Category Archives: How Tos

Basics of being anonymous

There are endless reasons to be anonymous or to increase your privacy. The most obvious is your personal freedom, do you like it when people watch you as you eat or kiss your girlfriend/wife in your sleeping room ?
It is rarely in your interest that your government, your Internet providers administrators/supporters or your company knows what you are doing online.
What illness are you googling about ? What porn do you watch ? What political party do you favor? Do you search pirated software ? The list is endless and everyone is affected.
There are more reasons to be anonymous. You could register multiple accounts on social networks (facebook, youtube, myspace, gmail, your favorite Internet forum,…) if you were anonymous. This is something a lot of people require once in a while, most get caught doing it because they lack knowledge.

The Internet just looks simple from the user point of view but in reality the protocols used to make this possible are very complex. The Internet was never designed to be a anonymous platform and as it grew the different governments of course had no interest that people could speak anonymously.

Every connection on the Internet has one thing in common: the IP Address. The data sent and received always contains a destination and a source IP Address, no matter what you did (email, surfing, file sharing,listening to a music stream or watching a video). This IP Address can be used to identify you (through the help of your provider, to break into your computer or to deny you access or track your access.
When surfing (using a browser like Firefox, IE or Opera to access HTTP pages) there is more information transmitted than you would ever guess! Your browser sends information about itself, about your operating system, your language and much more information.
This information also tells a lot about your identity and can be used to give you customized text but also against you.

The main factor is your IP Address, it needs to be obfuscated. Next your cookies need to be removed and finally your user agent should be changed.
Changing the IP requires a tool/service called proxy the cookies can be removed through your browser settings and the user-agent is also part of your browser configuration.

A proxy server can be configured in your browser network-connection settings. When using a online proxy your browser will send all data requests to the proxy, the proxy will route it to the destination and send you back the data. This is “transparent” to you as user, the destination will only see the proxy IP Address.

Torrents blocked? No more!

Recently all the major torrent download sites have been blocked. This started off with Reliance blocking the torrents and now it seems all the major ISP have blocked the torrents sites. Apart from torrent sites major video sharing sites have been blocked citing piracy as the major reason, I guess these people forgot the way Kolaveri Di raised to international fame in a couple of days.


However where there is a blockade there is a way. First of all lets understand how torrents work.

There is this small torrent file that contains the information about the main file(s) and who all have that file on the internet. The ISPs have blocked the access to the sites that host these torrents not the actual content.

The actual content is still stored on computers of users like us, so once we get hold of the torrent file there is no stopping us.

Following is a sure shot method of accessing the torrent download websites to download torrent, and once you have the torrent file then there is no stopping the download as it runs on the P2P network and the ISP have no control over it.

Download ultrasurf from the above link.

Unzip the files.

Run u.exe.

It will show up as a small yellow lock on the right bottom corner and show up a pop up as shown in the picture.

image image

Once the connectivity is established and there is a green light you are ready to go.

This program launches Internet explorer by default with the proxy settings used by the program.

I recommend using the same IE window and head over to your favorite torrent site.

Download the torrent file.

Fire up the torrent client of your choice and do the rest.

The torrents would be downloading fine. Remember the ISP blocked access to the torrent file not the actual content.

Do let us know of any other ways that you are using.

Control Laptop from Android

There is always a time when you have a party going on and you have a huge list of songs playing and all of a sudden a unknown unwanted track plays up. Now you have to go look for your laptop to skip the track.

How about you just pull out your android phone out of your pocket. Unlock it and skip the song with just a tap and keep partying without going to look for you machine.

Unified remote does just that.

It is based on a client server model, where the machine runs the server and the android phone runs the client.

It can connect over WIFI as well as bluetooth.

Install the application on the phone.

Install the server on the computer.

And connect.

After that you can select the type of remote you want from the plethora of options available.

I prefer the media control one.



Android as Bluetooth Keyboard for PS3

I’m sure that all those who own a PS3 have sometime or the other tried to browse the internet on the PS3. The browser is a pain and specially when you have to login to sited using the on screen keyboard and type by the six axis controller.

There is a easy way out if you own an android phone. The following steps mention how to get this done.

I have a Xperia Neo V

This needs a rooted phone, so please google the method to root your phone and proceed with this.

Start PS3

Goto Accesories setting

Pair a New device and Pair it with your android phone.

Now move to the phone, goto Google Play store and download Blueputdroid

Run the application

If all goes well it will show up PS3 with its MAC address on the screen.

Tap it to connect. The symbol on the right turns blue when active.

Once connected it gives options of several types of layouts.

I am most comfortable with the track pad on the top and keyboard in the lower half.

It also has the option for six axis controller.

Now it is all set.

Enjoy typing on the PS3 with your android phone.

How to create a workable budget

“Modern man drives a mortgaged car over a bond-financed highway on credit-card petrol.”

Taking control of your cash inflow and outflow is the base for financial planning. Budgeting is important to gain control over your financial life, be prepared and avoid surprises, save for a major purchase, get out of debt and stay out of debt, expand your lifestyle, and to retire early.


Thiruvalluvar, a much celebrated Tamil poet emphasizes budgeting through his following lines:

Incomings may be scant; but yet, no failure there,
If in expenditure you rightly learn to spare. (Kural: 478)

Who prosperous lives and of enjoyment knows no bound,
His seeming wealth, departing, nowhere shall be found. (Kural: 479)


Most of us hesitate to make a budget because we think it is about cutting all the fun in life. Budgeting is not about cutting all the fun; it is about conscious allocation of funds. Once we start spending consciously, our mind will find out a whole new way of having fun within the budget.


Making Budget: A step by step guide


There is a saying, “God is in the details”. Detail every bit of your financials while creating a budget.


1)    Check your financial statements:


It could be your utility bills, d’mat account statement, other investment receipts, ITR, Form 16A, Form 16, bank statement, credit card statement etc. The idea is to make out the monthly average of income and expenses. Therefore the more details you can get the more relevant and accurate will the budget be.


2)    Listing out income from all sources:


It is very easy for us to list down the income from employment or self employment. Normally we will lose track of income from investments, rental income and other miscellaneous income. Also check is there any annual income. Don’t forget to record the incomes received by way of cash equivalents like meal voucher and credit card reward points.


3)    Finding out your total expenses:


We can easily list down the major expenses. But listing out the miscellaneous and petty expenses would be difficult. This is where the collected financial statements would help. Don’t forget the annual expenses like car insurance and property tax. Once you have recorded all the expenses then split them into fixed expenses and variable expenses. This classification will provide much more clarity.


Most people are surprised to learn that it may go for things that we do not need at all. Writing your expenditures down provides us with the unique opportunity to visualize and find out if any money goes for things that we do not need or want.


4)    Are you saving or over spending?


Now you have your total income as well as total expenses. Deduct the total expenses from the total income. You will know whether you are saving some money or doing over spending. If you are saving some money channelize that money into the priority areas such as clearing your credit card outstanding or any other loan to become debt free or retirement savings or children’s future plan. If you are on over spending, then you need to make some adjustments to expenses.


5)    Review your spending pattern:


On your expenses list, pay close attention to the variable expenses. This is where you can cut short a few expenses.


Every month we need to keep aside appropriate amount for the proportionate annual expenses.


You can find out the reasons for over spending. Most of the cases it would be emotional buying or unplanned shopping. Once you have pointed out the reasons for overspending, then find out the steps or precautions to be taken to rectify the same.


6)    Are you on the track? Check monthly:


Every month set aside an hour to compare the actual expenses with the budgeted expenses. If there is a negative deviation, find out the measures to control them.

Why your earlier budgeting attempts failed?


Budgeting is not a onetime activity. It is a continuous process. Normally we start budgeting with a genuine motive. But after a few months it may get off-tracked like our attempts on dieting or exercising. Therefore one needs to understand the behavioural aspects of budgeting.


1)    Positive Approach:


Never focus on the negative aspects. Focus on the benefits of successful budgeting. What will you accomplish by creating a budget? It could be becoming debt free, some money for vacation, planning for retirement or children’s future.



2)    Keep your enthusiasm alive:


Budgeting may over a period of time become routine and hence boring. Set a few short term goals like trying to repay the personal loan in 18 months instead of 36 months. If you achieve it reward yourself. Recognition could be a good motivating factor. Inform all your family members, friends and well wishers about your progress on budgeting. You can also join in some of the forums related to money management.


3)    Have a realistic expectation:


One needs to keep realistic expectation on the outcome of the budget. Over expectation may demotivate you. Budgeting is not a magic. It is an art like singing and dancing. You will be able to progress it only over a period of time with constant practice.

If you have not done budgeting for yourself and family so far, then now is the right time to take action. The fact that you are reading this article shows you have decided to stop procrastinating, and have answered the ancient question, “If not now, when?” with “NOW!”.


The author is Ramalingam K, an MBA (Finance) and Certified Financial Planner. He is the Founder and Director of Holistic Investment Planners ( a firm that offers Financial Planning and Wealth Management. He can be reached at



Sharing Media with Media Server

There have been several instances in my life where a lot of my friends wanted to watch movies or listen to some songs or just browse some photos and that started the hunt for the pendrive or a portable hard drive with enough free space to transfer the content on copy on self’s laptop or pc.

This has a lot of drawbacks.

1. Time consuming.

2. Pen drive or Hard drive needed (with enough free space)

3. Content is replicated at several places thus reducing space efficiency

One solution to this setup all devices as media servers and share the content on the network.

All that is needed is

1. A wired or wireless network

2. PS3 media server or any other media server.

I personally am in favour of PS3 media server as it is free, available for all platforms – windows, linux and Mac, and can do any thing and everything that a media server is supposed to do. (Media servers comparison)

PS3 media server will make the device it is installed on a media server. It will also look for all the devices on the network that can play the media also known as renderer. It can be a PS3, Xbox or any DLNA certified TV with network connection or even a Laptop or PC.


Once installed and configured the PS3 media server will become visible in media player other libraries section on all the computers on the network that have media sharing enabled.


Download PS3 Media server here, Installation and configuration guide can be found here.

Entertainment setup with PS3, Laptop and External HDD


My current setup with a PS3 connected to HDTV along with a one TB WD MyBook 1110 full with movies photos and TV serials connected to TV via USB and my XPS 1210 running windows 7 media server. The laptop and PS3 are connected through a wireless network and PS3 is connected to TV via HDMI.

This is my latest media setup which allows me to play games as well as movies, music and photos stored on my laptop without copying to PS3.

The wireless network is secure (WEP + MAC restricted). I choose which devices can connect to my wifi network.

My XPS runs a media server which my PS3 can easily detect over the wifi network. It can play almost all the music, photos and movies that are stored on the laptop. All I had to do was configure the laptop as a media server

My TV is Samsung series 4 (nothing too fancy) HDTV and can run the content on the 1 TB HDD via USB. This doesn’t need the PS3 to be switched on.

The audio out of TV is connected to my 2.1 channel speaker system. 2.1 is decent enough as I have a rented home and I just didn’t want to go through the hassles of setting up a 5.1

I consider this an ideal setup for me for the following reasons

1.       I hate to keep copying content from one device to another.

2.       It keeps it hassle free.

3.       As all my devices are mostly on I don’t have any issue.

4.       I can play, watch movies and listen to music from the comfort of my bed.

5.       The speakers are awesome. I can control the volume via the TV.

Use PS3 to play content stored on Computer

Before we proceed I would request you to note down the MAC address of your PS3

You can find your PS3 MAC address in

1) System Setting > System Information

2) Network Settings. (Scroll towards bottom)

Once you note down the Mac address then on your PC go to Control Panel > Network and Sharing Center > Change Advance Sharing Settings.

Then you need to make sure:

– Network Discovery is ON
– File & Printer Sharing is ON

After that click on Media Streaming options.

Once you are done with it you would see a window of Media Sharing

On the Show devices drop bar, select All Networks

Then you would see some Unknown device / devices.

I Recently bought a PS3. Now yoy can not copy all your videos, music and photos to the 320 GB HDD. But you can use your windows 7 to act as media server for PS3 and play all your content on PS3

Here is how to go about it.

Double click each Unknown device to see the MAC address of the device. If the address matches your PS3 MAC address then allow that device for media sharing.

You would now be able to share your media (If your firewall is not blocking media access)


With the latest updates in Windows 7,  you also need to make sure the following setting

Open “Services”  (just type on the start search bar)

In that make sure you have set Windows Media Player Sharing Service on “Automatic”. Also set LogOn as “Local System”

Easiest way to download Youtube Videos

We have always wanted to download that youtube video that we liked. There are several online sites that allow us to download the youtube videos, but at times the links dont seem to be working.

Here is one sure shot way to downoad youtube videos with just one click.

First you need to dowload and install Internet download manager.

Restart your web browsers.

IDM is smart enough to integrate itself with IE and Firefox. It also works seamlessly with other browsers too.

Then you just need to open up that youtube video and click the Download this Video popup link of IDM as show in the picture. Select the desired location and you are done.

Resume tips

This is again that same time of the year when the students graduate and start hunting for jobs. There are a lot of jobs and a lot of people for competition and a good resume can be the differentiator between you and the competition.

Having a solid and effective resume can greatly improve your chances of landing that dream job. That is beyond discussion. How does one make sure that his resume is top notch and bullet proof, however? There are several websites with tips around the web,  we found out one extremely good article about resume writing tips. Following are just the 3 point from the main article. The article link is at the end of the post.

resume writing tips


1. Know the purpose of your resume

Some people write a resume as if the purpose of the document was to land a job. As a result they end up with a really long and boring piece that makes them look like desperate job hunters. The objective of your resume is to land an interview, and the interview will land you the job (hopefully!).

2. Back up your qualities and strengths

Instead of creating a long (and boring) list with all your qualities (e.g., disciplined, creative, problem solver) try to connect them with real life and work experiences. In other words, you need to back these qualities and strengths up, else it will appear that you are just trying to inflate things.

3. Make sure to use the right keywords

Most companies (even smaller ones) are already using digital databases to search for candidates. This means that the HR department will run search queries based on specific keywords. Guess what, if your resume doesn’t have the keywords related to the job you are applying for, you will be out even before the game starts.

These keywords will usually be nouns. Check the job description and related job ads for a clue on what the employer might be looking for.

for more tips head over to the original article.