Gmail as a disk drive

September 25th, 2006 1 comment

Ever thought of using Gmail as a drive to store or back up files, then check this link.

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How to check Internet connection speed?

September 25th, 2006 No comments

Ever wondered whether you are getting the promised internet/broadband connection speed (bandwidth) from your service provder? Now there is an easy way to check out your internet speed, both upload and download, and best of all….. for FREE.

Step 1: Go to –>
Step 2: Choose or click on a server near your location
Step 3: Sit back and relax… your results (upload and download speed) would be displayed on the screen.

There are some alternative sites to check your broadband connection speed like the ones below, but none of the sites are as simple and easy as speakeasy.

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Best-ever Freeware Utilities

September 21st, 2006 No comments

There are a lot of great freeware products out there. Many are as good or even better than their commercial alternatives. This list features my personal pick of the “best of the best.”

All the utilities in this list have featured in past issues of my free monthly newsletter “Support Alert” More freebies are published in each new issue. If you are interested in great utilities and freeware you really should consider subscribing. It’s free.

Listed below are 46 different freeware categories with my selection of the best products in each category. The list is ordered by program function rather than merit so you’ll get the most out of it by browsing down this page at leisure. The pathologically impatient can consult the index below.

For the complete list go to


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Difference between Windows XP Professional and Media Center Edition (MCE) OS

September 13th, 2006 7 comments

MCE Features

1) Windows XP Media Center (MCE) is a super-set of Windows XP Professional Edition (PRO) that provides support to wide range of media functionalities.

2) Media Center lacks support for domain controllers. (If you search online there are ways to edit registry entries to enable active domain support. But if you enable domain support you could loose the media functionalities)

3) Read in various places that the Media Center support will expire in 2yrs or when Vista is released, whereas XP Pro edition support will continue for 7 years as they are used by businesses.

4) Currently you cannot buy MCE software in the market, it comes pre-installed with the new machines.

5) MCE is slightly cheaper than PRO edition. According to HP website the difference in price is around $80 more for the professional edition.

Personally, if you are looking to buy a computer and you are planning to use your computer for more than just the regular email and media services, then I would recommend going for the Professional  (PRO) as it is much stable (compared to other windows OS) and it is widely adopted by businesses and widely available in the market.

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Software Projects Listing

September 11th, 2006 No comments

Hire: the oDesk Marketplace lets buyers search, interview and hire providers from across the globe. Providers can also apply to job openings posted by buyers.Manage: the oDesk Workplace lets buyers assign tasks, track progress, manage source code, and collaborate. Providers login to work each day at the oDesk Workplace.

Pay: oDesk’s payment system charges buyers each week for hours worked, and generates detailed timelogs to give literal visibility into the underlying work activity of providers.

Lot of projects, mostly medium size ones in different categories like marketing to tech.

Small IT projects.

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Configure Apache MySQL PHP & Solaris

August 29th, 2006 No comments

Apache MySQL PHP & Solaris
Target here is to run phpBB forum on an Apache, MySQL, PHP, Solaris platform as a NON root user.

SunOS 5.9 Generic 118558-11
MySQL: 4.1.20
Apache 2.0.58
PHP: 5.0.5

Dependent tools
libxml: 2-2.6.24 (for compiling php)
zlib: 1.2.3 (for compiling php)
Openssl: 0.9.8b (for SSL support)

Example Directories

Build: /home/forum/software/
Installation: /u2/apps/myweb/forum/

One easy way to install Apache, MySQL and PHP on Solaris is to use XAMPP for Solaris from apache friends ( But the product is still in a beta phase and they suggest using it as a developer’s tool – “XAMPP is not meant for production use but only for developers in a development environment. The way XAMPP is configured is to be open as possible and allowing the developer anything he/she wants. For development environments this is great but in a production environment it could be fatal.”

So I started the audacious journey of configuring each component and it was an interesting ride.

Following tools are assumed to be installed
=> gcc: 2.95.3 or above
=> gzip 1.3.3 or above
=> GNU Make 3.80 or above

1. Install libxml.
Libxml2 is the XML C parser and toolkit developed for the Gnome project. You would need this tool for compiling PHP
> Go to
> Download the latest file. Here I downloaded libxml2-2.6.22.tar.gz
> gzip -d libxml2-2.6.22.tar.gz
> tar xvpf libxml2-2.6.22
> cd libxml2-2.6.22
> ./configure –prefix= /u2/apps/myweb/forum/libxml2-2.6.22
> make
> make install

2. Install zlib
> Go to
> Download zlib source code zlib-1.2.3.tar.gz
> gzip -d zlib-1.2.3.tar.gz
> tar xvpf zlib-1.2.3.tar
> cd zlib-1.2.3
> ./configure –prefix= /u2/apps/myweb/forum/zlib-1.2.3
> make
> make install

3. Install openssl
> Go to
> Download the latest source bundle. openssl-0.9.8b.tar.gz
> gzip -d openssl-0.9.8b.tar.gz
> tar xvpf openssl-0.9.8b.tar
> cd openssl-0.9.8b
> ./Configure solaris-sparcv7-gcc –prefix=/u2/apps/myweb/forum/openssl
(You need to change solaris-sparcv7-gcc to your appropriate platform. To get all the options just do ./Configure)
> make
> make test
> make install

4. Install Apache
> Go to
> Download Unix source httpd-2.0.58.tar.gz
> gzip -d httpd-2.0.58.tar.gz
> tar xvpf httpd-2.0.58.tar
> cd httpd-2.0.58
> ./configure –prefix=/u2/apps/myweb/forum/apache2 –enable-so
> make
> make install

> To start apache go to /u2/apps/myweb/forum/apache2/bin -> ./httpd -k start
> To stop server go to /u2/apps/myweb/forum/apache2/bin -> ./httpd -k stop
> Inorder to bind to ports lesser than 1024 you need to be a root user. To change the listening port number goes to /u2/apps/myweb/forum/apache2/conf and open the file httpd.conf. In this file you will see the default configuration as Listen 80. Change it to Listen *:8081 (any number > 1024)

5. Install MySQL
> Go to
> Download from Source downloads – Tarball mysql-4.1.20.tar.gz
> gzip -d mysql-5.0.22.tar.gz
> tar xvpf mysql-5.0.22.tar
> cd mysql-5.0.22

> CC=gcc CFLAGS=”-O3″ \
CXX=gcc CXXFLAGS=”-O3 -felide-constructors -fno-exceptions -fno-rtti” \
./configure –prefix=/u2/apps/myweb/forum/mysql4 \
–localstatedir=/u2/apps/myweb/forum/mysql4/data \
–with-unix-socket-path=/u2/apps/myweb/forum/mysql4/tmp/mysql.sock \
–with-mysqld-user=frmadm –with-low-memory \
> make
> make install

> cp support-files/my-medium.cnf /u2/apps/myweb/forum/mysql4/data/my.cnf (ideal location is /etc/my.cnf)
> cd /u2/apps/myweb/forum/mysql4/bin
> ./mysql_install_db –user=frmadm

> Check resources 11,12,13 for more information on MySQL installation
> To start server ./mysql –user=root -p
> Database users will be created in schema (mysql) and table (user)
> SQL to update password -> update user set password=PASSWORD(“1234″) where User=’root';
> To grant all the permissions to a new user, login as the mysql root user and run the following sql -> GRANT ALL ON *.* TO ‘newuser’@’%’ IDENTIFIED BY ‘1234’;
> User host in the table, should be %, if you want to access the database using a remote client software
> To shutdown -> ./mysqladmin shutdown

6. Install PHP
> Go to
> Download php-5.0.5.tar.gz or above complete source bundle
> gzip -d php-5.0.5.tar.gz
> tar xvpf php-5.0.5.tar
> cd php-5.0.5

> ./configure –prefix=/u2/apps/myweb/forum/php5 \
–with-openssl=/u2/apps/myweb/forum/openssl \
–with-apxs2=/u2/apps/myweb/forum/apache2/bin/apxs \
–with-mysql=/u2/apps/myweb/forum/mysql4 \
–with-mysqli=/u2/apps/myweb/forum/mysql4/bin/mysql_config \
–with-zlib-dir=/u2/apps/myweb/forum/zlib-1.2.3 \
> make
> make install

> Open /u2/apps/myweb/forum/apache2/conf/httpd.conf and change the following
-> LoadModule php5_module modules/
-> PHPIniDir “/u2/apps/myweb/forum/php5″ (# configure path to php.ini)
-> DirectoryIndex index.html index.php index.html.var
-> AddType application/x-httpd-php .php
> Restart Apache and you should be able to access php files
> Create phpinfo.php file with this one line of code “<?phpinfo()?>” and access phpinfo.php through the browser. This file should display the details of all the php modules included.


1) cd /etc/init.d/
2) cp /u2/apps/myweb/forum/apache2/bin/apachectl /etc/init.d/ (copy apachectl to init.d folder)
3) mv apachectl apache (rename apachetl to apache)
4) ln /etc/init.d/apache /etc/rc3.d/S85apache (create links)
5) ln /etc/init.d/apache /etc/rc3.d/K85apache (create links)

Documentation on top of the file ==> /home/frmadm/software/mysql-4.1.20/support-files/mysql.server
# MySQL daemon start/stop script.
# Usually this is put in /etc/init.d (at least on machines SYSV R4 based
# systems) and linked to /etc/rc3.d/S99mysql and /etc/rc0.d/K01mysql.
# When this is done the mysql server will be started when the machine is
# started and shut down when the systems goes down.

1) cd /etc/init.d/
2) cp /home/frmadm/software/mysql-4.1.20/support-files/mysql.server /etc/init.d/ (copy mysql.server to init.d folder)
3) mv mysql.server mysql (rename mysql.server to mysql)
4) ln /etc/init.d/mysql /etc/rc3.d/S99mysql (create links)
5) ln /etc/init.d/mysql /etc/rc0.d/K01mysql (create links)
6) chmod 755 mysql (if permissions are different)


3. (all binaries available. But you need to be a root user to install the packages)

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Restore shortcut to "Show Desktop" on Windows Quick Launch toolbar

August 25th, 2006 No comments

Open notepad or any text editor and type the following


Save the file as Show Desktop.scf

Then drag and drop Show Desktop.scf to the Quick Launch toolbar.

Categories: Tech Tips Tags: – Airfare Predictions

August 22nd, 2006 No comments

Fare Prediction

A Fare Prediction shows if the lowest fare is rising or dropping over the next seven days for the specific dates and cities searched. Each prediction includes the following elements:

  1. Arrow: An indication of whether the lowest fare is rising, dropping, or staying the same.
  2. Confidence: A percentage based on our track record for similar predictions for the market searched.
  3. Average Fare Change: An amount reflecting the average fare change recorded when similar predictions were correct for the market.
  4. Buying Tip: Our recommendation based on the prediction information.

Fare Predecition Sample

Fare History

Fare History charts the lowest fare observed each day for your trip, up to 90 days ago. In other words, it’s as if you would have searched for your trip every day and plotted the lowest fare actually available. To provide the airfare history, we have made more than 90 billion, and counting, airfare observations based on real pricing and availability.
Learn about Airfare Prediction and Fare History

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August 22nd, 2006 3 comments

SocialPicks is focused on reputation building and small group collaboration. They have just begun to offer limited beta accounts.
Users enter their stock trading activities and thoughts then befriend and rate other users. Reputations are built according to a user’s percentage of winning picks, quality of insights as judged by the community and number of trades made. With commenting, feeds and a list of popular stocks that looks like a tag cloud (just charming really) this site has got most of the requisite features of a standard social network. SocialPicks believes that an emphasis on individual reputation instead of aggregate information will prevent much of the gaming that critics of social stock sites often critique.


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August 22nd, 2006 No comments

Guba, who recently added professional content from Warner and Sony to its user generated lineup, announced today that it’s dropping prices on rentals and purchases.
View-On-Demand (VOD), a 24 hour rental priced from $1.79 to $2.99 will drop to $.49 for catalog titles to $.99 for new titles. Download-To-Own (DTO) will go from a range of $9.99 to $19.99 to $4.99 for catalog titles and $9.99 for new releases.

– techcrunch

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