Bowser Size from Google Labs

Browser size has been integrated into Google Analytics and would soon move out of Google labs.

This handy Google Labs tool will allow you to see your website as seen by users with different screen resolutions. One of the major challenges while designing a website template is to design the template so that user can read the relevant information at the very first glance itself. Sadly this depends on the visitors screen resolution. This tool from Google Labs will overlay a transparent ruler like layout to the web address you give it, thus enabling you to see how your web site looks at  screen resolutions other than yours.

Google Labs browser Size Screen cap
Screen Shot of Simple Informations on browser Size by Google Labs

The tool allows basic settings such as transparency adjustment of the ruler. You can use Google Analytics to know what resolution is used by most number of your visitors. Then you can head over to Browser size and see what all portions of your website is viewable at that resolution. This will allow you to make your web site more accessible and improve the “page views/visit” as well as “bounce rate”.

The following is a screen shot of my Google Analytics page showing the details of this blogs visitors and their screen resolution.

Visitor by resolution chart
Statisctics of visitors to this site by resolution – Google Analytics

Link : Browser Size | Google Labs | Google Analytics

Free Disk tools to analyse Disk usage graphically

Disk Usage Analyser(DUA) is a GNome ustility available for Linux. As the name indicates DUA scans the filesystem and finds out how much space is occupied by each directory and file. It then shows the usage along side a folder tree as a bar graph.When you click on a directory name, memory usage by each subfolder and files can be seen as an arc diagram on the right pane.

Left side shows a tree structure and bar graphs while the right pane shows the selected directories memory usage and its contents.
Left side shows a tree structure and bar graphs while the right pane shows the selected directories memory usage and its contents.

The Disk Usage Analyzer can be used to find out which directory or file uses how much space. It can be very helpful if you are trying to clean-up some Hard Disk Space from your PC. A similar tool for Windows is WinDIrStat at but this one is a little less visaully attractive one. For KDE users KDirStat might be a solution.

One (free) instant messenger for all services

All the web sites having a chat facility has now got an instant messenger client. So a messenger that can handle multiple services was one I was waiting for a long time. I think this would be the case for most of you. But which client would support multiple services as well as run on both Windows and Linux? The answer is Pidgin a free and is distributed under GPL.

Pidgin is an instant messaging program for Windows, Linux, BSD, and other Unixs. You can talk to your friends using AIM, ICQ, Jabber/XMPP, MSN Messenger, Yahoo!, Bonjour, Gadu-Gadu, IRC, Novell GroupWise Messenger, QQ, Lotus Sametime, SILC, SIMPLE, MySpaceIM, and Zephyr.

Pidgin is the default IM client that comes with Linux(well some distros only – as Saman pointed out in the comments). Almost all of the features of other IM clients are available in pidgin also. But there is no support for video and audio chat. Although file transfer is integrated, most of the time it won’t work (at least when I tried).For pidgin to work properly tyou may need GTK. You can find a version of GTK along with pidgin itself. If not goto GTK for Windows.

One of the main advantages of pidgin is that it can sign in to multiple usernames at once. You can sign in to you GTalk, ICQ, Yahoo… messenger accounts at once. So you don’t need to manage multiples Windows which is a great feature.

PidGin can be downloaded here : Pidgin for Windows, PidGin is available by default in Linux – or install by sudo apt-get install pidgin.

Free screen capture software

The humble Snippy was rendered useless by the Snipping tool that comes with Windows 7. The Snipping tool can be evoked by typing Snip in the Start menu.

(Version .41 with support to outlook released) A newer version .40 of Snippy is now available. It has got the added feature of support for Multiple Monitors which was done by Kartikeya Rindani

Snippy is the most efficient screen capture software I have seen till date : its free, it’s light at only 88Kb and needs no installation. When snippy is run it is hidden in the notification area , but when you click on it a “capture pointer” appears which lets you draw the required area. Or you can press shift to draw a rectangleSnippy draw. It supports up to 5 image formats for saving. In contrast to other applications all communication with snippy can be done through and only through the right click on notification area icon. Snippy is really a great piece of software with an appropriate name and a matching icon. Try it out today itself.

Pros :
really lite (88Kb) and requires no installation, Not system hungry, Supports five image formats, no irritating window, Hot Key allowed – F11 (changeable), border width and color changeable. Snippy ‘s captured files are not lost even if you forget to save, they are automatically saved as JPEG to user temp folder which is “C:Documents and SettingsUSERNAMELocal SettingsTemp” with filenames Snippyxxx.jpg

Cons :
No timer functions, the border drawn is also included in captured image which can be irritating, No video capture. (Actually you cant blame Snippy. After all it is really lite and easy to use, it keeps all the promises to you)

Specifications :

Mem. Usage (minimized) : 3MB
(capturing) : 10MB(during drawing, may vary)

File formats supported

Capture Mode: Rectangle, Free shape draw.

Price : Free

Download Snippy executable for Windows

Add free online contact form to your web site

A Contact form is an essential form for any website. But if you are on blogger or a free host you wont be able to create one on yourself even if you know PHP. Although if you are running WP you can get plugin’s specific for that application. I use cForms for my contact forms.

So if you just need a frills free contact form you can place on your website you may try Contactify . It offers free contact forms as well as spam protection (word verification) for the service. You just need to copy paste the JavaScript they provide after you register.

Here is my sample contact form : Contact me

Free software for creating and editing pdf files

Foxit Software LogoFoxit software corporation is the makers of Foxit PDF tools. It includes PDF readers and editors both for the PC and mobile platforms. Although it is a payed product a free trial version can be obtained from Foxit. The trial version is as good as a full version except that in the trial version a water mark is added to the files you write.

Foxit PDF reader is one of the best available PDF readers. It is much lighter that Acrobat reader and also very much faster. You can download Foxit PDF reader here. To try the free PDF editor from Foxit go to the PDF editor Download page. If you want a full fledged PDF creator (not editor) you can try these methods

1. How to print and save as PDF files.

2. Save web pages as PDF files.

3. Free Online Files converter.

Download the free software to shred files

There was a small introduction on how files are recovered from magnetic media in the last post. In that post I had said about using repeated overwrites to render a file unrecoverable. Sdelete is a command line utility that can wipe off a file and its traces completely from your hard disk without leaving a chance for recovery. If you have some data that you don”t want others to know about, you can “securely delete” it using sdelete.

sdelete is a tool from sysinternals to erase data from Disk drives completely. It can delete data from USB drives, floppy drives, or hard disk drives. sdelete can also cleanup the freespace avilable on any drive with zeros and delete directories recursively.

You need to download the zip file from sysinternals site, extract it to C:WINDOWS or C:WINDOWSsystem32 folder (or you can add the folder you are extracting to the PATH variable in Windows environment). so that it can be directly accessed from command prompt.

Usage :

sdelete [-p passes] [-s] [-q] <file or directory>
sdelete [-p passes] [-z|-c] [drive letter]

-c Zero free space (good for virtual disk optimization).
-p passes Specifies number of overwrite passes.
-s Recurse subdirectories.
-q Don’t print errors (quiet).
-z Cleanse free space.

sdelete is free, light and installation free. You can control the number of passes (overwritings) that has to be done and moreover previously deleted file data can also be cleaned using the free space cleaning facility.

Download sdelete(free) (47Kb) , Visit sdelete webpage on Sysinternals

Free online image editor

Resizr is a free online image editing site. I will allow you to use almost all the basic photo editing features. “RESIZR was conceived in July 2006 by Matt Miller, after trying to help a user upload an image to the Urban Pug Forums. After suggesting some tools, it became apparent that there might be a need for a brutally simple online image resizer.”

Image in Resizr canvas

With Resizr you can Crop, Resize, Change filetype (GIF,PNG,JPG), sharpen, adjust levels, change the tone of the image (to B/W &&; sepia), adjust brightness and contrast and even control the quality of output file. Resizr is equivalent to a photo editing software. It is free and also saves your file for a specific amount of time before which you can download it.

Download files from without flash player

eSnips logo eSnips is a social content-sharing site, where you can publish and share any media type. You will get 5Gb of storage space on the servers when you signup for eSnips.

You can find lots and lots of books, music files, photos etc on eSnips. But if you want to download them you will need flash player. Here is the workaround if you do not have flash player installed but still want to download a file from eSnips.

This is the screen shown if you do not have flash installed.

Flash install

View the source of the web page by pressing CTRL+U – firefox, opera, IE ; Find the section with the text “var scribd_doc = scribd.Document.getDocFromUrl” (do a search). Now select the URL of the file you need from inside the brackets. More details can be found in the image below.

Source of the webpage and finding the URL of file.

Paste this URL to the address bar and you will get the file you searched for.

Free online icon maker

Free tools have always been my favorite. You can see that under the free tag. If you don’t have any software to create an icon or cannot create a free icon as in the previous post, you must try this free online icon creator.

Free online favicon editor

The site allows you to make 16x16px icons. You can also select an image make it to 16x16px and upload to the site and convert it to ico fromat. Since the canvas is highly magnified you can easily create shapes and write using the provided tools. After the work is finished the icon can be downloaded by clicking on the Download icon button on top.