Archive for February, 2009
Using the application requires nothing more than creating an account, logging in, and creating your tasks—which can be shared and discussed with other members of your team using the built-in collaboration features. Your tasks will be stored on the KonoLive servers, and can be accessed from more than one computer—although your data is also cached for offline access. The signup process automatically creates a Box.net account, or you can link to Google Docs for file sharing between team members—the Box.net integration isn’t optional, which is a little annoying—but otherwise it’s a very interesting idea worth a look for any team that needs better collaboration tools.
KonoLive is a free download, runs anywhere the Adobe AIR platform does. For a simpler AIR-based to-do application, check out previously mentioned MiniTask; alternately, you might be more interested in integrating Remember the Milk with your desktop using previously mentioned Remember the Task.
Here are couple free screensavers. I think the very cool, but when installing, be sure to uncheck any adware options.
Free Fire Screensaver sets your icons and windows ablaze. Watch as each item slowly catches fire and begins to smoke on your desktop. Crackling and popping sounds and a musical soundtrack complete the effect. Add your own MP3 to customize your desktop flare-up.
The Matrix Screen Saver is a longtime favorite for many users and continues to mesmerize with its now classic falling digital code. Wait a second, I think I just spotted myself typing this in the falling code. Maybe we are part of the Matrix! Somehow, I doubt Keanu can save us.
Imagine being on the autobahn with the accelerator down and then you realize that you are driving a wrecked car. The plight is not so uncommon on the information superhighway too.
Torrent users would attest to the fact that half of our time is spent looking for ‘healthy’ torrents and the other half trying to download (and a bit of upload too) at the maximum speed. The former is mandatory; the latter thankfully is within the realm of tweaking.
If you are the one who thinks that your torrent download speeds could do with a boost then keep reading. Below, you’ll find a few tips on how to speed up torrent download speed.
Your ISP is where it starts
Check the maximum download and upload speeds allowed by your ISP. Most ISP’s have specific bandwidths for both uploads and downloads. Obviously your torrent download speed won’t cross the cap set by the ISP. Go over to this article on Speed.io for broadband speed test and this one by Tina on ways to increase your connection speed. There are many other bandwidth testers like DSLReports which is included in the speed test within uTorrent.
Choosing the right BitTorrent client
Use the better clients out there like uTorrent, Vuze or the BitTorrent client itself. Wikipedia lists about 51 of them supporting the BitTorrent protocol. The choice of client used should always be updated to the latest version. The screenshots here depict uTorrent. The settings should be similarly configurable for other clients too. Mac users shuld also check our Transmission vs. uTorrent post
Go for healthy seeds and peers
A peer is any computer participating in the download and upload of a torrent file. A seed (or seeder) is anyone who has one complete copy of the file being shared across the torrent network. A leech (or a leecher) is the person who does not have the complete file yet but has joined the network to download it. A leecher becomes a seeder when he downloads the entire file and then shares it across the network.
For high torrent speeds, the best bet is in numbers. The greater the number of seeders, the healthier the torrent and the better the chance of higher speeds. The rule of thumb says to choose the torrent files with a high number of seeders and preferably lesser number of leechers i.e. a higher seed-leecher ratio.
Get through the firewall
Firewalls can block all incoming BitTorrent connections coming through. To ensure otherwise, a firewall should be manually configured to accept the connections and let it through the client. Windows XP has the Windows Firewall. Configure the firewall installed to accept the connections by checking the BitTorrent client on the allowed list i.e. Options – Preferences – Connection – check Add uTorrent to Windows Firewall. Also, check the Windows Firewall exception (if you keep it enabled) in your client too. Shutting down the firewall is not recommended as it leaves the computer open to attack.
Note: If the home computer is behind a router, it also should be configured through the feature called Port Range Forwarding to enable torrent traffic. The router documentation should have specific information on this.
Limit your upload rate
A peer to peer network is all about sharing alike, but an unlimited upload rate hits the download rate too. Using the speed tests, find out your maximum upload speed and then set your client’s upload rate (Global Upload Rate in uTorrent) to about 80% of your maximum upload speed. You can also try varying your upload speeds – keep it high initially and then gradually bring it down towards the middle of the download.
Note: Mind the speed units – it may be given in kilobits per second (kb/sec) or kilobytes per second (kB/sec). 1 kilobyte = 8 kilobit
Go to a different port
The default port for the BitTorrent protocol is any between port numbers 6881-6999. ISPs throttle traffic on these ports as BitTorrent sharing involves high bandwidth usage. It’s easy to configure a different port in your torrent client. Use some number above 10000 to get around ISPs and also avoid problems with other applications. By default, the uTorrent port is randomized each time it starts. Set a specific port by not enabling the Randomize Port setting.
Increase the number of Max Half Open TCP connections
This figure specifies how many connections a torrent client should attempt to establish simultaneously at any given time. Windows XP with Service Pack 2 (SP2) or newer, limits this to a default of 10 as a barrier against virus multiplication. But that’s a bummer for torrent speeds as torrents too need a large number of simultaneous connections.
A patch has been available for a while from LvlLord which modifies the TCPIP.sys file in Windows to allow a higher number of TCP connections.
After running the patch, you have to set the number of connections in your torrent client. For example, in uTorrent go to Options – Preferences – Advanced – net.max_halfopen. Set any number from 50 to 100. But see that net.max_halfopen is set lower than the value set in TCPIP.SYS. Always check if it is still patched because Windows updates sometimes overwrite it.
Experiment with Protocol Encryption
Some ISPs love to act like Big Brothers and constrict bandwidth for P2P protocols. Protocol Encryption in most of the torrent clients helps to override this bandwidth shaping. Enable outgoing protocol encryption and put a checkmark on Allow Incoming Legacy Connections.
With protocol encryption, ISPs find it difficult if not impossible to detect that the traffic is coming from BitTorrent. Experiment with enabled, disabled and forced options because you could be getting better speeds with encryption disabled. Non-encryption makes a torrent connection compatible with someone who is not using encryption but as a minus it makes the torrent detectable to an ISP with a bandwidth restricting policy.
Bandwidth and connections<
Your BitTorrent client’s settings options will let you enter figures for –
Global maximum number of connections gives the maximum number of connections that a BitTorrent client can make for any P2P exchange. Setting this too high does NOT mean higher speeds. Setting it too high would take up useless bandwidth and too low a figure would miss out on peers. For my 256kbps connection, I have a setting of 130.
Maximum number of connected peers per torrent gives the maximum number of peers that a BitTorrent client can connect to for any P2P exchange. Experiment by setting this number close to the available peers for a particular torrent. For my 256kbps connection, I have a default setting of 70.
Number of upload slots per torrent gives the maximum number of peers that a BitTorrent client will upload to for any P2P exchange. A low setting may affect downloads. For my 256kbps connection, I have a setting of 3.
uTorrent has a Speed Guide which handily calculates the figures for a particular connection.
Some common sense
Most BitTorrent clients allow us to view the individual files in a download. You can selectively disable the download of files you don’t think necessary.
Familiarize yourself with the customization settings of your particular client available in the Help files or at the website FAQs.
Some useful resources:
Live CDs (and DVDs) are versatile tools, allowing you to boot into an operating system without installing anything to your hard drives. Let’s take a closer look at the five most popular live CDs.
Earlier this week we asked you to tell us which live CD was your favorite. After tallying the votes we’re back to share the top five contenders. The following tools are unique compared to many of our software Hive Fives in that they are entirely independent of the main operating system installed on the computer. Live CDs load into the memory and allow you to use operating systems and accompanying tools without having to perform a permanent installation on the machine.
Knoppix is a Debian-based Linux distribution and one of the first Linux live CDs that was available. While the Knoppix distribution is packed with open-source goodness, one of the most popular uses for Knoppix is recovering files from damaged drives. To that end Knoppix is packed with open-source applications for testing disk integrity, recovering files, reading corrupted drives, and more. There are a total of 2,000 programs packed into the disc covering everything from disc recovery to media playback.
The Ultimate Boot CD 4 Windows has a familiar interface. If you’re a Windows user, booting into a copy of Linux to get work done could be disorienting. The Ultimate Boot CD 4 Windows uses your Windows installation discs (only Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 are officially supported) to create a bootable version of Windows contained on a disc. Tons of quality Windows-based tools are included in the custom disc covering everything from backing up and cloning your discs to running diagnostics to partitioning and recovering data. Many of the tools on the disc are tools you may already be somewhat acquainted with, like UltraVNC, Recuva, and CCleaner. If you’re looking for a well packed toolbox that keeps you firmly planted in a comfortable Windows environment, The Ultimate Boot CD 4 Windows is an excellent choice.
Puppy Linux belongs to the family of ultra small linux distributions. Weighing in at under 100MB, it can easily be loaded on everything from a CD to a USB drive. The user interface is friendly even for a non-Linux user, and the basic tools you need for partitioning and file recovery are readily available—although it’s just as great for web browsing and basic computing. Puppy Linux also has a rather handy feature: If you burn it to a re-writable CD, you can save your user settings for your next session.
BackTrack isn’t going to help you recover your lost vacation pictures, but it will make sure nobody can get into your network to steal them. Packed with 300 tools covering everything from packet sniffing to hot spot probing to brute force password attacks, BackTrack is live CD designed to facilitate penetration testing of computers and networks. Deployed by a skilled user, BackTrack will leave no corner of your computer and network security un-poked, scanned, prodded, and analyzed. If BackTrack was your friend, he’d be the friend who responded to you bragging about how secure your new house was by throwing a brick through the front window to prove otherwise. (You have weird friends.)
Ubuntu’s enormous popularity as the mainstream Linux distribution certainly helps bolster its rank among live CDs. Many a new user to Ubuntu has messed around with the operating system using a live CD before using that very same live CD to install the full operating system. Even if you don’t intend to do a full install, just like Puppy Linux you can do all manner of computing tasks without leaving a trace on the computer you’re using. The Ubuntu live CD comes packed with Open Office, Firefox, Pidgin, the BitTorrent client Transmission, and the open source image editor GIMP—a decent stable of tools for using Ubuntu as a portable computing platform.
Web site FeedMyTorrents publishes RSS feeds of torrents for popular TV shows. Just subscribe to your favorite show and let your BitTorrent client automatically download new episodes as soon as they’re available.
FeedMyTorrents isn’t the only web site of this kind—perhaps the most notable alternative being tvRSS—but it’s a good deal more simple to understand and use than tvRSS. Where tvRSS has an undeniably larger collection of shows, FeedMyTorrents is strict about a duplication-free feed, meaning you don’t have to tweak the feed or weed out downloads you don’t want. Just pick the show you want to subscribe to, set it up in your BitTorrent client of choice, and you’ll always have the latest and greatest episodes of your favorite shows as soon as they’re available. Thanks Jason!
In previous versions of Windows, some people dragged folders to their Quick Launch bar for easy access. Now that Quick Launch has been replaced by the Windows 7 taskbar, how can this be done? The answer is simple – use the “Links” toolbar instead. To pin multiple folders to the taskbar, you only need to right-click on the taskbar, open the Toolbars menu and check the “Links” entry. Then you can open a Windows Explorer window and drag the folder to the Links bar. Doing this adds a shortcut to that folder which you can easily access from the taskbar. Don’t forget, if you want to expand the Links toolbar and give it more room on the taskbar, you need to right-click and unlock the toolbar first in order to move it around. (By the way, this is an easy way to add the Recycle Bin to the Taskbar!)
Windows only with Outlook: Sick of bumping up against your employer’s tiny Exchange server space limit? The Outlook Attachment Remover can detach all those huge images and documents your co-workers insist on emailing around and free up space by offloading them to your hard drive. The Attachment Remover is a free Outlook add-in that lets you process a folder of your choosing, and specify which attachment file types and sizes you want to save to your hard drive (like only .PPT’s larger than 100KB, for example.) Great way to reduce disk usage fast without having to manually delete or archive Outlook messages. The Outlook Attachment Remover is freeware for Windows, donations requested.
You know something’s a hit when you just can’t stop hearing about it. Such is the case with Hulu, the online site where U.S. users (sorry, world!) can watching popular television programs for free. Since Hulu is a web service, we’ve started to see many different ways which people are integrating Hulu with their Media Center PCs including the new PlayOn plugin, the XBMC plugin for Hulu, the upcoming software from Boxee, and soon-to-launch plugin from SecondRun.tv.
But still there’s more coming. The latest tip comes from The Media Center Blog, where we learn that the beta version of the TunerFree MCE plugin delivers Hulu to Media Center, too. Why choose this one over the others? Well since developer Martin Millmore is in the UK, his plugin also offers some of the best British IPTV content, including BBC News, ITV, Channel 4 and 5. You can download his plugin (beta) from here – Onten.net
is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?
Twitter has spawn a whole host of tools and services, creating its own Twitterverse Here is a quick list of tools and sites for Twitter:
DoesFollow? - Find out if who if the person you’re following is following you back.
FriendOrFollow - Gives you breakdown of a) those you follow who do the same, and b) a list of those you don’t follow but follow you.
Grader for Twitter - A tool that grades your relative reach and influence on Twitter.
GroupTweet - Great tool to use if you want to send public tweets simultaneously but only to a select number of people.
Hashtags - A service that lets you tag your posts as a way to group and organize them with others.
Hellotxt - Another good status updater for your social networking.
is.gd - With only four letters (and a dot), is.gd is great for URL shortening.
iTwitter - An application that integrates with your iGoogle homepage.
Just Tweet It - Another cool directory.
Loudtwitter – If you also have a blog, LoudTwitter is the bridge that posts to your blog your daily tweets.
Ping.fm - Update Twitter and a plethora of social networking sites such as Myspace, Facebook.
Qwitter - Another services that sends you a notification when someone stops following you.
Quotably - Follow the conversation. It seems these days there are lots of conversations that have moved to Twitter. Quotably aims to make these.
Remember the Milk - The popular task management service now has Twitter integration to let you manage and create tasks right from Twitter.
Snip URL - As I’m sure you know, Twitter doesn’t lend itself well to the long-winded.
Straw Poll - Need to get feedback? Create a poll and solicit responses just by tweeting… Cool interface, too!
Summize – Summize is now Search.twitter.com.
TinyURL - One of the most popular URL shorteners around.
Tweet Later - An essential service for many Twitter users.
Tweet2Tweet - Allows you to view a conversation in a much easier fashion.
TweetBeep - Google Alerts meets Twitter.
TweetBurner - Another essential service to add to your Twitter toolbox.
Tweetdeck - An absolutely fantastic Twitter client.
Tweetscan – Real-time Twitter Search. Find it here – breaking news, consumer opinion, recent blog posts and discussion – the most complete Twitter index outside of Twitter itself.
TweetStats - Add this stats tool to the essentials pile.
TweetTake - Backup your followers, favorites, or your entire Twitter account.
Twellow - A great Twitter directory… Fantastic way to connect with others in you niche and industry.
Twhirl - Another great Twitter client.
twInfluence - Great tool for measuring the reach of your account and your entire network… Measures metrics like your “velocity” and “social capital.
Twitbuzz – Twitbuzz is a new content filtering service that tracks and follows the latest popular links, conversations and people on Twitter.
TwitHire - A free job listing board.
TwitPic - Easily post your photos and share them on Twitter.
TwitSay - Record a 10 second voice message and share it with your Twitter peeps.
Twitscoop - Real-time current events for Twitter.
Twitstat - Real time Twitter Analytics. Want to be in this list? Just follow @twitstat.
Twittad - Monetize your Twitter account by selling your background space.
Twittelator - Twitter for your iPhone… Comes with a massive and very impressive feature list.
Twitter Counter - Simple to use site (just plug in your Twitter name) and get stats that span a week.
Twitter Digest - A site that helps you read your Twitter updates in a more manageable fashion.
Twitter for WordPress - Simple plugin that also “pulls in” your tweets using a sidebar widget.
Twitter Keys - Have you ever seen icons and shapes in someone’s tweets? You might’ve even sent some yourself.
Twitter Search (formerly Summize) – Hands down, one of the best tool for finding Twitter conversations and conducting niche/keyword research.
Twitter Tools - This plugin allows you to “pull in” your tweets to your blog.
TwitterBerry - Crackberry users rejoice! The latest version boasts new features and a larger cache.
TwitterCal - If Google is your calendar of choice, take a look at this site which lets you add entries just by sending tweets.
Twittercounter – TwitterCounter is a service to number of followers they have on Twitter. Add the TwitterCounter to your blog.
Twitterholic – Our twittastic robots scan the Twitter public timeline for new users to watch.
TwitterIM - IM junkies can send tweets using their Windows Live chat client.
Twitterless - Service that sends you a DM (direct message) when you lose a follower.
TwitterTise - Brand advertising meets Twitter… Track your links and measure their effectiveness.
Twitturly - Think Digg meets Twitter.
TwittyTunes - If you’re using the FoxyTunes plugin for Firefox, you can use TwittyTunes to easily
Twubble - Want to find more Twitter peeps to follow?
CurseBird - A hilarious site that culls the profanity laced tweets together and displays them in a real-time feed. I put this at the end because it is NSFW.
Everyone wants to stand apart from the crowd, unfortunately Media Center doesn’t allow you to easily change the appearance of your setup. Windows 7 may have added better support for themes but Media Center has still ended up stuck with "boring blue.” There is hope though, it may not be easy but you can alter the look of your Media Center interface.
Step One: Backup Your Files!!
The first thing you should do is go to “C:\Windows\ehome\” and and make two copies of the file “ehres.dll”. Save one to a folder for editing and save the other somewhere safe just in case you want to undo your changes.
You also need to apply this registry file. Download the file to your machine and double-click to apply the fix to your machine. Once you’ve done that right-click the original file and select “Take Ownership”. This allows the file to be replaced later on.
Step Two: Get an Image
You need an image to use for the background. The default is 500 pixels wide by 300 pixels high (500×300) but you can use images of varying height.
Step Three: Insert into the ”ehres.dll” file
To edit the ehres.dll file a resource editor is required. For this guide you should download Restorator. The program isn’t free but does have a 30 trial availalbe for download. This editor allows you to view png files inside the dll file and works on x86 and x64 machines.
Once inside Restorator open the ehres.dll file you have copied to be edited. Expand the “RCData” section and scroll down until you find “Common.Animated.Background.png”. Right-click the file and select “assign > assign to” from the menu. Then browse to and select the background file you want to use.
Once that is complete save the file.
Step Four: Replace the original “ehres.dll”
Once you have your edited file (and your backup!) copy the edited file from where you have it saved and paste it into the “C:\Windows\ehome\” directory replacing the old one. Remember you must have the “Take Ownership” registry fix applied to this file to allow it to be replaced.
Step Five: Launch Media Center
Now you should be able to launch Media Center and see your new background in place. The animated portions of the background will not have been changed, however. To change these you must replace “common.background.layer1.png”, “common.background.layer2.png” and “common.background.layer3.png”. These are the files that are loaded onto the screen to make it appear animated.
TinyChat is a no-frills service for creating disposable chatrooms. Each chatroom gets a unique TinyURL for easy sharing, and nobody involved needs special software to join in.
TinyChat is from the same people who brought you the Twitter-friendly TinyPaste service we reviewed last year. TinyChat generates a basic chat room that supports IRC-esque commands like the ability to
/msg people in the room and use
/me to emote—similar to another disposable chat service we’ve reviewed, Stinto. Share the URL with friends and all they have to do is click the link and pick a nickname to join in. You can save the logs as text files, send them via email, create a TinyPaste text clipping, or save them to Twitter. Great for creating discussion space outside official chat rooms, or organizing people across different IM services
Several people have asked me about jailbraking. It has become very simple with the software called QuickPWN.
Here are a few links and steps.
Click here to download QuickPWN 2.2.5 version 2 for Windows http://blog.iphone-dev.org/
http://thepiratebay.org/user/iphonedev/ : It is not the official site, but if you don’t know about torrents, you can get it here.
Jailbrake at your own risk. This is not as complicated as it looks. The software walks you through much of this.
- Create a folder called “QuickPwn” on your desktop. Download your appropriate iPhone firmare from here. Also download the QuickPwn from here and place it. Place these files in the newly created QuickPwn folder on your desktop.
- Sync your iphone and back it up.
- Close iTunes
- Extract QuickPwn zipped file.
- Launch QuickPwn and select your iPhone version.
- You will be asked to select your iPhone firmware. Select the firmware your downloaded in Step 1.
- If the firmware you selected is valid, QuickPwn will show a green checkmark. Click Continue.
- You will then have the opportunity to select Cydia, Installer and to choose a custom boot logo. You have to select Cydia. You may also choose to install Installer. Click Next.
- You will now have a message saying that you are ready to launch the QuickPwn process in a new Window. Click Go.
- You will then be asked to power off your iPhone and press Enter once it has been turned off.
- QuickPwn 2.1 will now help you put your iPhone into DFU Mode (aka recovery mode). Read the instructions carefully then type in Y for YES and press Enter.
- You will be asked to hold down the Power button for 5 seconds. Then you will have to also hold down the Home button for 10 seconds without letting go of the Power button. At the end of 10 seconds you will need to release only the Power button.
- After a few seconds of holding down just the Home button QuickPwn will detect the your iPhone in DFU mode and start performing some “operations”. After 8 operations are performed QuickPwn will tell you to “Please wait while your iPhone is Jailbroken”. Press any key to continue.
- Your iPhone will display a turning wheel and in a few minutes will be jailbroken! Sometimes this step can take a long time. Be patient.
Ultimate Windows Tweaker is a freeware Tweak UI Utility for tweaking and optimizing Windows Vista, 32-bit & 64-bit. It can simply be downloaded and used as a portable application to customize your Windows Vista to meet your requirements. With judicious tweaking, It can make your system faster, more stable, and more secure with just a few mouse clicks. The tweaker detects whether you have IE 7 or IE 8 installed and accordingly offers you the relevant tweaks only.
FotoBooth is much like the Mac PhotoBooth. It allows you to take fun pictures with your webcab, and gives you fun effects to play with. FotoBooth is a image capture application that installs to your Mac, Windows, or Linux computer on top of the Adobe® AIR™ runtime.
This is fun app for anyone with a webcam.
Stardock, a company known for its UI enhancements, has just released their latest app; Fences. Fences allows you to group together desktop icons, sometimes known as ‘all that garbage on your desktop’, into clean-looking folder containers known as fences. Simply drag select the icons on your desktop and a prompt asks you to name the fence.
So how is this system fundamentally different from arranging your icons into little piles and folders yourself? First, Fences will let you hide/show those icons with a simple double click on the background. That alone is worth the price (free, btw) of installation. Second, it will allow you to size your container and provide scrollbars if it isn’t big enough to display all the icons. This is much cleaner than the average pile of web icons that I have good intentions of opening in the future, and gives you a little more control over display than using folders.
Fences will work on Windows XP, Vista, and even Windows 7. More information here.
Many users get so used to the mouse for easy controlling of the pointer on a graphical user interface until they are stuck when the mouse suddenly dies or can’t work properly. They wouldn’t be able to proceed with the work until a new mouse has been installed. If you are using Windows Vista and your mouse has stopped working, you can actually configure the keyboard and use the numeric keys to control the cursor’s movement.
Of course the effect will not be as smooth as using a mouse. However, it is good to learn the configuration trick especially in an emergency. This is also useful for MediaPC’s
To configure your keyboard’s numeric keys to move mouse cursor, just follow the following steps:
1. Go to Start->Control Panel->Ease of Access
2. Click on to Make the mouse easier to use
3. Check the “Turn on Mouse Keys” checkbox and click on to the “Set up Mouse Keys”
4. Users can configure the mouse keys from the subsequent Windows prompted. Users can turn on mouse key, set pointer speed, set whether to use mouse keys when NUM LOCK is on/off, etc.
Adam Kinney has put together a great resource of the Microsoft product teams and groups that have Twitter accounts. This is especially helpful since it’s sometimes hard to tell which Twitter accounts are legitimate and which are held by squatters. If you’ve been curious about which Twitter accounts are the real deal, you can now rest assured that the official Microsoft Twitter accounts listed below are OK to follow:
- @MSWindows – Announcing Windows 7
- @WindowsLive – Official Twitter account of Microsoft Windows Live
- @liveframework – liveframework
- @livemesh – Sync, share, and access the information you care about—wherever you happen to be.
- @SharePoint – The official tweetstream of the SharePoint product group – managed by @LLiu
- @bizspark – Microsoft BizSpark – Software, Support, Visibility
- @zunemarketplace – Zune Marketplace is a store for the way you love music, with brand-new releases every week and a huge selection of music in every style imaginable
- @wmdev – Windows Mobile
- @microsofttag – Microsoft Tag
- @ch9 – listen to the cockpit, help us fly the plane
- @ch10 – Channel 10 is Microsoft’s online community for the technology enthusiast
- @ch8 – Microsoft’s community for students
- @mixonline – Come check us out at www.visitmix.com
- @MIX09 – The Next Web Now, pre-empted by @MIX07, @MIX08 and @PDC08
- @SiteNamedDesire – Want a copy of A Website Named Desire? This li’l birdie will tell you how. Wait for the tweets.
- @MicrsftTech4All – News from Microsoft Accessibility team, which strives for technology to be usable by everyone & complements our physical & cognitive abilities.
- @MSDN – Updates from the MSDN site team.
- @adCenterBlog – News, Tips, Tricks & Best Practices From The Guys At Microsoft adCenter
This free program allows you to move and transcodes, if needed, to most video formats to your Tivo. Similar to TiVo Desktop pyTivo loads many standard video compression codecs and outputs mpeg2 video to the TiVo. However, pyTivo is able to load MANY more file types than TiVo Desktop.
- Output 4:3 or 16:9 and pad your video if needed.
- Transfer compatible mpegs without transcoding.
- Transfer TiVo recordings (.tivo) from computer to TiVo.
- Display MetaData about your video.
- Serve Music and Photos through HMO protocol
- Support for Windows, Linux, and Mac
- This shows how a pyTivo server shows up at the bottom of the Now Playing List. Note there are two folders listed, but both of these come from one pyTivo server. This demonstrates how pyTivo has the ability to allow for multiple folders.
- This image demonstrates browsing of a pyTivo server. Browsing is the same as normal browsing in TiVo.
In order to run pyTivo you will need:
- A compatible TiVo (Series2 or later)
- A Python interpreter. Here is a quick link to the Windows Installer.
- FFmpeg. Here is a quick link to its Windows installer.
- The pyTivo script. pyTiVo.exe for Windows.
- The Python Imaging Library — if you pl .an on using the photo plugin
If you find yourself getting lost check out the FAQ
Windows only: If all you want is computer-playable video off your DVDs, bitRipper is the most simple, click-one-button-and-you’re-rolling solution we’ve seen. You can change your rip’s audio and video parameters, but you don’t have to.
The screenshot above might be the only thing you ever see from bitRipper, if you’re not the type to fiddle with video codecs, aspect ratios, normalizing, and bitrates. After installing bitRipper and starting it, you can change the output file name if you want, but loading a disc and hitting "Start" starts the ripping process and puts an .avi file in your My Documents->My DVD Backups folder. Even our own one-click DVD Rip requires a tiny bit more configuration on the front end, though it’s equally capable and simple in a general sense.
If you were the type to fiddle, well, here’s what you can get to with the Settings button:
And here’s the list of video and audio codecs you can rip any DVD track to (UPDATE: Turns out the list is dependent on what codecs you have installed, usually put there by other ripping programs. This is the basic list on a relatively untouched Windows 7 system):
There’s little else to say, except that it seems to work—I’m currently backing up a DVD from the default settings, and it claims it will finish at 8:30 a.m. (EST) or so, having started at 7:50 a.m. Speed demons can debate whether that’s my drive or a standard run time, but everyone else can appreciate bitRipper’s no-nonsense utility. It’s free to download for Windows systems only.
Downloads: bitRipper is a Dead Simple Solution for DVD Ripping – Lifehacker.com
Mike Halsey just came up with an ingenious way to add system icons like the Control Panel, Recycle Bin, Devices and Printers, and more to the new Windows 7 taskbar, all while keeping them separate from the other icons already docked there.
Here’s how you do it:
- Open an explorer window and navigate to %userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer
- Hit the Alt button then go to the View menu in the toolbar that appears (that’s actually another great tip in and of itself – Alt displays the classic Explorer menu!)
- In the View menu, temporarily change the settings for Show hidden files… and Hide Protected Operating System files.
- Create a new folder called System Launch.
- Change the security privileges on this folder: Right- click on it and select Properties. Go to the Security tab on the window that appears and you’ll see the Everyone user group selected. Press the Edit button and give this user group full-control. Press Apply then OK.
- Now click anywhere in a blank space on the taskbar and select Toolbars and New Toolbar.
- In the window that appears navigate to %userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer
- Select your System Launch folder and press the Select Folder button.
- When this new toolbar appears, you can unlock the taskbar and drag it to where you want and drag and drop any icons you want in it. You can also right click in it and un-tick the options Show Text and Show Title and change the icon size from small to large. (Toolbar needs to be unlocked to see those options).