Animated Windows 7 Start Menu Orb

May 19, 2010

Since Windows 95, it is possible to change the Start text from the Start Menu. When it came to Windows Vista and Windows 7, the start text has been replaced with an orb button. That too can be easily changed by using third party software and a series of images. For the first time in history, the Start Menu can now be animated with the help of Windows 7 Start Button Animator.

Windows 7 Start Button Animator is a small (less than 1MB of file size) and portable application that can hook the Windows 7 Start Menu button and replaces it with an animated image. The animator application must be running in order for the animation to work. During testing, we found that this application has a small memory leak because the memory usage for the process kept on increasing to more than 10MB even though the program just sits in system tray.

Windows 7 Start Menu Animator

You can select your own custom animated GIF orb, zoom/normal/center/stretch the image style and select the taskbar position so that the animated start button corresponds with the start menu. The video mode is useful when you are watching a full screen movie and the animated orb is on top of the movie. Checking the Video Mode allows the Orb button to stay behind the video.

Download Windows 7 Start Button Animator

Fix Blur Photos with Unshake

May 19, 2010

Taking a photo that is blur can be disappointing especially when you know that are probably never going to go back there again. As for forensics, fixing a blur photo is also important so that they can gather evidence which are probably missed by a naked eye. It is possible to fix a blur photo by sharpening the image but you cannot expect to get a fully clear image but just an image that is acceptable quality. One way to easily and automatically fix blur photos is by using Unshake.

Unshake requires Java to run. After downloading Unshake, extract it and run Unshake.jar file which is an executable Jar file. It can only be executed if Java is installed. To determine whether Java is installed on your computer, go to Java.com. When Unshake is launched, click the Open button to load the blur image. Then you get to select the level of amplification, normal or severe blur, and quality estimation of basic, portrait or scenic.

unshake deblur images

Unshake is free and because it runs on Java, you can expect it to run on operating systems other than Windows such as Linux and Mac OS.

Download Unshake

Vimperator Helps Browsing the Web with Firefox Using Only Keyboard

May 19, 2010

It is nearly impossible to browse the web without using the mouse because a website has so many elements from images to links. To jump from one element to another you will have to press the TAB key and if you are at the top of the page and wants to click on the link that is at the bottom of the page, you probably need to press the TAB button many times. One way to browse the web using Firefox without a mouse is by installing an extension called Vimperator.

Do note that Vimperator is not really that easy to use for people that has never used Vim text editor before because the key bindings are the same from there. After installing Vimperator, it strips all the elements including the address and status bar to make it look like a text editor. To go back, all you need to do is type :set guioptions+=mT and then press the F button on your keyboard which will display numbers on links which can be accessed. Press the number on your keyboard to access the link that corresponds with the number.

vimperator

You can head on to the official site of Vimperator to check out the available key bindings.

Download Vimperator

Monitor and Selectively Delete History for Internet Explorer

May 18, 2010

Every web browser has the capability of logging the list of websites that has been visited and it is called history. It is meant as a convenient so that the user doesn’t need to type the whole address and can easily access it by clicking on the address bar drop down button. Other than that, parents can also use it to monitor what website has their children visited although it is not a good method as it can be easily erased. When it comes to monitoring, exporting and selectively deleting history for Internet Explorer browser, one of a good third party tool to use is IE History Monitor.

As what we have tested, it doesn’t really monitor the histories but instead if displays all the visited website history at a clean interface with the title, url, last visited, last updated and expired columns. The links can be copied, opened or even selectively deleted from the program via right click. Finally, it can be exported as a log file to an external HTML for further inspection or recordings.

Internet Explorer History Monitor

IE History Monitor last revised 5 years ago but it worked perfectly on Internet Explorer at Windows 7 32bit. It is free and portable which doesn’t require installation.

Download IE History Monitor

Microsoft Office 2010 Trial Rearm Extender

May 18, 2010

We have previously covered an easy tip where you can use Microsoft Office 2010 trial period for 6 months without activating your product key. All you need to do is run the OSPPREARM.exe tool located in the Common Files folder in Program Files. Whenever the 30 day trial period is up, all you need to do is run the file. Microsoft allows the tool to be ran a maximum of 5 times which gives you a total trial period of 180 days.

If for some reason you are unable to find the file, you can use this portable and simple tool to do it. This application is called Office 2010 Trial Extender and it does the same thing as the manual method. Simply run the tool and click the Rearm button.

Office 2010 trial extender

Office 2010 Trial Extender requires .NET Framework 3.5 or higher to run and it works on both Microsoft Office 2010 32 bit and 64 bit. Although the rearm feature was made for corporate users and not for home users, there is nothing illegal about it since after installing Microsoft Office 2010, the rearm tool is installed together with it.

Download Office 2010 Trial Extender