Thursday, August 23, 2007

IP address locator

Where are those readers?

Do you like looking at your stats files? Do you often wonder just where all those IP addresses come from? For those that do not know, an ip address uniquely identifies a computer on the Internet. Type an ip address into (note address is spelled with one d) and it will show you a map with an approximate location of the computer.


Friday, August 17, 2007

Publishing a Calender

I'm going to have to try this - looks awesome!

Publishing a calendar using Office Online

In Ben’s previous post, he spoke about sharing a calendar via e-mail. Many people correctly commented that sharing a calendar via e-mail does not support subscriptions and that for items that changed regularly, it was difficult to use. Can Comertoglu (our Calendar Sharing Program Manager for Office 2007) spent some time with Ben to put together this guide on how he uses the Office Online publishing features of Microsoft Outlook 2007 to manage a soccer team.


Thursday, August 16, 2007

Using a Calculator to Access Forbidden Websites

Another one from Amit - this works well!
When both Domain Name & IP Address are banned, Use Calculator to Access that Website

Wuntoo has written a detailed comment on how to bypass the internet content filtering software of your school or office using just the calculator application (Start->Run. type calc.exe). This unique Mathematics based trick will probably work when websites are blocked in your institution or corporate network based on the host name or their IP address.

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Saturday, August 11, 2007

A video to explain social bookmarking

From Amit

How to Explain Bookmarks To Your Mom

The brilliant and very creative folks at Common Craft have released another video to help you explain social bookmarking websites like, or Magnolia to the the not-so-techie crowd in very simple English.

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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Comparing & Combing Documents in Word 2007

Comparing and Combining Documents

The document review scenario has been significantly improved in Word 2007. It's pretty straightforward and powerful technology once you have the basic idea. So let's start with getting a grasp around the difference between Word's two document review options: compare and combine. While they both tell you what changed in a document, there is a fundamental difference in the end goal they were each designed for. Compare tells you what changed where as combine tells you who changed what.
Follow the above link for the rest of the article


Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Folder permission in Vista, Tablet PC Support & Vista Experience Pack

How do I… Change access permissions for all folders and files in Vista?

In a previous How do I… blog post, TechRepublic published the steps one would take to change permissions on a single file in the Microsoft Windows Vista operating system. The basic procedure is the same, but there are a few more check boxes to look at during the process. But once those checks are inserted or removed, depending on the situation, the permission changes will be propagated to all of the files and folders below the folder being acted upon.

Mark Kaelin

Tablet PC Support

The Tablet PC ushered in a new era of mobile computing as a single, fully functioning PC that's practical and comfortable while you're on the go and that also works well when you're at your desk. With integrated pen support, touch-screen support, digital-ink input, handwriting recognition technologies, and innovative hardware, ultra-portable Tablet PCs are comfortable and productive virtually anywhere, anytime.

Microsoft Experience Pack for Windows Vista

Here are four programs that provide unique functionality and fun to enhance your experience using a Tablet PC. And don’t forget Microsoft Ink Desktop, which is available separately for download.

Media Transfer
Copy or stream media files from your home computer to your Tablet PC, so that you can enjoy your favorite music, videos, or pictures wherever you go.

Ink Crossword
Solve crosswords on your Tablet PC using your tablet pen. Twelve puzzles come with Ink Crossword. You can also download a free daily puzzle and purchase more puzzle packs online.

Equation Writer
Easily add mathematical expressions to your papers. Handwrite a math equation, and then convert it into a neatly typewritten image to paste into a report or a presentation.

Ink Flash Cards
Create flash cards to help you learn facts or study for an exam. Handwrite a question on the front of a card and put an answer on the back. Draw, insert graphics, and add text, too.

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Monday, August 06, 2007

Streaming Radio Stations


Search, Browse, and Snack on Radio, with 100's of Streaming Radio Stations to Explore

1. Enter an artist you like (e.g. "pink floyd").

2. Check the playlist (shown in the bottom left), to see if this station plays what you like.
3. Like the station? Click Tune In to listen directly from your media player. Or, click Next match to move the Needle to the next result.

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Sunday, August 05, 2007

Macro Pictures

Julie writes a great post on how to take great macro photos using pretty basic equipment. I'm definitely going to give this a go when we get our camera back from being repaired.

How to take great macro pictures without a lot of equipment

I receive frequent emails asking me how I take such nice close up (macro) product images for my reviews. As a result, I thought I would share some of my 'secrets' for macro photography. Some people think that if they buy the most expensive bazillion mega pixel DSLR camera on the market, that they will automatically become a professional photographer with the ability to take perfect shots. I've found that while good equipment is very important, you definitely do not have to spend $1000's dollars to get excellent results.

My equipment list...

Nikon Coolpix 8800 digital camera
Nikon Speedlight SB-600 External flash
A good place to work (your 'studio')
Poster board
Adobe Photoshop CS2


Saturday, August 04, 2007

Secure Wireless

This looks pretty good - especially if you manage a wireless access point that you give users anonymous access to.

A secure Wireless LAN hotspot for anonymous users

As ubiquitous and convenient as Wireless LAN Hotspots are, it is probably the single most dangerous technology to the mobile computer user. The two biggest issues with Hotspots is that you have no idea if you’re connecting to a legitimate Access Point or if you’re connecting to a hacker’s fake Access Point and everything you send and receive is transmitted in clear text with no encryption.Hotspots face the classic
convenience and usability versus security tradeoff and 999 out of 1000 times the Hotspot will choose convenience and usability.I have seen hotspots that use WPA-PSK (Wi-Fi Protected mode using Pre-Shared Key) to offer some level of privacy, but that’s only private against people who don’t have access to the PSK.

But there is actually a better and easier way to set up a secure Wireless LAN hotspot for an anonymous user using a single generic and common username and password that anyone can remember. An interesting property of PKI is that it allows us to do a secure key exchange without any usernames or passwords so long as one side has a trusted digital certificate. This concept is used millions of times a day by ordinary users anytime someone goes to an SSL-secured webpage and the secure authentication channel is set up before the user enters a username and password. The same general concept could be applied to the Wireless LAN world with a slight twist in the implementation.

An interesting feature of Wireless LAN security using 802.1x and PEAP mode is that it is possible to log in with the same anonymous guest account with a publicly known password for any number of people and still provide each user with a secure point-to-point link-layer encryption.

To implement this solution, we can do this with any typical Wireless LAN Access Point and a RADIUS server (how to set one up). So long as the connection between the Access Point and RADIUS server is secure or there is a sufficiently complex RADIUS secret, each wireless client has complete privacy. In this case since it’s such a simple implementation, the RADIUS server could be embedded in to the Access Point itself which means you don’t even have to worry about the RADIUS secret strength. The RADIUS server does however need a publicly trusted Digital Certificate (how-to guide here) which you can purchase for $20 at places like and there’s literally zero difference between that and the $200 Certificates from other Certificate Authorities.

A RADIUS server is typically connected to a backend user directory such as Microsoft Active Directory, Novell, or LDAP but this particular application doesn’t require that since we only need a single user account. We can set up a local user in the RADIUS server named “guest” with the password also set to “guest” which is extremely generic and easy to remember. That means when the user connects to this secured Hotspot, they will have to do an initial 802.1x/PEAP setup where they enter in the username and password. Since the credentials are so easy to remember, it’s possible to do a quick-and-dirty setup guide for Windows and Mac with no complicated keys to remember or personalized user credentials. Fortunately, the guest credentials and the entire setup process can be saved for future use and the fact that it’s so generic means that it can be applied consistently on a very large scale.

George Ou

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Friday, August 03, 2007

Logitech Vista Gadgets

I am using these cool gadgets in my sidebar with my Logitech IM web camera.
The motion detector is a pretty cool one!

Download Vista Gadgets

Elevate the Power of Windows® Vista™ with Gadgets designed exclusively for use with Logitech products. Turn your QuickCam into a motion detector, capture still pictures quickly and easily, or stay up-to-date with news about new Video Effects. The Vista Gadgets are free, so check back often for updates and new tools for Logitech mice, keyboards, and webcams.

QuickCapture Gadget
This three-in-one Gadget streamlines how you work with your Logitech QuickCam. QuickPicture enables you to take snapshots with a single click, QuickCapture helps you to record, store and email videos, and QuickView shows you a live feed from your Logitech QuickCam. Use the QuickCapture Gadget to compose and preview your video communications, watch remote rooms and hallways in real time, or even create a "security" monitor by setting the time-delay recording function.

Motion Detector Gadget
Keep a watchful eye—even when you're not around. This Gadget acts like a motion detection sonar, triggering a recording whenever it senses movement within the field of view of your QuickCam. Recording stops when the motion stops, and an .AVI file is saved in a location you specify. The videos are even time & date stamped to help you keep track of what happened, when.

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Thursday, August 02, 2007

Free Technical Support

This looks like an interesting site to subscribe to, or if you believe you have the skills, to be come a member of and volunteer your assistance. : free fast technical support is an online community that provides technical support to computer users for free. We prefer to call our users "Clients," because we have the philosophy that, despite our service being free, you should still receive the highest quality technical support.

Each support Technician is a volunteer. We have been featured in many media publications including USA Weekend, Yahoo! Internet Life and .net magazine.

If you have a computer problem - anything from hardware to HTML problems - then submit your question to us for help! We support nearly everything: PCs, Macs, Unix and PDAs.

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Vista, Sharepoints, OneNote & Outlook

I read this article below and it pretty much says what I would have said.
However I now have a tablet - will write about that shortly and I find it very useful.

Windows Vista improves productivity, power management for mobile PC users

When I travel, it isn't always convenient to have both my laptop and my Smartphone with me at all times. That's why I like the capabilities of Sync Center in Windows Vista. I can work on whatever device is most convenient for me at the time, and Windows Vista ensures that the same information appears on both devices.

Windows SideShow is another feature getting attention from mobile PC users. It's a new technology that allows you to view important information from your computer on a secondary display, such as a small screen on the outside of a laptop's case.

Windows Vista improves the wireless networking experience by consolidating key information in the Network and Sharing Center. From there, I can check my connection status, signal strength, and other properties.

When I'm on the go, I'm always worried about how much battery life my laptop has left. How quickly your battery drains depends, in part, on which power plan you select. When I'm home, I use the Balanced power plan, with a few extra settings tweaked. One of the power management settings I've tweaked is what happens when I close my laptop's lid. I've changed the setting so that nothing happens when I close the lid. That way, my e‑mail continues to download and is instantly available when I reopen the lid.

One of the major purchases I plan to make within the next year is a Tablet PC—a mobile PC that allows interaction via a tablet pen or, if the computer has a touch-enabled screen, a fingertip. In Windows Vista you can perform specific actions with pen flicks or touch flicks on supported hardware. You can flick your pen in a certain direction and the selection is copied to the Clipboard. What's more, you can customize the pen flicks to perform the actions you choose.

I have to make a presentation in front of an audience several times a year. I turn on presentation settings from Windows Mobility Center, a dashboard of sorts for common mobile PC settings. Windows turns off the screen saver, turns off system notifications, and prevents the computer from going to sleep. I can also customize the presentation settings to change the desktop background and adjust the volume level.

Jerri Ledford

View and update a SharePoint calendar

You can view and update a SharePoint calendar, just as you do your Outlook calendar.

You can view a calendar from a SharePoint site side-by-side with an Outlook calendar, view an overlay of the calendars as if they were one single calendar, and even copy events among the calendars.

When you connect a SharePoint calendar to Outlook 2007, it appears under Other Calendars with your calendar folders. You can connect multiple calendars at the same time, such as a team vacation calendar and a project schedule. Depending on your needs, you can choose which calendars you want to work with: a single calendar from a SharePoint site, multiple SharePoint calendars (if you have them), or Outlook calendars.

If your team stores its project schedules, conferences, or vacations on a SharePoint calendar, you can view the team calendar simultaneously with your personal calendar and check for conflicts. Additionally, you can copy items back and forth, without leaving Outlook.

OneNote Table of Contents powertoy!

Nani Courten is another tester on the OneNote team and created an incredibly useful addin for OneNote. There is a group of people sharing a notebook. Each person edits a few pages here and there every so often. Now when I open the notebook, I want to quickly find the most recent changes. If a page was changed last night, I want to see it, and if a page has been unchanged for some amount of time, I'm not as interested in viewing it. Essentially, I want a list of most recently changed pages. Nani created an addin which creates a Table of Contents for the section I'm looking at with the most recently changed pages at the top of the list. Each page in the list is a link to the page: I can see what changed last night, click the link and go straight to that page.

You can also delete the column which shows the time the pages were changed and make a table of contents which lists only the page titles. This way the user who posted to the newsgroups about wanting a summary of the pages in a section can get his information as well.

The setup files (and remember to exit OneNote, run setup.exe as admin and select to install for all users):

The source (includes setup):


Sharing a calendar via email

Did you know that you can easily create and share calendars with others in Outlook 2007? with Outlook 2007 this is an absolute joy!
I have created a “Bike Races” calendar which I can now use to store all these events. Updating my friends is as simple as clicking on ”Send a Calendar via E-mail…”, selecting the level on detail and choosing my recipients. Outlook is even smart enough to attach a “human friendly” text version of the calendar in the mail body (if I choose).
For my friends running Outlook 2007 it’s as simple as choosing to open the calendar when they receive my message. For those who aren’t running Outlook (and yes, there are a few out there), they can still see all the dates and times in the body of the email, and if they have an application that supports iCalender files (RFC 2445) they can also import them.
Create the calendar

1. Open Outlook

2. Select Calendar

3. Click File + New + Calendar...
4. Enter the calendar name (Bike Races)

5. Click on OK

One of my favorite features is overlaying calendars in Outlook. To view a calendar in Overlay mode, you can either click the left-arrow icon in the calendar’s tab at the top, or right-click on the calendar in the list and choose “View in overlay mode”.
Share the calendar.

1. Click on “Send a Calendar via E-Mail…”

A new message window will open and the “Send a Calendar via E-Mail” dialogue will be shown.
2. Select the “Bike Races” calendar in the Calendar drop down and select the visibility and detail that you want to send.
3. Click OK
4. Enter recipients
5. Click send

6. You’re done!

Benjamin Gay

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