Tech Xpress

How to Auto-Archive Yahoo Chat Conversations

It's always a good idea to save those IM chat conversations, especially when you are chatting with customers or business partners. Yahoo! Messenger has a useful auto-archive feature which can automatically save chat conversations to your computer. The only problem is - it is disabled by default.


So if you want to start it, just follow the steps below:

1. Login to Yahoo! Messenger. Go to Messenger >> Preferences.
2. In the Yahoo! Messenger Preferences window, click Archive from the list.
3. Select the option to save your messages and click Ok.

That's it! From now on, you'll be able to view a history of all of your chat conversations.



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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Thursday, November 22, 2007
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Convert Bitmap Images to Vector to Improve Quality

Well, almost all of the images you'll find in your computer will most probably be raster images (Unless you vectorized them).
Raster images are pixel-based and scaling a raster image causes it to appear blurry or pixelated. Vector images, on the other hand, are made up of geometric shapes such as lines, circles and curves. This means vector images won't blur when they are scaled.


Vectormagic is a free online service that converts raster images into vector images.
To transform images, you'll have to upload the files to Vectormagic & follow the easy to use instructions to get the desired result. Larger images are automatically scaled down to 1 megapixel to avoid server overload.
You can upload files in JPG, PNG, TIFF, GIF & BMP formats. The vectorized images can be downloaded in PNG, SVG & EPS formats.

Vectormagic is created & provided by Stanford University. According to their comparisons, Vectormagic seems to perform even better than commercial auto-tracing softwares like Adobe Live Trace & Corel PowerTRACE.

[Visit Vectormagic]


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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Sunday, November 18, 2007
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Make Firefox Remember Yahoo! Mail Password

Firefox always prompts you with a small dialog box (to save your password) when you try to login to a site. Using this dialog box, you can tell Firefox to remember the login information for that site so that you can directly submit you username & password the next time you try to visit the site.

However, there are some exceptions. Yes! There are sites where the dialog box never appears when you try to login. The most popular ones are Yahoo! Mail & Hotmail. All the net banking sites too disable this box for security reasons.

So how do I make Firefox save passwords for such sites?
Just follow the steps below.

1. Save the 'Remember Password' bookmarklet (Just visit the link. Drag & drop the javascript link to your Firefox toolbar to save it as a bookmarklet).
2. Go to the login webpage of the site. For Yahoo, it's mail.yahoo.com
3. Click the saved bookmarklet. A dialog box will be displayed. Click Ok.
4. Now you will be shown the dialog box to save the password when logging in.

If you can't save the bookmarklet, there is an alternative way.
In the steps listed above, follow points 2 & 4. Replace the 3rd point with the one below -
3. Just right-click and copy the javascript link of the bookmarklet, paste it in the URL address bar of the login page and press Enter before submitting your password.
Offcourse, ignore point 1.

Important Note: Websites disable this feature for security purposes. Never use this method to save passwords of banking or other sites that are important to you.

Source Quick Online Tips

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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Friday, November 16, 2007
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Run Applications in Custom Display Resolutions with Res-o-matic


Some softwares tend to work better in different resolutions (higher or lower) than the default set for Windows.
Off course, you can manually change the settings in Windows, but then, you'll probably want to restore the original settings again after using the software, and that too manually.
If you are looking for an easier & interesting way to do the above, Res-o-matic could be what you're looking for!

Res-o-matic is a free software program which can be used to run any Windows applications (or open files) in different screen resolutions, refresh rates & color modes. And all the three settings are preset for the application of your choice. Res-o-matic will create a new shortcut for the specified program.

Clicking the new shortcut will open the application in the specified resolution, irrespective of what is set as the default in Windows. Closing it will restore the default Windows display settings. An interesting thing I noticed here is my Windows desktop icons weren't scattered all over the place after the display changed.

Let's take an example; you can use Res-o-matic to create a shortcut to open MS Word in a 1024 x 768 display even if your default Windows setting is 800 x 600. So when you click that shortcut, Word will open in the resolution that is specified by you. Closing Word will restore the default display setting i.e 800 x 600 in our example.

Plus, you don't even need to install Res-o-matic. Just download the small (8.5 KB) file and run it to create shortcuts.
Also check what colour modes and refresh rates your monitor/display card supports, although I don't think that should be a problem.

[Download Res-o-Matic] Tested on Windows XP.

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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Tuesday, November 13, 2007
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Tools to AutoUpdate Installed Software Programs

Tired of checking software download sites for new versions of your favourite software? Well, then the following applications and services will help you a great deal.
These tools are software update checkers which scans for software installed in your computer and informs you if there are any newer versions available. You can then download and upgrade if you want. All of them are free..

FileHippo Update Checker
FileHippo Update Checker scans your computer, collects the version information of installed software and sends it to the filehippo.com server to check for updates. After the system is scanned, a list of newer releases of the software is generated for you.
The list is generated in a browser window making it easy for you to download. And all this is Free!

UpdateStar
UpdateStar certainly has got the biggest list of all. UpdateStar can detect 80,000 softwares which includes Freewares, Sharewares and other commercial software products. If your computer has got any of the 80,000 softwares installed, UpdateStar will let you know when a update is available. Oh yes! it's Free.

AppSnap
AppSnap is also very similar to FileHippo with a few pros and cons. AppSnap doesn't just provide a list of links to download new versions of softwares, but it can automatically download and install them for you in one step. The only problem is it doesn't seem to have a software list as big a FileHippo. The user interface can be a little better though.

Win-Get
Win-Get is an automatic software install system for Windows written in Pascal for the command line client and in Php for the online one.
Win-Get works by connecting to a link repository of newer releases. It then finds & downloads the updates from stored links. Win-Get then performs a silent or standard installation and deletes the install file. It is Free!

Secunia Personal Software Inspector
Secunia PSI is free for home and private use only. It detects and advises you on 4700 software applications. It checks installed softwares and categorizes them as Insecure, End-of-Life or Up-to-Date.
Secunia PSI provides direct download links to security updates & patches for software labeled by it as Insecure or End-of-Life. It also provides a secure SSL connection to Secunia.

Appupdater
Appupdater is provided by nabber.org with additional features than the above. Notably, support for offline use through a USB drive, fully automatic upgrades with daily checks and without any user intervention, support for upgrades in a corporate environment, Install, Upgrade, or Remove software.

RadarSync
RadarSync not just updates your software, but also takes care of the drivers in your computer. Check out my earlier post of RadarSync.

DriverAgent
DriverAgent is a free online application that lets you find upgrades for device drivers in your PC. DriverAgent works by identifying a computer's hardware configuration and helps you find whether a new driver is available. DriverAgent doesn't install drivers. That has to be done by the user.
Since it is a web application, DriverAgent works within a browser. So you don't need to install additional software for it. Except Safari, DriverAgent supports almost all of the browsers available today.

That's all I could compile for you. If you know of any similar programs, please let everyone know with your comments.

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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Sunday, November 11, 2007
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Know Web Chat Acronyms like 'lol'...

lol, idk, asap, a/s/l! Confused with these abbreviations? Probably not!
Most of you may be familiar with the above 'Net Slangs' or 'Net Lingo' used almost everywhere. But there are many who just don't or can't get along with the rapidly evolving 'Net Language'.

Ok! How and Where can I understand this sort of gobbledegook?
Here's one service which will be of great help. It's NoSlang.com.
NoSlang is a translator that converts these type of Net slangs or acronyms to its conventional meaning; for example, 'lol' translates to 'laughing out loud'.

So, when you receive a chat message from a friend and don't quite understand it, just copy the entire message, paste it in the NoSlang Translator box and get its meaning with the click of a button.
Apart from translating, NoSlang also provides a Dictionary, NetSpeak guide and a search service to quickly find similar words.
Oh! And you can also suggest new words to NoSlang.

[Visit NoSlang.com]


Besides NoSlang, you may also want to check out the Internet Dictionary at NetLingo.com.
NetLingo doesn't have a translator at this point of time but offers most of the other services that NoSlang has. A NetLingo toolbar for your Web browser is also available (Who would want a browser toolbar for this? I wonder!).

[Visit NetLingo.com]

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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Friday, November 09, 2007
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Best of Coincidence Photography

Hi All! Just got this by email from a friend. Check out some examples of 'Coincidence photography' in the images below..
(Note: If you cannot view the images, just click the following links:
Pic1, Pic2, Pic3, Pic4, Pic5, Pic6, Pic7)










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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Thursday, November 08, 2007
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Send Offline Yahoo Chat Messages to Mobile Phone

Getting Yahoo! chat messages in a cell phone when offline can be a blessing if you happen to be a Yahoo! Messenger user.
The newly released Yahoo! Messenger has this useful feature and enabling it takes a few steps.

Steps to active offline message forwarding in Yahoo! Messenger -
1. Login to Yahoo! Messenger. Make sure you have saved your mobile phone number in the messenger.
2. Click on the small 'Forward' button near the smiley icon; which opens a menu. (See images below. If you can't view the images, click pic1 & pic2)



3. With just a few changes here, you can make Yahoo send offline messages to your cell.

Enjoy!

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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Tuesday, November 06, 2007
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Extract Screenshots from Movies

Here's a nice little Windows application that let's you grab screenshots from a movie or video file. 'Free Video to JPG Converter' can be used to take snapshots and extract frames from a video file with a few mouse clicks.
And guess what? As you can make out from the name of the program, it is Free!


The software allows us to take snapshots in two ways. Either you can take shots of frames by clicking the 'Make Snapshot' button, or you can set the program to automatically extract frames periodically; For example, you can extract every hundredth video frame or frames in every 10 seconds or just every frame.

The application is quite simple to use and runs on Win 98/ME/2000/XP/Vista.
[Download Free Video to JPG Converter]

Oh! And if you are looking for a geeky way of taking snapshots from movies, check out the post on How to Capture Video Snapshots from Windows Media Player.


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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Friday, November 02, 2007
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Deactivate Thumbnail cache in Windows

Why is the Thumbs.db file created?
When you view a folder in 'Thumbnail' view for the very first time, a thumbnail cache is created by Windows and stored as thumbs.db. It is basically a database of the tiny images of files/folders you usually see in 'Thumbnail view'.

Do you need it?
It is not harmful at all. In fact, removing it will save you some space (if space is a problem for you). Once removed, the thumbnail images will be a bit slow to load.

How to stop Windows from creating it?
Creating a thumbs.db file is the default behaviour of Windows. The steps to make it stop are -

1. Open any folder.
2. Go to Tools >> Folders Options. Click the View Tab.
3. Tick 'Do not cache Thumbnails'.
4. Press Ok.

How to remove existing Thumbs.db files?
Just do a full system search for 'Thumbs.db' and delete them.


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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Thursday, November 01, 2007
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