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ZTE Light Tab 2 review


To anyone keeping up with the smartphone market, the Chinese manufacturer ZTE won't be entirely unknown. Specialising in affordable handsets, the company has now turned its hand to budget tablets and the result, the ZTE Light Tab 2, isn't a bad offering.

It's solidly constructed and surprisingly zippy. The only problem is the operating system is well out of date and, more importantly, there's no sign of Google Play.

Although this is one of the more pricey budget Android tablets, you get a fair amount for your cash. There's a 1,024 x 600 capacitive touchscreen, while power is provided by a Qualcomm 1.4GHz Snapdragon processor and 512MB of RAM.

Unfortunately though, the ZTE Light Tab 2 is saddled with Google's Android 2.3 Gingerbread operating system, rather than the tablet-focused Honeycomb or Ice Cream Sandwich iterations. Gingerbread was released in 2010 and ported to tablets from smartphones, and there's no getting away from the fact it seems dated.

Interestingly, the ZTE Light Tab will allow you to insert a SIM card for 3G and, if you're so inclined, phone calls. Holding it to your ear is a little bit impractical though, given the 202 x 122 x 13mm dimensions.

At 395g the ZTE Light Tab isn't heavy, but the BlackBerry Playbook and Tablo are lighter and therefore easier to use long-term. Some may argue that a little extra weight adds a sense of quality to a gadget, and the ZTE certainly feels strong and well constructed.

There's a fairly thick bezel wrapped around the screen, with touch-sensitive Android buttons for Home, Menu and Back. The rear of the tablet features a matte plastic covering that comes away to reveal the 3,400mAh Li-Ion battery and slots for a SIM and MicroSD card.

With only 4GB of on-board storage, half of which is taken up with the OS and pre-installed apps, you'll want to accessorise the ZTE Light Tab 2 with a MicroSD card if you want to store your media collection.

The ZTE Light Tab 2 handles media well. The smaller size might not be to everyone's taste, but it's perfectly serviceable for small bursts of entertainment. The built-in browser supports Flash playback, so you can visit sites like YouTube and iPlayer and watch embedded video right on the page.

ZTE Light Tab 2

All work, no Play

While that sounds like a good thing, it is in fact masking the biggest drawback of the ZTE Light Tab 2 - the lack of a pre-installed Google Play app store. Of course, if you're a dedicated tech head there are ways around this, but for the vast majority of us, Google Play is a must-have addition. The fact that the ZTE doesn't come with it is a black mark on its record.

It comes with lots of pre-installed apps, including some good ones like Documents to Go (an Office app), FM radio, email and several games, but with no option of adding more, this tablet has a limited lifespan.

If you're less keen on apps and are instead looking for a device for watching media and browsing on the move, the ZTE Light Tab is a good choice. The 3G capability and excellent screen are clear standout points, but the lack of Google Play and the outdated OS make it somewhat hard to recommend.

Category: Vista and 7 Tips and Tricks! | Views: 1186 | Added by: Adamsummer | Date: 2012-04-01 | Comments (2)

Battery life has been an ongoing issue for some iOS 5 users, particularly those with iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. The recent iOS 5.1 update aimed to fix that with "improved battery life” mentioned in the release notes, but just how improved is it? With casual use since the update was released, the consensus at OSXDaily suggests the improvement is substantial, and thus if you haven’t updated your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to iOS 5.1 yet, it is highly recommended to do so now.

Every user is going to notice different gains depending on their device usage and general battery health, but overall the improvements seem to be most noticeable on cellular iOS devices, particularly iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, and iPad 2 3G models. The assumption is that some of the potential location services issues has been resolved, though its certainly worth mentioning that users of the standard Wi-Fi models and iPod touch also report a nice boost, even if it doesn’t seem to be quite as dramatic (likewise, the original drain problem usually wasn’t as bad either).

Monitoring Your iOS Device Battery Life
To get a good feel for the improvement and to monitor battery drain, it’s best to have made note of the prior usage history and then compare it to the iOS 5.1 battery usage, but those who have already updated won’t be able to do this obviously. Nonetheless, it also helps to turn on the "Battery Percentage” indicator and make a mental note of usage data too. Here’s how to do both of these in iOS:

  • Tap on "Settings” and tap "General”
  • Tap "Usage” and then swipe down to "Time since last full charge” to find the usage time (actively using the device) and standby time (device is on, but not in use)
  • In the same "Usage” screen, swipe "Battery Percentage” to "ON” to follow precise drain

The percentage indicator displays alongside the battery icon in the upper right corner of the screen:

iOS 5.1 battery life

Update iOS, Calibrate the Battery, and More
Update to iOS 5.1 and hopefully any lingering battery drain problems will be resolved once and for all. Don’t forget to calibrate an iOS devices battery about once a month by letting it charge to 100% and then running it down to 0% before recharging again, that helps keep the battery in good health. It’s also a good idea to disable battery draining services you don’t use often, be it Bluetooth or Push Notifications, and you can check out some general iOS 5 battery life tips we have discussed before for more on that.

On a side note, if you’re unable to download and update iOS 5.1 try the DNS change we discussed recently, it should resolve that problem immediately and allow you to update without the network errors.

iOS 5.1 was released a few days ago but some people are still having problems when trying to update. The download can time out, not start at all, or sometimes throw an error message saying "Unable to Check for Update. An error occurred while checking for a software update.” or "The network connection could not be established.”

If you’re having trouble downloading iOS 5.1 from Apple’s servers, try these fixes:

  • Reset Network Settings on iOS Device: Tap Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings
  • Clear Hosts File: Look at your hosts file for anything blocking Apple’s servers and comment them out, this is mostly relevant to jailbreakers and if you see "Error 3194"
  • Change DNS Servers: Adjusting DNS on either the computer you are downloading from or iOS device if using OTA can resolve the issue, instructions on how to do so are below

Changing DNS seems to be the most reliable method, here is how to do so in iOS and OS X.

Changing DNS in iOS

  1. Tap on Settings, tap on "Wi-Fi”, and tap on the blue arrow next to the router name
  2. Under "DHCP” tab tap on "DNS” and replace with: "8.8.8.8″ for Google DNS, or "208.67.222.222″ for OpenDNS
  3. Tap the Back button and attempt to use OTA again

Change DNS in OS X

  1. Open System Preferences from the Apple menu
  2. Click on "Network” and then click on ‘Advanced’ in the lower right corner
  3. Click the "DNS” tab and then add a new DNS server by clicking the "+” icon, adding either "8.8.8.8″ for Google DNS or "208.67.222.222″ for OpenDNS
  4. Drag the newly added DNS server to the top of the list, click "OK” then close out of System Preferences

On a Mac you may need to follow this up with flushing DNS cache, so open the Terminal and type the following:

dscacheutil -flushcache

Now try opening iTunes and updating, or try to download iOS 5.1 firmware directly from Apple again.

iOS 5.1 Lock Screen Camera

You may have noticed that iOS 5.1 changed the behavior of the lock screen camera compared to it’s predecessor, this has caused some confusion as to how it works compared to iOS 5. You’ll notice that if you tap on the camera icon now it just causes the screen to bounce. No, the bouncing screen doesn’t mean the camera isn’t working anymore, it’s aim is to indicate how it works.

You now swipe up to activate the lock screen camera in iOS 5.1. Likewise, you can swipe down to deactivate the camera and return back to the lock screen.

New Lock Screen Camera Gesture in iOS 5.1

Get used to the new gesture, it’s actually faster than the double-tap home button method before in iOS 5, and you’ll be able to take pictures quicker than ever after you get accustomed to it. There also doesn’t seem to be a way to return to the old behavior anyway, so old habits will have to be broken here.

iOS 5.1 Download

iOS 5.1 has been released, alongside the new iPad 3 and new Apple TV. The update brings a variety of new features and bug fixes to iOS including the ability to delete images from Photo Stream, camera shortcut visible by default on lock screen, improved camera face detection, Japanese language support for Siri, genius mixes for iTunes Match, updated AT&T network indicator, improved battery life, and more.

You can get the iOS 5.1 software update directly on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch by using OTA Update, otherwise you can update through iTunes or by downloading the IPSW and performing a manual upgrade.

We have included links to the firmware files below, they are hosted by Apple.

iPhone camera grid

Turning on the iPhone camera grid makes it easier to take better pictures, here’s how to enable it:

  • Launch the Camera app from home screen or lock screen
  • Tap on "Options” at the top
  • Swipe Grid to "ON”
  • Tap "Done” to hide the Options again and return back to Camera

The grid will not appear on finalized images in the photo stream.

What’s the point? If you’re new to photography or don’t know why the grid is potentially useful, the grid makes composing images using the "rule of thirds” easier. Essentially that means by dividing a picture into horizontal and vertical thirds and placing compositional elements along those lines and intersections, you’ll end up with better pictures. It’s an old artistic technique that has been around for hundreds of years.

Mark Multiple Emails as Read iPhone

If you’re suffering from email overload, sometimes the easiest thing to do ... Read more »

Category: Vista and 7 Tips and Tricks! | Views: 1608 | Added by: Adamsummer | Date: 2012-04-01 | Comments (5)

The new iPad, the iPad 3, the new iPad 3… call it what you want, but it's a device that from the outside looks remarkably like the iPad 2 but with an overhaul on the innards.

The question most people ask us when it comes to the new iPad is: what's different from the old one?

Well, in this case it's pretty easy: there's a Retina Display that makes everything looks superbly crisp, an updated A5X processor bringing quad-core graphics and a 5MP camera on the rear with a VGA sensor on the front.

Oh, and the iPad 3 is also the device that brings iOS 5.1 to the masses (well, it's also on the likes of the iPhone 4S and iPad 2 as well, but hey, we're not reviewing those today, and you don't really care unless it's a new iPad.)

New iPad 3 review

The design of the new iPad 3 isn't really anything different from the original duo from Apple's tablet range. Actually, while we're thinking about it, it looks almost identical to the iPad 2 – to the point you'd struggle to tell them apart when turned off.

However, in the hand, there's a little bit of a difference, especially when it comes to the weight. The new iPad is nearly 60g heavier than the previous iteration, and while it's not terrible, it does add a little arm strain during a marathon movie session.

Retina Display

Before we get onto all the normal insight over the frame of the new iPad, it's worth talking about the main feature: the Retina Display.

Apple has packed a huge amount more pixels into the 9.7-inch screen - 1536 x 2048 to be exact. However, despite the fact that the Cupertino brand makes a big thing about the 330 PPI density of the iPhone 4, we're looking at a screen that's technically a lot less sharp than its smartphone brethren - around 264PPI.

New iPad 3 review

Apple has got around this fact by stating that the screen is meant to be held at 15 inches from the face, rather than the 10 inches the iPhone is supposed to from your eyes, and as such the sharpness is the same.

Given the fact the term 'Retina Display' really isn't a legally binding term, we don't care. What matters is the effect - and it's one of the most impressive we've seen on a tablet to date. If someone took an iPad, printed out a really hi-res image of an iOS system and stuck it on the front, we'd struggle to tell the difference - it's superb, and even squinting up close you'll be hard pushed to notice any pixelation.

The colour reproduction will also appeal to many, as it's pretty close to reality - it lacks the punch of the Super AMOLED HD screens seen on the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Note for instance, but it will depend on personal preference as to whether that's a good thing.

New iPad 3 review

We like the vivid colours of Samsung's screens, but we know plenty of people that loathe them too.

The main thing is things like internet browsing; photo viewing and movie sessions are all much, much improved over the iPad 2, and is one of the main reasons to pick up the new iPad.

Design

The new iPad, as we said, is only marginally thicker and a little heavier than the iPad 2, and if you pick it up with no knowledge of the former, you'll likely be mighty impressed.

The rest of the design is premium too - given you can be paying nearly £700 for a top end model, it needs to seem like a worthwhile investment, and it does.

New iPad 3 review

The curved edges, the oleophobic scratch-proof glass and the aluminium chassis are all the kind of thing that some Android tablets have tried to ape and failed. Of course, many will prefer the feather-light frames of some of the Samsung models but, like the screen, it really comes down to personal preference.

The buttonry on the new iPad is pretty sparse though - we're talking four buttons and that's your lot.

New iPad 3 review

The iconic home button is back once again, despite rumours of its demise, and is easy to reach and hit within the thick bezel.


The rest of the buttons are all clustered tightly together in the top left-hand corner of the new iPad, with the rocker/volume key, the mute/orientation switch and power/lock key all within an inch of one another.

As you can see, Apple has been pretty efficient with the button placement, with all of them performing more than one function. And they say the iPad can't multi-task... tsk.

The new iPad 3 picks up the iOS story where the iPad 2 left off - with an incremental upgrade to iOS 5.1 the main talking point.

However, before we go through what's new, we'll take a quick tour across the operating system to show just how simple it is to operate a new iPad.

The home screen is laid out in a very similar way to the iPhone, except we're seeing some much larger icons for the apps you've downloaded.

new iPad 3 review

You can fill as many home screens as you like with apps as you download more from the App Store, and swiping from screen to screen on the iPad 3 is silky smooth even with loads of programs downloaded.

There's also the dock at the bottom of the display which can hold up to six regularly-used apps that are present on all home screens, which is more than the four on offer with the iPhone thanks to the extra screen real estate.

new iPad 3 review

Neat freaks need not despair either: it's easy to create folders of the apps you want to lump together simply by dragging an icon and plopping it on top of another – the iPad will create a name for the group based on the content, but it's easy to rename these.

iOS 5.1 doesn't offer too much in the way of new features for the users interface, but a trick that Apple has learned from Google's Android is the notifications bar, which can be accessed simply by swiping down from the top of the screen.

new iPad 3 review

This contains information on everything from unread mail messages to notifications of new moves in games you're playing with friends. It's a simple system and one that's prevalent throughout the system, even in most apps, meaning you can easily jump in and out of applications where necessary.

Speaking of which, it's worth taking a look at the multi-tasking gestures on offer, as they're pretty sensational. Using a full set of fingers on the screen allows three functions: pinching in will take you to the home screen, flicking up will enable the multi-tasking window and swiping left will let you bounce between open apps.

It really works on the new iPad, and we urge you to check it out as it really makes moving through the system easy and cool at the same time.

There's a great debate over what really constitutes multi-tasking – but in our view, the iPad does enough to warrant the title. The likes of the BlackBerry Playbook are more capable when it comes to fully running programs in the background, but most users will struggle to really notice the difference when the iPad and its Android competition are asked to jump between apps.

As mentioned, you can easy multi-finger swipe up or double tap the home button to call up a list of recently opened apps, which can be deleted from the tray by a single long press and tapping of the 'x' that appears.

New iPad 3 review

Swiping right in the multi-tasking tray will also call up the music player, which allows you to see what songs are about to play, or change the volume or brightness. Not new, but the closest thing to a widget we'll get here.

The lock screen allows you to do some pretty funky stuff; double tapping the home button will call up the music player so you can switch tracks or pause without needing to open the iPad. Also, there's an option to have a slide show of y ... Read more »

Category: Vista and 7 Tips and Tricks! | Views: 2095 | Added by: Adamsummer | Date: 2012-04-01 | Comments (5)

Samsung has plenty of experience in crafting slim, powerful laptops, but unlike its premium Samsung Series 9 ultraportable, the Samsung Series 5 Ultra appears to be more of an "everyman" device.

It won't out-power Ultrabook rivals such as the Dell XPS 13, Acer Aspire S3 or Asus Zenbook UX31, and it doesn't look A jaw-droppingly attractive. But importantly, and some would say crucially, it won't cost you the Earth, either.

The Samsung Series 5 Ultra is available in two models - a 13.3-inch model, the NP530U3BI, priced at £799.99 in the UK or $879.99 in the US, and a 14-inch model, the NP530U4BI, costing £849.99 or $899.99.

Considering most Ultrabooks retail for £899-£1,100, this makes the Samsung Series 5 an attractive proposition for anyone on a budget.

Samsung Series 5 Ultra review

Both models pack in mid-level Intel Core i5-2467M processors, but the 14-inch model comes with an optical drive and an HDD capable of being upgraded to an impressive 1TB of storage space.

Our review unit was the smaller 13.3-inch model, but at 20mm in thickness, the Samsung Series 5 Ultra 530U3B is still one of the bulkier Ultrabooks we've seen. It's comparable to the HP Envy 14 Spectre but unlike that machine, the chassis doesn't feel chunky.

It has the sloping, blade-like appearance of other Ultrabooks and weighs a miniscule 1.5kg.

The outward design is attractive without being breathtaking. The plain silver design is equally well placed at home or the office, and the brushed metal finish won't attract smudges the same way a reflective surface would.

Samsung Series 5 Ultra review

Look below the surface, though, and you'll soon notice the Samsung Series 5 Ultra 530U3B has a few tricks up its sleeve. Most notable is the option of including a 500GB HDD alongside a fast-booting 16GB SSD, giving you both space and speed.

The usability of the machine hasn't been ignored either, and the keyboard and touchpad are indicative of Samsung's usual excellence.

Standing out from the crowd of Ultrabooks isn't getting any easier, and whether this - Samsung's first attempt - is strong enough remains to be seen.

It might get noticed thanks to the friendly price, but can the rest of the machine live up to the Ultrabook moniker?

Samsung Series 5 Ultra review

Samsung has taken the middle ground on equipping the Series 5 Ultra 530U3B, opting for an Intel Core i5-2467M (1.6GHz) CPU, 4GB RAM and a 1366 x 768 screen resolution.

The processor is part of the Sandy Bridge family (a prerequisite for Ultrabook-class), so the graphics memory is built into the CPU core.

Don't expect any hard gaming on the Series 5 - if that's what you're looking for, Samsung has crafted the Series 7 Gamer especially for you.

Gaming aside, the integrated Intel HD Graphics 3000 chip doesn't do a bad job. You'll find streaming movies over Netflix or using editing programs such as Adobe Photoshop and Dreamweaver is within the grasp of this machine.

Samsung Series 5 Ultra review

If you do crave a slightly bigger graphical grunt, the 14-inch Series 5 packs in a dedicated AMD Radeon HD7550M GPU. And, while both machines come with 4GB RAM as standard, there's the option to upgrade to 8GB for a bit of extra future-proofing.

One of the main features of the Samsung Series 5 Ultrabook is the decision to include a 500GB hard disk drive, as well as a 16GB SSD (an SSD-only option is available).

In order to keep to Samsung's stated 20-second boot-up time, the Series 5 Ultra 530U3B also includes a 16GB iSSD and a technology called ExpressCache. Start it up and ExpressCache loads the operating system and most-used programs straight from the iSSD, while the HDD is left to boot in the background.

Samsung Series 5 Ultra review

It appears to work very well, and the Series 5's boot-up time stands up against the other Ultrabooks we've tested. The extra storage space is undoubtedly a bonus.

Even though external hard drives don't cost a fortune any more, buying one to go with your Ultrabook still means extra bulk to carry around. If you've got a large media library or a wealth of documents and programs, you'll thank Samsung for giving you the extra space.

Samsung takes a certain amount of pride in its bright screens, and the 300nit screen on the Samsung Series 5 Ultra 530U3B is no exception. The lack of a Super-TFT coating means bright lights and reflections don't interfere with usability.

This should prove popular with anyone looking to use the Series 5 as a mobile workstation, although media enthusiasts might miss the richer colours and deeper contrast supplied by a reflective coating.

The 1366 x 768 pixel resolution is perfectly serviceable for watching films in 720p high definition, and the silver bezel doesn't intrude on the experienc

Samsung Series 5 Ultra review

Cinebench 10: 5,809

3D Mark '06: 3242
Battery Eater '05: 191mins

So, after tearing through the specifications, the real question is how does the Samsung Series 5 Ultra 530U3B perform day-to-day? This i ... Read more »

Category: Vista and 7 Tips and Tricks! | Views: 1083 | Added by: Adamsummer | Date: 2012-04-01 | Comments (0)

Hands on: LG Z330 and Z430 Super Ultrabook review
Can LG make an impression on the laptop market with these Ultrabooks?

Not renowned for their PCs, Korean behemoth LG has released two Intel Ultrabooks here at CES 2012. And these aren't just Ultrabooks, the press release refers to them as Super Ultrabooks.

We're not quite sure why this is, but we'll go along with it. After all, we're in Las Vegas, where everything is supposed to be Super.

You can check out TechRadar's video of LG's Ultrabooks below:

There are two models, the Z330 and the Z430 and as you can see the chassis of this model looks very nice indeed – what's more, they're among the slimmest and lightest Ultrabooks on show.

LG ultrabook

The 13-inch Z330 is the model shown here. LG has gone for the top of the pile with these models (and therefore they will be highly priced) and features the top-line Core i7 processor.

LG ultrabook

As with many other Ultrabooks, LG says it has managed to get the 13-inch display into a compact 12-inch chassis. Rather than being tapered at one end, the Z330 is 14.7mm thick across the whole chassis – gven that many Ultrabooks are 17-18mm thick, the Z330 really appeals. It's also among the lightest Ultrabooks around 1t 1.21kg.

We also really liked the keyboard on the model we saw, although the trackpad was a bit slippy for our liking.

LG ultrabook

As you can see, the 13-inch model pictured here has HDMI out and three USB ports - you only get two and a mini HDMI with a lot of the tapered Ultrabooks. There's a drop down bit for the Ethernet port and one USB 3.0 port.

LG ultrabook

LG ultrabook

According to LG, the Z330 requires less than 10 seconds to complete booting and has a latest-class SATA3 SSD, too.

LG ultrabook

The 14-inch Z430 weighs 1.5kg and is equipped with SSD and HDD, meaning storage capacities of up to 500GB. This is similar to the Series 5 from LG's great rival Samsung. But unlike that model, it's not clear if the Z430 can be bought with just SSD, or whether it comes with the two drives as a default.

Category: Vista and 7 Tips and Tricks! | Views: 839 | Added by: Adamsummer | Date: 2012-04-01 | Comments (0)

Last night, this morning Microsoft announced Windows 8 Consumer Preview in Barcelona, Spain. According to Microsoft this new build has over 100,000 code changes since the last September’s Developer Preview Release.

Windows 8 System Requirements

Windows 8 Consumer Preview works great on the same hardware that powers Windows 7:

  • Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster
  • RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
  • Hard disk space: 16 GB (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
  • Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device or higher
  • To use touch, you need a tablet or monitor that supports multitouch
  • To access Windows Store and to download and run apps, you need an active Internet connection and a screen resolution of at least 1024 x 768
  • To snap apps, you need a screen resolution of at least 1366 x 768

Download ISO images

Windows 8 Customer Preview 64-bit 3.3 GB (English)

Sha 1 hash — 1288519C5035BCAC83CBFA23A33038CCF5522749

Windows 8 Customer Preview 32-bit 2.5 GB (English)

Sha 1 hash — E91ED665B01A46F4344C36D9D88C8BF78E9A1B39

After you have download the image, when install you can use this Product Key to activate your new Windows 8 Customer Preview.

Windows 8 Customer Preview Product Key:

DNJXJ-7XBW8-2378T-X22TX-BKG7J

Category: Vista and 7 Tips and Tricks! | Views: 3082 | Added by: Adamsummer | Date: 2012-04-01 | Comments (2)

Samsung Galaxy S3 release date, news and rumours
All the information on the Samsung Galaxy S3

Samsung's flagship 2011 Android phone received a glowing 5/5 score when we reviewed the Galaxy S2 earlier this year.

And it was no surprise - Samsung packed a very powerful and capable processor plus a very nice camera into an unbelievably slim case.

Review
Samsung Galaxy Nexus reviewSamsung Galaxy Nexus review

Samsung published endless press releases about its ever growing global sales figures, which can only mean one thing. A sequel is guaranteed for 2012.

Samsung is yet to make any official announcement regarding the Galaxy S3, mind, but the pieces are falling in to place. Samsung's processor developments are clear to see, with the company announcing several new Exynos cores during 2011 that could power the new Galaxy S3.

The Galaxy S 3 (which we've also seen referred to as the Galaxy SIII) is bound to be at least powered by a dual-core processor, but there's even been rumour of a quad-core chipset in Samsung's pipeline, which may power the S3. Here's what else we've gathered so far.

Samsung Galaxy S3 UK release date

The mobile phone industry is extremely predictable. The high-spec models for the year are invariably announced and shown off at February's Mobile World Congress event, with the finished hardware starting to appear on sale at the end of March and into April.

Samsung managed to release the S2 right at the beginning of April in 2011, so it's bound to want to repeat the winning formula and release the S3 at the same time in 2012. If you're due an upgrade next April, the S3 ought to be ready and waiting for you.

In Depth
10 gadgets to look forward to in 201210 gadgets to look forward to in 2012

Update: Bad news, S3 fans: it looks like the phone has been delayed until later in the year already, with Samsung promising a special non-MWC event of its own.

Samsung has even gone as far as cancelling its whole MWC conference altogether, so we're looking forward to seeing how it diverts all those funds into making the Galaxy S3 launch superb.

Update: There is an outside chance that we could see the Samsung Galaxy S3 at an event in Amsterdam on March 15 after an invite was sent out to various members of the press.

Update: A couple of South African carriers have said that they expect the Samsung Galaxy S3 to hit shelves as early as July - which tees us up nicely for a March unveiling.

Update: Samsung's marketing agency looks like it might have dropped the ball, reportedly confirming that the Galaxy S3 will hit UK (and global) stores in April - meaning an quick Apple-esque announcement to availability schedule.

Update: Samsung has confirmed that it will announce the release date of the Galaxy S3 via Twitter first. It has also denied the April launch date rumour above.

Update: A leaked image claiming to be the Samsung Galaxy S3 has appeared online suggesting it will be unveiled on March 22 - however Samsung has already denied the date and the image has several flaws.

Samsung Galaxy S3 - Leak

Credit: Phone Arena

Update: A press image of the suposed Samsung Galaxy S3 has been leaked, revealing a brand new design and a release date of May 22 2012.

Samsung Galaxy S3 - leak

Credit: Reddit

Update: Several reports from Korea have quoted Kim Young-Ha, Samsung Greater China President, saying that the Samsung Galaxy S3 launch date could be brought forward a month from May to April.

Update: Another image (below) claiming to be the Samsung Galaxy S3 has appeared, with striking similarities to the press image above - both of which suggest a May 22 release date.

Samsung Galaxy S3 - leak

Credit: GSM Helpdesk Nederland

Update: Another image claiming to be the Samsung Galaxy S3 has appeared, with striking similarities to the press image above this one - both of which suggest a May 22 release date.

Update: The Samsung Galaxy S3 could be in-line for a surprise launch on March 30, depending on the conclusions you draw from a cryptic paint-job adorning London's flagship Phones 4U store - although this now looks unlikely as Samsung has confirmed it is the launch of a Samsung vendor within the Phones 4U shop.

Samsung Galaxy S3 US release date

The Galaxy S2 took many months to appear in the US, as Samsung rearranged the design and changed features to please the US networks and their customers.

Given that the S2 is therefore still quite "new" to America, we'd expect the S3's American launch to be several months after the UK arrival once again. Mobile hardware launches are one of the few areas where the UK leads the world.

There was rumour the Galaxy S3 was going to be shown off at a special French event - but now Samsung has even denied that too.

Update: Samsung's marketing agency looks like it might have dropped the ball, reportedly confirming that the Galaxy S3 will hit stores worldwide in April.

In Depth
15 best Android tablets in the world15 best Android tablets in the world

It's been suggested the reason Samsung has delayed the Galaxy S3 until after MWC 2012 is so it can be launched simultaneously in the US and rest of the world.

The Galaxy S2 suffered a US release delay, which saw it arrive several months after the rest of the world and Samsung is keen to avoid the same situation this year.

Samsung Galaxy S3 price

Obviously we don't have pricing details for an unannounced phone, so all we can do is speculate. Given the recent launch of the ... Read more »

Category: Vista and 7 Tips and Tricks! | Views: 1502 | Added by: Adamsummer | Date: 2012-04-01 | Comments (8)


If you are one of those very early adaptors out there you’ve probably heard or have tried Windows 8 Developer Preview released in last September. Today Microsoft has just announced their public beta, aka Consumer Preview, of the upcoming Windows 8. Together, there are tons of changes and improvements over the initial Developer Preview release.

2012-02-29_1121

Here are some highlights of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview

  • Broad range of product changes and improvements
  • Windows Store with an "App Preview” of new apps
  • Connecting to the cloud across Windows PCs and Windows Phones
  • Internet Explorer 10 Platform Preview 5

So if you have a Windows 8 Developer Preview, here is how you can upgrade your system to the latest Consumer Preview.

I installed my first Windows 8 Developer Preview first day when it came out on the virtual box. Since then, there are many different methods you can try out Windows 8 but the upgrade process from Windows 8 Developer Preview to Consumer Preview are pretty much the same.

Insert the ISO image or CD

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Let the Windows 8 Developer Preview start up.

2012-02-29_1100

Now go back to Windows 8 Developer Preview Desktop and start the ISO image.

Important note: if you are running Windows 8 Developer Preview 64-bit, make sure the Consumer Preview is matching to what your original version. So if you have 32-bit installed, download the corresponding 32-bit Consumer Preview image as well.

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Now just follow the on screen step and ready to roll!

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One thing need to point out is that, Windows 8 Consumer Preview setup you need to have this product key: DNJXJ-7XBW8-2378T-X22TX-BKG7J in order to continue to finish the installation process.

2012-02-29_1107

Lastly just wait till this finishes.

2012-02-29_1110

When everything are all over you will see this "beta” fish (Betta) has changed over since the last time you saw it.

Category: Vista and 7 Tips and Tricks! | Views: 1975 | Added by: Adamsummer | Date: 2012-04-01 | Comments (0)

The CPU, however, increases from the 1GHz ARM Cortex-A8 to the 1.4GHz MSM8255 Snapdragon/Scorpion which certainly helps add snap to the Windows Phone Mango operating system.

Nokia lumia 800 review

The Nokia Lumia 800 (£400 SIM-free), although being the more expensive of the two Nokia Windows Phone offerings (the other being the £299 SIM-free/£199 PAYG Nokia Lumia 710) shares the Nokia N9's 16-bit AMOLED ClearBlack display whereas the Nokia Lumia 710 sports a 24-bit ClearBlack TFT.

Nokia lumia 800 review

This being said, even though the colour depth is theoretically deeper than in the Nokia Lumia 710, AMOLED screens are seen as better than the older TFT technology due to the more vivid colours and better contrast ratios.

Nokia lumia 800 review

Moving away from Nokia comparisons, the Lumia 800 also has to compete with the likes of the HTC Titan and HTC Radar Windows Mango phones. When we compare screen size we find the Nokia Lumia 800 feeling a little small with the HTC Radar and HTC Titan entering the fray with 3.8-inch and 4.7-inch screens respectively although all competitors are limited to the same 800 x 480 pixel resolution.

Obviously the iPhone has managed to be a success with a smaller screen at 3.5 inches, but the trend towards bigger displays is increasing all the time, and we have to say we're fans of those over four inches thanks to the improved internet and media experience.

Nokia lumia 800 review

This means that the pixel density on the Lumia 800 is a little sharper, but in our side by side comparisons we noted very little difference between them.

When it comes to internal storage the Nokia Lumia 800 and HTC Titan are equal with 16GB of fixed internal storage, with the Nokia Lumia 710 and HTC Radar weighing in with 8GB a piece.

Based on the two manufacturer's product specs it soon becomes apparent that the Nokia Lumia 800 is intended to compete against the HTC Titan and the Nokia Lumia 710 with the HTC Radar.

When compared dimensionally with the HTC Titan (131.5mm x 70.7mm x 9.9mm and 160g) we note that the Nokia Lumia 800 (116.5mm x 61.2mm x 12.1mm and 142g) cuts a very slim profile, with a lighter yet reassuring weight.

The physical appearance of the Nokia Lumia 800 is a dream to observe and handle, with its smooth curves fitting snugly to the hand both with and without the protective case provided in the purchase packaging.

That said, if you're used to handling the current crop of super slim handsets doing the rounds in today's phone shops, you can't help but feel the Lumia 800 is a little on the chunky side, even compared to the iPhone 4S thanks to it being around 10 per cent thicker.

Nokia lumia 800 review

However, that's not to say it isn't an attractive device, with its large 3.7-inch AMOLED screen pushed to the sides of the chassis and a cool curved polycarbonate shell gives the phone a very premium feel indeed.

Nokia has worked very hard on the unibody design here, using top-mounted flaps to cover the charging port and SIM slot, but sadly leaving the battery inaccessible. Intriguingly, we're seeing a microSIM here, which seems to be the fashion for the next wave of smartphones.

Nokia lumia 800 review

The battery is something we can get on board with as this isn't the first Nokia device to have an enclosed power pack and makes sense if it allows a greater design freedom.

There was no easy option for battery removal on the Nokia N8 or Nokia E7, for example. The problem is that with a charge lasting no more than a day, the option to switch out the battery, as with the Nokia Lumia 710, would have been nice.

The microSIM is somewhat more of an annoyance, since we couldn't even carry an old Nokia as a back-up because the SIM card is a different size.

SIM card adaptors are available, but use them at your own risk since they have a tendency to wedge in some phones. Add to this the frustration when you find that some operators charge for providing a microSIM when on a standard SIM contract.

Nokia lumia 800 review

The SIM to microSIM switch comes down to the simple issue of space. In the phone, the microSIM sits within the metal assembly bottom right.

The Nokia Lumia 800 is quite reasonably priced, costing nothing on as little as a £26 Orange or Vodafone contract with Carphone Warehouse compared with HTC Titan starting at £31 pm with Vodafone and £36 pm with Orange.

Nokia lumia 800

The major difference between Nokia Lumia series and other Nokia phones is the fact that it uses the Microsoft Windows Phone operating system. The system itself is nothing new, of course, releasing its latest incarnation (WP 7.5) on the HTC Titan and HTC Radar in 2011 and due for an update to Windows Phone Tango later this year.

A major point for and against WP7 for some is that it looks completely different to iPhone, Android, Symbian and Meego as the concept of application grids is nowhere to be seen.

Nokia lumia 800 review

Instead of the more standard home screen, or "Start Screen" in the case of Windows phone 7.5, the Nokia Lumia 800 uses "Live Tiles", fitting a 2x4 grid (although Calendar and Pictures tiles are full screen width) of tiles on the screen, vertically scrolling to display as many tiles as you wish to add.

Adding tiles to the Start screen is as easy as left swiping to the apps list, long pressing an app and selecting "pin to start", with removing a tile requiring a long press on the tile on the Start page and then tapping the drawing pin with a line through it.

Moving tiles around is just as easy, requiring a long press and then dragging them to the desired location.

Nokia lumia 800 review

At first we were unsure about the large tile based layout, finding it a little cumbersome and poor screen re ... Read more »

Category: Vista and 7 Tips and Tricks! | Views: 117350 | Added by: Adamsummer | Date: 2012-04-01 | Comments (86)

On Wednesday, Microsoft officially released the Windows 8 Consumer Preview (which is essentially a fancy term for ‘public beta’). If you’re eager to dabble around with the build in a virtual machine – perhaps due to the lack of a non-production machine, a spare partition, the fear of using it in a production environment, or, well, if you just want to install it in a virtual machine – then you’re in luck.

Here’s a quick tutorial that will show you how to install Windows 8 in a VirtualBox virtual machine, so you can enjoy the Consumer Preview from the comfort of a safe and sound OS. So, what do you need? A copy of VirtualBox (free), and a copy of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, which you can grab from here. Let’s get started.

Windows 8 Metro logo

Step 1: Launch VirtualBox and click on the "New" button to create a new virtual machine. In the wizard that pops up, select the Microsoft Windows Operating System and the Windows 8 version (remember to select the 64-bit version if your ISO is an x64 copy).

step1

Step 2: Select the amount of memory that you wish to allocate to the virtual machine. VirtualBox recommends the staggeringly specific amount of 1536, so I just went with that. Raise or lower the memory amount as you please, but bear in mind that decreasing it too far beyond the minimum recommended amount will lead to diminished performance.

step2

Step 3: Now, you’re going to have to create a new virtual hard disk. VirtualBox recommends that its size be 20GB; this is the minimum amount that Windows 8 needs for its x64 version (x86 is 16GB). If you do wish adjust this amount, the only way you can go is up.

step3

Step 4: Select the virtual disk file type that you wish to use. I went with a VirtualBox disk image as I won’t be using this virtual machine with other VM software, but you do have the option to select a more generic file type if needed.

step4

Step 5: You will be able to choose between a fixed virtual hard drive size and a dynamically allocated size. Basically, the latter will allow your virtual machine hard disk size to increase in size as it fills up. If you choose to create a fixed virtual hard drive size, set your HDD size here.

step5a

step5b

Step 6: We’re getting there. Verify that the settings are the ones that you desire, and create the virtual machine.

step6

Step 7: Now, start the virtual machine that you just created; a wizard will appear.

step7

Step 8: Browse to and select the Windows 8 Consumer Preview ISO that you downloaded.

step8

Step 9: Install Windows 8. Assuming that the previous steps were performed correctly, you should now be viewing Windows Setup.

step9

Step 10: Wrap up the Windows 8 installation process, and voilà.

step10

... Read more »

Category: Vista and 7 Tips and Tricks! | Views: 950 | Added by: Adamsummer | Date: 2012-04-01 | Comments (1)

On Wednesday, Microsoft officially released the Windows 8 Consumer Preview (which is essentially a fancy term for ‘public beta’). If you’re eager to dabble around with the build in a virtual machine – perhaps due to the lack of a non-production machine, a spare partition, the fear of using it in a production environment, or, well, if you just want to install it in a virtual machine – then you’re in luck.

Here’s a quick tutorial that will show you how to install Windows 8 in a VirtualBox virtual machine, so you can enjoy the Consumer Preview from the comfort of a safe and sound OS. So, what do you need? A copy of VirtualBox (free), and a copy of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, which you can grab from here. Let’s get started.

Windows 8 Metro logo

Step 1: Launch VirtualBox and click on the "New" button to create a new virtual machine. In the wizard that pops up, select the Microsoft Windows Operating System and the Windows 8 version (remember to select the 64-bit version if your ISO is an x64 copy).

step1

Step 2: Select the amount of memory that you wish to allocate to the virtual machine. VirtualBox recommends the staggeringly specific amount of 1536, so I just went with that. Raise or lower the memory amount as you please, but bear in mind that decreasing it too far beyond the minimum recommended amount will lead to diminished performance.

step2

Step 3: Now, you’re going to have to create a new virtual hard disk. VirtualBox recommends that its size be 20GB; this is the minimum amount that Windows 8 needs for its x64 version (x86 is 16GB). If you do wish adjust this amount, the only way you can go is up.

step3

Step 4: Select the virtual disk file type that you wish to use. I went with a VirtualBox disk image as I won’t be using this virtual machine with other VM software, but you do have the option to select a more generic file type if needed.

step4

Step 5: You will be able to choose between a fixed virtual hard drive size and a dynamically allocated size. Basically, the latter will allow your virtual machine hard disk size to increase in size as it fills up. If you choose to create a fixed virtual hard drive size, set your HDD size here.

step5a

step5b

Step 6: We’re getting there. Verify that the settings are the ones that you desire, and create the virtual machine.

step6

Step 7: Now, start the virtual machine that you just created; a wizard will appear.

step7

Step 8: Browse to and select the Windows 8 Consumer Preview ISO that you downloaded.

step8

Step 9: Install Windows 8. Assuming that the previous steps were performed correctly, you should now be viewing Windows Setup.

step9

Step 10: Wrap up the Windows 8 installation process, and voilà.

step10

... Read more »

Category: Vista and 7 Tips and Tricks! | Views: 799 | Added by: Adamsummer | Date: 2012-04-01 | Comments (0)

For

  • Excellent display
  • Good build quality
  • Solid 4G LTE performance
  • Speedy processor
  • 8MP camera works well

Against

  • Mediocre call quality
  • Very weak battery life
  • No Ice Cream Sandwich
  • Some UI frustrations
  • Spotty video recording

Offering Verizon Wireless subscribers yet another glossy-looking 4G LTE smartphone to choose from, the LG Spectrum is a variant of the LG Optimus LTE, also seen in a different form on AT&T as the LG Nitro HD.

The LG Spectrum packs in a dual-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon processor and 1GB of RAM, which results in generally snappy performance around the menus and while using apps. However, the phone still runs Gingerbread (Android 2.3.5), with an Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0) upgrade expected at an undisclosed date.

LG spectrum

What immediately grabs your attention is the crisp 4.5-inch display, which shines at 1280x720 resolution at 329 ppi, making it one of the sharpest screens on the market. It's protected by Gorilla Glass, which keeps the screen impressively free of scratches.

You'll have to look very closely to spot individual pixels, though in regular day-to-day use, the display impresses consistently whether viewing videos or browsing the web. It's a bit prone to fingerprints, but that's a small price to pay for a fantastic screen.

LG spectrum

The LG Spectrum sports a slim and sleek build, at just 0.41-inches deep, with a front facing camera up top and three touch buttons at the bottom. The center Home button resembles a physical one due its silver sheen, but like the Menu and Back buttons around it, the phone must be powered on to use it.

On the back, you'll find a black-and-silver checkerboard pattern atop a very slick, shiny cover. Without any sort of tactile grip, it's sure to slide around in some users' hands, especially as the weather heats up, but it's an attractive and sturdy backing that can be pretty easily removed from a notch on the bottom of the phone.

LG spectrum

Also on the back is the 8-megapixel camera lens, which is accompanied by a small light – the whole of which only slightly juts out from the rest of the cover. In addition to photos, the lens can also shoot HD video up to 1080p resolution.

LG spectrum
The top of the phone includes the physical power button, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a mini-USB input, which is covered by an attached flap. The left side of the phone includes a lightly raised volume rocker, while the right side is completely free of buttons and inputs.

LG spectrum

Included on the LG Spectrum is 4GB of internal storage, but unlike some phones, we weren't able to access this space by connecting the phone to a computer. Luckily, the phone also comes with a 16GB microSD card, and it can accommodate 32GB cards as well. The card is found behind the back cover above the 1830 mAh battery and adjacent to the SIM card.

LG spectrum

The LG Spectrum is available on Verizon Wireless for $199.99 with a two-year contract, with the full retail price for the phone listed at $589.99.

The LG Spectrum launched more than a month after the Samsung Galaxy Nexus introduced Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) into the marketplace, yet is still stuck running Android 2.3.5. Despite the dated OS build, the Spectrum moves pretty fluidly across the LG-skinned menus and in and out of apps, putting its dual-core 1.5GHz processor to work.

LG spectrum

Seven home screens are available on the LG Spectrum, with the center one initially dominated by a large and attractive digital clock widget that also includes the current weather for your location, along with a visual representation of the conditions.

Another page is set by default to contain a scrolling list of large icons that grant access to photos, videos, and music sorted by albums, artists, and playlists, which makes it easy to jump into media without digging through menus.

LG spectrum

Left and right swipes get you around the menu screens, with a tap of the home button bringing you back to the center one. Pinching any home screen brings up an overview of all seven, which lets you drag and drop them to rearrange the order.

Rearranging app icons is curiously a hassle, though, as it's not possible to move them around an already-filled screen. Attempting to drag an icon into the gap next to or between others doesn't automatically create a space for it; instead, you'll have to move an app to another page to create a space to work with, or delete an icon to do the same.

LG spectrum

Various widgets – including social networking, news, finance, and calendar options – can be added to any of the home screens, along with shortcuts and folders for storing multiple apps. LG's Friends+ widget lets you handpick pals from Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace, and quickly view their latest status message or photo update. It's a handy tool, but no replacement for each full-service social networking app.

LG spectrum

The Apps listing is a bit of a headache to deal with, as it offers access to apps in only one of two layouts: sorted by category, or listed in a very long and unnecessarily chunky list. We would have loved to just see a few pages of alphabetically sorted icons, but neither option here is particularly ideal.

Gingerbread's pull-down notifications tab is a little busy in this skinned iteration, but offers easy access to a few helpful settings, like orientation lock, Airplane mode, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on/off access, and the ability to control your music.

LG spectrum

The touch buttons located below the screen make it easy to return to the main home screen, flip back a screen or option in any app, and access settings and options applicable to the current app or screen, respectively.

The LG Spectrum offers a pretty familiar take on Gingerbread's contacts system, letting you search for and join together contacts, which can be imported en masse from Google, Facebook, and Twitter.

LG spectrum

Pairing together multiple accounts from your friends is as simple as finding one in your contacts, selecting "Edit Contact" from the Menu touch button after viewing it, and then pressing the Menu button again to find "Join." From there, it will suggest other listed accounts that might match it, or you can view the whole list.

Of course, if you prefer not to import in contacts, or simply want to add in someone not affiliated with your social networks of choice, you can easily add them locally and search for contacts from the box atop the Contacts page.

Calling

On the calling side, the LG Spectrum includes a clean-looking dialer, with rectangular touch buttons that collectively fill half the screen and an auto-complete box that'll suggest numbers from your Contacts as you dial. Each number press triggers a light haptic response from the phone, which is an appreciated touch.

... Read more »

Category: Vista and 7 Tips and Tricks! | Views: 1392 | Added by: Adamsummer | Date: 2012-04-01 | Comments (8)

Best-Screenshot--Screen-Capture-Tools-Windows

At AddictiveTips, we are always looking for newer and better software that can make the life of our readers simpler. Screenshots are used in several situations; from creating a manual to getting help on a forum, screenshots act as a visual aid to the topic or problem under discussion. We have covered a lot of screenshot-taking tools in the recent, as well as not-so-recent past. Today, we thought of picking out some of the best screenshot tools and comparing them against each other for our readers. The following articles contains a roundup of five of the best screenshot taking tools featured on AddictiveTips.

Shotty

shotty1

Pros:

Being a full-featured screenshot taking tool, Shotty is used as the primary screenshot taking utility by a lot of people (including a lot of us at AddictiveTips). Its ability to capture the Aero-Glass effect in Windows Vista and Windows 7 allows it to take HQ screenshots with semitransparent borders, along with the shadow of the selected window. Some other useful features include cropping the captured image, captioning the image, marking a specific area and inserting text. It can not only capture the selected windows, but also the windows running in the background without having to bring them to front. Shotty also lets you directly upload images to image hosting websites.

Cons:

Even though the high quality image looks pleasing to the eye, the compression of PNG images is not that good. Resultantly, the size of the captured image is quite high, and further compression with an external image editor is required specially if you want to upload it to a website.

Key Success Factor:

The ability to capture Aero-Glass and shadow effect and take screenshots of windows running in the background makes this software a perfect choice for taking high quality screenshots of complete windows.

GreenShot

preferences

Pros:

GreenShot is an open source screenshot capturing software, allowing you to take screenshots of the complete screen, active window or an area of the screen. It has been under my own use ever since I started blogging, specifically for its area capture mode. Taking over the Print Screen button, it allows you to quickly take area specific screenshots and edit them. The GreenShot Image Editor allows you to move or remove the mouse cursor even after taking the screenshot. Other options include drawing different shapes, adding text to image, obfuscating elements, filling color etc.

Cons:

The complete window capture of GreenShot is not that good, and sometimes, either cuts the edges of windows off, or adds a little bit of background around the edges.

Key Success Factor:

Allowing you to take screenshots by simply hitting the Print Screen button on your keyboard and selecting the required area makes GreenShot a very useful and time-saving screenshot capturing tool.

Screenshot Captor

Screenshot-Captor-New-Screenshot

Pros:

Screenshot Captor is one of the most extensive and comprehensive screenshot taking tools out there. It has an array of options allowing you to take screenshots, edit them, add special effects, add colors, objects and share the screenshots. You can specify pre-capture and post-capture settings, and edit the image using the built-in editor. You can create mailing lists to share captured images with multiple people or print them directly from within the application. Other options allow you to crop image to selection, resize the image, adjust image, enhance selection, blur the image, adjust its colors, add captions, change its transparency etc. There is also support for multi-monitor setup allowing you to take flawless screenshots across all connected monitors.

Cons:

Compared to GreenShot or Shotty, setting up and learning to use Screenshot Captor can be a bit difficult. Users will have to put some time and effort in getting to know the software to use it at its full potential.

Key Success Factor:

To be honest, I cannot name any one factor which makes this tool stand out from the crowd. The massive number of options let you perform almost every thinkable function for capturing and editing the screenshot.

Live Capture

Config-Live-Capture-Notification-Icon

Pros:

Live Capture can easily be a direct contender to Screenshot Captor in terms of the number of available options. It boasts a whopping total of not 4 or 5, but 12 screenshot capturing modes. Each mode can be equipped with its own hotkey. That’s not all, there is also a Magnifier, Color Picker, Color Palette, Ruler, Editor, Crosshair, Protractor and GIF animator packed within the application. The "Capture Bar” stays on top of every window – with adjustable transparency – allowing you to quickly grab the screen you want. Other than the usual file capturing modes, Live Capture has Window Control Capture, Timing Capture, Repeat Last Capture, Web Capture and Program Menu Capture.

Cons:

The application doesn’t have its own image editor. You will have to use MS Paint (selected by default) or any other external image editor of your choice.

Key Success Factor:

The 12 different capturing modes, supplemented with several other tools, such as Color Picker and GIF animator, makes it a feature-rich tool for capturing any kind of screenshots.

Snappy

Snappy-1.5

Pros:

Recently, a screenshot taking application named Snappy caught our eye, mainly because of its Event Capture feature. The Event Capture feature allows you to set a timer for capture and initiate screenshot capture on specified mouse and keyboard events, such as every mouse click, release or double click or every keyboard key pressed or released. It stores each screenshot in to its own memory and allows you to Export all the selected images in a single PDF file. The image editor lets you tag additional data to the image, adjust its RGB values, Brightness, Contrast and Color, as well as add lines with adjustable width. There is also an option to directly email the images for sharing with someone, from directly within the application.

Cons:

It took me a lot of time to find out something missing in this tool, but finally I noticed that there is no Aero-Glass effect or shadow capturing option available in Snappy.

Key Success Factor:

The Event Capture option is definitely a useful tool for effortlessly capturing screenshots specially while making guides and adding visual aid.

Category: Vista and 7 Tips and Tricks! | Views: 1494 | Added by: Adamsummer | Date: 2012-04-01 | Comments (6)

Nokia might be pushing at the high end of the smartphone world with its Lumia 800 and Lumia 710, but the company also has a budget series, Asha. The Nokia Asha 201 is designed for the chatterbox.

And costing around £65 SIM-free it sounds like a steal, with its QWERTY keyboard just crying out to be typed on. Our sample came from Vodafone, which sells it for the even cheaper UK price of £45 on pay as you go.

At that price you clearly have to expect some less than stunning specifications. Probably the lack of 3G and Wi-Fi will put many people off immediately. And then there's the small screen (320 x 240 pixels), and the rather old hat Symbian S40 operating system that holds everything together.

Nokia asha 201 review

But that low price beckons, and there's a quoted seven hours of 2G talk time from the battery to lure you too. You've got various colours to choose between depending on where you buy from, with eye-watering shades of green, blue, pink and orange all in the mix as well as more standard, and less frightening black and white.

Nokia asha 201 review

The Nokia Asha 201 is a smallish handset considering it totes a mini QWERTY hard keyboard, and light too, thanks to its plastic shell. At 105g and measuring 115.4 x 61.1 x 14mm, it's a good size and weight for small hands and pockets. We bet that youngsters are high on its target list.

Nokia asha 201 review

The build is reasonable, but not outstanding. The plastic feels solid enough, but on our white sample we could see the join between the pearlescent white backplate and the edges of the phone, which we found irritating.

Nokia asha 201 review

There's a microSD card slot on the right edge, under a hinged cover. You'll need to use this to boost the 10MB of built-in storage. Other than that, all the ports and connectors are on the top, with the bottom and left edges clear.

Nokia asha 201 review

So, the top edge has headphones connector, USB port and a connector for the tiny round pin Nokia mains charger. No, you can't charge over USB.

Nokia asha 201 review

There's no volume rocker or shortcut button for the 2MP camera. Meanwhile, the front of the Nokia Asha 201 houses a physical mini QWERTY keyboard and a nice arrangement of buttons.

Nokia asha 201 review

The central D-pad has a ring where the top and bottom edges move you through the main screen (it's not a touchscreen), while a press on the right edge takes you to the calendar, on the left edge to messaging.

Nokia asha 201 review

Two soft menu buttons offer various changing functions, and there are two shortcuts, one to the web (via Opera Mini), and one marked up for messages but which you can customise. There are also Call and End buttons. It's nothing special, but it is all quite neat.

Nokia asha 201 review

Nokia asha 201 review

The Nokia Asha 201 runs on Symbian S40, albeit a tweaked version. This is an old, old, old operating system that's been beefed up to look and feel modern.

And it does have its good points, but don't for a moment be fooled into thinking it is a bells and whistles smartphone operating system. This is what we call 'feature phone plus' territory.

The single home screen looks quite attractive with its favourite contacts, social media and app shortcuts all lined up.

Nokia asha 201 review

And you can configure how it looks, too, deciding what you'd like to have displayed on the home screen. But doing so is a bit of a faff. We had to walk through five screens to get to the one where we could personalise the home screen view.

Nokia asha 201 review

This being a Series 40 handset, the Asha 201 has a rather old fashioned Nokia look and feel once you get beyond the home screen. Hit the Menu button and you are into an icon driven-area with a very Nokia-esque look.

Nokia asha 201 review

Elsewhere there are other shades of old fashioned Series 40. On the main screen, for example, hit the left softmenu button (marked 'Go to'), and you can then scroll through a number of shortcuts for quick access to them. Well, we say quick, it's a bit tedious tapping away at the D-pad, but if' youre ont used to a touchscreen then you won't find this too much of a hassle.

Contacts are a bit of a bugbear with the Nokia Asha 201. They aren't drawn from your Facebook or Twitter accounts when you sign in, so everyone you know will either need to be on your SIM, entered manually or copied using Bluetooth-based Sync and Backup if you're transferring from another Nokia handset.

Manual contact entry is made easier thanks to the keyboard, but it's still a bit of a pain. You enter a number and name and then save the contact, then have to come out and go back in to add other contact info such as email address, postal address, nickname, birthday and notes.

You can assign contacts as favourites, and these will appear on the home screen with little thumbnail photos if you have assigned them. If you've no photos, hovering the cursor over the generic contact icon will show their name, and you can then choose the one you want to contact.

Nokia asha 201 review

It's quite annoying that contacts are listed by last name then first name. It's a lot more formal than we like.

Making a call is easy enough, but there's no smart dialling support. You can't start tapping out a name or number on the keyboard and then see a list of contacts diminishing as you get close to the one you want.

Nokia asha 201 review

If you do start tapping something out, the handset only recognises numbers, ignoring any letters you press, and even then it doesn't search the contacts themselves to narrow down your selection.

What this means is that when you want to contact someone specific you either have to know their number, have them saved as a favourite for quick access, or trundle through the whole contacts list.

Nokia asha 201 review ... Read more »
Category: Vista and 7 Tips and Tricks! | Views: 5621 | Added by: Adamsummer | Date: 2012-04-01 | Comments (4)

If you’ve been using VirtulBox as your primary virtualization tool, you must have heard about the latest iteration – Version 4.0 which hosts many new features in a revamped UI. Sadly, you wont find portable VirtualBox 4 version over at vbox.me. Today, we have a simple trick that requires you to download Portable Virtualbox v3.2.12, which you can use to make VirtualBox v4.0 portable.

Before starting out, it is recommended to backup previous VirtualBox data. In Portable-VirtualBox folder, you need to rename app32 folder to app32.old.

Portable-VirtualBox_

Now on launching Portable VirtualBox, you will get to see the initial configuration (Extract And Compress) window, requiring user to either download VirtualBox or specify its path. Here, you need to specify the path for VirtaulBox 4.0 installation package, – VirtualBox-4.0.0-69151-Win.exe. Choose your system type 32 or 64 and hit OK to make your VirtualBox 4.0 portable.

v box 2

Wasn’t this easy?

Download VirtualBox 4.0

Download Portable VirtualBox 3.2.12

Update: Portable VirtualBox 4.0 has been released, you can grab it from here.

Category: Vista and 7 Tips and Tricks! | Views: 801 | Added by: Adamsummer | Date: 2012-04-01 | Comments (0)

The HTC Sensation XE built well on the success of the original Sensation, but since the launch of Ice Cream Sandwich toting handsets at MWC 2012 it is in need of an update to keep up with the pack.

HTC has done just that providing the Sensation XE with Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich, coupled with its own Sense 3.6 overlay update. A new Sensation XE should now run Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box.

If you own a HTC Sensation XE currently running Android Gingerbread, the Ice Cream Sandwich update will be available in the near future.

HTC sensation xe ice cream sandwich review

If you do need to update over the air we suggest hooking yourself up to Wi-Fi to ensure a speedy download. All you need to do is to go to Settings > About Phone > Software Update and follow the on-screen instructions. In total it took us less than 30 minutes to download and install Ice Cream Sandwich on our Sensation XE.

HTC sensation xe ice cream sandwich review

Now the Sensation XE sports Ice Cream Sandwich it jumps in between the quad-core One X and the mid-range One S in HTC's line up.

HTC sensation xe ice cream sandwich review

The Sensation XE goes up against devices such as the iPhone 4S, Samsung Galaxy S2 and Motorola Razr and can now be picked up for free on a £25 per month contract or £400 sim-free.

HTC sensation xe ice cream sandwich review

The Sensation XE is a good looking device with its black case and red and silver detailing. The premium feel is certainly present with the metal and rubber unibody case allowing the Sensation XE to sit comfortably in the hand and providing a sturdy build.

HTC sensation xe ice cream sandwich review

Due to the quality materials used by HTC on the Sensation XE's body, it weighs in at 151g – heavier than rivals such as the Galaxy S2 (116g) and iPhone 4S (139g), but it's not overbearing and reinforces the premium feel of the phone.

HTC sensation xe ice cream sandwich review

HTC has gone down the minimalist route with the Sensation XE with just two well placed and easy to hit physical buttons on the handset, a volume rocker on the left and a power/lock key on top, accompanied by a 3.5mm headphone jack.

HTC sensation xe ice cream sandwich review

There is a third button on the base of the HTC Sensation XE which allows you to slide off the solid unibody case – providing you access to the SIM and microSD slots as well as the 1730mAh battery.

HTC sensation xe ice cream sandwich review

You'll still find the punchy 1.5GHz dual-core processor under the hood, vivid 4.3-inch HD (540 x 960) display on the front and the Dr Dre-inspired Beats Audio technology to blast tunes down your ear canals.

HTC sensation xe ice cream sandwich review

Rather disappointingly for a high end phone the Sensation XE only provides 1GB of internal storage, but an 8GB microSD card is supplied in the box and it can support a card up to 32GB in size.

HTC sensation xe ice cream sandwich review

It will come as no surprise that the interface on the HTC Sensation XE is where the bulk of the changes have occurred post-Ice Cream Sandwich update.

Not only does the Sensation XE bring the latest version of Android to your fingertips, it also delivers HTC's new Sense 3.6 overlay. Now, you may well be asking where Sense 4.0 is, but this version is only available on 2012 handsets such as the HTC One range - as it's not compatible with older devices.

HTC sensation xe ice cream sandwich review

Ice Cream Sandwich brings in a raft on new features and improvements to the Android operating system, but don't panic if you're a loyal HTC user as the Sense 3.6 overly ties it all together nicely in a familiar skin.

What we notice straight away is the Sensation XE feels more fluid. It seems faster than pre-Ice Cream Sandwich - not to say it was slow while running Gingerbread - but it looks like the addition of Android 4.0.3 has managed to streamline the user experience.

... Read more »

Category: Vista and 7 Tips and Tricks! | Views: 9146 | Added by: Adamsummer | Date: 2012-04-01 | Comments (2)

So you downloaded Windows 8 and now want to try it out on VirtualBox but are constantly getting errors? You are not alone. Installing Windows 8 on VirtualBox is tricky but not that hard once you get to know the basics. In this guide, we will explain the step by step procedure to installing Windows 8 on VirtualBox 4.1.2 (which is the latest version). Advanced users might want to skip the first few steps and directly go to settings.




Important Note: Before we begin, make sure your processor supports Virtualization Technology and is enabled. Windows 8 will not work if your processor does not support Virtualization Technology. Most processors support Virtualization Technology but the option is not enabled by default. You can enable Virtualization Technology option from the BIOS. Now let’s begin!

First grab VirtualBox (link given at the bottom of the post) and install it. You will get few Oracle permission pop-ups where you have to click Allow. Once installed, launch VirtualBox and click New. The New Virtual Machine wizard will open up, click Next.

create new virtual machine

Type the name of the Virtual Machine, we named it Windows 8, select Microsoft Windows as Operating system, and select Windows 7 as version. Important Note: Even if you are running VirtualBox on Windows 7 x64, you still have to select Windows 7 from version. Do not continue if Windows 7 (64-bit) is selected, otherwise VirtualBox will crash. When done, click Next.

Create new virtual machine name

We will recommend allocating at least 1GB memory if you are installing Windows 8 32-bit, and at least 3GB memory if you are installing Windows 8 64-bit. I have allocated almost 4GB of RAM as you can see in the screenshot below. When done, click Next.

create new virtual memory

VirtualBox provides options to either create a new hard disk or use an existing hard disk as a Start-up Disk. By default, it is set to Create new hard disk. Leave it as it is and click next.

create new virtual hard disk

In this step, make sure VDI is selected. VDI stands for VirtualBox Disk Image. Click Next.

VDI Virtual Box Disk Image

In this step, select Fixed size or Dynamically allocated based on your needs, so that it does not eat up more virtual disk as allocated by the user. We selected Fixed size but most users prefer Dynamically allocated.

virtual disk storage details

By default, VirtualBox allocates 20GB hard disk space for new machine. You can increase or decrease this amount. We would strongly recommend not to allocated less than 20GB. When done, click Next.

set virtual hard disk size

In the last step, you will be given a quick summary of the settings you have selected. Click Create to begin creating virtual disk file.

sumary virtual disk

It will take anywhere from 5 minutes to 30 minutes to create a virtual disk space, i.e, a fixed medium storage unit. Please note that it can take more than 30 minutes if you have allocated more than 20GB hard disk space for new machine.

creating fixed medium storage

Once the process is complete, in the final step, click Create and you will be taken to the main interface where the Virtual machine will be ready.

windows 8 virtual box main

Now go to Settings, click System from left sidebar, and make sure that Enable IO APIC is checked in Motherboard tab. You can uncheck Enable absolute pointing device since it is not used by most users.

Virtual settings

When done, move to Processor tab and make sure that Enable PAE/NX is checked.

virtual processor settings

Finally move to Acceleration tab and make sure both Enable VT-x/AMD-V and Enable Nested Paging are checked.

virtual acceleration settings

Checking all these settings are important, otherwise Windows 8 will not install on VirtualBox.

Now go to Storage from the left sidebar and click Empty under IDE Controller. Click the CD icon next to CD/DVD Drive selection box and click Choose a virtual CD/DVD disk file. Now navigate to the Windows 8 ... Read more »

Category: Vista and 7 Tips and Tricks! | Views: 817 | Added by: Adamsummer | Date: 2012-04-01 | Comments (0)

Google Nexus S: 16 tips and tricks Google Nexus S - all the tips

So you've read TechRadar's in-depth Google Nexus S review, you've reconciled the (now much lower) price and you've ordered the latest smartphone - now it's time to turn into a power user.

Here's a round up of the secrets and tips you'll need to know to get the most out of your latest gadget, so read on to go from Android amateur to Nexus know-it-all.

1. Reclaim the comma

One of the first irritations you'll encounter with the Google Nexus S is the lack of a comma - the keyboard has a voice search icon where the oft-used symbol should be.

Nexus s settings

But there's a way to reclaim it - head into Settings, and choose Language and Keyboard. Tap Android Keyboard and in there you'll see a dropdown menu labelled Voice input.

From here you can select whether the voice search icon is on the front screen, the symbol menu or delete it altogether - and more importantly, the comma is back where it belongs.

2. Inbuilt battery graph

A massive problem for smartphones is the battery maintenance - so many devices have offered such poor battery life that some have been rendered virtually unusable.

The Nexus S isn't that bad in terms of holding its charge, but if you want to see what's happening with your battery, the phone comes with a battery graph built in.

Nexus s battery graph

Simply go into Settings, then tap About Phone. Open Battery Use and hit the smaller battery graph at the top - this then opens up into a fully-fledged graph complete with information on how fast your power depleted and what the phone was doing at the time.

3. Get rid of unwanted apps quickly

You probably know already how to uninstall applications on the phone in the menu system.

But this can take a while, and ultimately frustrate you into leaving some apps that you didn't reach.

But if you open up the Android Market, you'll see a Downloads tab that shows you everything you've nabbed from Google's portal.

Nexus s uninstall apps

Choose any of these and the option to Uninstall is present in the bottom right-hand corner - the list is easier to access and quicker to use, and you can give feedback to the developer on why you uninstalled it too.

4. Boost your media experience

The media experience on the Android 2.3 platform is unfortunately not that good natively - incompatibility with many file types and basic operation mar the experience.

For music, we recommend MixZing - it has all the features of the Android experience but also has Genius-like abilities to mix a playlist based on a single song choice, as well as a decent inbuilt EQ make it a real step up.

Nexus s media

For movies, mVideo Player is the one we reach for instantly whenever we pick up an Android phone. The powerful player has a high level of file compatibility, multiple bookmark options and even a slider for brightness management.

You can even see the clock when viewing a video if you so wish - an oft-overlooked feature.

5. Unlock the power of voice

We mentioned we didn't like the voice input icon on the keyboard, but that doesn't mean we aren't fans of voice search.

From calling and navigation to text entry and Google searching, your voice can be activated by simply holding down the search key.

Nexus s voice search

If you're already in an application (say text message editor) you can hit the icon to simply say your text - although you'd have to ask whether a phone call makes more sense at this point.

6. Stop the constant sipping

We've mentioned battery management earlier - and there's a way you can stop it plummeting downhill instantly.

If you head into the Settings menu and choose Accounts and Sync, there's a large checkbox for background data.

Nexus s battery life

If you only periodically check things like social networks or email, then this is a great way to save some power, as you can get the same functionality by just manually updating when you open the app.

It does mean things like push notifications won't work, but if you're after a decent battery saving and don't care about instant updates, give this a go.

7. Go 3D with Google Maps

Google Maps 3D is here - well, for Cardiff and Birmingham in the UK. The new Google Maps 5.0 for Android is by far the most powerful offering so far, with the 3D vector view allowing you to zoom in and twist around certain cities from your mobile.

Nexus s google maps

Other additional functions include compass orientation, for easier foot navigation, and offline caching, where the phone cleverly works out the places you frequent the most and downloads the date when you're on Wi-Fi and plugged in (ie on the nightly charge).

8. Unlock your file system

Although some phones (like the Samsung Galaxy S) include an inbuilt file management system, the Google Nexus S has no such functionality.

This means when you've copied media across to the phone but can't see it in the gallery you're pretty much stuffed - unless you download a file manager.

Nexus s file manager

We're fans of Astro - not only is it ridiculously easy to fly through the folder branches, it can also unzip folders and search for file names - and it's free too.

9. Take a picture of yourself

One of the new features of Android 2.3 is a support for video calling, and to that end the Google Nexus S has a front-facing camera to facilitate it.

The problem is there's no mainstream application to let you call using the front VGA camera - but you can still use it to take pictures.

Nexus s front camera

Simply fire up the camera and hit the camera switch icon in the bottom right-hand corner - you can take slightly gawpy pictures of your mug as quick as a flash.

10. Easier copy and paste

Android 2.3 comes with enhanced copy and paste, making it easy to just hold down a word and see it copied to the keyboard.

In text editing, you can cut or copy the word, and on the internet you simply need to long press on a phrase and drag the tabs to choose the selection you're after, with a quick tap auto-copying the text.

Nexus s copy and paste

The tabs are now much larger and easier to manipulate as well, making it a much more simple experience when trying to move text from one place to another.

11. Check out the downloads

This might sound like a simple update, but there's now a dedicated application for items you've downloaded from the internet.

Nexus s downloads

It saves you having to delve into the internet browser to get pictures or applications you've snaffled from the web, and delete them easily too.

12. Bars to stop you scrolling

When you're running through a list and get to the bottom, sometimes you're not sure whether you've reached the end or if the phone is still loading more options.

Google has added in some orange flashes when you hit the top or bottom of a list as a visual cue - it's not the most piviotal upgrade, but it's certainly adds to the sheen of your phone.

13.Magic tricks with photos

OK, not technically magic, but it certainly feels as cool as a card trick.

When in the gallery view, you already will know that the stacks of pictures mean there's more than one item in that category - but here comes the awesome part.

Put two fingers on the top of the stack, pull them apart and watch as the pics fly between your two ... Read more »

Category: Vista and 7 Tips and Tricks! | Views: 1137 | Added by: Adamsummer | Date: 2012-04-01 | Comments (8)

The PlayStation phone is the device equivalent of El Dorado, in that it's spent a long time as a golden fable to trot out when conversation slows. Now the fusion of gamepad and Android phone has emerged into the modern world in the form of the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play.

It's a time when iPhones have permeated the globe, able to deliver tactile gaming on the go, and Nintendo's 3DS is making waves by bringing portable 3D fun to the masses.

Even within the Sony stable, the Xperia Play has rivals to overcome. There's the NGP, successor to the PSP, on the horizon, which will arrive boasting enough processing power to run the LHC (well, a quad-core CPU and graphics processor, at least).

What's more, it must establish itself over a selection of fast and competent Android handsets, such as Sony Ericsson's Xperia Arc, which will also have the chops for 3D gaming of the non-stereoscopic kind.

Our colleagues at T3.com grabbed some Sony Ericsson Xperia Play video which you can watch below.

As a gaming-oriented mobile, the headline feature here is, of course, the slide-out controller section. This comes bearing a D-pad, the familiar PlayStation face buttons, a pair of touchpad 'thumbsticks', two shoulder buttons and some menu keys. There's also an accelerometer on board, and the four-inch 480 x 854 multi-touch screen for getting all handsy with your software.

Sony ericsson xperia play review: main body

Powering this is a 1GHz Snapdragon processor with embedded Adreno 205 GPU graphics, 512MB of RAM and Android 2.3, or Gingerbread. While that's competitive in terms of modern smartphones, we have to admit we were expecting more pixel-pushing oomph.

Sony ericsson xperia play review: pad

Rounding out the offering are a smattering of features, including Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity, 5MP camera, Bluetooth and a bundled 8GB microSD card.

Okay, now you know what's on offer, let's talk price. SIM-free, the Xperia Play will require a £480-520 extraction from your wallet, and to get the phone free on a contract will typically require paying £35-40 per month.

To put that in perspective, you could get the much-lauded Orange San Francisco and a 3DS for the same cost as a SIM-free Xperia Play, with change enough for a small library of games. For this kind of money, you'd be right to expect legendary performance.

The Xperia Play hardware itself isn't unattractive, but it is bulky, coming in a finger-width shorter than a closed 3DS and a few millimetres less thick at 62 x 119 x 16.5mm.

It's heavy as well, and feels too plasticky in the hand, mainly thanks to the creaky, glossy backplate. Oh, and the whole device retains fingerprints better than a crime lab database.

Sony ericsson xperia play review: with 3ds

Holding the phone upright as you would to make a call, along the left-hand side of the slide-out section is a 3.5mm headphone socket and the micro-USB port. We're not huge fans of how the jack is placed, given its location makes the provided headphones rub against the base of our thumb while playing games and gets in the way for movies.

On the top edge of the phone is another less than ideally placed button – the power/lock switch. Because it's recessed, it requires a fair flex of the index finger to operate, which can be faffy at key moments.

Sony ericsson xperia play review: in hand

The right-hand side has the shoulder buttons (more on them in a bit) and a volume rocker, which is in a great place for adjusting volume on the fly during calls, but awkwardly right behind the middle of the screen during gaming.

There's a minimal selection of non-backlit buttons along the bottom of the screen too to handle navigating duties. These are: Back, Home, Menu and Search respectively. They're pleasant enough to use, but we think you'll find it hard to make them out in the dark.

One neat touch is that when you flip the phone over and take off the backplate, you can access the sim slots and microSD card without removing the battery.

Sony ericsson xperia play review: sim

Not quite the killer start we'd hoped for, but we've yet to venture onto the Xperia Play's home turf: gaming.


The interface on the Xperia Play looks pretty similar to its cousin, the Xperia Arc. By default, there are five Home screens to populate as you wish, with a persistent dock-like bar along the bottom with space enough for four customisable icons and a static menu launcher.

The Contacts and Phone apps take up the right two slots, with the left two given over to the Media folder and Messaging. We fast swapped out the Media file for the Browser, given that one of the five Home screens is already filled with widgets for the Gallery and Music apps, but you can hone this bar as you wish.

Tapping the centre icon on the dock brings up a list of apps to add to your Home screens, and all you need do is press and hold one to drag it into a free slot. Handily, the background lines behind it will turn green when you've found a valid place, so organising is fast and intuitive.

Sony ericsson xperia play review: menu

One minor quibble we do have is that you'll have to bypass this system and go via the external menu key to place widgets, folders and shortcuts, which seems a little inconsistent and caused us some early confusion.

Sony ericsson xperia play review: widgets

By default, the centre screen is almost entirely given over to the Timescape widget, which acts like a stream of postcards, each presenting Facebook and Twitter updates as well as text messages. Much like the Friend Stream system we've seen on recent HTC models, each of these acts as a slick starting point for finding the content you want.

Sony ericsson xperia play review: timescape

Other screens tend to be more open, but notably there's one screen dedicated to gaming, with a half-screen widget for the PlayStation Pocket app and a link to the Android Market to buy more games.

All you need do to navigate between screens is swipe left and right, but there's also an exploded view of all your widgets that you can access by pinching. Tap on a widget and you'll be taken to its resident Home screen.

We're not huge fans of this system, since it neglects to show you apps as well, making it selectively useful, but if you're a widget-fiend then it's perfect.

Scrolling left and right between Home screens is generally quick and fluid, though. However, we've found it can be jerky just after waking the device from its slumber in the mornings. On the flip side, we were impressed by the speed of the scrolling Rolodex-style widgets (as well as the PS Pocket, there's one for the Gallery, too), making them eminently usable.

Sony ericsson xperia play review: home

Taken as a whole, the system doesn't quite gel together as we'd like, but its not hard to learn to work around its quirks.


Contacts are accessed through the icon found by default in the dock and the menu. You can also access the phone dialler, call log and favourites from the menu at the bottom.

Importing our contacts to the phone proved as simple as providing our Google log-in details, and there's a wizard in place to help you get contacts onto the phone in various other ways too.

Sony ericsson xperia p
		<!-- ... Read more »

Category: Vista and 7 Tips and Tricks! | Views: 1627 | Added by: Adamsummer | Date: 2012-04-01 | Comments (3)

PS Vita review
Category: Vista and 7 Tips and Tricks! | Views: 905 | Added by: Adamsummer | Date: 2012-04-01 | Comments (0)

Best Android phone - which should you buy?
Which is the best Android phone for you? We've got the answers

Our verdict on the best Android phones - constantly updated

There's one key way in which Android is massively different from its Apple-branded smartphone competition - the number of phones out there running Google's hot mobile OS.

Samsung makes loads of them. Sony Ericsson makes a few. Then you've got Android-powered phones from Acer, LG, Huawei and many others, while HTC releases more in a month than all the rest added together manage in a year.

The many variations in screen size, processor power, software features and design makes finding the best Android phone for you extremely tough.

Do you physically and emotionally need a QWERTY keyboard? Are you the sort of oddball who prefers the rough pressing needed to make resistive touchscreens work? Are you struggling to work out which are the best Android Widgets? Or even stuck wondering: 'Actually, what IS Android?'

To help find the best Android phone for you, we've rounded up the ten best Android handsets out there today, rating the phones on hardware performance, OS upgrade potential and, of course, how shiny and nice they are to have and boast about to work colleagues.

So here they are - the ten best Android phones money can buy today. For many, many different reasons.

10. Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini

HTC legend

It is indeed very mini, but Sony Ericsson has performed a tech miracle in squeezing a capable 1GHz processor into its tiny chassis. The Xperia Mini runs Android 2.3, enhanced significantly by the company's user interface, which adds lots of style and extra functionality to Google's on-fire mobile OS.

The email app with its resizing preview pane is as sexy as an email app is ever likely to get, the jiggling app drawer edit screen (with the ability to delete apps right from the listing) is very nice, plus you get themes, a cool power off animation and much, much more.

The screen's responsive, text appears sharp, the camera capable of producing good stills and passable 720p video footage. It does it all in an impressively condensed package.

Quick verdict:

Small, and very nearly, perfectly formed. If you can live with seeing the world through a small-ish 3" screen, it's a great, highly usable smartphone.

9. Samsung Galaxy Note

Samsung galaxy note

Samsung took screen size to a ridiculous new level with the Galaxy Note, offering us a huge 5.3" display that's by far the largest of any smartphone out there today.

You also get a stylus, which is pressure sensitive and comes with great handwriting recognition tools, plus dual cameras (8MP and 2MP) along with an LED flash around the back and rather decent image results.

As with all of Samsung's newest Android models the Note is a solid performer, running Android 2.3 impeccably, with the same TouchWiz interface we've seen on the likes of the Galaxy S II.

With the show running at a super-high 1280x800 resolution, it's a sharp-looking, smooth-running phone for those who don't want their style cramping.

Quick verdict:

A great mobile, as long as you're not easily embarrassed by whipping out something so comically huge in public.

8. Orange Monte Carlo

Orange monte carlo

Orange stuck its logo on another ZTE-made phone in 2011, hoping to recreate the successes of the super-budget Orange San Francisco. And there are some reasons to upgrade to the £150 Monte Carlo, the most obvious being the larger screen.

ZTE's stuck a large 4.3" display in here, which runs at a decent 800x480 resolution. It's not as dazzling as the displays on similarly sized phones like the Xperia Arc, but it's still a big, solid screen considering the budget price.

Unfortunately the Android 2.3 OS has been modified by Orange, which has made it all... orange. But at least the network has added a nice gesture-based control system that works well, while the Monte Carlo also generally runs smoothly, powering web pages and apps well. Shame about the VGA video recording spec, though.

Quick verdict:

It doesn't have quite the same transformational appeal as the San Fran, but it delivers a lot of phone and punch for the money.

7. Motorola Razr

Motorola razr

Motorola's newest flagship is by far its best Android offering so far, fusing a unique hardware design with a less obtrusive user interface skin.

In fact, Motorola's UI is actually quite fun to play with nowadays, coming with resizable widgets and its extremely clever Smart Actions automation system, which lets you set all sorts of time and location-aware rules up and running.

The phone is solidly made, and although impressively skinny, the odd, bulbous camera unit and extra-wide bezel make it feel chunkier in the handy than the likes of the Xperia Arc S and the older Galaxy S II. Still, if you like them a bit different, the Razr certainly stands out from the pack.

Quick verdict:

Impressively built, fast hardware with a great display, plus a well refined Motorola interface. Best current Moto mobile by miles.

6. HTC Desire S

HTC desire s

Nearly two years ago the HTC Desire was the cutting-edge "superphone" of choice, now its enhanced sequel is an affordable mid-range option.

That's how fast things move in the Android world. But don't dismiss the Desire S because of its workmanlike approach. What you get here is a solid phone with a great 3.7" screen, powered by Android 2.3 and HTC's updated Sense 2.1 user interface. The result is a very slick and smooth experience.

The camera is sadly a weak point, though, offering the same blotchy 5 MP output as the original Desire. But apart from that, everything here's a little better than in last year's Desire. Which makes this a fantastic smartphone and a great entry to Android.

Quick verdict

A superb update of the HTC Desire. Slightly smaller and a little faster, it's a perfect gradual evolution of 2010's smash. Available on some very cheap contracts, too.

Category: Vista and 7 Tips and Tricks! | Views: 773 | Added by: Adamsummer | Date: 2012-04-01 | Comments (0)

An image of the Samsung Galaxy S3 has apparently leaked online, prompting speculation that the phone could be unveiled to an expectant tech world before the month is out.

Sourced by Phone Arena, the snap shows a handset with the same super slim form factor and opinion-dividing plastic exterior as the blockbuster blower that is the Galaxy S2.

samsung galaxy s3 mockup

However, in keeping with more recent smartphone challengers (CF: Nokia’s Lumia 800), this time around it seems Sammy has dispensed with front-facing physical buttons in favour of on-screen pressers.

Also noteworthy is that the screen appears extended too, perhaps tallying with rumours that the S3 will feature a super-sized display in the region of 4.8-inches, almost pushing it into tablet territory.

Less convincing than the image, though, is text on the screen that suggests that the device will make its debut on March 22nd. We're very much inclined to doubt that. Not least because, as Phone Arena’s scribes point out, the font looks wrong and smacks of a Photoshop mock-up.

Also causing us to doubt its veracity is that Sammy previously warned tech fans to expect the phone in the first half of the year. That suggests to us that it’s more likely to be a second-quarter release than any time in the next few weeks
Category: Vista and 7 Tips and Tricks! | Views: 4148 | Added by: Adamsummer | Date: 2012-04-01 | Comments (1)



Nokia Lumia 800 battery fix finally released
Battery fix is being pumped out to all corners by April 18

Nokia has released the long-awaited update that promises to fix the Nokia Lumia 800's less-than-perfect battery life.

The first Nokia phone to run Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system, the Lumia 800 has been beset by bugs since its release, most notably a very short battery life.

The new software (version 1600.2487.8107.12070) is rolling out across the globe from today until April 18. Lumia 800 owners can check on the Nokia site to find out if the update is already available for their country and network.

25-30 hours battery life after update

Dinesh, the Nokia employee who announced the update, reports that he has been getting 25-30 hours of battery life with fairly active use (though five of those hours are in flight mode – which is cheating, isn't it?).

Other changes include beefing up the Lumia 800's weak bass to improve sound quality in calls and music, as well as tweaking the illumination settings of the soft keys.

However, Wi-Fi tethering is still missing, and we're told simply that it's "on its way".

Category: Vista and 7 Tips and Tricks! | Views: 584 | Added by: Adamsummer | Date: 2012-04-01 | Comments (0)

What should you do when you forgot the password to login to Windows system? Ask an administrator to reset the log on password for you. If you yourself are administrator, and you can’t remember the administrator password, the problem get a little tricky, and probably hard to recover the ‘forgotten password’ again. Before you search for recovery CD or Windows DVD to format and reinstall Windows onto the computer, here a few ways you can try to unlock the Windows to gain access to the system again, at least by resetting the password.

Method 1: Take a rest, and try hard to remember the forgotten password

Sometimes, human being is a little weird. You won’t get the thing that you urgently need. So have a coffee, take a snap or even come back after a few days, you may found that you suddenly ‘remember’ your Windows password.

Method 2: Try No Password Administrator Login Backdoor

In Windows XP (not Windows Vista as Administrator account is not enabled by default), there is built-in Administrator user account, that has administrative credentials, enabled by default, and without any password to protect the account from been access. If you didn’t change this Administrator’s password, then try to sign in to Windows XP without password.

Method 3: Reset password from another user account with administrator credentials

If you cannot log on to Windows by using a particular user account, but you can log on to another account that has administrative credentials, follow these steps on how to do the trick:

  1. Log on to Windows by using an administrator account that has a password that you remember. You may need to start WinXP in safe mode.
  2. Click Start, and then click Run.
  3. In the Open box, type "control userpasswords2″, and then click OK.
  4. Click the user account that you forgot the password for, and then click Reset Password.
  5. Type a new password in both the New password and the Confirm new password boxes, and then click OK.

Method 4: LOGON.SCR password reset trick

LOGON.SCR changing administrator or domain admin password hack works on Windows NT 4.0 and some versions of Windows 2000. The simple trick uses Cmd.exe as screen saver that triggered by system when idle, allowing users to access to command prompt to change password.

Method 5: Do-It-Yourself (DIY) third party recovery tool

There are a lot of tools and utilities that can be downloaded and used to recover, reset, retrieve or reveal existing password. These password reset or retrieval utilities, free or paid, are usually a Linux boot disk or CD that able to comes with NT file system (NTFS) drivers and software that will read the registry and rewrite the password hashes, or can brute force crack the password for any user account including the Administrators. The advantage is that there is no fear of leaking your password to outsiders, while the process requires physical access to the console and a floppy or CD drive, depending on which tool you choose. And it’s not easy, although it always work!

Offline NT Password & Registry Editor – Available as bootdisk or bootable CD, Offline NT Password and Registry Editor works to change or reset password of any users on Windows NT 3.51, NT 4, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Vindows Vista 32 and 64 bit. It can also detect and offer to unlock locked or disabled user accounts.

Download Links:

cd080802.zip (~3MB) – Bootable CD image and can be used to make bootable USB drive.
bd080526.zip (~1.1MB) – Bootdisk image for floppy disk
drivers1-080526.zip (~310K) – Disk drivers (mostly PATA/SATA).
drivers2-080526.zip – Disk drivers (mostly SCSI).

John the Ripper password cracker – John the Ripper is a fast password cracker based on dictionary attack with a wordlist currently available for many flavors of Unix (11 are officially supported, not counting different architectures), Windows, DOS, BeOS, and OpenVMS. Its primary purpose is to detect weak Unix passwords. Besides several crypt(3) password hash types most commonly found on various Unix flavors, supported out of the box are Kerberos AFS and Windows NT/2000/XP/2003 LM hashes, plus several more with contributed patches.

Download link:

John the Ripper 1.7.0.1 for Windows

EBCD – Emergency Boot CD – EBCD is a bootable CD, intended for system recovery in the case of software or hardware faults. It is able to create backup copies of normally working system and restore system to saved state. It contains the best system software ever created, properly compiled and configured for the maximum efficient use. Features are such as copy files from unbootable volume, recover master boot record of HDD, recover deleted file, recover data from accidently formatted disk and floppy disk. EBCD also includes function to change password of any user, including administator of Windows NT/2000/XP OS without the need to know the old password.

Download link:

EBCD Lite 0.6.1
EBCD Pro 0.6.1

Both contains necessary NT password recovery feature.

Ophcrack – Windows password cracker using time-memory trade-off on LM and NTLM hashes based on rainbow tables and supports Windows Vista, XP, 2003 and NT. This tool allows you to retrieve existing password.

RainbowCrack – Crack Windows password using time-memory trade-off cryptanalysis based on rainbow tables. Unless you already has dumped the hash for your Windows password, else this utility is for hacker as it provides no way to retrieve the password hashes when you unable to access to your computer.

L0phtCrack (LC5) – L0phtCrack (now known as LC5) is a password auditing and recovery application by using dictionary, brute-force, and hybrid attacks. originally produced by Mudge from L0pht Heavy Industries, and was produced by @stake after the L0pht merged with @stake in 2000. Support and sales has been discontinued by Symantec from end of 2006, after it acquered @stake in 2004. So you probably need a crack that lists below. If you unable to sign on to your computer, you probably can’t use this.

Download link:

lc5-setup.exe (14 days trial) Link 1 Link 2
Key Generator for LC5: Link 1 Link 2

Cain & Abel – Cain & Abel is a password recovery tool for Microsoft Operating Systems. It allows easy recovery of various kind of passwords by sniffing the network, cracking encrypted passwords using Dictionary, Brute-Force and Cryptanalysis attacks, recording VoIP conversations, decoding scrambled passwords, recovering wireless network keys, revealing password boxes, uncovering cached passwords and analyzing routing protocols. The program does not exploit any software vulnerabilities or bugs that could not be fixed with little effort. It covers some security aspects/weakness present in protocol’s standards, authentication methods and caching mechanisms; its main purpose is the simplified recovery of passwords and credentials from various sources, however it also ships some "non standard” utilities for Microsoft Windows users.

This tool needs to be installed, so you must have another working computer to recover your password remotely. Thus it’s likely to be useful for system administrator only. Supports Windows Vista.

Download links:

Cain & Abel v4.9.2 for Windows NT/2000/XP
Cain & Abel v2.0 for Windows 9x

PCLoginNow – Bootable live CD with tool to reset local administrator and other user accounts passwords or change security settings on Windows system.

Method 6: Third party password recovery service

Login Recovery – Login Recovery is a service to reveal user names and recover passwords for Windows NT, ... Read more »

Category: Vista and 7 Tips and Tricks! | Views: 775 | Added by: Adamsummer | Date: 2012-04-01 | Comments (0)

Ubuntu 12.04 precise pangolin alpha 2 screenshot

Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Precise Pangolin alpha 2 is available for download, we'll do a recap of all the changes since the previous milestone (alpha 1).


Let's start with an Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin alpha 2 video:


Video link



Unity improvements


The latest Unity, available in Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin alpha 2 feels very smooth and is actually quite stable for an alpha. Besides many bug fixes, there were also many tweaks and changes designed to make Ubuntu 12.04 "pixel perfect" and while we'll obviously not cover all of them, you can read about the most important changes below.


The Ubuntu button ("BFB") now has quicklists let you quickly access any available lenses:

bfb quicklists


The Dash / Launcher color can now be changed:

ubuntu 12.04 precise pangolin screenshot


In Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin alpha 2, when launching an application, the menu is initially displayed on the top bar and is only hidden after an amount of time which can be modified (along with the fade duration) through CCSM. 

Until now, the menu would always be hidden and only show up on mouse over, but this behavior made the menu hard to discover for new users, so with this change, the Unity developers hope to make the menu easier to find. And in case you were wondering: no, you can't set this to a huge value to basically disable autohiding the menu - the maximum value is 10:

ubuntu 12.04 precise pangolin screenshot

In the screenshot above, you can also see the new "Show desktop" button (yeah, Unity didn't have this until now) which can be enabled from the CompizConfig Settings Manager. In the same screenshot you'll also notice that CCSM no longer uses sliders - they were removed because users could accidentally change various settings by just trying to scroll through the CCSM interface. This is just a first attempt to improve CompizConfig Settings Manager, more changes should follow to make sure users can't break Unity by just changing some settings.



With Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin alpha 2, work has started to integrate Unity settings with the System Settings (GNOME Control Center), under "User Interface". For now, the available options include: setting the launcher icon size, enable/disable launcher autohide and autohide reveal spot:

ubuntu 12.04 precise pangolin screenshot

ubuntu 12.04 precise pangolin alpha 2 screenshot


The new Unity settings integrated into System Settings work with both Unity 3D and Unity 2D, however, since not all settings work with both Unity versions (for instance, you can't change the launcher icon size for Unity 2D), only those supported will be displayed for each Unity version.



As for Unity 2D, besides the new Unity settings integration mentioned above, there only one change worth mentioning: the top panel has finally got buttons to close maximize/restore Dash:

ubuntu 12.04 precise pangolin alpha 2 screenshot


Other changes


LightDM received an update too and in Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin alpha 2, the login screen uses the background you set for the desktop. This works for multiple users too - in this case, the LightDM login screen background changes depending on which user is selected, using a nice effect - you can see it in action at the end of the video in the beginning of this post.


By default, Ubuntu Software Center adds newly installed applications to the launcher. This can, be disabled by unckecking "New Applications in Launcher" from the Ubuntu Software Center View menu:

ubuntu 12.04 precise pangolin alpha 2 screenshot

Also, Ubuntu Software Center now automatically installs language support packages so there's no need to open "Language Support" after installing new applications.

There are some more Unity features already available in the Unity PPA and the Unity Staging PPA which have not landed in Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin yet:
  • New shortcuts hints overlay - a list of Unity keyboard shortcuts which is displayed when pressing and holding the SUPER key
  • Launcher switcher which you can use to switch between applications via the Unity Launcher using SUPER + TAB
  • A new "home" lens for Dash which displays recently used applications, files and so on, replacing the old shortcuts
  • Multi monitor support

And of course, there's also HUD, Ubuntu`s new smart menu which has its own PPA, and might land in Ubuntu 12.04 later on.


Default applications


ubuntu 12.04 precise screenshot

The default application selection in Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin alpha 2 includes: Firefox 10, Thunderbird 10, Nautilus 3.3.4, Rhythmbox 2.95, Gedit 3.3.2, LibreOffice 3.5 ... Read more »
Category: Vista and 7 Tips and Tricks! | Views: 1132 | Added by: Adamsummer | Date: 2012-04-01 | Comments (1)

Angry Birds Space will come to Windows Phone following Rovio reversal
Rovio clears up the confusion and will launch Angry Birds Space for WIndows Phone

Rovio has confirmed that Angry Birds Space will indeed come to Windows Phone handsets, contrary to an earlier statement from the developer.

The Finnish company had initially said remaking the game for Microsoft's momentum-gaining operating system would be too much work and thus it had no plans for offer the new title.

Peter Vesterbacka, head of marketing told Bloomberg that: "We're the No. 1 app in the Windows Phone app store, but it's a big undertaking to support it, and you have to completely rewrite the application."

The announcement will have raised alarm bells with Microsoft and its preferred partner Nokia as the pair seek to establish themselves as a serious alternative on the same level as iOS and Android.

Relief for all concerned

Thankfully for the pair, and Windows Phone adopters, it appears that something may have been lost in translation as a second statement, just hours later on Friday, cleared up the matter.

Rovio Chief Executive Mikael Hed told Reuters: "We are working towards getting Angry Birds Space to WP7," although he didn't offer a release date for the title.

A studio like Rovio dumping Windows Phone at this stage of its development could have had disastrous consequences for Microsoft in its battle to win hearts and minds.

While the company has produced an intelligent and original operating system, it could barely afford a "no" in reply to the question: "Can I play Angry Birds on it?"

Category: Vista and 7 Tips and Tricks! | Views: 931 | Added by: Adamsummer | Date: 2012-04-01 | Comments (2)

Has the world gone crazy? What is it with these lemmings, standing on long lines spending so much money - for what? An new iPad 3? What do I need a new iPad 3 for?

And yet, you're tempted. After all, this is the 21st century, and Apple's tablet is a uniquely 21st century device.

And you're even more tempted by the five reasons I gave yesterday for buying a new iPad 3 (hereafter abbreviated iP3).

To help you resist the cultural and technological pull, here are five justifications for responsibly resisting your tablet temptations.

1. iP3 is inappropriate for kids.

For one thing, sharper small text is meaningless for largely large type-size, image-based kid activities, eliminating iP3's key upgrade benefit. Plus, junior's finger smudges would mar any of iP3 higher resolution advantages. Kids also aren't likely to need the sophisticated gaming or productivity apps that require the kind of super-charging iP3's improved A5X chip provides.

But most of all, do you trust your young'un with such an expensive toy? And speaking of expensive...

2. It's too expensive.

In a world with a more pocket-friendly $200 Kindle Fire and other lower-priced/lower resolution Android tablets, there's no need to spend so much money on a new tablet simply to casually surf the Web, answer occasional email or read an e-book.

Plus, if you'll use your tablet mostly at home or where you know there'll be Wi-Fi connectivity, you can opt for a cheaper Wi-Fi-only tablet.

3. An iPad 2 is good enough.

There is nothing wrong with an iPad 2 - it's not as if it's a 1978 Ford Pinto with 200,000 miles on it. In fact, iPad 2 was state-of-art just a couple of weeks ago.

If you have resisted buying a Blu-ray player because you believe your DVDs look just fine, than either your current iPad 2 or buying a newly $100 discounted or even a refurbished iPad 2 to save $150 will certainly satisfy.

4. I hate Apple's ecosystem.

Yes, once you buy into the Apple ecosystem there really is no escape. Any music, movies or books you buy in iTunes will play only on Apple hardware, which means you'd lose all your media content if you, at some future date and for whatever reason, decide to switch operating system sides.

Living in the Android or even the Microsoft Windows Phone/Windows 8 world is far more forgiving. You get more media purchase options and device flexibility – all your purchased media bought from any source will play on any Android or Windows Phone device from any manufacturer – and keeps you from being co-opted by the cult of Apple.

Even I sometimes feel a little Apple claustrophobic, but I consider the company a velvet dictator. Or maybe I'm just rationalizing my purchased content trap.

5. Why do I need it?

If you equate "need" with breathing, eating and wearing clothes (at least in public), you don't need an iP3. Even if you equate "need" with watching TV, social networking, reading or a clock radio - although any tablet combines all these activities into a single portable gadget - you don't.

Like anything else, you definitely should decide on a specific need before plopping down $499-$829 for a device whose precise personal utility you're still fuzzy about.

Although, once you buy one you won't know how you lived without it.

Category: Vista and 7 Tips and Tricks! | Views: 675 | Added by: Adamsummer | Date: 2012-04-01 | Comments (0)

80 handy OS X Lion tips and tricks
Here are 80 of the best kept secrets in OS X Lion

Almost four months ago, OS X Lion escaped from the Mac App Store and took up residence in Macs around the globe. And for the most part users are quite happy with their new house guest. Yet part of the fun with any new operating system release is uncovering all the new features - and make no mistake, this big cat has plenty of them.

Despite Apple's efforts to outline more than 250 new features in OS X Lion on their website, many users are still discovering new items daily, which is keeping the folks who track such features working overtime in their efforts to expose them.

However, we realise that many of you don't have enough time to put on your sleuthing cap and play Sherlock Holmes with us. That's why we've assembled a massive list of all the cool little discoveries we've found.

So without further ado, let's get our big cats in a row (so to speak), dig in our claws and unearth 80 OS X Lion tips...

01. Birth date year optional

grab 1

Many of us know the month and day of our family and friends' birthdays, but we might not know the year. Thankfully, Lion's Address Book couldn't care less, allowing you to enter just the month and day, which will carry over to iCal just fine - without displaying their age. Make sure Birthday is selected in Address Book > Preferences > Template > Add field.

02. FaceTime calling

grab 2

OS X Lion also adds a FaceTime link to the Address Book to make it easy to keep up with friends and family. With a contact open, click on any email address, choose FaceTime and enjoy your chat.

03. iPhoto faces

grab 3

OS X Lion makes it easier to attach images to your contacts in Address Book by linking to iPhoto's Faces feature. Double-click on a contact's photo and after a moment, click on the Faces icon at the bottom-left to browse from your iPhoto library. Make your selection, zoom and crop and you're good to go.

04. Lose the space

grab 4

By default, OS X Lion treats the Dashboard overlay as one of your desktops, much to the chagrin of long-time users. This deprives it of its quick-reference usability. Fortunately though, it's easy to undo, simply by opening System Preferences > Mission Control and unchecking the very first option, 'Show Dashboard as a space.'

05. Assign your desktops

All apps in OS X Lion can now be assigned to specific desktops, all desktops or none at all, right from the Dock. To do this, simply Ctrl-click on the app in question, manoeuvre to Options in the pop-up menu and select the appropriate choice from the 'Assign To' options.

06. Access recently opened files

grab 6

The OS X Lion Dock just got a little more useful with the addition of a list of recently opened files for relevant applications. To access them, simply Ctrl-click on any app in your Dock and up pops a list of recently used files for that selection.

07. Volume encryption

grab 7

FileVault 2 got a major overhaul with OS X Lion, and one of the biggest features has to be the ability to encrypt an entire volume rather than just a user's Home folder. Just turn it on, enter a recovery key and sit back as a blanket of security is applied to your entire volume.

08. Lose the indicator lights

grab 8

So you love the Dock, but just aren't feeling it for those indicator lights below each open application. No problem - OS X Lion now allows you to turn them off by opening System Preferences > Dock and unchecking 'Show indicator lights for open applications'.

09. Quick Look stacked files

grab 9

Finally, stacks are made more useful! From any folder stack in your Dock, simply mouse over the one you'd like to Quick Look and hit the space bar. As if by magic, you'll get a nice big preview of that file, same as you would from a Finder window, in fact.

10. Encrypt external disks

In addition to encrypting your entire system volume in OS X Lion (instead of simply a user's Home folder in the prior version), users can now choose to encrypt external USB or FireWire drives as well. The option will come to your attention in the Disk Utility app at the time of disk formatting.

11. Emoji emoticons added to special characters

grab 11

This tip actually works from any app that uses the Edit menu. To get your Emoji on, simply go to Edit > Special Characters and browse to the new Emoji section of the sidebar. Double-click or drag a selection to insert it into the active text field.

12. File sorting

grab 12

OS X Lion introduces a new toolbar method for sorting files based on a variety of options including name, kind, application, four date-related options, size, label or none, which keeps things the way they were in Snow Leopard. Now you can separate folders from documents and much more, making it easier than ever to find what you're looking for.

13. Gesture navigation

grab 13

If you prefer to view your files as icons, OS X Lion now allows for gesture-based navigation as it displays Finder items. Files in each particular group are now displayed in rows of icons, allowing you to easily swipe through them with a trackpad.

14. Keyboard shortcut to Downloads folder

grab 14

Once a file you've downloaded has vanished into Safari 5.1's tiny Downloads window, how can you find it again? There are several ways, but one of our favourites is using the Command+Option+L keyboard shortcut in the Finder. This pops it open - even if you were just browsing another Finder folder.

15. Merge folders

grab 15

In the past, copying a folder with the same name to a new location was strictly a no-no. That's all changed in OS X Lion, and now you'll get the option to merge folders or keep both folders when doing so. Oh, how we love the little things in life…

16. Move instead of copy

grab 16

We've always been able to move files to different folders by dragging and dropping with the Command key held down, but now keyboard junkies have even more options. Simply use Command+C as always to copy one or more files, then use Option+Command+V when pasting, which will actually move the file from its original location to the new destination.

17. Navigate with gestures

grab 17

With all of the new gestures, it's no surprise that Apple removed the previous method of navigating back and forth through Finder windows. But it's still there - simply hold down the Option key while you swipe left or right with three or four fingers (depending on how you have it configured) to navigate Finder windows instead of spaces.

18. New folder with selection

If you frequently move files into folders, you'll love OS X Lion's new ability to select one or more files, then pull up a contextual menu with a Ctrl-click. At the top of the menu you'll see 'New Folder with Selection' - select it and watch as your files literally jump into a new folder.

19. Multiple selection animation

... Read more »
Category: Vista and 7 Tips and Tricks! | Views: 1442 | Added by: Adamsummer | Date: 2012-04-01 | Comments (4)

OS X Mountain Lion: what you need to know
The follow up to Lion is called Mountain Lion. See what they did there?

Apple has today released details of its next-gen OS. Dubbed Mountain Lion, it's the follow-up to OS X 10.7 Lion and prior to that Snow Leopard and Leopard.

As such it's full name will be OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion.

Let's make one thing clear - this is not a meghat's striking about Mountain Lion is how much further towards iOS Apple is taking its desktop OS - Mac purists will be rightly concerned that Apple seems to be moving its operating systems together to a point where they will converge, but for the rest of us a unified OS is a tantalising prospect.

"The Mac is on a roll, growing faster than the PC for 23 straight quarters, and with Mountain Lion things get even better," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing in a statement.

OS x mountain lion

"The developer preview of Mountain Lion comes just seven months after the incredibly successful release of Lion and sets a rapid pace of development for the world's most advanced personal computer operating system."

OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion: release date

Mountain Lion has been released to developers today and should be available for consumers this summer - expect a further announcement at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in early June.

Apple says theMac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion release date is late Summer 2012. As with Lion, Mountain Lion will be available as a download from the Mac App Store.

OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion: iOS integration

The new OS incorporates a number of features right from iOS - we had some in Lion of course, but Mountain Lion includes reminders, notifications and Twitter integration as well as Messages, Notes (separate, not within Mail) and Game Center.

Reminders and Notes help you create and track your to-dos across all your Apple devices.
These all sync to iCloud, as does your gaming record in Game Center. More importantly, the arrival of Game Center in OS X means you can play iOS users in the same game. Apple has demoed cross-platform gaming with Reckless Racing - expect many other games to follow suit.

OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion: iOS terminology

One of the most striking things about the new OS is how Apple is renaming everything on its desktop OS to fall in line with iOS. So iCal is now called Calendar, while Addresss Book has become contacts, for example.

OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion: iCloud integration

Apple says Mountain Lion is the first OS X release built with iCloud in mind for easy setup and integration with apps. Whatever that means.

Well actually what it means is that Mountain Lion will use your Apple ID to automatically set up Contacts, Mail, Calendar, Messages, FaceTime and Find My Mac.

And iCloud will also sync Documents across your devices - any changes are pushed across all your Apple kit so documents are always up to date. Apple has also announced a new API to help developers make document-based apps work with iCloud.

OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion: iMessage

There's also a Messages app that takes the place of iChat, allowing you to continue conversations started on Mac on any iOS device. iMessages will work much as they do on iPad. Again, messaging is unlimited between Macs and iOS devices.

This includes high-quality photos and videos, while the Messages app will continue to support AIM, Jabber, Yahoo! Messenger and Google Talk. The continued support for the later is especially pleasing.

What's more, any Mac OS X Lion user can get hold of a beta of Messages from apple.com. The final version will be available with Mountain Lion.

OS x mountain lion

OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion: Notifications

Mountain Lion also nicks notifications from iOS. Again there's a Notification Center that provides easy access to alerts from Mail, Calendar, Messages, Reminders, system updates and third party apps.

And, just like in iOS, you pull it across from the right of your desktop. Developers will be able to bake in support for this in their own apps.

OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion: Safari

Safari now gets the ability to search right from the address bar, just as you can in Chrome and Firefox.

OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion: Share Sheets

A new feature, called Share Sheets, is supposed to make it easy to share links, photos and videos directly from Apple and third party apps. Sounds like a clipboard to us. However, it enables you to share various types of content with whoever you choose. The interesting thing here is that Apple has partnered with Flickr for photos and Vimeo for video.

OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion: Twitter integration

And, of course, there's Twitter. The service is integrated throughout Mountain Lion so you can sign on once and tweet directly from all your apps including Safari, Quick Look, Photo Booth, Preview and third party apps.

OS x mountain lion

OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion: AirPlay mirroring

Following on from other attempts at computer-based wireless displays, such as Intel's WiDi, Mountain Lion introduces AirPlay Mirroring. You'll be able to mirror your computer screen on a TV wirelessly, though you'll need an Apple TV to connect through. There's 720p HD support (although other systems do support 1080p, Apple TV doesn't) and supposedly amazing realtime response rates for gamers using the mirroring app.

OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion: Gatekeeper

Think there's no need for security software on a Mac? Think again. Apple has introduced a new security feature called Gatekeeper that allows for personalised security settings, working as a kind of safety net for less confident users by offering a setting that allows the Mac to accept only software downloaded from the Mac App Store.

OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion for developers

Apple says it has created hundreds of new APIs for OS X 10.8. As well as that iCloud Documents API we talked about earlier, the Game Kit APIs tap into the same services as Game Center on iOS, making it possible to create multiplayer games that work across Mac, iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

There's a new graphics infrastructure underpins OpenGL and OpenCL and implements GLKit from iOS 5, to make it easier to create OpenGL apps.

What more is there? "Using Core Animation in Cocoa apps is easier than ever, and new video APIs deliver modern 64-bit replacements for low-level QuickTime APIs. Enhanced Multi-Touch APIs give developers double-tap zoom support and access to the system-wide lookup gesture. Kernel ASLR improves security through enhanced mitigation against buffer overflow attacks," says Apple.

OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion for Chinese users

China is now a massive market for Apple. And as such Mountain Lion introduces new support for Chinese users, "including significant enhancements to the Chinese input method and the option to select Baidu search in Safari."

Apple has also announced easy account setup for some of China's biggest email service providers including QQ, 126 and 163.

Chinese users can also upload video via Share Sheets directly to video websites Youku and Tudou, and while we like Twitter, there's system-wide support for Sina weibo.

Category: Vista and 7 Tips and Tricks! | Views: 679 | Added by: Adamsummer | Date: 2012-04-01 | Comments (0)

Category: Vista and 7 Tips and Tricks! | Views: 856 | Added by: Adamsummer | Date: 2012-04-01 | Comments (2)

Ever since Internet Explorer beat Netscape and turned into the web industry's least favourite boat anchor, Microsoft has been struggling to turn the tide.

IE7 was little more than a statement that it planned to become a contender again, and IE8 was a decent overhaul, but one whose success came firmly from being a Microsoft release rather than because of any intrinsic improvements over its rival Firefox.

With IE9, everything's changing. For starters, XP isn't supported – unless you're on at least Vista, you can't use it.

The once heavy, intrusive browser has been stripped down, now focusing on the web content you're looking at rather than trying to impress you with gimmicky features, heavy interfaces or many of the other IE hallmarks we've seen over the last five years.

In short, IE9 is now Google Chrome. It looks like Chrome, it smells like Chrome and, while it doesn't work as well as Chrome, it's still in beta.

Notable visual issues right now are the blank gap where the title should be, which niggles the eye every time it catches it, and the way the address bar forces your tabs into a much smaller area, greatly reducing how many you can comfortably use.

Subtle changes

Many of the new features are ones we've seen before, such as being able to rip tabs out of a window at will, or more subtle notifications when IE wants to check that you're okay with a page or alert you to something.

There are some new ones though, including the ability to add bookmarks to your Taskbar and run them like applications, and Aero Peek support for the tabs you have open in your browser – at the time of writing, Chrome only displays the active browser window.

It feels like Microsoft is putting its ego aside and realising that it's the web pages that matter. This is how the whole industry is going at the moment, and it's good to see it not trying to fight it. After all, when you're the dominant player, you don't have to.

It's unlikely that IE9 will give you a real reason to switch back, but it should be an excellent update if you use it by choice.

Category: Vista and 7 Tips and Tricks! | Views: 1131 | Added by: Adamsummer | Date: 2012-04-01 | Comments (4)

Microsoft: Hotmail perception is a big problem
Hotmail - a much improved service of late

Microsoft has admitted that it faces a major challenge in getting people to give Hotmail another go, despite the great strides taken in making the webmail service significantly better.

Speaking to TechRadar, Microsoft Group Product Manager for Windows in the UK, Ian Moulster believes that people's perception of hotmail is based on the service as it was five years ago, and believes that the real trick is persuading people to give the service another try.

"The perception issue in itself causes people to not want to switch or not to even look," said Moulster.

Moulster: "People think of Hotmail and think of the way it was five years ago with lots of spam, slow and clunky."

"They are using Gmail or Yahoo mail and it seems to work – and they think of Hotmail and think of the way it was five years ago with lots of spam, slow and clunky.

Would I switch?

"They think it's going to be hard to switch anyway so they ask 'why would I switch?'.

"It's an interesting problem to have. There are lots of cool things in Hotmail that people would look at and say 'that's pretty cool and it will make my life easier'."

Moulster believes that Microsoft as a whole needs to be more vocal about the strides its online services like Hotmail and IE9 have come, as well as talk about the impressive Skydrive cloud storage that is becoming increasingly important to the company and yet remains largely unknown to the general public.

"We just don't shout enough about the stuff that we have got," Moulster added. "We don't shout about many products at all – there's very few we make a noise about.

"We're primarily a software company and we have great products and the focus is on making those products as good as possible.

"We do need to tell people about the things we do and make sure people are aware of how good these products have become as well and I put IE9 in that bracket as well.

"I don't think people realise how much better they are now; just how good those products are."

Category: Vista and 7 Tips and Tricks! | Views: 589 | Added by: Adamsummer | Date: 2012-04-01 | Comments (0)

Office 2012: What we're expecting to see
The leaked build still says Office 15 (Mondo refers to the edition)

Office 15 will be here next year. And, what's more, it'll be getting the Windows 8 look.

There will also possibly be a Windows 8 authoring tool as well as HTML add-ins too.

So what are we expecting to see in Office 15?

What will Office 15 be called?

Microsoft's PR team refers to "Wave 15" without giving any details (like "Wave 15 is currently under development, but we have nothing further to share at this time"). Several Microsoft job adverts and LinkedIn profiles for Microsoft employees use the name Office 15, and the Access team has referred to Access 15 - but Office 15 is unlikely to be the final name (Office 2010 had the Office 14 codename).

Although a discussion about SharePoint by what appears to be a Microsoft employee refers to Office 2013, the name is almost certainly going to be Office 2012. As usual, we're expecting multiple Office 2012 versions from starter to home and small business versions as well as a full Office 2012 enterprise edition, with different combinations of apps.

When is the Office 2012 release date?

A job advert for Office Mobile testing in October 2010 referred to "Office 15 and Windows Phone 8 planning phase just getting under way", rumours in March suggested the code had already reached Milestone 2 and what looks like a legitimate build leaked in May. The Office division takes two to three years to put out a new version and we saw the beta of Office 2010 in February 2010 followed by RTM in May.

Microsoft names products by the year after the financial year they come out in (so they don't look out of date immediately), but Microsoft's financial year ends in July – so anything that releases to manufacturing after July 2012 would have 2013 in the name. Office 2012 beta will probably show up early in the year again, with final code by the middle of 2012 and the actual Office 2012 release date would be before late summer.

Office 2012 features

"Office 15 is shaping up to be one of the most feature packed and exciting releases," says a Microsoft job advert. There's obviously noting official on the Office 2012 features at this stage but there are some hints, like Office president Kurt delBene saying at the Worldwide Partner Conference "We want to remain the leaders in productivity on the desktop. We need to push forward in new scenarios that we had not delivered before."

OneNote

CLEAN LOOK: The OneNote 15 interface is sparser and easier to navigate on a tablet

There's going to be more video (both editing and using for meetings), more social network integration and maybe a whole new experience for meetings tying together the invitation you send in Outlook, the presentation you give in PowerPoint, the notes you take in OneNote and the Lync client you use for the online meeting.

Office 2012 interface

The Office 2012 interface is going to change from what we've seen in the leaked builds so far, but we'd bet anything you like that it's not going to lose the Office ribbon. OneNote 15 already has a new look in the leaked build with a much cleaner interface that will work well on tablet PCs, and a quick thumbnail navigation to get to recent pages that also looks tablet friendly.

PowerPoint 15 doesn't have any new themes, which reports from WPC mentioned, but it does preview themes straight from Office.com; it also has a new random transition option. A new M1 tab on the ribbon (probably a reference to new features in the Milestone 1 build) has a Data Grid tool that opens a redesigned version of the Chart picker with a new combo chart type. The same tab is in Word 15, along with an Extensions dropdown; there's nothing on it but it's where the new programming model we've been hearing about fits in.

PowerPoint 2012

CLOUD LINKS: No new transitions in the PowerPoint 15 leak but note how you can see themes directly from Office.com

Outlook shows the most interface differences, with a cleaner look that has more white space and resembles the Outlook Web App you get with Exchange and Office 365 - but again it keeps the ribbon. Instead of the vertical stack of buttons in the current interface there are Mail, Calendar and Contacts buttons at the bottom to switch to those views - and a menu with the familiar icons for Tasks, Folders and Shortcuts which lets you add them at the bottom as well.

Outlook

METRO LOOK: More white space like Outlook Web App in Office 365, but the notifications and bottom buttons are very Windows 8

This has hints of the Metro style underlying the Windows Phone 7 and Windows 8 interfaces, especially with the notification icon for new messages and tasks. The M1 command here is for sorting subfolders alphabetically rather than keeping them in the hierarchy you created.

Office 2012 collaboration

The co-authoring features in Word and the Word Web App show up in small changes to the change tracking, making it easier to filter by who made changes or when changes were made. That's part of what Word program manager Jonathan Bailor was promising when Office 2010 came out. "

In Office 15, we'd love to take collaboration and communication to the next level. We've unlocked all of these new ways to work and a new set of expectations from users, and we're like, "Put us back in the ring; we're ready for round two." Until coauthoring a document is as easy and ubiquitous as e-mail attachments, our job isn't done."

One hope is that Office 15 might deal with some long-standing issues in Office, thanks to an intern who worked on improving search features on Office.com and built a tool so the Office developers could look at what people are searching for and "leverage the data in Office '15' planning".

Is there a new app in Office 2012?

Maybe but it isn't Limestone; that's the same internal testing tool we saw in Office 2010 builds. The leaked build includes a new program called Moorea (there isn't a shortcut for it on the Start menu but you can run it anyway).

Moorea

WINDOWS 8 LOOK: The new Moorea app lets you place images, text and links to Word documents on a tiled layout that's very Metro

This lets you create layouts with images, text and links to Word documents, on a widescreen grid of tiles; it looks ideal for packaging up content into a Windows 8 tablet layout and we think it might be a tablet authoring tool – the files it saves are HTML…

Is Office 2012 based on HTML?

No. There's Moorea, which looks like a nice way to build HTML interfaces for content, and there's a new application model for developers creating tools on top of Office using JavaScript and HTML (although Visual Basic and C# are still there). A Microsoft job advert explains "Integration of JavaScript/HTML5 will enable developers to create rich applications that span clients and server, integrate with Office 365, enhance the SharePoint experience, and unlock new scenarios that unleash the great potential that lies in the combination of Office and the cloud." One theory; developers might be able to create add-ins for Office that would also work with the Office Web Apps.

Category: Vista and 7 Tips and Tricks! | Views: 899 | Added by: Adamsummer | Date: 2012-04-01 | Comments (4)



Photoshop CS6 Beta: 10 things you need to know
Free for a limited time, the new Photoshop features a new Crop tool and overhauled Adobe Camera Raw, among others

Hot on the heels of Adobe Photoshop Touch, Adobe has unveiled the beta version of Photoshop CS6, and it's available for anyone to download and try for free, whether you're an existing Photoshop user or not.

While there are no unexpected must-have features, there are lots of tweaks and minor upgrades to the existing Photoshop CS5 and Photoshop Elements 10 tools.

When starting up the Adobe Photoshop CS6 beta for the first time, for example, you will notice that it has a new darker interface to help you focus on the image you're editing.

Photoshop CS6 Beta: 10 things you need to know

But there's more to the update than a superficial interface makeover. So here we explore 10 of the most important things about the new software.

1. Photoshop CS6 Beta introduces GPU-acceleration

Adobe has introduced the Mercury Graphic Engine to enable Photoshop CS6 to make greater use of a computer's graphics processing unit (GPU). Consequently, it makes some adjustments and edits render more quickly.

2. Photoshop CS6 Beta uses on image controls

Adobe is moving to more intuitive 'on image' controls, so the strength of some filters, for example, can be adjusted by moving a control displayed on the image itself rather than on a dialog box on the side.

This enables you to keep your eyes on the picture, not jumping back and forth to dialog boxes or sliders.

3. Photoshop CS6 Beta has a black interface

By default, the Photoshop 6 interface is dark, but if you prefer the old style you can change it back via Preferences>Interface.

4. Photoshop CS6 Beta has a new Crop tool

The Crop tool has been overhauled, and is now similar to the one in Lightroom, so if you're a Lightroom user, you'll have no trouble adapting.

Photoshop CS6 Beta: 10 things you need to know

When it's rotated to straighten the image, the image rotates instead of the crop rectangle, and you can use guides such as the rule of thirds. Helpfully, it quickly switches into the straightening mode, enabling you to you drag a line along an element such as the horizon that needs to be level. The guides can be changed by hitting the O key.

There are also shortcuts to a range of customisable aspect ratio options, and there's a handy command that switches the crop rectangle between landscape and portrait orientations. Another useful new setting is Delete Cropped Pixels. Untick it to crop the canvas but leave pixels on the layer, in case you change your mind.

However, if you really don't like the new style, tick 'Use Classic Mode' in the Options Bar's fly-out menu to revert to the old Crop tool you know and love.

5. Photoshop CS6 Beta has a new Filters menu

Adobe has reviewed the filters provided in CS5 and reorganised the menus for CS6. It's also dropped a few of the filters, including the Pixel Bender options.

Photoshop CS6 Beta: 10 things you need to know

A new Oil Paint filter is an astonishing way to transform pictures and offers a lot of control over the way a seemingly random pattern of brushstrokes is added to an image.

6. Photoshop CS6 Beta has a new Layers Filter

This is useful with images that have numerous layers, since it enables you to filter the layers in the Layers' panel by type, characteristics or by searching by layer name. It's even possible to see just those layers with a certain colour.

The filter also enables you to quickly toggle between a subset of layers and the entire stack.

7. Photoshop CS6 Beta reveals a Tilt Shift filter

Photoshop CS6's new Tilt Shift filter (found in Filter>Blur>Tilt Shift) enables you to replicate the popular miniaturisation/tilt-shift effects by adding blur from a plane.

Photoshop CS6 Beta: 10 things you need to know

This filter uses 'on image' controls so you can drag and adjust the effect on the image, rather than through a dialog box. This is also one of the GPU-accelerated effects.

8. Photoshop CS6 Beta brings Character and Paragraph Styles

Just like in fellow Adobe Creative Suite program InDesign, Photoshop CS6's new Character Style and Paragraph Style Panels enable you to save your favourite font, size, colour, and other type-related settings and edit them via the fly-out menus.

9. Photoshop CS6 Beta enables local white balance in Adobe Camera Raw

Photoshop CS6 enables local white balance adjustment in Adobe Camera Raw using the Adjustment brush and/or the Graduated Filter tool. Another new local adjustment is Moire Reduction, and the other sliders have been updated to match the basic adjustments.

Photoshop CS6 Beta: 10 things you need to know

Other changes have been made to Adobe Camera Raw too, including its adjustment sliders and save versions.

10. Photoshop CS6 Beta has a Content-Aware Move tool

Adobe's new Content-Aware Move tool is found in the same Tools Panel button as Spot Healing and Patch. It extends the Content-Aware Fill technology to moving a selection, blending it into its new location, and simultaneously filling in the hole it left.

It needs to be used with care, but when it works well, it's a great time saver.

Category: Vista and 7 Tips and Tricks! | Views: 747 | Added by: Adamsummer | Date: 2012-04-01 | Comments (2)

Best browser 2012: which should you be using?
As you'd expect, IE9 integrates well with Windows 7. The interface divides opinion but we really like it

Competition among browsers is more fierce than ever.

Google's knocking out new versions of Chrome at an alarming rate, Mozilla's been pulling nightshifts to improve Firefox, and Microsoft's rejuvenated IE team is doing great things with its browser.

There are great browsers from Opera and Apple too, not to mention mobile browsers for smartphones and tablets.

So which browser should you be using?

Let's find out which ones offer the best blend of power, expandability and all-round awesomeness.

The best browser for speed

We tested the latest official releases of the big browsers: IE9, Safari 5.1, Firefox 9, Chrome 16 and Opera 11.6 to see how they performed on the desktop. All of the big browsers deliver speedy browsing, but there are still differences when it comes to things such as JavaScript performance, which affects the speed at which web apps and complex websites work.

In the Sunspider JavaScript benchmarks Firefox left its rivals in the dust, storming through the tests in a hugely impressive 189.4ms. Safari was next with 219.6ms, followed by IE9 (247.9ms), Opera (254.3ms) and Chrome (291.0ms). We saw similar results in Windows Vista, with Firefox narrowly pipping its rivals to take first place.

These figures are based on brand new installations without any plugins, extensions or similar: once you start loading your browser up with goodies, performance is likely to take a nose-dive.

Firefox

WOW: Firefox is the speed king on Windows and on OS X, but there isn't much in it: all the browsers are swift

The best browser for add-ons

You can get add-ons for all the main browsers, but Firefox has the edge here: its huge number of add-ons and Greasemonkey scripts mean that its reputation as the Swiss Army Knife of web browsers is well deserved. It's far and away the most expandable web browser, and it's got the best browser sync features too. Bear in mind, though, that all of the main browsers are expandable, and while some - such as Safari - don't have enormous libraries of add-ons, you can still get the essential ones such as ad blockers, Twitter utilities and Gmail notifiers.

Opera deserves a special mention here because it's more than just a browser. It has integrated email, newsgroups and IRC chat, the Opera Unite file server, Opera Turbo to improve performance on crappy mobile connections, and Sidebar-style widgets for games, web applications and utilities.

The best browser for Windows 7

Safari's the first to fall here: it just looks odd on Windows, and doesn't offer anything over its rivals. IE9 and Opera are both very nice to use on Windows 7 and make good use of taskbar pinning and jump lists, but Firefox has the edge in both speed and expandability and it's our pick here.

Opera on windows 7

UNEXPECTED?: Opera's a joy to use and worth considering if you like the idea of widgets, integrated email and file sharing

The best browser for Windows Vista

IE9 flies on Vista - it hammered through Sunspider in 193.7ms - but Firefox is faster still, scoring 192.2ms in the same benchmarks. Safari ran through the benchmarks in 224.4ms, Chrome 246.6ms, and Opera in 251.2ms. Firefox isn't just the speediest browser on Vista, but the most expandable too.

The best browser for Windows XP

Internet Explorer takes an early bath here, because Microsoft doesn't make IE9 for its ageing OS. That leaves Safari 5.1, Firefox 9, Chrome 16 and Opera 11.6; of the four, Chrome demands the least RAM and hard disk space, making it the best bet for older XP systems. That means Chrome's the best browser for netbooks too: its more modest hardware requirements are a boon on relatively low-spec machines.

The best browser for OS X

Firefox was massively in the lead on OS X Lion, rocketing through Sunspider in 153.8ms compared to Safari's 209.2ms, Opera's 214.7ms and Chrome's 225.3. However, it's worth noting that while Safari's figures look good on paper, they don't reflect the way it chugged through the benchmarks as if it were wading through treacle.

Firefox's speed is countered by what we think is a faintly horrible interface. If that isn't your top priority then Firefox is the best browser for Mac users; if it annoys you, then Opera or Chrome is a better bet. While Safari is a perfectly decent browser, its rivals performed better in our tests.

The best browser for privacy

All of the browsers we tested had excellent privacy protection including private browsing and warnings of suspicious web pages, but IE9 is marginally ahead of the pack here: its tracking protection enables you to subscribe to lists that tell specific kinds of websites not to track you, which is potentially more useful than a global "do not track" option.

The best browser for HTML5

All of the main browsers support the important bits of HTML5, but when it comes to full standards support Chrome and Firefox are in the lead by a significant margin. According to the excellent Caniuse.com, Firefox and Chrome score 89% for HTML5 standards support, with Safari at 78%, Opera 74% and IE9 52%. If you add CSS support into the equation the scores are 87% for Firefox and Chrome, 83% for Safari, 75% for Opera and 59% for IE.

HTML5 in ie9

LAGGING BEHIND: All the browsers support key HTML5 features, but IE9 lags behind when it comes to full standards support

The best browser for Android

The stock Android browser is pretty good, but we think Opera Mobile has the edge for smartphones: it's got a lovely interface, goes like the clappers - we've previously described it as "comically fast" on decent kit - and synchronises well with its desktop cousin. On tablets, the standard browser is still our preferred option: while Dolphin for Pad and Firefox are looking pretty nifty, they're both still in beta.

Opera on android

CACHE KING: Opera Mobile for Android is particularly good on mobile phones. It's "comically fast" on decent kit

The best browser for iPad

The lack of tabs in Apple's Safari drove us daft on the original iPad, but now it's got tabbed browsing and iCloud syncing we think it's the best browser on the platform, especially on the iPad 2: in our experience it's faster and more reliable than iCab Mobile, considerably nicer to look at than Atomic Browser, and less likely to dump you back to the home screen for no good reason than non-Apple browsers.

Category: Vista and 7 Tips and Tricks! | Views: 876 | Added by: Adamsummer | Date: 2012-04-01 | Comments (0)

it's just a matter of time: eventually, your computer will get close to filling up. If you want to free some disk space on your hard drive, it is very easy to do so.

If your hard drive has been on the edge of overflowing before, you might have spent some time (or even money!) trying programs which claim to free disk space on your bloated hard drive.

Oftentimes such programs won't let you clean your hard drive after they have analyzed it, unless you purchase their product -- it's a ridiculous money scam that countless people surely fall for.

You do not have to spend money to simply free disk space on your hard drive! Hidden amongst the mess that is the internet, are some free working products and alternatives.

CCleaner

Possibly one of the best software inventions ever is CCleaner, a program created by Piriform Ltd. CCleaner can free gigabytes from your disk drive very quickly, without messing up the rest of your PC.

CCleaner not only removes unused files from your hard drive, but is also optimizes your system, can clean all traces of your online activities, and even includes a registry cleaner all for free.

The best part is that is is extremely fast! It's stunning how much junk it cleans in such short periods of time.

Uninstall Programs

While a hard disk cleaner will free up some substantial space, if you have large programs, such as video games, installed on your PC, they will be left untouched. It can be very beneficial to uninstall large, unwanted programs manually.

To do so is not as daunting as it may sound. There are many ways to go about this task, and the method is generally quite similar no matter what operating system your PC is running (for example, Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, etc.)

  • Click the "Start" button in the bottom left corner of the screen
  • Navigate to the "Control Panel"
  • Click the icon regarding "Programs and Features"
  • Browse through your programs and find unwanted ones
  • Click them to uninstall

You can free loads of disk space on your hard drive by manually uninstalling programs.

External Hard Drives

If you happen to have a drive filled with valuable contents that you don't want to delete, an external hard drive might be a better alternative. As opposed to hard drive expansions which can be a hassle, an external hard drive can be linked to your PC very easily. They are also generally quite affordable. Don't pay more than $0.50 per gigabyte if possible!

External hard drives have the additional benefit of being portable, so you can move the drive between several computers and free space on all of their hard drives!

If you have some spare cash, external hard drives are well worth the purchase.

Online Storage

If you're someone blessed with a speedy and unrestricted internet service, then online storage might be the perfect answer to your disk space problems.

A major benefit to online file storage is that you can access your files from any computer (or device) from anywhere with an internet connection!

There are many services which allow you to safely store files online.

Box.net allows free users to store up to 50Gb of data online, with affordable plans available for expansion, and Adrive also allows free users 50Gb of storage, with scalable plans as well.

Conclusion

So there you have it, the most effective ways to free disk space on your hard drive. Whether used individually or in combination, you will have heaps of free space on your hard drive for a long time still!

If you found this article useful, please leave a comment, rate this article, "like" or tweet it, or submit it to StumbleUpon or other social media.

Links

Category: Vista and 7 Tips and Tricks! | Views: 961 | Added by: Adamsummer | Date: 2012-04-01 | Comments (1)

A common issue that people run into when using VMware is that once they have created there virtual machine and installed there OS and everything else they eventually run out of room and decide to increase the Virtual machines hard disk / partition.

For this example I am running VMware server on Windows Vista , WIth one virtual machine running Linux Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy and will go through the steps to increase my harddrive size from 15GB to 25GB

Increasing Hard Disk Size on your Virtual Machine ( VMware )

Step 1.

Firs thing to do is locate the location of vmware.exe on your PC typically it will be in C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware Server or VMware Workstation

Once you have located your vmware.exe file open up command prompt on Windows. [Start -> Run -> type "cmd" in the window then press ENTER

Now navigate into the vmware.exe directory , in this case simply C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware Server

From here type vmware-vdiskmanager -x 25GB image.vmdk

- 25GB in this case we would like to make the NEW size 25GB , this method will not remove any exisiting files

- image.vmdk , Name of your Virtual Machine disk my example was Ubuntu.vmdk, if for some reason it doesn't work type the entire path of the vmdk file for example

vmware-vdiskmanager -x 25GB D:\Virtual Machines\Ubuntu\Ubuntu.vmdk

Extending Partition / Hard Disk

Now that you have used the VMware diskmanager to increase size of the Virtual Disk Space , this will create a new parition that 10GB in this case ( original 15GB + 10GB increase). This increased size will not automatically show up when we reboot our Virtual Machine. We need to carry out a few extra steps to make use of this newly created space , this involves extending the partition or merging two partitions together.

Step 2.

Before trying to extend your harddrive to include the newly created partition, you will need to open vmdk file in a second virtual machine. The reason for this is that you cannot extend a partition on a drive that you are actually using system files on, It has to be set as the secondary drive.

So go through the steps of making a new virtual machine and give it 4-5GB or so it doesn't need to be huge. You wont actually need to load any Operating system on it if you use the LiveCD. Before you run your second virtual machine you will need to add the harddrive you wish to increase onto that system , see screenshot

Select your 2nd/Other Virtual Machine, then select Edit virtual machine settings, Click Add, Select Harddrive and use exisiting virtual then load your original harddisk , in my case Ubuntu.vmdk
Select your 2nd/Other Virtual Machine, then select Edit virtual machine settings, Click Add, Select Harddrive and use exisiting virtual then load your original harddisk , in my case Ubuntu.vmdk
Choose to start Ubuntu without installing it, Run it off the CD (LiveCD)
Choose to start Ubuntu without installing it, Run it off the CD (LiveCD)

Gparted

Now that you have created your secondary virtual machine, Boot it up and in order to extend our virtual hard disk we will use a inbuilt linux tool called gparted , there are also many other partitioning programs out there including fdisk and many others.

Now we want to load up our ubuntu LiveCD instead of having to install an Operating System, To get your virtual machine to boot up from your LiveCD do the following.

- Use Daemon Tools or any other mounting program and mount your Ubuntu.iso image.

- Start your virtual machine and soon as it starts press ESC to enter the boot menu and from here select CD-ROM

- This will start your secondary virtual machine with the Ubuntu LiveCD

Running Gparted ( Partitioning Program )

To run gparted simply enter the terminal window and type "gparted" , and this will open the gparted gui window. ( Remember to issue this command with root privledges )

Once gparted has started you will see a window similar to below, We see two parition that we want to join together below circled in red, To extend the exisitng partition to the unallocated partition use the resize button to increase the size of the exisiting partition to increase the size.

( Ensure the harddrive is unmounted, and swapoff )

Not my original screenshot for this case but you get the drift:)
Not my original screenshot for this case but you get the drift:)
Resizing Partition , simply drag the handle across to pick a size or type in desired size
Resizing Partition , simply drag the handle across to pick a size or type in desired size

Finishing Up

 Now once you have resized your partition to include the unallocated partition size click apply. This may take sometime for it to resize the partition size.

Once this is complete shutdown the virtual machine and remove the secondary harddrive you added in the previous section. Boot your original virtual machine and you should have successfully extended your hard disk space.

Gparted LiveCD

There is also a gparted LiveCD which can be run if you have trouble deleting and creating partitions. Simply mount the gparted LiveCD and follow the prompts.

Link: http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=115843&package_id=271779

Other Methods

If you have made your way through this howto and still unable to get it to work you could try the Vmware Converter which can do all this tasks a lot easier, ( yeaa should've told you a lot earlier) its a free download and can perform partition extensions easily.

VMware Converter

Windows Method

After you have loaded the secondary harddrive on the secondary virtual machine (windows in this case) to fix the partitions. Run the command prompt and enter "diskpart.exe" or if that doesn't work locate its location and run it through cmd using the directory locations.

Steps - type

- show volume

select volume 2 ( in this case , double check to make sure you have the right one)

extend

exit

Category: Vista and 7 Tips and Tricks! | Views: 1157 | Added by: Adamsummer | Date: 2012-04-01 | Comments (0)

USB 2.0 Enclosure for IDE Drives - Western Digital, Seagate, LaCie, Maxtor, Iomega - Introduction

Thanks to the continuing advancement of technology, the world has witnessed the birth of new gadgets and gizmos that make life and communication a little easier for everyone. But with the increase in indispensable gizmos comes the responsibility of learning the jargon and other terms pertaining to them. It’s not really a requisite to learn the little nuances.


Consider it more of an advantage if you can understand what these seemingly complicated and out-of-this-world terms mean because you are spending good money when you purchase your equipment in stores. Some are a little bit self-explanatory like the external hard disk. Though if the term hard disk confuses you, then read on to learn more about external hard disks and how you can build an external hard drive from scratch.



Simply put, a hard disk drive is a device that can store your digital data. It is encased within a metal case and has one or more rigid platters that rotate on a motorized spindle. On top of the platters are read/write heads that magnetically encode your data. Capacity of a hard disk drive varies depending on the number of heads, tracks and sectors. An external hard disk is a particular type of hard disk drive that you can connect to your computer via USB cable among other means.



A brief history lesson on the external hard disk is also needed in order to understand this device further. The first incarnations of the external hard disk were originally bulky in size. They were literally external hard disks because they couldn’t be stored inside the unit due to their large size. Pretty soon, compact hard disks that could be easily stored into the computer’s bays will be available to the market. Apple Macintosh was a proponent of this early innovation. When USB and Firewire interfaces became a staple in the design of PCs, the external hard drive gained further popularity in the market.

USB 2.0

Source: usb 2.0

Where to Buy cheap External Portable Hard Drive 1TB, 2TB Usb 2.0 - Best Buy, Amazon, Newegg, Tiger Direct, Circuit City?

... Read more »
Category: Vista and 7 Tips and Tricks! | Views: 926 | Added by: Adamsummer | Date: 2012-04-01 | Comments (0)

Over the last ten years, USB flash drives have dramatically altered the way we store and transport important information. Starting with the first 8 MB commercial drives from IBM in 2000, it has been an arduous journey all the way to the mammoth 128 GB keys available today from many leading companies.

There has been a lot of flash drives advertised for sale on eBay, seen in the Amazon Marketplace, and in Google ads of many Chinese sites. In fact, during 2008 several well-known companies released 64 GB USB flash drives and they continued to be the largest available till middle of 2009. But lately many frontline manufacturers have added 128GB drives to their products. Let us make a honest attempt to see which makes are the most reliable and wise to buy.

USB Flash Drive

128gb usb flash drive
128gb usb flash drive

The Corsair 128gb USB Flash Drive

The Corsair Flash Voyager family of USB drives is indeed sturdy, stylish and compact. More than all things else, the Corsair Flash USB drives are reliable for transporting MP3s, digital images, presentations and a lot more. Flash Voyager USB drives are simple Plug and Play with most operating systems and are also backward compatible with USB 1.1. The Sequential Read: 32.6 MB/s and Sequential Write: 28.8 MB/s are formidable and the speed is comparable to many portable harddrives and is more than 2.5 times faster when compared with other high-capacity USB flash drives in the market.

The Corsair USB Flash Drives, with capacities from 4GB to a large 128GB, offer a hassle-free way to carry your data with you, wherever you go. Corsair USB drives are designed to provide foolproof protection for your data, with features like solid-state electronics, water-resistant or water-proof housings, and even 256-bit encryption and access control. All Corsair Flash USB solutions are compatible with the latest Microsoft Windows 7 Operating System and carry a ten year warranty.

Kingston 128GB Data Traveler

Kingston DataTraveler 200 - 128 GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive DT200/128GB (Black)
Amazon Price: $140.00
List Price: $390.99
Kingston Digital HyperX 3.0 DataTraveler (DTHX30/128GB)
Amazon Price: $249.95
List Price: $377.00

Kingston 128GB Data Traveler 200 USB Flash Drive

Kingston have brought out their their Data Traveler USB drives, the 200 series which includes 128GB USB Flash drive. The drive is password-protected and the other features are read/write speeds of up to 20MB/sec and 10MB/sec. The password protection is by means of Password Traveler software, which enables user to create and access a password-protected, secure area of the drive called a "Privacy Zone.” The Data Traveler works with Windows ReadyBoost. Like other Kingston USB flash drives, it is plug and play.

The Kingston DataTraveler 200, in a sleek, durable body, features a capless design to protect the USB connector when not in use and is enhanced for Windows ReadyBoost. It is available in 32GB, 64GB and 128GB capacities and carries five-year warranty. The biggest advantage is the DataTraveler 200 is backed by Kingston brand image plus a five-year warranty and 24/7 tech support. There are no negative user reviews except for the pricing. But because a large numbers of fake 128GB USB flash drives are today available, both from China and on eBay, it is critical to understand and buy the authentic Kingston USB flash drives.

Patriot 128GB Flash drive

... Read more »
Category: Vista and 7 Tips and Tricks! | Views: 1110 | Added by: Adamsummer | Date: 2012-04-01 | Comments (4)

If you've found yourself here, chances are you need to know how to install software on a netbook. You may have purchased one of these new, petite notebook computers and are faced with the fact that it does not have a built-in optical drive such as a CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drives. Before you consider installing software on a netbook, make sure that it is something that can be usable and worthwhile on it. Chances are you will not very much enjoy playing World of Warcraft on your netbook PC. So, how do you go about installing programs on a netbook?

There are a few ways to go about getting your software onto your new netbook computer. The first, and absolute easiest way is to download it from the internet. If it is available for download online, then all you have to do is point your web browser at the download link and away you go. Once your netbook has finished downloading the software, then you simply open the installer or unzip the file and then open the installer.

Install Netbook Software Using an External Drive

Another way is to purchase an external optical drive that will plug in to your netbook, usually either with a USB or a firewire cable. USB is, by far, the most common for this type of peripheral. These drives can usually be had for not too much money, and a bonus is you can use your netbook to play CD's or, in the case of a DVD-ROM your netbook could double as a portable DVD player to take on those camping trips where you're really going to be roughing it.

Netbook Software Install With a USB Drive

One of the most popular methods of installing software on a netbook requires having a second computer with an optical drive and a USB flash drive. If you do not have a USB flash drive, and need to purchase one, make sure it is at least 4 gigabytes (GB). This is slightly less than what a full DVD-ROM holds, on average, but is 5 times what a CD holds, so it should be large enough for most installations. A flash drive of 8 gigs or more should be able to take care of any installation task.

Category: Vista and 7 Tips and Tricks! | Views: 820 | Added by: Adamsummer | Date: 2012-04-01 | Comments (0)

Hardrive data recovery in Macs, Windows or, Linux computer operating systems is at some point, inevitable since, data loss can occur at any given time while using a computer. Thus the only way to forstall this is to be properly prepared by having on hand, essential tools and software.

This hub hopes to

  • introduce you to 3 hard disk drive data recovery software (because I don't wan't to bore you to death) and/or tools that I personally picked. They are, free and like said,personally tested.
  • To ultimately, arm you with suitable data recovery services that, are free to use and also as good as any expensive or cheap data recovery services/software out there.
  • Also in this hub will be, some educational videos discussing reasons for hard drive crashes and how best to recover data from them.
  • This hub will provide you with links to download this software and links to some other useful hard drive data recovery information.
  • Plus a cool ipod data recovery software that I just discoovered (when I lost some of my music)... well just read on and we'll get to it further down the hub.

But before I proceed, let me quickly state that when none of these tools can be of any help, then I would advice that you get a good professional hard drive recovery service which, you can find listed in your local directory services and online.

As a statement of fact, the best defense against data loss is real-time backup of data. That said, we must understand that sometimes data loss can occur when you least expect it. Whether the long minutes of this quarter's meetings refused to show up when you opened an email attachment on your computer or your game loving son, accidentally deleting all your business account files for the previous year, having ready, hard drive data recovery tools is important to getting your data back before it's gone for good.

3 Basic Types Of Hard Drive Crashes And How To Recover Data

So what happens when data loss occurs before a needed data back-up?

Computer or laptop hard drive recovery software tools are designed to recover lost files including video, documents and archives from hard disks. These tools are needed even when real-time data back-up is performed, it has the downside of needing constant updates. This is where the data recovery tools can also help to recover accidental data loss that occurs before updating backed up data.

Need I say why you require these hard drive data recovery tools?

To be blunt and sincere, you need these tools to try and recover any type of data that you have lost (accidentally or not).Now there are different types of hardrive data recovery software and tools out there, they also run under various plataforms (windows, Mac, Linux, etc.). Find below 9 of the best free ones available. Some are as good as the ones that you have to pay for, but do not take this hub as being biased towards free stuff only. After all,your data is important, and whatever you do or spend to recover it is a reflection of how important that lost (or rather, almost lost) data is to you.

Recuva (For Windows)

This is a user-friendly Windows OS software tool. Made by Piriform, this software comes from a stable of well known and highly praised software (e.g Ccleaner). Running Recuva, you can redeem missing files by using either the user friendly file recovery wizard or the application's manual mode for professional user's who know what they are doing. The file recovery wizard is user friendly because you can recover data when you're not sure not quite sure where the data went or how to recover it back. Through the wizard, you can narrow down your search type to pictures, video, documents, music files, or any kind of specific files and you can set the search location to everywhere or specific areas on your computer, like removable media only (usb's, SD cards, removable hard druves, etc.), in my documents folder, the recycle bin, or a particular location.

Working in manual mode, you can search directly where you know the lost file should be. Recuva uses an easy to understand, green/yellow/red lighting system as indicators to show the possibility of success, the recovery of your files will be, and when it has been retrieved, it can provide previews of the image files available for recovery. Recuva also has a tool (like some other hard drive recovery software) to securely wipe files you decide you don't need and that you need to clear up space on your hard drive to help your hard disk recovery process, Recuva can be downloaded here:

Download from FileHippo.com

Laptop Hard Drive Data Recovery

TestDisk (For Windows/Mac/Linux/Sun OS)
TestDisk is a one of the prime examples that open-source software and tools are worth their 'salt'. This powerful tool for hard disk data recovery is not just a basic file recovery that undeletes accidentally deleted files from NTFS, FAT (W£indows) and ext2, ext3, &ext4 (Linux) file systems, but it comes with an army of additional functionality that cuts across different operational systems. Wether the OS of your hard drive is, Windows, MAC or, Linux, TestDisk you can recover your entire boot sector from a backup, can rebuild your boot sector, repair your MFT, fix FAT tables, locate the ext2/ext3 backup, copy deleted files from partitions to any available recovery media, and locate lost partitions in many different formats to aid the location of lost data. The downside though is, It's a command line tool, that means no GUI (not too friendly for noobies or novices to dos commands). But it has loads of documentation in the wiki (like most open source stuff) that should get you knowing the ropes without much trouble. This software packs some serious sh__, so don't mess with it unless you lnow what you are doing. You can also download it with PhotoRec to recover your digital pictures and file recovery. I'm not going into that here, but you can read more by going to Testdisk's site

Download Testdisk here:

PS: For Mac users who think that you canm only experience hard disk data loss but can't have mac security issues, take a look here and get yourself protected: MAC SECURITY SOFTWARE FOR OS X AND LEOPARD.

Disk Drill (For Macs)< ... Read more »

Category: Vista and 7 Tips and Tricks! | Views: 1133 | Added by: Adamsummer | Date: 2012-04-01 | Comments (1)

Time is a precious commodity, especially if you're a system administrator. No other job pulls people in so many directions at once. Users interrupt you constantly with requests, preventing you from getting anything done. Your managers want you to get long-term projects done but flood you with requests for quick-fixes that prevent you from ever getting to those long-term projects. But the pressure is on you to produce and it only increases with time. What do you do?

The answer is time management.

A nice theory i've found is the one that is behind the "Get things Done".

Getting Things Done

Getting things Done

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
Amazon Price: $6.94
List Price: $16.00
Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
Amazon Price: $11.28
List Price: $24.95
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Getting Things Done
Amazon Price: $7.20
List Price: $18.95

Getting Things Done

Getting Things Done has been developed by David Allen, and the best definition of what constitutes the GTD is given by himself. I limit myself to briefly define it as a methodology to manage the assets that a person has to perform, which has the aim to maximize productivity and reduce stress.
One of the cornerstones of the GTD is that to be the most productive and creative, you must have a clear mind, so you must move all the things we have to remember out of your mind, to put them in a system (paper or software, at our option) for you to be fast and easy to use.

The method is to collect all things (emails, telephone calls, fees, books, faxes, etc.) in an "input" (inbox), picking them up and wondering what we have to make with them:

1. if do NOT require an action now, you are facing three options:
         1. trash can
         2. stores it for future reference
         3. action is premature, we leave the action incubate inside a special list (Sometimes / Maybe)
   2. if it requires an action, we must distinguish whether:
         1. is composed of more than one action, then creates a special project
         2. consists of a single action:
               1. takes less than 2 minutes to run it: DO IT!
               2. Require more than 2 minutes:
                     1. delegated to someone else and put it in the list of feedback (Waiting for)
                     2. "Move it" temporarily on the list of things to do next (Next steps) or add to the agenda if it is absolutely necessary to run at a given time.

No action should return to the inbox, only in this way we can be sure that everything is processed and once we decide what to do with every thing. Having already decided what to do and be ready when the action will be take in hand the thing, relieves a lot of stress, you do not  need to take once again a decision on what to do. In this way everything is reduced in a systematic way to manage a series of lists (todo list) and an agenda that helps us to remember, depending on context and timing, which are actions to be undertaken.

Getting things gnome

Getting Things GNOME

To remember their commitments using some programs or sites that help you manage a list of things to do with notes and even warnings. Getting Things GNOME! is a new to-do manager that allows you to manage your business.

It is written in PyGTK and it works well in Gnome to be a software so young. You can organize everything according to labels and easily write extensions with the choice of using Python.

The application is available for any variety of Linux with Gnome installed, but Ubuntu users can simply download a .deb file and install it easily. Once you've installed the application you can use the quick add box to start typing in tasks, and then drag and drop to rearrange them into a hierarchy. You'll have to open the to-do item to edit the tags, but if you want to create a task under a tag, ju ... Read more »

Category: Vista and 7 Tips and Tricks! | Views: 878 | Added by: Adamsummer | Date: 2012-04-01 | Comments (0)

My Experiences with Linux

I have tried a few of the large "user friendly" Linux distros. Spent a few days or weeks of my free time trying to make everything work, but couldn't. For me the lack of drivers were the biggest problem also (connecting either my broadcom wifi card or the mobile internet card to use the internet).

Most of the people have other (better) things to do in life than mess around with their computer all the time just to have a all round working operating system. While I'm not debating that Linux as an OS is better than Windows, Windows is just easier to use and with Plug-and-Play Microsoft really beats all its competitors. In fact, that is exactly why Microsoft beat all its competitors in the early 90s.

Below I will list some reasons why Linux, as a primary operating system on computers (of course you can partition your disk and install both, just to play around with Linux), does not come close to Windows:

No, or Limited Drivers

For example, there is no, or very limited wireless card drivers which means there is no internet connection on your computer. Nowadays Internet is pretty much a must have to have a really productive work experience. Of course, you can (and should) work offline, but you need to check your emails, send your work to other colleagues or the boss. Also for Linux, to make sure that everything does work, you constantly need internet connection (for new updates and drivers). Windows is not as Internet connection dependent.

Updating

With Linux you can update ALL of your programs with a single click. In Windows, only the operating system upgrades, not everything. Me personally, I don’t want the operating system to know what programs are installed. In this respect Privacy is better in windows.

Linux advocates say that to have your updates take affect, you don’t need to reboot your operating system. In Windows you don’t need to either. They just install when you start windows the next time.

Softwares and Applications you can Download is Limited

Those of you who have even looked at other operating system applications beside Windows (this also applies to Max OS-es, although to a lesser extent) the available programs, applications, softwares, drivers, plugins and who knows what else.

3D Desktop: Linux Compiz Fusion vs. Windows

The reason why this isn’t an advantage is because for most people Windows computers are just workstations, they don’t care much how it looks as long as they can get their job done. Me personally, the way those windows came up just really annoyed me (I know, I can turn it off, but that too requires some time and effort, I can spend better).

Installing Software is More Difficult

You have to type in commands, always type in your username and password. In Windows you just press two of three icons with the automatic pop-up installation wizard.

Additional Programs Installed During Installation Process

When you install Linux many additional programs are installed also, many of which you will probably never use, like and instant messenger. During Windows installation only those apps are installed that everyone uses, so no wasting of your hard drive space. And they are not as easy in Linux to delete as in Windows. Same goes for the package manager in Linux, although they are pretty much just installer files, the average user doesn’t need most of it.

Limited Plug-And-Play

Hardware drivers are not recognized and downloaded automatically in Linux distros. This probably doesn’t need much explanation; you just plugin your new camera, printer or whatever, and it just works with Windows

Wine

There is a program called Wine for Linux, which runs Windows programs under Linux, however many programs don’t work too well with Wine. Also when you have to use and other program to run a program or application in your operating system is just doesn’t feel rights (somewhat lame, should I say?).

Open Source

This would be and advantage for Linux if most Windows users cared to mess around with the coding of the operating system, but as most Windows owners are users, not developers, this isn’t really an advantage of Linux.

No Official Online Place to Turn to When You Have a Technical Problem

 I know there are commercial companies and websites for Linux too, but the feeling is just not the same when you turn to a company that has made ALL the components of its operating system from the first to the last code letter. Also forums for support aren’t the ideal; when you need to have a technical problem to be fixed right away, forum help process of I get back.

No Standardization

Many packages (Linux name for programs and applications) just don’t install in other distros, or you need other packages (dependencies) to install, which might still need another package.

Graphical User Interphase (GUI)

Its user interface (GUI) is a lot different than that of Windows (The order of apps and programs, and the subfolder system is different in a many ways).

Better Gaming Experience

Many say that Linux is more powerful for playing RAM resource demanding games. Most people do not play games on windows, maybe only simple games like solitaire or minesweeper when they are bored. You don’t need Linux for that

Safer

With all the anti-virus, -malware, -spyware, -Trojan Horse, and -keylogger programs out there, these are not much of an issue. In my years of experience with Windows these programs were pretty effective in finding and deleting them. Also with all the system optimizing programs, Windows can be run smoothly.

More Stable

Many people say that Linux is a lot more stable, and it doesn’t crash. I have used Windows for as long as I can remember, and it never crashed on me. It even froze only a few times, but when you save your work with CTRL+S often you don’t really loose your work, in fact, when I am working in MS Word, I usually save my work after each paragraph or so (again, it just takes two keys to press simultaneously to do so, and no popup windows will disturb you about the location of saving). 

Boot-up Speed

Windows loads within one or two minutes too. Meanwhile it loads, I always do other things, and by the time I finish those, Windows is up and running. Who should care if an operating system loads within 1 minute or 2 minutes, this is an argument only for those who want to bash windows in everyway possible

Regular Clean Installs

Every year or so you should backup (save it at an external driver, pendrive, DVDs, etc) your files, and documents, and clean install your OS just get rid of all the custom settings, apps, softwares, etc that you have not used in a long time, and don’t need anymore. With everything out of box in Windows, Installing and setting everything up again is a snap.

Warranty

As there is a central company behind the operating system, and you payed for it, they provide a guarantee, that if the operating system in not working properly, they will fix it, or replace it. In Microsoft’s case that is 30 days. Also many r ... Read more »

Category: Vista and 7 Tips and Tricks! | Views: 924 | Added by: Adamsummer | Date: 2012-04-01 | Comments (0)

Mac OSX installed on my Dell Inspiron 1520.
Mac OSX installed on my Dell Inspiron 1520.

Rating

What is your ideal OS?

  • Microsoft Windows 7
  • Apple Mac OSX
  • Linux (Ubuntu etc)
  • Other
See results without voting

Youtube Video

Introduction

This tutorial is intended for people who have some to a lot of knowledge of computers, partitions and OS's. If you plan on formating your computer you might consider my other hub:

The total time to do this all in 1 go should be around 3+/- hours. I wont post links on where to get the DVD's. (Google).

//Ay Guys I just installed the latest Ubuntu 10.04 and it works great with dualboot for those wanting to experiement or a too nervous of going the whole way..yum :)



What You Will Need.......To Get Started

Click edit above to add content to this empty capsule.

  • A copy of iATKOS, iPC, Kalyway DVD (Snow Leopard not supported yet)
  • Windows 7 RTM DVD
  • Ubuntu 9.10 (latest) DVD
  • A decent working computer/laptop
  • A second internet source (incase anything goes wrong)
  • Printed version of this guide (unless viewing off another machine)

Suggested Laptops are Dell Inspirons, Acer and HP.



.::Disclaimer::.

Click edit above to add content to this empty capsule.

I do not take any responsibility for any problems you recieve from following this tutorial. By following the tutorial you are agreeing to enhance your laptop/computer machine under your own responsibility and desire.

Lets Begin :^)

Step1: Install Windows 7

Installing Windows 7 is easy and should take between 15mins - 40mins (machine dependent).

First you'll need to boot up with a Windows 7 DVD you presumably have burned already. I Prefer erasing a hard drive and "clean installing" Windows on there. Upgrade if you want doesn't matter. Once installation is complete, reboot and your machine should go straight into Windows. Set up Windows to your likings and install drivers if needed.

  • If you want Windows 7, Ubuntu and Mac OSX (Triple Boot) go to step 2.
  • If you want Windows 7 and Mac OSX (Dual Boot) go to step 3.

Step 2: Install Ubuntu (not necessary)

There are 2 main ways to install Ubuntu. I'll be doing the way I find easiest and user friendly.

Log into your Windows and insert the Ubuntu Disk. If the installer opens automatically great. If not browse the disk and look for Wubi. Run Wubi and the installer should appear. As a installation option select "Install inside of Windows". This is the easiest way to install Ubuntu for even the most novice of computer user. Select a drive (Use the same as Windows), select a minimum of 7 gigs of space for Ubuntu. Enter your username and password for your new account. Installation should take around 30 minutes or less.

Reboot your machine and Ubuntu should appear under Windows 7 highlight it with the arrow keys and press Enter button. Ubuntu will start up now. Install any nessesary programs, drivers and explore your new Ubuntu :^) . Shutdown you machine.

Congratulations thus far you should have Windows 7 and Ubuntu Successfully installed and working. Grad a drink and food now.

  • Proceed to step 3 to install Mac OSX

Step 3: Install Mac OSX

Boot up into Windows 7. In the start menu search "computer management" (Here is were we partition a drive for Mac). In the left panel select Disk Management and partition 15GB or more for Mac OSX. The Partition should be formated as Fat32. Insert the Mac OSX disk and reboot.

Boot into the Mac OSX disk. When prompted to install in 'x' seconds type "-v" without quotation marks. A bunch of writing should appear and stay on the screen for a about 5 mins or less.

When prompted go to Disk Utility at the top panel and select to erase the partition you plan on installing Mac OSX on. Format the partition as Mac OS Journal. Close the window and select install. Let it install, this should take around 20 minutes. Afterwards Mac OSX with boot up, you may notice you don't have sound yet and your resolution is the greatest.


Step 3: Install Mac OSX - - continied - -

Now its up to you to install the drivers your new Hackintosh machine will require. For Dell Inspiron Users I'll be putting together a package for you to download to get the drivers. But till then do a little googling.

Almost done, we're heading to the final steps. When you reboot and select Windows you'll notice that your unable to. Reboot your computer but insert the Windows 7 (or even Vista) and select "repair" when its done loading. Select "Startup repair", this should take about a minute or so. Reboot and you'll notice Mac OSX is missing. Boot into Windows 7 and download a program called "EasyBCD". Open the program and select to add entry (We're going to add the Mac OSX entry. From the drop down box select Mac. Under Drive select "boot". Now reboot and there you go.

FINISH

Last thing you need to do is update your programs and software on your OS's. You've officially completed the Tutorial.

Don't be shy to check out my other pages and comment and take a short look at the poll below, thanx..... don't forget to comment if it works wel
Category: Vista and 7 Tips and Tricks! | Views: 855 | Added by: Adamsummer | Date: 2012-04-01 | Comments (0)

By CiscoPixie

Every computer user on the planet is different. We have different tastes and want different things for our computers. When it comes to choosing an operating system, there are many rivals. By far, majority choose Microsoft Windows. Another handful will pick Linux and some may choose Mac OS. If you are a Windows user and would like to use Linux instead, read further.

First of all, ask yourself why would you like to move to Linux? Is it because you feel Linux is better than Windows or are you simply being anti-Windows? Many people do not consider this question as something serious. "Oh an operating system is an operating system." Wrong. Windows suits most users needs. Those who either like to be different or just get sick of security patches move to other operating systems. Once you have assessed why you'd like to change, the next step in migrating is deciding which Linux distribution you'd like to use.

There is are many (over 40) different distributions of Linux. Not sure which one to choose? Many users use Ubuntu which, like all other Linux distro's, is free. I do suggest you do some research into the different Linux's available and make an informed decision.

Cost also plays a huge part. While Linux can be installed on many computers with no restrictions and for free, Windows must be purchased for each individual computer and licensed. Hence, the more computers you have, the higher the cost. Linux = free.

Next on the list is support. For both Windows and Linux, there is professional support available but for a fee. But if you have an internet connection, most problems are easily solved on a forum or someone's blog. Linux is community based and everyone can lend a helping hand.

Another point for those wanting to move to Linux is that while Linux users can use a program called WINE to run Windows programs on Linux, this is not guaranteed and the program may not work. A useful suggestion is to look up the company that created WINE-HQ and search the site for whichever program it is you'd like to use. This way one can be sure that the program will work. It may not be perfect, but remember it was designed for Windows.

The above mentioned items are merely things to think about before migrating to Linux. Once you have decided on a Linux distro, first try to browse the operating system before you install it to be sure this is what you want.

Windows and Linux can run side by side as long as the system requirements are met. The installation can be done by a professional or by yourself as long as you know what you are doing.

I use Windows for gaming purposes but Ubuntu for everything else. As an Ubuntu user for almost a year, I would recommend it to anyone looking at a Linux distro. The last comment I have to make must be expressed in capital letters:

DO NOT EXPECT WINDOWS WHEN YOU HAVE LINUX. THAT IS WHY IS IS CALLED LINUX , NOT WINDOWS.
Category: Vista and 7 Tips and Tricks! | Views: 66394 | Added by: Adamsummer | Date: 2012-04-01 | Comments (1)

Source: Jared Zane Kessie

What OS are you currently using?

  • Windows XP
  • Windows 7
  • Ubuntu
  • Other Linux
  • Mac OS X
  • Other
  • Duel boot (two or more OS)
See results without voting

With the release of Windows 8 consumer preview, my thoughts turn to how quick and unpredictable Operating Systems (OS) have been. I remember the fluke that was Windows Vista, which prompted PC manufacturers to package their systems with an OS other than Windows, giving Linux's Ubuntu a try. I recall Windows 7 being the savior and fix for Vista, and how before Windows 7 most people reverted back to XP.

I digress. Today the general public is more aware of their options for an OS, and with that awareness consumers are able to choose an OS that fits their needs, thus changing the market dynamics of OS's. Here is an overview of the world's top PC operating systems.

Definition of an Operating System

To kick this off, let's start with a definition of what an operating system is and does.

An operating system, or OS as it is commonly called, is the main software that manages the hardware and programs of a computer. It provides the user with an interface to interact with the hardware and programs or applications installed on your computer.

That is the simple explanation. If you would like more of an explanation, check out this google search OS definition.

Windows 7 Snap

Want to compare two windows side by side but hate re-sizing windows to do it? Yeah, we all do. That's why Window 7 gives us snap, to easily do side by side windows. Ahhh, painless.

Windows 7 Jump Lists

The jump lists are a new feature that allow you to right click taskbar pins to generate a list of frequently used items or items that you pin. An example is right clicking your web browser to get a list of the last tabs you closed, most frequented web pages, and pinned websites. A great resource for quickly locating your items.

Windows 7 Peek

Windows 7 gives you the ability to 'peek' at your desktop when you have multiple windows open. It does it by turning all other open tasks transparent, giving you a glimpse at the desktop. This is especially nice if you utilize widgets.

Windows 7 Aero desktop

Though not available for Windows 7 starter, and with limited functions for Home Basic, the Aero desktop enhances the look and feel of Windows by providing some 2.0 updates, giving it a slick and shiny feel.

Windows 7

Windows alone makes up 80% of OS usage, according to WS3's OS Statistics. (Please note that these statistics are gathered from PC's that have accessed the internet.)

Until August of 2011, Windows 7 was behind or tied with Windows XP in terms of use percentage. As of January of 2012, Windows 7 now accounts for 47.1%

Even within this operating system we see several variants, with varying degrees of features available. It would take considerable time to explain in detail all the differences, so instead I give you a list of editions and a link to Microsoft to better understand the differences. Note that some of these editions may not be available in your country. Currently the following editions are available for Windows 7:

  • Starter
  • Home Basic
  • Home Premium
  • Professional
  • Enterprise
  • Ultimate

Since I won't be going into detail about these variations, I will point out a few of the features that make Windows 7 a unique and worthy experience, found to the right.

The requirements for running Windows 7 are (taken from Microsoft's website):

  • 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor

  • 1 gigabyte (GB) RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit)

  • 16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)

  • DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver

A glance at Windows 7

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8-oz_LfnoY&feature=player_embedded

Windows XP Compatibility

There are some older programs that have difficulty running on Windows 7 machines, but work flawlessly on XP. Yes, there are editions of Windows 7 that provide compatibility for Windows XP, yet nothing can top XP itself for being able to run programs. Why else would Windows 7 need an XP mode? There have been occasions where I have been unable to run programs due to compatibility issues.

Windows XP is Familiar and Safe

XP was a good product to begin with. Not great, but good. Especially as a redeemer from Windows ME. Being a good product at start and then having over ten years to update, patch, and service the OS and you have a pretty stable and reliable product, which is why the Vancouver winter Olympics committee chose Windows XP over Windows 7.

Windows XP Performance on Older Machines

This one is bound to cause some controversy since it still has not been put to rest. However, it is worth noting that some people swear that XP outperforms Windows 7, especially when it comes to gaming. There has been one occasion for myself where I had to run a game in XP for stability and performance.

The big thing to take away here is that it really depends on your system. Benchmark performances indicate newer machines run Windows 7 better, whereas those with antiquated equipment will have better success with Windos XP.

Windows XP

Coming in at 31.4% of OS usage is the ever faithful and stalwart, Windows XP. When Windows Vista flopped, it was Windows XP that stepped in and saved the day. Consumers missed the ease and abilities of XP that they either did not upgrade, or if they did they were quick to replace it with XP. It wasn't just individuals doing this either. Corporations, small businesses, and schools were all reverting back.

Let's take a look to the right at why XP is still beloved though it was released back in 2001.

Now don't get me wrong. I love Windows XP, because it has been such a large part of my life being the OS I have most widely used. But Windows 7 goes above and beyond and really answers some of the needs of users, maki ... Read more »

Category: Vista and 7 Tips and Tricks! | Views: 840 | Added by: Adamsummer | Date: 2012-04-01 | Comments (0)

My Jolicloud desktop

A free easy to use operating system (OS) for netbooks.

I don't use my netbook that often, only when I am travelling away from home. Windodows XP was OK but I became tired of spending lots of time doing all the windows updates and updating the virus program, the firewall and all the other programs I use just to keep it running properly and securely. I had tried linux before but found setting it up and getting all the hardware running was too difficult. Then I found jolicoud, I put it alongside windows xp to start with but soon decided it had everything I need and I no longer required windows. It is very easy to use, adding programs or apps is easy and updating everything is quick and simple. It is based on a linux OS but they have worked hard to make sure everything works on netbooks. The only problem I had with my Compaq Mini 700 was getting the microphone to work but that was simple to fix.

All the free applications I need from the cloud.

Jolicloud uses lots of free alternative versions of programs that most of us will of used. The gimp is a great photo editing program, quite similar to photoshop. Open office is similar to microsoft office. They also have most of the programs I use all the time with windows, like firefox, thunderbird, skype and spotify. Putting these on to the computer was so easy, I registered with them, logged in to "My Jolicloud" found the apps in the directory and clicked "install". This is an interesting use of the cloud, I can see other operating systems working like this in the future.

Changing an OS is a big step, the new layout takes a bit of getting used to. Everything has been optimized for a netbook but I am getting used to it and haven't had any real problems adapting.

So far, I couldn't be more pleased with jolicloud. If you want to try it out, you can use it alongside your current OS. Just go to their site, download the software, put it on a USB stick and follow their instructions.

Ads by Google
Category: Vista and 7 Tips and Tricks! | Views: 678 | Added by: Adamsummer | Date: 2012-04-01 | Comments (0)

Linux Mint is back to being #1 for many reasons. After using Ubuntu 11.10 and Linux Mint 12 for awhile, I have come to realize that Ubuntu lacks the out-of the-box support that comes with Linux mint. Also Linux Mint is more configurable.

--------------------------------

Old ranking (rev.2)
1. Ubuntu 11.10
2. Pinguy OS
3. Linux Mint 12
4. Zorin OS
5. joli OS
----
----
Old Ranking:(rev.1)
1. Linux Mint
2. Ubuntu
3. Zorin OS
4. Pinguy OS
5. joli OS

There are plenty of Linux Distros out there but there's only very few that is truly for beginners. So I have picked 5 distros that suit the category. You might be curious about the factors that I considered when picking the Top 5. Well, out of the box support is very important in picking beginner distros. Other factors include: User friendly UI, easy installation and great online support. The Distros below are well-known for excelling in those areas.

1. Linux Mint 12


Linux Mint is known as the second most popular linux distribution simply because of its user friendliness. It comes with loads of software carefully picked by the team, media codecs and drivers. The distro works so well out of the box you will not be spending any time trouble shooting. The Distro always focuses on what is best for its users and provides what the mainstream linux users demand. For example: Linux Mint 11 was released with the classic Gnome 2.32 interface because Gnome 3 and Unity posed stability issues. Linux mint is based on Canonical's Ubuntu. Even though Mint is a polished Distro its default wall paper and artwork collection is not very impressive.

EDIT: Linux Mint 12 was released in November 2011.

http://www.linuxmint.com/


2. Pinguy OS

Pinguy OS is an Ubuntu based distribution that comes with A LOT of software preinstalled. It is great for users who want to explore the extensive software that Linux has to offer. It is also very convenient because it includes almost all the software that a user may require. Pinguy OS is a fairly new distro but it is gaining popularity quickly. Pinguy OS includes a Dock by default and the overall look of the desktop leans toward OS X.

http://pinguy-os.sourceforge.net/

Pinguy OS 11.04 review


3. Ubuntu 11.10

Ubuntu is the #1 and the most popular distro out there. Even though Linux Mint appeals more to new users Ubuntu has a rigorous release cycle and tends to have more features implemented in each release. Ubuntu does not come with a load of software and codecs pre installed like Linux Mint. So new users may have trouble playing certain media formats and may require a few command line installations but due to the excellent community support they can be sorted out within minutes. Unlike Mint (speaking of Linux Mint 10 and earlier) Ubuntu comes with excellent wall papers and artwork.

http://www.ubuntu.com/

Ubuntu 11.04 review (unity)


2. Zorin OS

Zorin OS is optimized for users who are transitioning From windows. It looks quite similar to Windows 7 and comes with "zorin look changer" that can make your desktop look similar to older Windows versions and Mac OS X. Zorin OS also offers four premium versions (Ultimate, Business, Multimedia, Gaming) which are available upon donating. There is also a free version that does not come with as much software preinstalled.

http://zorin-os.com/

5. Joli OS

Joli OS is a one of a kind distro and it is a very interesting one at that. Its interface is built from HTML5 and installing apps is a piece of cake. Joli OS is a cloud based OS that encourages the use of Cloud applications. You can browse your application launcher from any computer using the web browser so you can access your cloud apps even if you don't have the machine that has Joli OS installed. Its interface is very interesting and appeals to a lot of new users.

http://www.jolicloud.com/
Category: Vista and 7 Tips and Tricks! | Views: 709 | Added by: Adamsummer | Date: 2012-04-01 | Comments (0)

Fixing the "BOOTMGR is missing" error isn't too hard; here's how.

The day before yesterday I was testing out a program with several system utilities built in. One of its components left my computer in a bit of a mess – no icons anywhere and other assorted woes. I had set a system restore point before I ran the program, so I thought I’d do a system restore. System restore gave me a message that it couldn’t restore my files. I decided to restore a disc image I had made a short while back. When I booted up the computer I got a message:
BOOTMGR is missing
Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart
I stared at it the white letters on the black background for a few minutes, while the cursor blinked back at me. After some searching (on another computer) I had some solutions.
Barring any hardware errors, here’s how to fix that error:

  • Insert your Windows Vista or Windows 7 disk into your DVD player and restart your computer.
  • The next screen you see should have the Language, Time and Currency and Keyboard boxes.
  • In the lower left side there are two options: "What to know before installing Windows” and "Repair your computer.”
  • Click on "Repair your computer”
  • Windows will then try to find the installation directory for Vista or Windows 7, depending on what you have.
  • Next up is a screen with a box called Recovery Options. Click the first option, Startup Repair.
  • You’ll see a Startup Repair box with the message "Startup Repair is checking your system for problems…”
  • When it’s done, it will prompt you to reboot. If there is more than one problem it may reboot again to continue repairing.
  • At this point, you can remove the DVD, reboot and everything should be working.
Category: Vista and 7 Tips and Tricks! | Views: 1108 | Added by: Adamsummer | Date: 2012-04-01 | Comments (4)

Windows 7 is out. Ubuntu 9.10 is coming next week. Do you know what this means? It's time for a dual boot tutorial. We have learned how to install Windows 7. We have learned how to install Ubuntu.

Today, we will learn how to install Windows 7 AND Ubuntu, side by side on the same hard disk, in what is known as a dual boot configuration. In the Ubuntu installation guide, I have promised you we would do this, so here we are.

Teaser

What are we going to do?

We are going to do what a typical Windows user would do:

We will install Ubuntu on a computer that already has Windows 7 installed. We will have to accommodate space for our Ubuntu installation. To this end, we will use the GParted partitioning tool to resize (shrink) the Windows installation and create new partitions for Ubuntu.

After Ubuntu is installed, we will have to deal with an error - a typical case of unbootable Windows, a common problem that can occur when the Windows installation is changed. We will learn how to deal with this problem simply and efficiently using the built-in tools, fixing the Windows boot issue. In the end, we will have the two operating systems installed side by side in a dual boot configuration, both working happily.

This tutorial is critical for any Windows user considering running Linux alongside his/her installation. Not only will it teach the user how to interpret the hard disk layout and change it safely and smartly, it will also expose the user to a seemingly catastrophic boot failure, which we will solve. This exercise in dual-booting is as real as it can get.

Follow me.

Preliminary reading

To be able to fully enjoy this tutorial and follow all its minute details, you must invest some time in reading older material, on which this guide is based. Lots of technical lingo in this tutorial references to detailed, step-by-step instructions presented in the dedicated Windows 7 and Ubuntu installation guides, as well as additional tutorials.

Please do not skip this section. While you can use this guide without any external help, you will greatly benefit from studying the other articles. They will teach you the vital, fundamental basics in operating system installations, disk management and boot loading procedure.

Windows 7 installation guide

Ubuntu installation guide

GParted partitioning software - Full tutorial

GRUB bootloader - Full tutorial

Dual booting - Windows & Linux (based on Windows XP & Kubuntu)

Now, let us begin.

Scenario: Windows 7 is installed

This is the classic case. A Windows user, who has already installed Windows on his/her machine would like to try Linux. The user has heard of Ubuntu, which comes as no surprise, since it is the most popular Linux distribution available. The user downloads the Ubuntu live CD image, burns it to CD - and the fun begins.

Things to consider before trying Linux

Windows users need to consider carefully the pros and cons of testing a new operating system on their hardware. Please go through the following list and see if any of the issues mentioned might be of concern for you.

There might be hardware issues

Linux distributions have good hardware support in general, but there's no such thing as perfect. You may be the unlucky person whose hardware is incompatible with this or that edition of this or that Linux distribution. This can cause problems in getting the operating system to boot or you might have to deal with missing drivers after the installation.

The same holds true for Windows, but Windows usually comes preinstalled and you get a load of drivers when you buy a new computer. Keep this in mind before venturing into uncharted territories.

Windows and Linux are different

Windows users have a notion of how things work based on their former experience with computers, mostly revolving around one or more Windows releases. The Linux operating system is different. Mastering it takes time and patience. Do not expect to become experts overnight or be able to solve all your problems early on. At all times, you must remember that the two operating systems are different, they behave and act differently.

Data loss

Whenever you're about to change the existing installation, there's a risk of data loss, regardless of which operating system you're about to install. It is important to make sure you have your critical data backed up to external media. You should also verify that your backups are intact and that they can be restored.

Therefore, to install Windows and Linux together, you need to be confident your data is safely backed up and you need to understand that there might be hardware issues with your installation. Likewise, the methodology to solving the problems will differ from you're used to in Windows. As long as you keep these things in mind, your dual-boot experience will be a pleasant one.

Boot into Ubuntu live CD session

Very fortunately, Ubuntu (as many other Linux distros) comes as a bootable live CD. This means you can boot Ubuntu and test the hardware compatibility, without making any changes to your existing installations on the hard disk. This is an excellent feature that lets you play with the operating system, get the first impression, check different applications, and make sure all your hardware is properly detected.

This is what we will do. Boot into live CD, make sure everything works, then proceed with the installation. Following the instructions in the Ubuntu installation guide should have you logged into the Ubuntu live session in the matter of minutes:

Live session

Make sure your wired and Wireless network adapters are functioning, make sure your Bluetooth, Web camera, sound card, and possibly the graphics card all work as expected. This is the first step to ensuring smooth and painless installation and post-install experience. If you need guidance how to test all these, please refer to any one of my Linux distro reviews, including Ubuntu 8.10 and Ubuntu 9.04 in particular. Once you're sure everything is ready, you can begin the installation.

Truth to be told, you should NOT start the installation immediately, but we will do this anyway. I want to show you how an average user might act and follow his/her train of thought.

Please note, it is okay to start the installation, but there is an ever better and smarter way to approach the task. We will soon learn why and how. For now, let's double-click on the Install button.

This will begin the Ubuntu installation.

Begin install

Prepare Disk Space (Partitioning)

The most important step of the installation is Step 4: Prepare Disk Space. In technical terms, this is called partitioning.

Partitioning

Let us first examine the current situation:

Windows 7 is installed

Ubuntu wisely informs you that This computer has Windows Vista (loader) on it. Good. This means that Ubuntu recognizes the existing installation.

Do not be confused about the Windows Vista terminology. Windows Vista and Windows 7 use the same bootloader, hence the "erroneous" notation. This will definitely change in the coming version of Ubuntu.

Take a look at the existing layout. There's a small, 100MB Windows system partition present and another 13.6GB partition in use, plus some free space. If you recall the Windows 7 installation, these are exactly the partitions we created, both primary!

Zoomed

We now know that we should not touch or alert the small Windows system partition, but we might be able to resize (shrink) the big NTFS partition in order to accommodate more space for Ubuntu. So far so good.

Let's see what else the installer offers us:

The default installation choice is to install Windows and Ubuntu side by side. Good. This is what we want. Ubuntu even suggests its own recommended layout.

While it loo ... Read more »

Category: Vista and 7 Tips and Tricks! | Views: 1080 | Added by: Adamsummer | Date: 2012-04-01 | Comments (0)

Windows 7 provides several options for conserving power when you are not using your PC. These options include Sleep, Hibernate, and Hybrid Sleep and are very useful if you are using a laptop. Here’s the difference between them.

Note: this article is meant primarily for beginners. Obviously ubergeeky readers will already know the difference between power modes.

Sleep Mode

Sleep mode is a power-saving state that is similar to pausing a DVD movie. All actions on the computer are stopped and any open documents and applications are put in memory. You can quickly resume normal, full-power operation within a few seconds. Sleep mode is basically the same thing as "Standby” mode.

The Sleep mode is useful if you want to stop working for a short period of time. The computer doesn’t use much power in Sleep mode.

Hibernate

The Hibernate mode saves your open documents and running applications to your hard disk and shuts down the computer, which means once your computer is in Hibernate mode, it uses zero power. Once the computer is powered back on, it will resume everything where you left off.

Use this mode if you won’t be using the laptop for an extended period of time, and you don’t want to close your documents.

Hybrid Sleep

The Hybrid Sleep mode is a combination of the Sleep and Hibernate modes meant for desktop computers. It puts any open documents and applications both in memory and on your hard disk, and then puts your computer into a low-power state, allowing you to quickly wake the computer and resume your work. The Hybrid Sleep mode is enabled by default in Windows on desktop computers and disabled on laptops. When enabled, it automatically puts your computer into Hybrid Sleep mode when you put it into Sleep mode.

Hybrid Sleep mode is useful for desktop computers in case of a power outage. When power resumes, Windows can restore your work from the hard disk, if the memory is not accessible.

Where are the options?

The Sleep and Hibernate options are accessed using the arrow button next to the Shut down button on the Start menu.

If you don’t see the Sleep option or the Hibernate option, it may be for one of the following reasons:

  • Your video card may not support the Sleep mode. Refer to the documentation for your video card. You can also update the driver.
  • If you don’t have administrative access on the computer, you may have to refer to the administrator to change the option.
  • The power-saving modes in Windows are turned on and off in your computer’s BIOS (basic input/output system). To turn on these modes, restart your computer and then enter the BIOS setup program. The key for accessing BIOS differs for each computer manufacturer. Instructions for accessing BIOS generally displays on the screen as the computer boots. For more information, see your computer’s documentation or check the website for your computer’s manufacturer.
  • If you don’t see the Hibernate option, the Hybrid Sleep option is mostly likely enabled. We will explain how to enable and disable the Hybrid Sleep mode later in this article.

How Do I Wake Up the Computer?

Most computers can be woken up by pressing the power button. However, every computer is different. You might need to press a key on the keyboard, click a mouse button, or lift the laptop’s lid. Refer to your computer’s documentation or the manufacturer’s website for information about waking it from a power-saving state.

How to Enable and Disable the Hybrid Sleep Option

To enable or disable the Hybrid Sleep Option, click Control Panel on the Start menu.

Click Power Options in the Control Panel window.

NOTE: If Power Options is not available, select Large icons or Small icons from the View by drop-down list in the upper, right corner of the Control Panel window. In the Category view, you can also click System and Security and then click the Power Options heading.

On the Select a power plan screen, click the Change plan settings link next to the currently selected power plan.

NOTE: You can change the Hybrid Sleep option for either one or both of the power plans. The steps are the same for both.

On the Change settings for the plan screen, click the Change advanced power settings link.

On the Power Options dialog box, click the Change settings that are currently unavailable link.

Click the plus sign next to Sleep to expand the options, if they are not already expanded. Click the plus sign next to Allow hybrid sleep. Select Off from one or both of the drop-down lists under the Allow hybrid sleep heading.

NOTE: You can also double-click on a heading to expand it.

By default, Windows requires a password to access the computer when you wake it up from a power-saving state. You can use the Power Options dialog box to turn this off. The first heading in the list box is the name of the power plan chosen in the drop-down list above the list box. Click the plus sign to expand the heading and select Off from one or both of the drop-down lists under the heading.

Click OK to save your changes and then click the X button in the upper, right corner of the Control Panel window to close it.

How to Prevent Your Computer from Automatically Sleeping or Hibernating

However, if you are using a battery-powered laptop, be careful when turning off the sleep or hibernate mode. If the battery dies when you’re in the middle of working on the computer, you can lose data.

You can also change the amount of time before your computer goes into sleep or hibernate mode. Here’s how to do this.

Access Power Options in the Control Panel, and click the Change plan settings link next to the currently selected power plan on the Select a power plan screen, as we described earlier in this article.

On the Change settings for the plan screen, click the Change advanced power settings link.

Doubl ... Read more »

Category: Vista and 7 Tips and Tricks! | Views: 956 | Added by: Adamsummer | Date: 2012-04-01 | Comments (2)

NOTE: This article doesn’t work anymore. Please refer to this updated article instead forusing the windows key as start in ubuntu.

Ubuntu has a dropdown menu at the top of the screen to launch applications, which is very similar to the way Windows has the start menu at the bottom of the screen. If you are a windows user new to Ubuntu, you may prefer to have the windows key launch the applications menu. Thankfully this is an easy thing to do in Ubuntu.

Go to the System \ Preferences \ Keyboard Shortcuts menu item:

Scroll down till you see the "Show the panel menu” item. Click in the Shortcut column, and when it changes to "New accelerator…”, hit the Windows Key. Click the close button. You’re done!

Now when you hit the windows key, the application menu will pop up. If you hit the right arrow key, you can go to the Places or System menu as well.

Category: Vista and 7 Tips and Tricks! | Views: 864 | Added by: Adamsummer | Date: 2012-04-01 | Comments (3)

Ubuntu has pretty good theming system, visual effects, and eye-candy stuff, but you may love the elegance of Windows 7 Aero class, transparency, or the Start Menu. Today we’ll show you how to transform Ubuntu to look like Windows 7.

Of course, it won’t be an exact match, but it’s close enough that at first glance a lot of people would think it’s Windows 7. Keep reading to see how to do this.

Installing the Win7 Theme

Let’s start by entering some commands—just open up a terminal window and enter this:

cd ~/

sudo wget http://web.lib.sun.ac.za/ubuntu/files/help/theme/gnome/win7-setup.sh

sudo chmod 0755 ~/win7-setup.sh

~/win7-setup.sh

This will download a script file that will be used later to tell your computer what files to download to complete the Win7 theme packages install.  Once finished, a window will tell you that the installation will start now so just press OK.

Another window will pop up asking if you want to continue, answer yes for that window too. Now the terminal will begin downloading and installing the theme.  It may take some time depending on your Internet speed. After that, a window like this will appear:

Press OK, then back in the terminal enter:

setup-win7-theme

This command will setup Win7 theme and your computer will start transforming into windows style immediately. Wait for a few seconds and you will see a window asking you to logout so logout and log in again and this is what you will see:

 

Now your Ubuntu looks almost exactly like Windows. Congratulations! Now you have WinBuntu! You can even right-click the start button and choose "properties” to customize the start menu.

If you want, you can install Internet Explorer-like themes for Firefox. You can also use Windows 7 wallpaper for you desktop to give it a complete feel of Windows 7. The download links are down at the end of the article.

Uninstalling the Win7 Theme

During the setup of Win7 theme script, a backup of the previous Gnome settings got saved in your home folder, so if you ever get bored of this theme, you can uninstall it and rollback to previous Gnome state. The only downside though, is that there is no automatic uninstallation.

It’s not hard to do the uninstallation. Open your home folder there should be a file named "win7-uninstall.tar.gz”, open it with your archive manager and you’ll find your home folder, double-click it and you’ll see your username, double-click it too. There should be a ".gconf” file, extract that file to your home folder.

Logout and log back in, that’s it. Your theme is back to normal gnome as if nothing has happened. Cool, isn’t it?

Forcefully uninstalling

In some cases when you try uninstalling the theme it won’t uninstall completely, leaving some Windows 7 icons or desktop wallpaper. In cases like this, you’ll have to remove the theme by deleting it’s files manually but don’t worry, it is easier than you think. Just open up a terminal window and type the following command followed by the enter key.

rm -rf .gnome .gnome2 .gconf .gconfd .metacity

NOTE: This will restore your gnome appearance setting back to the default like when you first installed Ubuntu.

Category: Vista and 7 Tips and Tricks! | Views: 1160 | Added by: Adamsummer | Date: 2012-04-01 | Comments (2)

Adobe Flash Professional CS5.5+Keygen Full [Mediafire]

Click the image to open in full size.

Adobe Flash Professional CS5.5

Download size1.2 GB  , 6 part
Click the image to open in full size.
Downloads :

[ part1 ]200MB

[ part2 ]200MB

[ part3 ]200MB

[ part4 ]200MB

[ part5 ]200MB

[ part6 ]50.13MB


Category: Vista and 7 Tips and Tricks! | Views: 584 | Added by: Adamsummer | Date: 2012-04-01 | Comments (0)

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