Windows has a utility called Default Programs that allows you to configure or change the default applications associated with specific file extensions. This feature was added to Windows XP through Service Pack 1, and comes default in later versions of Windows. While the Default Programs utility was revamped and made more useful in Windows Vista and 7, a particular feature found in Windows XP edition of the utility was taken away. That was the ability to change the default action when a file with a specific extension was double-clicked in Windows Explorer.
Saturday, July 30, 2011
Remember what the most annoying feature was when Internet Explorer 9 was made public to the world the first time? It was the toolbar. On IE9, the address field, the navigation buttons and the tabs shared the same toolbar space with the result that there wasn’t enough for all. The toolbar was already full with just a few tabs opened. Following user complaints, Microsoft provided users a way to move the tabs to a dedicated toolbar. But now Firefox users can experience that horrible claustrophobic feeling with an experimental add-on that Mozilla has released.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Microsoft has released a Camera Codec Pack for Windows 7 and Windows Vista that enables Windows Live Photo Gallery and Windows Explorer to display RAW image files from more than 120 DSLR cameras. Microsoft Camera Codec Pack also makes it possible to edit raw images extending Live Photo Gallery’s file viewing and editing capabilities beyond JPEG, PNG, and TIFF.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Taskbar Shadow is a simple free utility that adds a drop shadow effect to Windows 7 taskbar. What differentiates this tool from some other that are currently available is that Taskbar Shadow is location aware. This means that whether the taskbar is situated at the bottom, top, right or left, this tool works equally well.
Just like Twitter and Facebook, the Google+ stream suffers from the overwhelming problem of too many updates in too less time. I wrote about a few ways to tackle this problem like muting users and changing the default stream to a user or circle. G+me for Google Plus is a new Chrome extension that offers the best solution possible – automatically collapsing messages and comments.
Monday, July 25, 2011
Have you ever imagined that you can access your video library stored on your home computer immediately wherever you go? Air Playit can help you achieve that. No matter you are sitting at the coffee bar or waiting for your flight at the airport, you can watch your videos over WiFi, 3G or 4G network without waiting.
Here is another round of Windows 7 themes. Please read the instructions provided by the theme author to learn how to use it. Often the author provides links to wallpapers, icons etc. which makes it possible to achieve the exact look as shown in the screenshot. These needs to be downloaded and applied separately or using separate tools, some of which has been previously discussed here.
Windows 7 and Vista’s built-in firewall lacks a proper interface due to which configuration of the firewall is beyond most casual users. Free programs such as Windows 7 Firewall Control gives users more control on Windows 7 firewall allowing users to create application rules, zones, forward ports and more. Windows 7 Firewall Control converts the default Windows firewall into a full fledged firewall program. But if you are looking for something in between no control and full control, you should try Windows Firewall Notifier.
Cloud Turtle is a new free desktop utility to upload, download, explore and manage files on three different cloud storage services - Amazon S3, Nirvanix and Timeline Cloud. The software can multi-task operations such as upload, download and delete. It has a simple, dynamic user interface that can be changed to your preferred layout, it throttles bandwidth, contains a complete history log, has auto retry of failed tasks, and can pause and resume uploads and downloads.
Sunday, July 24, 2011
Google has been making a lot of new improvements to Google Image Search lately – date annotations, restoration of the image size filter and addition of a date filter. Alex Chitu has discovered another new change – the image search engine has started showing EXIF data of photos, which incidentally was another top requested feature by the Reddit community.
Shortly after Google+ was launched, a service called Move2Picasa came into being that automatically moved your Facebook photo albums to Google Picasa, and thus made them available through your Google+ account. Move2Picasa is overtly simple and offers no control on which albums are moved. If that doesn’t sound impressive, here is a new Facebook to Picasa photo migration utility that you will definitely like.
Saturday, July 23, 2011
A few weeks ago, Facebook rolled out video chat and during this roll out they changed the layout of Facebook as well. The chat window is no longer a pop-out window that can be opened or minimized when needed. Now instead, it’s a permanently visible section on Facebook, sticking to the right of the screen and showing a selection of your friends including those online and offline.
Friday, July 22, 2011
Losing your driver discs can be a frustrating, if you are not sure which hardware your computer came with. This is particularly a problem with laptops, since these devices come preloaded with the operating system and manufacturers are not very forthcoming on the exact specification of their models.
PSD, Photoshop's native file format, is an impressive one because it stores an image while preserving practically every imaging options available in Photoshop. These include layers with masks, color spaces, ICC profiles, transparency, text, alpha channels, clipping paths, and more. This allows you to save your work and return back at any time to make changes or continue working on it from where you left.
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Mozilla has released a cool, experimental Firefox extension named Tilt that lets you visualize any web page has if it’s a 3-dimensional entity. The extension takes the DOM structure of the webpage and layers each node based on the nesting in the tree, creating stacks of elements, each having a corresponding depth and being textured according to the webpage rendering itself. The visualization is drawn using WebGL.
Clipboard Rules is a unique program that can trigger different actions based on text strings copied to the clipboard. When the application is running it monitors the clipboard for predefined text strings. When a matching string is copied and loaded to the clipboard, the action associated with it is executed.
We live in the cloud, but desktop applications are still a rage. Almost every other day a new desktop program for a web-based service is released, and they are all downloaded in droves. In the past, we have come across desktop applications for social media sites (Facebook, Twitter), file sharing services (Google Docs, Box.net), photo sharing services (Picasa, Flickr) and others like Google Calendar, Facebook chat and so on.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Cocoon is a privacy add-on for Firefox that adds an extra layer of security to Internet browsing by securely routing all traffic through a proxy server. The benefit of using a proxy server, as any privacy conscious individual will tell you, is that it offers anonymity to the user. But Cocoon does not connect to any available public web proxy like most other proxy add-ons do. Cocoon’s proxy servers are guarded by the Security-Enhanced Linux, which we are told was developed by the United States' National Security Agency (but it’s open source), and the connection takes place over SSL.
When you add friends to your Circles in Google+, you essentially ‘follow’ them, so that anything they write or share appear on your stream of updates. The Stream displays all updates from all people you follow sorted in chronological order. But sometimes you might not want that to happen.
Sometimes when you share articles with friends on social networks or through email, and you want to draw their attention to specific quotes on the page or to a specific paragraph, there is a better way to do this than add a footnote such as “read line three through line fourteen on paragraph four”.
Previously, I showed how you can add Copy, Paste, Cut, Delete and other buttons to the Windows 7 explorer toolbar. The process involved taking ownership of the registry editor program and then adding multiple keys to the registry. It was tiresome, and many users found it difficult to follow. If you wished there was a utility that did this for you automatically, now there is.
Monday, July 18, 2011
One of things Microsoft has added to Office 2010 products is Shapes, which gives users the ability to add custom shapes to their presentation and documents. Shapes can be used to add decorative elements to slides - putting a box around a portion of the text to highlight it, for instance.
After conquering the smartphone market with its apps for both Android and iPhone, Facebook is finally looking to get into the lesser models, the so called ‘feature phones’, or as some people like to call – dumb phones.
The entries in Windows ‘Send to’ menu are located in a directory on your system drive. To add new locations or folders to the ‘Send to’ menu you simply create shortcuts to that location and copy the shortcuts to the following directory.
Saturday, July 16, 2011
At first glance, the image below looks like a satellite image of Europe at night. Actually, it is a map that reveals how active Europeans are on social networking sites Twitter and Flickr. Created by Eric Fischer, the map combines data from geotagged photos from Flickr and geotagged posts on the micro-messaging network Twitter.
Windows 7 has a feature called Search Connector that gives users the ability to search and view results on remote locations, such as websites, right within Windows Explorer window. You can use the regular search box in Windows Explorer and results are displayed just like the way it does when searching your own content, including thumbnails, keyword highlights and even file previews.
Start G+ is an extension for Google Chrome that does many things at once. One among this is it automatically cross posts whatever you share on Google+ to both Twitter and Facebook.
Before you can start cross posting you have to connect your Twitter and Facebook account to Start G+. You can do this from Start G+ button on the black Google navigation bar at the top. Once this is completed, open Google+’s sharing form and you should see a Facebook and Twitter icon underneath to indicate that your post will be shared to those social networks as well. To turn off sharing simply click the icons once.
Although Google Plus notifies you when someone adds you to their Circles, it doesn't inform you when you're being removed from them. Thankfully, a browser extension will fix this.
Similar to the Unfriend Finder extension for tracking friends who removed you from their Facebook’s friend list, GoogleMINUS is a browser extension that sends you live notifications when someone removes you from their Google Plus Circles.
Friday, July 15, 2011
Today, Google announced two important changes to the Google Image Search service. One is the ability to search for recent images, which was hitherto, impossible to do, and the other is the return of the ‘Larger than size’ and ‘Exactly’ image size option to the main page. Both are important additions that will allow people to get more relevant search results.
When someone’s email account gets hacked, it’s usually the friends who find this out first, unless the hacker has completely booted the owner out of his inbox by changing the password. This is because friends are the ones who start receiving spam mails or plea for money. When this happens, what one normally does is call their friend or contact them on an alternate email address to let them know that their email account has been compromised. Now Microsoft has introduced a new system that allows friends to report hacked accounts to Hotmail directly.
Thursday, July 14, 2011
The first line of defense for your Wi-Fi network is encryption, which encodes the data transmitted between your PC and your wireless router. This is necessary to prevent other users from connecting to your network and taking a free ride at your expense. The more serious issue is securing your communication from hackers and trouble makers in general.
Often videos on YouTube are available in multiple sizes. If the original uploaded video was high definition 1080p, you can also watch it in 720p and 360p and sometimes even as low as 240p. Usually, YouTube videos by default play at high quality such as 480p and 720p if available. This suits people who prefer watching videos at high resolution, but bad for people who have old computers or their connection is not fast enough or there are bandwidth caps the user cannot afford to go over.
Swimming in the soup of modern life means living online. How better to do it than with mobile broadband? What’s your device of choice and what device should you be considering if you’re getting ready to wade in?
Today, I’m going to show you how to make your pictures attractive by applying a cool polaroid-stack effect. It looks very beautiful, and is very easy to create. You only need to be somewhat familiar with Photoshop’s interface and its basic tools. No special skills are required.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
A lot of things are not supported by Google+ at the moment - take private messaging, for instance. Another one is RSS feed. It’s likely that Google will add an option to send private messages to another Google+ user because sooner or later users will start demanding it, but I’m not sure about RSS.
Last May, Twitter unceremoniously killed off access to RSS feeds with the redesign of their website’s interface. Twitter has also been cracking down on application that duplicates functionality already offered by the site and its official apps to prevent third party apps from competing with Twitter. It’s evident that Twitter wants you to come to their site to use it. The killing off of the RSS feeds is to force users to visit Twitter or use one of their official desktop clients to read updates.
Often when a new service is launched by Internet giants such as Google, Amazon and Facebook, it is primarily targeted to the US audience, leaving the rest of the world smacking their lips. But Google seems to have different intensions with Google+.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Practically every Windows user loathes the entire exercise of formatting and reinstalling Windows. The actual installation of the operating system is not a pain, in fact, it’s the breeziest part. It’s the part after the installation that takes colossal amount of time – reinstalling drivers and software, and generally configuring the computer to make it behave like it did before the user reinstalled Windows.
Imagine if you could use your smartphone to get your eyes tested in less than a minute without visiting your ophthalmologist or without access to thousand dollars bulky diagnostic machines and laser scanners? That’s exactly what a team of researchers led by Ramesh Raskar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has devised – a small plastic lens that can be clipped to a cell phone screen, and a software that can accurately determine a person’s vision prescription on the spot, making quick, inexpensive diagnoses of refractive vision errors a reality, especially in remote areas.
MAGIX Music Maker Silver 17 is a stripped down version of MAGIX’s commercial offering - Music Maker 17 Pro, which is a digital music mixing software packaged within a slick interface and plenty of features for both serious musicians and hobbyists. MAGIX Music Maker Silver 17 is a special edition, designed for first time users and is available completely free of charge until the end of this month.
Monday, July 11, 2011
Saturday, July 9, 2011
iMacsoft Free DVD Ripper is a totally free DVD ripping program for Windows with features usually seen only in commercial products.
I have reviewed a fair number of DVD ripping programs in the past – a majority of them happens to be paid software. When compared to freeware DVD ripping programs, the commercial programs always had an edge over the free ones. They always had a better interface, had exhaustive support for media file formats and built in profiles for different portable devices and media players. I was eager to see a free DVD ripper that was at least half as decent as the paid ones.
Friday, July 8, 2011
Miss Windows XP’s start menu - the one where menus fly out from the All Programs group, instead of scrolling inside a tiny space as in Windows 7 and Vista? Start Menu XP is a new program that gets rid of Windows 7’s scrolling start menu and brings back the old fly-out functionality that was the standard for all menus until Windows Vista.
Surplus is an extension for Google Chrome that allows you to access Google+ notification, share, read and post comments, all from the browser’s interface without being on the Google+ website. The extension provides full browser integration, complete with desktop notification. You can even switch between several Google accounts.
Google’s new social networking site Google+ has taken over the internet like a storm. The initial impressions have been very positive and many Facebook users have already migrated to Google Plus. But make no mistake, Facebook is here to stay, which means we now have two social networking profiles to maintain. Two browser tabs for two social networks? Nope, that’s not how we do things.
Last year, Gmail introduced Priority Inbox – a different inbox layout where emails are separated by importance, read or unread, or messages marked with stars. Starting today, Gmail will roll out several new inbox styles to help you manage your mail in the way that works best for you. Once it’s turned on for your account, you can easily choose a style from the tabs at the top of your inbox.
The Windows Live Team has released an update to the Windows Live Essential 2011 pack of applications that contain popular utilities such as Windows Live Writer, Windows Live Messenger, Windows Live Photo Gallery, and Windows Live Movie Maker among others. The update labeled 15.4.3538.0513 brings full support for SSL in Windows Live Mail, and the latest Bing bar, aside from a number of performance and quality improvements. Microsoft has not released a full log of the changes, instead highlighted a couple of key fixes.
Thursday, July 7, 2011
Firefox has a known history of being a memory hog – leave it open for long enough with multiple tabs open, and it will slowly drain away your computer’s memory. The so called ‘memory leak’ has always been a problem with Firefox as long as I can remember. Even Mozilla acknowledges the existence of the memory issue and as a workaround it recommends periodic restart of Firefox to bring the browser’s memory usage down to reasonable levels.
Facebook has just announced video calling and group chat, along with other improvements, that allows you to talk to your friends face to face. All you need to do is complete a quick, one-time setup that involves installation of an app, and you’re ready to call any friend on Facebook.
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Mobile phones are important devices that a number of people use every day. While these handy tools are great for staying connected, they can also be costly. If you find your mobile phone bill steadily rising, you can take some measures to keep your monthly fees down. From eliminating unnecessary features to switching plans, there are numerous ways to easily control your monthly mobile expenses.
Last week we had a great giveaway contest sponsored by the popular Usenet service provider Binverse. It generated quite a bit of interest among those who entered the sweepstake, and from the comments I could see that many have never used Usenet before. Some were eager to get an account, while others had no idea what Usenet was but still left their name because it was free. Indeed, this is a great opportunity for people to try out Usenet.
Move2Picasa is a new web service that lets users automatically transfer all their Facebook photos and albums to Google Picasa with little user intervention.
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
HardlyWork.in is a new addition to the crop of application that are the bane of every office and nightmare for every employer. Like the recently mentioned ExcellBook, HardlyWork.in allows Facebook users to login to their account and access their news feed, wall posts, read comments and everything else from an interface that has been sculpted to look like Microsoft Excel.
If you use Google Calendar to plan your appointments and events, it will be nice if you can obtain weather forecast in your calendar. That way you can decide whether to organize a hiking trip or opt for a movie – right there - without visiting any weather program or weather website.
Do you know you can get weather forecasts in Google Calendar without using any plugins or additional tools?
In Windows, Safe Mode is diagnostic mode where the operating system loads as few executable modules as possible and usually disables devices, except for the minimum necessary to display information and accept input. Under Safe Mode, Windows has reduced functionality, but the task of isolating problems become easier because many non-core components are disabled.
Monday, July 4, 2011
The Natural Resources Defense Council has found that the most energy draining piece of equipment in most homes are the digital video recorder and set-top box, with some typical home entertainment configurations eating more power than a new refrigerator and even some central air-conditioning systems.
Justin Eugene Evans, the writer and director of ‘A Lonely Place for Dying’ released the first part of the movie to BitTorrent via the VODO services recently, opting for BitTorrent over traditional movie distribution channels. The cold war spy thriller starring James Cromwell will be broken into five installments which can be downloaded through VODO and it's network of online distributors. The first part was released on June 30. The fifth and final installment will be available after the film's theatrical release beginning in January, 2012.
Group Policy is a set of rules which control the working environment of user accounts and computer accounts. Group Policy provides the centralized management and configuration of operating systems, applications and users' permission of what they can and cannot do on a computer system. Group Policy is often used to restrict certain actions that may pose potential security risks, for example: to block access to the Task Manager, restrict access to certain folders, disable the downloading of executable files and so on.
Friday, July 1, 2011
Food Force is an educational game published by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in 2005, intended to generate awareness among the younger generation about global hunger, and how the WPF works by enabling kids to take on the logistical challenges of delivering food aid in a major humanitarian crisis.
Whenever the computer is lagging or some application is taking too long to respond, we usually fire up task manager and look under the Perfo...
A camera is a mechanical device, and just like any piece of mechanical equipment, it will eventually fail. The life of an SLR or Digital SLR...
Recently, my brother-in-law bought a new Sony Bravia HD-Television that plays videos directly from USB drives. Everything was going find unt...
A watermark is any recognizable text, logo or pattern that appears over an image to identify the owner of the image and generally used to pr...
Search engines can pull up hundreds of recipes for any given dish. Which one will you choose? Surely, the one that doesn’t require you to ru...
Are you running the same mouse cursor (pointer) that came with Windows XP or Vista? How boring! If you can change your desktop wallpaper and...
A utility that handles compressed files like zip and rar is an essential requirement for every Windows PC. The softwares that are most popul...
Let’s say you and your friend are preparing for an all important exam that is going to decide the course the rest of your life takes. Your f...
Organizing your movie collection is much more than making a list of it. Apart from helping you to quickly browse through your personal co...
There are several open source and actively developed, wireless router firmware projects created by people not affiliated with the manufactur...