Tech Xpress

Got a good XP trick? Think again! It might be a Myth

Ever found a nice XP tweak only to discover it didn't make any difference after you apply it?
Well, then that tweak may not be a 'genuine' tweak at all.

How about a repository where you can get information about these 'tweaks'? mywebpages.comcast.net has a nice pageful of XP Myths that can be of good use.

The myths are arranged in different categories, namely, System Requirement Myths, Reliability Myths, Optimization Myths, Security Myths and Secret Myths.

So the next time you see a 'cool' trick, be sure to check the site before you bust your PC.

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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Wednesday, February 28, 2007
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Get Search results in New Tab in Firefox

When you do a search from the Firefox search bar, i.e the small bar besides the address bar, Firefox displays the search results in the current tab by default and in the process, changes content from the current tab.


This default behaviour is quite annoying for me. You can make the search results open in a new tab instead of the current one.
After typing the words in the search bar, just press Alt + Enter.
That's all. Your search results will open in a new tab.

In Firefox 2, you can set this as the default way to search.
1. In the address bar, type about:config and press Enter.
2. Now look for the key named browser.search.openintab and set its value to True.

Search results in Firefox 2 will now be displayed in a new tab.
On testing, the browser.search.openintab method didn't work for older versions of Firefox.

Source: Mrgierer's World

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All Firefox Tips and Tricks on Tech Xpress

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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Tuesday, February 27, 2007
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Set a Video as your Desktop background Wallpaper

Wanna impress your buddies? Well, I personally don't find running videos in the background as a wallpaper of any good use. Anyway its rather 'cool' stuff.

There are some good options available to do exactly this. Lets check them out.


VLC media player

VLC media player is a highly portable cross platform media player that plays almost any type of media format including DVDs, VCDs etc.
And its extremely easy to set a video as wallpaper using VLC media player.

Play the video in VLC player. Right click on VLC player and select Wallpaper.
That's it! The video will now play in your desktop background as a wallpaper.

VLC is available for Windows, Mac OS X and various other distributions of Linux.
Download VLC media player from this page


Windows DreamScene

Microsoft has released Windows DreamScene which, offcourse, enables you to set a video file as your wallpaper.
As far as I know, Windows DreamScene is a Vista feature and hence available for Windows Vista only. Windows Vista Ultimate users can download it for free.
My Digital Life has more information of this Windows feature.

Obviously, VLC media player is a much better choice as it can handle a wide range of video formats, plus you don't have to get Windows Vista to use this nice feature.

Do you use any other tools for this? Feel free to share your views..and Leave a Comment...


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Join Multiple Video (mpg) files into one

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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Friday, February 23, 2007
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'Last Hurrah' of a Sun-Like Star

The image above, taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, shows the demise or 'Last Hurrah' of a dying star that is very much like our Sun.
Scientists think our Sun will meet a similar fate 5 billion years from now.

The star in the picture above viz NGC 2440 is 4000 light years away from Earth. NGC 2440 is shown shedding out gas which glows with the star's ultraviolet light. Ultimately, a tiny white dwarf is left out where the temperature is estimated to be more than 200,000 degrees Celsius.

Source: SpaceTelescope

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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Monday, February 19, 2007
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How powerful is Intel's 80 Core Teraflop processor?

Intel recently demonstrated the 80 core processor which can perform more than 1 trillion calculations per second ( 1 teraflop ).

So how powerful is that? Let's make a 'small' comparision between Intel's teraflop chip (still under research) and the first supercomputer to calculate at 1 teraflop, the ASCI Red supercomputer.
The ASCI Red supercomputer was developed at Sandia National Laboratories 10 years ago.

Below is an image of the ASCI Red supercomputer.


The ASCI Red used nearly 10,000 Pentium Pro processors, had 104 cabinets and consumed 2,500 square feet of floor space. This monster consumed about 500 kilowatts of electricity.

In comparision, Intel's latest research chip prototype measures 275 millimeters squared and consumes just 62 watts of electricity.

Now that is some tech leap!

Via CNET | Image source

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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Wednesday, February 14, 2007
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Download latest Limewire PRO for Free using Google

Limewire is a popular peer-to-peer file sharing client used to share all types of files over the web.

There are two editions of Limewire available :
The basic edition which is free and the PRO edition which comes for a price.
The PRO edition has better search results, better speeds and the ability to connect to more sources.

[Update: There is a free and open source LimeWire clone called FrostWire, which has some of the features of LimeWire Pro, notably Turbo-charged connections for downloading files.
Check out my post on FrostWire to get the download link. ]

You can get the latest Limewire PRO version for Free just by using a simple Google search.
How?

1. Go to www.Google.com .
2. Type or Copy sales.limewire site:limewire.com -support -expired
3. Hit Enter.
4. Notice the first two results.


5. The first result is the download page from Limewire PRO. Click the link and the download page is displayed as shown in the image below. Now you can download Limewire PRO for the required operating system.


6. The second result is the download page for Limewire PRO Beta (screenshot below). The latest Limewire is reported to include BitTorrent support.

Enjoy!

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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Monday, February 12, 2007
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Grandpa fights off Anaconda to save grandson

I read in the papers and couldn't resist to tell you about this incident.


Joaquim Pereira, a 66 year old grandfather from Brazil fought against a 16 foot long anaconda for 30 minutes to save Mateus, his grandson.
Pereira beat the anaconda, which had coiled around this grandson's neck, with rocks and a knife.

Mateus was wandering near a creek when the anaconda attacked him, bringing him to the ground, and started coiling around his neck to suffocate him.

This is when his buddies ran to call his grandpa who arrived at the scene and started fighting the snake until the boy was released.

The boy needed 21 stitches on his chest where he was bitten by the snake.
The above picture shows the dead snake.

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Sources: Times of India | CNN

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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Monday, February 12, 2007
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Bookmark multiple Tabs together in Firefox

Bookmarking all open tabs together in Firefox is a damn easy task. So easy that this small post may seem useless to some.
I use this feature ocassionally. It saves time when you have a multiple web pages to bookmark.

To bookmark all tabs simultaneously in Firefox:

1. In Firefox, go to Bookmarks >> Bookmark all Tabs....
2. A small dialog box will prompt you to save the bookmarks. Click Ok.

Alternatively, you can use the shortcut keys Ctrl + Shift + D for the same.

That's it!

Below is a video sample of this tip.


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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Monday, February 12, 2007
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Game: Donald Trump's "The Apprentice"

You're Hired! Yes, now you can be "The Apprentice" i.e in your PC.
The Apprentice, Donald Trump's hugely hit reality TV show is available as a PC game. The game's developed by Legacy interactive.


It is a business strategy game where you can compete in 18 different tasks. And then, there is the famous boardroom with Trump where you'll hear those two iconic words.
The game also has business advice straight from Trump. Other features include multiple difficulty levels and customizable playmodes.

You can download the free trial version from Yahoo Games
The Full version is available for 19.99 USD

The TV show telecasts in India on Star World, Sundays 3.00 pm.

Feel free to discuss here....Leave a comment


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Image Source: Skunk Studios

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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Friday, February 09, 2007
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Freakishly cool looking cell phones

Got this stuff in my inbox some days ago. I'm not sure about the specifications of these phones, but some of them look really bizarre.
They seem to be some of the concept phones from Siemens.

Ok! No more text... Just scroll down to view the images and Enjoy.














Feel free to voice your opinion on these phones..Leave a comment.......

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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Wednesday, February 07, 2007
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Limiting RAM usage in Firefox

Almost everyone is aware that Firefox is a ferocious RAM guzzler.
If you doubt it, just press Ctrl + Alt + Del to open the Windows Task Manager and click the Processes Tab where you will find Firefox is the most memory intensive application running.

Luckily there is a Firefox tweak that may just limit RAM usage by the browser.

1. Type about:config in the address bar and hit Enter. A screen similar to the one shown in the image below appears.


2. Now carefully look for the key browser.cache.memory.capacity and set its value to a desirable limit, keeping in mind the RAM in your machine.

According to computerworld, for RAM sizes between 512 MB and 1 GB start with a value of 15000 and for RAM sizes between 128 MB and 512 MB start from 5000.

3. If you can't find browser.cache.memory.capacity, don't worry, you can manually create the key.

Right-click on any one of the keys or on the screen. Select New >> Integer.
A box is displayed where you have to enter browser.cache.memory.capacity, followed by another dialog box which prompts you to enter a value we came across in the second point of this post.


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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Wednesday, February 07, 2007
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Access your Firefox Bookmarks from other computers

Tired of visiting those social bookmarking sites to get your favourites list? If you are, then some of these Firefox addons may be of good use to you.

There are some really good bookmark synchronizers for Firefox that allows you to access your bookmarks from any computer connected to the web. And offcourse, Firefox and the respective addon must be installed on those computers.

The concept here is really quite simple to understand.
You install Firefox and the Firefox addon on your home computer. Create an account where your Firefox bookmarks will be uploaded.
Now if you want to access those bookmarks from a different computer, just login to your account from the Firefox addon to download and replace existing bokmarks with the uploaded bookmarks. (Obviously, Firefox and the required addon must be installed on the destination computer)
That's it! Your bookmarks in Firefox are now synchronized between different computers.

Let's take a look at some of these bookmark synchronizing addons for Firefox:


Foxmarks Bookmarks Synchronizer

Install Foxmarks

Foxmarks comes through as a very easy to use addon where you don't have to visit a webpage to export/import your bookmarks.
After installing Foxmarks, a simple setup wizard will guide you to create an account. By default, Foxmarks will automatically synchronize in the background.

After installation, your can access the Foxmarks settings from Firefox by clicking Bookmarks >> Foxmarks...
The images below show the Foxmarks settings dialog box.



Use the Upload Now and Download Now buttons to transfer the bookmarks.

You can also set up multiple accounts by clicking the Run Setup Wizard button. When switching between multiple accounts from the same instance of Firefox, be sure to specify the correct server path i.e /home/techxpress/ (See image above), where techxpress is the username.

Additionally, you can also access the bookmarks from a web page. Just go to my.foxmarks.com and login to view your uploaded bookmarks.


Online Bookmark Manager Synchronizer

Install Online Bookmark Manager

Once installed, the Online Bookmark Manager can be accessed from (Tools >> Online Bookmark Manger >>) or from (Bookmarks >> Online Bookmark Manager >>).

Go to Tools >> Online Bookmark Manger >> Settings to open the settings window.


You can create a new account from the settings window (image above). To create an account, you'll be redirected to http://www.onlinebookmarkmanager.com for a simple registration process.


Similar to Foxmarks, Online Bookmark Manager can also be configured to automatically synchronize bookmarks.


As you can see from the image above, there are additional options available while Exporting/Importing bookmarks.

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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Tuesday, February 06, 2007
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Google blurs sensitive areas from Google Earth

Its official! Google will blur the high resolution satellite images of Indian areas termed as sensitive by the Indian Government from its image mapping software Google Earth.

This development comes in the wake of concerns expressed by India that the publicly available high resolution images could easily be used by terrorists to plan attacks on important civilian and military installations.

Google's decision is a result of a recent meeting between India's Science and Technology officials and Google representatives where it was agreed that Google will display fuzzy, low resolution and distorted images of identified areas. Also, the images of these locations would not be more than 25 to 50 meters resolution.

These locations may include international airports, airforce and military sites, atomic and nuclear sites etc.

Source

Feel free to discuss on this topic. Leave a comment...

More Reading
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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Monday, February 05, 2007
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Earning from Adsense Referrals may just become easier!

Google has recently updated the pricing structure for both the AdSense and AdWords referral advertisements and it surely looks tempting.
Take a look at the updated structure below.

...................................................................................

AdSense Referrals:
  • When a publisher who signed up for Google AdSense through your referral earns their first $5 within 180 days of sign-up, you will be credited with $5.
  • When that same publisher earns $100 within 180 days of sign-up and is eligible for payment, you will be credited with an additional $250.
  • If, in any 180-day period, you refer 25 publishers who each earn more than $100 within 180 days of their respective sign-ups and are all eligible for payout, you will be awarded a $2,000 bonus (bonus payouts are limited to 1 per year).
AdWords Referrals:
  • When an advertiser you refer spends $5 within 90 days of sign-up (in addition to the $5 sign-up fee) you will be credited with $5.
  • When that same advertiser spends $100 within 90 days of sign-up, you will be credited with an additional $40.
  • If, in any 180 day period, you refer 20 advertisers who each spend more than $100 within 90 days of their respective sign-ups, you will be awarded a $600 bonus (bonus payments are limited to 1 per year).
...................................................................................

What I like about the changes in Adsense Referrals is the $5 credit. Google has definitely made it more within reach for publishers like me. And there is the $2000 bonus per year, which offcourse will take some doing.

Tech Xpress hasn't used these two referrals considerably to monetize. The Adsense referrals may have been used for a few hours but nothing really came out of it.

These changes also apply to users already referred by publishers, but have not reached the new thresholds yet.

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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Sunday, February 04, 2007
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To all Tech Xpress Subscribers and Readers

Finally! I got my computer fixed. But first of all, let me take this opportunity to apologize to all my subscribers and readers. I'm SORRY! I'm SORRY!

Yes, this update is after a fairly long two week hiatus.
Amazingly, the subscriber count of Tech Xpress never went down. Tech Xpress is really very lucky to have such wonderful (and patient) subscribers and readers.
Your confidence will always keep me motivated to continue delivering the stuff you like.

A big THANKS to all of YOU.

Vijeesh Ravindran

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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Sunday, February 04, 2007
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