Friday, July 31, 2009

Link to

The Underground Guide To The iPhone [PDF]

Posted: 31 Jul 2009 06:57 PM PDT

iphoneThe iPhone is – if I may say so – one of the greatest mobile revolutions of the past decade. More and more, mobile phones seem to materialize out of our wildest dreams.

Because of the tight integration of third-party applications, you can do nearly everything with your device — be it gaming, working, fooling around, and of course phoning.

However, because of the sheer vastness of possibilities, not a lot of people are using their iPhone to the full extent of its capabilities. As of such, a lot of great features are missed on the users. is proud to present The Unofficial Guide to the iPhone to you, written by Stefan Neagu from Tux Geek.

Read about the basic user interface and a ton of incredible iPhone features you would’ve otherwise missed. Stefan explains in detail how to perform both the very simple and the most tedious tasks. Find out how to get your hands on fresh applications, how to keep your device synchronized and even how to jailbreak your iPhone!


Get started today! Download The Unofficial Guide to the iPhone now in PDF, or read it online on Scribd – completely free, with no strings attached. For young and old, this guide comes highly recommended.

If you enjoyed this release, you should also check out other available MakeUseOf manuals.

Did you like the post? Please do share your thoughts in the comments section!

New on MakeUseOf ? Get cheat sheets and cool PDF guides @

Related posts

Cool Websites and Tools [July 31]

Posted: 31 Jul 2009 06:01 PM PDT

cool websites Check out some of the latest MakeUseOf discoveries. All listed websites are FREE (or come with a decent free account option). No trials or buy-to-use craplets. For more cool websites and web app reviews subscribe to MakeUseOf Directory.


(1) Gsalr – Website that lists city flea markets, garage sales, local estate sales, and family yard sales across US. You can search for sales by location, browse by state/city or simply view all listings on the map. There is also an option to sort listings by day (Friday, Saturday, or Sunday). Read more: Gsalr: City Flea Markets & Garage Sales Across US

(2) Kidmondo – Online service using which you can keep a baby journal. It lets you chronicle everything your baby does, the first step, the first word, how they walk, what they eat e.t.c. You can add stories, milestones, images and even videos to your journal and share it with your friends and family. Read more: Kidmondo: Keep a Baby Journal Online

(3) OnlineBannerGenerator – This is a web based banner maker that lets you create banners for your website within seconds. Simply select the banner template, enter banner text and add  provided clip-art images from the library. Read more: OnlineBannerGenerator: Free Online Banner Maker

(4) Real-URL – Simple tool that lets you see the real URL behind any given shorted URL without visting the link. All you need to do is paste in the short URL into provided field and click on the "Get the Real Url" button. Read more: Real-URL: View Real URL Behind Short URL

(5) SmokinApps – Web resource where you can find useful, entertaining and latest mobile applications for a wide range of mobile platforms including Android, iPhone, Blackberry, Windows Mobile and others, with up to 10 new app reviews added daily. Read more: SmokinApps: Discover Latest Mobile Applications

Submit Your Web App


These are just half of the websites that we discovered in the last couple of days. If you want us to send you daily round-ups of all cool websites we come across, leave your email here. Or follow us via RSS feed.

Did you like the post? Please do share your thoughts in the comments section!

New on Twitter ? Now you can follow MakeUseOf on Twitter too.

Related posts

How To Download Free Hulu Movies To Your Computer

Posted: 31 Jul 2009 01:40 PM PDT

huluLogoI'm a big fan of Hulu. It lets me catch up on my favorite shows, and, thanks to generous advertisers, doesn't cost me a dime.  Hulu has new programs, reruns, and full-length movies.

One problem, though. Hulu videos stream in Flash video, and there wasn't any way to download and save programs for mobile viewing. That was true until I read up on the appropriately-named Hulu Video Downloader, a simple yet powerful little program, for which I have yet to find a free equal.


Using HVD couldn't be much easier. Once you navigate to your desired program in your browser of choice, highlight and copy (Ctrl+C) the page's URL. If it's from a supported site, it will appear in HVD's top field automatically. From there, you select the format for your target file, and click Add.  HVD takes over from there, downloading and converting the video file.


Video formats available in the free version include MPEG2, AVI, and native FLV. To convert to other file formats, such as iPod or PSP, we suggest the recently-reviewed VideoSpiritLite. The GOM Player can playback FLV video files without conversion.


Once the download's complete, you simply open the resulting video file in your favorite media player. Now you need not worry about episodes of your favorite show "expiring" from the site. I wish now that I had found this program before Dollhouse episodes started disappearing.

If you want to download HD versions of the shows, or download more than one show at a time, you'll need to upgrade to the pro version, which lets you pull videos from a dozen other sites besides Hulu.

There's more Hulu on MakeUseOf, right this way. How do you archive your favorite shows? What are some can't-miss shows on Hulu? Play program director and let us know some of your favorites in the comments.

Did you like the post? Please do share your thoughts in the comments section!

New on MakeUseOf ? Get cheat sheets and cool PDF guides @

Related posts

How To Discover The RSS Feed Of A Webpage If A Link Isn’t There

Posted: 31 Jul 2009 11:40 AM PDT

ThumbnailHmm…The Case of the Missing RSS Feed. My RSS feed reader is primed up and ready to go but there's no feed button on the site.  Just when I thought that this lovely website was going to solve my information lust.

Well, we will try to solve the problem of the missing RSS link but like all good case histories here's a brief sketch about the guy who's missing – RSS or Rich Site Summary (also commonly called Really Simple Syndication).

RSS is quite simply a document which sums up an updated web page in a standardized format and delivers it to those who want it. Feed Reader or News Aggregator software does the job of grabbing the RSS Feed automatically. We just have to read it or dump it.

The benefit is lots of saved time and saved mailbox space. We don't need to hop over to each site individually or subscribe to their newsletters. But there's a lot more that we can do with RSS. All of it has to do with grabbing news and what's new on the web. My personal favorite is about movies and grabbing torrents. Raise your IM or Twitter experience. Or simply be 'artsy fartsy' as Karl says in his post on Wordle.

Every site or blog worth its salt has a feed and now it is a must-have just like an internal search bar. But then just when you start taking the little orange RSS icon for granted, there's a site missing a RSS link.

Is it just the RSS link button missing or is it the entire RSS XML code? Cast your eye over the homepage. RSS icons are located not only near the top but also near the very bottom of the page. For example, Reuters has its itsy bitsy RSS icon at the very south.

If you can't locate the RSS icon – Use the Common Feed Icon

The first task is to just look up towards the browser's address bar. See the little orange icon which says 'subscribe to this page' on a mouseover? That's the common feed icon, a feature of IE , Opera, Firefox and some other browsers these days. Google Chrome still does not have it though. When a browser opens a website on the homepage, it automatically searches for the site's RSS feed using a specification called RSS Autodiscovery.


RSS Autodiscovery is just a simple line of code included in the web code which tells the browser (and feed readers) – there's a feed and you can subscribe to it. You can click on the icon and the browser's feed reader or your own picks up the feed from the page.

If you got it but it isn't working – check with a RSS Validator

RSS just like any other code – it has to follow certain rules and syntax. Errors generally follow when the rules are broken. A RSS Feed Validator checks a feed for problems.


You can pass the feed URL through a RSS Validator service and check whether the error is with the code or if it's failing in the RSS Reader. Copy the RSS link and paste it into any of the free online RSS Feed Validators such as –

  • W3C Feed Validation Service
  • Feed Validator
  • RSS Validator
  • If you don't have both – generate RSS feeds dynamically

    There are several online tools that tackle the dilemma of a website or blog without a RSS link. All these web services create a feed “on the fly” and delivers the content to you in your feed reader. The technical method is called 'HTML Scrapping' and it lets these services build a RSS feed from a site which does not have one. Using these tools you can catch feed lacking sites as they change content.

    Here are a few :



    With Feed43, it's basically a three step process. Starting with the URL of the webpage, you have to define 'search patterns' (i.e. which content is good and which is not). This allows the tool to extract the information (i.e. snippets of text or HTML) and build the feed.

    Finally, specify the output template (i.e. the look of the feed) and pick up the generated feed with your feed reader. Setting up a search pattern and defining the template might put off the average user (there is a step-by-step guide). So the power of this site might only appeal to the expert user.

    The site requires a free registration and email verification.



    Works simply.  Just put in a URL of the homepage or a sub-page and create your feed. A few steps lets you filter out undesirable links after FeedYes does its own cleanup job. In this way you can obtain the specific section you are interested in.

    To save your feeds, the site requires a login.



    Registration is a must but it's simple and quick. The RSS feed is generated in a jiffy. The free account though does not filter all the links it finds. The paid subscription gives the more advanced options.



    The odd name apart, the web service generates a feed in five steps from any URL. You can choose links within the site to get updates only from those selected sections. Though signing up is not compulsory, it helps to release more features like storing the feed, tweaking it and getting more updates (once every four hours).



    Allows you to create feeds for any website or document. The free account allows for four feeds per account. Other features let you create personalized feeds for your own website and your podcasts. All feeds are free and without advertisements.

    We have earlier covered three other great RSS online services at All three are flexible tools for creating tracking websites on the fly -

  • Feedity
  • PageTiki
  • Page2RSS
  • Also read Aibek's post on How to Monitor Websites That Don't Have RSS Feeds.

    To save us all the trouble, a good webmaster can simply code in a RSS link. But till the day all webmasters are created equal, we have these workarounds to help out. Let us know your take on this.

    Image Credit: Chesi – Fotos CC

    Did you like the post? Please do share your thoughts in the comments section!

    New on Twitter ? Now you can follow MakeUseOf on Twitter too.

    Related posts

    Play Baseball Like a Pro With MLB Dugout Heroes

    Posted: 31 Jul 2009 11:01 AM PDT

    mlb1There are some lesser baseball games, and then there are some truly great ones. The ones where you get taken along with the gameplay and forget about the world around you.

    Hit that curve with all you’ve got and show that pitcher what you’re made of. Hit it out of the park, and sprint your way to all the bases, adrenaline pumping in your ears.

    This is baseball – when you forget for a time that you’re just playing a computer game.

    MLB Dugout Heroes

    MLB Dugout Heroes is a MMO baseball game, created by Wisecat and published by Gamescampus. Although developed in Korea, the game completely focuses on the American baseball scene. Earlier this year, they signed a licensing deal with Major League Baseball, allowing them to use the real-life baseball parks and players ingame. All existing MLB teams are now represented in the game, and more stadiums are in the making.

    One way to describe this game would be accessible. The basic gameplay system has a pretty low learning curve so even the youngest can enjoy it, while the leveling, upgrading and the strategic aspects of the game keep it interesting for the more advanced gamer.

    All this is presented in a cartoony package. The characters seem very similar to the Mii guys of Nintendo – here representing major league baseball players – and although the graphics aren’t exactly high-end, the great animations make up for a lot.


    Players can take on the role of batter, pitcher and fielder. As a batter, players not only have to time their swing right, but need to guess on curves and fastballs. This might seem strange at first, but similar to the real game, you’ll soon start noticing the subtle differences in the pitch and get used to spotting the right throws.

    Batting and pitching is controlled with the mouse, where fielding and base running is done with the keyboard. Controls are simple to grasp, and winning is a tasty mix of tactics and mastering the different positions.


    And then there’s the difference between NUTs and Campus Credits. NUTs can be earned in-game, while playing the game. Campus Credits, on the other hand, are bought with real-money deposits.

    The problem is that – while you can buy some pretty useful stuff with your NUTs – too much depends on Campus Credits. Not only can the major items only be obtained through Campus Credits, they recently started giving insane sums of NUTs every time you make a purchase, giving the paying gamers a huge advantage over the rest.

    However, save these capitalist gents, the people in-game are tons of fun, and even without spending a dime, you can have the time of your life.


    What do you think? Have you played this game before, or do you prefer other baseball games? Let us know which ones you think are best in the comments section below!

    System Minimum Requirements Recommended Requirements
    CPU Intel Pentium 4 Intel Pentium Dual Core
    RAM 512 MB 1 GB
    GPU GeForce 4 MX420 GeForce 7600, Radeon X1550
    OS Windows XP Windows XP,Vista
    Direct X Direct X 9.0C Direct X 9.0C
    HDD 1.5GB HDD 1.5GB HDD
    Internet High Speed Internet Connection High Speed Internet Connection

    More technicalities can be found here, on the client download page.

    Did you like the post? Please do share your thoughts in the comments section!

    New on MakeUseOf ? Get cheat sheets and cool PDF guides @

    Related posts

    10 Essential Software Apps For Web Development on a Mac

    Posted: 31 Jul 2009 10:34 AM PDT

    MacbookWhether Macs are the best computers for web development is up for debate, but one thing can be agreed upon – there are some great software apps for web development on a Mac.

    Here’s a list of 10 essential software apps for web development on a Mac.

    10. TextWrangler is a multipurpose text editor that works for editing code and plain text documents. It can even open files from (and save them to) remote FTP and SFTP servers.

    9. Inkscape is an open source vector graphics editor similar to Adobe Illustrator. It is the first open source program to adopt Spiro curves. You can also go through their clip art collection and find dozens of images made with Inkscape that are free to use or modify.


    8. Cyberduck is the all-in-one FTP, SFTP, Amazon S3, WebDav and Mosso Cloud Files browser application. Web developers often need to switch between different file systems, and Cyberduck does this without a hiccup. It works with Textmate (which has a free 30 day trial), so you can open files from Cyberduck in Textmate, edit, save and upload. Read more about FTP clients for Mac here.

    7. Gimp is the second-most popular photo editing software program on the market, second only to Adobe Photoshop. The difference? Gimp is absolutely free! You can do just about everything in Gimp that you can do in Adobe Photoshop, so web developers will find this a welcome and wallet friendly addition to their software arsenal.

    Gimp on OS X

    6. Aptana takes up where Textmate leaves off in some aspects. It is a full featured code editor, but adds the FTP support of Cyberduck, as well as important web technologies like Ajax, Adobe AIR and PHP. Read more about Aptana here on MUO.

    5. Firefox is a must have for web development because of three great add-ons – Firebug, the Web Developer toolbar and ColorZilla. Firebug lets you edit, debug, and monitor CSS, HTML, and JavaScript live in any web page; while the Web Developer toolbar adds additional tools like clearing cookies, disable CSS, display ruler and display source. ColorZilla lets you pick colors from websites or images online, so you can match them to your web designs, plus measure the distance between two points on a website.


    4. JAlbum helps you make attractive photo galleries for websites. JAlbum comes with various templates built-in, but you can also customize your own template to better match a web project you’re working on. Read about 5 more Excellent Mac Apps for Graphic & Web Design

    3. Colloquy is a basic IRC client that every web developer will use at one point or another. Many web platforms use IRC for support, including WordPress.

    2. MAMP is what you need to manage websites locally when you are without an internet connection or want to test changes without making them live on a website. It is easy to install MAMP and have access to Apache, PHP and MySQL for Mac OS X. It is also a stand-alone program, so if you need to install it, it won’t interfere with your OSX installation. Plus, you can use it to install WordPress on your Mac.

    1. iTerm is a feature-filled Terminal emulator for OSX. You can bookmark your frequently used sessions, have tabbed windows with multiple sessions and more.



    Do you have any suggestions for better similar apps? Let’s hear them in the comments!

    Did you like the post? Please do share your thoughts in the comments section!

    New on Twitter ? Now you can follow MakeUseOf on Twitter too.

    Related posts

    Technology Explained: How The Internet Works

    Posted: 31 Jul 2009 07:01 AM PDT

    Neon_Internet_Cafe_Open_24_HoursOnce you finish this article, I’m sure you’ll be amazed that the Internet works at all! It’s easy to complain about slow download speeds, or lost e-mail, but, geez, it’s the Internet!

    Ten years ago most of you were still buying magazines, and renting videos, and going to the post office, and ordering things from the Sears catalogue. The only thing cooler would be the ability to teleport ourselves through it.

    Look at a map of the Internet sometime and you’ll see that it is like a million superhighways with no lines painted on the road. It’s a snake pit of computers attaching to modems attaching to phone lines, or cable, or satellites, or cell networks, attaching to more computers, servers, routers and modems and so on, and so on. There is no beginning. There is no end.


    In the image above, you are looking at one very small part of the Internet. See that star-burst like image it is extracted from? Go take a look at the full image. It takes awhile to load. Then come back, of course.

    What makes the Internet work at all, is something called the Internet Protocol (IP). You may have heard of the term IP Address. Now you know what the IP stands for, but do you know what it is? A protocol is a set method for a way of doing things. Think of an incoming phone call. Typically it goes like this: you hear the phone ring, you pick up, you say “Hello…” and maybe a little more like, “…this is Guy speaking.” Then the person on the other end acknowledges you with something like, “Hey Guy, this is work. Where the heck are you?” Then the lying, I mean conversation, begins. That’s a socially accepted phone call protocol.

    That’s basically how the Internet works. You tell your computer to connect to a resource, let’s say Just pulled that out of my hat. is a human readable form for the IP address Who’s going to remember that?  Exactly.

    So we have something called a Universal Resource Locator (URL) like Something called a Domain Name Server (DNS) which looks up that URL and then figures out the IP address associated with it. Think of a REALLY big phone book. You look up your plumber’s name and then you figure out what his phone number is. Same deal. Makes sense so far? Relax, there is no quiz and your Internet Users License won’t be revoked.


    What the above image shows is the available IP version 4 (IPv4) space. is located in the 216 block. Remember that from the first 3 digits of the IP address? That block belongs to ARIN - American Registry for Internet Numbers. Kind of like how the area code 403 belongs to Alberta. Got’er figured?

    Here’s where it gets a little crazy. Each piece of data you send out is broken down into packets. Imagine mailing your friend a book, page by page. Each page will have to carry your friend’s address and the page number to let him know what order it goes in. It should also let him know how many pages there are, so he knows when he has it all. They should also have your address, so if the mail person can’t deliver it, they know where it came from.

    So, each packet carries the intended IP address, a number to determine where the packet fits back into the data sent, how many packets to expect, as well as your IP address. Crazy huh? It has more than that, but that’s the really important stuff. Check it out in the packet header below. I highlighted the stuff we talked about in green.


    Now, check this out. Each packet doesn’t necessarily go down the same set of wires to its destination. “What kind of glue are you  on, Guy?” No, it’s true. Those packets go out to a device called a router, which then sends the packet to the nearest available router that is closer to that destination, and, hopefully, isn’t too congested. It figures that out based on the numbers in your IP address. The first three numbers identify a large area, and the rest make it more specific. Yet again, just like a phone number. This is known as ‘best-effort-delivery’.

    So one packet may get routed through Virginia and another may go through Vancouver on their way to the same server in Hong Kong. This also means that packet A might get there later than packet B, or not at all! See what I mean about the miracle of a working Internet?

    When the packets arrive at the destination, the server or computer receiving it compiles it into something cohesive, or it puts the book back together, to carry on that metaphor. Now the computer receiving all the packets sends back a message to the originating computer to say, in effect, “Thanks! Good-bye.” Thus the communication ends.

    That’s the simplest, high-level overview I can give on how the Internet works. Take what I’ve said and add in millions of servers, routers, modems, and other networking devices and you can see how the complexity is magnified exponentially.

    Next time you get an error message or a page loads a little slower than normal, reflect on this article and relive the amazement that the thing works at all. It’s all perspective, my friends. And lots of wires.

    Photo Credit: Justinc

    Related posts

    Search For The Manual You Need With Manuals Online

    Posted: 31 Jul 2009 07:01 AM PDT

    ManualHead I used to keep all my owner manuals for everything. Starting with my original Nintendo Entertainment System way back when. Now I just mail in my warranty card and chuck the manual.

    No I am not a mad man or a lunatic – it is simply a different time we live in than back then. Now almost anything can be found on the internet – and Manuals Online has you covered when it comes to owner manuals and user guides.

    When you arrive at the site you will see something that looks like this:


    To search for a product enter its name or model number into the search field. A generic search will give you LOTS of results and a model number will usually result in one or two items. I decided to search for a DustBuster. I typed in Dustbuster and hit Search.


    I got back 4 items for four different models. You can download the manual as a PDF, save it to your folder on their website (requires registration), you can also view forum discussions about your item as well.


    I got a little more specific and typed in Sony Play Station 2. I got a few results and chose the model I was looking for. I was then able to preview the owner manual and eventually downloaded it.  I could also ask members for help or share information about the product.

    You can see below the item’s additional product literature. In this case it looks like the quick start guide but it can vary from product to product.


    Upon opening the document it will display the PDF in your browser. You can also save the file by right clicking on the link and choosing “save target as”.


    Alright so who's ready to go clean out their attic/filing cabinet?  Do you have another slick trick when it comes to dealing with owners manuals? If so we would love to hear about it in the comments! Now I have to get back to some old school gaming :)

    Did you like the post? Please do share your thoughts in the comments section!

    New on Twitter ? Now you can follow MakeUseOf on Twitter too.

    Related posts

    No comments:

    Post a Comment