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From the WWDC: Lion 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 Lion.

UPDATE: Video attached below

 

Lion, a major upgrade from it’s predecessor Snow Leopard has learned lots from it’s sister OS iOS. There are 250 number of new features that make the OS one of the best in the market today. (Watch out, Windows 8). Let’s quickly roll through the best of best features…

Feature #1: Price. The upgrade to an Lion is available only for $29! A damning 100 bucks less than it’s past releases.

Feature #2: Great new Mac App Store. It’s built in in Lion. Everything happens from the web now. Automatically. No installers, no CD-ROMs. Even the OS Lion will be available only via the Mac App Store. No CDs!

Feature #3: Resume. Kind of like Hibernation, but more enhanced. Resume lets you come back to apps where you stopped. Regardless you closing the app or closing the OS, the app will come right back where you stopped. Awesome, Right?

Feature #4: Auto Save. Whatever you do, it saves, automatically. No need for the stupid CTRL+S thingy. It’s lovable!

Feature #5: Versions. Kind of what Dropbox does. Versions will save older versions of files. So if you accidentally make an nnwanted change, you know how to get it back.

Feature #6: Air-drop. Like Dropbox, again. Share files wirelessly between computers on your network. No installation. Two-way confirmation. And all data encrypted.

Feature #7: New Mail App. Threads. Faster and smart searches. iOS-like UI. It’s beautiful.

Feature #8: Launcher. Again from the iOS. All your apps at one place. Create folder if you want. Looks great.

Feature #9: Multi-touch gestures. All the multitouch gestures of iOS in your Mac. How nice?

Feature #10: Mission Control. Whatever you’re working on, sometimes you might wanna take a look at everything running on your system, no? This is it. Mission control lets you glance whatever is open, in a great visually delighting way.

Feature #11: Full screen apps. There is nothing you need to see apart from what you’re working on. The apps work in fullscreen all the time, flawlessly.

Feature #12: No menu bar! But your title bar is you menu bar. Click on the title bar for accessing the menu bar option, cool eh?

Besides the mentioned features, tons of other features flow in the all new Lion. There is a new Facetime, new Address Book, Server is bundled etcetera etcetera. Lion is available starting today for developers. July for customers.

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Written by rahulbhagchandani

June 7, 2011 at 1:20 am

Posted in WWDC11

First official looks of Windows 8 [Video]

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Microsoft last night unveiled a video introducing their upcoming version of Windows, codenamed Windows 8. The drastic changes that are apparent in the UI is a start screen, inspired from the Windows 7 Phone operating system’s start screen. The screen which is full of tiles of Windows and third-party apps is more like an add-on functionality to the current Windows UI.

There will be the current desktop, the start menu and everything that Windows 7 has but besides that, there will be a start screen. The screen more particularly efficient for tablet devices is beautifully represented in the video attached below.

The presenter Jenson Harris, Director of Program Management for Windows User Experience said the OS will run on all computing platforms – desktops, laptops and tablets, as expected.

Here’s the video! More to follow, indeed.

Written by rahulbhagchandani

June 2, 2011 at 10:49 am

Posted in Uncategorized

How-to guides: Creating Partitions in Windows

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This is the first of its kind post here at Awesome Tech. Starting today I’ll be publishing how-to guides on various computing annoyances, problems or processes. To start with, its Creating Partitions in Windows today.

I’m unsure about the frequency of this guides but I can assure one more is upcoming in a day or two.

Why I’m doing this? A few reasons – one, I like writing. Two, I like giving free tech advise. Three, I feel kind of bad when I see people clueless about computing as a whole or about a particular problem while using computers.

Now indeed a guide on creating partitions won’t of course curb the tech illiteracy of people around but with more guides coming up, I might end up helping and curbing a small percentage of that. If that happens, I’ll be the happiest guy around.

So please go through the guide. Read it, criticize it. And share it if you like it.

This will work pretty simply. The guides will be written in lucid English in form of simple step-by-step instructions. And more than often not, there will be a set of screenshots to accompany the text instructions.

The text guide is a pdf and screenshots are in png format. The set of screenshots and pdf both are zipped up in a .zip and uploaded to the secure box.net servers. The download link is attached below.

[Creating Partitions in Windows – Zip (pdf+screenshots) – http://www.box.net/shared/ix6bkjojvc]

Written by rahulbhagchandani

May 29, 2011 at 1:12 am

Posted in Guides

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Awesome and Weird: Apple iPad2 in India starting tomorrow

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iPad (on the right), iPad 2 (on the left). Do the math.

Apple have scheduled the arrival of iPad2 in India for tomorrow. As it turns out, it’s kind of awesome but having said that, I’m worried for a few reasons. Here’s why…

India craved for iPad 1 for around ten months and then when the excitement almost died, Apple released the product in the country. They released it a few weeks before the iPad2 (in US) was announced. And less than two months into the launch of iPad 1 in India, Apple has bought the second (much much better) version of iPad. What does that mean to the consumers who already bought iPad 1 in the last month or so? Heartbreak! Literally, a heartbreak. What more, this kind of stuff makes Apple look bad in the mind of those consumers who already bought iPad 1. No wonder they’d be cursing after hearing this news. And with the speculated prices making rounds, there is hardly any difference between the two models except of course one would have to pay a bit extra for those niche smart covers – which ensures Apple is cursed a bit more by iPad 1 users.

It is beyond my scope of understanding why it took Apple a year to launch iPad in India and then only a month and a half for the upgraded version. Perhaps Apple heard about the criticism that the delayed launch of iPad 1 took and tried to mend their initial woes. Maybe. On the brighter side, let’s hope the future Apple products, like iPhone 5 and iPad 3 arrive in tandem with US.

Tech companies get weird about such stupid stuff, something no one will ever understand why.

Written by rahulbhagchandani

April 28, 2011 at 8:35 pm

Posted in Apple

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Lifesaver: How backups saved me hours of reworking around stuff

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I recently babbled why CrashPlan is the best backup service I ever used. Turns out, it’s much, much better than what I thought while writing that post.

Coming to the point, I didn’t have the best of time computing in the last few days – I lost a few important files and I lost a few important software while messing around. Yesterday while uninstalling Aurora, a recently launched half nightly-half beta build of future Firefox versions by Mozilla, I accidentally deleted all the program data related to it. And then I realized- all the data related to Aurora was the same data related to Firefox. And deleting user files of Aurora meant my Firefox became like a freshly installed copy of any other Firefox. Meaning to say – all my bookmarks, my extensions, plugins – the entire user profile was gone somewhere in the mist! Unrecoverable, of course.

At first I thought it was stupid of Mozilla to link up the data of both programs. Then I thought it was stupid of me to not realize while uninstalling Aurora that Aurora is well – just another version of Firefox. And Mozilla is no where near to be blamed, are they?

The bookmarks was what I was worried about. And in my hunt to get them back, I realized I’ve a backup running all the time! I started CrashPlan, selected “Restore” and there I was, stunned. To my surprise, CrashPlan lets you even restore just a single file from your entire backup making it easy to get things done. When I used backup software back around 3-4 years, this wasn’t possible. One had to go through the process of restoring everything, which was useless. There are other programs that do so, but with its already awesome features, this just makes CrashPlan more good. CrashPlan also stores deleted files (for a period of time that you’ve to specify, of course) in your backup, just in case.

I found my bookmark backup file and all it took was a minute to restore my beloved Bookmarks. I also restored my user profile – but some extensions didn’t work fluently. For that, I reinstalled the broken ones.

Following yesterday’s nightmare, today I went in a much bigger trouble. I lost a photoshop document – well I made some changes to the document and I was supposed to save it as a copy. Instead I overwrited the changes to the original file. And boom, all hours of work – gone, just like that. To overcome that – yes, you guessed it right. I connected my backup drive, opened CrashPlan and restored the original version of it.

Saved me hours of photoshopping and made me some time to do this blog post. What I’m trying to say here is – have a nice, good backup system if you are a regular computer user – then be it CrashPlan or Acronis or whatever.

Backups are cool, period!

Written by rahulbhagchandani

April 20, 2011 at 8:06 pm

Posted in Backup

CrashPlan is the ultimate backup client I longed for

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Dropbox is something everyone loves and it’s cool for your very important docs. What about your other data? The music, The TV Shows, The Movies, The Pictures, The etc etc.?

I’ve been looking for a perfect backup solution since I became a computer user i.e. roughly since last six years. I tried Norton Ghost, I tried Comodo. I tried Genie and I tried Mozy. I even tried Windows Backup and also, LiveOne Care. Acronis Image wet me the most given it’s powerful functionality but still, it wasn’t perfect.A screen grab of CrashPlan

Then I came across CrashPlan last month. A few days back I decided to use it. And damn, it’s perfect! Leave it’s awesome online system (which is a paid service), it’s free service lets you back up your data to a folder ( or a external drive or whatever) and also to a friend’s computer (whose machine has CrashPlan). With CrashPlan you can also backup your stuff between multiple computers (Mac to PC, Desktop to Laptop, Office to Home – it works with all). But wait, that’s not why I’m loving it. I love it because of the simplicity it offers.

All I wanted from my back up client was –

a) It can backup/restore my stuff to an external hard drive.
b) In case I’ve to rush out during an ongoing backup process, I want the software to automatically pause the backup as soon as disconnect my hard drive without making all the progress a waste – Acronis did that to me too many times.
c) Backup has to be real time and it has to run all the time without me given any instructions. Acronis had to be told when to start, what to do and every other stuff. CrashPlan does it automatically without bothering me much.

CrashPlan does everything without interrupting the user. It runs quietly in the tray backing up your stuff, it’s neat and well as I said, it’s perfect!

**CrashPlan for Windows/Mac/Linux/Solaris – official website.

Written by rahulbhagchandani

April 16, 2011 at 2:51 pm

Posted in Backup

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5 settings to change today to enhance your Facebook security

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The social networking website Facebook has to be known to make new changes at a rate similar to some sports website changing it’s content and hardly a handful percentage of users get to know about what’s actually going on. A few days back, Orli Yakuel on Tech Crunch mentioned five things Facebook should fix immediately in it’s interface, and also ranted about the rapidity of changes Facebook has been carelessly doing lately. Today while messing around my account’s settings, I came across a few functions you might wanna enable/disable to feel a lil bit more secure on the network.

Turn on HTTPS:

HTTPS is an extension of a the normal Hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP). (The ‘S’ in HTTPS stands for “Secure”.) With HTTPS, whatever information you share on the web goes through a secure medium in an encrypted form. So does data via HTTP go in plain text form, you may ask. Yes, full plain text. From your chats, to statuses to messages, everything is sent in plain text. Which means anyone having access to those servers can read your stuff. Every damn stuff. But now that Facebook let’s you completely browse via HTTPS and it’s time that you enabled it. Go to Account | Account Settings – scroll down to ‘Change Security’ and check ‘Secure browsing (https)’ .  As mentioned earlier here on Awesome Tech, enabling login notifications is also a good practice.

**You can also enable HTTPS for all the websites by installing this simple browser extension, which is another good practice.

Turn off Instant Personalization

Now Instant Personalization is a complicated feature that Facebook is slowly rolling out to people. To learn more about it go to: https://www.facebook.com/instantpersonalization/. Now, whether you care to learn more about it or not, it is advised you turn it off. To do that go to Account | Privacy Settings | Apps, games and websites settings | Instant Personalization | Uncheck “Enable instant personalisation on partner websites.” (Instant Personalization is not available to all users as of now)

Disable Facebook Places

Now I’m concerned about my privacy and Facebook Places is something that could mess up one’s privacy to a newer extent. What is Facebook Places? If Facebook Places is enabled, you can check into places – like any place and tell “I’m here at XYZ joint”. Besides that, your friends can check you in places. Though good for social network, I have a few questions though. Why would one like to do that? Why would one tell everyone where he/she is? That’s insanely stupid! And keep privacy aside, telling where you are to your social network isn’t the safest of tasks! To disable Facebook Places, go to Account | Privacy Settings | Set “Places I check into” to ‘Only Me’; un check “Include me in “People here now” after I check in” and “Disable” the option “Friends can check me in to places”.

Cut down information available through friends

In order to serve stupid apps better, Facebook allows apps to access your data if a certain friend uses a certain stupid app – like a quiz or something. To see what you’re sharing and to change those settings go to Account | Privacy Settings | Apps, games and websites settings | Click Edit Settings next to “Information accesible through your friends” and suit yourself. Best thing to do is to uncheck every option in that list!

Don’t let Facebook show your info in Facebook Adverts

Facebook has came up with a unique idea called Social Adverts. Keeping this functionality enabled, the adverts can now boast your information along side the advert. What kind of information? Your likes. And in some cases, your profile picture. Like for example, let’s say your are Mike Chang. Now an advertiser opts for social actions with his advertisements on Facebook and if you “like” that advertiser’s page – the advert to your friend might appear as, “Mike Chang” likes this. It might or might not have profile picture. Now this isn’t a big deal, but I would not like if I was Mike Change. So better off, you can disable this by going to Account | Account Settings | Facebook Adverts and opt for “None” for both the options.

Besides changing these five, it’s always advised to keep as subtle information as possible on social networks. Who knows what can happen someday! Socialize safe:)

Written by rahulbhagchandani

March 30, 2011 at 4:00 am

Posted in Facebook

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