Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Assembling My New Desktop - The Price War - Part 2

Well, this is the 2nd Part off the series I have started titled "Assembling My New Desktop" - Part 1 is titled "Deciding on Configuration and Basic Stuff" and is available here.

There's a lot of Price War and that's makes it that much more difficult to decide on the right spec. Do you sacrifice power/features for money? Well, sometimes you do have to.

After a lot of research - I could get the following price points of the different components in Bangalore, India as on 30th April, 2008. Currently the US Dollar costs about 40 Indian Rupees (1USD = 40 INR). All prices quoted in INR.

Core 2 Duo 2.66 GHz E8200-(6MB L2 cache 2.66Ghz 1333MHz) 8000
Core 2 Duo 2.66Ghz E6750-(4MB L2 cache 2.66Ghz 1333MHz) 7800

Intel DG33TL Intel® G33 Express Chip 1333 FSB 7200
GigaByte GA-G33M-S2H Intel G33 chipset 6000
Intel DG33FB Intel® G33 Express Chip 1333 FSB 5400
ABit Fatal1ty FP-IN9 SLI NVIDIA®nForce® 650i SLI 1333 FSB 6900

Transcend DDR 2 2 GB 800 Mhz (X 2 = 4GB) 1850 X 2

Western Digital Sata 2 500 GB (7200.10 RPM) 4150
Seagate Sata 2 320 GB (16 MB Buffer) 3500
Seagate Sata 2 500 GB (16 MB Buffer) 4600
Seagate IDE 320 GB (7200 RPM) 3600
Western Digital Sata 2 320 GB (7200.10 RPM) 3200

Lite - On 20X Sata 1400
Sony 20x (Sata DRU 170S) 1700
Samsung DVD - Writer 20x SATA SH-203B 1350
LG 20x 1300

Zebronics Antibiotic 3 LED Fans(1Side,1Black,Hop) Transparent Side Panel, Temperature Display, USB & Audio Port (Without SMPS) 2050
Zebronics Marco USB + Audio,120 mm side led fan Don't know
Zebronics Rage USB & Audio, 220mm side Led Fan Don't know
Novatech HTNT-2688-B With Display Cabinet (White / Black) 1750

ViewSonic 22" VG2230WM TFT Monitor 12900
ViewSonic 20" VG2021M TFT Monitor 11200
ViewSonic 19" VG1930WM Analog/Digital 15-pin mini D-sub/DVI-D 9850
Benq 19 '' E900W (DVI-D) 9700
Acer 22'' AL2216W 13400
Benq 19 '' FP92W (DVI-D) 9800
L.G. 19 " L1952S (15 Pin D-sub only) 10100

Logitech M50 MM 5.1 Spkrs 2310
Creative SBS 560 5.1 Spkrs 2600

Logitech G1 Gaming Desktop (Combo) - Wireless 1430
Logitech Cordless Desktop EX90-Black (Combo) - Wireless 1305

Gadmei TV 3488E External TV Tuner Box 950
Avermedia TV GO 007 FM Plus - Internal 1945

Monday, April 28, 2008

Assembling My New Desktop - Deciding on Configuration and Basic Stuff - Part 1

Hi Folks,

Hope you are doing good. This is the part 1 of an n part series, where I'll blog on how I get to assemble my new machine and what factors come up.

Well, I am planning to go in for a newer / meaner home desktop and have zeroed in on the below spec. Just wanted to know your thoughts / views on the same. I have given links to the product's website wherever possible.



Core 2 Duo 2.66 GHz E8200-(6MB L2 cache 2.66Ghz 1333MHz)




Intel DG33TL Intel® G33 Express Chip 1333 FSB




Transcend DDR 2 2 GB 800 Mhz (X 2 = 4GB)



Hard Disk

Seagate Sata 2 500 GB (16 MB Buffer)



DVD Writer

Lite - On 20X Sata




ViewSonic 22" VG2230WM TFT Monitor




Zebronics Antibiotic 3 LED Fans(1Side,1Black,Hop) Transparent Side Panel, Temperature Display, USB & Audio Port (Without SMPS)




Logitech M50 MM 5.1 Spkrs



Keyboard / Mouse

Logitech Cordless Desktop EX90-Black (Combo) - Wireless


Awaiting your response. I am planning to get the system in the coming week or so.


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Here is another interesting service from Google - Local Movie Search

Want to know, which movie is being showed in which theater at what time?

Just enter your city name. It lists everything. Really cool

The above link works only for a select few cities in India though.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

How to easily Set a Reminder to reply to a message in Outlook?

  • [Outlook 2003 users]
    Right-click the message you want to set the reminder for, point to Follow Up, and then click Add Reminder. In the Due By list, click the date when you have to complete the reply. In the second list, click a time. In the Flag color list, click the flag color you want, and then click OK.
  • [Outlook 2007 users]
    Drag the message directly to the To-Do bar. Right-click on the flag for email, and select Add Reminder. In the Reminder section, select the date and time you want the reminder to appear and click OK.
    (In Outlook 2007, messages that you flag for follow-up not only show-up not only show up in the To-Do bar, but also in your task list and your calendar.)

How to File Mail with Message Rules in Outlook easily?

Using rules to handle mail can save you filing and mailbox cleanup time, as well as automate replies and forwards.
  1. Go to Tools > Rules and Alerts
  2. Click the New Rules button, and be sure that Start creating a rule from a template is selected in the Rules Wizard dialog.
  3. Work through the steps of the Rules Wizard to create your own custom rule
  4. After completing the wizard, you will see your rule listed in the Rules and Alerts dialog box, along with a check box to indicate whether the rule is currently on or off. Click OK to save your rule

You can return to the Rules and Alerts dialog at any time to turn a rule on or off from
Tools > Rules and Alerts.

How to easily Sort Messages Quickly in Outlook?

You can find messages in mailbox folders more quickly by changing how they're sorted in your email folders. For example, you can arrange your email by date, sender, file size etc.

  • [Outlook 2003 users]
In the Outlook navigation pane, click Mail. Go to View > Arrange By and then click a view option.
  • [Outlook 2007 users]
    At the top of your mail folder, select the Arranged By: tab. Click your view option.
  • How to easily Archive your Calendar in Outlook? Step by Step guide

    Here are the simple steps on how you can Archive your Outlook calender to your desktop easily. Please Note: Archiving your calendar puts these entries into a pst file on your local computer, so you cannot access these archived entries from Webmail or from another machine.

    1. Go to File > Archive
    2. Select the second option Archive this folder and all subfolders, select Calendar from the list
    3. Choose a date from Archive Items older than, then click on Browse under Archive to select where to archive the entries to.
    4. Click OK when you are done

    In Calendar view, you can now see Calendar in Archive folders under "My Calendars" so you can now view these archived entries by selecting the check box.

    Sunday, April 13, 2008

    Windows Vista with SP1 can run 108 Apps simultaneously - Hits back at Mac OS X

    This video shows Microsoft Windows Vista with Service Pack 1 running 108 applications at only 30% processor usage. This was in response for this pic of Mac OS X Leopard running 150 applications which surfaced this weekend.

    [Click to Enlarge]

    His specs are nothing but just a bit on the higher side :)

    He was running a stock Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 with 4GB of RAM. Which counted 108 apps total and had most applications from Photoshop, Visual studio 2008, Office professional 2007, Safari, and Media Center all the way down to that rescource hog, Minesweeper - simply superb!!

    Thursday, April 10, 2008

    Microsoft not fixing a Vista Loophole for it's advantage - How worse can it get?

    Microsoft is denying a recent report that suggests it deliberately included a technical loophole in Windows Vista that lets users install the OS without paying for the full priced version.

    In this article, reporter Scott Dunn noted that the Service Pack 1 version of Windows Vista gives users the option of buying the 'upgrade edition' and installing it on any PC, which enables them to avoid paying for the more expensive 'full' edition.

    Well to give you a perspective in U.S., the list price of the upgrade edition is more than $100 cheaper than the full edition. According to Dunn, the same option was available to users when Vista was first released, and Microsoft's failure to close this loophole in Vista SP1 suggests that the vendor "approved the back door as a way to make the price of Vista more appealing to sophisticated buyers."

    But interestingly a Microsoft spokesperson disputed the notion that the vendor supports users taking advantage of the technical loophole in Vista by commenting as "Just because a piece of software installs on a PC, doesn't mean that it is properly licensed. The licensing states that upgrades require a fully licensed version of Windows to be eligible to use an Upgrade license."

    News source: CRN

    Monday, April 7, 2008

    Gates says that Windows 7 may come 'in the next year' - Will it be Early testing builds or the final OS?

    Well, Microsoft's Chairman Bill Gates on Friday has indicated that Windows 7(the next major version to Windows Vista), could come within the next year, far ahead of the development schedule previously indicated by Microsoft - now that'll make some heads turning in the Open Source Market as well as Apple(though not a big player now).

    He said this in response to a question about Windows Vista. Gates, reportedly said: "Sometime in the next year or so we will have a new version." Referring to Windows 7, the code name for the next full release of Windows client software, Gates said: "I'm super-enthused about what it will do in lots of ways."

    Here's an update:

    Less than 24 hours after the announcement, a Microsoft representative told CNET that the company expects to ship the successor to Vista roughly three years from Vista's January 2007 debut.

    Unclear is whether Gates was referring to early testing of Windows 7 coming within the year, as opposed to a widespread release or debut. An early test geared toward developers would be conceivable. The company has repeatedly said that it will accelerate the development of new Windows versions, largely as a response to Vista's roughly five year gestation period.

    News source: Cnet

    Friday, April 4, 2008

    Thursday, April 3, 2008

    Easily Fix and Recover all Incorrect or Corrupt Windows System Files

    SFC.EXE is a Windows system files resource checker that scans the integrity of all protected system files and replaces incorrect versions with correct Microsoft versions. SFC comes packaged and built-in since Windows XP era, and is also included in Windows Vista.

    However, not many users seem to ever use the the useful utility when the Windows operating system is in trouble or running into problem. Some may not even aware of SFC existence, probably because that the program is not listed in Start Menu’s All Programs listing. Beside, most advanced users prefer to use Ghost imaging or cloning software to backup a clone copy of entire disk, which can then be restored when there is system failure. Most users simply wipe off the hard disk and reinstall a fresh and clean copy of Windows.

    However, sometimes, some problems and errors can be fixed immediately without much trouble and hassle by using SFC.EXE. It’s especially the case when user has using Windows for a period of time, and has made considerable changes to system settings and has lots of user files.

    To use SFC.EXE, open an elevated privilege command prompt as administrator by type Cmd in Start Search box, and right click on Cmd appear in search result and then select Run as Administrator. Entering sfc /? will display help and usage guide of the Microsoft Windows Resource Checker.

    Generally, the only command that needs to be run and most effective is 'sfc /scannow'

    The command will scan integrity of all protected system files, and if problem is detected, the program will attempt to repair the files automatically. After running “sfc /scannow” command, wait for the progress to reach 100% completed, and then restart the computer. After restart, all system files will be exactly the same as if when Windows Vista or XP is just installed.

    However, because the process is effectively restore and revert system files back to original factory state, thus all changes, personalizations and customization to the system, such as theme crack, logon screen, startup screen will be reset to original Microsoft style. If you facing problem after changing the display language options in registry with new MUI language packs, this utility can fix the problem too.

    SFC can restore a lot of system files and fix a lot of errors and problems instantly, so when encountering any issues, try “sfc /scannow” command first, and it may solves the problem. Note that some restoration may require users to insert Windows XP installation CD or Windows Vista installation DVD. And don’t worry that updates or hotfixes have to be downloaded and applied again, as SFC is not complete system restore, it just replaces corrupted or problematic system files, if it detects one.

    Work Around for WGA available even on Windows Vista SP1

    If you ever thought that the recent release of Vista SP1 would deter people from find a work around for the WGA [Windows Genuine Advantage Validation ] - then you must be utterly wrong. The fact that Microsoft has tightened its antipiracy mechanism built into Windows Vista concomitantly with the release of Service Pack 1 failed to stop seasoned technologists from providing a cool work around for the latest version of Windows Genuine Advantage Validation. There are various reports that clearly point out that Genuine Advantage Validation and Notifications versions (1.7.0069.1) and released in March 2008, following the March 18 availability of Windows Vista SP1 through Windows Update and the Microsoft Download Center, have already been compromised.

    Well, it seems that the workaround is designed to be integrated with pirated copies of Windows XP and Windows Vista in order to render useless the WGA Validation mechanism. According to the reports, applying the WGA work around will permit users of counterfeit versions of Windows to access and download items from Windows Update, Microsoft Download Center and Microsoft Update[but on applying the update - I am sure Microsoft will take control]. The pirated operating systems with the cracked WGA will pass all validations on Microsoft's websites and offer anything from updates to applications that are restricted to users of genuine operating systems only.

    Here's the link to the Full Article.

    Wednesday, April 2, 2008

    How to access Google Docs and Spreadsheets and Powerpoint Offline

    Google Docs now allows you to view and edit your documents offline, without an internet connection. To do all of this, Google Docs uses Google Gears, an open source browser extension that adds offline functionality directly to the browser. This is very cool. Finally a lot of competition for Microsoft.

    Google's April Fools' Day Hoaxes for 2008

    Google does have a long history of April Fools' Day hoaxes, but this year there's something different: many Google offices from outside of US have created their own tricks - to confuse all the watchers at

    The first permanent human colony on Mars
    Google's main blog did make an announcement about Virgle. "Virgin founder Richard Branson and Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin will be leading hundreds of users on one of the grandest adventures in human history: Project Virgle, the first permanent human colony on Mars." (Check this Video too)

    Google Future Search
    Google Australia announces gDay (a.k.a. Future Search), it is a brand new search engine that allows users to search a day in advance of real time(are u crazy!! - but it's april fool's day). Google spiders crawl publicly available web information and our index of historic, cached web content. They claim that using a mashup of numerous factors such as recurrence plots, fuzzy measure analysis, online betting odds and the weather forecast from the iGoogle weather gadget, they have created a sophisticated model of what the internet will look like 24 hours from now. Now that's Star Trek theory.

    Google Docs Airplane
    Google Docs comes up with a new option: create a new airplane. For now, the only model available is the one below - but that's pretty cool (makes me remember my school days):

    Gmail Custom Time Option
    Gmail has an extra option that lets you to change the past with Gmail Custom Time. "Just click Set custom time from the Compose view. Any email you send to the past appears in the proper chronological order in your recipient's inbox."

    How about capturing a book's smell
    Google Book Search has a cool new feature: capturing a book's smell. It reads as "I'm pleased to let you know that we've made some headway with one type of volume we've struggled with in the past: books employing scratch-and-sniff technology(kinda doggy). Using special equipment and tricky JavaScript, we're now able to capture some of the smells during the scanning process and then embed them in your web browser when you preview these titles in Google Book Search."

    Finally we have Google Talk that's gone green
    They have launched a bot that translates conversations into the IM lingo. "In honor of Earth Day (3 weeks from today: April 22, 2008), on that day our Google Talk servers will start automatically sending your conversations using IM-speak instead of normal words. We know you'll all want to practice your IM-speak, so we're helping by introducing a new translation bot,, which will translate your conversations into IM-speak, to help you get used to the new lingo." LOL!

    So, which hoax made you giggle?

    Tuesday, April 1, 2008

    Factors to consider when selecting a Web Host!!

    If you intend to create a few websites online, then you can think of considering purchasing an account with a Web Hosting service. Well, I would like to point out to a few factors that you need to consider before you really sign-up for an account.

    1) It is reputable and reliable web hosting company?
    2) Is their Customer Support is good/excellent - read reviews by visiting the forums.
    3) Do you get a FREE DOMAIN - most packages now come with a free domain (your own .com / .info).
    4) How big of a webspace do you get. Most offer 1500 GB or above, but do you really need that much?
    5) You need a lot of bandwidth or data transfer - 15000 GB or above. The bandwidth gets used when a user visits your website or downloads a content from your site.
    6) Is the web host really AFFORDABLE and cheap - when compared to the competetion?
    7) Can you host unlimited domains, and also create unlimited websites under one account
    8) Does it have an option for Automatic installation of scripts, Fantastico , install blogs(like wordPress) or forums in seconds.
    9) Does the web host have the latest php, mysql, python, shopping cart script in place.
    10) Do they also include a FREE SITE BUILDER with which you create your very first websites quickly in minutes.

    You can have a look at the extended review on best web hosting at Kaushal's blog.

    Speed Up the way you Work :: Use Direct Folders

    Don't you love to speed up the way you work - well, you now have a cool tool. Direct Folders allows you to quickly and directly access to your favorite folders and recent documents. Jump to any deeply nested folder in a single mouse click and it is fully customizable too.

    Direct Folders automatically resizes your standard file dialog, so that you can see a larger number of files. Find what you looking for with less scrolling involved.

    One of the easiest ways is to simply double click in the empty area of the desktop, Explorer or File Open/Save dialog box, which brings up a menu.

    [Video Demo]

    Download [It is a Freeware | Compatible with Windows Vista and XP]

    Finally Windows Vista SP1 will be available in 36 Languages on April 9th and will be a Forced Update

    Windows Vista SP1 will eventually be made available in 36 Languages on April 9.

    Though all languages of Windows Vista SP1 has been published to technical personnels(read TechNet and MSDN subscribers), but the releases for general public through Windows Update and Microsoft Download Center haven't come through. On March 18, 2008, Microsoft finally published English and other 4 benchmark languages editions of Windows Vista SP1, generally called “Wave 0″ in Microsoft Internal naming, and it supports English (US), French, German, Japanese, and Spanish (Traditional).

    According to Microsoft’s plan, the “Wave 1″ of Windows Vista SP1 will be published on April 9, 2008. The second, and final release of Windows Vista SP1, is all set to offer general public official download links to Windows Vista SP1 setup installer that supports all 36 languages of Windows Vista editions, including those converted with MUI language packs. The release I am sure will likely be distributed via both Windows Update and Microsoft Download Center.

    The 36 languages of Windows Vista SP1 are Danish, German, English, Spanish, Finnish, French, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Dutch, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, Swedish, Chinese (simplified), Chinese (Hong Kong S.A.R.), Arabic, Bulgarian, Czech, Greek, Estonian, Hebrew, Croatian, Hungarian, Lithuanian, Latvian, Polish, Portuguese (Portugal), Romanian, Slovak, Slovenian, Serbian (Latin), Thai, Turkish and Ukrainian.

    Windows Vista SP1 is also set to come as a "Force Install" on Windows Update - marked as ‘Critical’ from April 18(Now that's going to stir up some comments in forums).

    Windows Vista SP1 provides much needed improvement, enhancements and bug fixes to Windows Vista since official RTM release in early 2007, such as system startup time, faster file copying operation speed and general improvement to system compatibility, performance and stability. In other words, the first service pack for Windows Vista is a must for all Vista system, and clearly Microsoft does think so too!!

    According to an internal source from a related corporation which is probably very close to Microsoft, Windows Vista SP1 will be made a forced install through Windows Update and Automatic Updates from April 18, 2008. The type of the Windows Vista SP1 (KB936330) will also be set as “Critical”, which will enable users on Automatic Updates to automatically download and install the service pack in the background, and all Windows Vista clients connecting to Windows Update will receive an announcement that the Windows Vista SP1 update will download and installation has been initiated.

    Other points of the email includes the following instruction to the Windows Vista users:

    As with any operating system modification, feel free to back up your data. Remain connected to AC power and hard wired to the corporate network during the installation.

    For the corporates, there is an easy method of update:

    Update the system via Windows Update, which may take a cool time of 1 to 2 hours, depending of system configuration and network connection status. Else, wait for System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) to automatically deploy Windows Vista SP1.

    Also, the schedule for the Windows Vista deployment is as below.

    Windows Vista Deployment Schedule

    Current Status:
    All updates have been published to Windows Update, and mandatory installation package has been published to Windows Server Update Services (WSUS).

    April 1, 2008:
    Deployment starts, by April 5, the system should receive all updates.

    April 16, 2008:
    The dateline to force install Windows Vista SP1 through SCCM.

    April 18, 2008:
    The type of Windows Vista SP1 update in Widows Update notification will be change to “Critical”. All Windows Vista clients connecting to Windows Update will receive an announcement that the Windows Vista SP1 update download and installation has been initiated.

    Microsoft has published Windows Vista SP1 for 5 core languages in wave 1, and SP1 for the rest of the 36 languages is scheduled to release early April, making the roll out schedule above looks realistic.