All posts by Amit Banerjee

Amit has been writing for Techie Buzz since early 2009 and keeps a close eye on web apps, Google and all things Tech. He also writes at his own tech blog, Ampercent. Follow him on Twitter @ amit_banerjee

JumpControl Adds ShutDown, Restart, Logoff and Hibernate Options in Windows7 Taskbar

[Windows only]: Windows 7   taskbar allows you to pin applications and folders to the taskbar for quicker access. You can right click an application or the respective start menu entry and pin the program to the Windows7 taskbar for one click access, which is great !

JumpControl is a free utility for Windows7 which allow you to add Shutdown, Restart, Hibernate, Sleep, Log off and Lock Computer options in Windows 7 taskbar. The idea is great, you can quickly turn off the computer or restart it without having to click the start button or use any keyboard shortcut.

The best part of JumpControl is that it’s portable, hence can be used from a removable drive without installation or modifying Windows registry.

Download JumpControl

Once you have downloaded the package, extract it and right click the JumpControl.exe file. Choose “Pin to taskbar”, as shown below:


Clicking the JumpControl icon from the taskbar allows you to handpick the different options you want to show as a taskbar item. Since I am the only user of my computer, I unchecked the “Switch user” option and checked the remaining ones which includes Shut down, Restart, Sleep, Hibernate, Lock and Logoff.


The result was a nifty little icon in Windows 7 taskbar, right clicking which shows different options to shutdown or restart the computer with just one click.

Make sure you read our earlier trick on how to shutdown the computer at a specified time using a timer. Thanks Vishal.

Techie Buzz Verdict

The options in JumpControl are cool but it’s very basic. There can be improvements e.g adding a timer, shutting down the computer at a specified time or shutting down the computer after the downloads has finished and so on.

Techie buzz Rating: 3 (Good).

Stylebot: Customize Any Website’s Design With Your Own CSS and Save Them Locally

If you are a web designer, the very first extension which should be installed in your browser is definitely Firebug. The extension is available for Firefox as well as Google Chrome and allows you to customize the CSS and style properties of different web elements on any web page.

One of the problems with Firebug is that you are not able to save the customized design for later use. Of course, you can copy the applied changes to a simple text file but then again it is not very convenient. This is because when you open the same webpage later, you have to apply the styles all over again.

This is extremely annoying and time consuming, especially when you are designing something and want to implement the changes after you have completed the whole design. In case of Firebug, you have to note down the changes and apply them recursively.

Stylebot is a chrome extension which aims to simplify the customization part of different web elements, making it more accessible and adaptable.

After the extension is installed, click the Stylebot icon placed just next to the chrome address bar and you will see a sidebar appearing to the right where you can define the different CSS rules.

You can modify the font type, font sizes, background color, hex codes and pretty much every CSS element. When you are done, Stylebot will save the style properties locally in your computer so that everytime you visit the same webpage, the applied styles are executed.

You don’t need to write the applied changes elsewhere because Stylebot will note the URL of the webpage and save the style changes automatically, which can be seen from the extension options.

To see Stylebot in action, watch the video demonstration below:

Hence, if you want a good tool which can save customized CSS rules of any webpage, it’s worth giving Stylebot a try.

WatchForFolder Monitors All the Changes Made to A Windows Folder

[Windows only]: The user account control feature in Windows7 alerts users when a program is about to change something in the registry but unfortunately there is no way to determine whether a program is going to modify some folders in your system.

During installation of a program, a folder may be renamed and some files may be deleted or overwritten. If you want to monitor whether a program is changing the contents of some of the important folders of your system, try WatchForFolder

After downloading the package, extract it and run the w4f22.exe file to start monitoring important folders in your system. The program does not require any installation and thus can be used from any removable drive.

Here is how the main interface looks:

First select the folder you want to monitor and then define the changes or events in the “Select the Events to Monitor” section.You can monitor the following changes:

  • Whether new files are created or not.
  • Whether older files are deleted or overwritten.
  • Whether new folders are created or existing folders are deleted or renamed.
  • Whether any new media file has been inserted or older media files are removed.

There is another section named “Select the Action on Events” which allows you to run a program once any of the above actions are performed by Windows. This is useful when you want to get notified when installing new programs changes the content of important folders in your system.

A good idea would be to use an alarm audio file in the “Action on Events” section which will play a sound when any of the defined actions is triggered.

You can configure the program to throw desktop notifications and pop up messages or write the changes in a simple log file as well.

All in all, a simple utility which will be handy if you are a freeware addict and want to monitor changes made to important folders in your system.

Webby Wednesday: Bookmark and Aggregate Videos, Learn How to Cook Anything, Share a List Of Links

Welcome to  Webby Wednesdays – a brief compilation of some useful web services which we found useful during the course of this week.

RadBox – The Read it Later for Videos

If you are video addict and want an easy way to bookmark web videos for later viewing, try Radbox.me. The site lets you bookmark videos from any web page using a neat browser bookmarklet, much the same way you bookmark articles using Read it later.

Once you hit the bookmarklet, the video is saved to your Radbox account for later viewing. The site also lets you share the video with your friends on social networking sites, you can again delete videos from your Radbox account. It’s much like a place for aggregating videos from all over the web rather than using sites like YouTube where you are not given much options to gather videos from different websites.

CookThing: Learn How to Cook Anything

If you are new to the kitchen and your recent hobby is to learn how to cook a dish, Cookthing.com is the best site to start with. Although you can search for the recipe in Google, but CookThing is more user friendly as you can choose what you want to cook, pick the ingredients and the site will display the corresponding recipes.

If you are unable to find a particular recipe, you can post a question in the CookThing user’s community.

Urlist: Combine Multiple Shortened Links And Share With Anyone

Have a bunch of links and want to shorten all of them and merge them together? Check out Urlist, the service lets you enter any number of links and then allows you to create a shortened link of the whole combination.

This can be useful when you want to create a chain of subsequent pages and don’t want to note down multiple links to share them repeatedly. You can also use the service to create a guided tour of something, may be upload screenshots of a tutorial and then combine the steps so that your friend spends less time opening the links. No signups or registration is required to use the service.

On each Wednesday, we will come up with a brief roundup of new web tools which  provide value and add something extra to your daily technology. Stay tuned!

BitDefender Antivirus Pro And Internet Security 2011 Offline Installer

Bitdefender provides some of the very good products for internet security and the company has recently launched Bitdefender Total Security 2011 which protects your computer from spyware, malware, virus and any kind of malicious threats. The Bitdefender Total Security 2011 suite includes an enhanced firewall, antivirus, file encryption and automatic updates.

The impressive thing about Bitdefender’s latest product is the search advisor feature which shows you warnings in case you click a link which may lead to a phishing website or may contain malware.

You can download all the products as one suite or may choose to install individual setups separately from the Bitdefender downloads page. This includes Bitdefender Internet security 2011, Bitdefender Total security 2011 and Bitdefender Antivirus pro 2011.

Download Offline Installers For Bitdefender Antivirus 2011

I feel really frustrating to use online installers for two reasons. First, when I have to reuse the product at a later time, I have to download it again and can’t use it instantly after a system format.

Second, having two computers at my desk – I have to separately run the online installers on both computers, which is very time consuming.

Following are some links which will let you download the entire offline installer that are included in the Bitdefender 2011 Antivirus suite:

BitDefender Antivirus pro 2011

BitDefender Internet Security 2011

BitDefender Total Security 2011

BitDefender Antivirus 2010

BitDefender Internet Security 2010

BitDefender Total Security 2010

Thanks Mayur for the links !

Twitter Launches “Twitter Tales”, Wants to Know Your Twitter Story

First it was Facebook, then it was Google and now it’s Twitter who wants you to submit a story and let the rest of the world know about it.   A few months back, Facebook pioneered the idea of “user stories” thereby inviting users to write all the creative ways they use Facebook nowadays.

Google followed suit and asked the users to submit their “search stories” which is basically about incidents when Google changed their lives. Twitter has joined the league by announcing the launch of Twitter Tales – a place where you can share your experience on how creatively you interact with the largest micro blogging site.

Presently, there are three stories listed:

Life: @natashabadhwar is a mother/filmmaker/photographer/writer from New Delhi who sees Twitter as a form of self therapy.
Community: @caltrain is a crowd-sourced Twitter account where people can help others avoid pitfalls on their daily commute.
Humor

Each week, Twitter will add a new story in the official Twitter blog’s sidebar which will highlight how individuals and businesses from around the world help make the Twitter experience awesome. You can read the user submitted stories from tales.twitter.com

Twitter has been quite busy in recent times and it’s clear that the company is focusing more and more on the user.   In the past weeks, the micro blogging giant came up with a Tweet button ( great for branding), added Fast Follow and SMS following (again a nice way to engage beginners), added “Who to follow and You both follow” and now it’s the “Twitter tale”.

With the number of Twitter user’s growing everyday, it’s imperative that Twitter adds more and more engagement and draws users to fun aspects of the community.

To submit your Twitter tale, all you have to do is open your email client, write the tale and send it to [email protected] And yes, you are allowed to write more than 140 characters !

( Image credit )

SlideShare Announces Pro Plans – Advanced Analytics, Branded Channel and More

Slideshare is a useful website where users can upload PowerPoint presentations, documents, videos and share with the world for free. You can also browse through presentations and documents uploaded by other users and follow people who have similar interests.

The company has now launched more features labeled under “Slideshare Pro” which will allow more functionality for premium publishers.

The following screenshot shows what these plans will cost and what the user is expected to gain with each plan:

Users who have signed up with the free plan can continue to use the existing features while professionals and business organizations can enjoy advanced features on a monthly subscription basis. The Pro plans starts at $19 a month, more information can be found on the official pricing page

With the PRO plan, companies can track and monitor their uploaded content ( presentations, documents and videos). Some of the very nifty features include social media monitoring, removing the advertisements, better analytics, lead capture on your content and a branded channel. Every Slideshare pro user gets a Pro badge and can upload HD videos.

Here is what Slideshare CEO Rashmi Sinha said in an official blog post:

We have bundled all these features together into Pro Accounts with three tiers. First is Silver ($19 / month) which is for any advanced user of SlideShare. You get access to Analytics and Social Analytics, ads are removed from your account, you can capture 30 leads per month, the ability to upload HD videos and a Pro badge which tells the world you are a Pro user.

Gold Pro accounts ($49 / month) are meant for small and medium-sized businesses. You get everything at Silver level. Additionally you also get a channel with a custom look and feel, that makes SlideShare a seamless extension of your brand.

I think what Slideshare is doing is really neat business. First it attracts the novice audience by letting them sign up for free, download documents and presentations, sharing content across social media and generate the buzz. Once the service becomes popular and well known, the company goes the extra mile and allows the user to pay a small subscription fee and do more with their content. After all, “Everything in the Internet should be free” does not fit everywhere.

Given the large number of businesses that use Slideshare, a PRO plan fits in naturally.

Via Businesswire

Google to Hire An Ex White House Employee, “Google Ideas” in The Making

First, a word or two regarding the new guy expected soon in Google’s office – Jared Cohen.

Cohen is a member of United States policy planning staff where he has served since 2006. Initially brought in by Condoleezza Rice, Janed works under Hilary Clinton and focuses on counter terrorism issues and cyber threats.

Fortune tech reports that Janed will soon be departing the white house and would join hands with Google, the search giant is in the process of making a new entity called Google ideas. Google Ideas is a “think tank” office within Google and Cohen will join the team to provide ideas and solve problems that are faced by developing countries.

Cohen’s current employee, Hillary clinton is aware of Cohen’s departure and this video beautifully describes Cohen’s relationship with Google CEO Eric Schmidt

Not to forget Cohen’s earlier initiatives during post election protests in Iran, Cohen reached out to Twitter founder Jack Dorsey and urged the company to reschedule its planned maintenance of the website so that Iranians could keep tweeting.

Download and Install Multiple Programs At Once With FreeApps

How many software programs do you use regularly? From Firefox to Thunderbird, from an Antivirus program to an image editor, there are just a whole bunch of applications you use daily.

The problem with multiple programs becomes predominant when you format your operating system and sit down installing each application one by one. Go through those setup wizards, complete it like a robot and then pick another one.Another problem is getting the latest version of al the programs from different websites. It’s really frustrating to open a bunch of websites and download the setup files manually.

What if you can create a single application installer for multiple programs and install all of them in one shot ? This will save you time and you don’t have to manage multiple setup files located in different folders on your computer.

FreeApps, a simple website which is similar to AllMyApps lets you handpick software applications from a huge list and lets you download a single setup file for multiple programs. And yes, it’s free with absolutely no strings attached, you don’t have to register or give them your email credentials.

All the programs are organized in different categories e.g Antivirus, Image editing, browsers, email client, IM programs and the like. Just pick the programs and the website will let you download a single setup fie in your computer.

This installer will not download the complete setup file of all the software applications you selected. When you run the installer, it will download all the latest version of the programs in your computer and install them automatically. This is so amazing, just run the tiny program and it does all the hard work in the background.

There is one downside – the installation will abort if the internet connection fails in the middle. Otherwise the app does a very good job in decluttering your hard drive from the older versions of programs and saves your precious time, when you are too tired in setting up programs from scratch.

Tweets From The Official Tweet Button Reveal The Actual Location of a Shortened URL

The problem with shortened links is that you have absolutely no idea to which webpage the link is going. The link can lead to an authority blog, a YouTube video, a spam site or may return a 404 error page in the worst case.

There are some tools and browser extensions available which you can use to know the actual location of shortened links, but if someone is using the official Twitter buttons to tweet links, you don’t have to.

The official Twitter button uses Twitter’s own URL shortening service (t.co) to shorten the link of the webpage which a user wants to share with his Twitter followers. The URL is sent to the pop up box, the user can customize the message and then send the tweet.

But when the links are posted on his Twitter profile, the actual location of the URL is revealed automatically. That means, you can know exactly to which domain a link is pointing to, if someone uses the Twitter button to share a webpage.

Agree that the URL’s are abbreviated but this feature will reduce some clutter from your ever expanding timeline, you can skip some links just by looking at the tweet and don’t have to open the URL.

The disadvantage : it consumes valuable characters, but that’s fine because the URL will be shrinked depending upon the length of the title of the post.

As of now, the expanded links work only with Twitter.com and partner sites or desktop clients still show the t.co version. Here is a screenshot from my Tweetdeck desktop client: