Tag Archives: Windows

How to Copy Clipboard Data Between Multiple Computers

If you use multiple computers at your workplace, you know how frustrating it is to copy Windows clipboard data across two computers. If both the computers are connected in a local area network, you can share the data by simply pasting the clipboard content in a simple text document. Then put the text file in the shared folder and copy the file from another computer.

But this is not the case if both the computers are not connected in a local area network. Consider a scenario: you have a desktop computer and a laptop in separate rooms – it’s not possible to get a big LAN cable and connect them in a home network. How do you share clipboard content in such circumstances ?

Enter Cl1P.net – a nice web service which lets you copy and paste plain as well as rich text data across multiple computers. Works quite simple – just go to the home page and append any random string e.g http://clip.net/huihui.

You will see a simple text box where you can paste the clipboard data or type whatever you want

share-clipboard-content

The content is auto saved so you can simply browse to that URL from another computer and copy the data. Sweet!

The site also allows you to password protected the URL, just use the options button from the left sidebar and add   a password to the content, as shown below

password-protect-clipboard-content

This is very useful, you can share this data with anyone. There is nothing to install or download and you don’t have to email all the time, just to share some piece of code or clipboard data. Think CL1P as an online whiteboard where you can write anything and access it from any computer – just remember the URL. Thanks to Himanshu for the hat tip.

Techie Buzz Verdict

The service looks impressive, no registration nags or obstrusive advertisements. They also provide a handy bookmarklet, just clip the data, grab the URL and open it anywhere to access it. Nothing earth shaking, but these simple tools makes computing far more fun and easy to use.

Bing Celebrates Its One-Year Anniversary With A New Official Windows 7 Theme

Bing has just turned one. Its first year of existence has been a mixed bag. While it has been fairly well received, it hasn’t really succeeded in eating away Google’s market share. Yusuf Mehdi, senior vice president, Online Audience Business Group, said, “It’s been a whirlwind 12 months, with the team shipping tons of new cool features aimed at making it easy and fast to make key decisions and just get stuff done. We wanted to take a short break to say thanks”.

As a special treat to Windows 7 users, Microsoft has released the third Bing theme pack featuring some of the best background images (wallpapers) used by Bing.

Bing's-Best-3-Theme

Our latest Bing’s Best Windows 7 theme pack gives you even more great Bing homepage images for your desktop. Bing’s Best 3 lets you gaze at a dying star, soar over an underwater sinkhole, and get up close and personal with an adorable baby sea turtle. There are 19 wallpapers in all”, stated Stephanie Horstmanshof, Bing Managing Editor.

You can download Bing’s Best 3 Windows 7 theme from the official personalization gallery (direct link).

Find Free Wifi Hotspots with WeFi

[Windows, Mobile and Mac]wifi-ico Since I have a netbook and occasionally take it on the road, I decided to try out WeFi. The WeFi application and web service promises to help you locate wifi hotspots and connect you to thousands of other WeFi users. Here’s what they say about the service:

WeFi is dedicated to helping you find, connect, and enjoy Wi-Fi anywhere around the world. We provide the tools that allow our community to map the global Wi-Fi network. Our dedicated community has already discovered over 60,000,000 access points around the world. Join us today and help us map the next million!

I downloaded the 8mb installation file and started the install process. I found that there are a few places that you might want take a closer look at during the install.

The first installation options default to installing a toolbar and new default search in your web browser. When I see options like these, I nearly always opt out. I hate toolbars and I’m happy with my search providers.

wefi-install-options

Just when I thought I was done with the junk programs they wanted me to install, one more option popped in. I can’t tell you how much I dislike added shopping applications like the Price Gong offer they served up.

wefi-price-gong

After getting through the options above, the software starts installing and you’ll see a cute animation with the little WeFi creature running past store fronts. It’s a little too cute. At that point, I was wondering if this was a serious company delivering a real product.

wefi-cute-install-animation

One final setting popped up after the little running logo. I decided that I definitely did not want to allow WeFi to automatically connect me to networks. I like to look them over before I allow my netbook to connect to strange new hotspots.

wefi-auto-connect-option

The final step was to actually create an account with WeFi. They step you through the sign-up and only require an email address in addition to letting you choose your username and password. Once that’s out of the way, the main WeFi interface finally launches.

wefi-interface

After playing with it for awhile, I decided that I liked the WeFi interface because it was very similar to most instant messenger clients. Below is a video showing you a little bit about how it works.

Link to video at Youtube

Download WeFi

http://www.wefi.com/

Techie Buzz Verdict:

I didn’t like the offers for the toolbar, the change to default search and the shopping assistant. However, I did like the fact that WeFi does offer an easy way to discover new hotspots and get in touch with other WeFi users. I have mixed feelings about it at this time, but I won’t tell anyone to stay away from WeFi.

Techie Buzz Rating: 3/5 (Good)

Mac Security Brags Busted at EICAR

David Harley, Research Fellow & Director of Malware Intelligence at ESET Antivirus has presented a report at the EICAR conference held this month outlining virus security details of the Mac OS.

This coupled with positive feedback from his co-workers shows that Macs are even less secure than Windows PCs. They are of the opinion that,

While Mac users – with the exception of those making significant use of Windows on Macs – operate in an environment prowled by infinitely fewer predators, Microsoft and its more savvy customers are to some extent shielded by a more accurate assessment of the risks to which Windows users are exposed.

As evident from here, the only reason Mac viruses are not that popular is because the fraction of people using Mac is negligible as compared to Windows PC users. That leaves us with far less data to claim a virus free OS.

Another common misconception is that since Mac is based on BSD, it is safe. We must understand that every BSD fork will not have the security features of BSD by default. It can be easily overridden by the modifications made while creating this fork.

This combined with the absence of a proper antivirus on Mac leaves Mac users totally unaware of any running exploits.

About EICAR

The  European  Institute for  Computer  Anti-Virus  Research  (EICAR) has been founded in 1991 and is representing an independent and impartial platform for IT-Security experts in the field of science, research, development, implementation and management.

(Via: Enterprise Networking Planet)

Clementine Music Player – Amarok for Windows and Mac

music-player-oldies [Windows, Mac, Linux] If you know your way around the world of Linux, you’ve probably heard of Amarok, the music player for Linux operating systems. Now there’s Clementine, a version of Amarok for Windows, Macintosh and Linux. Here’s a list of the features:

• Search and play your local music library
• Listen to internet radio from Last.fm and SomaFM
• Load M3U and XSPF playlists
• Edit tags on MP3 and OGG files, organize your music
• Download missing album cover art from Last.fm
• Cross-platform – works on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux
• Native desktop notifications on Linux (libnotify) and Mac OS X (Growl)
• Supports MPRIS on Linux, or remote control using the command-line

I tried out the Windows version of Clementine recently and I found that it’s a pretty good music player and library organizer. Here are a few screenshots for you to look over.

clementine-0.2-1

clementine-0.2-2

clementine-0.2-3

clementine-0.2-4

Although Amarok is well developed and pretty much bug-free, Clementine isn’t there yet. Most of the features seemed to work fine. However, the online radio player feature for playing Last.fm never did work for me. That’s too bad because that was the only real reason I tried it out. I was not able to check out the SomaFM player since I don’t have an account with that service.

I will definitely keep an eye on this open source project. I’m sure they’ll get the bugs out of it eventually. In the mean time, I don’t have any use for it.

Download page for Clementine

Techie Buzz Verdict:

I always try to use open source software when it’s available and does a good job. Clementine shows a lot of promise, but it still has a long way to go to compete with the many older and more mature music players. I can’t recommend it at this time.

Techie Buzz Rating: 2/5 (Below Average)

Clouds and Sky Make Great Screensavers

[Windows Only] The folks at NewFreeScreensavers posted a letter to me the other day. They’ve released a few new screensavers that I thought you might like to see. Here’s what the letter said:

Hello
Today Newfreescreensavers.com offer you ten more new free screensavers. Now there are more Nature free screensavers (waterfalls, sky, clouds) on our website. Some waterfall free screensavers are designed for HD monitors and from my point of view look fabulous. All new nature free screensavers will create a relaxing atmosphere and will decorate your monitor when it is idle. For those who prefer life in a city Newfreescreensavers.com has released a screensaver called Night. Download Night screensaver and enjoy the lights of a night city life.

Unlike the screensavers at a few other free sites, I’ve always found these to be completely free from ads and other junk that you don’t want. Below are screenshots of my favorite two screensavers from this latest batch.

NFS Clouds This one has a rapidly changing scene with clouds and sunlight rolling across a pastoral setting.

nfs-clouds-screensaver

NFS Sky This one makes you feel like you are riding on the nose of a jet as the clouds fly by you.

nfs-sky-screensaver

Here is a screenshot of the web page showing some of the most recent screensavers available.

top-ten-nfs-screensavers

Download:

Use this link to see the latest screensavers.

Techie Buzz Verdict:

Although the screensavers at this site may be simple, they are almost always beautiful and unique. You won’t have any trouble installing or using them.

Techie Buzz Rating: 4/5 (Excellent)

Seagate To Launch 3TB Hard Disks By Year End

Seagate one of the world’s most popular Hard disk manufacturer has confirmed that they are working on a 3 TB drive. According to Seagate, they will be “announcing a 3TB drive later this year.” As of now, 2TB is the highest storage capacity available in a single hard disk drive. The launch of 3TB drives will push the prices of the 2TB drives down, which will help increase their sale.

Seagate

The shift to 3TB drives will not be smooth though. LBA or Logical Block Addressing standard is not capable of addressing capacities in excess of 2.1 TB. Seagate says that users need to upgrade their system’s BIOS, update the drivers in order to use the 3TB drives. Seagate also said that Windows XP will fail to see the 3 TB drive, and if it does manage to identify the drive, it will not see the full 3TB of space. Users need to use the 64-bit version of Windows Vista or Windows 7 to make full use of the 3 TB of space. In addition, modifiedversion of Linux will be able to see the full 3TB of space.

Seagate’s Senior Product Manager Barbara Craig also said, There’s also a GUID partition table (GPT) that needs to be implemented, for the master boot record.

Seagate did not mention anything about the prices of these upcoming 3TB drives.

(Source)

Super Photo Slideshow Screensaver – JPEGSaver

display-ico Most Windows systems already come with a nice built in screensaver for viewing the pictures you’ve stored on your hard drive. In Windows XP it’s called My Pictures Slideshowand it includes the basic settings you need to show your pictures when the computer is idle. Here’s an screenshot of the settings for it.

my-pictures-slideshow

As you can see, the settings page is pretty simple. Many people complain that it doesn’t handle different size images very well and it doesn’t let you change images any faster than 6 seconds. I’ve also seen people complain that Windows 7 has even fewer options for displaying your photos in a screensaver.

Now you can get tons of options with the latest version of JPEGSaver. It works in all Windows versions and it’s still fairly easy to use.

Here’s what the settings for JPEGSaver looks like.

jpegsaver-settings

Take a look at all of those tabs. Each tab gives you far more control over how your photos are shown in the screensaver. It even lets you choose multiple folders of photos for it to display.

JPEGSaver does require a minimum of DirectX 9, and it will check your system for the correct DirectX files while it installs.

Download JPEGSaver:

http://www.goat1000.com/jpegsaver4.php

Techie Buzz Verdict:

If you need more options when viewing your photos as a screensaver, JPEGSaver can be a life saver. Once installed it’s as easy to use as any of your other screensavers.

Techie Buzz Rating: 3/5 (Good)

Opera 10.53 Released – Fixes Highly Critical Security Vulnerability

Opera-10.53-UNIX-Beta-RC Opera software has pushed through another update to its desktop browser. Opera 10.53 is expected to be officially released tomorrow and is a recommended security and stability update.

Opera 10.53 fixes a possibly highly critical vulnerability, which was pointed out by Secunia. This vulnerability affects Opera 10.52 for Windows and may be used by hackers to execute malicious code. This release also fixes a few other issues including freeze-ups on Google Maps. It is not clear as to what has changed in Opera 10.53 for Mac.

In related news, Opera has also released a Beta Release Candidate i.e. a build that is almost as good as Beta, for UNIX. Although this build has some known issues including lack of support for Java and font issues with certain TrueType fonts, it is generally considered good enough for everyday use. Download it if you love to test new products, but don’t use it as your only browser.

[ Download Opera 10.53 for Windows and Macintosh ]
[ Download Opera Snapshot for UNIX ]

Opera 10.52 for Mac Released: Features Cocoa Integration and Pinch to Zoom

Yet another week and yet another major release from the folks at Opera Software. This time it’s the Mac users who have reason to celebrate. Opera 10.52 for Mac, which is the first stable build of the Opera 10.5x trunk for Mac, has been released.

Opera 10.52 for Mac includes all the features of its Windows counterpart, including Opera Widgets for Desktop, Private Browsing, Non-modal notification messages, Opera Presto 2.5 rendering engine, Opera Carakan JavaScript engine and Opera Vega graphics library.

Some of the highlights of this Mac release are:

    Opera-10.52-Mac

  • Improved UI: Opera 10.52 looks like a native Macintosh app and behaves like one, thanks to the Cocoa integration. The design has been overhauled to include a unified toolbar and other miscellaneous improvements.
  • Opera-10.52-Speed-Test
    Opera 10.52 for Mac: Peacekeeper Results

  • Speed: Opera 10.52 introduces the Carakan JavaScript engine, which is one of the fastest (if not the fastest) JavaScript engines in the market.

    Opera-10.52-Speed-Turbo
    Opera 10.52 for Mac: Impact of Turbo onf Page Load Time

    When coupled with Opera Turbo, which compresses webpages before routing them to your computer, Opera 10.52 can deliver blazing fast browsing speed.

  • Multi-touch Support: Opera 10.52 also introduces multi-touch support, which takes advantage of the multi-touch trackpads present in modern Macbooks. Pinch to zoom or use two fingers to scroll and three fingers to navigate back and forth in your browser history, all from your trackpad.

The Windows build of Opera 10.52 mainly delivers bug fixes and performance improvements. Linux users have been left out for now. Nevertheless, Opera 10.5x for Linux has been making steady progress over the past few weeks and expect a final build within a few weeks.

[ Download Opera 10.52 for Mac or Windows ]

Hide Your IP Address and Surf Anonymously with UltraSurf

ultrasearch-icon [Windows Only] UltraSurf is a tool that hooks your web browsers up with a free anonymous proxy. It hides your true IP address. Why is that important? I found a good answer at about.com:

When connecting to the Internet, your home computer (or network router) is assigned a public IP address. As you visit Web sites or other Internet servers, that public IP address is transmitted and recorded in log files kept on those servers. Access logs leave behind a trail of your Internet activity. If it were possible to somehow hide your public IP address, your Internet activity would become much more difficult to trace.

UltraReach, the group behind the UltraSurf application, talks about a another good reason for their service. Their purpose is as follows:

UltraReach is the first company with a mission that offers Internet technology and service immune to the national Internet censorship in China. The outstanding performance of our service has made UltraReach Internet well known among the users who seek the Internet freedom in the censored country, and at the meantime attracted heavy attacks from Chinese Internet police.

In other words, UltraSurf allows users to get past internet censorship. I don’t know exactly how it works, but I’ve tried UltraSurf and so far I’m impressed with it.

It’s easy to use. Just download it, double click the EXE file to run it, then start surfing.

ultrasurf-exe

Once it’s running, you’ll see a simple interface.

ultrasurf-interface

It will also launch Internet Explorer and you can start surfing if you want to. If you don’t want to use Internet Explorer, just close it and use your other web browsers. You can also go into the settings and tell UltraSurf not to start Internet Explorer.

If you’d like to, you can check your IP address at whatismyip.com to find out what it is. You’ll see that running UltraSurf changes your address after it starts up.

You can download UltraSurf here.

In the past, the writers here at Techie Buzz have shared some other surfing tips with you. Here are a few:

Are Web Proxy Servers Safe To Enter Passwords?
How To Access Blocked Websites
How To Access Blogspot Blogs From China
Unblock and Access YouTube From China

I’ve also written about two free web browsers that let you surf anonymously.

Xb Browser
OperaTor Browser

Techie Buzz Verdict:

UltraSurf is one of the easiest ways you can find to surf the internet with anonymous freedom. I can’t tell you if it can bridge the great Chinese firewall, but the authors of this program are dedicated to doing that.

Techie Buzz Rating: 4/5 (Excellent)

Encrypt Your Files Quickly with AxCrypt

axxcrypt-ico [Windows Only] ÀxCrypt is a free and open source (FOSS) application that lets you quickly encrypt multiple files with a password. There are many free encryption utilities out there and some of them may be as good or better. However, AxCrypt is sure to be handy even if you don’t use encryption very often, since it comes with a portable version named AxCrypt2Go. You can always use the portable version on any PC without the need to install it.

For those who need to encrypt files often, AxCrypt integrates it’s actions into the Windows right click menus. It also allows you to create self-decrypting executable files (encrypt copy to EXE). The self-decrypting files allow anyone to open them up, as long as they have the correct password. It’s safe to send AxCrypt files using email, since AES-128 encryption is used, and it’s not likely that anyone will be able to crack your files open.

Here are some snapshots and descriptions of AxCrypt:

1. When you start installing AxCrypt, you will first have to agree to the GPL license.

axcrypt-snaphot1

2. You can disable any features you don’t want, using the custom setup screen.

axcrypt-snaphot2

3. One drawback at this point is that I didn’t see any way to tell the app where I wanted it to install at on my hard drive.

axcrypt-snaphot3

4. Once it’s installed, the first thing it shows is a prompt asking for an email address. Don’t worry, you don’t have to if you don’t want to. So far, AxCrypt has over 1,805,250 registered users.

axcrypt-snaphot4

5. Now it nags you if you didn’t supply an email address. Did they learn this trick from Microsoft? I wonder how many software engineers think that this really adds any value to the application.

axcrypt-snaphot5

6. Nothing seems to happen after that, but now whenever you right click on a file or folder, you’ll see that you have more options under the "AxCrypt" menu item. Everything needed to use AxCrypt is in there. As you can see, it has some very nice features and functions.

axcrypt-snaphot6

7. If you select "Encrypt", you’ll be prompted for a password.

axcrypt-snaphot7

8. If you select either of the two check-boxes, AxCrypt will remember your password when it’s encrypting or decrypting files.

axcrypt-snaphot8

9. Here you can see me getting ready to encrypt two music files.

axcrypt-snaphot9

10. Once they are encrypted, the files will have an "AXX" file extension.

axcrypt-snaphota

11. If you right click on them again and choose "Rename" in the AxCrypt menu, it will rename them so that nobody can figure out what was in those files. When you decrypt those files using AxCrypt, it remembers what the file names were and puts them back the way they were before.

axcrypt-snaphotb

12. To get the portable version of AxCrypt, I opened up the Program folder and copied the AxCrypt2Go.exe file onto my flash drive. In order to test it, I un-installed AxCrypt from my PC and tried to use AxCrypt2Go to decrypt some files. It worked fine, and now I don’t need to keep AxCrypt installed on my computer. I will simply keep AxCrypt2Go stored away until I need it. It’s only 486k in size.

axcrypt-snaphotc

AxCrypt will work on most PCs running Windows 2000/XP/Vista or later. AxCrypt has built in translations for English, Danish, Swedish, German, Dutch, Hungarian, Spanish, French, Italian and Norwegian.

Download AxCrypt

Techie Buzz Verdict:

I discovered that AxCrypt is very easy to use when it’s installed on your PC. However, the portable version definitely needs work. You can only navigate from the left folder view. If you click on any file or folder in the main (right hand) view, it opens the file or folder in it’s associated program. To encrypt or decrypt, you have to right click on the files. Once you’ve figured that out, I think you’ll find that it’s worth keeping.

Techie Buzz Rating: 3/5 (Good)

Microsoft Shows Off Windows 7’s Touch Abilities With Touch Pack for Windows 7

Windows-7-Touch-Pack In case you are not aware, Windows 7 has inbuilt support for multi-touch. Of course, you will need to have a touch sensitive monitor for this to work. Although adoption of touchscreen monitors has been slow, manufacturers are slowly warming up to the idea. Major manufacturers like Dell, Asus, Fujitsu, HP and Lenovo have already jumped on the bandwagon. In spite of this, awareness about Windows 7’s touch abilities is still fairly low. Perhaps to remedy this, Microsoft has released Touch Pack for Windows 7.

Microsoft Touch Pack for Windows 7 is a collection of utilities and games, which makes use of Windows 7’s multi-touch capabilities. The applications included in the Touch Pack are:

  • Microsoft Blackboard: An intricate game of physics in which you solve a puzzle by creating a fanciful machine on a blackboard.
  • Microsoft Garden Pond: A tranquil game that takes place in serene Japanese water gardens.
  • Microsoft Rebound: A game in which you use your fingertips to control Tesla spheres with an electrical field between them to catapult a metal game ball into your opponent’s goal.
  • Microsoft Surface Globe: A program that you can use to explore the earth as a flat 2-D map or as an immersive 3-D experience.
  • Microsoft Surface Collage: A program that you can use to explore and interact with your photos and arrange them as a desktop background.
  • Microsoft Surface Lagoon: A screen saver and interactive water simulation, complete with a meditative rock arrangement and playful, shy fish.

You can download the Touch Pack for Windows 7 from here.

Microsoft Drops Windows XP Support From Windows Live Essentials

Windows XP was one of the most successful operating systems in Microsoft’s history. However, now it is starting to become a thorn in its side, as millions of Windows XP users around the world are refusing to let go. Nevertheless, Microsoft is making it clear that it is ready to move on.

Windows-Live-Wave-4

After Internet Explorer 9, Microsoft has decided to drop Windows XP support from the next generation of Windows Live Essential applications. Microsoft confirmed this through a comment posted on the WindowsTeamBlog:

We know many customers use Windows XP and are happy with their experience, and of course we will continue to support our current release of Windows Live Essentials on XP and the new versions all of our web-based services (including Hotmail and SkyDrive) will run on XP. As some have noted on this blog, Windows XP is nearly 10 years old and simply doesn’t provide the same level of platform support for graphics, and we recognized early in our work on Wave 4 that we could do much more in our software on a modern graphics platform. As a result our new version of Essentials will require the new graphics platform and controls that are only available on Windows 7 or Windows Vista and therefore will only run on these platforms. So if you are happy with XP, you can keep running the current version of Windows Live and our new services. When you move to Windows 7 and Windows Vista, we will have a new version that will let you do more on a modern platform.

Windows Live Essential bundles various Microsoft utilities for home users including Windows Live Messenger, Windows Live Writer, Windows Live Mail and Windows Live Photo Gallery. Microsoft is currently getting ready to begin the public beta phase of Windows Live Wave 4. However, an early version has already been leaked on torrent websites.

Flawed MacAfee Update Kills Windows XP Systems Worldwide

Windows XP users, be warned. If you are using McAfee Antivirus, then do not apply DAT update 5958. Apparently, this update causes McAfee to delete svchost.exe, which in turn sets off a chain of events that ends up messing up Windows XP installations. Affected systems will display the following error message and automatically initiate a system restart.

McAfee-XP-ShutDown

If you have already installed DAT update 5958, then it is best to perform a rollback (from Tools–>Rollback DAT). In the meantime, exercise caution if you get any alerts related to the detection of W32/Wecorl.a. In all likelihood, it is a false positive that can brick your system. If case your system has already been affected, you can stop the infinite restart loop by entering shutdown a in the Run command box (Win+R).

Bungled McAfee updates are nothing new. However, this is obviously a big screw up. At the moment, McAfee is undoubtedly working behind the scenes to rush through a fix. However, even that may be too late, as possibly thousands of perplexed users worldwide have already been affected by this glitch.

image courtesey: ChevyGuys.com

Update: The update has now been pulled from McAfee’s servers. Here is the statement McAfee issued to Engadget:

McAfee is aware that a number of customers have incurred a false positive error due to incorrect malware alerts on Wednesday, April 21. The problem occurs with the 5958 virus definition file (DAT) that was released on April 21 at 2.00 PM GMT+1 (6am Pacific Time).

Our initial investigation indicates that the error can result in moderate to significant performance issues on systems running Windows XP Service Pack 3.

The faulty update has been removed from McAfee download servers for corporate users, preventing any further impact on those customers. We are not aware of significant impact on consumer customers and believe we have effectively limited such occurrence.

McAfee teams are working with the highest priority to support impacted customers and plan to provide an update virus definition file shortly. McAfee apologizes for any inconvenience to our customers

According to early speculation, the number of affected system should be in hundreds of thousands. At the moment, the very least McAfee can do is acknowledge the gravity of their mistake. Bricking a system is not equivalent to causing moderate to significant performance issues.