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Archive for the ‘How to’ Category

Let Facebook tell who logged into your account

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Facebook has this hidden feature available and I bet not many of you reading this are aware about it. The feature, if enabled, just after logging in and before accessing your account, Facebook asks the user to enter a particular name for the location user is logging in from. And that name entered along with IP address and location, time of logging in, the browser used to browse the site and even the OS – everything is mailed to your primary email address just the next moment.

The whole point is – you should know when someone else logs into your account and if this feature is enabled, you’ll know it. Easy!

It might be a bit of pain because enabling the feature means an additional step between logging in and accessing the account, but the feature is too powerful to be ignored. Apart, clicking the button, “Don’t ask for this device again” won’t ask you again of course until the browser’s cache is not deleted.

To enable this feature, go Accounts tab | Account Security option under Settings tab | Click Change | And enable the Radio button On under Get notified by SMS or email if a new computer or mobile device logs into your account.

For an easier tutorial, follow the attached slideshow.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Written by rahulbhagchandani

December 23, 2010 at 4:30 pm

Know your passwords well

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I found this lovely website right now and couldn’t help not share it. It’s called… well, wait for it.

Before getting down to sharing the website, I’d like to share a tip of making the best, easiest to remember and “the” strongest password ever.

There might be a million posts done on how to choose the strongest of passwords but I’ll get down to topic at the speed of a tracer bullet.

You see to choose “the” best password, first things first, you need to have a nice statement/sentence/catchphrase or something alike in your mind – something that you could easily remember, any normal yet unique for you sentence. Let’s say the sentence which you can easily remember is…

Hey, what’s up? I am wondering if there is someway out to choose the best password?

Once you have the line, majority of the job is done. Now become a bit clever and take the first letters of each word in the line to make your password. Use punctuations, underscores and numbers to make it a hell more stronger. Like the above line can be used to generate (and easily remember) the following passwords…

hwuiamwitisotctbp – Easy, nuts.

h,wu?iamwitisotctbp? – Ah, nice, progress.

h,wu?1mw_itisotctbp? – There you go, this should be it. Notice the underscore used just to put more emphasis in the sentence and of course make the password a lot stronger.

I’ve been using this trick for years and all you need to do is remember a sentence. If you just become awesomely clever and use special characters with some out of the box imagination, you can even dare to write down the line somewhere just in case if you forgot – the fact that its just you who knows where to use which special characters keeps your password totally secure. Right now you may think – this is not that easy. But mind me, its god damn easy. YEah!

So how to know if you’re password is strong enough? Well that brings us back to the starting of the post… the wait for it part.

I found this website – http://howsecureismypassword.net/

Make a new password now as suggested and try it with the above mentioned website. Make it as stronger as possible.

FYI,

for the first suggested password hwuiamwitisotctbp – a normal desktop PC will take about 3 billion years to crack open the password via brute force according to the above shared website.

for the second suggested password h,wu?iamwitisotctbp?a normal desktop PC will take about 8 quintillion years to crack open the password via brute force according to the above shared website.

for the third suggested password h,wu?1mw_itisotctbp?a normal desktop PC will take about 20 quintillion years to crack open the password via brute force according to the above shared website.

my password btw will need about 1,609,824 nonillion years :p

Written by rahulbhagchandani

December 19, 2010 at 6:38 am

Posted in How to, Security

Tagged with , ,

Try Chrome OS on any machine

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Google Chrome OS has been making the news columns since awhile now and Google is infact giving away free Chrome Notebooks for beta testing, however only if you’re in US.

So what if you’re outta US? Or what if you don’t wanna wait for your name to be randomly selected from all those million requests?

Well, here’s how you can give Google Chrome OS a try and you don’t even need any additional hardware.

But of course, you’ll need a 2-gig flash drive (USB drive) as far as hardware goes.

Download this image – this is a stable and tested build. If you are looking for something more adventurous, you can download some dirty, untested builds of the same here.

But take my word and go for the stable release. The dirty ones turned out to be really dirty for me. Wasted like hours, let alone some precious bandwidth.

After you’re done downloading image, use Win32 Disk Imager to burn this to a 2-gig flash drive. Download Win32 Imager here.

Once burnt, restart your PC and change the boot settings of the BIOS at the restart. Usually this can be done by pressing F12 key. Alter the boot priorities and make USB HDD the first choice preference.

Plug in the USB and you should be all set to go.

An image like the one on right will welcome you. You should have an ethernet connection to log in. Well, wifi didn’t particularly work well and it won’t, at least the first time. But once logged in, you can alter the settings and browse via wifi.

Log in with your Google account and if you don’t have one, make one before starting the procedure it.

And there you go, here’s a browser which in fact, is an, Operating system!

To be clear, this isn’t actually *the* Chrome OS. Chrome OS is for now running only on its particular hardware. However, this is just like Chrome OS. Chrome OS is built on an open source project Chromium OS. Anyone can get the source and build a Chrome Os and try it. Or instead of building it yourself, you can follow this simple procedure and play with it!

Wait for tomorrow when I come up with a full Google Chrome OS hands on .

P.S.

1.) 2-gig flash drives are alright but I’d recommend to use one with a bigger capacity. Some forums did point issues with flash drives of 2-gigs. I personally tried it on an 8-gig drive.

2.) There seems to be some issues with Dell machines. And so if you’re a Dell user, it is recommended not to waste time and bandwidth of yours for now cos it just won’t work.

Written by rahulbhagchandani

December 17, 2010 at 11:27 pm

Posted in Chrome Notebook/OS, How to

Tagged with , , ,

Use media keys for an inactive iTunes

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If you are an iTunes user and love to use the media keys on your keyboard, there might be a chance that those keys don’t work when iTunes is inactive.

Well, I was facing this and I found the solution.

All you need to do is – download a 44KB .dll file and place it in a specific folder.

Download the .dll here.

XP Users can save the above linked file to C:\Program Files\iTunes\Plug-ins

Vista/7 users should save the file to C:\Users\(your username)\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\iTunes\iTunes plug-ins

There’s a chance for 7/Vista users that you don’t see the AppData folder. For that go to Control Panel | Folder Options | View Tab | Check the radio button saying “Show Hidden Files”.

Restart your app and voila, you have your keys now working all guns blazing.

If you encounter some issues, do let me know.

Written by rahulbhagchandani

December 12, 2010 at 12:11 pm

Posted in How to

Tagged with ,

Play safe with shortened links

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Well everyone knows what a shortened link is. More commonly used while tweeting, shortened links or shortened URLs have indeed made the life of passionate tweeters a hell lot easier.

But with the growth of these shortened links, came in the negative part of it. Spammers got a way out to do some funny business and now many a times people click a shortened link only to drop their jaws – because they landed on a total different planet which they didn’t expect.

And not just Twitter, it is spreading all across the web.

So how can you play safe when you are flirting around these links? Here are some quick ways to be total safe.

Bookmarklets

There are various javascript bookmarklets available. These tiny lil programs sit glitchlessly in your Bookmarks’ toolbar and on one click you can either expand the shortened URLs or check if they’re good enough to browse.

expandmyurl.com has such a bookmarklet – it works by passing the shortened links to its’ servers and if found fault-free, it changes the link to green. However I didn’t find it’s way of working very concrete.

And so I’d suggest using longurlplease.com‘s bookmarklet. It is very simple – clicking the bookmarlet expands all the shortened URLs on the web page. No making thing greens, no checking it for authenticity.

Add-ons

If you don’t like the idea of Bookmarklets, there are add-ons for browsers that you can hop on to. Bit.ly’s add-ons for Firefox and Chrome are the best trusted and though it’s developed by bit.ly, it supports a wide number of shortening services.

One-time previews

Finally, if you don’t come across too many shortened links every now and then but want know how to play safe, I have a couple of tips but only limited to bit.ly and tinyurl.

For tinyurl links, you can use preview.tinyurl.com instead of tinyurl.com. For example to preview the following link – http://tinyurl.com/238xhqr, go to http://preview.tinyurl.com/238xhqr instead.

For bit.ly links on the other hand, seeing the info about the link is a simpler process; just add a plus sign at the end of the URL. Like if your shortened link is http://bit.ly/90XO2E, go to http://bit.ly/90XO2E+ instead and get all the possible information about the link.

On a lighter side of tinyurl though, it gives you an option to preview all tiny links before going to the actual page. You can enable this feature for your system here – http://tinyurl.com/preview.php.

And then you can always use sites like expandmyurl.com and longurlplease.com to expand individual links but on a personal note, I’d suggest you to use longurlplease’s bookmarklet. Its niche.

So next time when you click a shortened link, click it with a sense of awesomeness, not with a sense of wariness.

Written by rahulbhagchandani

December 3, 2010 at 11:29 pm

Image Mapping: Add multiple hyperlinks in an image

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Ever wondered how a particular image contained multiple hyperlinks?

Image Mapping in web programming terminology refers to adding not one, but multiple images in a hyperlink. There are many images on the web on which if you click, they direct you to some particular URL. But there are some images which have multiple hyperlinks and clicking a particular part of that image directs you to a particular location.

Today, I’m talking about the latter type of images.

Consider the following image.

Note that, the ability to click inside the image is restricted to the words – iPod, iPhone and iPad only. The rest of the area has no hyperlinks. Clicking any of the links will direct you to the respective product’s official website.

So, how did I do that? Well, it’s simple. All you need to know is some basic HTML.

In basic HTML, you use <img> tag to insert an image. And then this tag contains various attributes like src for source, border for borders et al. If you want map an image, you have to add one more attribute named usemap=”value”.

Here the “value” equals the name of the map. Confused?

Continue reading.

Just after you are done with the <img>, do not close the image tag. Follow it with the <map> tag.

Basically, a map tag needs only one attribute i.e. name. So if you are naming your map as “Apple” in this case, the value of the usemap attribute as mentioned above has to be “Apple”.

To define each hyperlink, you have to use another tag called Area. An area tag has the following important attributes: shape, coords, href.

Shape can be a circle, a rectangle or a polygon depending on the shape of the area you want for the hyperlink.
href is the link (url), of course.
coords are a lil bit confusing. Using MS Paint to figure out the co-ordinates should help.

Open the image concerned in Paint. Remember, the size of the image in MS Paint has got to be equal to the size of image you are using at your webpage.

Now, if your shape is a Rectangle, you need four co-ordinates. Two for the top-left corner and two for the bottom right corner.

To figure out the co-ordinates: Take your mouse pointer in MS Paint to that point concerned, and note down the numbers mentioned in the status bar (the bottom most bar of the window). Coordinates are always mentioned in the form of x,y and not x X y; here x and y are two arbitrary numbers.

A circle has three co-ordinates. Two for the center and one is the radius. A polygon has multiple co-ordinates depending on the shape. If it’s a triangle, it has six co-ordinates as triangle has 3 points (and 3 sides). Similarly, a pentagon has ten co-ordinates (five points and five sides).

The co-ordinates are the most important part of Image mapping. Following is the code that I wrote to map the above image on the right.

<img title="Apple" usemap="#map" src="https://awesometechblog.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/apple_20cent.png"/>
<map name="map">
<area shape="rect" coords="47,48,94,66" href="http://apple.com/ipod" target="_new"/>
<area shape="rect" coords="130,47,203,63" href="http://apple.com/iphone" target="_new"/>

<area shape="rect" coords="248,49,293,66" href="http://apple.com/ipad" target="_new"/>
</map>

</img>

One thing to note, don’t type out the above code in the Visual mode of your web page editor. You need to type out the code in the HTML editor to render changes.

Fun part is, WordPress.com allows image mapping. See, I’ve done it right?

Written by rahulbhagchandani

November 30, 2010 at 8:44 pm

Need help? First learn how to ask for help

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No I’m not kidding neither I’m drunk but you know there’s a decorum to everything; and so there’s even a decorum to follow when you’re asking for tech help.

Neat and simple. You can add comments at instances once you start recording. You can even directly email the file via your system's email client. Niche right?

Indeed.

Now here by tech help I mean PC help. So if you’re looking for help for your cell phone, sorry not so soon.

Okay back to the topic. If you’re asking for help to a geek, you have to be specific. You need to tell what exactly you do (did) and what exactly happens (happened) cos you see geeks are no one but just a bit more experienced than you are.

And if you can’t explain every bit of thing you just don’t have to! Let Windows help you to help you.

Confused, eh?

You see when Microsoft developed Windows 7, I don’t know what actually happened while the developing stage but the final package was pretty awesome, just like this blog.

In simple words, there’s a program pre-installed in Windows 7 which can save bucks and can help your geek friend to easily understand your problem in detail.

The program is called – ‘Problem Steps Recorder.’

To run the program, type “psr” in the start menu search bar or alternatively type “psr.exe” in Run command.

(In-post tip: Don’t know where is that lovely Run Command in Win7 or Vista? Press Windows Key + R and voila, there you have it. Don’t have Windows key? No worries. Right click on the Start button, go to properties. In the ‘Start Menu’ tab, press the ‘Customize’ button. In the pop-up dialogue box, drag down and check the “Run Command” box, and you will now see a ‘Run’ button in Start menu)

So once you start the program, all you need to do is press the “Start recording” button in the program; then do your steps which lead to the problem or error or whatever, and once you are done showing off, press “Stop recording”. Doing so will pop up a ‘Browse’ dialogue box and the program will ask you to save a file. Save this file to any location on your machine. This is a .zip file and it has a compressed version of a .mht. Opening this .mht file can take you by surprise for once, cos this file has all the screenshots in one place along with the technical description of steps.

Now how good is that?!

For solving your problem, all you need to do is fire in this .zip file to your geek mate’s inbox and now that he knows what exactly is going on at your end, there are all chances he helps you in a much better way!

If you are a Windows XP and/or a Vista user, don’t fret because Microsoft gives away PSR even for these operating systems though not pre-installed. You can download the app from here.

If you are a Mac user, I haven’t found exact alternatives as simple as PSR but you can use Jing which is also available for Windows but Windows users know what to do!

PSR can be also helpful for creating quick and cracking tutorials 😀

I think PSR is a pretty handy utility unless you use some OS as old as Win 2000 or if your problem occurs before (or while) your OS actually boots. In all rest cases, PSR can be the savior.

Mind me, it has saved bucks of my friends and saved my mind from mindless explanations that it was very habituated to!

Written by rahulbhagchandani

November 11, 2010 at 5:38 pm

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