Category Archives: Mac OS X

Rediscover Prism by Mozilla (Ubuntu, MAC and Windows tips)

In 2007, when Prism was launched, there were some enthusiastic reviews about this application. Then the widget era began and Prism popularity decreased. Anyway, Prism is still a powerful application for all that people who desire to run their more often used web application saving RAM and CPU resources. Prism, based on XULRunner, is multi platform, easy to use and very flexible. To use it on Ubuntu you can launch the Terminal and type:

sudo apt-get install prism

or using the Synaptics Package Manager (System —> Administration —> Synaptics Package Manager). Then go to Applications —> Internet —> Prism and a small windows appears. Now, fill in all the required information: the web application URL, the name you prefer, settings and do not forget to click on the Desktop shortcut option. At this point you will find a new rough icon on your Desktop with the name you chose. The first time you use it, with the right mouse button click on it and go to Properties —> Permissions and Allow executing file as program. If you want to change the icon you have to click on it (with the right mouse button), go to Properties —> Basic and choose your favorite icon clicking the icon on the upper left corner. If all are steps are annoying for you, it is possible to use Prism as add-on for Firefox. In this case, on Firefox, go to Tools —> Add-ons —> Get Add-ons and type Prism on the search bar. You will install Prism as a simple add-on for Firefox. Now, you can automatically generate a Prism application just clicking on Tools —> Convert Website to  Application when you are in the web application page.

On Windows or MAC we suggest to download the standalone package directly from the official web page or install Prism as Firefox add-on following the same steps we described for Ubuntu. If you use the Prism standalone package you have to decompress it in your favorite location. For Windows users: when you set up a new Prism application, try the tray menu option but do not forget to click on the Desktop shortcut or you will not be able to find again the application after you close it.

In my experience, Prism is really useful with all the Google web applications, with Zoho services and Pandora. Try and enjoy it! AddThis mp3 link

Prey: a multiplatform, open source anti-thefth free software for laptops

What about losing your laptop? Obviously the chances to find it and have it back are very few! But there are several software you can install on your laptop to trace the ip and geo-location of te laptop and with a bit of fortune you could find it. Prey is one of these programs you can use and it is particularly interesting because it is open source and free up to three laptops. After the download of the proper version for your OS (Linux, Windows, Mac OS X or Android) you have to run it on your machine and configure it through a very simple interface (on Ubuntu: Applications —> System Tools —> Prey Configurator). Do not forget to select Enable guest account and Wifi autoconnect to improve the possibilities to trace your laptop. You are also asked to provide an email account where you will receive the geo-location reports if your laptop is stolen. When you activate your Prey account do not forget to fill in the Configuration and Modules tabs. Personally we suggest to switch to ON the following commands: Auto update, Notify new reports and all the commands contained in the left column of the Modules tab. At this point, if your laptop is missed, you have to log in your on-line Prey account and, in the Configuration tab, switch the Missing option on YES. Since this moment, Prey software on your laptop is activated and will start sending reports to your email and to your Prey webpage. Last but not least, to better protect your laptop I suggest to hide or cancel the Prey Configurator icon from the OS menu (in Ubuntu: System —> Preferences —> Main Menu —> System Tools and deselect Prey Configurator). AddThis mp3 link

How to listen online, legally free, music: Pandora.com

Today, in our Freeware Page we posted a review about Pandora.com: an online free website which offers free music listening based on your preferences. Once on Pandora.com you can decide to try it or to register for free (just an email and a new Pandora password are required). After this you can start creating new radio stations based on your favorite artists. In just few clicks, you can even listen your Pandora stations directly on your Blackberry, iPhone, PalmPre or Windows Mobile device. Using the QuickMix feature you can melt different stations in just an unique selection to share (if you want) with your friends. Pandora is legal and free but sometimes (not very often for my experience) some commercial ads are broadcasted. Anyway, in a couple of hours I was able to refine my new station options & variety and till now I am really satisfied by this service. Recommended! AddThis mp3 link

How to recover your accounts and password on Windows using a Linux Live CD: Ophcrack

Today, in our Linux Page (in Spanish) we posted a post about Ophcrack: a Linux Live CD which allows you to recover your Windows password when you forgot them. Sincerely, the described above situation is not common but it could really happen especially when you do not use a PC for some time or if you want to help a friend who is not so skilled with its own computer. Ophcrack is easy to use, sufficiently fast and effective. I tested it to recover some passwords on an old laptop and the results were very interesting; in fact I was able to recover password from accounts I totally forgot to own. Useful! This post has been written just for informative purpose! Please, remind that you are directly responsible for any law violation you commit in case of misuse of the information contained above. AddThis mp3 link

How to synchronize Gmail, Google Docs and Google Calendar with your PCs: the cross-platform Google Gears

This week, on our Freeware Page , we have posted a brief review about Google Gears which allows you to keep, for example, your Gmail and Google Docs perfectly safe and synchronized with your computer. Google Gears does not add any new features if you think about what Thunderbird or Sunbird (now also known as Lightning) offer. On the other hand, Google Gears is very useful if we think it is very easy to setup and allows you to directly manage offline your email, documents and calendar without using other email applications. In the post we fastly show how to install Gears on your  browser and how to start to use it. When you activate Google Gears a pop-up windows will remind you that this particular feature is totally experimental and you use it on your own risk but for our personal experience Google Gears works very well, in particular we really appreciated its Flaky option which allows you to synchronize your datas without “burning” too much band. When you are on a public PC you can also click on – load with offline disabled – button (on the below right corner) soon after the login window. Interesting!! AddThis  mp3 link

How to easily check HD health using a cross platform software: GSmartControl 0.8.3

GSmartControl is a multiplatform (Windows, OS X, Linux) freeware drive health inspection tool which is very useful in all that case when you think something is not working perfectly on your HD. Today, in our Linux Page (in Spanish) we have posted a brief comment about this software which basically is the graphical user interface for smartct. The program is very intuitive and easy to use; it automatically detects all your internal HDs (with some external USB disks we had some problems because they were detected as unknown) and let you decide if you want to activate the SMART feature. This particular feature let you “predict certain kinds of failures with certain chance of success” so you have a better chance to avoid HD crashes and all the consequent data loss. If you prefer, clicking on the “Enable Auto Offline Data Collection” the HDs will be tested every four hours without impacting your CPU performance. I would like to focus your attention that GSmartControl is very well developed and it is possible to download many “personalized” versions for all the main Linux distributions, OS X and Windows. Last but not least, do not forget that SMART could predict some HD crashes but it is not 100% safe; for this reason we strongly recommend you to backup your PCs, at least every week! AddThis mp3 link

Instantbird: the best cross platform and multi-protocol instant messaging client on the market now!

This week, in our Linux Page (in Spanish) we have posted a brief post about Instantbird which could be actually considered as the most complete and flexible software to manage all your instant messenger client you normally use (IRC, ICQ, AIM, SIMPLE, SILC, YAHOO, MySpaceIM, XMPP, Sametime, Google, etc..). Moreover Instantbird is completely free, open source and cross platform so you can use it on every PC you have (also at work). We have tested Istantbird for a couple of weeks, without stressing it too much, and we really did not find any bugs so we are really satisfied from the results. Frankly speaking, this software does not contain any “revolutionary” new feature but it can be considered as the state of the art software in its category; something everyone has to benchmark if he (or she) is planning to develop a new instant messaging client! Recommended! AddThis mp3 link