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Epson Unveils One More AIO

December 5th, 2007 by admin
Epson Unveils One More AIO
Techtree News Staff

Epson has launched yet another AIO (all-in-one), the Stylus CX7300, which is targeted at office- and home- users.

At print speeds of 32ppm (pages per minute), Epson claims it is the fastest general purpose AIO on the market today.

With Micro-Piezo print head technology, the CX7300 delivers 4R photo prints in just 19 seconds. It boasts copy speeds of up to 30 cpm (copies per minute), and scanning speeds of up to 1200dpi (dots per inch) resolution.

The AIO is equipped with Epson DuraBrite Ultra inks, claimed to produce sharper quality text and glossier photo print-outs, besides being fade- and smudge- resistant.

There's a comprehensive built-in card slot bay, and Pictbridge capability for PC-less operations. For greater ease-of-use, common functions can be found on an intuitive control panel on the AIO.

Besides, there's a smart ink cartridge bay that accepts either standard capacity or high capacity Black ink cartridges to suit individual printing needs. An individual four ink cartridge configuration is deployed to ensure minimal wastage as users need only to replace depleted ink cartridges.

The Stylus CX7300 is available this month onward for Rs 6,499. Standard ink cartridges are priced at Rs 460, while high capacity ink cartridges are priced at Rs 640.

More Epson:
Epson Intros Stylus CX8300 AIO

Western Digital Passport portable drive hits 320GB

December 4th, 2007 by admin

by Paul Miller


Face it, that 80GB HDD your laptop entered the world with isn't cutting it anymore, and just any add-on won't do. No, you've gotta do it up right with a newfangled 320GB 2.5-inch portable drive, and Western Digital's got just the thing with the newest member of its Passport lineup. The drive weighs less than 5 ounces, runs on the latest and greatest platters, and will set you back $230.

7 Things Your Company’s IT Department Doesn’t Want You to Know

December 3rd, 2007 by admin

Companies restrict their employees' use of work PCs and networks for good reasons…usually. But that doesn't mean there aren't safe and legal ways to circumvent some of the more draconian measures.

Michael Lasky, PC World

IT staffers have good reasons for restricting your use of company systems. To guard your organization's PCs, data, and bandwidth, the pocket-protector crowd may frown on IM software on company PCs, ban unauthorized software use, and limit transfers of large files.

But you can still safely transmit files of many sizes, chat on your favorite IM client, and use unapproved but legal and harmless software.

Transfer Huge Files

Most businesses impose a ceiling on the size of e-mail attachments they'll accept, but you needn't let that prevent you from receiving the files required for your work.

Box.net, SendSpace, SendThisFile, and YouSendIt offer free file-transfer services, low-cost premium plans for sending giant files, and password-protected transmission. For example, YouSendIt lets you send files of 100MB or less without requiring you to register (see the image below); other sites insist that you provide an e-mail address when you sign up. Recipients usually have a week to click the link in their e-mail to download a file from the service's server.

The YouSendIt online file-transfer service lets you send files in capacities of up to 100MB for free, without registering. You must supply an e-mail address in order to make a password-protected transfer, however.


If You Want to Chat…

Most companies discourage or prohibit IM software, citing security concerns and the strain it places on network resources. Unfortunately, the workaround–Web-based instant messaging–probably uses even more system bandwidth; but at least offerings such as AOL's AIM Express and Google's IM service work without needing any additional software.

If your company's IT staff hasn't blocked multiple-IM clients, you can use Trillian Basic for added privacy because it encrypts the communication. Alternatively, use a third-party IM enabler like Meebo, which lets you IM from its home page on the Web, with the option of logging on anonymously.

Run Any App at Work

Policies that forbid nonapproved software needn't prevent you from legally and safely using programs that help you with your job or that are otherwise harmless.

If your company hasn't deactivated the external ports on its PCs, simply load whatever software you want onto a U3-enabled USB flash memory drive or portable hard drive. The apps and data on U3 drives remain independent of your system. When you remove the drive from the USB port, the files and applications vanish along with it.

PortableApps.com offers free open-source software that you can save to any external storage device; all of the files temporarily stored on your work PC while you use the software disappear when you unplug the drive.

11 Themes for firefox…

December 1st, 2007 by admin

Posted by Peter Butler 

It's been quite a while since we visited the subject of best themes for Mozilla Firefox. It took a little while for some developers to catch up with the release of Version 2, but now there's a large number of cool add-ons for spicing up the look and feel of your your browser.

There's also a lot of crap. Luckily for you, I've waded through the morass and found what I consider to be the best themes for Mozilla Firefox. Of course, one of the greatest strengths of Firefox is the ability for every user to customize the browser as he or she sees fit. If you've got a favorite theme that I left off the list, tell me about it in the comments.

For a better look at the themes featured in this article, be sure to check out the related Download.com gallery.

11. Modern Modoki

Modern Moloki theme

Modern Moloki theme

Minimalism lives, and quite naturally with this stone-gray theme that's perfect for the Web surfer or developer who wants his or her browser to fade into nonexistence. It's clean, it's clear, hey…it's Netscape 8! Or is it 6? It's both: The look of 8 with the color scheme of versions 6 and 7. Its nigh invisibility makes it a solid choice for the mysterious 11th spot.

Most importantly, of course, it works with most major Firefox extensions with interface-altering features such as the pictured two-paned bookmarks and All-in-One Sidebar.

10. NASA Night Launch

NASA Night Launch theme

NASA Night Launch theme

What an appropriate Firefox theme to start off the Top 10 countdown! It's not kicking off the list, but it's blasting off anyway. The only thing that really distinguishes this theme from other polished dark Firefox themes is the shuttle image that "launches off" when a page is loading. See, you're traveling to another planet on the World Wide Web universe!

Snark aside, the shuttle imagery throughout the browser looks fantastic, and it's compatible with a long list of extensions. It's also a nice tribute to the STS-116 mission.

9. MidnightFox




If you're gonna go dark, do it with style. I'm usually not much of a fan of black-background Firefox themes, but MidnightFox is a rare exception. The colorful buttons look great on the textured black interface, but unfortunately it didn't work very well with All-in-One Sidebar, one of my favorite extensions. It still surprised me enough with its fancy look to make it on the list.

8. Super Mario Bros. 3

Super Mario Bros. 3 theme

Super Mario Bros. 3 theme

For the Mario fanboy in everyone, live the dream with tunnels for toolbar icons and pipes for scrolling. A recognizable little penny spins and spins as your Web pages load, but there's not much sign of the big man himself, and not a whole lot of polish.

All I can say is: needs more Yoshi.

7. extero

extero theme

extero theme

I like the brand-new theme extero because it's not afraid to take chances–like black drop-down menus on a near-white interface. Some of the menu icons, such as "Print," are a little cryptic, but its Apple-esque style should prove popular.

The main reason it makes the list, however, is its "throbber," or the icon that animates while a Web page is loading. extero's is the coolest throbber I've seen this year…maybe the coolest ever.

6. HiVisGnome Jumbo

HiVisGnome Jumbo theme

HiVisGnome Jumbo theme

If you're gonna go big, you might as well go all the way. This helpful Firefox theme, developed as part of the Access Firefox project for users with vision problems, is the biggest theme I've ever seen. Some of the options icons look straight out of 1994, but it's hard to beat for customizing an interface that's as easy to see and use.

5. Miint

Miint Firefox theme

Miint Firefox theme

Ah, mint chocolate-chip ice cream. I'm personally not the biggest fan, but I send a shout out to my mom and everyone else who loves the stuff with Miint, a Firefox theme full of frosty green and dark chocolate goodness. There's nothing to scream about, but it has its own cool style.

4. Redshift V2

RedShift V2 theme

RedShift V2 theme

Take a slide into the darker side, with this black-and-red Firefox theme that could appeal to both goths and 2 Fast 2 Furious racing types. A side bonus: the red highlights throughout the interface may convince coworkers that you bite.

The unique look wasn't enough to keep me around long, however. As pictured, I made much use of the Theme Switcher feature enabled by the MR Tech Local Install extension during my trip into the world of themes.

3. Tinseltown

Tinseltown theme

Tinseltown theme

If you're one of those Christmas-loving maniacs who decorates every inch of your desktop with yuletide icons and loves to torment your coworkers with your holiday cheer, congratulations. Your Firefox theme awaits.

Confusing green and red Christmas lights denote back and forward navigation, respectively; red-nosed Rudolph refreshes your browser (huh?); and Santa's hat means stop. Oh, it's the initials! Hmm. Too bad it does nothing to my "Closed Tabs" taskbar icon (available via TabMixPlus). I was hoping for reindeer dung.

Aside from the seasonal appropriateness, what merits Tinseltown's lofty status in my favorite Firefox themes list are the candy canes that replace your scroll and progress bars. Snazzy!

It's for use during the holiday season only, unless you're "that guy."

2. TrafficFox

TrafficFox theme

TrafficFox theme

Go. Stop. Spin yourself crazy circling an inescapable roundabout. Vous n'avez pas la priorite! TrafficFox is the perfect Firefox theme for anyone who loves the term "information superhighway." Non?

Its sleek style–with traffic icons for navigation functions–and minimally intrusive yet informative interfaces transform Web surfing from a pedestrian experience to a joyride in a fancy European sports car. Really? Well, no. But the design does look slick.

1. Littlefox for Firefox

Littlefox for Firefox theme

Littlefox for Firefox theme

There are a number of great "mini" themes out there. The goal is to maximize screen space, making it ideal for viewing large pictures or videos with your browser. I'm sticking to the one that I use the most: Littlefox for Firefox by Alfred Kayser.

One of my favorite touches are the gear icons for my little bookmarklets like ZAP. It's clever like a Littlefox, and I'm sticking with it…for now.

10 Extremely Useful Websites to Stop Big Brother From Snooping on You

November 29th, 2007 by admin

by Nelson Doyle, Nov 28, 2007

If you are tired of receiving junk mail, spam and annoying telemarketing phone calls, then this list is for you. If you desire to take steps to stop the snooping from the government, hackers and marketing agencies, then this list will show you the way to privacy freedom.

digg_url = ‘http://www.webupon.com/Security/10-Extremely-Useful-Web-Sites-to-Stop-Big-Brother-From-Snooping-on-You.62616′;

People probably don't realize, just how often and in how many ways that total strangers are snooping in their lives. Whether the snooping means are video cameras, cell phones or through the Internet there are thousands of businesses, people and governments all up our personal business and lives.

Every time a person fills out a contest entry, sweepstakes form, survey application or joins an online community, then chances are the personal information that is used to complete these things are sold, rented or shared with second and third parties without our knowledge.

Most reputable companies or websites will have a privacy statement that explains clearly how they will use the personal information that they collect from their members or customers. Not all websites or companies are reputable, so it is extremely wise to read their privacy statements before handing over any revealing or personal information about you to strangers.

The following websites are extremely useful to help stop big brother from snooping into your personal business and private lives.

  1. PGP

    PGP provides cryptographic privacy and authentication that is designed to protect email sent and received between two or more parties from being compromised by outside sources. This is an awesome email encryption program that really works great and is especially useful for sending and receiving important business email.

  2. GuerrillaMail

    An excellent way to stop potentially a bunch of unwanted spam from clogging up your inbox is to use GuerrillaMail, so to get a disposable email address to use anytime your personal email address in required. The email expires in 15 minutes, just long enough to send or receive whatever is desired.

  3. PookMail

    Stop sharing your real email address with every website that ask for it, but instead make up an imaginary email address using this website. Using this service for a while I have noticed a noticeable difference in the amount of spam that I have been receiving…considerably less. The email associated with your account is cleared every 24 hours allowing you to remain anonymous and still have fun.

  4. Anonymous Speech

    Every time you send or receive a traditional email there are companies, governments and private individuals tracking your every move and storing these emails on both public and private servers. Anonymous Speech has an extremely secure email service that continues to provide outstanding email protection long after the email has been sent or received. This company does not share their client's personal information or email access with anyone and that does include government agencies and corporate entities. This program will not disappoint anyone who wants to remain anonymous when surfing the web.

  5. Obviously

    This is an outstanding Do-It-Yourself website that shows you how to stop those pesky telemarketing phone calls and how to remove your personal information from marketing mailing lists, so to stop junk mail.

  6. Double Click

    This company is the nerve center of digital marketing as the company self describes its self, but in reality, Double Click has probably collected some personal information about every person using the Internet at some point and time. They sell personal information collected to third parties for marketing purposes and the company will share the information that they collect on you with judicial or other government subpoenas, warrants or orders. Have your name and information removed from Double Click servers using the link above.

  7. The Cloak

    Hide your web surfing activities from prying eyes and snoops while using this website to surf the net anonymously. The encrypted connection hides your identity from the sites that you are visiting using an http and https anonymous proxy. Your privacy is personal – get it.

  8. BeHidden

    Here is another anonymous web surfing search engine that protects the surfer's person identity and web activities from being compromised by nosy webmasters, corporations, and governments. Also, BeHidden can be used to send anonymous email, so to further protect your identity. Awesome site!

  9. Government Public Records Database

    Access the same databases as law enforcement and government officials do, so to request a copy of your FBI file. Yes it is true, the FBI compiles records concerning private citizens within the United States and you may be one of the people that the FBI has been watching. Excellent website tool for business operators, too.

  10. Snarfed

    This is an outstanding blog about protecting your privacy when shopping on the Internet and what type of disposable credit or debit cards to use and how they work. Not all-disposable credit cards are made equally as some card programs will protect you better than others will. There is a lot of information here on this blog about privacy issues and there is a little something on here for everyone.

Remember, every time that you fill-out a contest or sweepstakes entry form or complete a survey your personal information is being collected and stored in some stranger's computer server somewhere. Each time a person joins another social network (MySpace, Facebook ) or signs up to participate in an online forum; your personal information is being collected.

What or how these companies use your personal and private information depends on the company doing the collecting. Before doing business with or disclosing your personal information to, be sure to read the company's or website's privacy statement carefully, before disclosing anything to them. If the company or website does not have a privacy statement or the privacy statement looks suspicious, then avoid disclosing anything about you or anyone else to these types of companies and/or websites.

The Excel Magician: 70+ Excel Tips and Shortcuts to help you make Excel Magic

November 29th, 2007 by admin

The Excel Magician: 70+ Excel Tips and Shortcuts to help you make Excel Magic

Are you working with Excel and want take your Excel skills to the next level? Or do you want to learn Excel and don’t know where to start? Check out these 70+ tips and shortcuts that will help you make Excel Magic.

Online tutorials & videos

The following online tutorials are mostly free and will teach you quite a bit about Excel. In fact they are better than some of the expensive classroom training courses.

  1. Online introduction to Excel: If you are just starting to use excel, this is the perfect resource for you. Here you will find dozens of audio courses that take a step by step approach to learning excel.
  2. DataPig Technologies: The guys from Data Pig Technologies made a comprehensive collection of videos that explain almost every aspect of Excel. From basic Excel concepts to VBA programming. And most of the videos are free!
  3. Online Charts Tutorial: Jon Peltier is an Excel-charting superstar. You can use his online tutorial to get you started on Excel charting and also as a reference.
  4. Basic Formulas Guide: This excellent tutorial will help you master Excel formulas in no time.
  5. Common uses for Formulas: This collection of samples will help you understand what can be achieved by using excel formulas.
  6. An introduction to Pivot Tables: The Pivot Table is an amazing tool, but people often shy away from it because Pivot Tables seem complicated. The first page of this PDF contains a clear description of Pivot Tables and how they can be used.
  7. Creating a Pivot table: A 7-minute video shows you how to create and work with Pivot Tables.
  8. Pivot Tables in Excel 2007: Excel 2007 Pivot Tables are much easier to use. If you use excel 2007, check out this slightly promotional yet excellent introduction to Pivot Tables.
  9. Practicing Pivot Tables: This step by step tutorial from Microsoft will help you sharpen your Pivot Table skills.
  10. Microsoft Excel help / 2007: When all else fails, Microsoft Excel Help is a good source to try.


In order to harness the full power of Excel, shell out a couple of book bucks. The following books are packed with information and real-world know-how.

General Excel Books

  1. Excel Bible 2003 / 2007 version: The “Excel Bible” was written by the renowned Excel expert, John Walkenbach. It explains everything from basic formulas and functions to data validation, and Excel programming. If you have only $30 to spend on Excel training, buy this book.
  2. Excel Charts: This book is a comprehensive, yet easy to understand, guide to Excel charting. It’s a useful resource for both beginner and experienced excel users.
  3. Excel Formulas: Formulas are the lifeblood of spreadsheets and “Excel Formulas” from John Walkenbach will teach you everything about them. This book covers all things formula, from custom worksheet functions to financials formulas and more.
  4. Pivot Tables and data analysis / 2007 version: One of the most useful yet most feared features in Excel – the Pivot Table, is tackled gracefully by Bill Jelen (aka Mr. Excel) and Michael Alexander. Well worth the read.
  5. Excel Programming: By far, the best guide to Excel programming. The book also outlines a programming methodology for Excel. The only downside to this book is that it assumes a bit of programming knowledge.
  6. Report programming with Excel: If you plan to build a reporting system based on excel, this is the book for you. It shows how to use Excel to build a reporting/data analysis environment and shows how to properly work with SQL databases.

Excel Tips and case studies

  1. Excel case studies: While not for the beginner, this book contains valuable, real-world advice on how to make Fxcel do what you want it to do. Make sure you check out the “Making things look good” chapter.
  2. Excel Tips: A highly recommended Excel tip book from Mr. Spreadsheet himself.
  3. Some more Excel Tips: A compendium of Excel tips. This is not the first book you should own, but I often find that I return to this book when I’m stuck.
  4. This isn’t Excel it’s Magic: Bob Umlas is probably the foremost expert on formulas. The things this guy does with formulas will make your hair stand on end. If you are serious about Excel, than buy this book.

Specialized Excel books

  1. Principals of finance with Excel: This highly recommended book will help you understand the applicability of Excel in financial environments. It is loaded with real world examples and can help both the financial expert and the techie.
  2. Statistical Analysis with Excel: Using plain English and real-life examples, this book provides information that helps with statistical analysis. The book covers samples and normal distributions, probabilities and related distributions, trends and correlations, as well as statistical terms like median vs. mean, margin of error, standard deviation, permutations, and correlations.
  3. Business Analysis with Excel: Running a business is complicated. Understanding issues like cost of goods, inventory, sales forecast, tax statements is crucial to success. Business analysis with Excel explains these issues and shows how to tackle them using Excel.
  4. Sales Forecasting with Excel: This book shows you how to use Microsoft Excel, to predict trends and future sales based on—numbers. Use data about the past to forecast the future. Excel provides all sorts of tools to help you do that, and this book shows you how to use them.
  5. Excel for Chemists: While most of this book is a general introduction to Excel, it is filled with Chemistry oriented examples. The book also contains a complete chapter that shows how Excel can assist chemists in research.

Forums, News Groups and Mailing Lists

No matter how tough or silly your question is, the experts in the following sites/mailing lists will answer it. They will do it for free and usually within a couple of hours. Don’t be shy. Join these communities and ask.

Note: The online Excel community is one of the nicest communities that I have ever had the pleasure of joining.

  1. Mailing Lists: Wow. This is the jackpot. The Excel-G mailing list is monitored by the best Excel experts in the world. They answer every question. If you post an interesting enough problem these Excel gurus will compete among themselves to answer first and give the most elegant solution.
  2. Mr. Excel Message Boards: A very friendly forum whose members will usually provide you with an answer within 3-5 hours. A bunch of Microsoft MVPs (including the Mr. Excel gang) monitor the forums. And, of course, it has a pure html interface which makes it easier to use.
  3. Excel News Groups: If you prefer USENET groups to mailing lists or Message boards, than you’ll love the Microsoft Excel groups. Most questions asked will be answered within 12 hours.
  4. ExcelForum.com: ExcelForum.com provides a web interface to the Excel News groups. If you do not want to be bothered with the USENET interface, this site will is a useful alternative.

Excel Experts

Some Excel projects are too big/difficult to tackle alone. Here is a (short) list of some of the best hired guns in the Excel Field (If you know other top-notch Excel experts, drop a link to their site in the comments).

  1. Jon Peltier: If you have a charting project/problem, I would recommend working with Jon. Jon brings to the table over 20 years of Excel experience A PhD from MIT and is a Microsoft Excel MVP.
  2. Chip Pearson: Mr. Pearson is a renowned Excel expert and while his fees are not low, he is one of the best. If you need an urgent solution or have a critical project, I would consider asking Chip for help.
  3. Mr. Excel Consulting Services: The Mr. Excel team is probably the largest Excel consultancy in the world. Their ranks include numerous excel MVPs and they have an amazing amount of Excel Knowledge.
  4. JMT Consulting: A consulting service from two respected Excel MVPs: Masaru Kaji and Andrew Engwirda.

Excel Blogs and Tip Sites

Tips sites and Excel blogs will usually send you a daily Excel tip. Many Excel professionals register to these sites and read the daily tips to keep their Excel skills sharp. They also serve as repositories for thousands of Excel case studies.

  1. Daily Dose of Excel: A blog managed by Dick Kusleika and authored by many Excel Experts and MVPs. “Daily Dose” is updated several times a week and profiles tips, tricks and news from the excel Industry. Highly recommended!
  2. ExcelTip.com: Over the years ExcelTip amassed hundreds of tips and solutions to real world problems. You can either use the categories or the search function to find the information you want. You can also register to a tips newsletter. The site is managed by Joseph Rubin.
  3. Official Microsoft 2007 Blog: The Official Excel Blog. Written by the Excel product managers/programmers. It contains a lot of information and how-to articles about Excel. The level of articles on this blog varies from “useful to everyone” to “only for hardcore excel services programmers.”
  4. Vital News Excel Tips: Very similar to ExcelTip, this site contains hundreds of tips sorted into categories and offers a weekly newsletter.
  5. Chip Pearson Newsletter: A new service from Chip Pearson. Each issue of this newsletter contains a thorough examination of a technique or of an Excel function. For those of you that wish to gain deep knowledge of Excel, this is an excellent resource.
  6. Excel User: Excel User contains a “Visitor Question” section and many high quality articles. This site was created and maintained by Charles Kyd.
  7. Andrew’s Excel Tips: Andrew Engwirda writes one of the best Excel blogs. What separates Andrew from the flock is his vast amount of Excel and programming experience.
  8. Codswallop: Although we are not a strictly an Excel-centered blog, we plan to bring a lot of Excel goodies in near future. Don’t hesitate – subscribe now!
  9. Smurf On Spreadsheets: Simon Murphy is an Excel programming master. If you are into Excel Programming, this blog is perfect for you.
  10. The Ken Puls Blog: Ken’s blog is neither Excel centered nor frequently updated. However, when Ken does blog about Excel, it’s pure gold. Definitely worth checking out.
  11. XL Dennis: Dennis Wallentin writes about developing Excel centered solutions with the .Net framework.

Excel Templates

Templates can be a huge time saver and odds are that the spreadsheet you are trying to build already exists. We’ve divided Microsoft’s huge template repository into useful categories so you’ll be able to find the right template for you.

Business Related Templates

  1. Budget Templates: Whether you are managing your personal budget, your Wedding budget or your gardening budget, you’ll find a template for it here.
  2. Balance Sheets: You can find almost any kind of balance sheet here.
  3. Expense Reports: Unexpected expenses can have a nasty effect on your bottom line. Use these templates to record and control expenses (including traveling expenses).
  4. Business Forms: Here you can find all types of different forms, from a traveling advance request form to a car mileage log.
  5. Inventory Templates: Manage and track you inventory with these templates.
  6. Invoices, Work Orders, Packing Slips: This is a real time saver. Whether you work in retail or services, you will find the right invoice/work order template here.
  7. Purchase Orders: Not only will these templates help you get the exact the items you need on time and delivered to the right place, they also come in a variety of colors.
  8. Receipts: A variety of receipt templates.
  9. Time Sheets: Use these templates to track employee work time. You can choose a template that will sum the employee and overall working hours on a daily, weekly or even monthly basis.
  10. All kinds of Reports: Different financial and management reports.

Other Templates

  1. All Kinds of Lists: Phone List, Grocery List, Reading List, Gift List and much more.
  2. Planning Templates: Business and personal planning templates.
  3. Schedules: Schedule templates for your employee shifts, business and personal events.

AdditionalTemplate Sites

  1. Vertex42 Excel Templates: Dozens of Excel templates. Some even come with a user manual.
  2. OZGrid Excel Templates Page: Another big and famous collection of templates.

Excel Tools

Excel is the ultimate killer app. But there are cases where even Excel needs a little help. Here are some Excel Add-ins that can double your effectivness.

  1. Asap Utilities: Probably the best known Excel productivity add-in. Asap utilities contains advance selection options, advanced browsing capabilities, better formula handling and much more.
  2. Send Mail: This cool little freebie from Ron de Bruin that allows you to send an email with the contents of a workbook, a single sheet or even a selection area.
  3. Excel Sentry: Use the Excel Sentry to prevent your business data from falling into the competition’s hands. The Excel sentry allows you to encrypt your spreadsheet in such a way that only you or your employees/coworkers can use it.
  4. XL Statistics: A free statistics package that expands the existing Excel functionality.
  5. Palo: A free (open source) OLAP server for excel. On-line Analytical Processing servers usually cost hundreds of thousands and sometimes even millions of dollars. Jedox (the company that made Palo) is giving it away. Definitely worth checking out.
  6. PDF to Excel: One of the most stubborn sources of data for Excel is PDF files. Whether they are scanned or not, PDF2XL will extract the data for you.
  7. FlorenceSoft: This cool little app allows you to easily find the differences between two different sheets.
  8. Excel Password Remover: Do you have a terribly important sheet you encrypted and then forgot the password? The Excel Password remover is your locksmith.
  9. Tree Plan: A set of data analysis tools from Mike Middleton.
  10. DPlot: Create 2D and 3D graphs and plots with DPlot. Especially suited for Engineers and scientist that need expanded charting and plotting functionality. DPlot contains unique chart types such as, the Polar Chart, The triangle plot and more.
  11. DigDB: Another well known Microsoft Excel productivity add-in.

Additional Excel Resources


  1. Excel User Conference: The Excel user Conference, run by Daemon Longworth (MVP), is by far the best venue to advance you Excel skills. You will learn high-end Excel tips and tricks from the best Excel experts (all the instructors are Microsoft MVPs). Plus, everyone is extremely friendly and you’ll get a bunch of laughs and even a couple of beers.
  2. Charts by Jorge Camoes: A site dedicated to Excel charts and charts add-ins. Also runs a chart centered blog.
  3. Excel funny videos: Who said Excel wasn’t fun?
  4. Excel games: And to top the list. I present Excel – the gaming platform.

5 Tools to Make Windows XP Look Like Vista

November 28th, 2007 by admin

Nov. 26th, 2007 | by TechDune |

By TechDune (edited by Aibek)

Do you like Windows Vista only because of its newly revamped Graphical User Interface? It surely does have an attractive interface but many are still hesitant to upgrade. Some because of it’s massive system requirements, and some because of all the negative buzz around it. Whatever your reasons are, you still can get a Vista like look even on your Win XP system. Below are some of the better free tools that can help you to make your Windows XP look like Vista. Just make sure you got a bit of spare RAM on your system.

Make Windows XP look like Windows Vista


Vista Start Menu

Vista Start Menu turns XP’s Start menu into one like on Vista. Not only do you get a better look but also many new features that are normally not there. These include: resizable start menu, zoom in/out, program launcher, desktop search, power buttons, tabs, and more. Another noteworthy aspect, Vista Start Menu does not change your system settings, thus making it easy to install, as well as simple to remove.

Vista Start Menu 2.2

Vista Transformation Pack 7

VTP changes XP’s interface, including the Start menu, the Control Panel, system dialogs, icons, and more, to Vista style. Also includes a transparency function to mimic Vista’s Aero Glass functionality. It’s probably the most comprehensive package out of all, so be very careful with it. While I haven’t experienced any problems some folks reported difficulties in uninstalling it (see comments here). Here are some of the notable changes that will be made to your system.

[Update: Version 8 was released yesterday (Nov 28). It’s seems to be better and much more stable. Read more here]

  • Boot screen / Welcome Screen / Logon Screen.
  • New desktop, file and toolbar icons.
  • Progress Dialogs.
  • New System Tray icons.
  • New Sounds scheme.
  • New interface visual styles.
  • Windows Media Player Skins.


RocketDock is a portable, memory-friendly, smoothly animated, alpha blended application launcher that sits on your screen. It provides a nice clean interface to drop shortcuts on for easy access and organization. Some features that are worth looking at include: Minimize active windows to the dock, drag-n-drop interface, Dual-monitor support, Auto-hide and Popup on mouse over, and Running application indicators. Check it out in action in the video below



VistaMizer modifies about 400 of your system files, and when you reboot your system after installation you won’t remember how your old desktop looked like. It’s highly customizable and changes lots of stuff. What’s really good about is that it will keep backup of all the changes (so that you can easily revert it) and won’t replace/overwrite anything that would risk destabilizing your system.


WindowsBlinds is not a program specifically designed to Vistalize your system. It’s more a tool for applying different visual theme on your entire current Windows environment: changing overall look and feel, title bars, push buttons, start bar, start menu and more. Similar to the above RocketDock, it claims to be memory-friendly, so it shouldn’t slow down your system. Once installed, you can either apply one of the default visual themes or download one from the WindowsBlinds gallery (over 1000 themes). WindowsBlinds comes both in a free and paid version. Although the free version lacks some of the additional features it still does the job.

WindowBlinds 5.0

Turkey Stuffed and Roasted

November 28th, 2007 by admin

Turkey Stuffed And Roasted



  • 1 turkey (14 to 18 pounds)
  • 1 tin of chicken broth plus 1 tin water and 3-1/2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup egg substitute or 2 eggs beaten
  • 2 pounds day-old white bread, cubed and lightly toasted on a cookie sheet
  • 2-3 medium onions, chopped
  • 2-3 celery ribs, peeled and chopped
  • 1 heaping Tablespoon poultry seasoning
  • 3 heaping Tablespoon parsley flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 6 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 to 1 tablespoon paprika
  • Note: This recipe does not call for cooked bulk sausage meat but I like to add this to the stuffing. I have never had any complaints
  • GRAVY:
  • 2 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour


  1. Remove giblets and neck from turkey.
  2. In a saucepan, bring water, giblets and neck to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 hour or until tender.
  4. Remove giblets with a slotted spoon and dice.
  5. Set aside 3 cups cooking liquid.
  6. In a bowl, combine egg substitute, bread crumbs, onions, celery, giblets, poultry seasoning, parsley flakes, salt, sage and pepper.
  7. Add reserved cooking liquid and mix well.
  8. Just before baking, loosely stuff turkey with about 8 cups stuffing. Place remaining stuffing in a greased 2-qt. baking dish.
  9. Refrigerate.
  10. Skewer turkey openings and tie drumsticks together.
  11. Place on a rack in a roasting pan. Brush with butter; sprinkle with paprika.
  12. Bake uncovered, at 325° for 4-1/2 to 5-1/2 hours or until the meat thermometer reads 180° for turkey and 165° for stuffing, basting every 30 minutes (cover loosely with a tinfoil tent if turkey browns too quickly).
  13. Bake additional stuffing for 35-40 minutes.
  14. For Gravy:
  15. Dissolve bouillon in water.
  16. In a saucepan, whisk flour and 1/4 cup pan drippings until smooth. Gradually add bouillon mixture.
  17. Bring to a boil.
  18. Cook and stir for 2 minutes.
  19. Serve with turkey. stuffing and whatever veggies you are serving.
  20. Serves: 14-16

iPod Tips: Play On–Get More Battery Power From Your Player

November 28th, 2007 by admin

A few simple tricks will help you extend your iPod's battery life.

Michael S. LaskyThere are millions of iPod stories in the Naked City, and many of them involve dead or dying batteries.

Apple faced one of its biggest public-relations brouhahas when users of first-, second-, and third-generation iPods complained en masse about the relatively short life of the music players' lithium ion batteries. After only a few months (sometimes weeks) of use, they could no longer hold a charge. Even notebook batteries go south after a time, but at least you can replace a laptop's battery–you can't swap out an iPod battery (although Apple replaces out-of-warranty iPods containing failed batteries for $59, plus $7 for shipping).

A quick and humbled learner, Apple improved the battery life of its latest hard disk-based players–up to 20 hours on one charge for the 60GB model. Still, several tricks will let you extend the life of your iPod battery, both for daily use and for the long haul. Note that while some of the following tips will work on the iPod Nano and Shuffle, which use flash memory, they are intended specifically for hard-disk iPod models.

Pausing vs. standby: Because much of the power consumed by hard-disk iPods (not the Nano or Shuffle) spins the disk, press Pause when you leave the player unattended. Left playing in default mode, the iPod will run until the battery is drained.

But did you know… You can think you've turned off the iPod when you've actually entered a standby mode. The way Play/Pause is engineered on the click dial, if you press down until the screen goes dark, the iPod may be in a paused standby mode (not Pause), which uses more power. To verify that the unit is in Pause mode, press the middle button. When the screen lights up, look in the upper-left corner for dual bars (Pause), not the triangle (Play). To cut power totally, flip the Hold switch on the top.

Backlighting vs. equalizer: The backlighting on portable devices eats up battery power faster than a piranha gobbles up a goldfish. To do without the backlight, choose Settings, Backlight Timer, Off.

But did you know… Turning off the iPod's sound equalizer will also preserve battery life. It takes processing power to transform a Madonna dance track into an acoustic tone poem. To disable the equalizer, select Settings, EQ, Off.

Changing tracks vs. making tracks: Rewinding or fast-forwarding uses extra energy, but so does changing tracks via the Previous/Next buttons, as the hard drive turns on to find and open the songs. Similarly, using the device's Shuffle or Random modes, which require frequent hard-disk accesses, will put a bigger dent in your player's battery life.

But did you know… The iPod sends tracks to its memory cache so it can seamlessly play them while powering down the hard drive. That's great for tracks that are 7MB or smaller (the average length of a single), but podcasts, audiobooks, and other long files need sustained hard-disk access, which can run down your battery. An alternative is to use a lower-sound-fidelity compression method when you load tracks onto the device, such as ACC or MP3 at 128 kilobits per second (the cache can play for 25 minutes at this level; see Figure 1). Note that while compressing in AAC is likely to give you better sound quality than MP3 at the same bit rates, few non-iPod players support AAC. Also, keep in mind that spoken content can be compressed much more heavily than music, so don't hesitate to use lower bit rates for talk-radio-style podcasts or recompressed audiobooks.

Charging vs. temperature: While the iPod's fast-charge setting brings its battery to 80 percent of full power in an hour, charging it fully still can take up to 4 hours.

But did you know… Even when it is turned off, the iPod still uses the battery and will drain completely in two to four weeks of nonuse, depending on the temperature where the iPod is stored. The warmer the area, the quicker the battery charge will dissipate. Accordingly, it's best not to leave the iPod in a vehicle parked in the sun, where temperatures can climb to well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit; even shielding the player in the glove compartment won't keep its battery from discharging quickly (a car's trunk may be a bit cooler than its cabin, though).

Note: To see some of these tips in action, watch our video.