ebookThe Windows Club has just released a free eBook titled, “The Complete Windows 7 Shortcuts”.

Apart from an exhaustive list of more than 200 common and new keyboard shortcuts for Windows 7, this eBook contains introductory discussions on basic keyboard usage, organization of keys, typing & editing, creating custom shortcuts, etc.

The actual list of shortcuts covers the following areas:

  • General Windows functions keyboard shortcuts
  • Dialog box keyboard shortcuts
  • Windows logo key keyboard shortcuts
  • Windows Explorer keyboard shortcuts
  • Ease of Access keyboard shortcuts
  • Magnifier keyboard shortcuts
  • Remote Desktop Connection keyboard shortcuts
  • Keyboard shortcuts for MS Paint
  • Keyboard shortcuts for WordPad
  • Keyboard shortcuts for Calculator
  • Windows Journal keyboard shortcuts
  • Windows Help viewer keyboard shortcuts
  • Windows Media Player keyboard shortcuts
  • Internet Explorer keyboard shortcuts
  • Windows Media Center keyboard shortcuts

The eBook has been authored by Nitin Agarwal, a Windows 7 enthusiast and is available in both PDF and XPS formats with fully linked content index.

You can grab the eBook from here.

Feb 01st by miCRoSCoPiC^eaRthLinG

Get Chitika PremiumChitika, the search targeted advertisement network is offering a free guide (eBook) for making the most out of Chitika Premium and AdSense.

The book analyzes various medium to large websites and provides valuable suggestions for optimal  & harmonious placement of Chitika and AdSense advertisement blocks on your website leading to greater revenues.

Also provided are tips for customizing the Chitika ads (color palettes, fonts etc.) through code as well as heatmaps of high CTR (Click-Through-Rate) locations.

You can download this free eBook from here.

For those who haven’t tried out Chitika yet, Chitika Premium ads are displayed only to visitors coming to your site from search engine results pages. In contrast with the contextual AdSense ads that depend upon your site’s content, these ads are relevant only to the searched keywords. For example, if you searched for “technology” on any of the major search engines and landed on a post in this site, here’s what you’ll see…

Chitika Premium advertisement block

On this site, Chitika Premium ads are displayed immediately following a post’s content. However, the target segment is visitors from the US. Hence to see these ads in action, you’ll have to visit this live demonstration link. Alternatively, they can also be viewed by appending a #chitikatest=keyword(s) at the end of any post’s URL.

Get Chitika PremiumIf you’re interested in serving Chitika Premium ads on your website, you can do so by signing up as a publisher with them.

Jan 29th by miCRoSCoPiC^eaRthLinG

IPL 2010: Live on YouTubeIn light of YouTube’s recent foray into paid content with the likes of Disney and Sundance (and some rotten deals), here’s a bit of news that shines out bright.

YouTube has successfully brokered an exclusive deal with IPL (Indian Premier League) to stream the IPL matches live on the internet – a deal that holds good for the next two years with worldwide broadcasting rights (except in the US, where Willow TV holds the rights).

The deal will entitle YouTube to broadcast 60 matches spanning 45 days during the 3rd IPL season (beginning March 12, 2010) through a dedicated channel at youtube.com/ipl. Full match replays, match highlights, player interviews, wickets of the match, top sixes, pitch reports etc. will also be made available through this channel.

YouTube claims that this is the first major sporting event to be streamed live across the globe.

Good news is that, this content will be available absolutely FREE!

[via The Guardian, instantfundas]

Jan 22nd by miCRoSCoPiC^eaRthLinG

A couple of weeks back I had discussed the web-browsing enhancements you may gain by using the Google Public DNS Servers. Here I am with a new tool that can further boost your browsing speeds – in some cases even up to the order of 700% !

Namebench is an open source DNS benchmarking utility which can determine the fastest DNS servers for your internet link just by running a couple of short tests (average duration: 4-5 minutes).

…namebench runs a fair and thorough benchmark using your web browser history, tcpdump output, or standardized datasets in order to provide an individualized recommendation.

The tool is available for all major OS-es i.e. Windows, Linux and Mac and is hosted at Google Code.

Namebench User Interface

I ran the tool both at my home and office and the DNS recommendations vastly improved my browsing speed. What’s cool about this approach is that the speed difference is apparent to the naked eye.

Recommendations of Namebench for my office connection

Namebench doesn’t modify your system settings in any way – that part is left entirely to you. So in case you don’t want to fire up your Network Settings panel and tweak the DNS settings manually, you can always fall back on a  graphical DNS switching tool like DNS Jumper. In this context, please note that the recommendations for one particular link (say your office) may not work for another link (your home), unless both connections utilize similar links from the same ISP. So make sure to perform the benchmark separately for every connection that you wish to optimize.

If you’ve got 5 minutes to spare and / or are seeking significantly enhanced browsing experience, namebench is definitely the tool for you. And if you find it really useful, be sure to leave a comment on your experience.

Jan 06th by miCRoSCoPiC^eaRthLinG

ReadabilityEver wondered who reads your blog or how easy (or complicated) is it for your visitors to understand your blog’s content? The Blog Readability Test, is one of those odd-but-fun-and-cool tools that analyses your content and based on the topics & linguistics (types of words used, terminology etc.), names the minimum level of readers who are able to decipher the content. I’m not really sure about the parameters used to come up with the readability score, but I’m simply making a wild guess on the most logical choices.

Using the tool is outright simple. You enter your blog’s URL and hit the Check Readability Now button. On an average it takes about 2-5 seconds to analyse the content (depending on your home-page size) and spits out a badge stating the readership level. My blog got tagged as College (Postgrad).

Chaos Laboratory Readership Level

Although I can’t vouch for the accuracy level of their algorithms, it may give you a decent idea on how much you need to perk your content up to get to the desired level.

What’s the Readability Level of your blog?

Jul 15th by miCRoSCoPiC^eaRthLinG

WobZIP LogoWobZIP is a cool new (and free) solution to bypass any sort of installation restrictions that your sysadmin may have placed on your school computers thereby limiting your ability to unzip certain types of archives. WobZIP lets you upload and uncompress files on-the-fly.

The service is very easy to use and can come in handy not only in the situation mentioned above but wherever you’re in need of quick decompression and a desktop based decompression utility is not ready at hand. It could be your friend’s computer, at a cybercafe – virtually anywhere. Just select the file you wish to decompress and hit wobzip.

WobZIP Screenshot

The decompression procedure is pretty fast and you’re presented with the list of files which you’ve to individually click to download. This can prove to be a pain specially in case of large archives with a whole bunch of files – but then again, one can’t grumble given the scenario in which you are forced to use WobZIP. Password protected archives are also supported and there’s a virus scanner running behind the scenes that ensures that you don’t accidentally download and execute infected files.

The service supports a wide variety of file formats like, 7z, ZIP, GZIP, BZIP2, TAR, RAR, CAB, ISO, ARJ, LZHCHM, Z, CPIO, RPM, DEB and NSIS – though there’s a file-size limit of 100MB (for the archives).

Another rocking feature of WobZIP is the ability to unzip remote URLs – which in other words means instead of uploading a zip file, you can make WobZIP read it off another webpage directly. This can prove to be a very powerful tool for previewing the contents of a zip file prior to download, selectively downloading a couple of files (that you require) from an archive… the list of possibilities is quite large.

Try WobZIP and see for yourself.

Found via: TheySay

Jul 14th by miCRoSCoPiC^eaRthLinG

Following my review of Chawt – the free SMS service – a couple of weeks back, I decided to swing by again and check out the improvements (if any). To my surprise I saw a new message below the message typing box which states that your are now limited to sending at the most 15 messages per day. Poooof !! So much for the ‘unlimited’ part.

Coming to that, I really don’t get why these services (mostly start-ups) invariably try to make it sound big using the ‘unlimited’ catch-word and then never manage to live up to their claim. It’s a known fact that any such service provider has to shell out a fat packet to the SMS Gateway on a monthly or by package basis. Behind the scenes, internet to mobile texting doesn’t come for free – AT ALL. Unless you’ve got a very strong source of ROI (either through advertisements or by some other brilliant marketing tactic that you’ve come up with) – you can never hope to offer unlimited free service for long. Besides, the market for mobile ads isn’t as widespread as the internet yet and neither is the revenue generated from it. So why make the claim in the first place?

Problems with Chawt

The second problem I face was while trying to send a message. Every time I composed my message (well within their 80 character limit and in English) and hit Send, I kept getting an error message that said “Multilanguage message too long”. Multi… what? Since when did pure unadulterated English become multilanguage? And what’s with composing your message carefully to keep to their character limit!

And just to think that I had given them such a positive review last week… Sad performance on their part – in fact extremely sad performance considering it claims itself to be a Web 2.0 start-up.

Jul 02nd by miCRoSCoPiC^eaRthLinG

Just came across this new free service named Chawt which lets you send unlimited SMS (text messages) to any mobile phone across the globe (to over 160 countries). The service is brought to you by a company named Breathe Mobile. The site seems brand new (domain registration is as recent as 10th June, 2008) and the creator(s) have taken a very minimalistic (read bare bones) approach to the interface – the primary stress has been placed on functionality. The service is Singaporean judging from the registrant’s name.

Chawt Screenshot

On accessing the site, you’re greeted with a basic login/registration form and not much else. Registration is painless and involves filling up your details (name, login info.) and your mobile number. This is  absolutely necessary for verification and completion of the registration process, for they send you an activation code at this number and you have to fill-in that number at a post-registration screen to activate your account. So you need to have your own mobile phone to be able to avail their services.

Once activated you can login and start sending messages right away. There’s a 80 character limit to the each message, but one shouldn’t grumble since it’s coming entirely free.

So what’s the catch? Well, this is a totally ad supported service. Each message you sent will carry a simple advertising text at the end. It’s non intrusive so try sending one to yourself now.

The messages get sent super-fast. I tried it on 2-3 different mobiles and on an average it took  around 2 second between hitting Send to that distinctive message beep on the phone. Surprisingly, the activation code took a while (around 10-15 seconds) to reach. The messages the sent using the mobile number used for activation – hence, recipients can reply directly to your phone. As for those simple text ads, they were present in the form of self-advertisements, which tells us that their ad inventory is yet to roll.

Overall, a super-fast, no-frills service that gets the job done with a 100% score, though lacking big-time in the eye-candy department. I guess that’s going to come later on once the service is established a bit. This one should prove to be a very good alternative to MobiK – the free SMS service which, despite all the eye-candy and big promises vanished away to nothingness (the MobiK domain now redirects to a site called bed.travel).

Why don’t you have a go at Chawt and share your experience with us?

Jun 23rd by miCRoSCoPiC^eaRthLinG

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