Wednesday, April 20, 2011 “DOWNLOAD Stuff Happens: The Backup & Restore Guide” plus 9 more “DOWNLOAD Stuff Happens: The Backup & Restore Guide” plus 9 more

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DOWNLOAD Stuff Happens: The Backup & Restore Guide

Posted: 20 Apr 2011 06:45 AM PDT

Disasters happen. Unless you’re okay with losing all of your data, you need a good backup system. If you know this but haven’t got around to setting up backup on your PC, this is the guide to read.

“Stuff Happens: The Backup and Restore Guide” outlines everything you need to regularly back up your PC. Author Tina Sieber outlines backup strategies, what to backup and what tools to use for the job.

Backups are necessary because data has value. Whether this is sentimental, commercial, or legal value, a backup is a way of securing valuable information. The worst loss would be files of which we own the only copy in existence, such as personal documents or photos.

Protect these priceless files. Back them up. This guide can teach you how.

This guide explains:

  • How to use the built-in Windows 7/Vista backup tool.
  • Which files you should backup.
  • Putting your data and your operating system on separate partitions or disks.
  • The various kinds of backups you can run.
  • The costs and benefits of local, optical and online backups.
  • The benefits of syncing your files.
  • Alternative backup programs.

DOWNLOAD Stuff Happens: The Backup and Restore Guide
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using the social network sharing buttons below)


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Cool Websites and Tools [April 19th]

Posted: 19 Apr 2011 08:31 PM PDT

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!


Protect Your Vision – If you are someone who stays glued to the computer screen for long periods then the chances are you face frequent problems like eye irritation or headaches. This is what computer vision syndrome is all about. ProtectYourVision is a site that helps you do that by blacking out the screen at fixed time intervals. Read more: Protect Your Vision: Prevent Computer Vision Syndrome Eye Strain


Klowdz – Digital artists are always on the lookout for new online drawing tools which they can test their creativity on. A variety of such tools have been created that offer innovative drawing techniques to help provide people with new ways to create drawings. Adding to this list of unique and impressive tools is a site called Klowdz. Read more: Klowdz: Create Cool Drawings on Clouds



myEdu – This simple tool helps you organize and manage your college education online so you don't lose track of things. Once you sign up for free and add your college information, the tool lets you create a degree timeline by letting you enter different courses you will take each semester. Read more: myEdu: Manage Your College Education Online



Translation Telephone – The telephone game is one of the most popular party and group games. If you want to have fun with it online, you can try Translation Telephone. This tool mocks the always derided Google Translate and its inaccurate translations by letting it play the telephone game. So how does this work? Read more: Translation Telephone: Have Fun With Google Translate



YouTube ETA – YouTube users often have to wait before their videos are properly buffered. Often a video plays too soon and pauses in between to continue buffering. To ensure a smooth playback of YouTube videos, check out a tool called YouTube ETA, a browser extension for Google Chrome that helps ensure a smooth playback of YouTube videos. Read more: YouTube ETA: Ensure Smooth Playback Of YouTube Videos [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.

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The 13 Toughest Tech Questions [MakeUseOf Answers]

Posted: 19 Apr 2011 06:31 PM PDT

tough questionMakeUseOf Answers provides a never-ending stream of questions and solutions. Please ask us anything from simple advice to complicated IT projects. Hence, anyone can contribute and keep our answers varied and balanced.

In our weekly contest the Best Answer of the Week is rewarded with $50 and two runners-up win $30 and $20, respectively. Every comment automatically enters the contest.

Please share your expertise and help us with the following questions:

For regular updates subscribe to the Answers RSS Feed.

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3 Cool Facebook Apps That Help You Make Use Of Your Photos

Posted: 19 Apr 2011 04:31 PM PDT

facebook photo appOut of all the things you can do on Facebook (we’ve covered a lot of them), uploading photos via the Facebook Photos application is still one of the most popular. According to Facebook, over 50 billion user photos have been uploaded to the service, and that’s as of July 2010. In case you were wondering, that’s over 1.5 petabytes of photo storage used.

With all of those photos, you’d think Facebook would have some really cool things you can do with them, besides just tagging your friends and commenting. Facebook recently altered the way we view our photos within the interface, which is an upgrade if you ask me, but where are all the cool apps?

Cooliris Photos

The first app I would like to show you is Cooliris Photos, which offers you a really interesting way of viewing your Facebook photos. Tiny snapshots of your photos are all shown on a 3D wall that you can rotate, scroll, and zoom as you please.

facebook photo app

You can also make the application full screen and share your pictures on Facebook (again? Sure, why not?) and Twitter with the click of a button. Invite your friends to use Cooliris Photos and you will be able to view their photos in the same way.

You can view a live demo of Cooliris Photos on the app’s Facebook page. Cooliris is also available for use on your desktop, so be sure to check that out as well.


If you’re into editing your photos, you may already be into using Google’s Picnik, but did you know you could use it right from within Facebook?

facebook apps

With Picnik for Facebook, you can edit your photos after you’ve uploaded them, which is a huge plus in that it saves you all the time it would take to delete, edit, and re-upload them if you had to do it that way. Besides, you might be able to get your photos back if you deleted them from Facebook, but you wouldn’t be able to get back the tags and comments that went with them.

Picnik has over 3 million monthly active users on Facebook, so if you’re wondering just how good a service like this could possibly be, there’s your answer.


The last Facebook app I’d like to introduce you to is Fotolink. Fotolink helps you upload and download photos using drag and drop from Facebook to your computer or to online photo services like Picasa, Flickr, Kodak Gallery, Smugmug, Webshots, and Shutterfly. Using the app, you can easily browse all of your friends’ photos in one place, and drag and drop as you please.

facebook photo app

If you have a lot of photos in different places and you’re looking to organize them, Fotolink is about as useful a Facebook photo app as there is.


With the three Facebook apps I’ve portrayed here, you should be able to edit, move, and view your photos as you please. Coincidentally, you can also get your friends involved with these apps through the sharing functions that they have which, let’s face it, is the real reason why Facebook photos are there in the first place.

What do you think of the apps I’ve covered? Are you doing anything cool with your Facebook photos?

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Kings Quest III: Remade & Ready To Rock [Mac & Windows]

Posted: 19 Apr 2011 02:31 PM PDT

kings questThere’s nothing better than finding one of your favourite classic games released for free. But to find your favourite classic game newly released for your favourite operating system? That’s just brilliant.

AGD Interactive games have now brought Mac fans one of the best presents ever: Sierra’s “King’s Quest III: To Heir Is Human” remade for Mac OS and Windows. Fans have had the pleasure of playing the original King’s Quest III adventure game since the Sierra days, but we can now enjoy the fun with improved graphics, game-play and vocal recordings. Let’s go for a nostalgic trip!

kings quest

Get Kings Quest III Redux

Kings Quest III Redux is free to download from AGD Interactive. This release also features enhanced artwork with hand-painted backgrounds and character dialogue portraits. There’s some brand new side-quests and puzzles for you to try out, involving some brand new characters. The download is 320MB, so you might want to go grab a coffee while you wait for it. You’ll want it anyway, since you’ll be up all night playing the game.

10 Minutes Later…

Game on.

kings quest game

It seems ADG Interactive have worked hard to remake King’s Quest III to smooth out annoyances from the original and make the game even better for players. The cumbersome spell creation process has been replaced, as have many time-based processes which used to leave the player idly waiting around. Some of the more frustrating puzzles have also been re-worked to create a more seamless game experience.

kings quest game

Although ADG Interactive have developed some of the characters and areas, they claim the original purpose and importance of each character has been retained in the remaking.

kings quest game

Although translation packs were available for the original game, they aren’t supported in the remake.

Hotkeys & Useful Things to Know

When you get into the game, there’s a few useful commands and hotkeys that will get you rolling.

Cycles through Hand/Eye/Mouth/Boots for communication, movement and interaction.
Hover at Top Of Screen: This will get you a pop-up menu with Save Functions and other useful tools.
F5: Save
Tab or Ctrl-1/CMD-1: Inventory
F1: Help
F7: Restore Game
CTRL-Q / CMD-Q: Quit Game
Arrow Keys: Manual Walking
CTRL-T / CMD-T: Cycle Voice/Text mode

There’s also a useful PDF included in your download, which could help you understand the game a little.

kings quest 3

Game Synopsis

In Kings Quest III, you play the character of a slave called Gwydion who serves the evil Wizard Manannan. With a landmark birthday approaching and your usefulness to Manannan dwindling, you’re certain Manannan will try to kill you on your birthday. So it’s time to work out how to use the wizard’s spells, explore the world outside and challenge the wizard himself.

kings quest

More Games

If you’ve caught the game bug now, here’s some other great games for Mac lovers:

What do you think of King’s Quest III Redux? Is it just as addictive as the original or not?

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Hot Tech Deals [Apr 19th]

Posted: 19 Apr 2011 01:30 PM PDT

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. Lenovo Multimedia Remote w/ Keyboard & Mouse (Trackball) $27 Free Shipping via code USPC11A36336 (Exp 4/25)
  2. MSI Geforce 210 512MB PCI-E Low Profile Video Card $9.90AR Free Shipping after rebate
  3. EVGA P55V Intel P55 LGA1156 MicroATX Motherboard (2xSLI) $29.99AR Free Shipping after rebate
  4. TODAY ONLY Athlon II X3/760G/Inkjet Printer SuperCombo $223AR Free Ship after rebate
  5. Lenovo G560 Intel Dual-Core P6200 2.13GHz 15.6in Laptop (4GB/320GB) $399.99 Free Ship
  6. Dell PowerEdge T110 Server Desktop Intel Xeon Quad-Core 2.4GHz $329
  7. Asus RT-N16 Gigabit 802.11n Wireless N Router w/ USB Storage, Printer Server (DD-WRT) $74.99 via code EMCKFJA44 (exp 4/20)
  8. TODAY ONLY Sharp AQUOS LC-40D78UN 40in LCD HDTV (1080p, 120Hz) $494.99
  9. Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex 1TB Portable External Hard Drive $79.99 Free Shipping

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5 Twitter Job Services For Some Real-Time Job Search

Posted: 19 Apr 2011 12:31 PM PDT

find jobs on twitterTwitter may not merit a serious look as a job hunting and recruitment tool. But that's something a fresher or even an experienced professional will be ill advised to overlook. You can bet that when Twitter increasingly has the power to spread revolutions, it can be a vital ally of your job hunting campaign.

In its overreaching popularity lies its job hunting prowess. Companies are increasingly using it spread their updates. Vacancies and recruitment’s are just one of them.

Even if you do a simple search for a job lead on Twitter, you will be surprised at the number of links that total up. I am not even telling you to do an advanced Twitter search or develop industry specific social strategy. We are talking here of Twitter services that do the job of distilling relevant job tweets for you so that you can find jobs on Twitter.

Here are five of them.

Tweet My Jobs

find jobs on twitter

Somehow the image on this Twitter job app says it all. It is probably the largest Twitter job board on the web. The About page says that they have 10,052 vertical job channels segmented by geography, job type, and industry. The service is used by people on both sides of the table, the recruiters as well as the job seekers. It is free for job seekers. As a job seeker, you can sign-up and subscribe to a channel of your interest. Any news jobs available are sent as instant notifications as a Twitter feed or on your mobile. Beyond this, you can use the service like a regular job site: post your resume to companies or forward jobs to friends. Using TweetMap, a Google Maps mashup, you can geographically target jobs of your interest.


twitter how to find a job

This Twitter job search engine is another well designed and maintained service which could be the answer to your job search prayers. You can instantly sign-in with your Twitter account and start a hunt. The site allows you to save jobs to your account, have an online resume, and network.  Creating a profile on this web service involves some fine-detailing as recruiters see what has been posted. You can also link the public LinkedIn URL or any other online CV you might have. The Advanced Search is just one way to trawl through Twitter job updates. For an industry specific browse, you can go to the directory which lists 'Job Accounts' for selected countries. Using the Job Map, you can visually see the jobs that have been tweeted about in the last 72 hours. The site also has a free iPhone app.

Job Shouts

twitter how to find a job

The easiest way to get the dope on the latest job postings collected by this site is via Twitter. is a social search tool for jobs across many job boards that include LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. All jobs are screened by the site, so the potential to hit the genuine ones is much higher for the job seeker.


twitter how to find a job

Jobseekers can search for jobs related to their interests and like most Twitter services, you can target jobs by location. Think of Tweetajob as a job search engine powered by Twitter. You can choose to receive job tweets on your Twitter feed or as SMS alerts on your mobile phone. Start searching with your Twitter account and build your profile as it helps the service to send you more targeted job alerts. The site is limited to U.S job postings currently.

Twitter JobCast

find jobs on twitter

The site serves as a simple listing for jobs put out by employers. If you have a Twitter account, you can @reply and find out your suitability for the job. Because it is a simple listing with a #hiring hashtag, the quality may not be top-notch, so it falls upon the job seeker to do all the screening before applying for the job.  The listing covers United States, Australia, Canada, UK, and India.

There's probably nothing more real time than a job search. These five Twitter tools could just help you get ahead of the queue. Here are some more posts that you can pack in your arsenal:

8 Sites For Beating The Job Hunting Blues
Top 10 Most Effective Job Search Websites
5 Salary Comparison Tools For Your Next Job Search
4 Tricks To Get Better Results From Job Search Engines

Do you know of any other search tools to find jobs on Twitter that we can add to the list? Also, do let us know if you have ever managed to bag a job with the help of Twitter.

Image Credit: Shutterstock

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Bring Instagram To The Web With The Help Of Extragram

Posted: 19 Apr 2011 10:31 AM PDT

instagram appIf you love mobile photography, then you must have heard or used Instagram. This popular photo sharing app for iPhone stands out among other similar photo sharing apps because of its ability to post simultaneously to social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Foursquare, or Tumblr), automatically add location data to photos, comment and like photos, and browse popular photos from users all around the world.

The most notable features of Instagram is its set of image filters. Users can quickly and easily transform their photos into retro-style images, like some old photos you would find inside a dusty shoebox in your grandma's attic. But there's something missing from this great app: a web interface.

The Extra To The Gram

The Instagram developer took a rather unusual way in answering the need for a website to expand the service. Instead of building their own site, they released their API and let others utilize it to create Instagram-friendly websites.

Since the API release, there have already been several websites created. One of them is Extragram. This is a service that will extend your Instagram experience out of iOS into the virtual world.

instagram app

Even though Extragram is aimed at Instagram users, and you will need your Instagram username and password to log in, those without an account can still enjoy the vast gallery of shared user photos. Just click the “Take a sneak-peek” link next to the “Sign In” button.

instagram extras

Sneak-peeking will only give you the ability to view pictures, while signing in will give you more features like commenting, searching, and following others. When you sign in for the first time, you will be asked to authorize Extragram to access your Instagram account.

instagram extras

Three Viewing Modes

Similar to Flickr, one of the great things about Instagram is its large community (and their shared photos). But I think there’s a main difference between these two services – almost all Instagram users upload their photos to show them off to others. Or in other words, most Instagram users only share their best shots.

This collection of best shots is filtered further by user votes. The more “Likes” an image has, the higher that image will be in the “Popular” list. If you want to feast your eyes, Instagram’s popular list is the perfect place to do that. That’s why one of the main features offered by Extragram is the ability to view Instagram’s popular list.

There are three viewing modes available. The first is the simplest: “Grid” view.

instagram extras

The second is: “Filmstrip” view. This viewing mode will put one picture as a focus and gives you the ability to view and add comments to the picture.


The “Map” view lets you browse through pictures based on geographical location.


This view also allows you to search for a place and browse images taken around that area. You can also find people who took those pictures.


A Few Other Things

Another Extragram feature is the ability to view your own Instagram pictures. They are all available under the “My Photos” link.

02g My Pictures

Next to “My Photos” is the “Search” link. This feature is useful when you want to find images or Instagram users using specific search strings.

03c Search

As a bonus, the search feature will put a few random profiles under the search results and let you ‘discover’ other Instagram users.

03d Discover New Profiles

Click one of those random profiles and you can see his/her pictures, and then ‘stalk’ him/her by clicking the “Follow” button.

instagram app

After trying out Extragram for a while, I think that this service is a great way to extend your Instagram experience to the web. If you are an avid Instagram user, then Extragram is a must. However, Extragram is not the only Instagram extension out there. Check out our other article about Instagram-related web services.

Are you an Instagram user? Have you tried Extragram? Do you know of any other similar web services?  If so, please share using the comments below.

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The 3 Best Clipboard Managers For Windows

Posted: 19 Apr 2011 09:31 AM PDT

windows clipboardThe Windows clipboard is where information is stored temporarily when you copy something, for example a link, an image, or a piece of text. The clipboard can only hold one single item, so whenever you copy something else, the previous item will be discarded. If you didn’t mean to lose what you had copied earlier that can be a real bummer.

A Windows clipboard manager can fill in the void and add much needed capacity and functionality to the Windows clipboard. Not only can it maintain a history of items you copied during your current or even multiple Windows sessions, it can also save text snippets you frequently use and make them easily accessible.

The Can Do All: Ditto

Ditto may seem unpretentious at first. However, it has a host of useful features hidden beneath its oversimplified interface. On the surface, it merely keeps track of the clipboard history.

windows clipboard

However, when you right-click an item in the clipboard or open the > Options menu through the status bar menu, you are presented with the full depth of possibilities. The most notable features include searching entries, saving clips in groups for later use, and syncing clipboards across multiple computers.

clipboard viewer

Ditto can save up to 999 clipboard items and you can also let entries expire after a set number of days. Per default, duplicates are removed, you can set a hotkey to activate Ditto and one each for pasting the last ten items copied.

clipboard viewer

Ditto is open source and also runs as a portable application. Frankly, I found the options a little overwhelming, offering far more than I will ever need.

The Happy Medium: Yankee Clipper III

The two essential elements of Yankee Clipper are the History and the Boilerplates tabs in the left hand menu. The history is everything you copied during the present Windows session, while in Boilerplates you can save items permanently. Within each tab, clipboard items are sorted by category: text, pictures, rich text, URLs and all formats.

clipboard viewer

More interesting features are hidden behind the menu icons. From left to right you can hide Yankee Clipper, print the current item, make the window stay always on top, open the configuration dialog, paste with a delay of 3-4 seconds, and exit.

History can be saved between sessions and the tool comes with a great tutorial that will not leave any questions open.

The Minimalist: xNeat Clipboard Manager

If you don’t fancy setting up commonly used phrases and would prefer a tool that exclusively manages your clipboard history, try the xNeat Clipboard Manager.

The options are concise: maximum clipboard history size (up to 99 items), start automatically with Windows, and change the keyboard shortcut to launch the paste options.

clipboard software

When you paste using the xNeat Clipboard Manager key combination, you will be presented with the list of items in your clipboard history. This way you can copy multiple items in a row and then go ahead and paste them in one go.

windows clipboard

If you’re running Windows 7, do check out the comprehensive Clipboard Manager desktop gadget, which I briefly reviewed in the article Top 7 Coolest Windows 7 Desktop Gadgets You Have To Use. For more alternative clipboard managers have a look at the following articles:

What is your experience with clipboard managers? Userful tools or overrated?

Image credits: Valeriy Lebedev

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How To Get The Most Out Of The Android Marketplace

Posted: 19 Apr 2011 08:31 AM PDT

android marketplaceApple and Google both supply an app store – or app market – for their respective mobile operating systems. But while Apple happily takes the walled garden approach, allowing only its own store on the company's phones, Android is more open.

There are more places to find apps, and that's great. But that also makes using the Android Marketplace – or rather, marketplaces – more confusing. While you can get by with what Android offers by default, you really should take extra steps if you want to get the most out of your smartphone.

Build A Market Portfolio

All Android phones ship with the Android Market, the only official outlet for Android Apps. It works fairly well if you want to search for a specific kind of app or you already know an app's name. It lacks a recommendation system, however, and the information provided by user reviews isn't as detailed as it could be. Fortunately, there are other markets besides the Android Marketplace.

android marketplace

AppBrain is a popular market app that runs on top of the default Android Market. What AppBrain does is enhance the experience by providing better filtering and sorting capability and a "Recommended Apps" utility that offers app download suggestions. When you make a selection, however, you're sent to the Android Market to download the app.

android apps non market

A new contender you may have heard of is the Amazon App Store.  The Amazon App Store isn't found on the Android Market, but instead downloaded from Amazon directly. You can also buy apps on the Amazon website rather than on your phone. The Android Market allows this as well, but Amazon's online store is easier to navigate.  Amazon is offering a paid app for free every day, so you should at least check it out for the free stuff.

Installing an alternative or supplement to the Android Market may seem a strange way to get the most out of the Android Market, but that's what happens with an operating system that is open. I think it’s essential that everyone at least give AppBrain a whirl, as it really enhances what you can do with the Android Market. The Amazon App Store, on the other hand, fragments the market. But hey, free apps are free apps – and you might decide you like the Amazon App Store better.

Managing & Updating Apps

I know what you're thinking. “Great. Now I have to use Android Market to search apps, but use AppBrain for recommendations and filtering, and Amazon's App Store for my daily free app. How am I going to manage all of this stuff?”

android apps non market

In my opinion, AppBrain offers the best solution with its Manage and Sync feature. You open this by starting the AppBrain market and then clicking the Manage and Sync button. A list of your installed apps will be populated, and apps that require updates will be listed at the top. But you don't even need to open AppBrain to start updating, as the program comes with a sync widget that can be placed on your desktop. Click it, and the process will begin.

Unfortunately, AppBrain can’t do it all. There so far isn't any way to update apps purchased from the Amazon app store because you have not purchased them from the Android Market, which AppBrain is linked to. If you want to update an App purchased from Amazon you have to use the Amazon AppStore, open the menu, and then open My Apps.

android apps non market

You can also manage your applications using a third-party app like Android App Manager. These apps do a great job of displaying all of your apps and often offer update capability. But Amazon remains left out – I've yet to find one that offers compatibility with apps from Amazon. I’m sure apps will offer Amazon compatibility in the future, but Amazon’s App Store is quite new, and I’m sure most developers will want to see if it catches on before taking time to make it a part of their app.


android marketplace

Fragmentation is the word that's been buzzing around Android's head recently. This post highlights why. Obtaining Android apps can be a simple matter of opening the official Android Marketplace, but to find the best apps and manage them your best bet is to use third-party market apps in addition to the default one.

This may be confusing compared to the monolithic App Store found on iOS devices. But this is what Android is about; choices. Alternatives aren’t as simple, but they also offer more options.

What do you think? Do you find the fragmentation annoying? Or do you know another app that makes obtaining apps even easier? Let us know in the comments.

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