Monday, February 23, 2009

Funny Photo Effects from Dumpr

Dumpr is a website which lets you add funny effects to your photos in one-click, after you upload them online. Its free version offers most of the effects and some effects are reserved for the pro members. You can upload photos from your own hard drive, or paste in URLs from some of the major photo hosting services, including Flickr, MySpace, or Facebook. Dumpr provides the quick link panel beside each picture it renders, which lets you quickly embed your edited photos into Facebook, Blogger, Wordpress, and other social communities.

The operation is extremely fast, and no technical knowledge is needed to receive modified pics with descent quality. It is purely web-based, and no software downloading or installation is needed. No registration required for free effects use.

As illustration of the possible outputs, you can see several examples below:

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Access Dumpr website:

Friday, February 13, 2009

Magic tricks: operate remotely your cellular phone with MobiWee

This is a new services I am really excited about. Developers brought together really useful features, that can make our life easier.

MobiWee is a “fresh from oven” set of free public services currently available for mobile phone owners. Currently they support Windows Mobile operating system only, but more platforms will be released soon, like iPhone, Android, and Symbian.

Services Offered:

1. Contact manager.
Contact manager allows you to add, remove, backup, or restore contacts on your mobile phone contacts list from any browser. This service is simply a convenient way to see all your contacts at once and is especially useful if you’ve just lost or upgraded your phone and don’t want to go through the hassle of saving each contact to the SIM card.

2. File manager.
File manager lets you see all your files and folders on your phone so you can upload or download from your computer or device. This service supports ringtones, music, video, pictures, word documents, really anything you can think of.

3. SMS service.
SMS service allows you to copy, paste, send and receive your SMS messages in real time from any browser.

4. Automatic Exchange server and POP3/IMAP configuration.
This gets all your setup information from outlook and sends it to your device, so you only have to worry about it once. If you switch phones or use more than one, you just click to send the information to the new device.

5. Favorites and call forwarding services.
Favorites can be sent to your phone with one click, while call forwarding forwards calls from your mobile device to any phone. If you forget your device at home, you simply click to forward your calls to the office or any other.

6. Application manager.
Application Manager allows you to install the application file directly on your phone, no cables or Bluetooth connections required.

7. Device location.
Basically, when you click locate my device; MobiWee displays the location of your mobile device using the GPS signal from the built-in locator. This is of great assistance, if you are not sure where you have left your phone or you suspect it is stolen.

8. Lock & Wipe service.
This allows you to wipe your device data and restore it to factory settings, or lock it, in the event of a loss or theft. This service is useful whether you are simply uncomfortable with your information being public or have sensitive data that needs protection.

9. The encryption service.
Encryption service allows you to encrypt and decrypt the data on your device, so your data is secure, even if it gets into the wrong hands.

10. The certificates service.
It is a convenient way to mobilize your digital badge from your pc to your device.

11. The shutdown/restart service.
Simply click to shutdown or restart your device remotely. You might find that useful when you want to conserve battery power, when you left your phone at home.

Windows vista Gadgets widgets, coming soon, which will give you a live screenshot, allow you to monitor incoming calls, missed calls, voicemails, push and receive any file, and send and receive SMS messages.

Register at the developers’ website:

About MobiWee
MobiWee is website owned by TechStone Soft, based in Roseville, CA, USA.
MobiWee provides users the ability to backup critical data, access, configure and control their mobile devices from the comfort of their computers at home, work or any where in the world, online, with simple clicks.

Video instructions on how to download and setup your client are presented below:


Saturday, February 7, 2009

Virtual Memory Optimization in Windows Computers

What is Page File?

A key to improving your PC’s performance is the page file (also called the swap file and/or virtual memory). A page file is a cache of data on your hard drive; this cache is used to supplement your computer’s main memory (RAM). When a computer runs out of memory, it uses the page file. Since data access on a hard drive is slow compared to accessing memory, your PC’s performance takes a hit.

What is exactly Virtual Memory?

In a 32-bit computer, the memory addresses are 32 bits long and stored as binary (base 2) numbers. There are approximately 4 billion possible different 32-bit binary numbers (2^32=4,294,967,296). Because of this, there is a 4GB limit for addressable memory in a 32-bit computer.

A program instruction on an Intel 386 or later CPU can address up to 4GB of memory, using its full 32 bits. Each process is assigned an address space of 4GB of virtual memory, regardless of the amount of available physical memory. Each process is isolated from the rest and has its own 4GB address space. This means that the 4GB addressability limit applies on a per-application basis, not across all applications taken together.

This is normally far more than the RAM of the machine. The amount of physical memory on the computer is not related to the amount of memory address space. If a computer has 256MB of physical memory, there is still a 4GB memory address space, and if a computer has 8GB of physical memory, there is still a 4GB memory address space.

Applications are not allowed direct access to physical memory. When an application requests more memory, Windows maps some physical memory (as long as some is available) into the process’s address space.

The hardware provides for programs to operate in terms of as much as they wish of this full 4GB space as Virtual Memory, those parts of the program and data which are currently active being loaded into Physical Random Access Memory (RAM). Windows maintains several tables that keep track of all of this, and the application knows only about the virtual memory address.

The processor itself then translates (‘maps’) the virtual addresses from an instruction into the correct physical equivalents, doing this on the fly as the instruction is executed. The processor manages the mapping in terms of pages of 4KB each - a size that has implications for managing virtual memory by the system.

Why do I need page file optimization?

Optimizing your page file when you’re running low on RAM is always a good idea. When all physical RAM in a computer is in use, Windows starts using the hard disk as if it were additional RAM. This is why we have a Page file (also called the swap file). Because RAM memory is a lot faster than the hard disk, whenever the computer begins to use the Page file to relieve memory pressure, we begin to experience drastic performance degradation.

One of the most effective things you can do to improve performance is ensure that there is enough RAM available to avoid frequent paging (swapping) of memory contents between disk and RAM.

This means that the actual limit on the memory used by all applications is the amount of RAM installed plus the maximum size of the Page file.

How much swap space do you need? That depends the amount of RAM you have and the programs you use. The current algorithm Windows uses to set the default paging file size is:

  • If total physical RAM is less than 2 gigabytes (GB), the paging file is set to 1.5 times the amount of RAM or 2 GB, whichever is smaller.
  • If total physical RAM is equal to or more than 2 GB, the default size is set to 2 GB.
Note that in Default Windows settings the setup amounts of initial and maximum page files are different. It is recommended to make its initial size as big as the maximum size. Although this will cause the Page file to occupy more HD space, we do not want it to start off small, then having to constantly grow on the HD. Writing large files (and the Page file is indeed large) to the HD will cause a lot of disk activity that will cause performance degradation. Also, since the Page file only grows in increments, you will probably cause Page file fragmentation, adding more overhead to the already stressed HD.

Should You Disable Your Page File?

Several experts suggest that you disable the page file to increase performance, by doing away with the page file that means your computer won’t have to access the hard drive. So it should be faster, right? It can be, or it can cause several instability problems for your computer. Many programs won’t even run without a page file enabled. The effect definitely depends on the amount of physical memory available. The 8 GB RAM systems might run just like normal, but when you lower the amount of memory available to 2 GB, system instability will definitely be visible.

Page File configuration

For simplicity of the task, you might follow the Microsoft recommendations listed above for the amount of the Page file settings. However, you can go further and set it according to particular needs of your computer, which require more time and more experience.

Open System Properties, then the Advanced tab and press the Performance Settings button, selecting the Advanced tab, finally pressing the Change button. Select the Drive which XP is installed to and set the Paging file size for selected drive to Custom size, setting the Initial size and Maximum to 1500MB according to the basic recommendations. If you have multiple drives available ensure these are set to No paging file. Click Ok and restart as required for the changes to take effect.

You can stop right here if you do not want to go deeper and you are satisfied with standard settings. Otherwise, you can continue with recommendations below.

After computer reboot press Ctrl + Alt +Delete simultaneously and load the Task Manager, selecting the Performance tab. This tab allows use to monitor peak Virtual Memory use (The Peak value in the Commit Charge (K) section). This window can be minimized and you should then run your most resource intensive Applications in order to see just how Virtual Memory is utilized. Once you’re satisfied with your testing switch back to Task Manager.

The Peak value records maximum Virtual Memory use during the session, in K, e.g. in the image above 324548K. Dividing this amount by 1024 gives you the value in MB - 317MB in this instance. For improved stability this value should be padded, so add at least 50MB to this value, e.g. 317MB should be increased to 400MB. This provides us with a Minimum Page File size to use. If the real demand of virtual memory is different, you can tweak the original settings.

Once more open System Properties, select the Advanced tab and press the Performance Settings button, selecting the Advanced tab, finally pressing the Change button.


A few general points to recall before you do anything;
If you have only 1 Hard Drive, split into multiple partitions, the Page File should be set to the partition XP is installed to, you should not create multiple Page Files for different partitions in this case, i.e. 1 Hard Drive = 1 Page File.

If you have multiple Hard Drives installed it is beneficial to locate the Page File on the Hard Drive XP is not installed to; but only where the other Hard Drive is of a similar or better performance, e.g. if you have a SATA Drive and ATA 100 Drive the Page File should be located on the SATA Drive regardless as it is notably faster.

The Page File should not be located on a mirrored Drive, e.g. RAID array, if possible as fault tolerance/backup is not required and may decrease performance.

How to overcome the 4GB limitation for page file in Windows?

When you set the paging file size in Windows, the documentation states that the largest paging file that you can select is 4,095 megabytes (MB). This limit is imposed by the page mapping that we use on x86 processors. These processors cannot handle more pages per page file. This is the limit set per volume; you can actually create paging files this large on one or more drives if you need a larger paging file. If extra drives or volumes are not available, you can create multiple paging files on a single drive by placing them in separate folders.

To create multiple paging files on one volume to overcome the 4,095-MB limit:
1. On the drive or volume you want to hold the paging files, create folders for the number of paging files you want to create on the volume. For example, C:’Pagefile1, C:’Pagefile2, and C:’Pagefile3.
2. Click Start, Click Run, type regedit in the Open box, and then click OK.
3. In the left pane, locate and click the following registry subkey:
4. Find the Pagingfiles value, and then double-click it to open it.
5. Remove any existing values, and add the following values:
c:’pagefile1’pagefile.sys 3000 4000 c:’pagefile2’pagefile.sys 3000 4000 c:’pagefile3’Pagefile.sys 3000 4000
6. Click OK, and then quit Registry Editor.
7. Restart the computer to cause the changes to take effect.
8. Access the virtual memory settings to check the properties of the paging file. To do this, follow these steps.

Sources and Additional Information:

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Online Money Management with Free Secure Financial Tools

Ever wish for a financial adviser you could consult anytime, day or night, for an up-to-date picture of your finances, along with a pointer or two on how to improve them? Oh, and since money’s tight nowadays, could you make it free, to boot? Well thanks to the Internet, such help is available -- or at least an automated, digital version of it.

Online personal finance tools are rapidly gaining popularity as a way for the wired generation to keep track of their money. As cash usage declines and debit card spending increases, having a tool that brings all this data together can be incredibly useful.

The principle players in this new genre - and - operate in roughly the same way. Users create a secured account and then enter their online banking usernames and passwords, which the Web sites use to access a feed of information from their financial institutions. The sites then sift through this information to give users a real-time picture of their account balances, financial activity and categories they’re spending in.

Here you see how these companies describe their visions.

At Mint, we believe that money is for living. That’s why we’ve created the simplest and most effective way to manage your money…and why is free. In five minutes or less, you’ll see where you’re spending your money, understand how your investments are performing, and set up realistic budgets. Set up email and SMS alerts and you’ll be automatically updated whenever there’s an important change in your finances. Only finds you personalized ways to save money, using patent-pending software which analyzes your current spending. The typical user finds $1,000 in savings in their first visit.

Baxfer goal is to create the best personal finance application on the web. Money is typically not the topic of discussion for a group of twenty-somethings wanting to have fun with their lives. But that’s only because today’s finance applications make it difficult and boring. That’s what we have set about to change! We want people to effortlessly understand their finances. And have fun while doing so.

Data drives the sites

Of course, all this depends on consumers having online banking usernames and passwords in the first place. Luckily, for these young startups, online banking is becoming more and more ubiquitous. A study by Internet research firm comScore found that in the fourth quarter of 2007, the top 10 banks alone had 47 million online banking users. And banks have responded by providing a rich flow of information for customers that is gathered in nearly real time.

Mint and Geezeo access this information through third-party providers Yodlee and CashEdge, respectively. Wesabe does not use a third party provider, preferring to establish a direct relationship with the banks it gets its information from.

"There’s a lot of data that comes your way just by using banks or credit cards," says Rafe Needleman, editor of CNET "The credit card companies know not just how much you’re spending, but where and in what categories. These sites kind of get that all together and tell you that between your five credit cards you’re spending $800 a month on dining."

Here’s a typical scenario: You go out to eat on Friday night. You order $15 worth of cheeseburgers, fries and beer and pay for it with a debit card. The next time you log onto your online finance tool, it downloads your new account balance, notes your $15 transaction and classifies it under "food & dining." Then, depending on the site you use and the settings you choose, it might scold you for going over your food budget for the month, offer advice from other members on how to save money when eating out, or display a pie chart showing what percentage of your income went to food during the last year.

"My husband and I started using Mint after we got married and merged accounts -- just so we could always stay on the same page," says Natalie Wardel, a user in San Diego. "We have six different accounts to keep track of, and it helped us see everything at once."
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