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Archive for the ‘the web’ Category

Access multiple email accounts with Gmail in 3 easy steps

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gmail

It seems as though nearly everyone has at least two email addresses these days, and it’s not uncommon to have upwards of four that are used on a regular basis for separate purposes.

You may or may not have heard of Gmail’s multiple inboxes feature and how useful it is, so if you’d like to take advantage of this awesome way to manage your email, read on.

The multiple inbox feature can be enabled to access third party email accounts (hotmail, your ISP email, etc.) alongside your Gmail account and can even be used to display certain sections or labels within your Gmail account simultaneously, e.g. by creating a search filter for a labeled or starred email.

Though at first glance this may seem daunting, it’s not that bad to configure and will give you the advantage of never ever having to check 2+ separate email accounts again.
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Written by Matthew DeCarlo

March 5th, 2009 at 5:26 am

No Windows 7 drivers yet? Try using Vista’s

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If you’re holding back from testing your copy of Windows 7 because you’re not sure what to do as far as device drivers are concerned, there is something you ought to know (if for some reason you didn’t until this point). Under the hood, Windows 7 is essentially the same as Windows Vista and as such Vista drivers will work just fine a majority of the time.

So, head to your hardware manufacturer’s website and download the latest drivers available for Windows Vista – we also keep a healthy catalog of the latest drivers for graphics cards and other devices in our own drivers section.

After downloading the drivers, run the installation setup and follow the prompts as if you would any other time. If you are presented with any errors due to compatibility, cancel the installation, right click the on the install package’s .exe and choose “Troubleshoot Compatibility”.

troubleshoot-1

This will present you with a “Program Compatibility” wizard of sorts, which is a bit more friendly than on previous version of Windows.

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Written by Matthew DeCarlo

February 4th, 2009 at 4:49 am

Clear your browser cache, see TechSpot’s updated favicon

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Since we redesigned around mid last year, we updated our favicon to match our new looks. Now, whoever told you making a nice and sleek looking favicon was easy, they were blatantly lying!

As it turns out, it’s quite the challenge to turn up with something that looks good within 16×16 pixels, though I’m confident you will like our updated favicon as it looks distinctive, which is perhaps the most important attribute in a favicon when you are browsing around and switching tabs on Firefox, or accessing a bookmark from your favorite browser.

TechSpot new favicon

TechSpot new favicon

Google updated their favicon just a few weeks ago and we thought why don’t we as well? I got to work and came up with an improved version of the “T” favicon, adding a bit of a gradient/depth and rounded corners. Kudos to favicon.cc for making my life easier when porting the 16×16 image to .ico format.

Written by Julio Franco

January 19th, 2009 at 3:24 pm

Cool wallpaper from Microsoft’s PDC

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One thing to love about upcoming operating systems and its public beta releases is that eventually feature details and design elements leak and get distributed all over the web. You may remember how there were several prospective default wallpapers for Vista that made it to the web months before the OS release. Something similar has happened with OS X releases which also come with great wallpapers out of the box.

Now Microsoft is expected to unleash the first public preview of Windows 7 at their Professional Developers Conference this week. Some details have leaked already, but nothing to share just yet in terms of UI elements except for this PDC wallpaper that all computers at the conference are using (courtesy of istartedsomething). I have been using it for the past few hours and I had to recommend it. Nice colors, blends well and is a bit flashy (Vista style) without being too distracting.

Written by Julio Franco

October 28th, 2008 at 6:03 am

Why I wouldn’t buy the new MacBook… and probably you shouldn’t either

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Although I rely on my desktop PC for long work sessions and I stand by the fact no laptop will ever beat a fully equipped desktop (dual monitors, and in general, the works…), there is an obvious need for a laptop whenever I’m on the move.

When my old Thinkpad T needed to retire, I looked into the Vaio TX series, at the time the best 11″ ultra-portable money could buy with its mere 2.9 pounds. That was months before the MacBook Air and other similar ultra-portables arrived to the market. Unfortunately the small size didn’t cut it for me and had to look elsewhere to replace the Thinkpad until I finally decided to get a MacBook Pro. In spite of the fact that I’m a Windows user, I did it with the purpose of checking out the then new Leopard OS X release.

Today the MB Pro remains as my primary laptop. Although I have my gripes about OS X, I have remained more or less content about the hardware which has proved to be of top quality construction, all while running Windows Vista. You have probably heard the stories of how the MB Pro makes for a great Windows laptop anyway, and in my case that has hold true – in fact, I haven’t touched Leopard in months.

And now with the well publicized release of the new MacBooks, I started looking into the possibility of getting a new laptop, but instead of the Pro I was checking the upgraded MacBook which is cheaper, has got many of the Pro’s biggest selling points like the aluminum body, powerful specs, but sports a smaller 13.3-inch screen that is also LED illuminated. Sounds good so far? Until I saw this…

Those images were taken by Gizmodo in their first look at both the new MacBook and MacBook Pro. As you can see, the colors on the standard MacBook get all washed out depending on the viewing angle. Then my disappointment has been further reinforced by the fact that many, many of the outgoing reviews for the MacBook barely touch on this point, just mentioning the use of the glossy display which would be less of an issue if the laptop shipped with a quality LCD panel like its more expensive sibling.

In my experience those screen issues are characteristic of older laptops or current entry level models (any brand). Then again my Thinkpad T42, which admittedly wasn’t entry-level four years ago doesn’t suffer from that issue, and at $1300-1600 for a new MacBook, you can’t call them budget either.

With a strong pro-Apple movement going on around the web and growing Apple laptop sales, the word is that the new MacBook is like a smaller Pro without the discrete graphics. I have to dissent, and now you know why.

Update: I’m glad to see Anandtech’s review of both new Mac laptops give light on my assertions above unlike a majority of reviews I have read so far from so-called experts.

As it turns out, the new MacBook screen is an improvement over the older generation which had an even more lacking viewing angle. Really bad for a laptop at that price point IMO. But if you want a superb quality screen, the MacBook Pro will have to be your choice. As I understand it, the MacBook’s Air screen is not too bad either though I have used them on a very limited basis.

Written by Julio Franco

October 24th, 2008 at 12:16 am

Something new is cooking…

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We are always working on new and improved features at TechSpot, whether it is fresh new content or new services to help you get the best information out of the web.

Call this the silent launch of TechSpot’s new deals section which is far and away improved over the aging deals we managed just until now. So check it out, here’s your reward for checking out this not-so-often updated staff blog :)

Written by Julio Franco

September 10th, 2008 at 5:23 am

Gates and Seinfeld inaugurate millionaire ad campaign

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Microsoft is already getting hammered on this first commercial that is part of a $300 million marketing push by the company to counteract the successful “I’m a Mac, I’m a PC” ad spots.

If anything this looks like a teaser to me (definitely not yet worth the $10 million Seinfeld is reportedly getting paid for his part on the campaign), but then again it’s also more lighthearted than the Apple ads in a good way…


Written by Julio Franco

September 5th, 2008 at 11:46 am

Google’s Chrome share of views at TechSpot, surpasses Opera

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Google Analytics started tracking Chrome visitors just recently which can give us a preliminary but still very incomplete view of the market share the search giant has been able to build from scratch, out of a very celebrated launch of the browser.

As I commented earlier on, this will have to be measured on the short term of at least a couple of months instead of a few days.

For sure Google has got the word out big time, but real success comes when people actually stick to the browser rather than trying it out for a little while and going back to their usual browser of choice.

Here’s some stats from TechSpot visitors for the past couple of days…

Chrome browser share

Chrome browser share

Written by Julio Franco

September 5th, 2008 at 4:30 am

Free Search Engine Optimization white papers

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Though on a somewhat abandoned state for the time being, we keep a co-brand with TradePub who offer a variety of free magazines, white papers and publications to qualified professionals. Their range of publications are not limited to IT or Computers however that’s what you are most likely to hear us promoting for obvious reasons.

Besides eWeek and Website Magazine which are some of their quality standard offerings, I recently got an email from TP letting me know of three new whitepapers on SEO (Search Engine Optimization) which is a recurrent topic on today’s Internet if you are looking to maximize your exposure on the web. Check them out if you’ve got a chance:

Do’s and Don’ts of Search Engine Optimization

Website Redesign and Search Engine optimization – Keys For Success

Determining the Best Keyword Strategies for Your SEO and SEM Campaigns

Written by Julio Franco

July 2nd, 2008 at 1:47 am

Two great time-saving tips for Firefox 3

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You have likely heard it a million times already, Firefox 3 is a very nice improvement over version 2, especially in the performance department. And while many still prefer to stick to their own improved versions of Opera and Safari (sorry IE, you are a disgrace right now), Firefox is by far the most used alternative browser. I believe that comes in part thanks to its flexibility for customization and the myriad of useful add-ons you can get for it.

I can’t stress enough the add-on part. From webmaster tools, to simple functionality tweaks and social networking integration. My following tips, however, lay on the side of about:config tweaks (that is, you have to manually apply these yourself in the settings registry by running the about:config command on the address bar). So here we go:

Search from the address bar
Firefox brought wide support for the secondary search field that will directly Google anything you type, however I found asking myself, why two text fields? Why not re-use the address bar, so it will go to full URLs directly or will Google any other keywords I type in there (by default Firefox uses Google’s I’m feeling lucky option = going to the first search result directly, which I don’t think is ideal most of the time).

You can change this behavior by entering the about:config command in the address bar, then filter the preference list by typing keyword. The option called keyword.URL should appear. Change its value from the default to:
http://www.google.com/search?ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&q=

That should do the trick. Now Google directly from the main address bar.

Make zoom settings tab independent
Firefox 3 upgrades zoom functionality present in previous versions by replacing font-only zoom to full page zoom which scales images and all other page properties. This may work to your advantage most of the time, but if you have many tabs opened for the same site, Firefox will think you want to zoom-in in all those tabs under the same domain. Personally I find this annoying.

So, enter the config zone and look up for the entry called browser.zoom.siteSpecific, then set it to False. This will prevent the browser from automatically zooming in all tabs from the same website.

Bonus tip
Did you know that you don’t have to type “www” or “.com” every time you enter an address? For example, just type “techspot” in the address bar, then use Ctrl + Enter to make it a full .com URL.

Written by Julio Franco

June 29th, 2008 at 4:14 am