Tech Xpress

Password protect folders in Windows XP

There are two ways to lock folders in Windows XP with a password.

1. The first method applies when you share your computer with others.

a. Right click the folder you want to protect and click properties.
b. Now select the Sharing tab and check the Make this folder private checkbox.
c. Click on Apply and use your login password to access the folder.

(Note: If you do not have a login password, a box will appear for you to enter a new password. A password must be assigned here to make the folder private. After a password is assigned, it becomes your new login password.)

d. Type the password and click the Create Password button. Now close the password window.
e. Click OK and close the properties window and that's it.

2. The second method involves zipped folders and is easy to use.

a. Double-click to open a zipped folder.
b. Go to File >> Add a Password.
c. Enter the password you want to assign in the box and again in the password confirmation box.
d. Click Ok and the folder is password protected.

Related Reading:
Manually Backup entire Windows Registry
Recover files deleted from the Recycle Bin

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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Tuesday, October 31, 2006
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Smartest Phone: This one "knows" its owner


Japan's top mobile carrier NTT DoCoMo has come up with a mobile phone, P903i, which they claim recognizes its owner, automatically locks itself when the owner gets too far away from it and can be found through GPS if it is ever lost.

The P903i comes with a small electronic card which forms a signal loop with the phone. The electronic card should always be with the user.
When the space between the card and the phone increases and exceeds the predefined distance set by the owner, the phone locks itself.

People who forget their cards can enter a password to unlock the phone.

An interesting feature of the phone is facial identification. The owner can unlock the phone by clicking a picture of himself and validating it with the data in the phone.


Even if the phone is lost, the owner can always find it by keying in the phone number in a website which will display its location by using GPS.

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Image via http://www.techshout.com

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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Tuesday, October 31, 2006
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Always restore sessions in Firefox 2.0

As some of you may know, the concept of session restore has been introduced in Firefox 2.0.
For those who don't, Session restore is the ability of the browser (or any other software) to recreate or redisplay the data lost from the previous session.

Firefox 2.0 allows the user to restore sessions after a system crash. This session restore functionality can be altered by the user to allow Firefox to open pages from the previous session everytime it is opened.

The steps involved to make it work are really quite simple.

1. Type about:config in the address bar and press Enter.

2. Now, right-click in the browser window and select New >> Boolean.

3. A box will appear. In this box, type browser.sessionstore.resume_session and click Ok.

4. Now set the value as True and click Ok.

5. Go to Tools >> Options.

6. Under Startup, select When Firefox starts, and set Show my windows and tabs from last time and click Ok.

That's it and you are done.

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Related Reading:
Mozilla releases Firefox 2.0.
Set multiple home pages in Firefox.

Source : Link

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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Tuesday, October 31, 2006
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Life inside Google

I got this stuff by mail and knew this would be good blog fodder.

The photos shown below are of (as claimed in the mail) Googleplex or Google's Head Quarters in Mountain View, California.
Google is not only known for its search but also its low employee attrition.
And the obvious reason I assume are the goodies it offers to its employees.



Free laundry room for them.
Inside Google, there must be (free)food within 100 feet of each employee. It looks more like a supermarket.
There are chocolates, candies and free coke all over the place.



Whiteboards at Google are scribbled with all sorts of smart or not so smart ideas.

Google staff can even bring their pets to office.

Couches are provided for the staff to relax and take a break.



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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Thursday, October 26, 2006
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Mozilla releases Firefox 2


Firefox 2.0 has been officially released by Mozilla on Tuesday.

The new Firefox has enhanced security with built-in phishing protection.
The new version also includes saved session memory which opens the last viewed web pages when the browser was closed or when the session was terminated.
The technology for receiving RSS feeds has also been improved.
Besides this, each tab in Firefox 2 will have a close button.

Firefox 2.0 can be downloaded from
here

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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Wednesday, October 25, 2006
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Contribute to Firefox 3 development

Want to help Mozilla Firefox with your ideas ?
Well! You can use the wiki that has been set up by Mozilla for brainstorming on features of all Firefox future releases ( not just Firefox 3 ).
The contents in the wiki is further divided into various categories making it easy to quote your thoughts.
Source: Link

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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Tuesday, October 17, 2006
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Microsoft announces Vista APIs for Security Firms.

Microsoft has lost one battle in Europe.

Facing pressure from security companies led by Symantec, McAfee and others (including EU Commission), Microsoft has announced it will provide Application Progamming Interfaces ( APIs) in Windows Vista.

One such API will allow the security companies to monitor the state of the kernel and have a secure access to it.

The Security Center in Windows Vista will also not issue any warnings against any third-party security products anymore
Full Story
Related: Windows Vista gives Symantec, McAfee the jitters

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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Tuesday, October 17, 2006
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Flash Mind Reader (Mystical Ball) secret revealed

You may have come across this so called "Psychic Mind Reader" or "Mystical Ball" stuff while surfing the net. And I'm damn sure most of you netizens were curious or in awe the first time you tried it. So was I.
If you aren't sure what am I talking about (writing about rather), check out the links below:
http://www.bored.com/mysticalball/

I first saw this smart piece of work some years ago, but never bothered to figure out the math algorithm behind this puzzle.
One of my friends mailed it to me yesterday and that got me thinking.
As I had first thought, the solution was a simple one. In fact, Too simple.
Its the "Magic of Math" and not symbols and stuff.

So how does it work?
Note: Before proceeding, atleast make an attempt to solve it yourself.

Consider the numbers in the list. Now apply the Math you are asked to perform in the puzzle for all numbers from 10 to 19..

10 - (1 + 0) = 9
11 - (1 + 1) = 9
19 - (1 + 9) = 9

This will surely enlighten you. Amazingly, the answer is always nine.
Why is the answer always the same? That would be a dumb question.
Anyway, here's the answer.
Let's take from the samples shown above.
The original numbers always increment by one (10,11,12....19), but so does the values we are using to subtract ( 1+0,1+1,1+2...1+9).
Obviously, it will yield the same number.

Now consider all numbers between 20 and 29..
20 - (2 + 0) = 18
21 - (2 + 1) = 18
Its 18 here.
And how is 18 related to 9 ? Its a multiple of 9 offcourse.

Similarly, for the set 30-39, it will be 27. 27 is another multiple of 9.
40-49 will return 36.

Now take a close look at the symbols for the number 9 and its multiples.
Well! You must have guessed it by now. All the symbols are the same and this is the answer.

It is truly the magic of the number 9.

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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Wednesday, October 11, 2006
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Google Earth to the rescue of Indian farmers

Google Earth has been in the news for all the wrong reasons.
However, here's something different.

Indian farmers of Pen taluka in the Raigad district of Maharashtra have used images obtained from Google Earth to claim higher compensation for their lands from the Government.

A few months ago the farmers were told to vacate as the state government was acquiring their lands for an SEZ ( Special Economic Zone ).
The state authorities claimed parts of the land was submerged in salty creek water and was infertile and only a small portion of it was fertile.
This would mean a low compensation for the farmers.

To prove the authorities wrong, Mr Arun Shivkar, an activist of the SEZ Hatao Virodh Samiti used Google Earth to generate images of the crop lands.
The images clearly showed fertile crop areas, thus vindicating the claims of farmers for more compensation.

Smart use of technology, isn't it ?

Source: CNBC TV18.
Read more

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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Tuesday, October 10, 2006
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Windows Vista gives Symantec ,McAfee the jitters

John Thompson, CEO of Symantec has expressed this desire of converting Symantec from a US$ 5billion company to a US$10 billion company by 2010.

Fine. But for one problem. Microsoft!.

Symantec know that if Microsoft is successful in using Vista to cut Symantec 's share in the Windows security market, then Symantec can forget about being a US$10 billion company.
It will have trouble staying a US$5 billion company.

Microsoft has closed a loophole that gave Symantec, McAfee, and other security vendors access to the Windows kernel, which controls the operating system's most basic functions.
The vendors use that access to detect and block rootkits, keystroke-logging software, and worms.

In addition to that, Microsoft will bundle antivirus and anti-spyware software into Windows.

Source:
http://www.itwire.com.au/content/view/6182/983/

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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Tuesday, October 10, 2006
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In Australia, Windows Vista is costlier than a computer

The prices for Windows Vista OS range has been released by Microsoft in Australia.
The price range for Australia as released by Microsoft is as under:

Windows Vista Home Basic AUD$385
Windows Vista Home Premium AUD$455
Windows Vista Business AUD$565
Windows Vista Ultimate AUD $751

If you consider the Windows Vista Ultimate price in Indian Rupees, it would be around 25k Rs.
Microsoft has yet not released Vista prices in India though.

25,000 is good enough for anyone to partly configure a decent desktop machine (ie without the software).
So, what this means is even if you build a 25k desktop machine, you'll have to shell out the same amount for the OS if it is a high-end version of the OS.

The Microsoft Office 2007 prices have not yet been released in Australia.

Source

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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Tuesday, October 10, 2006
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Display locations of site visitors in your blog

Want to know where the traffic to your blog originates from ?
Probably, there are many tools available for this purpose.

However, here is a service that lets you display the locations of your visitors in your blog.
Clustrmaps.com provides you with a thumbnail map of the world, where your visitors are displayed as red spots on the map.

To use this service, all you have to do is to create an account and paste the HTML code provided by them in you blog and you are done.

This service is free for sites with daily users less than 2500.
I have used this service for by blog as you can see in my sidebar.

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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Tuesday, October 10, 2006
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Google Currency Converter

How many times have you felt the need to check the exchange rates between various currencies while surfing the net?
Maybe not too often!

But what would you do in such a situation ?
Most probably, you will search Google and check each site in the results individually till you get the latest data or you would go to a financial website.

Well folks! You can always use Google's in-built currency converter to get the desired results.
And here's how its done.

You just have to enter the conversion you want in the Google Search Box and click 'Enter'.
I'll show you some examples:

49 INR in USD
This search would yield only the converted currencies and no other results (figure below).


There are other ways too (see below).
currency of uk in indian money
2 British pounds in Japanese money

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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Saturday, October 07, 2006
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Microsoft to fight piracy with Windows Vista

To fight software piracy, Microsoft has introduced a new set of anti-piracy technologies termed "Microsoft Software Protection Platform".

These technologies will be introduced in the upcoming releases of Windows Vista and Windows Server "Longhorn".
Other Microsoft products will eventually follow suit.

Microsoft Software Protection Platform will primarily :
1. Improve Product Activation.
2. Use Online Product Validation.
3. Behave when tampering or hacking is detected.

Simply put it, it introduces new ways for Windows Vista and Windows Server “Longhorn” to activate, validate as genuine, and behave when tampered with or hacked.

Non-genuine Windows Vista software users will have reduced functionality from the OS and they will be notified if their copy of Windows Vista is determined to be non-genuine with the appearance of a persistent statement in the lower right hand corner of their desktop space that reads, “This copy of Windows is not genuine.”.

Users of software that do not pass validation will have access to critical security updates anyway.

More Information

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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Friday, October 06, 2006
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Sms Web content to a Mobile Phone for free

Google has released an extension for the FireFox browser which enables users to sms content from the web to a cell phone for free.

After installing the 'Google Send To Phone' extention, all you have to do is select some text on a webpage and click the small phone icon in the top right corner of the browser.
This will launch a new window(picture above) which includes the selected text(or you can enter your own text).

Finally, enter the receiver's cell number and click 'Send Message' to send the message.

Although, sending the message via Google is free, the Cell phone carriers may charge a fee. As of now, this service is only available for users in the US.

Source, More Information

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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Thursday, October 05, 2006
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Google buys its birthplace

Google Inc. has bought the garage where Larry Page and Sergey Brin started their journey 8 years ago.
The 1900 -square foot garage was purchased by Google Inc. from one of its own employees, Susan Wojcicki, who had leased it for $1,700 a month.
Susan Wojcicki, who is the vice president of product management, didn't work for the company at that time.
The Stanford guys used the garage for five months.

Back then, Google had just been incorporated after raising $1 millon from investors.

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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Tuesday, October 03, 2006
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Set multiple home pages in Firefox

Have you ever wondered why the '(s)' in the 'Location(s)' caption is present for the Home Page option of Firefox ?

Well! Here's why.
There is a way to set multiple home pages for your Firefox browser.
Its very simple.
Once set, restart Firefox and the home pages will open in separate tabs within the browser window.

The way to do it is shown below

1. Go to Tools >> Options..


2. In the Location(s) box, type the addresses you want as your homepage(s) separated by a pipe symbol as shown in the figure above.

3. Click Ok and restart Firefox to view both these sites open in separate tabs.

4. Going by the picture displayed above, both http://txpress.blogspot.com and http://www.google.co.in will open simultaneously when Firefox is started.

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Related Reading:
Disable Automatic Image Resizing in Firefox 2
Disable Tab scrolling in Firefox 2
Change Tab Close buttons in Firefox 2
Always restore sessions in Firefox 2.0
Set Multiple Home pages in Internet Explorer

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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Tuesday, October 03, 2006
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New Anonymous Browser 'Torpark' Launched

Hactivismo, a group of international hackers, human rights workers, artists and others committed to privacy rights on the internet, have launched a browser named "Torpark", that aims to give complete anonymity to users while surfing the web.

Torpark is a modified version of the portable Firefox and the browser will run from a USB drive, thus leaving no tracks on the machine.
Torpark passes all the data through the TOR network, thereby concealling the true IP address of the machine.
In addition to this, Torpark also encrypts the data flowing in and out of it.
And finally, Torpark website claims the browser is small, portable, clean, open-source, free of spyware/adware, and of all FREE.


Quote from Hacktivismo Website:
"Torpark comes pre-configured, requires no installation, can run off a USB memory stick, and leaves no tracks behind in the browser or computer. Torpark is a highly modified variant of Portable Firefox, that uses the TOR (The Onion Router) network to anonymize the connection between the user and the website that is being visited"


Download Torpark
(Free)


Sources: Torpark, Information Week, Hactivismo

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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Monday, October 02, 2006
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