How to Create Your Own Site Searches in Internet Explorer

internet-explorer-iconDo you have favorite websites that you need to search? You might already know that you can search specific websites by using the pull down menu on the built-in search box in Internet Explorer. You can see a list of sites, such as Bing, Google or Yahoo; these are called Search Providers.

what-are-search-providers

You can add Search Providers in Internet Explorer very easily, but what if the site you want isn’t included in Microsoft’s list of providers? Here are a few of the providers listed by Microsoft:

Bing SearchNew York Times Instant SearchWikipedia Visual SearchAmazon Search SuggestionseBay.com Visual SearchGoogle Search SuggestionsYahoo! Search SuggestionsESPN SearchRealtime Web Search (by OneRiot)Sports Buzz from Buzztap

Creating your own Search Providers is an easy trick to learn. It might save you several minutes every day if you have to perform lots of web searches. I’m only going to show instructions for Internet Explorer 7 and 8. If you have Internet Explorer 6, you should upgrade to a newer version. IE6 is getting too old, slow and insecure (like me). Unlike me, however, IE6 is not getting any wiser.

Let’s start with a good example. let’s say that you are in love with the Techie Buzz site and you need to search it every day. Follow the steps below to add your own “Techie Buzz Search” to Internet Explorer.

1. Open Internet Explorer and navigate to Techie-Buzz.

How Does Techmeme Work? Video Description

Techmeme is no doubt every Tech Pundit’s resource for the best technology news. However, getting on Techmeme is not a easy job and it is really hard to figure out a algorithm which will get you on it.

In a video a Techmeme editor, Rich DeMuro, describes how Techmeme generates headlines and conversations around it. He elaborates that Techmeme is a mix of both machine generated stories, as well as user submitted one’s through , which you can read more about here.

So if you have been thinking how Techmeme generates stories, or how you can get your story on Techmeme, don’t forget to watch the video interview below.

[via Digital Inspiration]

Learn to Program with Microsoft Small Basic

This is what my first computer looked like. It was a Xerox Sigma, if I recall correctly, and it took up an entire room at the college I was attending.

xerox_sigma

I learned how to program this machine in 1977. The college course I took was for a language called Fortran. The next year, I fell in love with Basic, and I’ve used it on and off ever since then. Basic is one of the easiest languages to learn, and I actually learned it from an instructional program on that huge computer. The name is an acronym for   Beginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code.

Microsoft wants you to learn Basic, and they’ve made it as easy as possible with the recent release of Small Basic. They have a PDF beginner’s guide that walks you through Basic programming step by step. Here’s what Small Basic looks like:

small-basic-program-listing

The first thing that struck me was that this program gives all kinds of help while you are typing in the editor window. If you aren’t sure how to finish a command, you can scroll through the pop-up to see what your options and arguments should be. When you click on a command or object word, the sidebar tells you all about it.

Here’s a video showing your first steps:

Small Basic isn’t the only free programming suite that Microsoft offers. A few years ago, they made three of them available. Here’s the quick list:

The Visual Basic suite is the big brother to Small Basic. If you have it installed, you can even convert your Small Basic programs into Visual Basic so that you can create executable files.

Small Basic is definitely the best way to start if you’ve never tried programming. Once you have it under control, you’ll be ready to move to the other three I’ve listed.

Download Small Basic

Techie Buzz Verdict:

Microsoft Small Basic is one of the easiest programming tools I’ve tried. If you’ve ever considered learning to program a computer, you won’t find an easier way to learn. The instructional PDF file that’s provided, teaches you step by step. Even a cave man could do it.

techiebuzzrecommendedsoftware1_thumb

Techie Buzz Rating: 4/5 (Excellent)

How to Restore Default File Types in Vista and Windows 7

registry iconA few weeks ago, I told you how to repair the default image file types in Windows XP. At the time, I wasn’t aware of any utilities that could help you restore file types in Vista or Windows 7. I should have guessed that Ramesh Srinivasan would make good on his word. I had seen an old post which said he’d be working on something to help out.

Why would you need to restore a default file type?

You probably already know that a file type is controlled by the last letters after the dot in a file name. When you install new applications, sometimes the new app takes over the opening of some file types automatically. If you installed a new music player, you might discover that all .MP3 files now open up in the new player. That’s fine if you like the new player, but what if you don’t? You can re-assign the MP3 file type to another player by using the Open Withmenu when you right click on an MP3.

If you want Windows to use the default player that Microsoft had originally chosen for MP3 files, you might have trouble figuring out how to do that. I have found that it’s also sometimes tricky to get the defaults back on image file types. Fortunately, there are a few scripts and utilities that can help.

Using .REG Scripts

Ramesh has a page on his site that helps you restore a few Windows 7 file types to their defaults. He also has a page that lets you restore Vista file types to their defaults. Read the instructions on those pages to use REG (registry) scripts to make the changes.

Here’s a list of the file types that can be changed there:

AUDIOCD, AVI, BAT, BMP, CHM, CMD, COM, DVR-MS, EXE, GIF, HTM, HTML, ICO, INF, IMG, JPE, JPEG, JPG, JS, LNK, MP3, MPE, MPG, MSC, MPEG, REG, SCR, TIF, TIFF, TXT, VBS, WMA, WMV, WSF, XML, XPS, ZIP, FOLDER, DIRECTORY, DRIVE

Using the Unassoc Utility

How To Create and Use System Restore Points

I often create backups of my registry files when I’m getting ready to try out new software. Lately, I’ve been setting System Restore Pointsas well. Why would I do this? Let’s ask Microsoft.

Quote from Microsoft: Every time you download or install a new game, application, or software update, you make changes to your computer. Sometimes that change may make your system unstable. Have you ever wanted to go back to the way it was? With System Restore, you can.(source)

What is a System Restore Point?

System Restore is a Windows feature that takes snapshots of the system files and registry at regular intervals or during important system events. The snapshots are stored as System Restore Points (SRP). If you run into a problem, you can often use a previous SRP to undo many of the changes to your system that created the problem.

It’s not fool proof. Sometimes it didn’t correct the problems I had. Most of the time, it does a good job as long as the Restore Point isn’t very old. Since it seems to be important to use a recent SRP, I often set my own SRP just before installing software. I’ll show you how to do this below.

How to Create a System Restore Point

In Windows XP, use your start menu to go to Programs > Accessories > System Tools > System Restore.

You should see this:

system-restore-point-create-xp

Set the button on Create a restore pointand click Next. At the next screen, you’ll be able to type in a name or description for your restore point.

system-restore-point-name-xp

In Vista and Win7, you can set an SRP just as easily.

Click your Start button, then type restore, then click the entry that says Create a restore point.

create-a-restore-point-win7

Next you’ll see a screen like this:

advanced-system-settings-protection-tab

Click the Createbutton and you’ll get a window that will let you choose a description for the new SRP.

create-a-restore-point-name-win7

How to Use a Restore Point to Recover from a Problem

In WinXP, you can use the Start menu as shown above to find the System Restore settings.

When you get to the System Restore panel, select Restore my computer to an earlier time.

You’ll get a window that will let you select a restore point.

system-restore-select-a-point-xp

Once you have an SRP selected, hit the Nextbutton to start the recovery. You’ll get a screen with some info on it and you’ll have to click Nextone final time. The computer will restart.

In Vista and Win7, you can click the start button and type restore. You’ll need to click the entry labeled Restore your computer to an earlier time.

image

You’ll get a window up that let’s you start System Restore. Then you’ll be able to select an SRP to recover.

system-restore-point-list

Once you have one selected, hit the Nextbutton, and then the Finishbutton to confirm it. Your computer will reboot and hopefully everything will be better.

Conclusion

Now that you have the general idea, don’t forget that setting a System Restore Point could save you time and trouble when you try out new software. If you have any suggestions or questions, be sure to comment below.

Disable Google Buzz Profile and Delete It Forever

After a bit of a problem and complaints to the FTC by a public group over Buzz, Google has finally decided to give users a way to completely disable and delete a profile.

Delete Google Buzz Profile or Disable It

The new feature to disable and delete a Google Buzz profile is now part of Gmail Settings. So if you are someone who wants to send Google Buzz into oblivion just head over to Settings -> Buzz and make the changes you require. Good riddance :-).

If you are a Google Buzz user, do tell us your experience about it. It definitely has a long way to go and we hope to see significant changes in the future. you are a new Google Buzz user, check out our of Tips and Tricks for Google Buzz.

Note: Google is gradually rolling this out to user accounts, so not everyone will be able to see Buzz in their settings right away.

5 Smartest Tips to Handle Important Mail

We receive tons of email daily which makes it really hard to make sense of those clutter. It is so easy to miss an important note or get to it when it is too late.

The following tips will help you better manage your important email for you to always be able to handle it properly.

First let’s define how we can automatically identify all important mail:

  • By sender’s email address, e.g. [email protected] With many email services and clients, you are able to use a wildcard (*) to filter all incoming mail from some domain, e.g. *@yourjob.com filter will include all your work incoming mail;
  • By the keyword (usually in the subject). You can arrange to use some key phrases with your business partners or boss for you to easier identify urgent mail from them, e.g. "Important!" or "Needs response now!"

1. Create a label / folder to organize all important email. If you are on Gmail, you can create a label (called TO-DO for example) and the create a filter to label all the important messages as TO-DO. Here are the Gmail filter settings to get this done:

Filter Email messages

For MS Outlook, you can create a folder and file any email sent with high importance in the Quick, the house is burning downfolder (for more MS Outlook tips refer to this post on getting organized with customized Microsoft Outlook rules

2. Automatically star all the important email or flag it for follow-up. If you are using Gmail, it has a handy option to automatically star all mail that conforms to your search setting:

Add Stars to Email Messages

3. Set up an SMS alert of new urgent email. This one is an awesome tip, yet not widely known. Most of mobile carriers offer free Email To SMS gateways which can be found here. All you need is to create a filter to forward all your mail with the set criteria to your personal email, e.g. [your 10-digit phone number here]@message.alltel.com

Set up SMS Alerts for Important Emails

4. Filter out unimportant mail. Really, this needs to be #1. In order not to miss urgent mail, you will need to get rid of all clutter: social media updates, automatic updates, etc – everything you still read (so no way to unsubscribe) but don’t really need in your inbox. Create a filter and add Skip the inbox, Mark as read, and Apply a label(I have SOCIAL label foe all that stuff):

Filter Out Unimportant Emails

5. Send an auto response containing other ways to get into contact with you urgently (including cell phone, IMs, etc). (For Gmail users) Use this post as guidelines: they did an awesome job explaining the process, so no reason to explain it again.

Set Auto-response for Emails

The guest post is by Ann Smarty, a search and social media blogger. If you love guest blogging as much as Ann, join MyBlogGuest.com, the community of guest bloggers to promote your site and brand. Want to guest post for us? Read our Guest Post guidelines to find out how you can submit guest posts to us.

How to Speed Up Windows Disk Cleanup

disk-cleanup-icon Cleaning out the junk files on your PC is something you should do on a regular basis. Microsoft has included a file cleaning utility in Windows, and it’s called Disk Cleanup. Running Disk Cleanup will often make your system a little snappier and you can also free up a large amount of used disk space.

You can find the Disk Cleanup utility in the following locations:

WinXP: Start > Program Files > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Cleanup

Vista/Win7: Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Cleanup

disk-cleanup

If you occasionally clean out your unwanted system files using Windows “Disk Cleanup”, you may have seen that the Disk Cleanup utility takes a long time scanning for “Compressed Folders”. I have seen this many times and it makes me impatient every time.

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine at work (Bill M), told me that there’s a registry hack to make Cleanup skip the long wait. He was right, I found it using a simple Google search.

Here’s the registry hack (works in XP, so far – have not seen this work in Vista and Win7):

WinXP: Open up the registry editor by clicking the Start Button, then choose Run, type in “regedit” and press the OK button.

Vista/Win7: Hit the Start button and type regeditin the quick search.

Once you have regedit running, find the following location:
“HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows
\CurrentVersion\Explorer
\VolumeCaches\System error memory dump files”

The “Flags” value must be set to “0”.

For 64-bit Windows only:

“HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows
\CurrentVersion\Explorer
\VolumeCaches\System error memory dump files”

The “Flags” value must be set to “0”.

You may not   notice any difference until you reboot, but the next time you use Disk Cleanup, you should notice a substantial decrease in the amount of time it takes.

Hate The New Facebook Layout? Here Is How You Can Change It

recently rolled out a new design to users, some of them liked it, some did not. In fact even I am one of the people who did not like the new Facebook layout. However, like always there is no official way to go back to cleanup the new design and get a cleaner look for Facebook.

Most of the solutions are accomplished using scripts. Firefox and support the user scripts out of the box, you can learn how to use Greasemonkey scripts in Opera, IE and Safari.

Unfuck Facebook Layout

UnFu*k Facebook – Previously mentioned Unf*ck Facebook is good to go again with the new Facebook layout. Just download the script and install it and you should see a simple Facebook layout as seen in the screenshot above. Download script here.

Undo Facebook – Another userscript which is similar to the earlier one, Undo Facebook will clean up your Facebook profile page and display a much more simpler and cleaner version of the layout. Download script here.

Better Facebook – Cleans up Facebook and removes the right hand side navigation, ads and more. Try out any of the three scripts and choose the one you like. Download script here.

Facebook Old Navbar – This userscript rearranges the top Nav bar to bring some semblance to the old design. It can be used in conjunction with any of the userscript’s above. Download script here.

Replace Profile with Name – Removes the Profile link and replaces it with your name as it was in the older Facebook layout. Download script here.

Note: The above changes will only reflect in your current browser, it will not be available on different browsers or on multiple computers.

Do you know of any other useful userscript that will help get back the older layout on Facebook? Do feel free to share them in the comments.

Tips For Increasing Your Dial-Up Connection Speed While Browsing

Many in India still use dial-up connections for surfing the internet. The reasons for this may be it’s cheaper rate or less usage of internet and many others. I was using dial-up connections about 9 months back and it really pissed me of while surfing on a dial-up connection. In this post, I have listed a few tips that you can adopt if you are using a dial-up connection.

Block Images From Sites

A single image is better than thousand words – but when it comes to dial-up you would be better to stick to words or you will have to wait for thousands of hours to load an image! You can block images getting loaded by changing your browser settings.

If you are a Firefox user, go to > Tools> >Page Info>> Permissions>> Load Images>> Uncheck “Use Default”>>Select “Block”.

You could block images in a similar way in Google Chrome and Opera.

Increasing Browser Cache Size

This can be a super awesome way to increase your connection speed! Let me explain you how this can help. When you visit any website, your computer stores some information from the website as cache memory. The more space you give for cache, the more it will store, and your internet surfing will become much speedier! You could check this article out for more information on how to do this.

Saving Frequently Visited Or Important Webpages

This is another trick that could be helpful in making you more productive while surfing. We visit many sites regularly (for example Gmail, Facebook etc). Saving those webpages offine, so that you don’t have to use your precious bandwidth every time could be a nice way of speeding up your internet connection.

Small Tip: Instead of visiting Gmail, Yahoo! to check your mail every time, you could use Outlook or any other offline email client. So, this will save you some bandwidth.

Reduce Using Multiple Tabs

Now, that we have a facility to use multiple tabs, we fill our browsers with too many tabs. But, this would make your internet surfing slow on a dial-up connection. The more tabs you open, more is the bandwidth consumption. It would be better to use a single tab or at the maximum 2-3 tabs at a time. More than that and you would have to wait hours before it gets loaded!

It would be better to get one webpage loaded faster, than to wait for 100 webpages getting loaded slower.

Using Basic Modes In Networking Sites

This tip would help you a lot if you use social networking sites. Many popular social networking sites always provide you two modes/versions. One a lighter one and the other a richer one. Like Orkut – Low bandwidth mode and Orkut-Normal mode, Facebook and Facebook Lite or Zapak or Zapak Lite and so on. So, always stick with the versions that use less bandwidth so that you can experience better speed.

Using Opera Turbo

Opera has a good feature for slow internet connections – Opera Turbo. This uses a unique compression technology while loading a webpage. You could check out more on this concept here.

These are some tips, I have used while on a dial-up connection. Please add your own tips to this post by using the comment section below.

You could also leave tips by mailing them to tips here: [email protected]