Miro 2.5 Improves Speed & Performance for Windows, Linux, and Mac Versions

If you’re looking for a free and easy to use desktop application for managing online audio & video content, it’s worth checking out the newest version of Miro. The last time we looked at the Open Source video player and podcast client was just under a year ago and they have since improved it a lot.
Using Miro 2.5
When installing you can choose Easy or Custom installation where the biggest difference is being able to select which files to associate with Miro with a custom install.

After installation is complete you get a First Time Setup Wizard where you setup how it will work with video downloads and content.

If you have used previous versions the first thing you will notice is a more slick user interface that loads a lot faster.

The video player has a nice refined look and includes a pop-in or out options when watching.

It allows you to download videos from YouTube, Torrents, Music Blogs, and other video download sites. To download content from YouTube you first need to create a link on the sidebar by clicking Sidebar and New Site.

Type in the URL for YouTube and click OK.

Now that it is included in the sidebar when you watch videos on YouTube there will be a Download this video button at the top of the browser.

This newest version of Miro is much faster, supports more ways to download content, and a new audio podcast category.

While it is not perfect yet…version 2.5 is definitely a great improvement over the previous versions and worth checking out. Miro is a cross platform app that will work on Windows, OS X, Ubuntu and other distributions of Linux.

Download Miro for Windows, Mac, or Linux

AbiWord is a Free Word Processor for Windows, Linux, and Mac

Sometimes you need a word processing application but not an entire office suite. Today we take a look at AbiWord which is a free word processor for all three major OS platforms.
Using AbiWord
During installation make sure to associate it with doc and RTF files if you want to be able to open up Word documents from others. From here you can also scroll down in the components window and select from several language dictionaries.

The layout is similar to other word processing apps and is easy to use.

You can set up extra toolbars for easier editing and document creation.

AbiWord is multi-platform and here is an example of it running in Ubuntu Linux.

A cool thing about AbiWord is there are several plugins available to increase its functionality. Get the Importer / Exporter plugin pack to Install Microsoft Office Open XML which allows you to open up DOCX files.

In the Tools plugin pack you can add several features to help in document creation and research.

If you want to create documents quickly turn to the included templates.

For example this is what the employee directory template looks like.

AbiWord is a good solution if you need a word processing program, but don’t need an entire suite. It is light on system resources and with the plugins, has plenty of options for creating quality documents. It will save to several different types of document formats as well, which makes interchanging with MS Word or Open Office easy. It is also available in a portable version which is perfect for netbooks.
Download AbiWord for Windows, Mac, or Linux

Dropbox Desktop Client 1.0.0 RC for Windows, Linux, and Mac Released

If you are using the stable version of the Dropbox desktop client and have been looking forward to the new features (and bug fixes for the 0.8.x releases), then your wait is over. Now you can dig into and enjoy wonderful Selective Folder Syncing goodness with the new 1.0.0 release candidate.
Note: If you have already been using the 0.8.x releases there will be little difference between what you already have and the new release candidate. This release is geared more towards those using the older stable versions and waiting for all the great new features such as Selective Folder Syncing.
As you can see in the screenshot above, all that you need to do to access Selective Syncing is go to the Advanced Settings tab and open the Selective Sync window. Simply select or deselect folders as desired and click Update. Nice and easy…
Important note from the blog post concerning the RC on Linux & Macs:
We have found a bug when upgrading from 0.7.110 to 1.0.0 on OSX and Linux. Please do not install this version if you are currently running 0.7.110 and are on those platforms. If you already have and are having issues please see the bottom note for a potential workaround. (Included in next paragraph for your benefit.)
There have been reports of issues when upgrading from 0.7.110 to 1.0.0 on OSX. If after you upgrade you get a permissions error box or the menu doesn’t show, kill the dropbox process if it’s running. You then have two choices. Install 0.7.110 and wait for the next release candidate (recommended), or delete all the files in ~/.dropbox and go through the installation wizard again, (Make sure to point Dropbox at your current Dropbox location and that it asks you to merge).
Here are the direct file download links from the blog post:

  • Windows: http://dl-web.dropbox.com/u/17/Dropbox%201.0.0.exe
  • Linux x86: http://dl-web.dropbox.com/u/17/dropbox-lnx.x86-1.0.0.tar.gz
  • Linux x86_64: http://dl-web.dropbox.com/u/17/dropbox-lnx.x86_64-1.0.0.tar.gz
  • Mac OS X: http://dl-web.dropbox.com/u/17/Dropbox%201.0.0.dmg

For full details about the release candidate and bug fixes visit the blog post linked below.
(12/03) – Release Candidate – 1.0.0 [Dropbox Forums]

The Best Free Text Editors for Windows, Linux, and Mac

We all use text editors to take notes, save web addresses, write code, as well as other uses. Every operating system comes with a default, basic text editor, but most of us install our own enhanced text editors to get more features.
In this article, we’ve gathered links to many different text editors used for different purposes. You can use text editors for basic text editing and taking notes, writing programming code, producing LaTeX documents, writing a book, among many other uses.


Notepad and WordPad Replacements

Are you looking for more capabilities than the default Notepad in Windows? Would you rather use a graphical text editor in Linux, rather than the built-in vi? There are many options for useful text editors out there.
Some employ a tabbed interface, such as Jarte (which is based on the WordPad word processing engine and integrates easily with WordWeb), EditPad Lite (which also has the automatic backup), and Notetab Light (which can also calculate the value of mathematical expressions entered in the program). Jarte, EditPad Lite, and Notetab Light are all only available for Windows. Jarte is also available as a portable program.
Typically, Vi is the default text editor in Linux operating systems and it’s a keyboard intensive program with no graphical user interface (GUI). A good text editor for Windows that has hotkeys available for its 312 text-processing functions, innovative features, and timesaving tools is TED Notepad, which is also available as a portable program. Emacs is also available for both Windows and Linux, and is customizable. It also includes a file compare utility and a file manager. You can also add Org-mode to Emacs, which is a personal information management and outlining tool. If you prefer text editors with GUIs, Vim and gEdit are both good options and are available. Vim is essentially the graphical version of Vi. For help editing text files in Vi or Vim, see our Beginner’s Guide.
GetDiz is a Notepad replacement for Windows that allows you to edit many text files quickly from within Windows Explorer and has enhanced functionality for dealing with DIZ and NFO files. It can also display ASCII art correctly. Another ASCII text formatter for Windows is TextMorph, which can also convert text to and from HTML and clean up emails (remove all the “>” symbols, etc.), and search and replace by words or multiple paragraphs.

Programmer’s Text Editors

There are many text editors that provide useful functionality for programmers. Most support syntax highlighting for many programming languages, multiple document editing, and are extendable with plugins. Some also allow editing of remote files through FTP.
PSPad not only supports syntax highlighting, but also matching bracket highlighting for most popular programming languages. It also has a hex editor, macro recorder, and a differencing tool. PSPad also easily integrates with the free version of the TopStyle CSS editor. Notepad++ also supports bracket highlighting and macro recording. It also supports syntax folding and is highly customizable through plugins using the included plugin manager. Both PSPad and Notepad++ are only available for Windows.
The cross-platform (Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X) editor, jEdit, supports syntax highlighting for over 200 programming languages and auto indent, as well as a differencing utility, an FTP browser, and block selecting. It is also extendable using plugins and macros, and there are hundreds of plugins and macros available through the built-in plugin manager feature.
Programmer’s Notepad for Windows supports syntax highlighting using schemes, both built-in and user-defined, code folding and outlining, a tabbed interface with multi-level split views, and the ability to export to HTML (using CSS) and RTF.
If you like the Vi editor in Linux, but prefer a graphical editor that also serves well as a programmer’s text editor, Editra and Komodo Edit are good options. They both provide Vi emulation, as well as support for syntax highlighting in many programming languages and code folding. Editra has a tabbed interface, allows block (un)commenting and (un)indenting, and is extendable using the built-in plugin downloader/installer. Komodo Edit supports background syntax checking and contains a toolbox with shell command integration, macros, and code snippets. Both Editra and Komodo Edit are available for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X.
Other options include the following:

  • Crimson Editor – A very small editor for Windows containing a directory tree view window
  • Geany – A small and fast IDE for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X that supports code folding, code navigation, a build system, and a plugin interface
  • Notepad2 – A fast, light-weight text editor like Notepad for Windows with syntax highlighting and runs as a portable program

Microsoft Word Replacements

There are also free programs that act as replacements for Microsoft Word. They can be used as text editors, but they have more formatting features than simple text editors. You can add images and tables, change fonts and color, and insert hyperlinks.
AbiWord runs on Windows and Linux and can read and write OpenOffice.org documents, Microsoft Word documents, WordPerfect documents, Rich Text Format documents, and HTML web pages. It has advanced document layout options such as tables, bullets, numbered lists, images, styles, footnotes, and endnotes. It even has a Mail Merge utility like Microsoft Word. You can extend AbiWord with a variety of plugins, which can be selected when you install AbiWord. A portable version is also available that you can run from a USB flash drive.
Angel Writer is a small rich text editor for Windows with a high performance rate that allows you to easily create impressive documents.

Minimalist Text Editors

If you get distracted when you write by the plethora of features in text editors and word processors, you might want to try one of the so-called “minimalist” text editors out there. They are “no-frills” editors that either don’t offer any formatting features or many of the other features of modern word processors, and even third-party text editors, or the features are hidden until you want them. Without all the fancy features staring you in the face, you can concentrate on the task of writing. Below is a list of some of the minimalist text editors we found.

  • Dark Room– Available for Windows, requires .NET Framework 2.0, and is available as a portable program.
  • JDarkRoom– Available for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X
  • Q10– Available for Windows and as a portable program
  • CopyWriter– Available for Windows and as a portable program
  • WriteMonkey– Available for Windows and as a portable program
  • Bookwrite– Available for Windows and Linux
  • Scribes– Available for Linux
  • FocusWriter – Available for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X, and as a portable program for Windows

You can even download Word 5.5 from Microsoft for free and run it under DOSBox in Windows.
If you want a simple text editor with the ability to count down from a set word count, try yEdit2 for Windows. If you have to write a certain number of words, yEdit2 can make it easier.

Secure Text Editors

You can also use a text editor as secure place to store private information. There are several text editors that either include encryption as a feature or are specially designed for securely storing text. Notepad++, mentioned in the Programmer’s Text Editors section above, allows you to add encryption functionality using the SecurePad plugin, which is available through the Plugin Manager. SecurePad will encrypt selected text in the current document or the whole document.
Steganos LockNote is a small, simple method for securely storing chunks of information in files. For example, if you purchase a download-only program, you can use LockNote to store the product key or serial number that goes with that program in the same folder, so you always know where to find it.

  • CryptNote – Available for Windows and as a portable program
  • CryptoTE– Available for Windows and Linux, and as a portable program for Windows
  • NotepadCrypt– Available for Windows as a portable program
  • Xint– Available for Windows
  • f0dder’s fSekrit – Available for Windows and as a portable program

LaTeX Editors

Do you write a lot of scientific papers, documents, or books? If so, there are several text editors that allow you to easily use TeX/LaTeX (document markup language and document preparation system) through a graphical interface to create mathematical content and structured documents like academic articles, theses, and books.

  • LaTeX Editor (LEd)– Available for Windows and as a portable program
  • LyX– Available for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X
  • WinEdt– Available for Windows
  • TeXstudio– Available for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X and as a portable program on Windows and Mac OS X
  • Texmaker – Available for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X

Novel Writing Editor

There’s even an editor that’s meant for writing novels, called yWriter5, available for Windows and Linux. It breaks your novel into chapters and scenes, helping you to keep track of your work. However, yWriter5 does not suggest plot ideas, character names, or write any part of your novel for you. The creative task of writing is still up to you, yWriter5 just makes it easier.

One more text editor to mention is Nano in Linux, which is an easy-to-use text editor you run directly on the command line. Nano is installed by default in Ubuntu and many other Linux distros, and is easier to learn than Vi or emacs.

Week in Geek: New Cross-Platform Malware Targets Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X

This week’s edition of WIG is filled with news link goodness covering topics such as how the malware on Google Play went undiscovered for weeks, there may not be a full retail version of Windows 8 made available, interest in Windows 8 pre-releases has been lower than for Windows 7 pre-releases, and more.

Weekly News Links

  • Even (some) Mozilla devs don’t like Firefox’s rapid-release cycleMozilla’s move to a rapid release process has been controversial. The company basically switched from a “when it is done or necessary” approach to a release cycle that would see a new major version release of the browser every six weeks, regardless of new features, improvements, or fixes included in that release.
  • Firefox: Can this Web browser be saved?Usage is down, users are unhappy, and a former developer has no kind words for the once popular number two Web browser. Can we hope for a Firefox revival?
  • Firefox 15 debugger to go into beta next weekAmong the enhancements queued up by Mozilla in the next weeks for the new Firefox beta will be a new debugger for web applications.
  • Firefox plans to add a social APIThe Firefox team at Mozilla has published details of a planned new social API for the browser; it is currently being developed and should be included in development versions of the software soon.
  • Google puts Flash plugin in a more secure browser sandboxAs proven by the CanSecWest Pwn2Own hacks, the Flash Player plugin that ships with Google Chrome is a major weak spot that has been targeted by attackers. Not anymore.
  • Chrome 21 beta improves camera and microphone supportWith the latest beta release of Chrome, web applications can now directly access a local system’s camera and microphone. The new functionality has appeared with the publication of Chrome 21 in Chrome’s Beta Channel for testing.
  • Chrome to drop Mac OS X 10.5 supportThose with the 2007-era version of Apple’s operating system won’t be able to use a new version of Chrome due in three months. Also coming to the browser: support for Webcams and gamepads
  • How not using Internet Explorer put me out of touch and cost me dearlyIt’s never good to scare away your customers. It’s even worse if you don’t realize you’re doing it.
  • Interest in Pre-Release Versions Lower for Windows 8 than for Windows 7Windows 8, the next-generation operating system from Microsoft, is currently available in a pre-release flavor for people all around the world to take it for a spin for free. However, it appears that things have not work as planned for Windows 8, and that interest in the pre-release flavors of the operating system has been lower than for Windows 7.
  • Windows 8: The end of the full retail version?If Microsoft no longer sells full retail versions of Windows starting with Windows 8, as rumored, don’t expect many tears to be shed.
  • Windows 8 to RTM in August, go on sale in October, Microsoft confirmsWindows 8 will be released to manufacturing the first week of August, and the first PCs running the operating system will go on sale in late October, Microsoft confirmed today.
  • Windows 8 Mail leaves users pining for the desktop—or even their phonesMetro Mail has the skeleton of a good client, but hasn’t been fleshed out. When the Windows 8 Consumer Preview landed at the end of February, the Metro-style e-mail client seemed like one of the strongest tools among a sparse and limited set of applications.
  • Older 64-bit Macs out of the picture for Mountain LionWhile at first speculated as a limit for testing, Apple has officially said that older Macs will not be able to run its upcoming OS.
  • E17 developers set sights on an official releaseIt appears that a stable release of the E17 desktop interface may finally be on its way, despite having been beaten to release by Duke Nukem Forever.
  • Digsby IM/Email/Social app for Windows to be open sourcedThe developers of Digsby, an instant messaging, email and social networking application for Windows, have announced that they will be open sourcing the application.
  • Why Google Glass is the next frontier for developersGoogle Glass has the potential to succeed the Facebook Platform and the iOS App Store as the next great frontier for developers.
  • Microsoft vows hardware fight with AppleMicrosoft’s CEO did not mince words when asked about how he is going to take on Apple in the coming years, according to a CRN interview.
  • Will Google take to the streets with its own retail stores?Google is establishing some “zones” in Best Buy and a few other outlets, buy it may end up being compelled to follow Apple and Microsoft with a chain of retail stores worldwide.
  • How Google products go from creepy to coolIn the psychological evolution of Google products for people who rely on them every day, convenience regularly trumps privacy concerns. Are you cool with that?
  • Kogan.com No Longer Appears In Bing Search After IE 7 TaxRecently Australian online shopping portal Kogan.com started imposing an extra 6.8% tax on users who are using Internet Explorer 7 or below to make their purchases. Termed the “Internet Explorer Tax”, kogan.com hoped that this will force users to upgrade from the outdated browser and was applauded by many. There was a new twist this past Monday as Kogan.com has disappeared from the Microsoft owned Bing search results.

Security News

Image courtesy of F-Secure Weblog.

  • Cross-platform Trojan attacks Windows, Intel Macs, LinuxA second cross-platform Trojan downloader has been discovered that detects if you’re running Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux, and then downloads the corresponding malware for your platform. Unlike the first one, which supported PowerPC Macs, this one does Intel x86 Macs.
  • Tumblr haunted by stored (persistent) XSS flawTumblr users are sitting ducks for cookie theft, malicious site redirection and script execution attacks.
  • Warning: Don’t forget about meeting tomorrow (fake e-mail)If you receive an e-mail reminding you of a meeting tomorrow and asking you not to forget the corresponding report, which is convenient attached, make sure to ignore it. The attached file is not a report. It is malware.
  • Instagram vulnerability: Anyone can add you, see your photosA new security flaw has been discovered in Instagram that allows a perpetrator to add anyone as a friend and see their private photos and profile information. Facebook has been contacted. While we wait for an explanation and/or a fix, please be wary of what you upload to the service.
  • Malware went undiscovered for weeks on Google PlayBreaking the malware into separate, staged payloads allowed the Trojan’s authors to avoid detection by Google’s automated screening process.
  • Microsoft fix kills Windows Gadgets, warns it could lead to PC hijackMicrosoft has warned that a Gadgets feature included in Vista and later versions of Windows could allow attackers to hijack end-user machines and has taken the unusual step of issuing a temporary update that allows it to be completely disabled.
  • Microsoft kills more code-signing certs to stop Flame-like attacksMicrosoft has revoked more than two dozen digital certificates used to prove its wares are genuine after discovering some of them could be subject to the same types of attacks orchestrated by the designers of the Flame espionage malware.
  • Defects leave critical military, industrial infrastructure open to hacksSecurity researchers have blown the whistle on serious vulnerabilities in an Internet-connected system used by the US military, hospitals, and private industry to control boilers, air-conditioners, security alarms, and other critical industrial equipment.
  • Former Pentagon analyst: China has backdoors to 80% of telecomsA former Pentagon analyst reports the Chinese government has “pervasive access” to about 80 percent of the world’s communications, and it is looking currently to nail down the remaining 20 percent. Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE Corporation are reportedly to blame for the industrial espionage.
  • Android malware’s dirty secret: Repackaging of legit appsSecurity researchers at North Carolina State University believe Google should invest in repackaging detection to get a handle on malware targeting the Android platform.
  • Nation-state hackers attack small businesses, tooSmall businesses have their hands full these days in light of a down economy, tightening budgets and the steepening pace of business, but with nation-state hacks front and center in the threatscape, should you worry about those, too, or are you (and your customers) safe?
  • Smart TVs new Web threat frontierLack of security measures such as antivirus and intrusion detection system means Internet-connected TVs susceptible to online scams and bot campaigns too, security watchers warn.
  • Will your Internet provider be spying on you?This month, if everything goes according to schedule, your Internet service provider may begin monitoring your account, just to make sure you aren’t doing anything wrong with it — like sharing copyrighted movie or music files.
  • Cell carriers see dramatic increase in surveillance requestsWireless companies have seen double-digit percentage increases in law-enforcement requests for subscriber information for each the past five years, according to a survey detailed by the New York Times
  • Banking on a Live CDBrian Krebs shares advice on the best way to conduct your online banking in safety.
  • Yahoo gives all clear after hack attackCompany blames hack on contributor network, says compromised information was provided by writers who joined Associated Content prior to May 2010.
  • Android Forums hacked: 1 million user credentials stolenPhandroid’s AndroidForums.com has been hacked. The database that powers the site was compromised and more than 1 million user account details were stolen. If you use the forum, make sure to change your password asap.
  • Hackers strike again, hit Nvidia’s developer zoneNvidia says close to 400,000 accounts may have been hit, and recommends users change their passwords.
  • Thousands of GMX accounts compromised to send spamThe cyber attack on users of GMX, a German web services provider, which was discovered on Wednesday, is potentially huge, with the company telling The H’s associates at heise Security that the spammers have been able to sign in to more than 300,000 accounts.
  • Formspring resets millions of passwords amid breachFormspring has reset all of its user passwords, following a breach of its systems. Users of the popular question-and-answer site Formspring have received a brief email stating that “for security reasons”, their password has been disabled, and they will need to reset it when they log back in.

Random TinyHacker Links

  • Two books for geeks – One giveaway7 Tutorials is three years old. If you are following us for some time, you already know that we like to celebrate such milestones and share the joy with our readers. This year we have some special prizes for all the geeks reading us: two awesome non-technology books to keep you fit and healthy. Today is the last day to enter, so hurry on over!
  • 13 Days and Counting, Download NBC’s Official Olympic Media GuideChock full of interesting facts, figures and bio’s for the venue hosts. 182 pages, in .pdf
  • Infographic: Interesting Stats about the SEO IndustryHow big is the SEO Industry on the Internet? – An infographic by the team at BlueCaribu.
  • Clever Viral Video, Filmmaker Talks to HimselfA 32 year old man edits together a video conversation with himself using video footage he recorded at the age of 12.

Super User Questions

  • Why is the Internet said to be an untrusted network?
  • How to know if your computer is hit by a dnschanger virus?
  • Are drivers part of the operating systems?
  • Is there a windows console emulator?
  • When renaming files in windows 7, prevent explorer from instantly resorting the list (and losing your place)
  • List all installed software on PC
  • Splitting a PDF document in two without purchasing a PDF editing tool
  • How do I install Windows 7 on an Apple laptop?
  • Does full-disk encryption on SSD drive reduce its lifetime?
  • How do I prepare Windows 7 for a graphics card update?

How-To Geek Weekly Article Recap

  • HTG Explains: Do You Really Need to Safely Remove USB Sticks?
  • How to Play Classic Arcade Games On Your PC
  • The Best Websites for Finding, Downloading, Borrowing, Renting, and Purchasing eBooks
  • How to Download Hulu Videos to Your PC for Offline Viewing
  • How to Clean Up Your Messy Windows Context Menu with CCleaner
  • Beginner: How to Find What Codecs You Need to Play Any Media File
  • Desktop Fun: Forests Wallpaper Collection Series 2
  • 11 Ubuntu One Features You May Not Be Aware Of
  • How to Map Network Drives From the Command Prompt in Windows
  • 7 Quick Tricks for Ubuntu and Other Linux Desktops

Geeky Goodness from the ETC Side

  • NASA Releases Highest Resolution Photo of Mars Ever Seen
  • The Evolution of Windows Compared to the Evolution of Hand Tools [Humorous Image]
  • I Have Put This Off for Far too Long [Humorous Image]
  • Star Trek Next Generation – LCARS Science Console Screen [Wallpaper]
  • AirMech Is a Free and Fun Real-Time Strategy/Shooter Mashup
  • 453,000 Yahoo Logins Compromised; Time for a Password Refresh
  • Sleek DIY Desk Includes Hidden Wires, Analog Meters, and Subtle LED Notifications
  • The World of ‘Game of Thrones’ in Minecraft [Image Gallery]
  • They Only Had a Small Amount of Error Reports Queued Up [Humorous Image]
  • The Science Behind Salty Airline Food

One Year Ago on How-To Geek

  • Beginner Photoshop: Black and White and Red Photo Effect in Ten Seconds
  • How to Make Photos Look Like Pencil Drawings in About One Minute
  • Stupid Photoshop Tricks: How To Make an Invisibility Cloak
  • Create Instagram Style Photo Effects with GIMP or Photoshop
  • How to Use EXIF Data to Learn From Master Photographers

How-To Geek Comics Weekly Roundup

  • What He Really Meant by ‘Being Driven’
  • Job Creation and Automation
  • Googling Your Medical Condition at Work
  • Advances in Cotton Candy Technology
  • Even Make-Believe Friends can be Undependable
  • He Ruined Playing Clint Eastwood Movies on His Computer
  • An Environmentally Friendly Website

How-To Geek Weekly Trivia Roundup

  • Electronic Resistors Are Commonly Distinguished With What Markings?
  • Which World Leader Kidnapped A Filmmaker To Remake Godzilla?
  • Which Beloved Summer Time Toy Was Invented By A Rocket Scientist?
  • Which Hollywood Blockbuster Does NASA Show To Potential Hires?
  • What Geeky Treat Outlasted The Show It Was Promoting By Over A Decade?
  • What Was The First Rover To Land On A Celestial Body?
  • Which Tech Company Once Consumed 100% Of The World’s CD Production Capabilities?

How to Share Files Between User Accounts on Windows, Linux, or OS X

Your operating system provides each user account with its own folders when you set up several different user accounts on the same computer. Shared folders allow you to share files between user accounts.
This process works similarly on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X. These are all powerful multi-user operating systems with similar folder and file permission systems.


RELATED ARTICLEWhy Every User On Your Computer Should Have Their Own User Account
On Windows, the “Public” user’s folders are accessible to all users. You’ll find this folder under C:\Users\Public by default. Files you place in any of these folders will be accessible to other users, so it’s a good way to share music, videos, and other types of files between users on the same computer.

RELATED ARTICLEHow to Get Your Libraries Showing in the Navigation Pane on Windows 8.1
Windows even adds these folders to each user’s libraries by default. For example, a user’s Music library contains the user’s music folder under C:\Users\NAME\as well as the public music folder under C:\Users\Public\. This makes it easy for each user to find the shared, public files. It also makes it easy to make a file public — just drag and drop a file from the user-specific folder to the public folder in the library.
Libraries are hidden by default on Windows 8.1, so you’ll have to unhide them to do this.

These Public folders can also be used to share folders publicly on the local network. You’ll find the Public folder sharing option under Advanced sharing settings in the Network and Sharing Control Panel.

You could also choose to make any folder shared between users, but this will require messing with folder permissions in Windows. To do this, right-click a folder anywhere in the file system and select Properties. Use the options on the Security tab to change the folder’s permissions and make it accessible to different user accounts. You’ll need administrator access to do this.


RELATED ARTICLEHow Do Linux File Permissions Work?
This is a bit more complicated on Linux, as typical Linux distributions don’t come with a special user folder all users have read-write access to. The Public folder on Ubuntu is for sharing files between computers on a network.
You can use Linux’s permissions system to give other user accounts read or read-write access to specific folders. The process below is for Ubuntu 14.04, but it should be identical on any other Linux distribution using GNOME with the Nautilus file manager. It should be similar for other desktop environments, too.
Locate the folder you want to make accessible to other users, right-click it, and select Properties. On the Permissions tab, give “Others” the “Create and delete files” permission. Click the Change Permissions for Enclosed Files button and give “Others” the “Read and write” and “Create and Delete Files” permissions.

Other users on the same computer will then have read and write access to your folder. They’ll find it under /home/YOURNAME/folder under Computer. To speed things up, they can create a link or bookmark to the folder so they always have easy access to it.

Mac OS X

Mac OS X creates a special Shared folder that all user accounts have access to. This folder is intended for sharing files between different user accounts. It’s located at /Users/Shared.
To access it, open the Finder and click Go > Computer. Navigate to Macintosh HD > Users > Shared. Files you place in this folder can be accessed by any user account on your Mac.

These tricks are useful if you’re sharing a computer with other people and you all have your own user accounts — maybe your kids have their own limited accounts. You can share a music library, downloads folder, picture archive, videos, documents, or anything else you like without keeping duplicate copies.

Be Prepared: Create a Recovery Drive for Windows, Linux, Mac, or Chrome OS

Computers don’t come with operating system installation CDs anymore. If your operating system won’t boot, you’ll need a bootable recovery drive to fix it. All operating systems allow you to create these.
These recovery drives provide access to the same recovery options your operating system includes. You can always create them later, although you may need access to a computer running the same operating system.


Windows 8.1 and 8

RELATED ARTICLEHow to Create and Use a Recovery Drive or System Repair Disc in Windows 8 or 10
Use the Recovery Media Creator to create a USB recovery drive on Windows 8.1 or 8. Tap the Windows key on your keyboard to access the Start screen, type Recovery drive, and press Enter to open the “Create a recovery drive” tool. Insert your USB drive and go through the wizard.
This tool also gives you the option to move your recovery drive to the USB drive, deleting it from your system drive. This can help free up disk space on devices with small amounts of storage, but you’ll need the USB drive to refresh or reset your PC in the future.

Windows 7

RELATED ARTICLECreate a System Repair Disc in Windows 7
Windows 7 doesn’t allow you to create USB recovery media. You’ll have to create system repair disc on a CD or DVD. Press the Windows key to open your Start menu, type System Repair Disc, and press Enter to open it. A system repair discallows you top access tools like Startup Repair, which can fix problems that prevent your operating system from booting.
On Windows 8, you can press Windows Key + R, type recdisc.exe into the Run dialog, and press Enter to access this tool. It allows you to create a CD or DVD recovery disc for Windows 8. This hidden tool was removed in Windows 8.1, so you’ll have to create a USB recovery drive instead.


RELATED ARTICLEHow to Create Bootable USB Drives and SD Cards For Every Operating System
There’s no need to create separate, specialized recovery media on Linux. Just ensure you have a bootable USB drive, SD card, DVD, or CD with your Linux distribution’s live environment on it. If your Linux distribution ever becomes damaged and unbootable, insert your live CD and use the tools on the live CD to fix it.
Unlike on other operating systems, Linux distributions like Ubuntu don’t have specialized “repair installation” options that will attempt to repair an existing installation. But there are other ways you can attempt to repair your Linux system.
For example, you could reinstall your Linux distribution without formatting the drive, keeping your files. You could follow guides to fixing your operating system online and run the appropriate terminal commands. You can also use other tools — for example, we have instructions for using the Boot-Repair tool to fix a GRUB boot loader problems.

Mac OS X

RELATED ARTICLE8 Mac System Features You Can Access in Recovery Mode
OS X Recovery is built into your Mac. Modern Macs even support Internet Recovery, so they can download the OS X Recovery environment from Apple’s servers when necessary. This is all integrated into the Mac’s UEFI firmware, so it can download the recovery environment and use it even if your hard drive is completely wiped.
You can also create an OS X Recovery disk, which is useful on Macs without Internet Recovery or if you want to access recovery mode without an Internet connection.
Download the OS X Recovery Disk Assistant from Apple’s website. Run it, select an external drive to install the recovery environment to, and follow the instructions. You can then boot any Mac while holding the Option key, select the recovery drive, and access the recovery environment.

Chrome OS

RELATED ARTICLEHow to Factory Reset a Chromebook (Even if It Won’t Boot)
You can create a Chrome OS recovery drive on any operating system — on Chrome OS itself, or on any Windows, Linux, or Mac OS X system with Chrome installed.
Install the Chromebook Recovery Utility from the Chrome Web Store, insert a 4 GB or larger USB drive or SD card, and select the model of your Chromebook. The utility will create a recovery drive with all of Chrome OS’s system files on it — the recovery drive allows you to reinstall the entire Chrome OS operating system if it ever becomes corrupted. For example, this may happen if you’re using developer mode for full access to the Chrome OS operating system.
Unlike the other recovery tools here, the drive you create is only good for the particular model of Chromebook you choose when you create it. You can’t re-use the recovery drive with multiple different models of Chromebooks, although you can quickly rewrite new Chrome OS recovery files to it.

To boot the recovery media, just insert it into your computer and reboot. If the computer’s boot order is set up properly, it should boot straight to the recovery environment.

How to Record Your Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, or iOS Screen

Screenshots are great, but sometimes you need to create a video recording to really get your point across. You can record your computer’s desktop, your smartphone’s screen, or your tablet’s display.
This process gives you a video file, which you can do whatever you like with. Upload it to YouTube or email it to a friend. Put together a video tutorial or just capture a problem you’re having so you an demonstrate it later.

Record Your Mac, iPhone, or iPad Screen the Easy Way

Whether you want to create a screen recording, a video of something on your iPhone or iPad, or you need to create a full tutorial with high-quality editing, Capto is the best tool for the job.
You can record your screen along with audio to create instructional videos, you can capture video directly from an iPhone or iPad, or you can capture video from the webcam on your Mac. And once you’re done, you can use the high-quality video and image editing tools to make it perfect.
And they have a  free trial. So you don’t have to pay for anything unless it does what you need it to.
Download the Free Trial of Capto Today


RELATED ARTICLEHow to Record Your Desktop to a File or Stream It Over the Internet with VLC
Windows doesn’t include a built-in tool for creating desktop recordings. There are many tools for doing this, but make sure you avoid the junkware bundled into their installers if you go hunting for them. You can actually use VLC to record your desktop, and that’s a convenient option. There’s a good chance you already have VLC installed, and it’s a Swiss army knife that will allow you to quickly record your desktop without installing anything else.

RELATED ARTICLEHow to Record Your Desktop and Create a Screencast on Windows
For more advanced screencasts, we recommend OBS (Open Broadcaster Software). It’s very powerful, free, open-source tool that allows you to do more. Insert watermarks, embed a video of your webcam while capturing your desktop, choose specific desktop windows, and so on. OBS is widely used for video-game-streaming on Twitch.tv because it’s so powerful, but it works just as well for creating a professional-looking video of your desktop.
If you want something even more powerful that also comes with editing capabilities, you can pay for Camtasia, the best software on the market — but be warned, it’s not cheap. Luckily they do have a free trial, so you can test it before you buy.

Mac OS X

RELATED ARTICLEUse Your Mac’s QuickTime App to Edit Video and Audio Files
Mac OS X offers a convenient, built-in screen-recording tool. It’s one of the many useful functions hidden in QuickTime, which is more than just the simple media player it looks like on the surface.
To record your Mac’s screen, open the QuickTime application — press Command + Space to open Spotlight search, type QuickTime, and press Enter to do so. Click the File menu on the menu bar, select New Screen Recording. You can then click the little menu to the right of the Record button and choose whether you want to capture audio from your microphone in the video, too. This will allow you to narrate along with your actions. Click the Record button to start when you’re ready.

QuickTime will minimize itself to a small icon on the right side of your menu bar and start recording. Click Stop when you’re done, and you’ll be able to preview and save your video. QuickTime can also edit the video, trimming out any unnecessary bits.

For something more powerful, you may want to try Open Broadcaster Siftware (OBS). It’s not just for Windows — it works on Mac, too. If you want something even more powerful that also comes with editing capabilities, you can pay for Camtasia, the best software on the market for both Macs and PCs, but like we mentioned earlier, it’s not cheap.


There are quite a few open-source screen-recording applications for Linux, and you’ll probably find many of them if you pull up your Linux distribution’s package manager and do a quick search. There’s even a way to do this with ffmpeg and other commands from the terminal, if you’re into that sort of thing.
One of the most popular and longest-standing open-source tools for this is recordMyDesktop, which you can install from the Ubuntu Software Center or your Linux distribution’s package management interface of choice.
Launch recordMyDesktop and use its options to choose video and audio quality levels. This tool can record your entire desktop or just a small portion of it. recordMyDesktop works well, provides a simple interface, and offers the most important desktop-recording options.

If you want something more powerful, try Open Broadcaster Software (OBS). It’s available for Linux as well as Windows and Mac OS X.


RELATED ARTICLEHow to Record Your Android Device’s Screen With Android 4.4 KitKat
Android allows you to capture a video of your device’s display and save it as an mp4 file. This feature was added in Android 4.4, and it still works on Android 5. To do this, you’ll need to connect your Android device to a PC and use the adb command. Apps on your phone can’t start recording your display on their own — this prevents apps from initiating a recording to capture you entering sensitive data.
Connect your Android device to a Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux PC with a USB cable and use the “adb shell screenrecord” command to start recording its display. If you have a rooted device, you can also initiate a screen recording with an app on your device — but that app needs root permissions.


RELATED ARTICLEHow to Record a Video of Your iPhone or iPad’s Screen From Your Mac
Apple now offers a convenient, official way to record an iOS device’s screen. This requires a Mac running OS X Yosemite and an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch running iOS 8 or newer. Unfortunately, this feature is only available for Mac users. It’s intended for developers to capture their apps in action, and iOS developers will need to have Macs anyway.
If you have a Mac and an iPhone or iPad, you can connect your iPhone or iPad to it and use the QuickTime application to capture its screen. Just select “New Movie Recording” instead of New Screen Recording, click the menu button, and select the connected iOS device instead of your Mac’s built-in webcam.

You can live-stream your desktop instead of recording it, too. On a desktop PC or laptop, OBS works very well for live-streaming. You can even live-stream your desktop straight from VLC!

How to Create Saved Search Folders on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X

All mainstream desktop operating systems include powerful search features. They all offer the ability to create a “saved search,” which functions as a virtual folder. The saved search folder appears to contain the files that match your search.
You could use this to display all documents, images, music, or video files on your hard drive in a single folder, sorted by how new they are. The possibilities are endless.



RELATED ARTICLEHow to Use Windows’ Advanced Search Features: Everything You Need to Know
To create a saved search on Windows 7 or 8, open a Windows Explorer window or File Explorer window, navigate to the folder you want to search, and perform a search. For example, if you want to use a saved search folder that looks at all files in your user directory, navigate to C:\Users\YourName, and type a search into the search box.

Keep modifying your search until you get the search results you want to see. Use Windows’ advanced search operators to narrow down your search, if necessary. For example, you can add type: image to search for all images, whether they have the JPG, JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP, or other file extension.
Click the Search Tools button on the ribbon and click Save search on Windows 8, or click the Save search button on Windows Explorer’s toolbar on Windows 7 when you’re done. Windows saves the search to the file system as a file with the .search-ms file extension.

Click the saved search in your favorites or double-click the .search-ms file and Windows will instantly perform the search, presenting the results as the contents of a virtual folder. You can browse and open files from here. Sort the list of files, and Windows will remember how you sorted it — you could set the search to show the newest matching files first, for example.


RELATED ARTICLE7 Ubuntu File Manager Features You May Not Have Noticed
Different Linux desktop environments work in different ways, and some — especially more lightweight, minimal ones — won’t have the ability to create a saved search. For this example, we used Ubuntu 14.04 which includes the Nautilus file manager. Any Linux distribution with GNOME’s standard Nautilus file manager will work in the same way, and other Linux desktop environments should work similarly.
Open the Nautilus file manager, browse to the folder you want to search inside of, click the search icon on the toolbar, and perform your search. Use the + button to tweak your search, adding additional search criteria like file type and location.

To save the search, click the File menu and select Save Search As. Provide a name for your search and save it somewhere, such as in your home folder.

The saved search will appear as a virtual folder with the .savedSearch file extension. Double-click it to quickly perform the search again and see a virtual folder containing the files that match your search. You can also click the Bookmarks menu and select “Bookmark This Location” to bookmark it for quick access in the future. It will appear in the Nautilus file manager’s sidebar.

Mac OS X

Mac OS X offers saved searches, which it names “Smart Folders.” Open a Finder window and browse to a folder you want to search. Perform a search and tweak it afterward or click File > New Smart Folder.
Use the + button in the search window to add filters to your search and tweak the results.

Click the Save button to save the search when you’re done.

Mac OS X will save your search to the Saved Searches folder by default. It will also add the saved search to your sidebar under Favorites, so you can access it with a single click.

Depending on your operating system, you can edit the saved search and save your changes or delete it and start over again. To delete a saved search, delete the saved search file and remove any shortcuts to it.
This feature won’t use additional resources, as it relies on the search and indexing features your operating system already includes. If a saved search is slow, you may need to enable search indexing or add additional locations to your operating system’s search indexer.

How to Easily Encrypt Files on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X

You can hide files on any operating system, but hidden files can be accessed by anyone with access to your PC or its storage. Encryption actually protects your files, preventing people from accessing them without your encryption key.
Even if intelligence agencies could bypass this encryption — and we’re pretty sure they can’t — it’s still useful. Encryption can protect sensitive financial, business, and personal data from people with access to your hardware.



RELATED ARTICLEWhat Is Encryption, and How Does It Work?
Windows has built-in BitLocker encryption. BitLocker drive encryptio ncan encrypt your entire Windows system drive or another internal drive. BitLocker To Go can encrypt a USB flash drive or another external media device. BitLocker can also be used with a VHD file, creating an encrypted container file that contains encypted files. BitLockeris only available on Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate editions of Windows. It’s not available on the standard editions of Windows, like Windows 7 Home or the “core” edition of Windows 8 or 8.1.
New Windows 8.1 computers also offer “device encryption”, but this requires specific hardware and the use of a Microsoft account that backs up your encryption key online. This is a very limited encryption feature, but at least it works on every edition of Windows!

RELATED ARTICLESHow to Set Up BitLocker Encryption on WindowsWindows 8.1 Will Start Encrypting Hard Drives By Default: Everything You Need to Know
Since you probably can’t use BitLocker, you’ll need a third-party encryption solution on Windows. TrueCrypt was previously the encryption solution nearly everyone recommended. It offers a variety of encryption methods, so you can encrypt your entire system drive, encrypt a removable drive, or just create an encrypted container to encrypt some specific files.
Unfortunately, TrueCrypt’s status is now uncertain. On May 28, 2014, the TrueCrypt project’s website was replaced with a messagesaying TrueCrypt is no longer maintained and is unsafe to use. TrueCrypt’s website recommends you use BitLocker on Windows instead. However, an audit of TrueCrypt’s code has found no serious problems. The Gibson Research Corporation site maintains a page with the final releases of TrueCrypt you can download and use. They argue that it’s safe to use.
Is TrueCrypt really safe to use? Well, we don’t really know — there’s a lot of debate and uncertainty here.

RELATED ARTICLESHow to Secure Sensitive Files on Your PC with VeraCryptHow to Secure Your Data in a TrueCrypt Hidden Volume
RELATED ARTICLEHow to Password Protect Files and Folders With Encryption
No other free, open-source encryption tools are as polished on Windows. TrueCrypt was the tool everyone had congregated around. However, you can still use other tools. For example, 7-Zip and other file-archiving tools include built-in encryption. You can use 7-Zip to create an AES-256-encrypted archive file you need a password to open. This solution won’t let you encrypt an entire hard drive, but it will let you encrypt a few files.


Ubuntu includes built-in support for encryption, and so do many other Linux distributions. Encryption features are available to all Linux users. For example, Ubuntu allows you to encrypt your system while installing it. Ubuntu and other GNOME-based Linux distributions also allow you to easily encrypt removable drives with the Disk Utility application.

RELATED ARTICLESHow to Encrypt Your Home Folder After Installing UbuntuHow to Quickly Encrypt Removable Storage Devices with Ubuntu
Linux offers many other encryption tools. For example, you can also use encfs to encrypt files in any other folder. The graphical Archive Manager tool can easily create encrypted archives. The examples here are all for Ubuntu, but these methods are similar on many different Linux distributions and desktop environments. Perform a search to see what encryption tools your Linux distribution of choice includes.

Mac OS X

Apple’s Mac OS X also includes a variety of built-in encryption features. There aren’t different editions of the Mac OS X desktop with different included software, so these encryption tools are available on every Mac.
FileVault allows you to encrypt an entire system drive. You can also quickly encrypt a removable drive from the Finder — you’ll see an encryption password prompt when you plug it into a Mac in the future. The Disk Utility allows you to create an encrypted disk image file you can lock and unlock on demand. All of these features are built-in and can set up and used with a few clicks.

RELATED ARTICLESHow to Encrypt Your Mac’s System Drive, Removable Devices, and Individual FilesHow to Create an Encrypted Disk Image to Securely Store Sensitive Files on a Mac

Encryption is a complex topic. Whatever encryption scheme you choose to use, be sure to set a strong passphrase. Encrypting your files with a weak passphrase will make them easy to decrypt in the future.