Saturday, 29 December 2012
In by Satya Jeet // 6:09:00 pm //
After teasing the HTC Butterfly on its website a few days ago, HTC yesterday officially unveiled this 5-inch handset at an event held in Taipei. This smartphone's specifications are similar to that of the Japan-only HTC J Butterfly and the US-only Droid DNA.
The HTC Butterfly, minus the J, is identical in specifications to its US and Japanese counterparts, which means that the 5-inch, Super LCD 3 screen with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels is featured on this handset as well. The smartphone comes equipped with a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro SoC running at 1.5 GHz and has 2 GB of RAM. HTC has chosen to endow the Butterfly with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and it's Sense UI on top. The handset features a 2020 mAh li-polymer battery that should keep the handset running for quite some time. However, the company has not stated how long the battery will last, so there is no official information available on the battery life.
HTC Butterfly with 5-inch 1080p display aiming to set an example for future high-end smartphones
Commenting on the launch of this handset, Chief Executive Peter Chou at HTC said, “We are confident that HTC Butterfly will set a new example for high-end smartphones.”
Here is a quick look at some of the highlighted features of the HTC Butterfly:
5-inch super LCD 3 display with 1080p resolution
3G, EDGE, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, NFC, DLNA
Bluetooth 4.0 with USB
8 MP camera with AF, BSI Sensor, f/2.0 with 1080p video recording, 2.1 MP front camera
16 GB internal storage, expandable up to 32 GB via microSD card
There had been rumours in the past stating that this HTC device would be called the HTC Deluxe or the HTC DLX, but it seems HTC has chosen to go keep the branding consistent across the globe.
As mentioned in the specifications table above, the handset comes with an 8 megapixel rear camera that has an aperture value of f/2.0 and features a 26 mm lens. HTC has also included a range of features like auto focus, LED flash, and a BSI sensor that can be useful for capturing images in low lit environments. Another neat feature is that it can capture videos in 1080p, which allows for full HD video recording. It also comes with a VideoPic feature where a user can capture 6 megapixel photos while shooting HD video at the same time. The camera used here also features slow motion video capture and playback.
As is the case with all HTC smartphones launched in the past year, the HTC Butterfly comes with Dr Dre's Beats Audio drivers.
Friday, 28 December 2012
In by Satya Jeet // 8:53:00 am //
Regardless of popularity or industry impact, these five devices claim the best design, the most-compelling features, and the overall most impressive value among all the hundreds of mainstream tech products released in 2012. Our hats off to all five.
Thursday, 27 December 2012
Microsoft flooded with Windows Phone app submissions, none from Google
Microsoft says Windows Phone
app reviewers will be working into the holidays to deal with a flood of
new app submissions to the Windows Phone Store, but at least one major
company isn't buying into the Windows Phone hype. “Since the launch of
Windows Phone 8 in late October, we are experiencing a sustained 40
percent increase in Windows Phone app submissions,” the company said in a
Microsoft says it will close on December 24 and 25, and January 1 but
remain open the rest of the holiday season to keep its approval
turnaround time to five days for app submissions.
While Microsoft's announcement was directed at app developers, it
suggests Windows Phone users can expect to see more apps hitting the
Windows Phone Store in the coming weeks. That does not appear to be same
story for the Windows Store, Microsoft's tablet and PC app store built
into Windows 8. The software maker said in a separate blog post
that the Windows Store team would have a reduced staff between December
22 and January 1. Windows 8 does not appear to be experiencing the same
flood of apps as the Windows Phone Store supposedly is. The Windows Store app count surpassed 20,000 in late November.
It's not clear if the
Windows Phone Store is experiencing a higher volume of app submissions
because of an effort by Microsoft to reach out to developers or if more
developers are willing to bet on Windows Phone than the fledgling tablet
interface on Windows 8.
Whatever the reason for the Windows Phone app uptick, we'll have to
see if the apps will be high-quality popular apps from services like
Facebook and Dropbox or just more drek such as fart sounds, wallpaper
catalogs and other novelty apps.
Google says no
Even though the Windows Phone Store is experiencing a rise in
developer interest, Google says it has no plans for making business apps
such as Gmail or Google Drive for Windows 8 or Window Phone, according
to a report by V3.
“We are very careful about where we invest and will go where the
users are but they are not on Windows Phone or Windows 8," Clay Bavor,
Google's product management director for Google Apps, told V3. So far,
Google has only released its search app for Windows Phone and Windows 8,
as well as a version of Chrome for Windows 8.
Google told PCWorld that "Our goal is to be able to offer our users a
seamless app experience across all platforms...We're always evaluating
different platforms, but have no detailed plans to share at this time."
While Google may blame user adoption for its reluctance to produce
apps for Windows Phone and Windows 8, the search giant has a history of
ignoring platforms other than its own Android mobile OS. Google famously
held back many Maps services from iOS such as turn-by-turn navigation
and real-time traffic conditions, prompting Apple to develop its own mapping solution. The search giant was also criticized for producing a very poor Gmail app for iOS in November 2011. Only recently has Google paid more serious attention to iOS with quality apps such as Google+, YouTube,Maps, and an improved version of Gmail.
Like Apple, Microsoft is also a major competitor to Google in the
mobile space with Windows Phone taking on Android. And Microsoft Office,
the most dominant office suite in use today, dwarfs the popularity of
Google Docs. So Google is hardly an honest broker of information when it
comes to Microsoft's platform.
But the future for Microsoft's new mobile and tablet-style efforts
are still unclear, so it's not unreasonable for some mobile app
developers to be taking a wait-and-see approach with Windows. Windows 8
is still in its infancy, and preliminary data suggest sales for Microsoft's PC/tablet OS are weak. The holiday shopping season, however, may change that.
Windows Phone 7 is widely acknowledged as a flop. But, similar to
Windows 8, it's still too early to judge whether Windows Phone 8 will
suffer the same fate as its predecessor. There are also speculative
indications that Windows Phone 8 may be getting a bump in user adoption
from the holiday shopping season, according to WMPoweruser.
More users or not, it seems Windows Phone fans hoping to find a wider
range of Google offerings in Microsoft's app stores will be
disappointed, at least for the foreseeable future.
Wednesday, 26 December 2012
41. Advanced menu options
If you need to run the command prompt as an Administrator then your instant reaction will probably be to reach for the Start menu. Before becoming annoyed a microsecond later when you remember it's no longer there.
It's good to see that Microsoft has provided a simple alternative, then - just click the File menu in Explorer and click Open command prompt > Open command prompt as administrator.
And while you're there, make note of the other advanced new options also on that menu: you can open a new window in a new process, open Explorer, and even delete your Recent Places and Address Bar histories with a click.
42. Show all folders
The default Windows 8 Explorer view doesn't show all the usual drives and folders - Control Panel, Recycle Bin and so on - in the left-hand navigation pane. It certainly keeps the display simple, and if you want to see all your drives then you can just click Computer, but if you prefer to see everything upfront then it only takes a moment. Click View > Options, check 'Show all folders' and click OK.
43. Mount ISO files in Windows 8
Need to take a closer look at an ISO file? Right-click it in Explorer, click Mount and you can view it as a virtual drive, launch the files it contains, or add more if you like.
44. Open new file types
If you find a file type that none of your applications can handle, then right-click on the file in Windows Explorer and choose Open With. You'll see a 'Look for an app in the Store' option, which enables Windows 8 to use an automated search tool to find and highlight an app for you.
You can also click 'More Options' to see currently installed programs and apps that may be able to open the file.
45. Restart Explorer
If Explorer locks up for some reason, then regaining control is now very easy. No need to close the process any more: simply press Ctrl+Alt+Esc, select Explorer in the list, click Restart and Windows 8 will handle the rest.
46. VirtualBox error
The safest way to sample Windows 8 is to install it on a VirtualBox virtual machine. It's fairly easy to set up, there's no need to worry about partitioning or other issues, and if it doesn't work for whatever reason (which is possible, it's a beta after all) then you'll have lost nothing but a little time.
After completing your installation, though, you might find your virtual Windows 8 complaining that "Your PC needs to be repaired". But despite telling you to "Press Enter to try again", or "Press F8 for alternate boot options", neither option works.
Fortunately there's an easy answer. Close the Windows 8 window, select your virtual machine in VirtualBox, click Settings > System > Processor and check the 'Enable PAE/NX' box. Click OK, restart your virtual machine and this time it should launch properly.
47. Windows 8 apps won't launch
You click a Windows 8 app, and nothing else happens? Display issues are often the cause. In particular, Windows 8 apps don't currently support screen resolutions lower than 1024 x 768 (or 1366 x 768 when snapping), so increase your resolution if possible (launch the desktop, right-click, select Screen Resolution).
Or if that's no help, try updating your video drivers.
48. Performance problems
If your Windows 8 system seems sluggish, the revamped Task Manager may be able to offer some clues. Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc to take a look.
Click 'More Details'. The simplified Processes tab then reveals what's currently using your CPU time, RAM, hard drive and network bandwidth. (The more in-depth data available in previous Task Manager versions is now accessible via the Details tab.)
The Performance tab gives you a graphical view of resource use over the last few seconds, while the App History dialog looks back over days or more to reveal which app is the most resource-hungry.
And is your boot time slow? Click the new Startup tab to see programs your system is launching when Windows boots. The 'Startup impact' now shows how much of an effect each of these has on your boot time; if you spot high impact programs you're sure you don't need, then right-clicking them and selecting 'Disable' will ensure they're not loaded next time.
Powerful though all this is, if you can think of a reason to use the old Task Manager then it's still accessible. Hold down the Windows key, press R, type TaskMGR and press Enter to launch it. (Typing TM will launch the new version.)
49. Device Manager Events
If you've got a driver or hardware-related problem with Windows 8, launch Device Manager, browse to the relevant device, right-click it, select Properties and click the new Events tab. If Windows has installed drivers, related services or carried out other important actions on this device then you'll now see them here, which is very useful when troubleshooting.
50. Recovery options
Windows 8 has performed well for us, but if you find it won't boot at some point then you now have to press Shift+F8 during the launch process to access its recovery tools.
Access the Troubleshoot menu, then Advanced Options, and you'll be able to try the Automatic Repair tool, which may fix your problems. No luck? The same menu enables you to use the last System Restore point, tweak key Windows Startup settings, and even open a command prompt if you'd like to troubleshoot your system manually.
If that all seems like too much hassle then the Troubleshoot menu's option to 'Refresh your PC' may be preferable, because it essentially reinstalls Windows 8 but keeps your files, and will fix many issues.
But if it doesn't then there's always the more drastic 'Reset your PC' option, which removes all your files and installs a fresh new copy of Windows 8.
You don't have to access these features from the boot menu, of course. If Windows 8 starts but seems very unstable, then open the new Recovery applet in Control Panel for easy access to the Refresh, Reset and other disaster recovery features.
In by Satya Jeet // 9:46:00 am //
31. Virtual Machines
Install Windows 8 and you also get Microsoft's Hyper-V, enabling you to create and run virtual machines (as long as you're not running in a virtual machine already). Launch OptionalFeatures.exe (press Windows Key and R and type it in to run), check Hyper-V and click OK to enable the feature. Then switch back to the Start screen, scroll to the right, find and click on the Hyper-V Manager tile to begin exploring its capabilities.
32. Smart Searching
When you're in the mood to track down new Windows 8 features relating to a particular topic, you might be tempted to start by manually browsing Control Panel for interesting applets - but there is a simpler way.
If you'd like to know what's new in the area of storage, say, just press Win+W to launch the Settings Search dialog, type "drive", and the system will return a host of related options. That is, not just those with "drive" in the name, but anything storage-related: BitLocker, Device Manager, backup tools, disk cleanup, and interesting new features such as Storage Spaces.
This Search feature isn't new, of course, but it's easy to forget how useful this can be, especially when you're trying to learn about a new operating system. So don't just carry out specific searches, use the Apps search to look for general keywords such as "privacy" or "performance", and you just might discover something new.
In by Satya Jeet // 1:21:00 am //
21. Log in automatically
WARNING: Your account will lose admin privileges as a result of this step
Of course even if you remove the lock screen, you'll still be forced to manually log in every time your system starts. This can also be resolved at speed, though, using much the same technique as in previous versions of Windows.
Hold down the Windows key, press R, type 'netplwiz' and press Enter to launch the User Accounts dialog.
Clear the "Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer" box and click OK.
Enter the user name and password of the account that you'd like to be logged in automatically, click OK, restart your system and this time it should boot directly to the Start screen.
22. Replacing the Start menu
If Windows 8's search and navigation tools still leave you pining for the regular Start menu, installing ViStart will replace it with something very similar.
Download the program and install it, carefully; it's free, but the Setup program will install the trial of a commercial Registry cleaner unless you explicitly tell it otherwise.
But once that's out the way, your old Start button will return in its regular place, and clicking it (or pressing the Windows key) will bring back the usual Start menu complete with search box and all the usual menus.
The program has a few flaws - on launch it gave us an e-mail icon for Outlook Express, for instance - but otherwise works well.
There's also Start8 from Windows customisation veterans Stardock. It provides similar functionality to ViStart but with a more up-to-date look.
23. Windows key shortcuts
- Win : switch between the Start screen and the last-running Windows 8 app
- Win + C : displays the Charms: the Settings, Devices, Share and Search options
- Win + D : launches the desktop
- Win + E : launches Explorer
- Win + F : opens the File Search pane
- Win + H : opens the Share pane
- Win + I : opens Settings
- Win + K : opens the Devices pane
- Win + L : locks your PC
- Win + M : minimises the current Explorer or Internet Explorer window (works in the full-screen IE, too)
- Win + O : toggles device orientation lock on and off
- Win + P : switch your display to a second display or projector
- Win + Q : open the App Search pane
- Win + R : opens the Run box
- Win + U : open the Ease of Access Centre
- Win + V : cycle through toasts (notifications)
- Win + W : search your system settings (type POWER for links to all power-related options, say)
- Win + X : displays a text menu of useful Windows tools and applets
- Win + Z : displays the right-click context menu when in a full-screen app
- Win + + : launch Magnifier and zoom in
- Win + - : zoom out
- Win + , : Aero peek at the desktop
- Win + Enter : launch Narrator
- Win + PgUp : move the current screen to the left-hand monitor
- Win + PgDn : move the current screen to the right-hand monitor
- Win + PrtSc : capture the current screen and save it to your Pictures folder
- Win + Tab : switch between running apps
4. Launch programs fast
If you're a fan of keyboard shortcuts and don't like the idea of scrolling through app tiles to find the program you need, don't worry, Windows 8 still supports a useful old shortcut. Which is perfect if, say, you're looking to be able to shut down your PC with a click.
Launch the desktop app, right-click an empty part of the desktop and click New > Shortcut.
Browse to the application you'd like to launch here. Of for the sake of this example, enter
shutdown.exe -s -t 00
to shut down your PC, or
shutdown.exe -h -t 00
to hibernate it, and click Next. Type a shortcut name - 'Hibernate', say - and click Finish.
Right-click the shortcut, select Pin to Start and it should appear on the far right of the Start screen - just drag the tile wherever you like.
25. Intelligent screengrabs
If a Windows 8 application is showing something interesting and you'd like to record it for posterity, then hold down the Windows key, press PrtSc, and the image won't just go to the clipboard: it'll also be automatically saved to your My Pictures folder with the name Screenshot.png (and then Screenshot(1).png, Screenshot(2).png and so on).
You might hope that pressing Win+Alt+PrtSc would similarly save an image of the active window, but no, sadly not. Maybe next time.
26. Photo Viewer
Double-click an image file within Explorer and it won't open in a Photo Viewer window any more, at least not by default. Instead you'll be switched to the full-screen Windows 8 Photos app - bad news if you thought you'd escaped such hassles by using the desktop.
If you'd like to fix this, go to Control Panel > Programs > Default Programs and select Set your default programs.
Scroll down and click Windows Photo Viewer in the Programs list.
Finally, click 'Set this program as default' if you'd like the Viewer to open all the file types it can handle, or select the 'Choose default' options if you prefer to specify which file types it should open. Click OK when you're done.
Tuesday, 25 December 2012
In by Satya Jeet // 9:45:00 pm //
11. Mastering Internet Explorer in Windows 8
Click the Internet Explorer tile from the Start menu and you'll launch a full-screen version without toolbars, menus or sidebars, which like so much of Windows 8 may leave you initially feeling lost.
Right-click an empty part of the page or flick your finger down from the top of the screen, though, and you'll find options to create and switch between tabs, as well as a Refresh button, a 'Find' tool and the ability to pin an Internet shortcut to the Start page. Click the spanner icon and select 'View on the desktop' to open the full desktop version of Internet Explorer.
12. Run two apps side by side
Windows 8 apps are what Microsoft calls "immersive" applications, which basically means they run full-screen - but there is a way to view two at once. Swipe from the left and the last app you were using will turn into a thumbnail; drop this and one app displays in a sidebar pane while your current app takes the rest of the screen. And you can then swap these by swiping again.
13. Spell check
Windows 8 apps all have spellcheck where relevant, which looks and works much as it does in Microsoft Office. Make a mistake and a wavy red line will appear below the offending word; tap or right-click this to see suggested alternative words, or add the word to your own dictionary if you prefer.
14. Run as Administrator
Some programs need you to run them with Administrator rights before they'll work properly. The old context menu isn't available for a pinned Start screen app, but right-click one, and if it's appropriate for this app then you'll see a Run As Administrator option.
15. Make a large app tile smaller
You'll notice that some Windows 8 apps have small live tiles, while others have larger tiles that take up the space of two tiles. Right-clicking on a Windows 8 app's Start screen tile will display a few relevant options. If this is one of the larger tiles, choosing 'Smaller' will cut it down to half the size, freeing up some valuable Start screen real estate.
16. Uninstall easily
If you want to hide an unused app for now, select 'Unpin from Start'. The tile will disappear, but if you change your mind then you can always add it again later. (Search for the app, right-click it, select 'Pin to Start'.)
Or, if you're sure you'll never want to use an app again, choose 'Uninstall' to remove it entirely.
17. Apps and privacy
It is worth keeping in mind that by default Windows 8 apps can use your name, location and account picture. If you're not happy with that, it's easily changed. Press Win+I, click More PC Settings, select Privacy and click the relevant buttons to disable any details you'd rather not share.
18. Administrative tools
Experienced Windows users who spend much of their time in one advanced applet or another are often a little annoyed to see their favourite tools buried by Windows 8. Microsoft has paid at least some attention, though, and there is a way to bring some of them back.
Open the Charm bar by flicking your finger from the right-hand side of the screen and select 'Settings' then 'Tiles'. Change 'Show administrative tools' to 'Yes' and click back on an empty part of the Start screen. And it's as simple as that. Scroll to the right and you'll find a host of new tiles for various key applets - Performance Monitor, Event Viewer, Task Scheduler, Resource Monitor and more - ready to be accessed at a click....
In by Satya Jeet // 5:30:00 pm //
Using Windows 8 is rather Difficult...
Try these.. Some of the basic tricks which could be helpful...!!!
Windows 8 is finally here, and if you're used to previous versions of Windows then you're going to notice that quite a bit has changed. In fact, Windows has seen the biggest changes since the jump from Windows 3.1 to Windows 95.
Out goes the Start menu, in comes the new touch-oriented Start screen, new apps, new interface conventions - even experienced PC users may be left feeling a little lost.
Don't despair, though, help is at hand with the following Windows 8 tutorial. We've been investigating every part of Windows 8, uncovering many of its most important tips and tricks, so read our guide and you'll soon be equipped to get the most out of Microsoft's latest release.
1. Lock screen
Windows 8 opens on its lock screen, which looks pretty but unfortunately displays no clues about what to do next.It's all very straightforward, though. Just tap the space bar, spin the mouse wheel or swipe upwards on a touch screen to reveal a regular login screen with the user name you created during installation. Enter your password to begin.
2. Basic navigation
Windows 8 launches with its new interface, all colourful tiles and touch-friendly apps. And if you're using a tablet then it'll all be very straightforward: just swipe left or right to scroll the screen, and tap any tile of interest.
On a regular desktop, though, you might alternatively spin the mouse wheel to scroll backwards and forwards.
And you can also use the keyboard. Press the Home or End keys to jump from one end of your Start screen to the other, for instance, then use the cursor keys to select a particular tile, tapping Enter to select it. Press the Windows key to return to the Start screen; right-click (or swipe down on) apps you don't need and select Unpin to remove them; and drag and drop the other tiles around to organise them as you like.
3. App groups
The Start screen apps are initially displayed in a fairly random order, but if you'd prefer a more organised life then it's easy to sort them into custom groups.
You might drag People, Mail, Messaging and Calendar over to the left-hand side, for instance, to form a separate 'People' group. Click the 'minus' icon in the bottom right corner of the screen to zoom out and you'll now find you can drag and drop the new group (or any of the others) around as a block.
Right-click within the block (while still zoomed out) and you'll also be able to give the group a name, which - if you go on to add another 20 or 30 apps to your Start screen - will make it much easier to find the tools you need.
4. Quick access menu
Right-click in the bottom left corner (or hold down the Windows key and press X) for a text-based menu that provides easy access to lots of useful applets and features: Device Manager, Control Panel, Explorer, the Search dialog and more.
5. Find your applications
The Win+X menu is useful, but no substitute for the old Start menu as it doesn't provide access to your applications. To find this, hold down the Windows key and press Q or either right-click an empty part of the Start screen or swipe your finger up from the bottom of the screen and select 'All Apps' to reveal a scrolling list of all your installed applications. Browse the various tiles to find what you need and click the relevant app to launch it.
6. Easy access
If there's an application you use all the time then you don't have to access it via the search system. Pin it to the Start screen and it'll be available at a click.
Start by typing part of the name of your application. To access Control Panel, for instance, type 'Control'. Right-click the 'Control Panel' tile on the Apps Search screen, and click 'Pin to Start'. If you're using a touchscreen, press and hold the icon, then flick down and select 'Pin to Start'.
Now press the Windows key, scroll to the right and you'll see the Control Panel tile at the far end. Drag and drop this over to the left somewhere if you'd like it more easily accessible, then click the tile to open the desktop along with the Control Panel window, and press the Windows key to return you to the Start screen when you're done.
7. Shutting down
To shut Windows 8 down, just move the mouse cursor to the bottom right corner of the screen, click the Settings icon - or just hold down the Windows key and press I - and you'll see a power button. Click this and choose 'Shut Down' or 'Restart'.
Some of the tricks available in previous versions of Windows still apply. Press Ctrl+Alt+Del, for instance, click the power button in the bottom right-hand corner and you'll be presented with the same 'Shut Down' and 'Restart' options.
And if you're on the desktop, press Alt+F4 and you'll be able to choose 'Shut Down', 'Restart', 'Sign Out' or 'Switch User' options.
8. App bar
Windows 8 apps aim to be simpler than old-style Windows applets, which means it's goodbye to menus, complex toolbars, and many interface standards. There will usually be a few options available on the App bar, though, so if you're unsure what to do then either right-click an empty part of the screen, press Windows+Z or flick your finger up from the bottom of the screen to take a closer look.
9. What's running?
If you launch a Windows 8 app, play with it for a while, then press the Windows key you'll switch back to the Start screen. Your app will remaining running, but as there's no taskbar then you might be wondering how you'd ever find that out.
You could just press Alt+Tab, which shows you what's running just as it always has.
Holding down the Windows key and pressing Tab displays a pane on the left-hand side of the screen with your running apps. (To see this with the mouse, move your cursor to the top left corner of the screen, wait until the thumbnail of one app appears, then drag down.)
And of course you can always press Ctrl+Shift+Esc to see all your running apps in the Task Manager, if you don't mind (or actually need) the extra technical detail.
10. Closing an app
Windows 8 apps don't have close buttons, but this isn't the issue you might think. Apps are suspended when you switch to something else so they're only a very minimal drain on your system, and if you need the system resources then they'll automatically be shut down. (Their context will be saved, of course, so on relaunching they'll carry on where you left off.)
If you want to close down an app anyway, though, move the mouse cursor up to the top of the screen. When it turns from the regular mouse pointer to the icon of a hand, hold down the left mouse button and drag it down the screen. Your app should shrink to a thumbnail which you can drag off the screen to close it.
If that's too much hassle, then simply pressing Alt+F4 still works.
And when all else fails then press Ctrl+Shift+Esc to launch Task Manager, right-click something in the Apps list and select End Task. Beware, though, close something you shouldn't and it's easy to crash or lock up your PC.
REMAINING 10 TRICKS IN NEXT POST..!
In by Satya Jeet // 5:00:00 am //
Battle of the Windows 8 Start Buttons
If the absence of a Start Menu button is keeping you from upgrading to Windows 8, you are in luck. There are tools available that will put the Start Menu into your Windows 8 desktop and these buttons don’t just have a familiar look-and-feel but they also mimic the functionality of the original Windows Start Menu.
I tried about half a dozen Start buttons for Windows 8 from various developers and here are some recommendations on which ones you may use and which ones you should avoid.
Win8StartButton brings the best of both worlds. It adds a Start Menu button to your Windows 8 desktop but the layout is more like a compressed version of the Start Screen of Windows 8. When you open the Start Menu, the search box stays in focus so you can even type a few characters to quickly open any software program.
I really liked this program (it makes you familiar with the start screen) but the only issue is that some of the options are written in German.
Start8 by Stardock is “the” best Start Menu alternative for Windows 8. It offers a polished and beautiful layout with support for search and one-click access to your My Documents, Pictures and other common folders.
Also, if you aren’t a huge fan of the new tiles based Start Screen of Windows 8, you can configure Start8 such that it will boot your computer directly into the Desktop mode. A single user license is $5 though a 30-day trial is available.
Start Is Back is a still-in-development Start Menu button that looks very promising. You can customize the layout of the Start Button (including the Windows orb), there’s an option to boot directly into the desktop mode and you can even choose to completely disable the menus that appear when you hover your mouse in the corners of your Windows 8 desktop.
Start Is Back is free at this time but that will change once it is out of beta.
I also tested the Vi Orb Start Button and while it is an impressive clone of the Windows 7 menu, the software will add useless Registry Cleaner programs to your computer and may therefore be avoided.
Classic Shell was originally created to bring the Windows XP style classic menu to users who were confused with the new Start Menu designs of Windows Vista and Windows 7 (isn’t that a familiar story). The menu has since then been updated to support Windows 8.
In addition to the regular desktop-based programs, you can also use the Classic Shell to directly access the modern (Metro) apps from the Start Menu itself. The programs is free and much reliable as it has been around for a very long time.
To conclude, the $5 Start8 button from Stardock is your best bet or go with Classic Shell Menu if you are looking for a free alternative. That said, if you are new to Windows 8, play around with the system for about a week and you won’t really feel the need to have a Start Button as long as you have a dedicated Windows button on your keyboard.
In by Satya Jeet // 4:41:00 am //
Here are some of the most useful software utilities that you wish were part of standard Windows. These tools are free, light-weight and can be installed on all versions of Windows including the newer Window 8.
Eraser – When you delete a file in Windows, the contents of the file can still be recovered using other utilities. Eraser lets you permanently delete a file making recovery nearly impossible.
Unlocker – If you are trying to delete a file (or folder) but unable to do so because the “file is in use” by another program, just use Unlocker to end all the locking processes.
ShellExView – As you install new programs, the contextual menu gets cluttered and confusing. With ShellExView, you can clean up the right-click menu and remove all the useless entries.
Everything – Windows includes powerful desktop search capabilities but Everything goes one step further. It looks for files and folders irrespective of their location (including temporary files and system folders) and you can also use regular expressions in your search queries.
Always on Top – This tiny utility lets you easily keep any window on top of all other windows on your desktop. For instance, you can answer your emails, work on an Excel sheet while a YouTube video plays in the foreground.
SyncToy – One of the most useful software utilities from Microsoft that lets you keep different folders in sync with each other. You can configure it with Windows Task Manager to run file synchronization jobs automatically at custom intervals.
WinDirStat – Running out of space on Windows? WinDirStat helps you reclaim disk space by creating a visual treemap of your entire hard disk where the area of the colored rectangles is proportional to the size of the underlying folders.
Double Killer – This is the only tool you need to get rid of all duplicate files on your computer including images and music files. It compares the file hash to identify duplicate files.
TCPView – It will list all the software programs (or processes) on your computer that are accessing the Internet including the IP addresses that they are connecting to. Ignore all the columns except Process, Remote Address and State.
Droplr – This is the easiest way to upload your desktop files onto the web. Droplr adds a new option to your Windows “Send to” menu and also places a drop zone on the desktop. Any files that you place in the drop zone are instantly upload and the public link is copied to the clipboard automatically.
TinyGrab – Press a hotkey to grab a quick screenshot of anything that’s on your desktop screen and TinyGrab will put it online in a snap. The screen captures will stay online forever until you remove them.
Mouse Borders – Another useful utility from Microsoft that lets you control multiple computers from the same keyboard and mouse. A better alternative to Synergy.
KatMouse - You can scroll not-in-focus windows with the mouse wheel without selecting the window. Originally written for Windows 2000 but works in Windows 8 as well.
Mouse Jiggler – You computer screen may enter the “sleep” mode if the mouse or the keyboard is not used for a certain period of time. Mouse Jiggler keeps your computer awake by “faking” mouse input thus letting you watch that entire movie from a distance.
AltDrag - It lets you move and resize windows without reaching the borders of a window. Simply hold down the Alt key and then left-click to drag the window or use right-click to resize the window.
ClipX – When you copy anything to your Windows Clipboard, all the previous content is overridden. ClipX preserves the clipboard history and lets you access your previously copied items from the system tray.
RBTray – Sometimes you want to hide windows instead of minimizing them to the Windows task bar. RBTray lets you minimize any window to the system tray by right clicking its minimize button.
MiniBin - This puts the Recycle Bin right into your system tray so you don’t have to minimize all your desktop windows to access the Bin icon. You can also also empty the bin from the system tray.
GearMage – Running out of space in your web inbox. Use the Gearmage utility to find and download email attachments that meet your search criteria to the local drive.
MailStore – If you want offline access to your emails, use MailStore as it helps you download all your emails on the computer or even a USB drive.
MediaInfo - If an audio or video file refuses to play on your computer, chances are that the required codecs are missing on your system. MediaInfo will let you know what codecs are required to play the media file.
DropIt – It is like an advanced file sorting utility that will help you automatically copy or move files into relevant folders based on their extensions, date and other criteria. In the case of music files, you may even sort them by artists or album names.
Teracopy – It takes forever to copy or move files from one folder to another and if the operation is interrupted, you have to start from scratch. Teracopy improves the file copying speed and offers a detailed report in case of any errors.
Soluto – It helps improve the boot-up time of your Windows PC by removing unnecessary programs from the start-up routine and also delaying the launch of certain programs.
Sizer – It let you resize program windows to any fixed, predefined size. Quite handy when you are capturing screenshots for documentation and also for screencasting.
Background Switcher – It pull pictures from your Facebook, Instagram, RSS Feeds, Picasa, Google Images and uses them as rotating wallpaper backgrounds for your desktop.
f.lux – It adjusts the color temperature of your display based on your local time (warm at night and bright during the day). It does this by calculating the sunrise and sunset times of your location.
ZoomIt - It turns your desktop into a virtual whiteboard allowing your to draw /annotate anywhere on the screen using colored pens. An essential tool for presenters.
LockBox – Put all your confidential files into a folder and then use the LockBox utility to completely hide that folder inside Windows Explorer.
Safehouse Explorer – It is easy to misplace USB drives. Safehouse lets you quickly encrypt and password-protect data inside USB drives so others won’t be able to view your files and folders.
Monday, 24 December 2012
In by Satya Jeet // 6:55:00 pm //
The tablet universe continues to grow with the upcoming Surface by Microsoft and the new iPad with Retina Display (iPad 4), which was launched today in retailers.
Undecided on which tablet to purchase, especially as the Holiday shopping season is set to begin?
The Microsoft Surface is very different to the iPad 4, but you'll decide which company has the upper hand.
Apple ipad 4..
The Surface's frame features a length of 274.6mm, width of 172mm, and a depth of 9.4mm. The iPad 4 has the same depth measurement but the length stands at 241.2mm and a width of 185.7mm.
The iPad 4 also weighs less with 652grams (g) to the Surface's 680.4 g.
The screen size for the Surface is bigger, at 10.6-inches compared to the latest Apple tablet's 9.7-inches.
The pixel resolution of the Surface's screen is 1,366z768 with up to 148 pixels per image (ppi). The pixel resolution for the iPad 4 is 2,048x1,536 with 264 ppi.
The iPad 4 offers internal storage options of 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB while the Surface only offers 32GB and 64 GB.
While the iPad 4 does not offer a card slot, the Surface accepts a microSD card for up to 64GB.
The two tablets offer Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n and Bluetooth version 4.0 with A2DP. The Surface is also available on Wi-Fi Direct.
The cameras are very different. The Surface and iPad 4 offers rear-and-front-facing cameras. However, the cameras on the Surface are 1.2-meapixels. The front-facing camera of the iPad 2 is also 1.2-megapixels but the rear-facing camera offers five-megapixels with 2,592x1,944 pixels.
Videos for the two Surface cameras are at 720p, while the front-facing camera of the iPad 4 is also 720p, the rear-facing camera records at 1080p.
The Surface features the Microsoft Windows RT operating system (OS), a version of Windows 8. The iPad 4 features the iOS 6, however the latest update iOS 6.0.1 is now available but likely not installed in the Apple tablet.
The iPad 4 uses the new A6X chip, which runs twice as fast compared to its predecessor A5X, according to Apple. The Surface uses the Nvidia Tegra 3 T30, a quad-core processor that aims to deliver "unprecedented performance in a wide range of mobile devices," according to Nvidia.
The fourth generation of the iPad uses 11,560mAh, and can withstand standby time of 720 hours to 10 hours talk time. The Surface uses 31.5 Wh and standby time stands up to 360 hours to eight hours for talk time.
Facebook message that self-destructs in 10 seconds...
Facebook has announced a new app that erases pictures and messages within 10 seconds of being sent, the Daily Mail reported.
It is an advanced version of one of the social networking site's original apps, the "poke".
The equivalent of a head nod or wink, the "poke" in its old form is rarely used today as the site has become more advanced.
It has now been reinvented to be called "Facebook Poke" and allows users to send fleeting messages, pokes, photos and 10-second videos to friends, the Mail said Saturday.
The messages expire after a set period of time, from 1 to 10 seconds, and cannot be retrieved by either party again, making it perfect for sending salacious images without leaving a trail.
In by Satya Jeet // 2:51:00 am //
The Samsung Galaxy Camera, like Nikon's S800c, is powered by Android. But where the Nikon shooter was only Wi-Fi capable, the Galaxy also packs 3G SIM support. In effect, this hybrid is not only a mid-level point-and-shoot, but it's also a portable, internet-capable gizmo on which you can play casual games, browse the web, and check your email.
Price- Rs 29,900
What we like
* The Galaxy Camera boasts of sturdy build quality. And its minimalist
design - with just three physical buttons - makes it seem modern.
* Photos in well lit environments have vibrant colours and look sharp. In particular, macro shots and portraits stand out with their fine detail and depth.
* Android and 3G support on the camera allows you to use apps like Instagram to edit and share your photos from the camera itself. Additionally, you can also upload full resolution images to online storage or albums should you choose to do so.
* Its large 4.8-inch screen makes the Galaxy Camera a very handy
Android device. Games like Angry Birds run well; web browsing is fast;
various video formats play well; and photo-editing apps run without
What we don't like
* There aren't any Android photo apps that can leverage
upon the advanced lens and optics of smart cameras like the Galaxy
Camera and Nikon S800c. Instagram and Pudding Camera, for instance,
downsize high-res photos to create lighter files for upload - and this
completely beats the purpose of having a 16-megapixel sensor at your
* Pictures taken in low light lack detail and suffer from strong noise. Similarly priced mirrorless cameras (such as the Sony Nex-5 ) and entry-level DSLRs perform better in dim lighting.
* Poor battery life. When used with a 3G SIM, the device can shoot only around 100 images on a single charge.
* For a point-and-shoot camera, it is too big and heavy.
Whether this camera works for you depends on your buying motive. If you
want a point-and-shoot, you would be better off with similarly-specced
devices that retail at half the cost. In the same price band, you can
also buy entry-level mirrorless or DSLR cameras.
That said, if
you're looking for a shooter to upload images to Facebook as soon as you
click them, use fun photo apps on your pictures, or check emails and
play games between shots, you can't go wrong with this one. And of
course, the smart Galaxy Camera does give you some bragging rights..
Network/Bearer and Wireless Connectivity
- InfraGSM 3G, HSPA+
- 3GHSPA+21 (850/900/1900/2100)
- Wi-Fi802.11 a/b/g/n 2.4GHz/5GHz
- Wi-Fi DirectAvailable
- Bluetooth ProfilesGAP, SSP, HSP, A2DP, SPP, OPP, AVRCP 1.3, HID
- Connectivity SupportDLNA, HDMI 1.4 support
- PC Sync.KIES, KIES Air support
- Android 4.1 (Jellybean)
- Sensor TypeBSI CMOS
- Sensor Size1/2.3"
- Effective PixelApprox. 16.3 Mega pixels
- Total PixelApprox. 17.0 Mega pixels
- Focal Lengthf = 4.1 ~ 86.1mm (35mm film equivalent : 23 ~ 483mm)
- F No.2.8 (W) ~ 5.9 (T)
- Optical Zoom21x Zoom Lens
- ModeOptical Image Stabilization
- TechnologyHD Super Clear LCD (TFT)
- Color Depth16M
- Resolution1280*720 (HD)
- Type (Dual, Quad)Quad Core Application Processor
- CPU Speed Type1.4 GHz CPU Speed
- 8GB Memory
- Accelerometer, Geo-magnetic, Gyro-sensor, Gyro-sensor(for OIS)
- Dimension (HxWxD)70.8 x 128.7 x 19.1 mm Dimension
- Weight300 g
- USBUSB v2.0
- Earjack3.5pi 4pole, Stereo
- External Memory Slotmicro SDSC (up to 2GB guaranteed), micro SDHC (up to 32GB guaranteed), micro SDXC (up to 64GB guaranteed).
- SIM SupportmicroSIM
- ConnectorMicro USB available
- Capacity1,650 mAh Battery Capacity
- Still Image Capture340 shots.
*Based on Camera and Imaging Products Association (CIPA) standards for measuring the life of camera batteries.
- Video Record90 min
- Audio Playback34 Hr
- Video Playback6 Hr
- Internet Use6 Hr
- USB ChargeableYes
- Assisted GPS / GLONASS available
- TypeTTL Auto Focus (Center AF, Multi AF, Face Detection AF)
- Normal : 80cm ~ Infinity (Wide), 350cm ~ Infinity (Tele)
- Macro : 10cm ~ 80cm (Wide), 150cm ~ 350cm (Tele)
- Auto Macro : 10cm ~ Infinity (Wide), 150cm ~ Infinity (Tele)
- Manual : 10cm ~ Infinity (Wide), 150cm ~ Infinity (Tele)
- Auto1/8 ~ 1/2,000 sec
- Manual16 ~ 1/2,000 sec
- ControlProgram AE, Aperture Priority AE, Shutter Priority AE, Manual Exposure
- Metering SystemMulti, Spot, Center-weighted, Face Detection AE
- Compensation±2EV (1/3EV steps)
- ISO EquivalentAuto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200
- ModeAuto, Auto & Red-eye reduction, Fill-in flash, Slow sync, Flash Off, Red-eye fix
- RangeWide : 0.5m ~ 3.8m, Tele : 0.5m ~ 1.8m
- Recharging TimeApprox. 4 sec.
- ModeAuto WB, Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent_H, Fluorescent_L, Tungsten, Custom
- 1. Auto
- 2. Smart (15 Mode)
- Beauty face, Best photo, Continuous shot, Best face, Landscape, Macro, Action freeze, Rich tone, Panorama, Waterfall, Silhouette, Sunset, Night, Fireworks, Light trace
- 3. Expert Control (5 Mode)
- P (Auto+), A (Aperture Priority), S (Speed Priority), Camcorder, M (Manual)
- Image Size16M : 4608×3456, 14MP : 4608×3072, 12M W : 4608×2592, 10M : 3648×2736, 5M : 2592×1944, 3M : 1984×1488, 2MW : 1920×1080, 1M : 1024×768
- EffectNormal, Vintage, Black & White, Autumn Brown, Negative, Nostalgia, Color Fade, Retro, Sunshine, Old Photo, Comic, Pastel Sketch, Gothic Noir, Impressionist
- Movie Size : 1920x1080(30fps), 1280x720(60fps), 1280x720(30fps), 640x480(60fps), 640x480(30fps), 320x240(30fps)
- Slow Motion Video WVGA : 768x512(120fps)
- EffectNormal, Vintage, Black & White, Autumn Brown, Negative, Nostalgia, Color Fade,
Retro, Sunshine, Old Photo, Comic, Pastel Sketch, Gothic Noir, Impressionist
Services and Applications
- Samsung AppsSamsung Apps available
- ChatON, mFluent IMChatON available
- ActiveSyncActiveSync available
- Special FeaturesInstagram, Paper Artist, Dropbox, Gallery, Photo wizard, Video Editor, AllShare Play,
Audio and Video
- Video FormatAVI, MP4/3GP, WMV, FLV, MKV, WEBM
- Video ResolutionFull HD (1080p) Video Recording & Playback available
- Video Frame rateRecording up to 30fps
- Audio FormatMP3, AAC, AMR, WMA, OGG, FLAC, 3GA/M4A, WAV