Free hosting – should you choose? Which is the best?

The web is full of interesting stuff, the more interesting part is that most of them are free. Take the case of web servers. All my websites (spare my projects) lies in free web space. I doubt why would someone go after paid hosting when they can get as good or even better hosting.. for FREE.

Yeah, you must me careful in choosing the web hosting provider. Some free hosts sucks.  The main problem with many of the free hosts is uptime (server online time). Actually I liked the free hosting provided by Websites Network (wsnw.net – dead now), but after a few days, I found myself searching for another one, their uptime is pathetic.

Then I used HostSnake , another good one, and it was new to the scene. Had many good features, but soon they started putting up large banners above and below my pages. Then I was totally desperate and was beginning to believe that all free hosts suck. It was then my friend told me to try X10Hosting.com, the signup process was a bit lengthier, but their service was great. The best thing is ofcourse the uptime, (but you have to signup in their forum!!). Now almost all my sites including this one runs on X10 servers. They are offering MySql databases,addon domains,subdomains and many other features.

So from my experience and experiments with free hosting for over two years, let me point the good ones for you.

x10logo – Adfree, PHP, MySQL, addon domains, subdomains, scripts installer, MX records etc… great uptime too.

Google Pages Logo – No PHP, No addon domains, Easy to use, online page creator, very fast loading, Great for novices. [ Google Pages is no more taking new sign ups, instead they have come up with another hosting service with more features, Google Sites ]

Office Live Logo -Superb hosting! Online page editing, addon domains, email ids, super fast loading etc. Great for novices,small businesses,startups etc. Lots of templates.

110mb hosting is also cool, but some features like addon domain, mysql databases etc are paid features. Worth checking out

These are the best services I have ever encountered. Choose x10hosting if you are really into PHP hosting and projects that require more freedom. Choose Google Pages if you don’t want to spend a lot of time editing your pages and want to get it all done so quick. It is as simple as Google itself. You can opt Microsoft Office Live if you need a Great website for your business, school or personal. More options to configure, but sure they are worth.

Have a lot of fun making a great website. Bye


Two unknown Gmail tricks.

Gmail LogoWe all agree that Gmail is the coolest mail service out here. I recently read from the Official Gmail Blog two more cool features of Gmail. To be honest, I never knew about those before.

  1. Suppose your gmail id is kingjacc@gmail.com, then you can aswell receive mails addressed to king.jacc@gmail.com, or k.ing.ja.cc@gmail.com or so. This is because the Gmail system just ignores any periods(.) in between your userid.
  2. And here is another nice one. Again suppose your gmail id is kingjacc@gmail.com. Suppose you are using this id for some official use such as ‘customer feedback’or somehing. So now you can append any other word after your gmail id after a ‘+’ sign. So you can use the mail id ‘kingjacc+feedback@gmail.com‘ or ‘kingjacc+sports@gmail.com‘ or so. And if you want to forward to forward your mails addressed to ‘kingjacc+feedback@gmail.com‘ to another email id, if you need. You can configure this in the gmail settings > filters >

Is n’t it cool, checkout now.


Retrieve flv videos (and other files) from firefox cache.

Yesterday my friend sent me a link to a video in his site. I saw the video as streaming and I liked it. I just wanted to keep a copy of it in my collection. So as usual I went to keepvid, my favourite YouTube grabber site. But I couldn’t download the video because the site was not supported. Well these grabber sites do not support the majority of the streaming video sites, coz they are so many of them using different encoding  methods. It was then I thought of it – prior to playing the file, firefox (or any other browser) keeps a copy of the video in its local cache. So I googled to see if there is an option to save cached files, and came up with these..

Tool: Go to http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/video_cache_view.html, there you can download ‘Download VideoCacheView’. This tool will allow you to see all flv videos in your cache..Remember again – you can browse only flv videos using this tool. It is a freeware.

Screenshot

Or click here to download the file directly.

Trick: Ok here is a neat trick to save any file from your cache. If you are using firefox, in the address type about:cache and hit enter. The resultant page will display various information about your cache. On that page click on the link List Cache Entries, and you will get a detailed list of all files that are currently in firefox cache. If you want to save any of those files just browse to the cache folder – it is given at the bottom of the first page (about:cache). It looks something like this 'C:\Documents and Settings\copzz\Local Settings\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\j1l44nro.default\OfflineCache'. Now browse to this folder and copy and save the file you need into another location and change its extention to whatever it is, like .jpg .flv etc.

And you are done. Happy caching.


Manage multiple email ids from your Gmail id.

Gmail LogoMost of us keep more than one email id. We may be keeping one for personal communication, one for business communication etc. But it is really difficult to keep up with multiple email ids. You have to check all these ids for any incoming message or to send any mail from those.

But now with gmail, you can completely manage your other email ids with a single id. For the case of incoming messages, you can set to forward all the  messages coming to that id to your gmail id.(ie, if you configure to forward your emails, you can read emails sent to jack@yahoo.com from jack202@gmail.com). So the problem of incoming mail is saved for now. You can find the mail forwarding option in gmail >> settings >>forwarding >>

And if you want to send a mail from another account, that is also possible with gmail. In Gmail >> Settings >> Accounts >> , you can configure other email ids. Gmail will send a confirmation message and once you confirm the ownership of the other email id, you can start sending emails from those ids from your accounts.That is., if you set jack@rebugged.com to be your additional email id, then after confirmation you can send emails ‘from saurabh@rebugged.com’, right from the gmail id- jack202@gmail.com. Nice isn’t it?


How to block websites without additional software

Stop

There is a simple way by which you can block any site from being accessible from your computer. There is a file called “hosts” located at C:WINDOWSsystem32driversetc. Now open that file in Notepad. This file is used to map domain names with IP addresses, locally within your computer. So whenever you type a domain name (say google.com) in your browser, the browsr first checks if the domain entry is in this “hosts” file. If not present (in most cases), the browser will lookup external servers.

Now the trick, if you want to block google.com, assign the domain name google.com to the ip 127.0.0.1 (127.0.0.1 is the address of your own computer, commonly known as ‘localhost’) or assign it to any other value such as 127.0.x.x.

Now every time you enters google.com, it goes to 127.0.0.1, ie your own computer. So virtually you have blocked it.


Customize registration emails from your wordpress blog

I Love WordPressHey, since my first installation of wordpress, I love this publishing platform very much. But there was something that didn’t make me very happy, that was the confirmation email. When a new user registers in a wordpress based blog, a confirmation email is sent to him. But the email says that it is from ‘wordpress@yourdomain.com‘ and the sender name was ‘WordPress’. I wanted to change it to something like ‘noreply@yourdomain.com‘ or ‘registration@yourdomain.com‘. I searched for an option to customize this in the dashboard. When I had no luck, I tried to find the corresponding code in the source code. Still I had no luck. I searched almost the entire web, Yahoo! Answers and everything, no clue.But finally today when I was just searching through the WordPress Plugin Directory, I saw something there, sure a plugin, just for changing the from address and sender name of the registration email.

Download the plugin


Download images from copy protected sites – The coolest way!

It was Indian independence day and all of my classmates (including me) decided to change our orkut profile pictures to the indian tricolor (flag). But some were reluctant since they just liked their profile pictures and had no copy of it with them so that they could reinstate it once the independence day is over. They tried to save the pictures from their profile pages so that they could reuse them. But as a measure to avoid abuse, orkut makes it difficult to copy someones profile picture (including your own)…..

And there the problem lies, some websites donot allow us to copy or download any images from them. They employ genius programmers and spend money to implement complex scripts that make copying of their images difficult. But for every problem that seems to be complex, there is a solution that is too simple to accept… this applies here too.

All you need is a firefox browser. Open the web page in which your image of interest resides in firefox.

Now right click anywhere on the page and select ‘View Page Info’. view-page-info

Or you can view page information by clicking on the favicon of the web page and clicking ‘More Information’.

more-informatiom

Or you can simply select ‘Page Info’ from the tools tab. Now the Page Info window will show up. On it select the tab ‘Media’. There you will see a list of all images present in that web page.Clicking on any item in the list will show a preview of the image right in the window. Near to the display area, there is a button ‘Save As’ and save the image in your computer. That’s all.

Please let me  know if you know any other trick.


Welcome to Google Chrome

Google Chrome LogoAt last, after a long time of spectulations and gossips, Google has released a browser – The Google Chrome. A beta release now. This move from Google has been said as the first potential move against Microsoft from a well supported platform. Chrome is built with open source components from firefox,webkit etc…Google released the first public beta of  the browser yesterday (2nd September 2008). The beta is available for download at http://www.google.com/chrome. The chrome team reports some entirely new and amazing features of the chrome, that will make Chrome even better than Firefox, (atleast that’s what I thought when I read the cool features of chrome). All the features of chrome are described as a comic (38 pages!) available here. Better read it, it is so much explanatory and so easy to understand.Some of the features of Chrome

  • Speed is great, I couldn’t yet find out which is faster – firefox or chrome. Both have competing speed.[Great]
  • Web search. Web history. Address bar, all three in a single box.
  • A special mode for private browsing incognito mode. – [Good][we can browse ‘off history’ in firefox too]
  • See visual preview of your most visited sites, most used search engines, and recently bookmarked pages and closed tabs, every time you open a new tab!. – [Good]
  • Create application shortcuts can directly load your favorite online apps –[This feature can be added to Firefox, if you install the addon called ‘prism’. Download Prism]
  • Every tab you’re using is run independently(as separate processes) in the browser, so if one app crashes it won’t take anything else down. – [Great]
  • You can drag tabs out of the browser to create new windows, gather multiple tabs into one window or arrange your tabs however you wish – [Cool]
  • You will be warned when you are about to visit suspected phishing, malware or otherwise unsafe websites.[Available in most other browsers]
  • Single Click bookmarking [Cool][Available in Firefox 3]
  • Efficient memory usage and great performance. Starts up lot faster than firefox.[Great][I great advantage over firefox]
  • A cool and great download manager [Good][Better than firefox]
  • An inbuilt task manager (keyboard shortcut: shift+esc) – [Great]

Google Chrome has been reported for several compatibility issues already. Read more on compatibility issues.


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