5 Ways To Quickly Launch Programs On Windows

September 27, 2012 at 9:35 PM | Posted in Windows | 3 Comments
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Do you still launch programs on Windows by hunting down a desktop shortcut and double-clicking it? There are better ways – Windows has several built-in tricks for quickly launching applications.

Even if you know all the built-in tricks, you may want to try out Launchy or another third-party launcher – some people swear by them. They offer more features than the Start menu search built into Windows.

Taskbar Keyboard Shortcuts

On Windows 7, you can press the Windows key along with a number to quickly launch the corresponding application on your taskbar.

For example, WinKey+1 launches the first application pinned to your taskbar, while WinKey+2 launches the second one.

If the program is already open, pressing this shortcut will switch to it. If the program has multiple windows open, pressing this shortcut will switch between them – it behaves just like clicking the taskbar icon.

Start Menu Search

You can use the Start menu’s search feature to launch a program with just a few key presses. First, press the Windows key on your keyboard.

Next, start typing part of a program’s name – you can start typing immediately after pressing the Windows key. Typing a program’s full name, such as Mozilla Firefox will work, but you can also type part of a program’s name to launch it even faster.

For example, you can press the Windows key, type fir, and press Enter to quickly launch Firefox. (This may not work if you have another application installed with fir in its name.)

You can also use this trick to quickly open files on your computer – just type part of their name.

Custom Shortcut Key

If you launch an application frequently, you can assign a custom keyboard shortcut to it.

First, locate the application in your start menu or on your desktop, right-click its shortcut, and select Properties.

Click the Shortcut key box and type your desired keyboard shortcut. Press the keyboard shortcut you define here to launch the application from anywhere in Windows.

Run Dialog

You can also use the Run dialog to quickly launch applications. Open it by pressing WinKey+R.

In the Run dialog, type the name of a program’s .exe file and press Enter to launch it. For example, type firefox and press Enter to launch Firefox or type chrome and press Enter to launch Chrome.

Launchy and Other Third-Party Launchers

Launchy is one of the most popular launcher applications for Windows, and it’s free.

After installing it, press Alt+Space anywhere in Windows and the Launchy window will appear (you can change this shortcut in Launchy’s preferences, if you like.)

Type a search and press Enter to launch an application, open a file, or visit a website. It’s smarter than the Start menu in several ways – for example, typing ffx into Launchy will match Firefox.

It also includes other features, such as a quick calculator and plug-ins for searching your bookmarks.

Launchy also works on Windows XP, where it’s even more useful – it brings the quick application search feature found in Windows Vista and Windows 7’s Start menu to Windows XP users.

Monitor Website Status for Downtime with StatusCake

August 22, 2012 at 3:50 PM | Posted in General | 8 Comments
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Being a webmaster, I understand how important it is for all the blog/website owners to keep their website running and free from any downtime. Since the web servers are electronic they tend to go down some or the other time, thereby affecting the website owners and the traffic. Whenever some web server goes down, every webmaster needs to contact their web space admins to get it fixed so that they can reduce the downtime but for this they first need to know instantly whenever their website goes down.

Since it is not possible for every blogger or the web admin to monitor their website every now and then, they should make use of the online free website monitoring services available on internet. While we have written about Pingdom earlier, here is another yet free website monitoring service called StatusCake.

What I found interesting with StatusCake is that you can set this service to track any number of websites as there isn’t any limit to it. The interface of the service is also very simple with neat and easy to understand options. You also get website analysis right here, saving you from subscribing to any other third party website analysis service. Moreover whenever your website goes down, you will be notified instantly on Twitter, Skype, Email and SMS (for the sms feature, however, you will need to pay).

To get this service enabled to your website, you just need to visit this service and setup your website using the button present on the left side. The service is easy configurable and being a webmaster who have setup so many things for the blog, you can set this easily too lol.

Visit StatusCake

Find and Delete Empty Folders on your Computer Easily

August 20, 2012 at 8:34 PM | Posted in Windows | 68 Comments
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We have lots of data in our system which comprises of files and folders. A folder hierarchy can go upto many levels thereby making difficult for us to scan them for data. We also tend of have lot of empty folders in our machines, although unwillingly but we do have it.

Say for instance, you have moved some data or a file from a folder to a new location but it can happen that you forget to delete the parent folder thereby creating an empty folder adding to the system clutter. Although empty folder does not affect us but it degrades the system performance by creating disk fragmentation and adding the file clutter.

Therefore we advise you to scan your system for empty folders and delete them but if you plan to do this process manually then you are going to end up wasting lot of precious time of yours. Here is a simple tool called Fast Empty Folder Finder (FEFF) that is specifically designed for this purpose of scanning the system for empty folders up to any level of hierarchy and presenting you with a choice to delete them in one go.

FEFF is very simple to use too, you just need to download this executable file and run it to get the interface. Now you can either drag and drop the folder or specify a location to search for the empty folders. After scanning your system, it will present a list of all the empty folders before you, clicking which you can have a preview and selecting which you can either delete them temporarily or permanently.

Moreover you can also export this list as .csv or as .feff and also import the same to have a track of the folders that you have in your computer. You can stop the scan in between and also start a new scan with new set of filters to search for the empty folders.

The tool is compatible with Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8. You can download it from the link below.

Download Fast Empty Folder Finder

Unload Tabs Inactive for Long Time in Chrome to Free Memory

August 17, 2012 at 10:04 PM | Posted in Browser Features | 63 Comments
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When I asked my friends about their choice of the Browser then it were the Firefox and Chrome that stood before the other browsers. Clearly these two browsers are the most used browsers today. While people use Firefox for its add-on repository, Chrome is used majorly because of it plain and minimalistic interface which is loved by many people.

I liked Firefox earlier a lot but now I have been majorly using Chrome but in both these browsers I have hated the CPU and memory consumption that these browsers use. Also for someone like me who works with most tabs open, the browsers tend to consume lots of computer resources. I know several people who even don’t close the tab after they have finished working upon. This needlessly increases the memory utilization which could have been avoided.

Here is a chrome extension called TabMemFree which can unload the inactive for you after the specified time of inactivity. This is extremely helpful for someone who has a tab still opened even after the completion of work as this would help them in saving the computer resources and memory.

You just need to install the extension, visit the settings and set the Timeout and Check period as per your needs and this will check the inactivity of the tab after the set time and unload the tab automatically. It will however don’t change the tab title and icon, for if you need to come back on it the page will reload instantly.

TabMemFree saves lot of computer memory as it will automatically unload the tab for you after the specified time of inactivity have passed. Say if you set the Check period as 10 mins and Timeout period as 15 mins, then it will check the tabs every 10 mins and unload those tabs which are inactive for more than 15 mins.

You can visit the location below to install it in your Chrome browser.

Install TabMemFree

Create Karaoke Music Tracks from Songs with Vocal Reducer

August 16, 2012 at 12:54 PM | Posted in General | 65 Comments
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We all like singing to songs of our choices, don’t we and if it is a karaoke song then the fun is doubled. So in case you are planning a small get together at your place and would like to host the karaoke singing competition with your friends then you can convert your normal songs to karaoke easily and instantly and that too by self.

Converting a song into a karaoke track is although not possible completely as the music is coded with the lyrics or vocals, which is not possible to remove completely. However there are tools that that can reduce the level of vocals so much that it feels like the vocals have been removed. If you search internet for such tools then you may find many but I found this tool called Vocal Reducer better than others.

When you install and launch Vocal Reducer you will be surprised to see the simplest of the interface that this tool has. You then need to load the song to the tool for which you need to create the karaoke. The interface will show both the left and right audio frequencies in the form of waveform. Also you will find the other details of the track like sound duration, beginning and selection range.

To remove the vocals from the audio track, you now need to click the Vocal Reducer on the title menu which will open a new window named “Vocal Reduce/Removal”. In this window you will find three settings as Voice attenuation, Gain and Cutoff Frequency changing which will set the track right for you. It must be interesting to note here that changing the cutoff frequency too much can distort the song.

The quality of the karaoke you produce depends mostly on these three settings about which you will learn more when you experiment a little with these. The tool is compatible on all versions of Windows.

Download Vocal Reducer

Reply to all your Birthday Wishes at Once on Facebook

August 13, 2012 at 2:42 PM | Posted in FaceBook Features | 40 Comments
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We have lots of friends added in our Facebook profile, isn’t it that most of the time we find that it is the birthday of one of our friends daily. Facebook has become one important platform where almost everyone who is online and in your friend list, wishes you Happy Birthday. For all those who are bad with remembering the birthday dates (like me) Facebook is like a life savior :D

It feels good when someone wishes you Happy Birthday and in this age of technology, most our friends wishes on FB only. It really feels great to receive a large number of birthday wishes on our wall but at the same time it also feels quite irritating when we are required to manually reply to the each wall update with a Thank You message.

Here is a quite interesting and helpful Facebook app called “Say Thank You” that can help you in this situation. This app is some really great way of replying back thank you to all those who wished us on Facebook in an automated manner and without the need of manually commenting to each of those. Well if you would still like to manually wish every person then you are most welcome :)

To be able to use this you just need to visit the link provided at the bottom, and click the Go to App button. When you are asked for permission, click Allow (just like all other FB apps). Follow the simple steps and proceed as usual. You will be then asked for selecting the way to reply your buddies. You can select “Comment on your Birthday wish”, “Like your wish”, “Comment and Like both” or reply on your Friend’s wall.

Whatever be the option you select, just click Next and type the Reply message that you need to. Then you will see the list of all those who wished you on FB. Just select those whom you want to reply. Now when you click Next, they will be automatically replied.
Seeing the fact that since you have to use this app once an year only, the app is not that bad and can really help you in saving time of yours.

Visit Say Thank You App

Re-enable Services and Windows Features Disabled by Virus Instantly

August 7, 2012 at 2:47 PM | Posted in Windows | 44 Comments
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If you have been working on a Windows machine for some time now, you must have come across many computer virus attacks till now. Also you might be knowing what the system status is, after each attack. There are many different kind of computer virus and malware, each having their own type of adverse effect on the computer. Even if you have successfully removed the virus from your system, your computer might be struggling.

Most of these viruses affects computer and disables many Windows programs like Folder Options, Registry Editor, cmd and other features. Even if you have removed the virus from your system, these features are disabled and need to be re-enabled back before they can be used again. But a normal computer user can’t re-enable them back as these involve complex registry operations, even there is no surety that it would get fixed.

I came across one tool that can help you in this regard called Tangosoft’s Re-Enable II (or Re-Enable 2.0). As the name of the tool suggests, this tool can re-enable many windows functionalities and services in just one single click. You just need to make sure that the virus has been removed else the changes might not take effect. Also it is worth noting that, if the changes are undone then your system still have some traces of virus left.

With one click Re-enable will repair the following windows features:

  • Safe Mode
  • Registry Editor
  • Command console “cmd”
  • System restore
  • Start menu Run command
  • Task manager
  • Task scheduler
  • Safe mode
  • Right click context menu
  • My computer properties
  • Folder options
  • Windows explorer search
  • start menu search
  • Reset file and folder attributes
  • Ms Config
  • Restore explorer registry key
  • Re-enable will also edit hosts file
  • Scan and delete Autorun.inf files

The tool is free to use for personal use and requires .Net Framework 3.5 or above. You can also try the portable version of Re-Enable 2 but it would be of larger size as it already contains the required .Net Framework.

Download Re-Enable 2.0

How to Update Windows or Office Offline without Internet [Silent Installation]

August 1, 2012 at 2:45 PM | Posted in Windows | 17 Comments
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Updating your computer to the latest definition and patches is always a good habit but you can’t always monitor the updates and be present with the system. Also what if you have more than one computer which requires to be updated? You would definitely not download all the updates in all of them. With the help of offline Windows Updaters, you can download the updates in one computer and install them in many computers easily.

There are many offline Windows Updater tools available online but what I found better than the rest are the two tools listed below:

1. AutoPatcher

AutoPatcher is a simple utility that can be used to download the required updates for your computer and install them in as many computers you want. What you all need to do is just download this tool, extract the package and run this exe called apup.exe. Run the AutoPatcher Engine and install it as per your system requirements (also select which updates to download Windows or Office).

When you run this tool you will see the list of updates in the window. You can select the appropriate updates to download and install. When the download is completed, run AutoPatcher.exe. What is interesting about this tool is that all the updates will be placed in some folder by AutoPatcher which can be moved to other system easily for installation.

Works well on Windows 2000, XP, Vista and Win 7.

2. WSUS Offline Update

The other great tool is called the WSUS Offline Update. This tool is also capable of downloading the selected updates and installing in any system. You just need to extract the package after downloading it, and then run the UpdateGenerator.exe for the program interface window. Now select the updates that you need to download and install.

Using this tool you can update Windows as well as Office along with Microsoft Security Essentials and Windows Defender. After the tool has finished downloading files, you can move the files to another system by creating an ISO image of it. Then when you run UpdateInstaller.exe, it will install all the updates. Works great on XP, Vista and 7.

How to Make Your PC Wake From Sleep Automatically

July 31, 2012 at 1:56 PM | Posted in Windows | 11 Comments
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When you put your PC into sleep mode, it normally waits until you press a button before it wakes from sleep – but you can have your PC automatically wake from sleep at a specific time.

This can be particularly useful if you want your PC to wake and perform downloads in off-peak hours or start other actions before you wake up in the morning — without running all night.

Setting a Wake Time

To have the computer automatically wake up, we’ll create a scheduled task. To do so, open the Task Scheduler by typing Task Scheduler into the Start menu and pressing Enter.

In the Task Scheduler window, click the Create Task link to create a new task.

Name the task something like “Wake From Sleep.” You may also want to tell it to run whether a user is logged on or not and set it to run with highest privileges.

On the Triggers tab, create a new trigger that runs the task at your desired time. This can be a repeating schedule or a single time.

On the conditions tab, enable the Wake the computer to run this task option.

On the actions tab, you must specify at least one action for the task – for example, you could have the task launch a file-downloading program. If you want to wake the system without running a program, you can tell the task to run cmd.exe with the /c “exit” arguments – this will launch a Command Prompt window and immediately close it, effectively doing nothing.

Save your new task after configuring it.

Putting The Computer to Sleep

Put the computer to sleep using the Sleep option instead of shutting it down. The computer won’t wake up if it’s not in sleep mode. You can also change Windows’ power saving options to have the PC automatically sleep after it hasn’t been used for a while or when you press specific buttons.

You can also create a scheduled task that puts the PC to sleep. See: Make Your PC Shut Down at Night (But Only When You’re Not Using It)

Search Google in Handwriting with Google Handwrite (iOS and Android)

July 30, 2012 at 2:14 PM | Posted in Android, iOS | 54 Comments
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If you are using a smartphone either iOS based iPhone or any Android phone then you must be knowing how irritating it is to type on it using the small screen keyboard. This experience gets worse if you are in a hurry and need to type down some text on it. To rescue this we definitely need a handwriting service on all these phones.

But since not all the phones come preloaded with this feature we will have to abide by this. Recently Google had announced the launch of its new search feature but only for the smartphones and tablets based on iOS and Android platforms. This feature is called as Handwrite and as the name suggests, with this new feature you can search Google by typing in your own handwriting on your phone/device instead of the small keyboard that takes half of your screen area.

As per Google this feature works the best on the native Android browser on Android 2.3+ phones, Android 4.0+ tablets, and iOS 5+ phones and tablets. So if you have any device that have the mentioned platforms, then you can surely enjoy this feature. However the feature is not enabled by default and you will have to follow the steps below to get this enabled:

• Open http://www.google.com on your mobile or tablet browser.

• Tap ‘Settings’ at the bottom of the screen and enable Handwrite option. Refresh the page.

• Now you will see a ‘g’ icon in the right bottom area of your screen. Tapping this will allow you to type in your own handwriting. As soon as you start moving your fingers anywhere over the screen, a blue line will start following which will detect your stroke and search it in Google.

If you don’t like this feature, you can get it disabled back and start using your earlier typing method via keyboard. You can read about this feature in detail at the link mentioned below.

Visit Google Handwrite tips

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