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  • View Mobile Websites in Windows with Safari 4 Developer Tools

    - by Matthew Guay
    Want to try out mobile websites designed for the iPhone and other mobile devices on your PC?  Safari 4 for Windows lets you do this easily with their developer tools. By default, Safari will show standard desktop websites.  But by making a simple change, you can switch it to work like Safari Mobile on the iPhone or iPod Touch. Getting Started First make sure you have Safari 4 for Windows installed.  You can download Safari directly (link below) and install it as usual.   Or if you already have another Apple program installed, such as QuickTime or iTunes, then you can install it from Apple Software update.  Simply enter apple software update in the Start menu search box. And then select Safari 4 from the list of new software available.  Click Install to automatically download and install Safari. Accept the license Agreement, and then Safari will automatically install. Once this is finished, Safari will be ready to use. View Mobile Sites in Safari First, we need to enable the developer tools.  Click the gear icon on the toolbar, and select Preferences. Click the Advanced tab, and then check the box that says “Show Develop menu in menu bar”. Once you’ve closed your settings box, click the page icon, select Develop, then User Agent, and then choose one of the Mobile Safari settings.  In our test we chose Mobile Safari 3.1.2 – iPhone. To make your browser emulate a mobile device better, you can hide the bookmarks and tab bar to have a more streamlined interface. Click the Gear icon, and select “Hide Bookmarks Bar”, and then repeat and click “Hide Tab Bar”. You can also shrink your window to be closer to the size of a mobile device screen.  Once you’ve done these things, Safari should look similar to this screenshot.  Here we have loaded Google.com, and you can see it in its iPhone-style interface. Simply enter any website into the address bar, and it will load in its mobile interface if it has one.  Here is Google’s other mobile offerings, right inside Windows. Gmail loads messages with the default iPhone interface. One especially interesting mobile site is Apple’s online iPhone User Guide.  When loaded in Safari with the iPhone setting, it loads with a very nice mobile UI that works just like an iPhone app.  In fact, you can even click and drag to scroll, just like you would with your finger on an iPhone. Conclusion Even if you do not have a Smartphone, you can still preview what websites will look like on them with this trick. Not all sites will work of course, but it’s fun to play around with different sites that have mobile versions. Links: Safari 4 Download Apple iPhone online user guide Similar Articles Productive Geek Tips Make Safari Stop Crashing Every 20 Seconds on Windows VistaCustomize Safari for Windows ToolbarSave Screen Space by Hiding the Bookmarks Toolbar in Safari for WindowsEdit Text in a Webpage with Internet Explorer 8Keep Websites From Using Tiny Fonts in Safari TouchFreeze Alternative in AutoHotkey The Icy Undertow Desktop Windows Home Server – Backup to LAN The Clear & Clean Desktop Use This Bookmarklet to Easily Get Albums Use AutoHotkey to Assign a Hotkey to a Specific Window Latest Software Reviews Tinyhacker Random Tips Revo Uninstaller Pro Registry Mechanic 9 for Windows PC Tools Internet Security Suite 2010 PCmover Professional Windows Media Player 12: Tweak Video & Sound with Playback Enhancements Own a cell phone, or does a cell phone own you? Make your Joomla & Drupal Sites Mobile with OSMOBI Integrate Twitter and Delicious and Make Life Easier Design Your Web Pages Using the Golden Ratio Worldwide Growth of the Internet

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  • Experience your music in a whole new way with Zune for PC

    - by Matthew Guay
    Tired of the standard Media Player look and feel, and want something new and innovative?  Zune offers a fresh, new way to enjoy your music, videos, pictures, and podcasts, whether or not you own a Zune device. Microsoft started out on a new multimedia experience for PCs and mobile devices with the launch of the Zune several years ago.  The Zune devices have been well received and noted for their innovative UI, and the Zune HD’s fluid interface is the foundation for the widely anticipated Windows Phone 7.  But regardless of whether or not you have a Zune Device, you can still use the exciting new UI and services directly from your PC.  Zune for Windows is a very nice media player that offers a music and video store and wide support for multimedia formats including those used in Apple products.  And if you enjoy listening to a wide variety of music, it also offers the Zune Pass which lets you stream an unlimited number of songs to your computer and download 10 songs for keeps per month for $14.99/month. Or you can do a pre-paid music card as well.  It does all this using the new Metro UI which beautifully shows information using text in a whole new way.  Here’s a quick look at setting up and using Zune on your PC. Getting Started Download the installer (link below), and run it to begin setup.  Please note that Zune offers a separate version for computers running the 64 bit version of Windows Vista or 7, so choose it if your computer is running these. Once your download is finished, run the installer to setup Zune on your computer.  Accept the EULA when prompted. If there are any updates available, they will automatically download and install during the setup.  So, if you’re installing Zune from a disk (for example, one packaged with a Zune device), you don’t have to worry if you have the latest version.  Zune will proceed to install on your computer.   It may prompt you to restart your computer after installation; click Restart Now so you can proceed with your Zune setup.  The reboot appears to be for Zune device support, and the program ran fine otherwise without rebooting, so you could possibly skip this step if you’re not using a Zune device.  However, to be on the safe side, go ahead and reboot. After rebooting, launch Zune.  It will play a cute introduction video on first launch; press skip if you don’t want to watch it. Zune will now ask you if you want to keep the default settings or change them.  Choose Start to keep the defaults, or Settings to customize to your wishes.  Do note that the default settings will set Zune as your default media player, so click Settings if you wish to change this. If you choose to change the default settings, you can change how Zune finds and stores media on your computer.  In Windows 7, Zune will by default use your Windows 7 Libraries to manage your media, and will in fact add a new Podcasts library to Windows 7. If your media is stored on another location, such as on a server, then you can add this to the Library.  Please note that this adds the location to your system-wide library, not just the Zune player. There’s one last step.  Enter three of your favorite artists, and Zune will add Smart DJ mixes to your Quickplay list based on these.  Some less famous or popular artists may not be recognized, so you may have to try another if your choice isn’t available.  Or, you can click Skip if you don’t want to do this right now. Welcome to Zune!  This is the default first page, QuickPlay, where you can easily access your pinned and new items.   If you have a Zune account, or would like to create a new one, click Sign In on the top. Creating a new account is quick and simple, and if you’re new to Zune, you can try out a 14 day trial of Zune Pass for free if you want. Zune allows you to share your listening habits and favorites with friends or the world, but you can turn this off or change it if you like. Using Zune for Windows To access your media, click the Collection link on the top left.  Zune will show all the media you already have stored on your computer, organized by artist and album. Right-click on any album, and you choose to have Zune find album art or do a variety of other tasks with the media.   When playing media, you can view it in several unique ways.  First, the default Mix view will show related tracks to the music you’re playing from Smart DJ.  You can either play these fully if you’re a Zune Pass subscriber, or otherwise you can play 30 second previews. Then, for many popular artists, Zune will change the player background to show pictures and information in a unique way while the music is playing.  The information may range from history about the artist to the popularity of the song being played.   Zune also works as a nice viewer for the pictures on your computer. Start a slideshow, and Zune will play your pictures with nice transition effects and music from your library. Zune Store The Zune Store offers a wide variety of music, TV shows, and videos for purchase.  If you’re a Zune Pass subscriber, you can listen to or download any song without purchasing it; otherwise, you can preview a 30 second clip first. Zune also offers a wide selection of Podcasts you can subscribe to for free. Using Zune for PC with a Zune Device If you have a Zune device attached to your computer, you can easily add media files to it by simply dragging them to the Zune device icon in the left corner.  In the future, this will also work with Windows Phone 7 devices. If you have a Zune HD, you can also download and add apps to your device. Here’s the detailed information window for the weather app.  Click Download to add it to your device.   Mini Mode The Zune player generally takes up a large portion of your screen, and is actually most impressive when run maximized.  However, if you’re simply wanting to enjoy your tunes while you’re using your computer, you can use the Mini mode to still view music info and control Zune in a smaller mode.  Click the Mini Player button near the window control buttons in the top right to activate it. Now Zune will take up much less of your desktop.  This window will stay on top of other windows so you can still easily view and control it. Zune will display an image of the artist if one is available, and this shows up in Mini mode more often than it does in the full mode. And, in Windows 7, you could simply minimize Zune as you can control it directly from the taskbar thumbnail preview.   Even more controls are available from Zune’s jumplist in Windows 7.  You can directly access your Quickplay links or choose to shuffle all music without leaving the taskbar. Settings Although Zune is designed to be used without confusing menus and settings, you can tweak the program to your liking from the settings panel.  Click Settings near the top left of the window. Here you can change file storage, types, burn, metadata, and many more settings.  You can also setup Zune to stream media to your XBOX 360 if you have one.   You can also customize Zune’s look with a variety of modern backgrounds and gradients. Conclusion If you’re ready for a fresh way to enjoy your media, Zune is designed for you.  It’s innovative UI definitely sets it apart from standard media players, and is very pleasing to use.  Zune is especially nice if your computer is using XP, Vista Home Basic, or 7 Starter as these versions of Windows don’t include Media Center.  Additionally, the mini player mode is a nice touch that brings a feature of Windows 7’s Media Player to XP and Vista.  Zune is definitely one of our favorite music apps.  Try it out, and get a fresh view of your music today! Link Download Zune for Windows Similar Articles Productive Geek Tips Redeem Pre-paid Zune Card Points for Zune Marketplace MediaUpdate Your Zune Player SoftwaredoubleTwist is an iTunes Alternative that Supports Several DevicesFind Free or Cheap Indie Music at Amie StreetAmie Street Downloader Makes Purchasing Music Easier TouchFreeze Alternative in AutoHotkey The Icy Undertow Desktop Windows Home Server – Backup to LAN The Clear & Clean Desktop Use This Bookmarklet to Easily Get Albums Use AutoHotkey to Assign a Hotkey to a Specific Window Latest Software Reviews Tinyhacker Random Tips DVDFab 6 Revo Uninstaller Pro Registry Mechanic 9 for Windows PC Tools Internet Security Suite 2010 The Ultimate Guide For YouTube Lovers Will it Blend? iPad Edition Penolo Lets You Share Sketches On Twitter Visit Woolyss.com for Old School Games, Music and Videos Add a Custom Title in IE using Spybot or Spyware Blaster When You Need to Hail a Taxi in NYC

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  • Remove Programs from the Open With Menu in Explorer

    - by Matthew Guay
    Would you like to clean up the Open with menu in Windows Explorer?  Here’s how you can remove program entries you don’t want in this menu on any version of Windows. Have you ever accidently opened an mp3 with Notepad, or a zip file with Word?  If so, you’re also likely irritated that these programs now show up in the Open with menu in Windows Explorer every time you select one of those files.  Whenever you open a file type with a particular program, Windows will add an entry for it to the Open with menu.  Usually this is helpful, but it can also clutter up the menu with wrong entries. On our computer, we have tried to open a PDF file with Word and Notepad, neither which can actually view the PDF itself.  Let’s remove these entries.  To do this, we need to remove the registry entries for these programs.  Enter regedit in your Start menu search or in the Run command to open the Registry editor. Backup your registry first just in case, so you can roll-back any changes you make if you accidently delete the wrong value.  Now, browse to the following key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER \Software \Microsoft \Windows \CurrentVersion \ Explorer \FileExts\ Here you’ll see a list of all the file extensions that are registered on your computer. Browse to the file extension you wish to edit, click the white triangle beside it to see the subfolders, and select OpenWithList.  In our test, we want to change the programs associated with PDF files, so we select the OpenWithList folder under .pdf. Notice the names of the programs under the Data column on the right.  Right-click the value for the program you don’t want to see in the Open With menu and select Delete. Click Yes at the prompt to confirm that you want to delete this value. Repeat these steps with all the programs you want to remove from this file type’s Open with menu.  You can go ahead and remove entries from other file types as well if you wish. Once you’ve removed the entries you didn’t want to see, check out the Open with menu in Explorer again.  Now it will be much more streamlined and will only show the programs you want to see. Conclusion This simple trick can help you keep your Open with menu tidy, and only show the programs you want in the list.  It can be irritating to accidently open files in programs that can’t even read them.  This trick works in all versions of Windows, including 2000, XP, Vista, and Windows 7. Similar Articles Productive Geek Tips Remove ISP Text or Corporate Branding from Internet Explorer Title BarRemove the Username From the Start Menu in XPKeep Start Menu From Closing After Opening ApplicationsRemove PartyPoker (Or Other Items) from the Internet Explorer Tools MenuUninstall, Disable, or Delete Internet Explorer 8 from Windows 7 TouchFreeze Alternative in AutoHotkey The Icy Undertow Desktop Windows Home Server – Backup to LAN The Clear & Clean Desktop Use This Bookmarklet to Easily Get Albums Use AutoHotkey to Assign a Hotkey to a Specific Window Latest Software Reviews Tinyhacker Random Tips All My Movies 5.9 CloudBerry Online Backup 1.5 for Windows Home Server Snagit 10 VMware Workstation 7 OpenDNS Guide Google TV The iPod Revolution Ultimate Boot CD can help when disaster strikes Windows Firewall with Advanced Security – How To Guides Sculptris 1.0, 3D Drawing app

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  • Change the Default Font Size in Word

    - by Matthew Guay
    Are you frustrated by always having to change the font size before you create a document it Word?  Here’s how you can end that frustration and set your favorite default font size for once and for all! Microsoft changed the default font font to 11 point Calibri in Word 2007 after years of 12 point Times New Roman being the default.  Although it can be easily overlooked, there are ways in Word to change the default settings to anything you want.  Whether you want to change your default to 12 point Calibri or to 48 point Comic Sans…here’s how to change your default font settings in Word 2007 and 2010. Changing Default Fonts in Word To change the default font settings, click the small box with an arrow in the right left corner of the Font section of the Home tab in the Ribbon.   In the Font dialog box, choose the default font settings you want.  Notice in the Font box it says “+Body”; this means that the font will be chosen by the document style you choose, and you are only selecting the default font style and size.  So, if your style uses Calibri, then your font will be Calibri at the size and style you chose.  If you’d prefer to choose a specific font to be the default, just select one from the drop-down box and this selection will override the font selection in your document style. Here we left all the default settings, except we selected 12 point font in the Latin text box (this is your standard body text; users of Asian languages such as Chinese may see a box for Asian languages).  When you’ve made your selections, click the “Set as Default” button in the bottom left corner of the dialog. You will be asked to confirm that you want these settings to be made default.  In Word 2010, you will be given the option to set these settings for this document only or for all documents.  Click the bullet beside “All documents based on the Normal.dotm template?”, and then click Ok. In Word 2007, simply click Ok to save these settings as default. Now, whenever you open Word or create a new document, your default font settings should be set exactly to what you want.  And simply repeat these steps to change your default font settings again if you want. Editing your default template file Another way to change your default font settings is to edit your Normal.dotm file.  This file is what Word uses to create new documents; it basically copies the formatting in this document each time you make a new document. To edit your Normal.dotm file, enter the following in the address bar in Explorer or in the Run prompt: %appdata%\Microsoft\Templates This will open your Office Templates folder.  Right-click on the Normal.dotm file, and click Open to edit it.  Note: Do not double-click on the file, as this will only create a new document based on Normal.dotm and any edits you make will not be saved in this file.   Now, change any font settings as you normally would.  Remember: anything you change or enter in this document will appear in any new document you create using Word. If you want to revert to your default settings, simply delete your Normal.dotm file.  Word will recreate it with the standard default settings the next time you open Word. Please Note: Changing your default font size will not change the font size in existing documents, so these will still show the settings you used when these documents were created.  Also, some addins can affect your Normal.dotm template.  If Word does not seem to remember your font settings, try disabling Word addins to see if this helps. Conclusion Sometimes it’s the small things that can be the most frustrating.  Getting your default font settings the way you want is a great way to take away a frustration and make you more productive. And here’s a quick question: Do you prefer the new default 11 point Calibri, or do you prefer 12 point Times New Roman or some other combination?  Sound off in the comments, and let the world know your favorite font settings. Similar Articles Productive Geek Tips Change the Default Font in Excel 2007Add Emphasis to Paragraphs with Drop Caps in Word 2007Keep Websites From Using Tiny Fonts in SafariMake Word 2007 Always Save in Word 2003 FormatStupid Geek Tricks: Enable More Fonts for the Windows Command Prompt TouchFreeze Alternative in AutoHotkey The Icy Undertow Desktop Windows Home Server – Backup to LAN The Clear & Clean Desktop Use This Bookmarklet to Easily Get Albums Use AutoHotkey to Assign a Hotkey to a Specific Window Latest Software Reviews Tinyhacker Random Tips DVDFab 6 Revo Uninstaller Pro Registry Mechanic 9 for Windows PC Tools Internet Security Suite 2010 Spyware Blaster v4.3 Yes, it’s Patch Tuesday Generate Stunning Tag Clouds With Tagxedo Install, Remove and HIDE Fonts in Windows 7 Need Help with Your Home Network? Awesome Lyrics Finder for Winamp & Windows Media Player

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  • Improve the Quality of ePub eBooks with Sigil

    - by Matthew Guay
    Would you like to correct errors in your ePub formatted eBooks, or even split them into chapters and create a Table of Contents?  Here’s how you can with the free program Sigil. eBooks are increasingly popular with the rise of eBook readers and reading apps on mobile devices.  We recently showed you how to convert a PDF eBook to ePub format, but as you may have noticed, sometimes the converted file had some glitches or odd formatting.  Additionally, many of the many free ePub books available online from sources like the Project Guttenberg do not include a table of contents.  Sigil is a free application for Windows, OS X, and Linux that lets you edit ePub files, so let’s look at how you can use it to improve your eBooks. Note: Sigil took several moments to open files in our tests, and froze momentarily when we maximized the window.  Sigil is currently pre-release software in active development, so we would expect the bugs to be worked out in future versions.  As usual, only install if you’re comfortable testing pre-release software. Getting Started Download Sigil (link below), making sure to select the correct version for your computer.  Run the installer, and select your preferred setup language when prompted. After a moment the installer will appear; setup as normal. Launch Sigil when it’s finished installing.  It opens with a default blank ePub file, so you could actually start writing an eBook from scratch right here. Edit Your ePub eBooks Now you’re ready to edit your ePub books.  Click Open and browse to the file you want to edit. Now you can double-click any of the HTML or XHTML files on the left sidebar and edit them just like you would in Word. Or you can choose to view it in Code View and edit the actual HTML directly. The sidebar also gives you access to the other parts of the ePub file, such as Images and CSS styles. If your ePub file has a Table of Contents, you can edit it with Sigil as well.  Click Tools in the menu bar, and then select TOC Editor.  Strangely there is no way to create a new table of contents, but you can remove entries from existing one.   Convert TXT Files to ePub Many free eBooks online, especially older, out of copyright titles, are available in plain text format.  One problem with these files is that they usually use hard returns at the end of lines, so they don’t reflow to fill your screen efficiently. Sigil can easily convert these files to the more useful ePub format.  Open the text file in Sigil, and it will automatically reflow the text and convert it ePub.  As you can see in the screenshot below, the text in the eBook does not have hard line-breaks at the end of each line, and will be much more readable on mobile devices. Note that Sigil may take several moments opening the book, and may even become unresponsive while analyzing it.   Now you can edit your eBook, split it into chapters, or just save it as is.  Either way, make sure to select Save as to save your book as ePub format. Conclusion As mentioned before, Sigil seems to run slow at times, especially when editing large eBooks.  But it’s still a nice solution to edit and extend your ePub eBooks, and even convert plain text eBooks to the nicer ePub format.  Now you can make your eBooks work just like you want, and read them on your favorite device! If you feel comfortable editing HTML files, check out our article on how to edit ePub eBooks with your favorite HTML editor. Link Download Sigil from Google Code Download free ePub eBooks from Project Guttenberg Similar Articles Productive Geek Tips Edit ePub eBooks with Your Favorite HTML EditorConvert a PDF eBook to ePub Format for Your iPad, iPhone, or eReaderRead Mobi eBooks on Kindle for PCFriday Fun: Watch HD Video Content with MeevidPreview and Purchase Ebooks with Kindle for PC TouchFreeze Alternative in AutoHotkey The Icy Undertow Desktop Windows Home Server – Backup to LAN The Clear & Clean Desktop Use This Bookmarklet to Easily Get Albums Use AutoHotkey to Assign a Hotkey to a Specific Window Latest Software Reviews Tinyhacker Random Tips HippoRemote Pro 2.2 Xobni Plus for Outlook All My Movies 5.9 CloudBerry Online Backup 1.5 for Windows Home Server Get Your Team’s World Cup Schedule In Google Calendar Backup Drivers With Driver Magician TubeSort: YouTube Playlist Organizer XPS file format & XPS Viewer Explained Microsoft Office Web Apps Guide Know if Someone Accessed Your Facebook Account

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  • Preview and Purchase Ebooks with Kindle for PC

    - by Matthew Guay
    Want to look over a new book, or buy it immediately in ebook format?  Here’s how you can preview and purchase most new books from your PC the easy way. Most new books, including almost all New York Times Bestsellers, are available in ebook format from Amazon’s Kindle store.  The Kindle store also includes numerous free ebooks, including out-of-print classics and a surprising amount of recent books.  With the free Kindle for PC reader, you can read any of these ebooks without having to purchase a Kindle device. Preview Ebooks Before you Purchase Sometimes, it can be hard to know if you want to purchase a new book without reading some of it first.  With Kindle for PC, however, you can download a sample of any ebook available for free.  The sample usually includes the table of contents, forward or introduction, and often part or all of the first chapter. To get an ebook sample, find the book you want in the Kindle store (link below). Now, under the Try it free box, select the correct computer or device to send the sample to, and click Send Sample now. Amazon will thank you for your order, even though this is only a free preview.  Click the Go to Kindle for PC button to open Kindle and read your ebook preview.   Or, if Kindle is already running, press the Refresh button in the top right corner to check for new ebooks and previews. Kindle will synchronize and download the previews you selected. The most recently downloaded items show up on the top left.  All sample books have a red “Sample” bar on the bottom of their cover, and they also include links to Buy or view more info about it on it’s cover.  Double-click your sample to start reading it. Your ebook sample will usually open at the introduction or beginning of the first chapter, but you can also view the index, cover, and more. When you reach the end of the sample book, you can click a link to buy the book or view more details about it.  Strangely, both of these links currently take you to the ebook’s page on Amazon.com, but perhaps in the future the Buy link will directly let you purchase the book. Or, you can also click Buy Now on a sample book directly from your Kindle library. If you clicked one of these links, you will be returned to the ebook’s page on Amazon.  Choose the PC or Kindle you want the book delivered to, and this time, select Buy Now with 1-Click. Add your payment info if you’re not already setup for 1-Click Shopping, and then you’ll be shown the same Thank you page as before.  Refresh Kindle for PC, and your new ebook will automatically download.  Strangely, the sample ebook is not automatically removed, so you can right-click on the sample and select Delete this Book.  Additionally, your last-read page in the sample is not synced to the purchased book, so you may have to find your place again. Now, enjoy your full ebook! Download Free Books for Kindle The Kindle Store has an amazing amount of free ebooks.  Some free books may only be free for a limited time as a promotion, while others, such as old classics, may always be free.  Either which way, once you download it, you can keep it forever. When you find a free ebook you want, select the Kindle or PC you want to download it to and click “Buy now with 1-Click”.  Notice that this book shows it’s price is $0.00, but the button still says Buy now.  Rest assured, if the book’s price show up as $0.00, you will not be charged anything for downloading it. Your ebook will download as usual after your next refresh.  Note that you can still download the sample first if you want, but since the book is free, just download the whole thing and delete it if you don’t want it. Redownload your Purchased or Free Books If you install Kindle on a new PC or delete a book from your library, you can always re-download it from your Amazon account.  Browse to the Manage your Kindle page on Amazon (link below) sign in with your Amazon account, and scroll down to the list of your purchased content. Select the book you wish to download, then choose the Kindle or PC you want to download it to and press Go. Note: There is a “Delete this title” button right below this.  If you press the Delete button, you will not ever be able to re-download it. Or, you can download the book directly from the Archived Items tab in Kindle on your other PC. And, if you have your Kindle content on multiple computers, your reading will be synced via Whispersync.  You can start reading on your desktop, and then resume where you left off from your laptop. Conclusion With these tips and tricks, it is much easier to preview and purchase new books, find and download free ebooks, and re-download any you’ve deleted from your PC.  Have fun filling up your digital library! Links Manage your Kindle account Similar Articles Productive Geek Tips Read Mobi eBooks on Kindle for PCRead Kindle Books On Your Computer with Kindle for PCHow to See Where a TinyUrl Is Really Linking ToEdit Microsoft Word 2007 Documents in Print PreviewWhy Can’t I Turn the Details/Preview Panes On or Off in Windows Vista Explorer? TouchFreeze Alternative in AutoHotkey The Icy Undertow Desktop Windows Home Server – Backup to LAN The Clear & Clean Desktop Use This Bookmarklet to Easily Get Albums Use AutoHotkey to Assign a Hotkey to a Specific Window Latest Software Reviews Tinyhacker Random Tips DVDFab 6 Revo Uninstaller Pro Registry Mechanic 9 for Windows PC Tools Internet Security Suite 2010 Whoa ! Use Printflush to Solve Printing Problems Icelandic Volcano Webcams Open Multiple Links At One Go NachoFoto Searches Images in Real-time Office 2010 Product Guides

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  • Change the User Interface Language in Vista or Windows 7

    - by Matthew Guay
    Would you like to change the user interface language in any edition of Windows 7 or Vista on your computer?  Here’s a free app that can help you do this quickly and easily. If your native language is not the one most spoken in your area, you’ve likely purchased a PC with Windows preinstalled with a language that is difficult or impossible for you to use.  Windows 7 and Vista Ultimate include the ability to install multiple user interface languages and switch between them. However, all other editions are stuck with the language they shipped with.  With the free Vistalizator app, you can add several different interface languages to any edition of Vista or Windows 7 and easily switch between them. Note:  In this test, we used an US English copy of both Windows 7 Home Premium and Windows Vista Home Premium, and it works the same on any edition. The built-in language switching in the Ultimate Editions lets you set a user interface language for each user account, but this will only switch it for all users.  Add a User Interface Language to Windows To add an interface language to any edition of Windows 7 and Vista, first download Vistalizator (link below).  Then, from the same page, download the language pack of your choice.  The language packs are specific for each service pack of Windows, so make sure to choose the correct version and service pack you have installed. Once the downloads are finished, launch the Vistalizator program. You do not need to install it; simply run it and you’re ready to go.  Click the Add languages button to add a language to Windows. Select the user interface language pack you downloaded, and click Open. Depending on the language you selected, it may not automatically update with Windows Update when a service pack is released.  If so, you will have to remove the language pack and reinstall the new one for that service pack at that time.  Click Ok to continue. Make sure you’ve selected the correct language, and click Install language. Vistalizator will extract and install the language pack.  This took around 5 to 10 minutes in our test. Once the language pack is installed, click Yes to make it the default display language. Now, you have two languages installed in Windows.  You may be prompted to check for updates to the language pack; if so, click Update languages and Vistalizator will automatically check for and install any updates. When finished, exit Vistalizator to finish switching the language.  Click Yes to automatically reboot and apply the changes. When you computer reboots, it will show your new language, which in our test is Thai.  Here’s our Windows 7 Home Premium machine with the Thai language pack installed and running. You can even add a right to left language, such as Arabic, to Windows.  Simply repeat the steps to add another language pack.    Vistalizator was originally designed for Windows Vista, and works great with Windows 7 too.  The language packs for Vista are larger downloads than their Windows 7 counterparts.  Here’s our Vista Home Premium in English… And here’s how it looks after installing the Simplified Chinese language pack with Vistalizator. Revert to Your Original Language If you wish to return to the language that your computer shipped with, or want to switch to another language you’ve installed, run Vistalizator again.  Select the language you wish to use, and click Change language.   When you close Vistalizator, you will again be asked to reboot.  Once you’ve rebooted, you’ll see your new (or original) language ready to use.  Here’s our Windows 7 Home Premium desktop, back in it’s original English interface. Conclusion This is a great way to change your computer’s language into your own native language, and is especially useful for expatriates around the world.  Also, if you’d like to simply change or add an input language instead of changing the language throughout your computer, check out our tutorial on How to Add Keyboard Languages to XP, Vista, and Windows 7. Download Vistalizator Similar Articles Productive Geek Tips Enable Military Time in Windows 7 or VistaWhy Does My Password Expire in Windows?Use Windows Vista Aero through Remote Desktop ConnectionDisable User Account Control (UAC) the Easy Way on Win 7 or VistaAdd keyboard languages to XP, Vista, and Windows 7 TouchFreeze Alternative in AutoHotkey The Icy Undertow Desktop Windows Home Server – Backup to LAN The Clear & Clean Desktop Use This Bookmarklet to Easily Get Albums Use AutoHotkey to Assign a Hotkey to a Specific Window Latest Software Reviews Tinyhacker Random Tips DVDFab 6 Revo Uninstaller Pro Registry Mechanic 9 for Windows PC Tools Internet Security Suite 2010 Home Networks – How do they look like & the problems they cause Check Your IMAP Mail Offline In Thunderbird Follow Finder Finds You Twitter Users To Follow Combine MP3 Files Easily QuicklyCode Provides Cheatsheets & Other Programming Stuff Download Free MP3s from Amazon

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  • View Docs and PDFs Directly in Google Chrome

    - by Matthew Guay
    Would you like to view documents, presentations, and PDFs directly in Google Chrome?  Here’s a handy extension that makes Google Docs your default online viewer so don’t have to download the file first. Getting Started By default, when you come across a PDF or other common document file online in Google Chrome, you’ll have to download the file and open it in a separate application. It’d be much easier to simply view online documents directly in Chrome.  To do this, head over to the Docs PDF/PowerPoint Viewer page on the Chrome Extensions site (link below), and click Install to add it to your browser. Click Install to confirm that you want to install this extension. Extensions don’t run by default in Incognito mode, so if you’d like to always view documents directly in Chrome, open the Extensions page and check Allow this extension to run in incognito. Now, when you click a link for a document online, such as a .docx file from Word, it will open in the Google Docs viewer. These documents usually render in their original full-quality.  You can zoom in and out to see exactly what you want, or search within the document.  Or, if it doesn’t look correct, you can click the Download link in the top left to save the original document to your computer and open it in Office.   Even complex PDF render very nicely.  Do note that Docs will keep downloading the document as you’re reading it, so if you jump to the middle of a document it may look blurry at first but will quickly clear up. You can even view famous presentations online without opening them in PowerPoint.  Note that this will only display the slides themselves, but if you’re looking for information you likely don’t need the slideshow effects anyway.   Adobe Reader Conflicts If you already have Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader installed on your computer, PDF files may open with the Adobe plugin.  If you’d prefer to read your PDFs with the Docs PDF Viewer, then you need to disable the Adobe plugin.  Enter the following in your Address Bar to open your Chrome Plugins page: chrome://plugins/ and then click Disable underneath the Adobe Acrobat plugin. Now your PDFs will always open with the Docs viewer instead. Performance Who hasn’t been frustrated by clicking a link to a PDF file, only to have your browser pause for several minutes while Adobe Reader struggles to download and display the file?  Google Chrome’s default behavior of simply downloading the files and letting you open them is hardly more helpful.  This extension takes away both of these problems, since it renders the documents on Google’s servers.  Most documents opened fairly quickly in our tests, and we were able to read large PDFs only seconds after clicking their link.  Also, the Google Docs viewer rendered the documents much better than the HTML version in Google’s cache. Google Docs did seem to have problem on some files, and we saw error messages on several documents we tried to open.  If you encounter this, click the Download link in the top left corner to download the file and view it from your desktop instead. Conclusion Google Docs has improved over the years, and now it offers fairly good rendering even on more complex documents.  This extension can make your browsing easier, and help documents and PDFs feel more like part of the Internet.  And, since the documents are rendered on Google’s servers, it’s often faster to preview large files than to download them to your computer. Link Download the Docs PDF/PowerPoint Viewer extension from Google Similar Articles Productive Geek Tips Integrate Google Docs with Outlook the Easy WayGoogle Image Search Quick FixView the Time & Date in Chrome When Hiding Your TaskbarView Maps and Get Directions in Google ChromeHow To Export Documents from Google Docs to Your Computer TouchFreeze Alternative in AutoHotkey The Icy Undertow Desktop Windows Home Server – Backup to LAN The Clear & Clean Desktop Use This Bookmarklet to Easily Get Albums Use AutoHotkey to Assign a Hotkey to a Specific Window Latest Software Reviews Tinyhacker Random Tips Xobni Plus for Outlook All My Movies 5.9 CloudBerry Online Backup 1.5 for Windows Home Server Snagit 10 How to Forecast Weather, without Gadgets Outlook Tools, one stop tweaking for any Outlook version Zoofs, find the most popular tweeted YouTube videos Video preview of new Windows Live Essentials 21 Cursor Packs for XP, Vista & 7 Map the Stars with Stellarium

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  • Experience the iPad UI On Your PC

    - by Matthew Guay
    Want to test drive iPad without heading over to an Apple store?  Here’s a way you can experience some of the iPad UI straight from your browser! The iPad is the latest gadget from Apple to wow the tech world, and people even waited in line all night to be one of the first to get their hands on one.  Thanks to a simple JavaScript trick, however, you can get a feel for some of its new features without leaving your computer.  This won’t let you try out everything on the iPad, but it will let you see how the new lists and pop-over menus work just like they do in the new apps. Test drive the iPad’s UI from your browser Normally, the Apple iPhone developer library online looks like a standard webpage. But, on the iPad, it looks and feels like a full-blown native iPad app.  With a nifty JavaScript trick from boredzo.org you can use this same interface on your PC.  Since the iPad uses the Safari browser, we ran this test in Safari for Windows.  If you don’t already have it installed, you can download it from Apple (link below) and setup as normal. Now, open Safari and browse to Apple’s developer page at: http://www.developer.apple.com   Now, enter the following in the address bar, and press Enter. javascript:localStorage.setItem('debugSawtooth', 'true')   Finally, click this link to go to the iPhone OS documentation. http://developer.apple.com/iphone/library/iPad/ After a short delay, it should open in full iPad style! The left menu works just like the menus on the iPad, complete with transitions.  It feels entirely like a native application, instead of a webpage.  To scroll through text, click and pull up or down similar to the way you would use it on a touch screen. Some pages even include a pop-over menu like many of the new iPad apps use. Note that the page will be rendered for the size of your browser, and if you resize your window the page will not resize with it.  Simply press F5 to reload the page, and it will resize to fit the new window size.  If you resize your window to be tall and narrow, like the iPad in horizontal mode, the webpage will change and the left menu will disappear in lieu of a drop-down menu just like it would if you rotated the iPad. This works in Chrome as well, since it, like Safari, is based on Webkit.  However, it didn’t seem to work in our test on Firefox or other browsers. We’ve previously covered how you can experience some of the iPhone’s UI with the online iPhone user guide.  Check it out if you haven’t yet: View Mobile Websites in Windows with Safari 4 Developer Tools Conclusion Although this doesn’t let you really try out all of the iPad’s interface, it at least gives you a taste of how it works.  It’s exciting to see how much functionality can be packed into webapps today.  And don’t forget, How-to Geek is giving away an iPad to a random fan!  Head over to our Facebook page and fan How-to Geek if you haven’t already done so. Win an iPad on the How-To Geek Facebook Fan Page Similar Articles Productive Geek Tips Want an iPad? How-To Geek is Giving One Away!Why Wait? Amazing New Add-on Turns Your iPhone into an iPad! [Comic]The Complete List of iPad Tips, Tricks, and TutorialsShare Your Windows Vista Experience Index ScoreAnother Blog You Should Subscribe To TouchFreeze Alternative in AutoHotkey The Icy Undertow Desktop Windows Home Server – Backup to LAN The Clear & Clean Desktop Use This Bookmarklet to Easily Get Albums Use AutoHotkey to Assign a Hotkey to a Specific Window Latest Software Reviews Tinyhacker Random Tips DVDFab 6 Revo Uninstaller Pro Registry Mechanic 9 for Windows PC Tools Internet Security Suite 2010 Awesome Lyrics Finder for Winamp & Windows Media Player Download Videos from Hulu Pixels invade Manhattan Convert PDF files to ePub to read on your iPad Hide Your Confidential Files Inside Images Get Wildlife Photography Tips at BBC’s PhotoMasterClasses

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  • Customize Your WordPress Blog & Build an Audience

    - by Matthew Guay
    Want to quickly give your blog a fresh coat of paint and make it stand out from the pack?  Here’s how you can customize your WordPress blog and make it uniquely yours. WordPress offers many features that help you make your blog the best it can be.  Although it doesn’t offer as many customization features as full WordPress running on your own server, it still makes it easy to make your free blog as professional or cute as you like.  Here we’ll look at how you can customize features in your blog and build an audience. Personalize Your Blog WordPress make it easy to personalize your blog.  Most of the personalization options are available under the Appearance menu on the left.  Here we’ll look at how you can use most of these. Add New Theme WordPress is popular for the wide range of themes available for it.  While you cannot upload your own theme to your blog, you can choose from over 90 free themes currently available with more added all the time.  To change your theme, select the Themes page under Appearance. The Themes page will show random themes, but you can choose to view them in alphabetical order, by popularity, or how recently they were added.  Or, you can search for a theme by name or features. One neat way to find a theme that suites your needs is the Feature Filter.  Click the link on the right of the search button, and then select the options you want to make sure your theme has.  Click Apply Filters and WordPress will streamline your choices to themes that contain these features. Once you find a theme you like, click Preview under its name to see how your blog will look. This will open a popup that shows your blog with the new theme.  Click the Activate link in the top right corner of the popup if you want to keep this theme; otherwise, click the x in the top left corner to close the preview and continue your search for one you want.   Edit Current Theme Many of the themes on WordPress have customization options so you can make your blog stand out from others using the same theme.  The default theme Twenty Ten lets you customize both the header and background image, and many themes have similar options. To choose a new header image, select the Header page under Appearance.  Select one of the pre-installed images and click Save Changes, or upload your own image. If you upload an image larger than the size for the header, WordPress will let you crop it directly in the web interface.  Click Crop Header when you’ve selected the portion you want for the header of your blog. You can also customize your blog’s background from the Background page under Appearance.  You can upload an image for the background, or can enter a hex value of a color for a solid background.  If you’d rather visually choose a color, click Select a Color to open a color wheel that makes it easy to choose a nice color.  Click Save Changes when you’re done. Note: that all themes may not contain these customization options, but many are flexible.  You cannot edit the actual CSS of your theme on free WordPress blogs, but you you can purchase the Custom CSS Upgrade for $14.97/year to add this ability. Add Widgets With Extra Content Widgets are small addons for your blog, similar to Desktop Gadgets in Windows 7 or Dashboard widgets in Mac OS X.  You can add widgets to your blog to show recent Tweets, favorite Flickr pictures, popular articles, and more.  To add widgets to your blog, open the Widgets page under Appearance. You’ll see a variety of widgets available in the main white box.  Select one you want to add, and drag it to the widget area of your choice.  Different themes may offer different areas to place Widgets, such as the sidebar or footer. Most of the widgets offer configuration options.  Click the down arrow beside its name to edit it.  Set them up as you wish, and click Save on the bottom of the widget. Now we’ve got some nice dynamic content on our blog that’s automatically updated from the net. Choose Blog Extras By default, WordPress shows previews of websites when visitors hover over links on your blog, uses a special mobile theme when people visit from a mobile device, and shows related links to other blogs on the WordPress network at the end of your posts.  If you don’t like these features, you can disable them on the Extras page under Appearance. Build Your Audience Now that your blog is looking nice, we can make sure others will discover it.  WordPress makes it easy for you to make your site discoverable on search engines or social network, and even gives you the option to keep your site private if you’d prefer.  Open the Privacy page under Tools to change your site’s visibility.  By default, it will be indexed by search engines and be viewable to everyone.  You can also choose to leave your blog public but block search engines, or you can make it fully private. If you choose to make your blog private, you can enter up to 35 usernames of people you want to be able to see it.  Each private visitor must have a WordPress.com account so they can login.  If you need more than 35 private members, you can upgrade to allow unlimited private members for $29.97/year. Then, if you do want your site visible from search engines, one of the best ways to make sure your content is discovered by search engines is to register with their webmaster tools.  Once registered, you need to add your key to your site so the search engine will find and index it.  On the bottom of the Tools page, WordPress lets you enter your key from Google, Bing, and Yahoo! to make sure your site is discovered.  If you haven’t signed up with these tools yet, you can signup via the links on this page as well. Post Blog Updates to Social Networks Many people discover the sites they visit from friends and others via social networks.  WordPress makes it easy to automatically share links to your content on popular social networks.  To activate this feature, open the My Blogs page under Dashboard. Now, select the services you want to activate under the Publicize section.  This will automatically update Yahoo!, Twitter, and/or Facebook every time you publish a new post. You’ll have to authorize your connection with the social network.  With Twitter and Yahoo!, you can authorize them with only two clicks, but integrating with Facebook will take several steps.   If you’d rather share links yourself on social networks, you can get shortened URLs to your posts.  When you write a new post or edit an existing one, click the Get Shortlink button located underneath the post’s title. This will give you a small URL, usually 20 characters or less, that you can use to post on social networks such as Twitter.   This should help build your traffic, and if you want to see how many people are checking out your site, check out the stats on your Dashboard.  This shows a graph of how many people are visiting, and popular posts.  Click View All if you’d like more detailed stats including search engine terms that lead people to your blog. Conclusion Whether you’re looking to make a private blog for your group or publish a blog that’s read by millions around the world, WordPress is a great way to do it for free.  And with all of the personalization options, you can make your it memorable and exciting for your visitors. If you don’t have a blog, you can always signup for a free one from WordPress.com.  Also make sure to check out our article on how to Start Your Own Blog with WordPress. Similar Articles Productive Geek Tips Manage Your WordPress Blog Comments from Your Windows DesktopAdd Social Bookmarking (Digg This!) Links to your Wordpress BlogHow-To Geek SoftwareMake a Backup Copy of your Production Wordpress Blog on UbuntuOops! Sorry About the Feed Errors TouchFreeze Alternative in AutoHotkey The Icy Undertow Desktop Windows Home Server – Backup to LAN The Clear & Clean Desktop Use This Bookmarklet to Easily Get Albums Use AutoHotkey to Assign a Hotkey to a Specific Window Latest Software Reviews Tinyhacker Random Tips CloudBerry Online Backup 1.5 for Windows Home Server Snagit 10 VMware Workstation 7 Acronis Online Backup Windows Firewall with Advanced Security – How To Guides Sculptris 1.0, 3D Drawing app AceStock, a Tiny Desktop Quote Monitor Gmail Button Addon (Firefox) Hyperwords addon (Firefox) Backup Outlook 2010

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  • User Guide to Dropbox Shared Folders

    - by Matthew Guay
    Dropbox is an incredibly useful tool for keeping all your files synced between your computers and the cloud.  Here we’re going to look at how you can keep all of your team on the same page with Dropbox shared folders. Creating a Shared Folder Setting up a shared folder in Dropbox is easy.  Add the files you want to share to a folder in Dropbox on your computer, then right-click in the folder, select Dropbox, and then choose Share This Folder.   Alternately, log into your Dropbox account online, click the drop-down menu beside the folder you want to share, and click Share this folder. Now, enter the email addresses of the people you want to share the folder with, and optionally enter a message explaining why you’re sharing the folder. The people you invite will receive an email inviting them to view and join the shared folder.  If they haven’t signed up for Dropbox, they can directly signup; otherwise, they can simply log into their Dropbox account and start adding or editing files. Shared folders have a slightly different icon in your Dropbox.  Notice the shared folder on the left has an icon with 2 people, while the folder on the right that is not shared, shows previews of its contents. See Your Shared Folder’s History Whenever your collaborators with your shared folders add or change files, you will see a tooltip notification telling you what changed. You can also view the changes online.  Log into your Dropbox account in your browser and select the Events tab.  This shows all changes to your Dropbox, but you can view only the changes in your shared folder by selecting its name on the left sidebar. Now you can see all recent changes to your folder, and can also see who added or removed each file.   On the bottom of the page, you can even add a comment that all the collaborators will see. If someone deleted a file you still need, you can restore it by clicking its link in this online history.  Or, you can view any deleted files by right-clicking in your Dropbox folder in Explorer.  Select Dropbox, and then click Show Deleted Files.   Get Notified When a Change is Made You’re not always in front of your computer; you’ve got a life beyond your projects, after all (at least hopefully).  If you really want to stay connected to what’s happening with your project, though, you can easily do that no matter where you are. Your shared Dropbox folder’s history page offers an RSS feed of all changes to the folder.  Click  the Subscribe to this feed hyperlink. Now, in the popup that opens, click “Copy to clipboard” so you can use this RSS feed. You can subscribe to RSS feeds through many web browsers, email clients, dedicated feed readers, and more.  In Firefox, Internet Explorer 7/8, or Opera, you can paste the feed address into your address bar and subscribe to the feed directly in your browser.   However, subscribing to the feed in a desktop application won’t help you much when you’re away from your computer.  One great option is to subscribe in the popular Google Reader.  Then you can check your feed from any browser, on any computer or mobile device. To add your Dropbox feed to Google Reader, log into Google Reader (link below), click Add a subscription on the top left, paste your RSS feed from Dropbox, and click Add.   Now you can see any changes to files or folders in Google Reader. You can even add your feed to your iGoogle homepage.  Click the Add it Now button on the right in the front page of Google Reader to add your feeds to iGoogle.   Now you can see updates on your files from your homepage.  If you’re using a different computer, just login to your Google account to see what’s happening. You can also access your Google Reader feeds from many programs and apps for most major Smartphones including iPhone, Windows Phone, and Blackberry. Receive a Tweet or Text When Changes are Made If you’re a hyper-connected individual, chances are you send and receive tweets on the go.  If so, this might be the best way for you to get notified when changes are made to your Dropbox shared folder.  To do this, first create a new Twitter account to publish your changes through.  If you don’t want the whole world to see your updates, click Settings and set your new Twitter account to Private. Once the new account is created, follow it with your normal Twitter account so you’ll see updates. Now, let’s publish our Dropbox RSS feed to Twitter.  Create an account with Twitterfeed (link below). Once your account is setup, add your feed to it.  Name your feed, and enter your Feed address from Dropbox.  Click Advanced Settings to make your feed work just like you want. In Advanced Settings, change the frequency to “Every 30 mins” to make sure you’re updated on changes as quick as possible.  You can also change other settings if you like. Click “Continue to Step 2”, and then click Twitter under the available services to add your account. Make sure your signed into your new Twitter account, and then click Authenticate Twitter. Allow the application. Now, finally, click Create Service. Whenever a change is made, you will receive a tweet via your new Twitter account.  And since you can receive tweets via text message or many mobile applications, you’ll never be very far away from your Dropbox changes!   Conclusion Dropbox shared folders are a great way to keep your whole team working together on the same files in a project.  And with these handy tricks, you can keep up with your shared files wherever you are! There are a lot of cool things you can do with Dropbox make sure to check out our posts on adding Dropbox to the Windows 7 Start menu, Accessing Dropbox files from Chrome, and Syncing your Pidgin Profile Across Multiple PCs. Links Signup or access your Dropbox account Google Reader Tweet your feed with Twitterfeed Similar Articles Productive Geek Tips How to Add and Manage Shared Folders on Windows Home ServerManage User Accounts in Windows Home ServerAdd "My Dropbox" to Your Windows 7 Start MenuComplete Guide to Networking Windows 7 with XP and VistaMoving Your Personal Data Folders in Windows Vista the Easy Way TouchFreeze Alternative in AutoHotkey The Icy Undertow Desktop Windows Home Server – Backup to LAN The Clear & Clean Desktop Use This Bookmarklet to Easily Get Albums Use AutoHotkey to Assign a Hotkey to a Specific Window Latest Software Reviews Tinyhacker Random Tips DVDFab 6 Revo Uninstaller Pro Registry Mechanic 9 for Windows PC Tools Internet Security Suite 2010 Office 2010 reviewed in depth by Ed Bott FoxClocks adds World Times in your Statusbar (Firefox) Have Fun Editing Photo Editing with Citrify Outlook Connector Upgrade Error Gadfly is a cool Twitter/Silverlight app Enable DreamScene in Windows 7

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  • Create Panoramic Photos with Windows Live Photo Gallery

    - by Matthew Guay
    Have you ever wanted to capture the view from a mountain or the full size of a building?  Here’s how you can stitch multiple shots together into the perfect panoramic picture for free with Windows Live Photo Gallery. Getting Started First, make sure you have Windows Live Photo Gallery installed (link below).  Live Photo Gallery is part of the Windows Live Essentials suite, you can select other programs to install along with it if you want. Make sure to uncheck setting your home page to MSN and setting your search provider as Bing if you don’t want them changed.   Now, make sure you have pictures that will work good for a panorama.  These need to be taken from the same spot, and the edges of the pictures need to overlap so the program can find where the pictures connect.  Here we have taken pictures inside a building with a cell phone camera. Make your Panorama Open Live Photo Gallery, and find the pictures you want to use in your panorama.  It will automatically index and display all of the photos in your Pictures folder or Library if you’re using Windows 7. If your pictures are saved elsewhere, add that folder to Photo Gallery.  Click File, Include a folder in the gallery, and select the correct folder at the prompt. Now select all of the pictures that you will use in your panorama.  You can easily do this by clicking the checkbox on each picture that appears when you hover over it.    Once all of the pictures are selected, click Make in the menu bar and select Create panoramic photo… Alternately, right-click on any of the pictures you’ve selected, and click Create panoramic photo… Live Photo Gallery will analyze your photos and compost them together to create a panorama.  The amount of time it takes will vary depending on the number of photos, size of the pictures, and computer speed. When it’s finished making the panorama, you’ll be prompted to enter a file name and save the picture. Your new panorama picture will open as soon as it’s saved.  Depending on your shots, the picture may have quite a bit of black space around the edges where each picture didn’t cover the exact same amount of area. To correct this, click Fix on the menu bar, and then select Crop Photo in the sidebar that opens. Select the center of the picture with the crop tool, and click Apply when you’ve got the selection you want. Live Photo Gallery automatically saves your picture changes, and you can revert back to the original picture if you wish. Now you’ve got a nice panoramic shot, trimmed and ready to print, share, and more. Conclusion Panoramic shots are great ways to capture your whole surroundings, whether it’s a sports stadium, mall, or a scenic mountain view.  They can also be a great way to capture more with low-resolution cameras. Link Download Windows Live Photo Gallery Similar Articles Productive Geek Tips Family Fun: Share Photos with Photo Gallery and Windows Live SpacesLearning Windows 7: Manage Photos with Live Photo GalleryEasily Re-Size Photos in Windows Vista or XPInstall Windows Live Essentials In Windows 7Convert Photos to Flash for Your Website TouchFreeze Alternative in AutoHotkey The Icy Undertow Desktop Windows Home Server – Backup to LAN The Clear & Clean Desktop Use This Bookmarklet to Easily Get Albums Use AutoHotkey to Assign a Hotkey to a Specific Window Latest Software Reviews Tinyhacker Random Tips Xobni Plus for Outlook All My Movies 5.9 CloudBerry Online Backup 1.5 for Windows Home Server Snagit 10 2010 World Cup Schedule Boot Snooze – Reboot and then Standby or Hibernate Customize Everything Related to Dates, Times, Currency and Measurement in Windows 7 Google Earth replacement Icon (Icons we like) Build Great Charts in Excel with Chart Advisor tinysong gives a shortened URL for you to post on Twitter (or anywhere)

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  • Edit the Windows Live Writer Custom Dictionary

    - by Matthew Guay
    Windows Live Writer is a great tool for writing and publishing posts to your blog, but its spell check unfortunately doesn’t include many common tech words.  Here’s how you can easily edit your custom dictionary and add your favorite words. Customize Live Writer’s Dictionary Adding an individual word to the Windows Live Writer dictionary works as you would expect.  Right-click on a word and select Add to dictionary. And changing the default spell check settings is easy too.  In the menu, click Tools, then Options, and select the Spelling tab in this dialog.  Here you can choose your dictionary language and turn on/off real-time spell checking and other settings. But there’s no obvious way to edit your custom dictionary.  Editing the custom dictionary directly is nice if you accidently add a misspelled word to your dictionary and want to remove it, or if you want to add a lot of words to the dictionary at once. Live Writer actually stores your custom dictionary entries in a plain text file located in your appdata folder.  It is saved as User.dic in the C:\Users\user_name\AppData\Roaming\Windows Live Writer\Dictionaries folder.  The easiest way to open the custom dictionary is to enter the following in the Run box or the address bar of an Explorer window: %appdata%\Windows Live Writer\Dictionaries\User.dic   This will open the User.dic file in your default text editor.  Add any new words to the custom dictionary on separate lines, and delete any misspelled words you accidently added to the dictionary.   Microsoft Office Word also stores its custom dictionary in a plain text file.  If you already have lots of custom words in it and want to import them into Live Writer, enter the following in the Run command or Explorer’s address bar to open Word’s custom dictionary.  Then copy the words, and past them into your Live Writer custom dictionary file. %AppData%\Microsoft\UProof\Custom.dic Don’t forget to save the changes when you’re done.  Note that the changes to the dictionary may not show up in Live Writer’s spell check until you restart the program.  If it’s currently running, save any posts you’re working on, exit, and then reopen, and all of your new words should be in the dictionary. Conclusion Whether you use Live Writer daily in your job or occasionally post an update to a personal blog, adding your own custom words to the dictionary can save you a lot of time and frustration in editing.  Plus, if you’ve accidently added a misspelled word to the dictionary, this is a great way to undo your mistake and make sure your spelling is up to par! Similar Articles Productive Geek Tips Backup Your Windows Live Writer SettingsTransfer or Move Your Microsoft Office Custom DictionaryFuture Date a Post in Windows Live WriterTools to Help Post Content On Your WordPress BlogInstall Windows Live Essentials In Windows 7 TouchFreeze Alternative in AutoHotkey The Icy Undertow Desktop Windows Home Server – Backup to LAN The Clear & Clean Desktop Use This Bookmarklet to Easily Get Albums Use AutoHotkey to Assign a Hotkey to a Specific Window Latest Software Reviews Tinyhacker Random Tips Acronis Online Backup DVDFab 6 Revo Uninstaller Pro Registry Mechanic 9 for Windows Video Toolbox is a Superb Online Video Editor Fun with 47 charts and graphs Tomorrow is Mother’s Day Check the Average Speed of YouTube Videos You’ve Watched OutlookStatView Scans and Displays General Usage Statistics How to Add Exceptions to the Windows Firewall

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  • How to Upload Really Large Files to SkyDrive, Dropbox, or Email

    - by Matthew Guay
    Do you need to upload a very large file to store online or email to a friend? Unfortunately, whether you’re emailing a file or using online storage sites like SkyDrive, there’s a limit on the size of files you can use. Here’s how to get around the limits. Skydrive only lets you add files up to 50 MB, and while the Dropbox desktop client lets you add really large files, the web interface has a 300 MB limit, so if you were on another PC and wanted to add giant files to your Dropbox, you’d need to split them. This same technique also works for any file sharing service—even if you were sending files through email. There’s two ways that you can get around the limits—first, by just compressing the files if you’re close to the limit, but the second and more interesting way is to split up the files into smaller chunks. Keep reading for how to do both. Latest Features How-To Geek ETC The How-To Geek Guide to Learning Photoshop, Part 8: Filters Get the Complete Android Guide eBook for Only 99 Cents [Update: Expired] Improve Digital Photography by Calibrating Your Monitor The How-To Geek Guide to Learning Photoshop, Part 7: Design and Typography How to Choose What to Back Up on Your Linux Home Server How To Harmonize Your Dual-Boot Setup for Windows and Ubuntu Hang in There Scrat! – Ice Age Wallpaper How Do You Know When You’ve Passed Geek and Headed to Nerd? On The Tip – A Lamborghini Theme for Chrome and Iron What if Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner were Human? [Video] Peaceful Winter Cabin Wallpaper Store Tabs for Later Viewing in Opera with Tab Vault

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  • Center Pictures and Other Objects in Office 2007 & 2010

    - by Matthew Guay
    Sometimes it can be difficult to center a picture in a document just by dragging it dragging it around. Today we show you how to center pictures, images, and other objects perfectly in Word and PowerPoint. Note: For this tutorial we’re using Office 2010, but the steps are nearly identical in 2007. Centering a Picture in Word First let’s insert a picture into our document.  Click the Insert tab, and then click Picture. Once you select the picture you want, it will be added to your document.  Usually, pictures are added wherever your curser was in the document, so in a blank document it will be added at the top left. Also notice Picture Tools show up in the Ribbon after inserting an image. Note: The following menu items are available in Picture Tools Format tab which is displayed when you select the object or image you’re working with. How do we align the picture just like we want?  Click Position to get some quick placement options, including centered in the middle of the document or on the top.    However, for more advanced placement, we can use the Align tool.  If Word isn’t maximized, you may only see the icon without the “Align” label. Notice the tools were grayed out in the menu by default.  To be able to change the Alignment, we need to first change the text wrap settings. Click the Wrap Text button, and any option other than “In Line with Text”.  Your choice will depend on the document you’re writing, just choose the option that works best in the document.   Now, select the Align tools again.  You can now position your image precisely with these options. Align Center will position your picture in the center of the page widthwise. Align Middle will put the picture in the middle of the page height-wise. This works the same with textboxes.  Simply click the Align button in the Format tab, and you can center it in the page. And if you’d like to align several objects together, simply select them all, click Group, and then select Group from the menu.   Now, in the align tools, you can center the whole group on your page for a heading, or whatever you want to use the pictures for. These steps also work the same with Office 2007. Center objects in PowerPoint This works similar in PowerPoint, except that pictures are automatically set for square wrapping automatically, so you don’t have to change anything.  Simply insert the picture or other object of your choice, click Align, and choose the option you want. Additionally, if one object is already aligned like you want, drag another object near it and you will see a Smart Guide to help you align or center the second object with the first.  This only works with shapes in PowerPoint 2010 beta, but will work with pictures, textboxes, and media in the final release this summer. Conclusion These are good methods for centering images and objects in Word and PowerPoint.  From designing perfect headers to emphasizing your message in a PowerPoint presentation, this is something we’ve found useful and hope you will too. Since we’re talking about Office here, it’s worth mentioning that Microsoft has announced the Technology Guarantee Program for Office 2010. Essentially what this means is, if you purchase a version of Office 2007 between March 5th and September 30th of this year, when Office 2010 is released you’ll be able to upgrade to it for free! Similar Articles Productive Geek Tips Add or Remove Apps from the Microsoft Office 2007 or 2010 SuiteAdd More Functions To Office 2007 By Installing Add-InsCustomize Your Welcome Picture Choices in Windows VistaEasily Rotate Pictures In Word 2007Add Effects To Your Pictures in Word 2007 TouchFreeze Alternative in AutoHotkey The Icy Undertow Desktop Windows Home Server – Backup to LAN The Clear & Clean Desktop Use This Bookmarklet to Easily Get Albums Use AutoHotkey to Assign a Hotkey to a Specific Window Latest Software Reviews Tinyhacker Random Tips Revo Uninstaller Pro Registry Mechanic 9 for Windows PC Tools Internet Security Suite 2010 PCmover Professional Discover New Bundled Feeds in Google Reader Play Music in Chrome by Simply Dragging a File 15 Great Illustrations by Chow Hon Lam Easily Sync Files & Folders with Friends & Family Amazon Free Kindle for PC Download Stretch popurls.com with a Stylish Script (Firefox)

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  • Help Prevent Carpal Tunnel Problems with Workrave

    - by Matthew Guay
    Whether for work or leisure, many of us spend entirely too much time on the computer everyday.  This puts us at risk of having or aggravating Carpal Tunnel problems, but thanks to Workrave you can help to divert these problems. Workrave helps Carpal Tunnel problems by reminding you to get away from your computer periodically.  Breaking up your computer time with movement can help alleviate many computer and office related health problems.  Workrave helps by reminding you to take short pauses after several minutes of computer use, and longer breaks after continued use.  You can also use it to keep from using the computer for too much You time in a day.  Since you can change the settings to suit you, this can be a great way to make sure you’re getting the breaks you need. Install Workrave on Windows If you’re using Workrave on Windows, download (link below) and install it with the default settings. One installation setting you may wish to change is the startup.  By default Workrave will run automatically when you start your computer; if you don’t want this, you can simply uncheck the box and proceed with the installation. Once setup is finished, you can run Workrave directly from the installer. Or you can open it from your start menu by entering “workrave” in the search box. Install Workrave in Ubuntu If you wish to use it in Ubuntu, you can install it directly from the Ubuntu Software Center.  Click the Applications menu, and select Ubuntu Software Center. Enter “workrave” into the search box in the top right corner of the Software Center, and it will automatically find it.  Click the arrow to proceed to Workrave’s page. This will give you information about Workrave; simply click Install to install Workrave on your system. Enter your password when prompted. Workrave will automatically download and install.   When finished, you can find Workrave in your Applications menu under Universal Access. Using Workrave Workrave by default shows a small counter on your desktop, showing the length of time until your next Micro break (30 second break), Rest break (10 minute break), and max amount of computer usage for the day. When it’s time for a micro break, Workrave will popup a reminder on your desktop. If you continue working, it will disappear at the end of the timer.  If you stop, it will start a micro-break which will freeze most on-screen activities until the timer is over.  You can click Skip or Postpone if you do not want to take a break right then. After an hour of work, Workrave will give you a 10 minute rest break.  During this it will show you some exercises that can help eliminate eyestrain, muscle tension, and other problems from prolonged computer usage.  You can click through the exercises, or can skip or postpone the break if you wish.   Preferences You can change your Workrave preferences by right-clicking on its icon in your system tray and selecting Preferences. Here you can customize the time between your breaks, and the length of your breaks.  You can also change your daily computer usage limit, and can even turn off the postpone and skip buttons on notifications if you want to make sure you follow Workrave and take your rests! From the context menu, you can also choose Statistics.  This gives you an overview of how many breaks, prompts, and more were shown on a given day.  It also shows a total Overdue time, which is the total length of the breaks you skipped or postponed.  You can view your Workrave history as well by simply selecting a date on the calendar.   Additionally, the Activity tab in the Statics pane shows more info about your computer usage, including total mouse movement, mouse button clicks, and keystrokes. Conclusion Whether you’re suffering with Carpal Tunnel or trying to prevent it, Workrave is a great solution to help remind you to get away from your computer periodically and rest.  Of course, since you can simply postpone or skip the prompts, you’ve still got to make an effort to help your own health.  But it does give you a great way to remind yourself to get away from the computer, and especially for geeks, this may be something that we really need! Download Workrave Similar Articles Productive Geek Tips Switch to the Dvorak Keyboard Layout in XPAccess Your MySQL Server Remotely Over SSHHow to Secure Gaim Instant Messenger traffic at Work with SecureCRT and SSHConnect to VMware Server Console Over SSHDisclaimers TouchFreeze Alternative in AutoHotkey The Icy Undertow Desktop Windows Home Server – Backup to LAN The Clear & Clean Desktop Use This Bookmarklet to Easily Get Albums Use AutoHotkey to Assign a Hotkey to a Specific Window Latest Software Reviews Tinyhacker Random Tips Revo Uninstaller Pro Registry Mechanic 9 for Windows PC Tools Internet Security Suite 2010 PCmover Professional StockFox puts a Lightweight Stock Ticker in your Statusbar Explore Google Public Data Visually The Ultimate Excel Cheatsheet Convert the Quick Launch Bar into a Super Application Launcher Automate Tasks in Linux with Crontab Discover New Bundled Feeds in Google Reader

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  • Stay on Schedule in Chrome with DayHiker

    - by Matthew Guay
    Do you keep your schedule and tasks in Google Calendar?  Here’s a handy extension for Google Chrome that can keep you on top of your appointments without having to open Google Calendar in another tab. Integrate Google Calendar with Chrome DayHiker is a handy extension for Google Chrome that can help you stay on schedule in your browser.  Desktop applications typically can keep you notified easier with popups or alerts, but webapps require you to visit them to view your information.  DayHiker takes the best of both, and can make your Google Calendar work more like a desktop application. To get started, open the DayHiker page from the Chrome Extensions Gallery (link below), and click Install.  Confirm you wish to install it at the prompt. Now you’ll have a new extension button in your Chrome toolbar.  Click the calendar icon to view your Google Calendar.  You’ll need to be signed into your Google account for your calendar to display; click the key icon to select your account if it doesn’t show your appointments automatically. If you’re signed into multiple Google accounts, such as your public Gmail and a Google Apps account, you can select the calendar you wish and click Continue. Now you can quickly see your upcoming appointments.  Simply hover over the icon to see your upcoming events.  Or, just glance at it to see if there are any appointments coming up, as the indicator icon will change colors to show how long you have until your next appointment. Click the icon to see more information about your appointments. Or, click the Add link to add a new appointment.  If you need to edit the appointment details, click Edit Details and the appointment will open in Google Calendar for you to edit. You can also view and manage your tasks in Google Calendar.  Click the checkmark icon, and then add or check-off tasks directly from the extension pane. You can also set an alarm clock in DayHiker.  Click the green circle icon, and then enter the time for the alarm to go off.  Strangely it will only chime if the extension pane is left open, so if you click anywhere else in the browser or even switch to another program it will not chime.   If you’d like to customize DayHiker’s settings, right-click on it and select Options, or select Options in the Chrome Extensions page.  Here you can customize your badges and the DayHiker icon, or enter a custom domain for your Google Apps Pro calendar.   Conclusion If you rely on Google Calendar to stay on top of your schedule, DayHiker can help you stay scheduled and know what’s coming up.  We wish DayHiker supported multiple calendars so we could combine our Google Apps calendars with our personal Google Calendar, but even still, it is a very useful tool.  Whether you’re a tightly scheduled person or just like to jot down to-dos and keep track of them, this extension will help you do this efficiently with familiar Google tools. Link Download DayHiker from the Chrome Extensions Gallery Similar Articles Productive Geek Tips Configure Disk Defragmenter Schedule in Windows 7 or VistaSchedule Updates for Windows Media CenterOpen Multiple Sites Without Reopening the Menus in FirefoxFind a Website’s Actual Location with Chrome FlagsSubscribe to RSS Feeds in Chrome with a Single Click TouchFreeze Alternative in AutoHotkey The Icy Undertow Desktop Windows Home Server – Backup to LAN The Clear & Clean Desktop Use This Bookmarklet to Easily Get Albums Use AutoHotkey to Assign a Hotkey to a Specific Window Latest Software Reviews Tinyhacker Random Tips HippoRemote Pro 2.2 Xobni Plus for Outlook All My Movies 5.9 CloudBerry Online Backup 1.5 for Windows Home Server Dual Boot Ubuntu and Windows 7 What is HTML5? Default Programs Editor – One great tool for Setting Defaults Convert BMP, TIFF, PCX to Vector files with RasterVect Free Identify Fonts using WhatFontis.com Windows 7’s WordPad is Actually Good

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  • Get Information to Your Blog with Microsoft Broadcaster

    - by Matthew Guay
    Do you often have people ask you for advice about technology, or do you write tech-focused blog or newsletter?  Here’s how you can get information to share with your readers about Microsoft technology with Microsoft Broadcaster. Microsoft Broadcaster is a new service from Microsoft to help publishers, bloggers, developers, and other IT professionals find relevant information and resources from Microsoft.  You can use it to help discover things to write about, or simply discover new information about the technology you use.  Broadcaster will also notify you when new resources are available about the topics that interest you.  Let’s look at how you could use this to expand your blog and help your users. Getting Started Head over to the Microsoft Broadcaster site (link below), and click Join to get started. Sign in with your Windows Live ID, or create a new account if you don’t already have one. Near the bottom of the page, add information about your blog, newsletter, or group that you want to share Broadcaster information with.  Click Add when you’re done entering information.  You can enter as many sites or groups as you wish. When you’ve entered all of your information, click the Apply button at the bottom of the page.  Broadcaster will then let you know your information has been submitted, but you’ll need to wait several days to see if you are approved or not. Our application was approved about 2 days after applying, though this may vary.  When you’re approved, you’ll receive an email letting you know.  Return to the Broadcaster website (link below), but this time, click Sign in. Accept the terms of use by clicking I Accept at the bottom of the page. Confirm that your information entered previously is correct, and then click Configure my keywords at the bottom of the page. Now you can pick the topics you want to stay informed about.  Type keywords in the textbox, and it will bring up relevant topics with IntelliSense. Here we’ve added several topics to keep up with. Next select the Microsoft Products you want to keep track of.  If the product you want to keep track of is not listed, make sure to list it in the keywords section as above. Finally, select the types of content you wish to see, including articles, eBooks, webcasts, and more. Finally, when everything’s entered, click Configure My Alerts at the bottom of the page. Broadcaster can automatically email you when new content is found.  If you would like this, click Subscribe.  Otherwise, simply click Access Dashboard to go ahead and find your personalized content. If you choose to receive emails of new content, you’ll have to configure it with Windows Live Alerts.  Click Continue to set this up. Select if you want to receive Messenger alerts, emails, and/or text messages when new content is available.  Click Save when you’re finished. Finally, select how often you want to be notified, and then click Access Dashboard to view the content currently available. Finding Content For Your Blog, Site, or Group Now you can find content specified for your interests from the dashboard.  To access the dashboard in the future, simply go to the Broadcaster site and click Sign In. Here you can see available content, and can search for different topics or customize the topics shown. You’ll see snippets of information from various Microsoft videos, articles, whitepapers, eBooks, and more, depending on your settings.  Click the link at the top of the snippet to view the content, or right-click and copy the link to use in emails or on social networks like Twitter. If you’d like to add this snippet to your website or blog, click the Download content link at the bottom.   Now you can preview what the snippet will look like on your site, and change the width or height to fit your site.  You can view and edit the source code of the snippet from the box at the bottom, and then copy it to use on your site. Copy the code, and paste it in the HTML of a blog post, email, webpage, or anywhere else you wish to share it.  Here we’re pasting it into the HTML editor in Windows Live Writer so we can post it to a blog. After adding a title and opening paragraph, we have a nice blog post that only took a few minutes to put together but should still be useful for our readers.  You can check out the blog post we created at the link below. Readers can click on the links, which will direct them to the content on Microsoft’s websites. Conclusion If you frequently need to find educational and informative content about Microsoft products and services, Broadcaster can be a great service to keep you up to date.  The service worked quite good in our tests, and generally found relevant content to our keywords.  We had difficulty embedding links to eBooks that were listed by Broadcaster, but everything else worked for us.  Now you can always have high quality content to help your customers, coworkers, friends, and more, and you just might find something that will help you, too! Link Microsoft Broadcaster (registration required) Example Post at Techinch.com with Content from Microsoft Broadcaster Similar Articles Productive Geek Tips Create An Electronic Business Card In Outlook 2007Mysticgeek Blog: A Look at Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1 on Windows XPAnnouncing the How-To Geek BlogsNew Vista Syntax for Opening Control Panel Items from the Command-lineHow To Create and Publish Blog Posts in Word 2010 & 2007 TouchFreeze Alternative in AutoHotkey The Icy Undertow Desktop Windows Home Server – Backup to LAN The Clear & Clean Desktop Use This Bookmarklet to Easily Get Albums Use AutoHotkey to Assign a Hotkey to a Specific Window Latest Software Reviews Tinyhacker Random Tips HippoRemote Pro 2.2 Xobni Plus for Outlook All My Movies 5.9 CloudBerry Online Backup 1.5 for Windows Home Server Fix Common Inkjet Printer Errors Dual Boot Ubuntu and Windows 7 What is HTML5? 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  • Convert a PDF eBook to ePub Format

    - by Matthew Guay
    Would you like to read a PDF eBook on an eReader or mobile device, but aren’t happy with the performance? Here’s how you can convert your PDFs to the popular ePub format so you can easily read them on any device. PDFs are a popular format for eBooks since they render the same on any device and can preserve the exact layout of the print book.  However, this benefit is their major disadvantage on mobile devices, as you often have to zoom and pan back and forth to see everything on the page.  ePub files, on the other hand, are an increasingly popular option. They can reflow to fill your screen instead of sticking to a strict layout style.  With the free Calibre program, you can quickly convert your PDF eBooks to ePub format. Getting Started Download the Calibre installer (link below) for your operating system, and install as normal.  Calibre works on recent versions of Windows, OS X, and Linux.  The Calibre installer is very streamlined, so the install process was quite quick. Calibre is a great application for organizing your eBooks.  It can automatically sort your books by their metadata, and even display their covers in a Coverflow-style viewer. To add an eBook to your library, simply drag-and-drop the file into the Calibre window, or click Add books at the top.  Here you can choose to add all the books from a folder and more. Calibre will then add the book(s) to your library, import the associated metadata, and organize them in the catalog. Convert your Books Once you’ve imported your books into Calibre, it’s time to convert them to the format you want.  Select the book or books you want to convert, and click Convert E-books.  Select whether you want to convert them individually or bulk convert them. The convertor window has lots of options, so you can get your ePub book exactly like you want.  You can simply click Ok and go with the defaults, or you can tweak the settings. Do note that the conversion will only work successfully with PDFs that contain actual text.  Some PDFs are actually images scanned in from the original books; these will appear just like the PDF after the conversion, and won’t be any easier to read. On the first tab, you’ll notice that Calibri will repopulate most of the metadata fields with info from your PDF.  It will also use the first page of the PDF as the cover.  Edit any of the information that may be incorrect, and add any additional information you want associated with the book. If you want to convert your eBook to a different format other than ePub, Calibri’s got you covered, too.  On the top right, you can choose to output the converted eBook into a many different file formats, including the Kindle-friendly MOBI format. One other important settings page is the Structure Detection tab.  Here you can choose to have it remove headers and footers in the converted book, as well as automatically detect chapter breaks. Click Ok when you’ve finished choosing your settings and Calibre will convert the book.  This may take a few minutes, depending on the size of the PDF.  If the conversion seems to be taking too long, you can click Show job details for more information on the progress.   The conversion usually works good, but we did have one job freeze on us.  When we checked the job details, it indicated that the PDF was copy-protected.  Most PDF eBooks, however, worked fine. Now, back in the main Calibri window, select your book and save it to disk.  You can choose to save only the EPUB format, or you can select Save to disk to save all formats of the book to your computer. You can also view the ePub file directly in Calibri’s built-in eBook viewer.  This is the PDF book we converted, and it looks fairly good in the converted format.  It does have some odd line breaks and some misplaced numbers, but on the whole, the converted book is much easier to read, especially on small mobile devices.   Even images get included inline, so you shouldn’t be missing anything from the original eBook. Conclusion Calibri makes it simple to read your eBooks in any format you need. It is a project that is in constant development, and updates regularly adding better stability and features.  Whether you want to ready your PDF eBooks on a Sony Reader, Kindle, netbook or Smartphone, your books will now be more accessible than ever.  And with thousands of free PDF eBooks out there, you’ll be sure to always have something to read. If you’d like some Geeky PDF eBooks, Microsoft Press is offering a number of free PDF eBooks right now.  Check them out at this link (Account Required). Download the Calibre eBook program Similar Articles Productive Geek Tips Format a String as Currency in C#Convert Older Excel Documents to Excel 2007 FormatShare OneNote 2010 Notebooks with OneNote 2007Install an RPM Package on Ubuntu LinuxConvert PDF Files to Word Documents and Other Formats TouchFreeze Alternative in AutoHotkey The Icy Undertow Desktop Windows Home Server – Backup to LAN The Clear & Clean Desktop Use This Bookmarklet to Easily Get Albums Use AutoHotkey to Assign a Hotkey to a Specific Window Latest Software Reviews Tinyhacker Random Tips HippoRemote Pro 2.2 Xobni Plus for Outlook All My Movies 5.9 CloudBerry Online Backup 1.5 for Windows Home Server Nice Websites To Watch TV Shows Online 24 Million Sites Windows Media Player Glass Icons (icons we like) How to Forecast Weather, without Gadgets Outlook Tools, one stop tweaking for any Outlook version Zoofs, find the most popular tweeted YouTube videos

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  • Make the Firefox Awesome Bar Semi-Transparent Like Google Chrome

    - by Matthew Guay
    Would you like to make the Firefox Awesome Bar drop-down menu semi-transparent like in Google Chrome?  Here’s a quick trick that can make your Firefox Awesome Bar a bit more awesome. When you type an address or search query into the address bar in Google Chrome, the drop-down list of history and search suggestions that appears is slightly transparent.  Nothing extreme, but it adds a nice touch. Firefox’s Awesome bar, on the other hand, is fully opaque by default. We can change that with a simple change.  Exit Firefox, then open your Firefox profile folder by entering the following in the address bar in Explorer or in the Run command: %appdata%\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\ Open the default folder, and then open the Chrome folder in it. Now, open the userChrome.css file in an editor such as Notepad.  If you do not have a userChrome.css file, open the userChrome-example.css file instead. Now, add the following to the end of the file: #PopupAutoCompleteRichResult[type="autocomplete-richlistbox"]{    opacity: 0.9 !important;} You can change the opacity value, but 0.9 seemed the closest to Chrome’s transparency while keeping the text readable. Save the file as userChrome.css in that same folder.  If you’re editing with Notepad, make sure to select to save as All Files so the file won’t be saved with a .txt extension. Open Firefox, and now your Awesome Bar’s drop-down list will be transparent.  Actually, it may look even more awesome than Google Chrome’s address bar! Conclusion With this simple trick, you can make your Firefox Awesome bar a bit more awesome.  With tweaks like this, it’s no wonder Firefox is still so popular. Special thanks to Daniel Spiewak for the tip! Similar Articles Productive Geek Tips Stupid Geek Tricks: Compare Your Browser’s Memory Usage with Google ChromeHow to Make Google Chrome Your Default BrowserEnable Vista Black Style Theme for Google Chrome in XPMake your Gnome Terminal Background (mostly)Transparent on UbuntuStop YouTube Videos from Automatically Playing in Chrome TouchFreeze Alternative in AutoHotkey The Icy Undertow Desktop Windows Home Server – Backup to LAN The Clear & Clean Desktop Use This Bookmarklet to Easily Get Albums Use AutoHotkey to Assign a Hotkey to a Specific Window Latest Software Reviews Tinyhacker Random Tips Xobni Plus for Outlook All My Movies 5.9 CloudBerry Online Backup 1.5 for Windows Home Server Snagit 10 Use ILovePDF To Split and Merge PDF Files TimeToMeet is a Simple Online Meeting Planning Tool Easily Create More Bookmark Toolbars in Firefox Filevo is a Cool File Hosting & Sharing Site Get a free copy of WinUtilities Pro 2010 World Cup Schedule

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  • Superpower Your Touchpad Computer with Scrybe

    - by Matthew Guay
    Are you looking for a way to help your Touchpad computer make you more productive?  Here’s a quick look at Scrybe, a new application from Synaptics that lets you superpower it. Touchpad devices have become increasingly more interesting as they’ve included support for multi-touch gestures.  Scrybe takes it to the next level and lets you use your touchpad as an application launcher.  You can launch any application, website, or complete many common commands on your computer with a simple gesture.  Scrybe works with most modern Synaptics touchpads, which are standard on most laptops and netbooks.  It is optimized for newer multi-touch touchpads, but can also work with standard single-touch touchpads.  It works on Windows 7, Vista, and XP, so chances are it will work with your laptop or netbook. Get Started With Scrybe Head over to the Scrybe website and download the latest version (link below).  You are asked to enter your email address, name, and information about your computer…but you actually only have to enter your email address.  Click Download when finished. Run the installer when it’s download.  It will automatically download the latest Synaptics driver for your touchpad and any other components needed for Scrybe.  Note that the Scrybe installer will ask to install the Yahoo! toolbar, so uncheck this to avoid adding this worthless browser toolbar. Using Scrybe To open an application or website with a gesture, press 3 fingers on your touchpad at once, or if your touchpad doesn’t support multi-touch gestures, then press Ctrl+Alt and press 1 finger on your touchpad.  This will open the Scrype input pane; start drawing a gesture, and you’ll see it on the grey square.  The input pane shows some default gestures you can try. Here we drew an “M”, which opens our default Music player.  As soon as you finish the gesture and lift up your finger, Scrybe will open the application or website you selected. A notification balloon will let you know what gesture was preformed. When you’re entering your gesture, the input pane will show white “ink”.  The “ink” will turn blue if the command is recognized, but will turn red if it isn’t.  If Scrybe doesn’t recognize your command, press 3 fingers and try again. Scrybe Control Panel You can open the Scrybe Control panel to enter or change commands by entering a box-like gesture, or right-clicking the Scrybe icon in your system tray and selecting “Scrybe Control Panel”. Scrybe has many pre-configured gestures that you can preview and even practice. All of the gestures in the Popular tab are preset and cannot be changed.  However, the ones in the favorites tab can be edited.  Select the gesture you wish to edit, and click the gear icon to change it.  Here we changed the email gesture to open Hotmail instead of the default Yahoo Mail. Scrybe can also help you perform many common Windows commands such as Copy and Undo.  Select the Tools tab to see all of these commands.   Scrybe has many settings you may wish to change.  Select the Preferences button in the Control Panel to change these.  Here’s some of the settings we changed. Uncheck “Display a message” to turn off the tooltip notifications when you enter a gesture Uncheck “Show symbol hints” to turn off the sidebar on the input pane Select the search engine you want to open with the Search Gesture.  The default is Yahoo, but you can choose your favorite. Adding a new Scrybe Gesture The default Scrybe options are useful, but the best part is that you can assign gestures to your own programs or websites.  Open the Scrybe control panel, and click the plus sign on the bottom left corner.  Enter a name for your gesture, and then choose if it is for a website or an application. If you want the gesture to open a website, enter the address in the box. Alternately, if you want your gesture to open an application, select Launch Application and then either enter the path to the application, or click the button beside the Launch field and browse to it. Now click the down arrow on the blue box and choose one of the gestures for your application or website. Your new gesture will show up under the Favorites tab in the Scrybe control panel, and you can use it whenever you want from Scrybe, or practice the gesture by selecting the Practice button. Conclusion If you enjoy multi-touch gestures, you may find Scrybe very useful on your laptop or netbook.  Scrybe recognizes gestures fairly easily, even if you don’t enter them perfectly correctly.  Just like pinch-to-zoom and two-finger scroll, Scrybe can quickly become something you miss on other laptops. Download Scrybe (registration required) Similar Articles Productive Geek Tips Fixing Firefox Scrolling Problems with Dell Synaptics TouchpadRemove Synaptics Touchpad Icon from System TrayRoll Back Troublesome Device Drivers in Windows VistaChange Your Computer Name in Windows 7 or VistaLet Somebody Use Your Computer Without Logging Off in Ubuntu TouchFreeze Alternative in AutoHotkey The Icy Undertow Desktop Windows Home Server – Backup to LAN The Clear & Clean Desktop Use This Bookmarklet to Easily Get Albums Use AutoHotkey to Assign a Hotkey to a Specific Window Latest Software Reviews Tinyhacker Random Tips Acronis Online Backup DVDFab 6 Revo Uninstaller Pro Registry Mechanic 9 for Windows Fun with 47 charts and graphs Tomorrow is Mother’s Day Check the Average Speed of YouTube Videos You’ve Watched OutlookStatView Scans and Displays General Usage Statistics How to Add Exceptions to the Windows Firewall Office 2010 reviewed in depth by Ed Bott

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  • Bring Office 2003 Menus Back to 2010 with UBitMenu

    - by Matthew Guay
    Are you having trouble getting used to the Ribbon interface in Office 2010?  Here’s how you can roll back the clock a bit and bring back the familiar menus and toolbars from 2003. The Office 2007 Ribbon was both praised and criticized.  While many users felt they were more productive with the new interface, others felt frustrated searching for commands they had memorized in older versions of Office.  Now, with Office 2010, the ribbon interface has been brought to every app in the Office suite, and is integrated into many newer programs from Microsoft. If you’re moving from Office 2003, using UBitMenu allows you to add the old familiar menus back along with the new Ribbon interface for an easier learning curve. Also, with the customizability of Office 2010, we can strip away the extra Ribbon tabs to make it more like 2003. Get the 2003 Menus and Toolbars Back in Office 2010 Download UBitMenu (link below), and install as normal.  Make sure all of your Office programs are closed during the installation.  This handy utility is very small, and installed amazingly quick. Open Word, Excel, or PowerPoint and there’s now a new Menu tab beside Home in the Ribbon.  Now you can access all of your favorite old Office commands in the familiar menus, and access many of the newer Office features such as SmartArt.   Here’s a close-up of the toolbar.  Notice that the layout is very similar to that of Word 2003. You can access all of the new Transitions in PowerPoint 2010 from the menu bar.   The menu in Excel even included support for the new PivotTable and PivotCharts Wizard. One problem we noticed was that the toolbars were condensed to a drop-down menu if the Office window was less than 870px wide.  This may be a frustration to users with low-resolution displays, and you might want to use the Office Apps maximized. Get Rid of the Ribbon Now that you’ve got the old menus back, you can get rid of the extra ribbon tabs if you’d like.  Office 2010 lets you customize your ribbon and remove tabs, so let’s get rid of all the other tabs except for our new Menu tab.  In our example we’re using Word, but you can do it in Excel or PowerPoint the same way. Click the File tab and select Options. Alternately, in the Menu tab, select Tools and then Word Options. Select Customize Ribbon on the left sidebar, then uncheck the boxes beside all the ribbon tabs you want to hide on the right.  Click Ok when you’re finished. While you’re at it, you can change the default color scheme as well. Note: The color change will automatically change the color scheme in all of the Office apps, so you’ll only need to do that once. Now the ribbon only has 2 tabs…the File tab for the new Backstage View, and the UBitMenu tab we just installed.  It almost has the appearance Word 2003, but with the new features of Word 2010!  You’ll need to repeat these steps in Excel and PowerPoint if you want to customize their ribbon the same.   Conclusion If you’ve been having a hard time getting used to Office 2010, UBitMenu is a great way to get familiar with the new interface, or simply stay productive with your old tricks.  We do wish it supported the other Office applications like OneNote and Outlook. That doesn’t make it a deal breaker though, it can make the learning curve easier in Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. UBitMenu is free for personal use, and available at a very reasonable price for businesses. If you’re using Office 2007 and not a fan of the Ribbon, UBitMenu works for it as well. Download UBitMenu Similar Articles Productive Geek Tips How To Bring Back the Old Menus in Office 2007Upgrade Office 2003 to 2010 on XP or Run them Side by SideHow to Find Office 2003 Commands in Office 2010Make Word 2007 Always Save in Word 2003 FormatMake Excel 2007 Always Save in Excel 2003 Format TouchFreeze Alternative in AutoHotkey The Icy Undertow Desktop Windows Home Server – Backup to LAN The Clear & Clean Desktop Use This Bookmarklet to Easily Get Albums Use AutoHotkey to Assign a Hotkey to a Specific Window Latest Software Reviews Tinyhacker Random Tips HippoRemote Pro 2.2 Xobni Plus for Outlook All My Movies 5.9 CloudBerry Online Backup 1.5 for Windows Home Server Speed Up Windows With ReadyBoost Awesome World Cup Soccer Calendar Nice Websites To Watch TV Shows Online 24 Million Sites Windows Media Player Glass Icons (icons we like) How to Forecast Weather, without Gadgets

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  • Check Your Spelling, Grammar, and Style in Firefox and Chrome

    - by Matthew Guay
    Are you tired of making simple writing mistakes that get past your browser’s spell-check?  Here’s how you can get advanced grammar check and more in Firefox and Chrome with After the Deadline. Microsoft Word has spoiled us with grammar, syntax, and spell checking, but the default spell check in Firefox and Chrome still only does basic checks.  Even webapps like Google Docs don’t check more than basic spelling errors.  However, WordPress.com is an exception; it offers advanced spelling, grammar, and syntax checking with its After the Deadline proofing system.  This helps you keep from making embarrassing mistakes on your blog posts, and now, thanks to a couple free browser plugins, it can help you keep from making these mistakes in any website or webapp. After the Deadline in Google Chrome Add the After the Deadline extension (link below) to Chrome as usual. As soon as it’s installed, you’re ready to start improving your online writing.  To check spelling, grammar, and more, click the ABC button that you’ll now see at the bottom of most text boxes online. After a quick scan, grammar mistakes are highlighted in green, complex expressions and other syntax problems are highlighted in blue, and spelling mistakes are highlighted in red as would be expected.  Click on an underlined word to choose one of its recommended changes or ignore the suggestion. Or, if you want more explanation about what was wrong with that word or phrase, click Explain for more info. And, if you forget to run an After the Deadline scan before submitting a text entry, it will automatically check to make sure you still want to submit it.  Click Cancel to go back and check your writing first.   To change the After the Deadline settings, click its icon in the toolbar and select View Options.  Additionally, if you want to disable it on the site you’re on, you can click Disable on this site directly from the popup. From the settings page, you can choose extra things to check for such as double negatives and redundant phrases, as well as add sites and words to ignore. After the Deadline in Firefox Add the After the Deadline add-on to Firefox (link below) as normal. After the Deadline basically the same in Firefox as it does in Chrome.  Select the ABC icon in the lower right corner of textboxes to check them for problems, and After the Deadline will underline the problems as it did in Chrome.  To view a suggested change in Firefox, right-click on the underlined word and select the recommended change or ignore the suggestion. And, if you forget to check, you’ll see a friendly reminder asking if you’re sure you want to submit your text like it is. You can access the After the Deadline settings in Firefox from the menu bar.  Click Tools, then select AtD Preferences.  In Firefox, the settings are in a options dialog with three tabs, but it includes the same options as the Chrome settings page.  Here you can make After the Deadline as correction-happy as you like.   Conclusion The web has increasingly become an interactive place, and seldom does a day go by that we aren’t entering text in forms and comments that may stay online forever.  Even our insignificant tweets are being archived in the Library of Congress.  After the Deadline can help you make sure that your permanent internet record is as grammatically correct as possible.  Even though it doesn’t catch every problem, and even misses some spelling mistakes, it’s still a great help. Links Download the After the Deadline extension for Google Chrome Download the After the Deadline add-on for Firefox Similar Articles Productive Geek Tips Quick Tip: Disable Favicons in FirefoxStupid Geek Tricks: Duplicate a Tab with a Shortcut Key in Chrome or FirefoxHow to Disable the New Geolocation Feature in Google ChromeStupid Geek Tricks: Compare Your Browser’s Memory Usage with Google ChromeStop YouTube Videos from Automatically Playing in Chrome TouchFreeze Alternative in AutoHotkey The Icy Undertow Desktop Windows Home Server – Backup to LAN The Clear & Clean Desktop Use This Bookmarklet to Easily Get Albums Use AutoHotkey to Assign a Hotkey to a Specific Window Latest Software Reviews Tinyhacker Random Tips Acronis Online Backup DVDFab 6 Revo Uninstaller Pro Registry Mechanic 9 for Windows Easily Search Food Recipes With Recipe Chimp Tech Fanboys Field Guide Check these Awesome Chrome Add-ons iFixit Offers Gadget Repair Manuals Online Vista style sidebar for Windows 7 Create Nice Charts With These Web Based Tools

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  • Speed Up the Help Dialog in Windows and Office

    - by Matthew Guay
    When you click help, you don’t want to wait for your computer to bring it to you.  Here’s how you can speed up the help dialog in Windows and Office. If you have a slow internet connection, chances are you’ve been frustrated by the Help dialog in Windows and Office trying to download fresh content every time you open them. This can be great if the updated help files contain better content, but sometimes you just want to find what you were looking for without waiting.  Here’s how you can turn off the automatic online help. Use Local Help in Windows Windows 7 and Vista’s help dialog usually tries to load the latest content from the net, but this can take a long time on slow connections. If you’re seeing the above screen a lot, you may want to switch to offline help.  Click the “Online Help” button at the bottom, and select “Get offline Help”. Now your computer will just load the pre-installed help files.  And don’t worry; if there’s a major update to your help files, Windows will download and install it through Windows Update.   Stupid Geek Tip: An easy way to open Windows Help is to click on your desktop or Start Menu and press F1 on your keyboard. Use Local Help in Office This same trick works in Office 2007 and 2010.  We’ve actually had more problems with Office’s help being tardy. Solve this the same way as with Windows help.  Click on the “Connected to Office.com” or “Connected to Office Online” button, depending on your version of Office, and select “Show content only from this computer”. This will automatically change the settings for Help in all of your Office applications. While this may not be a major trick, it can be helpful especially if you have a slow internet connection and want to get things done quickly.  Similar Articles Productive Geek Tips How to See the About Dialog and Version Information in Office 2007Speed Up SATA Hard Drives in Windows VistaMake Mouse Navigation Faster in WindowsSpeed up Your Windows Vista Computer with ReadyBoostSet the Speed Dial as the Opera Startup Page TouchFreeze Alternative in AutoHotkey The Icy Undertow Desktop Windows Home Server – Backup to LAN The Clear & Clean Desktop Use This Bookmarklet to Easily Get Albums Use AutoHotkey to Assign a Hotkey to a Specific Window Latest Software Reviews Tinyhacker Random Tips DVDFab 6 Revo Uninstaller Pro Registry Mechanic 9 for Windows PC Tools Internet Security Suite 2010 FoxClocks adds World Times in your Statusbar (Firefox) Have Fun Editing Photo Editing with Citrify Outlook Connector Upgrade Error Gadfly is a cool Twitter/Silverlight app Enable DreamScene in Windows 7 Microsoft’s “How Do I ?” Videos

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  • Create Advanced Panoramas with Microsoft Image Composite Editor

    - by Matthew Guay
    Do you enjoy making panoramas with your pictures, but want more features than tools like Live Photo Gallery offer?  Here’s how you can create amazing panoramas for free with the Microsoft Image Composite Editor. Yesterday we took a look at creating panoramic photos in Windows Live Photo Gallery. Today we take a look at a free tool from Microsoft that will give you more advanced features to create your own masterpiece. Getting Started Download Microsoft Image Composite Editor from Microsoft Research (link below), and install as normal.  Note that there are separate version for 32 & 64-bit editions of Windows, so make sure to download the correct one for your computer. Once it’s installed, you can proceed to create awesome panoramas and extremely large image combinations with it.  Microsoft Image Composite Editor integrates with Live Photo Gallery, so you can create more advanced panoramic pictures directly.  Select the pictures you want to combine, click Extras in the menu bar, and select Create Image Composite. You can also create a photo stitch directly from Explorer.  Select the pictures you want to combine, right-click, and select Stitch Images… Or, simply launch the Image Composite Editor itself and drag your pictures into its editor.  Either way you start a image composition, the program will automatically analyze and combine your images.  This application is optimized for multiple cores, and we found it much faster than other panorama tools such as Live Photo Gallery. Within seconds, you’ll see your panorama in the top preview pane. From the bottom of the window, you can choose a different camera motion which will change how the program stitches the pictures together.  You can also quickly crop the picture to the size you want, or use Automatic Crop to have the program select the maximum area with a continuous picture.   Here’s how our panorama looked when we switched the Camera Motion to Planar Motion 2. But, the real tweaking comes in when you adjust the panorama’s projection and orientation.  Click the box button at the top to change these settings. The panorama is now overlaid with a grid, and you can drag the corners and edges of the panorama to change its shape. Or, from the Projection button at the top, you can choose different projection modes. Here we’ve chosen Cylinder (Vertical), which entirely removed the warp on the walls in the image.  You can pan around the image, and get the part you find most important in the center.  Click the Apply button on the top when you’re finished making changes, or click Revert if you want to switch to the default view settings. Once you’ve finished your masterpiece, you can export it easily to common photo formats from the Export panel on the bottom.  You can choose to scale the image or set it to a maximum width and height as well.  Click Export to disk to save the photo to your computer, or select Publish to Photosynth to post your panorama online. Alternately, from the File menu you can choose to save the panorama as .spj file.  This preserves all of your settings in the Image Composite Editor so you can edit it more in the future if you wish.   Conclusion Whether you’re trying to capture the inside of a building or a tall tree, the extra tools in Microsoft Image Composite Editor let you make nicer panoramas than you ever thought possible.  We found the final results surprisingly accurate to the real buildings and objects, especially after tweaking the projection modes.  This tool can be both fun and useful, so give it a try and let us know what you’ve found it useful for. Works with 32 & 64-bit versions of XP, Vista, and Windows 7 Link Download Microsoft Image Composite Editor Similar Articles Productive Geek Tips Change or Set the Greasemonkey Script Editor in FirefoxNew Vista Syntax for Opening Control Panel Items from the Command-lineTune Your ClearType Font Settings in Windows VistaChange the Default Editor From Nano on Ubuntu LinuxMake MSE Create a Restore Point Before Cleaning Malware TouchFreeze Alternative in AutoHotkey The Icy Undertow Desktop Windows Home Server – Backup to LAN The Clear & Clean Desktop Use This Bookmarklet to Easily Get Albums Use AutoHotkey to Assign a Hotkey to a Specific Window Latest Software Reviews Tinyhacker Random Tips Xobni Plus for Outlook All My Movies 5.9 CloudBerry Online Backup 1.5 for Windows Home Server Snagit 10 Get a free copy of WinUtilities Pro 2010 World Cup Schedule Boot Snooze – Reboot and then Standby or Hibernate Customize Everything Related to Dates, Times, Currency and Measurement in Windows 7 Google Earth replacement Icon (Icons we like) Build Great Charts in Excel with Chart Advisor

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