Saturday, 21 March 2015

How To Back Up Facebook Account

Most of us use social media for fun, others use it for more serious reasons like storing photos and videos. And why should not be? It is easy to set up and can be managed from anywhere, not to mention that it is free compared to limited free cloud storage. It's easy interface is also suitable for everybody.

But FB is also a breeding ground for hacking attacks, and we've heard of many that has moaned about losing photos and even important files as their accounts has been compromised or can no longer be opened. So before that happens  to your account and loss important files, back this up!

The benefits on making a backup is not only to preserve the uploaded files. The backup also contains ads that you've clicked, your friends and removed friends, invited events, all messages, photos, notes, videos and many more FB activities you've engaged.

The requirements.


  1. You need to have an access to the email address you have set up your FB account.
  2. Zip archiever. The data is compressed into a zip file so you need to download and install one first. I use Winrar in this tutorial and you can download it here.
Here's how to backup.

Preparation to download.


  • Log in to your FB account and click at the arrow down link(1)>settings(2)>download copy(3)of your facebook data.


  • The next window will confirm your request(4) and at this point will let you enter again your FB password before FB starts the archieve(5). A confirmation (6) will tell you to wait for the download link.

  • It took me at least 6 minutes(7) to wait until the download link(8) is available. The download time depends on the overall amount of data you have uploaded and how much activities you've engaged into. Internet connection speed is also another factor. For myself that have started FB 2009, my account has accumulated 158MB of data and took at least 10 minutes of my time.

Archieving.


  • Once downloaded, go to the location of the file and create a new folder(9). Rename the new folder to any of your liking, in my case, I named it Facebookdata(10).Click Drag and drop the downloaded zip(11) file to the newly created folder. 



  • Once inside the new folder, right click on the zip archieve(12) and click extract here(13). The zip archiever window will show the pathfile(14), you do not need to do anything just click ok(15) to begin file decompression or extraction.



  • The archiever will automatically create another folder(16) for the extracted file.




Accessing data archieves.


Inside the new folder contains all FB archieves. There is a dedicated folder for photos and videos but can also be accessed using the HTML folder. Clicking on the links will open up the files using the default browser, in my case chrome. Example path of the events file below.




Thursday, 19 March 2015

Stalled Chrome Easy Fix

From time to time, chrome browser crashes on my computer. I experience it at random, sometimes when I have just started the computer or when I resume from sleep mode. Clicking the chrome icon does not do anything, initially it seems like it is launching, the whirling animation is on going but it just stops midway and stalls without opening the usual chrome window.

My usual response is to reinstall it by going to my download folder (I usually save installation files) and run the  saved installation file. Or download it again from the web.

But there is a quicker way of sorting this out, by using a free utility, the CCleaner!  This is intended to clean junks and make your computer run smoother and safer, but there is more to just the tidying, it also helps to restore malfunctioning browsers. If you have the same problem with chrome like me, try this steps below.   If you do not have it yet, you can download it from here.

The Ccleaner



Open ccleaner and click applications(1) tab. The application does its job from the first browser on top to the bottom. Depending on the number of browsers you use,  you just need at least 3 minutes of your time. When it reaches google chrome, it will detect that it is running but has stalled. This is the reason that the window is not showing.  The cleaner will ask you to close it(2).


Clicking yes will detect that it is not responding and will ask you to forcefully close it. Click yes(3), relaunch chrome and it will run smoothly!



Last Words.


Ccleaner is one of the best free computer maintenance application I have tried. Aside from the excellent junk wiping function, it also have uninstaller, duplicate finder and the intuitive startup(4) tweaker for applications so that they can launch faster by disabling(6) additional extensions(5).



In fact, it remedies other well known browser like internet explorer,  firefox,  safari and opera. So if any of these browsers do not launch, ccleaner is the cure!

Saturday, 14 March 2015

3 Ways to Save on Inkjet Printer

It's one of the most expensive consumables in the world of computing. The hardware comes as cheap as chips but to maintain it,  is costly. In fact, they say the inkjet is seven times more expensive than Dom Perignon Vintage  champagne. Too bad it doesn't taste that good!

The good news is depending on how you use it, you can save money on every drop without modifying your printer or computer, and without using alternative printer inks. Here's how.

1. Print in draft. 


Printing in draft(2), general mode or quick print(1) (the name depends on the model of your printer) makes the print out less colourful by using less ink than setting the outcome print into photo mode or photo quality. If you are using word processor, draft mode ignores the formatting of texts thus uses less ink.


This menu can be accessed with the printer's settings menu or the word processing application (5) you are using as shown below.


If colour is not important, you can also use greyscale (4) to further save on colour ink.

2. Use multiple page printout.


If it is practicable to print 2 pages or more(3) in one print page then do it. This obviously uses less paper and ink as it is not the full size that is printed but a scaled down copy.  Although this may not always be available as an option depending on the printer's model, a free application that can do this is available at http://www.clicktoconvert.com/iprint/.


3. Use less ink consuming fonts. 


Yes, you can save on ink by carefully selecting the type face you use. It's been long time that I use times roman on all school projects when I was in college. I did not know much about fonts that they have an impact on how much ink you could possibly consume and also the fact that there was not much font choices to select from then. Plus the shadow of the typewriter was still hanging over me, I thought every font is not so different. Times roman is not really a bad choice as it always appear to be on the 4th or 3rd space of the most ink saver font. Garamond has been studied to give you the most savings, and special font face like ecofont.

Fonts that uses less ink

The later is particularly designed to use less ink by integrating 'holes' within it's body. As this is not readily available with word processors, a free version of it can be downloaded at http://www.ecofont.com/en/products/green/font/download-the-ink-saving-font.html


Specially designed ink saver font




Saturday, 7 March 2015

The Note 3 and the Riddle of the 'Always On' Wi-Fi

My note 3  smartphone has been giving me a slight problem. It's Wi-Fi is always on! Even when I switch off the Wi-Fi button. The Wi-Fi button is off as it shows in this screen shot but I still see it active when I take a glimpse of what's using the battery power ( access it at settings>general>battery>then tap battery graph(1)). Note that the Wi-Fi entry remained active as shown by the continuous blue line(2).


  • ALWAYS ON WI-FI


Although there is no issue regarding the performance of the device itself, it could be obvious that it plays a part in shortening the battery life. So this must stop.




I tried many things to stop this like restarting the device, deleting and disabling applications and widgets that I thought could have caused the Wi-Fi button active. I thought of this because when the device was new, this problem has not presented itself yet. Major culprits are the widgets displaying weather, temperature etc., and everything that refreshes itself by using the internet. But unfortunately, it failed. At this point, I was already being tempted to put the device into factory setting, which is the last resort I could think of.


  • THE WI-FI SETTING


But before doing the final long way, I tried once more in scouring the setting I have not touched, the Wi-Fi button itself.

Embedded deep inside it, is a setting I have ignored or I have not explored before. Or it could be an additional function and has been added after the updates.

You can access this with the following taps; settings>connections>then tap Wi-Fi (3, not the Wi-Fi button). At this point it seems that there is no more options rather than choosing which SSID to connect. But tapping the left most soft key (4) reveals additional options, tap advanced.



  • DISABLING WI-FI BUTTON EFFECTIVELY


The next window has given a clue why it is on all the time.  A menu of 'keeping the Wi-Fi button on even when the device sleeps' is set to 'always'(6). Tapping the > symbol let's you choose option to never or only when 'plugged in'. I think the second option (7) is better and could do no harm to the battery as it only does it when plugged in(8).



Going back to the battery after turning off Wi-Fi button for 45 minutes reveals a good sign, the Wi-Fi strip meter did not spend a single drop(9) of power.




  • LAST WORDS.


I always thought that the Wi-Fi button is off when turned off from the simple toggle switch at the settings connections window.  But deep inside the Wi-Fi menu still has a sub-menu that overrides this. It is easy to  overlook this and could remain uncovered unless users notice this 'flaw' under what's using the battery power!

This problem could present itself on other android devices and if so, the solution could be the same.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Transfer Files From Phone To Laptop Using Wi-Fi

I use my phone to snap things on the go. In fact I use it more often that my camera. That's because it is easier to carry around than the dedicated device and it is easier to use as well. And the most reason why I use it more is it is always ready as I do not know when I might need to take a photo!

The next thing to do when I have taken a photo is to see it in a bigger screen. This means I need to transfer it to my laptop with a data cable. Thanks that the USB charger cable acts as a data cable as well. Transferring is a straight forward no fuzz procedure. The only problem is when I misplace the cable!

To solve this is by using wireless with the existing Wi-Fi router. Android phones already has this feature(Wi-Fi direct) specially with samsung brands, but only limited to phone to phone transfer and not phone to laptop. But here's a free app that makes this task possible.

The Filedrop


This app exploits the Wi-Fi hardware in a laptop to accept file transfers from a mobile phone. As this requires W-Fi, both devices, mobile and laptop, should be connected to the same Wi-Fi to initiate exchange. There's a free version for Windows, Mac OS, Android and iOS.

Visit Download Page


  • DOWNLOAD.

    The first step is to download the relevant application for your machines. You can visit above page to download the application to your laptop and you can use play store or itunes to download it to your mobile device.
  • CONNECT TO THE SAME WI-FI.

    Once installed, open the application on both devices. Provided that they are connected in the same Wi-Fi, you will see the connected mobile phone(1) in your laptop and the paired laptop(2) in your mobile phone.



  • FILE TRANSFER (INITIATE)

    To initiate transfer from your mobile phone, tap anywhere the laptop's image(3) on your mobile phone and a two buttons will appear(4). The left button is exclusively for photos and the right button for all files. The icon (?) at the buttom of the screen is just to browse your files and will not initiate file transfer. 

  • FILE TRANSFER(SOURCE)

    On your mobile phone tap the all file right button(4) to choose file to transfer. I use this more than the left photo button because this loads faster and more versatile.  This will let you navigate to the location of the file you want to transfer using the back arrow(6). Tap to check(7) the file(s) then press send(8).




  • FILE TRANSFER(TARGET)

     On your laptop, the details of how many files being transferred is shown and you need to press accept(9) to commence transfer.  You will know that it is successful when it reads100% (10) complete. You can check quickly by clicking the file button(11) or can go to this path if you want to access it using windows explorer, user>download>filedrop. Though this path can be changed by specifying it.




Last Words.


Although this program allows the transfer of files from my note3 to my laptop, it doesn't allow a file from my laptop to be transferred to my note3 contrary to published videos of this  by just a simple drag and drop action. It can be a minor bug or note 3 is not supported for reverse transfer. If this is the case then there's nothing I can do but to wait for a better update.

Video below.


Click here to view

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Control Your Laptop Using Eye Movements

Ever feel frustrated when you turn to the next page of a musical score stored on a tablet  whilst playing the piano or guitar overshoots to the last page ? Or want to play a video backwards as you missed an important ingredient whilst your hands are sticky with half done dough?

These are just some scenarios that you wish your digital device, laptop or tablet  would turn into a physical personal assistant even just for a minute or two. Although no amount of magic spells and magic wands can do this in the real world,  this smart assistant can get smarter with an eye tracker device. It can just do what you wish to be done by an additional hardware and a well written software!

The Eye Tribe Eye Tracker


Eye tribe has introduced that device that uses an eye tracker to detect eye movements and written an accompanying code that translates these into tasks like turning a page, playing back movies backwards or forwards, controlling a game without  ever using your fingers to touch the device. 

See more of it at https://theeyetribe.com/

Imagine you can do every activity you usually do to a device with your finger tips just by looking and making gestures using your eyes! It will be a liberating experience specially in the field of gaming. No more inaccurate controller finger slips. It could also mean savings on batteries and misplaced  or broken controllers.


As it is still new, it can only be connected to devices like laptops and tablets running windows7/8 or Macs running mountain lion 10.8.4. It also need a superfast data input interface like the USB 3.

The company is still working to miniaturize it more to fit smaller devices like mobile phones. So we can expect mobile products sporting the new user interface in the future and other devices that can exploit the power of eye movements. As the SDK code comes with the purchase of the device, developers can use it in developing apps compatible for other home entertainment products to make them more interesting to use!


Click to watch video.



Last Words.


This is an another forward leap to user interfaces on how we interact to machines. This technology will be helpful to people with disability so that they can fully experience the enjoyment of having a laptop or a tablet without having the reservation to use them because they are not physically capable to hold the device. It can also make them more independent in some ways if this device is incorporated with other products of everyday living like a wheelchair that moves just by looking at it. This technology could make tasks become simpler and could open a window to a new world to people with difficulties if exploited it's every potential.

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