Friday, December 22, 2006

wholinkstome in Yahoo google msn technorati

Want to know who links to your blog. Here is a simple solution that you can add to your blog. wholinkstome is a simple website that allows you to check for links to your webpage or blog from other sites. Currently wholinkstome provides users with link stats and Traffic details from Yahoo search engine, MSN search engine, Technorati, Icerocket,Blogrolling.com,Del.icio.us, Alexa.

Here is the piece of code that you need to add to your blog
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Related: Top Ten software downloads, Blogger beta with qumana, Cool gmail signatures

100 photographs that changed life

It has been said a picture is worth a thousand words is the wise saying and i certainly agree with that saying. World has been evolving and changing time to time and here is just a snapshot of a set of photos that has changed the world.
Origin of humanity in 1965
Bombing of Hiroshima in 1965
Vietnam War(s0urce)
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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Google maps adds streets in India

Google maps has yet again come over microsoft live or mapquest in terms of their speed of progress and resolution. Recently they have added Google streep maps to over 152 locations across India. Most of the important cities like the big metros like Bombay,Chennai,Bangalore,Hyderbad,Calcutta and New Delhi have all been mapped to the street level in google maps.

For some time Google had been enhancing maps mostly across America nd Europe. With growing competition from Microsoft's live.Google indeed has gone a step ahead in India.

For some time Most of the maps across India was just white space and green patches and suddenly when i recently looked at Google maps i was astonished. It has turned from green patches, dry land to sophisticated national highways and street names.

The best part is the details that are provided in the Google maps.Google photos are really impressive with high levels of zoom even allowing you to pin point cars on the road,individual houses etc

Almost every address in Google maps has an impressive and clear vision. So coming back to Google street maps in India topic well i would say that it really helps those who are unware of indian streets. It would help people to easily have a virtual map in hand before they travel across the cities or across places in the city

Let us see what features had google added to the street maps in India. To start off it has mapped important junction or points like hospitals, theatres,temples, train stations,schools, government offices, departmental stores,banks, Bus terminus, Cinema theaters, Police stations, Hotels, Shopping complexes, Post office etc. Let us see some of the snap shots of important locations across India

Mumbai
Chennai
Bangalore

Hyderabad

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Google Blogger Beta is out of Beta version

If you have been blogging still from the old blogger login instead of using a third party software to publish your blogs then you should have observed something recently. Blogger beta is out of Beta and if you look at the right hand side pic you would see two versions to login to your Blogger account.

Old Blogger accounts are still accessible and would be completely closed once all the users have made the trasition to the new system. Blogger beta users can login using there google accounts into the Blogger system

Blogger Beta has made significant changes compared to the old blogger system. Let me discuss a few of those changes that had improved the performance of the new blogger version

Blogger Beta system had introduced a new element "page element" in the dashboard of the blogger system. The Page element system allows you to add new page elements in to the easily.These page elements are drag dropable across the blogger template making it easier to move the page elements all across the template

These page elements can be either the HTML version or the javascript elements. There is complete control over the page elements in the Blogger New version


The second feature is the ability to create blogs that can be restricted to certain users. Like for example you write a blog about your family or girl friend and you dont want everyone to access it then you can restrict the user access by just adding their email address.

Further if you know someone who shares thoughts you can invite guests to write a post on your blog. This can be done my allowing multiple authors to post on your blog

The third feature that has been improved in the blogger new version is that some additional feed options have been added like having a feed for all the comments on your blog or having an individual feed for comments and posts.

The dashboard's design has be improved giving you an overall control over the blog management console.

Finally remember the old blogger system where you needed to click on"republish all items" and the whole processed took some time. Now with Blogger new version your blog will update immediately and changes go live in a flash.

Related:Hide Blogger Beta Toolbar,
Blogging with Google Docs & Spreadsheets,
Blogging with Qumana editor,
Create cool Gmail signatures

Monday, December 18, 2006

What is 401(k) plan: Do you need it or not ?

What exactly is 401(k) plan?. I have been reading a lot to understand it and here are some thought that i would like to share with you and give you the opportunity as to whether 401(k) plan is suitable or not for you

Is it possible for us to get free money. Yes there is an option in investing into the 401k plan.401k plan is same as the provident fund that i have been familiar for all my life. Most of the employees offer the 401k plan and if not you can choose one of your own.

A 401k plan could be called as an employment sponsored retirement plan. In a 401k plan an employee saves money for his retirement while deferring taxes on the saved money until withdrawal or retirement from job.

Consider an example: John makes about 60000$ per year and his age is 24yrs. Assuming Johns employee contributes 50% of the money that he contributes to his 401k plan with a max of 6% of johns salary. So here John earns 5000$ per month and contributes 300$ towards the 401k plan. His company matches 50% of it and so that would be 150$. John will not earn anything if he doesnt contribute anything to the 401k plan

The other advantage is that earnings from investments in 401k plan(interest,dividends) are not taxable. The money in 401k plan can be invested right from a saving bank account,money market account,mutual fund and to stocks.

How do you save tax by investing in 401k plan: In johns case he earns 60000$ per year and he contributes 3600$ per year towards 401k plan. so the net taxable income would be 56,400$. Assuming a tax rate of 30% john would end up paying 1500$ per month as tax. On contibution to 401k plan he would pay only 1410$. He would be saving 90$ per month and about 1080$ per year.

Taxes: If withdrawals are made before 59 1/2 yrs then the withdrawals are charges at the current rate but after that the tax rate is going to be less as he might just be withdrawing about 2000$ per month at the age of 60. Most companies prevent withdrawals from the 401k account.

Currently there is a limit to which the employee can contribute to 401k plan. A max of 15,500$ has been set for the year 2007. So assuming john gets a rise of 5% every year in his job and he continues to contribute 3600$ per year towards his 401k plan. Then at the age of 60yrs john would have $917,610 from just his 401k plan. This include an annual rate of return at 5%

From the calculations i think one should maximize the 401k plan and contibute a good amount to earn high returns at retirement.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

How to Manage Virtual Drives and ISO image files: MagicISO

MagicDisc is a very helpfull tool that can be used for creating and Managing Virtual CD/DVD drives. What it simples allows you to do is to use almost all CD/DVD image or .iso files without burning them on to a CD or DVD drive.

The best part is that it is about 3mb in size , 1 million downloads and its absolutely free. Using MagicDisc you can play games, listen to music, install software from image files that are stored on your hard disk.

The best feature i like is that it works almost 10 times fasters than playing them from a CD/DVD. Certain softwares require you to have the original CD/DVD in the drive in order to run the software. To solve this problem you can use the MagicDisc. MagicDisc will mount the image file as a Virtual Drive and thus helping you to run those softwares that require you to have a CD/DVD on the drive. You dont to hunt in your office/house for that elusice CD/DVD that you need to run the applications.

The reason being that the data is stores on the hard disk and can be accessed faster than to an actual CD/DVD.Now let us see some of the features of MagicDisc..

So i guess one knows how one can create an image file of a CD. If you do not know how to create an image file of a CD you can just read ahead to get information of how to create an image file for a CD.

Loading Image/ISO files:
Once an .ISO file is created all you have to do is mount the image/ISO file in the MagicDisc and your Virtual CD/DVD is ready to use. So first open the MagicDisc and go to Virtual CD/DVD- ROM menu and inside which you select the mount menu.

A pop up will open up asking you to locate the image/ISO file and once you select the image file you just click on the Open icon and your image file is ready to be mounted on the Virtual Drive.Here is a screenshot of mounting an ISO file.

You even have the option of selecting more that one virtual drive. You can select for about 15 virtual drives.

Creating CD images using MagicDisc:
select the MagicDisc menu and then select the Make CD/DVD Image menu and a pop up menu opens up like the one that is shown on the right side.

Select the source as CD/DVD or an image file and then right below it you need to select the location where the image file needs to be stored.

To enable password protection you can add passwords to the image file with a maximum length of 31.

There is even an option of selecting the kind of format for the ISO files. you have four different options like
  • Universal Image Format(UIF)
  • Bin Image File(.BIN)
  • Standard ISO Image(.ISO)
  • Nero Image File(.NRG)
More details can be found at the MagicDisc site
Related: Top Ten software Downloads, CCleaner

Convert Word to PDF files Quickly: Use PDF 995

I have been searching for a solution for some time on an easy way to convert word files to pdf files with ease. I could have the option of installing Adobe PDF maker but i was looking for a solution that would utlize low resources of my laptop and about 10mb in size. I came acrooss this free software PDF 995. It is about 5mb in size and is really easy to install. We will go ahead and look at its features and also learn about using it in converting word to pdf.

First Download and install the software on your PC from here. All the downloads are free and you get four different versions based on your PDF requirements.

I personally prefer the Free Convertor and you can install the other versions that support combining PDF pages. The new version even supports the Windows Vista 32 bit and 64 bit versions.

Let me show you how i use PDF 995 to convert word files to pdf 995 files with ease and speed. First we will create a word file in Microsoft word and save it. Then open the file menu and look for the option print . The shortcut for printing would be CTRL+P

Once the CTRL+P or the Print option is clicked a pop up box will appear . Here is the screenshot of the menu. On the left is the screenshot where you can see that the printer option has opened up and you are ready to print the word file. The next step would be to select the pdf 995 option in the Printer name drop down menu.

If you look carefully there is a drop down menu in the popup box. This menu usually indicates the printers that are installed on your computer

Once the PDF 995 is installed on your PC there would be an option named PDF 995 on the printers name drop down menu.

Selecte the PDF 995 under the printer's name drop down menu and press OK

That is all you have to do. A pop up will appear asking you to name the pdf file and the location where it needs to be saved. Just click on the button SAVE and your pdf file is ready.

It has about 10 million downloads and is perhaps the best pdf makers. Here are some of the features that even adobe products dont support.
  • Automated Bookmark Insertion
  • Automatic Imposition of PDF Stationery
  • Configurable Naming Conventions
  • Integration with Document Management and Workflow Systems
  • Citrix/Terminal Server Support
  • XP Fast User Switching Support
  • Automated Security
  • Text Summarization
  • PDF to HTML Conversion
More details can be obtained on the download site that was previously mentioned. It is indeed a great software and works in ease to convert word to pdf files
Related: Top Downloads, Windows Vista