Wednesday, February 16, 2011 “Latest Hilarious Picks [MakeUseOf Geeky Fun]” plus 11 more “Latest Hilarious Picks [MakeUseOf Geeky Fun]” plus 11 more

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Latest Hilarious Picks [MakeUseOf Geeky Fun]

Posted: 15 Feb 2011 10:37 PM PST


Check out the top picks from MakeUseOf Geeky Fun during the last week.

  1. Webcam Transformers (Video)
  2. No Screen Peeking! (Pic)
  3. The Creative Process (Pic)
  4. Video Games Cause Violence (Pic)
  5. CBS Copyright Claim Fail (Pic)
  6. The Evolution Of The Fax Machine (Pic)
  7. Honk if you love Jesus… (Pic)

If you would like to keep up with all latest Geeky Fun additions, please subscribe to the Geeky Fun feed here. You can also subscribe and get the latest additions via email.


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Cool Websites and Tools [February 15th]

Posted: 15 Feb 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!


GMT Slider – is a nifty tool that lets you quickly compare time zones around the world by adding multiple sliders for each time zone and then using it to see how changing the time in one slider affects the other. The default slider will show your current time. You can select the time zone from the drop down menus, and click the '+' sign to add new sliders. Read more: GMTSlider: Easily Compare Time Zones Around The World


Solve Media – With lots of banners, ad blocks, in-line ads and annoying pop-ups, it is easy for the consumer to lose attention. How about if you actually make the consumer type in your brand message? SolveMedia is an advertising solution that replaces horrific traditional CAPTCHAs with brand messages. Read more: SolveMedia: Earn Money Through CAPTCHAs On Your Site



SlickScreen – If you have a large computer screen, you would know that most of the web pages and browsers waste a lot of your screen real estate. SlickScreen is an application that changes things by letting you be more productive and make use of every bit of your screen. Read more: SlickScreen: Multi Pane Browsing Interface For Large Screens



Social Vents – If you are tired of cluttered text-only search engines, SocialVents will be a refreshing change. SocialVents is a event search engine that lets you search for events around the world and displays results visually on Google Maps. You can search by entering a specific location and date and even restrict your results by categories such as music, fashion, art, food and others. Read more: SocialVents: Cool Visual Event Search Engine



Wikiriver – If you want to hunt down the latest information from and about Wikileaks, but are stuck finding a good source, then you should check out Wikiriver. This website sources several online publications, blogs, and news outlets to provide a portal for news and information on Wikileaks' materials. Wikiriver uses RSS to source these materials so you can also use these same RSS sources to add them to your favorite reader. Read more: Wikiriver: Aggregates All Wikileaks News in One Place


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.

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The 7 Toughest Tech Questions [MakeUseOf Answers]

Posted: 15 Feb 2011 05:31 PM PST

You can make MakeUseOf Answers better!

Tell us what you think and tell us what you want. Go ahead and submit your challenging tech questions. If you’re happy with a solution we provided, give back and help someone else.  Or just do it because you love it or for the chance of winning the Best Answer of the Week contest.

This week we may well have the most difficult and mind boggling questions ever. Can you help solve them?

MakeUseOf Answers is available in three different flavors: Latest Questions, Most Popular Questions, or Unanswered Questions. For regular updates subscribe to the Answers RSS Feed.

Need help? Ask A Question at MakeUseOf Answers.

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How To Check If Someone Else Is Accessing Your Facebook Account

Posted: 15 Feb 2011 03:31 PM PST

someone else accessing my facebook accountWhat’s the number one issue people have with Facebook? That’s right, privacy. Ever since there’s been a Facebook, people have been voicing their privacy concerns about it, and we’ve been there every step of the way. Over the past year, we’ve given you 16 steps (8 here, 8 there) to regain control of your Facebook privacy, taught you how to secure your settings, given you tips to protect your privacy, introduced you to apps like PrivacyDefender, and shown you how to tweak your Facebook Places security settings. And after all that, we finally broke down and wrote an Unofficial Facebook Privacy Guide.

So what’s the problem now? Nothing, technically. In fact, Facebook has recently given us a way to see if someone else has been accessing our Facebook accounts (without our permission). Is that something you’d be interested in? Follow me.

What Does This Mean For Me?

Have you ever suspected that someone else was logging into your Facebook account? It’s not a good feeling, mostly because it would drive you crazy if you were unable to prove it. Whether you have an easy password to guess (like the word “password”) or you accidentally left your login information saved on a public computer somewhere, it would be reassuring to be able to check whether or not anyone has been signing in under your name.

Sure, you could always change your password, but lets face it, you aren’t going to do that unless you absolutely have to – unless your password really is the word “password”, in which you should change it immediately (I’m serious). I don’t blame you, but there has to be another way of uncovering suspicious activity on your account.

The feature I’m about to show you is a nice little security setting built into Facebook that will help you quickly detect if anybody else has been secretly logging into and using your Facebook account.

Where Are These Security Features?

someone else accessing my facebook accountTo get to the security settings I’ve been alluding to, log into your Facebook account and click on Account at the top right of the page. When the drop-down box appears, click on Account Settings.

There’s a good chance you know exactly where I’m taking you, but your settings should look a little different this time since the last time you’ve visited.

On your My Account page, scroll down to where it says Account Security and click the change link.

Now you should see a list of all computers (and mobile devices) that have logged into your Facebook account, their location, and when this happened. Rather than an IP address, it displays the approximate geographic location of the device, which is based on the device’s IP.

If you come across an unknown or suspicious device in your list, just click “end activity” on the device and you will automatically be logged out of that machine.

someone else accessing my facebook account

Also, if you would like to add an extra layer of protection on your account, you can enable email/SMS alerts for when someone else tries to log into your account from a previously unknown computer or mobile phone. Features like one-time passwords and secure browsing using the HTTPS protocol are also at your disposal.

Would you like to see all of these advanced security features in action? Check out this YouTube video if you’re seeking further explanation:


I think this is a pretty solid move by Facebook. If you didn’t know these security features were there you may be pleased to find the added level of security that’s there for you to enable. One interesting aspect of this is what you do if you confirm a suspicious machine has been logging into your account and you think it’s someone you know? I’ll leave the creativity up to you, but you could theoretically let it slide, enable alerts, and then catch them in the act the next time it happens. Or something like that.

What do you think of Facebook’s privacy features?

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The Top 10 Sites To Listen To Classical Music

Posted: 15 Feb 2011 01:31 PM PST

classical music listenWhat’s better than a quiet afternoon reading with a nice cup of tea? Not much, but you can try adding some free classical music playing in the background. Well, obviously not all of you will agree. But if it sounded good to you, read on.

Classical music is loved by many and misunderstood by many more. On the Internet however, it doesn’t matter if you’re well versed in classical music history or could instantly recognise a Handel piece when you heard it or not. There’s plenty of experts out there programming the best works for their audiences. All you have to do is take a listen and see what you like.

Tactics First

Where will you find classical music to listen to online?

Classical Music Internet Radio Stations

The easiest way to listen to classical music online is to find a digital classical music radio station. This takes no time at all and you may realise that you’ve found yourself with so many great options that you never even consider the alternatives.

Since the radio stations change URL every now and then, plus there’s a plethora to choose from, I’ll point you in the direction of some great collections of digital classical music radio stations. These could easily become your go-to sites to listen to classical music.

Download Free Classical Music MP3s

There are a number of fantastic ways to get free classical MP3s online, which we’ve already covered in detail on MakeUseOf.

Explore Social Networking Music Sites

There are many social networking music exploration sites. Not all of them feature classical music, but the larger ones certainly do.

classical music listen

1. Shoutcast Internet Radio Directory

Shoutcast has one of the most comprehensive directories of Internet radio stations. It also keeps track of listener counts and can therefore list the stations in order of popularity for you, so top UK and US stations are nice and easy to find. Not only can you browse the classical genre, but you can browse sub-genres as well, such as baroque or choral music. Perfect if you’re in the mood for something specific.

listen to classical music

2. Live 365 Internet Radio Directory

Live 365 is another huge Internet radio directory, so you’ll find plenty of radio sites to listen to. Just click on the “Classical” genre and you’ll be presented with the most listened to classical radio stations in the directory, plus related genres. To the left, you’ll see the station from the top of the list, ready to play and showing you the current track if possible.

Also, when you play a station, you’re automatically given a list of related stations. This makes changing your choice and exploration even easier.

listen to classical music

3. Classical Web Cast

Classical Web Cast is a simple, but well-curated list of only classical music and divides their collection into three distinct lists: USA, Europe and the Rest of the World. It even features quite a few Australian radio stations.

listen to classical music

4. Listen Live EU

Listen Live EU is a simple, yet thorough list of European radio stations, and has a section dedicated to classical music stations in Europe. Since you’re only listening for the music, it doesn’t matter if you can understand the commentary or not. Dive in and have a listen!

classical music websites

5. MusOpen

Try MusOpen to download some legal, free classical MP3s. It’s a good way to explore and to be able to keep the classical music you listen to and like.

6. Grooveshark

Grooveshark has an amazing collection of music. For classical music, just head to the main site and choose the “Classical” genre from the genre options on the left.

classical music websites

7. Pandora

classical music websites

Pandora is available to those of you in the US. Just type in any classical composer you like and it will take you from there.

8. will let you listen to any genre of music you like by choosing a given tag radio. Check out the Classical tag radio and keep an eye out for similar tags you might try later. This should keep you busy for a while!

9. YouTube

Don’t forget YouTube has plenty of music on it. Search for “Classical” to find users who focus on classical music, listen to classical music playlists and more.

Or check out many more ways to play music on YouTube.

10. uWall Classical

There’s a great service called uWall, which makes listening to music on YouTube really easy. Check out their Classical genre for some quick listening.

classical music listen

I hope that keeps you busy listening to classical music for a while. If you’ve got any favourite online classical radio stations, please feel free to tell us in the comments!

Image Credit : MonkeyMike

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Hot Tech Deals [Feb 15th]

Posted: 15 Feb 2011 12:30 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. HP Pavilion s5670t Slim Intel Core i3-540 3.06GHz Desktop (4GB/750GB) $469.99 via code TECHBARG30 (Exp 4/30)
  2. HP G62x Intel Core i3-350M 2.26GHz 15.6in Laptop (4GB/500GB/Win7) $499.99
  3. HP Pavilion dm1z AMD Dual-Core E-350 (FUSION) 11.6in Laptop w/ ATI Radeon HD6310M Graphics $419.99 via code TECHBARG30 (Exp 4/30)
  4. D-Link DGS-1008G 10/100/1000 Gigabit Desktop Switch $19.99 Free Shipping via code EMCKHJE77 (Exp 2/16)
  5. D-Link DAP-1522 802.11b/g/n Xtreme N 2.4/ 5GHz Selectable Dual Band Wireless Gigabit Router $46.99AR Free Shipping via code EMCKHJE74 (Exp 2/16)
  6. New Release – Marvel vs Capcom 3: Fate of 2 Worlds (Xbox 360, PS3) $49.99 Free Shipping via code EMCKHJE72 (Exp 2/16)
  7. OCZ Agility 2 60GB Internal SATA Solid State Drive SSD (SandForce Controller, TRIM) $89.99AR Free Shipping
  8. Paragon Partition Manager 11 Personal Edition and novaPDF Professional Desktop Edition for $15 (digital download, instant delivery)
  9. EASEUS Data Recovery Wizard v.5.0.1 and Altaro Oops!Backup for only $20 (digital download, instant delivery)
  10. Divvy for Windows and Pixo Image Effects Editor for $15 (digital download, instant delivery)

Image credit: Modified from Svengraph’s icon set

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The Top 10 Websites To Find The New Movie Releases This Week

Posted: 15 Feb 2011 11:31 AM PST

Turn the page. Your local newspaper surely lists the upcoming movie releases for the week. But wait, isn't this the age when we reach for the mouse faster than we scan newsprint?It's a good thing too as the web does a better job of looking into the future and keeping tabs on what new movies will get released. For the movie addict it's manna from heaven as he does not have to hold his breath or buy a trade glossy to find out when his expectation will meet reality.

Though as a movie addict, I am still waiting for baited breath for the next Avengers movie.  But thanks to the kind of websites we have listed below, I know the movie is most likely to be released on May 4th, 2012. So movie addicts, suck in some oxygen as these websites tell us if a release is due this week or it's in the near future.


Believe me,'s homepage is a huge distraction. The slideshow on upcoming movies is a huge distraction. I have to literally stop myself from meandering away to other links. To find out upcoming movie releases, head to the section entitled – Now Playing. You can find it under the drop downs under the Movie menu on top and again at the foot of the page.

The movie releases are for U.S only but that's also indicative of when it gets released in the rest of the world as these days movies are released almost simultaneously. Clicking on the months gives you all the coming soon movie listings. The nice little box on the right gives you the showtime information too.

Box Office Mojo

Box Office Mojo is an IMDB site and if you are interested in the business side of things, you will be here. The Release Schedule gives you a broad list of upcoming movie releases (in theater, in DVD, and in Blu-ray), not only for the coming week but also for the coming year and beyond. You can also find the show times for your area. You can see if the movie will get a wide or limited release. The By Date tab also tells you about any date changes.

Rotten Tomatoes

Rotten Tomatoes is no less authoritative than There's the 'Certified Fresh' rating and the Tomatometer benchmarks to go by. Find out what's playing this Friday and every other Friday for the coming six months. When you click on the Movies link at the top, you also get to straightway see the movies releasing this week. You get the same information for DVD releases from its menu.

Coming Soon is another complete movie guide with inside scoops and news. So believe in them and check out the Movie Release Dates page. Click on a month or season to see movie release dates, then drill down to see trailers, cast listings, reviews, commentary, and more. You can add comments and socially share the information with friends. The TV show listing and DVD / Blu-Ray release dates are for those who like the idiot box better than the large screen.

Here you can find a large assembly of fan pages and fan sites along with the usual dose of movie news, views, and recommendations. In terms of convenience, the Movie Calendar is a must-see. With a single click you can browse through all the movies that will get released in the near future. The filter by genre is really useful as we all have different tastes. Clicking on the titles will take you to a more detailed information page on the movie.


The AOL website makes it too easy to stay updated. You have iPhone and Android apps for keeping up with movie news; there's the Moviefone toolbar for the browser; you can call up on toll-free numbers (US only); and you can also text your zip code to Moviefone to see today’s movies and showtimes. To find out new movie releases and coming soon DVD titles, find time to visit the site. You can filter both by genre and PG ratings.

First Showing's release schedule for the calendar year and the next can be downloaded as a Google Calendar in HTML, XML, and iCal formats. The description of the movie on the calendar also links to more details and the location of the theater on a Google Map. The information is US only.

When It Drops is a site we have covered briefly before. You can use it to keep yourself abreast of the latest movie and DVD releases with a single glance at its minimalistic interface. Clicking on the large thumbnail gives you two options – either watch the trailer or buy tickets online. The site looks ahead two weeks for upcoming movies.

Mombo is one of the sites listed on the 10 Websites For SHORTEST Movie Reviews (on Twitter) that showcases the real-time effectiveness of Twitter for movie updates. You can follow the site for coming soon alerts on Twitter or your feed reader.


My colleague Dave mentioned in his post on 9 Tips & Tricks to Get The Most out Of Your Netflix Subscription that Netflix is the best thing since sliced bread. So, if you are in the US and Canada, you might want to keep the New Releases and the New choices to watch instantly feeds in your reader for instant knocks on what's happening there.

Finding out the schedule of new movie releases would have been really handy during my college years. Those were the times when one had to pick and choose the movies to watch especially during the summer when all the major blockbusters got released. I missed it, but thanks to these web services on movies, the new generation can stretch their money. Me? I get to satisfy my curiosity for upcoming releases and hold my breath.

Image credit: Shutterstock

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How To Check Your Yahoo! Mail In Google Chrome With X-Notifier

Posted: 15 Feb 2011 10:31 AM PST

chrome yahoo mailMost of us who like to use and check Flickr for beautiful photos have Yahoo! Mail accounts that are most likely not Plus accounts, so we have to check for mail the old way, which can become cumbersome and counter-productive. There are desktop workarounds (for Mac even) that may work, as well as mobile mail checkers, like the iOS Mail app, but for integrated solutions in Chrome, there are limited extensions.

Now that Chrome has desktop notifications, mail checkers for multiple webmail services are most welcome. X-Notifier is the Chrome (and Opera which supports extensions now!) version of the ultra-powerful, multiple mail checker, Webmail Notifier. This gem of an app is the perfect mail checker extension in this author’s book, and is available as an extension and as a web app.

Set Up Multiple Accounts Of The Same Service

Once you install the app, you can head to the Options page to type in your account credentials (for Yahoo! Mail, just the username and password).

chrome yahoo mail

You can give your Yahoo account, or any other account for that matter, a nickname (“alias”) to quickly identify your different accounts. You can also leave the fields blank to see the default email addresses on each service, which includes Gmail, AOL, Hotmail, in addition to Yahoo, but it may have support for other webmail services.

chrome yahoo mail notifier

You can check for additional services if you click on the Scripts button.

chrome yahoo mail notifier

Additional services supported on Chrome (which you can check on this page) are Zoho Mail, Twitter, Facebook, and many more.

chrome yahoo mail notifier

What I really like about the extension isn’t only the multiple account support, but the fact that when you click on the extension icon, you can choose which webmail interface to open up in a separate tab since the extension supports auto-login.

yahoo mail in chrome

You can also click on Open All to have all the different services load up in separate tabs.

yahoo mail in chrome

You can also set the interval on which the extension should check for new email in your accounts. The default is 10 minutes, but you can definitely change it with ease.

Enable Desktop Notifications

chrome yahoo mail

If you’re the type of person that doesn’t mind getting notification bubbles in your Windows desktop, you’ll surely like X-Notifier’s desktop notifications, which you can even set to keep open and close manually if you don’t want to miss anything (by unchecking “Auto hide notification“), but you can also choose to automatically hide the notifications. You can also turn on sound notifications, and even set a custom sound by inputting the audio URL.

Since I’ve had this extension for a while (pretty much since I switched to Chrome), I have come to not want desktop notifications for email, as they can be distracting especially when I’m trying to get something done, and I already check my Gmail pretty frequently. Thus, I prefer to get information on demand. It may be the opposite for you though. Still, having the extension is time-saving as it’s basically a mini information center detailing how many messages I’m missing, and if I do have any unread ones, it can take me straight to the corresponding website.

In Ubuntu, this extension is really supplemental as the built-in Evolution and Gwibber can do the job. In Windows 7, you can have Windows Live Mail.

What do you use to help you automatically check your email?

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Keep Your Computer’s Text Clipboard History With ClipCube [Windows]

Posted: 15 Feb 2011 09:31 AM PST

clipboard historyTwo of the most common actions that every computer user does all the time is “Copy” (Ctrl + C)  and “Paste” (Ctrl + V) – using the clipboard. Looking at how useful the clipboard is to us, it’s strange that the default number of items that can be saved in the clipboard history is limited to just one. You need to copy every item that you want to paste, even though that item has been copied to the clipboard before. If you are working with a long document and need to copy and paste multiple items several times, this limitation is really inconvenient.

That’s why we have clipboard managers. These tools will create a larger clipboard that can keep more items inside, keep a track of clipboard history, and give access to users to easily choose and paste any item from the history. There are many clipboard managers out there, but if you want a really tiny and portable one that handles nothing beyond text, maybe you could try ClipCube.

The Left Click

As the file is only around 150KB, the download will be finished before you know it. Extract the compressed file into a folder and you are good to go. One great idea that you can do with a portable app this small is to keep it inside your Dropbox folder and have access to it from every computer that you use.

After you run the app, it will reside quietly in the System Tray, waiting for the clip items to pour in.

clipboard history

Left-clicking on it will open up the clipboard list and you will see all the recent clipboard items there. To see more from each item, you can resize the windows easily by dragging the edges of the window.

02a Clipboard History

There are several menus that you can access from the toolbar above. The “Settings” icon on the very right allows you to “Show Timestamps“, “Grid Lines“, and to choose whether or not to display the list using a “Fixed-width Font“.

clipboard manager

Clicking the eye icon next to “Settings” will alternate the preview pane on and off. If you want to know what’s inside an item, click the eye open. The other icons are (from right to left): Delete, Copy, number of clipboard items, and pin.

To paste one of the items to the document that you currently working on, select the item, choose the Copy icon, go to the document, and paste. One cool thing that I found is that if you copy a web address, you can go directly to the address from ClipCube.

clipboard manager

The Right Click

Right-clicking on the System Tray icon will bring out several quick menus. The “Options” allow you to put the app in the startup list so it will always be available every time you (re)start your system.

clipboard history retrieve

The “Keep Items” lets you determine how long the clipboard items should stay in the list. You can keep the items indefinitely, but I personally think that too many items on the list will not help you to be more productive.

clipboard history retrieve

The quickest way to empty your clipboard is by choosing “Delete All“.

clipboard history retrieve

You could also “pause” ClipCube so that it won’t record any more clipboard items until you enable it again.

More Settings & Wish List

If you like to tinker with code, you can find the configuration settings inside ClipCube’s folder. Open the file with Notepad (or another text editing software) and change the settings using “1 (Yes)” or “0 (No)”. The one that I found useful is the ability to set the size and position of the clipboard window.

clipboard history

My quick fact-check told me that ClipCube is still under development. Even though it should work just fine under Windows XP, Vista, and 7, there is one thing that the developer should add in a future release: shortcut keys. The ability to quickly access the app and paste one of the items in the list using shortcuts will make this nice little tool even more useful. I found a shortcut option within the configuration settings text, but I couldn’t find anything in the app itself.

Have you tried ClipCube? Do you use another alternative? Please share your favorite clipboard manager(s) using the comments below.

Image credit: TooFarNorth

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The 5 Best Tips To Improve Your Desktop Wallpaper

Posted: 15 Feb 2011 08:31 AM PST

desktop wallpaper tipsDo you realize how important your desktop wallpaper is? It may not seem very significant, but it can do a lot for you. Most of all, it can make your desktop more pleasant. A cheerful wallpaper can be uplifting, you can express your creativity, and it may motivate you to keep your desktop tidy. What else it can do for you is up to your own imagination and creativity.

In this article I will show you how to go about picking the right wallpaper for your screen size, where to find the most beautiful wallpapers, how to have more than one wallpaper, and lots more. Your desktop won’t be the same!

1. Get The Right Resolution

Regardless of its artistic beauty, a wallpaper that doesn’t come in a high enough resolution and matching aspect ratio will look grainy and distorted. To avoid awkward looking background images, you should understand the specs of your monitor before you start hunting for great wallpapers.

Screen resolutions are denoted in pixels, e.g. 800 x 600. The numbers indicate how many pixels your monitor can display horizontally (800) and vertically (600). The resolution also reveals that the monitor in this example has an aspect ratio of 4 : 3 (horizontal : vertical pixels).

A perfect wallpaper has to meet two criteria:

  1. high enough resolution
  2. matching aspect ratio

This article from CrunchGear provides a resolution chart (depicted below) that lets you pick the right wallpaper aspect ratio and resolution for your monitor. For example, if your monitor has a resolution of 1600 x 1200 you have a 4:3 aspect ratio. This ratio is color-coded red, so you can use all resolutions in red that are 1600 x 1200 or greater.

desktop wallpaper tips

So how do you find out your monitor’s native resolution and aspect ratio?

Windows 7

Right-click on the desktop and select > Screen resolution from the menu and look for the number next to > Resolution:

Windows XP

Right-click on the desktop, select > Properties from the menu and switch to the > Settings tab. You’ll see a slider under > Screen resolution in the bottom left.

2. Find the Most Beautiful Wallpapers

The amount of websites that offer free wallpapers is endless. Fortunately, you came to the right place and we have already done some weeding out for you. You can either get some fresh wallpapers from our themed compilations or find your own favorites in the resources we have covered.

Wallpaper Compilations:

Wallpaper Resources:

3. Shuffle Your Wallpapers

Now that you have skimmed through all those resources, you’re left with dozens of wallpapers you like and you cannot make up your mind. Don’t despair because you don’t have to! Rather than settling for just one wallpaper, why not use all of them?

Windows 7

If you have Windows 7 Home or up, you can personalize your computer and that includes your desktop. Right-click on the desktop and select > Personalize. In the bottom left of the window that opens click on > Desktop Background. From > Picture Location: select the folder where you stored your wallpapers or click > Browse… to add a custom folder. Select all the images you want to use, then select the > Picture position define to > Change picture every… and check > Shuffle to not see the same sequence every time. Finally click > Save Changes and enjoy.

desktop wallpaper tips tricks

Windows XP

Windows XP doesn’t offer an inbuilt tool to shuffle your wallpapers. However, there are many third party applications that can do that trick. I have been using ScrollWall and I also like John’s Background Switcher. Another super fascinating wallpaper tool with a social twist is Wallcast. All aforementioned applications and several more are described in these articles:

4. Create An Unobstructed View Of Your Wallpaper/s

So you have this fantastic wallpaper or maybe you have already set up shuffling, but what is it that you see on your desktop? Lots of icons! To really enjoy the view, you need to get rid of them! BEFORE vs AFTER IMAGE I have written two articles that will guide you to a beautifully organized and minimalist desktop:

desktop wallpaper tips tricks

5. Get An Animated Desktop Wallpaper

My final advice should be: keep it simple. However, if you have resources to spare, go ahead and get yourself an animated desktop wallpaper. In Windows 7 you can use your screensaver as a wallpaper. To use a video of your own you have to convert it to an .scr (screensaver) file.

desktop wallpaper tips

Windows 7

Windows XP


There is a lot you can do to your desktop with a wallpaper. Just like a physical wallpaper, it can entirely change the atmosphere and set a mood. However, if used in excess it can also exhaust your resources.

Let us know what desktop wallpaper tools you like to use and any wallpaper tips you might have.

Image credits: Arsgera

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Windows on Speed: Ultimate PC Acceleration Manual

Posted: 15 Feb 2011 08:05 AM PST

There’s no question that Windows slows down over time. Don’t fear though, because you can speed it up.

MakeUseOf’s latest guide, Windows On Speed, includes all the information you need to speed up your slow PC!

This manual explains why Windows slows down and what you can do to prevent this from happening too quickly. We will explain how to store your data to reduce disk fragmentation, how you should properly remove programs to avoid registry junk, which system maintenance tools you should use to maintain a top notch performance, how to protect your system from malware attacks, and how to physically clean your machine to avoid hardware damage and failure.

We will also provide a troubleshooting guide for already affected systems and steps to cure the slow motion.

DOWNLOAD Windows On Speed


Read now on Scribd

This FREE manual outlines everything you need to know about speeding up Windows, including:

  • Why Windows slows down over time
  • How to separate your data and operating systems with partitioning
  • The importance of defragmenting
  • Free software for speeding up your PC
  • The perils and overpromise of registry cleaners
  • Easy steps you can take to speed up your PC

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How To Remove Windows Activation So You Can Install On A Different Computer

Posted: 15 Feb 2011 07:31 AM PST

windows activation removeWith piracy a constant concern for computer software companies, methods of registering and validating software are now the norm. Operating systems are no different. Microsoft Windows has long used a product key that validates the operating system.

The complexity of the validation used, however, has increased over time. Today, Microsoft has online activation servers that must validate your installation key, and your installation key is often tied to your computer. Installing a copy of Windows with the same key on a different computer can cause issues, but it’s possible to get around them.

Understanding Different Versions of Windows

windows activation remove

The conditions under which you might need to hassle with Windows activation vary depending on the version of Windows that you own. Microsoft sells its operating systems with different licenses attached, and those licenses impact how validation works when you try to remove Windows activation from one computer and install it on another.

If you go to the store and buy a copy of Microsoft Windows you’re likely buying a standard retail license. A retail license lets you install Windows on one computer. If you try to install it twice, Windows activation can tell (so long the computers have a connection to the Internet) and will call foul.

how to remove windows activation

However, it’s likely you instead have an OEM copy of Windows. OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer, and this label is slapped onto software that comes pre-installed or packaged with a computer. OEM copies of Windows come with a license that only allows Windows to be installed on the machine the manufacturer shipped. You can’t take the OEM copy and install it on any other computer – if you try, Windows activation will notice.

Finally, you may end up with a volume license which makes it possible to install Windows on multiple machines at once. The Windows 7 family pack is a good example of this; the activation keys that come with the family pack can be used on three computers simultaneously.

Removing Windows Activation

Unfortunately, there is no Microsoft tool that lets you remove your Windows activation from a computer once you have installed the operating system. This is not surprising when you think about it; if you could simply remove your activation, there would be no point to the OEM license. There are cracks, of course, but these are not difficult for Microsoft to counter over time by releasing new updates. If you want your copy of Windows 7 to work reliably you need to legitimately install Windows with an activation key.

So What Do I Do?

how to remove windows activation

Pick up the phone!

Oddly, Microsoft is not strict about making sure you obey the terms of their software license. They are often happy to help you activate a copy of Windows on a new or upgraded computer even if you have an OEM license. They just want to talk to you about it in person.

The process is simple. Install Windows on a computer and insert the activation key as normal. When Windows starts and you connect to the Internet you will receive an error message letting you know that your copy of Windows is not genuine. Click on the text link that lets you solve the problem online and try to activate the key again. When it fails once more, you are given the chance to call into Microsoft support.

windows activation remove

Do this. You will end up speaking to a representative who will ask you the circumstances of your installation. While these representatives are likely to let you activate even if you’re blatantly moving an OEM license, a simple white lie can help smooth the gears. Just let them know that you’ve upgraded your computer, causing the activation to flag. They’ll press a few buttons on their end and presto! You’ve just activated your Windows key on a different computer, and since it’s 100% legit, you don’t need to worry about a new Windows update messing with your PC.


This is effectively a method of removing your Windows activation from the computer that your copy of Windows was originally installed on, because the key will no longer work on the original PC. If you do boot up the original PC and allow it to connect to the Internet you will soon be hit with an error message letting you know your copy of Windows is no longer genuine. Which is correct, because your activation has been transferred.

To be absolutely clear; this DOES NOT duplicate your Windows activation.

Also, be warned that Microsoft does keep track of how your activation key is used. They will take notice if you’re calling into their hotline once a week to transfer an activation key. Microsoft could be more strict about this process than they currently are. Don’t give Redmond a reason to change its policy.

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