Tuesday, February 1, 2011

MakeUseOf.com: “Happy One Year Anniversary [MakeUseOf Answers]” plus 11 more

MakeUseOf.com: “Happy One Year Anniversary [MakeUseOf Answers]” plus 11 more

Link to MakeUseOf.com

Happy One Year Anniversary [MakeUseOf Answers]

Posted: 31 Jan 2011 08:31 PM PST

best questionsMakeUseOf Answers celebrates its first anniversary this month. Silently made available to staff for testing on January 17th, the official launch quickly followed on February 1st, 2010. We have come a long way since then.

Over 2,700 published questions, thousands of comments, and hundreds of contributors later, we find ourselves in the middle of many talented volunteers who help us and keep the site flourishing. 

This is the time to thank every one of you. And we don’t stand empty handed. To celebrate one year of MakeUseOf Answers we’re handing out prizes to our most active and most valued volunteers. Your contribution has been noticed and we owe you more than just a Thank You!

We reward our best contributors, who have been providing both great questions and great answers, with a free T-Shirt from the MakeUseOf T-Shirt store.

They are:  

  • ha14
  • Mike
  • Oron Joffe
  • Josh Fox
  • pceasies
  • Smokey99
  • Richard Carpenter
  • fruitgeek
  • William Brand
  • Osama
  • Myke46
  • Tilman
  • Mango Wodzak
  • el tio ska

A special cash bonus is awarded to the first five in the list for their outstanding contributions in solving people’s questions.

Thank you very much all of you!

Everyone still looking for help, I hope you now know where to turn to!

Happy Anniversary MakeUseOf Answers!

Got Questions? Ask Them Now FREE on MakeUseOf Answers!



Similar MakeUseOf Articles

Cool Websites and Tools [January 31st]

Posted: 31 Jan 2011 07:31 PM PST

Check out some of the latest MakeUseOf discoveries. All listed websites are FREE or come with a decent free account option. You can make use of them without spending a dime. If you want to have similar cool websites round-ups delivered to your email daily email subscribe here.

Add Your Website Here!


PDF Pen – If you carry out your business online, you have probably come across contracts in PDF format that you have to digitally sign and give back. PDFPen is a cool Mac app that does this for you and more. This advanced PDF editing tool lets you manipulate PDF documents and saves you time on tasks that otherwise requires multiple software and several steps to do. Read more: PDFPen: Add Signature To PDF Documents Easily (OSX)


Pummelvision – is a neat tool that creates a slideshow videos from your social network photos, without requiring you to do anything. All you have to do is authorize PummelVision to access your photos on Facebook, Tumblr and Flickr. The tool will then grab your photos from your social networks and create a video with photos and music. Once created, the video will automatically be uploaded. Read more: Pummelvision: Creates Videos From Your Photos On Social Networks



PointofMail – If you run a business and do marketing via e-mail, you probably need tools to track what your prospects did when they received your e-mail. Did they open it, click a link, or downloaded an attachment? These are all important data if you hope to acquire clients for your proposal or promotions for your business. PointofMail is a cool e-mail app that allows you track your e-mails in detail, take control of them, and get all the data you need to run a successful e-mail marketing campaign. Read more: PointofMail: Detailed Analytics & Tracking For Sent Emails



Dnfellow – One of the factors that determine the success of a website is the site's domain. You need to come up with an suitable domain name that catches attention, is easy enough to remember, and is available. To help find such a name you can use dnFellow. First you select the domain extension you want: COM, NET, ORG, INFO, BIZ, ME, or US. Then you enter 3 sets of words related to your site in the given boxes. Read more: Dnfellow: Helps You Find Suitable Domain Names



Metrodome – A metronome is a device that produces a constant beat and helps musicians maintain tempo while practicing songs. There are a number of online apps that perform a metronome's function. One of these is Metrodome – a browser metronome that works in Google Chrome. After installing the app, you will find its icon in Chrome's default start page view. Clicking on the icon opens up the app. Read more: Metrodome: Browser Based Metronome (Chrome)


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.

Follow MakeUseOf on Twitter. Includes cool extras.



Similar MakeUseOf Articles

How to Search YouTube Like a PRO with Google Advanced Operators

Posted: 31 Jan 2011 05:30 PM PST

youtube searchI love YouTube. I use it for inspiration or to kill an idle hour (which I normally don’t have). I love the variety of user-generated content: different styles, topics and perspectives. I love it that YouTube is huge.

But with the resource being enormous comes one issue: it is almost impossible to search it efficiently. And there are no official guides on how to search YouTube to actually find something.

However, not many people know how flexible YouTube’s search function actually is.

About 2 years ago (maybe more) Google started operating YouTube search — if you haven’t noticed Google Video Search and YouTube search have even identical (advanced) search options. And with Google coming into play, there turns out to be some really tricky and smart ways to search YouTube using Google search operators.

The Issue

YouTube (like Google Video Search) has some handy sorting options that allow you to find videos by:

  • Relevancy (based on your search query);
  • Upload date (to find most recent videos);
  • View count (to find the most viewed videos);
  • Rating (to find the highest rated videos).

I love using the latter two options to look through the most popular YouTube videos on any topic.

The only issue is that when you sort by anything other than relevancy, the results are likely to be highly irrelevant.

Let’s compare:

youtube search

Sorting makes results absolutely off-topic. Luckily, we do have an option to sort YouTube search results while still getting relevant results: YouTube advanced search operators.

YouTube Advanced Search Operators

I don’t think the search operators I am listing here are anywhere to be found in YouTube’s documentation. All that is listed on the official “Advanced YouTube search” page is the set of the usual search options you see below the search field:

You can filter results by:

  • Type of results, such as Videos, Channels, or Playlists
  • Subject category
  • Video length
  • Video quality
  • Features, such as Closed captions, Partner videos, or Rentals

However, as we have seen above, filtering and sorting seldom triggers relevant results.

To bypass this issue, you need to use advanced operators which were inherited from Google search and are really very helpful:

1. Use quotes to force the exact match

This operator may come particularly in handy when you are sure which exact key phrases you want to be included into the search results, for example, the name of a movie or a music clip.

youtube video search

2. Use plus (+) sign to force a word in the results

If one of your words gets dropped out from search results, this operator may save a lot of your time. Similarly, you can use the minus (-) sign to force YouTube search to exclude any irrelevant but persistent words from the search results.

youtube video search

3. Force any word to appear in the video title with help of INTITLE: operator

This trick turns out to be very useful if you, for example, keep getting irrelevant results (video pages that only mention your search term in comments or loosely in description).

youtube search

Any more YouTube search tricks to force relevant results even when using sorting options?

Do you like MakeUseOf articles? Don’t forget to share our articles with others! It’s really important to us.



Similar MakeUseOf Articles

Simplify Your Shared Grocery Shopping Tasks With OurGroceries [Mobile]

Posted: 31 Jan 2011 03:30 PM PST

grocery shopping softwareI’ve recently made many trips to the supermarket as a result of not writing down the items I needed, which is why I’ve set out to go back to good ol’ writing a grocery shopping list. Since I own an iPod and would rather not use more paper than I need, I started to look for grocery shopping software that would be easy to use, and would let me share the list with others, like my roommate. You might have noticed that I try to use my iPod Touch for a lot of things that usually involve use of paper products, such as flashcards.

This time around, the search for the ideal app came to a halt when I found OurGroceries. There are many list-making apps for free on the iTunes App Store, that range from being very simple to those that have more features but offer complete features in the ad-free, paid versions. Very few of them allow sharing lists by features other than email. If I really wanted to email lists back and forth, I could just use the email app, but the OurGroceries grocery shopping software makes sharing grocery lists so simple. It really makes everything easier, especially if you have a family.

OurGroceries [iTunes link, BlackBerry App World link, Android users just need to search for OurGroceries in the Market app] is an incredible free find that does a few unique things, proving it invaluable for anyone that has more than 1 person in his/her household. Let’s see why OurGroceries is a must-have.

Only One User Has To Make An Account

grocery shopping software

The first thing I thought after reading OurGroceries’ description of having to use one master email address to access the lists, was, “Well, I could just let my trustworthy friend access my wunderlist with my email and password, so I don’t see how this app’s doing anything better.” In reality, with OurGroceries, only one person needs to set up an account and password, but does not have to share the password with anyone. As the owner of the master email address, you can grant others access to your lists. You only need to share your email address with your, say, your roommate Anna, who will input that address in the login information screen in the OurGroceries app, and then, you will get an email about whether or not you give permission to the owner of “Anna’s iPod” to access your account.

grocery shopping lists

Share & Sync All Lists Instantly

grocery shopping lists

Once you grant your roommate (or family member) access to the account, the items sync unbelievably quickly with no need for manual refresh.

grocery shopping lists

You will have the option to create as many lists as you want, but keep in mind that all of them will be shared with your roommate, or whomever has access. You can also add and edit items on the web interface, which sports a very similar look to that of the iPhone app and thus, could be used if you’re on a mobile browser of an unsupported phone model, like a Symbian or Windows 7 phone.

grocery software

Additionally, you can create recipe lists with only items to buy so if you have planned a weekly menu with KitchenMonki, you will know exactly what you need for that recipe.

grocery software

Use Categories To Classify Items By Supermarket Aisle

grocery software

Not only can you use pre-existing categories, but you can also edit and add more categories to match the layout of the supermarket you frequently go to and make navigating it a lot easier. If you go with, say, your spouse to get groceries and both of you own a supported phone, you can even split the tasks, go on separate ends of the supermarket and cross each item off as you each pick up a product. Not only do you save money using a set grocery list, you can also save time.

Create & Share Wishlists

Since you can create all sorts of lists of items to buy, writing a wishlist just makes sense and would ease trying to figure out a gift, and especially, trying to figure out if the other person likes the gift or not.

grocery shopping software

You could also create a list for all the things you want to try out together with your roommate or family member, like restaurants, movies, places to go, etc. which are all purchases, so OurGroceries could essentially be a planner of sorts, because more likely than not, you will be doing all those things with someone else.

So now that I’ve listed the features that make OurGroceries shine over other grocery shopping software, we should also mention that the apps are ad-supported, which isn’t bad, but you can always upgrade with the Android app and get rid of the ads. Another thing that would be nice to see in OurGroceries, is the ability to choose what lists to share. All lists get shared, so if you have a gift list, you will probably have to use another app to house that list, unless you want your surprises ruined. Also, like I mentioned earlier, there’s no mobile-friendly site yet, but the web interface sort of makes up for that, as it resembles the iPhone interface and thus, there’s not as much zooming and panning involved.

If you’re looking for a similar app, but that can scan product bar codes to instantly add an item to your grocery list, check out GroceryIQ. Also, if you don’t have a smartphone, check out this list of websites that can help with your printable grocery list!

What do you use to simplify your grocery shopping experience? Let us know in the comments!

Photo credit: Matt MacGillivray

Do you like MakeUseOf articles? Don’t forget to share our articles with others! It’s really important to us.



Similar MakeUseOf Articles

Pixelpost – A Very Capable Photo Blog Engine For Your Website

Posted: 31 Jan 2011 01:30 PM PST

photo blog engineI’ve been on the hunt for a good, lightweight yet powerful photo blog engine for my website for a long while now. The other day I happened upon Pixelpost and it seems to have answered the call of duty.

If you’ve got some free webspace, a spare MySQL database and a burning desire to share your particular flavour of photography with the world wide web then you’ll be relieved to find out Pixelpost is a powerful free open-source tool for the job.

In this article, we’ll be looking at version 1.7.3 – you can check out the latest version in action right here.

Installing the Pixelpost Photo Blog Engine

Before you get too excited, it’s important to check you’ve got everything Pixelpost requires to function. In order to install the software, you’re going to need:

  • PHP version 4.3.3 or higher
  • The getimagesize() PHP function
  • PCRE UTF-8 Support
  • PHP installation compiled with the GD graphics library

During the installation process, Pixelpost will test each of these settings, and if all goes well you won’t have any issues. If you do then it’s wise to contact your web hosting company for updates and additional software.

photo blog engine

Download the latest Pixelpost release and extract it into its own folder on your hard drive. You’re going to need an FTP client to connect to your webspace, I’d recommend FileZilla as it’s free, stable and cross-compatible with Windows, Linux and Mac. You can then upload the folder (with any name you like) to your webspace.

Once done, simply visit your photo blog’s location in a web browser (e.g. yoururl.com/pixelpost) to see if everything’s in order.

You will also need to make the /images and /thumbnails folders in your Pixelpost folder writeable (unless they already are). To do this, open up your favourite FTP program, select the required directories and apply CHMOD 777 (Read/Write/Execute, usually under Permissions in the right click menu).

When you’ve done all this, you can navigate to yoururl.com/pixelpost/admin (replacing yoururl and pixelpost with your own info) to begin the installation. Be aware you’ll need to create a new MySQL database, a user for the database and a password for the user. Keep all this information handy, you’ll need it to complete the installation.

photo blog software


Once you’ve made it through the installation and logged in to your admin panel, everything is fairly straightforward. The bar at the top of the admin screen provides access to pretty much every function you’ll need, though the Options page makes for a good starting point.

photo blog software

There are 4 pages of options – General, Template, Thumbnails and Spam Control. The General page allows you to customize your blog’s name, sub-title, RSS feed settings and so on. Templates allows you to change the look and feel of the site (more on that later) and Thumbnails and Spam Control are fairly self-explanatory.

photo blog software

Once you’re set-up, you can post a new image from the New Image admin page. But first, there are a few things to remember when posting to your photo blog.

Pixelpost will not resize your images for you – so you’re going to need to resize and save anything you want posted online. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as you can watermark your images while you’re at it (if you do so wish).

You cannot make categories from the New Image page, a feature that I have gotten used to thanks to WordPress. The best way round this is to quickly create a new category from the Categories page before posting.

You’ve also got the (absolutely fantastic) ability to schedule posts directly from the New Image page, especially useful if you’re doing a photo-a-day and want to sort your photos out beforehand.

Repaint The Galleries

Once you’ve posted an image take a look at your new photo blog. Photography aside, it should probably look something like this:

photo blog tools

If you’re sick of the black background, white border and grey text then you can always give your Pixelpost a brand new look by changing the template. Templates come in folders to be easily placed in the /templates folder of your Pixelpost install.

You can then change template via the Options then Template page. There’s plenty to choose from on the Pixelpost website.

photo blog engine

There’s also all manner of addons available for download, and these should be put in the /addons folder of your Pixelpost installation. You can then activate them on the Addons page in your admin panel.

Once you’ve finally got your photo blog exactly the way you want it it’s time for the hardest job of all – choosing the right photos! I’ll leave that one up to you.


If you’ve got some experience in setting up simple WordPress-style blogs then you’ll have no issues with Pixelpost, from the installation right down to adding images, templates and addons. You’ve then got the task of driving traffic and competing with some of the best photo blogs on the web – good luck!

Did you use Pixelpost for your photo blog? Thinking of starting one up but not sure how? Any favourite themes or addons? Fancy plugging your photography anyway? Let us know in the comments below.

Do you like MakeUseOf articles? Don’t forget to share our articles with others! It’s really important to us.



Similar MakeUseOf Articles

Hot Tech Deals [Jan 31st]

Posted: 31 Jan 2011 12:15 PM PST

If you’re in the market for a new computer, laptop, mobile phone, games and other accessories; don’t waste your time searching online. We’ve taken the liberty of locating the best tech deals and unifying them into a single post for your convenience.

For more fresh hot deals, visit our Hot Tech Deals page, which is constantly updated.

  1. TODAY ONLY Mitsubishi WD-60C10 60in 3D-Ready DLP HDTV (1080p) $699.99 Free Shipping
  2. Pogoplug Pro File NAS Dock w/ WiFi & Print Server (FTP/Mobile Access) $67.99 Free Shipping
  3. TODAY ONLY OCZ Vertex 2 120GB Internal SATA MLC Solid State Drive (TRIM, SandForce) $169.99AR Free Shipping
  4. Fantom Drives G-Force 2TB eSATA/USB External Hard Drive $79.99AR Free Shipping
  5. Paragon Partition Manager 11 Personal, EASEUS Data Recovery Wizard, novaPDF Professional Desktop Edition and 6 more apps for $39.99 via code MUO5OFF. Enter code during checkout or click here.
  6. Logitech MK550 Wireless Wave Keyboard/Mouse $39.99AR Free Shipping

Image credit: Modified from Svengraph’s icon set

Do you like MakeUseOf articles? Don’t forget to share our articles with others! It’s really important to us.



Similar MakeUseOf Articles

Borrow Kindle eBooks From The Kindle Lending Club

Posted: 31 Jan 2011 11:30 AM PST

kindle lending clubWhen Amazon made the amazing move allowing people to lend their Kindle eBooks to each other, it was only a matter of time before a service popped up making it easy to find the exact book that you’re dying to read but don’t necessarily want to buy. The Kindle lending process does have its limitations – you can only borrow the book for up to two weeks, but if you’re a fast reader it’s no big deal. If you’re not, it gives you enough time to decide whether or not you really want to buy the book.

The Kindle Lending Club started out as a Facebook page, growing to over 8,000 members in less than a month. The best part is that you don’t even have to own a Kindle to get in on the action. You can use the free Kindle apps op your Mac, PC, iOS, Blackberry or Android devices.

kindle lending club

Register for a free account by providing your details, or if you’d prefer, you can connect the site to your Facebook account.

lending kindle ebooks

How to Borrow a Book

The first thing you’ll probably want to do once you’ve registered for a free account is see if you can find any books that you want to borrow. Clicking on the orange Borrow a Book button gives you the option to perform a search or to browse the available books.

lending kindle ebooks

If the eBook is lendable, it will be accompanied by buttons to borrow or lend the title, along with the option to purchase it on Amazon.

kindle lending books

If the ebook is not available or is not lendable, it will only be accompanied by a link to purchase it on Amazon.

kindle lending books

Of course, its availability in the Lending Club doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get to read it straight away. Depending on the number of copies available, you might end up on a waiting list until a copy becomes available.

kindle lending books

If you can’t find what you’re looking for, browsing the available titles might pique your interest.

kindle lending books

Once you’ve found a book that is available, you will have to wait until one of the owners of the book receives the notification that you wish to borrow the book.

kindle lending books

Once the title has been loaned to you, you will receive an email notification with a link to download the book to your Kindle device or app. The book is yours for 14 days, after which it is automatically returned to the lender.

How to Lend a Book

Lending a book is just as easy. Click the green Lend a Book button and you can can then search for the titles you own or browse the most recently requested titles.

kindle lending books

The method is exactly the same as borrowing a book. Click the lend button, and there are no current requests for the title, you simply wait to be notified when someone wants to borrow the book.

kindle lending program

In the event that the book has already been requested, you will be presented with a list of the users waiting for the title.

kindle lending program

You can then select one and follow the instructions to lend the title directly on Amazon after which you will confirm on the site that you have loaned out the title.

kindle lending program

It is worth mentioning that the email address that you use will be visible to other users who lend you books, and that the email address you register with does not have to be your Kindle or Amazon email address.

If you want to delete an offer or a request, this can be done by accessing your profile and clicking delete on any given title from your page.

kindle lending club

If we had one request, it would be the inclusion of book descriptions on the site. At the moment, you have to go to Amazon to read the description, and if you’re not sure what you want to read and are just browsing, it’s a little inconvenient.

Have you tried borrowing a book using the Kindle Lending Club? Got any books on offer? Let us know in the comments.

Follow MakeUseOf on Twitter. Includes cool extras.



Similar MakeUseOf Articles

Advanced Keynote Slide Tricks and Effects You Should Know [Mac]

Posted: 31 Jan 2011 10:30 AM PST

keynote softwareIf you have ever viewed a Steve Job's keynote, you can't help but be impressed by the slide show effects in his presentations. His multimedia presentations look almost effortless, as they should appear. But the effects and tricks used in his presentations are not impossible to duplicate, especially when you can use the exact same program he and Apple use—that is, Keynote. Getting acquainted with the advance features of the Keynote software, you can build presentations just as well as Jobs and his co-workers do.

I recommend that the best way to explore the features of Keynote is not when you're working on an actual project, but rather when you have the time to launch the program and explore its features when you're not facing a deadline of completing an actual Keynote project. You're more than likely to try advance techniques when you previously practiced using them.

In this tutorial, we'll explore three techniques.

Magic Move

Probably the easiest but most powerful Keynote technique to learn is Magic Move. This effect is used when you want to accentuate one or more graphics or objects between two slides. Here's how to set it up:

  1. Launch Keynote software and select a basic template. Delete all the default graphics and text frames.
  2. Locate three graphic files to practice with. If you click the Media Library in Keynote, you no doubt have three photos in your Photo library that you can use.

    keynote software

  3. Add those three files to the first slide and reduce the size so they fit well on the slide. Don't worry about styling at this point. We're just focusing the feature technique itself.
  4. Duplicate the slide (Edit > Duplicate, or select the slide — hold down the Option button and pull the slide down.)
  5. In the duplicated slide, delete two of the graphics, and enlarge the third one by a little. Re-select the first slide.
  6. Now open the Inspector (View > New Inspector) and select the “Slide inspector”. This button is for transition effects between slides, where's the “Build selector” to its right is for effects within a slide.

    apple keynote

  7. Click on the Effect drop-down menu and select “Magic Move”. Next select "Automatically" under the “Start Transition” drop-down menu. Click inside the preview box above and you will see the effect. The graphic you selected for the second slide should have a zoom-in effect. You can of course, click the play button to see the effect in a larger size. If you're not sure how it works, click here for a video demonstration.

You can also play around with the duration of the effect and time delays between the slide transition.

Custom Move

The next technique is a little trickier. This one involves moving a graphic inside of a slide, instead of between. It enables you to customize the movement.

apple keynote

Create a new slide and add a single graphic to it. This time, select the Build inspector (the little yellow diamond icon) in the Inspector. Click on the “Action” button. Next, select “Move” under Effect. Click the “More Options” button to open the Build Order drawer. At the bottom of that drawer, select “Automatically after transition” from the drop-down menu.

  1. Select the graphic on the slide. You will notice a red line and ghost image appear, indicating the path that the graphic will move after the transition. Click inside the Preview window of the Builder to see how it moves.

    apple keynote

  2. You can change the path by which image moves by selecting one end of the line and moving it to your desired direction. Play around with moving the lines to see how it works.

    mac keynote

  3. To make additional paths, select the tiny red plus (+) button and move the end of the path in the direction you want it to go.

    mac keynote

  4. Notice in the Build Order drawer, each path direction you set is listed. You can rearrange the order of those paths or delete them. At the button drawer, you can select how you want to activate the build — either when you click the mouse or trackpad of your computer or "Automatically after" the previous build.

Smart Build

For this last technique, we're going to explore how to use the Smart Build. This involves showing two or more objects in one slide. Instead of having to build a slide for each object, you can use Smart Build to make a sort of mini slideshow within one slide.

  1. Create a new slide and select Insert > Smart Build > Dissolve in the Keynote menu bar.

    mac keynote

  2. A graphic frame will appear. Where it says, "Drop image here" do just that with your first image. Do the same with the other two graphics. It appears you can add as many objects as you like.

    keynote software

  3. Notice in the Build Inspector and Build Order drawer, you have options for the transition effect you want to use between object, the order and duration of the transition, and how you want to the build to be activated.

Like PowerPoint, Keynote can be an awesome presentation tool if you spend time learning how to use its features effectively. While Apple provides many templates and simple drag-and-drop features to make the program fairly easy to use, many of its not-so-obvious features are under the hood of the program, so to speak.

If haven't had much experience using the Keynote software, let us know how these techniques worked out for you. If you use Keynote techniques our readers should know about, please share them in the comment section.

Do you like MakeUseOf articles? Don’t forget to share our articles with others! It’s really important to us.



Similar MakeUseOf Articles

Parallels Desktop 6 and SyncMate 3 Expert Edition Giveaway Winners

Posted: 31 Jan 2011 10:00 AM PST

Let’s take a look at the lucky 15 MakeUseOf readers who have each won themselves a copy of the coveted Parallels Desktop 6 for Mac and the 25 connectivity masters who will receive licenses for SyncMate 3 Expert Edition.

Will you be one of them? Find out now.

Parallels Desktop 6 for Mac

  1. Cynthia Yeung
  2. Adam Jones
  3. Melwin Nelapati
  4. Joseph Lebo
  5. Jie Yu
  6. Erlend Vage
  7. Carmen Weiss
  8. Chris W
  9. David S
  10. Donald Quattlebum
  11. Giuseppe Allegretta
  12. Farzad Alipour
  13. Blake Lawless
  14. Annabelle Port
  15. Daniel Stead

SyncMate 3 Expert Edition

  1. Alvaro Leon
  2. Ami
  3. Arthur Sternhagen
  4. Alex Shen
  5. Bart Aronoff
  6. Brandon Brown
  7. Gilles Boudreau
  8. Jonathan De Berdt
  9. Farzad Alipour
  10. Glynn Hardy
  11. Hugh Leshley
  12. Julian Tan
  13. Cer
  14. Lars-Eivind Bjørtvedt
  15. Les Siewert
  16. Mariusz
  17. Rauf Guliev
  18. Kayla Reno
  19. Rexodus Borbe
  20. Peter Woerner
  21. Stephen Lichtenberg
  22. Scott Wright
  23. Webgalpat
  24. Yeam Teik Wooi
  25. José Antonio Lambiris

Congratulations! An email has been sent to you. Please check your inbox for licensing details. Now take a look at our bundlelytic charity bundle giveaway!

MakeUseOf would like to thank Parallels Holdings Ltd. and Eltima Software for their generosity while participating in this giveaway. Interesting in sponsoring? We’d love to hear from you. Get in touch with us via email.

Hey Facebookers, make sure to check out MakeUseOf page on Facebook. Over 24,000 fans already!



Similar MakeUseOf Articles

7 Free Online Medical Dictionaries for Some Word Aid

Posted: 31 Jan 2011 09:30 AM PST

online medical dictionary encyclopediaI just returned from the hospital. The consulting physician threw around words like 'Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography' without a stutter, but my brain hit a pothole. He went straight ahead to other words which made the health problem seem quite acute. Blame it on the medical words or blame it on my relative lack of medical know-how.

Of course, some doctors are patient enough to explain everything in layman's terms, but then I don't think many of them take the Hippocratic Oath for patiently educating the common masses about the arcane medical terminologies. That's where a free online medical dictionary and encyclopedia can jump right in.

When it comes to health problems and their understanding, it's the physician who should be the first port of call. But if you want to expand your knowledge, then the web is an information goldmine. A lot of quality medical reference websites exist. Online medical dictionaries are part of some. Here are seven you can check out for the words and terms that doctors skip past you.

Medline Plus

online medical dictionary encyclopedia

Webster's medical dictionary is a top-notch spot for looking up medical terms and their meanings. MedlinePlus is the National Institutes of Health’s website for free health related queries and information. Along with the general search field, you also can look up a page which lists lots of words that go into explaining medical terminologies. There's another page on common abbreviations. The Medline Plus search supports use of wild card characters.


free online medical dictionary

MediLexicon is a comprehensive database of medical abbreviations, terms, ICD9 codes, equipments, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, news, publications etc. The site has over 230,000 items in its database. The information can be accessed for free by professionals from the fields of pharmacy, biotechnology, agrochemicals, and healthcare. You can also use an alphabetical listing of medical words. Optionally, the search engine uses a fuzzy algorithm to supply variations to the keyword you enter. The dictionary is powered by Stedman’s Medical Dictionary.


free online medical dictionary

You can get easy to understand explanations of nearly 16,000 medical terms as well as detailed articles as part of all resources on the MedicineNet.com site.  Use the search box or the alphabetical listing. If you are not sure of the spelling, use wildcards to get a list of results to browse through. The advanced search options help to narrow down your search according to the choice you select from a dropdown.


free online medical dictionary

WebMD is a top-tier medical information website that has an entire suite of features on health and medicine. The dictionary, quite predictably gives you an alphabetical listing and a search box. The dictionary sources the meanings from Stedman’s Medical Dictionary. The meanings are short and concise.

The Free Dictionary

online medical dictionary

The medical dictionary of the Free Dictionary sources medical terms and definitions from The American Heritage Stedman’s Medical Dictionary, Second Edition and Dorland’s Medical Dictionary for Health Care Consumers, covering authoritative descriptions of medical conditions, medications, anatomical terms, noted medical personalities and more. The search box has the auto-suggestion feature enabled by default which also indicates the languages available for the meaning of a particular word. What are really useful are the audio pronunciations and selective illustrations of medical terms.

King's Medical Library Engine

online medical dictionary

The meta-search tool accesses most of the known resources we have listed above. The site includes a medical dictionary, terminology, and abbreviation search. You can also search for drug related information links to medical articles and journals on sites like PubMed. The web engine is powered by Google and the site also pings most of the well known sites for definitions and illustrations.


online medical dictionary encyclopedia

Medic8 gets medical terms and meanings from these publications – Dorland’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary, Mosby’s Medical Dictionary, Stedman’s Medical Dictionary, and Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary. Compared to some of the other medical dictionaries we have seen above, it is more of a content search engine rather than a pure dictionary as it gives you links to relevant articles on the site.

These seven free online medical dictionary sources are not only for laymen but also for those in the medical profession or on the verge of it. They can add these to some of the earlier ones we covered in The Best Reference Sites for Medical Students. Do you know of an online medical dictionary we haven't covered here?

Image credit: Shutterstock

Do you like MakeUseOf articles? Don’t forget to share our articles with others! It’s really important to us.



Similar MakeUseOf Articles

Free Server Uptime Check and Status Monitoring With Cloudkick

Posted: 31 Jan 2011 08:30 AM PST

free server monitoring softwareIf you run any servers – either your own personal home server or for a business – you should be keeping tabs on the health and availability of your systems. A dead server is a useless server, so making sure you are aware of any outages is an important part to running one.

Cloudkick was one of the hottest startups of 2010 and was acquired by Rackspace in December. Their whole business model is system monitoring as a service, with a lightweight client installed on the server reporting back to their monitoring servers operating in several different datacenters in the U.S.

The Cloudkick platform works on Windows and Linux (Ubuntu, CentOS and Redhat) and also comes with easy configuration for several providers such as Amazon EC2, Linode, Rackspace and other VPS/Cloud providers.

Is Cloudkick a good option for you to monitor your system(s)? Let’s go over the setup and what you get from the Cloudkick platform.

Setting Up The Cloudkick Agent

The first thing you will do is sign up for a developer account on the Cloudkick website. They have several paid options available as well but the developer account will allow you to have one server with comprehensive monitoring: CPU, memory and more; and also unlimited basic checks on an unlimited number of servers which include HTTP/S checks, Ping, SSH, DNS and TCP Header check (regular expression check).

free server monitoring softwareInstalling the Cloudkick agent is detailed on their wiki for all platforms. We will go over the Redhat/CentOS platform for the purposes of this article, but it is mostly the same for all other operating systems.

First add the Cloudkick yum repository to /etc/yum.repos.d/cloudkick.repo:


Install the Cloudkick packages:

yum check-update; yum install cloudkick-agent

and then run the configuration utility:

[07:38][root@server:~]$ cloudkick-config
Welcome to the Cloudkick configuration utility. This will securely
use your Cloudkick username and password to generate an API key
for the Cloudkick Agent.

Username: username
Password: **********
Writing configuration to /etc/cloudkick.conf
All done!

You will then probably want to edit /etc/cloudkick.conf to add your server name. Create a new line and add the following text, using your server name in place of serverXX:

name serverXX

Finally, enable the cloudkick agent to run on startup:

[07:41][root@server:~]$ chkconfig cloudkick-agent on
[07:42][root@server:~]$ service cloudkick-agent start
Starting cloudkick-agent: [ OK ]

That is all you need to do from your end to install and register your system in the Cloudkick system.

Setting up Monitors

The next time you log into the Cloudkick dashboard, you will see that this new server has been added to the system automatically. You will then need to set up alerts (also called Monitors) to go along with your server.

For the free checks, we will add a basic availability check on our server(s). We will check SSH availability as well as PING response times just for demo purposes. You can use any of the ‘basic’ checks or one or more of the standard checks depending on what type of account that you have signed up for.

server monitoring software

After adding these monitors, it will start collecting data for your system. The Cloudkick interface has a lot of graphing options, allowing you to monitor these services over time and give you an idea as to how responsive your server is.

free server monitoring software

In addition to the pretty graphs and charts, you will also have alerts sent to you if any of the services go down. You can set it up so that it will trigger an alert after 1-3 errors and can also have it alert you just once or on a continuing basis. For extra bonus points, you can set it up so that it will text you on outages or also pipe it to a push service such as Boxcar.

Will Cloudkick Work For You?

Cloudkick is great if you have a small number of servers and you are looking for basic monitoring. The pricetag is certainly right for this type of uptime and health monitoring. However once you start adding servers with full checks to your account, the price quickly goes up. There is some great free server monitoring software available out there which are open source and free such as Nagios and Zabbix, and both would be compelling alternatives if you are looking for more detailed checks on multiple servers and are willing and able to set up the infrastructure for doing so. But for a personal home server or even a couple of servers for businesses, Cloudkick is a useful service to sign up for and it is very easy to get started with. Check it out and let us know what you think!

Do you like MakeUseOf articles? Don’t forget to share our articles with others! It’s really important to us.



Similar MakeUseOf Articles

9 Apps For The Price Of 1: bundlelytic charity bundle [Giveaway]

Posted: 31 Jan 2011 07:30 AM PST


What do you get when you bring 9 great app developers, 1 awesome hot product and a fantastic website together? Pure awesome, that’s what. Brought to you by the guys behind MakeUseOf with a little help from TheDailyBuggle and fueled by good will, we’re proud to present the bundlelytic charity Windows app bundle.

Featuring some of the best, must-have apps from around the web like Paragon Partition Manager 11, EASEUS Data Recovery Wizard, Divvy for Windows and many more; the bundlelytic app bundle will be available at just $49.99 (original total price of $299) from today until midnight, 28th of February 2011. We’ll also be giving away 25 copies of the bundle here at MakeUseOf totalling to over $1200 worth of apps! We’ve also got a coupon code exclusively for MakeUseOf readers if you’re looking to purchase this bundle today.

So let’s take a closer look at the bundlelytic charity bundle.

UPDATE: We’ve got a second 250GB ioSafe Rugged Portable to give away! In order to be in the running to win it, all you have to do is go to bundlelytic.com and hit the retweet button or share the page on Facebook. Easy!

Aside from the fact that this is a chance for you to get 9 useful applications at a greatly reduced price, you’ll also be donating to a worthwhile cause. 50% of the proceeds from this bundle will be donated to the Queensland Premier's Disaster Relief Appeal, a fund for those affected by the overwhelming floods in Queensland, Australia. Over 70 towns and 200,000 people were affected by the floods, costing over AUD$30 billion in damages. Families are left homeless, food prices are skyrocketing. It is only right for us to do what we can in order to help out. Your money will be touching the lives of those who had to leave all of their belongings behind.

What’s included

And now, a quick summary about the apps that are included in this bundle.

Paragon Partition Manager 11 Personal

Paragon’s Partion Manager 11 Personal is an advanced disk management application that is packed with sophisticated features like Hot Resize which allows you to change any NTFS partition without rebooting, setup multi-boot environments, creates backup images and more. 32- and 64-bit versions available.

We’ve featured Partition Manager 11 Personal before — Get Your Drives Under Control With Paragon Partition Manager

SafeWallet for Windows v.2.0.2

SafeWallet is a secure personal information manager. It utilises AES 256-bit encryption to store your private data like credit card information, passwords, banking information, etc. safely on your computer. It is also able to sync with iPhones, Androids, BlackBerry, Symbian and Windows mobile phones via its mobile app counterpart.

We reviewed SafeWallet recently, take a look: Store Confidential Details on your Phone with SafeWallet

Divvy for Windows

Divvy is an insanely simple tool yet vitally important in your daily workflow. It allows you to easily manage the sizes of your windows and organise them on the screen however you want. Divvy is perfect for the multi-tasking productivist.

“If you want some better tools for organizing and resizing your windows, Mizage’s Divvy might be a breath of fresh air.” — PCWorld

Altaro Oops!Backup

Altaro Oops!Backup is a highly functional yet easy way to back up your data on a Windows PC. With its unique BackInTime technology, you can travel back in time to find and revert changes made to your documents, photos and other files.

“I fell in deep like with Oops!Backup’s well-designed interface and its plain, straightforward English dialogs.” — PCWorld

360Amigo System Speedup Pro

360Amigo’s System Speedup PRO offers a one-click solution to fix PC problems quickly. Additionally, it can also scan and erase malicious processes & clear your computer of junk data and errors, giving it a new breath of life. Purchase of this bundle entitles you to full 1-year license.

“360 Amigo System SpeedUp’s pro edition delivered significant improvements to a well-worn system. These improvements, coupled with a wallet-friendly price, make this a compelling utility for breathing new life into aging machines.” — PCMag

We’ve ran several giveaways featuring 360Amigo System Speedup PRO — Nurse Windows Back To Health With System Speedup Pro

novaPDF Professional v.7

From the makers of the fabulous free PDF converter, doPDF — NovaPDF Professional Desktop is a souped-up, feature-packed application that enables you to easily convert any document to PDF via a printer driver interface or a simple Microsoft Office add-in. It can also secure your PDF documents by requiring a password in order to view, print or copy; among other great features.

EASEUS Data Recovery Wizard v.5.0.1

Easeus Data Recovery Wizard is a powerful, straightforward application that will help you recover deleted data from an existing partition, data from a reformatted partition, and lost data from a corrupted partition and it supports sector-by-sector recovery. It works on hardware RAID arrays, hard drives, USB drives, SD and other memory cards.

Returnil System Safe v.3.2.11341

Returnil System Safe 2011 uses a combination of anti-virus/anti-malware protection and a virtual system to clone your operating system in order to create a safe, secure virtual environment for your PC. Instead of loading the real operating system, a clone (copy) is booted and allows you to run your applications (or try new apps) in an isolated setting. Purchase of this bundle entitles you to full 1-year license.


Pixo is an interesting image effects editor that allows you to “brush” effects directly on images. It can also process effects using compatible Photoshop plugins. It’s really simple to use — just pick your image, select an effect and start painting.

We’re reviewed Pixo before too — Add Special Effects To Your Photos With Pixo

Lucky draws

Ah but wait, that’s not all. Purchasing this bundle will automatically enter you into our lucky draw to win a free 250 GB ioSafe Rugged Portable bulletproof hard drive which was only recently revealed in CES ’11. Like its older sibling the SoloPRO, this 2.5″ portable hard drive is also virtually indestructible and capable of withstanding extreme amounts of torture. The winner of this lucky draw will be announced on March 15th, 2011.

There’s more — a second lucky draw which you will qualify for upon purchasing the bundle, and the prize is one of 100 copies of Nitro PDF Professional worth $99.99 each. That’s almost $10,000 of freebies up for grabs!

The bundlelytic charity bundle is available at just $49.99 for a limited time only — the bundle expires at midnight, 28th of February 2011.

If you would like to purchase this bundle, we’ve got an exclusive $10 off coupon code for you. Please use the code MUO5OFF during checkout or click on this link to automatically add the discount. This coupon is limited to 500 uses only so act quickly!

Click here to buy now.

Or if you’d like to take the chance, we’re giving away 25 copies of this bundle.

How do I win a copy?

It’s simple, just follow the instructions.

Join our Facebook page by clicking the Like button or you can follow us on Twitter, if you prefer. If you’re already following us, you may skip this step.

If you can’t see the fanbox, click on this link.
If you want, you can also Like the bundlelytic charity bundle.

Here’s our giveaway form. Please fill it in accurately. Be sure to enter your real name and email address so that we can get in touch if you are chosen as a winner. Click here if you can’t view the form.

You’re almost done. Now, all that’s left to do is to share the post. There are 2 options to choose from or you can do both!

Like it on Facebook

Or share it on Twitter

And that’s it! You’re done!
Giveaway eligibility
In accordance to Facebook’s Promotional Guidelines 2.4.2 and 2.4.3:
Individuals who are over the age of 18. If you are under 18, get your parents to participate on your behalf;
Individuals who reside in a country embargoed by the United States; Belgium, Norway, Sweden, or India are not permitted to enter.

This giveaway begins now and ends Tuesday, March 1st at 0000hrs PST. The winners will be selected at random and announced via email.

Spread the word to your friends and have fun!

Image: Wikimedia

Follow MakeUseOf on Twitter. Includes cool extras.



Similar MakeUseOf Articles

No comments:

Post a Comment