Automatically Turn Off the Touchpad When Using a Mouse

[for Windows and Mac OS X]

Do you use a laptop or netbook? How many times have you accidently hit your touchpad while typing? When it happens, you end up typing somewhere else or not at all. It’s aggravating, but it’s not something you need to put up with if you listen to our advice.

Last year, Keith wrote about a free little app that lets you disable the touchpad while typing. That application is called TouchFreeze (Windows Only), and it does a good job of keeping your cursor on track. Whenever you start typing, your laptop’s touchpad is automatically disabled.

I recently decided that I’d try TouchFreeze, but first I figured it would be a good idea to investigate my options. The first place I looked was in the mouse pointer options. Any Windows user can normally access the mouse settings by going to the Control Panel and double-clicking on the Mouse icon. Below you can see those Mouse icons as they appear in WinXP and Win7.



Mac users with a Trackpad can access their settings by clicking System Preferences, selecting  Keyboard & Mouse, then switching  to the  Trackpad category.

I’m guessing that 99% of the time I use my laptop, I already have a mouse attached to it. I’ll admit that I’m still hooked on using a mouse. I’ve never gotten comfortable using a touchpad all the time.

I found out that my touchpad is a Synaptics device. Apparently, Synaptics touchpads are used on many major brands of computers, such as Dell, Samsung, Acer, HP, and Toshiba. The surprise for me, was that Synaptics already has a good solution for keeping my touchpad disabled when I don’t need it.

You can find the settings for your Synaptics touchpad in the Mouse settings on the last tab. The Synaptics settings include the option to turn off the touchpad whenever a mouse or other pointing device is attached.

This setting is labeled Disable internal pointing device when external USB pointing device is attached.


You may also be able to access the Synaptics settings by double-clicking on the Synaptics icon in your system tray. The Synaptics icon may look like one of these two icons below.


For the Mac users with a Trackpad, the same setting exists. Here you can see it at the very bottom of this image (from It says “Ignore trackpad when mouse is present”.

apple trackpad

That’s my solution to the problem. I like it because I don’t have to load any additional software on my laptop. TouchFreeze is great, but I don’t need it most of the time.

“Submit This To Google Buzz!” Does Exactly What It Says!

Not every webpage or blog has a “Buzz This!” button. Just like you tweet, you can now send any page to Google Buzz with a google chrome extension.

“Submit this to Google Buzz!” is a Google Chrome extension that helps you to buzz any page to Google Buzz right from the page you are on.

"Submit this to Google Buzz!" does exactly what it says!

This extension sits on the top right corner of your browser. It has the same functionality as a “Buzz This!” button.  It shares the link in Google Reader, which in turn, gets posted to Buzz

Note: Let me inform you here that you should have Google Reader connected to Buzz to post it on Google Buzz

Go ahead and download the extension here.

Google, Bing and Yahoo Site Search Bookmarklet

Quite sometime back I wrote and compiled a list of webmaster bookmarklets which would come in pretty handy to webmasters and anyone else who want to get more information about a site. Over a period of time I have created several more bookmarklets which have come in very handy.

Over a discussion at today, I came across a question about searching a site, and based on that I shared a bookmarklet which will allow users to search any website using the site operator in Google, Bing and Yahoo.

Site Search Bookmarklet

Searching with these bookmarklets is pretty easy. When you are on a site and want to search it for something, just click on the bookmarklet for the search engine you want to search content in. Once you do that, you will be prompted to enter the search term. Enter it and click on the Ok button to initiate the site search.

If you are interested, drag any of the links below to your bookmarks bar and click on it whenever you want to search content within a website.

I have tested the bookmarklets on on , Firefox, , Safari and Internet Explorer. Let me know if you run into any trouble while using it.

Note: Site search will always open in a new window or tab, also, clicking on the cancel button does not work properly right now.

Send Direct Messages to Multiple Users in Twitter

Direct messages in are a good way to send out message to people away from the public timeline. However, the problem with direct messages in Twitter is that it only allows you to send a DM to one user at a time. This creates a problem when you want to send out the same direct message to several users, say for example thanking people for wishing you a Happy Birthday.

However, like with everything else, there is a Twitter app called TweetGuru, which allows users to send out direct messages to multiple recipients at once in Twitter.

To send out direct messages to multiple users follow the steps given below:

Step 1: Head over to TweetGuru and click on the "Sign in with Twitter" button and grant TweetGuru access to your account.

Send Direct Messages Multiple Users on Twitter

Step 2: Once you have authorized Tweet Guru, you will be redirected back to the MultiDM page. To send out DMs to multiple recipients, just enter their Twitter handles separated by a comma.

Step 3: Click on the "Sent Multi DM" button to send out the direct messages to multiple recipients.

Techie Buzz Verdict

MultiDM is definitely a very useful application and will definitely come in handy to send out mass DMs to your followers.  However, right now the number of recipients is limited to 12, but you you can contact the developer to increase the number of recipients to a larger number. Thanks Amit.

Rating: 3.5/5 (Very Good)

Tweak XP Security Settings with XP-Antispy

A few hours ago, Pallab told us how to Optimize Windows 7 Services with SMART. That made me wonder if there was a similar utility for XP. However, I found out that the SMART utility mentioned in Pallab’s article now supports Vista and XP. After a bit more research, I found a utility I’ve heard about for a long time and hadn’t tried until now.

XP-Antispy is a small application that lets you control some of the XP system services and registry settings. Disabling these services and settings can make your PC safer from outside threats and also keep it from contacting Microsoft when it doesn’t need to. These settings could be changed manually by a Windows user, however, tracking all of them down and changing them could take hours and hours of hard work. XP-Antispy makes it simple.

Here’s what XP-Antispy looks like:


As you can see, the interface is simple enough, and the operation is as simple as adding check-marks or removing them. Each setting is briefly explained so that you have an idea what each does. Antispy also allows you to keep a copy of your old settings so that you can always return to them if you need to.

There is a built in help file that is fairly detailed if you need it. I was also pleased to find that a portable version (in a zip file) is available for download as well as the typical installer based version.

Important Note: This program is not recommended for a new or casual Windows user. Many of these settings should only be changed by experienced users. As an additional precaution, you could also make a full back up the XP registry with ERUNT before making changes with this tool.

Home Page of XP-Antispy

Alternate download at

Techie Buzz Verdict:

I like XP-Antispy’s simplicity and the help file that is provided. I’m also happy that the author updates this program quite often to keep it current with today’s changing security needs. However, I wish that there was more explanation for each setting. I was also disappointed by a re-directed to eBay on my first attempt to download the zip file. That’s why I included the alternate download location above.

Techie Buzz Rating: 3/5 (Good)

Drawter: Create HTML and CSS Codes Online without any Coding Knowledge

If you are a blogger and always feared to change your blog’s design because you don’t know how to code, here is a reason to rejoice. Drawter is an amazing web based tool which can be used to generate blocks of HTML and CSS codes. You have to draw the shapes and input the CSS attributes of HTML blocks. Drawter will then generate the corresponding CSS and HTML code which you can use in your blog template.

How to Draw HTML and CSS code with Drawter

1.  Visit Drawter and select the “Draw” mode from the navigation. Draw a rectangle (node) with your chosen dimension.


2. Select the elements from the sidebar and choose the basic parameters of the page you are going to create. Give your page a meaningful title, select the document type and the page language.


3. To add content in a node, select the “Edit” mode from the navigation and click the node you want to edit. You will see a content box for adding text in the page.


If you want to insert hyperlinks, select the “a” module from the dropdown. Similarly, to add H1 heading, select “H1″ from the tag name dropdown.

4. To style the HTML block, set the font-size, font-color, background color from the next section of the toolbox. You can also use a background image for the block by adding the URL of the image in the “background image ” text box.


5. Add all the style parameters you want for the chosen HTML block from the “Other box styles” section. Most of the known properties are included so that you can try your creative skills at ease.


When you are done adding all the style attributes, hit the “Generate code” button from the navigation. Drawter will generate the complete HTML and CSS code for the block you just designed.


Once you have the codes, you can use them in your blog by pasting the CSS before the </head> section and the HTML after the <body> section of your blog template. Do you know any other tool which does a similar job or better? Share your ideas in the comments section.

Techie Buzz Verdict

Drawter is free and there are no signups required to use the service. I like the simplicity of the tool but one thing it lacks – you can’t code multiple pages at the same time. Yes, you can open Drawter in two separate browser tabs and design the pages. But it would be better if you can design two separate pages in the same browser tab, simultaneously.

Techie Buzz rating: 5/5 (perfect).

Create Screensavers With Flash Files Using InstantStorm

InstantStorm is a tool that helps you to convert your flash (.swf) files into screensavers (.scr).

You can create screensavers using this tool, either by following the wizard it provides or manually. An interesting feature in this tool is that you can even create your own “Screensaver Settings” and “Installation”. In short, this is a complete kit to create a screensaver. In this post, I am going to list some good features of this tool.


Settings and Installation Dialog Designer:

You can create your own dialogs for installation and settings. Creating these dialog boxes is very easy. You just need to edit whatever you want to, in the dialog box and then save it. That’s all! Check the picture below.


Additional File Support:

Many screensaver creators don’t support other files associated with a screensaver. So, you can’t add audio and other files to your screensaver. But, InstantStorm even helps you to add other files. You can even add audio files to your screensaver.


Techie-Buzz Verdict

InstantStorm is a really good tool. It has many useful features as I have metioned above. It is more than a typical screensaver creator. If you want to create a complete screensaver, this is one of the best tools you can use.

Techie-Buzz Rating: 3.5/5

AutoPager Automatically Loads The Next Webpage Inline

One thing I don’t like while googling is loading page after page to get next results. Even though there is an option to extend the search results up to 100, sometimes we would like to go further down while making a deep search.

Recently, when I was browsing, I found an amazing addon for Firefox that can help you to load the next pages of search automatically within the window. The addon is called Autopager.

Auto Pager is darn useful when you do searches online. As you reach the end of the page you will be loading the next results in the same page. So, you just need to scroll down through the search results.

How To Use This?

This is just like Greasemonkey or TwitterFox addon. It sits in the status bar. You can enable or disable by clicking on it (the same way you do in Greasemonkey). When you visit a search engine for the first time, it will ask with a pop-up, whether to enable or disable this site from auto paging. For example, check this picture (click to enlarge).


Note: The auto paging will work only if someone has created a auto paging setting for a webpage. I tried for the three popular search engines, Google, Yahoo! and Bing and all of them have the auto paging feature.

If you want to create auto pager for your own webpages, then go through this tutorial on their home site.

This is how it loads new pages. It works for normal Google search and also Google Image Search.


Techie-Buzz Verdict

This is a highly recommended one. I know, even if I don’t tell you to, you will use it. It’s a great help while searching online.

Good News: Google Chrome users, don’t get dejected! This addon is even available for Google Chrome. Go ahead and download it here.

Techie-Buzz Rating: 5/5 (Excellent and must-use)

Enable Aero Effect in Windows Vista and Windows 7 Home Basic

Aero was one of the most celebrated additions to Windows Vista. The snazzy new Aero effects brought Windows on par with modern GUIs. Windows 7 further refined Aero and succeeded in delivering an attractive yet intuitive interface. Unfortunately, Aero is disabled in cheaper editions of Windows Vista and 7 (Home Basic and Starter editions). Aero is also locked on lower end systems.

AeroEnabler is a simple utility which unlocks Aero in Home Basic and Starter Editions. It can also be used to disable Windows hardware check. This makes it possible for everyone to get a taste of Aero, without upgrading the hardware or software.


Techie Buzz Verdict

AeroEnabler does what it promises. However, one must be careful while forcefully enabling Aero effects on lower end configurations. The hardware check was included in the first place because, running Aero on systems which aren’t powerful enough, may lead to major performance issues. If your hardware doesn’t satisfy the Windows Display Driver Model specifications, then you would probably be better off without Aero.

Techie Buzz Rating: 2.5/5 (Average)

[ Download AeroEnabler ]

via NirmalTV

Four services to get answers to your questions

We have dozens of daily queries, like “What’s in the flight status?” or “What is the score of the ongoing NBA game?”. Likewise, there are numerous places to get the answers to those queries too. Here is a list of four such services, which are popular for providing mostly meaningful answers to user queries.

1. SnapAsk

get-answers-snapask This is an email based service that provides you with valuable information on numerous aspects, like wikipedia articles, stock quotes, weather, flight status, dictionary and many more, through email. All you have to do is just send an email to [email protected] with a command in the subject line of the email. For instance, the command for getting an answer on flight status is flight continental 14. You can find more commands related to other topics on their homepage. The body of the email can be empty.[Visit Snapask]

2. ToAnswer

get-answers-toanswer ToAnswer is a Twitter based answering service. If you are a regular twitter user, just follow ToAsk and ToAnswer profiles. Now whenever you need to ask something, just add @ToAsk before the question. Afterwards, the tweet is is indexed by the ToAnswer Twitter bot and the question is posted on the ToAnswer homepage, making it available for answering by other users of this service.[Visit ToAnswer]

3. Google SMS

get-answers-google-sms This is an awesome service by Google, that can be accessed from your mobile phone. All you have to do is send an SMS to 466453 with the desired keyword for the query. You will get the set of keywords for any particular query here. [Visit GoogleSMS FAQ]

4. Mosio

get-answers-mosio This is yet another email based answering service which also has an SMS option to ask your questions. Check out the Mosio test page. There is nothing to install and everything is free. It also has Twitter and Jott Integration.[Visit Mosio]

Well, as I had already stated in the beginning, out of many other services that answer your questions, those four are my favorites. If you have any better suggestions, please fill in the comment form to share them.