Archive for October, 2008

Google Chrome

Posted on October 31, 2008. Filed under: Connect | Tags: , , , , , |

Google Chrome is an open source, free web browser developed by Google that has about 1% share of browser market. It was first released as a beta version for Microsoft Windows onSeptember 2, 2008. The name is derived from the graphical user interface frame, or “chrome”, of web browsers.

Now, here is a rival to Firefox. When i heard the news of a browser from Google, i downloaded it without even looking at reviews or wiki, like most who believe in Google. But when i downloaded and installed it, i was surprised. It doesn’t look like a browser. It looked more like maximised Notepad with an address bar. No menu bar, bookmarks toolbar, or status bar. I underestimated what it is capable of.

It comes with a task-manager to monitor and control individual tabs. Thats a new one! Multi-threaded browsing. What they mean is that all tabs run as separate processes. When there is problem with one, like a hang, you can continue work with the other tabs, by making use of the task-manager. All other browsers with tabs don’t work this way.

The address bar also serves as a Google search & history look-up. It is a neat idea. Also, what i noticed is that when you get a long address with lot of confusion characters, the main address, or domain name is seen clearly. That is, for example, in “https://jaisantonyk.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post-new.php”, “jaisantonyk.wordpress.com” is seen in black letters, while all other characters are in grey. This gives focus to the main domain name. Which is nice, because there are sites out there trying to steal e-mail passwords, and other important data by putting up a long confusing address in the address bar.

The download bar and tracking is neat.

The browser, as Google says, is made to give a good running platform for web applications like Google docs, Gmail, Outlook Web access,… The super fast V8 Javascript engine(Yes, V8 is the name) is the fastest Javascript engine on the planet, they say. It it seems to be, coz you will feel it when loading AJAX sites, like most of today’s email sites. You can see the comparison for yourself from a respected reviewer, CNET.COM.

Chrome gives you with it’s feature set, an Incognito Window. What ever you do in that window is private, and will not show up in history, cookies or other traceable sections. This is a feature most internet surfers needed for so long.

Chrome is still in beta. We don’t know how long it will be there in that state. But it doesn’t mean it is, in any way, inferior to other browsers. We all know that Gmail is still in beta. And, it does it’s job wonderfully. Chrome’s interface takes the focus from the browser itself and gives it to the web page on display. The way it should be! An un-cluttered interface lets us concentrate on the task at hand.

All in all, Chrome might look like an amateur, but it sure is as good as Firefox or Opera, if not better. I will be trying this new one for a few weeks, and see how well it performs.

—–After a week with Chrome—–

A nice thing about Chrome is that once you start typing in a form, say login & password, there will not be annoyances like having to re-type the entire thing due to an automatic page-reload. Those who use mail.yahoo.com, and gmail.com regularly will understand what i mean. Also the browser automatically gives focus to the first text-input-box in the webpage, so that we don’t have to click inside the box to gain focus, and then type.

The address bar has a very good history-based auto-completion feature. And it really does what we want. If you use both mail.yahoo.com & gmail.com websites, typing in just m auto-complete as mail.yahoo.com, and typing in just g gives you gmail.com. This is unlike Firefox, where no matter how many times we use mail.yahoo.com, typing in m guides you to some gmail.com page. I don’t know why Firefox works like that. Also, once visited sites are faster to load the next time(if you did not clear the cache). Talking about loading, the browser itself is faster when loading, compared to others.

The thumbnails of most visited websites are accurate, not like Opera’s. Where, after we assign gmail.com to a box, and yahoo.com to another one, a few days later you will see the gmail webpage in yahoo’s box and yahoo webpage in gmail’s box. Then, we click on the visibly gmail thumbnail, and end up in yahoo.com. And, in Chrome we don’t have to assign an address to a box. It fills the boxes based on history automatically.

The pop-up blocking works perfectly. You will not see any pop-ups in Chrome. Pop-ups after they are blocked are shown as title bars, below where the status bar should be. If you need to see the blocked pop-up, you can pull the title bar of the pop-up above and get the full view of the pop-up in a window.

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Microsoft Surface

Posted on October 30, 2008. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , |

Microsoft Surface (Codename: Milan), is a Multi-touch product from Microsoft which is developed as a software and hardware combination technology that allows a user, or multiple users, to manipulate digital content by the use of natural motions, hand gestures, or physical objects.

Surface is essentially a Windows Vista PC tucked inside a table, topped with a 30-inch reflective surface in a clear acrylic frame. A projector underneath the surface projects an image onto its underside, while five cameras in the machine’s housing record reflections of infrared light from human fingertips. The camera can also recognize objects placed on the surface if those objects have specially-designed “tags” applied to them. Users can interact with the machine by touching or dragging their fingertips and objects such as paintbrushes across the screen, or by placing and moving tagged objects. Surface has been optimized to respond to 52 touches at a time. During a demonstration with a reporter, Mark Bolger, the Surface Computing group’s marketing director, “dipped” his finger in an on-screen paint palette, then dragged it across the screen to draw a smiley face. Then he used all 10 fingers at once to give the face a full head of hair.

Using the specially-designed “tags” on objects, Microsoft Surface can automatically offer additional wine choices tailored to the dinner being eaten based on the type of wine set on the Surface.

And of course it will be pricey.

See more of this new technology at Microsoft.

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Protect files and folders

Posted on October 30, 2008. Filed under: Tips & Tricks | Tags: , , , , , |

There are a lot of utilities out there that can protect your files and folders with password protection, encryption, backups, etc. But here i will share with you how to use a built-in tool in Windows to make your files and folders read only, and hidden. It is a very simple protection but effective.

Go to the parent folder of the file or folder you want to protect via command prompt(cmd). And enter as below.

To protect file, say setup.exe in d:\ –

d:\>attrib +r +a +s +h setup.exe

To protect folder, say Photos in d:\ –

d:\>attrib +r +a +s +h \Photos

Similarly,

To recover file, say setup.exe in d:\ –

d:\>attrib -r -a -s -h setup.exe

To recover folder, say Photos in d:\ –

d:\>attrib -r -a -s -h \Photos

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USB Autorun Virus Removal

Posted on October 30, 2008. Filed under: Viruses | Tags: , , , , , , , |

After you have successfully stopped the running virus, you can proceed to removing the autorun virus. In usual cases, you will have access to the USB drive via command prompt. Go to the USB drive’s folder in command prompt, so that you reach a prompt USB:\(example: H:\).

Now type in the command attrib -r -a -s -h *.* and press enter. So that the command prompt will look like

H:\>attrib -r -a -s -h *.*

The command will remove all files’ attributes, namely, read only, archive, system, and hidden.

Now you can see the autorun virus’ components. That is, the hidden autorun.inf(launcher) will be exposed along with the autorun virus, say, autorun.exe. Now you can see the all the files in explorer, and delete them.

Make sure you have unchecked(disabled) the Hide extensions for known file types in My Computer > Tools > Folder Options > View. This will enable you to see programs disguised as folders, so that you will not double click it to open the folder, while in fact you accidentally activate the virus.

If you see a program ,say New Folder.exe, inside the folder with the same name, say New Folder, then it is in almost all cases a virus which you need to remove.

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Personal Firefox

Posted on October 29, 2008. Filed under: Connect, Tips & Tricks | Tags: , , |

I have wondered how to use “remember me on this computer” or “keep me signed in” in Firefox on a shared computer, like a home PC, without compromising my privacy.

And solution is not that obvious. Because, the ability to create and manage personal browsing profiles is not there in Firefox menus and options. But there is a way.

Mozilla explains how in the pages linked below.

http://support.mozilla.com/en-US/kb/Profiles

http://support.mozilla.com/en-US/kb/Managing+profiles

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