Category Archives: Computers

Use Free Google Web Fonts

Google Web Fonts is the best way to add amazing new free fonts to your site. Google web fonts are web safe fonts, which can be added to any site by adding a few simple lines of code to your html.

Enthused by the new font technology and with the intention to improve our web design fonts,  we tested out the Google web fonts. And it was much easier than I thought and was compatible with most web browsers.

Free Google Web Fonts

I decided to change the fonts of post titles on our front page and single pages. So we browsed across Google Web Fonts gallery and decided to chose Droid Serif, which incidently was the most popular serif font in the font directory (You can sort fonts by various filters).

google fonts

So I clicked on the Droid Serif font and decided to “Use the Font” and they gave me the code to use. This is the code to add to the head tags.
<link href='http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Droid+Serif' rel='stylesheet' type='text/css'>

And this is how to modify the font family tag in CSS stylesheet. (Note the fall back font is Arial or any other serif font just in case the browser is unable to render the new Google web font.)
h1 { font-family: 'Droid Serif', arial, serif; }

So I just inserted the code between the <head> tags and modified the CSS and you can see the new font live on the title of this post and all title posts on the main page (as we added it to h2, h3, h4 tags also).

Try Google web fonts, as there are some really amazing web fonts out there and amaze your readers. You can add as many free web fonts as you like. Which is your favorite Google web font?

 

If your computer runs slow, this article is for you

In this article, I hope to compile a complete list of all the different methods and tricks that can be used to spped up your work stations.There are probably a lot of great tweaks and performance hacks that I’ve missed here, so feel free to chime in with comments! Enjoy!

1. Defragment your computer hard disk using free tools like SmartDefrag.

2. You should also defragment your Windows pagefile and registry.

3. Clean up hard drive disk space being taken up by temporary files, the recycle bin, hibernation and more. You can also use a tool like TreeSize to determine what is taking up space on your hard drive.

4. Load up Windows faster by using Startup Delayer, a free program that will speed up the boot time of Windows by delaying the startup of programs.

5. Speaking of startup programs, many of them are useless and can be turned off. Use the MSCONFIG utility to disable startup programs.

6. By default, the size of the paging file is controlled by Windows, which can cause defragmentation. Also, the paging file should be on a different hard drive or partition than the boot partition. Read here on the rules for best paging file performance.

7. In Windows XP and Vista, the Windows Search indexing service is turned on for all local hard drives. Turning off indexing is a simple way to increase performance.

8. If you don’t care about all the fancy visual effects in Windows, you can turn them off by going to Performance Options.

9. You can optimize the Windows boot time using a free program called Bootvis from Microsoft.

10. Clean your registry by removing broken shortcuts, missing shared DLLs, invalid paths, invalid installer references and more. Read about the 10 best and free registry cleaners.

11. One of the main reasons why PC’s are slow is because of spyware. There are many programs to remove spyware including Ad-Aware, Giant Antispyware, SUPERAntiSpyware, and more.

12. If you have a deeper spyware infection that is very hard to remove, you can use HijackThis to remove spyware.

13. Remove unwanted pre-installed software (aka junk software) from your new PC using PC Decrapifier.

14. Disable unnecessary Windows services, settings, and programs that slow down your computer.

15. Tweak Windows XP and tweak Windows Vista settings using free programs

16. Disable UAC (User Account Control) in Windows Vista

17. Tweak your mouse settings so that you can copy and paste faster, scroll faster, navigate quickly while browsing and more. Read here to learn how to tweak your mouse.

18. Delete temporary and unused files on your computer using a free program like CCleaner. It can also fix issues with your registry.

19. Delete your Internet browsing history, temporary Internet files, cookies to free up disk space.

20. Clean out the Windows prefetch folder to improve performance.

21. Disable the XP boot logo to speed up Windows boot time.

22. Reduce the number of fonts that your computer has to load up on startup.

23. Force Windows to unload DLLs from memory to free up RAM.

24. Run DOS programs in separate memory spaces for better performance.

25. Turn off system restore only if you regularly backup your Windows machine using third party software.

26. Move or change the location of your My Documents folder so that it is on a separate partition or hard drive.

27. Turn off default disk performance monitors on Windows XP to increase performance.

28. Speed up boot time by disabling unused ports on your Windows machine.

29. Use Process Lasso to speed up your computer by allowing it to make sure that no one process can completely overtake the CPU.

30. Make icons appear faster while browsing in My Computer by disabling search for network files and printers.

31. Speed up browsing of pictures and videos in Windows Vista by disabling the Vista thumbnails cache.

32. Edit the right-click context menu in Windows XP and Vista and remove unnecessary items to increase display speed.

33. Use the Windows Performance Toolkit and the trace logs to speed up Windows boot time.

34. Speed up your Internet browsing by using an external DNS server such as OpenDNS.

35. Improve Vista performance by using ReadyBoost, a new feature whereby Vista can use the free space on your USB drive as a caching mechanism.

36. If you have a slow Internet connection, you can browse web pages faster using a service called Finch, which converts it into simple text.

37. Use Vista Services Optimizer to disable unnecessary services in Vista safely.

38. Also, check out my list of web accelerators, which are programs that try to prefetch and cache the sites you are going to visit.

39. Speed up Mozilla Firefox by tweaking the configuration settings and by installing an add-on called FasterFox.

40. Learn how to build your own computer with the fastest parts and best hardware.

41. Use a program called TeraCopy to speed up file copying in Windows XP and Vista.

42. Disable automatic Last Access Timestamp to speed up Windows XP.

43. Speed up the Start Menu in Vista by hacking the MenuShowDelay key in the registry.

44. Increase the FileSystem memory cache in Vista to utilize a system with a large amount of RAM.

45. Install more RAM if you are running XP with less than 512 MB or Vista with less than 1 GB of RAM.

46. Shut down XP faster by reducing the wait time to kill hung applications.

47. Make sure that you have selected “Adjust for best performance” on the Performance tab in System Properties.

48. If you are reinstalling Windows, make sure that you partition your hard drives correctly to maximize performance.

49. Use Altiris software virtualization to install all of your programs into a virtual layer that does not affect the registry or system files.

50. Create and install virtual machines for free and install junk program, games, etc into the virtual machines instead of the host operating system. Check out Sun openxVM.

51. Do not clear your paging file during shutdown unless it is needed for security purposes. Clearing the paging file slows down shutdown.

52. If your XP or Vista computer is not using NFTS, make sure you convert your FAT disk to the NTFS file system.

53. Update all of your drivers in Windows, including chipset and motherboard drivers to their latest versions.

54. Every once in a while run the built-in Windows Disk Cleanup utility.

55. Enable DMA mode in Windows XP for IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers in Device Manager.

56. Remove unnecessary or old programs from the Add/Remove dialog of the Control Panel.

57. Use a program click memtest86 or Prime95 to check for bad memory on your PC.

58. Determine your BIOS version and check the manufactures website to see if you need to update your BIOS.

59. Every once in a while, clean your mouse, keyboard and computer fans of dust and other buildup.

60. Replace a slow hard drive with a faster 7200 RPM drive, SATA drive, or SAS drive.

61. Changing from Master/Slave to Cable Select on your hard drive configuration can significantly decrease your boot time.

62. Perform a virus scan on your computer regularly. If you don’t want to install virus protection, use some of the free online virus scanners.

63. Remove extra toolbars from your Windows taskbar and from your Internet browser.

64. Disable the Windows Vista Sidebar if you’re not really using it for anything important. All those gadgets take up memory and processing power.

65. If you have a SATA drive and you’re running Windows Vista, you can speed up your PC by enabling the advanced write caching features.

66. Learn how to use keyboard shortcuts for Windows, Microsoft Word, Outlook, or create your own keyboard shortcuts.

67. Turn off the Aero visual effects in Windows Vista to increase computer performance.

68. If you are technically savvy and don’t mind taking a few risks, you can try to overclock your processor.

69. Speed up the Send To menu in Explorer by typing “sendto” in the Run dialog box and deleting unnecessary items.

70. Make sure to download all the latest Windows Updates, Service Packs, and hot fixes as they “normally” help your computer work better.

71. Make sure that there are no bad sectors or other errors on your hard drive by using the ScanDisk orchkdsk utility.

72. If you are not using some of the hardware on your computer, i.e. floppy drive, CD-ROM drive, USB ports, IR ports, Firewire, etc, then go into your BIOS and disable them so that they do not use any power and do not have to be loaded during boot up.

73. If you have never used the Recent Documents feature in Windows, then disable it completely as a long list can affect PC performance.

74. One basic tweak that can help in performance is to disable error reporting in Windows XP

75. If you don’t care about a pretty interface, you should use the Windows Classic theme under Display Properties.

76. Disable short filenames if you are using NTFS by running the following command: fsutil behavior set disable8dot3 1. It will speed up the file creation process.

77. If you have lots of files in a single folder, it can slow down Explorer. It’s best to create multiple folders and spread out the files between the folders.

78. If you have files that are generally large, you might want to consider increasing the cluster size on NTFS to 16K or even 32K instead of 4K. This will help speed up opening of files.

79. If you have more than one disk in your PC, you can increase performance by moving your paging file to the second drive and formatting the volume using FAT32 instead of NTFS.

80. Turn off unnecessary features in Vista by going to Control Panel, choosing Uninstall a program, and then clicking on Turn Windows features on and off. You can turn off Remote Differential Compression, Tablet PC components, DFS replication service, Windows Fax & Scan, Windows Meeting Space, and lots more.

81. Install a free or commercial anti-virus program to help protect against viruses, etc. Make sure to use an anti-virus program that does not hog up all of your computer resources.

82. Completely uninstall programs and applications using a program like Revo Uninstaller. It will get rid of remnants left behind by normal uninstalls.

83. If you know what you are doing, you can install several hard drives into your machine and set them up in RAID 0, RAID 5, or other RAID configurations.

84. If you are using USB 1.0 ports, upgrade to 2.0. If you have a Firewire port, try to use that instead of a USB port since Firewire is faster than USB right now.

85. Remove the drivers for all old devices that may be hidden in Device Manager that you no longer use.

86. A more extreme option is to choose a faster operating system. If you find Vista to be slow, go with Windows XP. Switching to Mac or Linux is also an option.

87. One of the easiest ways to speed up your PC is to simply reformat it. Of course, you want to backup your data, but it is the best way to get your computer back to peak performance.

88. Speed up Internet browsing in IE by increasing the number of max connections per server in the registry.

89. If you use uTorrent to download torrents, you can increase the download speeds by tweaking the settings.

90. If you have a desktop background, make sure it’s a small and simple bitmap image rather than a fancy picture off the Internet. The best is to find a really small texture and to tile it.

91. For the Virtual Memory setting in Windows (right-click on My Computer, Properties, Advanced, Performance Settings, Advanced, Virtual Memory), make sure the MIN and MAX are both the same number.

92. If you search on Google a lot or Wikipedia, you can do it much faster on Vista by adding them to the Vista Start Menu Instant Search box.

93. If you have a custom built computer or a PC that was previously used, make sure to check the BIOS for optimal settings such as enabled CPU caches, correctly set IDE/SATA data transfer modes, memory timings, etc. You can also enable Fast/Quick boot if you have that option.

94. If you have a SCSI drive, make sure the write cache is enabled. You can do so by opening the properties of the SCSI drive in Windows.

95. If you have a machine with an older network card, make sure to enable the onboard processor for the network card, which will offload tasks from the CPU.

96. If you are using Windows Vista, you can disable the Welcome Center splash screen that always pops up.

97. If you already have anti-spyware software installed, turn off Windows Defender protection.

98. If you are running a 32-bit version of Windows and have 4GB of RAM or more, you can force Windows to see and use all of the RAM by enabling PAE.

99. Buy a new computer!!! Pretty easy eh?

I’m sure I have missed out on lots of performance tweaks, tips, hacks, etc, so feel free to post comments to add to the list! Enjoy!

Control your Blackberry more efficiently

The Blackberry Master Control Program is a free Windows utility that gives you fine levels of control over your Blackberry, and consolidates the functionality of multiple utilities into one application. It is immensely useful for Blackberry users, but you should also use it with caution, because if it is used incorrectly, it could result in data loss.

On the Java Loader window (Java icon), you can perform many basic Blackberry options without having to load the Blackberry Desktop or manipulate the device by hand. You can do the following:

  • Turn the Radio on and off (please note that this turns on/off the cellular radio and wi-fi on the device).
  • Set Time
  • Recover Memory (flash memory)
  • Factory Reset
  • Wipe the Handheld – You can wipe the Applications, the Filesystem or both (Complete Wipe)
  • Launch the Command Prompt – You can run the Javaloader application from the command prompt and perform additional functions.

Java Loader

On the Information screen, you can see device logs and information, which makes it much easier to pull up log information when you are troubleshooting issues with the device. Frequently application manufacturers and Blackberry support (from RIM or from the carrier) will ask you to provide information from your device. This is the easy way to get this information.

Information

You can use the Screen Capture functionality to grab screenshots of the device. You can even set it to grab screenshots at intervals, so you can capture screenshots of a series of activities on the device. You can choose the size of the screenshot depending on what Blackberry model you have.

From the Load Modules screen, you can install modules on the device that you have downloaded to the PC. From the Erase Modules screen, you can get a full list of all of the modules on your device, and you can erase them at will. Please note that if you don’t erase all of the components of a module, it can cause issues on the device.

Erase Modules

From the Backup and Restore screen, you can backup modules on your device and restore them. If you need to reinstall your Blackberry’s OS, this step can save you a lot of time, because you can backup the modules separately, do a clean install of the operating system (which is usually far less problematic), and restore the applications separately after the upgrade is done.

bmcp_backup_restore

The Operating System Management screen will show you which device operating systems you currently have installed on your machine, and will allow you to to install your choice of operating system. The application also provides links to sites where you can find operating systems from other carriers, and leaked operating system upgrades.

The Area 51 screen should be used with extreme caution, because it allows you to send javaloader commands directly to the device.

The Blackberry Master Control Program interface also conveniently provides links to the Desktop Manager, Application Loader, and Blackberry Media Sync. This is truly the Swiss army knife of Blackberry configuration applications, but it is definitely not recommended for novices.

Post from:
Blackberry Master Control Program

Purchasing IPad in India

Want to buy Apple iPad in India? ICICI bank customers can buy cheap iPad in India via a partnership with GadgetGuru right now via an ongoing promotion.

Buy Apple iPad in India

I was browsing my ICICI account when this banner flashed up and directed me this promotional deal about iPad sale in India.

buy apple ipad india

The deal says you can buy iPad in India with free shipping anywhere in India

  • Apple iPad 16 GB  wifi  – Rs. 34999
  • Apple iPad 32 GB  wifi –  Rs. 39999
  • Apple iPad 16 GB  wifi –  Rs. 46999

The deal also include free iPad screen guard worth Rs. 350 and an free original apple case worth Rs 55oo!

Ipad is still not officially available at Apple stores in India. Of course you can buy iPad from Ebay India for similar pricing, but I am not comfortable sending off Rs 35000 to a stranger on Ebay. This offer is valid for ICICI bank customers, who can pay via ICICI credit cards / debit cards or net banking and I feel more confident about this deal due to the reliability of  ICICI brand behind the deal.

I checked GadgetGuru sells iPad directly, for  slightly higher price (some added tax), but the free iPad case and free iPad screenguard are not there. So the ICICI bank clients can grab the better and more reliable deal with useful free ipad accessories. Hurry –  Offer lasts December 31, 2010.

Original article: How to Buy Apple iPad in India
Copyright 2010. Quick Online Tips. All Rights Reserved.

10 Ways to Dramatically Increase Productivity on Computers

Guest post by Sulakshan. How can you dramatically increase productivity on computers? Not having enough time is one of the biggest complaints of white collar employees and often leads lots of issues including work life imbalance.

It is entirely possible that your boss loads you with more work than what is humanly possible (in which case you should start working on your resume). But it is also possible that you are losing valuable time without even realizing the same. This post recommends 10 tips that will help you save time by ensuring

Increase Computer Productivity

1. Stop wasting too much time on your favorite sites

Everyone loves to read few websites (news, blogs, gossip etc) everyday and spend time on social networking sites. Many times this can become addictive and consume a lot of our time even without our realization. It’s important to read what we like but at the same time we should also honor time. Best way to do this is to install tools like LeechBlock (Add-on for Firefox) and StayFocused (Add-on for Chrome). These add-ons let you set up a list of “time-wasting” websites and force you to stop using them (by blocking them) after sometime (as setup by you). I have personally gained at least 30min or more everyday by using LeechBlock to block Techcrunch and Ycombinator after 15 minutes of usage.

2. Use a fast and clutter free OS and Browser

If you are software professional or a geek who spends most of his or her time in front of the computer, you need to get a good system. There is no point in having a slow computer bugged with virus or malwares which hangs often. If you are using Windows Vista, I would suggest you to downgrade to Windows XP or upgrade to Windows 7. Also uninstall all the unnecessary programs that you don’t need. Install a good light weight antivirus like Avast or Kaspersky or Microsoft Security Essentials and keep your system clean. Get a Linux machine, if you love it (without loving it too much). If you are still stuck with Internet Explorer, dump it. Move on to Google Chrome or Firefox (Chrome is better). It does not hang often and has an effective auto fill form feature which comes very handy.

3. Use a faster internet connection

As the internet connections become faster, webpages are becoming bulkier as well. A lot of time gets wasted while waiting for pages to load, especially if you are on a slow connection. The time for a single page may not look significant but it tends to add up over 100′s of pages. The worst thing about a slow connection is that it tends to break your concentration. Get a faster connection if your budget permits or else you can make your existing internet connection work faster by following simple suggestions like using OpenDNS, Anti-virus or a proper wireless router. You can refer to the following article on how to make internet connection faster.

4. Take a 5 min break after every 90 minutes

Human brain cannot concentrate for more than 90 minutes after which the attention span reduces (Source). It is important to take a 5 to 10 minute break after every 90 min. You can go have a 5 min walk or just stand up and stretch. It’s preferable if you can go out-door or stand (and stretch) near the window or in the balcony with the outside view to relax you eyes as well.

5. If you are using multiple emails then configure them on the same client

Many a times a person needs to monitor multiple emails for his personal and professional work. It is cumbersome and time consuming to open and track them in separate email services or client. It really helps if you can configure them in one email client (Thunderbird or Outlook) or in one Gmail account where you can use ‘Reply As’ feature to reply as any email id you want.

6. Become offline (or make your status as busy) in IM for 3 most productive hours

One of the biggest distractions is Instant Messenger. While it is one the easiest and most effective tool for quick communication in a collaborative workplace, it also is a big distraction. Pings (or IMs) become a frequent interruption in your work. It is best if you become offline or make your status as busy for 3 most productive hours of your day. This way you will be able to concentrate on your work for those 3 hours and finish of your major work for the day without any interruption. Slowly people around you will also realize that you are unavailable for those 3 hours daily and they will not mind you being offline (as far as you are available for the remaining part of your work day).

7. Use task list software.  Paper and Pen also works fine

It really helps to have your tasks listed somewhere so that you can keep closing them. At the same time you should also not go into too much of details. You task list software / tracking should be easy to use or follow. While pen and paper works fine, if you are computer professional and work on you system for the whole day, I would suggest that you can use Workflowy for your task list and Evernote for note taking. Both of these work really well and are very easy to use. They can make a marked improvement in your daily productivity.

8. Talk to people over Skype or phone instead of messaging

Instant messaging is good for very objective quick discussions or questions and response. But if you have to discuss about some topic or seek opinion IM can really eat up time as both sides have to write and read. In such scenario it is best to have a voice discussion. Use Skype for the same if possible or use your office phone for such discussions. You will realize that what takes 15 minutes on IM, can be done in no more than 5 minutes on phone or Skype.

9. Don’t keep checking you emails every 10 minutes:

If you have an urge to check you mailbox for new mails every 5 to 10 minutes, you are not alone. This is one of the biggest time guzzlers of your work day. I would suggest that you open your mailbox only once in an hour, check the mails and reply as required, quickly (should not spend more than 15 minutes on this) and close your mailbox. This way you might just end up saving around 30 minutes in a day.

10. Use RSS Feed Reader read daily blogs and online magazines

If you read lots of blogs and online magazines everyday for your interest or professional knowledge, you should use RSS Feed Reader like Google Reader (Online) or FeedDemon (Desktop Client). This pulls in all the stories from all your popular blogs and shows you the headlines you need. You can then skim through the headlines and decide what to read. This way you can quickly go over many more articles than what you would have read by visiting individual websites.

This is a guest post by Sulakshan who blogs at BinaryDay.

Original article: 10 Ways to Dramatically Increase Productivity on Computers

Would you like to test drive Google Chrome OS Notebooks

Would You Like to get invite to Test Drive a Google Chrome OS Notebook? Well a small pilot program is on and selected US residents can be lucky to get a hands on trial of the new Google Chrome Notebooks.

Google Chrome OS Pilot Program

I am getting a pop up alert for that each time I open a new tab in Google Chrome browser!

chrome notebook invite

So eagerly I clicked on the link to Apply Now. It directs me to the Test Drive a Chrome Notebook application.

Google is distributing a limited number of Chrome notebooks to test drive. So if you live in the United States, are at least 18 years old, and you could be part of the small Pilot program.

I just read the fine print for those selected in the Chrome OS Pilot Program

  • Google will collect anonymous browsing statistics and other usage data for tracking and analysis purposes
  • You agree to participate in all product feedback studies conducted by the Google Chrome OS team for the duration of the Pilot Program and agree to be opted in to the Chrome OS feedback group.
  • Google will only ship the device to a US-based address and cannot send this device to a P.O. Box or address outside of the US.
  • You agree to not sell or transfer the device to anyone else, unless under written instruction from Google to do so.
  • Replacement of broken devices is subject to Google’s review and Google may elect not to replace a non-functioning or broken device, at Google’s sole discretion. In the event that Google elects to replace a broken device, Google will cover all shipping and handling fees.
  • Google reserves the right to contact you about Chrome OS or related Google products by email, phone, post, or in-person upon submitting this application.

You can directly apply for the pilot program from the website also.

Cr-48 Chrome Notebook

The new Cr-48 Google Chrome OS Notebook boots in 10 seconds and resumes from sleep instantly. There’s built-in Wi-Fi and 3G, so you can stay connected everywhere, and a webcam for video chat. The vibrant 12-inch LCD display, full-size keyboard and oversized touchpad let you enjoy the web comfortably. Weighing 3.8 pounds with over eight hours of battery life, it is a winner.

But the best part is – All your apps, documents, and settings are stored safely in the cloud. So even if you lose your computer, you can just log into another Chrome notebook and get right back to work.

Original article: Get Invites to Test Drive Google Chrome OS Notebooks
Copyright 2010. Quick Online Tips. All Rights Reserved.