4 Useful Websites To Help You Pronounce Names Correctly

As a blogger I have to answer many questions to readers from across the world. Luckily, I converse with them either via emails

Lock Your Computer With Secure My Screen

There are several tools and methods to protect a computer from unauthorized access under a working environment. I had mentioned many of them in previous posts.

Create Multiple Aliases with Outlook.com Account

Microsoft has launched the latest version of their webmail service called Outlook.com. The new webmail replaces the existing Hotmail and users can now create their new Outlook.com email address

Friday, November 30, 2012

Disable ads in BitTorrent and uTorrent

You may have read about BitTorrent including ads in their popular torrent client recently. Not everyone were pleased with this decision. Fortunately disabling these ads is just a few mouse clicks away. And the best part is you don’t need any additional software to do this. That’s right , we can disable it from within the app.



Let me walk you through the steps to disable those ads in the UI:

First, open uTorrent (or BitTorrent) and Click on Options>Preferences

Now Click on Advanced in the left panel.

1. In the search bar found in the right panel of the advanced tab, start typing the following text to access the settings for it.


left_rail_offer

2. Then double click on the text in the right panel to change the value to false. You could also set the radio button to false and click OK.

Now repeat the above steps and change the value to false, for each of the settings below:


gui.show_plus_upsell

sponsored_torrent_offer_enabled

bt.enable_pulse

gui.show_notorrents_node

offers.content_offer_autoexec

Now close and re-open uTorrent. No more ads in the interface.


If this post helped you, drop a comment below.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Add Facebook Chat On Firefox Sidebar: Enable Social API In Firefox




Few days back, Mozilla introduced a social API for Firefox which lets users use social sites and services inside Firefox, without having to keep them open in a separate browser tab. Firefox Social API, unlike browser add-ons, is a service which is available by default in Firefox 17.0, so you don’t have to install new software or browser add-ons to use the feature.

Now the good news is that you can enable social api in Firefox and add Facebook chat on Firefox’s sidebar, without having to install bulky addons or Facebook toolbars. This has several advantages. First, you get Facebook notifications in Firefox without having to keep it open in a dedicated browser tab. Second, you can read and reply to Facebook messages in Firefox without having to open the Facebbok website. Third, you get Facebbok notifications in desktop as well as in Firefox, that too, proactively.

What I really like about Facebbok sidebar for Firefox is that you can see the live preview of news feed right from Firefox and you can like and comment on posts really quickly.



But before you get to enjoy these features, you will have to activate Facebook’s social sidebar in Firefox. This is easily achieved with the following about:config hacks

1. First, update Firefox to its latest version (Firefox 17.0). To update Firefox, click “Firefox” and then choose “About” where Firefox will check whether an update is available or not. If an update is available, it will download the latest version and automatically install it.

2. When Firefox has been updated to its latest version, restart it, enter “about:config” in the address bar and hit “enter”. You will see the following warning message


3. Choose “I will be careful, I promise”.

4. In the next page, enter “social” in the search box and hit “Enter”. You will see a value namely, social.enabled, as seen in the following screenshot:



5. Double click it and change the value to “True” from “False”.

That’s it, you have just enabled social api integration in Firefox and immediatelty you should see Facebbok sidebar popping in from the right. Here is how it will look, when you have not signed into your Facebook account:



The rest of it is pretty easy, click Login and sign in to your Facebook account. Your Facebook notifications, messages, news feed , friend requests and other updates will be fetched right into Firefox and you can start using it right away. The best part – you can chat with Facebook friends without having to open Facebook at all. All the Facebook services will continue to work in the background, irrespetive of which website you are currently on.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

How to Prevent Users from Uninstalling Apps from Start Screen in Windows 8

The Windows 8 start screen is probably one of the most important feature and there are many other features linked to it. One of the feature is the ability to uninstall metro apps easily from the start screen. Metro apps are the ones which are installed from Windows Store. But if your PC is used by other users, you might probably want to prevent others from uninstalling apps you have installed on your Windows 8. Although there is an option to prevent this using Group policy, this option is not available in all versions of Windows 8.

So in such cases, it is best to prevent uninstalling using the registry hack. Please note that, this trick involves editing the registry of Windows, do not attempt it if you are not sure on modifying registry. Also, take a backupof registry before editing it.

Open the registry using the Run command (Win + R) and type regedit and press enter. Now navigate to this key,HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows


In the next step, you need to create a new Key Explorer under the Windows.



Now select this new key and create a new DWORD value NoUninstallFromStart under the Explorer key.



Enter the value for NoUninstallFromStart as 1. Now close the registry editor and log off Windows 8. Log in back and you can see the option to uninstall is removed from Windows 8.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Sync Desktop Wallpapers with Dropbox using Desktoppr

When it comes to your Windows desktop, wallpapers are one important aspect as you can set any image as wallpaper on your Windows. Moreover there are many freeware apps to automatically change desktop wallpaper in Windows. Desktoppr is a free web service which has a huge collection of desktop wallpapers and you can simply add them to your Dropbox and in effect use it as your desktop wallpaper by rotating it automatically.

To use the service, you need to authorize your Dropbox account access for the app and once authorized, you can start adding wallpapers from the service to your Dropbox account. You can add any number of photos easily from the service.



Each wallpaper listed on Desktoppr has an option to add it to your Dropbox account.



Once you have added photos to your account, the final step is to set this folder as your desktop wallpaper folder. The service creates a folder called Desktoppr inside the apps folder in Dropbox. To set this folder, go to the personalization section in Windows and select the folder for wallpaper as Desktoppr.



Overall, the service looks pretty good since the collection of wallpapers are good.

Use Classic Start Menu and Modern Start Screen Together with StartW8

Windows 8 has one of the main features in the form of new start screen, which has a tiled interface when compared to start menu in previous version of Windows. But many people were used to the old start screen that, it was difficult for them to get used to new start screen in Windows 8. We have covered many free tools to bring back the old start screen in Windows 8 including Start Menu 8.

StartW8 is yet another freeware app for Windows 8 which brings in the classic start menu. But one good feature of StartW8 is that you can enjoy the features of both the classic start menu and the modern start screen. This app does not disable the modern start screen, but runs the start menu side by side.



StartW8 has few other quick options when you right click on the start button. You can access the settings and also quickly restart and shutdown Windows along with options to run command prompt.



StartW8 allows users to access their apps and folders with greater ease as it adds a fully-functional Start Menu to their Windows 8 computer/notebook. Users can also easily search a specific file or program by entering a relevant keyword, or they can simply shut down their PC, reboot or switch users.



You can configure the other options from the settings like which all personal folders needs to be displayed on start menu and also the ability to switch to desktop after sign in to Windows 8.


StartW8 key features
Automatically switch to desktop immediately after signing in
Added Windows 7 style Start menu
Activate menu with Win key
Log off, lock and turn off buttons
Traditional search field
Favourite applications
All user configurable

The app is compatible with 32bit or 64bit version of Windows 8 or Windows 8 Pro.




Download StartW8

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

How to Disable or Turn Off Windows Store in Windows 8

Windows 8 has many new features when compared to Windows 7 which includes new start screen, task manager and also new Windows Explorer. But one of the main new features which is not related to user interface is the Windows Store. This new feature allows you to install apps from the Windows store. Windows Store is a bundled as an app in Windows 8 and you can easily install metro UIstyled apps on your desktops and tablets. But in case you are a administrator of a networked PCs and you do not want multiple users to install their own apps from the store other than the pre-installed ones, you can disable or turn off the Windows store app in Windows 8.



To disable or turn off Windows Store, you need to open the Group Policy Editor. This feature might not be available in all versions of Windows 8. Open the run command (Win Key + R) and type gpedit.msc and press enter.






Once the group policy editor opens, navigate to the key User Configuration-> Administrative Templates-> Windows Components-> Store



On the right panel, you can see the option- Turn off the store application. Double click on this entry and you can see the option to disable it. Select “Enabled” from the list and save it.



If you enable the settings, the access to store application is denied and you cannot install any apps from the store. Users will get an error message when they try to access it.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Fastest Internet Connection in the World


Internet speed have increased vastly over the last few years and now has connection speeds extending to several megabits per second. Download and uploading files have now become much easier compared to the speeds which we had few years back. So have you ever wondered which country has the highest broadband speeds?
According to Akamai’s State Of The Internet report for Q2 2012, Hong Kong has the fastest broadband speeds across the world. With an average peak connection speed of 49.2 Mbps, Hong Kong is a few megabits per second faster than South Korea in the number two spot.
akamai-q2-2012.001
According to the report, there is also increase the world average broadband speeds, which now stands at 16.1Mbps. This has increased by 19% compared to the previous quarter and on an annual basis, the increase was a substantial 44%.
Some of the key aspects of the report;
  • Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan are the three countries with fastest internet speeds
  • 54 countries across the world saw a quarterly decline in average peak connection speeds.
  • 79 countries globally saw average peak connection speeds increase quarter-over-quarter
  • In total, 126 countries around the globe saw year-over-year increases in average peak connection speeds.
Via Pingdom

Friday, November 9, 2012

Download Windows 8 ISO from Microsoft with License Key

Microsoft released the latest version of its OS, Windows 8 on October 26th and it was available for upgrade from older version of Windows (Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7). We had covered in detail on how to upgrade to Windows 8 from previous versions. Now when you upgrade from previous version, you selected Install now options and installed the upgrade. But now you want to reinstall it for any other reason, how to get the ISO file? The Windows 8 ISO is required if you want to install it again on your PC as you already have a license.


For this reason, Microsoft has made available an option to download Windows 8 ISO if you already have the license key with you. For this, you need to open the email you received from Microsoft when you purchased the license. In the email, you will see a link to download Windows if you already have the license.



In case you deleted the email, you can still download it from here. This will download the file Windows8-setup.exe which is around 6MB is size. Now run this set up and you will see an option to enter the license key.



Once you enter the license, the set up will verify it.



In the next step, it will mention the license which you have got- Windows 8 Pro.



When you click next, the set up will start downloading the file, the complete Windows 8 download. The size will be probably around 3GB in size, so make sure you have the bandwidth to download it.



Once the download is complete, you get the following options. Now select Install by Creating media. In the next screen, you need to select ISO (two options available are USB and ISO)



Select the location where you want to save the ISO and the set up will complete the process.



Finally, you can burn the ISO to DVD and use it to reinstall Windows 8.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

How to Recover Deleted Emails on Outlook.com


Recycle-IconEmail service providers have changed and grown a lot over the years. While they attempt to make our accounts more securethey are working harder to provide unique features too. For instance, the huge storage space that you get these days with web based email services like Gmail and Outlook.com. Impressive, right?
That is exactly why I see no reason to delete any email. Rather one should practice the art of archiving as many as possible; you never know when you may require one.
However, there are chances that you may delete a message accidently or even intentionally and later realize that you shouldn’t have. Luckily, if you are using a Microsoft account (an Outlook domain email service), you may be able to get back a few of those permanently deleted emails.
Here’s how.
Step 1: Login to you Outlook.com account.
Step2: On the left pane click on the Deleted folder. Scroll through the list of deleted messages till you reach the end, the section that reads, “Lost a message? When you recover deleted messages, we bring back as many as we can. Learn more”.
Recover-Deleted-Messages-Link
Step 3: Click on the link to recover deleted messages and wait while Outlook’s system tries to retrieve the deleted emails.
When the process ends, you will see that some emails have been brought back. If you are lucky, you might find the one you needed. If not, you can be assured that the message has been deleted permanently.
Suggestion: I suggest that you move the retrieved messages (the ones that you need) from the Deleted folder to somewhere else. Else you might again become a victim of periodic cleanup.
Note: Outlook tries to bring back as many messages as possible. Though they haven’t specified any rules for that I guess it could be time constrained (a result of server cleanup, maintenance or something).

No Messages Were Retrieved?

There is a probability that you may not see a single message being pulled up. Now, this can happen as a result of your account settings. Check if everything is fine.
Step 1: Navigate to the Settings icon and click on More mail settings. Then, navigate toAdvanced privacy settings placed under Customizing Outlook section.
Outlook-Advanced-Privacy-Settings
Step 2: Make sure that the radio button against Let me recover deleted messages is selected (which is the default setting). If not, do it right away and hit Save.
Enable-Deleted-Messages-Recovery
Note: With this setting you will be able to recover deleted messages in the future. However, the ones previous to enabling it are already lost.

Conclusion

It is important to enable such a feature when available. I know most people out there archive email messages for future references. But then, no harm in keeping this enabled for those bad days.
If you are a parent monitoring a child account you should also know that the feature does not work for child accounts. That way you can be sure that if you have deleted a message from your child’s account, it cannot be brought back.