Use Windows Notepad as your electronic diary

Who knew the humble Windows Notepad was capable of anything other than, well, taking text only notes.

If you’re searching for a simple application to write a diary or take daily notes, look no further than Notepad. So, what’s new you ask ?

Well, with this tip you can make notepad automatically add the current day and time to a document as soon as you open it and save you the headache of doing so yourself.

To accomplish this:

  1. Open Notepad (START->Run->notepad.exe)
  2. Type “.LOG” on the first line of the new document.
  3. Save the file and close Notepad.

Now when you open the same file again, you’ll see that Notepad would have added the current Date and time to the document automatically.

notepad

Write your entry for the day and close the file. Everytime you open the file, Notepad will add the current timestamp on a new line saving you the effort to do the same.

Disable spatial mode in GNOME’s Nautilus file browser

gnomeI’m a big GNOME fan and have been using it ever since it was first released.

Ofcourse, like all software, not all is good with the GNOME project also and some of the decisions made by the developers are just plain absurd to me. One such decision was making the Spatial mode on Nautilus as the default.

Nautilus, for those not familiar with it, is the default file browser/manager bundled with GNOME and the spatial mode basically means that each folder or file opens in a window of its own. There are other advantages to the spatial mode, I agree, but this is the one that I found the most irritating.

Nautilus Spatial mode

To make Nautilus behave and get rid of the spatial mode, open the gconf-editor application from the run menu and browse to the following key: apps -> Nautilus -> Preferences

Now, check the always_user_browser property.

gconf editor

That’s all. Now, go ahead and enjoy Nautilus and GNOME the way they’re meant to be.

Nautilus

Clone an Ubuntu system using Synaptic Markings

synaptic logoHow many times have you had to reinstall the OS on your computer and then had to install all your favorite pieces of software by hand. I’m sure it’s quite painful. And even more so when you forget to install a couple of software and then have to install them in a crunch when you need them the most.

The Synaptic Package Manager bundled with Ubuntu (and available for Debian and most other debian based distributions) has a very cool solution. Synaptic is a graphical package manager for debian based distributions and is the default package manager installed for Ubuntu and is quite popular on that platform.

Synaptic lets the user export (and import) a file which contains details of all the software that is installed on the system.

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Search Wikipedia and Google from the Start menu in Vista

vista The search function integrated in the Start menu is probably one of the best features in Windows Vista. I use it all the time to search for files on my computer and even as a launcher to launch applications.

It also gives an option to search the Internet from the same search box, but the only problem is that using this option will by default use MSN as the search engine which is not what I am used to.

searchnet

Wouldn’t it be nice if the search box could give me an option to search using Google and wikipedia instead of MSN. This post will help you add Google and wikipedia to the Start menu search.

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Move your feedburner feeds to Google

Google acquired feedburner somewhere in 2007 and since then has been running the service almost unchanged. But, that is going to change soon.

The feedburner service (which is also used to manage the feed of this blog) is going to go away sometime over the course of next week and Google is migrating all users from Feedburner to Google.

You also have a choice to complete the migration yourself.

Login to your feedburner account and on the top of the page, you should see a message written in a yellow (!!) background, saying, “We are moving Feedburner accounts to Google. Move your account now.” Or some such thing.

Move from Feedburner

Click on the “Move your account now” Link and you will be taken through a mostly automated wizard which will let you move your feeds over to your Google account.

The final process during which the actual migration takes place can take some time if you have a lot of subscribers, but the good thing is that you can close the browser window and do something else. You’ll get an email from Google when the migration is complete.

If you see anything unusual with respect to the number of subscribers being reported and if you think the number is not correct, don’t panic, Google says that your google account will start reflecting the correct number in about a week.

Configure Remote Access to your Ubuntu Desktop

ubuntu Ever tried helping your non-technical friends with their computer problems over phone. If yes, you know how irritating that can be. To solve the problem, Microsoft added an option to one of the Win XP service packs to let remote users take control of your system and made troubleshooting Windows systems much easier.

Microsoft on their part also heavily promoted this new feature and made it seem like something out of a Harry Potter novel.

Linux and cousins have had some kind of VNC server always installed to control remote desktops, but there was never a good GUI option to configure the VNC service. Ubuntu changed that.

Ubuntu has made configuring remote access to the desktop a breeze.

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Turn off deep linking in yahoo search results

According to wikipedia, deep linking is defined as:

Deep linking, on the World Wide Web, is making a hyperlink that points to a specific page or image on another website, instead of that website’s main or home page. Such links are called deep links.

Yahoo search recently turned on deep linking and images from wikipedia for any queries that result in a wikipedia page. For example, for the following query (“blog”), this is what yahoo search comes up with as a part of the results.

Yahoo Deeplinking example

Notice how the wikipedia entry is different from the others. Yahoo search included four useful links from the wikipedia page, a summary and an also an image.

Yahoo was already using deeplinking for a couple of other popular websites like flickr, yelp and linkedin.

I, personally, think that this feature is pretty useful, especially the image that is shown along with the search result, but if you’re not interested in the links that yahoo provides, you can disable deeplinking in your search preferences. Just click the remove button in front of the service name that you want to disable deeplinking for. Yahoo will never bother you with more than what you searched for.

Let me know what you guys think of this feature in the comments.

Stretch youtube videos to fit the full browser window

YouTubeYoutube lets you play videos full screen on your computer. But, you’re limited with watching just the one video in full screen view and can’t use the computer for anything else during that time.

If you don’t like the full screen mode and all you want is to view the videos stretched to fit your browser’s window, then this tip might just be of interest to you.

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