Author Archives: Administrator

Sudoku For iPhone

If you are a Sudoku fanatic and have an iPhone, there is a website just for you: http://www.enjoysudoku.com.

This site offers the most intuitive interface for Sudoku since the pencil. There are new puzzles every day and they are offered at seven levels of difficulty ranging from Beginner to Fiendish. Even the ‘Moderate’ setting offers a challenging puzzle and they go up from there. One nice feature is that once you select a number to work on, the game highlights all of those already on the board. If you make a mistake by placing a number on a line already occupied it displays the number in red, so you don’t fat-finger your way into a wrecked puzzle. When you finish a puzzle the system tells you what percentage your time ranks among all the others who have played!

How to Defragment your Hard Drive

It is important to defragment your hard drive from time to time.

It is particularly useful to do this when you have uninstalled and installed hardware or copied many files. Over time, your hard drive becomes fragmented as files are put on or taken off your hard drive. Fragmentation happens because the operating system will place files wherever there is space but will not necessarily keep the files together. Think of it this way — your hard drive is a wall unit with a bunch of cubby holes for pieces of paper. As you get papers, you stick the papers where there is space available. You start at the beginning and move over and down putting papers wherever they fit, but as you take out papers, you make cubby holes available for new papers. After some time of adding and taking away papers, you have some cubby holes full, some half full, and some entirely empty. This is very much like what happens on your hard drive and is called fragmentation. Fragmentation slows down access to your hard drive. For instance, using the cubby hole example, let us say that when placing papers, you placed a book among five different cubby holes because that is where there was space. Well to get the book out, you have to go to five different cubby holes to access the book. This takes time and slows you down every time you want to view that book!

Defragmenting is the answer. You can do this on any Microsoft Windows computer. I will list the instructions for Windows XP below. The instructions will vary slightly for different versions of Windows.
1. Go to your desktop and locate the My Computer icon.
2. Double click the My Computer icon and locate the drive you would like to defragment (you cannot defragment CD’s).
3. Right-click on the drive and select Properties.
4. Click the Tools tab in the Disk Properties dialog box.
5. Click the Defragment Now… button.
6. Follow the instructions on Disk Defragmenter application to defragment your drive.

Thin Clients – How to assemble a cheap computer!

I have a pentium pro 333mhz and a pIII 933mhz setup as thin clients.

This kind of junk can be found easily and most of the times without any cost 🙂 The idea here is to have a typical client-server setup. I use SoThin for this and it does miracles for my kids! The server software is running on my home server (a mix of file server and media center right now). If you’re interested in this I recommend browsing http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thin_client Another tip for cheap computer parts. The HDs! I bougth 4 250gb HDs, IDE, one samsung and the rest Western Digital, on eBay. After formating them I mounted a dynamic partition in a RAID like partition. 3 HDs as a single data unit with about 700gb and one for recovery if something happens. The price? A 3+1 RAID solution for 65 dollars? 🙂 Try to find one in the market!

Greenshot Screenshot

Greenshot is an open source screen capture tool that is easy to use.

No install required just download, unzip, and execute greenshot.exe. It supports three types of screen captures; region, window, and full screen. Images can be saved as JPEG, GIF, PNG, and BMP. The screen shot can automatically save as a file, sent to a printer, clipboard, or image editor. The image editor supports drawing rectangle, ellipse, line, arrow, and add text. This screen capture tool is easy to use and can allows you to quickly add ellipses, rectangles, lines, and arrows to the image. Be warn this tool on its first execution sets itself up to be automatically when windows is started. This is easy turned off through changing its preferences. It also replaces the windows print screen key for capturing. If you are looking for a screen capture with more capabilities than the windows print key this might be it.

Kindle v. Paperbacks

Amazon.com released the first generation of their new e-book reading device in late 2007 with the device selling out in hours.

The Kindle uses electronic paper screen technology (E Ink) to reduce eye fatigue from flicker and glare. Unlike traditional screens, paper screens are not backlit providing an experience closer to true ink and paper. The device reads Kindle formatted books and periodicals which can be downloaded from anywhere in the US without a computer over the Sprint EVDO network without any continuing fee for the wireless access.

Documents formatted otherwise can be emailed to Amazon and converted to Kindle-formatting and then sent directly to the device for $0.10. Access to a handful of internet resources like wikipedia.com is included in the purchase price and web browsing is available at a cost. At just about $400, the Kindle certainly costs more than the average best-seller, but is not out of line with the competition. The cost to download the average e-book from the Kindle store is less than a physical copy (approx. $9.99 for a best-seller).

The cost-effectiveness of Kindle will vary substantially among users depending on their needs. It seems safe to assume that Kindle is already proving itself cost-effective to Amazon.com. This sort of device has significant appeal to numerous consumers; the reader, the techie, the green consumer etc. Amazon is also offering a self-publishing service for authors (or would-be authors) out there with their new digital text platform. This allows authors to self-publish, set their own prices, and receive 35% of the revenues. With Amazon’s more than considerable resources, the Kindle will most likely not only take the lion’s share of e-book consumers out there, it will create a sustainable market for this technology.

Image Tricks

Image Tricks is a free photo editing software for Mac OS X. Created by BeLight Software, this application has many good features, though it also has the limitations that can be expected from freeware.

This application has many of the features one would expect from photo editing software, such as cropping, resizing and recoloring. However, the application truly shines in its various effects. For example, if you want to make only the edges apparent simply select that effect and click. It allows the user to select the type of effect or distortion from a menu on the left side of the window, and the effects are organized under various headers like distortion and tile.

In addition to these effects, Image Tricks offers several masks, including one in the shape of an Apple logo for Mac fans. In terms of support, the BeLight Software website offers great and easy to understand help for any problems that you might have. If your question isn’t answered in the FAQ section or forum, the tech support can be emailed and they do respond quickly. In addition to their many other programs, regular updates for Image Tricks are released on the website. For a simple and free photo editing application Image Tricks offers many great features and BeLight has good support for their product.