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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Top 6 innovative keyboards

Bangalore: Keyboards are considered as the most alluring accessories of our PC's, tablets and smartphones. Various vendors have now flooded into the market with innovative and stylish looking keyboards. 

Here are some of the keyboards who looked different from its elite.

1. iGo Stowaway Ultra-Slim Bluetooth Keyboard 
It works wonders for almost any device that has Bluetooth. It has genuine features like full-size 18 mm spacing between keys which allows you to quickly type email, memos, or surf the web in optimum comfort. Its unique design allows it to easily fit in a pocket or purse, so you can take it everywhere, yet opens to a full size keyboard when you need it. It is compatible with pocket PC devices with integrated Bluetooth iPAQ 1945, 2215, 4155, 4355, 5100, 5150, 5450, 5455, 5550 and 5555 series models; Dell Axim x3 series models. It is also compatible with any pocket PC devices which has a Socket Bluetooth SD or CF card. It is available at a price of  9000. 

2. Wow-Keys by Omnio
One of the unique and amazing features about this keyboard is that it is 1.6-pound wireless keyboard which gets charged from sunlight or indoor lighting, hence it never uses 
batteries. You can download software to monitor the charge level and measure available room lighting. You can also program keys for quick access to e-mail and your desktops search window and calculator. It is available at a price of  3600. 

3. Smartfish Reflex
It is an awesome keyboard as it is of great help for people with repetitive stress injuries. It is designed to reduce wrist strain. After 2,500 clicks, a motor moves the two to rays slightly to the right or left so your hands don not stay in the same position all day. You will like the keyboard's flat, Chiclet-style keys. It is available at a price of  6750. 
4. Mini Bluetooth Wireless Keyboard
Mini Bluetooth Wireless Keyboard has built-in rechargeable Li-ion battery and colour LED for working status indication. It has built-in intelligent power m 
anage software for power conservation and it works with iPad/iPhone4.0 OS/PS3/PC/Smart Phone/HTPC. It has compatible mobile OS: Google Android, OS Windows Mobile, OS Nokia Symbian, OS iPhone 4.0. It is available at  555.75. 

5. Luxeed U7 Dynamic Pixel LED Keyboard
Each key on this 1.75-pound keyboard can be programmed to light up in one of seven colors.One can assign colors to commonly used keys, for instance, the Tab 
or Return buttons to make them stand out, or color-code an entire bank of keys. You can create up to four preset color schemes and toggle among them with the press of a button. It cost around  5850. 

6. Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard K750
This 1.6-pound wireless keyboard gets charged from sunlight or indoor lighting, so it does not need batteries. One can download software to monitor th 
e charge level and measure available room lighting. You can also program keys for quick access to e-mail and your desktops search window and calculator. It is available at a price of  3600. 
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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Protect your Data, Passwords

By: Karan Bajaj & Hitesh Raj Bhagat

It’s hard to remember multiple passwords and keep sensitive information secure in this digital age. Whether you use a Mac, PC or smartphone, various free tools can help you with this by securing all passwords with a master password, encrypting data and securely wiping any sensitive info explain Karan Bajaj & Hitesh Raj Bhagat

Encrypt This 
Simply drag and drop the files/folders you want to protect onto the application’s icon. It will then ask you to set a password for accessing the files and then create a protected disk image of your content.
Get it from 

One of the simplest password managers for MAC, Pastor requires a master password to be set to access all the stored passwords and serial numbers. It even comes with a password generator.
Get it from 

Password Vault Lite 
This app stores all your passwords online and safeguards them with a master password. It can also run from a USB drive and features an auto-lock timer that locks the program after some inactivity.
Get it from 

As the name suggests, TXTcrypt works for text and not for files. Simply type in any text (mails/notes), protect it with a password and share it with anyone. The receiver needs the password and TXTcrypt to decrypt and read it.
Get it from
An open-source encryption solution, AxCrypt integrates with Windows Explorer to give you encryption options with a simple right click. The developers also offer portable versions (to use on flash drives).
Get it from 

Crypt4Free is a small package that allows easy encryption and schredding (secure deletion) of files on your Windows system. It also compresses encrypted files to reduce size while sending.
Get it from 

MyPadlock locks down all your passwords using 128-bit AES encryption — all you need to remember is one master password in order to access all the passwords you have stored inside. Data is stored locally.
Get it from 

Zero Footprint Crypt 
Equally suited to both beginners and experts, Zero Footprint Crypt works just like a file explorer (with the same tree-style/hierarchy structure). After encryption, you can also use it to securely wipe the original file from the drive.
Get it from Available across multiple platforms KeePass 
Perhaps the most popular cross-platform password safe, KeePass is easy to use, totally free (open source) and uses the most secure encryption algorithms around. 

LastPass not only stores all passwords and login data, it also stays synced across browsers, giving you access to your passwords wherever you are. Password Dragon Written using Java, Password Dragon is a password manager that works on Linux and can even be stored on and launched from a USB flash drive. 

TrueCrypt creates a virtual encrypted disk on the machine — you can add, copy, paste files into the drive and it encrypts onthe-fly. It can also be used to encrypt external drives. 

Apps for Android 
File Locker 
File Locker comes with its own file browser. You can batch select and encrypt/decrypt files irrespective of size. It also allows you to open documents from within the app and notifies you if a file is left unlocked by mistake. The interface can be configured to either display all files, only locked files or only unlocked files.
Pocket allows you to save login information for websites, bank accounts and so on under various categories. The application requires a master password to view the data stored inside and allows you to copy text while keeping it masked. This way no one can read your login credentials even if the app is left running.

Apps for iOS 
With Enlume Password Manager, you can store your passwords and other information in a categorised way. If you categorise the information you store, it also becomes easy to search. The data is then protected by a master password—if the password is incorrectly entered too many times, it locks down the app for 24 hours.

The Vault is a password manager for iOS devices that keeps your login credentials secure. Apart from passwords, it can also store screenshots and photos as well. All the information is stored on the device itself and it also allows importing of data from other password storing applications as well.

Apps for BlackBerry 
iLocker Lite 
iLocker offers enhanced security by allowing you to lock any application with a password. It can be set to lock an application after the phone is locked, immediately and even at a scheduled time. This way, not only are all your applications protected, even the content inside the application is kept safe from prying eyes.

Password Manager 
Password Manager Secret Server stores important passwords in an intuitive user interface that makes it easy to organise and access. You can create a favorite list of passwords or securely share a password with any one you want. A nice touch is that it shows you which password was recently accessed or modified within the app.
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Friday, July 15, 2011

Tips for computer security and to prevent viruses


You must run quality security software on your computers to protect your work and private data from viruses, spyware, and other security threats. When it comes to security, there is no substitute for quality. See below our recommended quality solutions. If any of the following is difficult for you, get an IT Expert to do it for you. You must do the following or risk all of your work/data being compromised (think of it as locking your front door):

  1. Get good anti virus software e.g. one of the below.
    Recommended anti virus software:
    - AVG - Our most recommended Antiv Virus software.
    - Norton Anti virus
    - McAffee Anti Virus
    - Sophos Anti Virus

    Be sure to regularly update your 'virus definitions' e.g. once per week
  2. Install a quality Firewall
    There are many firewalls available, some good, some bad. Our recommendation is the FREE ZoneAlarm. They provide a paid version with extra tools (of course), but we think the free firewall-only option is fine. Its getting harder on their site to see the free one (so look carefully!). At time of writing, go here, scroll down and click the free option. If the above link doesn't work, start looking from the Zone Alarm front page.
  3. Install an anti-spyware application
    There are many available, some good, some bad. Our recommendation is the FREE: Spybot - Search & Destroy. Download here, and find Spybot info here.
  4. Email Attachments: BEWARE OF ATTACHMENTS. Do not open email attachments you are not expecting. Viruses come with some very nasty messages to trick you into opening the attachement e.g. "Your email account has been cancelled, see attachment for details". Even worse, the virus looks like it comes from an email address you recognise e.g. from (where 'your domain' is the domain name that you use). Virus attachments can have the following 'file extension': .exe, .pif. If you receive a .zip attachment and open it - make sure it doesn't contain a file with one of those extensions. Do not open attachments you haven't requested, even if they appear to be from people you know.

Why do I receive, notices that emails from me could not be delivered - when I didn't send the email?

  • How did someone else send an email that looked like it was from me?
  • Why do such emails seem to be from someone who is not in my organisation?
This is usually caused by a virus on someone elses computer sending the emails, but making it look like the emails are from you, or to put it another way: A virus that spoofs the 'from address'. The important (and annoying) thing to note is that the virus is probably not on your computer, it is on someone elses. So even if you have quality anti-virus software that keeps your computer clean, there is someone else out there who's computer is infected and sending these emails out.

How viruses spoof the from-address in emails

  • You have effective anti-virus software, so your computer is clean,
  • You send an email to Fred,
  • Now your email address is in Freds address book in his email software,
  • Fred does not have effective anti-virus software, and his computer has a virus,
  • The virus on Freds computer scans his address book for all of the email addresses on it,
  • The virus sends email to every address on Freds address book,
  • The virus emails do not say they are from Fred!, The virus pics another addresse from Fred's address book and puts it in the 'From field' in the outgoing email. The virus may combine the name from one address and the domain from another, creating a 'from address' that does not exist.
  • These emails are received by other computers, which detect the virus (because they have good anti virus software) and reject the email,
  • When the receiving computer rejects the virused email it sends an 'Undeliverable' to the sender e.g. something like 'Subject: /Delivery Notification: Delivery has failed'.
  • But! the 'Undeliverable' note goes to the spoofed from address (not to Fred) e.g. the 'Undeliverable' note could be sent to you.
  • Often there is no trace of Freds real address in the virus email or the 'Undeliverable' note, so you can not tell who's infected computer is sending these emails.
The solution: Make sure you have good anti-virus software and tell everyone you know to do the same.
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Sunday, July 10, 2011

How To Update Windows XP Offline

The American-British language based Heise website ( is somewhat confusing to understand, but their script is useful and straightforward. 

I have used the method many times, so I am providing a simple description on how to update your windows xp using c't update.
Here are the quick steps..
1. Download ctupdate Version 4.1 of  from Heise's website.
2. Create a new folder and unzip the downloaded zip file to that folder.
3. Double click the file " UpdateGenerator.exe " from the extracted files, in the options menu choose " Windows XP ", check " English " , check on " Create iso " for creating iso image of updates which you can burn on a cd. Now click start, this initiates the download of all required XP patches directly from Microsoft's servers.
4. When the script announces, "Download image creation successful," close the c't updater windows .
5. Now navigate to  ..\ctupdate4\iso folder and burn the iso image created to a blank cd using nero or any other iso burning software.
6. For Windows XP in English, that file is named " wsusoffline-wxp-enu.iso "
7. Insert the new autorun CD into the drive of the computer to be updated, click "Start" on the c't update pop-up menu, and go out somewhere while script does all the heavy job.
8. Every month, go through this process again, starting with Step 3, to update your system to latest updates. Now only new patches are downloaded, so downloads after the first one go much quicker.
This script driven offline windows update method is very convenient for new windows installations, routine updates and the library it creates is also a valuable data against that awful day when Microsoft abandons support of XP in favor of a sexy new OS Windows Vista. 

I have never had a problem with the c't update and I hope this little  explanation of offline update is helpful.
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Friday, July 8, 2011

Use System File Checker to Repair Missing or Corrupt Files in Windows 7

Did it happen to you that your computer failed to boot properly or after boot it flashed some warning message saying that your computer is missing some system file ?
One of the reasons for Windows boot failure could be that some of the system files of Windows got corrupted due to hardware failure or other unknown reasons. The situation becomes worse if your computer automatically restarts and you lose all your unsaved data on the primary Windows partition.
In this case you should check out System File Checker (SFC.exe) - it’s a command line system tool which scans your computer’s system files and figures out the missing or corrupted files and replaces the damaged or missing files.

How To Use System File Checker To Fix Missing Windows System File

1. First you need to run command prompt as an administrator. To do so, open start menu, typecmd in the search box, right click on cmd and select “Run as administrator”.

In the command prompt window, type sfc /scannow as a command and press “Enter”. It will start system scan and you can see the progress right inside the command prompt window, as shown below:
2. When the system scan is complete, you will see which of the system files were corrupted and the reasons behind the malfunction.
In my case the system file checker tool (SVC.exe) displayed “Windows Resource Protections did not find any integrity violation”. It means my computer has no missing or corrupt system file.
How to solve the problem if SFC tool fails to replace corrupted file
The System file checker tool automatically fixes all the missing Windows files that were corrupted because of software installatons or you accidentally deleted them.
But suppose your computer finds any corrupt or missing file and fails to replace it (sometimes it happens). In that case, you can always check those files that could not be repaired by the System File Checker tool.  Following is a method to do that:
1. Open the command prompt window with administrative priviledges.
2. Now type a command findstr /C:”[SR] Cannot repair member file” %windir%\logs\cbs\cbs.log >sfcdetails.txt and press Enter.

3. Go to C –> Windows –> System 32 folder and open a file sfcdetails.txt. It is a log file that contains entries for a file that could not be repaired by SFC.exe tool. Note down the file name and the location of file.
4. In the command prompt, type this command
takeown /f C:\windows\system32\filename and press Enter. (filename is the name of missing file)
5. Now type type icacls C:\windows\system32\abc.dll /grant administrators:F as a command and press Enter (replace the abc.dll with filename in command)
6. Now open Windows explorer and find the copy of that file by searching it using the search box. Suppose you want to find a copy of System.Runtime.Remoting.dll file. You have to type the file name in the search box and it will show all the files inside that folder (check the screenshot below).
7. Note the location of the duplicate file. You have to copy this file to the missing file location.
8. Type command Copy Path_And_File_Name_Of_Source_FilePath_And_File_Name_Of_Destinationto replace the file with copy of the file.
For example type copy C:\windows\Microsoft.NET\framework\abc.dll C:\windows\system32\abc.dll to copy abc.dll file from one location to another. Remember you have to change the file name with abc.dll with the missing file name.
Following the above method, you can replace invalid or corrupt windows files from command prompt and solve your computer issues.

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