Archive for the ‘ Computers and Internet ’ Category

Questions Asked by Google and Microsoft in their interviews!

An Organization named Pingdom has published Google and Microsoft interview questions. Google and Microsoft interview questions are really interesting and take a lot effort to solve them. Pingdom also offer a free one year Pingdom business account that normally goes for $479 to the person who best answers these questions.

Questions by Google

  1. How many golf balls can fit in a school bus?
  2. You are shrunk to the height of a nickel and your mass is proportionally reduced so as to maintain your original density. You are then thrown into an empty glass blender. The blades will start moving in 60 seconds. What do you do?
  3. How many piano tuners are there in the entire world?
  4. In a country in which people only want boys, every family continues to have children until they have a boy. If they have a girl, they have another child. If they have a boy, they stop. What is the proportion of boys to girls in the country?
  5. Describe a chicken using a programming language.

Questions by Microsoft

  1. You have a bucket of jelly beans. Some are red, some are blue, and some green. With your eyes closed, pick out 2 of a like color. How many do you have to grab to be sure you have 2 of the same?
  2. Pairs of primes separated by a single number are called prime pairs. Examples are 17 and 19. Prove that the number between a prime pair is always divisible by 6 (assuming both numbers in the pair are greater than 6). Now prove that there are no ‘prime triples.’
  3. Imagine an analog clock set to 12 o’clock. Note that the hour and minute hands overlap. How many times each day do both the hour and minute hands overlap? How would you determine the exact times of the day that this occurs?
  4. How much does a 747 weigh?
  5. Imagine a disk spinning like a record player turn table. Half of the disk is black and the other is white. Assume you have an unlimited number of color sensors. How many sensors would you have to place around the disk to determine the direction the disk is spinning? Where would they be placed?

13 Types of Posts that Always Get Lots of Comments

I’ve been an ardent reader of various blogs, and hopped around various blogs to read interesting stuffs. Then suddenly I thought there is a kind of regularity in the content of posts and the number of comments. So, I decided to carve out a complete list of it, after some analysis.

It’s no surprise that these types of posts got a lot of comments – for one I found had been specifically asked for comments and there was a tangible benefit for commenting in each case (the chance to win something and the chance to promote something) – but what other types of posts get lots of comments?

Here are 13 types of posts that were most common in people’s responses with a few links to examples.

Note: some of the examples could have been used in multiple categories and some get more comments than others – but that’s because they are from smaller blog where the blogger doesn’t normally see loads of comments. I could have found bigger more well known blogs as examples but decided to go mainly with ‘normal’ blogs from readers as I think it is probably more useful than highlighting just mega blogs that get lots of comments on most posts.

1. Competitions

Lets start with the most obvious – give people the chance to win something by leaving a comment and you’re well on the way to drawing people into leaving a comment. Example:Giveaway: SKIL 4-piece Power Tools Combo Kit.

2. Personal Stories

Sometimes sharing something personal really draws people into what you’re writing. I know when I’ve shared something from my personal life on my blog – either as an off topic post or as a way to illustrate something that I’m talking about that it always draws people in. This is particularly powerful if you share a problem overcome, a failure or something that people can relate to. Examples: I’m a Mom and Exposed.

3. Show Off Posts/Share a link

These types of posts ask your readers to show or share something that they’ve done, written, created etc. The ’show us your photoblog’ link above is an example of this. So to was another of my posts – ‘Share Your Best Photo‘.

4. Creative Posts

posts where the blogger has gone to extra lengths to do something out of the ordinary and creative often have a ‘wow factor’ that gets people commenting. Example: Disney’s “A Whole New World” Sung in Pictures.

5. Hacks

Walk people through a process or show them how to do something for themselves (DIY). These types of posts are great for traffic but I find that they also tend to get reactions – particularly if it’s a good and helpful hack. Example: Apparently My Bling Likes to Swing.

6. Meaty Posts

It was fascinating to read through the 80-90 links to most commented upon posts that people sent me – one thing I noticed is that it was often quite long and in depth posts that seemed to be getting commented upon. Longer resources that really looked deeply at a topic or that gave comprehensive advice. Example: How NOT to Suck at Blogging (this post probably fits into some of the other categories too – it is strong, opinionated and pretty in your face – all of this elicits a strong response).

7. Relatable Posts

Many of the posts talked about were on topics that a lot of people would have been able to relate to. Not always personal stories – but on issues and problems that lots of readers might face. They draws out people to tell their story or personal reflection on their own experiences with the topics. Example: Why Do Women Let Themselves Go (this post also has a strong headline and perhaps some controversy attached to it).

8. Question Posts

Ask a question and those who hear it are wired to answer it. I find when I include a question in the title of my posts that comment numbers tend to be at least double normal posts. Do Young Entrepreneurs Need to Go to Collge? (a post that had a question it its very title – as long as some opinion and meat to it). Also What Camera Gear Would You Buy if you were Given $1000 to Spend? (this post not only asked a question but was a hypothetical/fun post on a topic that I knew would also create some debate between readers loyal to different types of cameras. Also Net Worth vs Self Worth: The Passion Paradox (while this post isn’t a pure question post there’s a strong call for people to react in it and the blogger highlights other people’s posts on the topic/reactions).

9. Debate or Controversy Posts

Put two or more opposing arguments to your readers and step back to see what happens. Example: Which Digital Camera Manufacturer is Best? (this is an old post when we only had a few readers – I’m too scared to post the question again as this question always gets people so fired up). Also Adam Lambert’s Jacket Auctioned for $2000 (not a debate but certainly stirred up some controversy).

10. Opinion Pieces

Expressing your own strongly held opinion on an issue will generally have your readers examining their own opinions. If you do express it strongly you can expect your readers to share what they think strongly also. Example: I like Dave Ramsey, But He is Still Wrong. Also Why our Current Education System is Failing (also some controversy/debate in this one too).

11. Humor

Humor evokes a natural physical reaction (smiling and laughter) which sometimes also comes out in other ways (like sharing a reaction, passing it on to a friend etc). Example: I took 1,973 pictures of my children on vacation and all I got was this lousy blog post (also a personal type post).

12. Group Projects/Challenges

This is one I’ve used quite a bit over the years – getting readers all to go and do something and then come back and share the results. Examples: Top 5 – Group Writing ProjectEnter the Passion to Profit Challenge and RED: Weekend Photography Challenge.

13. Mega Lists/Resources

There is nothing like a mega/over the top list of resources or links relevant to your niche to draw in traffic and comments. These posts are a lot of work but tend to do well in social media – but also at getting comments. You get comments from those in the list, from those who want to be in the list, from those who find the list useful, from those who think your list is skewed and biased…. etc. Example: 87 Great Photography Blogs and Feeds.

So…Am I going to get some Comments?;)

64 Geek Things!

If you consider yourself a geek, or aspire to the honor of geekhood, here’s an essential checklist of must-have geek skills.

The term ‘geek’, once used to label a circus freak, has morphed in meaning over the years. What was once an unusual profession transferred into a word indicating social awkwardness. As time has gone on, the word has yet again morphed to indicate a new type of individual: someone who is obsessive over one (or more) particular subjects, whether it be science, photography, electronics, computers, media, or any other field. A geek is one who isn’t satisfied knowing only the surface facts, but instead has a visceral desire to learn everything possible about a particular subject.

A techie geek is usually one who knows a little about everything, and is thus the person family and friends turn to whenever they have a question. If you’re that type of person and are looking for a few extra skills to pick up, or if you’re a newbie aiming to get a handhold on the honor that is geekhood, read on to find out what skills you need to know.

1. The Meaning of Technical Acronyms

  • USB – Universal Serial Bus
  • GPU – Graphics Processing Unit
  • CPU – Central Processing Unit
  • SATA – Serial ATA
  • HTML – Hyper-text Markup Language
  • HTTP – Hypertext Transfer Protocol
  • FTP – File Transfer Protocol
  • P2P – Peer-to-peer sharing (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P2P)
  • 2. How to Reset RAM

    If you rolled your eyes here, that is a good thing. If not, you have many things to learn, young padawan. It’s amazing how few people know how to do this. If you’re unsure, hit up the link below to find out how:

    http://www.yousaytoo.com/sudjarwo/how-to-reset-ram-in-a-computer/29133

    This tip is only really good for older machines running 9x based OS’s. However if you are running Windows Vista this can have a problem with RAM so here is how to create a desktop shortcut to free up RAM.

    1. Right-click on your desktop and select New > Shortcut.
    2. Copy/paste the following into the box: %windir%\system32\rundll32.exe advapi32.dll,ProcessIdleTasks
    3. Click Next, name it ‘Clear Memory’, and click Finish.Give it asuitable icon so it looks nice.

    3. Identify Keyloggers

    Internet cafes are the most likely place you’ll find them, followed by library, perhaps, and maybe even you own house if you’ve some unscrupulous friends/family. Identity theft groups warn about keyloggers and advocate checking out the keyboard yourself before continuing. Can you identify a keylogger, however, if one is plugged into the back of the system?

    Here’s what one looks like:

    Hit up this link for excellent info on keyloggers on public computers and how to protect yourself:

    http://www.ghacks.net/2007/06/28/how-to-defeat-most-keyloggers-on-public-computers/

    4. Surf the Web Anonymously

    We won’t make any assumptions about why you may need this particular skill, but the fact remains that every geek should know how to traverse the Internet with the highest amount of security possible.

    Aside from the safest method–which is using a connection that is not yours–you will need the ultimate in proxies…Tor. Tor is an onion-routing system which makes it ‘impossible’ for someone to find out who you actually are.

    5. Bypass a Computer Password on All Major Operating Systems

    Obviously you shouldn’t use this to gain unlawful access to a computer. If you’re a geek, however, you’ll eventually end up in a situation where someone forgets their password, you acquire a machine with an operating system you cannot access, or similar situation.

    See this tutorial for info on how to bypass the password on the three major operating systems: Windows, Mac, and Linux.

    http://www.joetech.com/2009/01/29/how-to-crack-the-account-password-on-any-operating-system/

    6. Find a Users IP Address on AIM

    Knowing someones IP address is actually pretty useless in this case, but most people don’t realize that. If someone is harassing you via AIM and you can’t get them to stop, discovering their IP and sending it to them–with a nicely worded threat of law enforcement involvement should they not stop–is likely enough to send them scamping away with tail between legs.

    http://www.elitehackers.info/forums/archive/index.php/t-2827.html

    7. Hide a File Behind a JPEG

    So you need a nice spot to hide your blackmail personal files. You could, of course, bury them deeply within a series of random, useless folders, but there’s always the chance of them being discovered. A password protected RAR is the best choice, but it’s a bit obvious despite the most boring title you could give it.

    A sneaky person would hide the important file behind a completely random and boring family reunion photo, where no person in their right mind would shift through.

    http://www.online-tech-tips.com/computer-tips/hide-file-in-picture/

    8. Crack a Wifi Password

    This is one of those things you don’t need to do (hopefully), but that you still need to know just for the sake of knowledge. A strong WPA password is very secure, but most people don’t want to bother learning a convoluted series of letters, numbers, and symbols, instead opting for random everyday words.

    A good overall tutorial on wifi and cracking can be found here:http://docs.lucidinteractive.ca/index.php/Cracking_WEP_and_WPA_Wireless_Networks

    9. Monitor Network Traffic

    The Internet is a vast place with a bit of everything. Whether you’re curious about what your roommate is downloading, your kid is getting into, or any leeches living around you who’ve unscrupulously breached your wifi, knowing how to analyze network traffic is an invaluable skill.

    Here is a list of dozens of network analyzers, as well as some general info to get you started: http://www.slac.stanford.edu/xorg/nmtf/nmtf-tools.html

    10. Recover Master Boot Record

    A virus or other problem can lead to an MBR error, which will make it impossible to access install. Many users would simply become frustrated and reinstall, but not you! Every geek should know how to recover the master book record.

    Here is an excellent guide to get started: http://www.ntfs.com/mbr-damaged.htm

    11. Retrieve Data off Hard Drive

    There will come some point in your life when a hard drive craps out sans warning. It could be due to a number of reasons–physical damage, file corruption, etc. There are computer service centers that would be happy to extract the data for a (hefty) fee; a true geek would be the one working at center, not taking his or her drive there.

    To find out how to retrieve data off a damaged hard drive, read here:http://laptoplogic.com/resources/5-ways-to-retrieve-data-off-a-crashed-hard-drive

    12. Load Rockbox onto an MP3 Player

    The firmware that comes on your average mp3 player is intended for those who are scared of advanced features; often, the only audio settings available are a few prearranged EQs. If you’re an audiophile–or simply frustrated with the lack of control over your music settings–Rockbox is the firmware for you. Open source and free, it can be installed on several different types of players and enables full control over what you listen to.

    http://rockbox.org

    13. Unbrick a Smartphone

    No geek can resist the allure of flashing the newest beta firmware onto their shiny smartphone. The byproduct of that is sometimes a bricked phone, which would leave many sobbing into their pillow at night. To avoid rendering your $400 gadget into a door stopper, learn the fine art of unbricking and then flash away.

    As the method used to fix a phone will vary, this is the best place to start looking for answers: http://www.howardforums.com/

    14. Replace a Laptop Keyboard

    Keyboards get gummy after awhile. If you use yours a lot (aka: all day), then you probably eat over it at some point. Crumbs get into the keys and things are sticking, and before you know it, you need a new keyboard.

    http://www.refurbished-laptop-guide.com/how-to-remove-a-laptop-keyboard.html

    15. Rip Streaming Videos

    Streaming videos are officially in vogue. We’re not going to make any assumptions about what type of videos you are streaming and may want to keep, but no matter what it is, any geek could rip them while sipping a Red Bull and watching the latest episode of BSG.

    Here’s a hint to get you started: http://applian.com/download-videos

    or try this one http://www.downloadyoutubevideos.com

    16. Strip Windows DRM

    DRM is incredibly annoying. With many online stores now offering DRM-free mp3 audio files, it would seem it’s not as big of an issue as it used to be. That is not not the case, however, with all videos bearing a DRM as well as music of a higher-quality than MP3.

    Stripping Windows DRM is not legal. If you’re a geek, your probably don’t care:http://undrm.info/remove-DRM-protection/FairUse4WM-freeware-DRM-removal-Windows-software-Strip-copy-protection-from-WMV-ASF-WMA-Windows-Media-Player.htm

    17. Homebrew Hack Game Systems

    Gaming consoles are notorious for having features you can’t use simply because the manufacturer decided to lock them down. As a geek, you can’t just be satisfied with the features they decided to give you. No, you have to crack that case open and take a peek inside. Every geek should know how to homebrew hack their system and unlock it’s full potential.

    18. Find a Website IP Address Without Web/Command Prompt Access

    Some school admins think they’re being sneaky when they lock down the command prompt and block all major IP search websites and block all the websites you actually want to visit. Of course, that is child’s play for any geek.

    First, to get a new command prompt, open Notepad and type: command.com. Then, save as “cmd.bat”. You now have a command prompt.

    Now, open the command prompt and type “ping http://www.website.com/” to find the IP address of that website.

    Enter the website into the browser and you will officially have impressed all your friends.

    19. Bypass School or Work Website Blocks

    What is a horrific situation for an average computer user is a simple irritation for an everyday geek. To bypass a website block/filter, simply enter that websites IP address in instead of the actual site address.

    20. Screw with Wifi Leeches

    Nobody likes a wifi leech. At best, they’re simply using up your valuable bandwidth. At the worst–and far more likely, they’re stealing your identity and watching your activities. After watching your network and identifying the leech, use this trick to flip their browser upside down and let them know you don’t appreciate the intrusion.

    http://tech.nocr.at/hacking-security/baffle-wifi-leeches-with-an-upside-down-ternet-2/

    21. Hexadecimal and Binary Number Systems

    Everyone knows the normal, everyday digit system used. It takes a special–possibly psychotic person–to also know hexadecimal and binary number systems.

    Here is an excellent interactive tutorial on learning the two systems:http://www.wisc-online.com/objects/index_tj.asp?objID=DIG1102

    22. How to Hot Wire a Car

    If your family always turns to you any time their computer hiccups, their DVD player needs fixed, or their home security system doesn’t activate, it’s only a matter of time before someone asks you how to hot wire a car. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to answer them?

    To learn this unique skill, read here:http://howto.wired.com/wiki/Hot_Wire_Your_Car

    23. Increase Wifi Range

    With so many small portable gadgets gaining more and more sophisticated web browsers, in addition to gaming systems like the PSP and DS, getting the most use out of your wifi is practically a geek necessity.

    Here is a good guide on extending your wifi’s range:http://www.mavromatic.com/archives/000451

    24. Carrying a Computer Cleaning Arsenal on Your USB Drive

    A good geek prepares for their friends stupidity. No matter how many times you tell them to stop downloading porn, they keep doing it until their machine is so infected it can’t drag itself into a grave. An arsenal of portable malware cleaners, a portable task manager, anti-virus, etc, will make those impromptu purging sessions all the easier.

    25. Running an Operating System from a USB Thumb Drive

    Most people don’t even understand what the magical operating system is. As a geek, you should transcend that basic knowledge and have a small operating system on your thumb drive handy for those times you need computer access but don’t know the password to a nearby computer.

    http://www.pendrivelinux.com/

    26. Understand What “There’s no Place Like 127.0.0.1″ Means

    A lot of geeks wear this shirt as a short hand code for their computer finesse–or maybe just to screw with other people who stare but cannot figure out what it means. No matter the reason, if you’d like an answer, check out the link below.

    http://www.tech-faq.com/127.0.0.1.shtml

    27. Read 1337 At Normal Speed

    Sure, everyone knows about it and it’s no longer cool, but if you’re going to proclaim yourself as a geek, you should be able to read it full speed. Who wants to choke in front of the wannabe that learned to read it full speed and flaunts it in your face?

    http://www.wikihow.com/Read-and-Write-in-1337

    28. At Least One Fictional Language

    And not only should you know a fictional language, but you should use it to say something about yourself. Do you choose Klingon or Quenya?

    Here’s a list of constructed languages:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_constructed_languages

    29. How to Survive in a Linux Argument

    Linux is gaining an all around higher standing in the geeksphere, and it’s bound to enter a conversation at some point (which will invariably end up turning into an argument). If you want to keep up, you’ll need to understand the basic points of Linux, as well as the general info of all basic things.

    Here’s a good place to read and gain a foothold:http://www.linux.com/articles/feature/

    30. Identify Major Constellations

    For those times you venture from the air-conditioned, computer filled basement of your parents house (or something like that), look up at the stars and have yourself a Galileo moment. The stars may just be dots to many people, but with the handy website below, you’ll be stopping man-belts and lions in no time.

    http://www.sky-watch.com/astronomy-guide/major-constellations.html

    31. Use a Camera in Manual Mode

    Sure, you could just use auto mode like everyone else too afraid to learn what some letters and numbers mean, but then you wouldn’t be much of a geek, would you? The oft-ignored dial on a camera is the key that unleashes the best quality photos possible, and every geek should be a whiz at using one.

    http://digital-photography-school.com/digital-camera-modes

    32. Who Mulder and Scully Are

    It seems that in the plethora of geek websites, there always appears a joke about Mulder and Scully, the two main characters from the X-Files. If you don’t know who they are, you’ll be left in the dark, alone, contemplating what exactly it was you were doing in the 90’s that you wouldn’t understand the joke.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mulder_and_Scully_(song)

    33. Javascript

    HTML is running the world (not really). Everyone knows some HTML and it makes them feel empowered. As a geek, you want to transcend that basic knowledge others share and know a little more. JavaScript is the answer–it is easy to learn if you’re not actually interested in web programming, but simply curious, and it looks scary to anyone who doesn’t know it.

    http://www.yourhtmlsource.com/javascript/basicjavascript.html

    34. How to Unlock an iPhone

    Sure, most geeks wouldn’t be caught dead with an iPhone, but what about your friends? You’re the smart techie, they’ll expect your to know how to unlock it.

    http://www.pcworld.com/article/137223/how_to_unlock_an_iphone.html

    35. How to Install Mac OS X on a PC

    Just because you don’t want Mac on your PC doesn’t mean you shouldn’t know how to do it. Knowledge is power, right? Go ahead, use this to stump your friends and family.

    http://dailyapps.net/2007/10/hack-attack-install-leopard-on-your-pc-in-3-easy-steps/

    36. Build a PC

    If you purchase a ready-made PC, you can be sure of one thing–you’re paying more than you should. Assembling your own PC isn’t too hard, and is the first thing you should be aiming to accomplish as a geek.

    Here is a massive article on assembling your own PC:http://www.pcmech.com/byopc/

    37. Tethering a Smartphone

    Nothing like a little wifi on the move, eh? Tethering a smartphone means using the Internet on your laptop/netbook via your cell phone. Of course, the method to do this depends on your phone, but here’s an article to get your started:

    http://www.tech-recipes.com/rx/2276/smartphones_bb_treo_tether_modem_usa_carriers/

    38. Wiring a Home Theater System

    Home theater systems used to consist of a TV and a chair. Gone are those days of simplicity, however, and setting up a modern system can be pure mind-boggling horror. Where does the modulator go, why does the DVD player have no video and the cable box no sound?

    Here’s a tutorial, including excellent diagrams, to show you how:http://www.prillaman.net/ht_info_8-wiring.html

    39. Replacing a Laptop LCD

    Laptop LCDs are vulnerable to many different mishaps: accidental pressure spots, shadows, airsoft pellets…. No matter, there will come a point when you need to swap your LCD for a new one. Now, as a geek, you probably don’t have an extended warranty. If that’s the case, here are some excellent pages and pictures on replacing the display:

    http://www.fonerbooks.com/laptop_4.htm

    40. Make a Laptop Cooling Pad

    Can you believe these cost $50?! A geek will need one, because data crunching/DVD ripping/videos playing/rendering at the same times tends to cause excess heat. Instead of shelling out your hard earned dollars, make your own like so: http://www.instructables.com/id/Lazy-mans-laptop-cooler/

    41. Unleash a Laser Pointer’s full potential

    A normal person uses a laser pointer to drive their dog crazy. A geek uses it to melt butter for their grilled cheese sandwich. To unless a laser pointer’s full strength, crack open the case, fry the resistor with a hot soldering iron, then snap it back together and keep it away from flesh/eyes/airplanes. The pointer will burn out after a few hours, but what a fun few hours they will be.

    Note: this is dangerous. Don’t do anything stupid.

    42. Keyboard Shortcuts

    This will depend on your operating system and the apps you use, so there’s no tutorial available. However, that is irrelevant–you’re a geek, you can find them yourself. Shortcuts are the difference between a slow computer user and a geek. The geek will always will out in a speed contest, because they do practically everything from their keyboard.

    43. Soldering Glasses Together

    Nerds use tape on broken glasses; geeks use solder. ‘Nuff said.

    44. How to Execute a Shell Script

    If you’re a true geek, you’ll need to do this at some point. Below are instructions on how to do so. Remember: always be cautious when running a script, you don’t want your computer to turn into a door stop, now do ya?

    http://www.mcsr.olemiss.edu/unixhelp/scrpt/scrpt1.2.html

    45. How to Hack a Pop Machine

    Okay, so stealing isn’t cool. Still, hacking is simply a misunderstood art, right? So hacking a pop machine isn’t really stealing, because it’s not about the pop, it about the pleasure of getting your way. Or something like that. (Newsflash, it is illegal, don’t do it.) If you want to try your fingers at getting a free Coke, check out this link:

    http://skattertech.com/soda-machine-hack/

    46. Turn a Laptop into a Digital Picture Frame

    So you want to show off pictures of your dog and that girl you once met, but you want to do it in an uber geeky way. Any schmuck can go to Walmart and buy a digital picture frame for a grossly inflated price. But you…oh, you’re too smart for that. No, instead you’ll find an old laptop on eBay for $5 and turn it into a true work of art.

    http://repair4laptop.org/notebook_picture_frame.html

    47. How to Mod a Flash Drive Case

    All the geeks are doing it…. Whatever. The case your flash drive came in is probably weak and most certainly plain. Why not jazz it up with your own unique style?

    Here’s one such case mod, and dozens of related projects:http://www.instructables.com/id/Metal-USB—Flash-drive-case-mod/

    48. Do Cool Things to Altoids Tins

    People are obsessed with these things. Altoids tins are durable, small, and just begging to be filled with LEDs, mp3 players, audio amps, and maybe some snuff. A good geek will find millions of uses for these little metal wonders. If you need a mental boost, however, here’s some interesting links:

    http://www.squidoo.com/altoids-tins

    49. Convert Cassette Tapes to Digital Audio Files

    If your geekhood started in the 90’s, then you probably have a least a few (dozen) cassette tapes still sitting around. Why not breathe digital life into them before they fall ill to mortal fate?

    http://lifehacker.com/software/mp3/alpha-geek-how-to-digitize-cassette-tapes-222394.php

    50. Lock Your Computer with a USB Drive

    You don’t want anyone getting into your files while you’re gone. A normal password would be enough to keep most people out, but what if you got super-secret X files on your computer? You can lock your machine down with a USB drive via these instructions:

    http://lionjkt.wordpress.com/2008/12/31/how-to-lock-your-computer-with-usb-drive/

    51. Run Your Own Ethernet Line

    Wifi has taken the place of a wired connection in many homes, and with good reasons–you can go anywhere, no cables necessary. What about those…sensitive…activities that you’d rather the neighborhood script kiddie didn’t see on your wifi? An Ethernet cable is your solution.

    To wire your own Ethernet, hit up this link:http://www.ertyu.org/steven_nikkel/ethernetcables.html

    52. Set Up a Streaming Media Server

    With digital files becoming the ultimate medium, many people have hundreds of gigabytes worth of music, videos, and pictures. You could keep them on a portable hard drive, but then you’re have to take it everywhere, and only one person could use it at a time. The solution is a streaming media server, something no geek can live without.

    http://www.n00tz.net/2008/07/vlc-media-server-ubuntu-hardy/

    53. Setting up a VPN

    If you’re like most geeks, you can’t live without your computers. They store your life in some poetic fashion, holding files you feel a personal connection with…. Anyway, if you are at work and suddenly realize you left an important picture at home (or you need blackmail material pronto), having a VPN ready to go will save you big time.

    http://www.computernetworkinghelp.com/content/view/41/1/

    54. Turn Webcams into Security Cameras

    Is someone stealing your Netflix DVDs? Do you suspect it is a fat hairy man in his boxers taking them each morning? If so, you can get your proof using a couple webcams and a bit of software.

    http://www.simplehelp.net/2006/09/27/how-to-use-your-pc-and-webcam-as-a-motion-detecting-and-recording-security-camera/

    55. Control Your House Lights with a Computer

    Controlling the lights in your house via computer is a great way to freak out the neighborhood kids ding-dong-ditching (assuming you wire up a Halloween scream motion sensor, also). If you reasons are less nefarious, you simply use it to turn on and off lights without having to life ye butt from thy seat, which is a good reason in itself.

    http://www.instructables.com/id/Control-lights-in-your-house-with-your-computer/

    56. Play Retro Games without Retro Consoles

    This applies to the geeks who enjoy gaming. Setting up an emulation PC on your TV is a great way to relive those games of old.

    57. Put LEDs Inside a Lightbulb

    The days of hot incandescent and mercury-laden fluorescent are gone, and in are the days of long lasting, low heat, low consumption LEDs. As any good geek, you want to be able to say “I was doing X long before it became mainstream.” Here’s your chance–the following link will show you how to put an LED inside a lightbulb, something sure to stump your friends the same way Grandpa’s ship-in-a-wine-bottle used to stump you.

    http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2006/06/make_a_led_bulb.html

    58. Create Music with Keyboard

    How awesome is KeyBored? This little app gives all of your QWERTY keys a piano note. When you type, it sounds like an infant monkey punching a keyboard. If you’ve got some musical chops, it won’t take you long to figure out the Star Wars theme or find a hidden musical message in Counter Strike control buttons.

    http://thebatman.net/keybored/

    59. Make Your Office Ergonomic

    Face it–you spend a lot of time at your desk. You might even have a few extra pounds and pallid skin to show for it. While those things are temporary, far to common and more serious is the carpal tunnel, eye strain, and back problems you’ll develop from having a poor workspace.

    Hit up this link to create a body-friendly workspace that will keep you limber and flexible: http://www.ergotron.com/tabid/305/language/en-US/default.aspx

    60. Adding a Third Monitor

    Studies show that dual monitor increase work productivity by 30%. As a geek, you’ll need a third monitor to equal the dual setup of a layman (if that makes sense). While any hack with a VGA port can add a second monitor, it takes a true geek to add a third (or more). This will vary based on graphics/OS, so hit up Google for a tutorial or two.

    61. How to Convert a DVD to x264 (or XviD or DivX)

    It might seem like child’s play to you, but many individuals do not understand the fine art of converting a DVD into a digital file, let alone the careful skills it takes to achieve a happy balance between size and quality.

    Here is an excellent tutorial demonstrating how to rip a DVD with the multi-platform free software Handbrake: http://howto.diveintomark.org/ipod-dvd-ripping-guide/

    62. Flash System BIOS

    Ya gotta do it some time, so stop putting it off and man up. Flashing the BIOS on your laptop might seem scary (as it should–fear keeps you on your toes and prevents mistakes), but it’s not (actually, it is, but if you even understand why you need to do this, you’ve gotta have at least a few chops by now). Warning–you can seriously bork your computer doing this!

    http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleID=1605

    63. How to Irrecoverably Protect Data

    TrueCrypt, my friends. Learn to use TrueCrypt. If you have ask why, you don’t need it.

    64. The Fastest way to Kill a Computer

    It’s said that you have to get into a killers mind to understand their weaknesses, right? Same goes for the unfortunate boobs who always kill their laptops. Here’s a list of all the different ways you can accidentally kill a computer–arm your family and friends, and save yourself grief (because it’s surely you they will call when something goes horribly, horribly wrong).

    http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleID=1720

    Enjoy!

    Apple and the Economics of Elitism

    GAME CHANGER? After months of anticipation, Apple unveiled its iPad tablet computer last week.

    The more, the better. That’s the fashionable recipe for nurturing new ideas these days. It emphasizes a kind of Internet-era egalitarianism that celebrates the “wisdom of the crowd” and “open innovation.” Assemble all the contributions in the digital suggestion box, we’re told in books and academic research, and the result will be collective intelligence.

    Yet Apple, a creativity factory meticulously built by Steven P. Jobs since he returned to the company in 1997, suggests another innovation formula — one more elitist and individual.

    This approach is reflected in the company’s latest potentially game-changing gadget, the iPad tablet, unveiled last week. It may succeed or stumble but it clearly carries the taste and perspective of Mr. Jobs and seems stamped by the company’s earlier marketing motto: Think Different.

    Apple represents the “auteur model of innovation,” observes John Kao, a consultant to corporations and governments on innovation. In the auteur model, he said, there is a tight connection between the personality of the project leader and what is created. Movies created by powerful directors, he says, are clear examples, from Alfred Hitchcock’s “Vertigo” to James Cameron’s “Avatar.”

    At Apple, there is a similar link between the ultimate design-team leader, Mr. Jobs, and the products. From computers to smartphones, Apple products are known for being stylish, powerful and pleasing to use. They are edited products that cut through complexity, by consciously leaving things out — not cramming every feature that came into an engineer’s head, an affliction known as “featuritis” that burdens so many technology products.

    “A defining quality of Apple has been design restraint,” says Paul Saffo, a technology forecaster and consultant in Silicon Valley.

    That restraint is evident in Mr. Jobs’s personal taste. His black turtleneck, beltless blue jeans and running shoes are a signature look. In his Palo Alto home years ago, he said that he preferred uncluttered, spare interiors and then explained the elegant craftsmanship of the simple wooden chairs in his living room, made by George Nakashima, the 20th-century furniture designer and father of the American craft movement.

    Great products, according to Mr. Jobs, are triumphs of “taste.” And taste, he explains, is a byproduct of study, observation and being steeped in the culture of the past and present, of “trying to expose yourself to the best things humans have done and then bring those things into what you are doing.”

    His is not a product-design philosophy steered by committee or determined by market research. The Jobs formula, say colleagues, relies heavily on tenacity, patience, belief and instinct. He gets deeply involved in hardware and software design choices, which await his personal nod or veto. Mr. Jobs, of course, is one member of a large team at Apple, even if he is the leader. Indeed, he has often described his role as a team leader. In choosing key members of his team, he looks for the multiplier factor of excellence. Truly outstanding designers, engineers and managers, he says, are not just 10 percent, 20 percent or 30 percent better than merely very good ones, but 10 times better. Their contributions, he adds, are the raw material of “aha” products, which make users rethink their notions of, say, a music player or cellphone.

    “Real innovation in technology involves a leap ahead, anticipating needs that no one really knew they had and then delivering capabilities that redefine product categories,” said David B. Yoffie, a professor at the Harvard Business School. “That’s what Steve Jobs has done.”

    Timing is essential to make such big steps ahead. Carver Mead, a leading computer scientist at the California Institute of Technology, once said, “Listen to the technology; find out what it’s telling you.”

    Mr. Jobs is undeniably a gifted marketer and showman, but he is also a skilled listener to the technology. He calls this “tracking vectors in technology over time,” to judge when an intriguing innovation is ready for the marketplace. Technical progress, affordable pricing and consumer demand all must jell to produce a blockbuster product.

    Indeed, Apple designers and engineers have been working on the iPad for years, presenting Mr. Jobs with prototypes periodically. None passed muster, until recently.

    The iPad bet could prove a loser for Apple. Some skeptics see it occupying an uncertain ground between an iPod and a notebook computer, and a pricey gadget as well, at $499 to $829.

    Do recall, though, that when the iPod was introduced in 2001, critics joked that the name was an acronym for “idiots price our devices.” And we know who had the last laugh that time…!

    Google Talk-10 exclusive add-ons

    Google talk

    I am a gtalk fan and use only gtalk for chatting and I am writing this post for all my readers who are using gtalk..Here I present 10 tools that will enhance your gtalk experience and add a lot more operationality in gtalk.

    Extended Talk



    Extended Talk is a free addon for GTalk that brings in enhanced features such as making your chat windows transparent, changing font colors, message and typing areas, creating text filters, using smileys, and custom images. It also provides shortcuts to insert dates, time, IP address, email, etc. in your messages. Overall, the addon is non obstructive and fits quite well with the GTalk interface, while providing a few handy extra features.

    Google Talk Shell



    Google Talk Shell is another GTalk addon with some extra features that you might like. Firstly, it allows you to add several avatars and make them rotate in short intervals in your GTalk application. You can auto-hide the GTalk main window so that you have a large work area, or you can configure GTalk to always be on top of the desktop. You can also run several GTalk user names simultaneously using this addon. There is even an anti-boss hotkey to hide the GTalk window quickly.
    Translation bots



    Translation bots are described by Google as pieces of software that act as chat contacts and provide some fun or useful functionality. Whenever you need to translate any word or sentence from one language to another, you can send that as a message to one of the appropriate Google Chat translation bots. The bot then acts as a translator and replies to the translated version of your message. Of course you need to add the translation bot as your GTalk contact beforehand.
    Currently there are 50 bots available in two language pairs. The names of the bots have been made of two letter abbreviations of languages, the English to French translation bot is ‘en2fr.’ To add the bots as contacts, you simple need to add the email of the specific bot in this format: name_of_the_bot@bot.talk.google.com. For example, for English to French bot, it’s ‘en2fr@bot.talk.google.com.’
    Transliteration bots

    Transliteration bots are somewhat similar to translation bots, but here they convert English sentences to scripts of various Indian languages like Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil, and Telugu. You can add the bots using their names ‘en2hi’.translit, ‘en2kn.translit,’ ‘en2ml.translit,’ ‘en2ta.translit,’ and ‘en2te.translit,’ ending with ‘@bot.talk.google.com’.


    Chatback Badge


    Chatback badge is a nice little tool from Google that you can use to chat with non-Google users. The badge can be put on your blog, website, or anywhere you can embed an html code, and it will display your online status along with a ‘Chat with me’ message in a nice chat bubble. You can create the chatback badge in different styles as well.


    GTalk Sidebar



    GTalk Sidebar is a convenient way of chatting with your GTalk contacts using the Firefox sidebar. Every chat window opens in a new tab in the sidebar itself. You can make the GTalk application pop out in a new window if you wish. Although GTalk Sidebar doesn’t provide any additional feature, it can be another nice alternative, just in case you don’t want to open a Gmail window on your browser and don’t have the desktop client installed. An alternative to this addon is to save the GTalk Gadget as your Firefox bookmark and set the bookmark to load in the sidebar.
    GTalk Profile



    GTalk Profile is an online service that you can use to find other GTalk users from across the globe. You can simply click anywhere on the world map provided at the GTalk Profile site to look for users in that area. You can also look for users using its search box.
    Ping.fm



    Ping.fm is not an exclusive GTalk application. What it does is update your status on as many as 21 of your social sites including Facebook, Twitter, Jaiku, WordPress, Tumbler, Pownce, Blogger, Plurk, Xanga, Friendfeed, etc., and even Mashable, simultaneously. All you need to do is add Ping.fm as a contact in your GTalk application and send it to your status update as a chat message. You also need to create your account at Ping.fm and add your social profiles so that it can do the posting for you.
    GTalk to VOIP



    GTalk to VOIP offers a number of free and paid VOIP services that you can use with your IM tools including GTalk, Yahoo Messenger, and Live Messenger. These include incoming calls to your IM tools from any mobile, landline phones, or Web services; outgoing calls to SIP phones, Internet radio, video conferencing, offline messaging, IM interoperability, SMS service, etc. Payment can be completed through Paypal.
    Inezha



    Inezha allows you to use your Gtalk application as a feed reader. Simply send the RSS feed url to the Inezha bot on your GTalk and ask to be notified on all future updates. You can also access you online account at the Inezha site and add the feeds you want to subscribe to. There are also Firefox and Internet Explorer bookmarklets and widgets that you can add to your blog. Inezha also provides a social networking feature where you can add your friends and subscribe to their updates.