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Monthly Archives: March 2010

Online File Sharing Services

When you want to share a file with others but don’t want to hassle with email attachment limits or running a home server, use a fast online file sharing service. Here is a collection of some online file sharing services:

Megaupload

Megaupload, like other popular file sharing tools, has three options of service. You can share files with no sign up at all, they will be limited to 500MB in size, have a 45 second splash page when downloaded, and be given lower priority in the server queue. Signing up for a free account boosts your priority in the queue, raises your maximum file size limit to 2GB, and gives you 200GB of online storage.. for free!!. Premium accounts give you unlimited storage, unlimited file size, remove the wait time for downloading, and enable a host of features like batch downloading, password protection for files, and support for FTP and direct HTTP linking.

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MediaFire

MediaFire offers multiple options of file sharing. At the basic option you can upload as many files as you want, limited by a 200MB cap per file. Free accounts will hold files for 30 day from the last time they were downloaded. Premium accounts start at $7 a month and boost the file capacity to 2GB per file, enable site-to-site transfer to your MediaFire account, enable embeddable Dropbox folders, and offer direct file linking—no MediaFire splash page when you share a link to a file. The folder-based organization of MediaFire makes it simple to share entire batches of files with others, like project files or holiday pictures.

Dropbox

Dropbox got many users by combining online file sharing with local storage and synchronizing. You can use Dropbox exclusively as a web-based file sharing tool to upload and organize files in folders, easily sharing them with yourself or friends. Grabbing the Dropbox client, however, allows you to share any file from a folder on your computer. Files stored in a local Dropbox folder are automatically synchronized to Dropbox on the web—useful for all sorts of options like syncing your OneNote notebooks among computers or keeping your password keyrings up to date.

RapidShare

The RapidShare service has multiple layers of user accounts which can be quite confusing to a new user. Without signing up you can upload a single file of 200MB, and your file can then be downloaded up to 10 times—perfect for just sharing a file with a few friends. When you upload files, you’re offered the chance to set up a free “collector’s” account which gives you further options to store and organize your files. Collector’s accounts accumulate points, which you can convert into a premium account—but no clear explanation of the process is anywhere to be found on the RapidShare site. Purchasing a premium account boosts your storage to 20GB and raises your per-file-cap to 2GB.

Drop.io

The drop.io service is available in two options. The free service supports “file drops” which can consume up to 100MB storage. Premium services start at $19 a month and expand the available storage from 100MB to 10GB and up, depending on how much storage and how many drops you would like. Drop.io’s “file drops” are where it really stands out compared to other file-sharing services. File drops are active pools of files to which you can add batches of files, share with others, allow other people to add files and collaborate, and view the media directly from drop.io’s media viewer.

This options are no solution for you, contact us for other online file sharing solutions.

Windows 7 GodMode or a simple trick to get a useful Windows 7 folder

By creating a new folder in Windows 7 (On the desktop, within a folder or where ever you prefer it) and renaming it with a special text string at the end, you are able to have a single folder to do everything in your Windows 7 installation.

The trick will also work in Windows Vista, but be warned, that although it works fine in 32-bit versions of Vista, it will cause 64-bit versions of that operating system to crash.

To get to the “GodMode” you need only create a new folder and then rename the folder to the following:

GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}

You can use whatever name you want instead of “GodMode” you also could use “Widgets” or “Secret Tools” etc.

Once that is done, the folder’s icon will change to resemble a control panel and will contain dozens of control options. It is a handy way to get to all kinds of controls.

It is even possible to create separate topic folders:

RegionSettings.{00C6D95F-329C-409a-81D7-C46C66EA7F33}
Fingerprint.{0142e4d0-fb7a-11dc-ba4a-000ffe7ab428}
PowerSettings.{025A5937-A6BE-4686-A844-36FE4BEC8B6D}
Tray.{05d7b0f4-2121-4eff-bf6b-ed3f69b894d9}
Credentials.{1206F5F1-0569-412C-8FEC-3204630DFB70}
NetworkInstall.{15eae92e-f17a-4431-9f28-805e482dafd4}
DefaultPrograms.{17cd9488-1228-4b2f-88ce-4298e93e0966}
WindowsAssembly.{1D2680C9-0E2A-469d-B787-065558BC7D43}
ManageWirelessNetworks.{1FA9085F-25A2-489B-85D4-86326EEDCD87}
Network.{208D2C60-3AEA-1069-A2D7-08002B30309D}
Computer.{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}
Printers.{2227A280-3AEA-1069-A2DE-08002B30309D}
RDP.{241D7C96-F8BF-4F85-B01F-E2B043341A4B}
Firewall.{4026492F-2F69-46B8-B9BF-5654FC07E423}
Nothing: {62D8ED13-C9D0-4CE8-A914-47DD628FB1B0}
Performance.{78F3955E-3B90-4184-BD14-5397C15F1EFC}

How to run a Windows or Linux OS on a Mac OS X

If you want to switch from a PC to a Mac, consider this:

There are lot’s of ways you can virtualize Windows within OS X, and they all work very well.

But how to choose the right one?

There are three virtualization products for Mac, and at their core, they are all very similar. Each creates a virtual machine, which is to say a software implementation of a separate computer.

When you install Windows in a virtual machine, Windows thinks it’s installed on a PC with a generic set of hardware. In fact, the hardware it thinks it’s installed on is a software construct, and any time Windows utilizes what it thinks is a hardware component, its requests are actually being passed through to your Mac’s real hardware.

However! What is going on under the hood is basically similar among the most popular virtualization applications, but the ways they install, run and integrate Windows inside of OS X vary wildly.

Assuming you are ready to take the virtualization challenge, which application should you use?

  • Parallels?
  • VMWare Fusion?
  • Sun VirtualBox?

They are all different, but they have ended up falling out of direct competition… each one is right for a certain kind of user.

Let’s find out which one  is right for you?
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Do you…

• …want to run Windows 7 within OS X, and basically nothing else?
• …want to run Windows applications as if they’re part of OS X, visually and behaviorally?
• …think a virtual machine should integrate into OS X almost completely, rather than live
…..inside its own window?
• …want to play 3D games in your virtual machine?

Then Parallels is the right solution!

This is a paid solution, and while it’s a full virtualization suite—you can run Linux and other OS from within OS X as well, it’s the one solution most purely dedicated to making running Windows 7 as seamless as possible. Installation is almost completely hands off, and once you have got it up and running, it can actually be changed to look more like OS X.

This has the dual effect of making the OS look more natural when it’s running in windowed mode (where the OS is isolated to its own window, like an application), and making the so called “Crystal” mode, which lets you run Windows applications as their own windows in OS X, and which integrates Windows menus into Apple’s operating system, such that it’s barely even clear that you’re not running native applications.

Parallels strength is in how thorough it is in trying to make Windows integration seamless. Windows 7’s system wide transparency effects, powered by Aero, work fine out of the box with Parallels.

You can enable OS X’s multi touch touch pad gestures for MacBooks in the OS with a simple options menu; pulling an installation over from a Boot Camp partition is just a matter of walking through a wizard; sharing files and clipboard items between the OS installations is trivially easy.

DirectX support is legitimately good enough to actually run a game without terrible performance degradation.

Parallels cost’s US $80.

Then, in features beyond Windows integration: There are not a whole lot of appliances preconfigured packages that let you install other operating systems, like variations of Linux, as compared to VMWare Fusion, and there are stability issues.

If you’ve got a handful of Windows applications you can’t live without, or if you want to play recent games without booting into a separate partition, Parallels is a option.
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Do you…

• …want to experiment with more than Windows
• …need bulletproof performance with Windows
• …want to run Windows and Linux applications as if they are part of OS X?

Then VMWare Fusion is the right solution!

VMWare’s virtualization software is a reliable option no matter what you want to do. The way it integrates Windows into OS X is transparent, but not quite as aesthetically consistent as Parallels.

Gaming performance is not as strong as in Parallels, though 2D rendering like Windows 7’s Aero—runs a bit smoother in Fusion than in any other solution. As with Parallels, Fusion automates the Windows installation process to a degree, and makes importing a Boot Camp installation simple.

VMWare is a very solid virtualisation solution, and for most tasks like cross platform website testing, running Windows versions of Microsoft office, or syncing with a Windows only device like the Zune HD, it will not let you down.

Professionals will find a huge library of preconfigured appliances, so they can try out virtually any operating system they have ever heard of, as long as it’s freely available, with little more than a file download and double click.

VMWare Fusion costs $80.
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Do you…

• …need Windows emulation
• …don’t want to pay anything for your virtualization software
• …don’t want to do any serious gaming
• …don’t mind rougher integration of Windows into OS X

Take a look at Sun VirtualBox!

While the other two options before are paid, and not really cheap, VirtualBox is totally free.

This means that, if you have got a spare Windows license, you can install Windows to run within OS X without spending extra money, and without suffering too much of an inconvenience as compared to VMWare or Parallels.

VirtualBox doesn’t have the same level of DirectX support as Parallels or Fusion, so while gaming is theoretically possible, it is probably not worth your time.

There is a “Seamless” mode for minimizing the Windows desktop and running Windows applications as if they are native OS X application’s, but it is neither as seamless nor visually integrated as in Parallels or VMWare Fusion.

But these are minor complaints. If all you want to do is run the normal Windows applications, try virtualization or configure or access some Windows specific peripherals, VirtualBox will get the job done.

It is not looking that nice as its paid competitors, but the point is, we are virtualizing an operating system.

All solutions are by definition going to be less than perfect. VirtualBox will do approximately 80% of what Parallels or VMWare Fusion can do, in terms of running Windows applications or booting into alternative operating systems, at 0% of the cost.
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If you need more help and advise in using a virtual solution on a Mac or PC, please do not hesitate to contact us and make an appointment.