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Wish List For Google Reader

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FLV to MP4 Conversion Without Encoding

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AdobeAir Installation Error

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Cannot Access CHM Content

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Cheapest Domain Registration Available

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Online Tools to Assist You in RAM Upgrade

Find a compatible RAM module for your PC easily.

Personalised RAM recommendations
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Can’t Select Individual Windows Updates

Solution for invisible Windows Updates.

Click here
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Windows Live Writer Blogger Account Error

  • Friday, February 22, 2013
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  • Google actively encourages its users to enable two factor verification for passwords. While this increases security, it also causes minor inconveniences.password

    After a long inactive period I have decided to blog more regularly and for that installed Windows Live Writer, but while trying to configure it for my Blogger account it complained about my password, after several attempts with various combinations I remembered that I have set up a two step verification for Google services, so I have to manually grant permission to all third party applications. There is even a specific warning for applications connecting to Blogger.

    security

    connected_applications

    Some applications that work outside a browser aren't yet compatible with 2-step verification and cannot ask for verification codes, for example:
    Applications used to access Blogger
    To use these applications, you first need to generate an application-specific password. Next, enter that in the password field of your application instead of your usual password. You can create a new application-specific password for each application that needs one.

    app_spesific

    After you give a name and generate a one time password problem gets solved.

    Read More...

    Google Reader Enhancements

  • Wednesday, October 24, 2012
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  • Among all Google services Reader could be the only one for me that doesn't have a good alternative. I can use Bing for searching, Outlook for mail, BingMaps for maps etc but when it comes to an RSS Reader I don't know any good service out there with the same functionality as GReader. Yes, there are some popular services like Feedly and Flipboard but they seem like a newspaper and are only good for reading handful of articles and not very useful for skimming hundreds or thousands of them. Google Reader is very good for this, but it has few shortcomings, like you have to mark all the post from a source as read without leaving half of them as unread, this is fine as long as there are only 40-50 posts, but what about if there are hundreds of them. Another problem with Google Reader is there are too much white space, even if you choose compact view.
    Luckily for us there are userscripts to solves these problems.
    This is the default state.

    Userscripts:

    For selective marking I recommend "Mark previous as read"
    For extra white space there are two userscripts: "Google Reader Fixes" and "Google Reader Absolutely Customizable". You can install both of them.
    After you install all of these userscripts Google Reader will look as above, with much more content on screen.
    Bonus script: Google Reader Unread Count, by default you cannot see how many unread posts you have, this script will show you the exact count.
    Note that you need GreaseMonkey addon installed beforehand on Firefox to install these scripts. If you are using Chrome you don't need GreaseMonkey, it supports userscripts by default, but you cannot install them from 3rd party sources like userscripts.org. To do that you should add the following argument to your on your Chrome shortcut in where it says target "--enable-easy-off-store-extension-install" just after chrome.exe.

    also: my wishlist for GoogleReader
    Read More...

    Installing Applications on Ubuntu/Mint

  • Friday, October 19, 2012
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  • There are several ways to install an application on Linux; you can either compile it from source code, you can find the application in prepackaged deb/rpm file and use a package resolver (you can think of it like msi files on Windows), or you can use a package manager.

    1 - Compiling from source code:
    This is obviously the hardest option, if you are not doing custom configurations on the code - and since you are reading this post it's not likely that you do - this should be the last resort.
    The first thing you should do is to install the build-essentials - basic tool chain that will be used for compiling source code. You will acquire the source code of an application in an archive format (tar, zip, tar.bz2 etc.) You need to extract the contents from the archive to a folder. Both Ubuntu and Mint come with an archive manager, so you can just right click and select extract. If the developer is kind enough you will find a readme or install file among the extracted contents that is giving information about how to install the application. If there is one just follow the instructions there, if not try the below commands:
    Open up terminal (ctrl+alt+t) and navigate to the source folder, and then type
    ./configure
    make
    sudo make install
    If there is a problem you will see the possible cause of it on terminal screen, if it is missing dependency you can just install it and then try again, or else you can google it along with the application name.

    2-Another option is to download prepackaged files, in case of Ubuntu/Mint deb (debian) files. If your configuration satisfies the required packages then you can install these deb files by either double clicking and installing them by using the default deb handler (gdebi or Ubuntu Software Center) or by going to terminal and typing:
    dpkg -i package.deb

    3-Another and probably the easiest option for newcomers is to use a package manager like Synaptic or something like Ubuntu Software Center. There you just search for your application and click install without having worrying any dependencies. After sometime when you get used to using the terminal you can install applications from there by typing:
    apt-get install package
    
    

    Read More...

    How to Enable Broadcom Drivers on Ubuntu and Mint without a Wired Connection

  • Monday, October 15, 2012
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  • Both Ubuntu and Mint do not have a problem a wired connection like other Linux distros, and they work without any need for a configuration. But if you don't have a wired connection, all you have is a wireless network, you will need to install the required wireless drivers first.
    This instructions are for Broadcom drivers only.
    Linux Mint:
    On Mint you will be greeted with an option to install the restricted drivers on first boot, but in order to install them via that screen you need to have an Internet connection first, which is kind of counter intuitive. Fortunately if you know where to look, the drivers are already on your drive for you to install.
    You just need to enable local repositories by removing the comment sign "#" in /etc/apt/sources.list.d/local-repository.list file. Then open restricted drivers settings and click activate. Optionally you can install the driver manually by typing:
    sudo dpkg -i /usr/share/local-repository/binary/dkms_2.2.0.3-1ubuntu3_all.deb
    sudo dpkg -i /usr/share/local-repository/binary/bcmwl-kernel-source_5.100.82.38+bdcom-0ubuntu6_i386.deb

    Ubuntu:
    Likewise on Ubuntu you can find the restricted Broadcom driver in /media/cdrom/pool/restricted/b/bcmwl folder. But before you can install it, you will need to install another package, dkms, which you can find in /media/cdrom/pool/main/d/dkms folder. For your convenience you can use below commands to install them in correct order:

    sudo dpkg -i /media/cdrom/pool/main/d/dkms/dkms_2.2.0.3-1.1ubuntu1_all.deb
    sudo dpkg -i /media/cdrom/pool/restricted/b/bcmwl/bcmwl-kernel-source_5.100.82.112+bdcom-0ubuntu2_i386.deb

    PS: Online repository for this driver is here.

    After you install them type below commands to load the driver:
    sudo modprobe -r b43 ssb wl
    sudo modprobe wl

    You can also apply the drivers by calling Software Sources from dash (press Win key and type software sources). Then go to Additional Drivers, select your driver and click apply changes.
    Additional Drivers


    how to install applications/drivers

    One more option is to download the tar file directly from Broadcom and compile it yourself. This driver can be used with Broadcom's BCM4311-, BCM4312-, BCM4313-, BCM4321-, BCM4322-, BCM43224-, and BCM43225-, BCM43227- and BCM43228-based network chips.

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    How to Create a Live USB Linux Without a Hard Drive

  • Saturday, October 13, 2012
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  • After my hard drive crashed the only option left for me to use my computer before buying a new hard drive was to boot from a liveCD. That way I could at least do some basic stuff like surfing the Internet or read and write some papers. But the problem was I haven't got any Linux CDs with me. I had downloaded dozen of Linux distros to try them on virtual machine, but didn't burn any of them to CD. Then I thought about installing Linux on my USB sticks. I downloaded Damn Small Linux and Mint at school, and couple of programs to install them, but then I found out that all these programs needed an administrator account which I didn't have, since I was using a public computer. When I got home I came up with the idea of booting up from my Windows setup disk and use the DOS prompt for installing the Linux images to my USB.

    Here is how I have done it:

    On initial setup Windows loads its files onto RAM and only after your  configurations for drive partitions it starts copying these files. So in essence I had a minimal Windows setup with basic tools that I could use to create my live USB.
    As soon as you get the graphical screen shown on left you can fire up MS-DOS and do what you like. (Once you get this screen you can even insert another CD - one with your Linux images maybe - , you don't need Windows setup disk on your CD drive from here on) This can be accomplished my pressing SHIFT+F10 or if you forget this combination you can use the repair menu to get the command prompt. You can get there by first clicking "Repair your computer" then on second step click the first radio button that says "use recovery tools ..." and continue by clicking next.








    When you get to the command prompt, it is quite easy to proceed. First I had to find out the drive labels of my USB sticks, and found out that one of my sticks was assigned to c, dvd-drive was on d, and the other stick was assigned to label e.
    I formatted the stick (c:) I was planning to install Linux by typing:
    format c:
    then navigated to the other one to open the program for the installation.
    you can change the drive by typing its label i.e. e:
    you can list the contents of the drive by typing dir
    and you can open any program by typing its name, once you typed the first few letters you can make cmd to auto complete the name for you by pressing tab key.
    The program I choose for installation was Unetbootin.
    Its usage is very straightforward. You just locate the ISO image, choose the drive label and if you want to preserve your settings between reboots, you can  create a file on USB for persistence. Then just click OK and wait for it to write the image on your stick.
    Then all you have to do is to enable booting up from USB on your BIOS settings.
    All these process may seem complicated, but it's actually quite easy to accomplish.





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    Be Prepared for a Hard Drive Disaster

  • Friday, October 5, 2012
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  • I know Windows very well, and I was prepared for every disaster that could come from software failures. I was using a Vista for more than four years without any format, and only couple of BSODs (blue screen of death). But I wasn't prepared for hardware failures. I thought there would be warning signs before, that my hard drive would crash at least couple of times before it becomes unrecognizable. That is why I haven't backed up most of my files, and my documents, notes, photos, music all but gone except for few that I did back up.

    I learned my lesson, and from now on I will frequently use online storage services to back up my files. 

    • License and activation: This may not seem necessary if you have a setup disk or setup image, but the product key on Windows sticker fades in time or gets wiped up, and since your hard drive is broken you cannot access your setup image either. Luckily I have uploaded the activation file on my SkyDrive. I have also took a picture of the product key, and wrote it on a file, but I haven't uploaded those, and they are gone. You can use ABR (Activation Backup and Restore) for backing up your activation.
    • Personal Photos: There are dozens of reliable places online that you can upload and store your photos. Both Picasa and Windows Live Photo Gallery have options for uploading and syncing features. You can be sure that both Google and Microsoft's services will outlive your hard drive.
    • Documents: Again comes Microsoft and Google with their SkyDrive and GoogleDocs where you can not only store your documents but can edit them too. They both support doc and xls files.
    • Notes: There are hundreds of note taking applications, both online and offline. My favourite one is Evernote, for it is free and have a desktop application in sync with its webapp.  
    • Music: If most of your music files are generic songs and not custom dub mixes and your job is easy. You either directly upload all your files to GoogleMusic (if you live in USA), SkyDrive, Amazon CLoud Storage or DropBox and listen from there or you can create playlists online without a need of uploading. There is one disadvantage of online playlists, you cannot listen them from your mobile phone for free, or at least this music will eat from your monthly data limit. I am using three services for preserving my music preferences and listen it. Spotify and Grooveshark for music on demand, and Last.fm for scrobbling and listening in a more random way. 
    • Videos: You can upload your videos to YouTube and at the same time burn them to a bootable DVDs that could be played without a hard drive. There is a program called MoviX you can use for that purpose, it is a minimal Linux distribution for creating a live multimedia cd. Note that CDs and DVDs are even more unreliable than hard drives.
    • Passwords: I am using LastPass to store almost all passwords for my various websites. 
    • Program Settings and Game Saves: Regular settings are generally not important to backup, but if you are using plugins and heavy customization it would be good to back them up. You can use DropBox for that.
    • Programs: Instead of backing up programs I think it would be better to back up a list of them. 
    • LiveCD: Have a liveCD or bootable USB drive with a Linux on it, just in case.
    Note: if you are curious about the specific reason of your hard drive failure take a look at this website where you can diagnose the common problems by the sound of your drive.

    Read More...

    Bill Gates' Post PC Predictions from 1993

  • Wednesday, September 26, 2012
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  • From Overdrive:Bill Gates and the Race to Control Cyberspace (March 1993, Bill Gates' speech at the Sheraton Hotel in Maitland, Orlando):
    "He talked about a coming mass market for information and about how communications technology would liberate computers from the desktop. Digital information, Gates said, would be available anywhere, anytime, beamed to devices that hardly resembled computers anymore. People would soon be able to talk to their televisions, ending the era of passive entertainment. He predicted that a pocket-sized computer would make the leather wallet obsolete. Microsoft, Gates told the packed banquet hall at the Sheraton, was working on software that would allow the holder of such a device to carry digitized credit cards, receive and transmit messages, and record appointments. It would be able to hold thousands of computerized photos and display maps that showed the owner's exact location. These pocket-size computers would be on the market within two years, Gates predicted, and cost about $500 each."
    Read More...

    How to Increase Text Size in Skype

  • Sunday, September 9, 2012
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  • If you are having troubles reading the messages in Skype you can easily change the text size to suit your needs.

    Here is how you can do it:

    1-Once you signed it, go to tools / options

    Skype options

    2-From there, click on IM&SMS, and then IM appearance

    Skype IM appearance

    3-You will see the option for changing the font.

    Font selector

    4-When you click it, you will see a regular font selection option, where you can choose font, font style and its size.

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    Convert FLV Videos to MP4 Without Re-encoding

  • Tuesday, September 4, 2012
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  • Most of the online videos are served in flv container. While the container itself is OK it doesn’t have the same capabilities as an MP4 format. For example you cannot properly tag your music videos. In WinAmp when you click Alt+3 (view file info) nothing comes up. You can edit metadata, but they can only be saved for temporarily.
    What you can do is to convert these videos to mp4 format without re-encoding, you will not lose quality in the process, as video itself stays the same.
    Easiest solution for this job is to use Avidemux, an open source application.
    After you download the zip file and extract its contents, open up Avidemux, drag and drop your flv file on it and choose mp4 as format, you don’t need to change any other settings, leave video and audio settings to their default, as copy.
    Avidemux
    Then save the video.
    When you open you new file in WinAmp, you can easily add or change its tag info.
    WinAmp tagging
    related posts:
    how to wrap aac files into m4a or mp4 container
    how to tag music files easily by using online databases

    Read More...

    Youtube Videos Without Sound

  • Sunday, August 12, 2012
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  • A few days ago I updated both Chrome and Adobe Flash installations, but then I started having problems with online flash videos. Video was showing all right but there was no audio. It wasn’t happening every time but it was quite often.

    I tried reinstalling Adobe Flash but that didn’t work (although I haven’t restarted the system as it was suggested). I tried the video on Opera and it played fine. Then I went to Chrome’s settings and disabled all but one flash plug-in and problem solved.

    Here is how to disable them:

    chrome wrench

    Wrench –> settings –> go to lower end and click “show advanced settings”

    chrome advanced settings

    Then under privacy click content settings

    Disable individual plugins

    Under plug-ins click Disable individual plug-ins

    Expand the view by clicking details on top right corner.

    chrome plugins
    You will see two or three flash plug-ins. Disable the integrated Flash plug-in

    PepperFlash\pepflashplayer.dll

    You can also access the plug-ins settings by typing in address bar: chrome://plugins/

    Read More...

    Missing System Icons on Notification Area

  • Wednesday, July 25, 2012
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  • image

    Every once in a while you may encounter this error of not having the system icons on notification area. It usually happens after waking Windows from sleep mode or if you have restarted your computer just after a fresh start up.

    This is not a permanent problem as the icons came back after a restart but if you do not want to wait for that you can easily solve it by yourself.

    Here is how to do it:

    1-Open regedit (Win+R / Regedit)

    image

    2-Navigate to following subkey:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\TrayNotify

    3-Delete both IconStreams and PastIconStream keys.

    4-Close regedit

    5-Open Task Manager (Ctrl+Shift+Esc or Ctrl+Alt+Del)

    6-On processes tab find explorer.exe and kill it (or if you are using an alternative task manager like System Explorer you can restart it)

    7-Go to file / New Process / type in explorer.exe and OK

    image

    Your icons will reappear.

    image

    Read More...

    VLC Subtitle Encoding

  • Sunday, July 1, 2012
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  • If all you are seeing is gibberish characters as subtitles in VLC, you are probably using the wrong encoding. For example this is what I get when I load a Bulgarian subtitle:

    VLC gibberish subtitles

    Here is how to solve this problem:

    Tools / preferences / subtitles & OCD / default encoding

    from there change the encoding to match the subtitle language, in my case I have to change it to Cyrillic, since Bulgarian alphabet consists of Cyrillic characters.

    Chnaging default encoding 

    For Western European languages UTF-8 encoding is fine

    You will need to reload the subtitles for changes to take effect.

    Bulgarian subtitle

    Read More...

    Online Tools to Assist You in RAM Upgrade

  • Tuesday, June 19, 2012
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  • Installing a new RAM module requires you to know your motherboard’s capabilities. You can easily look for your current configuration and go from there but that way you won’t know the maximum bandwidth you can get.

    That is where online tools come to our help.

    1 – Crucial Memory Advisor™ tool.

    imageThis tools tells you all the specs you will need for an upgrade along with some configuration recommendations.

    My installed RAM modules were DDR2 PC2-5300 types, but from this tool I learned that I can install PC2-6400 types as well.

    2 – Newegg Memory Finder.

    Newegg has an index of compatible RAM modules for most f the Laptop models on the market, you just have to  choose your model from the list.

    image

    It doesn’t give as much information as Crucial’s tool but you can easily just look at the compatible modules it lists. Also prices on Newegg are cheaper than Crucial’s.

    Read More...

    Handy MySql Commands for Starters

  • Monday, May 21, 2012
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  • Creating a database:
    mysql>CREATE DATABASE phonebook;
    create database [databasename];

    We created a database and named it as phonebook.
    MySql is not case sensitive, so you don’t have to write commands in capital letters.

    Make sure you include a semicolon (;) after every command.

    mysql>show databases;
    This command lists the available databases on the servers.
    mysql>use phonebook;
    In order to start creating tables we have to select a databases form the above list.
    If we haven’t used the show and use commands and instead tried continuing creating tables for our databases MySql would give us an error.
    Creating a table inside our database:
    mysql>create table friends (id int not null primary key auto_increment, fName varchar(15), lName varchar(15), phone varchar(20));
    We created a table with the name “friends”
    We created 3 “columns” in our table (id, fname, lname), assigned attributes to these columns (id column is integer, null values are not accepted, its values are auto incrementing and we assigned the primary key to that column), we assigned only one attribute (varchar) for fname and lname columns; varchar is used for text values and by 15 we mean the maximum length of the text would be 15 characters.
    Inserting values to the table:
    mysql>insert into friends (id, fname, lname, phone) values (null, “Albert”, “Kane”, “123-456789”), (null, “Brian”, “Foster”, “321-98765”);
    Querying a Database:
    mysql>select * from friends;
    Asterix ( * ) means everything
    Deleting a Database:
    mysql>drop database phonebook;
    Deleting a Table:
    mysql>drop table friends;


    Bonus:
    How to view data dictionary

    mysql>SELECT table_name, table_type, engine FROM information_schema.tables;

    Read More...

    Facebook–How to Prevent Applications From Posting on Your Behalf

  • Thursday, April 26, 2012
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  • One of the most annoying features of Facebook compared to Google+ is its privacy settings.
    image
    Almost all applications on Facebook require your full permission to post on your behalf. Although you can revoke this permission after you add the application to your profile, finding the right settings is rather hard.
    You need to open your account settings, click on apps and from there choose the app you want to revoke your permissions.
    image
    In the above example I opened Bubble Witch Saga. As you can see there is a remove option on the right side of post on your behalf. However if you do this some applications will require your permission again. In that case you can just change the setting of who can see the posts of that app and select only me option.
    Read More...