Order Dell backup Windows and Driver CDs

If you have a Dell computer, you can order 1 (one) copy of your Windows and Driver CDs using the following form.
[1] Dell “Request Backup Discs” form
https://support.dell.com/support/topics/global.aspx/support/dellcare/en/backupcd_form
[2] Reinstall Options
The different reinstall options (System Restore, PC Restore, Manual Restore) are available here:
http://tinyurl.com/restore-reinstall-windows
[3] PC Restore
Note that most newer Dell computers come with feature called “Dell PC Restore”. You can restore the original configuration of your computer from an unmounted partition on the hard drive. Do not forget to BACK UP all your data before you use this option. Details below:
http://tinyurl.com/yph34j
I started getting blue screens on my Dell XPS M1330 yesterday. I spent half a day trying to restore and repair my Windows installation. But I was not able to fix the problem. I could not use the “Dell PC Restore” option because I had not backed up my data yet. I finally fixed the problem by inserting the Windows Vista disc and then choosing the “Repair” option (instead of the “Install” option). That fixed my problems. I then quickly backed up all my important data.

How to scroll left and right on a Blackberry 8703e

To scroll left and right on the Blackberry 8703e, press ALT and the scroll key at the same time. Stop pressing the ALT key when want to scroll up and down.
Note: Not able to scroll left and right would drive me crazy. Couple of months back, I found out the ALT method. Today, I was talking to some other Blackberry users and they did not know about the ALT method. So, I decided to post this to share with others. If this is useful to you, then my time was well spent 🙂
Blackberry 8703e - click to enlarge (372 kb).
Image courtesy: Blackberry 8703e Getting Started Guide. www.blackberry.com
More info:
http://forums.crackberry.com/f34/scroll-left-right-2528/
http://na.blackberry.com/eng/devices/device-detail.jsp?navId=H0,C63,P204

Sort your Firefox bookmarks

I love Firefox. But there are a couple of quirks about it which drive me crazy. One of them is not being able to sort your bookmarks easily, especially in the toolbar, which I use a lot.
I searched a bit and this appears to be the best option at this point:
– Install the “SortPlaces” add-on: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/9275
Note: Since this is an experimental add-on, it requires you to sign up and login to download the add-on. Also see www.andyhalford.com/sortplaces/ to learn more about this add-on.
I just tried and this works great. After installing the add-on, it appears as a “Sort Bookmarks” button under the Bookmarks tab..
There also seems to be a way to sort the bookmarks through the Bookmarks Manager. I have not tried it yet. But if you would like to try it out, check out the link below.
http://mozilla.gunnars.net/firefox_bookmarks_tutorial.html

StanaCard Calling Card – direct dial and get up to $10 bonus

 

Sign up for StanaCard and get up to $10 bonus: http://www.stanacard.com/?ref=329173

I recently came to know about StanaCard. The idea is awesome, seriously. It allows you to call international numbers which are mapped to a US number. You can map multiple US numbers to call multiple international numbers. I have been using RelianceIndiaCall for some time. In RelianceIndiaCall, you can set it up such that you dial the access number and then dial a shortcut key. So, if you program the access number as a speed dial on your phone, you have to press 2 keys to call. But that is still two steps. In StanaCard, you can dial an international number in just one step. Things could not be simpler than that!
I signed up for StanaCard through a friend’s referral. I signed up for $10 (the max initial charge), and I got $10 bonus and my friend got $10 too.
You can sign up for StanaCard by clicking the link below. You will get your initial charge ($5 or $10) as a bonus. So, if your initial charge is $10, you will get $20 of talk time.
Sign up for StanaCard and get up to $10 bonus: http://www.stanacard.com/?ref=329173
Please note that signing up using the link above will also provide me a referral bonus equal to your initial charge amount :). However, if you wish to sign up without providing me a referral bonus, you can go directly to the StanaCard website by typing www.stanacard.com into your browser. Once you sign up, you can refer your friends through the website or by sending them a link (like the one above) and earn referral bonuses.
I tried today and it works great. Call quality was good and the rates are great – 4.47 cents per minute to cell phones in India. However, they do note on their website that these lower rates are valid only till March 31, 2009. So, my guess is that they will increase their rates after March 21, 2009.

Roku Netflix Player

2/4/2009: The Roku Netflix Digital Video Player is a $99 device which can be used to stream movies directly from Netflix to your TV. Netflix has 12,000+ movies available for watching online, or stream via Roku. I have tried the Netflix online streaming of movies and it works great. The only drawback is that the collection of movies available online is limited and there are not a lot of new releases. But I feel it is still a good deal because it has a flat fee ($8.99 per month for 1 DVD by mail and unlimited movies online) for unlimited online movies and does not have a per movie fee like Amazon Unbox and Blockbuster Online.
www.roku.com/netflixplayer/
www.netflix.com/NetflixReadyDevices

“Streams Netflix Watch Now titles to your TV; affordable $100 price tag; unlimited viewing with no additional charge beyond standard ($8.95 or higher) monthly Netflix fee; PC-free movie watching; simple setup; includes built-in wired and 802.11g Wi-Fi networking; works with all TVs; upgradeable firmware allows for new features, interface improvements, and bug fixes.”
Courtesy: CNET

XCOPY – copy entire directories in MS-DOS

To copy entire directories in MS-DOS, use the XCOPY command. For example, the following command
XCOPY c:\photos d:\ /s /e /c /h
will copy the “photos” directory from C drive to D drive. The nice part about the “/c” option is that it will keep copying the files even if some of them are corrupted. Please see the links below for detailed information about the options:
Microsoft TechNet
Wikipedia
The reason I searched for the XCOPY command is that I was backing up files from one network drive to another. And I realized that using the Windows based copy command was cumbersome because several of the files I was copying were corrupted. As a result, I was having to manually examine which files were not copied and copy them again. This was consuming a lot of time for me. The XCOPY syntax given above worked like a breeze. It copied the entire folder and ignored the files which were corrupted. In Unix/Linux, you would achieve the same by using the “cp -ap” command. More Unix/Linux commands are here.

Restoring .eml files to open with Outlook Express

I had installed Windows Live Mail Desktop and it took over my .eml files. To make the .eml files open with Outlook Express (my original setting), I chose the “Open With” option and chose Outlook Express. However, whenever I clicked the .eml files, Outlook Express was launched (or the window became active if it was already open), but the message itself was not opening. I finally fixed the problem by using the following steps:
1. My Computer > Tools > Folder Options > File Types
2. Registered File Types > EML
3. Click on “Restore” button
A detailed explanation of the solution is at:
Microsoft KB 312355 – OLEXP: Unable to Open EML File Attachments in Outlook Express
I used the second option given on the page above, but changed steps 4,5,6 to step 3 above. Also, the “msimn /reg” option (i.e. the first option) did not work for me.

D-Link DWL G-122 Wireless USB Adapter

I just bought the D-Link DWL G-122. It is not true plug and play for Windows. Windows Xp asked me for the driver when I plugged it in. But as soon as I inserted the CD, it installed nicely and started working. Great speed (802.11g – 54 mbps) and it instantly caught my wireless network. So far so good.
D-Link DWL G-122 Wireless USB Adapter - click to enlarge (9 kb).
I would definitely recommend it for desktops (I am using it for my desktop which is not in the same room as the router and I did not want to run a long ethernet cable) and for laptops (if your existing wireless card does not catch signals properly).
I got it for $10.94 from Buy.com with free shipping (after $10 mail in rebate and $10 instant rebate for using Google checkout). The list price is $59.99.
Buy.com ($10.94 as of 11/13/2006)
Amazon ($19.99 after rebate)
D-Link product page