Start ++ .. Enhanced Start Menu for Windows Vista

This is a cool extension for the famous Windows Vista start menu. Windows Vista has got an improved start menu in contrast with the classic start menu in Windows XP. It has got search in-built and user doesn’t have to go places to search for any thing.

Start++ is an enhancement over the enhanced Start menu in Windows Vista, which is bringing the power of macros and interactivity in to that tiny Start menu.

Start++ is trying to make your nearest search box, much more powerful and useful. You can customize Start++ for any kind of macro you want.

Download Start++ (for Vista)

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WTH you did on the so called "Shutdown Day" ?

So, what the hell you did on the world’s shutdown day (sounds funny…). Hmm.yes it’s the shutdown day for computers as the website shutdownday.org says.

Well, On 24th March, 2007 (IST), I DID NOT SHUT DOWN MY COMPUTER. Because I did not see any reason to do so. I do balance my life and computer better way, hence I don’t have to kick the a** of my computer.

The ShutdownDay.org web site has setup a post-event board where you can post your experience on WSD Day. Let’s see the world did on that day…

Most of the people who visited this site after March 24th, expressed that they are working on that very day 🙂

The second ranked is “interesting thing” as you see in the above table.

But overall, I feel this experiment has done nothing but a big failure. I am not sure if they shutdown the web site’s server on that very day also.

Final Verdict is…You don’t have to shutdown your computer to do something else. You just shutdown your brain and sleep to relax.

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Get a 3D Desktop Manager for Windows XP

How many times we might wonder, why we have just one desktop to keep all those pesky icons and temporary files? Can’t we have many more desktops in Windows XP, so that we can manage things much better way?

Well, there is a well know solution…A Desktop Manager. Microsoft provides a small desktop manager program as part of Windows XP power toys called “Virtual Desktop Manager (exe file)”. But this is a very simplified desktop manager with very few features. How about having a 3D cube styled Desktop Manager?

A cube, which you can rotate through and see all the four desktops on the sides on cube? Coool..Isn’t it ? 🙂

Something like this (as shown below)

All you need to do is to install this cool and nifty desktop manager called “Yod’m 3D Desktop Manager”.

This Desktop manager uses DirectX 9.0 and renders 3D spaces with out any effort and with very very less memory foot print on your machine.

Once you install this tool, all you need to do is..to press CTRL + SHIFT and press up-arrow or down-arrow to zoom in or zoom out.

To Rotate the cube and see other Desktops, just press left-arrow, right-arrow accordingly.

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Microsoft’s Atlas and Google joins Open Ajax Alliance…So?

This could be a little news for most of the net savvys, but must be a great news for millions of web developers who work on cross platform applications and SOA.

Microsoft and Google formally joined the Open Ajax Alliance, which consists a group of vendors, OS projects and companies (around 75) using Ajax as standard application interface. This list also includes the pioneers like google, Dojo, Sun and Oracle along with Microsoft.

Read more about the formal announcement here…and here

So, the question is, how does it can help the developer community ?, which stands out the core & heart for Ajax adoption worldwide.

According to Open Ajax forum’s statement, the future looks awesome for Ajax developers…I have highlighted some of the notable things down here…

Seamless integration of multiple Ajax products and technologies within the same Web application, particularly with applications that use mashup techniques

— Greater certainty about product choices and reliability

Lower training costs, lower development costs, and faster delivery of Web 2.0 innovations due to industry adoption of common approaches that build from OpenAjax standards

— Interchangeability of Open Ajax Conformant products, such that customers can choose among multiple vendors (and change vendors in the future)

That means, now the developers will be able to use a standard set of declarative and protocol based language to talk to any web server technology. This also makes the web services interoperability much more robust and meaningful.

 

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Orkut (Google) to Co-Operate with Indian Police

Google is going to help Indian Police with a reporting tool built on Orkut.com’s database to make the investigation process much faster as per the officials of google. Orkut is facing lot of criticism recently for being a host of lot of illegal communities, fan sites of gangsters and depiction of Indian and Indian historic figures.

Read more @ Source

What are International Domain Names (IDN) ?

Most of us know that a domain name is nothing but the web site name part in any URL. Till now we are using the standard ASCII based domain naming architecture across world. This can only allow us to use English characters to express any web address. But web is highly globalized place where English is just one of the many languages. How can we use any language to express URLs around world ? How does the internet can understand these languages?

International Domain Naming (IDN) brings up the solution for this. This standard was originally proposed in 1996, but implemented in 1998. A system called Internationalizing Domain Names in Applications (IDNA) was evolved in this process. This process uses an algorithm called ToASCII and ToUnicode to resolve unicode in to ASCII across world. Read more at ICANN

The current generation browsers such as IE 7, Mozilla FireFox, Opera supports these algorithms natively. Windows Vista URL system also supports IDN natively. IE 6 users will have to download an activex control to use this feature on web.

Let’s see how an IDN web site URL looks like…

You can observe that IE 7 is showing a small info icon next to the URL bar. If you click on that, it will show you the IDN information for that web site as shown below…

Currently few domain registrars are supporting this IDN standards. “*.in” (India) domain extension is currently supporting Hindi IDN’s and will be supporting Tamil and Malayalam very soon.

Some of the IDN Registrars…

www.domainpeople.com

www.ipmirror.com

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Capture your screen for free !

No, I am not recommending the Print Screen key to capture your screen :-). Though that is the best possible free tool available to capture the screen shots, it lacks the power and flexibility of controlling the capture and doing the task in a disciplined way.

Tip : Use ALT + Print Screen to capture the Active Windows exclusively. This avoids the problems in tweaking the additional desktop area that’s got captured instead of a single window.

Now lets see how we can capture the screen more effectively.

01. Download MWSnap, a free screen capture tool (the best as far as I know..) from here and install.

02. Select the profile you want to capture. e.g Window, Fixed Rectangle, Menu etc…on the left side navigational menu. As shown below…There is a cool ruler also available to measure the size of the screen or your capture.

03. You are done with your screen capture. When you try to save this capture, MWSnap provides you a good number of standard formats you can choose.

04. Additional Features to decorate your capture.: MWSnap provides some cool effects to decorate your screen captures. You can apply a shaded frame, simple frame or a button look for your screen capture.

As per my experience with many free and commercial screen capturing tools, I feel that MWSnap provides a rich set of features, all for free (Donate Mirek, the developer if you really like to appreciate him).