Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Use Active Desktop To Save Memory Used By Wallpapers

When you choose a wallpaper using the standard method (selecting a background on the desktop tab, in the properties window),
Windows converts this image to a huge .bmp file (even if you selected a .jpg).
Then instead of having a nice 220K wallpaper, you get a 3.15MB wallpaper. To get rid of this,
try using active desktop's web capabilities, like this:

1. Right click on your desktop and select "properties", then select the "desktop" tab.
2. Click on "Customize Desktop".
3. Select the "Web" tab and click on "New..."
4. Browse for your favorite image and click OK when you are done.
5. Make sure "Lock desktop items" is uncheck.
6. Click OK, and OK again.
7. Now your image is like another window. Drag it to where you want and then right click over it.
8. Select "arrange icons by" and the check "Lock Web Items on Desktop".
9. That's it. Now you have a "low memory usage wallpaper".

With this you can make interesting things, like using various small wallpapers,
or even animated ones!! (you can select an animated .gif too!!). Simply select various images,
and when you click OK, drag all them to its right location, and lock the content again.

PS: If you want to check the huge wallpaper windows makes, select a wallpaper the standard way,
then browse to "C:\Documents and Settings\USER PROFILE\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft" (where USER PROFILE, is the profile you're using, i.e. Administrator). There should be a file called Wallpaper.bmp, open it and you'll see your current wallpaper.

Shutdown XP Faster

When a user shuts down Windows XP, first the system has to kill all services
currently running. Every once in a while the service does not shut down
instantly and windows gives it a change to shut down on its own before it kills it.
This amount of time that windows waits is stored in the system registry.
If you modify this setting, then windows will kill the service earlier. To modify
the setting, follow the directions below:

Start Regedit.
Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SYSTEM/CurrentControlSet/Control.
Click on the "Control" Folder.
Select "WaitToKillServiceTimeout"
Right click on it and select Modify.
Set it a value lower than 2000 (Mine is set to 200).

Free Icon Search Engines

Icons are an important part of any user interface, whether it is desktop or web icons are everywhere and they are essential for visually appealing designs. Icons look tiny art pieces but designing them is not as easy as they look, but thankfully there are lot of people who have released their icons with a free license, these will save designers time. But finding a good icons for your projects may be a tedious task, to simplify these task there are specialized search engines for icons. We will take a look at some of the icon search engines in this post.

Iconfinder.net: This is one of the best Icon search engines available on the net currently. Its Ajax navigation makes it a breeze to find new icons. Each icon in the search results carries its tags, download link and License information. No need to scroll through pages to get download the icon, hit the download icon and the icon will be downloaded. Most of the icons are pretty and can be used in modern or web 2.0 designs.

Iconlet.com: This is another search engine for icons, it also works well. Here you will get lot more icons to download but the results are not very well categoriesd, you will find unrelated icons grouped for certain keywords. the icons look old fashioned and not pretty. Lists the license information on a different page.

Iconlook.com: This is a new entrant in this space, lists many icons. Most of the icons are good can be used for modern web design. Icons search results show the icon size, but to get the license and download information you need to go to the icon page.

Searchicon.net: Searchicon has lot of inventory but again the search results contain unrelated items for certain keywords. It shows download, tags and license information but somehow these are not working.

icons-search.com: The search is a joke here, i searched for “link” icons here and it is showing me blinklist icons and some arrow icons.

What do you think? do you know any other search engine for icons.

URLOpener - Open Multiple URL's At Same Time

URLOpener is a nice app that makes it a easy to open multiple URLs at the same time. Sure this may not be useful for everyone out there, but it is definitely useful for some of us.

If you have received a list of URLs you received through an email or a spreadsheet or a text file, and you want to open them all at once instead of opening each, this is the exact reason Brad has developed this tool.

Check the tool if you open multiple urls at times, just copy paste all the urls in the text box and hit submit, it will show a message with all URls and a button which reads “Open All”, click that it will open all the URLs

One suggestion to Brad, why not make it open when i hit submit instead of showing Open All button again, beacause I know I want to open all the urls in the first place.

Notepad++ 5.0 beta

Notepad++ has been my Notepad replacement for the last years and I have never looked back since I installed it on my first computer. It combines the speed and low resource usage of Notepad with an advanced functionality that includes syntax highlighting, plugins and multi-views.

Today the first beta version of Notepad++ 5.0 was released to the public on Sourceforge, more than 18 months after the release of Notepad++ 4.0. It offers further performance improvements over previous versions, bookmarked lines, different colored tabs, plugin commands in the context menu and additional options to configure the application.

The announcement lists 18 fixed bugs and features that have been added in Notepad++ 5.0, they are:

1. Improve Notepad++ performance - on startup and on exit.
2. Add Calltip capacity.
3. All the menu commands can be added in context menu, including plugins’ commands, macros and user defined commands.
4. Add bookmarked lines operations : delete all marked lines, copy all marked lines into clipboard, cut all marked lines into clipboard, paste from clipboard to replace all marked lines content.
5. Fix crash bug : Open files with date pre-1970.
6. Fix clone mode bug : now the actions done in one view will be synchronized in the cloned view.
7. Add tooltips in document tab to display the full file name path.
8. Change hide lines behaviour : Hide lines now saved during switches.
9. Change file history list behaviour : Most recent closed file is on the top. Add number on list.
10. Caret width and blink rate are customizable.
11. Add asterisk in title bar if file is dirty.
12. The bookmarks’ look & feel are improved.
13. Add “Select all” and “copy” context menu items in Find in files results window.
14. Fix goto line with command line bug.
15. Improve smart highlight / mark all / incremental search highlight all visibility
16. Tabbar’s coulours is configurable via Stylers Configurator(Active tab Text, Inactive tab text, Inactive tab background, Active tab focused indicator and Active tab unfocused indicator).
17. Add the smart highlight file size limit - 1.5 MB in order to improve the performance.
18. Add exception handling (dumping filedata)

Get Notepad++ 5.0

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Create Forms Online With pForm

Not good in creating HTML forms? no problem. As long as you’ve got your requirements, pForm can help you get through the tedious part in creating a form. pForm, a free web service from Appnitro helps generate forms in 3 simple steps:

Choose Color Scheme
pForm offers total of 25 different color scheme of forms to be choose from.

Design Form Fields
Design your own form by selecting the necessary fields (text fields, checkboxes, etc). Some of the more complicated form elements like File Upload, Calendar also comes ready made in pForm. You may also drag and drop to re-order the arrangement of form.

Upon completion in designing the form, you can either Preview or download the form in single .zip format.

How to Quickly Select Multiple Mails in GMail

Your Web GMail displays 50 emails in rows, but you want to select #1 - #30 and perform a specific action to it. There’s no need to select the checkbox one by one for 30 times, or click the “Select all’ and uncheck each of the unwanted 20. Ashish of Technospot found a shortcut to mass select the emails All you need to do is select the first, hold Shift key and select the last and you’ll notice everything in the middle will be selected as well.

I’m not sure if the trick existed all this while but it’s definitely neat. It’ll make my mass mail labeling easier.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Create EXE package with built-in Windows tool

There’re many freeware/paid utility softwares available to zip/unzip/create self-extracting package for files & folders. Microsoft Windows comes with a handy tool for us to create self-extracting package.

Here’re the steps:
1. Go to start —> run —> type "iexpress".
2. This will open an IExpress wizard, choose “create new self extraction directive file” and press next.
3. Select “extract files only” and press next, and enter a package name.
4. After you name package, press next, until you asked to add files into your package.
5. Add files/folders, and press next to continue.
6. Press Next for the following dialog boxes. After that, provide target path and filename for your package, and you can choose to either create a Self Extraction Directive file or not.
7. That’s it. Next click the filename.exe to extract.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Send Message, The way you typed.

Fuzzmail is a kind of mailing service that records the act of typing a message and lets you send it as an email. So when the recipient sees the mail he can see the message in a kind of animated form, as if the message is being typed just now, Any typos, pauses and writeovers that you make are captured and communicated.

How do I use it?
Just go to http://www.fuzzmail.org/ and start typing a message and fuzzmail will record what you type. When you’re done, click “send” to stop recording and send your message. The recipient will get a private web link to read the message replayed in the way that you typed it. A copy of the Fuzzmail you wrote will be sent to you at your email address.

"We created fuzzmail because we wanted a more emotionally expressive alternative to email, so that an emailed love letter does not have to look the same as a business letter."

May be the only thing it cant do is making the mail emotionally expressive but it sure is fun and I must admit that there is an element of curiosity when you read the message. The message gets typed as you read it, and since we usually read faster than someone had originally typed, so the reader is kind of held in suspense as to what the sender is going to say next. Also the reader can control the speed at which the recording is played and a progress bar indicates how much of the recording has been played/left to play.

Go to fuzzmail. Here is a demo mail.

PowerPoint Tricks

Here are a few Powerpoint tricks that can either save your time or make your work easy.

Opening the Slideshow in a separate window:
Sometimes when you’ve started a slide-show in full-screen and realise that it needs some tweaking, you have to stop the show, change the slide, start the show again, and then look for another slide that needs changing.

Instead, when you start a slide-show, hold down [Ctrl] and click the Slide Show button at the bottom left of the screen or View >Slide Show.

This opens the slide show in a separate, smaller window, so you can easily switch between the presentation and the show.

Take your PowerPoint with you:
Working on a colleague or friend’s PC? You don’t need to waste time tweaking PowerPoint preferences to get everything the way you want it - all your PowerPoint settings are in this file:

C:\Documents and Settings\[username]\Application Data\Microsoft\PowerPoint\PPT##.pcb (where ## is the PowerPoint version number you have installed.)

Simply carry this file around and place it in the same folder on the new machine, now PowerPoint is just the way you like it. Do remember to back up your friend’s settings file, though.

Changing between .PPS and .PPT:
You can save your presentation as a PowerPoint Show (.pps) if you want the slideshow to start as soon as you open the file. But if you want to edit some parts of the show in Powerpoint, all you need to do is rename the file with the .ppt extension. Windows will warn you that the file might become unusable-ignore this. It even works vice-versa - if you rename a .ppt to .pps, the presentation now starts the slideshow directly.

Include a Flash movie in your presentation:
You can include a Flash movie in your presentation. Right-click on the PowerPoint toolbar and select Control Toolbox. At the bottom-right corner of the toolbox, click on the More Controls button and scroll down to select ‘Shockwave Flash Object’ to insert your Flash movie.

Replacing Fonts:

If you want to quickly change the theme of your presentation, the first thing you should do is replace older fonts with new ones. Go to Format>Replace Fonts, and choose which font should replace which. Only the fonts will change, the formatting will remain intact.

Photo Albums in PowerPoint:
Want to make a slide show out of your photo collection? It’s quite simple: go to Insert>Picture>New Photo Album dialog box, to add a picture from a file or disk. Under 'Insert picture from', select File/Disk. Locate the folder or disk that contains the pictures, select the ones you want, and click Insert. If you want to format your photo album later, go to Format > Photo Album.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

How to Delete Huge Windows Files and Folders in 2 Seconds

This is a super quick tip. If you ever delete a directory with huge number of subdirectories and files inside it, it can took a while before the whole deletion process finishes. To delete all of them quickly in 2 seconds, you can use a freeware called Mass Directory Eraser. It works by removing the deletion progress bar that it claims to slow up the deletion process.

Be warned that this process is irreversible, because all of the directories and files are deleted permanently, instead of moving them to the Recycle Bin.

Super tool for such a simple task. Cool indeed.

Download Mass Directory Eraser.

Download Free Templates For Office 2007

Microsoft Small Business is giving out six free designer templates for Office 2007 for Windows, and Office 2008 for Mac. The best is that they are absolutely free and comes in 9 colour schemes. The six templates contain a spreadsheet, presentation, invoice, letterhead, business card and newsletter blast templates.

Remember, these templates will only work if you have the latest Office (2007 for Windows and 2008 for Mac) because the templates are in the new formats (.docx, .xlsx etc.). These templates are zip files and you can download them directly. No verification required.

Download Office 2007 Designer Templates

Upload Files To Multiple File Hosts At Once

If you upload and share a lot of files using free file hosts, then you will find this service quite interesting and useful. TinyLoad allows you to upload files to multiple hosts at the same time. This gives your file downloaders a choice whether they want to download the file from RapidShare or from MegaUpload, SendSpace etc.
Tiny LoadFile hosts that are supported by TinyLoad are MegaUpload, RapidShare, FileFactory, DivShare, BestSharing, SendSpace, Uploading, FileSend, Easy Share, Bandongo, zShare and Amazon S3. The maximum file size that you can upload is 100MB. You get the links almost instantly, but sometimes due to server load, it might take a while to appear. No need to panic, patience pays off!

TinyLoad is absolutely free and requires no registration. They even have a bookmarklet, if you want to upload files quickly. This bookmarklet can also be used while writing an email in Gmail, Yahoo Mail or Hotmail to upload large attachments.

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