Wednesday, July 22, 2009

What is Twitter and How Does it Work?

What is Twitter and How Does it Work?

A Social Networking Tool for Busy People

Twitter is becoming the fatest growing social networking tool available. Find out exactly what it is and how to use it. Send a "tweet" in minutes.

The Internet is all a-buzz about Twitter. What is Twitter? It's a way to keep family, friends, and coworkers up-to-date with what an individual is doing by using an instant messenger service, the web, as well as with mobile texting, plus other venues.

Messages sent out by Twitter users are limited to 140 characters, which is just enough for a quick update.

How Twitter was Created

Twitter is an interesting concept that was created by Jack Dorsey and became an incorporated company in May of 2007. Since then, it has grown to be an Internet phenomenon, often featured on news channels on the web [Twitter Breaking News Video, Chris Pirillo, CNN News, April 17, 2008]. It is also call microblogging. It works much the same way as a blog, only with the character limit. Once a Twitter is posted on the website, people are able to easily see what other people are doing. Individuals can, in turn, let others know what is going on with them as well.

The concept of Twitter relies on messaging services, whether it uses a cell phone, instant messager, such as Yahoo Messenger or MSN Messenger, or through specific websites. It allows the user to send messages to friends and family quickly and easily. Twitter only asks one question, “What are you doing?” As long as an answer is 140 characters or less, it is possible for thousands of people to see the answer immediately.

Using a Twitter Account

One must create an account, but it only takes minutes. It is free to join. Simply complete a profile, including uploading a picture. Link the newly created account to a cell phone, web page, or instant messenger program, which allows the user to receive and send messages to and from others. An update that is sent to friends is called a “tweet."

Twitter can be linked to other social networks, blogs, and websites. For instance, post a blog update and use the Twitter button. The blog entry will be sent to the people specified by the sender. This only works when logged into the Twitter account.

A user can also follow other users as well. It's easy to have conversations with other people, and before long, many people will be watching updates from many different people. Twitter is a really unique social media tool that helps individuals with:

· Article marketing
· Social networking
· Promoting website traffic to specific websites
· Staying in touch with people

The website is user-friendly and walks a new user through the entire setup process. There is also a frequently asked questions page to help those with questions about how to use Twitter for the first time or on different devices.

Twitter Advice

Don't overdo it with the updates. Keep them to a minimum to avoid annoying people. By sending too many messages in a day (or week or month), it runs the risk of individuals beginning to remove people from their list. Consider sending one message a day or setting up different groups, so as to target specific updates to those who are really interested in the messages sent. By setting up groups, personal messages will go to only those it is intended for as well.

Unfortunately, Twitter has also become very popular with Internet marketers that are realizing that most people will open a message from Twitter. There are many spammers that are using it to exploit their business. Twitter is working to correct this issue.

Twitter is a terrific tool for today's busy individual. The company is growing very quickly and expects to offer a way for people to access groups, much like Yahoo has now. This is in response to so many people asking for this type of service. Twitter is committed to providing a terrific social media for many years to come.

As a few of you will know I have been “tweeting” on Twitter over the last few weeks (Follow me here). Several people have asked me what is Twitter or how can I use it so I thought I would write an explanation.

What is ?

Twitter is a Micro-Blogging tool which allows you to send and read user updates – known as Tweets (limited to 140 characters a Tweet).

Following People

To get the most out of Twitter you need to follow people. Then everytime they Tweet it will appear on your twitter homepage as an RSS feed. Many people and companies are on Twitter.

Here are a couple that I am currently following and enjoy their updates
Stephen Fry – Stephen Fry’s Tweets are always worth reading, he always has insightful and unusual things to say.
Retail Week – – Retail Week – The Trade publication Retail Week uses its Twitter account to Tweet breaking news. This is often the first place I hear the news as they Tweet it as soon as they get it!

How to read Tweets

You can of course log into the Twitter website to read Tweets. However the best way to use Twitter (IMHO) is to use a Twitter client of which their are several. A twitter client will keep checking your twitter account for new updates so they will just pop up on your desktop (or mobile device) also you have more functionality all on one place. My favourite Twitter Client is Tweetdeck.

A guide to Tweetdeck and Twitter Etiquette.

Tweetdeck can be downloaded here

Above is picture of Tweetdeck. As you can see it allows you to see several types of Tweets all at once in several columns.

As default it will show :

All Tweets – Every Tweet you send, or someone you’re following writes

Replies - When you Tweet you can use the @ symbol to reply – eg @Charlesbarsley means that you have read one of CharlesBarsley’s Tweets and you are replying to him. A reply will only appear on their Feed, eg if you reply to me it will show on my feed but people who are following either of us will not see it unless they go directly to our Twitter page. Tweetdeck shows replies as their own feed which helps you to easily follow conversations.

Directs - A direct message is sent with the d symbol at the start of the message eg d Charlesbarsley. A direct message can only be read by the recipient.

Retweet – If you enjoy someone else’s Tweet and want to share it with your followers you can Retweet it with the RT command eg RT @Charlesbarsley – (or just click the Retweet button in Tweetdeck) – By retweeting you can share the post while allowing your followers to see the original poster incase they want to follow them.

Those are the main twitter commands, you can write your own tweet, reply to someone elses, send a direct tweet just to someone or retweet someone elses tweet.
Other Tweetdeck / Twitter functions

Shorten URL’s – Often you’ll want to include a URL in your post. Tweetdeck has a function to automatically shorten it as it will be included in your character limit.

Favourites - If you want to save a post favourite it. Twitter has its own favourite feed.

Groups – If you follow so many people that it’s hard to follow the messages or you want to group the people you follow you can create groups. Then you can see a separate feed for each group of the people you follow.

Twitter Search - You can search the whole of Twitter for a word and see an updating feed on Tweetdeck of posts which include that word. If you’re following a news story or subject this could be a great way to keep up to date.


So hopefully this post has helped you as an introduction to Twitter, I’m two week’s into Twitter and I am still not sure quite how I want to use it, I am very picky about who I follow as I want to read and enjoy every post but I am not sure what I should Tweet about myself. At the moment some of my Tweets are quite random, I think I want to tweet more about retail / Computing News, and what I’m doing. I also want to Tweet less about completely random things which people don’t want to hear about.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Malayalam fonts, Malayalam-English-Malayalam bi-lingual dictionary, etc.

Finally, here is the answer to the much needed Malayalam-English-Malayalam Bi-lingual Dictionary, Malayalam fonts for Excel/Database/etc.

Click here to visit the official site of Govt. of India, Deptt of languages and download the same.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Special Tips for Windows XP

Reach Run quickly
Here’s a quicker way to reach the Run dialog box, if you don’t want to go through the Start menu. Just hit the Windows key + R.

Looking for a better screen font display?
Enable ClearType, Microsoft’s trademark font display technology, for a drastic improvement in screen font rendering. Right-click anywhere on your desktop. Now select Properties. Under the Appearance tab, click Effects. Check the box for Use the following method to smooth edges of screen fonts, and in the drop-down menu, select ClearType. Press OK, and apply the change.

Change your mouse pointer scheme
Bored of the same old arrow? To change your mouse pointer scheme, in the Control Panel, select Mouse and go to the Pointers tab. Scroll through the available schemes, pick one that you like and click Apply.

Check that your Windows Firewall is turned on
To make sure your Windows Firewall hasn’t been accidentally disabled, go to your Control Panel and click Windows Firewall. Make sure the radio button for On (recommended) is selected. Add exceptions to your Firewall by going to the Exceptions tab and adding the programs that you think should have access to the Internet to the list of exceptions.

Instantly activate your screensaver
In XP, you can put a short cut of your favourite screensaver on your desktop to instantly start your screen saver. Here’s how. Go to Start on your desktop and click on Search. In the help box, click on All files and folders. and then type in *.scr. Select your screen saver file and right click. Then select Send To, and then Desktop.

Put your Monitor to sleep
Right click on the desktop and click on Properties. In the dialog box that appears, click on the Screen Saver tab. Click on Power and in the dialog box that appears click on the Turn off Monitor list. Select a time to automatically after which the monitor will be turned off. Click OK twice and you’re set.

Using your Windows Key
Your Windows key can be used to for many short cuts. If you want to open your Windows Explorer quickly just press your Windows key and E. If you want to open the Run dialog box, just press the Windows key and R. If you want to open your search dialog box, press your Windows key and F.

Instantly lock your PCI
f you have password protected your Windows, here is a quick way to lock it. Press the Windows key and L together.

Change the look of folder icons
If you don’t like the look of the folder icons on your desktop, you can change them. Right click on the folder, select Properties. Click on the Customize tab, and under the Folder icons area, click on the Change Icons button. Select the icon of your choice and select OK.

Minimize a Window to your taskbar
If you’re tired of using the mouse over and over again to minimize a window, here’s a handy tip. To minimize a window using just the keyboard, press Alt, Spacebar and N together.

Display album art in your music folder thumbnails
If your music files are in WMA format, XP automatically picks up the album art and displays it, both in the folder thumbnail as well as in the Windows Media Player display. If your files are in MP3 format, you can download the album art from the Internet and then customize each folder to display it. But this takes a lot of time. A faster way around is to save each image as ‘folder.jpg’ and put it in the correct folder. Once you do this, XP will pick up that image and use it as the thumbnail for the folder, and also use the image to display in Windows Media Player while playing songs from the album.

How to stop Windows Media Player from accessing your information
You may be uncomfortable with the idea of Windows Media Player collecting your information and sending it to various websites. You can stop this. Go to the Tools menu of Windows Media Player. Select Options and then go to the Player tab. Look for the check box that says "Allow Internet sites to uniquely identify your player?" and make sure it is not selected.

Opening folders with a single click
If you’d rather not have to double-click everything to open it, here’s the way out. Go to My Computer, and select Options in the Tools menu. Choose Folder options. In the dialog box that opens, select the check box that says ‘Single-click to open an item (point to select)’, and click OK.

Making web pages available offline
You may occasionally need to refer to a website, and you may not be able to connect to the Internet at the time. An easy way out of the situation is to go to the Favourites tab in Internet Explorer, and click Add to Favourites. In the dialog box that is displayed, select the Make available offline check box, and press OK.

All about Passwords

Require passwords to be a minimum of eight characters. Passwords of less than eight characters can easily be cracked using the slowest brute-force method. Even with a combination of upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols, the longest time to crack a six-character password is roughly five hours.
Do not use dictionary words, acronyms, or common permutations in any language. Dictionaries can be downloaded for free in multiple languages, and enhanced wordlists created specifically for use with cracking software are also available.
Require passwords to contain upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols. A potential hacker would likely give up before a password of sufficient length containing these characteristics is cracked.
Capital letters, numbers, and symbols should not just be used at the beginning or end of a password because the software recognizes this as a common pattern, which shortens the cracking time.
Do not use personal information. Cracking software will try permutations of usernames. It is also easy to obtain personal information such as a user’s address, birthdate, or names of family members.
Limit the number of times a person can incorrectly enter a password. Limiting the number of authentication attempts that can be performed in a certain timeframe prevents password-cracking software from trying thousands of passwords per second. Systems commonly accept three failed attempts before locking a user out of the system.
Restrict document access. Like paper documents stored in locking cabinets, electronic files should be restricted to allow access only to authorized users. Sensitive information should be compartmentalized so a person can access only the information needed

10 things everyone should know about MS Word

Copy just the formatting
Almost everyone knows how to copy and paste text to re-use the same boilerplate in more than one document. But did you know you can do the same thing with formatting? The Format Painter is located on the Home tab, it's that little paintbrush icon. When you click the Format Painter, Word copies the formatting of from the start of your selection and the cursor changes to a paintbrush. Now, wherever you click in your document, that same formatting will be applied. Whether your selection will just be text formatting or both text and paragraph formatting depends on what is included in the selection. And if you want to keep pasting the same formatting, you can double-click the Format Painter button to make it “sticky.” When you're finished "painting" just press Escape to release the painter.

Move from one spelling errors to another without using the dialog
Many people do a final edit of their document, checking each unrecognized word to see if it needs to be correct. There’s nothing wrong with opening the Spelling dialog to do this but you can accomplish the same text by clicking on the spelling icon in the status bar. At each unrecognized word, it displays the context menu with suggestions for you.

Change the formatting of an entire list
When you click on a number or bullet for a list, the entire list is selected. You can then apply text formatting for just that list without changing the paragraph formatting. You can also change the type of numbering or bullets used by selecting from the gallery associated with the bullet or numbering button.

Save a set of formatting as a styleFormat
Painter provides a convenient way of copy formatting from one spot to another but you can also store formatting for later use. Simply select the text that has the formatting that you want, right-click, and select Save Selection as New Quick Style. Once you give your new Quick Style a name, it will appear in the Style gallery on the Home tab.

Repeat an action
If you’ve just gotten through performing a complex task with a dialog and find yourself needing to do the same task again, you can click the Repeat button next to the Undo button or press Ctrl+Y.

Move between objects by clicking
At the lower right side of the window (just below the scroll bar) is the “Object Browser,” which consists of three buttons--a selection menu and a pair of Previous and Next arrows. One use of the Previous/Next arrows is after you’ve search for something using Find. When you close the Find dialog, the arrows are blue, indicating that you have a stored search. You can just click on the arrows to repeat the Find in the indicated direction. You can also use the “middle” button to select the type of object to browse. You can select to move among pictures, pages, headings, or any of a dozen object types.

Scale the text in your document
If you’re struggling to get text to fit in a certain number of pages, the first thing you’ll probably try is adjusting the margins on the Page Setup tab. But if that still doesn’t give you enough room you can select all of your text and use the Shrink Font button to reduce all of the text in your document--text at different sizes reduces proportionally so that your headings remain larger than the rest of your text. And you can squeeze just a portion of your document if you prefer; the command works on any selection.

Change the formatting of the standard paragraph
When you start a new document, Word makes some assumptions about the spacing of the typical paragraph (in Word 2007, it puts a bit of space between lines and almost a 1/6th of an inch of space between paragraphs). If you don’t like that spacing, you can make changes to any sample paragraph and then right-click on the “Normal” Quick Style and select “Update Normal to Match Selection.” Any existing paragraphs in your document and any new ones you create will use this formatting.

Show or hide the gridlines for tables
Tables in Word 2007 do not display the dividing lines between cells by default. These lines are called gridlines and show the borders of each cell. But unlike “real” borders, they don’t print with your document. You can use the Show Gridlines command at the bottom of the Borders menu or on the Table Layout tab to control whether or not these lines are showing.

Templates are a convenient way to store the starting point for a document
Most of us have documents that contain boilerplate text that we frequently need to reuse. And most of us who have a standard document that we use as a starting point have made the mistake of saving over the original of that document. If you have a document that you frequently use as a starting point for other documents, save a copy of it as a Template (DOTX) on your desktop. Then, when you double-click on that template, a copy of the document will be opened—no risk of ever saving over the original.

Keyboard Shortcuts (Microsoft Windows)

CTRL+C (Copy)

CTRL+X (Cut)

CTRL+V (Paste)

CTRL+Z (Undo)

DELETE (Delete)

SHIFT+DELETE (Delete the selected item permanently without placing the item in the Recycle Bin)

CTRL while dragging an item (Copy the selected item)

CTRL+SHIFT while dragging an item (Create a shortcut to the selected item)

F2 key (Rename the selected item)

CTRL+RIGHT ARROW (Move the insertion point to the beginning of the next word)

CTRL+LEFT ARROW (Move the insertion point to the beginning of the previous word)

CTRL+DOWN ARROW (Move the insertion point to the beginning of the next paragraph)

CTRL+UP ARROW (Move the insertion point to the beginning of the previous paragraph)

CTRL+SHIFT with any of the arrow keys (Highlight a block of text)

SHIFT with any of the arrow keys (Select more than one item in a window or on the desktop, or select text in a document)

CTRL+A (Select all)

F3 key (Search for a file or a folder)

ALT+ENTER (View the properties for the selected item)

ALT+F4 (Close the active item, or quit the active program)

ALT+ENTER (Display the properties of the selected object)

ALT+SPACEBAR (Open the shortcut menu for the active window)

CTRL+F4 (Close the active document in programs that enable you to have multiple documents open simultaneously)

ALT+TAB (Switch between the open items)

ALT+ESC (Cycle through items in the order that they had been opened)

F6 key (Cycle through the screen elements in a window or on the desktop)

F4 key (Display the Address bar list in My Computer or Windows Explorer)

SHIFT+F10 (Display the shortcut menu for the selected item)

ALT+SPACEBAR (Display the System menu for the active window)

CTRL+ESC (Display the Start menu)

ALT+Underlined letter in a menu name (Display the corresponding menu) Underlined letter in a command name on an open menu (Perform the corresponding command)

F10 key (Activate the menu bar in the active program)

RIGHT ARROW (Open the next menu to the right, or open a submenu)

LEFT ARROW (Open the next menu to the left, or close a submenu)

F5 key (Update the active window)

BACKSPACE (View the folder one level up in My Computer or Windows Explorer)

ESC (Cancel the current task)

SHIFT when you insert a CD-ROM into the CD-ROM drive (Prevent the CD-ROM from automatically playing)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

How to increase your Laptop Battery's Life?

Follow the few steps to increase the laptop battery's life:

Lower the backlighting on your screen.

The screen of your Laptop takes up significant amount of power and you do not require its maximum brightness. You should have to check your system and decrease the screen brightness it to a comfortable point.

Stop your wireless signal when you are not using.

After turning off your Laptop can save max. 20 minutes of your laptop's battery time because WiFi can use a considerable quantity of power. By right clicking you can stop your WiFi signal when you are not using.

Manage the correct power scheme in XP

Windows XP contain a number of predetermined power plans, which control settings like how rapidly your laptop turns off and when your screen saver boots in. You can change your laptop power scheme by choosing Control Panel > Power Options. For max. Battery life from the "Power scheme" chooses the option "Max. Battery" and decline the list. There are good choices for you just like "Low Power Mode" and Portable /Laptop. They don't conserve as much power as Max Battery. After selecting a power scheme you click Ok button to finish the process.