Friday, April 1, 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: 01 Apr 2011 02:59 AM PDT


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

  1. Middle East Revolution Reenacted By Angry Birds (Video)
  2. CEO Of Firefox (Pic)
  3. Facebook And Real Life (Pic)
  4. How To Dislike Your Favorite Song (Pic)
  5. Aspiration (Pic)
  6. Plasticine iPad! (Video)
  7. How I See The Internet Vs. How My Mother Sees It (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 [March 31st]

Posted: 31 Mar 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!


Online Pianist – Looking to take quick piano lessons online? Then you should check out OnlinePianist. This tool offers animated piano tutorials online. Instead of giving you a crash course in basic piano, Online Pianist pools tutorials that will help you learn how to play your favorite song on the piano. Read more: OnlinePianist: Provides Free Animated Piano Tutorials Online


RD Mute – We often put our phone face downwards so that we are not distracted by its screen. Before doing so we also put the phone in silent mode. Now to automatically silence your phone when you put it face down, you can use an Android application called RD Mute, a simple application that all Android phone owners will find extremely helpful. Read more: RD Mute: Silence your phone by placing it face down (Android)



FreedCamp – If you are looking for a nice free alternative to Basecamp, then you should check out Freedcamp. This tool positions itself as the closest free alternative that you will ever get to Basecamp. This means you can work on unlimited projects, with unlimited file sharing, the same way you would work on Basecamp without signing up to monthly plans. Read more: FreedCamp: A Free Alternative To Basecamp



Post3D – While sharing their work, graphic designers often have to upload their design so others can download and render them. But now there is a wonderful new website that designers can use to share their work and make them viewable online. This website is Post3D, an in-progress online collaboration platform for computer designers. Read more: Post3D: Lets Designers Share Their Work & Get Quick Feedback



Myousic – HTML5 has slowly evolved as a speedy container for audio and video files, letting you stream them directly without needing to install any plugins. Myousic is a good example of an excellent music player built on HTML 5. Using the simple


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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7 Great Cross-Platform Emulators For 5 Classic Computer Platforms

Posted: 31 Mar 2011 06:31 PM PDT

classic computer emulatorsIn the same vein as the recent flurry of console emulation articles, today we’re focusing on classic computer platforms of decades gone by. Whilst there were quite a few, we’ve chosen 5 of the most popular and well-known systems along with their respective emulators.

Whilst gaming took off with the mainstream crowds in the arcades, and eventually via consoles in living rooms; early computers played their part too with often entirely different playable creations. Whether you want to relive some classic gaming moments or experience the thrill (!) of your first word processing program, these emulators can help.

All bases are covered, be it Windows, Linux or Mac. In addition to an emulator, you’re going to need some games or programs (ROMs, disk images) and in some cases a BIOS file.

Commodore – 64 [Frodo]

classic computer emulators

The Commodore 64 has gone down in history as the best-selling personal computer model ever, with somewhere between 12 and 17 million units sold over its 12 year lifespan. Initially introduced in early 1982, the Commodore 64 had a staggering 64Kb of RAM and came in a self-contained unit, incorporating a keyboard.

The machine sold well initially as it exceeded the abilities of similar IBM machines, with improved sound and graphical abilities over its rivals. It has even been compared to Henry Ford’s iconic Model-T for its part in bringing modern, affordable technology to the masses.

Frodo is a cross-platform emulator that will enable you to sample many of the 10,000 or so commercially produced titles for the platform. The homepage is packed with extra software downloads, manuals and guides for writing your own C64 programs.

Sinclair – ZX Spectrum [Speccy] [ZXSP]

computer emulator

Also released in 1982, the ZX Spectrum was an 8bit personal computer incorporating the keyboard-and-computer design that was so popular at the time. There were a variety of models made over the system’s lifespan, each with differing, improved innards.

The software library features more than 20,000 titles and incredibly people are still writing for the ZX Spectrum, with more than 90 releases last year. This is more down to the popularity of emulators, and the original ZX units are highly sought after by collectors.

Speccy is an emulator which supports a range of ZX Spectrum models. It runs on Windows and Linux. Mac users might want to try ZXSP.

Commodore – Amiga [UAE] [WinUAE]

computer emulator

A personal computer platform that’s very dear to my heart, the Amiga range was home to some unique and important developments for both software and games. The first Amiga system, the A1000 was described as "years ahead of its time" and hailed as the "world’s first multimedia, multitasking personal computer" by PC World in 2006, and listed as the seventh most important computer of all time in the same magazine.

It was the budget Amiga models that really shone though – the A500, A600 and A1200 came through as real gaming machines, giving birth to still-playable and celebrated titles like Sensible Soccer and Cannon Fodder.

UAE is an Amiga emulator for UNIX (Linux, et al.) with WinUAE being the Windows port. There are plenty of ports of UAE to Mac OS and far more obscure platforms.

Microsoft – MS-DOS [DOSBox]

computer emulator

For those of you who are younger than the rest of us, before Windows there was DOS (which stood for Disk Operating System). Each version of Windows released prior to XP was essentially a shell for DOS, albeit with some big and fairly obvious enhancements.

Many games and early software suites thrived on the DOS platform. The growing popularity of IBM PCs in the early 90′s paved the way for PC-borne classics like Lucas Arts’ Monkey Island series, Apogee’s Commander Keen and id software’s groundbreaking FPS, Wolfenstein.

The success of the PC as a gaming machine wasn’t set in stone at this point either, with Commodore’s Amiga bringing up the rear (and somewhat failing catastrophically outside of the UK due to poor marketing on Commodore’s end). These days many franchises owe their inception and popularity to original DOS classics, and you can play these with the fantastic DOSBox emulator.

If you’re stuck and need some help, we’ve got a handy article to help you on your way.

Apple – Macintosh & Macintosh II [Basilisk II]

classic computer emulators

Who could forget about Apple, and the classic Macintosh released in 1985? This was the very first personal computer to enjoy commercial success using a graphical user interface (GUI) rather than a command line.

This soon evolved, and the original Macintosh was renamed the Macintosh 128k when the upgraded 512k version came out. In 1987 Apple released the Macintosh II, which retailed for just under $5,500. Whilst it was an expensive bit of kit, it was the first PC to use a 32bit colour display and the first to be able to display photo-realistic images without expensive add-ons

You can emulate classic Mac I & II software on your Linux, Mac OS X or Windows PC with Basilisk II, an open source emulator.


With these five systems there’s enough software to entertain even the mildest of curiosities. If you long for the days of floppy disks and 8bit displays you’ll do well to start with a few of these! If you’re more interested in consoles be sure to check out our emulation series, we’ve got vintage consoles, early 80s offerings, 16 and 32bit machines and some of the more recent releases too.

Any favourite classic PCs of years gone by? What did you start out on? Let it all out in the comments.

Image credits: Shutterstock, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, Amiga 1200, Macintosh 128k.

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The Top 10 Funniest ChatRoulette Screenshots & Videos

Posted: 31 Mar 2011 04:31 PM PDT

chatroulette screenshotsChatRoulette is a video chat site that randomly matches people for a fun chat. Users from around the world can interact via instant message, webcam, and voice. Everyone is anonymous and no login of any kind is required to participate. Let anarchy reign!

In fact, every visit on ChatRoulette is almost guaranteed to be an entertaining and possibly shocking experience. My screenshots and the YouTube videos below prove it.  Can you come up with more hilarious shots? Post them in the comments!


Many people hide their face behind a mask. This is probably the most primitive I have seen, but I love how he’s wearing his glasses on top of it.

chatroulette screenshots

Mammal Hat

Mickey Mouse or Yogi Bear? I’m undecided. Either way it’s a mammal and the sad face doesn’t match.

chatroulette pics

Camouflage Suit

What does the tag say?

chatroulette pics

Smoking Hot

I hope it’s legal, but I’m afraid the guy in the background looks a little too stoned for that.

chatroulette pics


This guy had a little stickman walking up and down his screen and doing all kinds of funny things. Here it is shooting a rocket.

best of chatroulette

The Glasses

Not only does he win the night’s prize for coolest glasses, also notice the sexy tan lines!

best of chatroulette

Next to masks, glasses are the number one way to “protect yourself” on ChatRoulette. Also see this guy:

best of chatroulette

Everything OK?

Does anyone know what this is? Doesn’t look like the glasses came with it.


This young man figured out how to really stand out: combine a mask with cool glasses.

The Mask

Nothing, however, beats a great mask like this one.

Apparently, it is a very popular mask as I later saw a different guy with essentially the same model.

chatroulette screenshots

Beautiful Blue Eyes

Obviously, this is a camera effect and not a reason to be worried.

The above Chatroulette screenshots were taken during a one hour marathon. Yes, those are the kinds of people you will run into. Don’t believe it? Try for yourself and share your results with us!

Now let’s see what other people found on ChatRoulette. These are the 10 most hilarious ChatRoulette YouTube videos. Enjoy the show!

Funny Piano Improv #1

This is the most viewed ChatRoulette video on YouTube and rightfully so. The man is highly skilled and hilarious!

Master Of Disguise

Meet Batman on ChatRoulette…

Find out more about Spidey Roulette on this Tumblr Blog.

The Last Exorcism

Believe it or not, the movie was apparently promoted on ChatRoulette. This video shows the best reactions.

Funny Improv Pranks

This is one of the best improv series out there. Original and funny.

Rupert On The Web

Hilarious ChatRoulete puppet show!

Edarem vs. Chat Roulette

There are several videos with Edarem floating around. From the ones I have seen I find this by far the weirdest.

Girl In Bikini

Are you attracted to her?

Funny Prank

The girl in this prank is having fun with multiple camera inputs. Watch her freak out the guys.

Best Of Chatroulette

If you turn your head…

Chatroulette Love Song

This may not be the most funny video, but it’s pretty incredible. Whether or not Diana shared her number with the guys is unknown.

You will find more funny ChatRoulette screenshots here:

Which of the screenshots and videos were your favorites? Or can you beat them with something even better?

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How To Get Ambient Twitter Updates [Mac]

Posted: 31 Mar 2011 02:31 PM PDT

ambient twitterYou’ve probably heard of the new Twitter for Mac, which is super shiny and has amazing bells and whistles. Well, one of the great things about Twitter for Mac is the integration with Growl which integrates Twitter’s stream of information into ambient updates for you while you get on with other things. Personally, I think Twitter and Growl were meant to be together.

Sadly, if you’re not using Snow Leopard there’s no way you can use the new Apple store to get your copy of Twitter for Mac. It’s only a small upgrade from Leopard, but when you’re using Tiger it’s a bit much for just a Twitter client. So, what can you do instead? Well, you can use a mix of Twitter clients to get the best results.

You probably already have a favourite Twitter client for viewing your lists and latest updates. Stick with that for your everyday usage. We’re going to add a little trick to your set-up so that you’ll have Growl updates (or similar) as well.

Firefox & Growl

If you’re a Firefox user, you’ll be able to use Growl with Twitter by adding the FireStatus extension. Ostensibly, the FireStatus add-on is for being able to update your social networks from the status bar. But you can also use it as a handy way to get Growl updates for Twitter (and FriendFeed).

ambient twitter

Once the add-on is installed, setup of accounts in FireStatus is straightforward. You’ll see the FireStatus icon in the status tray (bottom-right of Firefox) and can right click it to access preferences.

get twitter updates

Ensure “Receive Updates” is checked for Twitter in your FireStatus preferences.

get twitter updates

If you haven’t installed Growl yet, you can find it here for free. Then just ensure Growl is turned on by going to “System Preferences > Growl > Start Growl”. It should look like this when it’s running.

get twitter updates

Growl can also be adjusted using different styles of pop-up bubble and different positioning on the screen.

twitter updates

This is all you need to get Growl showing you all the Tweets from your timeline, which will cover all the people you follow on Twitter.


FireStatus isn’t available for Chrome, but there are a few similar Twitter extensions you can use. The simplest one to try is Chromed Bird.

ambient twitter

When you set up Chromed Bird, you’ll be able to follow a given Twitter list and it will notify you using Growl-like pop-ups of any new Tweets in that list. Being able to limit the notifications to just one list is extremely useful if you follow a lot of people.

Unfortunately, you can’t adjust the pop-up positions or style for Chromed Bird as you can for Growl.


Another similar way to achieve ambient updates with a browser extension is to try Echofon, which is covered in detail here.

Thoughts on Ambient Twitter Updates

Obviously, these Growl and Growl-like notifications are not an ideal way to ensure you’ve caught all the tweets, which is why you’d use your normal Twitter application as well, but they are a useful way to keep your ambient awareness of Twitter news up-to-date as you work on other things.

What other Twitter applications do you use? Do you prefer Growl updates or do you prefer to use Chromed Bird’s list-limiting feature? Let us know in the comments!

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Hot Tech Deals [Mar 31st]

Posted: 31 Mar 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. OCZ Fatal1ty 550W SLI Ready Power Supply (80 PLUS Certified, Modular Active PFC) $39.99AR via code EMCKGGJ32 (Exp 4/6)
  2. Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB Hard Drive w/ 5yr Warranty $77.99 Free Shipping via code EMCKGGJ29 (Exp 4/6)
  3. Corsair XMS3 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3-1600MHz PC3-12800 Desktop Memory $34.99AR Free Shipping via code EMCKGGJ22 (Exp 4/6)
  4. TODAY ONLY Linksys WRT160N Ultra RangePlus 802.11n 300Mbps Wireless N Router $39.99 Free Shipping
  5. Bioshock 2 Game (PS3, Xbox 360) $10.99 Free Shipping
  6. EXPIRING D-Link DGS-1024D 24-Port 10/100/1000 Gigabit Rackmountable/Desktop Switch $109.99AR Free Ship via code EMCKGHE62 (Exp 3/31)
  7. EXPIRING Klipsch Quintet SL 5PC Flat Panel Speaker System $379.99 Free Shipping via code EMCKGHE53 (Exp 3/31)
  8. Logitech M705 Marathon Laser Mouse $26.99AR Free Shipping via code EMCKGHA73 (Exp 4/4)
  9. Mitsubishi WD-65C10 65in 3D-Ready DLP HDTV (1080p) $799.99 Free Shipping
  10. Corsair Flash Voyager 16GB USB Flash Drive $17.99AR Free Shipping

Image credit: Modified from Svengraph’s icon set

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Mozilla’s “Web O’(pen) Wonder” Shows Off Modern Browsers & HTML5

Posted: 31 Mar 2011 12:31 PM PDT

web open wonderSee what HTML5, and the latest Firefox browser, can do at Mozilla’s ‘Web O’(pen) Wonder’. This compilation of demonstrations doesn’t just show off the potential of modern browsers; it shows off what they can accomplish right now. Whether you’re a web designer looking to discover the future of the web or an Internet enthusiast wanting to try out the latest technology, Web O’ Wonder is the place to look.

With the release of Firefox 4, Mozilla has caught up to the likes of Chrome and Internet Explorer 9. The best part of these modern browsers is HTML5 and it’s various related technologies, all of which combined will eventually lead the way to Flash-free browsing. We all know the best Chrome web apps make great use of HTML5, and that there are more than a few HTML5 games out there worth playing. Mozilla’s Web O’ Wonder shows off yet more of this new technology, and does so with style.

Click here to start browsing the Web O’ Wonder, but realize that your browser might not work seamlessly with it. Don’t panic. If your browser, or computer, isn’t up to the challenge of displaying these feats of web wizardry you’ll see a warning. If you see such a warning seriously consider downloading Firefox 4 before proceeding!


Discover cool facts about our solar system in an interactive environment. This planetarium looks great and runs smoothly:

web open wonder

Featuring animations and summaries of all nine planets (sorry, Pluto!), this simple site demonstrates alternative methods of organizing information on the web. Very cool.


Learning not your thing? Why not try out a simple game? In Runfield, all you have to do is click to jump. Sounds easy? You might be surprised.

web of wonder mozilla

The visuals are gorgeous, the animation smooth and the music hypnotic. A worthy distraction.

Motivational Poster Creator

Oh, the motivational poster. The medium is simple: an inspirational photo combined with an uplifting statement. Once a staple of corporate walls, the Internet views such posters with nothing but satirical intentions.

If you’d like to try your hand at this long-time meme, Mozilla has you covered. Try the Motivational Poster Creator.

web of wonder mozilla

Just drag in your own image and enter your own text. You’ll automatically have your own poster, ready to add to your favorite image board.

360 Degree Videos

This is just awesome. It’s a video, but you can move as though you are turning your head. The result feels as though you’re actually in a car driving down the streets of Dubai.

web of wonder mozilla

I really think this is a good idea executed well, and I cannot wait to see some sort of web-based game making use of this technology.

Other Highlights

web open wonder

There area few other highlights, as of this writing. A very well done promotional site for “London Project”, an independent Sci-Fi epic, is particularly worth checking out for designers. Those interested in augmented reality should check out remixing reality, which combines animation and video in real time. Finally, a cool HTML5 Poster demonstrates another cool way of arranging information on the web while also providing a lot of background on the technologies at work.

So, what do you think? Is this cool, or should we go back to the days of Real Media Player and Flash 4? Fill us in below, and feel free to share links to other cool demonstrations of modern browsers.

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Search YouTube Videos Without A Browser With Desktube TV

Posted: 31 Mar 2011 11:31 AM PDT

youtube searchWith all of the things that I do in my browser, the last thing I need is to open yet another tab in an already busy and cluttered browser session. When it comes to YouTube, I personally use the popular video service for four or five different purposes, including embedding interesting video content into my blog, researching information and sometimes just to sit back and watch random and entertaining videos.

To do this, I usually just open up yet another tab in my browser and start doing a YouTube search. However, it would be really useful to have a desktop app to just search YouTube and access everything from the site that I could access from my own YouTube account. Back in 2006, Aibek actually reviewed an app like this called FireAnt, but this and other apps we’ve covered at MUO are mostly intended to download YouTube videos to the local computer.

There are lots of cool desktop video programs out there, such as Hulu Desktop which Stefan covered. But since I spend most of my time pouring through YouTube for cool content, I was really excited to discover Desktube.TV, which is exclusive to only YouTube videos.

YouTube Search From Your Desktop

I’ve tried a lot of desktop video programs like Miro, mostly for watching Internet TV, but is one of the first programs I’ve found that not only focuses on YouTube, but also integrates really well with many of the features you normally access with your YouTube account, such as adding to or browsing your playlists, viewing and adding to your subscriptions and more.

When you install and run, you’ll see a main display that actually looks a bit like the individual channel pages you’ll find on YouTube. The main video view screen is on the left, but you can resize this to fill the top half of the window, the entire window or even your entire computer screen.

youtube search

If you want to access all of the features, like playlists and the social networking areas of YouTube, click on any of those personalized features like “Subscriptions” and the program will automatically ask you to log into your YouTube account.

youtube video search

Once you’re in, you can access and change any of the playlist videos, subscriptions, and favorites stored on your YouTube account. Browsing through videos is really simple – just use the scroll arrows on the right side of the video list display.

youtube video search

YouTube search functionality is available by typing in your search phrase into the search box next to the DeskTube logo. All of the resulting videos are displayed in the bottom pane, just scroll left or right to browse through all of them.

youtube video search

For any video displayed in the main display pane, you also have access to YouTube’s commenting system if you’re logged into your account. Just quickly type in your comment and click the “Post” button, and your comment will instantly appear for that video on the YouTube website.

desktop youtube search

The right pane of the video display features all of the information and stats about the video you’re watching. In a lot of ways this information is more accessible in DeskTube than it is from the YouTube website itself. With a quick glance, you can see total video and channel views, user rating, the summary and a quick Subscribe button to add this channel to your YouTube account.

desktop youtube search

My favorite feature are the three buttons at the bottom of the right information panel. With the click of a button, you can favorite the video, share it via email or add it to your playlist. Since I use the custom YouTube player on my blog, I update my playlist constantly, and this feature is really useful for that. When you share a video via email, the pop-up screen makes it fast and easy to fire off a cool video to a friend without the need for an email client or a browser.

youtube search is a pretty useful desktop application if you tend to use YouTube a lot and you’d like to free up some space on your browser tab bar. Not only is the application available for Windows, Linux and Mac, but the DeskTube website also promises that there will be a similar mobile app available for the Android and iPhone. That will be a more difficult niche to capture because there are so many mobile YouTube viewers available, but if all of these features are included, it has a pretty good chance of catching on.

So, give a try and start using YouTube more often, whether or not you’re actively browsing the Internet. Do you know of any other YouTube desktop video players that have the same or better features? Share your thoughts about this application in the comments section below.

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Network Your Computers & Devices Step by Step Giveaway Winners

Posted: 31 Mar 2011 11:00 AM PDT

Announcing the 25 winners of the Network Your Computers & Devices Step by Step giveaway.

Congratulations to the winners! Your ebook has already been sent to you via email. Please check your inbox for an email from Jackson Chung.

  1. Roger Caldwell
  2. Stephen Knooren
  3. Tony Phomsopha
  4. Victor Crismale
  5. Adrian N Carvajal
  6. Alex Hatfield
  7. Antonio Aceves
  8. Ben Shih
  9. Brad Sturrock
  10. C. Neal Morton
  11. Christy Drake
  12. Dan Wolden
  13. Dave Mewett
  14. Edmund Mendez
  15. Flavius Graur
  16. Guillaume Belanger
  17. Jason Williams
  18. Jim Morton
  19. John Mason
  20. Jose Navarro
  21. Justin
  22. Ken Judd
  23. Lauri Arnold
  24. Marja Kuijsten
  25. Melissa Pieper

MakeUseOf would like to thank Ciprian Adrian Rusen for his generosity while participating in this giveaway. Interesting in sponsoring? We’d love to hear from you. Get in touch with us via email.

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How To Back Up & Restore Mozilla Firefox & Thunderbird [Windows]

Posted: 31 Mar 2011 10:31 AM PDT

back up firefox and thunderbirdFirefox stores a surprising large amount of data for you. Passwords, cookies, certificates, extensions and more. Thunderbird, while an overall capable email client, does not provide built in tools for backing up and exporting email accounts. Fortunately there is one free program which handles all exporting (backing up) and importing of these programs as well as many other Mozilla products: Mozbackup.

Why Use Mozbackup?

Backing up and restoring Mozilla profiles is useful for a number of reasons. One is straight up backup, so that in case your computer dies you will have a method of restoring your data. Mozbackup is useful even if you have some other sort of backup system in place because just backing up the directory of your profile does work, but it will take some tweaking to get it restored again. Mozbackup makes the backup and restore process dead simple.

If you are migrating to a new PC or even a new OS, Mozbackup can help you to migrate your old profiles and settings to that new machine.

Of course another reason to use it is that it is free, both for personal and commercial use.

What Programs Will Mozbackup Work With?

Mozbackup works with all versions of Firefox up to 4 and the latest Thunderbird mail client. It also works with:

  • Firefox 1.0 – 4.0
  • Thunderbird 1.0 – 3.1
  • Sunbird 0.3 – 0.9
  • Flock 1.0 – 2.6
  • Postbox (Express) 1.0 – 1.1
  • SeaMonkey 1.0a – 2.0
  • Mozilla Suite 1.7 – 1.7.x
  • Spicebird 0.4 – 0.8
  • Songbird 1.0 – 1.7
  • Netscape 7.x, 9.x
  • Wyzo

As you can see, it works with the full suite of Mozilla products.

How To Do A Backup

Download and install Mozbackup to your machine (Windows only). When you run it, it will detect all of the profiles on your computer created by Mozilla programs, and allow you to select which program to backup.

back up firefox and thunderbird

You can also select which details you want to back up. This includes more general settings, passwords, bookmarks, history, extensions and more. In the Thunderbird profile you can select an option to back up all of your emails or just the account settings themselves.

back up firefox bookmarks

After this option, you can select whether you would like to password protect the file or not, which requires you to enter a password before restoring it to another profile.

Restoring The Backup

Now that you are going to restore it, the process is very similar to the backup. You simply select which file you want to restore from, and then the specific features you want to restore. After it is done you will see a report which you can check to make sure everything went OK.

back up firefox bookmarks

Scheduling Backups

To schedule a backup, you must generate a profile which you can then run from the command line. In the Mozbackup program directory, create a file named something like “Email.mozprofile” and add the following lines:


Where the action is backup (if you are backing up), application is the program you want to backup. The profile will be Default unless you have multiple profiles on your system, and the output is where you want to back up to. Leave the password blank unless you wish to password protect your file.

After creating this backup profile, you then create a task in Scheduled tasks (Administrative Tools) in your Control Panel. The configuration should look like the following:

back up firefox and thunderbird

Select the mozbackup program for the executable and your profile name as the argument. It will then run the backup program as scheduled.

You can also place some variables in the file name. For example, the default entry is:

<application> <version> – <year>-<month>-<day>

These will make your backup files dynamic so you can keep track of how old the backup is from. Follow this link for more tips on automating backups with Mozbackup.

Migrating To A New OS

Mozbackup is only for Windows, so if you are moving to a Mac, you are stuck, right? Wrong! The backup file is basically the profile directory in a zip file. If you are migrating to a Mac, unzip the file and then import the contents into your Mozilla profile directory. This effectively gives you the same settings as the profile on your old computer.

Do you have any tips for using Mozbackup to keep your machine up to date and backed up? Let us know below!

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How To Set Up Jetpack To Supercharge Your Self Hosted WordPress Blog

Posted: 31 Mar 2011 09:31 AM PDT

jetpack for wordpressNobody would argue that WordPress is one of the most widely used blogging platforms today. But surprisingly, not many people aware that there are actually two kinds of WordPresses out there: the dot-com and the dot-org version.

While power users prefer the dot org version of WordPress (or better known as the self-hosted version) because it gives users complete control over every aspect of the blog, this version doesn’t have some of the features that the dot-com users enjoy.

To narrow the gap between these two versions, the folks at WordPress released Jetpack, a set of cool tools that previously available only for the dot-com version.

Setting Up Jetpack

In a sense, Jetpack is a WordPress plugin consisting of several features. Even though you could find individual plugins that matches some of Jetpack’s features, using one plugin – instead of many – will result in a lighter load on the blog server. In the self-hosted blogging world, lighter also means faster.

  • To add Jetpack to your self-hosted blog, download the compressed file from the website, upload it to your blog’s plugin folder and activate it.

jetpack for wordpress

  • Alternatively, you can add the plugin directly from your blog’s plugin menu. Search for “Jetpack”, then install and activate it.

jetpack blog

  • Jetpack requires WordPress version 3.0.5 or later, so if your installation is below 3.0.5, you’ll get the following error message.

jetpack blog

  • Resolving this error is easy. All you have to do is upgrade your WordPress installation to the latest version. Don’t forget to also back up your data before upgrading.
  • After Jetpack is properly installed, it will ask you to connect to your account to enable the functions. But since Jetpack requires a secure connection to, some self-hosted WordPress users might get the “glitch” message telling them that the connection failed.

jetpack blog

  • The cause of this error is in the server setting. Due to security concerns, some hosting companies set their systems to block any automatic attempts to contact external locations. The easiest way to solve this problem is by adding to the whitelist. If you have no idea how to do it, you should contact your hosting company for help.

jetpack toolbar

  • If everything went well, you will be able to authorize Jetpack with your account.

jetpack toolbar

  • You are then ready to go.

jetpack toolbar

Inside The Package

There are currently eight features inside Jetpack that you can use right away in your self-hosted WordPress. Some of them require further configuration while others are immediately ready to use. You will also notice that there are empty “Coming soon” boxes at the bottom indicating more features will be forthcoming in the future.

06a Features

Here are some of the features that I find useful for my blogs:

  1. Twitter Widget

    This feature adds a widget that will display tweets from a Twitter account. You can configure it by going to the “Widgets” menu under the “Appearance” sidebar.

    06b Widgets

    Drag the widget to the widget area, fill in the necessary information, and click “Save“.

    06c Twitter Widget

  2. Shortlinks

    This feature will add the ability to shorten the URL of your posts/pages so that you can share them easily via social media. You can find the “Get Shortlink” button under the title of your posts/pages.

    06f Shortlinks

    Click the button and you will get the shortlink.

    06g The Shortlinks

  3. After The Deadline

    This tool will help you proofread your post so that you can ensure the language quality of your blog. The configuration is located inside the “Your Profile” menu under the “Users” sidebar.

    06e Proofread 2

    You can set the tool to automatically proofread the content of your post/blog every time you publish and/or update a post or page.

You can also deactivate features you don’t need. Go to the Jetpack menu and click the “Learn More” button inside the feature box. The “Deactivate” button will appear and you can click it.

jetpack for wordpress

Jetpack is a great way to supercharge your self-hosted WordPress blog, and even though I won’t use all the features, I found some of them to be very useful.

What about you? Will you use Jetpack? Which features did you find useful? Share your opinions using the comments below.

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6 Cool Google Chrome Extensions For Gmail Users

Posted: 31 Mar 2011 08:31 AM PDT

chrome gmail extensionIf you’re like me, you use Gmail for all of your email needs, even across multiple email accounts. Although there are plenty of email clients available, Gmail is often easier to use, quicker, and nearly as functional.

That doesn’t mean it’s perfect. There’s always room for tweaks and modifications, and Chrome users have an endless lineup of extensions to use for that purpose. Not all of them are cool, but the ones listed here are!

Google Mail Checker and Mail Checker Plus

chrome gmail extension

Although Gmail is easy to use and generally functional in all the basic ways that a user needs, it can’t notify you that you have mail if you don’t have Gmail currently open in your browser. You could always have a Gmail browser window open, but that’s not a great way to stay productive!

Google Mail Checker and Mail Checker Plus solve this problem by adding notifications to Chrome. When you receive mail, the Google Mail Checker icon will show a number hovering above it, that number being the amount of new email in your inbox.

Mail Checker Plus adds a number of features on top of that including a pop-up notification with sound and an email preview. You can also click on the Mail Checker Plus icon to open a toolbar that lets you search your Gmail account, compose new mail, and perform a few other basic tasks.

Social Gmail

extensions chrome gmail

Although the name implies social networking connectivity, Social Gmail’s true function is to add profile pictures and Gravatars next to emails, providing a visual way to recognize the sender. The pictures are quite small, of course, but this extension is a cool way to add some color, along with a personal feel, to your Gmail inbox.

Better Gmail

extensions chrome gmail

One of the reasons for Gmail’s popularity is arguably its simplicity. Compared to a sprawling program like Outlook, Gmail is as simple as could be, and the interface is slick.

Still, Gmail’s interface isn’t entirely without clutter. There are advertisements, buttons for other Gmail services and web search, and more. Better Gmail can solve these problems by simply eliminating many of those distracting interface elements. When you install Better Gmail, you are presented with a list of options, allowing you to disable what you don’t want and keep what you do.

Not all of Better Gmail is aimed at getting rid of things, however. This extension can be used to add attachment-specific icons (i.e. a PDF will be represented by an Adobe PDF image rather than the generic paperclip) and also can add desktop notifications similar to Mail Checker Plus.


extensions chrome gmail

Like Better Gmail, Minimalist is an extension that lets you change the Gmail interface and get rid of things you don’t want to see. Unlike Better Gmail, however, Minimalist is (ironically) a sprawling extension with more options than you can shake a stick at. You can give input fields round corners, hide entire features or just select parts of features, enable a fixed custom width, and more.

Minimalist is pretty complex, and Better Gmail is an easier way to streamline Gmail if that’s all you interested in. Minimalist gives you a level of control that Better Gmail doesn’t, however, so check it out if you find that Better Gmail is lacking the options you’re looking for.


chrome gmail extension

Emails are often more than just messages. They commonly contain information we need to keep track of, reminders of tasks we need to accomplish, or files that are important for certain projects. Unfortunately, Gmail is a bit lacking when it comes to organizing – and that’s where ActiveInbox steps in.

This extension lets you assign emails to project and task categories. Two new interface elements are introduced to accomplish this. One is a new sidebar that lets you view emails based on their status. The other is a small icon next to each individual email that brings up the ActiveInbox email view, from which you can assign emails to specific projects or categories.

ActiveInbox is great, but it’s also rather in-depth, so only those serious about organizing should download it.


As is often the case with extension articles, I’ve included the ones I liked the best, but was unable to include all of them, as there appears to be literally hundreds available. If you have a favorite Chrome extension for Gmail that isn’t listed here, let us know in the comments!

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