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Quad Tek

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January 2008

Use your laptop while standing with the help of Connect-A-Desk

Connect-A-Desk is a laptop desk that straps to the user and gives you the ability to type while walking or standing. Looks tempting? Actually this could be a good gadget for people who are constantly on the road. The ergonomically designed desk works with any size laptop, notebook, or tablet computer and easily fits into most computer bags. It is now available for $35.

Product Page

Source : PCLaunches

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Apple MacBook Paper is thinner than MacBook Air

Can’t get your eyes off the super thin MacBook Air? Then you’ll definitely love MacBook Paper, which claims to be way thinner than Air.

Source : PCLaunches

Google’s Interactive Barcode the Future of advertising on paper.

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Are you in the market to advertise something that’s so unique that it is bound to raise a few eyebrows if advertised in the local newspaper? I mean will you even know if someone has even noticed your advert?? Google, through AdWords/AdSense has created perhaps the most advanced advertising measurement system in the world.Google has come up with a unique method to help you, ‘Cryptic/ interactive Barcodes’ . Dan Frommer at Silicon Alley Insider alerts us to this new offering from Google: the ability to purchase ads within newspapers that contain a 2D bar code. If a consumer sees such an ad, they can capture a picture of the barcode, and special software will then de-code it and send them to a specified page on the mobile Web. Apparently, this advertising format is already gaining popularity in Japan. By making newspaper ads interactive, advertisers will have much more insight into how their ads are performing, and presumably, be able to get a better return on their investment. For consumers, the ad format beats writing down a phone number or cutting out a coupon. A mobile exec tells Frommer that probably only around 1% of phones in the US have the necessary software installed. Thus, while including a bar code in a print ad might be a nice novelty, it’s not likely to be a good investment at this time.

That said, with Google Android ramping up this year with the support of most of the carriers, the company clearly has a plan for how to get the software on more phones. As usual, Google is aiming big on this one, and has a very clever strategy for making it work. However, I think it is likely still at least a few years until they get enough traction to make barcode ads commonplace.

Source : Link

Ditto – Free Clipboard Manager

Windows only : Open source application Ditto is a clipboard manager that lets you save, manage, and retrieve all of the countless clipboard grabs you make in the course of your day.

Ditto lets you bring up its Quick Paste tool with a handy Ctrl-` shortcut. From there, you can search your clipboards or paste anything contained therein with a stroke of the Enter key, a double-click, or a simple drag-and-drop. Ditto supports all kinds of copies, including files, so literally anything you can copy will find a place in this clipboard manager. You can even keep your clipboard data synced across multiple computers if you need it. Best of all, the Windows-only Ditto is free and open source.

Ditto [via FreewareWiki]

Install OS X on Your Hackintosh PC, No Hacking Required

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Two months ago I walked through how to build a Hackintosh Mac on the cheap using PC parts. Since that post, the OSx86 scene has changed rapidly, and now you can install Leopard on your computer about as easily as installing Leopard on a Mac—no command line hacking required. In addition, the resulting installation is—theoretically, at least—can be upgraded without fear of breaking. As if the simplicity of the installation weren’t already enough, the new installation tools fix any problems I’ve had in the past (for example, I no longer need to keep my install DVD in the drive to boot into OS X), and support the Wi-Fi card on my motherboard out-of-the-box. In short, it’s a winner.
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Read Complete Article Here :  LifeHacker

Hide Your Inappropriate Computing with Magic Boss Key

Windows only : Freeware application Magic Boss Key hides your open windows (and desktop icons and taskbar, if you want) with a deft stroke of your keyboard or mouse. Magic Boss Key is sort of like the Windows-D/M keyboard shortcut except that it doesn’t just minimize the windows—it hides them entirely so that they don’t even show up in the taskbar. Hit the shortcut a second time and every window is restored to its previous state.

The software could improve tremendously if you could selectively choose which applications to hide (like Mac-only Show Desktop), since the only thing more conspicuous than a monitor full of non-work-related windows is one devoid of anything, but if your boss ain’t too quick on the uptake, this could do the trick.

Magic Boss Key is freeware, Windows only.

Protect Your Privacy on Public Computers

Browsing the web on public computers can be daunting, with threats of potential keyloggers and spyware watching your every move, so the Download Squad weblog has rounded up a few best practices for keeping your personal info private and safe on public computers. A former systems librarian, the author has seen a lot, and suggests one simple and obvious cardinal rule:

Don’t put private information on a public computer. This means, despite the fact that the IRS encourages electronic filing, don’t file your taxes online at the library. If you have no other access to a computer, file the old fashioned way.

The post does offers several other worthwhile tips, but nothing rings more true than the cardinal rule. If you really need to type in passwords and other sensitive data at a public computer, we’ve covered how to keep your passwords safe from keyloggers once before.

PSP Firmware 3.90 Now Available, Skype Included

PSP Fanboy reports that the PSP 3.90 firmware update is now available, bringing Skype support to PSP-2000 models and expanded Playstation Network support to all models.

[PSP Fanboy]

Google Experimental Search Views Let You See Results as Timeline, Map and More

Google has just unveiled a handful of new experimental search result views that you can make your new default, delivering you search results in timeline or map form, with new, more robust keyboard shortcuts, with a more detailed left-hand navigation menu or a number of others views.

Some of these, like the timeline or map result views, would only come in handy if you were doing a specific type of search. While they look pretty neat and could come in handy once in a great while, we can’t really envision them catching on in any widespread fashion.

Some of the others, however, look to be much more functional. Shortcut aficionados will love the new keyboard shortcuts, allowing you to zip through a large number of search results without the inefficiency of using a mouse. Don’t be surprised if these start functioning on the main Google search before too long.

You can see samples of all Google’s new search views as well as make any one of them your default now, so go ahead and poke around and see if one catches your fancy.

[Google Experimental Search Views via Official Google Blog]

Strip Down Your Vista Installation with vLite

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Windows Vista only: Like its XP-oriented predecessor nLite, vLite is a pre-installation utility that lets you decide which programs and components of Windows Vista are included when you go for a fresh install, allowing you to remove some of Vista’s more resource-heavy pieces and make custom DVDs or CDs to install that same slim Vista later. What’s more, vLite seems to allow you to pre-answer the typical setup questions, so you can install Vista unattended (and, it seems, without a Product Key handy). It’s not a tool for beginners, as many of the changes can’t be undone once the OS is in place, but for those who find themselves re-installing Vista frequently, it’s certainly a useful utility.

vLite is a free download for Windows Vista only. vLite

Sync Your Clock to Internet Servers from the Command Prompt

The How-To Geek gives us yet another handy command prompt trick that saves you some mouse-hunting and clicking to synchronize a Windows clock to a more accurate internet time server. Given how quick it runs, it might not be a bad addition to the automated “Startup” folder, or to a folder of quick shortcuts (like I’ve created on my desktop).

To quickly sync your clock, open a command prompt as an administrator and type the following command:

w32tm /resync

Quick and simple, works in Vista and XP, and definitely helpful when a dying battery clock starts leaving you a few minutes behind every day. For a background application that does much the same, check out DS Clock.

PixelCryptor Encrypts Files with an Image

Windows only : File encryption utility PixelCryptor doesn’t use a textual password to encrypt your files, it uses a digital image. Lock up your PixelCryptor file package like a drum and set an image as the key. The more complex the image, the more secure your encrypted folder. Then, on another PC with PixelCryptor installed (or available on a thumb drive), unlock the folder contents only with the image you used to encrypt it. PixelCryptor isn’t open source (so perhaps not as well-developed or supported), but it looks like a viable alternative to our beloved TrueCrypt.

PixelCryptor is freeware for Windows only.

Better GReader Updated with New Skins and Features

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Finally got around to dusting off the Better GReader Firefox extension this weekend and jazzed it up with three new skins and features. My favorite skin is the beautiful Mac OS X skin, but the handy Reader Minimized skin and the updated Optimized options are useful, too. There are also two new Preview Item scripts in the mix, which loads a post’s originating web page in a frame right inside Reader. You can now also bypass that annoying “iGoogle or Reader?” prompt page with the Auto Add to Reader feature. Go grab the download at Better GReader’s homepage, or if you have it installed already, just update from Firefox’s Add-ons dialog box.

Google Sidebars

Firefox and Opera have a little-known feature: the sidebar. You can open any page in a persistent sidebar that sits in the left of your window. Because the sidebar is usually very small, not every web page is usable when added to the sidebar.

If the links from this page don’t automatically create a sidebar, you’ll have to bookmark them and select “Show in panel” (for Opera) or go to the Bookmark Manager, and enable “Load this bookmark in the sidebar” in the bookmark’s properties.

1. Google Notebook – a simplified version of Google Notebook that lets you access your notes and easily add new notes. It’s a good idea to use it if you don’t want to install the extension.

2. Google Talk – the Flash gadget for Google Talk is a good replacement for the desktop client if you don’t use more advanced features like voice chat or file sharing.

3. Google Search – this page was designed for Internet Explorer and it’s useful if you want to see the list of search results in the sidebar.

4. Google Docs & Spreadsheets – the list of your files sorted by the last modified date. (If the sidebar doesn’t show any document, replace 100 with a value smaller than the number of documents from your account. This is a bug.)

5. Google Calendar – it shows the calendar, your agenda and you can use it to quickly add events.

6. As most of these pages were actually created for Google gadgets, you may be wondering if it’s possible to add any gadget to the sidebar. Some of the gadgets can be added by bookmarking this address:

http://gmodules.com/ig/ifr?url=[Gadget Source]

where [Gadget Source] is the URL of the gadget’s source code, which can be found if you click on the little arrow from each gadget box and select “About this gadget”.

Example:http://gmodules.com/ig/ifr?url=http://www.counttonine.com/google-sudoku.xml (a Sudoku game).

Now that you have a lot of sidebars, you’ll want a way to organize them.

Opera lets you easily switch between panels and for Firefox there’s an extension called All-in-One Sidebar that adds this functionality.

Source : googlesystem.blogspot

Google Maps in Your Sidebar

Mini Map Sidebar is probably the greatest Firefox extension for maps and geographical information. Its simple interface hides a lot of powerful tools that help you find places directly from your browser’s sidebar.

The sidebar lets you drag and drop addresses from the current web page, search the map, get the latitude/longitude, embed the map or send a link by email. It’s also easy to switch from Google Maps to Yahoo Maps, Windows Live Local or Google Earth. You always have a list of recent addresses, so you can go back to another address with just a click or select them when you want to get directions.

The extension also adds two options in the contextual menu that let you open the selected address in the sidebar or in a new tab.

Other interesting features: geodiscovery (if a page has geotags, you can view the locations – for example: some Flickr photos), preview KML files before opening them in Google Earth, find places reviewed at Platial and Tagzania.

Overall, the extension is very useful if you need to map a lot of places and opening Google Maps in a new tab is too time-consuming.

 

Source : Link

Top 10 Clipboard Tricks

One of the greatest features the point and click interface brought to personal computers is the clipboard – that invisible, temporary shelf you use more times per day than Google. If you think the clipboard is only about Ctrl+C, you’re missing out. Several utilities can turbocharge your clipboard and track, transfer and reformat the clipboard to your heart’s content. After the jump, our homage to the under-recognized clipboard with our top 10 clipboard tricks.

Head Here To Read the 10 Tricks

Build a Home Theater PC for Less than $200

When expenses are a big deal, curbing spending is a wise option. If you’re in the market for a new computer (or even just a home theater system), blogger Paul Stamatiou suggests hardware that can comprise of one of the cheapest and smallest DIY computers I’ve seen to date. Your motherboard will cost a low $65. The RAM is about $20, and the 250GB hard drive is also $65. However, if you scout for good deals online, you may get them for cheaper than the recommended prices. The design doesn’t require a case, according to Paul (but you can buy a decent mini-ITX case which will fit this motherboard for an extra $65), and some may argue that it’s not as good as an HTPC as it is a spare PC, but as a cheap alternative, you really can’t go wrong.

Keep Google Docs Close at Hand with gDocs Sidebar

Windows/Mac/Linux : For those who have migrated their day-to-day documents to Google Docs, or those just looking for a good reason to do so, gDocs Sidebar might be the time-saving, access-enabling tool you’re looking for. The free extension for Firefox adds a full-featured sidebar view of your uploaded documents, allowing you to search them, sort by document type, date or author, and narrow your view to specific folders (although sub-folders aren’t supported yet). Better still, those who despaired to see last week’s release of a drag-and-drop uploader released only for Windows get the same functionality in gDocs. My only complaint at this point is with its keyboard shortcut, which I had to re-assign from Ctrl-Shift+G to prevent the “Find” dialog from popping up with. All in all, however, it’s a Google Docs fan’s best friend and time-saver.

gDocs Sidebar is a free download and works wherever Firefox does.

gDocs Bar [via Google Operating System]

Put Documents Online in One Click with Google Docs Uploader

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Windows only : Google has released a simple one-purpose application that lets you upload multiple documents at once to a Google Docs account, as well as add right-click uploading options for all the document types accepted by the free online office suit. Before the free app’s release, meant to show off the Google Docs API, your best bet for posting multiple files was through email, but even that had a 500KB size restriction and only worked with certain document types. Not much more to say—it’s a simple, effective tool, and it seems to work pretty quickly. Google Docs Uploader is a free download for Windows only and requires .NET Framework 2.0.

Manage Your Clipboard with ClipX

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Windows only : Manage multiple items in your clipboard, including text and images, with donationware application ClipX, a clipboard manager that sits in your tray and stores everything you copy. ClipX keeps track of hundreds of items that can be easily retrieved with just a few hotkeys, all of which are customizable. Once you press your desired hotkey combination, your stored items are displayed, and you can then choose whatever you want pasted into any application that you have open. If you’re editing a document and need to copy and paste often, ClipX should make clipboard management a whole lot easier.

ClipX is donationware, Windows only.

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