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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Backup & Import Your Wireless Network Settings in Windows 7

One of the biggest annoyances when setting up wireless networks is remembering the security key and typing it correctly so that you can connect all laptops and netbooks to it. Windows 7 makes it easy to export your wireless settings from one machine to another.
The backup of the wireless networks settings can be easily done from Windows 7, and the settings can be saved to a USB stick, and then the settings can be imported on laptops & netbooks running 

Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7.

How to Save Your Wireless Network Settings
First, open the Network and Sharing Center. You can do this by clicking on the wireless network symbol from the taskbar and clicking on ‘Open Network and Sharing Center’. An alternative would be to go to Control Panel -> Network and Internet -> Network and Sharing Center. 

On the left side of the Network and Sharing Center window, click on the ‘Manage wireless networks’ link. 

In the Manage Wireless Networks window you will see a list with all wireless networks to which you have connected in the past. Double click on the one which interests you. 

Now you will see a window with all its properties. In order to save them on a flash drive, click on the bottom link which says ‘Copy this network profile to a USD flash drive’. 

The Copy Network Settings wizard will now start. Insert the USB flash drive, wait until it is detected and the Next button is no longer gray. 

The copying process will take only a few seconds. When done, click on Close. 

If you will look on your USB flash drive you will see a setupSNK.exe file and a SMRTNTKY folder. Make sure you don’t delete them from the memory stick.

How to Import Your Wireless Network Settings

First, plug in the USB flash drive in the laptop where you want to import the settings and run the setupSNK.exe file. When the Wireless Network Setup Wizard launches, click on Yes. 

The settings will be imported in seconds and when receiving the notification below, click on OK and start using the wireless network. 

This procedure is very helpful for both public and hidden wireless networks. Instead of typing long authentication keys, it is easier to plug in an USB memory stick and run a setup file. If you have other useful tricks like this one, don’t hesitate to share them using the comments form below.
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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Free MagicBerry IPD Reader Lets You Extract and Edit BlackBerry Backup Files

There have been a few BlackBerry backup file (IPD files) editors over the years but MagicBerry is one of my favorites. I cannot believe I have not mentioned it earlier since it has been around for awhile now. It is more of an advanced tool but practically anybody can use it.

In a nutshell MagicBerry is the blackberry IPD reader that can read and extract the following database from the mobile IPD backup file: SMS Messages, Phone Call Logs, Address Book, Service Book, Tasks, memos, Calendar and export them. It also lets you split BlackBerry backup files along with editing service books.

If any of those things sounds like something you have needed to do I highly recommend downloading the free MagicBerry IPD reader at this link.
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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Windows 7 Simple Tips to Speed Up Your PC

Below is a step-by-step guide to different tips or tools that can be useful to know for your Windows 7 PC. Some may be new you to and others may be old news. Each tip and tool will help keep your computer clean and safe.

Table of Contents

1. How to Uninstall a Program
2. How to run Checkdisk (chkdsk)
3. Windows Memory Diagnostic
4. Change your User Account Icon
5. How to Defrag your Hard Drive
6. How to Post a Screenshot
7. How to Force close a Program
8. How to Update your Java
9. How to Setup a Backup
10. How to Restore Files from a Backup
11. How to create a System Repair Disk
12. Keyboard Shortcuts
13. How to pin something to the taskbar
14. How to run Disk Cleanup
15. How to Fix Windows Files (sfc /scannow)

1. How to Uninstall a Program
1. Go to the Start Menu then click on Control Panel, found on the right hand menu.
2. A popup window should appear, click on Uninstall a Program. – Be sure that your View By: is set to Category.
3. Wait about 5 to 10 seconds for the list to load all of the programs installed on the computer.
4. Next scroll down the list until you find the program you wish to uninstall.
5. Click on the program and select the Uninstall/Change button at the top.
6. A new window should appear guiding you to uninstall the program.
7. After the uninstaller window has completed be sure to restart your computer.

2. How to run Checkdisk (chkdsk)
1. First go to Computer, most likely found in the upper left hand corner. If you do not see Computer then right click on the desktop and select Personalize. Then click Change Desktop Icons and be sure that Computer has a ticked box next to it. Press OK and return to step 1.
2. Right click on which hard drive you would like Windows to check. Normally the (C:) Drive.
3. Select Properties.
4. Go to the Tools Tab and click the Check Now… button under Error-checking.
5. A popup window will appear make sure that both check boxes are ticked. Press Start.
6. Windows will tell you that it cannot perform the Check disk now. Press the Schedule disk check button.
7. Restart the computer. Once the computer is restarting Windows will perform the chkdsk.

3. Windows Memory Diagnostic
1. Go to the Start Menu and type Windows Memory Diagnostic into the Search bar.
2. Select the first Program at the top of the list.
3. A popup window will appear and ask to check now or later.
4. Select Restart now and check for problems.
5. The computer will automatically restart and check your RAM (Memory).
6. Once Windows has booted up again, Windows will present you a report.

4. Change your User Account Icon
1. Go to the Start Menu then click Control Panel on the right hand side menu.
a. Make sure that your View By: is set to Category.
2. Select the User Accounts and Family Safety.
3. Under User Accounts press the Change your Account Picture text.
4. Select any of the following pictures or press the Browse for more pictures… text to add your own.

5. How to Defrag your Hard Drive
1. First go to Computer, most likely found in the upper left hand corner.
a. If you do not see Computer then right click on the desktop and select Personalize. Then click Change Desktop Icons and be sure that Computer has a ticked box next to it. Press Ok and return to step 1.
2. Right click on the hard drive you wish to defrag.
3. Select Properties.
4. Go to the Tools tab and select Defragment Now… under the Defragment section.
5. A popup window will appear, and then click Analyze Disk.
6. After Windows has analyzed the disk hit the Defragment disk button.

6. How to Post a Screenshot
1. Open up the item you wish to take a picture of.
2. Press the PrntScr button. Normally found next to the Delete button.
3. Go to the Start Menu and type in Paint.
4. Select the first program on the top of the list.
5. Once Paint has opened press Ctrl + V or use the Paste button.
6. Select the Crop tool in the menus and crop out the selected area.
7. Go to File then Save As… and save the image to your desktop.

7. How to Force close a Program
1. Press Ctrl + Alt + Delete buttons at the same time.
2. Windows will show you a list of items.
3. Select the Start Task Manager.
4. Go to the Applications Tab.
5. Click on the Task you wish to End and press the End Task button.
6. A popup window will appear asking you to End Now.

8. How to Update your Java
1. Follow all of the steps found in section 1.
2. After uninstalling your old Java platform go to Java + You
3. Click the Download now button found on the homepage.
4. Be sure to select the correct type of Java (32bit or 64bit) depending on your system.
5. Follow the on screen guide on installing Java.

9. How to Setup a Backup
1. First go to Computer, most likely found in the upper left hand corner. If you do not see Computer then right click on the desktop and select Personalize. Then click Change Desktop Icons and be sure that Computer has a ticked box next to it. Press Ok and return to Step 1.
2. Right click on the drive you wish to backup. On most computers this will be the (C:) drive.
3. Under the tools tab press the Back up now… button under the Backup section.
4. A popup window will appear, press the Set up backup text.
5. Look for the new hard drive that you wish to save your backup too.
6. Select the files you wish to backup then hit Next. After reviewing you’re backed up files press Save settings and run backup button.

10. How to Restore Files from a Backup
1. Go to section 8 in this article and follow down to the second step.
2. Under the Restore section click the Select another backup to restore files from text.
3. Then press the Browse for folders button.
4. Select your old backup and Windows will restore all your old files.

11. How to create a System Repair Disk
1. Go to the Start Menu then click Control Panel on the right hand menu.
2. In the search bar of the Control Panel type in Backup and select Backup and Restore.
3. On the blue menu on the left select the Create a system repair disc.
4. Pick which drive your OS is on.
5. Enter a DVD into your DVD drive and press Create disc.
6. After the disk is created it will only work on the same type of OS.

12. Keyboard Shortcuts
Below is a List of some useful keyboard short cuts to help you do things faster and easier.
1. Ctrl + C = Copy
2. Ctrl + X = Cut
3. Ctrl + V = Paste
4. Ctrl + Z = Undo
5. Ctrl + A = Select All
6. Highlighted text + Ctrl + B = Bold
7. Windows Key + D = Show desktop
8. Double Tab the Windows key to exit Full Screen modes.
9. Holding Ctrl and clicking a link will open a new tab.
10. Windows Key + Home Key = Minimize all but selected window.

13. How to pin something to the taskbar.
1. Open the program you wish to pin to the task bar.
2. Right click on the icon and select the Pin this program to taskbar option.
3. Afterwards the program will stay on the taskbar until it is removed.
4. Hold and drag to move the icon around.
5. To unpin the program right click on the program and select Unpin this program from the taskbar.

14. How to run Disk Cleanup
1. First go to Computer, most likely found in the upper left hand corner. If you do not see Computer then right click on the desktop and select Personalize. Then click Change Desktop Icons and be sure that Computer has a ticked box next to it. Press Ok and return to Step 1.
1. Right click on the hard drive you wish to clean up.
2. Select Properties
3. Under the General Tab, click the Disk Cleanup button.
4. Let Windows scan the hard drive to see which files need to be cleaned. This may take a few minutes to complete.
5. Select the files by ticking the box. Windows will delete all files with a ticked box.
6. Press Ok.
7. Then hit Delete Files.

15. How to Fix Windows Files (sfc /scannow)
1. Go to the Start Menu and type CMD into the search bar.
2. Hit enter.
3. A black box should appear on your screen. Type in: sfc /scannow (Note: There is a space be-tween sfc and /scannow)
4. Windows will scan your computer for any broken or corrupt files.
5. If Windows did find any corrupt files restart your computer.

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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Beware of missed call to check SIM cloning

If you get a missed call from a number starting with +92, #90 or #09, do not call back on that number, as there are possibilities that your SIM card will get cloned. The telecom operators have started alerting their subscribers about such dubious calls, especially about the numbers starting with above mentioned prefixes.

According to reports, over one lakh subscribers have been victims of what is being dubbed as “telecom terror attack”. Times of India in its report say Intelligence agencies have confirmed the presence of a racket and that the menace is growing rapidly. "We are sure there must be some more similar combinations that the miscreants are using to clone the handsets and all the information stored in them," an intelligence officer told TOI. Intelligence agencies have issued special alerts for users in UP West division.

State-run telecom operator, BSNL, has already started issuing alerts to all its broadband subscribers and is currently issuing alerts via SMSes as well. 

It's learnt that one can steal subscriber's information stored in the phone or even from the external memory after cloning. Also, one can use the cloned copy to make calls to any number they want. “Though it will be established during the course of investigations that the cell phone has been cloned and misused elsewhere, it is sure to land the subscriber under quite some pressure till the time the fact about his or her phone being cloned and misused is established,” intelligence sources said. 

It's not first time when such incident has come into the light. Read our report on smartphones becoming new target for cyber criminals. Earlier this year, the media had reported about an international racket that involved lottery scams, and raked in money when users called back on the premium numbers. According to reports, these racketeers could also clone SIM cards simply when one calls back at that number. 

How to keep your phone secure:

· Don't call back on missed calls from suspicious international numbers

· Don't share your personal details such as bank account information

· Report such SMSes/missed calls to your operator

· You can also report to the TRAI

Have you also received such dubious SMSes or missed calls? Let us know in the comments section below:
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Thursday, July 12, 2012

How to Convert Your Files to a Different Format

How do you turn your favorite MP3 into a ringtone for your mobile phone? What is the quickest way to convert a PowerPoint presentation into a video file? How do you convert Microsoft Office documents for reading a Kindle?
These are some common questions and what follows is a detailed guide on how you may convert files of just about any format to another format using free tools.
Convert any type of file for Free
I have covered both web-based and software-based conversion utilities though I prefer the latter option for a couple of reasons – conversion on desktop is often faster, you get to convert your large files offline and, most importantly, you don’t have to worry about privacy issues since there’s no need to upload files to another server for conversion.
A. Video Files (including DVDs and Online Video)
If you would like to rip your DVD movies into smaller video file for, say, watching on your mobile phone or tablet, VidCoder is a good option. HandBrake is also a popular tool for ripping DVDs though new users may find VidCoder a little easier to use.
Miro and Hamster are simple utilities that can help you convert between all popular video formats – like MP4, AVI, WMV, FLV, MKV, MOV, WebM, etc. – in two easy clicks. There are built-in presets for iPod, iPad, Blackberry, and other mobile devices so that makes conversion a lot more simple for newbies.
If you are looking for a more advanced video converter than can handle any weird video format and does more than just plain conversion, check out MediaCoder and SUPER – not exactly user-friendly but extremely
In case you have the bandwidth and don’t mind converting your video files online, MovAviand Heywatch are recommended choices. xVideo and Tooble are free utilities that can both download and convert Flash video from the web – they support all major video sharing sites including YouTube.

B. Audio Files
Audacity is absolutely the best software program for converting audio files from one format to another. If you include the FFmpeg library in your installation of Audacity, it will even let you extract audio from video files. If an audio format is not supported in Audacity, you may still convert it with, an online audio conversion service.
You may use Audacity to set your favorite MP3 song as a ringtone on your mobile phone but for something more simple, try Audiko. This is an again online tool where you upload an audio file (or specify the URL of a YouTube music video), choose a fragment and save it as an MP3 ringtone. You may also make iPhone ringtones with iTunes but only for non-DRM music. is an online app for downloading and converting Flash video into an MP3 file. Also check out Myna, an online audio editor that you may use to convert audio files or for merging multiple formats into a single format.

C. Fonts
When you are switching between a Mac and a PC, the fonts may not be compatible across OSs. Here’s a simple online tool where you may convert your existing font into any other format.
The font conversion service supports all the common font formats – like TrueType (.ttf), OpenType (.oft) and PostScript (.ps) – as as some of the obscure formats.

D. eBooks, Help Files, etc.
Not long ago, CHM (compiled HTML) was a preferred format for distributing help files and even e-Books. The CHM format is supported on Windows only but you may use the HTML Workshop tool to decompile CHML into HTML and CSS file that you may then read in any web browser on any device.
EPUB is now a standard file format for e-books and there are quite a few good converters to deal with this format. There’s Calibre that you may use to convert all popular document format into EPUB books or even the revers – converting EPUBs into PDF, Text or HTML files. You may use consider Sigil, a WYSIWYG ebook editor that can convert HTML and text files into EPUBs.
Amazon offers a free command line utility for Windows, Mac and Linux called KindleGenthat you may use to convert any HTML, XML or EPUB book into a Kindle Book (MOBI).
Get Flipsnack to convert your PDF document into a Flash-based flipping ebook.

E. Office Documents and PDFs
Use Nitro PDF Reader to convert any of the Microsoft Office file formats – like .doc, .xls or .ppt – into PDF files. The same tool may also be used for convert pages of your PDF documents into text or into image formats.
Documents written in Office 2010 specific formats – like docx or xlsx – can be converted to equivalent Office 2003 formats using the Zoho Converter.
If you wish to convert multiple Office files to PDF in a batch, just upload them all to Google Docs and export everything as PDFs. The Google Docs viewer may be used for converting any of the online documents into PDF.
PowerPoint 2010 has a built-in Save as Video feature but if you on a different version, read this detailed tutorial for converting your slideshow into a self-playing movie.

F. Images, Icons and Animated GIFs
All image gallery tools – including Picasa and Windows Live Photo Gallery – can help you convert images from one format to another. Use FFmpeg if you wish to convert videos into Animated GIFs.
You can convert your pictures to ASCII art either using degraeve‘s online tool or with the help of AscGen, if you want to do the conversion offline.
Get hold of Windows Live Movie Maker or Microsoft Photostory to convert your images into a video that you may later upload to YouTube.
iConvert is a useful online app that will convert any image or icon into Windows and Mac icons in one step. It will also create an .ico icon file from that image for your website. You may also use to convert and tweak your images into favicons.
There are several OCR tools available for converting a scanned image or digital photograph into digital (editable) text with Google Docs emerging at the top.

G. Web Pages, Blogs and Wikis
You can convert web pages into images using Bounce (online) or, if you want to automate the capture, use SiteShoter. Convert a web page into a PDF document for archiving withPDFmyURL or Web2PDF.
You may convert a blog, or any site that offers a RSS feed, into a PDF newspaper withFiveFilters. There’s also Tabbloid from HP that lets you convert one or more feeds into a PDF magazine for offline reading.
The BookGlutton Converter may be used for converting web pages into EPUB format though you’ll tweak the HTML a bit before submitting it for conversion. There’s another service called 2epub for convert HTML files to EPUB or MOBI that you may transfer to your Sony Reader, Nook, Kobo or Kindle.

H. Everything else..
Wiki users may use the htmltowiki tool to convert HTML markup into MediaWiki format. There’s Pandoc for convert files between various markup formats including LaTeX, DocBook, MediaWiki and EPUB. Also see related guides for merging address books and your email accounts. Use Tweetbook to convert your Tweets into a PDF book.
Finally, such a list would be incomplete without the mention of all-in-one conversion services like Zamzar, Convert.Files and YouConvert that seem to handle nearly every file format from music to images to ebooks. These services are like one-stop shops but the downside is that the conversion is not instant and you have to provide your email address for them to send the converted files.

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Monday, July 9, 2012

Virus could black out nearly 250,000 PCs

Boston: About a quarter-million computer users around the world are at risk of losing Internet access on Monday because of malicious software at the heart of a hacking scam that U.S. authorities shut down last November.

Some blogs and news reports hyped the risk of an outage, warning of a potential "blackout" and describing the Alureon malware as the "Internet Doomsday" virus.

Yet experts said only a tiny fraction of computer users were at risk, and Internet providers would be on call to quickly restore service. They said they considered the threat to be small compared with more-prevalentviruses such as Zeus and SpyEye, which infect millions of PCs and are used to commit financial fraud.

As of this week, about 245,000 computers worldwide were still infected by Alureon and its brethren, according to security firm Deteque. That included 45,355 computers in the United States.

The viruses were designed to redirect Internet traffic through rogue DNS servers controlled by criminals, according to the FBI. DNS servers are computer switchboards that direct Web traffic.

Boston: When authorities took down the rogue servers, a federal judge in New York ordered that temporary servers be kept in place while the victims' machines were repaired. The temporary servers will shut down at 12:01 a.m. EDT (0401 GMT) on Monday, which means the infected PCs that have not been fixed will no longer be able to connect to the Internet.

Some U.S. Internet providers, including AT&T Inc (T.N) and Time Warner Cable (TWC.N), have made temporary arrangements so that their customers will be able to access the Internet using the address of the rogue DNS servers.

Information on how to identify and clean up infections can be found on a website that a group of security firms and other experts set up:

"It's a very easy one to fix," said Gunter Ollmann, vice president of research for security company Damballa. "There are plenty of tools available."

Many of the machines that remain infected are probably not in active use since most victims were notified of the problem, said security expert Johannes Ullrich, who runs the Internet Storm Center, which monitors Web threats.

The United States has charged seven people for orchestrating the worldwide Internet fraud. Six were arrested in Estonia, while the seventh, who was living in Russia, is still at large. Tallinn has so far extradited two of the men to New York where they appeared in Manhattan federal court.
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