Saturday, February 28, 2009

Free MySQL database hosts: A quick roundup are the leading provider for absolutely FREE MySQL Database Hosting. With their control panel you'll the extra edge to managing your free databases. They provide an even higher level of support and service to their clients. Also being the absolute first free mysql database provider to have a control panel for their clients to manage the free databases, they give you the option to have multiple databases under one account. You are never limited to how many you can create, with a max of five at one time.
They also have the bragging right for being on the top of the search result for "free mysql" query on both Google and Yahoo.
Google: #1
Yahoo: #1
The db4free project provides a platform for database users and developers from all over the world to exchange experiences, give hints to each other or to discuss. This offer also gives you the chance to learn to deal with databases without having to rent a server for money.
New: now offering an additional MySQL 6.0 account (running on Port 3307 - check it out!)
The creator of created this host so that users could easily create a database to practice writing SQL, and database applications without having to worry about administration. This site is currently a dramatic work-in-progress following a web server crash. is free mysql server
*running MySql 5.1.30

Monday, February 23, 2009

Start Multiple Programs With One Shortcut

In the past we’ve shown you how to create batch files for synchronizing two folders, and today we’re going to demonstrate how they can be used to launch your favorite applications. If you’re like me you probably start the same applications every morning, such as your feed reader, web browser, and your calendar. If that’s the case then you’ll be in love with what I’m about to show you. In under a minute you can create a batch file to launch several applications, documents, files, and more in a single click.

What some people don’t realize is that you can also use this method to reduce the startup time of your computer! It’s likely that you have at least a handful of applications that startup with Windows which you don’t need immediately. Things like an instant messenger or email checker. You can place all of those applications into a single batch file, remove them from the startup list, and then just run them when you’re ready.

Update: Be sure to checkout how you can use a batch file to close multiple programs as well.

You may think that doing something like this is a tedious process, but it’s actually rather easy:


  1. Open Notepad (Start Menu -> Accessories -> Notepad):

  2. Get the paths for the programs you want to start. The easiest way to do this is to right-click on each of the existing shortcuts, choose the Properties option, and then copy the Target path.

  3. Enter the paths for each of the programs into Notepad, one per line. Be sure to put

    start ""

    at the beginning of each line, and put a space after it to separate it from the application path. If the path of your application has a space in it, you’ll need to surround the entire path with quotes. It should look something like this:

  4. Save it as a .BAT file by manually entering in the extension at the end of the file name.

  5. Double-click on the new file that you just created to test out the results.


There are all kinds of things that this can be used for, especially since you can throw parameters onto each of the applications. Let’s say you wanted to open our website in Firefox, one of the lines would look like this:

start "" "C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe" ""

You can also have it open a document by providing the path to it, like this:

start "" "C:\Users\Wagner\Documents\CyberNet.doc"

In the end you can create several different batch files each for different tasks. Batch files are powerful tools that can greatly enhance your productivity, and this is one of the ways they do that.

Configure the Way of Opening Multiple Files by using Shortcuts

Shortcuts can be created to open multiple files at once that may make things convenient. Lets check a simple example of opening a file located at the C: drive named dxcore.psd ( C:\dxcore.psd) with the Photoshop program located at C:\Program Files\Photoshop\Photoshop.exe:

“C:\Program Files\Photoshop\Photoshop.exe” “C:\dxcore.psd”

By creating a shortcut containing the above command will open the dxcore.psd file with photoshop. Now, notice that the first quotation contains the program path and then after a single space there is the path of the file to open. So the general formula for this is:
“Complete Path of the Program exe” “Complete path of the file to open”

Now lets apply this idea to open multiple files:
“Complete Path of the Program exe” “Complete path of the no.1 file to open” “Complete path of the no.2 file to open”

For Photoshop on the above example the command for opening core1.psd and core2.psd together is:
“C:\Program Files\Photoshop\Photoshop.exe” “C:\core1.psd” “C:\core2.psd”

Using the similar ways you can open even more files together. And this applies to Firefox as well which can be your first trial for this tip. Create or right click on the Firefox Shortcut on your desktop, then go to properties and make the target line look something like this:
“C:\Program Files\Mozila Firefox\Firefox.exe”

It will open both and together in two different tabs. Note that the Quotation (” “) is not always necessary. You can use quotations if there is a space in the path like:
“C:\Core Softwares\core.exe”
because there is a space between the word Core and ” Softwares ” so typing just C:\Core Softwares\core.exe wont work.

This trick actually applies to all of the softwares available to open one file but it may not work for opening multiple files. The Command on the start>run:

iexplore.exe will work by opening on Internet Explorer but the command iexplore.exe wont work.

For the mostly used Winamp this trick will add the typed files into the playlist:
“C:\Program Files\Winamp\Winamp.exe” “D:\Songs\Avril.mp3″ “D:\Songs\BonJovi.mp3″

You can also apply a skin to winamp in this process. Full path of the skin file may not be necessary if the skin directory is selected before.
“C:\Program Files\Winamp\Winamp.exe” “D:\Winamp Skins\core9.wal”
“C:\Program Files\Winamp\Winamp.exe” core9.wal

Hope this helps and thank you for reading

Sunday, February 22, 2009

How to Create a bootable USB Memory Key

If you do not have a floppy disk drive, you may want to create a bootable USB memory key which will allow you to boot into a pure DOS environment. This can be very useful if you want to flash your BIOS. Here is a step by step procedure on how to perform this operation.

NOTE: Your computer must support booting from a USB device in order to boot from the USB Memory Key.

Step 1 - Download and install the Windows based HP USB Disk Format Tool. For your convenience, you can download it from HERE.

Step 2 - Download the Windows 98 system files from HERE. This is a zip file that contains all of the system files that you will need. Create a new folder and extract these files into the folder that you just created. Make sure that you preserve the directory structure.

Step 3 - Insert the USB Memory Key into the USB port of your computer.

NOTE: Make sure that the lock/unlock switch (if present) is set to the unlock position.


Step 4 - Launch the HP format tool program.

Under the device drop down list, make sure that the USB memory key is selected.

Step 5 - Under the file system drop down list, select FAT32. This is important to do correctly.

Step 6 - Check the box next to Create a DOS startup disk.

Select "using DOS system files located at:

Then click on the square box with 3 dots on it.

Step 7 - Browse to the folder that you extracted the Win98 system files and then click on the OK button.
Step 8 - Now click the Start button.
Step 9 - You will receive a warning message. Make sure you have the USB memory key selected. If you are sure, then click the Yes button.

Step 10 - Your USB memory key is now being formated and the DOS system files will be copied onto it.

Once the program has completed the operation, click on the Close button.

You now have a bootable USB memory key.

On the USB memory key, you will see these files. These are the basic Win98 system files.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

the Chart Chooser: Great Charts for MS Office

Use the filters to find the right chart type for your needs. Then download as Excel or PowerPoint templates and insert your data.

InviteShare: Share those invites

InviteShare is a place to send and receive invitations to websites that are currently in private beta.

Have some invitations that you want to get off your hands? Why not share them with others!


Are you Sure your Email isn’t being Hacked?

email-trap.jpg In the interests of full disclosure, I didn’t come up with this idea. I read about it in a computer magazine a year or two back but of course when I wanted to refer to it for this article, I couldn’t find it! But someone on Digg eventually managed to find it so here is the original article if you want to see it.

As email providers give away more and more storage space, more and more personal information is being stored in those accounts. People are increasingly using their email accounts for more than just email - it has become their online document storage area with backup documents such as passwords, bank account numbers, account usernames, scans of correspondence and much more. Even if you don’t use your email for this purpose, you may still be inadvertantly revealing personal information in general conversation emails to family and close friends. A 6GB Gmail account or an unlimited space Yahoo account is potentially an information bonanza source for identity thieves who manage to figure out your email password and then go snooping.

But if someone HAS cracked your email password, it may not be apparent to you. A snooper can easily read an email then mark it as unread again. So the best thing to do would be to set up an “electronic tripwire” so if someone breaks into your account, you’ll know about it.

Here’s how to do it :

    1. Sign up for a website hit counter at You can leave a fake name and whatever URL you want (I used for mine).

    2. You will then receive a welcome email from OneStat with a text attachment called OneStatScript.txt. Download this attachment to your computer and then delete the email (you don’t want any email snoopers finding it later). But before deleting the email, write down your OneStat account number as you will need it later.

    3. Change the name of the text document to something that will make the email snooper salivate such as passwordlist. Also change the file format from a text document to a website page. So make it something like passwordlist.htm .

    4. Email this newly-renamed file as an attachment to the email account you want to monitor. Make sure the email subject title also lures the snooper in (maybe something like List of Passwords. You get the idea :).

    5. The trap is now set. Basically if someone opens the email and opens the attachment, OneStat will record a hit. If you then log into your OneStat account say once a day, you will see how many hits you have had to your attachment.


The OneStat account page then gives you details on each “visitor” including the date and time they accessed the web document and more importantly their location and IP address!


So how does having this information help you? Well first of all, it will alert you to change your password to something stronger. Secondly, if you see the snooper’s location and you only know one or two people there then it narrows down your list of potential suspects.

By the way, I recommended signing up for One Stat because the author of the original idea mentioned them. But if you know of any other hit counter services that send text documents to your email address, then please mention them in the comments. I don’t have any financial advantage recommending One Stat so I am perfectly happy to consider alternative companies.

9 Must-Have OpenOffice Extensions

Like Firefox, OpenOffice also comes with extensions that you can use to improve its functionality. Here, we have tested all the extensions and sorted out those that are useful for everyday use. Some of them are for general use while some are only meant for Writer, Calc or Impress. (For those who haven’t heard about OpenOffice before, it’s a popular free alternative to Microsoft Office)

Before you carry on reading, here are some things that you need to do/know:

    Obviously, the extensions require OpenOffice to work. If you have not installed OpenOffice, grab the latest version here.

    To install the extension, you have to go to Tools -> Extension Manager in any of the OpenOffice applications. Click ‘Add’ to install the extension that you have downloaded.

Let’s proceed onto the 9 must-have extensions for your OpenOffice.

open office extensions

1) Sun PDF Import Extension

open-office import-pdf Normally, OpenOffice only allows you to export your file to PDF format, but not to import and make changes to it. With this PDF Import extension, you can now import your PDF files and make changes to the date, numbers or even a small portion of text.

By default, this extension imports the PDF file into the Draw application rather than Writer, even though it may contain a full page of text. You may be wondering why, but if you remember that when the PDF format was first created, it was designed not to allow any editing at all. As such, importing as a text document into Writer may prove too difficult a thing to do.

With that, capturing the content as a Draw object now seems the easiest and most logical thing to do. When you import your PDF file into your Draw application, every single line of text will be treated as a draw object and you can edit the text and rearrange it as you like.

Sun PDF Import Extension is still in beta and only works in OpenOffice 3.0.

2) Professional Template Pack II – English

open-office-templatesWith more than 120 professionally designed document templates at your fingertips, it is hard not to create a high quality document or presentation.

This extension adds various kinds of templates, ranging from business correspondence, budgets and project plans, event posters, invoices, notes, minutes, press releases to personal letter templates.

You’ll never have to spend your time writing up the whole document again.

After installation, the templates can be found under File -> New –> Templates and Documents.

3) OpenOffice.org2GoogleDoc

OpenOffice to Google docs

This extension allows you to export and import documents from Google Docs, Zoho and any WebDav server. Files supported include OpenDocument Text (.odt), StarOffice (.sxw), Microsoft Word (.doc), Rich Text (.rtf), OpenDocument Spreadsheet (.ods), Microsoft Excel (.xls), Comma Separated Value (.csv) and Microsoft PowerPoint (.ppt, .pps).

Java 6 is required to use this extension.

4) Writer’s Tools

writer-tool If you are just like me, who spends a great deal of time sitting behind OpenOffice writing articles, then Writer’s Tools is the extension that you must have. Writer’s Tools is a set of utilities designed to help OpenOffice users perform a wide range of tasks. You can back up documents, look up and translate words and phrases, manage text snippets, and keep tabs on document statistics. Some of the useful functions of this extension include:

  • Lookup word from several sources, including Cambridge Dictionaries, WordNet, and Google Define.
  • Backup a copy of your current document by sending an email to a specified address.
  • Wikify Word tool links a selected word or text fragment in the current document to a Writer document, which is created on the fly
  • Quick Converter that lets you convert between the metric and imperial systems easily.
  • Bookmarks tool allows you to bookmark often-used documents, so you can access them with a few mouse clicks.
  • Word of the Day tool picks and displays a random word and its definition from the accompanying WriterDB database.

and many more…

5) LanguageTool

open office spell checker

What use is there if you can’t check your grammar and other language errors in an Office suite? The LanguageTool extension is an Open Source language checker for English, German, Polish, Dutch, and other languages. It is rule-based, which means it will find errors for which a rule is defined in its XML configuration files. Rules for more complicated errors can be written in Java. You can think of LanguageTool as a tool to detect errors that a simple spell checker cannot detect, e.g. mixing up there/their, no/now etc. It can also detect some grammar mistakes.

The Language Tool extension does not include spell checking.

6) Creative Commons Licensing


If you are always creating open source projects with the Creative Commons License, this extension will come in handy to you. The Creative Commons Licensing extension provides the ability to select and embed a Creative Commons License in Writer, Calc and Impress documents.

7) Data Form

In the Excel application in Microsoft Office, there is this feature - Data -> Form - that allows you to key in data easily. What this extension does is to replicate that feature in OpenOffice. The Data Form extension generates a data input form for tables in the Calc application that you can use to enter values.

In Calc, create a table with at least one row and the headline, for example:


Then, click on a range or any cell of the newly created table (not on empty cells), and go to Data - Form. That’s it. A form should appear letting you insert other records, or edit-delete the old ones.

8) Modern Impress Template

open office impress template

The Modern Impress template extension installs more than 30 beautiful templates that you can use for your presentation. All the graphics in the template are based on open-source art.

After installation, you can access the template at File -> New -> Templates and Documents -> Templates -> My Templates

9) Sun Presenter Console

For those who need to give presentations regularly, wouldn’t it be great if during the presentation, you can view what the next slide is and read the note that you have written all from the screen? It will take the guesswork out of you and also keeps you away from the troublesome paper notes scribbled with tiny text. What this extension does is to project different views to different monitors and allows you to see your upcoming slide and note while the audience only sees the current slide and the slide effect.

There are three views that you can configure in the Presenter Console. The first view displays the current slide for your audience to read while the second view shows the speaker’s notes in large, clear and scalable type plus the current and upcoming slide. The third view is a slider sorter view with the slide thumbnails. In your Impress application, go to Slide Show -> Slide Show settings and you can decide which view is to be projected to each monitor.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

How to bypass Mega Video time limit

Are you frustrated with Mega Video time limit, and don’t want to pay for the premium account? I tried Firefox’s addon like “DownloadHelper” but it only downloaded 72 minutes of the flv file. Well, I found a solution to bypass this timed out limit, thanks to Scribd. It’s a simple way to get around it.

Step 1: When you click play on a Megavideo video, click pause and allow the video to buffer all the way to 100%.
Step 2: Once the video is done buffering, go to your menu bar on your browser, and click on File > Work Offline.
Step 3: Watch video.
Step 4: Unclick the “work offline” button.

Note: The trick here is to block MegaVideo from connecting to your PC once the buffering is done. So, alternatively,you can pull the ethernet cable, turn off WiFi, or turn off the modem.

Google helps found M-Lab to identify ISPs who throttle torrents

Google has joined with the Open Technology Institute to help identify which ISPs are restricting peer-to-peer traffic, launching M-Lab to help users discover whether or not they're being affected.

One of the tools M-Lab will use is Glasnost, a java applet that initiates a torrent transfer between a user's pc and the remote testing server. It compares the results to the speed of a normal transfer to see whether or not the peer-to-peer traffic is being throttled.

If you're curious about your own ISP, run the Glasnost test and see what it reports. You'll have to be patient, though - the recent news about Google coming onboard has increased traffic on the site greatly and it's having a hard time keeping up.

It's good to know that once M-Lab is online they'll have 36 Google servers in 12 locations to help run the tests.

HDHacker backs up and restores Master Boot Records

The Master Boot Record (or MBR) of a hard drive contains the information your computer needs in order to know how to boot any operating systems installed on your system. In other words, if something happens to your MBR or BootSector, you could be left with an unbootable computer.

HDHacker is a Windows utility that lets you backup or restore your boot record in a snap. The standalone program can be run from your hard drive or a USB flash drive. The one thing it does require is a working Windows installation. So if you've accidentally locked yourself out of Windows, you'll need to find a way back in before you can restore your MBR.

Fortunately if you have a Windows XP or Vista installation disc handy you can probably boot into recovery mode and try to fix or rebuild your MBR. But that's not to say HDHacker is useless. For example, if you have a triple boot system running Windows XP, OpenSUSE Linux, and Ubuntu Linux, one of the Linux distributions probably wrote over your MBR with its own GRUB bootloader. If you try to uninstall Ubuntu and keep the other operating systems you might wind up with an unbootable system. The Windows XP installation disc can help you boot into Windows, but you might find yourself without a way to boot into OpenSUSE unless you use a program like HDHacker to restore the boot record.

At least that's one example off the top of my head. If you can think of other uses for this program, let us know in the comments.