Under The Wire

Under The Wire

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Download all the music you want without file sharing applications

Have a look at New Album Releases, you will find new albums as soon as they are released.

You don't have to install any software to download the files that are hosted on servers of different services.


They even have a RSS feed, so you can be sure you won't miss any new album.

I can't figure out how they offer such a service without being shut down by the RIAA in a couple of days, but it seems that they found quibble and they are actually DCMA compliant providing just links and not hosting anything.

Thanks to Pensieri Cannibali for the links that introduced me to this site.


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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Facebook Lite: new Facebook’s interface

Today talk about new Facebook version: Facebook Lite.

lite2

lite1

Starting from Facebook Mobile experience, the developers are projecting new easier interface. New version is very simple and clear, there aren’t unnecessary bars and it is very fast to load also by slow connections.

In fact, this version is thinking in order to new users from developing country and to mobile devices (iPhone, Smartphone,…) that use slow connections.

However, this new version has all necessary functions:

  • Post videos and photos
  • Show videos and photos
  • Write comments
  • Like feature
  • Management profile info and friends
  • Wall

This version is only a test interface, but probably it is a preview of next Facebook graphic.

Bye


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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Windows 7 launch party pack: unboxing

Today  Windows 7 house party kit is arrived to my home.

Here's what it includes:

  • One poster with the Windows 7 desktop design
  • One deck of playing cards with Windows 7 desktop design
  • One puzzle with Windows 7 desktop design
  • One table top centerpiece
  • One package of Windows 7 napkins
  • Ten tote bags with Windows 7 desktop design

And the most important thing: two DVDs, one with 32-bit Windows 7 Ultimate Signature Edition and one with 64-bit Windows 7 Ultimate Signature Edition.

And now some photo:

151020091269[1] 151020091268[1]

151020091270[2] 151020091272[1]

151020091273[1] 151020091274[1]

and a video:

bye


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Sunday, October 4, 2009

Easy Screen Sharing by Skype

The last version of Skype (4.1) hides a new interesting feature: the screen sharing.

skype20logo

Normally when I’m working in a team or talking with friends by pc I want show them  images or all my screen and the fastest solution was a screenshot, but many time only one isn’t sufficient (Did you try to help a friend to use a program?). Up to now there aren’t a easy alternative and you have to install a remote assistant software. Now with last version of Skype screen sharing is easy and images are good quality. Skype transmits screen like a video call and both people of call can share their screen.

If you want share your screen with a friends then:

  1. Open Skype
  2. Click on Share->Share Your Screen
  3. You can choose if share all screen or only a selected area

Untitled

Clicking on “Share selection”, a black box appears on screen and you can move and resize it until you are satisfy.

Untitled2 

Then you can click on “Start screen sharing ”. However you can switch to full screen sharing by “Select fullscreen” button.

Untitled3

When you want finish screen sharing click on “Stop screen sharing” or close the video-call by red button.

Bye sys.


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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Mac OS X glitch: Renaming a file

Since I switched to Mac OS X my machine is giving me lot of opportunities to demystify the it just works Apple motto.

I already talked about that in my previous post, but few minutes ago I experienced another glitch: something as simple as renaming a file is causing trouble to the Finder that get confused on where place the textfield where to enter the new filename.

A similar glitch happens also with Xcode, it has sometimes troubles matching the cursor position on the screen with the actual cursor position in the file.

Please Cupertino, fix it!


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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Memories of a switcher

It is about a month I switched to Mac and it is time to write down some thoughts about the new environment.

Let's start about the hardware: I own now a 13'' Mac Book Pro, the one with 4GB of RAM. If you want to know more about the hardware specifications go to the Apple Store. It has much more horsepower than my 4 years laptop, but not having to deal with a lot of really computational intensive tasks I am not noticing a too big difference.

The only thing in witch it is really better is the bfattery life. I still have to perform some serious tests, but I can go to university without the charger and when I am back home I still have a lot of battery life remaining.

The last thing I have to say about the hardware is that I am loving its design, but I still have to figure out if it would be better with some cool customization like this one.

On the software side I have always been a Windows guy, but thanks to the fact that the most of the time I am at the PC I am using a browser or reading a pdf I am not suffering to much the change of operating system.

Now I am using Mac OS X Snow Leopard for every task I have to do, except for a ssh connection to a university pc to do some stuffs on a Linux machine.

I hate virtual machines and dual boot, so it is the only solution viable to me.

Mac OS X is a UNIX, but you don't have to use the (hated) terminal every two seconds. You just have to learn the new keyboard shortcuts and that's it.

I am sorry, but now it's time to show you that I am not under the reality distortion field. In the last days I had to face some weird issues that come out to remember me that I was right when I said that the it just works motto was good just for advertising.

I had to brutally reboot my system after I discovered it unable to eject a usb memory stick. Not actually a great task.

I also had to face an iTunes error that prevented me to synchronize my iPod Touch. Not a big deal, but it didn't just work.

To conclude this post I have to confess you the reason of this switch: it was a bargain, with the EUR USD change rate over 1.4, a university discount and the back to school promotion.


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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Megavideo UNLIMITED: how bypass 72 minutes time limit by Firefox plug-in

Hi, today I talk again about Megavideo and how bypass its time limit. If you didn’t read my other posts about Megavideo these are the links:Post1, Post2, Post3.

In the last post I advised to use www.megastriming.tk, but recently often there are technical problems.

ill Actually the best solution for is the use of the Firefox plu-in illimitux. The new version (3.1) of plug-in support more of 20 platforms among which Megavideo, Veoh and Megaupload, the best streaming sites.

In fact, illimitux bypasses Megavideo time limit, moreover is possible parallel downloads from Megaupload without speed limitation and without premium account and is possible watch Veoh files without official player. This plug-is is very easy to use because when it auto-detects supported platform show a box where user can remove all limitations.

222

This is a short video tutorial of plug-in:

Getting Started with illimitux 2 from Illimitux on Vimeo.

Enjoy the movie.

Bye.

PS. any comments are welcome.


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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Aardvark: ask a question and get the answer

I found a really cool service where you can ask a question and get the answer from who said to be expert in that topic. It works a way better than its competitor like Yahoo Answer.

It really works well and with the integration with a instant messaging program it's really easy to get your questions answered.

If you want to check it out join Aardvark following this link


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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Interesting links #4

Let start again with a post of Joanna Rutkowska about (the lack of) security foundations of Mac OS X. As usual you will get plenty of Mac users denying that signing applications could be useful, but we know their reality is distorted. As a new Apple user I would really like to have a way to trust application I am installing.

Is General Public License always good? Read this article and you will know about some case where it dramatically fails.

A response to Free Software Foundation FUD.

Haiku team comments about OSCon. Seems they are doing a great job.

I am not posting here the link to the last Steve Jobs keynote because it actually was not so interesting. The only cool thing they presented are the genius playlists, but who needs it when he has Pandora?


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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Interesting Links #3

An interview to Joanna Rutkowska. As usual a worth reading.

An hack to have a browser in Windows7. User friendliness is no more here while Opera is still not downloaded by everyone but who already knows it.

If you need to perform a lot of boring operations on finite fields or on elliptic curves, I think you should give a look at this script. I wrote it and helped me a lot.

Read this post and write what do you think in a comment. I still have to make up my mind about it.


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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Interesting links #2

Google I/O 2009 - The Myth of the Genius Programmer: definitely a worth watching to understand what programming actually is.

10 Privacy Settings for Facebook: I don’t know if it is fair to write in the same sentence both Facebook and Privacy, however have a read and adjust your settings.

"0wnz0red": Programmers who hack their own bodies don't need exercise and never get sick: A new short story from one of science fiction's bright young stars. By Cory Doctorow

Inside Gazelle, Microsoft Research's "browser OS": for sure it will not bury Internet Explorer in the near future. But it is still interesting, really interesting.

Windows 7 is nearly RTM but there is still the need to additional software to Mount ISO images, and make PDF.

If you missed the links we suggested in the past check it out.


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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Interesting links #1

Google's Microsoft Moment: Google announced its Chrome OS, are they becoming evil (In the case they are not already evil)? Chrome (The browser) its great, I’m waiting to see how the Chrome OS will look like, even if I am not a Linux supporter.

Inside C# 4.0: dynamic typing, optional parameters, covariance and contravariance: how to make the language messy, with some syntax sugar and some useful properties (Respectively).

Office 2010: The Movie: I used to hate every single office software suite. Now I have a reason to prefer LaTeX even to Office 2010, without even having to try it. Microsoft, can you please hire an actual marketing division?

Object Oriented Design: sit watch and learn the principle and the patterns before actually writing the code. It helps a lot.


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Saturday, June 20, 2009

WiiTouch, a low cost talking paper

Enjoy this video and see what students are able to do with a Wii Mote, a piece of paper, some homemade infrared pens and a PC.

Unfortunately so far there is only an Italian version of the video, but I think that looking at the images you will understand how WiiTouch works.


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Saturday, May 2, 2009

Windows 7 RC impressions

How I announced in this post, Windows 7 will be released publicly next 5 May  (for now, only MSDN and TechNet subscribers can download it).

This version expired after 13 month, June 2010, and you will can download it until July 2009 from this site: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/default.aspx.

Next week I’ll try it, but for now I recommend to read this post of www.engadget.com.


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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

How to enable the graphical boot Plymouth on Fedora 10

Hi guys,
few days ago I wrote a little guide to help people install VMware Tools on your brand new Fedora 10 installed through VMware Fusion (actually the same instructions are valid for VMware Player and VMware Workstation too) and now I am here again to report some other tips.

At the moment I am still configuring my Fedora-box to fit my habits and I am obviously tweaking the user interface too.

Booting your Fedora-box you surely saw an ugly blue/light-blue/white scrolling bar, in order to see the graphical boot you need to edit your /boot/grub/menu.lst (actually a symbolic link to /boot/grub/grub.conf) adding the right configuration that fits your video card and your screen resolution.

Let's start, open a Terminal window, elevate your permission with the su command and type gedit /boot/grub/menu.lst. Modify this chunk of the configuration file adding the text in bold (actually you need to add the same text to every boot entry):

title Fedora (2.6.27.21-170.2.56.fc10.x86_64)
root (hd0,0)
kernel /vmlinuz-2.6.27.21-170.2.56.fc10.x86_64 ro root=/dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00 rhgb quiet vga=792
initrd /initrd-2.6.27.21-170.2.56.fc10.x86_64.img


With vga=792 you’re saying that the screen resolution is 1024x768 and colors are 24-bit deep (to find the right VESA mode take a look at this page).

MyFedora10
Enjoy the graphical boot.
See you


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Friday, April 17, 2009

Megavideo Unlimited: Free premium account

The last m-atteo’s post on Megavideo showed you some tricks to view more than the usual 74 minutes on Megavideo.

Surfing on the web I found a really interesting service that allows you to get rid of the 74 minutes limitation and enjoy the full length videos.

It just requires you to past a link to the video you want to see and will redirect you to a new page with the unlimited movie. A way better than have to disconnect you form the internet in order to get a new IP address or mess up with your browser cache.

Another tools it may help you is the Illimitux Firefox plug-in.

If you want to have a better quality (I think you should want to see something better than what Megavideo usually shows you) you just have to copy the video URL and change megavideo.com with stagex.eu. For example if you like to view “Push” in hi-quality you have to change this link http://www.megavideo.com/?v=SAVASILH to this http://www.stagex.eu/?v=SAVASILH


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Install Fedora 10 through VMware Fusion 2.0

Hi guys, lots of time passed since I posted on this blog so, here I come.

Just like my friends matteo, tciddanniw and wisher I have lots of stuff to do including university courses’ projects. In order to develop some of them I need to run Linux and as you probably know I am a Mac OS X user so, having only a single notebook, I need to run some virtual machines in order to accomplish my tasks (I don’t consider dual-boot - or worse triple-boot - as a solution, just like my friend wisher).

This time I’m going to use Fedora 10 so, let’s start. First of all, what we need?

  • Mac OS X 10.5;
  • VMware Fusion 2.0.4 (this version corrects a pretty serious security issue);
  • Fedora 10.
In contrast with Ubuntu, VMware Fusion doesn’t have a predefined profile for Fedora so you have to choose one; I chose Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 64-bit (because I’m using Fedora 10 x86-64, choose the profile according to the architecture you chose to use). Now you can modify the profile of the virtual machine as you like (I assigned 2 virtual cores, reserved 512 MB of RAM and created an incremental SCSI hard disk of 64 GB).

Now you can boot the virtual machine and install the operating system just like you would do if you’re dealing with a real machine; the installation is straightforward and I don’t think you need my directions. When the installation is completed I recommend you to fully update the operating system (if you are installing Fedora 10 right now you need patience due to the pretty high amount of updates available).

The installation of the VMware Tools is the most tricky part, anyway it is still simple. First of all you need some packages to build VMware Tools so, open a Terminal windows, elevate your permission with the su command and then type:

yum install gcc make kernel-devel

I advise you not to close the Terminal window, you will need it in a few seconds. Select Install VMware Tools from Virtual Machine menu, a mounted DVD should appear on your desktop, double-click on it to enter and then copy the archive containing VMware Tools (if you're using VMware Fusion 2.0.4 the archive name is VMwareTools-7.9.3-159196.tar.gz) on a local folder such as ~/Downloads. Unpack VMware Tools (either using the Terminal or the Graphical User Interface) and get to the resulting folder using the Terminal window you used before (which should be an elevated Terminal). To install VMware Tools you need to type:

./vmware-install.pl

answer yes to all questions except for the one that talls: “The configuration file /etc/X11/xorg.conf can not be found. Do you want to create a new one? (yes/no) [yes]” here you have to answer no because Fedora 10 doesn't use the /etc/X11/xorg.conf file to store X's configuration.

When the installation finished you only have to restart the virtual machine and enjoy your virtualized operating system.


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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Integrate a CUDA kernel in your projects

Recently I told you how to setup a Virtual Machine with VirtualBox running openSUSE (Yeah, this time I spelled it right).

As I wrote on the previous post all the mess was due to a project with nVidia CUDA, porting some data intensive tasks on the GPU.

Working on an existing project I had some troubles integrating the new code with the existing sources editing the makefile.

To build your executable with a CUDA kernel you have to do this:

  • Compile CUDA sources with nvcc (You have to install CUDA toolkit to have it), generating an object file.
    Be sure that when you include functions headers from your C project into the CUDA sources you state that what you are importing is C code. To do that use extern “C” {#incude “whateverYouWant.h”} and it will be fine.
    $ nvcc --compiler-options -fno-strict-aliasing -I. -I/opt/cuda/NVIDIA_CUDA_SDK/common/inc -I/opt/cuda/include -o objectCUDA.o -c SOURCE.cu
  • Compile the project C code with gcc, producing the object files, as you do usually.
  • Link all together, using gcc. Be sure that you link all the required libraries.
    gcc -o EXECUTABLE object1.o object2.o objectCUDA.o -L/opt/cuda/lib -lcudart -L/opt/cuda/NVIDIA_CUDA_SDK/lib -lcutil

With this tips you should be able to edit easily your project makefile and have all the things working.


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Friday, April 10, 2009

openSUSE 11 on VirtualBox

Hi, dear Under The Wire readers, if there is still anyone after our long, really long silence.

FromClipboard I’m sorry to tell you that we have been and we still are really busy for our University stuffs, damn PoliMi. We also got a life, and this is the real reason we are not posting anymore… unfortunately for you when we had to choose what to do in our spare time blogging like nerds wasn’t the coolest thing we should have done, so the blog was quite abandoned to itself.

After this really interesting introduction about our life (I know you care about us) let’s go Bardo (If you don’t understand this don’t worry) back to the real topic of this post, even if it is quite boring… I have to write somewhere some notes on how I set up this f***king virtual machine, just to remember what I have to do to make all the things work in a reasonable way. Of course I also share these notes hoping that will be useful.

Let’s start form the beginning, for our course of High Performance Processors and Systems (HPPS for its friends) I have to develop a CUDA application starting form an existing pthreaded (Damn PoliMi, again) algorithm.

Since I don’t even consider dual boot nor switching to Linux as my primary operating system and I don’t have any second PC to use only for UNIX development I had to install all the stuffs on a Virtual Machine.

I choose VirtualBox just because it is free and it comes from Sun (Seems they crippled my mind with Java). It works quite well, but you have to download the latest version. With the previous version I experienced really annoying problems with networking. A single download was able to take forever, hogging the  CPU of my poor computer, even trying to make my Facebooking harder (Playing with VirtualBox process priority fixed my facebooking, but wasn’t helpful for the networking of my virtual machine, so install the latest version and you will be fine).

Create a virtual machine. Basically you have to choose how much RAM and disk space you want to waste. As usual, the more the merrier.

Next step is to download and install openSUSE 11 (I know it is not considered the best distro, but nVidia supports it). Take the live cd and go on. I an not here to teach you how to install a Linux distro, however I think that there is no need to tell you what to do. Just mount the cd and follow the instruction. Trust me, it’s easy.

When you have you openSUSE installed (You managed to install it, isn’t it?) we can enjoy and have some fun installing VirtualBox additions. First of all you need to download gcc, make (openSUSE should be really user oriented if it lacks these tools) but also kernel-source. If you are lucky it’s enough, otherwise you also have to update your kernel, to have the same version of kernel and sources (Oh, maybe openSUSE is not that good).

When you have downloaded and installed these tools mount VirtualBoxAdditions fake cd rom and install it with the shell script included. After a while and a reboot you should have it all up an working. But don’t worry, the fun isn’t over.

To avoid strange and really annoying problems you need another little fix. Open control center, look for screensaver and disable both screensaver and lock screen, unless you want to have a really cool black screen every time you forgot your virtual machine in the background for ten minutes.

Now all is behaving quite well (I still have to fight with makefiles, but this is another story and is too of topic even for this post).

See you, when I will blog again.


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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Windows 7 Release Candidate: how and when download it!!

By now is official Windows 7 will be released between last week of April and second week of May!!

Many sites (http://www.engadget.com, http://www.hwupgrade.it/, http://blogs.msdn.com,…) report these weeks, but for now there isn’t a fixed day because Microsoft doesn’t want repeat the errors of first public beta and it is preparing a more efficient download system.

How will it can download? Microsoft didn’t decided if RC version will be downloadable for all, but for now it’s sure that tester which submitted a number minimum of feedback will can download new version.

Windows 7 RC will stop to work 1 September, only one month after first beta. The reason of this choice is that Microsoft received good feedback and thinks that RC fixed bug of first beta. It might be thought that Microsoft wants anticipate Windows 7 launch at January 2009.

The some changes between Beta and RC are reported on this page: Some Changes Since Beta for the RC.

Bye.


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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Windows 7 and Antivirus: what is the best?

antivirussceltavm9 After two months from Windows 7 beta release, also some important Antivirus software house update their products.

Actually, the antivirus that run on Windows 7 are:

Kaspersky Lab was first software house to update its product. Kaspersky Antivirus is release as beta, but is stable and full compatible with Windows 7. This beta is free and includes a firewall, a anti-spam filter and other features of KAV 2009.

Symantec, recently, updated Norton Antivirus. This is a free Beta, but I don’t like it because is very unpleasant to use.

AVG updated their software but only professional versions and you have to pay to use.

McAfee is updating their antivirus, but the actual beta has many problems.

Avast and Antivir are, probably, most used free antivirus and fortunately they work without problems on Windows 7.

Personally, I recommend to use KAV until is free and then switch to Avast.

On How to Geek you can find tests of some of these antivirus.

If you want recommend other antivirus write a comment with your motivations.

Bye.


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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Megavideo Unlimited: Download videos from Megavideo(Update2009)

[UPDATE: 19 April 2009] Check this new post to read the latest Megavideo tricks.

[UPDATE: 19 September 2009] Check this new post to read the latest Megavideo tricks.

I already told about Megavideo and how bypass time limit, but today I want talk about how download from Megavideo.

Before talk about download video, a small summarize about Megavideo. Megavideo is a web site which contain many films, series, cartoons,… on streaming, but recently Megavideo added a time limit. After 72 minutes of video, all video are stopped and this screen appears on page:Capture

Many time is useful download video because of different reasons: to bypass time limit, to watch video on a mobile device(IPod, IPhone, PDA, …), to watch video on the road, to download film or series by very fast connection (of university or of the place to work) without P2P programs (Adunanza, uTorrent…), that normally don’t work because of proxy, …

To download video from Megavideo there are many way:

  • Firefox offline mode
  • RealPlayer mode
  • Safari mode

Firefox offline mode:

  1. Open video from Megavideo
  2. When video starts, click on pause button
  3. When all video is buffered turn Firefox off-line (File->Work offline)

This methods is very easy, but some time don’t work and it don’t save the file of video. If you want save file you must go to offline cache folder of Firefox (if you use Windows 7 or Vista C:\Users\NAMEUSER\AppData\Local\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles), copy the video file, normally biggest file, paste and rename file “video.flv”.

RealPlayer mode:

New RealPlayer release (11) have a interesting feature: during installation the program add a plug-in to browser that allows to download video that are on a page of a website. This feature is usable on Megavideo, too.

  1. Install RealPlayer
  2. Open video from Megavideo
  3. When video starts, click on pause button
  4. right–click –> Download this video to RealPlayer
  5. save file

This methods is easy and fast but have some problem with slow connections which exceed 72 minutes limit.

Safari mode:

Safari allows to see more information about navigation, in particular is possible to see which file are loaded into a page. Is possible use this features to download file from Megavieo.

  1. Open video from Megavideo
  2. When video starts, click on pause button
  3. Window –> Activity (Crtl+Alt+A)
  4. Find biggest file of Megavideo page and double click on it
  5. Save file like “nome.flv”

This method as previous solution is very easy and fast  but some time have problem with slow connections.

If you know other methods, write it into a comment.

Bye


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Friday, February 27, 2009

Gmail secret features: how use them.

post1

Recently, Google update Gmail, but many features are hide and many people don’t know them.
Before to active secret features, it’s necessary set as default language English (US):

Capture

  1. Settings-> General –> Language-> Gmail display language:  English(US)
  2. Save Changes

Well, now it’s possible enable new Gmail features: a new tab “Lab” is appeared in setting page:

Capture3

  This tab contains many interesting demo features, but they are stable and not cause problem. There are many features, but I want appear 4 of this:

  1. Offline mode
  2. Navbar drag and drop
  3. Multiple Inboxes
  4. Google Docs gadget

Offline mode is very useful feature which permits to use Gmail and view mail without Internet connection. When this feature is enable, Offline0.2 button appears on top of page: you can active offline mode clicking on it. First time that you use offline mode, a plug-in will be downloaded and installed.

Navbar drag and drop feature is useful to personalize Gmail page, in fact, when this feature is active, allows you to reorder the items in your navbar using drag and drop. When your page satisfies you, disable features.

Multiple Inboxes feature allows to view more list of mail at the same time. It’s possible define rules to automatically choice what view in any box. Normally, I use Gmail to view many mailboxes, but most important of these is visualized in a separated box in top of page.

Google Docs gadget features shows a box with all your Google Docs. This features is most useful for those that use many time Google doc.

There are many other features that normally I don’t use, but any person has different needs. If you want use other features, write a comment to this post.

Bye.


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Monday, February 9, 2009

One month of Windows 7 test

Capture It’s already passed a month from when I installed Windows 7  on my EeePc 1000H, today I want summarize my experience. Before I want remember other posts wrote from me about this argument:

Other interesting posts are wrote by Sirus, tctd and wisher:

Well, now I can start my summarize.

Windows 7 is a good surprise, first of all, because also if now is only a beta it is very stable and, second, the differences with Vista apparently are not many,  but in really performances and user experience are very increase.

The network management is easer and faster of Vista, also user experience is better because the new very useful taskbar. The likeness with Vista help all Vista user to switch without problem. New battery management increases the work-time and the advance users will value new firewall that can define some interesting rules.

Very good new auto-setup driver device: I tried to connect a old HP printer and Windows searched and found all necessary drivers. I tried also to connect my Nokia N95 and after some minutes Windows found drivers and asked to me if I wanted install also Nokia Pc Suite.

The beta that I’m trying is Ultimate version and it have many interesting tools, but probably they there aren’t in other version. Some of these tools are: PowerShell 2.0,  Snipping Tools, Sticky Notes.

I didn’t have security problem, but if you want install a Antivirus, I recommend Kavspersky Antivirus (KAV). Also it is a beta of new version, old version isn’t Windows 7 compatibility, but is very secure and stable(This is link to download). This beta don’t have time limit.

However, Windows 7 is a BETA and as any others beta it has some problem. Many time these problems are caused by drivers or programs wrote for Vista, but not completely compatibility with Windows 7. Some times, old programs that not work in user space, but in kernel space, generate crashes (BSoD) or usability problems.

Also some drivers can generate problems. For example, original Asus VGA driver has problems with slow resolution and HP driver (auto installed when I connected my printer :) ), has problem, some time, with booklet layout. The first time that I used the printer it print until finish paper.

For now, only one part of expectations are respected from Windows 7: a better tools integration (ex. Virtual driver and PdfPrinter) could have be useful.

I’ll continue to try Windows 7 until August and maybe also then time bomb : ).


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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Google thinks that every site may harm my computer

Few minutes ago I was searching something on the web, and suddenly Google results are a list of page with the advice that every single site may harm my pc.

Seems that someone* trying to update the servers at Google did some mistakes while he was live-patching the memory of the whole Google infrastructure. Please fix that as soon as possible!

To get it work in the while they fix this problem you should use Scroogle, a Google proxy.

*Thank you for the easiest exam of the history of our university


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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Windows 7: battery management

Many people, and also I, attended Windows 7 because Microsoft promised very good usability also with netbook. In my opinion, a lot of user expectations are realized by last public beta of Windows 7, but THIS IS ONLY A BETA VERSION and many work will do before the final version.

I’m trying Windows 7 on my EeePc 1000H and a good surprise of new OS is the battery management. Before of Windows 7 I used Windows Xp on my netbook and the best work-time was 5h and 5 min. With the new OS,  it increases to 6h and 51 min. 2

These times (on Xp and on Windows 7) are obtained by this setting:

  • Minimal brightness
  • Wireless off
  • Bluetooth off
  • 10 minutes after start
  • Windows setting: power saver

The power saver setting disables Aero, if you enable it the time is not very different: 5h and 50 min.

con2

Naturally this times decrease with a intensive work, however, they are very interesting: in fact the normal activity on this kind of pc is read or write a text file. One supplementary battery’s hour is very useful specially on travel when is not possible recharge the battery.

Read  also other posts that talk about Windows 7.

Bye.


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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Emule/Adunanza Problem: firewall configuration on Windows7

Hi, many people in this days are trying Windows 7 and many have some problem with Emule (Adunanza) or others file-sharing programs.

This problem, actually, is only a wrong firewall configuration. In fact, when Windows creates automatically the settings, it creates only outbound rules.

I recommend to create manual rules follow this method:

  1. start –> write “firewall” in search bar –> open first program in list1
  2. Click on “Inbound Rules”(on left) and then on “New Rule…”(on right)2
  3. Select “Port” –> next
  4. Select “TCP” and insert TCP port of Emule –> next. Default port is 4662, but I recommend to use different port, for example 4668.
  5. Select “Allow the connection” –> next
  6. Select “Domain”, “Private”, “Public” –> next
  7. Insert the name of new rule (ex. Emule TCP in) –> click finish                             345
  8. Repeat operations 2. and 3.
  9. Select UDP and insert UDP port of Emule –> next. Default port is 4672, but I recommend to use different port, for example 4678.
  10. Repeat operations 5. 6. 7.
  11. Click on “Outbound Rules”(on left) and then on “New Rule…”(on right)
  12. Repeat operation from 2. to 10.
  13. Now Windows firewall is set and now you can use Emule, but first I recommend to check the connection setting of emule:

    1. Open Emule
    2. Options –> Connection
    3. Insert TCP port and UDP port used on the rules
    4. Ok

    This method can be used also with other file sharing program like uTorrent, WinMX, DC++, Kazaa. If you want help or if you want give a piece of advice, give a comment.

    Bye.


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Taskbar versus Dock, are they really the same thing?!

Today I won’t write anything about my experience using Windows 7 Beta 1 on my MacBook cause it goes to well and there are no problems to report.

Today I’m posting a link to a wonderful article I read in which the author talk about Windows’s taskbar, Windows 7’s “superbar” and Mac OS X’s dock. I couldn’t be that much clear to expose the exact same idea and to prove that the brand new Windows 7’s “superbar” isn’t a copy of Mac OS X’s dock.

Paradigms lost: The Windows 7 Taskbar versus the OS X Dock

See you!


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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Megavideo UNLIMITED: how bypass 72 minutes time limit

[UPDATE: 19 April 2009] Check this new post to read the latest Megavideo tricks.

[UPDATE: 19 September 2009] Check this new post to read the latest Megavideo tricks.

Today I talk about a fantastic video streaming site: Megavideo.

Megavideo, for all people that unknown it, is a site similar to YouTube, but here is possible find series (Dr. House, Desperate Housewives, Heroes, Dexter, …), movies, cartoon…

Megavideo, however, have a problem: recently it introduce a time limit. You can watch videos for 72 minutes, but then you must attend 52 minutes before watch other videos.

Fortunately, there are two methods to bypass this limit.

  1. Change your IP (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ip), if you use Firefox (it’s very similar also with other browser):
  • File –> Tools –> Clear private data (or Ctrl+Shift+Canc)
  • Select this box:

fire

  • Switch off your modem or router (this is a brutal method, but it is rapid)
  • Wait one minute
  • Switch on your modem

This method is very rapid, but some time is not possible because you can’t switch off your modem (you download big file from other programs :) ) or because you have a static IP given by your provider ( Fasteweb ). Fortunately, there is another method.

2. Work offline:

  • Open your video and click on pause.
  • Wait that ALL video is loaded
  • File –> Work offline
  • Watch your video
  • File –> Work offline
  • Select another video

Now you can see all videos without time limit.

This is a video-help:

Good vision.

Bye.

-----------------------------------

Update: se also how download videos from Megavideo


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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

EeePC T91 and T101H. Netbook with touch: a must have

It looks like a Mac clone but has much more to offer. For example a touch-screen or a little display that makes it easier to keep always with you. It is surely more comfortable to keep than a 17’’ monolith with half a day battery life.

Unfortunately so far I can only show you a video found on youtube… I’d really like to do myself a video showing you me playing with that toy, but actually I am not an owner of the new eeePc.

Going a little more technical I found some good points and some things that are going to turn my thumbs down, but I think are fixable :-)

The good:

  • It is touch-screen.
  • It is little, so I can take it always with me. Both the T91 and the T101H will fit comfortably on everyone bag.

The bad:

  • It ships with Windows XP, but I am sure that we will see soon a Windows 7 version. I think they can’t ship with a beta operating system.
  • It will released later this year. I want it NOW.
  • There are no details on the price. I hope it will be affordable.

My rating (so far): BUY. These tablets seem really good products and if I would be able to get them now I would surely have made my order yet.

More info here.


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Monday, January 19, 2009

How to get free Windows Live Messenger emoticons

253423774_2e6f982f3e_m Today a cousin of mine asked me where to download Windows Live Messenger emoticons. Since I don’t like to have a Christmas tree on my desktop every time I start a conversation with someone I try to avoid using a lot of emoticons, so I had to do some research in order to tell him where to find what he were looking for, without having troubles visiting an unsafe site.

If used with moderation (It’s easy after all) an emoticon is really able to add meaning and fun to simple words, so why don’t keep full advantage of that and use the best emoticon on the web?

I think that the best choice is to steal emoticons from your contacts, adding the one you like when you see it appearing in a conversation. It’s easy, quick and leads to a common emoticon meaning.

However if you can’t wait for your friends and you want to have some links full of emoticons I listed below the sites that my cousin liked more.

Live Gallery

Emoticon pack from Microsoft (Hosted by Softpedia)

Bitvertiser

Add emoticons

Messenger freak

 im

  • All you have to do is to download the image you like (Click on it with the right button of the mouse and choose to save it)
  • select Tools form the menu that appears when you press ALT on your keyboard
  • choose emoticons from the menu
  • click on create
  • find the image you downloaded at the beginning
  • Don’t forget to choose an uncommon world (A good choice should be adding a character like * or \ at the beginning of the world) to associate with the emoticon. That is going to help you having a clean conversation, avoiding the insertion of inappropriate emoticon, just because you typed a world.
  • Choose a name for the emoticon. Here you can add whatever you like

If you like to see your favorite site about Windows Live Messenger emoticons added to the list you just have to write a comment to this post.


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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Windows 7 and Apple’s Boot Camp drivers

In my last post I talked about my experience natively installing the brand new Windows 7 Beta 1 32-bit on my MacBook and I promised I’d talk about Apple’s Boot Camp drivers installation in a later post.

So, here we are. Few minutes ago I inserted my Mac OS X 10.5 DVD into the DVD-RW drive and started the installation. The installation lasted only few minutes (less than it usually lasts on Windows Vista I think) and after the reboot the operating system works perfectly. The installation of these drivers allow me to change the screen brightness, audio volume (audio which now works correctly) using function keys and enable the full functionalities of the touchpad. 

Apple Software Update also retrieved some updates and then asked me to install QuickTime, iTunes and Bonjour (I know wisher is going to hate me since I answered yes to that question). I’m impressed from the speed of installation of QuickTime and iTunes, in the past they were a pain.

My MacBook with Windows 7 Beta 1 32-bit works now perfectly and I’m pretty happy about the actual operating system. I’ll make some other posts if I encounter problems or particular situations.

Performance Information and Tools

See you!


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Seems that Linux is not good for education

Before you start reading please, note that this post could be a little ironic.

After this premise, let’s starts with the facts, we have a video contribute, thanks to Geeks are Sexy

The poor girl, like the other girl in the girlfriend test, could not get things working. You should agree with me that this is a very important point, if the user is not able to do something their pc are going to be just expensive piece of waste.

That story obviously got reactions form the Linux world, but basically the conclusion is always the same: geeks are telling you Linux is easy to work with, noobs trust them and try Linux and a few days later they ask for a Windows operating system, the only they are able to deal with.

That’s why this year will not be the year of Linux.


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Friday, January 16, 2009

Developers, developers, developers: lessons learned in Software Engineering

job_advertisement For my Software Engineering 2 class I had to work on a distributed  software engineering project. It was quite a failure, and now I’m telling why just to make you know what not to do when developing something.

First of all, don’t make the same mistake I did. If your professor is the best and your classmates are good this is not meaning that also people form other university you will have to work with are as good as them. Remember this, is important.

Tools

Oh my God, I’m yet talking about tools. First of all, if someone invented a modern, fully supported and working flawless language why are we forced to use something that is both old and ignored by almost everyone who is not living in Zurich?

I don’t think that the fact that such a language was developed by the professor that is organizing the course in one of the other university is a valuable answer.

When I was told to use that language I first thought “Oh no, I want Java”. Then I resigned myself and I hoped that at least the environment should have been good. It was a mistake, a damn mistake. But I spent too sweet words on that in a previous post.

Lesson number one: without the right tools (Read Java or .Net with a truly supported language) your project is going to fail. No chance of success is left to your luck. Keep this in mind.

Teams

Distributed development implies communication. I thought that is was clear to everybody, but someone from far far away thinks that knowing only its own language could have been useful on a worldwide project. Sounds crazy, isn’t it?

When I managed to get group-mates knowing English (It was quite hard) the next big issues were meetings. Why aren’t you attending meetings? Why are you not doing what we decided in that fucking meetings? You were so lucky that I could not fire you.

Lesson number two: choose carefully group-mates and be sure to be able to fire them and replace with someone that actually works.

Decisions

When it is about taking decision nothing is sucking more than democracy. Do I have to tell that the same guys that were attending meeting in their own way when had to decide something always raised their hands for the worst solution?

Lesson number three: make sure that you are the designer and other are only coders. This is the only way to make them suck a bit less.

Is it clear now what happens when you try to distribute software engineering? No matters if you are using a old-fashioned software development methodology or you are going Agile. If you aren’t following my suggestion you will have to learn by yourself the lessons, sentencing your project to death. And I’m sure you would like to do everything but that. Otherwise you will only get an EPIC FAIL.

If you want the names of some of the characters of this tragedy ask in the comments. If I think that is worth something telling you I will tell you.

After all I am graded (And that is why I’m publishing this post now and not weeks ago when I wrote it ) and I don’t want to have contact any more with the others.


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Windows 7 natively installed on my Mac

Since the first day Microsoft publicly released Windows 7 Beta 1 I've started playing with the new operating system.

Although I was convinced to try the 64-bit version I downloaded both Windows 7 Beta 1 32-bit and 64-bit. First of all I created a virtual machine hosted by VMware Fusion (which is my favorite virtualizer for Mac OS X) with two 2.0 GHz virtual cores, 1 GB of main memory and 64 GB of hard drive.
I was truly amazed due to performances which were better than what I experienced with the same virtual machine equipped with Windows Vista SP1 32-bit. After the installation of VMware Tools the configuration was completed. Unfortunately the use of a virtual machine prevents me to try some useful improvements to Aero (my Intel GMA 950 isn't sufficient in a virtual environment) and to completely try some interesting new feature such as HomeGroup.

I had come to the decision to uninstall the useless native Windows XP SP3 installation (sorry tciddaniw we can't play GP4 together any more) and to substitute it with a native Windows 7 Beta 1 installation. Following Apple's guidelines I erased and created a free partition with Boot Camp Assistant and after the insertion of Windows 7 Beta 1 64-bit DVD my Mac restarted. And here we are with the first problem... this isn't the first version of Windows 64-bit I tried to install on my Mac, I tried Windows Vista 64-bit too and it works well (although my Mac doesn't support Windows 64-bit according to Apple). So, which is the problem? The problem is none other then EFI. Windows Vista SP1 64-bit and consequently Windows 7 Beta 1 64-bit introduces full support to UEFI (un update of EFI 1.1 used by Macs) so my Mac stoped asking me which boot method I prefer, UEFI or BIOS (which capabilities are emulated by EFI on Macs); as expected the keyboard wasn't working (this is a problem I already encountered few times) so the installation couldn't precede.

I didn't have the time to play around and to find a solution to this problem so I inserted Windows 7 Beta 32-bit DVD (which doesn't support UEFI) and stated a new installation that worked fine. Windows 7 Beta 1 32-bit was installed in 23 minutes. During the first configuration before making the login my WiFi network was found and both standard sharing and HomeGroup sharing were configured in an instant. Few seconds after the first login Windows Update informed me that 2 new updates were available and in addition 1 updated driver was found (the wired-network card device driver).

The configuration of the operating system is as always simple (I think I know Windows very well) but the Control Panel is always that much "big", only Windows Search permits me to find what I want in an instant; I think it needs a deep revision (I like Mac OS X's System Preferences pane). Talking about new features, I liked playing with the brand new taskbar, which is indeed similar to the dock - I have to admit it - but it introduces an interesting method to switch between applications and windows (surelly applications need to be modified in other to take advantage of this new way to operate - for example, Internet Explorer 8 Beta permits to switch between tabs even from the taskbar, Firefox 3.1 Beta doesn't). Moreover I found useful both Aero Peek and the gestures to manage windows' dimensions and pinning (I love them). I downloaded the Live Suite to try the integration between Live Messenger and jump lists; it's already good but a found a glitch with Flip3D integration, my Live Messenger pictures is shown in Flip3D even if Live Messenger window is closed, that's a bug that needs to be corrected (why can I switch to an window that doesn't exist?). The renewed management of widgets, ops... gadgets, is interesting; no more sidebar (I'm happy) and an invisible grid to ping gadgets, I miss it on my Dashboard on Mac OS X.

So, I've come to a conclusion. I like Windows and I think about Windows Vista as an improvements over Windows XP so Windows 7 is indeed another step further. Windows 7 is faster, simpler and more beautiful than its predecessors, I think I'll it a lot and come back to Windows after using Mac OS X won't be a problem after all. Next step, installing Boot Camp driver to make keyboard and touchpad more usable and to enable BT (I like my new BT full-size mouse).

See you!


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How to: print to Pdf on Windows 7

Many time, print a document on pdf format is very useful. There are many program that convert document on pdf, but I prefer to use a PDFprinter.

A PDFprinter is a virtual printer that instead prints to paper, prints on a file in pdf format. A PDFprinter is very easy to use because it's like a normal printer: you click on file menu and than click on print, when you must select the printer select the PDFprinter. Another good motivation to use a PDFprinter (in my opinion the best benefit) is that you can use PDFprinter with all original formats and all programs.

In the years, I tried many PDFprinters and I chose CutePDF because is free, easy but with useful options. CutePDF works perfectly also on Windows 7, another good reason to use it. You must install only  those two file  (1, 2) and after few minutes you can save on PDF all files that you want. In the preference of printers (can you see from all programs), is possible set pdf quality and other normal options of a normal printer.

CutePDF

If you have same other PDFprinter with more options or other features write a comment and I’ll test it on Windows 7. 


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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

When the OS war turn into a religious war

The release of Windows 7 should have woke up something in the Linux talibans who are starting turning the nerdish operating system war in a religious war.

In their opinion Linux and free software are the only way. That isn’t necessarily bad, while they are playing with their pc. The bad things is that they are fudding, and that are also considering ethical spreading incorrect facts, just to hit Microsoft (but I don’t think they are hurting so much since their market share is just a little more than the 1%) .

What is really sad is seeing a part (I hope that this is a little part) of a community live and work not to become better but to fight the enemy. Please try to read this post by Stephen Chapman and work on the points he highlighted.

When the work is done you can bash whatever you want, I promise I won’t come back annoying you. However you might agree that complaining with Miguel de Icaza just because he is actually doing the work for you is not a much clever behavior.

Where are Apple guys in this fight? Without them is just half the fun. The iReligion is more fun than the Linux religion, and also the iUser are more used to the battles. At least they have a reality distortion field.


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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Is Linux really better than Windows 7?

Looking at the referrals to Mac vs. PC I found this post on why Linux (what version?!?!) is far superior to Windows 7.

I write this response just to show why what a Linux fan boy says is not to be trusted. I am not meaning that Linux is crappy or that it is not working, just that the reasons that the average Linux user will use to convince you are wrong, terribly wrong.

Power Shell vs. *nix shell: I don’t really think that shell is the real tool for an administrator, even if I have to admit that in some cases it is more powerful than a graphical tool. However this is not the point. Power shell is a object-oriented shell and this is enough to declare it the winner in the shell’s battle. I am sorry if you like do black magic to deal with strings but a character based shell is old, nothing else.

Windows setup vs. Linux package manager: the idea of the package manager is surely cleaner but when did you saw a Windows user become mad because of some wrong dependencies? In Windows setups takes care to provide the required things to do the job, so there is no real advantage using a package manager. And all the application you mentioned are available also on Windows without a very little effort. Can you say the same about professional applications?

Crash on a virtual machine: wow that’s cool. A crash of a beta operating system on a virtual machine (that in the past made mess with every OS had to run). It is definitely a reason to install Linux.

The aquarium: I am still thinking what is its use. Or is it simply useless? And My eyes saw both Vista and Seven run on a exec, is it too powerful?

WGA: it is a commercial product, don’t you want to be a pirate, right? If you don’t want to pay get free software, but not cry if WGA stops you using something you pirated.

UAC: are you running as root on you Linux-box or are you using something like su or sudo?

The register: you said you are cleaning your register, isn’t that doing more harm than the good things you would get?


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Mount ISO image on Windows 7

In this days I’m trying Windows 7 (read other posts) on my EeePc and mount a ISO image is fundamental on a pc without DVD-driver.

Normally I used Virtual CloneDriver, but it causes some problems. Virtual Clone CD work on Windows 7, but after that you sleep or hibernate pc, you can’t navigate on your folder. For example if you wont open a file from a program and file isn’t in the default folder, when you try to change folder the window becomes pearl grey and is impossible select any files.

After Virtual CloneDriver, I tried Daemon Tool. It’s possible install this program correctly, but when you mount a ISO image windows crashes (BSoD).

Now I’m trying PowerISO and, for now, I’m having any problem.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------- UPDATE: I tried other tools linked in comment, and this is the result:
  • Pismo File Mount: it isn't a true virtual driver, but open ISO image like folder. However, it's a nice program and works on Windows 7, but it mount only ISO image (and not all).
  • Magic Disc: it is a free program and read most diffused DVD image format(ISO, NGR,...). Personally, I had some problem of stability after that I installed it, probably because of incompatibility with some programs.
For now, I still prefer PowerISO, it is only freeware program, but it mont many formats and it's only program full conpatibility with Windows 7. If you have some problems or use other programs, write a comment or contact me. Technorati Tags: ,,,,,,,,


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Monday, January 12, 2009

Why love new Windows 7: Taskbar (SuperBar)

 

I start this sequence of posts talking about new taskbar.

Probably it is most publicized news of Windows 7, but certainly it’s first  thing that any users love when try it.

This is new taskbar:capture1

 

The new look is very nice and also very functional: with old task bar, roll around that users open many programs and many windows (in this time I have 5 program each with 4-5 windows) and  find quickly a window is not  easy, but new taskbar change it.

Find a windows it very easy and very fast: all windows are grouped by program file and when go on icon, taskbar shows a preview of window.

scree3 

Other important feature is the frequent opening list: if you do right-click on a icon of taskbar, it shows the list of more opening file from that program. For example, if I do right-click on Window Explorer icon, taskbar shows more opening folder.

screen3

The taskbar revision modifies also (finally) the tray bar: now it’s possible customize it with few click. If you click on arrow and then on customize, you  can select behavior icons:

  • show icon and notifications
  • hide icon and notifications
  • only show notifications

screen4

In tray bar, we can try also new network icon: now when you click  on network icon, taskbar shows directly available wireless connections.

On right of clock, there is a new button that show a preview of desktop if you pass over it or show desktop if you click it.

scree5

Finally a useful option, specially for small monitor, is  the possibility to chose small icon:

  1. right-click on empty point
  2. click on  proprieties
  3. select “use small icon”

This is the result:

small

If you have other features of new taskbar comment this post.

In the next  post, I show other interesting news of Windows 7 and  also first bugs.

Bye.


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