Creating a Bootable Windows 8 USB Drive from an ISO Image.


 

It’s official that the windows 8 is up for grabs and it open for the all to have a preview of  the next historical thing to happen in the world of  windows computing environment.The typical quality of windows 8 that sets it apart from the rest of the OS is its user-friendly nature to its user .

The windows 8 OS sets it’s on Ecosystem in the world of computing ….taking the side of tablets, PC,  and maybe phones .

There”s little but no difference in the ….UI(user interface ) to all the environment in thew windows 8 platform.

So lets just dive into the  windows 8 .. right away .

After few hours of testing it was convinced that the build is stable enough, and I can take it to next level by installing it parallel to Windows 7 via dual-boot. If you too are looking forward to install Windows 8 on your computer, I would prefer you create a bootable USB drive instead of a bootable DVD.

Note: This is a consumer preview of Windows 8 and not the final stable version.

A USB drive is always faster than DVDs and the chances of failed or corrupt installation are very low as compared to optical media. So lets see how you can create the bootable USB of Windows 8 in the easiest way possible.

Necessary Prerequisites

  • Download the ISO file of Windows 8 on your system.
  • A minimum of 4 GB removable drive for 32-bit Windows and 8 GB for 64-bit Windows 8 operating system.
  • Backup all the data

Creating the Windows 8 Bootable USB Drive

Step 1: Download and extract WinUSB Maker on your computer. WinUSB maker is a portable application and thus does not require installation of any kind. You only need to run the .exe file.

Step 2: Run the WinUSB Maker tool with administrative privileges to start creating your bootable USB drive. (right-click on the file, and click Run as Administrator)

Step 3: In the tool, select the option ISO image bootable disk under the Functions  section. Select Normal Detection Mode and browse for the Windows 8 bootable ISO (Image file) you have already downloaded on your system.

USB maker

Step 4: Finally, select the USB drive and drive MBR system (if you have a single one plugged in, it will be selected by default, if you have more than one, click on the dropdown menu and make a selection from the list) and click on the button Make it Bootable .

That’s all, the tool will now format the USB drive and copy all the Windows installation files to it and make it bootable.

bootable creation

You can now plug-in the device into your system and select removable drive as your first boot selection preference in your BIOS and install Windows 8.

 

Windows shortcuts.


Image representing Windows as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase

Windows 7 Keyboard Shortcuts That Might Surprise You

 Killer Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows 7

One of my personal favorites among the new features that Windows 7 came with was the introduction of some awesome and long awaited keyboard shortcuts. I personally use them as much as I can to save time, and I recommend the practice of using keyboard shortcuts to others too.

This article talks about 15 really cool keyboards shortcuts that are specific to Windows 7. I can bet that you don’t know all of them. Check them out, some of them will surprise you for sure.

1. Ctrl+Shift+N to Create a New Folder

Create a new folder with a shortcut key

Creating a new folder in Windows explorer is something we all need to do on a frequent basis. And until now, there was no default shortcut key available for this task. But Windows 7 changed that.

You could now use Ctrl+Shift+N to quickly create a new folder in Windows or anywhere on your computer where a folder can be created.

2. Ctrl+Shift+Click to Open a Program As Administrator

run as administrator

There are many instances when just clicking on the icon of the application and opening it doesn’t solve your purpose. You need to right click on it and click on “Run as Administrator” so that you can make the required changes to the app.

In Windows 7, this can be done with a keyboard shortcut. You just need to point your mouse cursor on that program and then click on it while pressing Ctrl+Shift keys to open it as administrator.

3. Shift+Right-Click Enhances Send to Menu

send to menu

The above screenshot shows the default send to menu that I get when I simply right click on a program.

Now, if I press the Shift key, and while having it pressed, I right click on the icon, I get an enhanced send to menu. See the screenshot below to check how it looks.

send to menu enhanced

Nice, isn’t it?

Also check 2 Useful Tools To Add Items & Customize the Windows Right Click Menu.

4. Shift+Right-Click on a Folder to Open Command Prompt

open command windows

If you do Shift+right-click on a folder, you’ll find an option that says “Open command windows here.” If you love working with the command prompt, this option should come in handy.

5. Win+Space to Quickly Show Desktop

Remember our quick tip on hiding open windows in windows 7 ? Well, this is the keyboard shortcut version of that mouse cursor trick. Pressing the Win key and the space bar simultaneously shows you the desktop immediately.

6. Win+Up/Down/Left/Right for Moving the Active Window

Create a new folder with a shortcut key

If you intend to quickly move the active window to make space for other apps, you could do that by using the Win key and one of the arrow keys. Each arrow key would move the window in the direction it is meant to.

7. For Dual Monitors: Win+Shift+Left Arrow Key to Move Active Window to Left Monitor

If you are on a dual monitor setup using Windows 7 then you could press the Win+Shift+Left arrow key combination to move the active application window to the left monitor.

8. For Dual Monitors: Win+Shift+Right Arrow Key to Move Active Window to Right Monitor

Similarly, if you need to move the current window to the right monitor screen, just press Win+Shift+right arrow key.

9. Win+T to Get to Taskbar Items

windows 7 taskbar

You could use the key combination Win+T to toggle through the applications pinned on the taskbar in Windows 7.

10. Shift+Click on a Taskbar App to Open a New Instance of the App

Let’s say you’ve got a bunch of Chrome windows open. And you need to quickly open a new blank window of the browser. Here’s the way – point your cursor to the chrome icon on the taskbar, hit Shift and click on it. There you go!

11. Win+B to Move Focus to the System Tray

system tray

In a previous article, we talked about a technique to add more clocks to the default Windows clock in the system tray. Now, if you need to get there without using your mouse cursor, how’d you do that?

Answer – Win+B. That would move the focus on the system tray, and then you could use the arrow keys to cycle through the items, including the Windows clock.

12. Win+P for Quickly Connecting Your Laptop to a Projector

projection menu windows 7

Windows 7 has a nifty projection menu feature which enables you to quickly connect your laptop to a projector or an extended monitor. Win+P is the keyboard shortcut for that purpose.

13. Win+1, Win+2..so on for Opening Taskbar Programs

Want to quickly open a program that’s pinned to your Windows 7 taskbar? You can press the Win key and the number corresponding to the location of the app on the taskbar.

14. Win+Pause helps you check System Properties

system properties

Need to take a quick look at what’s the processor model you are using, or may be check the device manager, or advanced system settings? You could use Win+pause key combination to open the system properties window.

15. Ctrl+Shift+Esc Can Quickly Open Windows Task Manager

I think this was in Vista too, I am not sure. But it’s a cool shortcut nevertheless. Just press the Ctrl key, Shift key and the ESC key simultaneously and you have the task manager pop up right in front!

So that was about the amazing Windows 7 keyboard shortcuts. I hope you find them useful. In fact, learn them if you are on Windows 7. That’s what I did and it has helped a great deal. If I’ve missed a cool shortcut, do share that in the comments.

Now, if you are on Windows XP, and would love to get some these shortcuts that are relevant to XP, we’ll have you covered tomorrow. We will tell you how you could get some of the above shortcuts working on XP. Stay tuned!

The user interface for windows 8


 

Image representing Microsoft as depicted in Cr...
Image via CrunchBase

The interface formerly known as Metro (TIFKAM) makes the information applications present their UI, and developers need to realise that and stop polluting software with the kind of buttons and icons elements they’ve grown up with.

That’s the opinion voiced by Shane Morris of Automatic Studio, now a user interface consultant but once a Microsoft user interface evangelist, at Microsoft Australia’s TechEd conference today.
Morris’ talk was titled “How to be authentically digital”, a term used by Microsoft to describe its new ethic of letting pixels be pixels instead of imbuing UI elements with shading so they resemble real-world objects. Morris gleefully the term as “designer wank”. He also described the initial TIFKAM screen as the “Asian supermarket screen, because everything is yelling at you and you don’t know where to look.”

Which is not to say Morris dislikes TIFKAM, as he explained it uses proven design techniques and philosophies drawn from “Wayfinding” (signage in airports, train stations and other public places), typography (The Swiss School) and moving type (The opening titles to Hitchcock’s North by Northwest are apparently seminal so we’ve popped them in below).

Those influences mean TIFKAM doesn’t use the interactive vocabulary of the desktop GUI. Instead, Morris says, “We focus on content and the information people need to consume.”

Developers must therefore strive to “present the information well enough it can form the user interface.” Which is not to say that users are to be left without things to click on, but Microsoft has hidden them in TIFKAM’s Apps Bar and Charm bar, decoupling UI elements from apps.

“A consistent UI and place for people to look for search, share and settings means users don’t have to need to learn a new UI for each app,” Morris explained, adding that it’s not sensible to assume that users have discovered the Charm or Apps bars. Most users do so quickly, he said. Others take up to five minutes to do so.

Morris said Developers need to understand these new elements, and also assess whether they are right for their apps. Business apps, he said may not work in this context, with more familiar icon-driven UI elements still available for apps that just won’t fit into TIFKAM’s design paradigm.

That split, he said, is not new, arguing that Microsoft has been making content-centric interfaces since the days of Expedia CD-ROMs and has continue to do so with products like Media Centre and Zune.

Mainstream developers will therefore need to come to terms with content-centric interfaces and the elements they offer, one of which is animation. Moving images, he said, even offer the chance to tap into users’ primal instincts as we are attuned to interpreting fast-moving objects in peripheral vision as worthy of attention (if only to avoid being eaten by an approaching predator). Using animation to show users something is worthy of their attention is a new interface tactic he feels will be useful.

The bad news, Morris added, is that using animation “doesn’t come naturally to me”. He’s not sure it will come naturally to any developer, given that most are used to working in rather different ways.

But developers don’t need to get too hung up on their animation skills, he added, as good design for Windows 8 apps, or any other, starts with decisions about what an application is intended to achieve, rather than just how it will look and behave.

 

Use Internet Explorer In Google Chrome With IE Tab


 

Internet Explorer users and IE-only websites still exist, so even Chrome fans have to use IE occasionally. Why bother launching Internet Explorer when you can run it in a browser tab? IE Tab is ideal for web developers and anyone needing an IE-only website.

IE Tab for Chrome was developed by the same people who created IE Tab for Firefox. It can emulate a variety of IE versions and automatically launch IE-only websites in IE mode, so you don’t even have to think about it. User Agent Switcher for Chrome is another option for IE-only websites, but it just makes Chrome pretend it’s Internet Explorer – IE Tab doesn’t pretend, it is IE.

Uses

The IE Tab extension embeds the Internet Explorer Web Browser Control included with Windows. If you’re using Mac OS X, Linux, or even Chrome OS, it won’t work. Remember to keep Internet Explorer updated – IE Tab is only as secure as the version of IE on your system.

IE Tab has a variety of uses:

Getting Started

After you install IE Tab, you’ll get an IE Tab icon on your toolbar and an IE Tab submenu in your right-click menu. Click the button to load the current page in an embedded IE window.

 

use internet explorer in google chrome

IE Tab doesn’t integrate perfectly with Chrome – each IE tab frame has its own address bar. To bookmark a page, click the bookmark icon on the IE Tab toolbar. IE Tab will create a bookmark and save it to the “IE Tab” folder on your bookmarks toolbar. When clicked, the bookmark will load the current page in an IE Tab.

use ie google chrome

You can tell it’s using Internet Explorer because it isn’t rendering MakeUseOf properly. (To be fair, the drop-down menu works properly when IE Tab is set to IE 9 mode, but it uses IE 7 compatibility mode by default.)

Advanced Options

Open the options page by right-clicking the IE Tab icon on your browser’s toolbar and selecting Options. The options page is divided into four panes.

The IE Options button is a quick way to open the system-wide Internet Options dialog – IE Tab uses Internet Explorer’s system-wide settings.

use ie google chrome

The Auto URLs feature allows you to automatically open defined URLs in IE mode. You can define rules using wildcards or regular expressions – or just enter an exact path to a specific web page. When you navigate to any of the pages that match these rules, IE Tab will take over.

use ie google chrome

The Auto URL Exceptions box can narrow down overly broad Auto URL rules. If there’s a good page that would match one of your Auto URLs rules, you can whitelist it here.

use ie google chrome

IE Tab emulates IE 7 by default, but you can emulate different IE 8 or IE 9 modes if you have a newer version of Internet Explorer installed. You must restart Google Chrome after changing this setting.

use ie google chrome

Windows Explorer in Chrome

I’m not sure why you’d want to do this, but you can embed Windows Explorer in Chrome with IE Tab. Just type a local file system address, such as C:\, into IE Tab’s address bar.

The embedded Windows Explorer works just like the Windows Explorer windows on your system. This feature takes advantage of the close relationship between Internet Explorer and Windows Explorer.

use internet explorer in google chrome

 

Do you still have to use an IE-only website – maybe an internal web app on your intranet? Or have you fully escaped IE’s clutches? Leave a comment and let us know.

 

Widely used fingerprint reader exposes Windows passwords in seconds


 

RISK ASSESSMENT / SECURITY & HACKTIVISM

 

Widely used fingerprint reader exposes Windows passwords in seconds

If your laptop uses software from UPEK, it’s exposing your Windows password.

 

An image from UPEK Protector Suite 2009.

Fingerprint-reading software pre-installed on laptops sold by Dell, Sony, and at least 14 other PC makers contains a serious weakness that makes it trivial for hackers with physical control of the machine to quickly recover account passwords, security researchers said.

The UPEK Protector Suite, which was acquired by Melbourne, Florida-based Authentec two years ago, is marketed as a secure means for logging into Windows computers using an owner’s unique fingerprint, rather than a user-memorized password. In reality, using the software makes users lesssecure than they otherwise would be. When activated, the software writes Windows account passwords to the registry and encrypts them with a key that is easy for hackers to retrieve. Once the key has been acquired, it takes seconds to decrypt the password.

“After analyzing a number of laptops equipped with UPEK fingerprint readers and running UPEK Protector Suite, we found that your Windows account passwords are stored in Windows registry almost in plain text, barely scrambled but not encrypted,” said an advisory issued by Elcomsoft, a Russia-based developer of password-cracking software. “Having physical access to a laptop running UPEK Protector Suite, we could extract passwords to all user accounts with fingerprint-enabled logon.”

When Protector Suite isn’t activated, Windows doesn’t store account passwords in the registry unless users have specifically configured an account to automatically log in. Security experts have long counseled people not to use automatic login.

That means computers that use the UPEK app are at a severe disadvantage compared with people who use a strong password to log in to a Windows account. The most obvious disadvantage is for those computers that have a Windows feature known as Encrypting File System enabled to prevent third parties from accessing sensitive files or folders. The key that unlocks that encrypted data is controlled by a Windows account password. Once the password is retrieved, the EFS-encrypted data stored on the computer can quickly be decrypted.

Further, having quick access to the account password could unlock other data that might otherwise be harder to obtain. The Windows Data Protection application programming interface, for example, is also closely tied to account passwords and controls access to credentials used by Outlook, Internet Explorer, and possibly other applications. Of course, any time a PC is physically controlled by a hacker, its passwords are vulnerable to cracking attacks that have grown significantly more powerful in recent years. But without the use of the UPEK Protector Suite, hackers have access only to one-way password hashes, which, depending on the complexity of the underlying passcode, can take years or centuries to recover using brute-force methods. Use of the fingerprint software guarantees the success of the cracking operation, and it can also significantly reduce the time it takes.

The easily cracked passwords are stored in the Windows registry even after the Protector Suite software has been deactivated, according to the Elcomsoft advisory. It is only removed when a user manually deletes it. The precise registry location of the encrypted password is not yet known. This article will be updated with instructions for locating and removing it if that information can be obtained.

Authentec no longer actively markets Protector Suite, but according to archived data from the UPEK website, the app ships—or used to ship—on laptops manufactured by 16 different companies. In addition to Dell and Acer, other PC makers include Amoi, Asus, Clevo, Compal, Dell, Gateway, IBM/Lenovo, Itronix, MPC, MSI, NEC, Sager, Samsung, Sony, and Toshiba.

It’s unclear if Authentec officials plan to recall the product or issue an advisory warning laptop owners of the vulnerability. Company representatives didn’t respond to Ars Technica e-mails requesting comment for this article. The Elcomsoft findings follow research published last month that showed thatpassword hints are easily extracted from Windows 7 and Windows 8 machines.

The discovery serves as a useful reality check for marketers who portray fingerprints and other user biometrics as a panacea for the difficulty of remembering and securing passwords. In fact, biometric readers are only as secure as the software that implements them. And even when devices are free of such implementation errors, biometrics such as fingerprints and iris scans may be vulnerable to cloning, opening up the possibility of a new class of attacks on the alternate authentication methods.

According to Elcomsoft, Authentec officials have already said they’re aware of the weakness. If true, it’s disappointing that the company has yet to share that knowledge with the millions of people who likely have the software installed on their computers. A tutorial included with UPEK Protector Suite 2009 installed on a Sony Vaio touts the convenience of the application with the tag line: “Protect your digital privacy.” It goes on to emphasize the benefits of using Protector Suite to encrypt files and folders. Now that a weakness has come to light that seriously undermines those assurances, Authentec should recall the software, or at the very least warn users that it is susceptible to serious attack.

 

 

How to find office 2010 product key


 

English: Microsoft Office Specialist 2010
Microsoft Office Specialist 2010

 

Have you ever lost office 2010 product key ? And you spent hour and hour to find that office 2010 cd key for office reinstalling. This article shows you how to find office 2010 product key from installed office 2010 application.

 

Simple steps to find office 2010 product key:

 

1. Download  Product Key Finder software (Trial version) and install it to the windows where your office 2010 is installed in.

 

2. Launch Product Key finder software, and then click “Start Recovery” to find office 2010 product key. Many product keys will be listed. if the office 2010 has been installed, its product key will be displayed too.

 

3. Click “Save as” to save these product keys to a file.

 

Top 5 Linux Distros for beginners – 2012


There are plenty of Linux Distros out there but there’s only very few that is truly for beginners. So I have picked 5 distros that suit the category. You might be curious about the factors that I considered when picking the Top 5. Well, out of the box support is very important in picking beginner distros. Other factors include: User friendly UI, easy installation and great online support. The Distros below are well-known for excelling in those areas.

1. Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

Ubuntu is the #1 and the most popular distro out there. Even though Linux Mint appeals more to new users Ubuntu has a rigorous release cycle and tends to have more features implemented in each release. Ubuntu does not come with a load of software and codecs pre-installed like Linux Mint. So new users may have trouble playing certain media formats and may require a few command line installations but due to the excellent community support they can be sorted out within minutes.

EDIT: Ubuntu 12.04 LTS was released in April and I only have great things to say about it. Unity is now VERY stable and polished. There have been significant improvements to the interface since 11.04. So I highly recommend that you try out 12.04 if you have not used unity since 11.04.

http://www.ubuntu.com/

Ubuntu 11.04 review (unity)

2. Linux Mint 13

Linux Mint is known as the second most popular Linux distribution simply because of its user friendliness. It comes with loads of software carefully picked by the team, media codecs and drivers. The distro works so well out of the box you will not be spending any time trouble shooting. The Distro focuses on what is best for its users and provides what the mainstream Linux users demand (most of the time). Linux Mint 13 comes in 2 editions. The Cinnamon edition includes a modern Gnome 3 desktop with a familiar and traditional layout. The MATE edition comes with a Gnome 2 desktop. Compared to the cinnamon edition, the MATE edition is more stable but is quite boring. Cinnamon is a fairly new desktop that is being developed by the mint team.

Linux mint is based on Canonical’s Ubuntu.

How to install faience Gnome-Shell theme and icon theme.

http://www.linuxmint.com/

3. Pin-guy OS 12.04 LTS

Pinguy OS is an Ubuntu based distribution that comes with A LOT of software pre-installed. It is great for users who want to explore the extensive software that Linux has to offer. It is also very convenient because it includes almost all the software that a user may require. Pinguy OS is a fairly new distro but it is gaining popularity quickly. Pinguy OS includes two Docks by default and the overall look of the desktop leans toward OS X. Pinguy OS 12.04 includes a customized gnome-shell.

http://pinguyos.com/

Pinguy OS 11.04 review

4. Zorin OS

Zorin OS is optimized for users who are transitioning From windows. It looks quite similar to Windows 7 and comes with “zorin look changer” that can make your desktop look similar to older Windows versions and Mac OS X. Zorin OS also offers four premium versions (Ultimate, Business, Multimedia, Gaming) which are available upon donating. There is also a free version that does not come with as much software pre-installed.

http://zorin-os.com/

5. Peppermint OS 3

Peppermint OS a very light distro that comes with LXDE desktop environment. LXDE is very simple to use and many will find it to be a straightforward DE. The OS boots up quite fast which makes it ideal for older computers or netbooks. Peppermint OS 3 is based on Lubuntu 12.04. It includes an elegant theme by default and includes media-codecs out of the box.