Windows 7 March 2010 Theme and Wallpaper Calendars

March 2010 is here, and like every month, Smashing Magazine has released a new set of wallpapers for March 2010. The wallpaper calendars for the month of March 2010 are really awesome and definitely worth download.

Mario Bros March 2010 Wallpaper Calendar

Spring March 2010 Wallpaper Calendar

Users can choose to download individual wallpapers, which are available in high resolution with the calendar and without the calendar. You can also download widescreen wallpapers individually.

You can also download the March 2010 theme and install it to get all the wallpapers with the theme. Check below for the Wallpaper and Windows 7 theme download links.

Download March 2010 Wallpapers

Download March 2010 Windows 7 Theme

Free GPS on Your Laptop – Geosense for Windows

I have a GPS unit to keep me from getting lost while I’m driving, but it doesn’t hook up to my computer. If I wanted to use geolocation applications to show online friends where I was at the moment, I couldn’t do it.   Until now ….

Sathya Bhat sent me an email yesterday telling me about a new geo-location solution. Two crazy programmers named Long Zeng and Rafael Rivera have created a program that identifies where you are by using either your IP address, or Wifi triangulation. The application is called Geosense for Windows, but, it only works in Windows 7. Apparently Windows 7 has a built in location sensing API that nobody else is taking advantage of yet.

Here’s how to set it up:

First, go to the home page and download Geosense and install it.

To enable Geosense, go to your Start Menu and type location(without quotes) into the search box. Then click on Enable location and other sensors.


Next place a check-mark in the check-box to enable Geosense.


Once you’ve clicked Apply, you won’t notice anything new. However, you’ll find that any location aware application you run, will now automatically know where you are.

The Geosense website offers a nice Google Maps test application to try out. You can also run the Windows Weather Gadget to find your local weather. Here you can see both of these running on my laptop.


They also mention that there’s a Twitter application called MahTweets which can grab the location and put it into your tweets.

Here’s the Geosense homepage: Check it out.

Techie Buzz Verdict:

Geosense is not going to be able to replace my car’s GPS unit, but if I’m on the road, at least I’ll know about where I am, even when I’m away from the car. I did notice that it was only able to give an approximate location, within half a kilometer, so it’s not perfect. It’s a free app that makes excellent use of a previously hidden feature in Windows 7. I love it.


Techie Buzz Rating: 4/5 (Excellent)

First iPad Clone Pops Up Before iPad Begins Sales, Runs Windows 7

Even before Apple could start the sale for the , there is already a new iPad clone which has popped up in, from you know where, China, the country famous for clone products. The so-called iPad clone is basically is a overweight netbook packaged as a iPod Touch.

iPad Clone from Teso

The above picture is of a real product called "Shenzhen", and is manufactured by a China based company called Teso. The specs of the "iPad Clone" is impressive, but it is just a netbook spec fit into a tablet PC. Check out the specs below.

Shenzhen Specs

  • (most likely starter edition)
  • 1.66GHz Intel Atom N450 processor
  • 10.1-inch 1024*600 capacitive touchscreen
  • 1GB of RAM
  • GPS and 3G connectivity
  • 3000mAh battery
  • Weight is 1.2Kg or 2.6 pounds

Looks like the competition from JooJoo, Adam and other upcoming tablets were not enough for Apple, that they have to deal with the "iPad Clone" too. What do you think?

[Cloned In China via Liliputing]

Backup Your Device Drivers with Double Driver

IN A WINDOWS PC, the drivers are some of the most important files you need to keep everything working as it should. The drivers control all of the hardware devices in your PC. So when they don’t work, your display, or sound, or CD/DVD drives, or networking cards may not be working.

Usually, this happens when you are setting up a new PC that you don’t have the original install disks for. I’ve had it happen many times and the only solution is to search the internet for the correct drivers, then install them.

If you have all of your required drivers, re-installing Windows will most likely be a trouble free experience. The best place to get the drivers is off of the PC that’s going to need them. Over the years, I’ve gotten a little smarter. After a successful install of Windows, one of the first things I do is back up all of the system drivers someplace safe. I’ve found one of the best ways to do this is to use a driver backup utility.

double-driver-icon Double Driver is a good freeware driver backup solution. It’s not a large download and it’s also a portable application, meaning, you can take the program with you on a flash card or USB drive. There’s no need to install it since it will run right from the portable drive.


Installation is easy. Download the zip file, extract it to a folder, then double click the dd.exe file to start Double Driver.

Once it’s running, click the Scan button to make Double Driver scan your PC for all of the driver files.

By default, the drivers you need to back up will already be selected. However, it never hurts to back them all up. You can select all of the drivers from the Select menu.


Once you’ve selected all the drivers you wish to back up, then you only need to hit the Backup button to start the process. You’ll have an option to change the backup settings at this point.


The default options are fine unless you need to compress the files because of limited space in your backup location. The default option to Include Double Driveris a bonus that’s worthy of praise. After all, it’s likely you’ll only need to restore the drivers to a system which doesn’t already have Double Driver on it.

Restoring the drivers on a PC is also very easy. Navigate to the folder where you have the backup drivers stored, then double click the dd.exe file.


Once Double Driver is running, hit the Restore button and you’ll see your drivers listed, selected, and ready for you to hit the Restore button once again.

Download Double Driver

Techie Buzz Verdict:

Double Driver meets almost every good point that I use to judge software. It’s freeware, portable, useful, easy to use, bug free and runs on most versions of Windows. I have no problem recommending it as a must have.


Techie Buzz Rating: 4/5 (Excellent)

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.


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:


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.


Techie Buzz Rating: 4/5 (Excellent)

Find and Read Tons of Free E-Books with FBReader

Do you like to read? I love to read, but I have trouble making time for it. Typically, I’ve always read books, and only recently, have I moved to reading on my laptop or netbook. While using a computer, I wondered why so many people preferred using an e-book reader application. I always found most books in PDF or plain text.

Now I know why. An e-Reader can be your best buddy if it’s a good one. It keeps track of all your books, keeps track of where you are in each book, and it may also help you find more books. That’s certainly the case for FBReader, a free and open source (FOSS) e-book reader.

fbreader-icon As you may already know, besides plain text or PDF, e-books come in many formats. FBReader supports html, chm, plucker, palmdoc, oeb, rtf, tcr, OpenReader, non-DRM’ed Mobipocket, and fb2. It also supports reading from tar, zip, gzip, and bzip2 archives. It also has automatic language and encoding detection, automatic hyphenations, full-screen mode, and screen rotation.

Perhaps the best feature for FBReader is that it’s available for many platforms and operating systems. Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, Android, Sharp Zaurus, Siemens Simpad with Opensimpad ROM, Nokia Internet Tablet (Maemo platform), Archos PMA430, Motorola E680i/A780/A1200 smartphones, PepperPad 3, Asus Eee PC, IRex iLiad, UMPC. There’s also a Java version that likely works on a Mac OS.

The FBReader menus and help are available in 13 languages; Arabic, Chinese, Czech, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Lithuanian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish and Ukrainian.

If may have spoken too soon, when I said best feature. I also love the fact that I don’t even have to leave FBReader to go and look for more books. It’s able to search several online libraries and download new books for you. You can even add libraries, as if there wasn’t enough to read already.

Here are four screen shots showing the major functions.

Finding New Books


Looking at Your Books


Book Cover Art


Reading a Book


In Windows, FBReader is offered as a 5MB installer. I found that the program folder can be copied to a flash card or USB drive and used as a semi-portable app as well.

On a final note, there is an active FBReader Group online, which can offer all kinds of help and advice, such as, where to find more cool books.

Download FBReader

Techie Buzz Verdict:

I haven’t been using FBReader long, but I have a feeling it’s going to be one of my favorite apps. The ability to read when I want, on the go, on any PC, and find more books easily is priceless.


Techie Buzz Rating: 4.5/5 (Excellent)

5GB of Free Online File Storage with CloudDrive

I have more free storage space online than I know what to do with. I have SkyDrive, Google Docs, Dropbox, Ubuntu One, and several others. That doesn’t mean I won’t accept more if it’s offered. In 2008, when Adobe offered 5GB of free space online for files, I snapped it up. Their service is called Adobe Acrobat Document Service. All you need is an email address and a password to use it. There was one major problem with it and I have not been using it. Adobe’s service only allows you to upload one file at a time.

Since you can only upload one file at a time, it takes too long to use their service. Most of the time, I use SkyDrive Explorer to upload files when I need cloud storage. This may change since I found a free program called CloudDrive. This freebie app let’s you upload multiple files into your Adobe Acrobat Documents account. Take a look at the CloudDrive application:


CloudDrive looks almost like a regular file window and you’ll have no trouble figuring it out. It allows you to create folders, but I did notice one problem with that. You can’t move files between folders easily. As far as I can tell, you have to download a file and then re-upload it into a different folder.

Other than that, I can’t see much wrong with this application.

[via DownloadSquad]

Download CloudDrive (XP, Vista, 7)

Techie Buzz Verdict:

If you are going to use Adobe’s Acrobat Document Service, you are definitely going to want CloudDrive to help you upload multiple files and folders. CloudDrive is still very new and I’m hoping they’ll add a way to move files between folders soon. CloudDrive has quite a way to go before it’s as easy to use as SkyDrive Explorer or Dropbox.

Techie Buzz Rating: 3/5 (Good)

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:


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:


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.


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.


Next you’ll see a screen like this:


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


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.


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.


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


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.


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.

Microsoft Pushing for Removal of RC Beta

About thirty minutes ago, I received an email from Microsoft concerning the status of my Windows 7 test beta (screenshot below). It underlined several key ideas, most importantly the annoyances that will be caused to those who do not switch from the RC version to a retail version, or an older OS (XP, Vista).


The key points of this email were:-

  • It is time to replace the RC.
  • Though Microsoft said that the RC will expire in June, 2010, they are going to make your computer nag you consistently for a month (i.e. starting March 1st) before it actually expires.
  • What kind of nagging you ask? Well for starters the computer will automatically shut down after 2 hours of work without saving your work. Second, the wallpaper will change to the static you are using the RC! Give us money and we’ll give you the retail version! Switch before this month! Switch switch switch switch!. Okay, not exactly that but it will change to a persistent black with a message on it.
  • To revert back or upgrade, you need to do a clean installation. A normal installation keeping the files is not possible. As the letter sweetly puts it as with any clean installation, you’ll need to back up your data then reinstall your applications and restore the data.

So it is time to switch to an older version or buy the upgrade if you wish to continue working uninterrupted. I still do not know why Microsoft would start nagging a month before it actually expires. The worst part is that I cannot say much against Windows 7, it is pretty good. If only Microsoft stopped annoying the hell out of us, it would be much better.