Saturday, November 22, 2008

HOW TO use torrents

Hi ppl,
This post is dedicated to my sis who now has to utilise our broadband connection at home without my expertise (ahem!)....
If you already know all about torrents, then kindly move on ;)


About bit torrent: It's a new way to share files over the net anonymously.
What's it used for: Movies, Softwares, entire seasons of your favourite TV series, etc. Basically anything that's popular with over 100 ppl & above 50MB in size.

HOW TO Download Youtube Videos - a dummy's guide

Edit : See this article, it's got a better way:

Hi ppl!
This one's dedicated to everyone who has wished they could somehow save those great videos they saw in youtube, dailymotion, metacafe, etc to their comp so they could watch it again & again without wasting bandwidth or having to wait so long for it to load the next time. Too many people have told me that it's impossible to save youtube videos. Really? let's find out...


There's 2 ways to do this: 1)Copy-paste , 2)Use a firefox extension

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Mass Face tagging on Picasa web albums!

Having trouble with docx, xlsx files?

So many people are having this problem in office nowadays: the latest Office 2007 saves in their new formats by default; we mail it without seeing the extension. Then where we need it the most, voila! The file's not recognised by the older version of Office!

Following websites can help you out... upload the office-2007 file and get it converted to the regular old one immediately. But caution for confidential info

Excel sheets: convert .xlsx to .xls:
Word docs: convert .docx to .doc:
Powerpoint: Sorry, didn't find anything online for that!

But in case you can install this on the target machine, there's a 27.5MB compatibility pack released by Microsoft:
There is another way to recover at least the textual content from .pptx files... mail the file as an attachment to your Gmail account, then view as HTML. You won't get any of the images or animations or sounds, though. But in an extreme case this should be enough to rebuild your presentation.
Source of this idea:
Convert docx and other Office 2007 files to HTML with Gmail from Digital Inspiration

Friday, March 21, 2008

Arthur C Clarke

Hi ppl, sorry if u may find this post a bit long-winded, but i owe this one.. One of my most respected idols passed away recently. His "Odyssey" novels, and other short stories opened my mind to a world that's wondrous & very much within our reach, his ideas and philosophies were instrumental in giving me such an optimistic view of our world, not of what has been but of what can be. Here's a little obituary i've compiled for him..
A line from 2001 - A Space Odyssey, about space exploration:

"After ten thousand years, man had at last found something as exciting as war."

Amen to that!

Sir Arthur C Clarke
British science fiction writer Sir Arthur C Clarke has died in his adopted home of Sri Lanka at the age of 90.
some excerpts from the article:
Sir Arthur's detailed descriptions of space shuttles, super-computers and rapid communications systems inspired millions of readers.
When asked why he never patented his idea for communication satellites, he said: "I did not get a patent because I never thought it will happen in my lifetime."
In the 1940s, he maintained man would reach the moon by the year 2000, an idea dismissed at the time.
He was the author of more than 100 fiction and non-fiction books, and his writings are credited by many observers with giving science fiction a human and practical face. He collaborated on the screenplay for 2001: A Space Odyssey with the film's director Stanley Kubrick.

another link: Tributes by readers on

Childhoods End was the first book I read of his, just before leaving secondary school. Then I got my hands on Rendezvous with Rama and I was hooked. The further books, Rama 2, Garden of Rama and Rama Revealed were pardon the pun "out of this world". Arthur had had a way of transporting you into his books; you too were living his dream. Those are the best i've ever read. I've said for years that they should make a film /films out of the Rama books. Maybe now's the time? RIP Arthur, job done.
Kevin Seurre, Croydon

I'll remember him for his predictions on future technology, his cracking good stories and the fact that his novels give you a sense of belief that everything will probably turn out OK for the human race in the long run.
Marc Whiteley
Arthur C Clarke, should be remembered not only as one of the greats of British Science Fiction, but also as a visionary who's imagination foresaw the modern world, and in doing so stimulated people to become science professionals.
The world is a lesser place with out him.
Tony Shaw, Langdale
Sir Arthur's dreams and visions greatly influenced my life, He humbled me on many occasion, a dreamer as vast as the Universe's he wrote of. I've read many of his stories short and long and still have many to enjoy, His works of the unknown, the simplicity and complications, the good and evils, the uglyness the beautys of our race our world and many others constantly brings me joy and even enlightenment. What he saw in his mind and dreams I am gratefull for him sharing,Thank you.To the stars Sir
Shawn, Essex

As a young boy growing up in the depressed Britian of the 1970's, Arthur C. Clarke's book "Islands in the Sky" opened my eyes to an amazing and very possible future. Although the book was written in 1952 it's themes resonated with me then in the Apollo era and even now its future has not yet been fully realised. For me the exploration of space and the deeper understanding of the Universe is one of mankinds greatest achievements. Some great SF to pass the time whilst reality catches is a bonus!
Steven Ridley, New York

Arthur C Clarke: predictions Another good read!
Arthur C. Clarke Quotes
"I don't pretend we have all the answers. But the questions are certainly worth thinking about."

Saturday, February 16, 2008

HOW TO remove Viruses or worms from ANY USB drive

Hi guys, wow it's been long since my last post.. lots of things have happened.. joined a job, and now i'm posted in Gurgaon near Delhi.
Well, this post is of a technical nature, so let's jump right to it.

How many of you have ever experienced this: You use your USB/portable drive in a net-cafe, office, school or even your friend's place, and voila! It catches a virus, which subsequently spreads to every computer that USB drive goes in. It's a severe problem.. and it's becoming the norm now.. almost every net-cafe you go to (at least the 1s i've seen in pune, hyderabad & gurgaon) will infect your USB drive. People keep saying "it's got a virus, and my antivirus is helpless against it".

But here's a heads-up: It's NOT a virus. It's actually a parasitic but relatively harmless worm (yes, we're still talking about computer programs here.. i hope no med-student stumbles across this page!). What's the difference? read on...

Viruses infect OTHER files, like html and .doc files. With security measures stepped up over the last decade, they're all but extinct now. Worms, on the other hand, are stand-alone .exe programs which a victim needs to explicitly RUN, ie, double-click it, etc. The worm will betray its presence by its .exe extension. There's new ones popping up all over the place, so naturally all antiviruses can't keep up. Plus, these guys that spread thru USB, don't do actual damage to your system, which is why it doesn't always ring the alarm bells.

Still, it's dangerous.. some of them open up ports that can let a hacker in, others may reroute your browser.. Hey I don't know what these worm-makers are up to, or how exactly they install themselves onto every netcafe I visit, But I know how to STOP them in their tracks. I've removed these viruses manually from over a hundred USB-drives by now, without using any sophisticated paid-subscription antivirus or removal tools, etc. All it takes is a little restraint.. from double-clicking yourself into a mess. Read on..

OK, now here's a troubling fact: many versions of this virus (it's a worm! oh, what the heck..) are not detected by some popular free antiviruses like mine. But that doesn't mean you should junk the otherwise excellent freeware and go chain yourself to a paid version. Follow these steps and show those troublemakers that humans aren't always the weakest link in a security chain.

1. Do this step BEFORE inserting the USB. This involves a little system tweaking, but there's no chance of any damage. Open My Computer. In the menu, go to Tools>Folder Options, then hit the View tab. Under Advanced settings,
1.1. Choose "Show hidden files & folders"
1.2. Check OFF "Hide extensions for known file types"
1.3. Check OFF "Hide protected operating system files" (and just say yes to the warning-dialog)

Ok, now you have a completely transparent system. Any virus(worm) you see will betray itself with its .exe extension at the end.

2. Insert the USB Drive. While inserting the drive, press & hold Shift key for atleast 10 seconds. That'll override the autorun process.

3. Open My Computer. On the flash-drive's icon, instead of double-clicking, Right-Click and Open or better yet Explore (avoid the "auto(0)" like options at all costs, that would install the virus onto your system). This will open the USB drive like an ordinary folder, without activating the virus.

4. Search & destroy the following things:

4.1. Autorun.inf : You can open this file in notepad first without risk.. it'll show u how it operates the virus. Delete this file & all such files in any subsequent folders.

4.2. RECYCLER or RECLYCLED folder: Hard drives have these, they're the Recylce Bin's depository, and usually hidden. But USB drives do not need these. They're the ones holding the main virus file. delete them. ignore any warnings.

4.3. folder-iconed .exe files: Some viruses don't make these in your USB drive, but others do. And believe me, it's a pain. Going into the folders, you may notice a .exe file having the icon of a folder, and the same name as the container folder, or some other file. Here the trick is revealed: if we hadn't done step 1, the .exe extension wouldn't have been seen, we would've thought it's just another folder. If you can't check off the "known file types" (refer 1.2) for some reason, then click "Folders" on the toolbar to see the folder-tree. there you'll see that the viruses are absent.. , Delete ALL such exe files. A quick way of doing it would be to Search for all .exe files in the USB and deleting them off in 1 go.

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