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  • Download Free PowerShell Quick Reference Guides from Microsoft

    - by Akemi Iwaya
    Are you just getting started with learning PowerShell or tired of looking up less frequently used commands? Then this terrific set of PowerShell quick reference guides from Microsoft is just what you need! The first guide focuses on commonly-used Windows PowerShell commands and is available in a single .doc format document. The other guides are available as a set (six files) in .pdf format and focus on: tips, shortcuts, and common operations in Windows PowerShell 3.0, Windows PowerShell Workflow, Windows PowerShell ISE, Windows PowerShell Web Access, Server Manager for Windows Server 2012, WinRM, WMI, and WS-Man. Keep in mind that you can select all the guides or just the ones you need to download for the PowerShell 3.0 set. Windows PowerShell Quick Reference [Microsoft] Windows PowerShell 3.0 and Server Manager Quick Reference Guides [Microsoft] [via The Windows Club here and here]     

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  • Ask How-To Geek: How Can I Monitor My Bandwidth Usage?

    - by Jason Fitzpatrick
    If you’re lucky you enjoy wide open internet access with out restriction (or restrictions so high you would have to work all month to meet them). If you’re not so lucky, you’ve got an ISP with heavy caps. Today we help out a reader working under such a cap. Latest Features How-To Geek ETC Internet Explorer 9 RC Now Available: Here’s the Most Interesting New Stuff Here’s a Super Simple Trick to Defeating Fake Anti-Virus Malware How to Change the Default Application for Android Tasks Stop Believing TV’s Lies: The Real Truth About "Enhancing" Images The How-To Geek Valentine’s Day Gift Guide Inspire Geek Love with These Hilarious Geek Valentines Can the Birds and Pigs Really Be Friends in the End? [Angry Birds Video] Add the 2D Version of the New Unity Interface to Ubuntu 10.10 and 11.04 MightyMintyBoost Is a 3-in-1 Gadget Charger Watson Ties Against Human Jeopardy Opponents Peaceful Tropical Cavern Wallpaper SnapBird Supercharges Your Twitter Searches

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  • Kingsoft Office Suite Free 2012 is an Awesome Replacement for Microsoft Office

    - by Asian Angel
    Are you looking for a good free replacement for Microsoft Office, but LibreOffice and OpenOffice are not working out well for you? Then you will definitely want to have a look at Kingsoft Office Suite Free 2012, which you can download as a suite or as individual apps. As soon as the installation has completed you will see this window. All relevant file types are checked by default, but you may deselect any that you do not want associated with Kingsoft Office before clicking Close. Special Note: See further below for additional information about the extra formats (i.e. Office 2007 & 2010) that the suite will open. Here is a quick overall view of what the Writer App window looks like. Each of the three apps in the suite will open with the New Document Pane displayed by default on the right side of the window. A closer view of the upper left corner in Writer, Presentation, and Spreadsheets… A look at the Start Menu options available… In our tests with the suite it opened up Microsoft Office 2007 & 2010 documents without any problems. Note: You can also see part of the built-in Tab Bar outlined in red in the upper left corner. The only drawback with the free version of the suite is that you are limited to the Classic Style Interface, which may or may not be a problem depending on your preferences. How to Get Pro Features in Windows Home Versions with Third Party Tools HTG Explains: Is ReadyBoost Worth Using? HTG Explains: What The Windows Event Viewer Is and How You Can Use It

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  • Artemis Is The Absolute Geekiest LAN Game You’ll Ever Play [Video]

    - by Jason Fitzpatrick
    Prepare to have your sense of what really geeky computer gaming look like with this Star Trek-like mockup that involves a projector, multiple monitors, and a crew of six. If you have five friends willing to pool some resources–because let us tell you, it’s not going to be cheap to build this gaming setup from scratch–you’re on your way to building a functional starship bridge in your rec room. You’ll need six computers and monitors, a projector to create the front-of-the-bridge-room effect, and a copy of the game–the full retail game is $40 but there is a free demo so you can take the starship simulation for a test spin. The base game is focused on simple simulations like defending your space station and fighting off waves of invaders, however, a recent update of the game supports user-created mission packs. The missions packs allow fans of the game to create intricate missions with objectives to expand the game much like fan-created RPG modules add game play value to table top role-playing games. Hit up the link below to read more about the game or just sit back and enjoy the entertaining video above of sci-fi bloggers manning a starship. Artemis HTG Explains: Why Do Hard Drives Show the Wrong Capacity in Windows? Java is Insecure and Awful, It’s Time to Disable It, and Here’s How What Are the Windows A: and B: Drives Used For?

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  • Visual History for Chrome Maps Out Your Browser History in an Interactive Graph

    - by Jason Fitzpatrick
    Curious how your adventures on the web interweave? Visual History for Chrome maps out related web sites in your browsing history into an interactive chart–visualize your browsing over the last hours, days, or months. One of the interesting elements of Visual History is that it doesn’t simply link sites together via activated hyperlinks but by consecutive use within 20 minute increments–thus if you frequently hit up Gmail, Facebook, and Reddit first thing in the morning, they’ll all appear together in a usage cluster. Site can be organized by URL, sub-domain, or domain. Visual History is free, Chrome only. Visual History for Chrome [Chrome Web Store] HTG Explains: What The Windows Event Viewer Is and How You Can Use It HTG Explains: How Windows Uses The Task Scheduler for System Tasks HTG Explains: Why Do Hard Drives Show the Wrong Capacity in Windows?

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  • Open Different Types of New Google Documents Directly with These 7 New Chrome Apps

    - by Asian Angel
    Every time you want to open a new document of one kind or another in Google Drive you have to go through the whole ‘menu’ and ‘type selection’ process to do so. Now you can open the desired type directly from the New Tab Page using these terrific new Chrome apps from Google! The best part about this new set of apps is the ability to choose only the ones you want and/or need, then be able to start working on those new documents quickly without all the ‘selection’ hassle. How Hackers Can Disguise Malicious Programs With Fake File Extensions Can Dust Actually Damage My Computer? What To Do If You Get a Virus on Your Computer

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  • SiriProxy Harnesses Siri’s Voice Processing to Control Thermostats and More

    - by Jason Fitzpatrick
    iOS: This clever hack taps into the Siri voice agent in iPhone 4S units and allows a proxy service to execute commands outside the normal range of Siri’s behavior–like adjusting the thermostat. It’s a highly experimental hack but it showcases the great potential for Siri-based interaction with a wide range of services and network devices. In the above video Apple enthusiast Plamoni demonstrates how, using SiriProxy, he can check and control his home thermostat. Watch the video the see it in action and, if you feel like riding the edge of experimental and unapproved iPhone antics, you can hit up the link below for the source code and additional documentation. SiriProxy [via ExtremeTech] HTG Explains: When Do You Need to Update Your Drivers? How to Make the Kindle Fire Silk Browser *Actually* Fast! Amazon’s New Kindle Fire Tablet: the How-To Geek Review

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  • The SQL Server Reporting Services SDK for PHP Debuts

    - by The Official Microsoft IIS Site
    Microsoft has just released the SQL Server Reporting Services SDK for PHP, which enables PHP developers to easily create reports and integrate them in their web applications. The SDK offers a simple Application Programming Interface to interoperate with SQL Server Reporting Services, Microsoft's Reporting and Business Intelligence solution. Developers will be able to use the SDK to perform common operations like listing reports in PHP applications, providing custom report parameters from a PHP...(read more)

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  • MetroTwit is a Sleek Native Twitter Client for Your Windows System

    - by Asian Angel
    Do you love the new Metro design and need a native Twitter desktop client for your Windows system too? Then you may want to have a look at MetroTwit. When you kick-start the MetroTwit exe file it will download the necessary .NET Framework components if you do not already have them installed. Once that is finished it will then download the MetroTwit installation files to ensure that you have the latest release. MetroTwit will automatically start once the setup process has finished. From there you can quickly modify the layout (i.e. visible columns, etc.), theme, and other UI features to make MetroTwit right at home on your system. UI features visible in the screenshot above: Top: Access the Settings in the center at the top of the window Bottom: Add Column, Lists, Refresh, Tweet Window, Search Twitter, User Profile, and Twitter Trends As you can see here the Settings are laid out nicely and very easy to navigate through. Features of MetroTwit: Drag and drop image support TwitLonger support for longer tweets Tweet breadcrumbs Infinite scrolling Auto-complete for user names and hashtags Themes and accents Resizable and reorderable columns What The Trend access URL shortening and previews Windows 7 Taskbar integration Quick-glance notifications Flawless high DPI support Note: Requires .NET Framework 4.0. Download MetroTwit [via DownloadSquad] Latest Features How-To Geek ETC What Can Super Mario Teach Us About Graphics Technology? Windows 7 Service Pack 1 is Released: But Should You Install It? How To Make Hundreds of Complex Photo Edits in Seconds With Photoshop Actions How to Enable User-Specific Wireless Networks in Windows 7 How to Use Google Chrome as Your Default PDF Reader (the Easy Way) How To Remove People and Objects From Photographs In Photoshop MetroTwit is a Sleek Native Twitter Client for Your Windows System Make Efficient Use of Tab Bar Space by Customizing Tab Width in Firefox See the Geeky Work Done Behind the Scenes to Add Sounds to Movies [Video] Use a Crayon to Enhance Engraved Lettering on Electronics Adult Swim Brings Their Programming Lineup to iOS Devices Feel the Chill of the South Atlantic with the Antarctica Theme for Windows 7

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  • Don’t Sleep Keeps Your Windows Machine Awake

    - by ETC
    Don’t Sleep is an ultra lightweight and portable application that fills a niche need perfect: sometimes you need to temporarily keep your Windows machine from shutting down or power saving without making any permanent changes to your power profile. Fire up portable Don’t Sleep and tell it how long you want it to stop your computer from shutting down, going to sleep (standby/hibernation), and/or keeping the monitor on. At the end of the monitoring period you can have it turn itself off, stay on but stop blocking, or shut down your computer. It’s a great application for those times you need to alter how your computer handles hibernation mode, activating the screensaver, or other automated tasks without making any permanent changes to your power profile or other settings. Hit up the link below to read more and grab a copy. Don’t Sleep is freeware, Windows only. Don’t Sleep [via The Portable Freeware Collection] Latest Features How-To Geek ETC Have You Ever Wondered How Your Operating System Got Its Name? Should You Delete Windows 7 Service Pack Backup Files to Save Space? What Can Super Mario Teach Us About Graphics Technology? Windows 7 Service Pack 1 is Released: But Should You Install It? How To Make Hundreds of Complex Photo Edits in Seconds With Photoshop Actions How to Enable User-Specific Wireless Networks in Windows 7 Access the Options for Your Favorite Extensions Easier in Firefox Don’t Sleep Keeps Your Windows Machine Awake DropSpace Syncs Android Files to Dropbox Field of Poppies Wallpaper The History Of Operating Systems [Infographic] DriveSafe.ly Reads Your Text Messages Aloud

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  • Sync Blocker Stops iTunes from Automatically Syncing

    - by ETC
    If you’re looking to put a end to iTunes overly aggressive syncing, Sync Blocker is a free application that puts an end to automatic iTunes synchronization and keeps your iPad, iPhone, iPod, and iPod Touch data from being accidentally deleted. There are settings within iTunes you can toggle and even keyboard shortcuts you can use to temporarily suspend the syncing while mounting your iOS device. If you want to skip that hassle, however, and rest easy knowing that your iOS device will only be synced and updated when you give an explicit go ahead, Sync Blocker is a free application for both Windows and Mac OS X machines that completely blocks iTunes from syncing without your permission. Previously $22, Sync Blocker is now free. Hit up the link below for additional information and to grab a copy of the software. Sync Blocker [Zelek Software via Addictive Tips] Latest Features How-To Geek ETC Macs Don’t Make You Creative! So Why Do Artists Really Love Apple? MacX DVD Ripper Pro is Free for How-To Geek Readers (Time Limited!) HTG Explains: What’s a Solid State Drive and What Do I Need to Know? How to Get Amazing Color from Photos in Photoshop, GIMP, and Paint.NET Learn To Adjust Contrast Like a Pro in Photoshop, GIMP, and Paint.NET Have You Ever Wondered How Your Operating System Got Its Name? Sync Blocker Stops iTunes from Automatically Syncing The Journey to the Mystical Forest [Wallpaper] Trace Your Browser’s Roots on the Browser Family Tree [Infographic] Save Files Directly from Your Browser to the Cloud in Chrome and Iron The Steve Jobs Chronicles – Charlie and the Apple Factory [Video] Google Chrome Updates; Faster, Cleaner Menus, Encrypted Password Syncing, and More

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  • SpellBook Parks Bookmarklets in Chrome’s Context Menu

    - by ETC
    If you want your bookmarklets right at your finger tips instead of stashed in your bookmarks menu, SpellBook is a handy Chrome extension that parks them right in the context menu. Install SpellBook and save your favorite bookmarklets in the “Bookmarklets” folder it creates for you. All the saved bookmarklets will be available in Chrome’s right-click context menu (as seen in the screenshot here). SpellBook is a free download and works wherever Chrome does. Hit up the link below to grab a copy. SpellBook [Chrome Extension Gallery via Download Squad] Latest Features How-To Geek ETC How To Make Hundreds of Complex Photo Edits in Seconds With Photoshop Actions How to Enable User-Specific Wireless Networks in Windows 7 How to Use Google Chrome as Your Default PDF Reader (the Easy Way) How To Remove People and Objects From Photographs In Photoshop Ask How-To Geek: How Can I Monitor My Bandwidth Usage? Internet Explorer 9 RC Now Available: Here’s the Most Interesting New Stuff Never Call Me at Work [Humorous Star Wars Video] Add an Image Properties Listing to the Context Menu in Chrome and Iron Add an Easy to View Notification Badge to Tabs in Firefox SpellBook Parks Bookmarklets in Chrome’s Context Menu Drag2Up Brings Multi-Source Drag and Drop Uploading to Firefox Enchanted Swing in the Forest Wallpaper

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  • Comix is an Awesome Comics Archive Viewer for Linux

    - by Asian Angel
    Do you have a terrific collection of comics in electronic form but need a great app to view them with? If you have a Linux system then we have the perfect app for you…Comix, the open source comic reading powerhouse. For our example we installed Comix on our Ubuntu 10.10 system. Just go to the Ubuntu Software Center and conduct a quick search. When you go to install Comix in the Ubuntu Software Center, make sure to scroll all the way to the bottom and select Unarchiver for .rar files. The listing appears as a “non-free version” for some reason, but displays as free once selected. Odd, but nothing to worry about in the end… Once Comix is installed you can find it in the Graphics Section of the Ubuntu Menu. Comix also comes with a nice set of options to let you customize the app to best suit those important comic reading needs. Here is a comprehensive list of the features this little comic reading powerhouse packs into one easy to use package: Fullscreen mode, double page mode, fit-to-screen mode, zooming and scrolling, rotation and mirroring, magnification lens, changeable image scaling quality, image enhancement, can read right-to-left to fit manga, etc., caching for faster page flipping, bookmarks support, customizable GUI, archive comments support, archive converter, thumbnail browser, standards compliant, available in multiple languages (English, Swedish, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, & German), reads “JPEG, PNG, TIFF, GIF, BMP, ICO, XPM, & XBM” image formats, reads “ZIP & tar archives natively, RAR archives through the unrar program” runs on Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, and virtually any other UNIX-like OS, and more! Have fun reading those comics on your favorite Linux system! Interested in learning more about Comix? Then be certain to drop by the homepage! Comix Homepage Latest Features How-To Geek ETC How to Enable User-Specific Wireless Networks in Windows 7 How to Use Google Chrome as Your Default PDF Reader (the Easy Way) How To Remove People and Objects From Photographs In Photoshop Ask How-To Geek: How Can I Monitor My Bandwidth Usage? Internet Explorer 9 RC Now Available: Here’s the Most Interesting New Stuff Here’s a Super Simple Trick to Defeating Fake Anti-Virus Malware Comix is an Awesome Comics Archive Viewer for Linux Get the MakeUseOf eBook Guide to Speeding Up Windows for Free Need Tech Support? Call the Star Wars Help Desk! [Video Classic] Reclaim Vertical UI Space by Adding a Toolbar to the Left or Right Side of Firefox Androidify Turns You into an Android-style Avatar Reader for Android Updates; Now with Feed Widgets and More

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  • Add 33 Unique Biomes to Minecraft with the Biomes O’ Plenty Mod Pack

    - by Asian Angel
    Are you tired of looking at the same old biomes in Minecraft? Then add some fresh scenery with the Biomes O’ Plenty mod pack and enjoy a whole new Minecraft world! Biomes included in the mod pack: Birch Forest, Bog, Cherry Blossom Grove, Crag, Deadlands, Dense Forest, Field, Frost Forest, Garden, Glacier, Highland, Mangrove, Marsh, Meadow, Mesa, Mountain, Mystic Grove, Oasis, Ominous Woods, Orchard, Prairie, Quagmire, Rainforest, Savanna, Scrubland, Seasonal Forest, Shrubland, Spruce Forest, Tropics, Tundra, Wasteland, Wetlands, and Woodlands. You can download the mod pack, view the setup instructions, see images of each biome type, and more by visiting the link below. [1.3.2] [MODLOADERMP] Biomes O’ Plenty – Adds 33 Unique Biomes! (SSP/SMP) [via BoingBoing] 8 Deadly Commands You Should Never Run on Linux 14 Special Google Searches That Show Instant Answers How To Create a Customized Windows 7 Installation Disc With Integrated Updates

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  • Remastered King’s Quest Games Offer Classic Gaming on Modern Machines

    - by ETC
    If you were a fan of the King’s Quest series of adventure games from the 1980s and 1990s, you’ll be thrilled to see them remastered with enhanced graphics, polished voice acting, and more. Gaming studio AGD Interactive has been engaged in a multi-year project to remaster and freely release the classic King’s Quest games. They started with King’s Quest I in 2001, moved on to King’s Quest II, and just recently released King’s Quest III (see in the screenshot above). The gameplay for all three games is excellent and really captures the feel of the original games (with better graphics, quality voice acting, and adjustments made for modern computers). When you run the game you first get a small pre-launch console. There you can make adjusts to the game before launching it. We’d recommend you enable the pixel doubling filter. It make the game a little blockier (hey you are playing a 1980s remake!) but it fills up high resolution monitors more effectively. Hit up the link below to download King’s Quest Redux I-III free of charge for both Windows and Mac computers. King’s Quest Redux [AGD Interactive via @cbeust] Latest Features How-To Geek ETC Should You Delete Windows 7 Service Pack Backup Files to Save Space? What Can Super Mario Teach Us About Graphics Technology? Windows 7 Service Pack 1 is Released: But Should You Install It? How To Make Hundreds of Complex Photo Edits in Seconds With Photoshop Actions How to Enable User-Specific Wireless Networks in Windows 7 How to Use Google Chrome as Your Default PDF Reader (the Easy Way) Manage Your Favorite Social Accounts in Chrome and Iron with Seesmic E.T. II – Extinction [Fake Movie Sequel Video] Remastered King’s Quest Games Offer Classic Gaming on Modern Machines Compare Your Internet Cost and Speed to Global Averages [Infographic] Orbital Battle for Terra Wallpaper WizMouse Enables Mouse Over Scrolling on Any Window

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  • PowerShell PowerPack Download

    - by BuckWoody
    I read Jeffery Hicks’ article in this month’s Redmond Magazine on a new add-in for Windows PowerShell 2.0. It’s called the PowerShell Pack and it has a some great new features that I plan to put into place on my production systems as soon as I finished learning and testing them. You can download the pack here if you have PowerShell 2.0. I’m having a lot of fun with it, and I’ll blog about what I’m learning here in the near future, but you should check it out. The only issue I have with it right now is that you have to load a module and then use get-help to find out what it does, because I haven’t found a lot of other documentation so far. The most interesting modules for me are the ones that can run a command elevated (in PSUserTools), the task scheduling commands (in TaskScheduler) and the file system checks and tools (in FileSystem). There’s also a way to create simple Graphical User Interface panels (in ). I plan to string all these together to install a management set of tools on my SQL Server Express Instances, giving the user “task buttons” to backup or restore a database, add or delete users and so on. Yes, I’ll be careful, and yes, I’ll make sure the user is allowed to do that. For now, I’m testing the download, but I thought I would share what I’m up to. If you have PowerShell 2.0 and you download the pack, let me know how you use it. Script Disclaimer, for people who need to be told this sort of thing: Never trust any script, including those that you find here, until you understand exactly what it does and how it will act on your systems. Always check the script on a test system or Virtual Machine, not a production system. Yes, there are always multiple ways to do things, and this script may not work in every situation, for everything. It’s just a script, people. All scripts on this site are performed by a professional stunt driver on a closed course. Your mileage may vary. Void where prohibited. Offer good for a limited time only. Keep out of reach of small children. Do not operate heavy machinery while using this script. If you experience blurry vision, indigestion or diarrhea during the operation of this script, see a physician immediately. Share this post: email it! | bookmark it! | digg it! | reddit! | kick it! | live it!

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  • Reader for Android Updates; Now with Feed Widgets and More

    - by ETC
    Android phone owners rocking the official Google Reader app will be pleased to see the new update includes much requested features such as polished feed widgets, unread counter widgets, and a handy “mark previous as read” button. Widgets have long been one of the most requested feature for Google Reader for Android. This update rolls them out in two forms. News ticker widgets show you current headlines for your Google Reader folders (as seen in the screenshot here); folder widgets function just as unread counters and only take up a 1×1 space. In addition to the widgets another much requested feature made an appearance. While scrolling through your feed you can now mark all the previous entries as read. Hit up the link below to read more or visit the Android Market on your phone to update the application. Updates to the Google Reader App for Android [The Official Google Reader Blog] Latest Features How-To Geek ETC How to Enable User-Specific Wireless Networks in Windows 7 How to Use Google Chrome as Your Default PDF Reader (the Easy Way) How To Remove People and Objects From Photographs In Photoshop Ask How-To Geek: How Can I Monitor My Bandwidth Usage? Internet Explorer 9 RC Now Available: Here’s the Most Interesting New Stuff Here’s a Super Simple Trick to Defeating Fake Anti-Virus Malware Comix is an Awesome Comics Archive Viewer for Linux Get the MakeUseOf eBook Guide to Speeding Up Windows for Free Need Tech Support? Call the Star Wars Help Desk! [Video Classic] Reclaim Vertical UI Space by Adding a Toolbar to the Left or Right Side of Firefox Androidify Turns You into an Android-style Avatar Reader for Android Updates; Now with Feed Widgets and More

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  • Androidify Turns You into an Android-style Avatar

    - by ETC
    Androidify, a free application for Android phones, lets you create an Android-style avatar of yourself (or anyone, for that matter). Swap out the clothes, adjust the side of your noggin, add a pirate eye-patch, the customization options are abundant. Much like the Mii creator on the Wii, Androidify starts you off with the basics: skin color, hair style and color, adjustment of the body size. After that you can tweak things like clothing, accessories, facial hair and more. Once you’re done you can set it as your contact image, send it to others to use as your contact image, save as a photo, and other wise upload it with the social media tools you have on your phone. Hit up the link below to read more and grab a copy. Androidify [Android Market] Latest Features How-To Geek ETC How to Enable User-Specific Wireless Networks in Windows 7 How to Use Google Chrome as Your Default PDF Reader (the Easy Way) How To Remove People and Objects From Photographs In Photoshop Ask How-To Geek: How Can I Monitor My Bandwidth Usage? Internet Explorer 9 RC Now Available: Here’s the Most Interesting New Stuff Here’s a Super Simple Trick to Defeating Fake Anti-Virus Malware Comix is an Awesome Comics Archive Viewer for Linux Get the MakeUseOf eBook Guide to Speeding Up Windows for Free Need Tech Support? Call the Star Wars Help Desk! [Video Classic] Reclaim Vertical UI Space by Adding a Toolbar to the Left or Right Side of Firefox Androidify Turns You into an Android-style Avatar Reader for Android Updates; Now with Feed Widgets and More

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  • Mouse Over YouTube Previews YouTube Videos in Chrome

    - by ETC
    If you’re an avid YouTube video watcher, Mouse Over YouTube is a free Chrome extension that pops up a preview of any video you mouse over. Install the extension, put your mouse cursor over any YouTube video thumbnail, and a preview pops up in the upper right corner of your Chrome browser window. The only request we’d direct at the developer is either the ability to adjust the mouse over delay or to simply extend the delay. As it is now the video preview starts almost instantly which can make a whole page of YouTube thumbnails like a mine field of unexpected videos. Hit up the link below to grab a free copy. Mouse Over YouTube [Google Chrome Extensions via Addictive Tips] Latest Features How-To Geek ETC Learn To Adjust Contrast Like a Pro in Photoshop, GIMP, and Paint.NET Have You Ever Wondered How Your Operating System Got Its Name? Should You Delete Windows 7 Service Pack Backup Files to Save Space? What Can Super Mario Teach Us About Graphics Technology? Windows 7 Service Pack 1 is Released: But Should You Install It? How To Make Hundreds of Complex Photo Edits in Seconds With Photoshop Actions Access and Manage Your Ubuntu One Account in Chrome and Iron Mouse Over YouTube Previews YouTube Videos in Chrome Watch a Machine Get Upgraded from MS-DOS to Windows 7 [Video] Bring the Whole Ubuntu Gang Home to Your Desktop with this Mascots Wallpaper Hack Apart a Highlighter to Create UV-Reactive Flowers [Science] Add a “Textmate Style” Lightweight Text Editor with Dropbox Syncing to Chrome and Iron

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  • Access PC Settings Easily from Your Desktop in Windows 8 and 8.1

    - by Akemi Iwaya
    Accessing your system’s settings in Windows 8 is not exactly the most straight-forward of processes, so if you need to change your settings often, then it can be a bit frustrating. With that in mind, the good folks over at 7 Tutorials have created an awesome shortcut that will take all the hassle out of accessing those settings, and make ‘tweaking’ Windows 8 much easier. After downloading the zip file, extract the exe file and place it in an appropriate folder, then create a shortcut. Once you have the new shortcut set up in the desired location (i.e. desktop or pinned to the taskbar), accessing your system’s settings has never been easier in Windows 8 and 8.1! Special Note: If you are someone who runs files through VirusTotal before using them, be aware that two listings there (Commtouch and Symantec) will flag the file as malware. We had no problems on our system whatsoever and believe the malware flags to be false positives. Download the Desktop Shortcut to PC Settings, for Windows 8 & 8.1 [7 Tutorials]     

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  • Ghost Incognito Automatically Loads Incognito Mode Based on Domain

    - by Jason Fitzpatrick
    Chrome: Ghost Incognito mode is a simple Chrome extension that automatically launches Incognito mode on a domain-by-domain basis. If you routinely visit the same sites using Incognito Mode, Ghost Incognito allows you to flag domains. By default it turns on Incognito for all .XXX domains and, once you select some domains, for any that you specify. Thus if you flag angrybirds.com, as we did for our test run of the app, every time you visit angrybirds.com or a sub-domain there of such as shop.angrybirds.com, you’ll be automatically directed to a new Incognito tab–no input from you necessary. Ghost Incognito is free, Chrome only. Ghost Incognito [via Addictive Tips] HTG Explains: When Do You Need to Update Your Drivers? How to Make the Kindle Fire Silk Browser *Actually* Fast! Amazon’s New Kindle Fire Tablet: the How-To Geek Review

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  • Create Custom Sized Thumbnail Images with Simple Image Resizer [Cross-Platform]

    - by Asian Angel
    Are you looking for an easy way to create custom sized thumbnail images for use in blog posts, photo albums, and more? Whether is it a single image or a CD full, Simple Image Resizer is the right app to get the job done for you. To add the new PPA for Simple Image Resizer open the Ubuntu Software Center, go to the Edit Menu, and select Software Sources. Access the Other Software Tab in the Software Sources Window and add the first of the PPAs shown below (outlined in red). The second PPA will be automatically added to your system. Once you have the new PPAs set up, go back to the Ubuntu Software Center and click on the PPA listing for Rafael Sachetto on the left (highlighted with red in the image). The listing for Simple Image Resizer will be right at the top…click Install to add the program to your system. After the installation is complete you can find Simple Image Resizer listed as Sir in the Graphics sub-menu. When you open Simple Image Resizer you will need to browse for the directory containing the images you want to work with, select a destination folder, choose a target format and prefix, enter the desired pixel size for converted images, and set the quality level. Convert your image(s) when ready… Note: You will need to determine the image size that best suits your needs before-hand. For our example we chose to convert a single image. A quick check shows our new “thumbnailed” image looking very nice. Simple Image Resizer can convert “into and from” the following image formats: .jpeg, .png, .bmp, .gif, .xpm, .pgm, .pbm, and .ppm Command Line Installation Note: For older Ubuntu systems (9.04 and previous) see the link provided below. sudo add-apt-repository ppa:rsachetto/ppa sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install sir Links Note: Simple Image Resizer is available for Ubuntu, Slackware Linux, and Windows. Simple Image Resizer PPA at Launchpad Simple Image Resizer Homepage Command Line Installation for Older Ubuntu Systems Bonus The anime wallpaper shown in the screenshots above can be found here: The end where it begins [DesktopNexus] Latest Features How-To Geek ETC Macs Don’t Make You Creative! So Why Do Artists Really Love Apple? MacX DVD Ripper Pro is Free for How-To Geek Readers (Time Limited!) HTG Explains: What’s a Solid State Drive and What Do I Need to Know? How to Get Amazing Color from Photos in Photoshop, GIMP, and Paint.NET Learn To Adjust Contrast Like a Pro in Photoshop, GIMP, and Paint.NET Have You Ever Wondered How Your Operating System Got Its Name? Create Shortcuts for Your Favorite or Most Used Folders in Ubuntu Create Custom Sized Thumbnail Images with Simple Image Resizer [Cross-Platform] Etch a Circuit Board using a Simple Homemade Mixture Sync Blocker Stops iTunes from Automatically Syncing The Journey to the Mystical Forest [Wallpaper] Trace Your Browser’s Roots on the Browser Family Tree [Infographic]

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  • Taskbar Meters Turn Your Taskbar into a System Resource Monitor

    - by Jason Fitzpatrick
    If you’re looking for some simple hardware monitoring tools that don’t clutter up your screen real estate but are right in front of you when you need them, Taskbar Meters sit unobtrusively right on the Windows taskbar. Open source, lightweight, and portable Taskbar Meters is actually a set of three applications. There is one for monitoring memory use, one for CPU use, and one for disk activity. Using the application is as simple as running the specific app for the monitoring you want (we have all three running in the screenshot here) and adjusting the sliders to set the update frequency and the percent utilization at which the meters turn from green, to yellow, to red. If you’re testing software loads and benchmarking Taskbar Meters doesn’t offer the kind of fine-tooth-comb view into system performance that you’ll need but for casual “What’s going on with my machine?” monitoring, it’s unobtrusive and effective. Taskbar Meters is an open source set of portable applications, Windows 7 only. Taskbar Meters [Codeplex] Latest Features How-To Geek ETC Macs Don’t Make You Creative! So Why Do Artists Really Love Apple? MacX DVD Ripper Pro is Free for How-To Geek Readers (Time Limited!) HTG Explains: What’s a Solid State Drive and What Do I Need to Know? How to Get Amazing Color from Photos in Photoshop, GIMP, and Paint.NET Learn To Adjust Contrast Like a Pro in Photoshop, GIMP, and Paint.NET Have You Ever Wondered How Your Operating System Got Its Name? Lakeside Sunset in the Mountains [Wallpaper] Taskbar Meters Turn Your Taskbar into a System Resource Monitor Create Shortcuts for Your Favorite or Most Used Folders in Ubuntu Create Custom Sized Thumbnail Images with Simple Image Resizer [Cross-Platform] Etch a Circuit Board using a Simple Homemade Mixture Sync Blocker Stops iTunes from Automatically Syncing

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  • OpenFilesView Displays All Open and Locked Files to Help Resolve In-Use Errors

    - by Jason Fitzpatrick
    Windows: You go to move a file and Windows throws up an “In Use” error. OpenFilesView shows you what application or system process is locking up the files you’re trying to move. Sometimes the culprit is obvious; if you go to move your media folder and you’ve got your media player open watching South Park then shutting down the media player is the obvious solution. Other times the culprit is less obvious; sometimes Windows processes and less-than-obvious applications are accessing your files in ways that aren’t apparent. The screenshot below showcases the “In Use” error: This is where OpenFilesView comes into play. Fire up the application to see a list of all active files on your system. The master list is a bit overwhelming (on our test system there were over 1200 open files) but you use the find command to drill down to specific file or folder names. Once you’ve found the locked file you can close the file handle, kill the process, or bring the process to the front (so you can examine the program, if possible, before terminating it). It’s much more efficient than rebooting in an attempt to shake the In-Use error. OpenFilesView is freeware and works on Windows XP through Windows 7. HTG Explains: Do You Really Need to Defrag Your PC? Use Amazon’s Barcode Scanner to Easily Buy Anything from Your Phone How To Migrate Windows 7 to a Solid State Drive

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  • Windows Azure End to End Examples

    - by BuckWoody
    I’m fascinated by the way people learn. I’m told there are several methods people use to understand new information, from reading to watching, from experiencing to exploring. Personally, I use multiple methods of learning when I encounter a new topic, usually starting with reading a bit about the concepts. I quickly want to put those into practice, however, especially in the technical realm. I immediately look for examples where I can start trying out the concepts. But I often want a “real” example – not just something that represents the concept, but something that is real-world, showing some feature I could actually use. And it’s no different with the Windows Azure platform – I like finding things I can do now, and actually use. So when I started learning Windows Azure, I of course began with the Windows Azure Training Kit – which has lots of examples and labs, presentations and so on. But from there, I wanted more examples I could learn from, and eventually teach others with. I was asked if I would write a few of those up, so here are the ones I use. CodePlex CodePlex is Microsoft’s version of an “Open Source” repository. Anyone can start a project, add code, documentation and more to it and make it available to the world, free of charge, using various licenses as they wish. Microsoft also uses this location for most of the examples we publish, and sample databases for SQL Server. If you search in CodePlex for “Azure”, you’ll come back with a list of projects that folks have posted, including those of us at Microsoft. The source code and documentation are there, so you can learn using actual examples of code that will do what you need. There’s everything from a simple table query to a full project that is sort of a “Corporate Dropbox” that uses Windows Azure Storage. The advantage is that this code is immediately usable. It’s searchable, and you can often find a complete solution to meet your needs. The disadvantage is that the code is pretty specific – it may not cover a huge project like you’re looking for. Also, depending on the author(s), you might not find the documentation level you want. Link: http://azureexamples.codeplex.com/site/search?query=Azure&ac=8    Tailspin Microsoft Patterns and Practices is a group here that does an amazing job at sharing standard ways of doing IT – from operations to coding. If you’re not familiar with this resource, make sure you read up on it. Long before I joined Microsoft I used their work in my daily job – saved a ton of time. It has resources not only for Windows Azure but other Microsoft software as well. The Patterns and Practices group also publishes full books – you can buy these, but many are also online for free. There’s an end-to-end example for Windows Azure using a company called “Tailspin”, and the work covers not only the code but the design of the full solution. If you really want to understand the thought that goes into a Platform-as-a-Service solution, this is an excellent resource. The advantages are that this is a book, it’s complete, and it includes a discussion of design decisions. The disadvantage is that it’s a little over a year old – and in “Cloud” years that’s a lot. So many things have changed, improved, and have been added that you need to treat this as a resource, but not the only one. Still, highly recommended. Link: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff728592.aspx Azure Stock Trader Sometimes you need a mix of a CodePlex-style application, and a little more detail on how it was put together. And it would be great if you could actually play with the completed application, to see how it really functions on the actual platform. That’s the Azure Stock Trader application. There’s a place where you can read about the application, and then it’s been published to Windows Azure – the production platform – and you can use it, explore, and see how it performs. I use this application all the time to demonstrate Windows Azure, or a particular part of Windows Azure. The advantage is that this is an end-to-end application, and online as well. The disadvantage is that it takes a bit of self-learning to work through.  Links: Learn it: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/netframework/bb499684 Use it: https://azurestocktrader.cloudapp.net/

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