March 3, 2012

Install Multiple Versions Of Firefox With Utilu Mozilla Firefox Collection

By Aatif Khan on Jun 30 2010 2 Comments
  • Mozilla Firefox, being the powerful web browser that it is, also happens to be one of the largely used ones. So much so that web developers often have to keep in view how a certain webpage would get rendered by the Gecko engine, the technology behind Firefox. With many versions existing and each having its own uses, it has to be taken into account that all versions of the popular browser are able to display the page as it should be.
Utilu Mozilla Firefox Collection was developed with the same concept in mind. This utility is basically a combination of various versions of Firefox browser, all standalone, so that they can be used at the same time.
At the time of installation, you can choose which versions of the browser you want to install. A full installation will put all versions of Firefox on your machine, right from the first one to the latest. This essentially is meant for web developers and programmers, who can see how a certain content would render in each version. You also get three plug-ins/add-ons with the full installation.
Usage is not rocket science here. With Utilu installed, you get plenty of icons on your desktop, one for each different version of Firefox and one for Utilu itself. Run this one to get a dialog box where you can enter any file path or URL, and it will get opened in all installed versions of Firefox browser. You can even enter multiple URLs enclosed in quotes and separated by spaces, and they will render in separate tabs.
Additional features brought by Utilu include:
  • It can open one or more local files and/or URLs in all installed versions of Mozilla Firefox with a single click
  • It can appear in the context menu of Windows Explorer, so a file can be opened in every installed version of Mozilla Firefox directly
  • It can display the version number of Mozilla Firefox in the title bar
  • It includes a number of window resizing options for the Web Developer add-on, settings for all common resolutions like 800×600, 1024×768, 1280×1024, 1440×900 and 1600×1200 are included
  • It can be installed for all users, so it’s available for everyone
  • It can be installed and used silently, it’s possible to create an unattended installation and use all functions using command line parameters
  • It even works under the most restricted user accounts after installation, only the installation needs to be done by someone with Administrator privileges
  • It supports both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Microsoft Windows 98, 98 SE, ME, NT 4.0, 2000, XP, 2003, Vista, 2008 and 7
It may be noted here that Firefox versions 3.0 and above do not support Windows 98, ME and NT 4.0, so don’t expect these to get installed if you are running of these OS.
We tested Utilu Mozilla Firefox Collection on Windows 7 32-bit.
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July 25, 2011

Trillian – version 5

Click here to download Trillian v5.x!

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July 3, 2011

12 Must have Apps for your PC!

“…WinRAR enables file compression and decompression, works quickly and is perfect for archiving or trying to make files smaller for quicker file transfer.”

It’s safe to say that among the critical software elements for any computer, Microsoft Office, Windows Updates and an antivirus/antimalware applications are the bare minimum for most people. However, if you’re looking to squeeze out further productivity, we have 12 applications that can help you get things done more quickly whether you’re a student, working professional or a hardcore gamer!

Just have Apps for your PC! – Geeks.com1.) Gadwin Print Screen – This neat little program allows you to print-screen shot and capture the activity happening on your system if you’re trying to document tech support issues, making a how-to guide/presentation and need illustrative pictures or show other co-workers what you’re looking at for comparison purposes. It has a host of features such as image capture format, configurable shortcut buttons, destination and capture such as whole screen, currently active screen or selective rectangular area.

ust have Apps for your PC! – Geeks.com2.) Log Me In Hamachi Hamachi is great if you want to have a secure connection between your notebook and home or office network. It creates a VPN tunnel which is encrypted so all your network traffic is safe from prying eyes which comes in handy for public Wi-Fi networks.

ust have Apps for your PC! – Geeks.com3.) Teamviewer – Offered in both commercial and free personal-use flavors, this remote desktop application enables you to connect to your home or office computer and access your files like you’re actually in front of that computer. It works great at transferring files, helping clients or family members with tech support issues and for managing your home/office IT network from a mobile location.

ust have Apps for your PC! – Geeks.com4.) PDF995 Printer – Along with the PDF995 printer driver, this awesome piece of software functions as a virtual printer and allows you to physically print any document or web page as the output is a PDF file on your desktop. Saving a web page via CTRL-S or SAVE AS in HTML is hardly practical and this program does an excellent job of documenting important pages like online academic resource database articles, newspaper articles, confirmation pages and reduces the need to have 50+ browser tabs running and eating up system resources.

ust have Apps for your PC! – Geeks.com5.) Alcohol 120% – CDs and DVDs are so 2004. This advanced application can rip and save your optical discs as a simple image file on your computer. Instead of having to deal with the possibility of scratched and/or unreadable CDs/DVDs, Alcohol 120% functions as a virtual optical drive on My Computer. If you want to load an image, you click “Mount Ghost Recon.iso” and Windows will load the game image file as if you’re putting the CD in the actual drive.

ust have Apps for your PC! – Geeks.com6.) VLC Media Player – With no shortage of media players in existence, VLC proved itself to be robust and very useful when it comes to reading a wide variety of formats. Whether it’s a divx file or DVD, VLC can play it back without additional installation such as video codecs.

ust have Apps for your PC! – Geeks.com7.) CPU-Z – This awesome application is geared more towards gamers and computer users looking to identify and monitor their computer’s configuration. For example, it can not only identify the computer’s CPU, but will also show its current speed, FSB, clock multiplier, RAM amount and which memory bank holds what stick.

ust have Apps for your PC! – Geeks.com8.) WinRAR – WinRAR enables file compression and decompression, works quickly and is perfect for archiving or trying to make files smaller for quicker file transfer. It supports a wide variety of formats including traditional ZIP and even has a password encryption feature so unauthorized parties cannot extract & uncompress your important RAR files.

ust have Apps for your PC! – Geeks.com9.) True Crypt 7.0a – While it is free, this open-source encryption tool is worth more than its weight in gold considering its wealth of features. Its most impressive feature allows you to encrypt flash drives and your own hard drive(s) which reduce the chance of any unauthorized parties from accessing your personal or company confidential data.

ust have Apps for your PC! – Geeks.com10.) Download Accelerator Plus – It comes in free and premium versions but I’ve found the free version to be fast enough for being free. Downloads like drivers, patches and other large files are quick for this program as it searches for the best connection and availability of download mirror sites.

ust have Apps for your PC! – Geeks.com11.) Evernote – While Windows 7 does come with notepad and stickypad built in, Evernote offers advanced note-taking features that ca help you remember and finish that paper or report just in time!

ust have Apps for your PC! – Geeks.com12.) Handbrake – Need some mobile entertainment on the go? Handbrake allows you to rip DVD movies in MPEG format to your laptop and is perfect for long airline flights, car rides or long downtime at the airport.

Of course, there are other software programs out there that are just as valuable to have that are either free or low-cost.

If you know and/or use one in particular, share it here on the Geeks Tech Tips Blog!

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May 29, 2011

Email is far from dead; ‘no viable replacement’ in sight

New statistics shed light on the vast importance Google, Microsoft and Yahoo! place on their web-based email services.

Though email is effectively a prehistoric web service, dating back to the launch of the Internet, it maintains its dominance as the most effective communications method we have still today.

Email isn’t dead, nor is it ‘on its way out’.

Regardless of the ‘Facebook effect’ and other growing social networks and instant messaging services have on the younger Generation Y, there is no viable replacement in sight.

The figures show that just over 23% of Google visitors visit Gmail, with nearly 40% of Windows Live users going straight to Hotmail, and just under 20% of Yahoo! visitors going to Yahoo! Mail.

Though Google, Microsoft and Yahoo! each has fewer users on their email services than Facebook has, email provides not just a communications platform, but an identity for other social web services. Facebook heavily relies on email to function and perform.

This may not surprise many, as email is the cornerstone of the services provided by these companies, with often only search coming first.

Email is still evolving and is a fluid and dynamic platform. And while spam may be annoying, web services have spent years blotting out the issue, with spam levels dropping significantly in the previous two quarters.

Instant messaging and social networking only offers a strain of what email can provide. Though it may be the primary choice for younger people to engage in with their social lives, in business and the workplace email will still reign as the dominant choice for industry.

Although the Generation Y may find email to be ‘unfashionable’ and ‘outdated’ compared to Facebook and instant messaging applications on their smartphones, the very vast majority of smartphone users will have an email account attached to their phone regardless.

While Google, Microsoft and Yahoo! have no interest in losing their hundreds of millions of users overnight, their email service will continue — and continue to grow, as more take advantage of the now standard features beyond the realms of simply sending and receiving messages.

Related content:

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April 10, 2011

How To Backup Securely

This Tech Tip addresses some frequently asked questions about how to safeguard your computer data on a personal and business level. It assumes that you DO NOT have gigabytes of music and movies that require extensive security measures to protect.

1.) How should I begin to secure important data on my desktop computer or laptop?

First, it makes sense to designate 1 or 2 specific folders on your computer as the main folder for confidential file back-ups for several reasons. If you have to do a quick back-up, all you do is copy that folder to an external drive for an instant back-up.

Second, It provides a centralized location for all important data. Instead of having to hunt down the menu, sub-menu, sub-sub-menu of where you normally download company financial spreadsheets, you can set your browser and programs (such as Quickbooks, etc.) to save/download all important files to this folder.

Third, let’s say you only save ALL important files on a flash drive/external hard drive. If your notebook gets lost/stolen, the thieves only have the programs and not the actual confidential files which are on the cheap flash drive.

2.) Great, now how do I actually back-up my designated BACK UP folder(s)?

Secure Data Backup – Geeks.comHere’s where it gets tricky. You have several back-up options such as:

A.) Cloud – Services such as Carbonite and Mozy offer low-priced back-up solutions. You basically upload all your confidential files to their cloud servers and are able to access them anywhere in the world where there is Internet access. The main issue is that, from a business security perspective, you have no idea where your data is stored. If, for example, it’s stored in a server farm in China which gets hacked, then you’re in trouble.

Secure Data Backup – Geeks.comB.) External Hard Drives – These nifty devices come in portable 2.5” and larger 3.5” flavors and offer more than generous dumping grounds for all things important. Once you plug it in, your OS recognizes it and pops you up with a folder showing it as a (giant) external drive with a letter (i.e. G:) Some even feature OTB (One Touch Backup) so you press one button and it backs up either your entire system or certain portions of it. Some external hard drives offer plug-in encryption that prevents unauthorized access. The issue with this solution is that you have to lug it around, which means it has a chance of getting lost/stolen and the formality of performing a back-up might become time-consuming to some.

Secure Data Backup – Geeks.comC.) Flash Drive – These little drives are more nimble, have zero moving parts and are highly portable. Unfortunately, this is also its Achilles’ Heel as its relatively small size makes it prone to becoming misplaced or stolen. Also it does not have the capacity of a larger external drive. The good news is that some flash drives have built-in encryption which can be useful if it lands in the wrong hands.

Secure Data Backup – Geeks.comD.) Home/Office Network Attached Storage Drive – Also called NAS, this is an excellent solution for comprehensive back-up protection as these hard drives function as dumping grounds for an entire home or office network. It provides a centralized location for files, folders and documents which any connected computer can access and come in large drive sizes. However, security precautions should be utilized if the NAS has built-in measures as an unsecured NAS may be prone to prying eyes. For example, a NAS without security protocols activated while connected to a home Wi-Fi network is prone to being breached. Because of this, it’s crucial to configure the NAS security as well as the router/network security for optimal protection.

Secure Data Backup – Geeks.comE.) Backing up to CD/DVD/Blu-Ray – Optical media back-up is actually a very cost-effective solution because CDs and DVDs are very cheap nowadays. Furthermore, if you’re looking to close the books for a certain month on your business, burning to a CD-R or DVD+R sets the data in stone so it can’t be manipulated on the disc. The problem is that if you have lots of data to back-up, the formality of using several CD-R or DVD-R discs to save might also become time consuming. In addition, you would have to make sure said back-up discs are placed in a safe place where the chance of it getting stolen is minimized.

3.) Which back-up method should I pick?

Secure Data Backup – Geeks.comWhile the above solutions offer many ways to back up your confidential data, the best way to minimize a data breach/loss is to follow a combination of multiple back-up solutions and proactive behavior. For example, it would be a good idea to store important sensitive data on your flash drive and encrypting it with TRUE Crypt while also saving duplicate file copies on your home NAS drive via secure VPN connection. If your flash drive is lost/stolen, True Crypt prevents the drive from being used without proper credentials and you can still access the very same duplicate files on your NAS server.

Regarding proactive behavior, you should be mindful of back-ups so you don’t lose something you wish you saved 2 weeks ago.

There are also programs out there that can help secure data such as:

  • Folder Lock – Locks and can hide any folder you wish from prying eyes.

  • True Crypt– secures drives with extensive hardware encryption.

  • Acronis Drive Cleaner – Completely erases all drive data with several methods (DoD, Gutmann method, etc.) – works great if you’re planning to get ride of old computer hardware.

Remember, it’s all about being proactive and being mindful of what back-up security solutions to use for your personal or business needs!

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