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 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



Swype Beta Adds Cross-Device Dictionary Sync, Hotwords, and Swype for Tablets

Swype Beta Adds Cross-Device Dictionary Sync, Hotwords, and Swype for Tablets


Android: Swype, one of your favorite Android keyboards (and one of ours too), just rolled out an update for beta users packed with useful features, like the ability to sync your dictionary across Android devices, tablet-friendly layouts, and more.

Swype users who have been waiting for a tablet-friendly layout for the app have several to choose from. The new “hotwords” feature solves the problem of typing words that are trending in common language and social media that may not be in a dictionary yet. The feature is opt-in, and if you do participate, your dictionary will periodically get updates with new words based on what people are discussing online, from “gangnam style” to “stratos.”

The latest version of the Swype Beta is still free, and available at the link below.


Swype Beta | via Android Police


source: lifehacker

The Best Firefox Extensions and Add-On of 2012

Mozilla Firefox logo

It’s not a far stretch to say Mozilla owes the success of its Firefox browser to add-ons; Firefox was the first browser to embrace them. Add-ons encompass plug-ins (like Flash, Adobe Reader, and QuickTime) that make existing Web tech work, themes for changing a browser’s look, and, of course, those capability-enhancing programs known as extensions that go beyond a developer’s dreams.



Of course, you could go your entire browsing life without installing an extension—many people do—but without them, Firefox isn’t the Web-surfing powerhouse it can be. Take a look at our choices for the best extensions and try a few out. They’re free, after all. You’ll see just how useful they are.



1. Adblock Plus
What more can we say about an extension that already has more than 14.3 million users? If you hate advertising, you should install this tool and filter the commercials out of your Web surfing. The 2.0 version has an option to let you view the more non-intrusive ads, thus keeping many of us (ahem) in business. And we thank you.



2. Amazon Add To Wish List
Almost everyone has an Amazon wish list. It’s a great way to let people know just what you want for a special occasion. That list is not limited to just items available from Amazon, either; with this extension, anything you can shop for online can be added to your wish list for future shopping. It works with many international versions of Amazon, too.



3. AutoPager
On many websites, you have to slog through page after page to read an entire article. (Yeah, yeah, we know.) If you’re sick of clicking “Next,” try AutoPager. It works with a wide variety of popular sites, turning multi-page articles into one long page, automatically loading the next page when you get to the end so the scrolling never stops.



4. Shopping
If you love bargains, get Shopping. It assists shoppers by popping up as you search or surf major online retailers. Click the tab or links and you’ll see where you can get the items you want for even cheaper.



5. Cleanest Addon Manager
When you’re done reading this article, you’re going to have a lot of Firefox add-ons installed. This extension makes managing them easier by reducing the size of the page and making it a snap to disable or remove those you no longer want.



6. Evernote Clearly
Clearly is a service of Evernote. It takes articles, blog posts, and other webpages that you might be too busy to read and reduces them to just the text you want, distraction-free. You can change the text type and background for optimal readability. Of course, you can then save that same cleaned-up version of the text directly to Evernote for reading later. Read our review of Evernote.



7. Click&Clean
Got nothing to hide, huh? Well, just in case you do, install Click&Clean and you’ll find it’s a breeze to delete your browser history, download history, cookies, and temp files. It’ll make sure that your private data is deleted whenever you close the browser. You can do all of the above and more with one click in the toolbar.



8. Desktop
Why face white space when you open a new tab? Desktop is a “speed-dial” that lets you add widgets, links, and more to a customized layout, providing fast access to your favorite sites and services on the Web. Throw in a customized background to really make it your own.



9. Diigo Toolbar
Diigo is a full-blown online service for social bookmarking, a lot like Delicious used to be. With this toolbar installed, you can get the most out of your surfing, using it to annotate pages, highlight text, and keep your bookmarks stored online.



10. Dormancy
This is an extension clearly labeled “experimental,” just in case it should eat your browsing session. But give it a try, as it will “retire” your unused tabs so you can free up precious memory that is going to waste on your computer due to Firefox’s bad leaks. Just know, you’ve been warned.




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 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