How To Find Icons Hidden Inside of Files

September 30, 2010

image Icons are like eye candy… Without icons we would have a difficult time navigating our computers. Icons provide us with the ability to relate a function with a small graphic. Once that “function to graphic” relationship is established and stored (in our brains) we can quickly carry out the function by mouse clicking on the icon without having to read any text. Whomever came up with the icon concept on computers should be applauded.

When we start up our computers, icons are visible everywhere; on the Start Menu, on the Desktop, in the System Tray, etc… Did you know there are icons on your computer that are not visible and are actually packed inside file types such as EXE, DLL, OCX, CPL (to name a few). For whatever reason, this always fascinated me and I actually know of ways to pull those icons out of these files to use for other purposes. I am not going to go into those “ways” due the explanation would be quite lengthy and boring; HOWEVER, I will tell you of a very small program that you can run that will do all of the work for you. The program is called IconsExtract.

IconsExtract

The IconsExtract utility scans the files and folders on your computer, and extract the icons and cursors stored in EXE, DLL, OCX, CPL, and in other file types. You can save the extracted icons to ICO files (or CUR files for cursors), or copy the image of a single icon into the clipboard.

To use this puppy, and I mean puppy (only 52K) in size, just download and run. No install is required and it is completely portable. IconsExtract will do all of the work for you. Just point the app to a folder and this puppy will hunt. Once it locates icons, they will be displayed in a nice order where the icons can be saved to your computer (or copied to the Windows clipboard).

IconsExtract

When performing the hunt for icons, there are other options available in IconsExtract such as: Include only icons with specific image size and Include only icons with specific color depth.

Nice little app. Useful. Fun to play with. Oh, I failed to mention, IconsExtract will find and extract cursors as well.

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Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#79)

September 29, 2010

Geek Squeaks' We are living in the age of information technology and computers. To keep up with the pace it is important to have credible and reliable sources. Reflected below is this weeks round up of recent information technology and computer news, as posted by the members associated with the What’s On My PC blogroll. It does not get any better than this.

Free PC Security
Malicious Sites September 28

Tech-for Everyone
How To Remove Internet Explorer 9

Rarst.net
PrtScr – cute and streamlined screenshot tool

Lifehacker
Xmarks Bookmark Syncing Service Shutting Down in January 2011

Crazy World of G
Google Chrome

TuneUp Blog about Windows
25 Amazing Windows 7 Themes You will love!

Paul’s Home Computing Blog
Internet Security: 7 Practices for Computer Security

Laptops Review Central
Panasonic unveils new ToughBook F5, N9 and S9 rugged notebooks

RGdot
Top 10 Must Have Windows Freeware

Carol’s Vault
Ashampoo gift: 5 full versions to download

Faster PC! Clean! Clean!
How to Remove MyWebSearch

Plato On-Line
Texting and Driving Killed 16K in US

Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts
How Secure Are Your Software Applications – Not Very, It Seems

Right On Technology
BlackBerry PlayBook 7-inch Tablet Announced, Arrives in 2011

thePC Security
Boot Recovery – Repair Boot Sector,
MBR of Hard Disk With Easeus Fixboot

Mrintech
Interesting Facts about Google: How Big it is?

Canadian Tech Blogger
TV Buying Guide – Rocketboom Tech

Bookmarks4Techs
Iomega eGo USB 2.0 500 GB Compact Portable Hard Drive

Awesome Wallpapers
Space/Fantasy Wallpaper Set 37

My Technology Guide
VLMC: VideoLAN Movie Creator

Snakebytez
Group Windows Start Menu Programs with Handy start Menu

TTC Shelbyville
How many calories does the IT brain use?

404 Tech Support
Set Windows File Type Associations With assoc Command

I Want Ice Water
When The Madness Comes

Techolar
How to Speed up History Navigation in Opera Browser

I Love Free Software
Modify “Send To” Right Click Option: Send To Toys

Netbook Freeware
Portable Universal Viewer:
Best Free Advanced File Viewer For Your Netbook

Worthy Tips
Free Download Ashampoo Home Designer with License Keys

AKSGEEK Live
Intel Updates Mobile Processors and Pricing

Online Storage Reviews
Do You Have Adequate Disk Space to Store Your Files?

Malware Removal Instructions
How to remove Antivirus8 malware (Uninstall Guide)

Chicago Mac/PC Support
The 17 Most Dangerous Places on the Web – PCWorld

What’s On My PC
How to Get Rid of the Data on that Old Computer

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Windows 7 for Seniors

September 27, 2010

You are probably looking at the title and questioning, “Did Microsoft develop another operating system called Windows 7 for Seniors?”. The answer is, NO! The title is referring to the Dummies Series of books that have been in production since 1991, when the first one published was “Dos for Dummies”. As a matter of fact I was a fan of that book and actually purchased several after that. Believe it or not, it was those few books that helped drive my interest in computers.

Today there are more than 150 million of these books in print that show you how to do everything (i.e. cook, garden, manage, finances, run a business, plan a trip, exercise, eat right, etc.). If you don’t believe me, [click here] .

For the sake of this article and to help out my senior friends there is a “Windows 7 for Seniors for Dummies” book that I recommend to help you navigate and learn the Windows 7 operating system.

Windows 7 for Seniors

Many people I am associated with have the illusion that our children and grandchildren are the teachers of computers since it is part of their generation. Being someone that has used, taught and managed PC’s, this is far from the truth. If you want to learn the basics and have an edge over your children or grandchildren, the “Windows 7 for Seniors for Dummies” is a good place to start.

Learn to:

  • Use the Windows 7 desktop and create your first documents
  • Connect to the Internet and browse the Web
  • View, edit, and print photos
  • Keep in touch by e-mail and play games online
  • Tour the desktop — learn to use menus, the Start menu button, files, and folders
  • Do it — create notes and letters, connect a printer, download photos from your digital camera, and put music on a CD
  • Have some fun — discover Solitaire and other built-in games, listen to music, and watch a movie
  • Use the accessories — display Gadgets on your desktop, draw with Paint, and use the Calculator
  • To keep or not — install additional programs you want and remove those you don’t need
  • Protect your Windows — learn to use the Action Center, download and install virus protection software, and keep it up to date
  • Have it your way — make your screen easier to see, open files with a single click, and even have your computer read to you
  • The wide, wide Web — shop and explore online and learn to stay safe
  • What’s on the taskbar
  • Directions for creating and saving documents
  • Steps for installing a printer and other peripherals
  • How to connect to the Internet anywhere
  • Backgammon and other games you can play online
  • Guidance on protecting your computer from viruses
  • How to send e-mail attachments
  • Advice on backing up documents and photos

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An Incredibly Fast Online Dictionary

September 27, 2010

Recently I posted an article about Google’s dictionary (titled: Did you know Google has a dictionary?) that was quite popular. To add to your dictionary collection, I encourage you take a look at another online dictionary, called Definir.

image

Definr.com is a fast, free dictionary based on Princeton’s open WordNet 2.0.

The website framework is Ruby on Rails. Looking up words in a dictionary is easy, so we do that with MySQL and cache the top 10,000 definitions in memory.

Doing word completion (a.k.a. auto-complete, auto-suggest, globbing) is not easy, at least not when you have to search through 200,000 words for every keystroke. So our word completion is done in a C module for Ruby, and the word completion server is separate from the rest of the site.

With the DefinrBot algorithm, we can do 190,000 word completions per second without caching, and that translates to about 10,000 completions per second once the Ruby layer is factored in.

Definir is available as a Firefox extension or you can drag Definir to your Firefox toolbar, where you can look up words on the fly. I tested the toolbar bookmarklet in Google Chrome, and it worked there, as well.

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Easily Convert Your Photos into Beautiful Paintings, Sketches or Drawings

September 26, 2010

With the power of your computer you can take a personal photo and convert into a beautiful painting, sketch or drawing using FREE software called FotoSketcher.

FotoSketcher

FotoSketcher can either be installed on your computer or used as a portable app on your flash drive. The software is automated and very easy to use. Simply open a photo you desire to convert, select the drawing parameters, and click on “DRAW”. Watch FotoSketcher perform the magic right before your eyes.

FotoSketcher

Different styles are available: pencil sketch, pen and ink drawing, various painting renderings. You can also improve your original photo with simple tools (enhance contrast, sharpen, simplify image, increase luminosity, color saturation, add text, frames, etc…).

FotoSketcher

To demonstrate the power of FotoSketcher, reflected is a photo of a Ford 8N Tractor that my Father recently restored; AND, the same photo converted to a sketch, oil painting and cartoon.

The 8N Ford Tractor debuted in 1947, a largely new machine featuring more power and an improved transmission which proved to be the most popular farm tractor of all time in North America. - [Source: Wikipedia]


Original

8N Ford Tractor

Sketch

8N Ford Tractor

Oil Painting

8N Ford Tractor

Cartoon

8N Ford Tractor

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Use GooReader to Read Google Books

September 25, 2010

Reading on a PC is just not the same as reading from a book or magazine. I guess it is part of the generation that I was raised, but there is something about turning that page and the feel of that book. I always envisioned the day when I could read a book on my computer screen and turn the pages in a similar manner as a real book.

Well today is the day where this vision is coming true. I recently went on the hunt for a reading application that would allow you to read a book (or magazine) on your computer where the pages appeared to actually turn. What I came across, that closely meets my criteria, is a Google Books reader called GooReader.

GooReader

If you are not familiar with Google Books, it is an online collection of millions of books from libraries and publishers worldwide using Google Book Search

GooReader provides a sweet interface for reading publicly available books and magazines on Google Books. Instead of awkward page scrolling in your browser you can get pleasure of reading on your desktop in the same way as you read hardcover books or paperback magazines. With natural mouse moves you can turn over pages, zoom in and out, jump to the needed TOC item.

GooReader

You start using GooReader by entering a search criteria in the search box that is directly tied into Google Books Search.  If you notice above, I performed a search for Windows 7 and the books started appearing on the shelf.  You can select a book from the shelf to read full screen if you like, zoom in, zoom out AND turn the pages like a real book. The controls to turn the pages and perform these other functions are located at the bottom of the pages.

In GooReader the search results are represented as 3D book models on a bookshelf. You can setup the number of search results and the scale of the bookshelf. The program can search online books by title, author or keyword that can be used in its description or content. If you want to read or save specific book, you can simply enter its Book_ID and open it in Gooreader.

GooReader

Sometimes you may need to print Google Books or read them offline when you don’t have the internet connection. Besides, most people love to read books on mobile devices (like iPad) or popular e-Book readers (like Sony Reader, Kindle or Nook). In this case the PDF format is a perfect solution. GooReader allows to automatically save publicly available books and magazines to PDF files (please read the FAQ for details). Note that this feature is available in paid version.

To get a good feel about GooReader, I encourage you to take a look at the YouTube video below.

GooReader works only on Windows XP/Vista/7 and requires .Net Framework 3.5 SP1 installed. You do not need a Google login account to access these books; all books and magazines on Google Books are available for unregistered users.

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Nice Buy on an Acer 15.6 Inch Notebook

September 24, 2010

Here at What’s On My PC I have been on the hunt at Amazon to find some great deals.  This one fell into my lap today and may be worth a look-see if you are in the market for a notebook computer.

Acer Aspire AS5251-1805 15.6-Inch Laptop (Black)

$100 off retail

[ click here ]

Acer

5.6-inch CineCrystal LED-backlit widescreen display with native 720p resolution for high-definition viewing. Its widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio is designed to present websites without lots of left-right scrolling, as well as with a smoother line of sight.

2.20 GHz AMD V Series V120 single-core processor with 512 KB L2 cache and 1066 MHz front-side bus for good multi-tasking. And with Vision Technology from AMD, you’ll get a combination of cutting-edge processing and video power that allows you to experience vivid web and video content, sharp photos and crystal-clear music.

250 GB SATA hard drive (5400 RPM)

3 GB of installed DDR3 RAM (1066 MHz; expandable to 8 GB)

ATI Radeon HD 4250 graphics (with 256 MB of discrete video memory) is equipped with 40 stream processors and an advanced 3D engine to provide support for hybrid graphics when paired with this system’s Windows operating system. It provides up to 1919 MB of total shared system memory and is compatible with Microsoft DirectX 10.1.

8x SuperMulti DVD±R/RW drive can also write to CD, DVD-RAM, and dual-layer (DL) DVD±R discs–which can hold up to 8.5 GB of data.

Multi-Gesture Touchpad allows you to pinch, flick and swirl your fingers across the touchpad for more natural photo and video viewing as well as intuitive navigation of websites such as Google Earth. It also enables you to scroll, zoom in and out and flip through web pages, photos, spreadsheets and more. (Learn more)

Crystal Eye webcam with a built-in digital microphone that helps keep background noise levels low and minimizes echoes. Acer Video Conference Manager software supports 640 x 480 resolution online video calls.

Wireless-N Wi-Fi networking capability provides up to five times the performance and twice the wireless range using 802.11n-compatible routers as you would with 802.11g networks. It’s also backward compatible with 802.11b/g networks (commonly found at Wi-Fi hotspots and in older home routers).

Fast Ethernet (10/100/1000)

Multi-in-1 Digital Media Card Reader compatible with Secure Digital (SD), MultiMediaCard (MMC), Memory Stick (MS), Memory Stick PRO (MS PRO), xD-Picture Card (xD)

Three USB 2.0 ports

HDMI high-definition audio/video output allows a single cable to transmit uncompressed high-definition video to your digital TV or LCD. It also includes a standard VGA video output.

Windows 7 Home Premium makes it easy to create a home network and share all of your favorite photos, videos, and music. And you can watch shows for free when and where you want with Internet TV on Windows Media Center. Get the best entertainment experience with Windows 7 Home Premium.

Get more features with Windows Anytime Upgrade. It’s the best way to add features to Windows 7, takes as few as ten minutes, requires no software or downloads, and you’ll keep your existing programs, files, and settings. Windows will walk you through the simple upgrade process. (Learn more)

Pre-loaded software includes Microsoft Works SE 9.0 for word processing and spreadsheet work. Enjoy a 60-day trial version of Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007.

6-cell battery (4400 mAh)

Weight: 5.74 pounds

Warranty: One-year parts and labor limited warranty with concurrent International Traveler’s Warranty

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