Friday, July 24, 2009

A Portable office package

When it comes to making a document or a presentation, Microsoft's office package is the default choice for everyone. However, if we ask people how many of them have bought the software, not many a hands are raised. Little do people realise that it is wrong to use pirated software, worst, many of them are not even aware that alternatives exist.

So today I introduce you to by Sun Microsystems Inc. This is a really worthy competitor of MS office and has got all features an average user needs. Its interface is quite similar to MS office 2003, that means it has menus and not a ribbon. However, menus are standard in windows and shouldn't be a problem.

I'l quickly introduce you to the softwares in this suite. It has 6 softwares. OpenOffice Writer is a document editor (Which I am using right now), OpenOffice Calc is a spreadsheet program, OpenOffice Impress is a presentation making program, OpenOffice Draw is a drawing application, that means a desktop publishing (DTP) software, OpenOffice Base is a database application fit for use in small offices and finally, OpenOffice math is an equation editor. is a free software and is opensource. It is also available as a portable application from

Do visit

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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Organize your music collection

some of us are very fond of listening to music on our PCs. There are many tracks lying on such PCs which are not well organized. We just listen to whatever is visible at the moment. Thus one day when we start looking for that track which we heard last month and liked very much, we can not find it.

It pays to keep your music well organized so that you can find any track when you want it. So here are some steps to organize your music well.

First of all, to organize ones music, it is necessary to understand ID3 tags. Id3 tag is way of storing information about the song in the mp3 file itself. Information such as album, artist, track number etc. are stored in these tags. Music is organized with the help of these tags.

Before starting any media library management software, it is better to put some basic information on the tags. For this download and install audio shell tag editor. This puts a tag editor tab in the properties of mp3 flies. Your might have your music stored in folders according to album or artist. Select all tracks in a folder, right click and select properties or press alt+enter from the keyboard. Go to tag editor tab and fill the common information pertaining to all tracks. Fill in any other information which you know. This may take a bit of time.

When you are done filling the information manually, its time to do some serious organize. Download and install Mediamonkey. The free version has a few features missing compared to the paid version but you wont miss them much. The download is just around 10 MB. After installation is complete, import all your songs into the library.

On the toolbar select “show album art with details” and “show track browser”. This view gives you easy access to all your tracks. Now use the auto tag feature to organize your music further. Select a song, right click on it and click auto tag from the web. Howsoever, this feature doesn't work very well with Hindi tracks, but will help you a lot if you have English music in your library. It also downloads the album art if available. Assign ratings to your favorite tracks.

Now in the track browser, by default, artist, album and genre are visible. You can right click the heading and choose any other field which you may like, for example ratings, if you have assigned them according to your preference.

Mediamonkey lets you create play-lists and save them as .m3u files. You can also synchronize your portable music player with Mediamonkey and it also supports Ipods. You can also copy songs to any external device while encoding them on the fly.

After your music is organized, you can use the search box in the toolbar to search for any track, it should come up within a second. No doubt having your music well organized and sorted makes it more fun listening to them.

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Use your computer in hindi

India has adopted the internet and its associated technologies very fast. Many people use various types of services on the internet. But most people are content just using those services, very few individuals are willing to contribute. Although there are many organisations and companies who are developing content for the Indian market, they are also compelled to develop in English language lest there product may not have a pan India appeal. This has led to a lack of awareness about the availability of Hindi as an option in computing. So I’ve decided to list a few options which may help you use your computer in Hindi.

The most popular search engine of the world, Google, is available in Hindi. Just go to and click on Hindi below the search box. The popular online encyclopaedia, Wikipedia, is also available in Hindi. For this you will need to visit it has many articles in Hindi, you may also make your contributions.

There are a few dedicated search engines for Hindi language such as and With these you can search online for content in Hindi. The difference between these and Hindi Google is that Google searches only for Unicode fonts whereas these can search for legacy fonts as well.

We often need to translate a few passages in Hindi from English, but we are stuck with a few words of which we don’t know the Hindi form. To help you out there is it thrives on user contributions and has a large repository of words.

Finally we come to writing in Hindi. Although Hindi keyboards are available but in reality they are tough to get.  And even if we get it, it might not be worth it to learn a new layout for everyone as some may need to type just a couple of lines. So people invented the concept of typing phonetically, i.e., you type the word in English as it would sound in Hindi and it gets typed in Hindi. For example, to write भारत you need to type bhaarat or bhArat.

We have two options for using this technology, online options and offline options. One very good offline software is baraha. It has a notepad like editor as well as an application to enable you to type Hindi directly in any application called baraha direct. Download it from here. is an online option. Quillpad’s being online has one added advantage, it matches your word with its dictionary before writing it. Thus spelling mistskes are reduced and you also don’t need to follow any rigid code.

Both baraha and quillpad support few other Indian languages also.

Before you try out Hindi, make sure your computer is adequately equipped to display Hindi correctly. For this open control panel and then regional and language options.  Go to the languages tab and check install files for East Asian languages. Then click apply. You will be asked for the Windows XP CD at this point. Insert it and click OK.

You can also transform Windows XP’s interface into Hindi. For this visit and download windows XP Hindi LIP. Keep in mind though that for this you will need to have genuine windows license.

It seems strange that I’m writing this article in English. This is because i want to reach to those who are not at all using Hindi language on their PCs. Hindi version of this blog post is also available at

Friday, July 10, 2009

Find your files with Everything Search

People often complain that searching for files on a windows PC is painfully slow. Inbuilt search function of windows is slow because it actually scans the files while searching. There are other programs which scan the hard drive and build an index through which they give the search results when files are searched for. However, these programs are also not very popular because indexing is a time consuming process and runs in the background all the time thus slightly slowing down the PC at some times and putting a lot of unnecessary stress on the hard disk.
The answer to all these problems is Everything Search. It uses the master file table of the NTFS drive to build its index and searches in that index. Thus it is lightning fast. To give you a clear idea, it takes around 20 seconds to build its index on my 250 GB SATA 3.0 Gbps hard drive which has around 60 GB of free space. Thus it is ready within a few seconds to get you any file or folder which you may seek. Keep in mind though that you cannot search the contents of files with this program, only file names, but then, how many of us do that anyways.
Everything Search has got a very simple interface with just a menu bar and a search box. The rest of the area shows the results. To search a specific location, you need to type the location within quotes. It easily integrates with windows explorer thus letting you search any folder with just a few clicks. The context menu within the results lets you copy the path of the file which is a sorely missed feature of windows explorer.
Everything search is a portable program and does not need installation. So you can run in it off a pen drive on any computer. Download is just 272 KB. Get it here.

Note however that this program can only be used on NTFS formatted hard drives.

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Monday, July 6, 2009

Maintain your computer with ccleaner

Windows is the most used operating system in the world, no doubt about it, but still, it does come with its share of downsides. Some of these are the ever increasing size of the registry and temporary folders.
We often install programs which later on we don’t like and uninstall. Very often these programs do not delete the registry entries at the time of uninstallation. Similarly many programs store temporary files at various locations which are left there even after their purpose has been served. The accumulation of such files and registry entries slows down the PC over time.
To solve these problems many free softwares are available online. One of these is CCleaner. CCleaner has a very simple and easy to use interface. It can clean the registry of unwanted entries and also cleans the temporary folders. In addition it clears up the recent list of many programs, browser cache and history etc. It can also be used to monitor and disable startup items and uninstall softwares.
While deleting temporary files one can opt for secure deletion. It also gives the option to backup the registry before deleting the entries. Download the latest version from here.
view screenshots
A portable version of CCleaner is also available. This can be executed without installation and also from a pen drive. Download it here.

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