People Already Hate The New YouTube Homepage

rolled out their new homepage to all the users today and it looks like the rollout is not going down well with thousands of users. I have seen users complaining about the new YouTube homepage on forums and elsewhere.

New YouTube Homepage

Several of YouTube and Google forums are plastered with petitions to get the old YouTube homepage back, take for example these threads. However, I haven’t seen any Google employees replying to these posts and the amount of comments and the tone of it really suggests that many people will simply walk off until they find a solution.

This was very well on expected lines because people really need time to get accustomed to change. Such backlashes are expected when sites have millions of users. Take for example the case of ; which frequently changes their homepage and profile page.

Sadly, YouTube does not have any option to turn back users homepage to the old one. However, rest assured there will be several User Scripts coming up in the next few days which will provide a remedy for this problem.

As always, we promise to write a guide to move back to the old YouTube homepage when such scripts become available. Till then there is nothing anyone can do.

New YouTube Homepage Rolling Out For Everyone

Back in December 2010, began experimenting with a new personalized homepage for users. The new homepage brought in a lot of changes including merging of subscriptions, ability to delete videos from the homepage and so on.

New YouTube Homepage

The experimental YouTube homepage seems to have reached the end of its testing cycle, since YouTube announced today that they would be rolling out the new personalized homepage to all users starting today.

The new YouTube homepage will only we available to users who have logged into the website.

Some of the new features which will be available to logged in users include:

  • Increased focus on videos that matter to you (subscriptions, friend’s sharing, recommendations)
  • You can easily filter your homepage to show only the latest uploads from your subscriptions
  • Don’t miss anything; if a channel uploads four videos in a day, you’ll see all four – instead of just the latest video
  • Quick access to the inbox when you have new messages or comments
  • Knows what you have seen (videos you’ve watched are grayed out)
  • Remove any video (hover and click the "x" button)

However, not everyone is going to like the new YouTube homepage, which was also suggested in the official post. So expect to see some backlash from users.

YouTube Gets A New Homepage

is no doubt one of the biggest video service on the internet today serving more than 2 billion videos a day. However, it’s home page is definitely not one of the best and lacks a lot of personalization.

New YouTube Homepage

However, starting today, YouTube is experimenting with a new homepage which adds some much needed features to your homepage. Here are some of the new features which are included in the new homepage.

  • Combined list – Merges your subscriptions, friend activity, and recommendations into one easier-to-scan list
  • Don’t miss a video – If a channel uploads 4 videos in a day, you’ll see all 4 – instead of just the latest video
  • Delete anything – Hover over any video you don’t want to watch and click ‘x’
  • Or just grey it out – Videos you’ve already watched will be greyed out – so even without deleting, you’ll know where you left off
  • Help me re-find stuff I just watched – Your homepage will include your recent likes and favorites so you can easily get back to them
  • Easy inbox – Links to your inbox (personal messages & comments) are front and center
  • Load much more – Watch older videos – all without leaving the homepage

Some of the interesting features include combined list of subscriptions, friend activity and recommendation videos which makes it easier to find and watch videos. In addition to that there is also more focus on channels you subscribe to, so that you do  not miss any videos uploaded by your favorite folks.

In addition to that, you can also remove videos  you are not interested in from your homepage. Also videos you have already watched will be grayed out so that you know that you have already seen it without watching it again.

How To Get New YouTube Homepage

get_new_youtube_homepage

YouTube’s new homepage is about enhancing your personal experience, so it is currently available for logged in users. To experience the new homepage, visit youtube.com and click on the button "Try a different homepage". This will take you to another page where you need to opt-in. Once you have done that you can start using the new YouTube homepage.

If you are not logged in to YouTube, you can visit this page http://www.youtube.com/homepage_experiment, but it does not help much.

Have you used the new homepage on YouTube? What are your thoughts about it, feel free to share them with us through your comments.

Gmail Gets New Contact Manager and New Look

Gmail has finally got a new contact manager, which is 100 times better than the earlier one. The new contact manager is fast and easier to use, and is definitely a welcome change to one of the best email services available online today.

contacts_link_gmail[3]

I have been a Gmail user for a while now and to be frank, managing contacts was definitely a pain. The older contacts interface was mediocre at its best when compared to how powerful Gmail in itself was. However, that is now a thing of the past as Google is rolling out a new contact manager for all Gmail users starting today.

Gmail Contact Manager

The new contacts manager has a more prominent link as seen in the first screenshot above and will also work pretty much like Gmail works, fast. The new contacts manager now supports , sorting by name, custom labels for contact fields, ability to undo changes you made and automatic saving just like Gmail compose among other things.

In addition to the contact manager changes, Gmail also sports links to Mail, Contacts and Tasks in the top left and displays a Compose mail button instead of a text. There is also some screen estate recovery thanks to the reduction in the header area. However, Google has also made it a bit painful to select messages by removing the links and putting it into a dropdown.

Overall these changes are pretty good and make Gmail the best free email service out there. The new changes to the Gmail contact manager and overall email layout will be rolled out to all users in a phased manner.

(Official Gmail Blog)

Easy Screen Rotation with iRotate

irotate-example

[Windows All] Most of today’s graphics cards support the ability to rotate the screen display. Many people prefer to mount their monitors sideways, so that they can more naturally edit long document pages or read long web pages. On many PCs, the graphics card may support rotation, but the display properties don’t show the rotation settings, or a specific screen utility is missing. If you need an easy way to rotate your displays, iRotate is an option you should try. Here’s what the author says about it:

iRotate provides convenient access to the native rotation capabilities present in contemporary display drivers, via a popup menu accessible from the system tray and optional system-wide hotkeys. It’s no longer necessary to resort to bloated Windows hacks, additional software layers or phantom drivers to achieve content rotation.

For example, if I’m reading an eBook in the Kindle application on my Windows netbook, iRotate allows me to turn my netbook sideways and hold it like a real book. On the left side of this post, you can see what my display looks like. It’s almost like reading a real book.

The iRotate utility resides as an icon (or icons) in your system tray when it’s running. You can either right click on the icon or use the default hotkeys as shown below.

irotate-menu

In the image above, you can see that iRotate supports multiple monitors. This screen app works for most graphics cards, and it’s only about 125k in size. I think that’s amazing.

Download iRotate

Note: The download link is a little hard to spot. Look in the upper left corner of the web page, as shown in the image below.

irotate-download

Techie Buzz Verdict:

The iRotate program is small, light on resources, and works flawlessly for most graphics cards. It’s free for personal use, and I can’t think of any reason not to give it a big thumbs up.

Techie Buzz Rating: 4/5 (Excellent)

Royale Remixed – Is it the Best Microsoft Theme for XP?

display-ico One of my online buddies, Andrew Fox, recently commented on my Google Buzz about the article concerning 4 Free Microsoft Themes for XP. Andrew mentioned that he thought the best Microsoft theme was one called Royale. I quickly located a copy of it and tried it out. It is a very nice theme, but I found out that someone has taken the Royale theme and tweaked it to make it even better. The tweaked version is called Royale Remixed.

Here’s what the Royale Remixed theme looks like on my netbook.

royal-remixed-the-look

There are three color schemes included in this theme. The color schemes can be accessed by right clicking on your desktop and selecting Properties, then the Appearance tab.

windows-xp-color-schemes

The Noir color scheme is shown above while Royale and Zune are shown below.

royal-remixed-blue

royal-remix-zune

The only difference I noticed between Noir and Zune was that Zune is a little darker. I like the Zune color scheme the best. Which one do you like?

Download the Royale Remixed theme (also known as Royale Noir Theme)

Techie Buzz Verdict:

Is Royale Remixed the best theme for Microsoft XP? I’d have to say noto that question. There are so many themes available to an XP user, especially if they are willing to use the UxTheme patch to unlock all the great themes that are available.

Techie Buzz Verdict: 3/5 (Good)

Automatic Spelling Correction and Text Expansion with Texter

texter-icon [Windows Only] How often do you type the word “teh” instead of “the”? If it’s very often, you aren’t alone. “Teh” is so common that it’s become an accepted word on the internet.

Would you like to have most of your misspellings corrected automatically? You can have that, and much more, with a small portable freeware utility named ‘Texter’.

Texter is a text replacement tool from Adam Pash at Lifehacker. It includes a small library of common spelling errors, and it will constantly watch every word you type. When it recognizes a misspelled word, it can automatically change the letters to correct the error. However, the real power it gives you is the ability to create your own letter combinations and replacements. For example, I can set up Texter to automatically replace “imo” with “In my opinion”.

Watch this video if you’d like to see Texter in action:

( link to video )

I use Texter for:
• phrases that I type often
• abbreviations that I like to expand
• addresses I type often
• passwords at websites
• long signatures at the end of letters
• famous quotes at the end of letters
• programming code snippets

Download from Texter Home Page:

If you liked this post, you should take a look at some free copy and paste enhancements and a clipboard manager named Ditto.

texter-management-add-new-hotstring

Techie Buzz Verdict:
If you aren’t using a text replacement tool already, Texter is good place to start. It’s free, it’s portable and it’s easy to use. Like me, you may find that it’s a ‘must-have’ on your PC and on your portable flash drive. The only thing it’s missing is a local help file describing all of the features.

techiebuzzrecommendedsoftware1

Techie Buzz Rating: 4.5/5 (almost perfect)

How To Use Regedit

reg-icon Windows stores its configuration settings in a database called the registry. These settings are constantly modified by the many different programs running in Windows. Users can also make changes to the registry by using the Windows registry editor, regedit. Making changes to the registry is a common way to correct problems and change the way Windows looks and acts.

However, making the wrong registry changes can cripple your Windows system. So before you start hacking away with regedit, you should learn a little about it. This tutorial will explain some of the features in regedit and tell you how to use it safely.

Backing up the registry

Back up the registry before you make changes. One convenient way to do this is to use Windows System Restore. Here’s how to use System Restore. Another method for backing up the Windows registry is using a free utility named ERUNT, and here is how ERUNT works. Make sure you understand one of these methods before going any further.

Launching regedit

Unlike most other system tools, regedit will not appear in any of your menus when you click the Start button. That means you’ll have to launch it some other way. I’ll tell you how to start it using the Run dialog.

To bring up the Run dialog, hold down the Windows key and tap the R key.

winkey r

Now type regedit into the command entry box and click OK.

start-run-regedit

Using Regedit

Once launched, regedit will pop up pretty quickly. Here’s what it looks like:

regedit-hives-displayed

First, I’ll mention that you can see a Helpmenu in regedit and you’ll find plenty of information in it that I won’t cover in this tutorial.

The navigation pane (on the left) is showing the 5 main hivekeys, which always start with the word HKEY. To navigate deeper into the registry, you need to click on the plus (+) signs next to a hive key. The same applies the further into registry you go. Once you click on a plus, it will display all the sub-keys under that key and the plus will change into a minus (-) sign. Clicking on the minus sign will collapse the structure back to the way it was.

In the view below, you can see that I’ve located the key for a piece of software that I had installed.

regedit-delete-key

At the bottom of the window you can see the registry path to this key. Right clicking on a key will bring up a menu showing several actions.

  • New, will create a new key under the key I have selected.
  • Delete- If this was a program that was no longer installed on my PC, I could safely delete this key.
  • The Copy Key Nameaction places the full path to the key in your Windows Clipboard, and it can be pasted as text into other applications, such as email or a web browser.
  • Exportaction allows you to save the information under a registry key, and this information can be restored later if it’s needed. It’s a good idea to export a key before you make changes to it. I’ll talk more about exported keys later.

Here you can see that I’ve navigated down into the Current User hive to take a look at my mapped network drives.

regedit-add-new-key

In this view, I have the Zkey open. In the right pane (data pane), you can see the entries for the data values under this key. Each piece of data under a key has a name, type and value. The data name can be almost any string of letters as long as it doesn’t contain a space. There are several types of data, as shown above, and you can learn more about them in the regedit help file.

Right clicking into an empty area in the data pane will bring up the Newmenu, as shown above, which allows you to add new data entries. Right clicking on one of the data entries, as shown below, will allow you to modify its value or delete it entirely.

regedit-modify-data

Importing data into the registry

Above I mentioned that you can export a key to save all the sub-keys and data under it. When you export a key, you will see that it wants to save as a REG file.

regedit-export-a-key

A .reg file is actually a plain text file and you can open it up in Notepad to see what’s inside of it. Here’s a look inside of one:

regedit-exported-reg-file

That’s good to know, because you will often find registry tweaks published online in plain text as shown in the image above. All you need to do is to copy the text, paste it into Notepad and then save it as a .REG file.

reg-file-merge

Once you have a REG file that you want to restore or add to the registry, all you need to do is double click on it, or right click on it and Mergeit into the registry. When you do this, you’ll get a message asking you to confirm this action.

reg-file-merge-dialog

After you confirm, you’ll get a message telling you that the information was entered.

reg-file-merge-dialog-confirmed

Notes:
  • If you’ve made changes to the registry, you won’t always see an immediate change (if it’s one you can see). Many times you will have to log out of Windows and log back in before you see any changes.
  • Some free tools make it easy to change your registry without using regedit. These programs are often called tweakor system enhancement tools, such as TweakUI (from Microsoft).
  • Here are some sites with lots of registry tweaks you can apply to Windows.
  • Here are some tutorials on how to use the registry and REG files.
  • Here is a list of free registry tools.
Summary

I’ve told you what the registry is, how to back it up, make changes to it, and finally, how to add to the registry using REG files. Now you have enough information to safely make registry changes, and you can learn even more about these topics in the regedit help file and other places online.

A New and Improved Start Menu with StartMenu7

In September of 2008, Keith wrote about a Windows Start Menu replacement called VistaStartMenu. The author of that program has created a new alternative based on the Windows 7 menu. If you are running an older version of Windows, and you have a slight case of feature envy, StartMenu7 may be an option you’ll enjoy adding.

7start-menu-icon I recently tried StartMenu7 and took a few screenshots. I’ll share them with you here and add a few comments on some of the features.

This screen-shot is from the author. It shows the default skin.

7start-menu-default-skin

If your system supports it, portions of the menu are transparent.

This menu has a search box at the bottom, like Vista and Win7. It works pretty much the same. Typing into it searches your Start Menu for programs or actions. Also across the bottom are buttons for PC power control and options. Just above the power buttons are three tabs labeled All Programs, Quick Startand Autorun. The All Programsis the default view and it shows all of your programs. The Quick Startmenu can be populated with items that you add to it through the Options.

Here’s another skin called Classic…

7start-menu-classic-skin

… and another skin called Windows. I liked this one the best.

7start-menu-windows-skin

At the top of StartMenu7 are two buttons for adding and removing program shortcuts. There’s a third button for access to a custom Runmenu with several interesting features.

7start-menu-run-jumper

Shown above is the Runsub-menu called Commandsand below is the sub-menu for Folders.

7start-menu-run-jumper-folders

StartMenu7 is installed like most other applications and can be removed using the Windows Add/Remove applet. You can launch StartMenu7 normally or you can set it to automatically launch when Windows boots up.

There are many options that I haven’t explored. Here are a few that are listed on the program’s website.

  • The list of menu items is alphabetically sorted, so you can easily find any program or command by its name.
  • Open any location on your PC with a single click.
    You can create, modify, and reorder items in Start Menu 7. So it’s easy to create a list of the most used locations, popular directories, and virtual folders to access them with a single click.
  • There is a special Run button to access seldom used locations without adding them into menu.
  • Start Menu 7 has a customizable Power Buttons panel.
  • With Power Timer feature you can delay any of power management operations.

Download StartMenu7 (Windows 2000, 2003, XP, Vista, 7)

Techie Buzz Verdict:

I don’t use many addons like StartMenu7. I like to keep my resources free and I’m also a big fan of Classicmenus. That said, I’m very tempted to add StartMenu7 to my Windows XP machines. While I was using it, it seemed bug free and didn’t slow things down one bit. I really did like all of the extra features it adds.

Techie Buzz Rating: 3/5 (Good)

Change Windows 7 Logon Screen

windows7_logon_editor

Choices, choices, choices. We have given you more than one option to customize your logon screen. Previously:

And now, Windows 7 logon Screen editor. Take the hint :-), customize your Windows 7 logon screen to see your own photo. Since it is coming up, may we entice you with some high quality Christmas wallpapers for your background? We might as well throw in some really awesome Christmas themes for Windows 7.