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Author Archives: Costea Lestoc

Spider Player – the Pro Features

May 7th, 2013 | Posted by Costea Lestoc in Content - (0 Comments)

I have already discussed the basic details of Spider Player and now it’s time to talk about all the Pro features of this application. As I stated in the earlier article as well, you can get premium features for free, just by using this license: 27U3Z909I95-KK147A893S4K6Y1M0F-780363812.

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As soon as you have unlocked the Pro version, you will get access to these features:

Audio Streaming

Doesn’t matter if it’s from the Internet radio or just plain audio file located on a remote server, Spider Player can stream everything seamlessly for you. Remember, when it comes internet radio, you can not only listen to the music, it is also possible for you to record the audio directly to a file in AAC or MP3 formats.

Portable Version

Any portable program comes in handy and so as the case for Spider Player Pro as well. You don’t need to install this and you can simply place the same in your SD card, USB Drive or anywhere else you can think of.

Easy Format Conversion

Any audio file can be converted through Spider Player and followings are the available formats: OGG, MP3, WMA, FLAC, WavPack etc.

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Download Lyrics

Many like to sing songs when the same is played. Still, lack of knowledge on the lyrics prohibits them from doing so. With Spider Player, you can download the lyrics of a song automatically and it will be shown right next to the playlist. Do you know any easier solution when it comes to the song lyrics?

32 bit Sound Processing

Most of the sound processing is usually done on the sound card. However, if the sound card is outdated, even then Spider Player will process the audio internally at 32-bit precision, thereby enhancing the audio quality.

Various Supported Formats

Spider Player supports numerous formats such as: MP1, Ogg Vorbis, AAC, AAC+, MP2, MP3, MP4, MP4A, FLAC, TTA, APE, AC3, Speex, WavPack, KAR, MID, RMI, CDDA, IT, MO3, UMX, MTM, XM etc.

Spider Player is definitely worth a try. I loved using it and I will love to know what the readers think of the same.

Tools To Format a Large Drive with FAT or FAT32

May 6th, 2013 | Posted by Costea Lestoc in Content - (0 Comments)

In an earlier article, I told you the process of formatting a large hard drive with FAT or FAT32 manually. Now, you may not be a fan of manual process and to help you out in such a case, I’ll discuss some tools in this article that will help you to reformat the hard drive with either FAT or FAT32. I understand that not everyone likes to mess with command lines and I am sure these tools will prove to be helpful to you:

SwissKnife

SwissKnife

This application is available for Windows XP users, if we consider the free version. This is a simple partition manager which will help you to do more than just plain formatting of the hard drive with various file systems. This application can also be used for deleting, creating and resizing partitions.

If you wish to use this application on any of the recent versions of Windows, you need to buy the Premium version of SwissKnife. There are free tools available as well and I am discussing those below.

Fat32Formatter

Fat32Formatter

This self-executable tool has a nice user interface and that lets you format the big hard drives with FAT32. Even Windows 7 users can use this tool. There are balloon tips which will guide you through the different functions; however, no other type of documentation is available for this.

There is one disadvantage that I’ll like to mention though. It is possible for you to delete a partition and create new ones, still, the allocation unit size cannot be chosen by you.

FAT32 Format

FAT32 Format

It is capable of a single task and that is formatting drives with FAT32. Believe me; it does that task pretty well. You don’t need to install this tool either. It supports up to 2TB partition size and works for Windows XP and Windows 7 users.

FAT32 Format is another very basic portable GUI tool that doesn’t require installation. It just does one task, and it does that very efficiently: format drives with FAT32.

MAC Productivity Apps Explained – Part I

May 3rd, 2013 | Posted by Costea Lestoc in Mac - (0 Comments)

I cannot call it a series of these many parts as I really don’t know where it is going to end. However, through this series, I’ll discuss some free or pretty cheap MAC apps that have helped me to make my life simpler. Well, I call these productive apps as these help me to be more productive while I am working. These not only help me save time, but at the same time, help me to complete the work more efficiently:

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Fantastical

It’s tough to work without a good calendar. OS X has its default Calendar application; still, I will suggest you to go for Fantastical. The app costs $19.99, but undoubtedly is the best calendar app that you can ever run on the MAC.

All the calendar events can not only be edited or checked, but you can create schedules too right from the menu bar of the MAC. Creating a new event is pretty easy. You just need to open the drop down window of Fantastical and then you should enter the relevant data for that event. Instead of clicking the numbers and times, you should just write the event simply. It’s just like writing the same on a scratch sheet of blank paper.

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Let me give you an example for your better understanding. Suppose, you want to schedule a lunch meeting for next Friday. Now, you just need to type Lunch with Client A next Fri, 12.30 PM at Restaurant A. As you type these data, Fantastical will fill in all the data for you. Yes, it is really that easy!

The exact type of reminders you want for the calendar events can be preset by you. Fantastical synchronizes with the Calendar application of Apple. However, an iPhone version is available for Fantastical as well costing $8.99. If you have experience of using Fantastical, I’ll love to hear your thoughts on the same.

Amazon May Launch a 10-inch Kindle Fire

May 2nd, 2013 | Posted by Costea Lestoc in Smartphones - (0 Comments)

Though any official confirmation is yet to be made, according to latest reports, Amazon may bring out a bigger version of the Kindle Fire tablet. The online retailer has continuously grown the size of the tablets and it seems, another size increase is on the cards to happen pretty soon. According to many, Amazon started the small tablet fad as it launched the 7-inch Kindle Fire in November, 2011. Later in September, 2012, it announced the 8.9-inch model of the same as well. Now, Amazon will probably be moving up to the 10-inch class soon. The news was confirmed by the Analyst of NPD DisplaySearch, Richard Shim. The spokesperson of Amazon didn’t want to respond to this news at this point of time. Incidentally, Amazon has a total market share of 3.7% when it comes to the tablets market and it is currently ranked as number 4 when it comes to tablet shipments.

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This is all set to become the biggest Kindle Fire released so far and it will be sporting an amazing 2560X1600 pixel density 10.1-inch display, as far as comments of Shim are concerned. This is around 300 pixels for every inch and this is pretty denser in comparison with the Retina iPad 4 of Apple which comes with 264 PPI. The PPI matches with that of Google Nexus 4 which is considered to be the highest resolution tablet that has come out till date. Incidentally, Google Nexus 4 has a 10-inch screen with 2560X1600 pixels.

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As far as comments of Shim are concerned, it is expected that the mass production of the display for the 10-inch Kindle fire is expected to start in the 3rd quarter of 2013. Shim added further that Amazon may also come up with revamped versions of both 7-inch and 8.9-inch Kindle fires soon as well.

Instacast Releases Beta Version for MAC Users

May 1st, 2013 | Posted by Costea Lestoc in Mac - (0 Comments)

Popular podcast iOS client on Instacast has come up with a new version for the MAC users. If the desktop version of the app is considered, it is still in open public beta; hence, many improvements are expected to come before the app hits its prime time. However, for the time being, it looks like to be shaping up as an awesome podcast client.

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The beta version of this app will run till the end of this month, so, if you are interested, you’ll have a single month to test it out. The final release will probably not be free, so, that’s another reason to try it out right now.

Right from the application, it is possible for you to subscribe to numerous popular podcasts. If you see that a particular podcast is not featured in the app (You’ll understand this by searching the podcast name in the app’s search field), you can import the same manually using the exact feed URL.

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If you are subscribed to a particular show, the new episodes will automatically be downloaded as soon as those are posted. The shows are presented in a slick and easy to navigate layout, hence, you can listen to the favorite podcasts without any unnecessary fluff whatsoever.

There’s another cool feature of this iOS app that I’ll like to mention here. You can synchronize the podcasts between your devices by creating an Instacast account. Thereby, you can listen to the podcasts no matter if you are at home or you have started to venture out into the world. If you have loved using the beta version, the same can be purchased for a price of $14.99. Well, it is still less than the official launching price of the next month. As the app is still in beta, you may see bugs. If you do, make sure to report those to the creators, so that the final app released is pretty smooth.

Spider Player – Layout, Playlist and License

April 30th, 2013 | Posted by Costea Lestoc in Content - (0 Comments)

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.

Use 99colors to Take Snapshots While Using Webcams

April 29th, 2013 | Posted by Costea Lestoc in Content - (0 Comments)

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.

How to Format Hard Drive Manually Using FAT or FAT32?

April 26th, 2013 | Posted by Costea Lestoc in Content - (0 Comments)

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.

5 Awesome Windows 8 Desktop Themes

April 24th, 2013 | Posted by Costea Lestoc in Content - (0 Comments)

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.