All posts by Tehseen Baweja

Tehseen likes to write about Internet tools that make life easier. Check out his blog at Ijaar.com for more good stuff or follow him on Twitter @tehseenbaweja

Allmyapps:Install All Your Favorite Apps With A Single Click

Every time you buy a new computer or re-install an OS, you have to go through the time-consuming process of finding, downloading and installing all the applications that you need for your computer. No matter how fast you are, installing 10-20 applications one at a time is a real drag; unless, you know about Allmyapps.

Allmyapps is a simple application store for popular Windows and Linux apps that lets you create a list of your favorite apps and then install them all with a single click. No need to download and install them one at a time. Simple browse through the large collection of apps at Allmyapps.com and keep adding your desired software to your list.

Once you are done, just download the Allmyapps secure installer and click the install button at the bottom of your list to install all those apps on your hard drive.

Each application listing also includes the number of installs it has had and user reviews. If you want to go the traditional way, you can also install each app separately.

Techie-Buzz Verdict:

Allmyapps is a real time-saver when you have to install a number of apps. Adding them to a list is also helpful since it allows you to first identify all the apps you want and then install them with a single click. As the number of apps grow in the store, it should see increased popularity and usefulness among users.

Google Docs Now Lets You Zip And Export All Files

You could always download any files you wanted from your Google Docs account, but recently Google implemented a much more convenient solution to backing up your files. Now you can compress all your Google Docs files in a single zip file and download to your hard drive.

The feature may not be available for all the users yet as Google is rolling it out slowly. To do so, simply select all your files and click on the More Actions button. This will allow you to select the export option from the list and export all the files as a zip file.

Increase User Traffic By Embedding Flash Games On Your Website

If you experience a decent traffic on your website but struggle to retain them, one idea is to use flash games to engage users. It would obviously not work for a niche website but if you are a fun, community website that has a variety of content, adding flash games might help you significantly.

HeyZap is one of the websites that has over 12,000 flash-based games to attract more users. You can easily embed these games on your website by simply copy-pasting a line of code. You can even customize the widget and choose what type of games would be available to your users. In addition to increasing earnings as a result of traffic increase, HeyZap also lets you earn a 15% commission on all the in-game sales that happen through your website.

A handy analytic tool tells you how the games are doing and how much money you have earned. A flexible API also lets you customize the content for your flash games widget.

Techie-Buzz Verdict:

HeyZap is a great resource for embedding thousands of flash games on your website. It is easy to use and can increase your website traffic significantly. The collection of games is also huge and provides an easy way to retain users.

Send Email, Text and Phone Messages To Groups Using SendGM

You can always use an email client like Gmail or Yahoo! to send messages to a group of people, however, if you have many groups and do it quite often, it becomes hard to manage. For example, what if you want to send a message to a group in your Gmail Contacts list but Gmail is down?

All these issues have been addressed by a new web service SendGM. SendGM focuses on a simple goal of helping you manage your groups and send email, text and phone messages to your groups for free. Once you create a group using SendGM, the group will receive its own email address such as [email protected]. As a result, you can send an email to the whole group by sending an email to [email protected] using any email client. No need to be dependent on any particular email service to manage your groups and group messages.

You can create groups by adding the details of each member or send them an invite so they can fill their own details. Each group also gets a separate web page that can be used to manage the group. A couple of other value-adding features are acknowledgment   of messages from the recipients and ability to conduct polls and surveys for groups.

Techie-Buzz Verdict:

SendGM seems like a very promising and useful service, however, they do need a bit more focus on their interface and navigation. Right now, its hard for a new user to fully grasp the features since they are scattered on different pages. Overall, if the service does not come up with any restrictions in terms of its usage, it would be a very useful service for people to use.

Amazon Kindle Coming to Mac OS X

Amazon Kindle is right now just known as the handy ebook reader. However, to compete with Sony and now Barnes & Noble, Amazon is also planning to launch software versions of Kindle that would allow users to download and read ebooks on their computers.

Initially, with the Windows 7 launch, Microsoft hinted about a Windows version of the software coming soon and now Amazon is announcing that a Mac version is on its way as well. This is an effort by Amazon to make Kindle compatible with more and more platforms to acquire more market share. Amazon Kindle already has a compatible version for iPhone/iPod Touch.

There is no estimated shipping date for the software yet. However, an interesting point is that release of Apple Tablet would put Apple in direct competition with Amazon due to its small size and portability.

Watch Netflix Movies On Sony PlayStation

Netflix is trying to hook up with as many platforms as possible for its movie streaming service. As of now you can instantly watch a movie from Netflix on your computer, Xbox, DVD player and Televisions.

The next portal that is being added to Netflix streaming service is Sony Playstation 3. The streaming would start next month and anybody who has a Netflix membership to instant movies will be able to watch movies using their PS3. Netflix is continuously increasing the number of instantly watchable movies which makes good sense with their strategy of partnering with more and more platforms.

Unfortunately, this is only for US as instantly watchable movies are not available outside of the US yet. With an estimated installed base of 9 million users, PS3 would give Netflix a good push-up in terms of growth.

Download Adobe Lightroom 3 Beta For Free

If you have ever tried digital editing of photos, you would know that Adobe Lightroom is the best software for that. No other software even comes close to offering the extensive features found in Lightroom.

The bad part is that the current version of Lightroom (version 2) costs $300, but the good news is that you can download the newer version (version 3) for free and use it till April 2010. It is ofcourse a Beta version but comes with all the goodness. It is meant to be an evaluation version before Lightroom 3 is officially fully released in a few months.

Download Adobe Lightroom 3 here.

Mozilla RainDrop: The Future Of Email?

With the announcement of Google Wave, developers started thinking if our email is really up to par or if something can be done to improve it. A lot of people threw in a lot of ideas but one of the most significant ones that recently came out is called RainDrop.

Mozilla is introducing RainDrop as an open web technology to create useful and compelling messaging experiences. It is supposed to work by bringing important messages to the front and give them more prominence than other messages. When a Flickr photo or YouTube video arrives from a friend, you should be able to see it as part of the message instead of going to a new window.

Your mailing lists and notifications should not be spread all over the inbox and should be organized so you can skim through them when you want. A message from your boss, for example, might be more prominent than a shopping receipt from Walmart. RainDrop will also cater to other messaging services like Facebook and Twitter so you can manage them easily within your inbox. Direct messages and @replies on Twitter would be given more prominence in your inbox than say a ReTweet from a friend.

For more screenshots and explanatory videos, check the official page of RainDrop here.

Techie-Buzz Verdict:

RainDrop promises to make our mailbox intelligent. Using RainDrop our mailbox would know/learn what messages we are more eager to see and which messages should not be piled on us till later. If Mozilla delivers the RainDrop technology just like they promise, it will be a very useful innovation in our daily communication. In addition to saving time, it will tremendously increase productivity and give way to use this intelligence in other applications as well.

SwatchSpot: Choose Colors For Your Next Design

If you have ever designed graphics you know that sometimes it becomes hard to get the right colors. You want to create something unique and new but you are not sure what colors you should use or may be your mind isn’t even going to some of the colors. If you are ever stuck in a case like this, SwatchSpot can be your savior.

SwatchSpot is a simple web app that provides you with random colors swatches for your design inspiration. SImply head over to SwatchSpot and you’ll see a palette of 6 different colors with their color codes. If you like any of them, you can simply copy the code or you can download the whole palette as a png file.

If you don’t like the colors in the palette, simply click on reload palette to see a new set of colors.

Techie-Buzz Verdict:

SwatchSpot is one of the simplest web apps built around a powerful concept. If you are running out of color ideas and can’t thing of more colors, visit SwatchSpot to get your inspiration. The application works perfectly but I think it would provide even more value if a user to could combine different colors using the app and create their customized palette.

Find And Download Google Chrome Extensions

We have covered Google Chrome extensions in quite detail here, here and here. We have told you how to install and uninstall extensions and also told you about some great extensions. But what if you wanted to see what extensions are available on the web?

ChromeExtensions is a great resource to do exactly that. It indexes tons of Google Chrome extensions sorted into categories that you can browse through. Similar to the Mozilla Add-ons website, ChromeExtensions offers quick installation of these extensions to your Chrome developer version.

Each listing includes a list of older versions of the extension and user reviews. You can find extensions for everything ranging from Tabs and bookmarks to social media and translation utilities.

Techie-Buzz Verdict:

With so many Chrome extensions coming out, an index of all the extensions was a much needed resource. The ability to browse through different categories and write reviews adds even more value for visitors. As the number of extensions grow, this will serve as a one stop resource for everything related to Chrome extensions.

How To Create Forms Using Google Docs

A lot of people know that Google Docs can be used to create spreadsheets, word documents and presentations, but not everybody knows that you can also create forms and surveys using Google Docs.

Here are some simple instructions on how to do that:

1. From your Gmail or Google account, click on Documents. This will take you to Google Docs.

2. In Google Docs, click the create new button on the top-left corner and select forms.


3. If you want to customize the look of your form, click on Theme and choose a theme you like.

4. To add new questions or boxes to the for, click the add item button.

That’s it. You can add questions, paragraphs, check boxes, lists and multiple choice questions to your form. Once your form is saved, you can email it to the recipients or embed it on a website without any hassle. You can also come back to the form to view the responses or make any changes to your   form.

Create Thumbnails From Images Using Moo0 ImageThumbnailer

Most of the default image viewers do a good job of showing thumbnails of   images inside a folder. However, there have been a few occasions where I wanted to actually create a thumbnail of an image file. One way is to work with an image re-sizer, but the number of steps you will need to perform for such a simple task aren’t worth it.

An easy alternative is a specialty freeware that can easily convert your images into thumbnails. Moo0 ImageThumbnailer is a software that allows you to create thumbnails in HTML format. Once you have installed this Windows based software on your machine, launch the Thumbnailer and simply drag and drop the image files you want to re-size.

The software would create a thumbnail folder on the same path and store the newly created thumbnail image in there. You can change the desired thumbnail size anytime by clicking the advanced options button. The image formats currently supported are png, gif, jpeg and bmp.


Techie-Buzz Verdict:

The software does a pretty neat and quick job of creating thumbnails, however, the fact that there is no support for batch resizing makes it a little less useful. The image formats supported is also very limited and need to be increased for a better performance. However, if all you want to do is create a thumbnail from a few images, it does a perfect job.

Average Rating: 3/5

Download it here.

http://www.softpedia.com/get/Multimedia/Graphic/Image-Convertors/Moo0-ImageThumbnailer.shtml

Nook: Barnes & Noble Launches The Coolest eBook Reader

It was Sony that introduced the first ever digital book reader; followed by Amazon Kindle which took the market by storm with its lower price and rich features. However, they both are bound to get some serious competition as Barnes & Noble just announced their eBook reader called “Nook”.

Nook, is one of the coolest gadgets that you’ll get to try for a price hovering just over $250. With its Android based technology, Nook is being claimed as the most advanced eBook reader. With a compact size, built-in wireless and 3G, a 2 GB storage, microSD expansion slot, a USB port and support for PDFs, Nook might be the sexiest gadget for a long while.

When they say advanced book reader, they are talking about features such as making notes, bookmarking and highlighting text. Nook also introduces a lending feature where books can be lent to other readers or capable devices.

Techie-Buzz Verdict:

Even though Nook comes with a lot of promises and hopes, there is still an air of uncertainty around factors such as reliability and user-friendliness based on the fact that Barnes & Noble does not have a history of producing consumer electronics. If there are no surprises in the hardware and no out-of-the-blue bugs, Nook will be a tough competitor for Amazon Kindle and Sony.

Create A Twitter ShoutBox For Your Website

Twitter is the way to go! Every other person that you know tweets and what better way to interact with your blog/website visitors than letting them tweet their thoughts? If you think that is a lot of work, think again!

Jotabl is a web application that lets you embed Twitter based shoutboxes anywhere on the web. Simply sign in to Jotabl with your Twitter account and specify the URL of your website. Jotabl will provide you with a small HTML code that you can paste anywhere on your website to have the shout box. Simple as that!

If you want more options, you can customize the look of your shout box and set it to filter swear words. When somebody visits your website, all they need to do is sign in with their Twitter account and they are all set to post a message on the Shout box. You can also block any notorious users from using your shout box by signing in to your account   at Jotabl.

Create And Share Short Links For Google Maps

Google Maps are amazing, nobody can deny that. In addition to the whole world map, you also get to see satellite and terrain images and the ability to zoom into any point. However, it does not provide any functionality to share a specific location on the map with somebody else.

To fill this gap, a new URL Shortening service has come up that creates shortened links of specific locations in Google map. Simply head over to xm.my, and browse the map to select the location you want to share. Once you are done, click on save map and you will be provided with a shortened URL for example xm.my/abc that you can share with anybody.

You can also share your selected location on Twitter, Facebook or Delicious with a single click. If you just want to share your exact location with somebody, just click on   detect my location and the service would create a short URL for your location that would even include your longitude and latitude.

For example, http://xm.my/eKca would take you to the specific location of Detroit Opera House on Google Maps.