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9/30/07

Contest: Salvatore Aranzulla e YouBuy.it ti regalano un mare di tecnologia

SA e YouBuy ti regalano una PSP Slim

No, non sono uscito pazzo! Hai capito benissimo. Leggendo il mio blog puoi vincere fantastici premi tecnologici. Prima di tutto puoi vincere una meravigliosa PSP Slim (PlayStation Portable).

Esatto, la nuova versione della console portatile della Sony, appena uscita in Italia. I premi non si fermano alla nuovissima PSP Slim (PlayStation Portable), ma vanno oltre!

Puoi infatti vincere un lettore DVD/DivX portatile PDVX-01 della 4GEEK o un lettore mp3/mp4 Melody della 4GEEK. Insomma, premi da veri appassionati di tecnologia!

Per vincere uno di questi tre premi, basta partecipare a questo contest da me organizzato con la collaborazione di YouBuy.it. YouBuy.it è uno dei maggiori negozi on-line di prodotti tecnologici che mi ha dato l’opportunità di organizzare questo contest e farvi vincere tutti questi fantastici premi.

Il primo premio: la fantastica PSP Slim (PlayStation Portable)

La PSP (PlayStation Portable) è la console di Sony, che ogni vero appassionato di videogiochi e di tecnologia vorrebbe avere. Nel contest è messa in palio la versione Slim della PSP, che è appena uscita nei negozi italiani e che costa ben 169 euro. E che invece io, con la collaborazione di YouBuy.it, vi regalo.

Con la PSP puoi giocare (ovviamente), ma anche ascoltare musica, vedere film e foto in piena mobilità. Per tutti i dettagli, ti rimando al sito ufficiale della Sony.

Il premi della 4GEEK: il lettore DVD/DivX portatile PDVX-01 e il lettore mp3/mp4 Melody

La 4GEEK è una nuova marca italiana che produce prodotti per gli appassionati di tecnologia. Nel contest sono messi in palio il lettore DVD/DIVX portatile PDVX-01, che ci permette di vedere i nostri film in piena mobilità (ad esempio durante un viaggio in treno o in macchina). Il costo di questo ottimo lettore DVD/DIVX è di ben 100 euro. Al solito, io ve lo regalo con la collaborazione di YouBuy.it!

E per concludere la YouBuy.it ha messo in palio il lettore mp3/mp4 Melody con ben 2GB di memoria in cui memorizzare le nostre canzoni e portarle sempre a spasso con noi.

Melody ci permette non solo di ascoltare la musica, ma anche di giocare e di registrare appunti vocali. O ancora ascoltare di la radio! Melody, che vi regalo, costa quasi 55 euro.

Come partecipare al contest

  • I premi del contest sono costituiti da una PSP Slim (PlayStation Portable) della Sony, da un lettore DVD/DivX portatile PDVX-01 e da un lettore mp3/mp4 Melody della 4GEEK. Tutti i prodotti sono gentilmente offerti da YouBuy.it. E’ compresa la spedizione gratuita dei premi ai fortunati vincitori.
  • Al contest potranno partecipare tutti i lettori di Salvatore Aranzulla che parleranno di questo contest con un articolo nel loro blog o nel loro sito Internet. L’articolo dovrà contenere la prima immagine di questa pagina, un link a questa pagina e a YouBuy.it
  • Dopo aver pubblicato l’articolo sul tuo blog o sito Internet, segnalamelo con un commento a questa pagina, indicandomi il link esatto del tuo articolo in cui si parla del contest, entro e non oltre le ore 24.00 di Domenica 21 Ottobre 2007.
  • I vincitori del contest saranno estratti a sorte in diretta on-line. Il primo estratto vincerà la PSP Slim, il secondo estratto il lettore DVD/DivX portatile PDVX-01, il terzo estratto il lettore mp3 Melody. Dove è possibile, i vincitori potranno scegliere il colore dei loro premi fra quelli disponibili.
Sito del contest: S.Aranzulla

9/17/07

Remove Metadata from Word. Stay protected

What is metadata?

Metadata is usually defined as “data about data” or “information about information”. Metadata describes how and when and by whom a particular set of data was collected, and how the data is formatted. Most people are unaware that Microsoft Word documents store metadata in all word documents. You must have noticed that when you select a word document, the preview panel (Common Task in Windows XP) shows some details about the document such as the "author". You must have also noticed that the author's name might not actually appear in the document, and yet it somehow shows the author's name and you can't even edit it. That's metadata. The following are some examples of metadata that may be stored in your documents:

• Your name
• Your initials
• Your company or organization name
• The name of your computer
• The name of the network server or hard disk where you saved the document
• Other file properties and summary information such as file size, date/time the file was created, modified and accessed and the location where the file is stored
• Non-visible portions of embedded OLE objects
• Document revisions
• Document versions
• Template information
• Hidden text
• Comments

As you can see, a substantial amount of information is associated in every word documant. Obviously, you don't want to reveal these information to others for various reasons.


How can I remove metadata?

There are various ways of removing metadata, preventing metadata from generating or just minimizing it.

Automatically Remove Personal Information When You Save

You can set your Microsoft Word to automatically remove personal information from a Word document when you save it. To turn this option on, follow these steps:

1. On the Tools menu, click Options.
2. On the Security tab, click to select the Remove personal information from file properties on save check box under Privacy options, and then click OK.

Microsoft word will now not save any personal information along with the document when you save it. But you probably have tons of other documents saved previously, that already has metadata stored along with it. So you will have to remove those data manually.

Manually Remove Your User Name from Your Documents

To view or change your user name, follow these steps:

1. On the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the User Information tab.

The following edit boxes appear:

Name
Initials
Mailing Address

2. If you do not want any of this information to appear in your documents, enter non-identifying strings or spaces in the appropriate edit boxes, and then click OK to accept the changes.

How to Manually Remove Personal Summary Information

1. Open the document or template.
2. On the File menu, click Properties.
3. On the Summary tab, click to clear the Author, Manager, Company, and any other edit boxes that you do not want to distribute.
4. On the Custom tab, delete any properties that contain information that you do not want to distribute.
5. Click OK.

On the File menu, click Save, and then click Close.

These steps will remove most of the sensitive information from your documents. Alternately, you can use the Metadata Removal Tool from Microsoft.

9/8/07

Set CPU Affinity: Improve multitasking

What is CPU Affinity?

Simply stated, CPU affinity is the tendency for a process to run on a given CPU as long as possible without being moved to some other processor. When we run an application on a dual-core processor, usually both the cores get used depending on whether the application is multi threaded or not and how efficiently Windows distributes the threads between the 2 cores.

Its possible to take the control on your hands by assigning different applications to different cores so that they run only on the assigned core. By doing this you can assign one application to one core and another application to the other core, so that you can multitask and none of the 2 application interfere with each other. This comes handy when you want to say, rip a DVD and play a game at the same time. By assigning both the DVD ripping program and the game to seperate cores you can play your game with ease without having to worry about game lagging or low FPS.

Changing CPU affinity is easy.

1. First launch the program you want to change CPU affinity of.
2. Open Task Manager and then click on the Process tab.
3. Locate the application from the list and right-click, and then click Set Affinity
4. Now uncheck the corresponding box of whichever CPU you don't want the program to run on.

This method can be a bit difficult to assign CPU affinity to games because you have to run the game for the process to appear on the task manager's list, and once the game loads, the task manager disappears. There is workaround to this problem. For this download a small utilty called imagecfg.exe (24KB only)

1. First copy this tool to the game folder.
2. Now make a backup of the executable file of the game. Just copy it to some safe location. This is important.
3. Open command prompt and go to your game folder and type

imagecfg -a 0x1 game.exe (suppose the game file is game.exe)

Done. This will patch the game file so that it will run always on Core1. To assign it to core 2 type:

imagecfg -a 0x2 game.exe

The following image shows a DivX encoder running without assigning CPU. Watch both cores in action.





This time the same encoder running after assigning it to Core1. See Core2 lying idle.


How can people be so stupid?

During one of my internet browsing sessions I stumbled upon this forum thread which held a poll. I laughed when I saw the poll question. I laughed harder when I saw the results.


The results:



How can people be so stupid?

1 Gigabyte is Not Equal to 1024 Megabytes

If you pickup any computer book or a computer magazine and look up the term Gigabyte, chances are that you will find that 1 gigabyte is equal 1024 megabytes, which is equal to 1024 kilobytes, which again in turn is equal to 1024 bytes. That’s what we have been taught and that’s what everyone thinks it is. But that definition of gigabyte, megabyte and kilobyte has changed nearly 8 years ago.

Traditionally, one gigabyte has been defined as 10233 bytes or 1,073,741,824 bytes or 230 bytes. This is the definition commonly used for computer memory and file sizes. Then in December 1998 the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the leading international organization for worldwide standardization in electrotechnology, introduced new symbols and prefixes for binary multiples and changed the earlier ones. According to the new definitions, one gigabyte no longer equals 10233 bytes but 10003 bytes and 10233 bytes is now represented by a new term called gibibyte. The new prefixes for measurement of bytes are shown in the table below.




That explains one important anomaly in size measurement that we notice everyday in our lives, that is, the size of the hard disk. You go out and buy a 160GB hard disk, but when you plug in to your computer and turn it on you find that your operating system reports that you have only 149GB. That's because hard disk manufacturers no longer use the old convention of measuring sizes but the brand new ones. When a hard disk is labeled 160GB it has a capacity of 160 x 10003 bytes and not 160 x 10243 bytes, because like I explained, 1GB is not equal 10243 bytes. So a 160GB hard disk has a capacity of 160 x 10003/10243 bytes or 149 GiB (gibibytes). The IEC binary naming convention however, is not widespread and most publications, computer manufacturers and software companies prefer to use the traditional units. For instance, the memory (RAM) manufacturers continue to use the old naming convention. So when you buy 1GB of memory you get 10243 bytes of RAM. There is however a good explanation for this discrepancy. Computer memory is addressed in base 2, due to its design, so memory size is always a power of two. It is thus convenient to work in binary units for RAM. Other computer measurements, like storage hardware size, data transfer rates, clock speeds, operations per second, etc., do not have an inherent base, and are usually presented in decimal units.

To add to the confusion, different softwares as well as hardware manufacturers use different unit of measurement. Examples of software that use IEC standard prefixes (along with standard SI prefixes) include the Linux kernel, GNU Core Utilities, Launchpad, GParted, ifconfig, Deluge (BitTorrent client), and BitTornado. Other programs like fdisk and apt-get use SI prefixes with their decimal meaning.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Screenshots of Gnome Partition Editor, fdisk (Linux) and Windows Disk Management show how different software utilities use different measurement for hard disk capacities

Floppy disks uses the binary system of measurement. A 1.44MB floppy disk has a capacity of 144,000,000 bytes which is equal to 1.38 MiB (mebibytes); notice that the operating system reports this as 1.38MB.

CD capacities are always given in binary units. A "700 MB" (or "80 minute") CD has a nominal capacity of about 700 MiB (approx 730MB). But DVD capacities are given in decimal units. A "4.7 GB" DVD has a nominal capacity of about 4.38 GiB.

Network speeds use the binary units of measurement. A 1Mbps internet connection has a throughput of 1,000,000 bits (125 kB, approx 122 KiB) per second assuming an 8-bit byte, and no overhead.

All these ambiguity in measurements have led to consumer confusion and there actually have been two significant class action lawsuits against digital storage manufactures by consumers. One case involved flash memory and the other involved hard disk drives. Both were settled with the manufactures agreeing to clarify the storage capacity of their products on the consumer packaging. But most hard disk manufacturers still continue to use decimal prefixes to identify capacities, with no mention of capacities in terms of gibibytes.

Resources:
Prefixes for binary multiples
Wikipedia: Gigabyte
Wikipedia: Gibibyte

Install any Linux distro directly from hard disk without burning any DVD

After you download any Linux distro from the internet, you have to burn it to a DVD, CD or a number of CDs to install it. That CD or DVD is generally used only once after which it lies unused , and worse, almost every Linux distro comes up with a new release every 6 months. So if you are in the habit of upgrading to every new version, you must have dozens of CDs lying at the bottom of your drawer. What a wastage of CDs! But with a little trick you can install any Linux directly from the hard disk without burning a single CD or DVD. The prerequisite of this trick is to have an operating system already installed on your computer. This is obvious because unless you are able to boot into your machine, you can't install anything; and we are not going to boot from the Linux disk because we aren't burning any. Here I'm going to focus on Microsoft Windows as the pre installed operating system.

Almost all Linux installers uses two files to boot the computer: a Linux kernel, and an initial root file system containing a minimal set of directories that is mounted prior to when the real root file system is available. This initial root file system is also called Ram disk (initrd). We will use these two files to boot our PC. Now lets get to the actual procedure.

1. The first thing you will have to do is copy the ISO file(s) of the Linux to your hard disk (ofcourse, you already have it). Make sure that the partition is FAT32 unless the distro you are installing has native NTFS read/write support. Some distros require you to copy the ISO file(s) to the root of the partition. If you keep it inside a folder, the setup might not be able to detect it.

2. Use Winrar to open the ISO file (you need not need to extract it). Now you will have to extract the two files I talked about earlier. The files are usually found inside a directory called isolinux. Different distros might place the files in different location; you just have to search for it, but it isn't hard to locate. These two files are also named differently in different distros. The files that you will need to search and extract are: (the kernel file is shown in green and the Ram disk is shown in red)

Fedora: vmlinuz and initrd.img

Suse: linux and initrd

Mandriva: vmlinuz and all.rdz

Ubuntu: vmlinuz and initrd.gz

Gentoo: gentoo and gentoo.igz

Knoppix: vmlinuz and initrd.img

Slackware: bzImage and initrd.img

Debian: vmlinuz and initrd.gz

3. After you have extracted the two files, copy them to c:\boot (you will need to create the folder "boot")

4. Now download the file called grub4dos from here. Extract the folder "boot" and the file "grldr" from the downloaded zip file. Inside the folder "boot" is another folder called "grub"; copy the folder "grub" to c:\boot. Copy the file "grldr" to c:\

5. Open c:\boot\grub\menu.lst and add these following lines. (Notice that hd0 refers to the first hard drive. If you have more than one hard drive, they will be named hd1, hd2 etc. Replace hd0 with the proper hard drive number incase you have windows installed on another drive.) Replace Linux_kernel and Ram_disk with the appropriate file names below. (the ones you copied to c:\boot)


title Install Linux
kernel (hd0,0)/boot/Linux_kernel
initrd (hd0,0)/boot/Ram_disk


6. Now you have to add grub to your c:\boot.ini file. You can open boot.ini by clicking on Start>Run and typing c:\boot.ini. If Windows does not allow the file to be modified, then go to Control Panel>System and click on the Advanced tab. Now under Startup and Recovery click Settings and then under System Startup click Edit. Open boot.ini and add this line in the end.

C:\grldr=”Start GRUB”

7. You are now ready to install Linux. Restart your PC and from the boot screen select "Start GRUB". This will load GRUB. From the grub screen select "Install Linux". During the setup you will be asked the source of installation. Choose hard disk and then select the hard drive partition where you copied the ISO files. Sometimes you might have to type the whole path of the partition and the exact name of the ISO. So write it down before you begin.

I have personally tested this with Fedora, Suse and Mandriva and it works without problem. I have no doubt it will work for others too.

Update: dougfractal adds that this is possible from Linux too. The method as he describes is:

From the terminal enter these commands

sudo mkdir /distro
sudo chmod `whoami`:`whoami`
cp MYLINUX.iso /distro/distro.iso

Now extract Linux_kernel & Ram_disk to /distro#

Open /boot/grub/menu.lst

#ADD NEW ENTRY#
title Install Linux
root (hdX,X)
kernel /distro/Linux_kernel
initrd /distro/Ram_disk

Reboot and select "Install Linux" from grub.

This is how people spot UFOs

The other day I was on the roof snapping away pictures of the sunset. The sun was slowly leaning towards the west and the beautiful clouds were reflecting the golden rays of the setting sun. One of the pictures that I took was this.



Click on the picture if you want to download the original high resolution (2304x1728) image. The image is a bit grainy though, because I made the mistake of shooting it with ISO speed 400 to compensate for the low light. It later turned out to be unnecessary. Anyway, when I blew the picture to its full size, I saw a small object in front of the clouds. The following image is cropped from the original at 100% size.



I enlarged the picture to 200%



Further magnification to 300% shows this



It looked uncannily familiar. I logged into the Internet, did some search and finally found one pic from the movie Independence Day. Here is the picture.



That’s an alien spaceship!! Wow, what an amazing discovery! If I don’t tell you that there are lots of crows at my place you might be tempted to believe that I really saw something extra ordinary, if not extra terrestrial. That’s what usually happens. People hide, either intentionally or unintentionally, clues that would give away the truth. If I were to submit this picture to the UFO community they would certainly view it with curiosity and probably conclude that it is indeed an UFO. They might even congratulate me for finding yet another damning evidence that UFOs exist. Now I don’t want to argue whether UFOs exist or not; maybe they do, maybe they don’t. But just spotting some object in the sky doesn’t prove anything.

Now look at these UFO pictures I found on the Net.








See how similar those UFOs look, particularly the first two, to the object on my picture. Infact, my “UFO” looks more real with the spacecraft dramatically banking towards the left as if to take a turn. Now can you still say that those pictures above are really of UFOs and not crows?

I have seen many people getting excited on seeing moving lights or objects in the sky. But they might not always be what they appear. Curiosity is good, be curious. But any speck that you see in the sky not necessarily be a UFO. Often times it is just a bird, a plane, a satellite or anything with a perfectly logical explanation.

A list of 140+ file and image sharing websites

Want to share a file or a photo with your friends over the internet but could not because your favourite file hosting website is blocked at your office? Don't worry for there are plenty of alternatives. Here is a list of more than 140 different file and image hosting websites that I found on Neowin. I bet your office can't block them all. ( Also have a look at the biggest online file storage services)


0-10 Megabyte:

http://www.albumtown.com/
http://www.bestupload.com
http://www.flypicture.com
http://www.uploadx.net
http://www.webfilehost.com
http://www.wirefiles.com
http://www.zippyvideos.com


10-100 Megabyte:

http://rapidshare.de
http://sendmefile.com
http://www.savefile.com
http://www.turboupload.com
http://zalil.ru
http://share2net.com
http://www.11mbit.de
http://www.35mb.com
http://www.da_insane.boo.pl/d/upload/
http://www.filebuffer.net
http://www.filecabi.net/free-video-hosting.html
http://www.filesupload.com
http://www.fileupyours.com
http://www.freeuploader.com
http://www.myfilestash.com
http://www.mytempdir.com
http://www.picapic.net
http://www.putfile.com
http://www.rapidsharing.com/
http://share2net.com/
http://www.ripway.com
http://www.swiftdesk.com
http://www.uploadsend.com/
http://www.uploadtown.com
http://www.ultrashare.net
http://www.ushareit.com
http://www.yourfilehost.com


100 + Unlimited Megabyte:

http://www.filefront.com
http://www.datapickup.com
http://www.updownloadserver.com
http://www.megaupload.com
http://www.spread-it.com
http://www.zupload.com
http://freespace.filefront.com
http://www.4shared.com
http://www.bigupload.com/
http://www.come2store.com
http://www.content-type.com/
http://www.yousendit.com
http://www.dropload.com
http://www.filebull.com/
http://www.filecache.de
http://www.filefactory.com/
http://www.myfilehut.com
http://www.mysharebox.com/
http://www.sharebigfile.com
http://www.transferbigfiles.com


Image Hosting:

http://app02.bonpoo.com/file.htm
http://xtremeimages.armed.us
http://www.filehost.to
http://www.fotopic.net/
http://www.freefotofile.com
http://www.freeimagelibrary.com
http://www.image-bound.com/
http://www.imagedropbox.com
http://www.imageheap.com
http://www.imagelime.com
http://www.imagerage.com
http://www.imageshack.us
http://www.imagesubmit.com
http://www.imagexoom.com
http://www.imgsharing.com
http://www.imgzone.info
http://www.myimagebuddy.com/
http://www.iuploads.com/free_image_hosting/
http://www.myimagedepot.com
http://www.myimagehosting.com
http://www.myphotohost.com
http://www.picvault.info/
http://www.photoserver.us
http://www.picsplace.to
http://www.realimagehost.com
http://www.sighost.us
http://www.simpload.com
http://www.solisstyle.com/ims/
http://www.thefreeimagehosting.com
http://www.thepicturebin.com
http://www.tinypic.com
http://www.upload4free.com
http://www.uploadimages.net
http://www.uploads.biz
http://www.watotron.com/watupload/
http://www.webdevote.com/webservices/imagehost/
http://www.xs.to
http://www.xtra-image.com
http://www.YourUpload.com


Miscellaneous Hosting:

http://up.li.ru
http://www.webfile.ru
http://www.4shared.com
http://www.9thsf.com
http://www.addshare.com
http://www.anywhereenterprises.com
http://www.bighosting.net
http://www.chinababy.net
http://www.come2store.com
http://www.elibrary.2ya
http://www.ezshare.de
http://www.free-hoster.cc
http://www.ftpz.us
http://www.gigashare.com
http://megashares.com/
http://www.glintfiles.net
http://www.idisk.mac.com
http://www.imagerack.us
http://www.insightwebs.com
http://www.kytec.com
http://www.litek.ws
http://www.mio.discoremoto.virgilio.it
http://www.mytempdir.com
http://www.offshoredrive
http://www.onlinestoragesolution.com
http://www.prohosting.com
http://www.qfile.de
http://www.share2net.com
http://www.sharemation.com
http://www.slil.ru
http://www.streamload.com
http://www.sweniger.de
http://www.trustclip.com
http://www.ultrashare.net
http://www.up2.fastuploads.com
http://www.upload2.net
http://www.uploadhut.com
http://www.uploadtemple
http://www.uploadyourmom.com
http://www.vipmarketingonline.com
http://www.walagala.com
http://www.webfilehost.com
http://www.wisesubmit.com
http://www.xdrive.com
http://www.xshare.us
http://www.yourfile.net
http://www.youshareit.com
http://www.zachhorn.com
http://www.zoor.net
http://www.zshare.net

by | Instant Fundas