Tag Archives: Tips And Tricks

How to Enable the New Google Bar in Chrome, Opera, Firefox and Internet Explorer

Yesterday, I mentioned that Google is in the process of replacing the black navigation bar with a more intuitive and smart Google bar. This new Google bar is being rolled out in a phased manner. Google promised to roll it out to most users by this weekend. However, if you can not wait, there is a very simple hack that can help you in getting your hands on the new Google interface.

Google-Bar-Hack

The hack works in all browsers that support cookie editing. As far as I know, Opera is the only one to provide this feature out of the box. Here are the steps Opera users need to follow to edit cookies.

  • Open www.google.com (or any other Google property).
  • Right click on any empty spot in the page and select Edit Site Preferences.
  • Navigate to the Cookies tab.
  • Opera users also need to perform the additional task of masking browser agent as Firefox (from the Network tab), since Google unfairly blocks Opera from having access to the new navigation bar.

Firefox, and Chrome users can use Cookies Manager+ and Edit This Cookie extensions respectively. Once you have figured out how to edit cookies in your browser, change the following cookies to the specified values and refresh the page to see the new Google Bar in action.

    Google-Bar-Hack-Step1

  • Cookie Name: PREF Value: ID=c72428966817e8fe:U=0247a1d2e28446ef:FF=0:LD=en:CR=2:TM=1322682576:LM=1322682591:S=T5G5rNwHMa3DgMyR
  • Google-Bar-Hack-Step2

  • Cookie Name: NID Value: 53=V2nPJ9pLZAt-hYsRLus7W3U4dlBY8HoXbAWgvVeTwg31Our1k1bgCphflivpX21wsKVV3K62La_Qo9qWr-CvRz__HppNYqCjFf03JsFz81zcc0TLXT6I0Kj9LlE_AcsA

If you want to do this without using any extension, you use the alternate method specified below. First you will need to open your browser’s developer console. Fire up Opera Dragonfly (Ctrl+Shift+I), Firefox Web Console (Ctrl+Shift+K), Internet Explorer Developer Tools (F12), or Chrome JavaScript console (Ctrl+Shift+J), and type the following code into the console.
document.cookie=”PREF=ID=03fd476a699d6487:U=88e8716486ff1e5d:FF=0:LD=en:CR=2:TM=1322688084:LM=1322688085:S=McEsyvcXKMiVfGds; path=/; domain=.google.com”;window.location.reload();

Ensure that the domain value correctly represents the page that you are currently surfing (example domain=mail.google.com for Gmail). Refresh the page to see the new navigation bar in action.

via PureInfoTech and GoogleSystem

How To Fix S0a00 Error on Comcast

If you are a customer of Comcast Cable, you might have come across an annoying error which says the following:

ONE MOMENT PLEASE

This channel should be available shortly

Ref code: S0a00

The error is annoying because it may happen even if you have paid your bill on time or there is no service disruption in your area. Fixing this problem could be tricky since there is no specific reasons on why this happens. However, if you are fed up of seeing this error on your TV screen here are some steps you should follow to fix the Comcast S0a00 error.

Comcast S0a00 Error - One Moment Please

Before you try the solution please make sure you Comcast cable bill is paid. Yes, this error could show up if you have not paid your Comcast Bill. Also make sure that your Comcast connection has not been disconnected for some reason.

Solution 1: Resetting your cable box.

Sometimes the error may occur because of a problem with the cable box. This may happen due to several reasons, however, it is easily fixable by resetting the cable box. Follow the steps below to reset your cable box.

  • Unplug the adapter from the back of your cable box and wait for 15-30 seconds
  • Plug the adapter back in and check to see if the S0a00 error disappears
  • If the error still persists move to solution 2

Solution 2: Checking the Coaxial cable connection.

The problem might occur because the Coaxial cable on the wall may not be proper. You might want to follow the instructions below to try and see if it helps.

  • Turn off your Cable or HD box
  • Remove the Coaxial cable from your cable box
  • Check if the Coaxial cable on the wall is tightly fitted, if not try to unscrew the Coaxial cable on the wall and then screw it back tightly.
  • Screw the Coaxial cable back to your cable box and check to see if it fixes the issue.
  • If the problem has not fixed check Solution 3

Solution 3: Getting customer support to reset your box remotely

If nothing has worked for you so far, you can still get rid of the S0a00 error without setting up a tech call. In order to do that call 1-800-COMCAST and follow the steps to report a fault cable TV.

Explain the S0a00 error to the representative and they will try to remotely send a signal to your box to reconfigure it. Most of the times this should fix the issue.

However, if the S0a00 issue is still not fixed even after the remote signal is sent, it might be an issue with a faulty Coaxial issue or a your cable line. The issue can only be resolved by setting up a Comcast representative to do a tech visit to your house. You can set that up on call with Comcast.

Please note: The solution listed above are just for informational reasons and we should not be held liable if something goes wrong while you use it.

How To Get Back Old Gmail Theme

*See updates at bottom to find more ways to restore Gmail Interface

Google recently rolled out a new interface for   to all it’s users. The interface is in line with most of the design changes that have been brought about by Google. It all started when they decided to add a Bing link background to their homepage and continued with a slew of other changes including removing the I am feeling Luckybutton, using a new design for search results and yet more, simplifying the image search results, adding top references to results and more.

However, not many people are actually liking the design and unlike earlier the options to switch back to old Gmail have changed. If you have switched to the new Gmail theme, you can easily switch back to the older theme temporarily.

Revert Gmail Theme

To revert back to the Old Gmail look, click on the “Settings” icon and then select the option to “Revert to old look temporarily”.

Once you do that, Gmail will revert back to the old interface. I am not sure as to how long the older interface will be available before users are forced to switch to the new Gmail interface. However, as always someone might come up with user scripts or which will allow users to go back to the old Gmail interface.

We will update the post with user scripts and extensions to switch back to the old Google interface as we come across them.

Update: 04/20/2012: Check out a new way to restore Old Gmail Interface using a Stylish script.

Remove Installed Greasemonkey Scripts in Firefox and Google Chrome

scripts are lightweight JavaScript files which add additionally functionality to browsers such as and . In the past we have talked about several interested Greasemonkey scripts which are both useful and help solve problems. One of the most recent one was removing Black bar in Google.

However, there are times when the Greasemonkey script you install might not work as expected or cause problems on other websites. If you are facing a similar problem you can easily uninstall the Greasemonkey script and get rid of the problem.

Google Chrome allows users to install Greasemonkey scripts as extensions so to uninstall scripts on Google Chrome, you will have to follow the steps given in How to uninstall apps and extensions in Google Chrome. However, if you are Firefox user and want to uninstall a Greasemonkey script, you will have to follow the steps given below.

Manage User Scripts Greasemonkey

Step 1: Click on the arrow next to the Greasemonkey icon and click on "Manage User Scripts"

Disable Greasemonkey Scripts

Step 2: Click on "Disable" button to disable the script temporarily or click on the "Remove" button to remove the script completely.

That’s it. Once you have disable or removed the script, just refresh the webpage and your problem will be solved.

How To Quickly Access Camera in iOS5 From Lock Screen

Apple recently released the latest and probably the best iteration of iOS to , and users. If you haven’t updated yet to iOS5 you can find direct download links for iOS5 and instructions on how to upgrade to iOS5 through iTunes or manually.

One of the most interesting features in is the ability to quickly take pictures from the lock screen without even having to unlock the iPhone or iPod Touch. This feature earlier allowed users to control the music player too.

In order to quickly access the camera from the lock screen, just double click on the home button and you will see an option to use the camera as seen in the screenshot above.

Access Camera from Lock Screen iOS5

Just click on the icon and you will be able to take photographs and save them. This is definitely one of the best features Apple has introduced in iOS5. We will be covering more such interesting things and tips for iOS5 in future. Stay tuned for them.

Don’t forget to read our earlier article about the new Notification center in iOS5 too.

The Layman’s Guide to Computer Security

With a world full of malware, identity thieves and hackers, securing your computer properly is of at most importance. But unfortunately, most of us do not think further than installing security software. Mostly it is only after you get infected or hacked, that you realize you have done too little. But it would be too late by then.

The truth is, by following some very simple practices, you can easily minimize chances of being infected. Here’s a rundown of some of basic tips to secure your computer.

Install reputed Anti-virus software

You should make it a habit of installing an anti-virus (AV) software right after you install your OS. There is free antivirus as well as paid security software. If you are ready to shell out a few bucks, you can go for paid solutions. But the free ones work just fine. When you buy/download security software, make sure that it is a reputed one. A simple Google search can give you an idea whether the software is good or not. There are lots of Fake AVs doing the rounds and you don’t want to end up getting one of those. So this is an important step before getting a security suite.

Also Read: Protect Yourself from Internet Threats

Some examples of paid security software are Norton, NOD32, and Vipre etc. Free ones include AVG, Avast and Microsoft Security Essentials.

As I mentioned before, just having the anti-virus installed is not enough. You have to use it wisely. And by using wisely, I mean turning on the real-time protection, updating the AV and scanning your PC in regular intervals. The real-time protection mechanism monitors you PC all the time and will warn if there is any suspicious activity. Almost all major AV software has this feature.

Malware of different types are being released to the internet every minute and running an out-dated anti-virus makes your PC more susceptible to those malware. A common trend nowadays is that people tend to use trial versions of paid security suites that come pre-installed even after the trial has expired. Do not do that. As the trial is expired, you won’t be getting updates and your AV will be of no use unless you have the latest updates. So pay to get the full version of that software or else choose a free one to get those valuable definition updates. Remember! Updates are the spirit of your AV.

Do a system scan once in a while. A full scan every week would suffix. Most of the modern AVs allow you to schedule regular scans and automatic updates so that it requires minimum intervention from the end user.

Update the OS and all other installed software

While trying to break into a PC, it’s not just the vulnerabilities in Windows that the hackers take advantage of. Vulnerabilities in third party software are also an important issue. So make sure that all of the programs that you have installed are fully updated and not just your OS or security software.

Use a strong and unpredictable password

Your password is the key to your data and it is extremely important that you use a strong password. Here are some tips on creating a strong password.

  • Your password should have more than 8 characters.
  • Use a password that is not easily predictable. People tend to use passwords that are related to them such as their own names, date of births, favorite quotes etc. A hacker who stalks their victim’s social networking accounts such as Facebook can find this kind of information very easily. So it is very important that you use an un-related word, preferably a non-dictionary word as your password.
  • Try to include upper case letters, lower case letters, numbers and special characters to strengthen your password.
  • Do not use a single password for all your accounts. If you use a single password and your account gets hacked, your other accounts are also compromised.

Also Read: Tips to Create Easy-to-remember Strong Passwords | 4 Tools to Generate Strong Passwords

Practice safe browsing habits

Bad browsing habits are one of the major sources of malware infection. Always be vary of things that your download from the internet. Even if you download something from a trusted source, scan it before opening or executing the file. Do not download pirated software or media as there’s a big probability that they might be infected with malware.

Use your browser’s security features such as the smart screen and phishing filter while browsing. All of the major browsers such as IE, Firefox and Chrome come with these features.

While using social networks, be careful about whom you befriend and the level of data that you want to share with. For more on Facebook security, check out this guide.

Backup your data

Even if you are following the above practices, it is better to have a backup’ plan. The best method is to backup your data to an external hard drive. There is lots of software that will do this for you. Using Windows built in tools; you either do a full PC backup or choose which data you want to back. These settings can be found in the Backup and Restore Center in Windows 7 and Vista (just type backup in the start menu and press enter to open the Backup and Restore Center).You can also use paid software like Acronis True Image or Norton Ghost if you need more features.

Whether you use paid solution or the native Windows tool, make it a habit to backup important documents and media so that even if your system gets infected or corrupted, you don’t lose your important data.

You can also use websites to backup your data to the cloud. We have covered several services which allow users to backup files for free online, you will find most of them in our Online Storage section.

With the help of security software and by using our very precious common sense, we can easily reduce the chance of getting infected up to a great extent.

So stay safe and happy browsing!

How To Filter Emails/Create Message Rules in Windows Live Mail 2011

I have been using Windows Live Mail as my primary email client for quite sometime now and have configured it to download emails from several accounts. Though I have found Windows Live Mail to be a really good email client, I have several problems with it, including WLM freezing my system and with high CPU and RAM usage.

Windows Live Mail

However, after cleaning up my emails I found it to be working without issues. Now came the second problem of filtering messages so that I can sort them out in separate folders. Easy right? Well not that easy, or at-least Microsoft decided to put the option in the wrong place.

After searching for over an hour I was about to give up when I came across an option to do it. I believe many of you might be facing the same issue, so I decided to write up a quick tutorial on how to filter incoming  emails by creating message rules in Windows Live Mail 2011.

The below rules apply to Windows Live Mail 2011, so you might want to upgrade your installation first.

Windows Live Mail Message Rules

Step 1: Open Windows Live Mail and click on the Folders tab.

Step 2: Click on the "Message Rules" option available at the end of the ribbon.

Step 3: Click on the "New" button and follow the instructions to create your incoming email message rule.

That’s it, your incoming messages will now be filtered and stored in the appropriate directory,  deleted, forwarded or perform any other action based on what rules you have created.

Easily Cut Out Pictures Using PaintdotNet

One of our readers posed a question to me yesterday and I thought that I would share the answer with all of you. The reader had been scanning scrapbook pages and wanted to know how they could separate the scanned pages into individual pictures. There are hundreds of ways to do this, however, I would like to show you how I would accomplish something like it. Plus, I have a free program suggestion, which makes this tutorial that much better!

The first thing we need to do is download a free program called Paint.Net. This is a pretty nifty program. Here is a little blurb from their website to give you a little background on the program.

It started development as an undergraduate college senior design  project  mentored by Microsoft, and is currently being maintained by some of the alumni that originally worked on it. Originally intended as a free replacement for the  Microsoft Paint  software that comes with Windows, it has grown into a powerful yet simple image and photo editor tool.

Once you have the program downloaded and installed on your computer, open up an image. In this tutorial, I am going to copy a piece of a picture and paste it into a new picture. Let’s say, for example, I want to cut my picture out below and make a thumbnail of my head.

Image In Paint.Net

If you look on the left side of the screen, there is a floating toolbar. Here, you will find lots of really cool tools you can use to edit your picture. Let’s find the “rectangle select” tool. You can see it highlighted in the image below.

Rectangle Select

Click the “rectangle Select” tool. Click and drag over the area of the picture that you would like to cut out. In the image below, you can see where I highlighted the area around my face.

Selected Area

In this tutorial, I don’t want to crop this picture because that would affect the original image, which I want to keep as-is. What I want to do is create a new image from the selected area above. To do this, I need to copy the selected area. Click the edit menu, as pictured below, and select copy from the menu.

Select Copy

Now, here is the really cool part. Let’s click the “New”  button in the upper left corner of the screen. Paint.Net actually recognizes the size of the image that you copied onto the clipboard. Notice in the picture below, there is a dialog box that pops up with image size already filled in.

New

Once you click OK, there will be a blank picture perfectly sized for the image that is on the clipboard. Now, all you have to do is go to edit and click paste, as pictured below.

Paste

There you have it! The selected area from the original picture is now a separate picture. I will point out that if you look in the top right corner of the screen, there are thumbnail images that show you all the images you have open. See the image below for an example.

Thumbnails

Paint.Net is one of the easiest image editors I have ever used. I hope to do more tutorials soon. It has a lot of the functionality of Photoshop, but it also is intuitive for people used to using Microsoft products. Since it’s free, you can’t beat the price.

Please feel free to comment or ask questions. It’s always nice to hear from our readers. Please take a moment to share us with your friends as well.

Create Organization Charts Easily in Word 2010

Have you ever tried to come up with one of those cool organizational charts only to discover that it can be a real pain to do? All of the rectangles and lines going in every direction can get a little frustrating. A lot of people use a program like Visio to get this done. Visio is nice, but it can be a little complicated to use. Never fear, this tutorial will show you an easy way to create organizational charts in Word.

First things first; let’s open up Word 2010. Doing an organizational chart in Word requires a new feature called “SmartArt”. This is a great new feature in the Office 2010 family. To insert “SmartArt” into the Word document, click the “Insert” tab, and then click “SmartArt”. See the picture below for an example.

Smart Art

Once you click on “SmartArt”, you will see several options. In the picture below, you can see that there are several categories of “Smart Art”. The one that we will be using in this tutorial is filed under “Hierarchy”. We are going to use the one labeled “Picture Organization Chart”. I really like this chart because it not only lets you show the hierarchy, but it also let’s you add a person’s picture beside their name.

Picture Organization Chart

Once you have selected the picture organization chart, click OK. You will now see the screen pictured below.

Org Chart Options

Notice that you get several options when you insert the chart. At the top of the screen there is a “SmartArt Tools” tab with many options on the toolbar below. In the body of the document, you will see a small chart ready for you to fill in. To the left of the chart, you will see a window where you can type the text you want in each block of the chart. You will notice, above, that I typed my name in the first block. You can continue typing and the font will get smaller to fit in the block. There is also a small picture icon located to the left of the name block. If you click the icon, a dialog box will appear where you can insert the person’s picture in the block. See the example below to see how this looks.

Picture Added

You have a lot of options for changing the appearance of the organizational chart. If you want to add additional subordinates under a person, right-click their name on the chart, then find the “add shape” option from the menu that pops up, and finally, click where you want the new block to go. In this case, since we want a subordinate, we would choose “Add Shape Below”. See the picture below for an example.

Adding Shapes

By default, this chart was blue, however, there are many choices so you are not stuck with that color. If you look at the toolbar at the top of the page, you will see that you can change the layouts and the colors. Pictured below, you will see an example of some of the color changes you can make to your chart. Notice that as you mouse over the different options, the chart changes to show you how it will look with that change applied. There are more advanced options on the toolbar as well. For instance, you can change the shape of the blocks if you like. It’s all available on the “SmartArt Tools” bar.

Recolor the Chart

I hope you find this tutorial helpful. Now you know an easy way to create a beautiful organizational chart, and you don’t have to spend a fortune to do it. Using Word’s “SmartArt” feature, you’ll look like a pro around the office!

If you find this tutorial helpful, please recommend us to a friend. As always, we love to get feedback from you.

Using Tab Stops In Word

Today, I would like to share a really cool trick that you can use in Word. A lot of people are familiar with using the buttons that position paragraphs to the center or to the right. It isn’t rocket science. You click in the paragraph you want to center, then click the center button (or CTRL + E if you like keyboard shortcuts), and there you have it. The real trick comes when you would like some of your text left aligned on one side of the page, but then you want other text right aligned on the other side of the page. Here is a perfect example. Let’s say Mona has a flower shop, and she would like to make a brochure that shows her goods on the left side of the page, but she would like the prices to be on the right side of the page. Not only that, but she would also like the decimal points to line up nice and neat. Let me show you a little-used feature that can help her accomplish this task.

The first thing that we need to do is to make sure that the rulers are visible in the Word document. In Word 2010, click the “View” tab, and then select the  checkbox  that says “Ruler”. See the picture below to see it highlighted.

Ruler

You should now see the rulers on the top and left sides of the page. Hit the “Tab” key on your keyboard. Notice where the cursor lines up in relation to the top ruler. By default, it should normally line up in half inch increments. This is called a tab stop. However, you can affect the behavior of the tab stop and that is exactly what we’re going to do to get Mona’s flower shop brochure all fixed up.

If you look to the far left side of the screen, just above the left side ruler, you will see the button pictured below. This is the tab stop button.

Tab Stop Button

By default, it will have an “L” shape. This denotes a “Left” aligned tab stop. If you click this button you will notice that there are several tab stops from which to choose. Clicking the button doesn’t insert a tab stop, but, rather, sets it to the type of stop which you want to add when you’re ready to add the stop. To add a tab stop, choose the type that you want, then click with your mouse on the ruler at the top of the screen, and your new stop will be added. Let’s say, for example, that you choose a left aligned tab stop. If you click on the 1 inch mark on the top ruler, a little “L” symbol will be added to the ruler. Now, you have changed all the rules for the “Tab” key on your keyboard. Now, when you hit “Tab”, instead of the half inch increment, it will jump to the new stop you inserted. Also, any text that you type at that stop will be left aligned. If you hit “Tab” again, it will revert back to its default stops unless you add another tab stop to the ruler.

If you click on the tab stop button a couple of times, you should get a backwards “L” shape which denotes a right aligned tab. Once you have the right tab stop, click the 5 inch mark on the top ruler to add your stop. See the picture below for an example.

Right Tab Stop

Now that you have added this tab stop to the ruler, when you hit the “Tab” key that cursor will move to the 5 inch mark. Also, when you type, the text will be right aligned. Look at the example below.

Right Aligned

Here, you will notice a couple things. Notice that the item names in the left column are left aligned, but the prices in the right column are right aligned. I’ve added a black line to add emphasis to how the numbers line up under the right tab stop. Another really nice thing about this setup is that the decimals all line up neatly. You may ask, “Why didn’t you just type the item and then hit the right align button on the toolbar and type the price?” Well, if you hit the buttons on the toolbar the entire paragraph aligns right, not the particular piece you are typing. Tab stops allow you to align a portion of the paragraph a certain way. You may also want to know how to get rid of a tab stop. All you have to do is click the tab stop on the ruler and drag it off. This will make it go away.

I hope you find this tip useful. It is one of those seldom used, but very handy, little tricks that Word has included. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to respond. I appreciate hearing back from our readers.