Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Emoticons for Skype

I realised after going through my site statistics, that most of my visitors have landed after doing a google search for messengers/VOIP solutions. And there is one sizeable fraction who keeps hunting for hidden emoticons and audibles. While I have already covered emoticons & hidden audibles for yahoo in one of my earlier postings, today hidden emoticons for "skype"

Try some of these hidden emoticons for skype, its fun:

  • Type "(party)" and see what comes there. You don't have to type the quotes ofcourse but remember to put the words between the brackets.
  • Try these too, "(kate)", "(bandit)"
  • Try "(mooning)" hee hee!
  • "(finger)" Ouch!!

Why don't you give it a shot and lemme know if you find any!!!
I also recommend CrazyTalk for Skype "Avatars You Like"! for some good fun. However CrazyTalk requires the recipient also to have the software installed on his/her machine. Its worth the recommendation especially if you like sprucingup your conversation with the interesting avatars and emoticons.

The Domain www.skypeemoticons.com is For Sale

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Sunday, November 27, 2005

Skype Utilities

Skype Answering Machine [or popularly called SAM]:

SAM is a simple voice answering machine for Skype™ users.When you are away from your PC and there is no one to answer your incoming Skype™ calls, SAM will pick up the call, play a greeting message and the "all-time clasic beep" so that the calling party will leave a voice recorded message. This application has been developed by Alex Rosenbaum and you can download the application from here.

I have been concentrating mostly on freeware programs. However this shareware is worth a mention-
skylook . It is a tiny application that integrates Skype and Outlook. For a small fee, it allows you to record voice-calls and text chats to a special Outlook folder. Today, Skype is used widely in offices and institutions as an alternative to traditional telephone. With these utilities, it will become invincible in the VOIP category. However we have to wait and see what Google has to say to it.

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Skype Utilities contd...

Few other utilities that can make your calls cheaper

The software that I tried and I today recommend is Epyxmobile.

The freeware version offers the following features:

  • Call Skype users from your mobile
  • Make international calls from your mobile to any number at SkypeOut rates

The other versions Pro & Net offer more extended features. Well. I haven't used the advanced versions. So I may not be able to comment on how does it fare against iSkoot that we discussed yesterday.

To download the free version of Epyxmobile, click here.

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Saturday, November 26, 2005

Skype plugins continued

The name of the application is iSkoot:

Skype uses P2P (peer-to-peer) technology to connect you to other users. However we cannot get over the feeling that Skype ties down to your PC. Atleast I did. I stumbled on this lil utility
iSkoot . Its free to try.

It offers the following features:

  1. Automatically forwards calls from your PC to your phone, including your cell phone
  2. Calls your buddy's PC from your phone
  3. Switches a call from your PC to your phone without disconnecting

This application can be bought for a fee as low as $10. I am sure long distance callers would know how 'low' that is.

Now, here is a little challenge. I tried forwarding the calls to Indian cell phone numbers. However I have not been successful. Apparently, my search results, strongly hinted the possibility. Let me know if you fathom it!

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Friday, November 25, 2005

Live International talk locally - Skype Skype Skype!!!


Skype, is true to its ad tagline "The whole world can talk for free". Well, there are so many messengers offering similar services and Google talk has also joined the bandwagon. So whats special about skype? Well for a small fee, a few international calls become as good as local calls. If you have a client in US and you are in India, you can still be available to your US clients at a US contact number. You become reachable at local rates to your client. However you need to be logged onto Skype. This is definitely a boon to the thousands of freelancers vying for projects in countries like USA, UK etc,. This is the new SkpeIn Beta all about. Now SkypeIn numbers are available for the following countries: Denmark, Estonia, Poland, Hong Kong, USA, UK, Germany, France, Finland and Sweden.

Skype Plugins:

Skype journal published a very useful list of best skype plugins. Pamela
, true to its name is a sexy application. Its a smart answer machine that provides a range of services like allowing you to personalize your answers to your callers , automatic answering of skype chat messages when you are away from the computer etc., They have a free download and advanced versions for a small charge.

I noticed that lotsa people 'google' searching for skype/yahoo emoticons land on my website. Therefore I might as well cover more on these applications. I will be concentrating more on skype and yahoo utilities in the days to come

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Sunday, November 20, 2005

What did I do Today?

Did pretty much nothing.... Was a sleepy Sunday... Anyway Have a great week ahead and wow, a short week...

By the way I watched 'Earth to America' . It was pretty good. The performance was star studded by popular artists like Tom Hanks, Robin Williams and ofcourse lot many. They had a very nice way of conveying the message. I would be writing in more details about it tomorrow. Perhaps our desi stars may have to take a cue from this. They definitely can streamline their energies for positive causes.

Anyway am signing off for the day
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Saturday, November 19, 2005

So what did I do Today?

Useful Email Survey Tool
You have a vacation coming up and you are trying to get the consensus of your friends for a vacation spot. Instead of sending emails to and fro, you can use this survey form- - RSVME.

Now, How about this Video?
Ok, here is my video pick for the day. Pretty embarassing to host a link but yeah very funny. Hee hee hee... Click here
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Friday, November 18, 2005

Alternative to Windows Office

The old lady drops a few more quarters in the parking meter.She then turns, smiles and says "How nice it would be if life was like this. I could add a few quarters to spend more time with my grand kids". This is an ad for an insurance company.

Well, with days passing by so fast, we hardly take time to stop and think what we are doing with our lives. But nevertheless, everyone does it at some point of time, but I just wish its not too late then.

Anyway, just a rumination.

Alrite for my web pick today: You got the tune in your head but you have forgotten the song. Man, I know its a pretty tuf situation. Not gonna last for long! Just tune into http://www.musipedia.org/ and hum the tune into your microphone.

Hey I just bought a new PC with XP installed on it. Unfortunately it didnt have, Office installed. I tried OpenOffice.org . Its amazing. I guess its even compatible with Windows Office. I have sent quite a few file to Word users and I havent heard from them any compatibility issues.

Have a great weekend!!!
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Thursday, November 17, 2005

My First Audio Post

this is an audio post - click to play

That audio blog was pretty cool for me! With the advent of technology, things are definitely getting easier. But sometimes I stop to wonder if things get impersonal and do they start losing their emotional value? For example, if you wanna send Seasons' Greetings,you most likely choose an online greetings website, select the number of senders, fill in names and email addresses and a common message. Job is done! You hardly find greeting cards with personal messages these days! In this fast paced world, may be its too much to expect.

I was reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money--That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!.Pretty interesting one. Well the first chapter emphasizes on "Do not workfor money, Make the money work for you". I found this article and felt was worth sharing. Check it out here.

Headlines that raised eyebrows today : Google has eclipsed the big milestone and google's stock price crosses the $400 a share. To read more click here

Some useful tips for winter, I came across while browsing, Winterizing your Car

And yeah for some entertainment, you can download the tamil version of Titanic here.I received it as a forward today.
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Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Turn your Blog To a Cash Cow

Hey, looks like I am inspiring quite a few people [Wink!! wink]. My husband has begun blogging and is available at Kaushik's Top 5 . Like I already mentioned, he is an avid reader and an amazing critic [ask me abt it!!!]. He's gonna keep it updated every week. Currently he's reading the book The Man by Irving Wallace .He's all engrossed. Lets see if he'd have anything to say abt this book this weekend.

While he would be covering topics on books,hotels etc., my sister a dietician has started her new blog, "Your Diet Queries Answered Here". She would be posting recipes, tips for healthy living and yes, would also be more than happy to answer your diet queries.

Yesterday another good friends wanted to know about blogging and affiliate programs. To me, this is pretty cool. You write what you want, you express anything you feel like and you get paid for it. And voila a digital cash cow for you.

To blog, I am sure youy would have noticed, you need not be a techy. You can use Blogger itself to embark on your new exercise. Blogger themselves offer nice templates. Else you can download some cool templates from Blogspot Templates or you can even buy some professional templates from my friend, Chugs

As far as affiliate programs are concerned, there are three programs I will strongly recommend. You write and install Google scripts to earn money for you. You can make good money using Google Adsense. When you enroll for this program, google provides you with an easy-to-install script. Lotsa websites, rave about this program. I have it on my website too. But personally for me, Chitika eMinimall, is helping me make better money.

The next step is to become an Amazon Associate. The Amazon Associate program offers independent online publishers with the opportunity to promote any product in its inventory as affiliate agents. All it takes is adding a small, identifying code to the links that take your site's visitors to a specific Amazon product page (books, DVDs, electronics, etc.). If the visitors who clicked on your links buy an item even if it's not the item you point to — you are rewarded with a small commission.

But the most important thing is getting your blog popular. To drive vistors to your website, you may have to market it vigorously. Please include it the blog address signature in your emails. Submit it to popular search engines.

To play this game, you require a Google PageRank of 4 or more. (Please read more to find out how to measure Google PageRank). For those having a PR value of 6, 7 or more, there is great opportunity for serious monetization. As an indicator, five or six text ads can easily bring in a few hundred dollars every month on a PR 6 site/blog

I will be writing more tips in the weeks to come.
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Sunday, November 13, 2005

Bow Bow...Meow Meow

Before I get to discuss the weird yet cute news that I caught on the MSNBC news this morning, let me share a few website tips. If you are a regular air-traveller, you definitely need to check out this website, Seatguru. You may be travelling in economy class, but you can still get enough legroom. This and lot more tips at Seatguru.

I am a big fan of Google. Take a look at this image. The picture is worth....

On to the cute fact though eh.., kinda weird. Did you know that your dogs and cats love music. Not just that, they can appreciate music just like you and me. This market segment has just been identified and guess what, looks like there are quite a few players already catering to this untapped segment. You can listen to some of these numbers at NPR's website. Alright, don't feel disheartened. You don't have to buy the CD's to make your pets happy. Its online 17 hours and its free. Yes, online radio channel just for your pets. Ladies & gentlemen, introducing the first online radio channel for your pets: Dogcatmusic.com The channel was launched by Californian Adrian Martinez and he says the aim of this online venture is to keep house pets company while their "pet parents" are at work. The DJs speak directly to the pets. Music includes Enya and Elvis Presley's Hound Dog. Barks and miaows are also included, spread liberally throughout each broadcast. You also receive practical advice (for pet parents) from the DJ's. Martinez says he got the idea because "My cat, Snickers, asked me to do it." Snickers was restless one day but calmed down when Martinez put on some music. Well, I am sure my mom is gonna be thrilled. And of course, my Aunt Bhanu now has a better way to keep Spencer away from barking!!!
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Friday, November 11, 2005

Not so techy

Have you checked out Google Earth? You can now see the houses of ur near and dear ones who stay miles away. What is Google Earth? It is a free product made available by Google that lets you view the entire earth in 3D, but has enough detail that you can zoom in and view your own house! You can download it directly from Google here.

Hey, my dad has begun blogging and its available at http://jagjoe5.blogspot.com I now gotta get my husband to start blogging. The two of them are very well-read and are amazing writers .

Well I decide to go slightly non-techy today and am gonna jot down 2 recipes I tried out. Kaushik loves them

Bread Slices
Chicken Link
The omnipresent water!!!

Grease the bread on one side with pickle [we used tomato pickle and it tatses yum!]. Now roll the bread over the link so it looks like you have stuffed the bread with the link. Now moist the ends of the bread and seal them. You can choose to leave it dry for awhile. Keep a few pieces ready and heat the pan. When the pan is ready, dip the stuffed bread in beaten egg and then cook it on the pan. Ofcourse, you can get creative with the stuffing.

And yeah, here is a suggestion from my good friend Babu. Incase you tend to hang out on the web for too long, try http://www.xstreamradio.co.uk/ Not only does it offer free music but also allows you to record.
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Thursday, November 10, 2005

Windows XP Tweaks, Tips & Tricks

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Yesterday I had mentioned about a few yahoo plugin downloads. Considering it was my third posting, I had very good response and a few queries also poured in. If you find this blog interesting and if you think somebody else may be interested, pl do refer it to your friends.

I am now gonna share with you some interesting XP tips. And if you are a non-techy, pl dont be intimidated. I am going to present it in a very simple and easy-to-follow fashion. Try these on your system and am sure you would see atleast a few of your friends go in awe.

Tweaking an operating system would involve working on the Registry settings . To access the Registry Editor, go to Start--> Run and then type regedit. The editor opens. Now before any change could be made to the editor, take a backup and save it on your system. Now, you are safe and even if you get insane with the registry, you can still restore it. To take a backup, click on File-->Export. The file gets saved as a .reg file. We are now ready to dabble with the editor. Lets start with a few cosmetic edits.

How to Change Name and Company Information After You Install Win XP
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion In the right pane, double-click RegisteredOrganization. Under "Value data", type the name that you want, and then click OK. To change the name of the registered owner, do the following: In the right pane, double-click RegisteredOwner. Under "Value data", type the name that you want, and then click OK/Exit.

Change the Text in Internet Explorers Title Bar
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main. In the right pane, change the value of the string, "WindowTitle".

Not all of the tweaks, require you to make changes to the registry. To make it simpler, make use of utilities like TweakUI. This PowerToy gives you access to system settings that are not exposed in the Windows XP default user interface, including mouse settings, Explorer settings, taskbar settings, and more.You can find numerous patches available at Kelly's website

Now here is a simple yet effective performance tweak for XP
1. Start >> Right Click on My Computer and select Properties.
2. Click the "Advanced" tab
3. Select "Settings" in the Performance section.
4. Disable any or all of the following:

Fade or slide menus into view
Fade or slide ToolTips into view
Fade out menu items after clicking
Show Shadows under menus
Slide open combo boxes
Slide taskbar buttons
Use a background image for each folder type
Use common tasks in folders

You should notice a big improvement (depending on how many features you've disabled) in your computers performance while still keeping the same look and feel of your Windows application.You may have to turn on ClearType again. You can do this online here or you can download Microsoft's PowerToys ClearType Tuner. Source: 5 Star Support

Try out these very effective "Performance Tweaks" suggested by 5 Star Support.

Let me list a few other interesting websites for your reference:
Microsoft Powertoys for Windows XP

There are lots more but for want of time, I stop here. I may be covering on this topic sometime later. Meanwhile you can write in your comments & suggestions

Disclaimer: Modifying the registry can cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. I cannot guarantee that problems resulting from modifications to the registry can be solved. Use the information provided at your own risk.

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Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Yahoo Messenger - Perk it up with these downloads

If you are a big fan of the audibles, as I already mentioned in one of my earlier posts, you can get more of them by downloading http://www.softpedia.com/get/Internet/Chat/Instant-Messaging/Hidden-Audibles.shtml The best part is it does not bring adware/spyware when you download it to your system.

Now for some whacky emoticons - yahoo has a few hidden/secret smileys/emoticons. There is a small utility that sits in the system tray and when selected offers you a list of all the smileys. The utility can be downloaded at http://www.helpbytes.co.uk/smileyutil.php

Andy's Yahoo Messenger Utilities deserve a mention here. Do you have the id mama_pendse in your friend's list on yahoo? If not, add mama_pendse and try sending a weird message. No matter what crap you send, it is more than willing to talk to you. The truth is mama_pendse is not a person and is a bot, or a small program that is replying to your queries. If you would want a similar bot to respond to ppl who message/ping you, try this cool application availabale at http://andy.w2s.co.uk/yahoo/YEmotePlus/emote.htm#AwayMessage

If you are not too happy with the Yahoo messenger menu, try downloading this YMENU I personally am happy with this menu.

Ok, this is rather not too nice. But still, if you wanna spy on your buddies and if you wanna know whether they are truly online/offline, what are they upto, etc etc try downloading the Buddyspy available at http://www.softpedia.com/get/Security/Keylogger-Monitoring/Buddy-Spy.shtml

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Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Create and Manage your own website

Hello There,

I have noticed that with the popularity of websites/online presence increasing, more & more companies are looking for website developers. That explains the popularity and success of websites like GAF. These websites provide a forum where service buyers seek out for the providers. More than often, they get competitive bids.

However I have also come across tech-savy small business owners who wanna venture out trying their hand in website development. Well, though it may look a slightly daunting task, websites like Bravenet, offer free templates and also provide with free webmaster tools like live chat/emailforms etc, which are easy copy&paste codes. This may be a very easy option for people who wanna simple online presence and may not wanna spend lavishly.

Pl write to me if you may have queries in building websites.
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Skype and go webcam...

If you prefer skype to any other messenger service, am sure you would not have missed noticing the big disadvantage skype has over other similar service providers like yahoo or msn - the webcam feature. Now don't fret too much and probably we need not wait for skype to come with the advanced version. You can download the plugin Festoon. It is available for download at http://www.festooninc.com/ It is now compatible with google talk as well.

Now, if you are fascinated by the yahoo audibles, you can get more of it at
http://www.softpedia.com/get/Internet/Chat/Instant-Messaging/Hidden-Audibles.shtml . Its fun.

Hey if you are a gmail user, you may find this link extremely interesting:
http://www.igniq.com/robs_blog/2004/06/gmail-tools-plugins.html They have loads of interesting plug-ins.

I today checked out
http://blogsearch.google.com/ I wonder where google is heading to. These guys are amazing. They are gonna change the way business is carried out on the internet.

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Saturday, November 05, 2005

Do not get Bugged anymore

Alrite, for some interesting tech stuff, if you want access to a website that has restricted content and if it keeps bugging you asking you to register, you may wanna try this website http://bugmenot.nfshost.com/ Its pretty cool. Just give the website address and it gives you a username and password. Isnt that cool?
I know i sound incoherent. But its been a long day and I was only interested in keeping my blog updated. So recorded everything I had to say ;-)
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