Screen capture from video / movies / DVDs on Windows

Many of us have tried to print screen from a video and later found out that the video part is black. Programs like PowerDVD and SnagIT have a screen capture option. However, if you do not have access to a screen capture software, the following method works by changing some settings in Windows Media Player.

4. Don’t use Overlay
1. Open your Window Media Player and click Options on the Tools menu.
2. On the Performance tab, click on the Advanced… button.
3. Uncheck Use overlays from DVD video, click OK and restart the player.
Now you can capture images from any movies played in Windows Media Player using Print Screen (PrintScrn) key (or ALT + PrintScrn key). Once copied, the image can be pasted into Microsoft Paint (Start > All Programs > Accessories > Paint) or other image editor. If you have problems taking screenshots from a playing movie try to pause it first, then “print” the image.

These and other methods are described in detail in the following blog post from Amit Agarwal. Very useful post indeed.


Brother MFC-7840W Wireless Laser Printer, and Amazon Short URLs

Brother MFC-7840W Wireless Laser Printer
Bought a Brother MFC-7840W All-In-One Wireless Laser Printer from NewEgg today for $219, no tax, free shipping. I feel it is a pretty good deal. I have been looking around for an All-In-One printer for some time. This one has a laser printer, a copier, a scanner, a fax; and has both wireless and ethernet networking capabilities.
Brother MFC-7840W – $219 on NewEgg:
Brother MFC-7840W Wireless Laser Printer - click to enlarge (177 kb).
Image Courtesy:
I had a basic HP inkjet printer but the ink always seemed to dry up before I could use the whole cartridge. And I have often felt the need to scan or print something at home. I don’t think I will be using the fax option that much though.
The printer is available for $249 at Amazon – It has pretty good reviews there.

Amazon Short URLs
Speaking about Amazon, I figured out a way to find the shortest possible Amazon URLs for a product. Of course, I can use or, but this is the shortest URL I could find using an official Amazon website.
In the example above, the original link was:
The standard shortened link is:
However, it can be made even shorter by using the domain name. The trick is to append the product id (in this case – “B0016ZQ566“) after ““.
More info about the short URL service:


Good free FTP/SFTP server for Windows – Core FTP / SFTP Server

If you would like to install a free but good FTP/SFTP server for Windows, CoreFTP secure FTP server is a good one. This is useful for transferring files between computers or to act as a standalone FTP/SFTP server.
CoreFTP secure FTP server :
Tip: For faster downloads, use the CoreFTP Lite client which is also free.
I also tested freeSSHd which is open source. However, the transfer speed was very low – only about 35 kbps on an intranet. On CoreFTP however, I got around 600kbps between two computers on an intranet.

Importing waypoints from Garmin 650 GPS

You can import your waypoints from the Garmin 650 GPS using Google Earth.
Import GPS waypoints using Google Earth - click to enlarge (24 kb).
[1] Connect your Garmin 650 GPS to your computer via the USB cable
[2] Turn on your Garmin 650 GPS
[3] Go to Tools > GPS in Google Earth
[4] Click on “Garmin”
[5] Click the “Import” button
Detailed instructions:
Waypoints current.gpx file
Note: The waypoints are stored in a current.gpx file. The location is F:\Garmin\gpx\current.gpx. In this case, the GPS shows up on my computer as the “F” drive. It is an XML file and you can read it using Notepad/Wordpad or drag/drop into Google Earth.
GPS coordinates in Google Maps
If you know want to send a GPS coordinate link in Google Maps by email, you can use the following syntax.,-77.03655
In this case, 38.89767 is the longitude and -77.03655 is the latitude. This is similar to entering 38.89767,-77.03655 in Google Maps.

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
[2] Reinstall Options
The different reinstall options (System Restore, PC Restore, Manual Restore) are available here:
[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:
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.
More info:,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:
Note: Since this is an experimental add-on, it requires you to sign up and login to download the add-on. Also see 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.

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


Sign up for StanaCard and get up to $10 bonus:

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:
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 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.

“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
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.