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If you are big music junkie and you need music while browsing, reading, playing a game or typing – you should probably try Spider Player out. This music player for Windows users lets you control the music being played out comfortably.

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The interface is not particularly flashy or something spectacular. However, at the same time, it is not bland or boring either. I found the layout to be interesting and the colors are there preventing it from becoming distracting in anyway.

To be honest, the layout is similar to that of Winamp. There are multiple individual windows which snap together for forming a whole. These individual parts can be closed or detached at your will and therefore, it makes way for further customization. For example, if you don’t use equalizer much, is there really any need to keep the same? Just close it and therefore, you will be able to slim things down.

When it comes to the playlist, it is pretty much primitive. Spider Player lacks the generic library feature of all the regular music players and hence you cannot organize the songs played by genre, artist or album. You may find it similar to vanilla Foobar2000 as you will only find playlists.

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One thing about Spider Player is there for you to remember. This windows app is pretty old. The last update was pushed out in late 2010 and the time passed away since then is sort of an eternity when it comes to internet. Despite the 3 years of idleness, the feature set that the app has are still comparable to a lot of the modern players and thereby, I would say that the app has been able to keep up with time on somewhat basis.

Spider Player used to be premium program and it used to retail for $20. However, as the app went out of development, all of its features were released for free by the creators. The license key for unlocking all the Pro features is: 27U3Z909I95-KK147A893S4K6Y1M0F-780363812.

People use webcams for serving various purposes. Some use these for meeting the friends, while some use these on daily basis just to see the loved ones staying far away on every single day. Surely, webcam is one of the best inventions of the modern technology; however, you can make more out of it using a few tools.

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Today, I’ll discuss a tool named 99colors which is not just for plain video chatting with your friends.

99colors turns your webcam into a one stop shop for taking snapshots, thereby extending its original feature of video chatting with friends or family members. You can apply filter effects to the snapshots you take and also share those with people you will like to. I personally found the best part of 99colors to be that the tool is entirely web based and hence, you don’t need to download or install any apps in your system. You just need to fire up the browser that you use and you should be good to go.

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Once you get into the official website of 99colors, you will see a blank canvas only. Now, with a single click, you will be able to take snapshots through the webcam. All these snapshots will start piling up on the blank canvas and you can then promptly switch between them as you edit through. There are dozens of filter effects that you will find coming with the website and those should be used for touching up the photos that you use.

Once you are done taking and editing the snapshots, those can be uploaded to the public 99colors gallery. Otherwise, you can also upload them straight to your Facebook account. If you care about taking self shots and then love to share them with your Facebook friends, 99colors is something that you should experience at least once.

When you format your system with either FAT or FAT32, there is generally a limit of 32 GB for the partitions. However, this is not the entire truth. In fact, FAT or FAT32 itself can handle around 16TB hard drives and in most of the operating systems, up to 2TB is supported as well. However, in an attempt to promote NTFS (Which in fact is more efficient when it comes to working with the big partitions), Microsoft has set a partition size limit of 32GB for FAT or FAT32 file system.

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So, there are 3 things that come out of the above paragraph. First, the limitation only exists for the recent versions of Windows released by Microsoft. Additionally, Windows recognizes the large hard drives which are formatted with either FAT or FAT32. Lastly, the 32GB partition limit is something that you can easily circumvent.

In the below portion, I will teach you all a manual way of formatting a large hard drive that comes with FAT or FAT32 file system:

You can off course use tools for this, but, I prefer the manual way as the process is pretty easy. First of all, you need to switch to the command line. If you are using Windows XP, go to Start->Run. For Windows Vista and Windows 7 users, go to Start->Run (Type this in search field) and then launch the same. Now, in the text field, type cmd and click OK. The command line will open up.

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Now, over there, write this: format /FS:FAT32 P: (Remember to replace the word P with the driver letter for the external device that you intend to format).

Now, hit enter. That’s it! Well, the formatting may take time depending on the hard drive size.

Isn’t the process easy? Have you ever tried to format hard drive using FAT or FAT32? If yes, let us know about your experience through the comments.

Afloat – the Various Features

April 25th, 2013 | Posted by Costea Lestoc in Mac - (0 Comments)

In a previous article, I gave you all sort of an introduction to using Afloat. This article will be more detailed and will focus on the numerous aspects of this amazing app available for MAC users.

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How Does Afloat Help in Working with Several Windows?

You don’t need to flip through the several open windows, using Afloat; you can simply put the source window above others. While using Afloat, go to the source window and then hit this: “Command + Control + A”. This will make the window always floating above. If you wish the window to be transparent, you can use this: “Control + Command + 1″.

The transparency level can be controlled using this: “Command + Control + Page Up/Down”. You can even use “Command + Control + Two finger scroll on the multi touch trackpad”. If you wish the window to get back to non-transparent state, use this: “Command + Control + 0″.

That’s not all! There’s a command to overlay as well: from Window –> Adjust Effect menu or Command + Control + F.

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If the window you need is located in a different space from the window you are using currently, you can configure it through Afloat options as well. Hence, the tool eliminates the need of turning off spaces or moving the required window around Spaces.

You can quickly resize a window, by hitting this: Command + Control key, when you click & drag the right mouse button anywhere within the window. A quick drag can be performed using Command + Control and the left mouse button as well.

If you wish to know the location of a file, on which you are working on currently, Afloat can help even with that. Just hit this: “Command + Control + Up arrow”.

Afloat works because it has hosts of features that you’ll love to have in an app. I love it and I’ll like to hear what the other users have to say as well.

In a previous article, I discussed on installing Windows 8 desktop themes. In this article, I will talk on some Windows 8 desktop themes that you will love to use:

Simplex

Simplex

This is a simple and light theme with minimum number of window buttons. You will need a third party tool for making the window borders transparent. This feature is not available on Windows 8, unless you use a third party hack.

Platinum

Platinum

You will see many themes that bring the foreign looks of a different operating system. Platinum is a similar Windows 8 desktop theme that helps you to get a MAC like look in your Windows 8 run computer. Well, the fact is that it’s not easy to mimic Windows Vista or Windows 7 as from these versions, Microsoft decided to remove the code which allowed for Aero-style transparency.

Base

Base

This one uses a dark taskbar and window borders. The main area is sort of light and it draws attention to the content of your system. There are numerous types of background images associated as well. You can use those as your desktop wallpaper. The best part is that these rotate automatically as part of the theme’s default behavior.

Royale 8

Royale 8

This theme was originally created for Windows XP users. So, if you miss that Windows XP look in your Windows 8 system, you may try this one out.

WhiteDior

WhiteDior

This is probably one of the most popular Windows 8 desktop themes that you will find. The theme has very high contrast, as it offers almost solid white window themes paired with a dark black taskbar. There is also a black line at the bottom of each window. Until you scroll the mouse over the maximize and minimize buttons, you will not be able to see those. I’ll call this theme aggressively minimalist.

In a previous article, I talked about ZFS file system. It’s time to talk about the other file systems as well in this 2nd part of the 3 part series explaining different file systems. I’ll start with brtfs and cover ext4 as well.

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File System – brtfs

This is yet to be released. But, this upcoming file system for Linux distributions mainly looks at fixing many of the issues which were pretty predominant in the older ext file system series. You can call it a journaling file system as well. There are hosts of new features such as data pooling, through which you can span the file system across more than one physical hard drives. Apart from that, the maximum file and volume size is of 16 EiB. There are other features such as snapshots, nanosecond time resolution, transparent encryption, transparent compression, data deduplication as well. Linux is the sole operating system that supports brtfs as of now, however, it is considered as unstable as of yet. Many feel that with time, brtfs should be replacing ext4, the file system that I am going to cover next.

File System – ext4

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For the time being, this is the most used file system for Linux systems. This is a successor to both the earlier file systems ext2 and ext3. Different techniques have been used in this file system to improve the performance. Just like brtfs, ext4 also is a journaling file system. This is only for hard drives and hence, it doesn’t appear on the removable Medias. It can support files up to 16 TiB and volumes up to 1 EiB. With help of Ext2Read, even Windows users can get read access to the ext file systems.

If you have used ext4 or intend to use brtfs, please share your thoughts through the comments section. I’ll love to hear what you have to say.

In recent times, if I think of an advantage of using MAC, I will probably think of AirPlay first. If you somehow have not heard of this as of yet, this allows you to stream video and audio between Apple devices which have AirPlay enabled. For an example, you can stream videos from the iPad YouTube app to the Apple TV.

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What is AirPlay?

This is a system designed by Apple which is used to stream content between various enabled devices. Thereby, using the same, you can stream audio from your laptop or desktop computer to the sound systems which are AirPlay enabled. This will work even for the regular sound systems which are complemented with an AirPlay enabled AirPort. Before the release of Mountain Lion, it was only possible to stream music from within iTunes with usage of AirPlay. However, now, thanks to this newly released operating system from Apple, all system audio should be compatible. You don’t need to buy any third party software, when you try to stream Spotify or YouTube audio to the AirPlay enabled audio systems.

Disadvantages of AirPlay

AirPlay is great, but, it’s not a perfect system. There are a couple of disadvantages that I can think of at this point of time and below are those explained:

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The AirPlay system of Apple is proprietary and that means, you can only use it in the Mac OS X and iOS devices. Hence, the numerous users of Windows-Apple crossover are out in the cold.

AirPlay mirroring is only available on the recent Apple hardware. This is way of streaming the content of your system display to an Apple TV. If you are using an old MAC, the AirPlay mirroring icon simply doesn’t appear in the menu bar of the MAC OS X. If you are looking for the complete list of supported computers, I’ll recommend you to go through the Apple support article at this link: www.support.apple.com/kb/HT5404.

I promised to come back with another part for discussing MPlayerX and here it is. I’ll straight go to the other features of the app now:

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Syncing Audio and Video

If the video and audio gets out of sync, you can manually fix this issue while playing the same through MPlayerX. Go to the “AVS” option on top of the screen and then click on either of the two options available: “Decrease Audio Delay” and “Increase Audio Delay.” You have to work along it manually to adjust things and make video sync with audio; however, the effort is worth it.

More on Preferences Option

Different kinds of playback options can be set up through the preferences menu. You can actually play each video in full screen right when you open the same; you can adjust options for streaming, subtitles, audio etc. as well.

You need to simply pinch and pull for expanding or shrinking the player window. Therefore, you can make adjustments pretty quickly and that too without breaking the momentum while you are watching a video. For full screen, you just need to do a double tap. Swiping up raises the volume and similarly, the app works for swiping down.

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For me, MPlayerX works big time, because, the app is free to use and more importantly, you can play videos of any possible format under the sun. The video player has a slick style associated with it and that kind of syncs it up with the overall look of a MAC. I am not saying that MPlayerX is the best video playing app for MAC users, but, if you are not happy with the current one that you are using, you should probably give it a try. Once you do, don’t forget to share your experience with me through the comments section.

Are you really aware what the hard drive does whenever you read a specific file from it or even when you write one to it? Thanks to the advancement of technology, it is now possible for us to store massive amounts of data which is needed for a high level of organization for preventing certain issues related to performance.

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Through usage of file systems, a hard drive can be properly organized. The operating systems themselves set up the file systems while the installation is in progress. Well, you must already be aware, but just for starters; there is more than a single file system. Through this article and the other parts as well, I’ll try to explain how some of the basic file systems work and what differences do they have between each other!

ZFS

This file system is only known to the users of UNIX. This file system can support files and volumes of up to 16 Exabytes. Though ZFS is not really popular for performance, but, it provides support for numerous features such as data corruption protection, combination of the file system & advanced volume manage concepts including pooling, data de-duplication, snapshots, transparent encryption and transparent compression. For the last 8 years, this file system is being considered as stable and it is supported by Linux, Mac OS X 10.5 Server and other similar UNIX alike operating systems as well. In today’s date, ZFS is more commonly found in the enterprise environments than in the normal households.

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In the latter parts, the other file systems I have decided to cover are: NTFS, btrfs, ext4, HFS+ and FAT. If you are already into using ZFS, don’t forget to share what you like or dislike about the same. If you have decided to try ZFS out after reading this article, don’t forget to share your experience through the comments section.

Some Basic Advantages of MPlayerX

April 17th, 2013 | Posted by Costea Lestoc in Mac - (0 Comments)

If you are a MAC user, there are plenty of options for you, when it comes to the video player. You have VLC, XBMC or even the QuickTime media player owned by Apple. I am not saying that these video players are bad, but, if you are ready to make the big change, I’ll suggest you to take a look at MPlayerX. It comes up with tons of features which you will find to be useful while watching your favorite videos.

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Videos in almost every format can be played through this app and that too with the best codecs available (The advantage is that you don’t need to download any additional plug-ins). Hence, rest assured, any video setting on your hard drive will be able to play videos with ease. There are many organization tools for your media as well, so in a few minutes, you can start enjoying the videos in a beautiful way.

First of all, you must select a video that you wish to watch from your computer. There is an option to play videos directly from the internet as well (You’ll find an option called “Open URL” from the file menu on the screen’s top side).

There are options for altering the look while the video is playing. Go to the Windows menu on the top of the screen and there, you will see options to change sound and color in the video. The menu is pretty similar to the one you see in your television. Therefore, you can fix issues with the picture that may be present in the particular file.

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MPlayerX can automatically detect and convert the encoding method of the subtitle file. There are plenty of languages supported by MPlayerX such as: all Latin based languages, Arabic, Eastern Asian, Hebrew etc.

It’s pretty hard to talk about all the features of MPlayerX in a single article. So, stay tuned for the next part!