Friday, May 29, 2009

Mozilla Ubiquity: Connect with the Web Through Language

Ever need to map something right there? Translate something? Do you have too many tabs to switch to one easily? Mozilla Labs, creator of the popular and very successful Personas add-on, has created something called Ubiquity last summer. Its goal is to allow users to access and use common Web services quickly and easily. More information can be found here.

Ubiquity can be installed from the Mozilla Labs blog link above or from Mozilla Add-ons. Ubiquity 0.5, a major update is coming mid-June. Expect a new post on the update when it comes!

Note: This is beta software. Some things may not function properly however it should work overall. Works best in Firefox 3.5+

Additional Note: Certain commands especially page rotate and image rotate rely on new abilities of Firefox 3.5 and therefore will NOT function in Firefox 3.0.

Upon installing, you will be presented with a tutorial at about:ubiquity, which is Ubiquity’s control panel. It shows some of the commands you can use known as “Subscribed Feeds.” You can also create your own at: chrome://ubiquity/content/editor.html.

UbiquityTo launch, use the shortcut key specified in about:ubiquity. By default its Ctrl+Space. It has a Mac OS X like interface.

Start typing your command in and it will run as you type.

For example, I want to translate The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog from English to Spanish. So, I will type translate The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog to spanish from english. It often can detect the language so you can leave the from part out in many cases. As you type it will update so you don’t even have to press enter. Pressing enter takes you to the service pack, which would be Google Translate here, but that's unnecessary. In the following screenshot, there are two available commands as you may choose to actually translate the phrase “to spanish” to something else, but the first result assumes you mean translate the term to spanish.

Ubiquity GT

Pretty neat right? A really big time saver!

Lets try another one. Need to search Wikipedia? No problem. Just enter wikipedia followed by your term and if you need a foreign language, just add to language.

Ubiquity Wiki

Need weather? Then just type in weather followed by your city or zip code and if you want, followed by in F or in C for Fahrenheit and Celsius. Press enter for more detailed info.

Ubiquity Weather

Ubiquity TwitterNeed to send an email? Need to update your Twitter status? Yup, Ubiquity can do all that! Here’s a screenshot for Twitter. Upon pressing enter, you will be asked for your password in a dialog window stating that Authentication is required for Twitter API.

You can also highlight text and search those terms, map it, and so much more and can also be used to run commands like switch tab, close tab, exit, restart, etc… Much much more! And very easy to learn.

Ubiquity by Mozilla Labs is an excellent and useful feature that may soon be implemented into Firefox as a built in feature. What do you think of it?

Click here to download and install Mozilla Ubiquity Now
Click here for more information

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Techsmith Snagit 7.2.5 Free License! Limited Time Offer

Need a screenshot tool? How about one from TechSmith, creator of the famous Camtasia Studio!

For a limited time (like in 2007), they are giving away free license keys to an old, but fully functional version of TechSmith Snagit. Version 7.2.5. The latest release is 9.1, but it still beats the old way of Print Scr, then pasting it somewhere.

With Snagit, you can customize the shortcut hotkey, like Print Scr, then choose various capture profiles, such as Window, Region, Full Screen, etc... Lots of other options too including Video capture and web page (scrolling too). That means you can capture the whole page regardless of its length. After capturing, it opens the built in Editor where you have plenty of options to edit. Then you can organize it by tags.

SnagIt Information Can be found here.
Note: Not all this info will necessarily applies to the old version.

Grab your free license key here at the promotional site
Download Snagit. Enter Your License Key and Enjoy!

Made possible by Covermount, although I don't know what that is.
This also entitles you to a 50% discount on upgrading to Snagit 9.1.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Windows Vista Service Pack 2 is Live!

After several months of testing, Windows Vista SP2 is finally available for Live download both via Windows Update and Microsoft Download Center.

It requires Service Pack 1 installed. The download size is around 350 MB (32-bit) and 600 MB (64-bit) at Microsoft Download Center, so prepare for a long download time if you don't have a really fast internet. The size is 43 MB (32-bit) and 60 MB (64-bit) on Windows Update. It says the hundred MB but when I downloaded it, it only downloaded around 40 MB.*
* These values were received from MSDN. I estimated that it only downloaded so much because of the time it took to download in relation to my bandwidth speed.

Download Links from Download Center:
Be sure you have Windows Vista Service Pack 1 installed first.
I recommend getting it from Windows Update as the size is smaller because Windows Update only downloads what your computer needs and therefore is more efficient. However, if you are installing for a computer without internet connection or for multiple computers, the Download Center is the way to go.

Changes in Windows Vista Service Pack 2:
  • Windows Search 4.0.
  • Support for Bluetooth 2.1.
  • Data recording on Blu-ray media.
  • Simpler WiFi configuration with the Windows connect now ( WCN ).
  • Better resuming for active WiFi connections.
  • exFAT file system now supports UTC timestamps, so files can synchronize over different time zones.
  • Supports CCID / ICCD smart cards.
  • Supports 64 bit VIA CPUs.
  • Better audio and video performance for HD streaming.
  • Better Windows Media Center ( WMC ) for content protection on TV.
  • Power Management is 10% more efficient on some configurations.
Similar to Service Pack 1, don't expect too many features, if any even apply to you. Most of these can be downloaded as separate updates. For example, Windows Search 4.0 was already pushed as a update through Windows Update months ago.

Note that this update does NOT include Internet Explorer 8.

That's all folks for today! Please comment on tech as we need comments to improve on the tech guide. Don't hesitate to ask any questions. Thanks!
By - WinTechpedia™ 2009 Contributors

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Firefox Omnibar

While you could use an extension, here's an addition to my previous post on Firefox's Location Bar hidden features.

Chrome's URL bar has a lot of hype and excitement. But heres how to do it in Firefox without an add-on.

Mozilla Firefox had this feature all along. Go to your search bar and click the arrow. Then click Manage search engines.

Click on each engine and assign a keyword to it. I suggest a simple letter initial such as g for Google and w for Wikipedia.

Then head on to your URL Bar, and type in the keyword followed by a space, then your search term. If w was the keyword for wikipedia, I would type in w Mozilla Firefox, then Mozilla Firefox would be searched on Wikipedia.

Want to conserve screen space?
No problem! Just right click on the menu bar. Click customize. Drag the search bar into that window and voila! Omnibar! No add-ons needed!

Full details can be found in this video. Click here to watch on YouTube. Watch in HD if possible.

That's all folks for today! Please comment on tech as we need comments to improve on the tech guide. Don't hesitate to ask any questions. Thanks!
By - WinTechpedia™ 2009 Contributors

Saturday, May 23, 2009

11 Totally Free Apps You Should Try

Wondering what software you should try? Well, you’ve come to the right place. These are names of 11 free ones we recommend. These selections are solely based on our opinions. If you have a program that you recommend, leave a comment in the comments section. Here they are in alphabetical order. The following are mainly for Microsoft Windows. Check their website for system requirements. Some programs might not be compatible with 64-bit operating systems. See the publisher’s site for details. We are not recommending any antimalware program or browser add-on here. All features we mention here are available in the product’s free version.


File Manager and Compression: Having trouble opening .rar? Don’t want to spend so much on programs like WinZip and WinRAR? Try 7-Zip! This free and open source utility is simple, yet extremely powerful. Unpack a variety of different file types including 7Z, ISO, RAR, ZIP, and much more. Create archives, even SFX (self extracting) and password protected ones. It can also be used as a powerful file manager. Windows only with a command line port for Mac OS X and Linux. Read our post on 7-Zip for more details. Alternatives include IZArc. Paid alternatives include WinZip and WinRAR.

7-Zip FM


Computer Optimization: Too much junk on your computer? Not sure whats safe to delete? The freeware CCleaner does it all for you. Check a few boxes, then click Analyze and Clean. That’s it. You might be surprised how much you can clean. Be careful with the areas marked Advanced. Leave them alone if you don’t know what you’re doing. CCleaner also includes an uninstaller, startup manager, system restore, registry cleaner, and more. Read out post on CCleaner for more details. Note: Like many programs, by default during installation, a box for Install Yahoo! Toolbar to run CCleaner from browser is checked. If you do not wish to have Yahoo! Toolbar, like me, simply uncheck the box.



Multi-Protocol Chat Client: Forget those single protocol clients and go with something that can connect to them all and more! Digsby stands out of them all, not only because its completely free, but it has email notification and social networking newsfeed built in! Compose email right from the interface in the chat windows, elegant tabbed interface with drag and drop to new windows or rearrange, set social networking status, and much much more! Other features include quick reply notification, full log viewer, merged contacts, and more. Its free and ad free!
Note: In order to get funding for the development of this ad free program, Digbsy’s main installer uses a third-party installer known as InstallIQ. This offers a lot of useless junkware. Simply press Decline if you do not wish to have the extra software. You do NOT have to press Accept on anything but the one that is for Digsby itself. Alternatively, you may use another installer (not third party) which is found by clicking on the "here” button in the fine text after clicking the operating system where it says if you have trouble. Or you can click here to download the alternate installer right now. Read about this alternate installer and the program at my review of Digsby here. Read about their revenue methods here. Currently Windows only. Alternatives include Pidgin and Trillian. Paid alternatives include Trillian Pro.


Gadwin PrintScreen:

Screenshot Utility: Sure, you can press Print Screen then paste it into programs like Paint, but thats way too slow and inefficient. Windows Vista and Windows 7 include a Screen Snippet tool but its still not very efficient. Gadwin PrintScreen is here. The free version doesn’t have an editor but you can set it to automatically open your favorite image editor such as GIMP or Paint.NET. Attractive interface and powerful features. Paid Pro version which does have an editor available too. Paid alternatives include Techsmith SnagIt.

Gadwin PrintScr


Image Manipulation Tool: Want Photoshop? Don’t want to spend so much? Try the free and open source GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program)! This program lets you touch up images and add special cool effects to it. It might be confusing at first, but its very easy to use. Easily create animated .gif images. There are way too many features to explain them all. Try it for yourself and find out! Great free alternative to Photoshop. Alternatives include Paint.NET. Paid alternatives include Adobe Photoshop.


Google Earth: 

Virtual Earth Viewer: Love traveling and exploring new places? Google has created an amazing and popular program known as Google Earth. This free program lets you view aerial images of the Earth with some 3D building models as well as street view! Thats not all. You can also go on a Flight Stimulator, Sky Mode, and more! Version 5.0 adds going underwater and Google Mars as well as Historic View! This program requires a lot of RAM especially video RAM. If you don’t meet high Video RAM, it will still work, however the oceans will not be animated. Even if you don’t meet the top notch requirements (like me, I don’t meet video RAM), just meet the minimum requirements, and the program should be very enjoyable. Like many Google products, they have a tradition of easter eggs and April Fools pranks (such as CADIE, which was actually quite fun). Can you find them? Pro version designed by commercial use available too.

Google Earth

Mozilla Firefox: 

Web Browser: Award winning browser that gives you security, speed, and full customization. Thousands of add-ons to customize your experience. Want a feature or looks? Maybe there’s an add-on or theme for that, such as the new Personas add-on! Dozens of security features such as Instant Web ID. Hundreds of more features, such as the Awesome bar. Type any part of anything and it will search for history, bookmarks, and if you hit enter from there and its not a complete URL, it will search on the default engine like other browsers, however, your term is a keyword, so if you type in for example, weather it will automatically go to skipping the search results. While it might not be as fast as some other browsers, we would prefer a bunch of unobtrusive features over a slight speed boost any day. Alternatives include Opera and Google Chrome.

Mozilla Firefox

Revo Uninstaller:

Clean Uninstaller: You might be asking. What’s the point of this? An uninstaller? Erm.. doesn’t Windows have this already? Wrong. Programs, especially security programs, are a pain to uninstall. They want you to think that they have fully uninstalled but is that true? Revo Uninstaller now only runs the program’s built in uninstaller, it also runs a scan of your registry and computer for any remaining files. Then you can choose which registry entries or files to delete. A system restore point is always made beforehand. Very efficient and powerful. This program also comes with a startup manager, traces cleaner, tools manager, unrecoverable secure delete tool, and more.

Revo Uninstaller


Isolated Sandbox Environment: Run programs. Test programs. Without ever making any permanent changes to your computer. Integrating with Windows Explorer’s right click menu you can run any program in Sandboxie where it will write to data to a sandbox environment. Easily delete this data at any time. Very useful program. Unlike virtualization tools, this only runs one program in a sandbox rather than a whole new operating system. After 30 days using the free version, you will see a nag screen for the paid version however you can continue using the program normally. Programs running in Sandbox are marked by [#] in the titlebar. You can even run .exe installers in Sandbox to install onto Sandbox to try some programs. Plus version available.


Sun xVM VirtualBox:

Virtualization Tool: Need to virtualize an operating system? Want to test a new operating system without partitioning and dual booting? Well, there are many virtualization choices out there, but this one stands out, not only because its completely free and open source, but the performance is great. While it might not run as great as the pricey VMware, its free! Multi-platform both as the host and the guest system. Run multiple operating system on top of your main (host) one. Very easy to configure. Test programs on other operating systems in a mostly isolated environment. Note: Like all virtualization tools, even VMware, this will not support the Windows Aero interface available in Windows Vista and Windows 7 because the virtualized video card does not support the WDDM Driver and DirectX 9.0 (some tools like VMware support DX9 but not WDDM). Alternatives include the free VMware Server. Paid alternatives include VMware Workstation.

Credit for the following screenshot goes to Sun Microsystems.

VLC Media Player:

Media Player: Ever have trouble playing media files of certain file types like .ogg. Need a simple media player? The free open source VLC Media Player is here to help. Play nearly every single media file type. The program is very simple. Opening file types can be a bit harder than typical media players. It can be skinned however I will warn that the behavior is completely unpredictable when you do so. But this is a wonderful media player that is worth a try!

VLC Media Player

So there you have it. 11 programs for Microsoft Windows and possibly other systems too that we urge you to try. Got a program that you want us to try and perhaps blog about? Leave a comment in the comments section or contact us through the contact form. I have personally tested all of the above software and they all work perfectly. Performance varies depending on your system specifications.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Better Search Engine?

Need to do research but faster than Google and other search engine?
Here's it! Keyboardr will save the day!

First, visit (Click on the link to visit site.)
Okay..I know that it looks a bit simple. Yet, it is one of the most powerful search engine!

So what does it do? Let me explain..

It can automatically search when you enter something in the search box. It can range from Google, Yahoo, Youtube etc. Pictures are also included.

Just type something in the search box and see it's response. The only bad point of it is that WOT is currently not showing up beside the search links..

There is also an unstable search by Keyboardr at (Click on the link to visit site.)

Below is a Feature Comparison Chart.
Red is negative.
Orange is partial/okay.
Green is positive.

Google Yahoo! AOL Keyboardr
Web Search
Yes Yes Yes Yes
Image Search
Yes Yes
Yes Yes (Embed in Web Search)
Image Search in Web Search Yes Yes
Yes Yes
Search begin when a character is inserted in the Search Bar
No No Yes
Multiple Source Search
No No Yes
Yes No No Partial*
Quick Launch Shortcuts
No No No Yes (Only for Settings)
Supports Settings Configuration
Yes Yes Yes Partial**
Spelling Error Check
Yes Yes Yes Partial***
Text Advertisments Yes Yes Yes No
Graphical Ads Yes Yes Yes No
Recommendations for Search
Yes Yes Yes No
* Only for the unstable version of keyboardr that is customizable.
** Only for the unstable version of keyboardr that can configure what search results do the user want to receive from.
*** Only for the unstable version of keyboardr has the ability to check for spelling errors.

From the above table, we can see clearly that keyboardr is indeed a better search engine.

That's all folks for today! Please comment on tech as we need comments to improve on the tech guide. Don't hesitate to ask any questions. Thanks!
By - WinTechpedia™ 2009 Contributors

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Supreme Accelerators

I made a lot of posts about Accelerators for Firefox. This is the third and by far the very best I've found. Recommended by CNET Editors.

Cleeki (Select-n-Go)
For Internet Explorer and Firefox
Google Chrome version available (Beta)

Install Links
Internet Explorer plugin
Firefox extension or get from Mozilla Add-ons
Google Chrome extension

Just like IE8, highlight any text and a button appears. Click it and you have some engines to search from. But what makes this different is that this is a little overlay window that performs your search on whatever engine (known as channels) you pick from that window. You can easily add more from the Accelerators section of the IE Add-ons Site. The "Add to Internet Explorer" buttons become "Add to Firefox" buttons because of a script that this add-on uses.

You can perform searches right from the window and even change the term to search for other things too. Completely customizable in terms of colors, channels, size, delay time, and more.

Note: Because Chrome extensions are in preliminary stage, not all features will function properly. Be sure to read the instructions on how to install and use. Available for developer beta Chrome 2.0 version.

That's all folks for today! Please comment on tech as we need comments to improve on the tech guide. Don't hesitate to ask any questions. Thanks!
By - WinTechpedia™ 2009 Contributors

Friday, May 15, 2009

Which Email Web Service Do You Choose?

Email is part of our everyday life. We use it to communicate. We use it to access other online services. We use it to retrieve information. Many companies are developing free web based email services and many of us have tried many of them but have chosen one and left the rest of them gathering dust. So, lets make a comparison of the top 4 email service giants: Gmail (Google Mail), Yahoo! Mail, Windows Live Hotmail, and AOL/AIM Mail. We will compare the features, both pros and cons, as well as the effectiveness of their spam filter. The following applies to the standard versions and do not apply to those designed for educators and businesses such as Google Apps.

Like browsers, there is also an email war going on. When Gmail was released on April 1, 2004, many thought it was an April Fools Joke as 1 GB of free storage was amazing back then. Following Gmail’s steps and to keep up with competition, other emails quickly moved their storage up and upgraded to an Ajax interface. Slowly rising to the top and most popular service is Gmail also known as Google Mail.

I am not affiliated with any company mentioned here.

Gmail (Google Mail)
Price: Free
Google Inc.


  • Simplicity. Just like all Google products. Faster loading
  • Special Feature: Messages are grouped like conversations. Got a huge chain? They’re all combined into one conversation like archive rather than a bunch of individual emails
  • All Ajax powered. No reloading of the whole page.
  • A collection of nice themes to choose from as well as an option to make your own.
  • Free POP/IMAP
  • Auto forward mail to ANY email address(es).
  • Send mail as other email addresses including other Gmail, Yahoo!, AOL, Hotmail, anything.
  • Download messages from other services and accounts via POP*
  • Gmail Labs. Test out Gmail/Google’s latest ideas.
  • Google Talk/XMPP Chat and AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) Integrated. Most advanced and developed version of non-third party Google Talk Clients w/ Voice and Video Chat now available too. Chat logs save in the Chats folder and work just like a normal email.
  • Labels, not folders. Same as folders except each message can have more than one.
  • Unobtrusive contextually related text ads. No, Google does NOT read your mail.
  • Web clips. Read RSS Feeds from sites you select. Comes with some sponsored links however.
  • Unlimited Custom Filters
  • Advanced Attachment Features if you have Flash Player installed. Progress Bar so you can see how much is uploaded.
  • Ever growing storage. Storage meter can be viewed from the Gmail/Google Mail Login Page.
  • 20 MB Attachment Limit
  • Security Boost: No .exe, .bat, or .msi (executables) allowed although .jar (Java Executable) files are allowed
  • Option to always use HTTPS encryption
  • Advanced Email Search Tools
  • Account Activity. Know if your account is open on another session or computer. Button to sign off all other locations and sessions
  • A lot of colorful and modern looking animated emoticons and smiles to put in email and chat
  • No graphical ads. No ads in email!
  • Archive! Want to keep a message but not in your inbox? Archive it! Its still in your account and can be viewed through “All Mail”
  • Free Custom Domain through Google Apps
  • Preview some attachment files in browser including .jpg, .png, .doc, .pdf, .ppt, and more.
  • Message snippet so you can know a part of the message before opening it.
  • July 1, 2009 NEW! Drag and drop messages to labels


  • Does not have a right click context menu where you can set message options
  • Heavy reliance on Javascript occasionally causes browser CPU usage to go slightly high sometimes.
  • No preview pane even if you wanted it. However, reading pane has a few security issues.

*Except Yahoo! Mail. Yahoo! Mail requires a Plus account subscription to be able to download messages via POP. See Yahoo! Mail below.

Yahoo! Mail
Prices: Free with Yahoo! Plus-$19.99/year USD
Yahoo! Inc.


  • Tabbed interface
  • Yahoo! Chat and Windows Live Messenger integrated with the tabs
  • Drag and drop into folders
  • Unlimited Storage
  • Nice stationary to add a background and theme to emails
  • Special right click context menu
  • SMS Text Message integrated with chat
  • 10 MB Attachment Size is free version
  • Receive mail from other accounts*


  • Maximum of 100 (previously 15) filters in free version. Yahoo! Mail Plus gives you 200 (previously 50)
  • In order to receive 20 MB attachment size like Gmail, you need to pay for Plus. 10 MB Limit in Free.
  • No Free POP/IMAP. Yes, that means no Outlook, Thunderbird, iPhone, or any other email client. Send and receive mail from other accounts requires Plus, which also has a restriction of 10 addresses only. Requires Yahoo! Mail Plus.
  • No Forward Mail to other accounts, even other Yahoo!. Must pay for Plus
  • No easy way to view all flagged messages
  • Overloaded and stuffed with ads. All of which take significantly longer to load than the actual mail. Graphical banner ads. Text ads. That’s not all. Ads in the actual outgoing email too. Many of which go to unsafe sites.
  • Doesn’t go directly to Inbox. Goes to a welcome page where news, weather, and more ads are shown.
  • The button to hide the banner sidebar ad is barely useful as when you click on a message, the ads come back.
  • Not as customizable as other emails. Only choose from 7 colors.
  • Yahoo! sends many many ads to you including Yahoo! Shopping by default
  • No HTTPS/SSL Encryption in Mail available
  • Heavy reliance on Javascript occasionally causes browser CPU usage to go slightly high sometimes only.
  • Using your own custom domain costs an additional $35/year USD
  • Custom from: addresses for Plus only.
  • Most features available only to Plus members are available in other services free of charge.

*Except Yahoo! Mail. Yahoo! Mail requires a Plus account subscription to be able to download messages via POP.

Windows Live Hotmail
Price: Free with Hotmail Plus-$19.95/year USD
Microsoft Corporation


  • Many colorful themes to choose from.
  • Choose where to have the preview pane with the option to turn it off.
  • Ever growing storage starting at 5 GB as long as it increases reasonably (Plus: 10 GB)
  • Special Right Click Context Menu
  • Drag and drop emails into folders
  • Link Windows Live ID accounts so you can quickly switch and use one name to sign onto all.
  • Free POP3
  • Windows Live Messenger Web Version integrated. Sign into chat from Mail
  • Custom from: Address (Send as other accounts)
  • Receive mail from other accounts*
  • A Welcome page with news like Yahoo! however can be skipped to go directly to Inbox by changing options
  • 10 MB Attachment Limit
  • Free Custom Domain through Windows Live Custom Domains
  • Unlimited Filters

*Except Yahoo! Mail. Yahoo! Mail requires a Plus account subscription to be able to download messages via POP. See Yahoo! Mail section.


  • No Auto Forwarding to other email services. Restricted to Windows Live. To forward to Gmail, simply use Gmail’s POP feature.
  • Graphical Banner Ads. Ads in the email message on outgoing mail. Take longer to load than actual mail
  • No HTTPS/SSL Encryption
  • No IMAP Access
  • No Star/Flag Emails
  • 20 MB Attachment Limit like Gmail requires Hotmail Plus

Price: Free – Special Boost for paying AOL Subscribers
AOL Corporation


  • Lots of colorful themes to choose from
  • AIM Integrated
  • “You Got Mail” voice
  • Unlimited Filters
  • Unlimited Storage
  • 16 MB Attachment Limit
  • Customizable sidebar panel with plugins and gadgets
  • Right Click Context Menu
  • Drag and drop emails into folders
  • Copy emails and contacts from other emails powered by Trueswitch
  • Free POP3/IMAP
  • Free Custom Domain through AOL My eAddress


  • Text ads. Graphical banner ads. Ads in all outgoing email signatures. AOL Subscribers can remove these outgoing email ads. Ads take longer to load than the actual mail
  • No automatic forwarding.
  • No custom from addresses (send mail as another account)
  • No HTTPS/SSL Encryption
  • Can’t receive mail from other accounts, only copy

Spam Filter Testing

To carry out this test, I created a test email account on each and gave the email away to a site that I have tested to send many spammy emails. Within minutes, spam started rolling in. Here are the results of each. These INCLUDE ads and offers sent by the company themselves. The exact same sites were given each of my 4 test emails. Obviously, these include offers sent by the companies themselves. These emails were not used to sign up for any service therefore, any emails other than the default welcome emails received here are spam. I review the emails to make sure they aren't alerts from the company, which so far, they never are.

Last Updated: June 16, 2009

Services delete spam mail after some time however this should not affect the results as new mail should always be filtered as much as possible.

Received: 82
Spam Filtered: 75
Filtered: 91%

Received: 369
Spam Filtered: 155
Filtered: 42%

Windows Live:
Received: 53
Spam Filtered: 15
Filtered: 28%

Received: 531
Spam Filtered: 25
Filtered: 5%

From the above results, you can see that Gmail scored far higher than all others. Yahoo! received quite a lot of spam and AOL simply received an overload of it. Keep in mind that I entered the 4 emails into the exact same sites. Many of the unfiltered messages in AOL and Yahoo! were clearly spam.

Now my past experiences with existing accounts: Gmail received no spam at all. Google never sends any email except for the default welcome emails, of course, unless you choose to receive email from other services. Windows Live and AOL rarely received anything either, although AOL might send one every so often. Yahoo! however, sent a lot by default, including ads and offers, such as Yahoo! Shopping and to unsubscribe, you need to manually do so.

Feature Comparison Chart

Last but not least, is our comparison chart for the email services on their respective free version. Red is negative. Orange is partial/okay. Green is positive.

Gmail Yahoo! AOL Hotmail
Integrated Chat Yes Yes Yes Yes
POP Access Yes No** Yes Yes
IMAP Access Yes No** Yes Yes
Custom Domain Name Yes No***** Yes Yes
Unlimited Storage No (Ever growing) Yes Yes Partial***
Grouped and Threaded Emails Yes No No No
Themes Yes Colors only Yes Yes
Drag and Drop Email Yes Yes Yes Yes
Option to Turn off Preview Pane No Pane No Yes Yes
Message Snippet Yes No No No
HTTPS Encryption Yes No No No
Auto Forward Yes No** No Partial****
Text Ads Yes Yes Yes No
Graphical Ads No Yes Yes Yes
Email Tagline Ads No Yes Yes Yes
Custom from: Addresses Yes No**+ No Yes
Receive Mail from other accounts* Yes Yes No Yes
Custom Filters Unlimited 100 Unlimited Unlimited

*Except Yahoo! Mail. Requires Yahoo! Mail Plus to use POP3.
**Feature only available in Yahoo! Mail Plus. $19.99 USD per year.
***Ever growing storage as you need it. Will receive warning if increase unreasonably.
****Only to other Windows Live/MSN/Hotmail/Microsoft accounts
*****Costs an additional $35 USD Yearly
+Requires Yahoo! Mail Plus and restricted up to 10 addresses only.

Which webmail service do you use? Make your voice heard by voting. Leave any comments you may have in the comments section of this post.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Accelerators for Firefox.

Internet Explorer 8 introduces a nice new feature known as Accelerators where you can highlight any word and a blue button appears. Clicking that button lets you search that highlighted term using a variety of engines right there. Firefox doesn't have this feature built in, but like most other features, it can be replicated. There are many ways to do this.

For the second time, I am posting about ways to get accelerators for Firefox. The first one was about Kallout, which adds a nice button like IE and lets you search from a pre-selected number of engines. Now, want full Accelerator support?

Basically it makes an extra option in the right click context so you can search using your installed engines, then head on over to the IE Addons site. Notice that the Add to Internet Explorer buttons on the accelerators now say Add to Firefox. This was made possible by a script.

However, there is one drawback to this. Unlike Kallout, this doens't use the button. Instead, it uses a right click menu. A bit more inconvenient, but works with most IE Accelerators. In addition, the button that appears on IE and on Kallout is slightly obstrusive and can lag, especially Kallout on some Blogger blogs, including ours.

Recommendation from the developers of IE Activities: Upon installing, you will get a notice saying that they recommend installing Kallout. They work nicely together but I found using both unnecessary. I currently use IE Activities because I find the overlay button that automatically appears slightly obtrusive.

That's all folks for today! Please comment on tech as we need comments to improve on the tech guide. Don't hesitate to ask any questions. Thanks!
By - WinTechpedia™ 2009 Contributors

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

New Logo of WinTechPedia™ 2009

We have completed our logo design. (Below)

Please help us complete the poll below and comment on our logo.

Thank you!
By - WinTechpedia™ 2009 Contributors

Monday, May 11, 2009

Convert Those Old Chat Logs!

Do you find yourself in a similar situation as this?

Its the awesome new clients Digsby and Trillian. It looks so cool with so many features. Oh no! I have used AIM for years. What will I do with all these precious chat logs. I don’t want to lose them but I don’t want to discontinue them either!

Never fear! A Digsby user has created a new program that is here to solve your problems!

Chat Log Converter +
Windows only
Registration required

It does what it says. Converts chat logs. I have successfully used the program to convert my old AIM logs (a client that personally, I will never use again) to Digsby. Now why can’t we just move the logs to a new folder? Thats because clients like Trillian and Digsby organize the logs into separate dated files. AIM and other clients like AIM use a complete archive in one single file. Chat Log Converter + splits them for you.

Convert to: AIM, AIMLite, aMSN, Digsby, Pidgin/Gaim, MSN/Windows Live, Trillian
Convert from: AIM, AIMLite, aMSN, Digsby, ICQ, Pidgin/Gaim, Miranda, MSN/Windows Live, Skype, Trillian, Yahoo

There may be a few conversion bugs here and there but other than that, it works like a charm. If you choose to use the .exe version, it makes a backup in the install directory which is usually in C:\Program Files therefore may or may not require administrative privileges.

Because this is probably going to be one time use software, the developer requires you to register before you can download. It only takes a few minutes to do so. If you have any questions, ask him at the site. He has a Digsby widget live chat just like our blog. Great support. I contacted him once about an issue causing the logs to fail to convert and he quickly worked on a fix that came out a week later.

Update 2/14/10: The developer has just informed me that registration is no longer required. Enjoy the program!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Optimizing Firefox Tips Tech Guide

Need help to "fire-up" your fox - Mozilla Firefox? Well, great news! I, Creastery™ 2009, will be sharing a guide on that.
We will be using a freeware (No cost needed software) - Firetune
Proudly produced by Totalidea. Privacy policy can be found here.
Copyrights reserved by owner. Note: We are not in any way affiliated to them.

According to your specific computer speed and internet connection speed, FireTune will optimize several internal settings of Firefox for better performance.

NOTE: FireTune does NOT modify the Firefox executable, or any other Firefox binary file. Everything can be undone easily at a single mouseclick only.

-No un/in-stallation required - download, unzip and run. Done!
-Speed improvements according to your computer speed
-Improves browsing speed according to your internet connection speed
-Speed improvements for slow, medium and fast computers / connection speeds
-Enables some hidden tweaks of Firefox for even more browsing speed
Includes a configuration backup and restore function
-Optimizes SSL connection speed
-Optimizes Firefox memory usage
-Works with the installable and the portable version of Firefox
-Multi language user interface: includes language files for more than 30 languages

Supports Mozilla Firefox Versions: 1.x, 2.x and 3.x

After you have downloaded, unzip and run the program - Firetune.exe file.
You will see a pop-up, telling you to backup before you do the tweaking. This is very important, just in case anything goes wrong.

The default language should be English. If you are not comfortable with it, change by clicking the language option at the top navigation bar, select any language (language files are called ".lng" without quotation marks.)

Also, if your Mozilla Firefox is portable, please select the option beside the language option. It will prompt you to specify the location of the portable Firefox.

By the way, I recommend's portable Firefox. Soon, I would be touching up on that.

Now, back to topic. Select an option out of the six options there.
I'm sure that all of you know whether your computer is fast or slow. Therefore, I'm only going to talk about the Internet speed.

For dial-up connection, please choose slow connection.
This will leave you with the 3rd option and the last option only.

If you do not know if your internet speed is fast or not, at least check out to find out your average internet speed.

For internet speed with 3mbps (3 Megabyte Per Second)-
Please choose slower connection or fast. Both can work fine.

Additional information of storage size:
8 bit (b) = 1 byte (B)
1024 byte (B) = 1 kilobyte (kB)
1024 kilobyte (kB) = 1 megabyte (MB)
1024 megabyte (MB) = 1 gigabyte (GB)
1024 gigabyte (GB) = 1 terabyte (TB)
1024 terabyte (TB) = 1 petabyte (PB)
1024 petabyte (PB) = 1 exabyte (EB)
1024 exabyte (EB) = 1 zettabyte (ZB)
1024 zettabyte (ZB) = 1 yottabyte (YB)

The above table is just some points for your own information.

After you have select an option, backup first before anything. Next, press the Tune It! Button.
Note: You have to close the Firefox application FULLY.

You can use the Task Manager to find out. Press Control + Shift + Escape to toggle.
Next, choose the "Processes" tab. Under Image Name, search for firefox.exe.
If it still exists, that means it is still running. If you want to close it safely, wait for a while for it to disappear out of the list. Else, click on firefox.exe, press the "End Process" button and of course "yes" for the prompt.

When it is fully closed, Tune IT!!

After it is done, run your Mozilla Firefox.
Notice the difference? If not, change the options again.

Last words: Good luck in the tweaking, but don't overdo it!

That's all folks for today! Please comment on tech as we need comments to improve on the tech guide. Don't hesitate to ask any questions. Thanks!
By - WinTechpedia™ 2009 Contributors

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Which Browser Will You Choose?

We use web browsers every day. Most of you are probably using one right now! There are so many to choose from so obviously I cannot compare them all. I have taken the 5 most popular ones and listed out the pros and cons. This comparison refers to the latest stable release unless otherwise stated. Safari 4 Beta is reviewed rather than Safari 3 because the main download of Safari on the website is version 4, not 3.

Which browser will you choose? The blue e, the fox hugging the earth, the blue compass, the colorful orb, or the red O?


Microsoft Internet Explorer 8.0 (Windows only)

  • Accelerators. Highlight any word or phrase, search that term right away through the special menu.
  • Web Slices. More than just RSS Feeds.
  • Domain Highlighting
  • inPrivate Browsing
  • inPrivate Blocking: Possible to block certain tracking elements such as some ads
  • Faster than older versions and on some pages, other browsers
  • Malware and Phishing Filters (SmartScreen Filter)
  • Large collection of add-ons, toolbars, accelerators, and more at the IE Addons site
  • New Session Mode. Two sessions do not share cookies so you can log on to multiple accounts
  • Relative Tab with Colors
  • Search Suggestions with images and description in some cases
  • Tab Showcase
  • New Tab Page
  • Passes Acid2 (last major browser to do so)
  • Session Store (finally!)
  • Isolated Tab Environment
  • Easier Add-on Management
  • Built in Source Viewer (finally) with tag colors rather than one using Notepad
  • Nicely designed RSS Feed viewer
  • Much faster than previous versions
  • Quite slow on cold starting up, but browsing is quite fast
  • Tabs take a bit longer to load
  • Main target of hackers
  • Following older IE versions, update cycle is slow including patching critical security issues
  • Too tightly integrated with operating system
  • Fails miserably at Acid3
  • ActiveX rather than plugins (all other browsers use plugins and ActiveX have many security risks)
  • Add-ons are All Users rather than Single User. Requires Administrative Privileges
  • No Download Manager
  • No Download pause and resume

Mozilla Firefox 3.0 (Windows, Mac, and Linux with variations available for other platforms)


  • Fully open source
  • Easily modify the configuration through about:config
  • King of customization. Fully customizable with a collection of over 5000 add-ons and themes at Mozilla Add-ons: Anything from ad blocking, script blocking, site rating, file hosting download delay time skipping to domain highlighting. Whatever you want. There’s a good change, someone made an add-on for it. Want to make Firefox look like IE, Chrome, Safari, or something completely random? Maybe there’s a theme for it!
  • Instant Web ID. With one click on the favicon, all the page’s security info can be viewed.
  • Phishing and Malware Filters
  • Multi-Platform and Platform Look and Feel
  • “Awesome Bar” searching bookmarks, history, and also makes “smart” website decisions when typing a term: Autocomplete and Tagging
  • Library of Bookmarks and History. Tag Bookmarks to easily search
  • Smart Search Keywords. Assign keywords to search engines (like a simple w to wikipedia), then type in w and then your term into the location bar to search. Works like the Omnibar in Chrome.
  • Inline Spell Checking
  • Session Restore
  • Set individual settings per site, such as cookies, image loading, Javascript, etc…
  • Instant Find and Quick Find
  • Elegant Autoscrolling and Smoothscrolling
  • Available in 60 languages (Even more being added!)
  • Windows only: Automatically scan files with your anti-virus software
  • Easy to use download manager with pause and resume
  • Very fast update cycle. One of the fastest in patching security holes.
  • Easy to use download manager with pause and resume
  • Error Console
  • Passes Acid2
  • Firefox 3.5 only: Private Browsing


  • Does not pass Acid3 Web Standards test yet (3.0 scores 71/100 and 3.5 scores 93/100)
  • No zoom percentage counting. Only Zoom in, Zoom out, and Reset.

Apple Safari 4 (Windows and Mac)


  • Elegant new tab page
  • Looks like correct platform (Windows looks like Windows)
  • Drag and drop tabs with visual eye candy
  • Toolbar colors change with Windows Aero color (Windows Vista and Windows 7)
  • Minimalistic interface. Looks like Google Chrome but with an option to show menubar if needed
  • Coverflow for Bookmarks
  • Snapback: Go back to search results page
  • Collections Library: History, RSS, and Bookmarks
  • First Browser to feature Private Browsing
  • Passes Acid1, Acid2, and Acid3 Web Standards Test
  • Malware and Phishing Filter


  • Requires an abnormally large amount of system resources especially video (for Coverflow despite the fact that iTunes coverflow works fine on old hardware). This may cause major lags with the visual effects. Safari 3 was much lighter on system resources.
  • Many text forms fail to submit.
  • No zoom percentage count

Google Chrome 1.0 (Windows only. Mac and Linux pending)

  • Currently the fastest stable release browser available.
  • Like all Google Products, simplicity.
  • Easily drag and drop tabs
  • Isolated Tab AND plugin Environment
  • Omnibar saves space although searches take a bit longer
  • Incognito Window (Private Browsing)
  • No obtrusive download manager.
  • New Tab Page showing recent pages
  • Easily create application shortcuts
  • Powerful DOM Inspector built in
  • Bookmarks Manager
  • Malware and Phishing Filter.
  • Mostly passes Acid2
  • Chrome 2.0 only: Drag a tab to the side and it will attach to side (like Windows 7 Aero Snap).
  • No RSS Feed Support in current version.
  • Editing text fields often fail to submit properly: More common that in Safari.
  • No native plugin support.
  • No extension support.
  • The download statusbar is hard to use if you're used to other browsers. Previously, download stops when closing tab. Luckily, this doesn't happen anymore. However, download continues in the background with no indication of the status unless you press Download from the menu.
  • No download pause and resume
  • Sends data with unique ID back to Google. Not optional.
  • The domain highlighting puts emphasis on domain AND sub-domain, which defeats the purpose of it.
  • No Autoscrolling (middle click scrolls up and down)- Introduced in v2.0
  • No Full Screen Mode. Yes the toolbars take up very little space, but still. - Introduced in v2.0
  • Does not completely pass Acid2 test pixel by pixel. Small artifact to the left.
  • Does not pass Acid3 yet.
  • No option to show menu bar, even if you want it
  • No zoom percentage count.

Opera 9.6 (all platforms)
Note: Not all features mentioned here are available for all versions especially on portable devices


  • Elegant Special Effects
  • Two default themes: Opera and Windows Native
  • Tab Previews (Mouse over tab)
  • Panel Sidebar with buttons for History, Bookmarks, Widgets, etc…
  • Widgets: Little Gadgets showing various information
  • Closed source makes it one of the most secure browsers
  • Built in mail client and IRC Chat
  • BitTorrent Downloading integrated
  • Trash can to reopen closed tabs, restore notes, widgets, etc…
  • One click detailed site info including downloaded time, cache file, security, number of elements, scripts, and more
  • Detailed element loading status on URL bar
  • Many community created themes to choose from to change Opera's appearance
  • Wand: Autocomplete not only Passwords but Forms too
  • Rewind and Fastforward. Go back to first or last page visited on tab
  • Speed Dial. Instant Access to 9 selected sites
  • Useful Mouse Gestures
  • Error Console
  • Identify as another browser like Firefox and IE. Tricks various scripts that identify browsers however this does NOT run as another browser engine. Its still Opera
  • Passes Acid2.
  • Opera 10 only: Passes Acid3
  • Malware and Phishing Filter


  • No add-on support at all. Not likely to receive them either.

The following chart is a comparison of some major features built in. Does not include add-ons that can add the feature. Refers to latest stable version except for Safari.

IE 8 Firefox 3 Safari 4 Chrome 1 Opera 9
Domain Highlight Yes No No Yes No
Private Browsing Yes Firefox 3.5 Yes Yes No
Phishing Filter Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Malware Filter Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Acid2 Pass Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Acid3 Pass No No Yes No Opera 10
Session Restore Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Download Manager No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Add-ons Yes Yes Mac only No No
Themes No Yes No No Yes
RSS Feed Yes Yes Yes No Yes
You’ve seen 5 of the most popular browsers. Now, which one is your favorite. Cast your vote below!