I'm always going the extra mile when I take screenshots in Windows XP. I hit the Print button on the keyboard, open GIMP and paste the contents into a new image, cut the part of the image that I need, resize it and finally save it to be able to upload it to my ftp.
The worst part of this job is that it takes a lot of time to complete all the steps and I think I found a nice free screen capturing software with the name MWSnap which can optimize this process.
Four different ways of creating screenshots are supported by MWSnap: Fixed Rectangle, Any Rectangle, Window / Menu or Full Desktop. The Any Rectangle method is working best for my purposes.
I found a nice little Windows Vista utility to change the appearance of the Aero Glass theme even further by allowing color transformations. The normal Windows Vista style has a static color while the Vista Color Transform application may change colors over time.
The software offers a pre-defined sets of colors that have names such as Patriotic, My Eyes!! and Winter displaying small preview images of the colors that are cycled through. If you take Winter for example you see white and icy colors when you click on edit.
I prefer to watch videos in my favorite video player VLC instead of watching them embedded on the web. If you click on a video file on a website you open it either in your default video viewer or view it right in your browser using a plugin. You may also open websites in different browsers which is great for developers who were using several add-ons to view a website in different browsers.
Just right-click the link and select the application that you want to use to view it from the menu. Launchy, that is the name of the Firefox add-on, supports more than 60 applications right out of the box with the ability to add more applications using an XML file.
If you thought that this is going to be another article about Launchy you thought wrong. This time it is a freeware that may replace the Windows Run Function. Executor adds numerous features to the run dialog but keeps the handling as easy as possible at the same time.
The run command in the start menu is not touched at all but you can hijack the run shortcut Windows R if you like or use the defined Windows Z for opening Executor. It offers the complete features of the natural run implementation of Windows and adds many features to it.
I have talked to several Windows Vista users and all told me that they did not use the Vista sidebar because of the lack of good gadgets that could be shown there. Sure, some are really nice but the majority is utterly useless. Why would I want another clock in there for instance ?
The Amnesty Generator (Windows, Macintosh) tries to fill this gap by providing a clever way to convert thousands of web widgets to Vista gadgets that can be placed in the sidebar. The program is free and absolutely easy to use. All it needs is the html code of the widget to automatically convert it into a Vista sidebar gadget. The html code is displayed when you select a widget from the many databases that offer them.
Firefox is already really comfortable when it comes to searching the web. One search box is displayed by default which is great if you want to do a fast search for something. Did you know that there is another way, even faster and better than this one ? Firefox supports so called keyword searches which means that you define a keyword for a certain search engine and can use that keyword to search it without visiting the website of that search engine.
Let me give you an example to clear things up. You may right-click any form field in Firefox and select the menu entry Add a Keyword for this search. Selecting this opens a new Add Bookmark menu which asks for a name and a keyword. I went to ebay.com and did a right-click on their site search. I entered the keyword "e" and the name eBay.
A robots.txt tells the search engine robots about the directories and files that should be indexed on a website. A wrongly edited robots.txt file could mean that search engine robots are not crawling your website anymore with the result that new articles will not be indexed in the search engine index.
This can be quite devastating especially for webmasters who do earn their living from their websites. It takes up to two weeks until changes can be seen when you edit the robots.txt file which is way to long if you made a mistake.
If you are looking for a rather unique screensaver for Windows 2000, XP or Windows Vista you should take a look at Flitter which is a mashup from Flickr and Twitter at the moment. What it does is that it is retrieving realtime data from both Flickr and Twitter to display those when the screensaver is active.
You obviously need a computer that is connected to the Internet to use this screensaver but it is very well worth it. The default setting for the screensaver pulls data from the public timelines of both Flickr and Twitter but you have the possibility to custom this further.
I'm using some folders over and over again in my daily work routine. My mp3 folder for instance, my profile folder and the folder that contains most of my applications stored on my computer. I have been using shortcuts to access them until now but today I found a free software that adds favorite folders to the right-click menu.
I'm always looking for new free softwares out there and although I already found an automatic wallpaper changer called Wallpaper Juggler I decided to give the wallpaper changer ScrollWall a try. It is always good to be able to choose from more than one program that has a similar functionality.
ScrollWall offers a very clean interface with only a few options to choose from. You can choose if you want to stretch, center or tile wallpapers that do not fit your resolution and select the frequency of the change.
Here is something that I found on Youtube and thought that it looked incredibly entertaining. We all know the drill that we are forced to watch dozens of advertisements in cinemas before the movies start which becomes increasingly boring if you go to the cinemas regularly. The title of the video is Human Joysticks (NewsBreaker Live interactive cinema game) which describes exactly what this is all about. Take some motion sensing cameras, a breakout video game, a big screen and an enthusiastic crowd and you are about to witness the funniest breakout game of all times.
The Contacts Sidebar extension for the email software Mozilla Thunderbird displays the address book - or books - in the sidebar of Thunderbird beneath the mail folders. A real beauty is that this sidebar can be enabled and disabled with the F4 button which means that you only need to display it when you need the address book. All the possibilities of the address book are given in the sidebar as well, you can edit properties of your contacts or quickly choose a contact that you want to write a mail to. Here are some highlights taken from the description:
I always thought that it would be nice to administrate uTorrent from work as well. Do things like adding new torrents, deleting old ones and the like would be really comfortable. The great thing is that this is actually possible if you use uTorrent. All you need is to enable to so called WebUi and download a small additional rar file that will be placed on your local computer. I would suggest that you download the latest official version of uTorrent but you could also use the beta versions that are posted in the forum.
The first news about Microsoft possibly banning modified Xbox 360 consoles from the Xbox Live service started to emerge yesterday in some known Xbox 360 forums. It is possible to modify the firmware of the Xbox 360 drive to be able to play backups which of course includes pirated games. There has been no official confirmation from Microsoft about this issue but the frequency of the posts can only lead to the conclusion that Microsoft is actually banning Xbox 360 systems with modded firmwares.
Spyware Terminator is a free antispyware software which can be downloaded in several versions. The main version contains the Spyware Terminator program which scans your system for spyware plus the so called Web Security Guard which assigns threat levels to websites in the search results. Both applications can also be downloaded separately from each other and I decided to download the Spyware Terminator without the Web Security Guard.
It happens sometimes that you find duplicate mails in your inbox in Thunderbird. This could happen for instance when you pull new emails from the mail server and get disconnected during that process. It could happen then that those emails will be retrieved again when you check for mails. Thunderbird has a nice hidden variable that defines how it should treat duplicate mails and I'm going to tell you how to set it correctly so that duplicate mails are removed automatically.
I grew up playing boardgames like Risk, Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit and witnessed that board games evolved almost as much as computer games did. I would like to introduce one of my favorite online boardgames websites where you can play about 50 excellent boardgames online. Boardgames include Settlers of Catan, Carcassone and Thurn and Taxis. All boardgames of the year and of course playable in multiplayer.
I think it is really fascinating that Coca Cola is doing another major promotion in Europe teaming up once again with iTunes and giving away 2 billion songs on iTunes along with other goodies such as tickets to concerts and iPods for codes that can be found in Coca Cola bottles. You had to use four codes to be able to download one song from iTunes in the last promotion and the new one will surely use the system as well. It should be noted that only selected songs could be downloaded in the last promotion.
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.