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Showing posts from November, 2004

Gift someone a handmade 12 sided calendar

The calendar can be customized and is available as a PDF download.

12 sided calendar

ScrapBook - Firefox Extension for Research

ScrapBook is a Mozilla/Firefox extension, which helps you to save Web pages and easily manage collections.

The clippings are organized and saved to disk and you are given the opportunity to add your own comments and annotations. Scrapbook also stores the origianl URL of the clipping so you can visit the full text of the site in the future, if needed.

You can capture Web page by following 3 ways.

* On the Web page, right-click > [Capture Web Page]
* Select a snippet of Web page, right-click > [Capture Selection]
* Select a snippet of Web page, drag-and-drop it on the ScrapBook Sidebar

Get more information here - ScrapBook :: Mozilla Firefox Extension

Blogbox - Add interactivity to blogs

Blogboxes provide exciting, instantly deployed functionality for your blog or Web site. They are free for non-commercial use. Enjoy them and spread the good word!

* Sized compactly to fit within your blog gutter
* Customizable via editing of a simple external XML configuration file
* Easy to embed within HTML templates via script tags
* Viewable from any Web browser enabled with the Flash 5 Player or later

Photoblox - Show personal image slideshows on your Web page, customized to suit with dramatic presentation effects, annotations and PayPal integration.

The Best Books in Computers and Internet

The first prize is awarded to O'Reilly & Associates' Excel Hacks: 100 Industrial-Strength Tips and Tools.

This particular Hacks book has an advantage that many other Hacks titles don't have. The subject matter relates to a single program, so nearly all the hacks are applicable to an Excel user. Contrast that to a Hacks title like Network Security Hacks, where your choice of operating system limits the number of tips that you can use. While there are some Windows-only Excel hacks included, most all the tricks work on both the Windows and Mac version of Excel. Nobody should feel left out here. : Best Books of 2004

Recover data from Crashed Windows Using Knoppix

Windows just crashed. The computer won't boot back up. Those "System Recovery Disks" that came with your computer will erase all of your data. In most cases, when Windows breaks and will not start up again, none of your data has been lost, you just don't have a way to get to it. These instructions are a way of getting to your data when Windows won't work. If these instructions fail to recover your data, don't panic; even in cases of physically damaged drives, reformatted drives, and accidentally deleted files, professional data recovery companies typically have a 95 to 98% success rate.

Knoppix can be used as a temporary operating system. It has support for a wide variety of printers and other hardware. Knoppix has programs for creating and editing documents, spreadsheets, presentations, charts and drawings including those in Microsoft Office formats. It also has powerful image editing software, web browsers, e-mail clients, games, a music player, a planetari…

Mamma enters the Desktop Search war, buys Copernic

Montreal-based search marketing player has announced plans to acquire desktop search developer Copernic Technologies for an undisclosed cash and stock offer.

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2005. It will need to be approved by the directors of, as well as the shareholders of privately-held Copernic. has retained San Francisco-based investment bank Merriman Curhan Ford & Co. as an advisor in the pending acquisition.

According to Guy Faure, president and CEO of, the acquisition will give added value to and Copernic users and expose's advertisers to a broader demographic. More than 30 million users have downloaded Copernic Agent.

Desktop search -- and especially desktop search that integrates Web search -- has become a hot space in recent months. Google unveiled its desktop search in November, and Microsoft recently showed off its efforts at an analyst's day at its headquarters. Smaller …

Automate your Windows Tasks - Freeware

AutoIt is a freeware Windows automation language. It can be used to script most simple Windows-based tasks (great for PC rollouts or home automation).

AutoIt has been in popular use since 1999 and continues to provide users and administrators with an easy way to script the Windows GUI. In February 2004 the latest version of AutoIt - known as AutoIt v3 - was released and added powerful scripting features.

AutoIt v3 was developed as an open source project with the help of contributors around the world and this open source spirit has led to a great set of help files, examples, support forum, mailing list, editor files, and third-party utilities.

All development is focused on AutoIt v3 but v2 will continue to be downloadable and supported as it is in such widespread use.

AutoIt v3 Home Page
Download AutoIt

Download websites correctly and efficiently

WTR - Web The Ripper 2 allows you to download all files that are linked from a specified URL. It will analyze the input URL and then display a list of all downloadable files (images, html, programs, mp3 etc) allowing you to select all or individual files. The files are downloaded to a folder of your choice and the program can also be configured to automatically launch your anti-virus scanner. In addition, you can specify an extension filter, to limit downloads to specified file types.

# Designed for multiple users.
# Full source code available.
# And as usual, absolutely FREE!

Author's homepage Nick Pateman's Personal Web Site
Download software here.

Download all Google Software in one page

Google can improve more than just your search experience. The free software on this page installs quickly and easily and makes it easier to get the most out of your computer. Currently available for Windows® computers only.

You can even install all 5 with one click (5 MB)

Google Software Downloads

They are also promoting Key-Hole software which was recently acquired by Google. You can download a 7-day trial here.

Presenting With PowerPoint: 10 Dos and Don'ts

The use of PowerPoint in presentations has ignited debate around the world – is it effective or not? Use our tips for making sure you're not boring your crowd to death.

Hold up your end with compelling material.
In a way, PowerPoint's ease of use may be its own worst enemy. However simple and engaging it can be to build eye catching slides and graphics, bear in mind that PowerPoint isn't autonomous. The audience has come to hear you, not merely to stare at images tossed onto a screen. Build a strong PowerPoint program, but make sure that your spoken remarks are no less compelling. "PowerPoint doesn't give presentations — PowerPoint makes slides," says Matt Thornhill, president of Audience First, a business that offers presentation training. "Remember that you are creating slides to support a spoken presentation."

Don't parrot PowerPoint.
One of the most prevalent and damaging habits of PowerPoint users is to simply read the visual presentation to …

General Workplace Etiquette Guide

There are certain civilized ways of acting and treating each other that years of evolution have encouraged us to realize. Judging by the amount of mail I've received, some of us have forgotten our workplace manners.

Telephone, telephone, can you hear me?

Ah yes, the standard in every office is still...the telephone. And while cell phones, instant messaging, and e-mail have encouraged us to loosen our ties when it comes to non-face-to-face communication, there are still some courtesies worth keeping:

* Answer your phone nicely. Identify who you are. "Um...yello...?" is just not an appropriate way to answer the phone at work.
* If you have to put someone on hold, ask first. Don't just say, "Hold, please," and shut them off. "Please" is not a get-out-of-jail-free card (even my two-year-old daughter knows that). That being said, I do realize that some of you reading this may work at a busy switchboard and can't coddle every Tom, Dick, or &qu…

Microsoft offers some business tips

The Better Business Toolkit is absolutely free and will help you with every aspect of running your business. Each module gives advice on different parts of your business. In minutes you'll have a custom Action Plan showing you what to do to put your ideas into practice. Our Action Plans are tailored to your company; spending a few minutes on a module gives you a plan you can use to make things happen. As if that wasn't enough, you'll also find professional templates and time saving hints and tips throughout. Choose a module and answer questions as you go. At the end you'll be able to save or print your Action Plan.

The following modules are available to all visitors free:
Quick Start Business Plan - Get a customised Business Plan for your company.
Five Ways to Increase Your Profit - The little things you can do to make a big difference to your bottom line.
Building a Website - Having a presence online is fast becoming a necessity. Build a superb site.

There's more.…

If you are a go-to geek kind, you must read this troubleshooter

We all have friends and family who keep sneaking in a request for tech advice. Here's how to help without turning your home into a 'trouble ticket.'

If family and friends are pumping you for broadband advice over Thanksgiving dinner and you find yourself extracting the latest virus from your brother-in-law's PC instead of eating your pumpkin pie, it's time to reevaluate your role as the family geek.

As difficult as it is to just say no when Mom asks you to restore her hard drive, it can be even harder to turn down a chance to bend technology to your will after-hours. Technology tinkering is fun, and it can be rewarding to strut your stuff at home to help out a loved one.

If you're not careful, though, the fallout from IT support gone bad can be worse at home than it is on the job. Sometimes it's just best to beg off (See "Top 10 Excuses," page 59). If you just can't help but help, stick with installing and supporting only off-the-shelf applicat…

Another cool add-in for Google Desktop Search - gdSuite

gdSuite - Taking Desktop Searches to a New Level
gdSuite is a next generation desktop search client. It can instantly find emails (from Outlook and Outlook Express), chats (in AOL and AOL Instant Message [AIM]), and web pages you've viewed in Internet Explorer. Plus, it can find any file by filename and can search inside Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint files. Plus, gdSuite is completely free!

gdSuite also integrates into Windows Explorer to make searching as fast and easy as possible. Just right click any folder or drive and click Search with gdSuite... to start a new gdSuite search of that folder.

gdSuite is a Desktop Search client. This means that you can use gdSuite to search for files, e-mails, web pages you've viewed, AIM conversations you've had, and, in the near future, Trillian chats and Gmail. gdSuite is a Client because it does not actually conduct the searches. It use Google Desktop to find the files, and then displays the results for you in an easy to read…

Video Editing made extremely simple

How to make crowd-pleasers from home videos.

While most of us feel comfortable shooting with a camcorder, fear of actually editing the video is so rampant that it deserves an official medical designation, like timeline-aphobia or transitionitis. In years past, when working with analog formats (for example, 8-mm, Hi8, and VHS-C), underpowered computers, and minimal hard disk space, this apprehension was probably justified.

Today, though, if you own a DV camcorder and late-model Windows XP computer, you'll find video editing surprisingly accessible. With the holiday season looming (and perhaps summer videos waiting to be edited), there's never been a better time to take the plunge. So take a deep breath, visualize success, and follow along with our introduction to video editing.

Read full story here - Video Editing 101

Microsoft's Movie Maker 2.1 for Windows XP is freely available to all Windows XP users. The latest version of Movie Maker is available only as a component of Wi…

Optimize Windows XP with these performance tweaks.

If you're having performance issues with Windows XP then follow this simple step-by-step guide to speed things up.

These settings, which are hidden deep within Windows XP's System Properties, provide a host of options that allow you to fine-tune the operating system's overall performance and, thus, its interaction with various applications. These options allow you to adjust Windows XP's processor scheduling, memory usage, and virtual memory, as well as its use of visual effects.

You will see details on how the settings in the Performance Options dialog box affect Windows XP's overall performance, and how you can boost performance by changing these settings to suit your system's needs.

Read the full guide here.

Google Search Tool for scholarly content

The company's new service, unveiled late Wednesday at, draws upon newly developed algorithms to list the academic research that appears to be most relevant to a search request. Mountain View-based Google doesn't plan to charge for the service nor use the feature to deliver text-based ads — the primary source of its profits.

"Google has benefited a lot from scholarly research, so this is one way we are giving back to the scholarly community," said Anurag Acharya, a Google engineer who helped develop the new search tools.

Although Google already had been indexing the reams of academic research online, the company hadn't been able to separate the scholarly content from commercial Web sites.

By focusing on the citations contained in academic papers, Google also engineered its new system to provide a list of potentially helpful material available at libraries and other offline sources.

The scholarly search effort continues Google's effort…

Adobe Acrobat 7.0 Review

With one of its fastest updates to the product family yet, Adobe this week announced the Acrobat 7 family of products, which includes Standard, Professional, and Reader versions.

You can convert your Adobe PDF file into Microsoft Word (.doc, .txt, or .rtf) using Adobe Acrobat 7.0.

Document Reviewing and Markup

This is probably the boldest change for Adobe Acrobat 7.0 and Adobe Reader 7.0, and appears likely to make a major long-term impact on both how PDF is used, and the number of people involved in the document review process.

Acrobat 7.0 (Professional only) now enables you to give Adobe Reader users permission to use all the commenting and review tools that were previously only available to Acrobat Professional and Standard users - basically it was restricted to users who paid for the functionality. This should mean a far more widespread use of PDF-based document review and, over time, Adobe will no doubt hope that it moves more Reader users towards buying a version of Acrobat that all…

Best Free Software for Windows

I stumpled upon this great freeware site while visiting Ed's list of great free software.

My personal favourites are FileTarget and CopyURL

FileTargets is a shell context menu extension that adds a sub-menu with all your favorite folder names to the context-menu of all files and folders in your system so you can copy/move selected files to pre-defined, most used folders with the click of a mouse. FileTargets menu is similar to the standard SendTo menu but is much more advanced since it allows you to create subgroups, automatically add new folders, copy file path names and much more.

CopyURL is a shell extension that helps you to copy different information from your Internet Shortcut files (entries in the Favorites folder or *.url files) to the clipboard. Then you can simply paste it from clipboard to your e-mails, HTML editor or other documents. It adds commands Copy URL, Copy Link and Copy Name to the shell context menu of Internet Shortcut files.

Ed also writes about another gre…

Comparison of Macromedia Captivate with Robodemo

Macromedia Captivate (formerly RoboDemo) automatically records all onscreen actions and instantly creates an interactive Flash simulation. Point and click to add text captions, narration, and e-learning interactions without any programming knowledge.

Captivate can automatically generate text captions for you, allowing you effortlessly to generate fully annotated simulations and demos. You can use these simulations as an effective way to show your applications.

Macromedia has a Flashpaper document which compares Captivate with Robodemo 5 and Robodemo 4.

The most appealing feature to me is Visual Timeline and Customizable Quiz. See the comparison here.

Download Macromedia Captivate 2.0 at Adobe Website.

Desktop Search Finds Too Much

Enterprises have spent years searching for the silver bullet that will help users find the untapped intelligence that resides in corporate databases, e-mail messages, local Word files, and other assorted nooks and crannies. Now, Google is leading the charge to marry local hard-drive searches with Web search, bringing to light old documents, e-mails, instant messages, and Web pages viewed.

The problem? You and your co-workers might not be thrilled with what these desktop searches actually find. While you might well turn up important documents from the past that could help in current projects, you might also unearth your personal notes or e-mails, or material from people who used your computer before. Some things are better left unseen.

Still, the elegance and simplicity of Google's recently unveiled beta of Desktop Search is likely to popularize the concept of lightning-fast Web searches on your hard drive—displayed in simple HTML search results. Sure, a handful of smaller players …

Microsoft offers some tips to prevent spam

Hide your address from spammers

Despite your best efforts, you have received e-mail you didn't ask for—and don't want. What can you do about all that spam? First, ignore the junk e-mail. Second, report the people who did it.

If you send or receive e-mail, you probably get a lot of junk e-mail, also known as spam. Maybe a lot of spam. Ever wonder why you get so much junk e-mail? It's a lucrative business. It's cheap to send out millions, even billions, of e-mail messages. And consider this: If even a tiny percentage of a hundred million people buy something in response to a spam e-mail message, that's a lot! So what can you do about spam? Quite a bit, as it turns out. Here are some of the ways you can stop the deluge.

Some spammers get address lists from Web sites where you may have signed up for free offers, ordered something online, or entered a contest. They can also get your address from listings on Internet white pages, newsgroups, resumé postings, and chat roo…

Best Independent Tech Blog Readers Choice Awards 2004

Results of 2004 Readers Choice Award
Groklaw - Pamela Jones' Groklaw was the resounding winner of the First TechWeb Network Best Independent Tech Blog Readers Choice Awards. Groklaw looks at open-source technology through a legal lens, providing insight, commentary, and coverage of ongoing, high-profile legal battles.
AliceandBill - Is it Alice and Bill, or is it (Spencer) Tracey and (Katherine) Hepburn? Alice Hill and Bill O'Brien's blog is worth visiting if only for witty repartee. But the back-n-forth is just an inviting interface to great commentary on tech topics ranging from NASA's efforts at supersonic flight to TIVO modifications to the problems with storing digital photographs.
CrackTalk - Terry Blount's CrackTalk has been providing updates and links concerning technology issues, from vulnerabilities to wireless to how-to for almost 8 years.
Slashdot - Slashdot claims to provide "news for nerds" and it provides its members with a forum to pos…

Clean up your Windows Context Menus

Context Menus - Menus that appear when you right-click on a file, folder, shortcut or link.

File utilities, various freeware programs, and other applications add commands and submenus to some of your context menus to make using the programs easier. Unfortunately, the more this happens, the more cluttered and less useful your right-click menus become.

Some utilities that add commands to the context menus also provide easy ways for you to customize or remove the items. This is the best and safest approach to tossing context-menu junk. If no such option is available, you can usually alter the menus in all versions of Windows via the Registry.

With your backup in place, select Start, Run, type regedit, and press . At the top of the tree in the left pane, double-click HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT. This Registry key contains data on file types, including the context menus associated with each. To trim items from the right-click menu for folders, navigate the tree diagram on the left to HKEY_CLASSES_RO…

Blinkx 2.0 with Smart Folders is available

Smart Folders - keep your data alive

Smart Folders are intelligent folders that automatically update their content as new information becomes available based on the ideas contained within the content of those files. What are Smart Folders?

Linking and Implicit Query (IQ) - changing the rules of search

blinkx changes the rules of search by bringing you relevant information before you even ask. blinkx changes the way you interact with all kinds of information by reading the content on your computer screen and automatically linking you to related information - Web sites, the latest news on the Web, even documents and email on your computer.

You can also use blinkx to actively search web pages, news articles, video, JPEGs, MP3s, blogs, P2P networks and documents on your machine by entering your search into the query box - Om Malik called it the "Mercedes" of desktop search.

However you want to find information, blinkx provides an answer automatically, quickly, effortlessly and pe…

Save your Stuff - CDs and Hard Disk may degrade sooner than you think

Your hard-disk has millions of photographs, music of every genre, college papers, and mountains of e-mail messages.

Yet no one has figured out how to preserve these electronic materials for the next decade, much less for the ages. Like junk e-mail, the problem of digital archiving, which seems straightforward, confounds even the experts.

In the meantime, individual PC owners struggle in private. Desk drawers and den closets are filled with obsolete computers, stacks of Zip disks and 3½-inch diskettes, even the larger 5¼-inch floppy disks from the 1980's. Short of a clear solution, experts recommend that people copy their materials, which were once on vinyl, film and paper, to CD's and other backup formats.

But backup mechanisms can also lose their integrity. Magnetic tape, CD's and hard drives are far from robust. The life span of data on a CD recorded with a CD burner, for instance, could be as little as five years if it is exposed to extremes in humidity or temperature.

Screenshots of MSN Desktop Search

Neowin has posted some screenshots of the upcoming MSN Desktop Search Program.

The screenshots are watermarked - they look impressive, the look n' feel is like any other Windows program.

There is no mention of the Release date but people are speculating end of this year. According to this article at ZDNet, Microsoft has confirmed that we will see "some good MSN search technology in this calendar year, probably late the second half".

When you first install the MSN Toolbar Suite, the installation wizard configures MSN Toolbar in Outlook, Internet Explorer, Windows Explorer and then the MSN Deskbar. MSN's new Toolbar integrates directly throughout the OS and varies according to where you're searching from. For example, if you're searching from within Windows Explorer you will search on your PC, in IE on the web and in Outlook the toolbar searches within Outlook. You have the option to search on the web/desktop throughout any of the searches. Once the installatio…

Fix, manage, share, print, shrink, and stitch your Digital Photos

Avid digital photographers are passionate about more than just cameras. They crave powerful tools to organize, edit, and share their pictures. Luckily, today's consumer photo software is more sophisticated than ever, and about $100 gets you a formidable arsenal.

PCWorld compares the four most popular affordable Software Tools in this category - Adobe Photoshop Elements, Jasc Paint Shop Pro and Photo Album, Microsoft Digital Image Suite, and Ulead PhotoImpact.
They also highlight the best best utilities and plug-ins for these software program.

Read full article here Do More With Digital Photos

Compare Windows vs Linux for web hosting

Linux Web Hosting or Windows 2000 Web Hosting ? Make your Choice !

Just because you use a windows desktop PC doesn’t mean you have to opt for Windows web hosting (and the reverse is true as well). The operating system you use on your desktop has little to do with your choice of web hosts. As long as you understand how to use your FTP or web publishing software, your can use either operating system.

When it comes to Web hosting, Linux has, for some time, been widely considered the best OS for Web servers. It’s typically found to be the most reliable, stable and efficient system and, as such, it’s commonly used for the demanding environment of Web and mail servers. Indeed,Most of the clients websites of aalpha NET runs on the Linux OS precisely because of this traditional stability.

The million-dollar question is what application are you looking to use for your hosting? Consider the tools and scripting languages you plan to use – if you use PHP, Perl or MySQL, Linux is the way forward. I…

Finally, Google has a breather

Microsoft's Search Falls Far Short of Google's

Google engineers must have breathed a sigh of relief Thursday when rival Microsoft Corp. rolled out a new search engine that proved glitchy and failed to wow reviewers.

The mighty software maker quickly solved the technical problems that briefly served up "temporarily unavailable" messages instead of search results. It's unclear, however, how the company will address the missing "wow" factor.

In response to a search on "history of photography," for example, Google yielded as its top result a site deep with resources about photographic history. MSN's top find was the personal site of a "natural history photographer." A more specific query, "death toll at Gettysburg," brought up the total body count of that Civil War battle in the second result on Google, an excerpt of a Forbes article, while none of MSN's top results spotlighted this figure. Typing in "wife of John…

Which is the best Search Engine

BBC News Magazine compares the major search engines - Google, MSN, A9, Yahoo, Ask Jeeves and miss an important player Clusty.

But there is no clear verdict.

Yahoo is the fastest in speed, but the search page is heavily promoted with adverts and news. Bit messy.

Google gets points for the clean search page.

A9, the Amazon search engine uses Google technology so its 2.5 million results are listed in similar relevance.

Read full story here - Search wars - which is the best?

Wish BBC had published a comparison matrix.

Make a Printed Book of your Blog

Another nice technique to archive your blog. BlogBinders service turns your blog into a bound book.

When BlogBinders was first launched, it only supported their own proprietary blog format. Now they support MoveableType, TypePad and Blogger blogs.

Pricing is based on the number of pages in your book, plus the type of binding you choose. Pricing is the same for all book size formats.

Someday you may be able to walk into your grocery store and convert your Christmas photos into an instant coffee-table book written in your own deathless prose. And this may happen very soon. Read full story here.

Blogbinders Pricing Chart.

Airport scanner "undresses" passengers

See through clothes scanner gets outing at Heathrow Airport

A new Passenger screening x-ray machine at Heathrow airport sees through passengers' clothes. The machine X-rays through clothing and creates an anatomically correct image of the person, revealing any concealed object under clothes.

Heathrow, which for security reasons declined to say how the new X-ray machine improves on current scanners, denies the machines could cause embarrassment. "It's a very low dose X-ray, the images are not stored, it's same sex operated and the operator that sees the image will not see the person," said the airport spokeswoman.

According to InfoWorld TechWatch, new scanners using a technology developed at the U.S. DOE's Pacific Northwest National Lab are about to appear at airports. The scanning process lasts only 1.5 second and produces on a computer screen a holographic image of the individual’s body and any objects he or she is hiding. But don't be afraid: there is a p…

Say goodbye to FreePOPs - Google now offers POP3 Access to Gmail

In what it is billing as "e-mail portability," Google Inc. is opening access to its Gmail e-mail service from desktop clients and mobile devices. On Wednesday, the company began providing free POP3 (Post Office Protocol 3) access on Gmail accounts. The rollout is expected to reach all users over the next two weeks, said George Harik, director of Googlettes, the name of the Google group overseeing its startup services.

"This [access] is an important part of e-mail because of all the things not enabled by Web-based e-mail," Harik said. POP3 access, for example, allows users to read Gmail messages while they are offline and on mobile devices that support the standard, Harik said. POP3 is a standard protocol for receiving e-mail and communicating between an e-mail server and client. Most major e-mail clients, such as Microsoft Outlook, support the standard, as do competing Web-based e-mail services such as Yahoo Inc.'s mail.

Gmail has gained attention for placing …

November month is dedicated to Mozilla Firefox 1.0

Firefox - Rediscover the web

With Firefox 1.0 setting the web on Fire, I have decided to dedicate November to the Firefox community.

alessandro writes: It's a long time this is my default and only browser... I cannot imagine to surf the internet without it actually.
I want to say I have nothing against Microsoft, but the comparison between Internet Explorer and Firefox it's really embarrassing.

Keep watching !!

Firefox - Rediscover the web

The Spread Firefox is down for some time due to heavy load on their servers.

Promote Firefox with free wallpapers, screen-savers, buttons..

Mozilla Firefox 1.0 was released today. Servers are reportedly being hit hard so you might want to try a bittorrent download. Comments from: The BBC, PC World, InformationWeek and a very good article from The Boston Globe. Users needing support should check out the Mozillazine Support Forums.

There are some great flyers, phrases for your IM nickname, wallpapers, buttons, banners and such that can be found on this extensive list.

There is even a letter to Internet Cafe Owners

Dear {internet cafe owner},

As a regular internet cafe customer, I enjoy the convenience and speed that internet cafes offer. But lately, I have become concerned about privacy and the security of my data when I use internet cafes. In particular, there have been {X number} of bugs related to Internet Explorer in the past {Y number} of months.

I would feel much more confident in your service if you were using Firefox. USA Today has said, "Beware of spyware. If you can, use the Firefox browser." I do at home …

X1 5.0 Beta Available for Download

Dear X1 fans, testers, customers, ranters, and ravers,

Wow! What a great time to be making desktop search products, eh? We've been very busy people. We've completed an alpha program--with a small group of maniacal testers--of our next major release (version 5.0, to make it simple; build 1383, to be specific), which means this is the best first beta release we've ever released--for those of you who remember our previous first beta releases and have recuperated sufficiently to jump back in.

Here's the link to download the latest and greatest: You can also (always) go to our forums ( to get it, see what people are saying about it, and read the complete release notes. If you look below the standard email footer, you can see a pretty exhaustive list of new features and changes to the product.

Two warnings: 1) this is beta and beta stands for broken; and 2) you'll need to reindex. If you're on this list, it's …

HALO 2 Skin For WMP10

With the launch of HALO 2 this week have released an official skin for Windows Media Player 10You can get your FREE copy now at:

101 reasons for using Firefox over IE

The following lists 101 things that one can do with the Mozilla browser component (version 1.2) that one cannot do with IE (version 6.0). I used the Windows version of IE 6.0; the list will vary slightly for the Mac version.

Tabbed browsing
Lets you display more than one site in a window using multiple tabs. You can open a new tab by selecting Navigator Tab from the New submenu of the File menu (or press Ctrl+T). You can also open a link in a new tab by using the right-click menu. You will find configuration options in the Tabbed Browsing preferences panel.

Note that CrazyBrowser is a different product than IE.

Popup blocking

Block all those popup ads. To disable popup windows, select Advanced and then Scripts & Plugins from the Preferences window. Then uncheck the box that reads "Open unrequested windows".

Prevent scripts from doing various things

You can prevent scripts from moving windows, closing them, changing the status bar and setting cookies. To change these set…

Google Start Page for Firefox 1.0

Google created a special Firefox search page to welcome the browser. There's a new Firefox tip every time you load the page, which makes it suitable as browser default page for Firefox users

How about Desktop Search integrated in Firefox Browser

A nice idea - Integrate your favourite Desktop Search Tool with Firefox

The idea would be to offer Firefox users a choice of third-party tools for searching information stored on their PCs, Hofmann said. "We see a lot of growth with the integration of searching Web sites and searching your we'll be looking at ways to try and integrate that search within the browser, to make more seamless how users go searching for information, whether on the Internet or their computer," Hofmann said.

Desktop search is one of the hottest areas in the search market currently, as users look for tools that let them find information on their PCs with the same ease and speed of Internet search engines. Thus, multiple high-profile vendors either provide or plan to provide tools for conducting desktop searches.

For example, Google recently introduced one such tool, while America Online and Yahoo have separately acknowledged they are developing their own wares. Microsoft for years has…

What has changed Firefox 1.0

There have been some major improvements in Tab Browsing in Firefox 1.0

New options for controlling where links from other applications open.

New experimental options for controlling where links in web pages open. To make these experimental options appear, set browser.tabs.showSingleWindowModePrefs to true in about:config.

Firefox is now available in 14 languages.
Unofficial Firefox 1.0 changelog

How was the Firefox logo designed ?

Hick's explains the process of designing the Firefox logo with Fireworks.

Over Christmas (thanks Steven!) ideas and concepts were put forward. The timescales were tight (the design would chosen 2nd January), and the concept difficult to illustrate. A firefox is actually a cute red panda, but it didn’t really conjure up the right imagery. The only concept I had done that I felt happy with was this, inspired by seeing a Japanese brush painting of a fox:

The final chosen design was a concept from Daniel Burka and sketched by Stephen Desroches, which I then rendered using Fireworks MX. I’ve been using Fireworks over Illustrator or Photoshop for icon design as I love the way I can work in vectors and see the result in pixels, rather than smooth vectors. The updated gradient tools in MX make this possible too.

Read full story here - branding firefox

Best ways to promote your blog and also make money

Ways to promote your weblog

There are millions of them, and few are read by anyone. That's mainly due to the banalities that pass for content on most blogs.

But even good blogs can go unread, without a little extra effort to attract visitors.

What's needed are some eyeball magnets -- blogging tools that will bring new traffic to your site. And there are plenty to choose from.

Syndication, for one. That's the popular practice of adding a tag to your blog that will automatically let readers know when you've added material.

On many popular blogs, you'll see a link marked RSS, XML, or Atom. Plug that link into a syndication software program, and you'll get an update every time the website is updated. Most avid blog readers use syndication programs to keep tabs on their favorite sites. Adding syndication to your own blog can deliver a quick boost in readership.

The leading blog-hosting companies, like Google Inc.'s Blogger, provide syndication; it's just a ma…

The Best Photography Websites

If you are into photography, these are some of the best resources on the web for you. Belgium Digital Belgium Digital is a site with thousands of on-line photos, information about digital cameras and forums. dcresource Founded in November 1997, the Digital Camera Resource Page was the first of the digital camera sites. The DCRP is designed to be an unofficial resource for current and future owners of digital cameras.dcviews A value added portal in English with info about all digital cameras, tools and information, as well as an extensive tutorial section, and reviews of selected digital photography NOW News, reviews and advice about all aspects of consumer digital cameras, scanners, printers, software and associated services.DPreview Provides an on-going source of information about new products, digital camera information, along with numerous reviews of current digital equipment. Imaging-resource The Imaging Resource offers comprehensive, informative, and factually acc…

Viapoint: An organizer for emails, files, web content

Viapoint organizes your emails, files, web content and news feeds together in a familiar interface so you can find information quickly no matter where it is located on your desktop. Viapoint, through its patent pending technology, continues to organize information the way you want so you spend less time searching.

Viapoint is not a desktop search tool. So it is not fair to compare Viapoint with search tools like X1, GDS, Copernic. I tried the program myself and here is my opinion on this promising app.

After installing Viapoint in demo mode, it connected to the internet to activate the demo license. Then it scanned my system (really quick at that) though it did not give me any option to select folders that I wish to get scanned. It could be a limitation of the demo version.

The main interface of the Viapoint application is neat and it is easy to understand what each of the items might contain.

The Calendar item is a collapsible tree and lets you find emails, files which are grouped in the…

Firefox Development is on track - To be released on Nov 9, 2004

Tomorrow the Mozilla Foundation is scheduled to release Firefox 1.0. If previous releases are any indication, it will be received with high praise from punters and pundits alike. Much of the credit belongs to Firefox's lead engineer, Aucklander Ben Goodger, who talked to Computerworld on a recent visit home.

Ben Goodger writes:

We're turning onto the final stretch now for QA, all of the blockers have been resolved. There may be remaining issues, and we're looking to identify them in the next 24-48 hours. Please hammer the nightly builds. We are conducting twice-daily Aviary meetings in the War Room at The Mozilla Foundation, and will be tracking nominations closely. We are not considering anything at this point that isn't a serious crash or dataloss issue, so don't bother nominating polish/non-blocker bugs. The criteria now is: "would this bug cause us to miss our 11/9 ship date?"

The good news is that 1.0 will try to update your extension from the update…

History of Microsoft Windows

Did you ever think what Windows 1.0 looked like ? Well this is the place to go. You will find some interesting information about all previous version of Windows and what's in store for the future.

In 1983 this is a great article, be sure to check back later Microsoft announced its development of Windows, a graphical user interface (GUI) for its own operating system (MS-DOS) that had shipped for IBM PC and compatible computers since 1981. Microsoft modeled the GUI, which was first known as Interface Manager, after that of Apple's MacOS. Bill Gates had been shown a Macintosh prototype by Steve Jobs early in its development, around 1981, and Microsoft was partnered by Apple to create some of the important early Mac software, such as Word and Excel. Gates is reported to have demanded of his engineers "I want Mac on a PC, I want Mac on a PC!". It was this desire to see a Mac-like interface on the then-cheaper Intel-based hardware that was the inspiration and driving force…

Blogs - What happens behind the scenes ?

One of the things that is so amazing about blogs is their simplicity.
A typical blog has a main page and nothing else. On the main page, there is a set of entries. Each entry is a little text blurb that may contain embedded links out to other sites, news stories, etc. When the author adds a new entry, it goes at the top, pushing all the older entries down. This blog also has a right sidebar that contains additional permanent links to other sites and stories. The author might update the sidebar weekly or monthly.

Click on the diagram to get a full-size, non blurry image.

Basically, a blog is a lot like an online journal or diary. The author can talk about anything and everything. Many blogs are full of interesting links that the author has found. Blogs often contain stories or little snippets of information that are interesting to the author.
1. Joe Blogger writes something and publishes it to his blog.
2. Joe's Blog system updates his site's HTML, updates his RSS file and sends…

Best rated newsletters for Microsoft Office and Windows

If you are using Microsoft Office or Windows, you cannot afford to live without these amazing newsletters. They regularly send you Office Tips, Shortcuts, New Websites, Security or Privacy issues and much much more.
The Desktop Pipeline NewsletterScot's NewsletterThe Office LetterLangaList NewsletterInformationWeek's Windows Tech CenterInformationWeek's LangaLetter ColumnWoody's Office Watch
The sad part is that they don't have RSS feeds and offer only email subscription.

10 x 10 - An Hourly Visualization of the News

Here's a new and cool info visualization tool (it requires Flash) that we just learned about (thanks J.G.) that comes from Jonathan Harris, the developer of
The site is called 10x10 and offers an hour by hour "postcard" (updated hourly) based on the 100 most "important" words culled from three RSS news feeds.

The feeds come from:

+ Reuters World News
+ BBC World Edition
+ New York Times International News
Here's how Harris describes 10x10, "Each hour is presented as a picture postcard window, composed of 100 different frames, each of which holds the image of a single moment in time. Clicking on a single frame allows us to peer a bit deeper into the story that lies behind the image. In this way, we can dart in and out of the news, understanding both the individual stories and the ways in which they relate to each other."
10x10's word lists and postcards are built without any human intervention.Links to archived hourly snapshots an…

Getting the most of your scanner

Whether you want to restore old family pictures or catalog your Favorite digital images, scanning is a great way to preserve your
Photos for years to come. Here are 10 tricks and techniques that will enable you to get the best scans possible.

Read tips for scanning pictures here.

Most new scanners today feature one-button scanning capability that is adequate for most projects. From time to time, though, you may encounter a poor or unusual original, something for which the automatic settings on your scanner cannot make proper adjustments. In such cases, it is good to become familiar with the controls available to fine-tune your scanner, in order to get the best possible outcome.

Calibrate your scanner and monitor
Before you do any scanning, it is essential to calibrate your scanner and monitor to ensure they are seeing and displaying colors correctly and consistently. Most scanner software includes a tool to help you perform this task, including HP's PrecisionScan software, which s…

How-To Find The Right Search Engine for your Desktop

Desktop search engines have suddenly proliferated as users try to organize their local and remote files. We review four of the latest.

The year 2004 seems to be the year of the desktop search engine. While desktop search programs date back at least as far as the late 1980s (when Lotus introduced Magellan), the category seems to have gone all but unnoticed until recently. Suddenly it's attracting a lot of attention.

In just the last few months, the previously tiny field of competitors has suddenly become crowded with at least four contenders, and is awaiting the arrival of several giants in the computer industry. Blinkx, Copernica, Google, and X1 are in the current crop of rivals. Waiting in the wings are companies like AOL, Microsoft, and Yahoo, along with smaller ones like Scientific Software.

Desktop search engines typically index the hard drive (usually in the background), searching through word processing documents, e-mail messages, spreadsheets, PDFs, and other types of files,…

Why you should NOT submit your site on Search Engines ?

Before to answer to this question we have to know what is the difference between a search engine and directory. Here is a brief explanation. The main difference between search engine and directory lay in the way how websites get entered into their index. People submit their sites to the directories, which are reviewed by human editors. Think of the directories as collections of Internet sites organized by subject. Search engines works by sending out a spider to fetch as many documents as possible. Another program, called an indexer, then reads these documents and creates an index based on the words contained in each document.

Having this said, let’s see why you should not submit your site to the Search Engines.

More than 90% of the search engines traffic comes from three major search engines Google, Yahoo! and MSN.

You can see many ads on Internet which looks like this: “submit your site on X00.000 search engines…”

Submitting your site on hundreds of thousands search engines wouldn’t …

Feature Request for Google Alerts

Google Alert is a great program, I use it extensively to track web articles
and stories of my favourite news items, tracking software updates, stock
market, my website page-rank and some ego-surfing.

I have one very simple suggestion for the Google Alert team at Google.

Currently, I receive a different mail for each of my alert ( I have around
20 alerts ), what I would ideally like is that Google sends me only one
email for all the alerts.

This may not be possible if the user has set alert frequency to "As it
happens" but for those who have set it as "Once a day", this is very much

Another feature that I miss in these alerts is the popularity / page rank.
Can you incorporate a green indicator just before the title of news stories
as you have in the Google Directory.


The IT Industry in India cheers Bush's Victory

India's outsourcing companies were jubilant Wednesday that the elections in the United States will return President Bush to office."This is great news for the offshoring industry," said Nandan M. Nilekani, chief executive of Infosys, a software services company. The trend toward outsourcing will now become even more inexorable, Mr. Nilekani said.Offshore outsourcing, or the moving of work from the United States to low-cost centers like India, was an issue in the presidential election. The Democratic candidate, Senator John Kerry, blamed Mr. Bush and outsourcing for the loss of thousands of American jobs. Mr. Bush, in contrast, was largely silent on the issue. But members of his team, among them N. Gregory Mankiw, the chief economic adviser, and Treasury Secretary John W. Snow, have both defended outsourcing as another form of free trade. Mr. Kerry referred to ''Benedict Arnold companies and C.E.O.'s'' that sent jobs overseas. He promised that as …

A picture of President Bush marking his victory in US Election 2004

Finally, the results of US Presidency Elections 2004 are out, George W. Bush is all set for second term at White House as Kerry concedes defeat.

I congratulate Bush for his success and wish him success in all the goodthings he is doing for the welfare of people in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Take a very close look at the picture above - it is Bush photomosaic of Americans who have died in Iraq since the war president entered office.

We can only expect this picture to become larger and larger in the next four years.

Feature Request for Google Alerts

Google Alert is a great program, I use it extensively to track web articles and stories of my favourite news items, tracking software updates, stock market, my website page-rank and some ego-surfing. I have one very simple suggestion for the Google Alert team at Google. Currently, I receive a different mail for each of my alert ( I have around 20 alerts ), what I would ideally like is that Google sends me only one email  for all the alerts. This may not be possible if the user has set alert frequency to "As it happens" but for those who have set it as "Once a day", this is very much possible. Another feature that I miss in these alerts is the popularity / page rank. Can you incorporate a green indicator just before the title of news stories as you have in the Google Directory.

Legal and Privacy issues associated with blogging

Bloggers often quote text from other news stories but this may pose serious legal issues - you may be sued for copyright violations.

As weblogs have multiplied, a number of legal issues have arisen, and regardless of whether your company sponsors its bloggers, it may be opening itself up to hidden liabilities. Here are some of the dangers of corporate blogging and precautions companies should consider.

Danger: Libel and trade libel. Bloggers who write anything negative or defamatory about a corporation or an individual are opening themselves and their companies up to the possibility of libel suits, says David Carr, an attorney and partner at London-based consulting firm Big Blog Co.

Precaution: Do your homework. If the blogger is going to make negative statements about a company's or individual's business activities, Carr says, "he's really got to do his research and make sure what he's saying can be proven to be true and not just believed to be true."