Category Archives: Geek Stuff

DesktopNova : Automatically Change Wallpapers in Ubuntu 11.04

I’ve been using the Ubuntu 11.04 for quite some time now. Compared to the previous versions, various changes have been made in Ubuntu like the Unity interface became the default UI for Gnome, Banshee replaced RhythmBox as the default media player, OpenOffice.org was replaced with LibreOffice, etc. This enabled me to easily switch from Windows to Ubuntu. I could easily find replacements for most of the applications I used in Windows. But, one Windows feature I still miss is automatically changing wallpapers.

DesktopNova

Automatically changing wallpapers or slideshow wallpapers gives your desktop a completely new level of personalization. Well, after Googling for a while I found that by using an application called DesktopNova you can easily create changing wallpapers in Ubuntu. DesktopNova is a simple application for Ubuntu that automatically changes your desktop wallpaper after a preset period of time. This application works only on Gnome and Xfce desktops. In this post, I will show you how to install and use DesktopNova in Ubuntu 11.04.

Installing DesktopNova

To install DestopNova, click on Applications in your Unity launcher menu and search for Terminal. If you are using the classic Gnome interface, you can open up the terminal by going to Applications -> Accessories -> Terminal.

Ubuntu Terminal

In the Terminal window, type the following command to download and install DesktopNova.

sudo apt-get install desktopnova desktopnova-tray desktopnova-module-gnome

Install DesktopNova

Once the installation is done, you will have to configure the application so that it can work with your desktop.

Configuring DesktopNova

To open the DesktopNova configuration tool, click on Applications in your Unity launcher menu and search for DesktopNova. Classic Gnome users can just go to Applications -> Accessories -> DesktopNova.

DesktopNova

First, you will have to add the images that you want to use in rotation. To add images one-by-one simply click on the Add button. To add directories, click on Add Folder button and select the directory that contains the wallpapers.

DesktopNova Configuration

Once you have added the images you need, go to the Settings tab. Under Settings, tick the checkbox next to Change wallpaper in intervals and enter how frequently you would like DesktopNova to change the wallpaper. Also tick the checkbox next to Change wallpaper every launch and Launch daemon every session(Autorun) so that DesktopNova automatically starts every time you start your system or even change your session.

DesktopNova Settings

Now, to activate DesktopNova on your desktop, click on Modules, select Gnome 0.2 and hit the OK button.

DektopNova Module

Next, go to the Tray-Icon tab and tick the checkbox next to Launch tray-icon every session(Autorun). This makes sure that the DesktopNova tray icon launches automatically when you log in. The tray icon enables you to manually change wallpapers as and when required. Finally, hit the Save Settings button at the bottom. This completes the configuration of DesktopNova.

To start DesktopNova, go to the Settings tab and hit the Start Daemon button.

Start Daemon

This starts the daemon that works in the background and automatically changes your wallpaper. To start the tray icon, just log out and log back into your account. You can manually change your background by right-clicking on the tray icon.

Screenshots

So, what are your views about DesktopNova? Know any other similar application for Ubuntu? Tell us about it via the comments section.

How To Extend Wireless Network at Home

As wireless technology continues to push forward, wired networks are quickly becoming antiquated. Wireless networks allow individuals to connect to the internet over great distances, providing mobile broadband coverage without the need to mount interminably long cables up and down their homes.

Nevertheless, for all their convenience, wireless networks still suffer from bandwidth issues. While the range of a wireless network may extend across the breadth of one’s home, the quality and strength of that signal may diminish greatly depending on one’s location. Today, we will look into some of the easiest way to extend wireless network at your house.

Extend Wireless Network

Image Credit

If a home is relatively large, has multiple stories or a number of successive walls, it may mitigate signal strength and occasionally cause disconnections. However, many of these problems can be overcome by using a second wireless router or a wireless extender to amplify a weak and diminished signal.

Simple way to extend Wireless network

While an extender, if available from the manufacturer, will simply need to be plugged in, a second wireless router will require some configuration. The following guide will help you set up multiple routers to increase wireless signal strength in your home.

1. Collecting Wireless Network Information

Using the information provided by your router’s manufacturer, login and locate your MAC Address and SSID in the Settings or Wireless Settings menu and write the information down.

2. Connect the Second Wireless Router

Using a network cable, connect the second router to a computer and power it on. Refer to the manual and follow the instructions for setting it up. Be sure the router has a wireless repeater function, or else it will not function as a secondary amplifier.

3. Enabling the Repeater Setting

Once you have logged in to the router, navigate to the Repeater Settings menu. In most cases the repeater function can be turned off and on by clicking a button or placing a check mark beside the option. There will also be a field where you can enter the SSID and MAC Address of the primary router. Save the settings and reboot the router. Now that the wireless connection has been enabled, you can remove the network cable and place the router at a desired location.

4. Place Your Secondary Router

Set your router at a distance from which you want the signal to be augmented, preferably in between the router and the furthest reaches of your home. If the router does not work, or you make a mistake in setting it up, press and hold the reset button for ten seconds. The router will revert to its stock configuration, at which point you may repeat the setup process. Well,  I have used Belkin router for the same purpose and it works great.

I hope these tips would help you to extend wireless network at home or in the office. Do let us know if you enjoyed this, and we will come up with more similar topic.

ColorWare: Custom Paint for iPad 2, iPhone 4 and More

There are many websites out there that say that they’ll modify your mobile device and make it look unique, but not all of them do a good job. To help all those people customize their mobile device, specially the very delicate Apple iPhone 4 and the iPad 2, ColorWare has come out with a custom paint job service that will really make you happy. I’m not saying that because I’ve used their service, but many people have and the come has even been featured on Engadget and few other websites.

ColorWare

ColorWare, the website, has a very easy to set-up interface wherein you can right away choose the colors you want you iPhone 4 or iPad 2 to be painted and then hit order. The combinations are really good and really give that unique feel to your Apple product. If you’re tired of that same old boring White or Black look, then go ahead and try out ColorWare.

I must however tell you that the variety of products that ColorWare will do a custom paint job on is huge. There are iPads, iPhone 4’s, MacBook Pro, Air, iMac’s, Alienware’s, few BlackBerry Phones and more. So do check them out if you want a unique looking Apple device or BlackBerry or an Alienware laptop.

ColorWare Custom Paint

After looking at the above pictures of the MacBook Air, the Alienware M15x, iPad 2 and the iPhone 4 most of you must have already started customizing your device, ordered and then seen the pricing. Yes, the pricing is pretty high, which you’ll realize once you choose what colors to paint your beloved iPhone 4 or MacBook Pro. You can also buy some products directly from ColorWare, instead of you sending your device for a new coat of paint.

Did you recently happen to buy an Apple iPad 2 or an iPhone 4? Do you want to get yourself a custom one? What do you think of this service?

How to Rip, Transcode and Add Effects to Videos Using VLC Player

Developed by VideoLan, VLC Media player is no doubt an amazing player with loads of features. It is very light and plays almost every video or audio format that is available on the internet, plus it is very light on system resources and is effective for all the platforms may it be Linux, Windows or Mac.

But what is good about VLC player is that it has a wide range of features that users are usually not aware of. So here are some of the tricks and tips that will make your VLC player experience more eventful and enjoyable:

Add Effects to Videos Using VLC player

Although partly fun, in some instances useful, there are loads of effects that you can apply to your video files with VLC player. Here how this works:

  • Start playing a Video
  • Click on Tools and then click on Effects and Filters

Video-Effects-using-VLC

  • An adjustment window will open up showing various Effects and their controls
  • Choose Video Effects Tab and you can play around the video files, Settings like Brightness, gamma and hue can be adjusted for any video file having poor quality
  • All the other Tabs are for fun for example you can add things like Water effect, text and logo, video rotation option.

How to Transcode video Using VLC Player

This is a feature that I really liked about VLC, because in normal media players you don’t find option like converting videos from one format to another. VLC media player can be used to rip disc-based multimedia contents like music or videos, plus it can be used to convert videos from one format to another.

Rip-Convert-with-VLC-Player

To use VLC player as a video converter, start VLC and click on Media and then Convert/save option. A dialogue box will pop-up that will allow you to choose that either you want to convert or rip and then where you want the destination file to be. Once you are done adding the source media click on Convert/Save to start off with the process.

After that another window will pop-up that will allow you to choose that all the encoding settings such as output location of file and codecs. Normally transcoding is a resource-intensive process so you will have to be a bit patient.

Do try out these amazing feature on your VLC player and let us know in comments that what do you think about them?

9 Ways Technology Has Improved Business Transactions Online

The rise of e-commerce and online banking have ushered in the era of business transactions in cyberspace.

Needless to say, deals by handshake are no more. Instead, millions of business transactions are completed online every day, from retail sales to processed contracts. The evolution of technology continues to expand what things can be exchanged on the Internet, and in what manner. The following are 9 ways technology has improved business transactions online.

1. Portability

Business transactions no longer have to be made in an office or store. With the introduction of devices like smartphones and tablets, they can be made on the go at anytime, anywhere. This also includes the proliferation of laptops. Money and documents can be sent, received and processed whenever the moment arises.

2. Speed

Advanced computer chips, processors and servers have made everything online much faster. For example, online stock exchanges can process millions of trades every second while money and even products can be delivered instantly. Additionally, the increase in speed affects all businesses sectors, such as using electronic signature services to have hundreds of contracts signed each day.

3. Cheaper

With technology, businesses have seen their operation costs decrease significantly. Instead of needing a large labor force and a host of office supplies, business are capable of processing transactions with only one or a few devices and a much leaner personnel.

4. Wider reach

Because of cheaper, more portable technology, businesses have the ability to reach a greater number of markets. Transactions between two businesses located in opposite corners of the world can be processed online as if both shared an office. Meanwhile, customers can buy goods from any country online.

5. Storage

For a business, every document, contract and receipt at one time would be stored in rooms full of long, metal filing cabinets. With technological advances in memory and storage, an endless supply of files and records can be safely stashed away and easily organized.

6. Guarantees

A business transaction online will not get lost in cyberspace like the mail. With instant processing, everything is delivered and received in a timely fashion.

7. Automation

Businesses are only open for a certain period each day, so it is highly unlikely that someone will manage things around the clock. With technology, businesses can take advantage of smart applications that can automate many common transactions. This way businesses can process deals at all times, even when everyone is asleep.

8. Wider offering of content

For companies that are providing information to buyers, such as newspapers or magazines, more can be offered with each transaction. Along with a single purchased copy, consumers can get more with their money like videos and interactive displays.

9. Security

Technology has made transactions online air tight in terms of security. Advancements in information encryption, firewalls and even creative solutions like security questions have made users much more comfortable with submitting information online.

Countless business transactions are conducted safely and quickly every day because of technology. Where have you seen technology improve your ability to make business transactions?

5 Free Chrome Web Apps to Increase Your Productivity

Google always try to launch products which help to increase productivity and it goes same with Google Chrome web apps. Google provides few very useful web apps for Chrome which helps you to stay productive. Here I am listing few of them, which I feel most useful and do save our time.

More Apps to increase productivity:

chrome apps

5 free productive web apps for Chrome:

Evernote:

When it’s about productivity, you can’t ignore Evernote. Evernote helps you to note down your ideas, important topics. You can also add pictures, audio files, PDF, attach webpages and more. All your notes can be easily synchronized with any version you use.

evernote

[ Download Link ]

Picknik photo editor:

As a blogger we need to edit images very often. Picknik do that very effectively that is it provides all useful feature to edit any image. Apart from that it also connects to photo sharing websites like Flickr, Photobucket, Picasa etc.

Picknik

[ Download Link ]

Box:

Box is based on cloud content management solution and thus allows you to share, manage and access files online anytime and anywhere. You can share files with URL, upload files online and can access from any device including Android, Blackberry, iPhone etc. You can also share folders with your team.

box

[ Download Link ]

Todo.ly:

Not an Evernote fan to note down daily task? Then Todo.ly is for you to manage your daily task. You can easily manage your tasks into projects or subprojects. It is easy to use and you can easily search the tasks because you can adds due dates to your task which makes sorting of tasks easy.

todo.ly

[ Download Link ]

Ge.tt:

Ge.tt helps you to share files in real time that is you don’t need to upload the files and then share. You can share the files instantly. Ge.tt also gives you statistics of any files, photos which you shared on social networks including Twitter so that you can track the number of download of your files.

Ge.tt

[ Download Link ]

If you are using any Chrome Web application then do share with us which one is your favorite?

Should I Get LCD TV or Projector for Home Theater?

Everyone who is on the lookout of a good home theater system does come across this dilemma of choosing best display between an LCD TV and a Projector. Projectors are less common in households and hence we have answered the most common questions relating to this topic.

In India we don’t get much content in HD(High Definition) quality. So, unless you are going to watch bluray movies and play high resolution PS3 games you won’t be able to enjoy much from a big HD TV or projector.

But if you do have access to HD content, be it console games or movies downloaded from the internet, then the investment will be absolutely worth it. Both LCD TVs and projectors have their own pros and cons. They are both capable of high definition(1080p) content but that’s not all we need to look at for choosing best display solution.

lcd-tv-vs-projector.png

LCD TV vs. Projector comparison:

  • Display Size

TV sizes range from 22 inches to 65 inches generally even though you will find some expensive very large LCD TVs but we are talking products for the general crows here. On the other hand, normal projectors range from 40 inches to 300 inches. There’s no fixed size for projectors so you get a freedom to change sizes as per need with projector and also a bigger display for same price.

  • Life of Product

This is where a huge difference sets in. If you are going to watch videos for a few hours everyday your projector lamp will need to be replaced approximately once every two years. You might have heard this already from people who own projectors. Let me explain why. Typically, projector lamps have a lifetime of 4000 – 6000 hours whereas LCD TVs have that of around 40000 hours. So, if a projector lamp will last you two years that of the LCD TV will last five to ten times more. So obviously, cost of ownership is high with projectors.

  • Durability

A projector screen is obviously far less fragile than an LCD TV. Even the projector unit is very small and thus less prone to damage. The screens are cheaper to replace and if you have a good wall surface, just repainting will do the job at times.

  • Viewing Angle of Display

Nowadays viewing angles of LCD TVs have increased with the introduction of better technology like IPS. But still even though the manufacturers quote upto 160º viewing angles, the quality will get reasonably bad at those angles. Projectors are free from this defect as the light is projected from the front on to the screen. So as long as surface is high quality no need to worry with projectors.

  • Room Setting

LCD TVs will work fine in almost any lighting conditions but projectors require low lighting to give you acceptable display quality. So you must have dark curtains for daytime is there’s sunlight coming into your room. This again might be a deciding factor for a lot of people.

  • Setup Procedure

Installing a television is easier than a projector. You need to configure projector height, distance, lighting etc. and also the connectivity options. LCD TVs on the other hand can be set up in less than two minutes.

We have tried answering most common LCD TV vs. Projector questions here. Both of the devices have advantages as well as disadvantages. So you should purchase the one that suits your needs best. In case we missed any or have a related question feel free to ask via comments.

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How to Get Google Voice DialPad in gTalk

This tutorial is for people who earlier got tired like me in search of Google dialpad to make Google voice call.Earlier we shared tutorial to get free US based phone number and use Google Voice in any country outside US including India. Not all users need incoming call or SMS facility in Google Voice and instead only make free outgoing calls to US/Canada. So, here’s a very simple method which will allow you to make outgoing calls using Google Voice. Easiest hack ever.

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