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Mukarram Haidari

Written By Mukarram Haidari on Tuesday, December 18, 2012 | 6:22 AM

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Mukarram Haidari

Written By Mukarram Haidari on Sunday, December 16, 2012 | 2:23 AM

Mukarram Haidari
Mukarram Haidari 
Mukarram Haidari
Mukarram Haidari

Download your Google Documents in the Older Office Formats

Written By Maaz Haidari on Saturday, December 15, 2012 | 4:24 AM

Work Together In Real Time On Docs, Spreadsheets and More. Learn How.

Google Docs has recently dropped support for older Office file formats (.doc, .xls and .ppt) in favor of the newer file formats like docx, .xlsx and .pptx.

You can still import your old .doc documents or .ppt presentations into Google Docs but if you are to export any of these files out of Google Docs, you’ll have to choose the new {doc|ppt|xls}x formats that are natively supported in Office 2007 and later.

Google Docs still supports the old Microsoft Office file formats

Download Google Docs in Old Office Formats
The newer file formats are definitely better but if some of your clients are still running the older versions of Microsoft Office, here’s how you can make your Google Docs documents compatible with their version of Office.

Option 1: Ask them to install the Office Compatibility Pack. This pack will allow users of Office XP and Office 2003 to open and edit files that are saved in the new Office formats.

Option 2: Save the files out of Google Docs as docx and then use any of the online conversion tools (for example, Zamzar) to convert these files back to the old format.

Option 3: Abhishek discovered a better solution. You can email any document, spreadsheet or presentation from Google Docs to yourself as an email attachment and Google will send you that file in the old Office formats  (see screenshot).

To email a document from Google Docs, go to File -> Email as Attachment and then choose the appropriate format from the dropdown.

Bonus Tip: You can change the extension of a .docx file to .zip and it can then be viewed inside any web browser without even requiring Microsoft Office or Google Docs.

Check Why your Email was Delivered Late?

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You are expecting an important email from the client, he just confirmed over the phone that the mail has left his outbox but the message is nowhere to be found in your inbox. An hour later, the email finally arrives.

See the entire path travelled by the email message

Emails are usually delivered in a second or two so why did it take so long for this particular message to reach your mailbox? Was it due to the attachments? Or was there a problem with your mail server?

You can usually find the reason for the delay in the email message itself. Open the message inside Gmail and choose Show Original to view the message headers.

Here you will see a list of machines (or servers) that a message had to pass through before reaching the recipient’s mailbox. The IP addresses are listed in the reverse order so start from the bottom all the way up to see the actual path travelled by an email message.

The message headers may appear complex and geeky but they really aren’t. For instance, the following line from the headers simply indicates that Google’s mail server received the message from Hotmail servers on 29-Jul-2012 at 07:25:37 (PDT).

Received: from dub0-omc3-s2.dub0.hotmail.com ([])
        by mx.google.com with ESMTP id 92.2012.;
        Sun, 29 Jul 2012 07:25:37 -0700 (PDT)
Now copy the full message header to the clipboard and paste it into Google Apps’ Toolbox. This tool will analyze the email’s path and, based on the timestamps when it passed the different machines, it will tell you the exact source that is responsible for delaying the message delivery. Here’s a sample report:

A sample email delivery report

The toolbox is part of Google Apps but it should be able to analyze messages from other Outlook and other email programs as well because the message headers have a standard format.

How to Install Extensions from outside the Chrome Web Store

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A warning message in Google Chrome v22.0

Google wants your Chrome browser safe and therefore discourages users from installing any web apps and extensions that aren’t available in the official Chrome Web Store.

If someone tries to add an unapproved extension (CRX file) or a user-script (*.user.js) in Chrome, the browser will throw a yellow warning message as shown in the above screenshot.

There’s however an easy workaround to this problem.

First download the CRX file of any Chrome extension /web-app to your computer. Then click the Settings icon in Chrome (previously a Wrench icon) and go to Tools -> Extensions. Drag and drop the CRX file on this page and Chrome will gladly install the add-on.

Here’s a video demo illustrating all the steps in detail. The same technique can be used to install the unofficial Greasemonkey userscripts in Chrome.

Easily Add a Logo to your YouTube Videos

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Would you like to add some branding to your YouTube videos? Maybe an overlay logo or some sort of a watermark image that is permanently displayed in one of the corners of the video (similar to TV programming).

You can use any video editing software to add logos or watermarks to your videos before uploading them to YouTube but how do you put them in your existing videos that are already on the web?

Well, YouTube has recently added a new feature called InVideo Programming that will help you add any custom image to all your Youtube videos with a few clicks without having to edit the original video.

Put a logo inside your YouTube Videos

The image can be your brand’s logo (make sure it’s a transparent png) or use one of these YouTube buttons to promote your main YouTube channel inside all your videos.

You can choose to display the logo at the start of the video, somewhere in the middle or even for the entire duration of the video. Also, the logo can be placed in either corners of the YouTube player.

That said, YouTube internally uses annotations to display the images over the video and thus, if you a YouTube viewer has turned off annotations, your logo won’t be visible.

Backup your Files to Amazon Glacier with the help of Dropbox

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Amazon Glacier, if you are new, is an online backup service from Amazon where you can store files by paying as little as 1¢ per GB of storage space per month. Glacier is a recommended option for saving copies of files that are important  but not accessed very frequently – like the photo archives on your disk.

Amazon doesn’t provide a file uploading tool for Glacier but there are several third-party Glacier clients that you may use to easily upload files and folders from the local disk to the Glacier cloud with a easy drag-n-drop interface.

There’s another service in town called IceBox that eliminates the need for installing a separate Glacier client. The service links Amazon Glacier with your Dropbox account and any files that you add to a particular Dropbox folder are automatically uploaded to your Glacier vault.

The Dropbox files are queued for uploading to Amazon Glacier

This is a one-way operation so once the files have been uploaded from Dropbox to Glacier, you can safely delete the copies inside Dropbox without affecting the files that are already inside Glacier. You can also browse the file list on the IceBox website to verify that all your Dropbox files have been successfully added to Glacier.

To get started, go to the AWS dashboard to request your Access Keys for the Amazon Glacier service. Next follow the wizard on the Icebox website to link your Amazon and Dropbox accounts. This will create a new folder in your Dropbox folder and any files that you add to this folder go straight into your Glacier vault.

The service initially had a major security vulnerability – anyone could access your Amazon Keys by simply changing the URL – but the issue has been patched now. Alternatively, you may create a guest user in AWS for IceBox and grant access to only the Vault Archive and none of the other assets in your Amazon cloud.

What Happens if you Forget the Yahoo Password

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How do you login to any web service if do not remember the password? The answer is easy.

You will click the “forgot password” link on the sign-in page, the website will ask you to provide an alternate email address associated with your account and a password reset link will be sent to that address. Simple.

However, if you are using Yahoo Mail, Flickr or any of the other Yahoo services, recovering your account’s password involves a few more steps.

Yahoo will verify your identity before sending the password reset link.

You will be required to provide your date of birth, your country of residence and your postal code and Yahoo will only send the password reset link to your alternate email address if the entered information matches with the data stored in your Yahoo profile.

I created a second email account at Yahoo sometime back for testing but did not use the accurate birth date in my profile. I am therefore having trouble getting into that Yahoo account as I no longer remember the birth date I entered at the time of creating the account and without it, Yahoo won’t send the password reset link to my alternate address.

Do yourself a favor. Go to edit.yahoo.com and make a note of the postal code, date of birth and country that is associated with your Yahoo profile – you may need this information in case you ever forget your Yahoo account’s password like I did.

Bonus Tip: If you are a Gmail user, keep a record of your account creation date as that information will be required in case you ever lose access to your Google Account.

Why do some Email Messages have the Letter ‘J’ in them?

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Why do emails have ‘J’ in them?

You may have received email messages in the past that have the capital letter ‘J’ in them (see above screenshot). The letter mostly appears at the end of a paragraph but sometimes you may also also find this ‘J’ in the middle of a sentence.

What is the email sender trying to convey by adding the single letter ‘J’ to the message? Is it an abbreviation or an Internet slang that you not aware of?

I looked at the HTML source of one such email message and instantly got the answer:

<p class=3DMsoNormal>
 <span style='font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";>Thanks so much</span>
 <span style='font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Wingdings;'>J</span>
It turns out that the email was composed and send from Microsoft Outlook. In Outlook, if you add a smiley figure – something like :) or :-) – to your message, the email program automatically converts it into a smiley icon using the Wingdings font.

The Wingding fonts is installed on all Windows PCs but isn’t available on mobile devices. Hence, if you read that Outlook message on an Android phone or your iPad, the smiley icon is displayed as the capital letter J, which happens to be its Unicode equivalent (0x4A).

Also see: Outlook ruins Birthday Cake

The character code of J is the same as Wingdings’ smiley icon

What’s the Business Model of Tech Companies?

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How to Internet companies make money when the product is free?

Have you ever wondered how for-profit technology companies make money when they aren’t charging users a penny for the basic service? Are they following the freemium business model or is advertising the main source of revenue? Is the company profitable?

You can instantly find these answers on Quora or if the company is public,  you can dig through their SEC filings or save some time and just bookmark this online chart.

This handy resource, prepared by SEER Interactive, shares the broader business model of the most well-known Internet companies from Dropbox to EverNote to Tumblr and you also get to know if the company is profitable or not.

LinkedIn makes money from advertising, from paid subscribers and they also sell professional data of job seekers to recruiters.

Also see: How WordPress makes money?



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