Category Archives: Guides

Guides

Remote Control Your Computer Using Hardware or Software

The one problem common to computer users who work on two or more computers simultaneously, is the challenge to minimize the effort involved in moving from one computer to the other. There are multiple ways to overcome this, from using somewhat expensive hardware to using freeware applications.

KVM Switch

KVMSWITCH.jpg A KVM switch (KVM is short for keyboard, video, mouse) is a device that lets you control multiple computers from a single keyboard, video monitor and mouse. I wanted to work simultaneously on my laptop and desktop so went and bought myself a two-port KVM switch These devices come in two modes, automatic and manual. I recommend paying a little extra and going in for the automatic version that lets you toggle between computers with keyboard hot keys.

On the downside, a KVM switch is useful if and only if the two computers are located right next to each other, and are not networked (highly unlikely). Even if the second computer is in the next room, a KVM switch won’t do you much good, unless of course you are ok with having long cables running through your house or workplace.

Virtual Network Computing (VNC)

tightvnc.gif VNC is the software based alternative for a KVM switch. You can remotely control to a computer (s) and work on it as if you were there physically. VNC transmits the keyboard and mouse events from one computer to another over LAN or the Internet. There are many free utilities available that you can choose, I tried TightVNC it is very user friendly and an IQ of -1 should see you through, if not then read A guide to building a software KVM switch.

TightVNC is just one of the utilities, both paid and free, that let you remotely connect to another PC. CrossLoop, IRemote, Windows Remote Desktop, or GoToMyPC; are just a few of the other applications you can use to access computers remotely.

ShowMyPC on ManuKLhanna.comMy personal favorite though is ShowMyPC because it requires no no installation or configuration; ShowMyPC combines VNC remote access technology with an open-source SSH forwarding client. The person manning the remote computer just needs to download the standalone software (less than <1 MB), and allow you access with just a password (no IP address required). This password is unique for every session and can be provided to you by the remote user over e-mail, phone or chat.

Ideal if the person at the other end isn’t a geek.

Guides WWW

Verify an E-Mail Address

I’ve always wondered if this were possible, after all an e-mail address doesn’t have an IP which you could ping and see if it actually did exist. But surprisingly, one can indeed validate an address without sending an e-mail to it.

The Lifehacker blog has a post about a service that connects to the respective e-mail server and checks if the user, format, and domain that form the e-mail address you specify do actually exist. I concocted five fake e-mail addresses and checked their validity using this service. The service was spot on and gave a “bad Request” message for each. This just might come in handy so worth including in < my del.icio.us account. (via Lifehacker)

Verify Email Address

Guides

Batch Manage Pictures with with Fire Uploader

Google’s Picasa Web Album service lets you upload a maximum of five images simultaneously. So if you want to upload 50 pictures you will have to upload them 5 at a time This isn’t a tedious task but I’ve personally tried it and found it to be quite boring.

Enter the Fire Uploader extension that lets you drag and drop multiple images into your Picasa web account. The best part about this extension is that besides Picasa, it also allows you to upload to Flickr, Box.net, Youtube

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Guides

17 Must Have Firefox Extensions

If you haven’t already, go ahead and read the 20 must-have Firefox extensions article by ComputerWorld.

Done? So fast? Any ways, let me get on with my post. Now that we are on the same page, I’ll tell you why you shouldn’t gave read it in the first place. Any ways, don’t use all the extensions reviewed in it.

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Guides

A More Visual History: ThumbStrips Extension for Firefox

Thumbstrip FilmstripThe History feature in a web browser comes in handy if you are trying to go back to a page you visited a while ago, but do not remember the URL of. Though you do remember how it looked. ; you can visit each web page in the browser’s history and spend at least an hour or two.

Alternatively, you can use the ThumbStrips Extension for Firefox It uses the in-built screen capture tool to capture web pages that5 you visit as an image. It also keeps track of the time you spent reading a web page and also your number of visits to that particular web page. How’s this to improve your productivity?

ThumbStrip Properties dialog boxOnce installed, open Firefox and press F2 to display thumbnails of web pages as a filmstrip at the bottom of the browser window. To move from one page to another, move your mouse over a web page’s thumbnai0l, to be taken to the next thumbnail. Right click on any thumbnail and choose Properties, a dialog box similar to the one below displays.

The Properties dialog box reveals other useful information such as, the time of your first and last visit to the web page, searchable text, and the web page title.

To install the ThumbStrip Extension for Firefox, visit the developer’s homepage.

Verdict: This is an excellent tool for people who like to remember the design and layout of a web page, rather than memorizing it.