Now by setting the landscape GIF as a background to the running leopard, we get this. Cool isn't it? Here is the code: <div style="width:206px;height:100px; background:url(/landscape.gif)"><img style="padding-top:10px;padding-left:10px" src="/tiger.gif"></div>

AIMP- An excellent Winamp clone and alternative

When I first launched this application, the first thing that I noticed was it's striking similarity to Winamp both in terms of look and functionality. This powerful audio player, AIMP , allows you to listen to your music with astounding quality, thanks to it's wide support of audio enhancing plugins including those made for Winamp. Like any music player, AIMP has an 18 band equalizer with preset settings, a visualization window, audio library and a playlist editor. Now let's talk about some of the features that makes it stand apart from Winamp and why you should try it. AIMP's playist editor supports multiple playlists, loaded all at the same time in tabs. Holy cow! a tabbed media player. No need to wipe out the current playlist to load another one. Just double click on the tab bar or right-click and choose new playlist. The playlist can be sorted according to song title, playing time, folder etc. Adding or removing songs is same as in Winamp. AIMP also comes wit

Delete locked files on Windows with Unlocker

Sometimes when you try to delete a file in Windows, you get an error message like: "Cannot delete file: Access is denied. There has been a sharing violation", "The source or destination file may be in use", "The file is in use by another program or user", "Make sure the disk is not full or write-protected and that the file is not currently in use" and so on. The file gets locked and you are unable to delete it unless you restart Windows.  A freeware application called Unlocker adds a new action to the context menu of Windows Explorer allowing you to get rid of this annoying message whenever it shows up and easily delete a file. Simply right click the folder or file you want to delete and select Unlocker from the context menu. If the folder or file is locked, a window listing of lockers will appear. Click Unlock All and it's done. Unlocker will kill the processes, close the handles or unload the DLLs using the file and you ca

Use your keyboard's Function keys to open bookmarks on Firefox

The computer keyboard has 12 Function keys at the top numbered from 1 through 12. The purpose of function keys is to provide users with shortcuts to perform specific actions in the operating system or an application. The programmer of an application is free to assign any actions to the function keys as he sees it fit, although some function keys have universal actions. For instance, the F3 key will launch the "Find" or "Search" tool in almost any application while the F5 key reloads a page in any browser. In games you will often find the F5 (or F4) key being used as quick save. It's obvious that the function keys are very useful for creating shortcuts even though most of them are usually left unused, including in Firefox. A Firefox extension named Quickmarks , can assign these function keys to specific web addresses turning it into a "quick dial" for opening your bookmarked pages. After you install this addon, click on Tool>Quickmarks settings to

Combine several RSS feeds into one with RSS Mixer

A new startup called RSS Mixer allows you to combine several RSS feeds from different websites into one, so that you have just one fat feed of updates. Creating mixes is easy; just get the individual feed URLs, add them and click "Mix it". The resulting feed can be read in any feed reader just like any other feed. It's also available as a webpage, mobile formatted page, as an Apple dashboard widget, Yahoo! widget, Vista widget, Google gadget for Google homepage or embedded into your blog or website. The Mix can then be shared with other users and anybody can subscribe to it. RSS Mixer is also a searchable directory allowing you to search for Mixes created by other users. If you get a Mix you like, you can extend it by adding more feeds to it creating another Mix. RSS Mixer already has quite a lot of handy Mixes like the iPhone Topsites, Political news, Apple news, Gadget news etc. [via Mashable ]

Gmail Labs new feature - Forgotten Attachment Detector

Many of us has experienced this. We say that we are attaching a file to the mail and then send it without attaching it. A new experimental Gmail Labs feature saves you from this embarrassment by reminding you of forgotten attachment if you mention it in the mail and then hit the send button without actually attaching it. The idea is simple: it looks for the word "attach" in the mail body and if it finds one but with no files attached, it pop-ups this message when you click on Send. Gina Trapani of Lifehacker has made an interesting discovery. She used the words "File's attached!" and it didn't trigger a confirmation dialog, but the words "See attached file" did. I checked it myself and she is right! Apparently, forgotten attachment detector isn't perfect but certainly a step in the right direction. You know how to enable Gmail Labs features, don't you? Click on Settings at the top on your Gmail account and then click on Labs. You wi

Enhance Firefox Live Bookmarks with Boox

If you use Firefox's Live Bookmarks to read RSS feeds, then you should try Boox. No wait, ... you shouldn't try it. You must use it. Boox is an addon for Firefox that will enhance the functionalities of the otherwise bland live bookmarks giving it features that should normally have been available by default, but for some reason isn't. That has always been the problem with Firefox, doing little out of the box and depending too much on extensions. Anyway, this is what Boox does. The first useful thing that you will notice when you install Boox is that, your bookmarks will begin to show the number of unread items. All unread items will have bolded text and read items will have normal text, making it easier to distinguish between the two.   Hover the mouse over a news item and a tooltip will pop-up with a preview of the feed. This tooltip is customizable. The feed viewer is customizable too. You can use your own stylesheet or use any one of the several styles th

I ditched VLC media player for GOM Player

People usually have their choice of media players. For me, it was Winamp for audio and VLC media player for video. Winamp is still my favorite audio player, but VLC isn't anymore. Recently, I downloaded GOM Player out of curiosity. 30 minutes later, it was my new default media player. GOM Player, like VLC media player, is capable of playing almost any type of video files without installing any codec. Additionally, it can play FLV files which VLC cannot . The best thing about GOM Player is it's aesthetically designed interface and the clever incorporation of so many features into the player without making a mess out of the interface. I had always disliked VLC's crude menus. GOM Player is sleek. GOM Player has a one click access to it's control panel. Video quality settings like brightness and contrast, audio settings like equalizers, playback speed and some more options are readily available through the control panel. You can also adjust font size, spacing and po

GeoGebra - Co-ordinate Geometry on your PC

GeoGebra is an award winning open source "dynamic mathematics software for schools that joins geometry, algebra and calculus", in brief, co-ordinate geometry. With GeoGebra you can do constructions with points, vectors, segments, lines, conic sections as well as functions and then change them dynamically to get new shapes, equations and results. That's the beauty of doing maths in your computer. You can make minor changes and get instant results without having to do it all over again. GeoGebra can do pretty much everything your school geometry book has. You can enter equations and coordinates and the resulting pattern will automatically get drawn in the geometry window. GeoGebra can deal with variables for numbers, vectors and points, finds derivatives and integrals of functions and offers commands like Root or Extremum. There are lots of resources, workshops and examples on their site that you can use in the application. GeoGebra can also be run online , as a Ja

Pixel Pick picks color from anywhere on the screen

If you have ever worked on a graphics program for anything like designing a banner or retouching a photo, or designed a website, you must know how useful and essential the color picker tool is. However, with this tool you can only pick color from pictures opened within the application. What if you want to pick a color on the desktop or some color you liked on a website opened in your browser? Pixel Pick is a free color picker tool that allows you to pick the pixels color under your mouse cursor from anywhere on the desktop and translates it into a number of different color formats such as RGB, CMYK, HSB, HEX or Web Color format. Previously, I was using another such tool called Absolute Color Picker , but I have found Pixel Pick to be even better. Pixel Pick has a magnifier with 40x zoom making pixel picking even more easy. This high magnification allows you to pick color from a single pixel on the screen. The color value is automatically copied to the clipboard. It also remembers up

Tweak Windows functionality with Pitaschio

Pitaschio is a small tool for Windows that greatly enhances the functionality and behavior of Windows by introducing a great number of small tweaks. Here are some of the interesting features brought by this tool. You can make the edges of the window snap to other windows and outer frame of the desktop, something you see in Winamp where the playlist window, equalizer and controls snap to each other when you bring them close together. The distance where the function begins to work can be changed. Make a window to stay within the visible area of the screen. However, this option restricts the movement and resize operation of a window. So you might like to turn this off. Minimize windows to the system tray instead of the taskbar. Enable small icons and list view on the desktop. Recently, I wrote about another program that does this. Adjust sound volume level by rotating mouse wheel on the desktop. Double clicking on blank space of explorer window moves you to the p

Minimize full screen games to system tray with GameMinimizer

Often games that run on full screen, which all most all games does, cannot be minimized to the taskbar. If you want to view the desktop or open some other program, you have to quite the game; there is no other way. In some games the Alt-Tab combination works but it's rare. If that's the case, use a small freeware program called GameMinimizer that will minimize any running game to the system tray, by pressing a hotkey, allowing you to truly multitask even when gaming! The default hotkey is F12, but it can be changed. To change the hotkey in GameMinimizer, go to the folder C:\Program Files\Gameminimizer and open the file GameMinimizer.ini in Notepad. Then change the hotkey to any key of your choice. To prevent any application from minimizing when pressing the hotkey, there is a 'Blacklist' as you can see in the INI file. You can add your own applications to the blacklist. GameMinimizer is very useful when you quickly need to check a walkthrough or even a cheat w

Make web pages more useful on Firefox with Hyperwords

Opera users have a very useful feature on their browser. When you select a word and right-click, the context menu shows some actions that you can perform with the highlighted word, like search, translate, dictionary, encyclopedia etc. Hyperwords for Firefox is build upon the same idea, only it goes one step ahead by displaying the results right on the context menu itself. With Hyperwords, you don't have to right-click; just highlight a word and the context menu pop-ups up as shown below. Of course, you can tweak the settings to make it not pop-up by it's own. Talking about settings, you will be overwhelmed when you see the settings window. Let's go through some of the useful entries on this menu. Search is self explanatory. You can search on all the major search engines and a host of other websites which can all be configured via the options page. You don't have to click on anything; just hover the mouse on a search engine, say Google, and it will automatically

How the LHC works? Learn it through a game

September 10, 2008, i.e. yesterday, will go down into the books of science as one of the biggest day since the big bang, quite literally. For just 24 hours ago the LHC or the Large Hadron Collider began their earth shattering experiment when they started to introduce streams of proton on a 27 Km merry-go-round. Fortunately, it didn't shatter the earth as predicted by some of the self proclaimed know-it-alls creating panic and hysteria throughout the world. The only casualty caused by the LHC so for was when a 16 year old girl in India committed suicide fearing the world was going to end, thanks to Indian news channels. The best way to learn about the LHC is of course, to google it up and read. But if you are too damn lazy to go through long articles and if most of the technical talk goes over your head, then I suggest the LHC game . It's a good a way to know the working of the LHC; what it does and how it does, described in a visual way. It's actually a game, a sort of

Control USB drive letter assignment in Windows with USBDLM

When a removable drive like a pen drive or external hard disk is attached to the computer, Windows assigns it to the first available 'local' drive letter. If the computer is a part of a network and even if there is a network share on this letter, Windows XP will use it anyway for the new USB drive. This results in conflict between the shared hard drive and the removable drive and as a result, often the USB drive appears to be invisible. The drive letter can be changed through the Administrative Tools in the control panel, but it has to be done every time a USB drive is plugged into the system. To solve this issue and efficiently manage drive letter assignment of removable drives, there is a tool called USBDLM . USBDLM runs as a service and allows you to reserve letters, not used by any shared drives, to be used whenever any removable drive is attached to the computer. Any USB drive will then always take a particular drive letter(s) that the user assigns and not the next avail

How to enable List view on Windows desktop

In Windows explorer, there is a setting called View which allows you to change the icon size from "large" to "list" and "details", which is very useful because with reduced size you can view more icons on your screen. This option is however, not available on the desktop. Now some people like to keep a lot of icons on the desktop, and if the "list-view" was available it would have accommodated a lot more icons on it. A tiny application called Deskview enables the "list-view" option on the desktop, thereby shrinking the icons into small sizes. There are no settings or options in Deskview. Just double-click it to shrink the icons, then double-click it again to return your desktop to the default setting. You can put Deskview in your Startup folder to automatically launch it each time you start Windows. Deskview doesn’t remember your settings, so if you set it up and reboot your computer the icons will return back to the default size

How to control your favorite media player from the taskbar

Generally, people listen to music when they are working on their computers. The media player is usually running in the background or minimized to the taskbar while the screen is occupied by some documents or presentations they are working upon. When they need to access the media player to change songs or pause or whatever, the player has to be maximized. A better way to do this is to turn the player into "mini-mode" where the player controls are put on the taskbar and can be directly accessed from it without maximizing the player. I will show you how. Windows Media Player The Mini Player for WMP was introduced with version 10. When you use the mini Player, the Player minimizes to the Windows taskbar, but you can still access playback controls and view visualizations and information about the currently playing item. To use the mini Player Right-click an open area of the Windows taskbar, point to Toolbars, and then select Windows Media Player. This step turns on the