Tag: Software

Tips for Creating and Managing Strong Passwords


Passwords. So annoying, yet so critically important. Without passwords, your friends would be spamming your Facebook wall with lolcat pictures. Or worse… So, we need passwords. Better, we need strong passwords. A weak password is guessable, and a potential attacker could compromise your online identity and access your personal data easily. I’m sure you’d like to avoid that. I say avoid, not prevent.

Prevention is not really possible since even a strong password could be compromised if the site you input it on is insecure, or has some undiscovered vulnerabilities, such as the one that recently affected the Gawker network: its users’ passwords were exposed to the world. If the site takes appropriate precautions, you’re pretty safe, but still, the risk is there.

Without further delay, let’s see what’s a strong password, how to create one, what you shouldn’t do with passwords, what the guidelines are and how you can manage your passwords. A lot, yes.

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Firefox 4: The Review


By now, you have probably already seen tons of Firefox 4 reviews, previews and whatnot. Firefox 4 will officially be released tomorrow and will be available here, but if you’re impatient, you can get it here. You can also get it off Mozilla’s FTP server, but they politely request you don’t do that since the hordes of Firefox users leeching off those servers will kill them. At the moment, the Release Candidate version is still up on the Mozilla website.

Anyway, here’s an early review of the shiny new browser’s main features!

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How To Easily Save Or Print A Directory’s Contents [Windows]


It may happen that you need a directory listing, that is a list of all the files in a folder. Unfortunately, there is no direct way to do this simple task in Windows.

Say you need to send a list of all the files found in a directory to a friend. You could take a screen-capture of the folder and send it to them. What if there are lots of files? You’d have multiple screen-captures and files will repeat in various captures. Not very elegant. So I’ll show you 3 methods to get a list of all files from a directory and save it as a text file.

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4 Innovative Tricks To Save Printer Ink


First post of 2011! Yay! So I thought I’d start with something that can help protect the environment and at the same time, save you some cash. Quite a good idea, no?

So as the title says, we’re going to try to have your printer drink less ink, and hence reduce the amount of money you invest feeding it. You should know that I tried and am still using those measures for a laser printer, but I believe that what works for toner should work pretty much the same for liquid ink. I have no idea about how dot-matrix printers will react, so don’t ask.

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Skype: Playback Not Supported Error [Solution]


This will be a rather short port. I was using Skype 4.2 when I got the following error message while trying to show someone what sound Skype makes when it rings.

This error has also been reported to occur when call events happen but I’ve not personally witnessed it.

Turns out the solution is simple, but quite awkward. The steps are:

  1. Go to Tools → Options.
  2. Under the General section, choose Sounds.
  3. Click the Enable all Sounds button.
  4. Click the Save button. This is important! Changes will only take effect after you click Save and exit out of the Options window.

Now if you were like me, and trying to test ringtones, you can go back to Tools → Options → Sounds (steps 1, 2 above) and playback your sound (green play button) and you won’t get the error.

An alternative solution, if you get the error during call events is:

  1. Go to Tools → Options.
  2. Under the General section, choose Sounds.
  3. Click Mute all Sounds button.
  4. Click the Save button.
  5. Repeat steps 1 and 2 to return to the Sounds window.
  6. This time, click Enable all Sounds button.
  7. Click the Save button.

Hopefully those steps should solve your problem, and I hope this simple solution is useful to you.

(source: Skype forums)

Mount ISO Images In One Click Using WinCDEmu


Do you often have to mount ISO images? If you don’t know what ISO images are, they are simply images, or copies, of the filesystem of optical disks such as DVDs. You can think of them as “zip” files containing whatever there was on the disk.

Now before you can use an ISO file, you have to do something called “mounting” the ISO file. Mounting means to make a separate filesystem part of the current filesystem used by your Operating System. It’s like you’re taking a branch, and sticking it to the side of a tree. Then by climbing the tree, you can reach your new branch and its leaves, correct?

For ISO images, this “mounting” process is done by making the ISO file be represented as a virtual drive in Windows. All this to say, you’ll just get an additional “DVD” drive in your My Computer if you mount an ISO file.

There are various tools out there to do this mounting job. The most famous ones are probably Daemon Tools and Magic ISO. Maybe even Ultra ISO.

But, I tend to like minimum effort. I tried getting Daemon Tools to give me mounting options when I right-click on an ISO file without much success. The others are either too complex or not free.

If you want a dead-simple solution, try WinCDEmu. Despite its name, it does work with DVDs huh. And even Bluray I guess, but I haven’t tested those. I’m not lucky enough to be the owner of a BR drive… yet!

So WinCDEmu is an open-sourced application that works by installing a sort of virtual driver, along with its virtual bus and drives. Nothing for you to worry about, since it’s all done automatically. But you’ll need to have appropriate permissions (being Admin, for e.g.) to grant the permission to install the driver. And it’s a signed driver at that!

The process is just a Next-Next-Next process until it’s done. And? That’s it.

You’ll be presented with that window to customize settings. Nothing much to do.

To get it working? Double-click on your ISO image. A new “DVD” drive will be created in My Computer. You can then access the ISO contents as if they were a normal disk.

To unmount the ISO image, just right-click the virtual drive and select Eject.

Simple huh?

Also, WinCDEmu supports a variety of other disk image formats, such as ISO, CUE, NRG and IMG to name a few.

Just to mention that WinCDEmu didn’t associate with the CUE, NRG, IMG and other file formats on my machine, just ISO. If that’s the case, just right-click the image file, then select Open With – WinCDEmu Mounter. You can also change file associations in Windows to point the WinCDEmu Mounter—to have the double-click mounting functionality—like this on Windows Vista/7. For XP just Google.

  • Head to Control Panel – Default Programs – Associate a File Type or Protocol with a Program.
  • Locate your File Type e.g. NRG
  • Select it then click the Change Program on the top right corner.
  • Select WinCDEmu. Done

That’s it. Go download WinCDEmu and give it a try. A portable, but beta version, is also available. And if you know some application that can beat WinCDEmu in simplicity for this task, do share! Thanks for reading 😀

Remote Control a computer with TeamViewer


Has it ever happened to you that someone requests some help with a problem regarding their computer? You will then usually try to provide assistance over the phone. However hard you try to explain, some problems are just not resolvable on phone. At that time, you wish you had just gone and meet the person. But if the person is in another country, you have a problem. Or maybe you are abroad or at a friend’s place, and want to check how your downloads are going, or do something on your machine?

In those situations, you want to “remote control” your computer.

There are a number of software that allow to do this, starting with Windows’ Remote Desktop Connection. It works well when using windows machines over local networking. However, when you take it through the Internet, it’s slow. There is also the problem of cross-platform compatibility. What if you want to help someone running Windows while you’re on Linux? For those situations, you may want a Virtual Network Computing (VNC) software. Basically, a VNC software comes in the form of two software pieces: the server and the client. You install the server on the PC you want to control, and you connect the client (viewer) to it. The problem with VNC is that it is not beginner-friendly since it requires some configuration, and the server-client concept may not be appealing to all. Also, without some tweaking, VNC can be really slow.

If you want a really simple, cross-platform and free solution, you will want TeamViewer.

TeamViewer comes as a single package, which acts as both server and client. It is also portable, in that it can run without installation (tested on Windows only).

So how do you use it? Just download the setup file (or package), choose to install or run it directly, and you’re basically done.

Now, you’ll be presented with this screen:

Two important things are shown in that screen: An ID and a password, which are unique for your machine. Password is sessional: it changes.

To connect to a person, ask them their ID and password. Put it in the box on the right, and choose what type of connection you want. As you see, you can provide “Remote Support” which will allow you to take control of their machine, “Presentation” which is like a “view-only” mode for presentations, with minimal display elements, “File Transfer”, which allows direct transfer of files between two computers, without having to upload the file first, and “VPN”, which is as if your two computers are connected to the same local network. This mode is great for LAN gaming over Internet. However, if you want only that feature, there are better software out there, like Hamachi or Tunngle.

When you click “Connect to partner”, you’ll have to put their password. And that’s it. If you chose Remote Support, you’ll have their desktop in front of you. You can now execute commands etc, as if you were working on your own machine.

TeamViewer works across Firewalls, NAT etc, so you don’t have to configure anything if your partner or yourself have those in place.

In my opinion, that is the simplest remote controlling a computer can be, so if you want to do that, give TeamViewer a try.