Take Screen Captures on Windows 8 With Free Software

Since Windows 8 supports touch-screen inputs, a screen capture software that works on say Windows 7 might not be suitable. I personally use Skitch for Windows, as it is free. Today, I tried out Windows Screen Capture Tool, which is a portable software that works on Windows 7 and Windows 8.

Windows Screen Capture

Windows Screen Capture Tool Features

  • Install the software from this download link (.zip file). It is portable and needs Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0 on your computer.
  • The Screen Capture tool is metro styled and allow a range of options from full-screen capture, area capture, adding a watermark and Window Capture
  • There is support for keyboard short-cuts but with touch-screens for Windows 8, they might not be used as much.
  • The software allows insertion of text based watermarks on images.
  • The really nice feature of this software was that I found useful was that it could take screenshots with or without the cursor.
  • The only downside of this screen-capture tool was that it does not have a time-lapse feature that takes a screen-capture after say five or ten seconds.

If you have a Windows 8/7 desktop and need a portable software that works with metro UI, then try this one out.

Download Link: Windows Screen Capture Tool

(via TWC)

Automatically Store Photos From Your Camera to Dropbox [Desktop]

Dropbox is ramping up its service in a big way over the past few days. For starters it has a new design for it’s website. It also has introduced photo-storing features from mobile phones and PCs. These new options by Dropbox are very important as soon it will face competition from Google and Microsoft with their own cloud storage and sync services.

Considering a lot of photos are taken from mobile phones, this could a make or break feature for Dropbox. It helps that Dropbox is not part of a larger company, which allows a lot of third-party apps to work with it. For example you can read how I use Dropbox to automatically store images from my Facebook account.

Dropbox (Beta) on Desktops for Connected Devices

  • Download the latest beta version of Dropbox and install it.
  • Connect your digital camera or mobile phone which has your photos. The connected device can be opened on Auto-Play using Dropbox. So make sure on your Windows computer, Auto-play option is not disabled.

  • Click on the Dropbox option and all the photos from your camera are transferred onto a folder on dropbox.

  • This folder is usually named “Camera Uploads”. Once you update your photos, you will get 3GB additional space.

Saving Photos from your Android phone to Dropbox

If you have a Android phone, then download the Dropbox App on it. This will automatically sync your photos from your phone onto your Dropbox account.

Mac and Linux users can also avail of the latest beta build from the forum link below, to photo-storing is enabled on their computers too.

Direct Download Link: Dropbox Beta (Windows) | Dropbox (Android)

Link: Dropbox Experimental Build Forum

Create Multiple Desktops Spaces on Windows

nSpaces_SwitcherWindows does not have an inbuilt feature to create multiple desktops. This is quite useful when you want to have a cleaner desktop while working.

For example shortcuts to all games could be on one desktop layout while all browser shortcuts on another.

I came across this software, which allows users to create and switch between multiple Desktops. Also users can customize the desktops with different wallpapers and icons.

Features of nSpaces Multiple Desktop

  • Install the software and start customizing new desktops. The software allows creating up to 4 desktops.
  • I found that I could customize the wallpaper, apps, shortcuts and background colour.
  • Navigating from one desktop to another can be done with keyboard shortcuts. Even these HotKeys can be customized further.
  • When the desktop space is changed, it behaves like a completely new desktop. Even the browsers have to be synced again.

Multiple_dekstops_nspaces

So if you are looking for cleaner and more organized desktop, nSpaces will be a good idea to create multiple desktops.

Do drop in your comments.

Link: Download nSpaces

[Software] Manage Google+ from your Desktop on Windows

As a blogger I often like to use Digsby to get desktop notifications in real-time from Facebook and Linked In. At the moment Digsby does not support Google+, but there is a new desktop client for Windows users named GClient.

I have used it and I found it quite useful to stay in touch with what my friends are sharing on Google+. It also is a nice way to quickly type in an update, without the need of using my browser.

GClient Windows for Google+

  • Download the software, and install it. It will need your Windows OS to have .NET Framework 4.0 installed on it. If your computer does not have .NET 4.0, get offline downloader here.
  • Once installed, type in your email address and get the License Code for registering the software.
  • After the Registration Code is inserted the GClient for Google+ can be seen in an icon in the system tray.

Google_plus_desktop_notification

I have not used this desktop application for more than a few days, but it is quite useful if you are addicted to Google+. In case you still prefer using your browser then look up these 10 great app and extensions.

Do try out GClient and drop in your comments.

Link: GClient

[Windows Tip] Select Which Applications You Want to Run During Startup!

If you are running a lot of software on your Windows platform, it must be irritating to see some of these software running once the computer is started. Some of them are useful, like Anti-Virus or Firewall applications, but most other applications are useless. I thought that the only way to do it is to uninstall that software, Windows 7 has a nice feature that allows removing some applications form running at start up.

Unselect / Select Applications with msconfig

  • Click on start (the windows icon), in the search column, type in ‘msconfig‘ and select the ‘msconfig’ program that appears. It’s a configuration option that microsoft had made to help users.

  • It will open a new window. If you want to disable all the start up item, you can deselect the ‘Load startup Items‘, in the general -> Selective Startup -> Load startup items ( see the image). I don’t actually recommend it, because there will be several useful startup programs like security softwares and all. So, navigate to the tab ‘Start up

  • Under the startup tab, you can see a list of all the programs that are designed to load at the Startup. You can individually stop these services by unselecting them.

Doing this can help you to stop those irritating startup programs like Gtalk, PC suites etc, which you might not use all the time and hence want it not to run by default every time you start the computer.

If you are using laptop then reducing this load on your computer will see a good increase in your computer’s speed along the battery lasting a lot longer. ;-)

Do drop in your comments.

Top 3 Program Launchers for Windows

If you’ve installed a lot of apps in your Windows then using a program launcher is the best productive solution. It will also help you in making your desktop clutter-less. For Windows OS, there are lot of program launchers to choose from. Here are 3 which I found very useful.

#1. Mad App Launcher

launch 1

It’s a visual app launcher with a tabbed interface. There are 10 tabs which can hold a maximum of 300 apps! With tabs, you can classify your apps, for example you can use one tab for all your browsers, another one for media players etc. To add an app, just drag it to one of the key (on the on-screen keyboard), after dragging all your apps then save it. Each app is designated with a letter on the on-screen keyboard, you can also assign hotkeys for the launcher. If you’re looking for a minimal (no themes, fancy stuff) app launcher then go download it.

Link: Download Mad App Launcher

#2. Launchy

launch

Launchy is a lot more than a program launcher, it’s an OpenSource keystroke app launcher. Apart from launching programs, it can also index folders, documents and it can even launch your favorite websites. If you’re running Firefox 3+ then it can also search your browser bookmarks. It also performs simple calculations and can execute run commands. There are also 6 skins available in the latest release, just like Mad App Launcher you can set hotkey for it. If you don’t like the fancy interface, just select portable in the settings window.

Link: Download Launchy

#3. Rocket Dock

launch 2
It’s a very well known Windows-only dock-based app launcher. Just drag the program shortcuts into the dock to add new programs. In the latest version of Rocket Dock you can also minimize running applications, so your taskbar will be clean enough. It’s interface is highly visually appealing, in the first the interface may look addictive but eventually it will slow your system if you don’t have good RAM. It also has a active forum where members post icon packs, skins and walls.

Rocket Dock In Action

Link: Download Rocket Dock

So, have you tried any of these program launchers? Which one do you feel is the best? Do drop in your comments

[Windows 7] Get Help from Microsoft While Choosing New PC or Laptop

Most people have a tough time deciding on which computer suits their needs the best. First the decision is on if you want to buy a laptop or a desktop PC. If it is a laptop then should you go for a netbook or something else? If someone recommends a particular brand, you will get 10 people speaking against it and finally we end up being confused.

Microsoft UK, has launched a website which will add to the confusion by giving its own recommendation

Microsoft introduces “The Collection

  • In case you are looking at purchasing a new computer than runs on Windows 7, then looking up Microsoft’s recommendation will be quite helpful.

Microsoft_help_new_laptop

  • The categories that the PCs and laptops are arranged, are Everyday, Mobile Companion, Professional, Entertainment and finally Gaming.
  • There were over 29 computers recommended by Microsoft for Windows 7 and most of them were the latest models. I could not find many older models on the website.
  • Once you click on one of the recommendation, it pulls up complete specifications of the computer.
  • It also has a line explaining why Windows recommends that particular model along with price.

In case you are looking to buy a new computer running Windows 7, a good idea would be to look up Microsoft’s “The Collection” for the latest models and why it is recommended by Microsoft Windows.

I do not think this will encourage more people to opt for Windows, but it is a valuable tool for people to look up for people who are already set on buying a computer with Windows 7. Do drop in your comments.

Link: Windows 7 The Collection

How to Install Windows 7 using Pendrive!

Using CD’s has been out of fashion today with the increasing trend of using Pendrives (Flash drives). Pen drives have now become an eternal part of our storage devices arcade and are even used for installation of Operating system on your PC which was once traditionally done using CD-ROMs. I would like to introduce a tool called “Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool” which lets you create bootable version of your Operating system ISO file directly to your USB Pendrive or DVD. The tool comes directly from Microsoft Store and is available Free of Cost for Licensed users.

Steps to use the USB tool (post-installation)

1. Using the Start menu, run the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool.

2. Select the source file (.iso) using the Browse button from your Computer. The window shall look somewhat like this:

DW USBtool1

Note: You can create an ISO file of the Setup through software like WinZip or 7-zip. Even your CD Burning software are able to create an ISO file or popularly known as “Image files”.

3. Select an option whether you want to create a Bootable USB device for installation or a burn to a DVD. In our case, we will go for USB Device.

DW USBtool2

4. Insert the Pendrive to your machine and select the appropriate drive as given below.

DW USBtool3

5. After this, press the button “Begin Copying”. If the Pendrive is not empty, it will ask you to format the pendrive.

DW USBtool4

6. Once formatting is done, it will automatically begin to copy the ISO file contents onto your Pendrive.

DW USBtool5

If you are using the tool on Windows XP Operating system, remember the following two things:

  • You must have the .NET Framework 2.0 installed on your PC [Download here].
  • Microsoft Image Mastering API v2 should be pre-installed [Download here].

The final output will be that your Pendrive will become a Bootable source and you can boot and install Windows 7 to your PC without any hassles and even when your CD drive is not working. There are lots of such tools available online for Free however with Microsoft providing such a tool, its easy to trust that we are using the right software.

LINK: Windows 7 USB/DVD Tool

Manage your Notes Anywhere using NoteSync

When I started using Windows 7, I was happy about the way Sticky Notes worked for me, though I was still not satisfied about its limited availability in case I am not using my computer. What if I have to use some other PC and I need part of the notes I have saved using Sticky Notes, the answer to this I found while reading an article online about NoteSync.

NoteSync Window

NoteSync, as the name suggests, lets you manage your notes and then sync them to your Google ID under Google Docs. It works using the Adobe Air platform and is a very light application. The software for iPhone, Android and WebOS platforms are currently in their development phase. I started with the beta 1.2.1 version, NoteSync is now available under its Official version 1.0 as well. However you get to use the official version only for a trial period and will have to buy the license (through Adobe) for only US$ 4.99.

How NoteSync can help you more with your work?

  • Take quick notes without being limited by any software/computer.
  • Automatic sync to your Google Docs account every minute or when you wish.
  • Search notes and even the text inside them quickly.
  • Keyboard shortcuts makes working more easier.
  • Connection to Google is HTTPS based and local storage is also encrypted.
  • All your notes can be found under the folder ‘NoteSync’ in Google Docs.

You can still download the 1.1.1 Beta version from the link. If you know of any other such thing let me know through the comments.

Download FIFA 2010 World Cup Firefox Personas

FIFA 2010 world cup is just around the corner and the whole world is going crazy about the football world cup. There are already many iPhone apps and iPad apps available for FIFA world cup 2010. If this is not enough, then you can now enjoy the football world cup fever on Firefox web browser.

Firefox has officially released FIFA world cup 2010 personas for football lovers (Americans call it soccer). Firefox FIFA world cup personas contains personas of all the participating countries. Basically this personas are the flag of the participant countries. Firefox cup will be given to the team whose fans used most personas.

firefox cup firefox persona fifa world cup

There are already more than 1200+ download for Argentine Firefox personas which means that Argentine is one of the most favorite team to win this FIFA world cup 2010. If you have missed our previous post about FIFA world cup then do check out “5 website to watch FIFA world cup 2010 live online“. If you are a windows 7 user then you can also download FIFA world cup 2010 windows 7 theme.

Download Firefox FIFA world cup persona

Which team are you supporting for this season? I am sure that many of them are supporting Argentine to win FIFA world cup 2010.