[Summary] What’s new happening at Devils Workshop!

First this post doesn’t deal with technical stuff or any hack so if you are busy you can skip this!

Now first thanks 4 reading on… Seems you like our work! 🙂

So this post is to tell you things we have improved / newly added here at Devils Workshop in last few week. There are many things happening behind the scene here but I will brief about only those which can make any difference to you…

 

2 New RSS Feeds Added…

When I looked back I noticed that we have around 40% post about orkut only. Although the share of orkut here is going down as I personally moved to other geekish things than flirting with girls on orkut, I still love to code for orkut users as they are amongst first few people out there when I started this workshop.

So not to bore orkut fans here with my other geeky stuff and vice-versa we have added 2 new feeds here…

  1. RSS ONLY Orkut – This will contains everything related to orkut only
  2. RSS EXCEPT Orkut – This will have all posts other than Orkut

Those who like all stuff here can continue to use our old feed RSS which will coexist with these 2 new feeds.

 

Forum Started…

I like to respond personally to each and every query by mail but being a human (yep.. this Devil is human inside!) I have my limits. 🙁

So to deal with increasing volume of emails and to avoid answering same question again and again I have started a forum out here! I guess it will help all of us as we continue to grow as a community!

Link – Devils Workshop Forum

 

Some boring stuff…

We now added Terms of Service as well as comment policy to this blog. They are really short and simple!

 

Thats all! Thanks for your time. If you are still left with some free time then check out our popular posts list for some interesting stories! 😉

Email Tracking – Get notified when your emails get read!

Track Your EmailIf you ever wondered whether mails you sent ever gets read or just sent to trash, you can use a mail tracking service like MailTracking.com which allows email tracking.

They send you a email notification whenever the recipient reads your email. Notification includes many details including following…

  • Date and time opened
  • Location of recipient (per their ISP city /town)
  • How long the email was read for
  • How many times your email was opened
  • If your email was forwarded, or opened on a different compute

 

Now how to use this service in simplest way…

  • Create an account with them first.
  • Then next time, whenever you send mail to [email protected] just add .mailtracking.com to the email address. So  in this case email address will become [email protected]
  • Now whenever [email protected] read your email, you will receive notification mail from mailtracking.com

 

How it works… (Technical Details)

  • Basically the change in email address will route email through mailtracking.com’ server.
  • They add a small (around 3×3 pixel) white image which is almost invisible to human eyes in email body. The image will be hosted on mailtracking servers and a unique image is kept for each email message.
  • So when someone opens email that image also get downloaded. Now mailtracking server logs the browser request for image (note that the request goes in background) and thus can mail you details which mentioned above.

 

Known Problem…

Yahoo Mail - Image Content Warning

During testing I have noticed that top webmail services like Gmail, Yahoo etc doesn’t allow images to load by default for new email addresses. So if you are sending an email to [email protected], chance is that recipient will read your email message but without allowing images to load. In that case you will not get any notification.

 

Pay service…

MailTracking.com is not free. You can start with free account as I did. You get 25 credits (1 credit = 1 email) in free account. But if you really wants a service like this then consider using paid version as it they offers more feature and also a downloadable plugin which integrates with your browser. Otherwise there are many services like this you can switch to when you runs out of free credits! 😉

Thats All! Thanks Ankit for tip.

Links: MailTracking.com | ReadNotify.com (similar service)

NetMeter – Free Bandwidth Manager To Keep Track of Internet Usage! [Windows Download]

imageOne of our reader, Pranav wanted a tool to keep track of his Internet usage. Many broadband Internet users have monthly data transfer limit so such tools help them not to get over-billed at the end of month.

After lots of search and testing few, we found NetMeter to work best for all kind of users. Not to mention separately its free and no registration is needed. Just download and install.

For the first time you need to setup few thing like your data-transfer limit, notification settings, etc. Actually it has too many options to confuse a home user but its really worth using. Still for your help I will show minimum important setting you need to configure before using NetMeter.

 

 # Setting Traffic Limit

This is only thing you need to do to get started. On starting, NetMeter sits in system-tray. To see NetMeter options as shown below, right-click on NetMeter icon in system tray select options from context-menu. Then go to Notifications tab.

Only things you need to change are reach(es) and during current fields. Both highlighted in screenshot below. Its better to set limits less than actual limits so that you can get notified before crossing data transfer limits!

Net Meter - Options

 

 # Checking your actual usage and projected usage

From same NetMeter context menu mentioned above select Totals option. You will see following details.

Net Meter - Tools & Reports

Also check projected tab for more info!

Link Summary: NetMeter Home | Download Page (Alternate Link)

Update: Alternate download link for NetMeter added as follow-up to Adis comment.

Remain Always Idle On Google Talk! [Free Download]

Google Talk is my favorite messenger like many of you and so my friend-list there is quite long. While I love to chat most of the times, I want some sort of privacy while developing codes. I can not sign out completely from messengers, as at times I need to communicate with many geeks for help. So I was one of the person who delighted when Gmail chat got invisible status. But to my surprise Google Talk is not yet updated. 🙁

I personally prefer Google Talk over Gmail Chat so I googled for some solution and found a free software gAlwaysIdle which changes Google Talk context menu shown in screenshot below…

Google-Talk-Always-Idle-Status

It basically adds a set of status options as you can see in above image!

As highlighted you can choose Always Idle if you are too busy at work. Many users will think that you are not at desk or something similar and thus won’t bother you. 😉

Also there is an exactly opposite option – Never Idle. In case you want to look always online no matter even if you forget to shut down your PC at night!

Update: Many user have reported that gAlwaysIdle original site is down from long time. You can download gAlwaysIdle from our server till then.

Links: gAlwaysIdle Home | Download gAlwaysIdle Setup

Related: Gmail chats’ invisible status feature

3 Free E-Mail Image-Signature Generators To Style Your Email Address!

Editor’s Note: In this post the second image signature Generator reviewed is redirecting to a unrelated website. Will update the link and when the reviewed URL is up.


Do you like to sign your emails in style? Or just like the way many bloggers put their email address in image format on contact pages like this…image

If yes we have 3 tools to share with you. All these tools are similar to use except few differences as mentioned below. Here are some general instructions…

  • Go to any tools site
  • Put your ID part only and select service from drop-down menu.
  • Click submit and you will see images like above.

#1: E-Mail Icon Generator

Unique features…

  • It supports maximum number of email service providers
  • It supports domains like co.in for yahoo.co.in email addresses, co.uk for hotmail.co.uk, and so on.
  • Provides link to image which you can use all over the web.
  • Advance options like changing foreground, background color, fonts.
  • You can specify any email provider in advance options.

Samples:

  • image
  • image

Links: Email Icon Generator | Advance Options

#2: E-Mail Signature Generator

Unique features…

  • Allow to choose custom color for id part only. Good if you don’t like to loose email services’ logo while changing color.
  • You can directly email image to your email account.
  • Provides link to image which you can use all over the web.

Samples:

  • image
  • image

Link: E-Mail Signature Generator* (check editor’s note at the top)

#3: GMAIL Only Signature Generator

This is only for Gmail users. If you are looking for samples like below then this is for you…

  • image
  • image

The site is in a foreign language which I can’t understand. Anyway just change rahul286 in following link with your Gmail username part. Then open up modified link in browser and you will get a page containing images like above. There are no advance options here! Here comes my link…

http://www.hkwebs.net/catalog/tools/gmail/index.php?main_action=show&user=rahul286

Thats it! If possible upload final image you want to use on your server if possible.

Apart from styling, email addresses published in image formats are unreadable by spam bots. So you get spam protection as well!

If you know any similar tools please let us know… 🙂

Related: Insert HTML Signature in Gmail

Best Free and Paid Web Hosting Service On Internet! [Review]

In this post I am writing about a free and a paid web hosting service. They are best in their own categories.

Also, as computer hardware is getting cheaper everyday just disk space and bandwidth should not be your parameters for choosing the right webhost. Of course, paid webhosts will anytime offer you much more disk space, bandwidth & other features.

 

image110MB – Best Free Web Hosting Service

I used it for more than a year. I still maintain my account there.

Here are few things to notice:

  • No Ads. Not even text-links! In fact I am there for more than a year and still its ad-free.
  • Nice support which is rare with free webhosts.
  • You will be offered a subdomain. You can register one domain with extra cost! I guess that’s fair too.
  • An affiliate program to give more traffic to your site.
  • Nice uptime. Ever better than some paid hosts out there!

Features – just for sake of mentioning…

  • Disk Space – 5 GB
  • Bandwidth – 300 GB per month
  • PHP, MySQL, One-Click Installer, etc..
  • Complete list is here

Also some function like sendmail and database support costs one time payment of around $5-$10. This small payment is nothing to consider as its just one time.

Business Model…

Yep. You should ask about it! As there are always catches with free things. Anyway don’t worry 110MB is exception.

  • They make money by showing ads in control/admin panel. Note that they show ad to you, not to your visitors!
  • Showing ads on 404 error pages. Its ok for personal as well as small websites.
  • Direct payments made for small upgrades. Like $5 to enable sendmail function.

#Links: 110MB.COM | Features List | My Site (which is not functional now…)

 

image Dreamhost – Best Paid Web Hosting Service

Yep. Dreamhost is the best webhost and that’s the reason we are using it! Its cheap price was never a catch for me personally as when searching for good paid webbost I was all concern about features and support. In fact I was not aware of promo codes so I missed $97 discount which I could avail that time 🙁

Anyway my thinking was, if you can afford $100 per year what’s the problem with $200 per year! After all worst sites on internet with few hundred hits daily makes more than $200 per annum by using just Google Adsense!

So here comes few things I loved about Dreamhost

  • Really nice and fast support!
  • All features are explained in details with examples at Dreamhost wikis. This means anyone with little knowledge about web based technology can create websites.
  • Nice support forum with large number of active members.
  • Affiliate Program to free your hosting bills.

Features – just for sake of mentioning…

  • Storage: 500GB (+2GB will be added every week)
  • Bandwidth: 5TB (+40GB will be added every week)
  • Free 1-Domain registration. You can register more with any registrar.
  • Unlimited MySQL databases, Web Sites, Email, FTP, User Accounts
  • Complete list of features is here

How to get best DEAL…

  • As Dreamhost supports unlimited user accounts you can share cost of hosting among your friends. We are hosting seven websites here as of now and more will be added soon…
  • Paying for atleast one year. You can pay for 10 years in advance.
  • Using Dreamhost promo codes you can get $50 discount. Thats max you can get. Also if you use DW50 as promo code you will get $50 discount from DreamHost and lifetime free telephonic support by our highly experienced  webmaster team.
  • So just for calculation,  if you are going for 10 years payment then $5.95/month x 12 month x 10 year – $50 discount = $664 for 10 years. Thats $66.4 per annum!

#Links: Dreamhost | Features List | List of Sites we are hosting here

6 Most Frequently Used Google Search Operators For Better Searching!

image Google supports several operators which gives you more control on search results. There are too many search operators to remember. Also, not all of them are useful all the time.

So I am describing today only the most frequently used search operators alongwith real-life examples. College students will particularly find examples more interesting! 😉

>> First note common syntax of following Google search operators…

operator:parameter

There should not be any space on either side of colon [:]

Also all search operator are case-sensitive!

 

# site: This operator is useful for searching a site and/or its subdomain.

  • site:devilsworkshop.org will restrict search to all subdomain under devilsworkshop.org
  • site:edu will search all site in edu top domain. Useful for researchers and college students while studying and writing for papers as site:edu will restrict search results to the educational sites!

 

# filetype: You can directly use Google to search any type of files.

  • filetype:ppt to search all presentation slides. This is how I manage to create presentations just one night before! 😉
  • filetype:pdf will search only pdf files! Good for searching ebooks.
  • filetype:pdf site:edu will return all files with pdf extensions from edu domain. Useful to complete journals or study assignments!

 

# inurl: To search something in URLs

  • inurl:md5 will find keyword md5 in URLs.
  • inurl:md5 filetype:java will return all java source files with md5 in their name or URL. How about using this to complete programming assignments in college!

Also try allinurl: operator which looks all keywords into URL only!

 

# intitle: To search something in page title. Useful when searching a too common word.

  • intitle:md5 will return all documents having md5 in their title.
  • intitle:Hacking filetype:pdf will return all pdf files i.e. mostly ebooks and papers about hacking.

Also try allintitle: operator which looks all keywords into title only!

 

# define: To use Google search as dictionary. There are other dedicated dictionary services but none of them is as clean and fast as Google.

  • define:hacker will show meanings of hacker.
  • define:network security will return meaning of network security.
  • Note: Do not type anything before define: or combine it with other operators!

 

# OR – To combine results of multiple searches! By default Google performs ANDing on keywords we use while searching. But sometimes explicit OR can help more.

  • filetype:pdf OR filetype:doc will search for pdf as well as doc files. This will help you complete your journals 
  • site:en.wikipedia.org OR site:howstuffworks.com will restrict search to Wikipedia English and How Stuff Works site!

Note OR must be in capital and it doesn’t have colon after it!

In case you are interested in complete list, its here… (printable format)

Related Google Trick: Live Cricket Scores – Just One-Click Away!

 

[Updates: A small typo fix by Vinzz]

Devil is Mac Boy Now!

devil with macbook pro.jpg

Yep… I got Apple MacBook Pro 15″ today and spent whole day playing with it. I am still playing and this is my first post from macbook pro. 😉

I will resume normal blogging from tomorrow and with macbook I guess I will be blogging more now… After all blogging is the primary reason I switched to a laptop!

As of now I am setting this machine to be my next blogging studio. Thanks to Darren’s post I got best blogging tools for mac at one place. In fact I am writing this from Ecto – a desktop blogging client. This seems nice except one prob – its not free! 🙁

Anyway all mac lovers can expect more about mac from me soon… 😉

Thanks Dad for this wonderful gift… 🙂

[Event] IndiBlogger Pune Meet Turns Out To Be A Huge Success!

IndiBlogger is a directory of Indian blogs and a meeting point for bloggers. Unlike many other directories of blogs, IndiBlogger directory is powered by IndiBloogle -a nice example of Google’s custom search feature. Also, meetings feature is highly innovative as any member can call for meet on any tag! Like a photoblogger can call for a meet by selecting photoblog tag to get to know other photobloggers.

One such meet was organized last evening in Pune which I attended. Thanks to Prashant for reminding me about meeting otherwise I would have missed it for sure as I was busy shifting furniture to my place! So in hurry with my fellow blogger Anil I rushed to the event without much expectations as I joined indiBlogger just 2 days back.

Thanks to Vineet, Anwin, indiBlogger Team and event sponsor Microsoft the event turned out to be much better than my expectation! This is the reason I am posting about it.. 😉

So few things I have noticed that were different compare to blogger meets I attended in past…

  • First there were more non-technical bloggers than typical tech blogger like me 😉
  • There was high concentration of regional language bloggers which is nice for the whole blogging community.
  • So many nice chicks in blogging… I guess blogosphere is getting glamorous 😉
  • Every blogger got chance to showcase their blogs in “1-minute of fame” event.
  • Although event was sponsored, there was no promotional activity than introduction to Windows Live Writer (WLW) by Sandhya Rajan, a Microsoft Intern. WLW is best desktop blogging client and I was surprised to see very few bloggers knew about it. I will post about it in detail soon!

Also Karamveer Singh and his $55123 earnings in February 2008 was something to remember!

On personal front I was delighted to meet and get some nice guidelines from Prashant Karandikar.

Update: Those who missed this meet can attend Mumbai Meet scheduled on 27th April 2007. Details are here

How To Get Back Your Hacked Gmail/Orkut/Google Account!

Orkut Gmail Google Account Hacked

This is my official reply to all mails/comments/scraps asking me how to get back hacked Gmail/Orkut/Google Account. Everyone should read this no matter how safe you think you are! 😉

As Google Account is a single account used across all Googles services like Gmail, Orkut, Blogger, Adsense, Checkout. etc, it can turn out to be our worst nightmare if it gets hacked!

Like many other online services Google tries to protect your account with secret question as well as optional secondary email address. But there is one more official option which only Google Provides!

Now lets go step-by-step…

#1. Trying “Forget Password” Option

I know this will not work in most cases, as options like forget password rely on secondary email address and security question, both of which can be easily changed once a account gets hacked. Still you should try atleast once as most password gets hacked by script kiddies and not by real hackers.

So go to Forget Password form first!

#2. What if “Forget Password” Option Fails

You can submit a form to Google in which you can provide details about your Google Account usage.

Details include information which most likely only real owner can provide. Here are few things for example…

  • Last successful login date
  • Account creation date
  • Google products you used with this account and the date you started using each one
  • Details about Orkut account (if you use Orkut)
  • Details about Blogger account (if you use Blogger)

Now most important part is what they quoted on the form,

“Please answer each question as thoroughly and accurately as possible. If you’re not certain about some of the information, provide your closest estimate. Whether or not we can return your account depends on the strength and accuracy of your responses.”

So I will suggest following things…

  • Your goal should be to give Google maximum & accurate data! So take your time and submit form with maximum amount of information possible. You can consult your trusted friends if you are not sure. As an example it could be Sam or Bob who invited you on orkut. If you are not sure call them up and ask it!
  • Submit only one form! Yes this should be common sense. Do not submit multiple forms. A person who uses around 10-15 Google products asked me if he can submit multiple forms mentioning different Google products.
  • Submit form from the place which you use most often to access your account like PC at home! Although they haven’t mentioned this explicitly, line above submit button says, “Please note that we need your IP address in order to resolve this issue. Your IP address will be captured automatically when you submit this form.”

Finally Contact Form is here!

I advise everyone to have a look at this form and information it asks. You can prepare a document about secret info, may be in cell phone or pen down it on a paper. This will come handy if something goes wrong in future! 🙂

I guess I have offered my best possible help on the issue. It may or may not work but thats all I can do. So do not mail me asking to hack any account! 😉

Update: If you don’t remember any detail required in the form or you just don’t get any reply from Google after submitting the form, please create a new account. There is no other option. Sorry. (Jan 31, 2008)

Related Article: How To Deal With Your Duplicate Profile / Impersonation on Orkut!

image[On Personal Note: Our blog has crossed 1000 FeedBurner reader count today for the first time. Thank you all for your love & support! I will try my levels best to keep you feeding best content… 🙂 ]