Posts Tagged ‘Windows’

System Mechanic Image There is a giveaway on the Internet these days for those of you who are looking for a tool to optimize and manage your computers. Its a 6 Months license for the popular “System Mechanic” software. So you can use it for 6 months and then decide if you like it enough or not. Here is what System Mechanic is all about:

“Fix problems, boost performance, eliminate crashes and more with System Mechanic”
System Mechanic is a software that offers you a centralized system dashboard to automatically perform all vital PC maintenance by diagnosing, reporting, and resolving computer problems and performance bottlenecks.

This award-winning utility suite is trusted by millions worldwide to secure, optimize, repair, and tune-up their systems.

Some of the Great features of System Mechanic are:

  • ActiveCare® 2.0 keeps your PC running like new — New ActiveCare 2.0 just got leaner, smarter, and even better at keeping your PC humming along at full speed. And it does this silently in the background, only working when your PC is on but not in use.
  • Defragment and Compact Registry tool – next–generation Defragment and Compact Registry tool now performs a comprehensive analysis of your registry, detects performance–draining bloat, and displays wasted space with instructive, color–coded graphics.
  • DriveSense™ — Real-time hard drive status.
  • New navigational links within the tools simplify moving throughout System Mechanic.
  • iolo’s library of programs and program components has been expanded to target resource-robbing programs unnecessarily clogging your PC’s startup process and to detect potentially dangerous software.
  • PC TotalCare™ performs a complete system tune-up by running all Power Tool functions in one pass.

How to get a free license for Six Months :

  1. Go here.
  2. Press the “Continue” button.
  3. Complete the checkout process using a valid email address, Select the Email Delivery option.
  4. Download System Mechanic 8.
  5. While installing, choose “I own system mechanic and can enter my serial later” option and click Next.
  6. Enter the Activation Code that you received on your email.

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Downloading a lot of files these days is very easy and fast! A problem with this is that if you do not do some management, things start cluttering up even faster. Let’s look at one of such management techniques – "The Right Click Send To Menu". In this article we will be customizing the right click menu’s Send To option you get on clicking on a file or folder, plus there will be a few "Send To" tricks!

The procedure for customizing the "Send To" menu is same for both XP and Vista. Let’s say you want to add My Music to the Send To menu, you will have to:

  1. Open the run dialog box (Win + r) or Start > Run
  2. Type sendto and hit enter. The "Send To" folder will open.
  3. Then create a shortcut to the My Music folder in the Send To folder and you are done!

send to

Now when you Right Click on any file or folder and choose "Send To", you will see "My Music" listed there. You can add as many item to the Send To menu as you please. Not only folders but you can also add the following:

  • Disk drives (local or network)
  • Fax printers
  • Printers
  • Windows-based programs
  • Compressed (zipped) folders
  • The desktop
  • Mail recipients
  • The My Documents folder

To Remove an entry from the Send To menu you would just have to remove its shortcut from the SendTo folder.

Copying, Moving and Send To tricks:

First off just to set things straight Copying a file or folder means that a "Copy" of the file or folder is created in the new location, while Moving a file or folder means that you "Cut" the file or folder and then paste it in its new location. Since we have customized the Send To menu thus we have taken care of all this and we can achieve all this in one single step.

  • To Copy to the destination:
    • Simply Right Click on the file/folder and choose Send To and then the destination
  • To Move to the destination:
    • Left Click to select, Shift + Right Click on the file/folder and hold down Shift while you choose Send To and then the destination
  • To Create a Shortcut at destination:
    • Ctrl + Shift + Right Click on the file/folder and hold down Ctrl + Shift while you choose Send To and then the destination

Note that these tricks also apply in general when you drag and drop files from one window to another (only you don’t need to right click in that case).

Related: Ways to easily access folders

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Yesterday I wrote about ways to easily access frequently used folders, if you would like to know about ways to overhaul your Windows interface then head over to my article at MakeUseOf. I talk about getting the coveted 3d cube effect in Windows, some animations, breadcrumbs addressbar, tabs in Windows explorer and many other tools that can make your Windows interface look pretty and make them all the more useful and productive! Read the article here

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babyPortable apps are a great way to carry programs on your USB pen drive or for using them without install. I recently mentioned them in the 10 steps to prettier, more useful and secure USB pen drive If you like portable apps (which I very much do) then I suggest you have a look at TinyApps.org. The site has a list of applications that are.. um.. "tiny". All the applications listed here are small in size but not in their usability and advantages. It lists some of my favorite softwares like IrfanView, IconShop, Easy Thumbnails, Lynx for windows (very useful text based web browser), PuTTY, Locate and many more useful softwares.

The apps listed are generally free and some of them are portable (means they don’t require install), while some applications are shareware. The whole idea is to have apps less than 1.44MB (size of a standard floppy, although these are almost obsolete). Still I mention the site because some of the apps are actually command based and thus can be used in batch files to perform certain functions that are not possible on the Windows command line by default like web-browsing of secure logins. Another good use is to keep these apps on a USB thumb/pen drive, that way you can have a lot many tools without using too much space.

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twitterWorking on a command line has its own benefits and gives you a satisfying feeling! How about twittering from command line? Thats even cooler and yes its very much possible. All you need to have is curl. curl is a command line tool for transferring files with URL syntax, supporting FTP, FTPS, HTTP, HTTPS, SCP, SFTP, TFTP, TELNET, DICT, LDAP, LDAPS and FILE. curl supports SSL certificates, HTTP POST, HTTP PUT, FTP uploading, HTTP form based upload, proxies, cookies, user+password authentication (Basic, Digest, NTLM, Negotiate, kerberos…), file transfer resume, proxy tunneling and a busload of other useful tricks.Check out the following commands:

These are mentioned over at the Twitter API page. However you can take this step further and write your own script so that you don’t have to type the lengthy commands over and over again and perhaps not even the email and password if you are okay with storing them in a script file. Here is an example (feel free to copy and paste):


twitterName="<<<Your twitter username here>>> "
password="<<<Your password here>>> "

$curl –basic –user "$twitterName:$password" –data-ascii \
"status=`echo $@ | tr ‘ ‘ ‘+’`" \

exit 0

Please note that its –basic (2 dashes), –user (2 dashes) and –data-ascii (2 dashes). Give the file a name such as "myTwitterer". Then you can simply type "myTwitterer <Your status update here>" and you status will be updated right from your command line. Be aware that the password will be stored in the script file without any encryption or security measures, however this file will reside on your local machine so its reasonably safe to do this.

Similarly you can use the other URLs I mentioned and get timelines both public and your friends! The whole processes can be down on windows as well all you need is cURL which you can get here.

 Stumble it!   |    Del.icio.us   |    Digg   |    reddit

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This is the Step by step tutorial on installing Linux, just as Mova promised. Refer to the earlier posts on Linux Demystified here and here to know the background of this tutorial.


  • About 5GB free hard disk space.
  • Working windows installation.
  • Ubuntu or Kubuntu or Edubuntu cd or a fast Internet connection.
  • Wubi (not required if you have Ubuntu, Kubuntu or Edubuntu 8.04 cd).


Step 1: Put the Ubuntu, Kubuntu or Edubuntu (referred to as Ubuntu from here on) into the cd drive. A screen like the following will appear automatically. If it doesn’t, it means you have autorun disabled, in that case go to My Computer > Double Click on Ubuntu Icon > Double Click on umenu.exe

I am using Kubuntu, if you use Ubuntu it would be all the same just the image and colors will be different.

Step 2: Click on "Install inside Windows". You will be greeted by the following screen.

This is where all the action is!!

Step 3: Refer to the image and the appropriate number to view its details:

  1. Choose the Windows partition where you want to install Ubuntu.
  2. Choose the space you want to allocate to the Ubuntu Installation.
  3. Choose Desktop Environment. More on this later. For starters I would recommend Gnome, but then if you know what you are doing, you can choose anyone here. Its no big deal.
  4. Choose the language
  5. Choose the username. This will be used to log into Ubuntu.
  6. Choose the password for the above username. Both these details are required when you boot into Ubuntu.

Now simply click on install, installation will begin as shown below (make sure you are connected to the Internet if you are not doing this from cd), go fetch a Coffee or two!!

The Installation Begins

Step 4: Have Coffee! You don’t have to do anything!! Wubi is working for you. After the progress on the above screen completes you will see this:

Wubi creating virtual disks

Step 5: Have another coffee! Wubi will soon complete its work and ask you for a restart.


Step 6: You are almost there. Choose reboot now and click on finish. You computer will reboot, but this time its different. You will see an entry named Ubuntu in the Choose Operating System Menu. Use arrow keys to choose Ubuntu ( I often see people trying to use mouse on this screen. It wont work!!) and press enter.

Choose Ubuntu here

Disclaimer: The above shot is of Vista Boot Manager that I found on Google Image Search ( I dont have a camera good enough to post my own shot). With XP the screen looks almost the same. Just wanted to give you an idea.

Step 7: Ubuntu will go through the process of setting up the operating system for the first time. This would take some time depending upon the specifications of your machine. Once its done. You can login into your Linux installation using the username and password you provided in Step 3 above.

This is it. You have Ubuntu running on you system and you didnt have to touch any partition of configure GRUB. Enjoy! Most of the things work out of the box. You might have a minor glitch or two depending on your hardware, this can usually be sorted by searching the Ubuntu Forums or check out the Ubuntu IRC at freenode.


Step By Step Tutorial Details:

  • Time for completion: 30 – 35 minutes depending on your hardware.
  • Difficulty level: Easy – Moderate
  • Karma, Satisfaction or Joy you gain: 10/10 🙂


Feel free to ask any question on any of the tutorials and let me know your experience. Also contribute on what other tutorials you would like to read. I will surely try to include them. Long Live the Ubuntu Spirit!

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