Category Archives: Utilities

SAVE YOUR PRECIOUS TYPING TIME AND REDUCE REPETITIVE STRAIN INJURY USING AUTOKEY UNDER LINUX


Did you remember my post about PhraseExpress and PhraseExpander? These software are running under Windows OS and they are very helpful automation software. But, what about in Linux? Does Linux have similar application?

Of course! Any superb Windows application always has its Linux version. They are not literally the same applications because mostly, they come from different developer and different “shape” (read: different user interface). But they are pretty helpful to habituate the newly migrated Windows user so that they fell “like at home”.

For the Linux version of PhraseExpress and PhraseExpander, we have Autokey. The basic concept is just the same: you create the most-used words/phrases list, assign the abbreviation text as a trigger, and done. Read the rest of this entry

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NRG to ISO: SMALL UTILITY TO CONVERT NERO IMAGE FILE TO ISO STANDARD IMAGE FILE


NRG to ISO

It’s quite rare for me to have a deal with image files conversion, except creating or burning image files. And yesterday, I needed to convert an NRG (Nero image file) into ISO. It was so confusing since many applications found on internet are proprietary and only offer conversion in limited file size in its trial mode.

Luckily, after a short search, I found NRG to ISO a free and small portable application from www.nrgtoiso.com.  Nothing I can say about this application. It’s only 718 KB and do not need to be installed. Its single interface is also very simple and doesn’t have confusing parameters.

This is a small free utility tool, specifically designed to Nero’s NRG image format to standard ISO format. Software will automatically determine whether nrg file is the ISO 9660 image format.

The NRG to ISO conversion step is very easy and fast. You only need to open the NRG file and click on “Convert” button. The output will be placed in the same original NRG file directory. The process also won’t consume high PC resources.

Because image file conversion might not a daily need—especially from NRG to ISO—so you can keep NRG to ISO application for a future use. To download this tiny tool, please visit its official site: www.nrgtoiso.com or http://www.softpedia.com/get/CD-DVD-Tools/Virtual-CD-DVD-Rom/NRG-to-ISO.shtml.

FREE EXCEL PASSWORD REMOVER


Have you ever met one or all of these conditions below?

  • You got an Excel file but you couldn’t modify the cells’ value or the whole of its content?
  • You got an Excel file but you couldn’t see any header (rows and column address)?
  • You got an Excel file but you couldn’t access some menus or features on the ribbon / toolbar?
  • You got an Excel file but you couldn’t set the printing parameters such as the printing area, margins, repeated row or column, etc.?

It must be so annoying, right? And, actually, how could this happen? Yeah, you got a protected Excel file! And then, how to unlock its protection? Here is the way out:

For almost 2 years recently, I always use Excel Password Remover to remove any protection within the sheet or workbook of protected Excel files. This password remover is actually a macro file that needs to be loaded to your Excel every time you want to unlock your files. It will appear as an add-in in your application.

Excel password remover in brief….

Excel password remover is a tiny macro file from Straxx. Basically, it’s a free stuff, but will be cost $26 for the pro version which can open sheet and workbook protection at once.

This program removes the password protection applied by the “Protect sheet” and “Protect workbook” commands in Excel (i.e. enables you to edit the workbook even if you have forgotten your password). It will remove passwords of any length, also passwords containing special characters.

NB! This program can’t remove file protection, i.e. if you are asked for a password when opening your workbook, this program won’t help you.

For the pro version, you will get benefits as follow:

  • The password is displayed (a password that works, but most probably not the original one)
  • One command removal of all sheet and workbook structure protection passwords in the active workbook
  • No annoying pop-up when you start Excel with Password Remover PRO
  • No expiration date. (The free version must be upgraded at the end of each year)
  • Removal of sharing password (on demand only)
  • Legal for business users

How to use it

To use this tiny tool, we just need to open the <.xlam> file from Excel. This will make you get a warning like this:

excel password remover

Just click on Enable Macros button and you will get new menu on your ribbon like this:

excel password remover

After this menu appears, you can then open your protected file. Click on Unprotect sheet or Unprotect workbook depends on your need. It usually takes a few second to open the protection and then you can directly edit your workbook’s contents.

So easy, isn’t it?

Why don’t you try it by yourselves?

It’s totally worth to try, because it’s very useful stuff that we will need. I always use it to help my friends who want to edit their protected Excel files from their office before they print them all. It’s true that it’s really annoying to load the <.xlam> files every time I need to open the protection, but it only costs seconds to do it. And moreover, it’s free. Its function makes it greater than the effort to load it. Trust me.

BITDEFENDER INTERNET SECURITY 2014 AND BITDEFENDER TOTAL SECURITY 2014 REVIEW


Bitdefender UI

Who don’t know “Bitdefender”? An antivirus program that mostly sits on the first position of best antivirus reviews. The #1 antivirus that wins every awards. The #1 antivirus with great features and tools. No doubt at all to run it on our system to protect our daily computing.

The price is always a “relative” matter. It’s true. You can say that an antivirus program is “cheap”—although it’s priced hundred of Dollars or Euros—but rich of usable functions and give maximum protection and good services from technical support team. On the contrary, a program will remain “expensive”—although it’s priced 20 or 30 Dollars—if it’s only burden your system, lack of potential features, too many pop-ups, etc. Bitdefender is “literally” very expensive for me since I never have special budget for an antivirus program. But luckily, I “won” 9 Free Months of Bitdefender Internet Security—a giveaway program from Bitdefender and Softpedia, and I also got 6 month of Bitdefender Total Security free use from the same program last October. So I tested them and here is my short conclusion about Bitdefender Internet Security 2014 and Bitdefender Total Security 2014 (later, I just call them as “BDIS” and “BDTS”). Read the rest of this entry

PORTABLELINUXAPPS.ORG: PORTABLE APPLICATION SET FOR LINUX


After a review about PortableApps.com for Windows, here I come again with a review about portable application set, now for Linux.

The name is so similar to the one I reviewed before: PortableLinuxApps.org. But, unlike the PortableApps.com, PortableLinuxApps.org doesn’t give us a managed launcher that looks like a start menu. The applications provided by PortableLinuxApps.org are stand-alone and come in <.bin> file format. They can be executed directly from the directory where they are saved.

How to run portable applications in Linux

  • Visit PortableLinuxApps.org to download your favorite application(s) and save to your preferred directory or USB flash-disk. Choose the 32-bit or 64-bit version as you need.
  • After you download the application(s), in your terminal, cd to the directory of your downloaded application(s). Use “root mode” (sudo su, su, etc.) if necessary. By the way, I’m running PCLinuxOS where I can access the integrated terminal directly right from my Dolphin (file manager). If you are running a different distribution, it’s better for you to find out the information, whether your file manager support an integrated terminal or not. Click the image below to enlarge.

PortableLinuxApps1

  • Ensure that the files you downloaded are in <.bin> file format and has no space in the name. If you find the file format is not <.bin>, rename the file name into: bin, name-of-application.bin, name_of_application.bin, etc.
  • Type command: chmod a+x name_of_apps.bin to change the access rights and type ./name_of_apps.bin to execute the application.
  • Such that simple.

How to create your own portable applications in Linux

Although PortableLinuxApps.org provides almost all portable Linux applications as a ready-to-use application, for some reasons, we might want to create our own applications collection. And for Linux users, luckily, it’s so easy and almost cost nothing (except the bill of internet connection, of course).

As a basic guide to create your own portable application, please watch the following video:

Notes:

  • To create a portable application, you will need AppDirAssistant and AppImageAssistant. So, if your Linux distribution doesn’t have them in its software center, you can download the portable version and run them manually from http://sourceforge.net/projects/portable/files/  (for 32-bit Linux) or http://sourceforge.net/projects/portable/files/64bit/ (for 64-bit Linux).
  • To create a portable application, it’s better for you to not start it from a very updated operating system since the application package (including the dependencies in it) may not compatible in other older distribution. If you have a very updated operating system, you may get the following warning (click the image below to enlarge):

PortableLinuxApps2

What are the good things

Portable applications are always a good thing since they make us able to do any work, anywhere and anytime—borderless. They are tiny applications that won’t spend our disk space. Their portability and their file format are supported (recognized) by all Linux distributions, so we will never be worried about unable to run an application in a various Linux distribution.

What are the bad things

Just the same as other Linux applications, to run or to install or to create a package of a particular application, sometimes we still rely on “typing a command” feature. For a Linux newbie, it might be pretty hard to understand and remember the commands sequence. But for me, nothing too hard if we want to keep learning :).

But, the problem above is a “tradition” on Linux. The only part of PortableLinuxApps.org I quite “hate” is that there is no Help/Contact/Forum page on the web site. Whenever a newbie like me need help, nobody can help, except asking someone from other forums. That’s all.

Conclusions

Just the same as the package for the Windows version, PortableLinuxApps.org also comes to meet our daily mobile computing under major Linux operating system, so it’s crucial to have them in our removable media (USB flash-disk, portable hard-drive, etc.).