August 25th, 2010
Visual Task Switcher is an awesome application for easily accessing and even closing any running applications. Once installed, I recommend not setting Visual Task Switcher as your default home application as you will lose normal use of your Home button. A better method is to set it to be accessed by longpressing either the home or search button to bring up the thumbnails of running applications. It isnâ€™t limited to the small number of apps that Android will show by accessing Recent applications. You can swype the screen to the left or right to show any additional open applications if you have more than 9 running at a time. The paid version cost $1.99, but if you donâ€™t mind the ads, there is a free version available as well.
February 9th, 2008
The Nokia internet tablet is a handy little device to do a great deal of tasks when you’re on the go. By adding these seven applications, you can do even more.
Applications I’ve added to my internet tablet:
1. GPE-Calendar – a great little calendar app that helps me keep track of all my appointments. By also using Erminig, I can sync GPE-Calendar with my Google Calendar.
2. VNC Viewer – remote control software allowing you to view and interact with any computer running a VNC server.
3. Canola – This application turns your internet tablet into a mini media center for playing music, videos, podcasts, viewing photos, etc.
4. Maemo WordPy – a fully functional WordPress client for blogging.
5. Other Maemo Weather – Applet for your Home screen for displaying weather conditions.
6. Gnumeric Spreadsheet – GNOME spreadsheet app.
7. Pidgin – a multi-protocol IM client. Definitely needed if you chat with protocols unsupported by the native client.
October 2nd, 2007
If you like the functionality of Windows XP but long for some of the eye candy that Mac OS X offers, then the FlyakiteOSX transformation pack is something you should definitely take a look at.Â FlyakiteOSX works on Windows XP (both Home and Professional), Windows 2003, and Windows Media Center Edition (2003, 2004, and 2005).Â By utilizing such 3rd party applications as Y’z Shadow, WinRoll, and Docks, plus the Tiger Visual Style (all of which are included in the transformation pack), your XP machine will be “aquafied”.
First you’ll need to download FlyakiteOSX (Click on the Normal Edition link).Â Once the zip file has finished downloading, extract the contents and begin the installation by double-clicking on the executable.Â When the Setup Wizard appears, click the Next button.Â The next step is to choose what components you wish to install, it also provides the option to create a System Restore Point.Â To take full advantage of the transformation pack, check all of the checkboxes to get all of the eye candy goodness that these components provide.Â After you have selected the components, click the Install button.
Once the installation has completed, click the next button.Â You will be prompted to reboot your system.Â Make sure you have no other applications open, then click the finish button.Â Your computer will go through the reboot process.
When mine came back up, I was greeted with this (kind of odd seeing Mac OS X right under “Welcome to Windows”):
After I logged in I noticed that my desktop had gone from this:
A rather significant change!Â Here’s some other screenshots:
You can do some further customization by altering the settings and options of the 3rd party applications.Â By right-clicking the icons for WinRoll and Y’z Shadow (in the notification area next to your clock), you can access their preference and options windows.
You can also right-click on the Dock bar to change it’s options as well.
If you ever decide that you no longer wish to look Macish, simply uninstall the transformation pack and you’ll be back to the XP look in no time.
September 29th, 2007
If you are using Microsoft Outlook 2003 or 2007 as your email client, you are but a download and an install away from making it your Twitter client as well. TechHit.com, a maker of utilites and add-ons for Outlook, has produced OutTwit to perform your Twitter needs.
First, download the OutTwit Setup executable from TechHit.com. Install the add-on.
Now, open up Outlook and you will find a Twitter addition to your menu bar. To configure the settings, click the OutTwit button and select Options.
Input your Twitter user name and password in the designated textboxes. Then set how often you want to check for new Twitter messages. Next, select the folder that you want the Tweets delivered to (I recommend that you create a new folder that is to be strictly used for your incoming tweets). You can also assign an Outlook category to the tweets. Click OK when you have finished.
Once your Twitter messages start arriving, they will show up in the same fashion as incoming email messages:
Opening the messages will display something like this:
September 14th, 2007
If you have become bored with U3 or if the U3 Launchpad doesn’t work on your system, you can easily remove it. The first step you will want to take is to copy all of your files from your flash drive and put them in a safe place. When we remove the U3 Launchpad, we will also end up erasing the data on the drive itself.
After you have copied (and verified) the data from the flash drive, you will need to download the U3 Uninstall executable from the U3 site. Make sure to note the location that you are saving the file.
1. Connect your flash drive to your computer. Make sure that it is the only flash drive that is connected.
2. Run u3 uninstall.exe .
3. When the U3 LLC License Agreement appears, select the Accept radio button and click Next.
4. Check the I want to remove the U3 Launchpad and erase ALL data on the device checkbox and click Next.
5. The process for uninstalling the U3 Launchpad will begin.
6. Once the U3 Launchpad has been uninstalled, remove your flash drive and then reconnect it to your system.
Now copy the data you saved off of the drive originally back onto your drive. Now your drive is U3 free and ready to use.
When I was running Windows XP, I would use various applications for dealing with image files. I never really became too attached to any of the ones I found. When I moved to Vista, I decided to do some hunting to see what other applications were available. I came across a free piece of software that makes the mounting and unmounting of CD and DVD images (iso, ccd, dvd, img, udf, and bin) a piece of cake.
Download Virtual CloneDrive from Elaborate Bytes and install it on your Vista system. Once installed, start up the application to select the number of virtual drives that you want to have at your disposal. Under the Settings tab, use the Number of Drives dropdown and select the desired number of virtual drives you want to have.
Click OK and then go to computer to see the newly created drive(s):
Right-click the new virtual drive, go to Virtual CloneDrive, and select Mount.
Browse to the location of the CD or DVD image file and click OK. The image file will then can be accessed as if it were an actual CD or DVD.
August 9th, 2007
Almost every computer game out there requires that the CD or DVD be in the computer to play. This is one of the many steps that game developers use to prevent the pirating of the game. Unfortunately, this becomes quite inconvenient for the honest customer that has purchased the game. No-CD and No-DVD cracks are a workaround to this. While it is illegal to use the cracks for pirated games, it is perfectly legal to use them if you own the game.
Wikipedia defines a No-CD crack as a “a modified executable file or a special “byte patcher” program that removes built-in CD check mechanisms allowing the user to run computer software without having to insert their required CD-ROM.” It further states that “in addition to cracked executable files or byte patchers, CD protection can be thwarted by producing a mini image containing only enough of the software’s CD-ROM contents needed to bypass protection. This image can then be mounted with a disk image emulator such as Daemon Tools to trick the user’s computer into believing the disk image is the software’s physical CD-ROM and it is in the drive.” In simple terms, this means that once you install the game and load the No-CD crack, the CD or DVD is no longer required to be present to play the game.
I use these cracks for two simple reasons:
- I play games on my computer once in a great while. I use my drives for other functions and don’t want to go hunting for my game software every time I want to play a game.
- I have children. Instead of risking damage to the $50 game that I bought for one of them. By using the crack, I can keep the software safe from mishandling or being lost.
There are a couple of things to remember about No-CD and No-DVD cracks. The first is that it is extremely important to keep the original game executable on your computer. Never replace it with the crack, rename the original executable instead. I usually add the prefix orig_ to the executable so that I know which one it is. The second thing to remember is that these cracks are written for a specific version of the game. This means that if you want to apply an update to the game, you will need an updated crack (and the original game executable).
While you can Google for these cracks, one of the best places to start is GameCopyWorld. This site contains a large collection of No-CD and No-DVD cracks for a buttload of games. When you have downloaded the necessary crack, you will need to decompress it. Do not decompress it to your game installation file since this will overwrite the original files. Instead, decompress it to a new directory so that you can examine the contents. Open the game’s installation directory and rename any files that have the same name as those in the crack’s directory. Once you are sure that you have done this, copy the files from the crack directory to the game directory. After this is completed, you should be able to play the game without the CD or DVD. Now you can put the software away in a safe place.
When it comes time to update the game, you will need to go back to the game directory to do some file renaming. Using the renamed original files as a guide, rename all cracked files (I use a prefix of crack_) and then return the original files to their original filenames. Make sure that there is a new crack available for the update. If there is, download both the crack and the update. Install the update and then apply the new crack in the same manner as described above.
This is a great way to keep your gaming software safe while allowing you to play a game whenever you want without having to hunt down the necessary disc.
July 3rd, 2007
Found another little gem for my T-Mobile RAZR, EQO Mobile. This application allows you free IM on all major networks (AIM, Google Talk, MSN Messenger, ICQ, Yahoo, and Jabber).
While it does allow unlimited free calls to other online EQO Mobile users as well as free EQO Messaging to those members, I rely on the free IM, since it doesn’t matter if the party you are chatting with has EQO Mobile or not.
July 3rd, 2007
I use T-Mobile for my cellular service. For a few months, T-Mobile was allowing the Gmail App to be utilized on it’s tzones internet package. Long enough for me to become totally addicted to it. The Gmail App for accessing your Gmail on your cell phone is a super application. I guess too super, since T-Mobile is now blocking the ports that are required for the application to function. I don’t understand the decision, since I can tether my cell phone to my laptop for internet access, which would be a lot more traffic than just email. I could use my WAP browser, or better yet, my Opera Mini to access Gmail, but it just wasn’t the same. Then I came across flurry.
While it is by no means the Gmail App, it does fine in email access, but it does quite a bit more. It allows you to check multiple email accounts on your phone, imports contacts, acts as a RSS feed reader, sends pictures from your phone, and even can send you a text message when you get new mail. If you’re a T-Mobile user (and even if you’re not), it is definitely worth checking out.
December 19th, 2006
Microsoft has updated the Zune software and now it will run on Vista. Now all those who were ticked off about the software not running on Vista can calm down. I think MSFT did fine since the new OS hasn’t been released to the masses yet anyway. Still, I guess everybody needs something to complain about and Microsoft always seems to be a good target.
Go to http://www.zune.net and get the software.