Boot Your PC Directly from Your Phone with DriveDroid

Boot Your PC Directly from Your Phone with DriveDroid

 

Most of us on XDA aren’t content to simply make do with OEM-provided software on our mobile devices, and when it comes to our PCs, the same principle seems to apply. Dual booting or completely replacing the shipped OS is pretty commonplace among XDA users. And if you change your Linux distro as often as you change your ROM, then this application will definitely grab your attention.

DriveDroid is an app by XDA Forum MemberFrozenCow, which as its name suggests, allows your Android device to act as a live USB drive from which to boot your PC into various OSes from ISO or IMG files. You don’t even need to go through the hassle of downloading and transferring to your device, as the application contains a built in menu of various well known and lesser known distros to download straight to your SD card. This means that you can keep a complete recovery option for your laptop on your device without the need for a separate USB drive or CD.

This app depends on the kernel in use being able to support UMS (USB mass storage mode). Most kernels support this function, but it isn’t usually enabled by default and it’s this setting that seems to be causing the most issues among users. The app will check for this option being enabled upon the first run and prompt you to enable it if needed. There are also some limitations to the specific ISO files, which can be used with the app, but incompatibilities can be worked around for those with specific needs.

All in all this looks to be a very promising application. If it’s something that appeals to you, I wholly recommend checking out the application thread for more information.

 

credits: xda-developers

Complete guide to using Windows 8 (roundup)

 

 

 

Microsoft’s newest operating system has a whole new interface and loads of new features. Of course, learning a whole new operating system always takes a little time. Here are our tips for getting up to speed quickly and getting the most out of Windows 8.

Preparing for Windows 8

Check compatibility
Is the software and hardware on your PC compatible with Windows 8? It’s easy to find out with the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant.
Read: Check your PC for Windows 8 readiness with upgrade assistant

Get your PC ready
If you’re planning to upgrade to Microsoft’s latest OS, now might be a good time to begin preparing your PC.
Read: How to prepare your PC for Windows 8

Try it out — sort of
You’ve probably heard about the new Metro interface in Windows 8, but how to know if you’ll like it? Current Windows users can get a sneak peek into the look and feel of Metro with the free metro7 app.
Read: How to try the Windows 8 Metro interface free

Starting up and shutting down

Skip the log-in
Users who don’t need the security of a lock screen and a log-in screen can bypass both through a few simple steps.
Read: How to bypass the Windows 8 log-in screen

Get the start menu back
Three free utilities can replicate the classic Start button and menu in Windows 8.
Read: How to get the classic Start menu back in Windows 8 RTM

Going back to start
Clean and simple, Windows 8’s Desktop mode also lacks any apparent ways to get back to Metro. Here’s three tips on how to do just that.
Read: How to return to the Windows 8 Start screen

Use a picture as your password
Tablet and PC users alike can create a picture password in Windows 8 as a visual way of signing in. Here’s how.
Read: How to create a picture password in Windows 8

Shut down with a tile
Shutting down or rebooting Windows 8 can be as easy as point, then click, if you want it to be.
Read: How to create a shutdown and reboot tile in Windows 8

The basics

Keyboard shortcuts
Windows 8 has some new keyboard shortcuts that will help you get around Microsoft’s latest OS.
Read: 23 new keyboard shortcuts for Windows 8

Set default programs
Windows 8 chooses its default players to run your music and video, but what if you want different programs to open your files? Here’s how to change them.
Read: How to change default programs in Windows 8

Task Manager
The most neglected feature of Windows since it landed in 1995, Task Manager has finally received some love in Windows 8. Here’s what’s new.
Read: How to use Windows 8 Task Manager

Automatic backups
The new File History feature in Windows 8 can automatically back up your documents, music, pictures, and other personal files.
Read: How to automatically back up your personal files in Windows 8

Sync your devices
One of the best things about Windows 8 is that you can sync settings, apps, and more across multiple computers and tablets. Here’s how you do it.
Read: How to set up sync on Windows 8

Printing
Printing from a Metro app in Windows 8 works differently than printing from a Desktop app. So, how do you print from a Metro app?
Read: How to print from a Metro app in Windows 8

Advanced tips

Dual-boot with 7
Dual-booting your Windows 7 PC with Windows 8 can help you ease into using Windows 8.
Read: How to dual-boot Windows 7 with Windows 8

Make it kid-safe
Parental controls in Windows 8 are more configurable and robust than ever before. We’ll show you how to use parental controls in Windows 8 to help keep kids safe while using a PC.
Read: How to use parental controls in Windows 8

 

source:cnet

3 must-have freeware apps for multiple desktops

Users who are tired of running back and forth between multiple computers might want to give today’s collection of freeware a look. First, we have two KVM switch replacements: Qsynergy, a more intuitive version of the popular Synergy; and Mouse without Borders, a quick and easy solution from Microsoft’s Garage for sharing your keyboard and mouse.

A third alternative is Win Switch, a tool to share programs on multiple computers and unchain you from your desk. All three options differ from remote desktop applications such asTeamViewer or Splashtop, since all of the computers operate on the same network.
Qsynergy

Qsynergy is an easy-to-use graphical front end for Synergy, the gold standard in KVM switch replacement. QSynergy allows you all of the features of Synergy minus all of the tedious configurations of the latter.

(Credit: Synergy )

The good:

  • Works with Windows, Mac, and Linux
  • Clipboard sharing allows copy and paste between server and clients
  • Share mouse and keyboard
  • Supports a large numbers of machines at once (standard number is 15, but it can be configured for more)

The bad:

  • Setting up is difficult (steep learning curve)
  • No file sharing

 

Synergy is a great piece of software for those willing to learn how to use it; Qsynergy makes it a bit easier. It’s still not the simplest program, but it does offer a plethora of features.
Mouse without Borders

A Microsoft Garage project of developer Truong Do, Mouse without Borders (MwB) was created when he got sick of switching between all of his PCs at work. The software lets you use your mouse and keyboard on up to four computers running Windows.

(Credit: CNET )

The good:

  • Drag and drop files across computers
  • Copy and paste
  • Share mouse and keyboard
  • Lock and unlock all of your computers simultaneously

 

The bad:

  • Only supports PCs (sorry, Mac and Linux users)
  • Limit of four computers at any time
  • Still a prototype; no support

 

Overall, MwB is a quick and easy program to get you working with multiple computers fast. It won’t provide that comforting sense of world domination as it only allows four computers, and only works on PCs, but it’s great for home users.
Win Switch

Window Switch makes it easy to connect network computers to share individual applications.Win Switch allows you to launch applications from one computer and continue to work on them seamlessly on another.

 

Share Applications

(Credit: Nagafix )

 

The good:

  • Supports Windows, Mac, and Linux
  • Work on the same program and project on different computers.
  • Computers do not have to be in the same room.

 

The bad:

  • Only allow sharing of programs, not files.
  • Does not allow sharing of Mouse/Keyboard.

 

Win Switch is a great program to have at home or at the office. You can begin a project at your desk and finish it up in the break room on your laptop.

Update: Those looking for a more premium experience can head on over to Multiplicity. One of our fellow editors has pointed out that this little software now offers a free version for users to try. Multiplicity contains many of the useful elements of the above (share Kb/m, transfer data, share lock). The paid version offers supports up to nine PCs, centralize audio (all audio is route to one PC, a great feature for those who don’t want to miss a single notification) and more importantly data encryption to protect your activities. It’s worth a try since it’s free. We’ve mentioned that right? It is for PCs only; sorry again Mac and Linux users.

 

source: downloads.cnet

Instantly Select Text with Similar Formatting in Google Docs

google docs - Instantly Select Text with Similar Formatting in Google Docs

 

If you’ve ever finished writing something only to realize formatted the entire thing wrong, you know it’s usually a pain to correct. However, Google Docs now has a “Select all matching text” option to quickly change the formatting of you entire document on the fly.

This is likely most handy for students who swap between different types of formatting guidelines all the time, but since it works with all types of text it’ll be useful even if you just want to quickly change your headlines or bolding style. All you need to do is select a block of formatted text (underlined, italicized, headers, etc), right-click, and choose “Select all matching text.” You can then change the formatting of all your similar text at once.

 

Table improvements and easier formatting in documents | Google Drive Blog

 

source:lifehacker

Top 10 Simple Things Every Computer User Should Know How to Do

No matter how tech savvy you are, there are certain things every one of us has to deal with when using a computer—and we don’t always deal with them in the most efficient ways. Here are 10 things that everyone can (and should) learn to keep their computer fast, safe, and easy to use.

Here at Lifehacker, we take a lot of the simpler stuff for granted: how to avoid viruses, use keyboard shortcuts, or even just keep your data backed up. Even if you’ve mastered all of these tricks (and there’s a good chance you haven’t), you may want to send this along to some of your less computer-savvy friends. After all, the more they know how to do, the less they’ll call you for help.

 

10. Set Up a Dead Simple Backup System

 

We all know we should back up our computers, but it’s always one of those things that you’ll set up “one day”. Setting up a backup only takes minutes to do, though, so you can do it right know and forget about it until you need it—and when you do need it, you’ll be glad you set it up. If you’re just backing up to an external drive, you can just use the simple tools built in to your computer, like Windows Backup or Apple’s Time Machine. However, that’ll only keep you safe if your computer fails. If you lose your home in a fire, get all your gear stolen, or experience any other kind of disaster (God forbid), you’ll have lost all those important documents, family photos, and other files forever. So, we recommend using a service likeCrashPlan to back up your computer online. That way, it can back up no matter where you are, and that data will be safe no matter what happens to your hardware.

 

9. Do Everything Faster with Shortcuts

 

The great thing about computers is that they can do a lot of things much faster than a human. Say you’re looking for a specific word on a web page. Instead of scanning it yourself, all you need to do is press Ctrl+F and type the word you’re looking for. There are mountains of shortcut like this, from pressing Ctrl+S to instantly save the file you’re working on, Ctrl+P to print it out, or Ctrl+T to open a new tab in your web browser. It may seem like more trouble than its worth at first, but after you use a shortcut one or two times, you’ll wonder why you ever did anything with the mouse. Check out our list of six shortcuts everyone should know, as well as ourshortcut of the day series for even more tricks.

 

8. Protect Yourself From Viruses

 

Windows users have long known the pain of viruses and other malware, but the good news is it’s pretty easy to avoid. First, we recommend learning the difference between viruses, trojans, and other kinds of attacks, as well as the myths surrounding them. Then, install some good antivirus software to protect yourself (Microsoft Security Essentials is our favorite—you won’t even know it’s there). You can even get antivirus for your Android phone, if you so choose. But in the end, the best way to avoid viruses is to use common sense: don’t open links that look suspicious, don’t install programs from untrusted sources, and if a window pops up saying your computer’s infected, make sure it’s actually your antivirus software saying that and not a fake web page.

7. Set Up Your Network (and Fix Wi-Fi Problems)

 

Understanding routers, modems, and the other things that make up your network can seem daunting, but there are a few basics that can fix most problems that come your way. Does your router constantly need resetting? Make sure it isn’t overheating or clogged with traffic. Is your Wi-Fi speed and range less than ideal? Use one of these tricks to give it a boost. If you experience more serious problems, you can probably fix them yourself too. Check out our complete guide to knowing your network for more info—it’s got everything you need to know, from buying a router to setting up your network and more.

 

6. Keep Your Batteries Lasting as Long as Possible

 

Running out of battery on your phone or laptop can be pretty frustrating, but luckily, you can do a lot of things to keep it lasting longer. Your laptop has a lot of built-in power settings that can come in really handy, and there are a few tricks on both Android and the iPhone that will eke some extra time out of your battery. And, if you want your battery to retain that life, make sure you know how often to charge it to keep it alive in the years ahead.

 

5. Access Your Home Computer From Anywhere

 

Ever go out with your laptop and realize you left something important on your computer at home? One way to solve this problem is to use a service like Dropbox, so your files are with you everywhere you go. However, it’s also handy to know how to use your home computer from anywhere. With a simple app, you can log into your home computer from another machine and use it as if you were sitting right at your desk—whether you just need to grab a quick file or access a program you don’t have elsewhere.

 

4. Keep Your Computer in Tip Top Shape with Regular Maintenance

 

Computer maintenance has gotten really confusing over the years. Between defragging, cleaning up temporary files, and other tasks, it’s almost like trying to maintain a car. Luckily, it’s gotten a lot easier in recent years: you only really need to do one or two things to keep your computer running fast and smooth. Check out our guides to Windows maintenance and Mac maintenance for more info and keep your PC running like new. And if your phone’s feeling a little sluggish, we have guides for iOS and Android, too.

 

3. Instantly Share a File Between Two Computers

 

So you’ve got some files you want to give to your friend sitting next to you, but your flash drive has mysteriously gone missing. Well guess what? You don’t need it! It’s very easy to transfer a file between two computers over your wireless (or wired) network, whether it’s between you and a friend or between multiple computers you own. Here are our favorite ways to share files with a nearby computer, but if you want to share them between multiple computers in your house, Windows 7’s Homegroup feature is a great option. Of course, this is where the aforementioned Dropboxapp can come in handy, too. And if you’re sharing larger files over the internet, there are great ways to do that too.

 

2. Easily Find Your Lost or Stolen Gadgets

 

You never know when you might misplace your phone, laptop, or other tech, so set up some safeguards now. iPhones have an easy-to-use feature called Find My iPhone that’ll help you track it if it goes missing, but we’re big fans of an app called Prey. With it, you can track nearly any laptop or smartphone that’s gone missing, and even get a photo of who might be using it. If you’re missing a camera, the CameraTrace service can help you find it, too. Of course, the best solution is making sure it doesn’t get stolen in the first place, and making sure all your personal data is locked down. Which brings us to our last tip…

1. Keep Your Personal Information Safe and Secure

Top 10 Simple Things Every Computer User Should Know How to DoUnfortunately, the internet isn’t always a safe place, which means everyone needs to make sure they’re keeping their personal information safe. Make sure you use strong passwordsremove personal information from photos and other files, and never use open public Wi-Fi networks without protection. Keeping your personal information safe is easier than it sounds, and if you aren’t sure what to do, check out our checklist for staying safe online.

 

source:lifehacker