What are .KMP/.KSF Files? How to Open .KMP/.KSF Files?

Quite recently we got a new Help Desk question where someone asked us about a new file type they had downloaded but could not open. The file had a extension of .KMP and it was the first time they had seen it.

Files with KMP extensions are basically audio files which contain 8 or 16 bit format. The KMP file extension does not contain any audio but references another file format called .KSF which contain waveforms.

KMP file formats are primarily used by Trion and Trinity workstations which are similar to keyboards and are used to create digital music. The KMP file contains data recorded using a Kong synthesizer.

You will information information on how KMP files are created by visiting http://www.korg.com/. To open a .KMP file or .KSF file, you can use a software called Awave Studio which can be downloaded from http://www.fmjsoft.com/awavestudio.html

If you have any future Help Desk questions, please feel free to ask us in our Techie Buzz Forums or by using the contact us form on the website and we will try out best to answer it.

Further References: http://www.fileinfo.com/extension/kmp

Use Microsoft Office Picture Manager for Quick Photo Edits

There are a lot of great photo editors on the market. Some are very robust and expensive, while others are free. To be honest, there are about as many photo editors out there as there are camera models. Today I would like to tell you about one that is probably sitting right under your nose and you’ve never used it. It is called “Microsoft Office Picture Manager” and it comes bundled with Microsoft Office.

I would like to show you an example of the photo editing power of Picture Manager. Let’s begin by opening a picture on our computer. Below you will see a lighthouse picture I took in Portland, Maine.

Lighthouse

Let’s say, for example, that I wanted to turn this photo black and white. This is very simple to do using Picture Manager. First, let’s open the picture in Picture Manager. Below, you will see where I right clicked the photo, then chose the “Open With” option, and then clicked “Microsoft Office Picture Manager”.

Open With Menu

Now we’ll need to click the button at the top of the window that says “Edit Pictures…” See the picture below to see what the button looks like.

Edit Button

Now, you will get a toolbar on the right side of the screen. You will notice a very large “Auto Correct” button. If you have a photo that may be a little too dark and grainy, sometimes clicking this button will help correct common color and lighting errors. In the picture below, you will notice an area highlighted under the heading “Edit using these tools”. Here are some commonly used photo editing tools. The one I would like to deal with in this tutorial is under the heading “Color”.

Toolbar Options

When you click the heading that says “Color”, you will get the menu options pictured below.

Color Menu

Using this menu, you can do some really cool things to your photo. You can also royally screw up the color balance so make sure you keep the “Undo” button handy. You will notice that there are three sliders that will allow you to use your mouse to click and drag to change the value in each box. Remember the goal of this particular tutorial is to make this photo black and white. To accomplish this we’ll need to desaturate the photo. Saturation basically is a term for how much color is in the photo. If we drag the “Saturation” slider all the way to the left, we are essentially saying we want to take all of the color out of the photo.  Now, our picture is black and white.  See the picture below.

Lighthouse Black and White

There are many other useful tools in Microsoft Office Picture Manager. You can easily fix red eye, flip and rotate pictures, and more. It may not be the most robust tool out there, but for the novice user, it is easy to use. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial.

Please feel free to comment or ask questions.

Getting Started with GeekTool [Mac How-To]

A few days ago, I pointed out that GeekTool, one of the most powerful customization tools available for the Mac, is now available in the Mac App Store. I promised in that article that I would do a short write up on how to use GeekTool. I know that it can be a daunting task for those who are new to the application. That’s why I have decided to show you how to set up a simple geeklet.

The geeklet, which is what you get when you place a GeekTool script on your desktop, that I am going to show you is a simple clock. It will display the time in 12 or 24 hour format based on your clock settings. It is essentially a desktop clock that shows a mirror of what is on your internal clock. Here’s how to do it.

  1. Download and install GeekTool.
    geektool-mas.png
    That’s an easy one. You can grab it from the Mac App Store.
  2. Open GeekTool and select Shell.
    geektool-window.pngYou will see 3 different options when you open GeekTool. Click and drag ‘Shell’ to the desktop, and a new window will open.
  3. Type ”  date ‘+%I:%M:%S %p’ ” into the Command box.
    command-geektool.jpg
    So this window can be a little daunting. There are a ton of options that you don’t need to touch. For this step, simply copy and paste that code string into the Command Box.
  4. Set the Refresh rate to 1 second.
    refresh-geektool.jpgIf you want this clock to actually work correctly, then you need to set it’s refresh to 1 second. That option is right under the command.
  5. Optional: Change the Font Color and Size.
    font-geektool.jpgThis last step is optional, but it can make a world of difference. Towards the bottom of the Properties windows, you will see a bar that says ‘Click here to set font & color.’ Click that to do what it says.

If you did everything correctly, you will now have a working GeekTool clock on your desktop. You can move it around you desktop to wherever it works best for you. Mine is in a speech bubble in my Doctor Who comic desktop. I’ve seen them carefully placed behind image geeklets, as backgrounds and even made gigantic. The only limit is your creativity.

If you want to find more unique geeklets, I recommend you check out Mac OS X Tips. They have a great database of cool and unique uses for GeekTool. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave a note in the comments below.

What Is Giraffic.exe and GirafficWatchdog.exe?

If you have recently been to your task manager and seen some weird tasks like Giraffic.exe or GirafficWatchdog.exe you might have been a little surprised. However, don’t panic those files are not some virus.

Giraffic is a video streaming company which accelerates the distribution of On-demand video to PCs. The company’s website at http://www.giraffic.com has this to say.

The Giraffic Video Accelerator is the Next Generation Fully Distributed Video-on-Demand Streaming Acceleration Technology, enabling online content providers to deliver High Definition VoD and other rich media, regardless of content popularity, or the geographical location of the end user, and at negligible bandwidth costs.

Rest assured the Giraffic.exe and GirafficWatchdog.exe are not viruses and are legitimate executable which are there to help you watch video without buffering.

If you have any other related queries or questions, please feel free to contact us or leave a question for us in the Techie Buzz forums.

Get Quick Answers Using Excel’s Status Bar

There is hardly any debate to the fact that Excel is an extremely powerful tool. It can do complex formulas and calculations at mind-numbing speed. All this being said, however, in all the years I have worked in IT, I have observed that most people use it for a basic set of functions. I believe that Microsoft recognized this as well. They made it very easy for us to get answers to our common questions. The problem is, they put this tool in an uncommonly used place. Today, I would like to introduce you to Excel’s “Status Bar” and to show you how it can make your life a little easier.

What is a status bar you ask? Well, it is way down at the bottom of the screen. You know, the place that no one hardly ever looks. In the picture below, you can see Excel’s main window with the status bar highlighted.

Main Window

Several things happen in the status bar that often go unnoticed. For instance, when you hit the “Caps Lock” key on your keyboard, an indicator shows up in the status bar. It is also home to some pretty helpful tools that can help you get quick answers from your spreadsheet.

Let’s begin by selecting a column of numbers like the ones pictured below. One of the most common tasks in a spreadsheet is to sum up a column of numbers. Notice that Excel makes this very easy. Below, you will see what the status bar shows when you have a column of numbers highlighted. By default, Excel shows you the average, sum, and count of the selected numbers.

Status Bar

If you right-click the status bar, you will get a context menu which will allow you to customize which fields you need displayed.  In the picture below, you can see the different options that you have. Notice the red circled area. Here, you can add other popular functions to the status bar.

Customize

Let’s add minimum and maximum to the status bar and see what we get. If you highlight your data as pictured below, you now will notice that the status bar gives some additional information. Highlighted below, you can see the “Min” and “Max” functions. Sometimes it is nice just to be able to glean out what the smallest and largest numbers in a spreadsheet are. The status bar makes this very simple to find.

Min Max

I hope this tutorial helps to simplify some of the common tasks you perform in Excel. Of course, if you enjoy typing “=Sum(H1:K8)” every time you want to get a Sum in a column, then this tip probably isn’t for you. ;)

Let me know what you think about this tip. I love questions and comments.

Google Toolbar Works in Firefox 5 and Firefox 6 – Here Is How To Enable It

A few weeks ago, Google said that they would be discontinuing Google Toolbar for Firefox 5 and will only continue supporting . However, in spite of that, the Google Toolbar continues to work in Firefox 5 and .

Google Toolbar for Firefox 5 and Firefox 6

I have been using the Google Toolbar in 5 and Firefox 6 for a few months now without issues, however, it does come with a caveat. Since Google has officially said that support for Google Toolbar is only available through Firefox 4, Firefox automatically disables the on Firefox 5 and Firefox 5.

Also Read: Firefox 5 Review | Firefox 6 Review

In order to enable the Google Toolbar in Firefox 5 and Firefox 6 you will first have to install the Add-on compatibility reporter extension in Firefox and restart the browser.

Change Google Toolbar Compatibility Firefox 5 & Firefox 6

Once you have done that head over to the “Add-ons” and you will be able to run Google Toolbar in Firefox 5 and Firefox 6. Firefox will still report that the add-on is incompatible with the newer versions, however, you can continue using it without issues. If you need more help with this read our earlier guide on How To Run Older Add-ons in Firefox.

Set-Up a File Server as a Drive in OS X Finder [How-To]

The other day, a colleague here at Techie Buzz asked for my recommendations on programs to blog using a Mac.  I told him about my favorites, and tried to provide a good reason why. Then, another contributor asked if there was a way to integrate the FTP system into the file system, like you can do in Windows  and Linux.

At first, I was dumbfounded. I had never thought of that as an option on OS X. However, it turns out that you can do it, and its possibly the most seamless way to use FTP on a Mac. The only caveat I see to this is that you can’t use it to upload files via FTP. For that, I highly recommend Cyberduck, which is now my personal choice for FTP.  Let’s take a look at how you set it up.

1. Open a Finder window. You can do that by clicking the ‘Finder’ icon on your dock, or by using the keyboard shortcut Command-Space and typing ‘Finder.’

2. Click the ‘Go’ menu, and then click connect to server. This will open a dialog box like this one, where you can choose to add a new server to the list. You can also use the keyboard shortcut of Command-K to access this window.

3. Fill in your server’s details.  Be sure to use complete addresses. For example, if it is an FTP server, use the whole address like ‘ftp://files.server.com’. If you have a username or password set up, you will be asked to provide those credentials.

Those are all the step you need to take. If you entered everything correctly, you should see a new drive in your finder side bar under ‘Shared.’ That’s the file server you just connected. It will work like any other file server connection, and its housed in your Finder window.

If you have any trouble getting this tip to work, or if you have any questions or suggestions, let us know in the comments section below. We love hearing from you.

How To Delete Phonebook Contacts From Facebook

recently came under a lot of fire for storing contacts and phone numbers from your phone contacts directly on their servers. This feature was part of the mobile sync they have in their apps. This feature formerly known as Phonebook has been available for a long time, however some recent Facebook mass updates caused it to come to the fore.

Facebook has said that the Phone Numbers "Published" to Everyone is Fake, however, they still have the data they have synched from the phone with them.

If you are not comfortable having your business or personal contacts phone numbers, emails and other information stored on Facebook, here is how you can delete them.

Step 1: Head over to Facebook.com on a desktop PC and log in. Once you have done that, click on the "Account" menu in the right hand side corner and then click on the "Edit Friends" link.

Step 2: On the Edit Friends page, click on the "Contacts" option in the left hand side sidebar of the page.

Delete Facebook Phonebook Contacts

Step 3: If you have used Facebook on your mobile device, you will see a list of all the contacts here. To delete these contacts from Facebook, click on the link that says "this page" or visit this link directly (requires login).

Remove Imported Phone Contacts from Facebook

Step 4: On the next page, Facebook will give you the usual yada yada about why you should not delete your Facebook contacts and how it will help you. If you are very sure about deleting the message you should just ignore it and click on the "Remove" button.

You will have to also stop syncing your phone contacts with Facebook. We will show you how to do it for and in future posts.

Express Your Life With Pinterest

I have to admit, I am a sucker for the visual arts. I often tell my wife that I am the reason people still spend money on billboards. I am the kind of guy that will nearly run the car off the road looking at billboard signs. You can imagine my thrill when I found a great social networking site geared towards all things visual called “Pinterest“.

Pinterest is a virtual pinboard that “lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web.” The site seeks to connect people through common interests. People post things they like that they’ve seen on the web to their “boards” and, like Twitter, people can follow your boards and you can follow theirs.

How does it work, you ask? When you first go the Pinterest website, you will be greeted with a montage of stunning images shared from all over the web. Below, you will see a picture of the main page.

Pinterest Main Page

You will notice that there is a button to “Request an Invite” from Pinterest. If you click this button, you will see the screen pictured below.

Sign Up

Shortly after submitting an invitation request, you will receive a greeting in your email with a link to sign up. You will see a screen similar to the one pictured below when you click that link. Pinterest links with an existing Facebook or Twitter account. They claim it makes it easier to find friends and share your interests. I suspect they didn’t want to reinvent the social networking wheel.

Facebook Connect

Once you have connected to your Facebook account, you are taken to a page where you can indicate certain interests that you have. If you look in the picture below, there are several categories from which to choose. Pinterest will automatically sign you up to follow certain people based on the interests that you chose. You have the option to unfollow these people at any time.

Interests

You will now have the option create pinboards of your own. Below, you will see the default suggested categories for pinboards. These are merely suggestions and you can add or delete as many as you like. Once you have added all of the pinboard categories you like, click “Create”.

Create Pinboards

Lastly, you will be given the option to install the Pinterest button to your browser. This will allow you to easily pin something to one of your boards from any website. I think this is a good idea. You don’t have to install it if you don’t want to, but then the process of adding pins is a little more manual. When you hit the Pinterest button in your browser, it automatically picks the images off of the page and gives you the choice of which image you want to pin.  Below, you will see a group of images from a website about Ayers Rock.

Pin This

When you click “Pin This” on an image, you will be taken to a dialog box like the one below. You will be given the option to pick which board you want to pin the image to. You also have the options of giving it a description, mentioning Facebook friends, and adding tags. When you are ready, click “Pin It” and you are done.

Create Pin

Pinterest is a unique way to network with people through the sharing of images. You can make wish lists, plan a wedding, plan an interior design, and much more. Frankly, it is only limited by your imagination and creativity. I hope you enjoy using Pinterest.

I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas. Please feel free to comment below.

Keep it Forever Using Evernote’s Web Clipper

Have you ever had the frustration of finding a fantastic article on the internet, only to come back a few days later and find that it is no longer there? If so, I have a great tip for you! Download Evernote’s “Web Clipper” add on for your browser and never lose that article again. If you are not familiar with Evernote, let me describe it for you in a nutshell; it is platform- and device-independent software that allows you to take notes, create lists, capture photos, and, for the purposes of this article, capture whole web pages, storing them in a personal electronic notebook. Many articles have been written already on this site about its features so feel free to search the term Evernote in our search bar. You can also visit their website at Evernote.com.

To install the Evernote “Web Clipper”, go to evernote.com and click the “Downloads” link on the main page. Below, you will see a picture of the Evernote main page with a pointer to the link.

Evernote Downloads Link

When you click the “Downloads” link on the main page, you will be taken to a page with different downloads. Find the option that says “Web Clipper” and click it. In the picture below, you will notice that Evernote detected the browser that I was using, and gave me the appropriate extension.

Chrome Extension

One you install the appropriate extension, or add on, for your browser, you will notice a new icon in your browser’s toolbar that looks like a green square with an elephant’s head in it. Now you are ready to do some clipping! Let’s say you find a great article on Techie Buzz that you would love to keep handy. Simply navigate to the page and click the Evernote logo in your browser window. Evernote will prompt you to login. Below, you will see a picture of the dialog box with the different options afforded you.

Clip Options

As you can see from the picture above, you have several options from which to choose. The first line that you see shows the title of the web page you are looking at. Second, you have the option to pick which notebook you would like your web clipping to be put in. The last two lines allow you to put tags for searching and a description. You will see a large button at the bottom of the box that gives you the option to clip the article, the full page, or just the URL of the page. In this example I chose “Clip full page”. When you have everything set up just the way you want it, click the large green “Clip article” button.

Now you have a permanent copy of that web page stored in a note. See the picture below. I clipped an article that I previously wrote for Techie Buzz. I now have a fully functioning (links and all) copy of that whole page. How cool is that? I can even put my own notes on the page now. It is also full searchable in my Evernote application.

Clipped Page

Did I mention that you could start using Evernote’s features for FREE! Even if you decide to use the premium features, it is only $5 per month. I think this is a great bargain.  Evernote is a powerful tool and the “Web Clipper” is a great feature.  I could see this being great for gathering recipes, collaborating on a website design, keeping up with references for a paper, and much more.

How would you use this feature? I would love to hear your ideas and thoughts.