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

Listen To Your Favorite Movies On Your iPod

I sometimes get so facinated by the dialogues in a movie that I want to hear them over and over. Usually it requires watching the movie again but that is not always possible. So I gave it some thought and came up with a way to just listen to a movie. Here’s how to do it:

1. Find The Script:

Once you know which movie you want to listen to, try to find the original script for that movie. The best resource for finding movie scripts is www.IMSDb.com. IMSDB is the Internet Movie Scripts Database and contains scripts from hundreds of movies. You can search for a movie or browse by genre to find something like. It also contains transcripts from a lot of TV shows.

2. Save The Script:

The script is in plain text so you can simply copy and paste it into a text file. You can also edit the script to take out parts that you don’t like or delete any words like Cont’d. Once you are done editing, save it as a simple text file.

3. Convert To Audio:

There are a number of tools to do that with Spesoft and Zamzar being a couple of good ones. Just use them to convert the text file into an MP3 format.

4. Import into iTunes:

The MP3 files can be easily imported into iTunes, or better yet, you can convert them to the audio book format. Once imported into iTunes, you can listen to the movie whenever you want. If you import it as an audio book, your iPod will automatically remember your position in the file so you don’t have to remember where you left off.

This, ofcourse, would not be as fun as watching the actual movie since you won’t be hearing the dialogues from the original actors, but it can still provide a lot of entertainment value.

Create An iPod AudioBook From Multiple MP3 Files

If you have ever tried to download a free audio book, you will know that it is usually split into multiple MP3 files; and even though you can import these multiple MP3 files into your iTunes, it ruins all the fun. You have to switch from one file to another and you always have to remember where you stopped. But, now you can get all the cool features of the ipod audio book format by merging multiple mp3 files together and creating an iPod compatible audio b0ok.

To do so, simply download this free converter, choose the files you want to merge and click submit. It will take a few minutes but will provide you with a single audio book file for seamless listening.  You would no longer have to remember which file you stopped on because when listening to an audio book, iPod automatically remembers your last position.

You can also use this to convert each MP3 file into a separate audiobook file. During the conversion, you will be opted to add tags to the file such as author name, genre e.t.c.

Search Image Galleries With Kalooga

Flickr and Google are pretty good when you are searching for a couple of images. However, they can be a hassle if you are trying to find a lot of images on a specific topic. Here’s where Kalooga can help.

Kalooga is a new way of searching for images! Instead of searching for individual images, Kalooga searches for web pages that have complete image galleries related to a specific topic. When you search for something on Kalooga, it will show you 4 thumbnails from each gallery, tell you how many images there are in the gallery and what website it is from. Clicking on any of the thumbnail would take you to the actual gallery page.

Searching for galleries, instead of individual images, can provide more relevant results and be less time-consuming. You can also add your own galleries to Kalooga so they become easily searchable by other users.

See The Actual Link Behind any TinyURL

We see hundreds of TinyURLs posted everywhere; comments, blog posts, Twitter. Sometimes you don’t fully trust the source and you don’t want to click the TinyURL blindly. There is actually a way to see the complete web address behind any TinyURL without clicking on it.

It is simple. Just add the word preview between http:// and TinyURL and paste it in your address bar to see the webpage it is linking to. So http://tinyurl.com/xxx would become http://preview.tinyurl.com/xxx.

The preview feature is offered by the TinyURL application and can also be enabled for your browser. Once enabled, you will be able to see the complete URL for any TinyURL by just clicking on it. If you don’t want it anymore, just disable it. This feature is enabled and disabled for your browser by actually setting a cookie.

Browse Internet Faster By Managing Your Cache

When you visit a website, your browser stores that information in the Cache memory so it doesn’t have to download all the content when you re-visit it. Managing your Cache is pretty important to browse websites faster and to properly utilize your space.

Here are some tips on how to achieve that:

1. Increasing Your Cache:

Every browser has a default Cache size but you can easily increase it to allow more content to be downloaded. If you regularly visit a website that has large size images, you probably would need more than 15-20 MB to store those images in your Cache. You can increase that size to whatever is appropriate.

Here’s how to increase your Cache size in Firefox:

Go to Tools >> Options >> Advanced:

On the Network tab, you will see the option to specify a size for your offline storage. You can set it to as much as you want for example 100 MB, 200 MB or even 500 MB.

2. Emptying Your Cache:

Unfortunately, some browsers like Chrome, do not offer you the option to increase your Cache size. The only way to manage it effectively in such cases is to empty it as frequently as possible so a lot of old stuff doesn’t sit there. If you have IE7 or IE8 you can actually set the option to empty your cache every time you close the browser. To do this, go to Internet Options >> Advanced.

3. Monitoring Your Cache:

How do you know what Cache size is appropriate? Well, in most of the browsers you can monitor your Cache usage by simply typing about:cache in the address bar. This will show you how much inactive storage you have and if you should increase/decrease the size of your cache.

4. Changing the location of the Cache:

In some cases, the location of your cache memory in your hard drive might not the most effective one. If you desire to change that, you can do it by following these steps:

  1. In Firefox, type about:config in the address bar.
  2. Right click anywhere in the preferences window and choose New >> String.
  3. Copy and paste browser.cache.disk.parent_directory as the new preference.
  4. Enter path of the directory where you want your cache to be.

These tips can help you smartly manage your cache and have a faster browsing experience.

Rank Your Website Against Competitors With InstantRankMeter

You have done a lot of SEO work for your website and now you want to know where it stands in search engine ranking. Or may be you want to see exactly how you compare to competitors in Google, Bing and Yahoo! InstantRankmeter is a super easy web tool to do that. InstantRankmeter simply asks you for your website, couple of your competitors and up to 3 keywords. Their powerful script then creates visual graphs to help you understand how you rank against your competitors.

Here is an example where I tried to compare three major tech blogs, Lifehacker, Techcrunch and EnGadgadet using the keywords Firefox and iPhone:

The first set of charts represents the position of the websites in search engines.

The second set provides you with a visibility score matrix.

The third set shows you actual search engine results based on your keywords.

Via [FeedMyApp]

Smart Multi-Tasking With WinSplit-Revolution

If you are an average computer user, chances are you have multiple windows open at any given time. Switching back and forth between these windows become a hassle and decreases productivity. What if you could arrange all your open windows in whatever way you want and look at all of them simultaneously? Now you can do this with a freeware called WinSplit-Revolution.

WinSplit-Revolution allows you full control over how to display your windows. You can have 2 small windows on the left and 1 on the right, you can have 6 equally sized windows, a mosaic of 5 screens of different sizes or any other scheme that suits you well. You can re-size the windows for each position by choosing one of the many pre-defined sizes.

Another excellent feature WinSplit has is the Hotkeys. For example, just press Ctrl +Alt + Left to move a window to the left or Ctrl + Alt +Right to move it to the right. Pressing Ctrl +Alt + M would bring up a mosaic of all the windows open and Ctrl + Alt +C would close all windows. However, hotkeys are not the only option to move windows around. You can also just drag and move them. You can also configure the hotkeys according to your requirements.

WinSplit-revolution is only available for Windows right now. You can download it here.

Via [Killer Startups]

Search The Web Real-Time With Collecta

When you do a search on Google, Bing or Yahoo!, they search through the millions of websites that have already been indexed. This is good enough if you want to know about something that has already happened, but doesn’t work if you are searching for something real-time.

Suppose you want to see what people are saying about President Obama right at this very moment. Google and Bing would not be able to provide these results but Collecta can. Collecta is a search engine that searches through social media for information that was published after you started your search. It means that all the search results are real-time and don’t include any stale information from previous days or even earlier from that day.   Collecta would continue searching the web and display information as it is published on the web. If, at a point, you think you have gotten too many results, just pause the search. You can always resume the search if you want more results.

Collecta searches through social media like blogs, forums, comments and Twitter updates. You can click on a particular result to see if it is a blog post, a comment or a twitter message and go to the actual web page containing the result.

Mute Your Noisy Twitter Friends With Muuter

Every now and then, somebody you are following on Twitter starts to be annoying. One option is to un-follow such people but then you might forget to follow them back again. Also, they might realize that you are not following them and cause a sourness in your relationship.

A new Twitter application Muuter, solves this problem by temporarily muting these friends for you. Just enter the Twitter username of that person and specify the time period you want to mute them for. It can be anything from 1 hour to 1 week. If during that time period you decide to revert back, you can simply click on cancel and start receiving their tweets again. When you are putting somebody on mute, you also have the option to notify that person and/or tweet this publicly. (Why on God’s earth would somebody do that? Anyways, the option is there if somebody decides to use it).

There is no software to download and no sign-ups to do. Simply go to Muuter.com and sign in to your Twitter account. After you grant Muuter access to your Twitter account, you will be all set to use it.

McAfee Warns Of KoobFace Worm On Twitter

McAfee Avert Labs Blog just announced that the Koobface worm has reached Twitter. Appearantly, users are sent fake tweets with a video link and once they click on that they are prompted to download a video codec. However, instead of downloading a video codec, the malware is downloaded to the hard drive. These variants have been detected as W32/Koobface.worm.gen.e and W32/Koobface.worm.gen.h by McAfee.

What to do if you get a video link? Don’t download anything it prompts you for!

Create and Share UML Diagrams Online

If you have ever drawn a class diagram, you would know that it is not an easy job. Dragging lines and boxes, and organizing them makes it an arduous task. However, now there is a great web application that allows you to create UML (Unified Modelling Language) diagrams without drawing a single line.

Yuml is a free web app that allows you to create Class diagrams or Case diagrams by simply typing your diagram in shorthand.  For example, just type [User]-(Login) in the text box and click submit to generate the diagram. To edit the diagram, just change the text and your diagram will be re-drawn. You can save your diagram as a PNG or JPG image or even download it as a PDF.  You can also get a link to embed the image into your blog or wiki.  Yuml also has simple and straight-forward guidelines about using the syntax and formatting the diagram that can help you in creating diagrams without any hassle.

If you think these diagrams are kinda plain, you can also add colors to them. Just typing [Customer{bg:orange}] would make the Customer box orange in color. Yuml also provides an option to add sticky notes to your diagrams. A number of samples are also provided to outline different Yuml features and guidelines.  Yuml is free to use but  universities and businesses can also buy a private license to install it on their computers.