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Showing posts from May, 2012

How to install Windows XP from a USB memory stick

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Note to self after having to do this a couple of times. If I need to install WinXP from a USB memory stick, the absolute no-brainer way to do it is WinToFlash. The keyword here is no-brainer, because there are tons of tutorials out there that require you to have a rocket science degree and a PhD to follow. Not so for WinToFlash. Run the program, point the source path to the WinXP install files, point the target path to the USB memory stick and click a button. Then go for a cup of coffee and you are done.

Here is how it looks during bootup:


Option 1 is for the first bootup where you get into the text mode setup, configure and format your partition and copy essential files.

Option 2 is for the second bootup where you actually see the Windows XP splash screen and then it starts to configure devices and settings.

I have no affiliation with the company that produces the software. It has a free, ad-supported version if you are a casual user. There is also a personal, professional and busine…

Dealextreme Aggregator

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Just stumbled across this website called GadgetzFinder that aggregates products from a couple of DealExtreme-like sites (including DealExtreme itself). For those of you who are not familiar with DealExtreme, it is the granddaddy of Hong Kong-based B2C websites that list all kinds of Made-in-China gadgets and offer free shipping for all purchases. Almost all the items are a fraction of the price of similar items sold in western developed countries. For example, I bought this laptop security cable recently for under $4, where it would have cost me $20 in local stores.



The downside to that cheap price is the long waiting time for the purchased item to arrive. On average I have to wait about 3 weeks for an item, but surprisingly I have received every single item I have purchased so far, and believe me, I have bought a lot of items from DealExtreme and others. Kudos to the global postal system! Also be prepared for some hits and misses in terms of product quality. But the novelty, convenie…

Export to PDF on Firefox

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Looked around for a way to export web pages to PDF on Firefix. Most of the existing addons for exporting to PDF involve doing so via a web service, which has security implications, especially when the web page to be exported contains sensitive information.

The Firefox addon that I finally settled on is PDFIt, which as far as I can tell does not involve any web service but does everything on the client web browser. Once installed, the PDFIt menu appears in the "Tools" menu as well as the context menu.

The PDFIt addon not only lets you convert web pages to PDF, it lets you convert to PNG or JPG as well. In addition, you can add a custom title to the output with full control over the font color, size and position. You can also apply a filter (from a total of 16) to the output, including rotation, flipping, sepia, reflection etc.

The only downside I can find is that the output PDF is an image of the web page i.e. even text on the web page are converted to bitmap. If you need tex…