Tech Xpress

Play Movies inside Rar files directly, without extracting

A lot of videos available through torrents and peer-to-peer networks come compressed inside Rar archives. The video file must be UnRared i.e extracted from the archive before it can be played in a media player. If the file is too large, extracting it will take some time.

Wouldn't it be better if the video could be played directly from the rar file, without extracting? If your answer is yes, Dziobas RAR Player is for you. The caveat: the video files can only be played directly if the mode of compression used is store.
Dziobas is based on MPlayer and is free.

[Download Dziobas RAR Player]

You can also check related post on extracting files from Zip, Rar archives online.

Home
posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Monday, June 30, 2008
| link | 4 Comments |

Check WebSite Loading Time

Here's a very handy tool for webmasters and web-developers. OctaGate Site Timer is an online tool that lets you monitor the complete load time of a website.Just specify the website or page to time and press start. The site-timer records the loading times of all the components (images, frames, Iframes, Scripts etc..) present in the webpage, right from the start to the last byte.
The recorded data is then neatly shown in a grid; the time, size and other details for each element in a page is displayed.

The site also has a few optimization tips to improve your website's loading time.
[visit OctaGate Site Timer]

Home
posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Thursday, June 26, 2008
| link | 0 Comments |

Safely Surf Unsafe Websites using a Sandbox

After spending(loosing) the last three days cleaning my infected PC, I have become a bit obsessed about securing my computer, particularly while surfing the internet.
The virus/trojan I found recently was a nasty one; which blocked all anti-virus & spyware tools. To top that, it was also effective in Windows safe mode.


At home, everyone uses the same PC, I'm the only one who use Firefox, the other's use IE or Opera. I don't want to write about which browser, software or which user was at fault.
The need of the hour is to take precautions. Some really good precautions while surfing.

What can be done? How to be safe while surfing potentially harmful sites?
For me, the safest way is to use a 'Sandbox' while visiting websites. A 'Sandbox' acts as a cover for your system. Just start your favourite web browser in a sandbox and surf the net. If a virus is downloaded and activated it is actually in the sandbox. Closing or deleting the sandbox will stop or delete the virus. Your actual system is always safe.

How to make a 'Sandbox'?
It can be done with a free tool call Sandboxie. Check out my previous post on how Sandboxie saves your system.

Having an anti-virus is good, but they consume a lot of resources and slows down my PC. Anyway, most of them will never detect a new virus or trojan. Sanboxie is a better and cheaper choice (both in terms of money and system resources). Also, deleting a sandbox after every use is a very good idea; it will give you a clean state the next time you start the sandbox.

Home
posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Monday, June 23, 2008
| link | 0 Comments |

Set New Tabs to Always Open Home Page - Firefox 3

With Firefox 3 just out, a lot of popular addons (like Tab Mix Plus, Tabbrowser Preferences) aren't compatible yet. Due to this, I can't set new tabs to always open my home page that was possible in Firefox 2.

However, there is an addon which let's you do it and which is even compatible with the latest version.
Aptly called New Tab Homepage, it's a no fuss addon which opens your current homepage every time a new tab is launched.

This addon provides no other feature and will only remain installed on my machine till the others start working with the FF3. However, if you only need this feature, New Tab Homepage is a very good one.

Home
posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Wednesday, June 18, 2008
| link | 12 Comments |

Run Firefox 3 without damaging Firefox 2 Settings

Firefox 3 is out! Installing it will overwrite your previous Firefox 2 settings. If you want to test the new version without tampering your precious Firefox 2 settings, here's a nice and easy way to do it with Firefox 3 portable edition. The portable edition gives you all the features of the desktop version. Here are the steps -

1. Backup your Firefox 2 profile data located at
C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles
- username is the name for the currently logged Windows user.
2. Download Firefox 3 portable edition.
3. Close all programs and run the installer.
4.Choose a destination folder for the installation. Since this is a portable version, all your settings will be in that folder.

That's all! You can now test Firefox 3. Settings for Firefox 2 won't be touched.

Note: This post isn't about running both versions simultaneously. It's only about installing and running Firefox 3 without damaging or overwriting the previous version's settings.
To run both versions simultaneously, you may have to create a separate profile in any one of the versions.

posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Wednesday, June 18, 2008
| link | 0 Comments |

Directly Download Full Yahoo Messenger (not the Online Installer)

Installing Yahoo! Messenger on a PC is a two step process. This is because the first file you download from Yahoo is actually an online installer and not the setup for Yahoo! Messenger. The installer then downloads the setup file during the installation process, which may take time depending on your internet connection.

Wouldn't it be much better to download the Yahoo! Messenger setup file instead of the online installer? That's quite easy..

Just add the letter 'y' at the beginning of the filename of your download link.
For example, if the Yahoo! download link is -
http://us.dl1.yimg.com/download.yahoo.com/dl/msgr9/us/msgr9us.exe
Add 'y' and it becomes -
http://us.dl1.yimg.com/download.yahoo.com/dl/msgr9/us/ymsgr9us.exe
The above link will get you the full messenger setup file.

Note: The above link is for Yahoo! Messenger 9 Beta. After downloading, Yahoo! Messenger's Insider Popup window get's enabled. Yes, that's the small screen that always appears when you login. To disable that, read Remove Yahoo! Messenger Insider Popup Window.
You may also read - How to auto-save Yahoo chat conversations.

posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Monday, June 16, 2008
| link | 1 Comments |

Hidden Game in Spybot AntiSpyware - Play during a PC scan

Scanning a PC for spyware, malware..etc is important, but really really boring. I usually switch off my monitor and listen to music to kill time. Guess what? here's an anti-spyware that gives you another option to pass time.

Popular anti-spyware tool Spybot Search & Destroy has a small game hidden inside it. It's a small minesweeper like game, but good enough to kill those few minutes.

How to access the game in Spybot?
Click the small 'binocular' icon at the top, near the 'Search & Destroy' section title (See image below). That's all. You get to play the game..




Spybot Search & Destroy is available for free!
Note: Tested with version 1.4
[Download Spybot Search & Destroy]

Home
posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Thursday, June 12, 2008
| link | 0 Comments |

Secretly Surf the Internet from Office (Right under your Boss's nose)

Here's a really cool way to surf the web in your office without letting anyone know you are viewing a website, even if others are near your computer. This trick is possible by concealing a website's content in an interface that looks like MS Word.


WorkFriendly is a site that let's you do all this. Just head over, type the address of your favourite site you want to conceal and press the button.
A new window pop's up that looks exactly like MS Word, however, the content will be that of the website.

The MS Word spoof isn't bad at all. To top it all, there is a 'Boss key' button on the fake MS Word interface. If someone comes really close, just hover the mouse cursor over it and the text of the page changes to some random stuff that appears useful. Use the same hovering technique to see the website again.
Note: The format of the web page will look different and boring so that it resembles MS Word.

This site is worth a try, especially if you want to surf the web in front of your boss without him/her realizing..

Related:
How to surf the Web when Internet Explorer is blocked in your Office?

Source: Technospot[Thanks to Ashish]

posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Monday, June 09, 2008
| link | 0 Comments |

Fax Documents for Free Over the Internet


Fax machines aren't used much these days. Blame it on email. But when you do want to fax a document, consider using the Internet instead of a fax machine. Read on the know why...

Drop.io is a file hosting site which lets you fax documents for free [in the US; would be great if more countries are included]. The documents can be in pdf or doc formats and should not exceed more that 20 pages or 100MB in size.

How to fax files from Drop.io?
To fax a document, upload it to Drop.io. After a document is uploaded, a 'Send' button is displayed below it. Clicking it will open a page from where you can fax the document to a recipient [Currently, free faxes are limited to only recipients in the US.].
Alternatively, you can also send the file as an MMS to a mobile phone or email it.

Finally, one must remember that using this service exposes your files to a third-party other than you and your recipient. If your documents are too important, using a regular fax machine should be preferred. Otherwise, this is a great service to use.

If you are in Canada, FaxZero can help you fax documents for free. There are some limitations - only two faxes allowed per day. Each fax may only have at most 3 pages. But it's free nonetheless.

posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Thursday, June 05, 2008
| link | 0 Comments |