Thursday, September 08, 2005

FastStone Image Viewer

FastStone Image Viewer

Phew! Finally, I found an image viewer which is actually easy to use!

I've been searching for something like this for ages and ages. Something that will be easy for everyone to use. Not just for the geeks like me! And today, thanks to PC World, I found FastStone Image Viewer.

It has numerous options, without overloading the regular user. You can crop, resize, rotate, browse and watch a slide show all with the same application. And you can also play some nice music while watching the slide show! Fantastic.

There are other interesting tidbits which this application has. One is the quick zoom, which is amazing. (No magnifying glass to select!)

Plus the fact that all tools are available even in the full screen mode - just move the mouse cursor to the edges of the window, and depending upon which edge you go to, you're presented with the various arrays of tools.

And exceptional piece of software. Highly recommended. And of course, FREE! Dowload it here (2.8 MB)

Monday, May 16, 2005

The best organizer for your computer!

GTDTiddlyWiki


This really beats every damned organizing tool I've ever used. I discovered it quite by accident via Lifehacker, which is one of my favourite sites to visit every day.

Before I get into the details, here's the webpage - It's called GTD TiddlyWiki. If you don't want to read any further, just go to the webpage and fiddle around; you'll get the idea.

Now, for all those who're interested to know why I'm so excited about this!

I've always been very intrigued by the concept of a Wiki. The idea is to have a website in which users edit the pages. Initially, I thought 'Ha! This is another of those gimmicks'. Then I came across Wikipedia. This encyclopedia has quickly overtaken the Britannica as the encyclopedia of choice of webusers.

After having proved it's success, it got applied to a number of places, most of them quite interesting. Jotspot is one of them. I'll talk about Application Wikis in details some other time, but today I just want to talk about TiddlyWiki and it's extensions!

TiddlyWiki is just a webpage stored locally which you can modify, edit, delete, do what you want, at whim.

And this ingenious guy, called Nathan Bowers of SnapGrid.com, created this amazing tool, called the "Getting Things Done" TiddlyWiki or the GTDTiddlyWiki.

The best part about it? Well, now you can store all your information on your USB flash drive, edit it, updated it and modify it on the fly.

You can download it here or if you're looking for an empty template, get it here

Now, all I need is this to be integrated into a Calendar and my life is fully organized!

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Hack hotmail and increase the size of your hotmail account!

When Hotmail announced that they will increase the account size for all users, I was very happy. I didn't want to lose my hotmail id just because it was always full! So, I waited eagerly but nothing happened. Then an idea struck me and I went and changed my profile to indicate that I was living in the US. Still nothing! Then after about a month, all of a sudden, my account size jumped to 250MB! I was very thrilled to say the least.

This happened a couple of months ago, but yesterday I came across this site which suggests something similar, but with immediate results!

hotmail

  1. First, log in to hotmail, and then go to Manage Folders. Here, create a folder titled Tempinbox.

  2. Then, go to your Inbox and move all your mails to Tempinbox. You can do this in the Mail view, and selecting all mails - click on the checkbox next to From right on top of all your mails. Once all the mails are selected click on Put in Folder and select Tempinbox to move all your mails. Note: If your inbox spans across multiple pages, you'll have to repeat this until everything is moved over.

  3. Next, go to Options, which appears on the top right side of your page. From here go to Personal (the first item on the left) and in My Profile, update the Country to USA, State to New York, Zip Code to 10028 and Language to English. Click on the Update button at the bottom.

  4. This is IMPORTANT - Before you sign out, copy the following line into your address bar and press 'Enter' -

    http://by17fd.bay17.hotmail.msn.com/cgi-bin/Accountclose


  5. This will deactivate your account. To prevent your email id from getting reassigned to somebody else, log back in immediately into hotmail and login with your usual id and password. You will be given a message showing 'Activate Your Account'. So go ahead and do it and don't select any of the Newsletter options which you are given.

  6. Now, go to your mailbox, and enjoy the bigger size of your account!!
Note: I tried this with my wife's account, and although the size didn't go up to 250 MB, it did increase to 25 MB. Well, that's better than 2 MB at least! Maybe, the account size will increase in a month's size like it happened to me!

Update: Paul V, a friend of mine I had posted this hack to, got his account increased as well, but being a much more diligent guy than I am, also read the 'Welcome Message' which hotmail sends when you reactivate your account. And this is what it says, regarding the 250 MB account size -
"You may notice that your storage meter for your e-mail inbox only says 25 MB instead of 250 MB. Please allow us at least 30 days for us to bump up your storage to the complete 250 MB. It is important to check your inbox regularly during this time."

Microsoft Word as a System Backup Utility!

Can you imagine? Using a behemoth like Microsoft Word for something serious like backing up your system?

When I came across the article, I had to think twice before I could take it seriously! But it works!

Word Backup Utility

The download is here.

via The Red Ferret Journal

Many uses of Microsoft Word

We all know how big this software is. I mean, you keep Microsoft Word open and it seems to take your entire system resources. I always used to crib about this but recently I came across some redeeming articles.

Mouse Trax Downloads
  • Word Image Cataloger
    Download it, unzip it, and place the resulting, unzipped DOT file in a handy location. When you need to locate image files, double click it to open it in Word, point it to any directory on your hard drive and let 'er rip. It'll insert any graphic (jpg & gif) images it finds in that directory, into a Word document. It'll then save the file as an HTML page so you can easily view all the graphics from that directory in your browser. Great for viewing those animated gifs!
    Download it here


  • Word Font List Generator!
    Well, I didn't know I could use Word for that! And it certainly helps to get everything nicely formatted into a Word document, ready for printing!
    Of course, since it is written in Visual Basic, you have to open Word and then open it's Visual Basic editor. Here are the steps:
    Download the FontSampleGenerator.zip file. Pay attention to where you download it!

    Unzip the file. The resulting file will be called FontSampleGenerator.bas. This is a VBA code module. Open Word. Hit Alt/F11 to enter the Visual Basic Editor. Click on your Normal template project to select it. Then click File/Import and ferret around your hard drive to find this .bas file. Select it to add this code module to your Normal.dot template to make it available.

    Note that you can also add it to a new template and then add that template to your ../Word/Startup directory to make it available, but not have it added as extra weight to your Normal.dot template.

    Once the code is available to you in Word, through either method above, you can click Tools/Macro/Macro, locate the Font Sample Generator macro and click Run to get your sample.
    Download it here


  • Word Program Lister
    This is great as well! This will list all programs which you have added and are listed in your Start->Programs! Sure helps to know what all is loaded!

    Download this here


  • Word File Cataloger
    Great for having a list of all your files in a particular directory in a handy Word document. And this programs lists all those files as links, so clicking on them opens them directly! Convenient as hell, I say!

    Download it here

Please Note: All these programs are copyrighted with MouseTrax

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Firefox and Internet Explorer compared

Firefox logoInternet Explorer logo

A very, very insightful comparison between the two browsers.

And the winner is...... (Well, you've got to read the article for yourself!)

via The Office Weblog

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

IT Conversations - downloads of presentations, interviews and discussions in MP3

IT Conversations is a new discovery through one of my ever favourite blogs - Cool Tools.

IT Conversations lists many presentations, interviews and discussions of the movers and shakers of the IT industry. Very, very interesting hearing!

If you have'nt bought an MP3 player yet, this might be the best reason to get one!

Some of the people listed are - Tim O'Reilly, Steve Wozniak, Malcolm Gladwell, Lawrence Lessig among many, many others.

IT Conversations

Some Quick Excel Formula Tips

Daily Dose of Excel
While you enter a formula in a cell, press CTRL+SHIFT+A to see the arguments in a formula. If you type =RATE, and then press CTRL+SHIFT+A, you can see all the arguments for that function–for example, =RATE(nper,pmt,pv,fv,type,guess). If you want more details, type =RATE, and then press CTRL+A to display the Function Wizard.
If you want to quickly enter the same text or the same formula in a range of cells, follow these steps:
1. Select the range of cells that you want to fill.
2. Type the text or formula but do not press ENTER. Instead, press CTRL+ENTER.
The data appears in the range that you selected.
Thanks to Daily Dose of Excel

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

A Musicplasma for Blogs - TouchGraph

Well, I didn't know where to post this - whether I should post this in my other blog of Virtual Tools and Computer Tweaks (pctweaks.blogspot.com) or here, so in the end I decided to post it in both the places!

Just like Musicplasma is for music and helps in discovering new artists, new music, similarly, TouchGraph has created a visual browser for blogs and websites!

You key in a URL of one of the sites you visit the most often and like and it throws up other sites which are similar in nature!

Quite interesting really. I think slowly visual searching of the web is going to get smarter like this and browsing will be more of a visual experience than a textual one.





via BoingBoing

Free Backup Software!

Yes, I know, it sounds crazy, but all the same there is this great software available for free! Well, considering that most of us don't bother to take backups, getting a software to do something as routine and important as that for free should certainly help!

And it is extremely, extremely easy to use!

Here's the main screenshot -

SyncBack

via The Red Ferret Journal

Monday, January 17, 2005

Musicplasma

Musicplasma has been a favourite of mine ever since it came out. I've discovered numerous new artists through it. I key in one of my current favourite artists and then follow the threads across to many other musicians who's music is similar. The links are sometimes logical, sometimes musical, always enjoyable!

Musicplasma

Besides just being a great service, it's has one of the best Graphical User Interfaces I've ever seen!

Friday, January 14, 2005

Desktop List View

After a long time I came across a really wonderful piece of freeware. This one turns the view on your desktop to a 'List View' instead of the usual 'Icon View' (see image).

Needless to say, this increases your desktop real estate tremendously!

Go to the download site by clicking on the picture.



Thanks to theofficeweblog

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Tech support for your parents

If your parents use computers and you want to help them out, this is a must read.

Besides the usual advice, the ones I liked were on the last page -
  • Do no harm. You might be tempted to help them by tweaking their computer to work the way yours does. Don't. Your parents might have a reason for their different way of doing things, and even if they don't, they might just be used to it. To really help, adapt yourself to their computers and don't force them to work like you do.
  • Listen and learn. Your parents may do the same things with the computer or the Internet that you do but in a different way. And they may call it different things. Yahoo may be "the Web." Microsoft Word might just be called "Microsoft." This isn't the time to correct them. Learn their lingo and explain things in terms they already use.
  • Don't think you know more than they do. Age is not a handicap when dealing with computers. You may be surprised how adept an octogenarian is with instant messaging, Quicken, photo sharing, or even Doom 3. Experience and wisdom can breed stubbornness, and it can also breed flexibility. Just try to understand the issue from the other perspective.
Very important to remember! Especially useful for Indian techie chaps! The IT gap is way larger between generations!

And thanks to Rafe Needleman, a long time favourite, who writes Rafe's Radar, who posted the ZDNet Article

How to take 3D Photos with an ordinary Digital Camera

Engadget again comes up with an excellent article about how to create 3D photos with a regular digial camera and some free software.

They not only do a great job explaining the how-to but also the theory behind 3D photography. Of course, you will need 3D glasses!

The 3D software used is called Callipygian 3D Photo Editing Software. It's free!

The complete how-to is here

3DPhoto


Thanks to Engadget

Friday, January 07, 2005

I guess you can call me a nerd!

Try this test to check (click on the image!)


I am nerdier than 73% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Hey RIAA, here's a P2P program in 15 lines!

Slashdot mentions the New Scientist article pointing to the World's smallest file sharing program!



The program is written by Edward Felten, Computer Science professor at Princeton and is called TinyP2P. He did it to show the futility of trying to stop P2P applications cropping up!! Wow!

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

What price security? (Google unsecured network cameras!)

Can you imagine? Just go to the Google page and enter the following search query -

inurl:"ViewerFrame?Mode="

You'll get a list of unsecured network cameras from all over the world!



Just click on any of the results to get a view!! And get this - you can even control the camera! Wow!

And to think that these were put in there as a security measure in the first place!!

via BoingBoing

Friday, December 31, 2004

Free Online PC Magazine!

Phew! Finally!

This was a long time coming. An online magazine, completely free, paving the way of what the future of publication will be.

And the best part? You can download it in both broadband and dialup modes! Besides that, you can even get it over on bittorrent! Need I say more?

(Click on the image to go to the website)

Home Computer Magazine

via The Office Weblog

Sunday, December 26, 2004

The Perfect Desk Top Publishing Software - Ragtime

Well, it's perfect because it's free! Besides that, it's a full fledged utility for publishing anything from brochures, to cards, to documents, to spreadsheets, to visiting cards, to anything!!

I got this link from The Red Ferret Journal and as it says there, here are the main reasons why you might want to use this:

Five reasons why you need RagTime Solo:
  1. You don’t want to persuade your wordprocessor or spreadsheet program to do layout any longer.
  2. You want to break the barriers of common wordprocessors and spreadsheet programs and handle everything on one page: Texts, pictures, spreadsheets, charts and drawings.
  3. You have no fun with slipped pictures or pages added unexpectedly.
  4. No surprises when printing, please!

Ragtime Solo
ragtime
The download page is here (or just click on the image)

Via The Red Ferret Journal

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Another anti-spamming email Site - Jetable.org

There are many ways to avoid spam! Things like compulsory registration is one thing I absolutely detest on free sites. I mean, what's the point? Of course, every once in a while someone you know you never want an email from asks for your email address!

For situations like all of the above, Mailinator is always there to give you a hand. In fact the post on mailinator was the second post on my PCtweaks blog (pctweaks.blospot.com) which is about free utilities that I've found on the web.

Unfortunately, because of Mailinator's popularity, the website is down for the rest of 2004, because it's attacked by a huge load of spam! So here's an alternative - It's called Jetable (Jetable.org) and you can create a temporary email id at their website for anywhere between 24 hours to 8 days!



Jetable forwards mails sent to this new email id to your actual email id for the period you specify! So, next time some website is asking you to to register for a newsletter just so that you can get to a particular article go Jetable!

Friday, December 17, 2004

Another way to use Gmail!

So, you've got Gmail.

And what do you do with the 1GB space? Well, frankly, with Yahoo! and Hotmail upping their space as well, and with a little bit of cleaning up you really don't need 1 GB of space now, do you?

Contrast this with the list of files you use on a regular basic. Or maybe you want to share some files between home and office. So you rely on email, or you've gotten yourself a USB drive.

But Gmail Drive Extension gives us another option. With this, you can make your Gmail appear as another drive in Windows Explorer. So you can drag and drop files here to be accessed from any other computer you want!



A great way to get large files across to different PCs if you move around a lot. Sure beats lugging around CDs or any other form of storage!

Download it here

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Design and Simulate Electronic Circuits

Came across a software called TKGate (http://www.tkgate.org/) which can be used to design, test and simulate electronic circuits.

I think it'll be of tremendous use to hobbyists as complex projects are undertaken. Imagine testing the success of the whole project before buying a single resistor!!



via Slashdot

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

The OpenCD!!

Finally, finally, a great CD with some of the best Open Source software!



This is absolutely a must have!

Just look at some of the programs included:

Productivity Software
OpenOffice, AbiWord, PDFCreator

Design Software
GIMP, Blender, ....

Internet/Networking
FireFox, Thunderbird, Mozilla suite, Gaim, TightVNC, ....

Go here for the complete list of programs or just click on the image above to go the website.

The Linux Rescue CD

Well, sometimes things screw up. And that's when this Linux System Rescue CD would be of help.




The CD contains the following softwares:
  • GNU Parted is the best tool for editing your disk partitions under linux

  • QtParted is a Partition Magic clone for Linux.

  • Partimage is a Ghost/Drive-image clone for Linux

  • File systems tools (e2fsprogs, reiserfsprogs, xfsprogs, jfsutils, ntfsprogs, dosfstools): they allow you to format, resize, debug an existing partition of your hard disk

  • Sfdisk allows you to backup and restore your partition table
besides lots more!


Monday, December 06, 2004

Credit Card Mathematics!

Usually, I only deal with PC tweaks and applications which help in the virtual world, but today I came across a freeware which might help even in the real world!

This particular software is a credit card calculator which gives you a single place to do all your credit calculations in. It tells you the duration of repayments and also suggests ways to make the most out of it, by making better repayments and consolidating all credit!




From their site,
"Credit Card Math will give you the knowledge you need to get yourself out of debt fast, save money and beat credit card issuers at their own game."

The download link is here

via The Red Ferret Journal