ZiePod – A Cool Podcast Player

I have recently taken up to listening to podcasts while working. I know I am very late to the game but with a less than 15 minute commute to work, I haven’t had the urge/need to download podcasts to my iPod and listen to them. But, recently with my day job getting hectic and finding little time at home to keep up with the tech news, I am resorting to listening to podcasts, while working, on variety of topics to keep myself informed.

I tried a few different podcast players and now have settled to using a very cool one from the makers of Newzie and it’s called Ziepod. ZiePod Logo

ZiePod is a very cool podcast receiver and is free to use and it’s paid counterpart ZiePod+ has few more features like support for video.

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FontEXPRO: Free Font Viewer For Windows

This is a guest post written by Brown Baron. He blogs at BrownBaron.com where he writes about Technology, gaming news and reviews, gadgets and more. If you want to receive regular updates, then you can subscribe to his blog.

How many of you can remember what all your installed fonts look like? If you’re like me, you’ve got tons of cool fonts installed but can’t remember what they are or what they look like. If you’re going to use any text on your graphics, wouldn’t it be nice to have an easy way of previewing your fonts?

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Ten things you should do before and after re-installing your OS

Update: Post edited to correct errors  on 26th October 2009.

Re-installing an Operating system is a nightmare for many people, since people always tend to lose data, forget to take backups, and they almost go blank after they re-install. I have faced a similar situation, when I was new, however, if we plan our re-installation well, I can bet you will never tend to lose your data.

In this DIY ( Do it yourself ) article, we will learn how to manage things before and after installing your OS. If you are at the point to reinstall your OS in near future , read these first!!

#1 Backing up files

If you have a habit of saving all the files in My Documents, this should be your first step. Check out all possible folders like My Documents, My Pictures, My Music and My Videos, and copy whatever is required to some other folder. If you fail to copy the data, you might lose it as it exists in same drive where you will install the OS.

#2 Save Your Configuration and Profiles

Most of the software’s provide users with an option to backup profiles or software configuration. If you plan to re-install the software again, it is always recommended to backup your settings and configuration and store it on a external drive.

#3 Saving all your Download Folders and Files

If you download and store files in your operating system drive, don’t forget to copy it to an external drive or to some other partition. It is always advisable to store downloads in a partition, which does not include the operating system file.

This will save you time when it comes to re-installing your OS.

#4 Rethink Partition Size.

If you have a huge hard drive with a single partition, it is always advisable to create multiple partitions to store files. This will help you the routine of copy pasting files whenever you want to re-install your OS again.

Windows 7 and Windows Vista provide users with an option to create partitions from free space on the harddrive without using any external software. You can refer to a tutorial on how to create partitions from free space in Windows 7 & Vista.

#5 Note Down Things you Need to Install

Whenever you install a new OS, you might also have to reinstall software again. Make a quick list of software you want to reinstall, so that you can quickly install them again. Here is a list of things that you might might help you out.

  • DRIVERS
  • Antivirus and Spywares
  • Browsers and addons.
  • Office Suites
  • Media Players and updates.
  • Rest of the things.

#6 Reinstall OS and Software

Install all the drivers and software you require after reinstalling your system. Sometimes installing drivers may require to restart the PC, so try and finish all the installation process before you start exploring the new OS.

#7 Copy the backups and Organize Them

In the first step, we backed up all the important files and folders. Once you have reinstalled your OS, you can copy those files back to the computer. Here are some tips to organize your files, so that you don’t have to move them back and forth, every time you want to reinstall your OS.

  • Divide things into different categories. For example, pictures, music, documents and others if you require.
  • Create folders in drive where the OS is not installed.
  • Now sort the files which we backed up in first step and put them into the respective folders.

Instead of saving files in the default folders, it is recommended to save them on a non OS drive, as this will save you time when it comes to reinstalling a OS.

#8 Import Your Software Profiles and Settings

Use the software configuration and profile settings you created in step 2 and import it back using the tools provided by the software. Doing this will restore the software to the state it was in before reinstalling the OS.

#9 Creating a Restore Point

If you are using windows, use Restore facility to create a restore point. This will help you out in case your system does not work after installing some software or is not working for some unknown reason.

#10 Double Check everything

This last step is for your assurance. Double check all the things and backed up files. If you are done with them and sure you did not miss any of them, you can safely delete the backed up folders and files. Keep this list handy so that you will be able to reinstall your OS without much hassle.

With my experience, I have followed the list for a long time now. It really helps in saving my time and data all the time. Most of the data loss in computers occurs when users reinstall their system, these steps will help you avoid those Oops moments in future.

Do you have any tips which you use in this situation? If yes do tell us in comments so we all can share and save things.

This is a guest post written by Ashish Mohta. He blogs at  TechnoSpot.net where he writes about Technology, Tips and Software. If you want to receive regular updates, then  subscribe to his blog.

Witty – A Twitter client for Windows Vista

This is a guest post written by Madhur Kapoor. He blogs at Whoismadhur.com where he writes about Technology, Blogging, Tutorials and Gaming. If you want to receive regular updates, then subscribe to his blog. He is also the author of a Soccer blog called TheSoccerPitch.com

If you are a fan of twitter and want to use twitter some way other than web based, then there are several options available. However, if you are looking for something which is similar to Yahoo Messenger for Vista, then Witty is the right client for you.

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PuTTY Connection Manager – Get Tabbed PuTTY Interface

I asked a couple of months earlier if PuTTY can get any Snazzier? I am going to have to take that back and admit that it just did. And more.

PuTTY is one of the most loved tool for anyone connecting to a Linux or Unix server from Windows. It helps to easily save connection information and its properties in an easy to use interface. But, it has stayed with that basic functionality for years.

Earlier, we looked at how PuTTY Tray enhanced its usability a little by being able to minimize it to the system tray as well as give it a nice icon to identify. The only gripe I had with it was the lack of a tabbed interface in an otherwise awesome tool.

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How to enable NumLock Key to be ON when Linux Boots

If you’ve tried Linux before, chances are you found this frustrating. The NumLock key on your keyboard is by default OFF when Linux boots. There’s a way to enable NumLock key stay in the ON state when Linux starts up.

Here’s how to do it if you’re in Ubuntu:

Using the shell, install NumLockX by typing this command

$ sudo apt-get install numlockx

Otherwise you can download the tarball from here, compile and install it by executing the following set of commands from the directory where the tarball was extracted:

./configure
make
make install
make xsetup
make xinitrc

Reboot, you should see that the NumLock key is on by default.

Download BitTorrent Files Without A Client

You have probably heard of a dozen or so BitTorrent clients to download files. There are also plenty of places to find torrent files as well.

BitLet.org aims to fill a niche where you might be in a situation while travelling or when you are ay someone else’s place without your BitTorrent client. BitLet.org lets you specify the URL of a torrent metafile and download the file of your choice right from the browser without a client.

Quick BitLet Facts

  • BitLet is a web bittorrent client that lets you download files
  • You just give it the URL of the torrent meta file and select the directory you want to download it to
  • BitLet works via a Java applet and it shows you the download progress in a popup window
  • BitLet offers a code generator for publishers wishing to provide a link to download a file with BitLet
  • It lets you generate and upload your own torrent meta file
  • It directly uploads to mininova but is configurable to upload to other servers.
  • They also offer a bookmarklet to make a ‘download by Bitlet’ appear by a .torrent file link in many torrent sites.
  • As a new feature, Bitlet lets you listen to music you are streaming using BitTorrent.
  • The player opens in a applet similar to the download window and currently supports MP3 & OGG file formats with support for more types coming soon.

BitLet

Overall, BitLet is a great alternative for situations where one might not have access to a full blown BitTorrent client or where the use of such software is restricted. It is also a great way for a publisher to give file download access to a casual downloader who might not have knowledge of such software.

<!–noadsense–>

Help A Blogger In Need, Donate Towards Medical Expenses

Hi All,

This is a request from me to all my friends and readers to donate towards a blogger who is in need.

One of my co-authors and blogging friend Silki’s Brother aged 25 years has been diagnosed as a case of CRF (Chronic Renal Failure) and requires a Kidney Transplant operation to be done. The cost of the operation in India is around 5-8 lakh Rupees which amounts to something between $13000-20000 and is a huge sum which cannot be easily collected by my Silki.

With this post I want to urge my readers and blogger friends to donate generously towards the expenses for the operation. Your donation can help someone in distress.

Rest assured this is not a hoax and the money you donate will be used for a genuine cause. I also urge my fellow bloggers to urge their readers to donate to the cause. All the money you donate will be directly received by Silki.

You can also contribute by sporting the chipin widget on your blog. Any help would be considered helpful.

If you want to sport the widget on your blog please use this code or else you can email me at dsouza [dot] keith [at] gmail [dot] com if you want a customized widget.

<embed src="http://widget.chipin.com/widget/id/f5eaf47259700f56" flashVars="event_desc=Help%20A%20Blogger%20to%20Raise%20Funds%20for%20brother%27s%20Kidney%20Transplant&color_scheme=blue" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowScriptAccess="always" wmode="transparent" width="250" height="250"></embed>

Looking forward to your generosity towards saving a young man.

 

 

Thanks

Keith

Jarte – Free portable word processor based on MS WordPad

If you read the title and sighed because you’re sick of hearing about word processors, do try to read this one because even though you could use MS Word, WordPad, or Notepad for your word processing needs, there’s another cool and free utility that is better than all of those for most people!

Word processors started out as replacement for typewriters and provided a great benefit in those times. However, as the software progressed, Word processors turned into giant bloated applications designed with hordes of features that only corporate users would ever need. Unfortunately, there is no Microsoft Word Lite edition without all of the useless features that make it run slow or crash your computer!

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Never Spell a Word Wrong Again with Enso Words

I reviewed Enso Launcher last week here. After a week of using it, I am totally impressed by its simplicity yet how easy it is to get used to.

If you haven’t read my last post, Enso Launcher is for Windows what QuickSilver is to Mac but different in its construction and in the way you can teach it to learn your own bookmarks, shortcuts and applications. (you can see the Enso Launcher command cheatsheet here)

Humanized is the company that brings Enso line of products and another one worth mentioning is Enso Words. As the name implies, Enso Words is a Universal Spellchecker and brings English dictionary to your fingertips.

Enso Spell Checker

Enso Words

Enso Words is free to use and works the same way as Enso Launcher. You hold the Caps Lock (or the key you define in preferences) and type ‘spe(llcheck)’, after selecting the text you want to do spell checking for, and then release the key. Enso Words brings up a overlay screen where it highlights words that are misspelt or those that aren’t in Enso’s dictionary.

You can correct the highlighted words and Enso would auto-complete just after typing a few letters. Very helpful if you are not sure of the correct spelling. Or you can just press the mouse button on the misspelt word and Enso shows you alternate spelling. If the spelt word is like a name you use often and you know is right, there is an option ‘Learn this word’ so next time around Enso would know it. When you are finished with your corrections, you can type ‘done’ to finish. Very nifty.

Enso Words

Enso Dictionary

Enso Dictionary puts the English language at your fingertips. With the ‘define’ command, you can select any word or type any word to get its meaning in an overlay screen. You could also browse through previous meanings you looked up in this screen. Enso also offers ‘thesaurus’ command to look up similar words.

Enso Words

For me, when I tried the define command it takes me to Answers.com for a meaning and I couldn’t get the overlay as shown in their demo. If you find out how to get that, please let me know in the comments below.

Count Words & Characters

I use ScribeFire as my brain dump to just quickly create notes for blog topics and write the things on my mind as a draft. I love this because it’s always there in my browser thoughout the day and I don’t have run a separate application. With Enso Words, I can do some cool things like ‘character count’ and ‘word count’. I have typed 412 words so far and I never had this kind of information at my fingertips before.Download Enso Words

Download Enso Launcher

My 2 Cents

I usually try to see the positive in everything and talk more the pros than cons. But, Enso has become an important tool in my productivity arsenal and I think that reflects the way I talk about it in this post. Don’t be put off by the thought of typing all these commands. Enso autocompletes every one of them after you type a few letters and it gets completely natural.

One thing that would make Enso 200% perfect for me is if it highlighted commonly misspelt words like ‘hear – here’, ‘there -their’ and such. It’s not that I don’t know the difference to use in a context but it is so easy to type the wrong one when you are concentrating on the writing something useful bit. May be I have to work on my proof reading.

Thanks for tuning in and see you next week! Have a great weekend everyone.

Access Your Address Bar and Internet History Quickly In Internet Explorer

Ever copied a link and wanted to quickly post it into your address bar in Internet Explorer? or just want to browse your Internet History without right from the address bar?

If you are looking to get this things done without using the mouse here are couple of shortcut keys that will help you achieve it when you are using Internet Explorer.

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SmartClose: Close and Restore All Running Programs With One Click

There are many a times when you have to shut down or restart your system, while doing this you will have to save all your work and close all your applications. If you have been through the automatic update nightmare where you are regularly prompted to  restart your system at regular intervals this program we are going to discuss would be a definite life saver.

SmartClose is a free software that will allow you to close all the running programs with one click and store it as a system snapshot. Once you have created the system snapshot with SmartClose you can easily shutdown or restart your system and restore the snapshot and you will have all your running programs back without having to go through the pain of opening each application.

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Rules of Thumb – The best way to do anything in life

Ever wonder how many a people a cup of rice could feed? Your mother has told you one number, you’ve tried it on your own and come up with something else, but really there’s probably some kind of rule of thumb that you can use over and over again when making rice, right?

Or maybe there’s always a certain way you want to play a hand in Blackjack when you get two Kings? There are literally hundreds of rules of thumb that have been passed down from generation to generation without anyone really knowing where it came from or if it’s really true.

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Convert Document Files To PDF Format By Sending A Email To Koolwire

Ever felt lazy to convert your files to PDF even though there are real good tools to do this online. Koolwire makes it easy and lazy by allowing you to send emails attachments to them which will then be converted to PDF format and send back to you.

The only thing you have to do is send a email to a robot email and it will send you back your documents which are converted into PDF format.

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