Archive for the ‘How-To’ Category

iGoogle – Select a Theme

If you are a frequent user of iGoogle or even have it set as your homepage then you noticed that the website is only white. After a while it can get pretty dull and you might want to change it up a little bit, adding more colors to it. iGoogle added a feature from which you can select a theme. They have quite a few good themes from outer space pictures, to landscapes, to your horoscope sign.

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One of there reasons for choosing a theme is to change your internet routine a little bit. It will be a fresh new view for once instead of looking at the white page over and over each day. It will make iGoogle a bit more interesting rather then dull by the second.Another reason is that by choosing darker colors, you give your eyes a rest. Most of the websites and blogs you visit have light or white designs, which will strain the eyes from the brigthness. Adding more darker colors it will even it out and relax them, while reading and looking up information in the iGoogle page. So spending a few minutes choosing the right theme for you is not so bad after all.

How to reduce mental decline and dibilitating diseases

Most people keep a certain diet or go to the gym to keep their body healthy. However, the package will not be complete if they don’t exercise their brain. This is where Fit Brains comes into play. Fit Brains is a free service that has selected games for its registered users to play, so they can increase their brain activity and FBi (Fit Brain Index). Their main goal is to provide “brain exercise that is fun, engaging, and personalized.”

I registered few hours ago, and I have been playing their games ever since. Fit Brain is adding more games as the days go by, but the ones they have now are great, fun, and entertaining.

As you play the games and progress through each level Fit Brains provides you will small tips on how to keep healthy, reduce stress, and take small steps toward preventing Alzheimer’s. They have provided a whole section on the research connecting the games and brain activity improvement based on it. You just have to register and start playing. Have fun improving your brain :)!

Fit Brains

Watch YouTube Videos in HD

A YouTube user (GoodyGian) was able to figure out a code that if added to the video URL it will change the video viewed into HD. The quote is “&fmt=18” (without the quotes). Here is an example:

Low Quality Video: http://youtube.com/watch?v=FQt-h753jHI

High Quality Video: http://youtube.com/watch?v=FQt-h753jHI&fmt=18

The video is a Bulgarian version of American Idol. This particular contestant doesn’t know English and tries to mimic a song from Mariah Carey, but fails miserably. However, it was so funny that she became a huge hit over the Balkan with her performance. I put this video as an example because you can see a big difference in the English subtitles of her sing the song, and to provide you with a good laugh.

Quick Tip on Safely Removing Hardware

Usually when a flash drive, digital camera, iPod, or printer is connected to you computer, you have to click on the Safely Remove Hardware then find the USB port, select it and click Stop. Here is a quick tip so you don’t waste time.

  1. Go to the Safely Remove Icon Tray (bottom right corner on the taskbar)
  2. Right Click it then,
  3. Left Click it  (one after the other)
  4. A list will show up of what you have connected to you computer
  5. Click on the one you want disconnected

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It’s a very simple tip, while saving you a lot of time. it will take you less then 5 seconds to disconnect the external device you no longer need.

Find As You Type – IE Add-On

find.jpgOne of the reasons I love Firefox so much is because of its search bar that can be easily accessed through a short key. It’s very convenient when you are searching a long document, and you save a lot of time with it instead of clicking ‘Find’ the whole time. The whole interface of it being at the bottom of the page instead of external window on Internet Explorer is so much more convenient. That’s one of the reasons why I avoid using IE, but that was easily solved with the Find As You Type add-on for IE 6 or later.

Find As You Type is a integrated search bar with the same features as the Firefox search bar. They both use the ‘CTRL+F’ shortcut key for easy access. This toolbar is only compatible with Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 or Windows Vista (both x86 and x64). However, Find As You Type does not work on Windows 95, 98, Me or 2000. 

Windows System Error – “IP Address Conflict”

Few days ago at work, two of the computers from the office kept showing a Windows message “there is an IP address conflict with another system on the network”. Now this has never happened to any of the computers before, and there is a hand full of them. Also, they are all connected to a linksys router (not wireless).What the message means is that two or more computer have the same IP address, which has to be change. No computer can have the same IP address, and this was caused most likely by the router (either the company providing the internet having trouble or the actual router malfunctioned).

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To fix this you will have to figure out which computer is causing the problem, by trail and error.

  1. Pick a computer
  2. Click the Network Connection button located at the lower right corner of the start toolbar close to the clock ( or go to Start>Connect to*>Choose your connection).
  3. Click on the Disable Button.
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  4. Once the connection is disabled, re-enable it the same way.
  5. If it does not enable, and it can not assign an IP address to the computer go to the other computer
  6. On the other compute, follow Steps 1-4.
  7. With the 1st computer’s connection being disabled, this one will not give you trouble and should re-enable.
  8. Go back to the 1st computer and re-enable the connection.
  9. In the same connection window, click the Support Tab on the top.
  10. Compare the two IP addresses, they should be different.
    If they are not, restart the computer ( it shouldn’t be need to).

Note: Connect To* – If you do not see Connect To in the Start listed,

  1. Right click on Start
  2. Click on Properties
  3. Click the Customizable Button
  4. Click the Advanced Tab in the new window
  5. Scroll to Network Connection
  6. Check the “Display as connected to menu”
  7. Click OK and Close out of it.

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Youtube Dowloader 2.3

youtubeThis freeware program not only downloads Youtube videos to you computer with just pasting an url in the program, but it downloads them as an .avi file rather then .flv. The advantage is that you don’t have to waste time converting the .flv files to be able to put them on a CD. All you have to do is copy and paste the video URL , select the folder where you want to download it, click download, and you are done. You can also watch the Youtube through the Youtube Downloader without installing any third party flash programs, since a flash player has been integrated in the program. It’s guaranteed that there are no spyware, malware, registration, or pop ups. Furthermore, it has a great friendly interface that even beginners will find easy to use this downloader.

Youtube Downloader 2.3

Another Site Hacked

Recently another site has been hacked Webby’s World. It has been happen quite often and I see sites being hacked every day. What measures to take to protect yourself and your site?

First lets talk about using Gmail and the information you keep there. People tend to keep the most private information in their inboxes. A new way that hackers have found ways to gain control of Gmail is by sending you spam and if opened it adds a filter in Gmail that fowards your incoming mail and even your outgoing mail to the hacker’s email. That’s exactly what happened to David Airey and you can read about his situation more on his site, and what he did to get back his site.

If you use Gmail, I would recommend that you check your filters regularly because you never know when it can happen. If it does happen write all the information that’s there, delete it, change all your passwords (not just your Gmail’s or on your blog/site, but all even your bank account information if you do on-line banking), and then send an email to Gmail with the information and let them know what is happening.

Other useful tips:
1. ALWAYS back up your site/blog.
2. NEVER give out your IP Address or your passwords.
3. Make sure that you update your blog platform when WordPress or any other blog services releases a new patch because they are mostly to patch up security issues.
4. A lot of people don’t think about this, but choose your hosting service very carefully. There are a lot of services that give great deals and all, but they might not offer good security measures, which outweighs all the other features.
5. Make sure all the scripts are updated, and don’t install Frontpage Extension if it’s not needed.
6. Do not download any programs that you don’t know what it is or haven’t checked it with a virus scanner. (You can use Jotti’s Online Scanner besides your home scanner).

How-To: Get Rid of the Annoying Security Notifications in Windows

This can be done both in Windows XP and Vista without to much work. It’s very simple and easy to do, just follow this few, quick steps.

Windows XP:
1. Go to Control Panel from the Start Menu.
2. Click on the Security Center Icon.
3. In the new window you will see the ‘Resource Section’ on the right.
4. Select “Change the way Security Center Alerts Me.”
5. Choose from the choices that best fits you.

security.jpg

If you don’t want to be notified that’s fine, but I would at least keep the icon because you can forget about having your firewall disabled, which leaves your computer a target to hackers. It’s the same process for Vista, you just have to go to the Security Center and it will say it at the bottom “Change the way Security Center Alerts Me.”

CD/DVD: Cycling Redundancy Check Error

What is CRC? The CRC error shows up when your CD/DVD driver can not read the data on the disk. This happens because the disk could be damaged, have scratches or smudges, or it’s bad quality. It can also mean that there is a problem with your CD/DVD driver. I’ve been trying to back up a DVD for the last two days without any success. I started of by trying to clean the DVD with several different methods. When that did not work, I tried AnyDVD, Nero, CloneDVD, and many other programs to make a copy of the DVD, and I also tried just coping the files to my hard drives with out any prevail. Let me move on to how to over come this error.

First Method: Cleaning Your CD/DVD (YouTube video)

(If this method doesn’t work, then you can check out the other videos on the Related Video section to try other methods to clean it).

Second Method: Software (Freeware) Programs
SmartRipper – a freeware program that’s outdated, but it does a really good job in DVD ripping. SmartRipper is a Dvd Vob extractor, and its last and final version is 2.41.

Doom9 – This site offers a great and easy to follow tutorial on SmartRipper. It also lets you know where to download an ASPI layer, which is essential to use SmartRipper.

DvdFab Decrypter – a freeware software that lets you copy the whole DVD, while removing all the protection. It comes with full HD-DVD and Blu-Ray support.

It really depends on how much data of the disk is damaged. If you have lets say 5% data damaged, most likely SmartRipper will skip it and be able to put it on your hard drive. Unfortunately, most of my DVD is damaged ( approx. 85%), so I won’t be able to back it up.