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Showing posts from May, 2009

Gimp FX Foundry: 115 ready to use scripts for Gimp

Plugins and scripts for Gimp are plenty, but collecting and downloading them one at a time can be cumbersome. To simplify this, Gimp FX Foundry has merged a large number of scripts, 115 on last release, in one single package ready to use. To install the scripts, simply download the zip file and extract the contents to: c:\Documents and Settings\%username%\%gimp folder%\scripts Restart Gimp (if it’s already running) to find all the scripts installed under a new menu item FX Foundry and neatly organized in different categories. FX Foundry installs a handful of new photo enhancement tools, a few shapes, some color effects, about a dozen artistic filters and some much needed layer effects like those found in Photoshop – bevel/emboss, drop shadows, glow etc. The full list of included scripts is available here . [via Web Upd8 ]

WordPress Greet Box plugin for Blogger and non-WP blogs

The WordPress Greet Box plugin is fairly popular among WordPress bloggers. This plugin displays a different greeting message to site visitors depending on their referrer URL. For example, when a Digg user clicks through from Digg, they will see a message reminding them to digg the post if they like it. Similarly, a visitor from StumpleUpon will be asked to thumb-up the post. Even visitors from search engines like Google or Yahoo are greeted with a welcome message and a suggestion to subscribe to the feeds.   A Wordpress Greet Box This WP plugin has been ported to Blogger and is called Blogger Greet Box. The good news is, this piece of code can be used with any HTML based website. So the Blogger Greet Box isn’t exactly a Blogger plugin, it’s a universal one. The Blogger Greet Box The Blogger Greet Box has the following features: Show a different greeting message to your visitor depending on the referrer URL. Beautiful set of icons. Greeting message can be inserted any wh

Shutter Reloaded is a light weight Lightbox alternative

Lightbox is a popular and widely used Javascript based image viewer for websites. A large number of blogs and sites use it because it’s easy to implement and looks fantastic. When everything works so great with Lightbox, why do you need an alternative, you might ask? The answer is to this question is: Shutter Reloaded is only about 10KB in size and the best part is, it does not require any external libraries. All it requires is a single Javascript file and the stylesheet that you have to upload to your server and include them into the header of your pages. Shutter is automatically activated on all links pointing to an image, with or without thumbnails, once the files are included inside the <head> section. No additional markup is required. This means that you can add Shutter Reloaded to your site at any time and all your previous images will work with the new viewer without the need of any modification. Shutter Reloaded features resizing large images if the wind

Blip turns drawings into music

Blip is a strange application that can create music out of random sketches. You are given a sketch pad and a paint brush, a spray can and a horizontal line tool. Using these three basic tools you make your sketch on a 64x64 grid of canvas and then hit the Play button to enjoy a continuous loop of techno type music. Blip continuously scans a grid of 64x64 cells where each cell corresponds to a note, the starting time of which is determined by its column and the instrument is determined by its row. The color of the cell is broken down into it’s three primary color components: the red component controls the volume of the note, the green component controls the pan and the blue component controls its pitch. The music is the sum total of all the sounds emanating from all the cells you fill in with your drawing.  Painting in the grid can be done in real-time while the loop is still playing, enabling you to continuously create and recreate music. A wide range of configurable sett

Arovax Shield prevents malicious programs from penetrating your computer

Arovax Shield is a free, real time monitoring program for Windows that works beyond what Antivirus applications and security suites offers by providing an additional layer of protection to your system. Arovax Shield runs silently in the background, and notifies you when any application tries to install or modify the registry and other critical files on your system. Think of it as a “firewall” for the system. Arovax Shield is not an anti-virus nor an anti spyware program. It doesn’t scan your computer to detect spywares. Rather it prevents spyware and other malicious programs from entering into your system by continuously monitoring activities that malicious codes usually perform, like modifying the registry and the host file. Whenever it detects such a behavior, it alerts the user and offers a choice to either terminate the activity or allow it to proceed. Since many legitimate applications need to modify registry entries to function, Arovax Shield can throw a large number of fals

ArcConvert, the archive file format converter

ArcConvert is a free, portable, open source program for Windows that lets you convert file archives from one format to another. This is different from typical file converter software that you come across because almost none of them supports archive file formats. Though most file archive programs can open a handful of different file archives, there are a still a large number of obscure file formats that won’t open with the file archiver you have installed in your machine. Say for example, neither 7-zip nor WinRAR supports YZ1, GCA, BEL, PMA, ALZ and a lot of other file extensions. (On a side note, have you ever looked beyond WinRAR, WinZip and 7-zip? No? There are lot’s of alternatives . Bitser is another good one). It’s highly unlikely that you will come across an archived file in any one of those formats, but can never say for sure. ArcConvert can convert the following file formats: 7-ZIP/ LZH / CAB / ZIP / ARJ / ACE / RAR / TAR / TGZ / GZ / Z / BZ2 / YZ1 / YZ2 / GC

Adobe Digital Editions, a cool PDF manager and reader

What software do you use to read PDF files? Adobe Acrobat Reader? Or some free PDF Reader like Foxit or Sumatra? Maybe you should try Adobe Digital Editions. No, this is not another bulky, irritatingly slow PDF reader from Adobe. It’s surprisingly fast, has a sleek design and comes with an in-built ebooks library manager. Adobe Digital Editions is based on Adobe Flash and sports a highly attractive design. Like a music library organizer, Adobe Digital Editions allows you to add PDF and EPUB files to the library and manage your ebook collection, digital newspapers, and other digital publications that you have bought. Some digital publications that you purchase online may contain DRM protection that restricts the files from being shared with others. Digital Editions implements a content portability and user authentication procedure that enables you to share DRM protected eBooks and other digital publications across multiple computers. The library lets you group books in

CPUOff shutdowns the computer when CPU load falls below a threshold

We usually prefer to do computer tasks that take a long time to complete, unattended over night while we are sleeping or while we are away from home. Examples of such unattended tasks are backups, video encoding, hard drive defragmentation, downloading etc. While such over night jobs are great for saving time, the same cannot be said about saving energy. The difficulty lies in scheduling the shutdown because the time to complete the task cannot be easily predicted. CPUOff is a software that solves this problem. CPUOff is a small freeware application that monitors the CPU load and initiates computer shutdown if the average CPU load has been found to be below a set threshold for a preset time. CPUOff is a great utility for saving energy by making sure a computer shuts down when it has finished an unattended task. CPUOff operates by checking the average CPU load once a second and comparing it with a preset threshold. If the CPU load falls below the threshold and stays for a

5 short links for today #6

1. : A directory of browser bookmarklets. Bookmarklets are Javascript codes that can be saved in a browser as bookmarks and which perform specific functions on websites, like downloading embedded videos, creating short URLs and such. 2. isNSFW is the safest way to share NSFW links. It’s a link shortening service for sharing Not Safe For Work content. Instead of sending an obligatory warning note with each NSFW link you share, shorten the link using isNSFW and apply a rating according to it’s content. Your friend will see a warning message before he can open the URL. 3. YtDub : This site allows you to dub YouTube videos with other YouTube videos. In other words, you can take a YouTube video and replace it’s audio with the audio from another YouTube video. 4. FreeShipping : Looking for a product that ships for free? Try This website tells you which product on which shopping site is being offered free of shipping charges. It’s includes free-ship

Windows Installer CleanUp Utility removes stubborn Windows applications

Have you ever come across an application that refuses to uninstall? It throws a message like “uninstaller is corrupt” or “could not find uninstaller” or something along those lines. This partially uninstalled application might prevent you from reinstalling the application or cause other problems. If you find yourself in such a fix, give a go at Windows Installer CleanUp Utility. Windows Installer CleanUp Utility removes installation information for programs that were installed by using Windows Installer. The utility looks up for registry references and files related to Windows Installer that were installed by various programs, and forcibly wipes them out. Windows Installer CleanUp Utility does not remove the actual program files from the computer. It only removes the installation and registry entries thus effectively wiping out any information that points to the installed program files. After the Cleanup Utility does it’s job, you can manually delete the program files or start ove

VSuite Ramdisk turns the RAM into a virtual hard disk

Applications such as server systems, image and data processing and games require fast hardware to perform at an acceptable level and speed. In such cases the hardware that holds them back is usually the hard disk. Hard disks are inherently slow because they are based on mechanical systems consisting of moving parts. Even the fastest hard disk is several times slower than the slowest RAM. One solution to this problem is to use Ramdisk. A Ramdisk or RAM-Disk is a software layer that transforms a segment of the random access memory (RAM) into a virtual secondary storage or hard disks. By moving the data which is currently being processed to these Ramdisk, we can greatly increase the access time and the throughput of the computer. Besides the service life of a physical hard disk can be prolonged by reducing access to it. VSuite Ramdisk (Public edition) is one such free RAM disk software for Windows. This software can create up to several RAM disks in the computer’s main memory whi

Deskpecker, Pepsi Volume Controller and Recycle Bin Laden

If reading the title of this post made you say “What the hell?”… you are right! These are names of three actual Windows applications, three most useless Windows applications. They are so crazy and so complete trash that I couldn’t help but write about them. And they all come from the same publisher. Deskpecker is small Woodpecker, the bird, that flies to the currently active window on the desktop and starts pecking at it’s right border. Desktop toys stink but somehow this looks cute. Pepsi Volume Controller is a volume controller for Windows in the shape of a Pepsi can with a “Real Pepsi Pouring Wave file for Sound Testing.” It does provide some additional benefits over the default Windows volume controller like volume level display in numbers, buttons to launch “audio properties” window and “always stay on top”. The third one takes the cake. Recycle Bin Laden replaces the Recycle bin icon on the desktop with an Osama Bin Laden icon. Duh!

Mozilla JetPack lets you build your own Firefox addon

Developing addons for Firefox requires knowledge on Javascript, XUL and XML. If you know none of the above but do know the ins and out of HTML and web designing, you can still design simple extensions for Firefox, thanks to the new Mozilla project JetPack. Jetpack is an API that allows anybody with knowledge on HTML, CSS and Javascript to write Firefox addons. Mozilla says that Jetpack addons can be written in under a dozen lines of code. What’s more? Addons built through JetPack can be installed without restarting the browser. Jetpack is still a very early open source project, it’s a prototype actually. The initial Jetpack APIs support features built for status bars, tabs, content-scripts, animations, and more. It also support external API libraries like Twitter and supports jQuery. Interested developers may checkout the following introductory video, or jump right into the project with available tutorials and documentations. [via Mashable ]

FocusWriter, a full screen, portable word processor

We have seen a few full screen, distraction free writers in the past ( Darkroom , Writespace ). These writers are pretty bare bone and even lacking in features that you might consider essential like text formatting. FocusWriter is no different, but this one is comparatively more equipped with features than the rest. FocusWriter isn’t entirely devoid of toolbars. They remain hidden and show up when you move the mouse to top or bottom edge of the screen. The toolbar at the top carries some basic buttons like open, save, print, find, rename etc. The toolbar at the bottom shows the document's name, word count, time and a daily goal percentage. The time display is a thoughtful addition, since working full screen can make us lose track of time without the system tray clock. The daily goal is optional, but a very helpful feature. You can set goals either in minutes or in word count for each document you create. For example, you can set yourself a goal of 30 minutes to wri

RunPee tells you when you should take a bathroom run during a movie, and what you missed

Watching movies at home on a rented DVD or on the TV has one advantage: you get ample time during commercial breaks to take a leak without missing a scene. But things aren’t so comfortable when you are at a theatre. With pressure building up inside your bladder and 45 minutes left for the movie to end, you are forced to make a difficult choice - resist the urge and attempt to concentrate on the movie or run for the bathroom and risk missing an important scene. RunPee is a new website that tries to help people in such a dilemma. Every movie has a few scenes that aren’t crucial to the plot, scenes you can afford to miss without compromising your movie experience. RunPee tells you when those scenes occur and how much time you get to relieve your bladder. Currently RunPee offers this valuable information on only a few selected movies. When you choose a movie from the list, you will get a timeline of the movie with “RunPee” moments or restroom breaks marked along the timeline.

File defragmentation tools: WinContig vs Defraggler

Defragmenting the whole drive is time consuming and to a large extent very unrewarding, as you can only gain a few milliseconds of access time at best. Defragmenting individual files is a far better strategy. My Documents folder is taking too long to open? Defragment it. The movie file is badly fragmented? Defragment it and leave the rest. It’s time saving and logically more sound than whole drive defragment. I have written about a file defragmentation tool called Defraggler earlier. Another such tool that I came across recently is WinContig . WinContig is a stand-alone defragmentation tool for Windows that lets you quickly defrag files and folders without having to defrag the whole disk. One useful feature in WinContig is the ability to group files and folders together and save it as a profile. So if you frequently defrag a certain collection of files, you can group them together and save it as a profile. The next time when you need to defragment those files, you only ha

Ships, the Google Earth based ship simulator

Ships is a free browser based simulation game released by that became the first game ever to use Google Earth as a game engine. The game lets you be the helmsman of your own fleet of ships comprising of barges, cargo ships, container ships, and even a cruise ship. You can drive the ships anywhere in the world and behold the incredible scenery at a leisurely pace. All you need is the Google Earth plugin. Apart from the default navigation system of Google Earth, the game features 3 additional camera modes similar to what can be seen in many games. There is a "head view" which locks the viewer to the ship. The fixed view simulates a fixed camera that tracks the ship as it sails by. Once the ship has passed it will randomly relocate itself somewhere in front of the ship. "Ships" is a case study / Technology show piece that demonstrates what can be achieved with Google Earth. While map data has a tremendous value for practical p

Http Explorer – A powerful web server for file sharing

Http Explorer is an open source, easy to use web server software designed especially for file sharing across a network or the Internet. Using a simple configuration interface you can set up a web server on your computer and assign drives or folders containing anything like music, images or documents and allow other users to access these contents remotely over a network. Very recently I wrote about a streaming music server software Subsonic , and before than Sockso , that enabled sharing of music over a network. Http Explorer is similar file sharing server but with wider capabilities. Not only can it stream music files but also share images, documents and literally any file format. When you add a folder or drive to share, you essentially open it up on the network. Users can browse the contents of the folder or drive using a browser and download any files or play music directly using an inbuilt Flash media player. The software has a number of different “styles” or interface

Textorizer – Make pictures with texts

Textorizer isn’t exactly an ASCII art generator but similar. While a typical ASCII art makes use of random characters to generate an image, Textorizer takes user defined words or texts and generates an image out of it. Open the application, choose an image and load any Word document or text file you have saved on your computer as the source text. Click on Textorize and watch as the words take the shape of the image. Play around with the various sliders – color, saturation, font scale etc to get the desired effect. Also checkout, ASCII posters and ASCII generation with mouse [via Chris Pirillo ]

10 short links for today #5

Instead of the usual 5, today I will be sharing with you twice the number of links. 1. TubeChop : Chop a section of a long YouTube video containing the interesting part and share. You can choose both the start and end time. 2. Build an Atom : A simple collection of images showing the inside structure – electrons, protons, shells and orbitals of atoms of all the elements. 3. 8-bit FM : An online radio station streaming 8-bit video game soundtracks and other “nerdy” tunes. 4. Picamatic : An image sharing website that allows you to upload a large number of images simultaneously. Instead of only one upload buttons, it has several arranged in a grid. Upload one file and move to the second one while the previous is still uploading and then to the next and so on. There is also a batch uploading feature. 5. Jumbra : An online application powered by the Google App Engine that combines a number of RSS/Atom feeds into a single feed. Similar to RSS Mixer . 6. A simulation of

Workrave helps you prevent Repetitive Strain Injury

There is no denying the fact that performing the same physical task repetitively over a long time span causes pain and discomfort. There is a term for such a disorder - Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI). RSI stems from prolonged repetitive, forceful, or awkward movements of limbs, usually the arm. The result is damage to muscles, tendons, and nerves of the neck, shoulder, forearm, and hand, which can cause pain, weakness, numbness, or impairment of motor control. One of the risks that people who work at the computer face is RSI. Fine hand movements, repeated hour after hour, day after day, thousands upon thousands of times, eventually strain the muscles and tendons of the forearms, wrists, and fingers, causing microscopic tears. Injured muscles tend to contract, decreasing the range of motion necessary for stress free work. The sheaths that cover delicate tendons run out of lubrication because they aren't given time to rest, so tendon and sheath chafe, resulting in pain.

How to normalize or increase/decrease audio volume of a video

Often we come across videos that has either a very low or a very high audio volume that forces us to adjust the volume level in our speakers or media player. Sometimes the audio is so faint that turning up the audio volume knob only amplifies the background noise making the actual audio inaudible. Fortunately, there is a fix available. To rectify such video files, we have to adjust the audio level or in other words, normalize the audio. Earlier I had shown you how to normalize MP3 files . This time we will normalize a video file. The software we will require is Virtualdub , a free open source video editor. Remember that this method will work only with AVI files (i.e. MPEG4 encoded). If you have an MPEG file you will need to convert it to AVI first. Open Virtualdub and load the video into the editor. From the Video menu, select "Direct Stream Copy".      From the Audio menu, select "Full Processing Mode". From the Audio menu click on

Server2Go, a web server that runs from the CD ROM

If you want to run a web server on your computer , not necessarily to host a website, but to install Wordpress, design a theme and such, you have plenty of options to choose from. But most of the server software requires installation and thus impossible to carry it on a pen drive. Server2Go , however is portable. It’s more than portable because it’s capable of running directly off a CD ROM or any write protected USB drive. Server2Go allows you to create a standalone working web site with Apache, PHP and MySQL directly out of a CD ROM. Using a web browser, a user can run PHP programs as well as view html files on the CD-ROM. Simply insert the CD with Server2Go into the optical drive and the server software starts automatically. Features: Autodetect free ports for Apache and MySQL Autodetection of proxy settings Server2Go takes care of the correct configuration of Apache, PHP and MySQL depending on the environment Starts up the Server software auto

Animata creates animations out of still images

You might be thinking how it is even possible to animate still images. Well, remember puppet shows? In puppet shows you have inanimate dolls or puppets with flexible limbs connected to strings which are controlled by humans. By pulling the strings we can move the puppets in all sort of ways and make them walk, dance and talk. Creating animations with Animata , an open source real-time animation software, is exactly like putting up a puppet show. Unlike traditional animation software you don’t have to be an artist to create animations because there is no drawing or modeling involved. All you need is an assortment of pictures. Then using the tools available on Animata you create a skeleton mesh on top of the image. Make some parts of the skeleton fixed and some part movable. Assign pivot points around which the movable parts would rotate. Then attach “strings” to those movable parts. By contracting or expanding these strings you can move the limbs just like you move a puppet and crea

Device Remover – The advanced device manager

Device Remover is a very powerful device manager for Windows that provides an in-depth view of all installed devices, drivers and services, facilitates easy and mass removal of multiple devices on-the-fly and modification of devices, drivers and services on the system. If you are used to the simple, default, device manager of Windows, be prepared to be assaulted by a massive amount of information that Device Remover throws at you. The programs’ main interface is teeming with data. On the upper left is the standard device manager tree view of all system (Hidden, Detached, Current installed, Problematic Devices,etc). Hovering the mouse gives you a detailed information about the device complete with hardware ID, registry keys, location of INF files and what not. The same information is available on the right hand window when you select a device on the tree view. There are a number of tabs at the top at gives you detailed view of installed drivers, drivers currently loaded in

AnalogX LinkExaminer detects broken links, duplicate content and incorrect SEO on your website

If you have a website you must surely understand how important it is for the purpose of SEO and convenience of visitors to keep all links on your site working. Missing pages or duplicate contents is not only annoying for the visitors but is also harmful to your site’s ranking in search engines. In the past we wrote about a program called Xenu’s Link Sleuth that hunts down broken links and images on a website enabling you to weed out non existent pages or links. AnalogX LinkExaminer is another tool that scans all links present on a web site or web page and determines it’s integrity. LinkExaminer then goes a step ahead by performing other checks on the links like HTTP status code, HTTP message, whether it’s no-follow, last modified date, size, page title, a quick SEO  analysis and some more advanced tasks like identifying pages with high similarity to other pages. Once the scan is over, you can filter the results by external links, internal links, links with errors and so

Subsonic – Streaming music from your PC

Subsonic is a free, web-based music streaming server for your personal computer that lets you share your music with friends, or to listen to your own collection while at work. Subsonic instantly transforms your PC into a music hub. You can access your entire music collection from anywhere on the Internet by just pointing the browser to your computer. Subsonic is vastly more powerful than the previously mentioned Sockso , another free streaming music server software. What makes Subsonic a great media server? Adding music is so simple. If you keep all your music on a separate partition, which most people do, all you have do is specify that hard drive partition. In a snap, your entire music collection will get added, even if it’s stored in folders several levels deep. Further, it will organize and display the collection alphabetically. What’s more? When you load an album or several albums into the player, Subsonic will automatically retrieve the album cover art from the Internet.

Add custom locations to Windows Open/Save dialog box with Melloware PlacesBar Editor

How many of you actually use the buttons on the left hand pane of Windows Open and Save dialog boxes, also called the Places bar? Do you remember those buttons? Open the dialog box now and look. It has 5 buttons for 5 different locations to save or open your files – Recent files, Desktop, My documents, My Computer and My Network places. But except ‘My documents’ and ‘Desktop’, the rest are hardly of any use. The good news is, you can customize the Places bar using a software called Melloware PlacesBar Editor . (I use another software called FlashFolder to add my own folders and drives to open/save boxes). With PlacesBar Editor you can easily customize the standard Windows Open/Save dialog box and replace the existing shortcuts with your most frequently used folders to the Places bar. This enables you to access your folders in just one click, instead of having to browse the whole hard disk every time you want to open or save a file. It’s easier, faster and more productive.

Another 25 beautiful Windows XP themes

Even though Windows XP is almost a decade old, themes for this OS hasn’t stopped appearing. Every week a couple of new themes are released into the Internet which means that there are a few good thousands of free Windows XP themes floating around the web. About a year ago I made a small compilation of XP themes. Here is another list with a fresh new collection. Enjoy!

Lazarus for Firefox saves and recovers typed data in forms

There have been times when you spend great amount of time patiently filling an online form or carefully typing a well thought reply on a blog or discussion board, and when you click the submit button the connection goes dead and the data couldn’t be sent. You hit the back button to realize with horror that all the typed data is gone, lost for ever. That is why you must need Lazarus. Lazarus Form Recovery is an addon for Firefox that automatically saves everything as you type in online forms allowing you to safely recover your lost work in the event of server timeouts, network issues, browser crashes, power failures, and all the other things that can go wrong while you're entering forms, editing content, or writing webmail. If the server timeouts or the browser crashes, right-click inside a text box you have just filled before the crash and select "Recover form" from the menu to recover the lost text. Lazarus works on web forms, WYSIWYG editors and AJAXi

wikiAlarm sends email alerts when your Wikipedia pages are edited

Anybody who contributes to Wikipedia wishes to keep track of the articles they contribute to, watching for changes and edits. Wikipedia has a feature called “Watchlist” that allows a user to do so. A logged user can add pages to their watchlist and see any changes made to these during a given time period. But the problem with watchlist is that there is no notification system, and so you have to keep checking the watchlist from time to time. wikiAlarm is a new online service that comes really handy. It allows you to keep track of up to 5 Wikipedia pages and any changes or edits made to these pages will be notified to you via email. wikiAlarm monitors the watched pages every hour and email updates are sent as soon as a change is detected. So at worst you will learn about the edit an hour late. Time is vital because if any anonymous user vandalizes your pages you would want it restored as soon as possible. If the inaccurate information isn’t removed quickly it can be quoted by j

Mz Cpu Accelerator automatically increases priority of active applications

The priority level of a running process determines how much precedence or importance the processor gives to the requests from the said process for processor time. By default all applications and processes are assigned the same level of priority, the “normal” level. A process with a priority higher than normal is allocated more CPU cycles than those with lower priority. Sometimes when all applications are running at the same priority and the number of running applications is high, the system may becomes sluggish because the CPU has to respond to each application equally irrespective of which applications you are currently working on. Mz Cpu Accelerator is a program that solves this issue by automatically increasing the priority of the active window. The result is that the applications you are currently working on gets more CPU “attention” and hence becomes more responsive. The priority of an applications can also be changed manually using applications such as PowerMenu or