UM Player- Really a Universal Media Player

Well there was a time when I used Windows Media Player and then came the powerful and still running high VLC player but I stumbled upon a new Player -UM Player (Universal Media Player). I gotta admit it is a nice one with additional features. It players over 270 different formats. The things which makes it stand apart is its ability to search youtube videos directly from the search bar in the player. Search for a video and just play it directly. Moreover it offers the ability to record a video, just hit the record button adjacent to stop button and you record the video. This would help a lot of my friends who keep asking me how to record videos from youtube. Moreover one functionality I use a lot is the fast forward option. I love cooking videos but couldn’t wait till the onions get brown so I can increase the speed of the video to make it fast.

And if you are a music freak and would like your favorite radio station to play in the background while you work then you just search in the shoutcast search bar for your favorite radio channel and play it on directly from the player. I used to use winamp for this but now I don’t have to have too many things for different purpose.

Other basic features of a normal audio/video players are all there in UM player. I have tried and find this very good hope you will try and like it too. In case you would like to download it here is the link: Umplayer and for any FAQs visit their site: FAQ.

C ya until next post.

Google – Being More Appealing and Interesting.

If you use google a lot then you would have seen few changes which are very impressive. Last year came the live suggestions in the search box where google suggests options even before you type the entire sentence that was awesome and now google is giving you very apt answers for all your search queries:

1)      Like if I want to know the time in New York – all I need to do is type in the search box: “time now in new york” and the first thing that comes is the current local time of newyork city.

2)      If I am a research/analyst pro dealing with numbers and need quick math calculation, I can type the entire query in the search box and I get the result along with a ultra light calculator popping up from the serch result. Ex: I type: 25000*(2+3)*2 and then I get the result of this as 250000 which is very correct. Also I see a calculator which is awesome for further mathematical calculations. I hit the clear button and then I start adding up numbers by choosing from the calculator it’s amazing.

3)      For people interested in stocks no need to browse heavy sites to know the stock quote of your favorite company. If I need the stock quote of “Infosys Technologies”, I just type in the search box: Infosys stock price: and there comes a very good intraday chart showing the ups and downs in the stock today.

4)      For people assessing the property rates usually would like to convert the area into their favorite measuring options. Like I would like to know an area of 200 square yard is how many square foots then I go to google search and type: “how many square feet make one square yard”—Google gives me an answer in a very cute control where I can then check for various other numbers. Like I type 200 in yards and quickly I get the answer in foots that it is equivalent to 1800 square feets.

5)      Check out the answers for temperature and you will be glad to see the results: I type “Hyderabad temperature” And I get good looking picture of today’s temperature with the forecast for next 4 days this is awesome.

6)      And finally the doodles oh I love them and the doodle I saw today on the google page for football is a very nice game. Busy working I opened google.com to search for a news and suddenly saw the doodle in the center. Its awesome, you have a play button and it turns out that it’s a small game. You are the goal keeper and you are up against a striker. That is good piece to relax from work. I scored my highest 21 in 3 attempts. Check out how much you can reach to. BTW if you are looking to access all the doodles from Google then go to the site Google Dooles and you can access many such doodles if you missed them.

 Happy Googling. And comment if there is any other feature of Google Search which has impressed you.

Outlook.com is the New Hotmail

I am an ardent fan of Hotmail since I started emailing. I still like its classy appeal among all other email services. Microsoft has added a cloudy and a retro touch to the most popular email service and now Hotmail can be accessed in a new avatar at Outlook.com.

The look is even more classy and now I see that the screen is filled with only the information which I care. The looks seems weightless and most of the options come when you hover the mouse over any item. And a great integration with skydrive to store a bigger file size still exists. It also allows to view photos in a slick frame and many more stuff..

I recommend outlook.com a try to all the hotmail users as well as any other email service fans.

Remove empty rows from selection using VBA.

Often I come across this situation where I have a few empty cells in between. Like Consider a blank sheet and then you paste some values into it in Column “A”.  Like in A1: January, A2: February, A3,A4&A5 are blanks, then A6: March, A7,A8 are blank, A9: April, A10: May, A11,A12 and A13 are blanks….. and so on…

Imagine this sequence runs down to 80 or 100 rows then its a pain to delete the blank rows in between. A trendy excel user might use the paste special technique of skip blanks and accomplish this. But a more easier way is a single line of code that helps remove all blanks rows. The code goes like this.

sub deleteblanksrows()

Selection.SpecialCells(xlCellTypeBlanks).EntireRow.Delete

End sub

Now copy this code and paste it in a module (click ALT+F11 to go to vba editor and from Insert menu click Module-then paste this in the blank white space on right).

Go back to excel and select the selection which contains blank rows say in our case above it would be range A1:A13. Go back to VBA editor by hitting ALT+F11 and then keep the cursor on the 2nd line of the code and hit f5 to run the code.

That is it switch back to excel and you will see all the blank rows are gone.

I work with unformatted  data a lot and I use this code quite often so I have placed this on the ribbon of my excel 2010.

Hope you will also benefit from this VBA snippet.

Text functions in Ms-Excel: Trim & Clean

Recently, I was working on a data parsing projects and I kind of refreshed all the text function in Ms-excel. Without these functions, I would have spent ages to get my file into correct shape. So I thought of taking some time out and sharing the knowledge.

The first important text function that comes to my mind is Trim. Now trim is a function which lets you remove unwanted spaces in the text. Consider you have a cell and with these text in it ” Hyderabad    the  city of    Nizams”.

Now you see in the above text there are multiple spaces few before the start of the first word and few in the middle so if this text in the cell A1, then I would write a formula in cell like this : =trim(A1)

This would remove the extra spaces from the text and gives a cleaner version. Talking about cleaning–”Clean” is also an important text function which helps you remove unwanted/invisible characters which comes when you download some stuff from the net. It works similar way : =Clean(A1).

This will clean and remove unwanted/invisible characters from the cells. I always recommend a cleaning and trimming of text specially when you are working with parsing data from net.

Will keep writing on many such important functions. Please comment if you like the content and also let me know if any feedback. Until then Bye.

Carry your PC wherever you go with SUGARSYNC online backup

I have landed into situations many times where I wanted to show my friends or colleagues some file or photos but ALAS they were on my home PC. And many times when I wanted my personal files which I didnt save in my email but stored on my PC. Thus in quest of an app which can let me access my pc files from anywhere, I used many technologies. One reliable stuff was “Logmein” what it does is, it lets you take control of your PC like webex and access all files and disks on your computer. But the tough part is that you gotta leave your home pc open and always connected to internet. If there is a power failure or internet disruption you cannot connect to your PC through logmein.com.

The next option I explored was “skydrive” from hotmail. You get it when you create a hotmail account. There is a link to SKYDRIVE on hotmail which lets you create a folder and upload all your files into it. So that whenever, wherever you need those files just login to hotmail and download those easily. Even this system got a problem that I have to pickup files which I need and get into hotmail site and then go and upload these files into folders, which is a kind of pain and If I forget any important file to upload I would then suffer.

This is where SUGARSYNC comes to your rescue. A small app that you download on your PC and select the drives/folder which you want it to backup. It starts silently when you start your pc and does autobackup every minute. So I have now checked my desktop and a folder on “D” drive where I store my files, photos, documents.. I just work on it and then close my computer. Now whenever, wherever I need I just login to sugarsync website, enter my credentials and hurray I get a replica of all my PC folders here. I can access and download files easily now. The other good stuff of SUGARSYNC is that you also have a phone app which can be installed on any smartphone and you can access all the folders from mobile. This is great. I strongly recommend you to check SUGARSYNC you would love it.

Repeat Videos on Youtube

When kolaveri took the country by storm I was also not spared and ever wanted to listen this song. And I being a youtube addict, like to listen it on youtube but the one thing which made me frustrated was that I had to replay the song again and again. I am sure it must have happen with many of you. And now I present the easiest solution for this go to the song on youtube and check the url like for example the kolaveri song has the url as “http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YR12Z8f1Dh8

Edit the url in the browser and add “repeat” after “youtube” so that the new url read as “http://www.youtuberepeat.com/watch/?v=YR12Z8f1Dh8” hit enter and this will lead you to a different page which will play your song in infinite loops. Donno who this guys are who has made this site but they are doing an awesome job and all praise to them to offer a solution which a site like Youtube doesn’t! LONG LIVE CREATIVITY ! Now I can kolaveri infinitely!

Techflames Official Blog

Hi All

Welcome to official blog of techflames. Here, I intent to offer tips and tricks on various technologies mostly revolving around Microsoft. We will also see the reviews of latest technologies/softwares/website around the world and learn to use them in a more efficient way.

I hope you will have fun along with me in this journey. Do let me know what you think by commenting.

C u until next post.