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Use URLDroplet (or sideCLOUDload) to remotely download torrents

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Yesterday I mentioned how you can simplify downloading files via your browser using URLDroplet and today I just realized the Dropbox addon can be used to download torrents remotely from any device that has internet connection.

All you need to do is – set up your Bittorrent client to watch your Dropbox folder and then whenever you are on the go but want to download a torrent back at your home PC, you can simply copy the torrent link, paste it in URLDroplet and it will download the torrent in your Dropbox, given the fact that your PC is running and the Dropbox service is started.

How can you set up your Bittorent client to watch a folder? Well our favorite uTorrent’s settings are quite simple. Head to Options menu, Preferences, Directories and enable the option “Automatically load .torrents from”. Mention your Dropbox’s destination and you’re good to go. Other clients settings are similar too.

While we’re on the topic, a similar service sideCLOUDload can also be used for doing the same. You might ask why didn’t I mention this in yesterday’s post… Only because sideCLOUDload doesn’t allows files larger than 25MB to be sent on your Dropbox. But because it’s next to impossible to have a .torrent file as large as 25MB, sideCLOUDload works. Why would I mention sideCLOUDload now? Because it gives an added benefit of storing files in a specific folder inside Dropbox. So for the people who like keeping their stuff totally organized all the time, this might help as URLDroplet saves your .torrent file directly in the Dropbox folder and there’s no option to save it in a particular directory of Dropbox.

Of course to do remote torrent downloading there are remote apps, web UIs etc., but I find this the most simple and easiest way to download files from one device to another.


Written by rahulbhagchandani

June 19, 2011 at 1:02 am

Posted in Torrents

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Simplify downloading from your browser and send files directly to your Dropbox

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How many times do you start downloading a huge file on your browser and suddenly out of nowhere there is a minor internet glitch and all that time you invested to see that file download is gone, boom? In a quite simple workaround to the problem using a new service URLDroplet, you can however eliminate the need of using your browser’s download manager and just give URLDroplet a link and it’ll do the rest, provided you have a Dropbox account.

The idea is simple. URLDroplet queues the download to your Dropbox account and whenever you run your Dropbox service on your computer (or device), it’ll start syncing. The powerful feature is (it’s a Dropbox feature), you can pause the syncing. You can even shut down the PC, go to bed, wake up, have breakfast, switch the PC back on and resume the file from where the download paused. That’s one reason I love BitTorrent – the ability to pause but sadly not all files are hosted over BT.

Anyhoo, this workaround is also pretty nifty if you use multiple devices. Like I use my cell phone and iPad to do the major online reading but the heavyload working and downloading is done on the PC. So now, I can simply copy a link I come across on my iPad, paste it into URLDroplet and I know Ill have my file in my Dropbox.

Like guys at the Apple say, It Just Works.

Of course there are download managers and all but don’t they hog your memory usage, eh? If your run multiple extensions already, you might not want to run a download manager (not especially on Firefox) as they’re huge memory creepers.

Only requirement is – you need to have enough space for the file in your Dropbox! There are no restrictions on filesize by URLDroplet.

Written by rahulbhagchandani

June 18, 2011 at 1:15 am

Posted in Uncategorized

iPad apps roundup: Apps that matter

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I’ve been using my new iPad 2 for over a week now and have installed and experienced hundreds of apps over the period, so I decided to compile a quick list of apps that matter. Most of them are free and for the couple of paid apps, I’ve mentioned their alternatives.

In descending order, with must-have apps first, here they are:

Dropbox, Free (or any other cloud service app): You just need to have this app on your iPad. Dropbox gives instant access to all your important files, offline view for favorites, and photo uploading capacity. Damn good app; must, must have. Know more about Dropbox.

Quick Office Pro HD, $14.99: One of the reasons I bought an iPad was to have the ability to edit my documents on the move. I’ve a primary, awesome laptop, but let’s face it, who likes to carry it around everywhere? With Quick office you can create and edit all your documents – word, excel, and powerpoint. It supports iWork files as well. It also lets you connect your favorite cloud to the app for instance access.

Of course there is iWork with all its brilliance but given Quick Office’s half price when compared to iWork, it steals the deal.

Alternative: Documents Free is an alternative for documents but sadly it doesn’t support editing word documents – only .txt files. It does however support .xls sheets. That’s the best you’re going to get for free for documents on the iPad, sadly. If you’re going to however have internet connectivity all the time, Google Reader is the best way to store, access, and modify your documents. Just open on your iPad and a webapp customized for iOS devices will automatically open.

Stanza, Free: A free pdf reader. It also supports ePub, eReader, Comic Book Archives (CBR & CBZ), and DjVu books. For the reader in me, Stanza’s the god. One of the other reasons for buying an iPad was convenient ebook reading and Stanza helps me do that. Must have!

iUnarchive Lite, Free: So I got this email from my designer with a bucket load of jpegs compressed in a zip. iPad in all its charm can’t open archives. iUnarchive is perfect for people who get lots of zips in mail. Besides, iUnarchive lets you individually save/open files, email them or even save directly to one of your favorite cloud service.

GarageBand, $4.99: If you play any musical instrument, get this! If you don’t, still it’s totally worth the 5 bucks. I’m not going to explain much but instead let this video explain

Alternatives: If you’re not looking to shell out $5 and  want tosettle for free, check out Virtuoso Piano, Classical Guitar and Drum Beats. All free, a bit restrictive but fun nevertheless.

Twitter, Free: Twitter for iPad is brilliant. The interface is a killer and very, very functional. There are a lot of third party Twitter apps for iPad but I’d say settle with this. You ARE going to fall in love with it.

Friendly, Free: If you’re a Facebook user, definitely you’d be looking for a Facebook app for iPad. Sadly, there is no app for iPad by Facebook. Friendly is a third party app that let’s you do what you can with Facebook. It’s pretty okay, but the best in competition.

However, if you’re ready to settle with a low-res app of Facebook on your iPad, install Facebook for iPhone on your iPad. It’d work, but the resolution is kinda kinky.

Times of India, Free: Newspaper reader or not, TOI app is so brilliantly designed- it feels like a newspaper in your hands. No more comments, it just works.

Flipboard, Free: Flipboard brings a whole new paradise of information sharing in form of a book. There are default topics sure but you can link your Facebook, Twitter and even Google Reader to have a nice and lovely look at what’s happening. One of the UIs.

CNBC RT, Free: If you follow stock markets, you’d love CNBC. If you don’t, still you’ll. It’s a brilliant real time app that just tells you the power of your device. You wanna flaunt your iPad in a public place? Now that’s the app to switch on and show off.

IMDb, Free: The movie-freak or the TV-freak in you is going to love this app. Everything from is here but with a charm of touch interface. You can spend hours reading about more shows and movies, putting them in your watchlist, looking at photos, reading news and you won’t get bored.

Photoshop Express, Free: There are two cameras in your iPad. And photo viewing is one of the best thing in the device. What if you want to do some lightweight editing? PS Express is quite nice to do all that basic touchups to your pic before uploading it to your network.

Epicurious: Food lover? Or like your mom making you good food? Epicurious is the food app. Type in an ingredient and Epicurious tells you thousands of possible recipes. Recipes have photos, ingredients and the procedure all laid neatly.

Angry Birds, Free: Need I say why? Get one already!

NFS HP Lite, Free: If you’re not a hardcore gamer, but like racing games… you’d love NFS HP. The free version has quite many restrictions but it lets you race in two different modes and get a feel of how awesome racing games actually are on iPad. It satisfies the quiet racer inside of me.

Opera, Free: Safari is a cool browser. What if you get bored with it? Or unsatisfied? There should be always another browser on any device that can run internet. Opera is for iPad.

Talking Tom, Free: This guy repeats whatever you do in a funny voice besides doing some other stupid gestures. You can even slap him. Must have!

Doodle Buddy: You can doodle anything you like on variety of backgrounds built-in. You can type too. But the best part of Doodle Buddy is you can annotate already saved pictures. That’s really cool to have for free!

Wunderlist, Free: Sync lists between Windows, Mac and iOS devices. And share them with friends too. Very good if you like making lists but hate organizing them. (See Simplenote for notemaking as well)

Appstart, Free: Appstart is for people who just started using iPad and want to take a tour of what apps to install… well that’s how it advertises self. However, the app has a bucket load of tips on how to get the best out of your iPad. The UI is fantastic and there are built-in app store links to the suggested apps. Power user or basic, you’ll find some quick tips surely.

Compass, Free: Handy utility. Compass quickly tells you the magnetic/true north. Also of course the direction you hold your iPad in, with angle in degrees.

Shazam, Free: How often you hear a song and want to know its name? Start Shazam and it tells you what song is being played in the café’s jukebox.

Soundhound, Free: Opposite of Shazam. You sing (of hum) to Soundhound and it recognizes the song you’re singing! Works for songs those you can’t remember but can’t get them out of your heads.

That’s the roundup. Of course there are a lot more apps out there which I might have missed; I’ll come up with more posts on this, for sure.

If you just bought an iPad, you should check out the recent post I covered… First things to do with your new iPad.

Written by rahulbhagchandani

June 10, 2011 at 11:55 am

Posted in Apple, iPad

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First things to do with your new iPad

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I recently bought a sheeny new iPad 2. It’s awesome, no doubt. But I was confused how to start using it. Should I connect it to the iTunes, get my files and then start with my app-experience or the other way round, or what? But now that it’s been a couple of days, I know what should have I done.

Before opening the box:

Get a case: I haven’t yet. You definitely should have a case for this beautiful bastard. It looks really fragile to  say the least so one should have a case. And get a case, like a real case… Not a smart cover. Why? Because smart cover is all cool and sexy and utile but it’s just a screen cover. You would want a lot from your case. For a start, it must be shock absorbent. Smart cover is not. You might want to buy something like this. Or for you DIY-ers out there, here is a gorgeous iBook you can make for your iPad, or this beautiful spiral case –plus –stand.

After opening the box:

You’ll need a computer to setup your iPad and there are not many options on this part. Get that USB connector from the box and connect your iPad to your Mac/PC for the first use. But wait…

Don’t sync all your photos, videos everything yet.

I synced almost 1000 photos, 800 songs and a couple of videos at a go, the first go, and I had to wait a while before I could actually use the device. It was annoying. Especially to my lil sister who kept on telling me to do all that crap later.

Besides, I had to reconnect once again to copy the other ­non-Apple supported files later. What I mean to say, you may ask. It’s pretty simple. Apple does not have a pdf reader (one of the reasons that I bought the iPad was convenient pdf reading). It also does not support .avi files (99% of my video files are .avi). So after installing the specific apps which could read these files (pdf, avi, etcetera), I had to reconnect my iPad. Again start iTunes. And copy files, again.

Thus, instead of starting your music, photo and video syncing during the first use, you can just complete the basic set up first. Plug out your iPad. Use it, feel it, love it. Install the desired apps. And then reconnect it to your iTunes later, do all the file system tasks at a go and you’d be happier.

Set up a password

Go to settings, general and then enable passcode lock. Make it a quick but difficult password. You might even want to switch on the functionality which says “Delete all data from this iPad after 10 unsuccessful password attempts”.

You might ask why I need to set up a password. Well primarily because of your data’s security. You see when you use this iPad, there is going to be a lot of data of yours on it. Photos and videos aside, there is going to be your web history. Your social networking credentials will be stored with those apps for easier access. Your documents too. Now god forbid, but what if you lose your iPad somewhere or you get mugged? Unless you’re okay with the idea of all your data with the mugger, it’s pretty fine not having a quick password. But I don’t see anyone okay with that, are you?

So, get a password.

Besides, apps like Quickoffice, Dropbox etc. have the capability of password protecting them. Browse the apps’ settings and you will get a passcode lock option, if there is. That way you can double protect data on these apps.

While using the iPad:

*Install apps. They’re fun. Check out my list of iPad apps that really matter.

*And here’s another DIY for your iPad – one where you can create a stylus. I made one like this which works like a charm and it’s a two minute job. This one is another, though with a lot more workaround required.

*And, don’t drop it!

Written by rahulbhagchandani

June 9, 2011 at 10:50 pm

Posted in iPad

WWDC: Entire coverage… iCloud, iOS 5 and the Lion [UPDATE: videos updated]

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Today at the Keynote WWDC 2011, Apple unveiled the much awaited iCloud service. Apple also launched the major upgrades of it’s flagship operating systems in Lion and iOS 5. Awesome Tech Blog covered the event and the best features of all three are covered in three different posts linked below. More to follow…

From the WWDC: Lion Features Roundup

From the WWDC: iOS 5 Features roundup

From the WWDC: Here is the iCloud- Features roundup

UPDATE: Introductory videos updated in respected posts (except iCloud’s of which there is no video by Apple). To watch the entire WWDC Keynote, here is the link to Apple website. They’ve hosted it on their own servers.. not on Youtube so no embedding possible.

Written by rahulbhagchandani

June 7, 2011 at 3:00 am

Posted in WWDC11

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From the WWDC: Here is the iCloud- Features roundup

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Apple’s Keynote 2011 just ended with loads of awesome stuff unveiled by Apple today. There was Lion, then there was iOS 5 and finally, the much awaited iCloud. Hit the links to get more on them, this post’s for iCloud. 

UPDATE: Apple hasn’t uploaded any introductory video of iCloud. However you can watch the entire Keynote as it happened on Apple’s website….

The much awaited iCloud is here. Boasted with Brilliant functionality, Apple has launched the first cloud service one would love. Technically replacement of its MobileMe service, this however unlike MobileMe, is free! What iCloud will actually do is… Not only it will take your music to the cloud, it will take everything else – your documents, your photos, your contacts, calender, emails etc. to the cloud. Even your AppStore and iBook Store will be on the cloud.

Documents: All your iWork files are now on the cloud. Access it from a Mac, or iPad or iPhone.

iCloud Storage APIs: Because Apple thinks Filesystems are hard to understand and don’t want you to worry about them. These APIs will work for macs as well as PCs.

PhotoStream: Take a photo and it goes to other devices + cloud + macs. Importing photos also possible.

Finally, your songs: You can easily track your purchase history and these songs will be available on all other iOS devices as well as on the cloud.

However if you don’t have purchased music. What then? Then well.. there is a way out. However a paid way. Having said that, you just need to pay $24.99 a year to have all your music. All, purchased from iTunes or not. All on the cloud. It’s the iTunes Match. When you run this, it matches your library with that of iTunes. If it finds (which it should given its huge library), it automatically makes your song available. If it doesn’t, well it uploads it. No questions asked.

It technically converts your piracy into legal music (and that too at a good format of 256KBPS AAC) for just $24.99. Not a bad move, Steve.

iCloud comes bundled with iOS 5. Developer preview available from today. It will also run on iOS 4.3.

Written by rahulbhagchandani

June 7, 2011 at 2:12 am

Posted in WWDC11

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From the WWDC: iOS 5 Features roundup

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Apple’s Keynote 2011 just ended with loads of awesome stuff unveiled by Apple today. There was Lion, then there was iOS 5 and finally, the much awaited iCloud. Hit the links to get more on them, this post’s for iOS 5. 

UPDATE: Video attached below


iOS 5, a major upgrade, made jaws drop and eyes pop with it’s brilliant new features to the already awesome iOS 4. Here’s a quick look at what iOS 5 has to offer…

Feature #1: iMessage. Blackberry killer, literally! Just like BBM, now iOS users can converse and share with other iOS users via iMessage. One thing that BB was very popular for is now something Apple has.. and it has more to offer. iMessage seamlessly works on the iPhone, the iPad, and the iPod either via 3G/WiFi connectivity. No wonder this is one of the killer feature iOS 5 has to offer.

Feature #2: Notifications. iOS notifications were literally sad. Very sucky. And, fucked up. But now there is a better way to manage those. There is a Notification Center where you can get all the notifications. Just a finger swipe from top to bottom and there you have it.

Feature #3: Twitter Integration. Now you just need to sign in just once and you can tweet from any app, any website w/o all the again and again logins. It pretty great for Twitter users like me. Just today I was ranting how my iPad apps would force me to login time and again just to share a piece.

Feature #4: All new Safari. The Safari browser now has actual tabs (ahem, ahem). Besides, it has some lovely features like a Reader. And Reading Lists (Yes exactly like Instapaper et al).

Feature #5: Better Mail app. Lion got a new Mail app so how couldn’t iOS. The UI though much similar, it is rather faster this mail app. Supports rich-text formatting. Control indentation. Draggable addresses. Can flag messages. Search entire message (entire contents).

Feature #6: Photos. Pinch zooming. You can now carry basic editions (red-eye, rotate etc.) within the iOS itself. There’s a better camera app and you can even click photos when the device is locked. Also, with the volume button!

AND IT’S PC-FREE! I was saving this for the last. Yes. Finally. You can now bring an iOS device and not connect it to iTunes. Wireless syncing ftw!

Besides, there are new multitasking gestures. Reminders (syncable). AirPlay mirroring. Brand new awesome Game center. A Newsstand. A new dual keyboard for you to type with two thumbs. S/MIME support for mail. One dictionary all across the OS that you can use by selecting the word and clicking “define” that pops up alongside the copy command.

Clearly, iOS 5 just got better!! It will ship this fall with support for iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 + iPad 1/2 and iPod Touch (3rd generation or higher).

Written by rahulbhagchandani

June 7, 2011 at 1:55 am

Posted in WWDC11

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