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Showing posts from February, 2009

Print out Wikipedia articles as books

The ‘Books’ feature on Wikipedia has been around for a while which allows a user to compile several Wikipedia articles into a book and get it printed by , a start-up company based in Germany. This feature was available only for the German version of Wikipedia, but now support for 6 more languages has been added including English. The other supported languages are French, Polish, Dutch, Portuguese and Spanish. Wikibooks is currently available only for logged in users. Once you are logged in, you will see a section "Create a book" on the left hand side of every article towards the bottom. Click on "Add wiki page" to add article you are viewing to your book. You can add as many articles to the book as you want but keep in mind that the bigger the book is the higher the price you will have to pay to print it. When you have finished collecting articles and ready to print, click on Show Book. Now you can add title/subtitle to your book and arrange

Safarp - The small and fast uninstaller for Windows

The default Windows un-installation manager, the Add/Remove Programs is a decent tool but it’s extremely slow. My Add/Remove panel takes about 15 seconds to show the programs list and as more and more programs get installed in future, it will start taking longer and longer. Those who can’t wait that long and need something quicker, look no further than the open sourced Safarp. Safarp is an extremely fast uninstaller for Windows and at 131 KB it’s extremely small. Don’t be fooled by it’s small size - Safarp is a very capable uninstaller. The best thing about Safarp is it’s speed – it loads the complete list of installed programs under 1 second. Yes, I tried it on my PC and it loaded 261 applications in 0.531 sec (this information is shown in the status bar). Like Add/Remove Programs, Safarp can sort the list by Name, Size, Frequency of use, Date last used and one more order – by Publisher name. There is also a search utility with ‘search as you type’ function that avo

Usage Monitor notifies you when resource usage by processes exceed

Have you ever got the balloon message in Windows that say "Your system is low on virtual memory. Windows is increasing the size of your virtual memory paging file."? Or you notice Firefox is slugging and you open the task manager to find the memory usage is at 800 MB? Such things often happen when you are too absorbed in your work to notice the sheer number of applications or browser tabs open until the application starts to crawl or worse – crashes on your face. Usage Monitor is free tool that lets you set watch limits on processes and avoid such a situation. You can set watch limits on memory usage, GDI Objects, and USER Objects. Whenever the resource usage by the watched processes exceed the set limit, it triggers an alert. The alert can be a simple popup or message with an audible alarm or a flashing taskbar. It can even execute a file as alert. To use the application, first select the process you want to watch, say Firefox. Then click on Watches to open a s

F.lux automatically adjusts the screen brightness by time of day

Remember Display Tuner , the tool that allows you to adjust monitor brightness by keyboard shortcut? Well, here is another nifty tool that automatically changes the screen brightness and tint by the time of the day. It’s a great tool for users who sit before the computer screen throughout the day. F.lux will set the screen monitor bright during the day and gradually dim it as evening approaches. At night, the screen will take a “halogen” tinge – an orange kind of hue. I have to test this orange hue at night and see how it looks and whether it’s really soothing to the eye. To give you a glimpse of how the brightness varies during the day, there is a preview mode which plays the entire day within a few seconds. To begin you have to first set the latitude of your place. You can also set the brightness and tint level of the screen at a particular time of day. Because of the orange tint, F.lux is not suitable for design work, so there is an option to disable F.lux for one

Minos Album creates animated 3D flash photo albums

Here is a cool way to share your photos with your friends. Take all your photos and make a photo album on flash. Add page turning animation and sound effects and then convert the flash file into an EXE file that can be viewed on any Windows PC. All these can be done using a free software called Minos Album . Apart from creating digital photo albums, using Minos Album you can create brochures, product catalogues, and e-books. There is a realistic page-flipping animation, and has functionalities like a convenient thumbnails-view, ability to enlarge photos, navigate using keyboard and an auto play function. The program also supports PDF files, however this feature is broken as it includes only the first page of the PDF file in the album and the rest of the pages are lost.  You are allowed to choose the size of the albums with custom sizes up to 2048 pixels in width and height. You can also add background music, choose your own icons etc. The publishers also provide you

Firefox extension LinkExtend enhances browsing

LinkExtend is a new addon for Firefox that enhance your web surfing experience by bringing you as much information as possible about the visiting site. Information like whether it is child safe or malicious, page popularity parameters like Google Page Rank and Alexa rating and so on. Apart from that, it actually enhances the browsing experience by allowing you to enable thumbnail previews in search results, more control on Firefox history, a plethora of new search engines and bunch of other improvements. Here is a brief overview of the features you will get when you install LinkExtend . Safety - Informs you if a web page is malicious, sends spam, contains spyware, online scams, identity theft, and more. LinkExtend uses services like McAfee SiteAdvisor, Web Of Trust, Web Security Guard, Google Safe Browsing and few others to get information about malicious sites. KidSafe - Alerts you about sites that are unsafe for children and let's you erase these sites fro

Hawkscope - Access all files on your hard disk from the system tray

Hawkscope is an incredibly useful program that allows you to access your hard disk’s content right from your system tray. Forget about My Computer or the desktop because Hawkscope does not simply show you the hard drives but the entire contents on it through pop open menus. The best part is Hawkscope is available for all the three major platforms – Windows, Linux and Mac and it’s open source. On Windows On Linux On Mac Just click on Hawkscope ’s icon on the system tray to launch the menu showing all your partitions. Hover the mouse over any partition to open a sub menu that displays the contents. Move the mouse pointer over any folder to open yet another menu displaying the contents of that folder. You can continue opening folder after folders and you don’t even have to click. You also get access to your user folder – (C:\Documents and Settings\$username$) and all the contents within it including your My Documents folder, Cookies folder and so on. It’s

Lock your keyboard and mouse with Kid-Key-Lock

Sometime ago we brought you a program called CD/DVD Drive Locker that locks down the optical drive to keep it away from kids with restless fingers. But hey, we forgot about the keyboard and mouse. Aren’t those 108 keys equally tempting? It does wonderful things to the machine and even draw figures on the screen. So how do you keep your kids away from pressing the cancel button when you are at 99% installing some software? Simple, by using Kid-Key-Lock . Kid-Key-Lock is a program that locks specific keyboard and mouse functions to prevent toddlers from accidentally pressing unwanted buttons on your keyboard and mouse. Kid-Key-Lock can be accessed from the system tray and all lock-up options are readily accessible from a pop-up menu. Unfortunately, the program is not fully customizable. You can only choose between some preset lock functions like lock all keys accept standard character keys, or lock only system combination or lock all keys. Similarly you can lock the left,

Orbiter – A realistic free space flight simulator

Orbiter is a free flight simulator for Windows that allows you to soar up and beyond the confines of Earth's atmosphere. Orbiter is not a shooting game or an arcade. It’s emphasis is on realism and the learning curve can be very steep even for those who are familiar with flight simulation games. This is because space physics and orbital mechanics is complicated and different from those experienced on aircrafts. Be prepared to invest in a lot of time. The physics is realistic - planetary motion, gravitation effects, free space and atmospheric flight are accurately modeled and never before heard things like “ gravity-gradient torque that effects vessels in low orbit as a result of their mass distribution ” implemented in the simulator. I wish the graphics was realistic too. Orbiter allows you to fly a number of spacecrafts, from the realistically modeled Space Shuttle Atlantis to the fictional Delta-Glider. Fly using conventional rocket engines or futuristic nuclear fission

Keep track of your favorite TV shows with MyTVShows

Suppose you are big fan of TV shows – Lost, Heroes, Prison Break and the like, but you have trouble remembering which episodes you have seen and when the next episode is going to be aired, partly because you see too many shows to keep track of and partly because your intellectual growth is stunned from years of bombardment by retarded TV shows. Okay, just joking! Everybody watches TV and if you want an organizer to help you keep track of your favorite TV shows, take a looks at MyTVShows . MyTVShows is a website for those new generation of couch potatoes who can divide their time between the TV and the computer. This free online application allows you to keep track of the episodes you have already seen and the ones you haven't yet. Once you add your favorite shows (there is over a thousand different shows to choose from) to your account and marked the episodes you have seen, you will get a list of episodes that remained to be seen along with information of the date and tim

GE-Graph – Draw overlay graphs and data on Google Earth

GE-Graph is a fantastic visualization tool for Google Earth created specially for giving presentations that leaves your audience’s jaw dropping. GE-Graph is a free program that takes data in a simple tabular format and then lets you plot it as 3 dimensional polygons and bars directly over Google Earth. The result is incredible, though surprisingly something that we are used to seeing – the news weather report for example. GE-Graph takes KML files saved by Google Earth and uses those files to generate graphs on the maps. The resulting file, generated by GE-Graph can be exported back to Google Earth. You have to enter data in GE-Graph using its table editor. You can paste columns directly from a spreadsheet or import them as CSV files created in the correct format -latitude, longitude, name and value to be plotted. Set the type of graph you want to plot – flat graphs that are pinned to the ground, with colors describing the value or 3D bars with their value indicated o

Seven Remix XP gives Windows XP the Windows 7 look

The Windows 7 interface is so much different from it’s predecessors that it is hard for any transformation pack to give an earlier edition of Windows the same look as Windows 7. It was different with Vista. There are at least half a dozen tools that can change Windows XP’s interface to Vista, almost deceptively. But Windows 7’s superbar turned out to be a big problem for skin designers – nobody was able to come close. Here is another “attempt” to bring Windows 7’s look to Windows XP. Seven Remix XP from niwradsoft is a free transformation pack for Windows XP, Windows 2003 Server and Windows Media Center Edition. Like any other transformation pack, Seven Remix XP replaces a great number of system files associated with the GUI of Windows. Files that contain icons, images, animations are extracts of Windows 7 to update your Windows XP interface to that of Windows 7. The installer also applies adjustments in the registry, it installs programs of third, skins and visual e

Display MIDI files as sheet music with Notation Player

Ever wanted to find out which instruments are playing in a music composition or an orchestra? What tune the violin is playing or the guitar or the drums? Ever fancy how the entire orchestra would sound if certain instruments are missing? Well now you can. Notation Player is a free program that can turn music files (.mid, .kar) into sheet music that you can view on the screen while the notes play. You can play the entire bunch of instruments at once or play only selected ones. You can even print out the sheets so that you can play it yourself. This is a wonderful tool for both professional and practicing musicians. Unfortunately, I’m neither so I can’t give you a detailed review of what this application can do and what it cannot. Just watching the music come alive as shapes and notations on a sheet was enough to get me hooked. But one thing I was able to notice that it’s possible to modify the music by either transcribing the tracks or adding your own clefs and keys to the sheet

4 tools to get the most out of your screen real estate

Monitors are getting bigger and wider and if I may add, cheaper too. And while these are great for watching high definition content, for normal usage there is just too much real estate than you can possibly use. You don’t need one single window to occupy the whole of your 22” monitor, do you? The following free tools help you to extract the maximum advantage out of your BIG monitors with efficient window management. 1. WinSplit Revolution is one of the most popular tool for widescreen monitors or any high resolution monitors for that matter. With the help of a hotkey you can move the active window to any corner or any side of the screen – top left, top right, up, bottom and so on. You can divide the screen into as many parts as you want and confine any window into any of these parts. 2. Sizer is a freeware utility that allows you to resize any window to an exact, predefined size. So instead of having the move the windows into predefined areas on the screen, you can resize them to

GameMode saves your session before you game

Imagine you are working on your computer with programs loaded to the brim – writing code in Dreamweaver or Notepad++, surfing the net on a browser, editing an image on Paint.NET, and you are also listening to music on your favorite media player and maybe even chatting with a friend on IM. The memory usage is high. Now suppose you had a desire to game, a game with cutting edge graphics that uses a lot of system resources. But it wouldn’t be possible to run the game with all the applications running in the background because it will seriously affect the game performance. The game might not even load.

Xinorbis – Hard disk usage analyzer

Xinorbis is a portable and powerful hard disk analyzer that provides you a complete overview of the contents of your hard disk using a sophisticated mix of graphs, tables and tree displays. Xinorbis scans your hard drive or the selected partitions and gives a comprehensive report about the various file types on the disk, sorting them out according to file the type with the exact figure of disk space occupied by each type. You can even use this application to browse files of a particular type. For instance, if you have your PDF files scattered all over your hard drive, use Xinorbis to browse all the PDF files as if they are all located in a single folder. You can also view files based on their date of creation or find out which files are occupying the largest disk space and which ones the smallest. You can also view files sorted by size or quantity and see the results in either a tree format or charts and pie diagrams. It’s a robust application with extremely detailed

Top 5 alternatives to Windows Task Manager

The Windows Task Manager is the tool that comes up when we give the famous three-finger salute (Ctrl+Alt+Del) to end a troublesome process or application. In the old days, it used to reboot the computer but in modern Windows system it brings up a more useful Task Manager. The task manager allows us to monitor running programs, processes, or threads and kill them if the need arise. The task manager is indispensible when you are troubleshooting any application. So why not look at some better tools that help us to get more information about the processes? 1. Process Explorer : This is the most popular replacement to the Windows Task Manager. Ask anybody and this is first tool they would recommend to you. Process Explorer is a free program created by Sysinternals (and later acquired by Microsoft) which is a great tool for system monitoring and debugging software. The Process Explorer display consists of two sub-windows. The top window always shows a list of the currently activ