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Wake-on-Lan (remotely wake up a computer)

Thursday, November 2nd, 2006

Wake-on-Lan (WoL) is both a hardware and software solution to allow a computer to be woken up remotely.

756554334.jpgMuch like a modern television set, a computer that is Advanced Configuration Power Interface (ACPI) compliant can be turned on remotely, note that while you can currently only turn your television set on from within a certain distance WoL allows you to remotely start a computer from anywhere in the world, that is as long as it has an internet connection.

WoL works by sending what’s called a “magic packet” (no joke). When your PC shuts down, the NIC still gets power, and keeps listening on the network for a ‘magic’ packet to arrive. The basic premise is that a specifically formatted packet send over a network is send to every network card and identifying features in this packet allow the network card to identify that the magic packet is intended for it. All the other cards therefore reject or rather dispose of the packet. It is analogous to standing in a crowded room of people and shouting out somebody’s name, where nobody in the room has the same name, although everybody would hear you hopefully the only person to answer would be the person who’s name you have just called out.

This only works with network cards and motherboards that are Wake on LAN compliant. For more information on this and links to download the software check out:

EvilLyrics (freeware lyrics search and play tool)

Wednesday, November 1st, 2006

765759564.jpgEvilLyrics automatically searches for lyrics as your song is played in your player (supports: Foobar2000, Winamp, Windows Media Player, iTunes, Real Player, MusicMatch or QCD)

EvilLyric’s Features:

  • Searches over 15,000,000 lyrics and INCREDIBLY FAST
  • Karaoke: create & share timestamps
  • Stores lyrics for offline viewing
  • Translates lyrics
  • Allows searching for guitar chords, AMG profiles, album covers arts, posters etc
  • Only 300 kB installation file
  • Contains no spyware or adware and is free

This program is anything but “Evil”. Going to most lyrics websites is evil because they bombard you with popup ads and this puppy is ad and spyware free. EvilLyrics isn’t the prettiest lyrics program yet, but it’s free to use unlike others like minilyrics.

You can use EvilLyrics as a stand-alone program and just manually type artist names and song titles into it to have it instantly find and display the lyrics or you can have it automatically load lyrics as you’re playing songs in your audio player.

Tips for Using EvilLyrics with foobar2000 (more…)

SpywareBlaster, Ad-Aware, Spybot-S&D, Windows Defender (freeware anti-spyware software)

Wednesday, November 1st, 2006

I’m recommending all four of these anti-spyware tools because they make a great team to keep you spyware/adware free.

Spyware is a relatively new kind of threat that common anti-virus applications do not yet fight very well. If you see new toolbars in your Internet Explorer that you didn’t intentionally install, if your browser crashes, or if you browser start page has changed without your knowing, you most probably have spyware. But even if you don’t see anything, you may be infected, because more and more spyware is emerging that is silently tracking your surfing behavior to create a marketing profile of you that will be sold to advertisement companies. (more…)

KeePass (password manager)

Sunday, October 8th, 2006

KeePass is a free, light-weight and easy to use password safe. You have many passwords to remember these days but you don’t want to use easy to memorize passwords because they’re easy to crack. This program allows you to generate very secure passwords and not have to remember any of them except one master password. It also highly encrypts your passwords (and usernames) so you won’t have to worry about anyone getting ahold of them.

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I’ve tried many “password safes” and KeePass is by far my favorite. The databases are encrypted using the best and most secure encryption algorithms currently known (AES and Twofish) and it uses SHA-256 as the master password hash. It also protects you from keyloggers by never making you type out your password. It even has in-memory password protection so physical password scanners won’t reveal your passwords. It has a host of great features that you should read up on its Web site.

Some people rely on saving all their passwords in their Web browser but the problem with this is that they’re extremely easy to find if anyone has access to your system and it encourages you to choose bad passwords. Plus if you reinstall your operating system or try to access your accounts from another computer you’ll be out of luck. So a good password manager is the right way to go.h You can configure KeePass to always sit minimized in your system tray and whenever you need to sign onto an account just pop it open and drag the appropriate password into the password field to log in to your accounts.

Foxit Reader (PDF reader)

Sunday, October 8th, 2006

Foxit Reader is a great alternative to Adobe Reader for reading and printing your PDF files because it’s much lighter, faster and friendlier.

Foxit Reader is very fast, it loads up in a second and without any splash screens. Foxit doesn’t even require you to install it, you just run the standalone .exe, so it’s perfect for putting on a disk and using on other computers. (more…)

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