Friday, May 25, 2007

Microsoft Excel

MS Excel is a fascinating tool that most people use in their daily day-to-day activities from accounting to data management. Its simple to use and can do just anything provided you have the instinct for it. Did I say anything? Well yes anything. Look at this village.

Personally speaking I am no big fan of MS tools but I do use them to ease my day and it helps. I am no guru either and there are hundreds of resources out there that the true fans of Billy boy might have in store for you. I enjoy sharing and thats what I am going to do here. Share the excel tip files that a few generous and kind people have created to help people like us. Thanks to their efforts.



Note: If you have a smaller budget and cannot use MS products then you should not bother and use Open Office. Its neat and compatible with some MS file extensions as well. I have tried it and you should too, infact teach your children to use the community, and help it grow as well.

Friday, May 18, 2007

CrossLoop - Simple Secure Screen Sharing

What is Crossloop?

CrossLoop is a FREE secure screen sharing utility designed for people of all technical skill levels. CrossLoop extends the boundaries of VNC’s traditional screen sharing by enabling non-technical users to get connected from anywhere on the Internet in seconds without changing any firewall or router settings. It only takes a few minutes to setup and no signup is required.

CrossLoop's underlying technology was created to simplify the process of securely working with others located in different physical locations across diverse network environments. CrossLoop enables you to see the screen and control the mouse and keyboard on a remote computer. It is as if you are working side by side at the same PC. CrossLoop is a powerful productivity tool that enables you to quickly collaborate in with anyone in the world.

CrossLoop is powered by the proprietary CrossLoop VIP Tunnel, a secure peer-to-peer data transmission system. CrossLoop encrypts all files and messages exchanged on our network to ensure user privacy. Only you and your invited friends or family can view or share control of your computer. A CrossLoop session can only begin on your computer by explicitly inviting them to begin a session. All data sent over the CrossLoop network is encrypted at the endpoints using a 128-bit Blowfish encryption. For more detailed information on CrossLoop security, visit our security page.

We have gone to great lengths to ensure that CrossLoop is secure and have designed the application from the ground up with security in mind. If you have any questions regarding CrossLoop security please contact us at

The Windows version of CrossLoop uses the TightVNC software plug-in for screen sharing. We have included a binary distribution of the TightVNC program in the installation software of the Windows version of CrossLoop to save you the trouble of separately downloading and installing TightVNC. If you have any questions about your rights related to TightVNC (which is licensed under GPL), please see our detailed description of how we use VNC.

Starting a Session

After installing CrossLoop, you will see a welcome screen with two tabs. Select the Join tab if you would like to connect and control a friend's PC. Select the Host tab if you would like to temporarily share access to your PC.

If you have not already done so, download CrossLoop.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Run Google Talk in Firefox Sidebar

Firefox is the coolest browser I have known. The best think I link about it is that it has a wonderful tab browsing system along with security that can be said to match no other. Its faster then other browsers and its add-ons are just superb.

Greasemonkey is something you will love while browsing the worldwide web. It can practically change the looks and feel of the sites you browse to what you like to see. I mean customization of sites. What a great thing, has tons of scripts that can help you browse the web the way you like it. You can practically change the looks of your favorite Gmail Inbox and have it display the attachment that a message carries without opening it. You can write your own scripts, too. Mark Pilgrim's definitive Greasemonkey guide, will show you how.

One of my favorites is the GTalk add-on in Firefox. You can run the neat messenger in the sidebar of Firefox, without having to install it. Give it a try, download the gTalk Sidebar

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Access any site while sitting behind firewalls, office systems etc

Many people have problems accessing sites like orkut, myspace, rapidshare, etc. cause they are blocked by their offices, schools or firewalls.

There are many methods described here but the best would be using proxies

to get daily proxies follow these steps

1. Go to
2. Login in with your google account
3. Click on manage subscriptions
4. Click on Import/export
5. Download this file
6. Unzip, note the location
7. Browse to the location from google reader's import/export
8. Upload the OPML file
9. Get daily updates of proxy lists via rss
10. There is no 10th step

Then chose a proxy and apply it in the following way

in firefox >>
Tools > Options > Advanced > Connection Settings > Manual Proxy configuration
Here enter the proxy ip and port
Presto visit almost all sites anonymously

For the people whose port 6969 is blocked (like mine) use SOCKS4/SOCKS5 Proxies

The soul would have no rainbow, had the eyes no tears......

Grief is a natural and normal reaction to a loss of any kind. It s a journey of experiences and feelings in response to that loss, and an adjustment because of that loss . Grief is not a option but a necessity. It is a necessity not only because of the loss but because of the love that is the basis of the relationship /experiences before that loss.

You feel grief all over. It is physical, emotional, spiritual, psychological and social. It is a very personal journey or experience (there are roadmaps but no guidelines or specifics) and it demands a lot of hard work! The deeper the feelings toward the person or object lost the deeper the need to grieve. Grief hurts because of the love behind it.

Grief is a process or journey that is not completed. You do not "get over" grief. You do recover enough for some movement in life. It is an experience based on many things (your lifestyle, history, past experiences, faith, and family network), involves many feelings (like anger, love, bitterness, despair, doubt and guilt) and often can include depression, physical and behavioral changes and changes in interests and lifestyles.

Grief is a process or series of actions, reactions and the making of new pathways to travel. It affects our attitudes and feelings about ourselves, our situation, those around us and the one who is lost. The process of grieving is not a straight line but s series of steps forward, sideways, upside down and backward until something called recovery is reached . There is not timetable.

Be gentle with those who are in grief and with yourselves if you are a caregiver.

May Allah grant Maula TUS a long, healthy life ta qayamat. Ameen

Amte Syedna TUS
Alifyah Saifuddin

Posted on:
Dawoodi Bohra Net

Monday, May 14, 2007

Convert Audio Cassette Tapes to MP3 files or CD

Audio cassette tapes, once the primary audio storage medium, are now disappearing quickly from the music store shelves to be replaced with Audio CDs. If you still own a pile of audio cassettes, now is the perfect time to convert them to MP3 files or Windows Media Audio before they're gone forever.

Digitizing analog tapes essentially involves playing the tape on the taperecorder deck, capturing the audio on your computer and finally converting the .wav files to mp3 or wma formats using software like LAMP MP3 encoder or Adobe Audition. The audio cable is connected to the line-in jack on your PC's sound card.

Now there are various options to transfer your audio tapes to CD depending on your OS platform and budget. Let's look at expert opinion on the web:

Using MusicMatch - Connect the to your sound card's line-in terminal with a 1/8" mini-jack and record the contents of your tape as a WAV file. Just set MusicMatch to record the line-in channel, press play on your tape deck, and then press the record button on the MusicMatch Jukebox.

Tips for better recordings - If your tape of a favorite live concert begins with a few minutes of audience murmuring, delete it. If you’ve recorded multiple songs, split your single recording into separate files. That way, you can make each song or section a separate track on an audio CD or on your iPod. Some software can detect silence between songs and divide them for you.

Using Audacity on Mac - Audio I/O: Recording should be set for 2 channels (stereo) and both the playback and recording devices set at Built in audio controller. Audio CDs sample sound 44,100 times per second. The standard sample format (number of digits in the digital representation of each sample) is 16-bit. Audacity’s defaults are a 44 KHz sample rate, but 32-bit sample format.

Using External Audio Capture Device - Consider using an external audio-capture device such as the plug-and-play USB M-Audio Transit instead of your sound card; it will record a much cleaner signal.

Remember to set your audio software’s volume controls according to the loudness of your tape or record. Proper volume is vital to getting good sound. Set the levels too low, and your audio will be too soft and prone to noise. Set levels too high, and loud portions of the recording will sound horribly distorted.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Sweet Dreams: 13 Tips for a Great Night Sleep

Seeking sound sleep ? Try these tips for good night sleep:

» Throw your TV set and the computer out of the bedroom.

» Take a cool shower before jumping into the bed.

» Wear loose cotton clothes (preferable white) - no denims or trousers please.

» Fix a sleeping schedule and stick to the routine honestly.

» Is the pillow good enough ? In a lot of cases, pillows and incomforable mattress may lead to sleep disorders.

» Reduce intake of spices, chocolates and caffeine, especially after lunchtime.

» The old granny's trick - take a glass of warm milk just before going to bed.

» If you are worried about something that preventing your from sleeping, try to think of ways to resolve it. Opening a discussion with the partner may help.

» Do some physical work or Yoga exercises some 3-4 hours before the sleeping time.

» There should be a healthy gap between your dinner and sleeping time.

» Sex with your partner before bedtime will also aid in getting a good sleep.

» If your mind is flooded with ideas and tasks for the next day, jot them down on a piece of paper so that you get relaxed.

» When nothing helps, tune in to some Worldspace Radio station for soft, slow, relaxing music like jazz, folk or orchestral pieces.

I hope these sleeping tricks will help you sleep, stay asleep, and wake up refreshed next day. Sweet Dreams.

How to take Screenshots of Movies in Windows Media Player

Quest: How do I capture still images from a movie playing in Microsoft Windows Media Player, Real Player, WinAmp or Apple QuickTime?

Some users try to grab the current video frame by pressing the standard Windows "Print Screen" key (next to F12 key on the QWERTY keyboard). But when the image screenshot from clipboard is pasted into an image editor, the capture is a black blank screen instead of the actual video.

Reason: When the video plays, it is actually displayed on a different surface/layer called overlay that is produced by hardware acceleration. When you take a normal screen capture, you're taking it of the normal surface where the video isn't displayed. That's why it comes out black as it is invisible to the screen capture software.

Here are some common solutions to capture pictures from DVD movies currently playing with Windows Media Player Classic or other video players. It should also work for movies (wmv, mov, avi) embedded in a webpage.

1. Use another media player such as Power DVD, WinDVD or BSPlayer - it takes screenshots of the movie and stores them as jpegs images. Or you could try a video editor like VirtualDub.

2. Invest in a commercial screen capture software like Camtasia Studio or SnagIt (allows DirectX capture).

3. In WMP, at least since version 9, you can use Ctrl-I (EYE) to capture a frame, either when playing or when paused for greater accuracy. It brings up a Save Captured Image dialog which handily defaults to a jpeg. This works only if the video you are watching is using a Microsoft supported movie file.

4. Don't use Overlay

1. Open your Window Media Player and click Options on the Tools menu.
2. On the Performance tab, click on the Advanced... button.
3. Uncheck Use overlays from DVD video, click OK and restart the player.

Now you can capture images from any movies played in Windows Media Player using Print Screen (PrintScrn) key (or ALT + PrintScrn key). Once copied, the image can be pasted into Microsoft Paint (Start > All Programs > Accessories > Paint) or other image editor. If you have problems taking screenshots from a playing movie try to pause it first, then "print" the image.

5. Fix blank captures by turning off hardware acceleration. You can either disable hardware acceleration in the application that is playing the video, or disable hardware acceleration system wide.

To disable graphics hardware acceleration globally for all applications in Windows XP or Windows 2000, Select
Control Panel - Display - Properties - Settings - Advanced - Troubleshooting and slide the Hardware Acceleration slider from Full to None.

For Windows 98 or NT systems, the path is slightly different
Control Panel - System - Performance - Graphics - Advanced settings.
Now hit the OK button at the bottom of the window. This disables all accelerations. You may need to restart the machine for the change to take effect.

To turn Off Hardware Acceleration in Your Video Player Only:

In Windows Media Player:
1. In Media Player 7 or later, select Tools > Options > Performance tab. In Media Player v.6.4 and earlier, select View > Options > Playback.
2. Click and drag the Hardware Acceleration slider to the left, changing the setting from Full to None.

In RealOne Player:
1. Select Tools > Preferences > Hardware in the navigation pane
2 Click and drag the Playback Performance slider to the left, changing the setting from Best quality to Lowest CPU usage.

In Apple QuickTime (Standard and Pro):
1. Select Edit > Preferences > Streaming Transport. The QuickTime Settings dialog box displays.
2. From the drop-down list, select Video Settings. Click the Safe Mode (GDI Only) radio button.

In WinAmp
1. Click Options - Preferences - General Preferences, select Video.
2. Uncheck Allow hardware video overlay.

Don't forget to move the Video acceleration slider back to Full when you are done

For Windows Media Player 9, you can either turn off hardware acceleration, or use a slightly different solution that will allow you to leave hardware acceleration enabled during video capture. However, in order to capture RealPlayer or QuickTime videos, you must turn off your computer's hardware acceleration.

Capturing Still Images from a DVD Player using SnagIt - You can use SnagIt to capture still images directly from a DVD player if you are using a software DVD decoder, such as Intervideo's WinDVD or CyberLink's Power DVD. However, you may need to make the configuration changes mentioned above to your DVD player software in order to do take this type of capture. Windows Media Player cannot be used for this purpose because it does not use a standard DirectX layer to display DVD video.


Wherever we turn, we are able to see the effects of the advances of technology – from medicine to education, and more. Advances in medical technology have allowed doctors to treat patients in the first few critical moments after a health trauma. As a teacher and a parent, I see technology used in the classroom – whether it is to enhance students' fine motor skills or to teach them how to read. In our everyday home or work lives, going a few days without the internet, telephone, or even a cell phone would seem impossible.

Yesterday, while watching the video of Aqa Maula (tus) performing the Iftetah of the Qubbah Mubarakah of Syedna Hatim (R.A.) in Yemen, it became evident that a Mumin's life in the era of our Maula (tus) would be impossible without the technology that allows us to be so close to our Maula, without physically being there.

Watching the video of the Iftetah, I was able to see every unique amal of Aqa Maula (tus), from entering the Qubbah Mubarkah, to performing Tasleem at the Qabr and holding the Gilaf and performing Ziyarat. Seeing all these unique and momentous Aamaal being performed, my Mohabbat and Tafadi for my Maula grew even more stronger. All the Bayans that I had heard during Ayyam e Tabudaa't helped me realize how much my Maula cares for me and all Mumineen. A single Amal of holding the Gilaaf and instantaneously recollecting the Kalemaat Nooraniyah of Syedna Taher Saifuddin (R.A) Aqa Maula (tus) remembered us Mumineen in his Dua Mubarak. This Amal alone of Aqa Maula (tus), made me realize that our Maula (tus) puts us Mumineen above anyone and anything. That Amal of Aqa Maula (tus) was the Khulaso of Tafaadi and Mohabbat.

Even when we are not fortunate enough to be physically present in the Hazarat of our Maula (tus), we have become so used to the many opportunities of Deedar via video relay, that it is difficult to imagine a Mumin's life without technology. Every Moharram, those who are less fortunate and are not able to attend Ashara with Aqa Maula (tus), wait and pray daily for news of a video relay. It is hard to imagine an Ashara, no matter where we are in Bilad Imaniyah, without doing Deedar of our Bawa Shafiq (tus). It may be difficult to live our day to day lives without the advances of current technology, but it would be impossible for a Mumin to live their life without the technology that brings them closer to their Maula (tus). Yesterday, while watching the video relay it became clear to me that while we may all be bounded by technology in our everyday lives, it is the same technology that has the sharaf of being in the Khidmat of Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin Saheb (tus), bringing Mumineen closer to their Maula (tus). May Allah Subhanahu enhance the Umer Sharif of Aqa Maula (tus) till Qayamat. Ameen

Amate Syedna (tus)
Rashida M. Aliasger Rasheed
Columbus, OH

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Corporate Lessons

Lesson Number One

A crow was sitting on a tree, doing nothing all day. A small rabbit saw the crow, and asked him, "Can I also sit like you and do nothing all day long?"The crow answered: "Sure, why not." So, the rabbit sat on the ground below the crow, and rested. All of a sudden, a fox appeared, jumped on the rabbit and ate it.

Moral of the story is: To be sitting and doing nothing, you must be sitting very, very high up.

Lesson Number Two

A turkey was chatting with a bull. "I would love to be able to get to the top of that tree," sighed the turkey, "but I haven't got the energy."

"Well, why don't you nibble on some of my droppings?" replied the bull. "They're packed with nutrients." The turkey pecked at a lump of dung and found that it actually gave him enough strength to reach the first branch of the tree. The next day, after eating some more dung, he reached the second branch. Finally after a fortnight, there he was proudly perched at the top of the tree. Soon he was promptly spotted by a farmer, who shot the turkey out of the tree.

Moral of the story: Bullshit might get you to the top, but it won't keep you there.

Lesson Number Three

A little bird was flying south for the winter. It was so cold, the bird froze and fell to the ground in a large field. While it was lying there, a cow came by and dropped some dung on it. As the frozen bird lay there in the pile of cow dung, it began to realize how warm it was. The dung was actually thawing him out!

He lay there all warm and happy, and soon began to sing for joy. A passing cat heard the bird singing and came to investigate. Following the sound, the cat discovered the bird under the pile of cow dung, and promptly dug him out and ate him!

The morals of this story are 1) Not everyone who drops shit on you is your enemy. 2) Not everyone who gets you out of shit is your friend. 3) And when you're in deep shit, keep your mouth shut.

Lesson Number Four

A man is getting into the shower just as his wife is finishing up her shower, when the doorbell rings. The wife quickly wraps herself in a towel and runs downstairs. When she opens the door, there stands Bob, the next-door neighbor.

Before she says a word, Bob says, 'I'll give you $800 to drop that towel'. After thinking for a moment, the woman drops her towel and stands naked in front of Bob After a few seconds, Bob hands her $800 and leaves.

The woman wraps back up in the towel and goes back upstairs. When she gets to the bathroom, her husband asks, 'Who was that?' 'It was Bob the next door neighbor,' she replies. 'Great,' the husband says, 'did he say anything about the $800 he owes me?'

Moral of the story: If you share critical information pertaining to credit and risk with your shareholders in time, you may be in a position to prevent avoidable exposure.

Lesson Number Five

A priest offered a Nun a lift. She got in and crossed her legs, forcing her gown to reveal a leg. The priest nearly had an accident. After controlling the car, he stealthily slid his hand up her leg. The nun said, 'Father, remember Psalm 129?' The priest removed his hand. But, changing gears, he let his hand slide up her leg again.

The nun once again said, 'Father, remember Psalm 129?' The priest apologized, 'Sorry sister but the flesh is weak.'

Arriving at the convent, the nun sighed heavily and went on her way. On his arrival at the church, the priest rushed to look up Psalm 129, it said, 'Go forth and seek, further up, you will find glory.'

Moral of the story: If you are not well informed in your job, you might miss a great opportunity.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Religion and Modern Doubts

Religion and Modern Doubts

Science extends and enriches our lives, expands our imagination and liberates us from the bonds of ignorance and superstition. The endorsing societies wish to affirm the precepts of modern science that are responsible for its success.

Science is the systematic enterprise of gathering knowledge about the universe and organizing and condensing that knowledge into testable laws and theories.

The success and credibility of science is anchored in the willingness of scientists to:

1. Expose their ideas and results to independent testing and replication by other scientists. This requires the complete and open exchange of data, procedures and materials, And

2. Abandon or modify previously accepted conclusions when confronted with more complete or reliable experimental or observational evidence.

Adherence to these principles provides a mechanism for self-correction that is the foundation of the credibility of science.

In short, Science can be termed a result of vast experiences and experiments by all that can be perceived by the five senses that are gifted to man by the Creator.

This knowledge which is a result of human analysis in accordance to the capacity of the human mind has progressed to such an extent in the past that man can boast to create his exact clone. Does that mean that he is the only superior being on the face of Earth or let’s says the entire universe? Or is there a superior being that has endowed upon man such brilliance to think. Syedna Taher Saifuddin (RA) has stated in one of his Rasail Sharifah that the human spirit has such vast capacities that it can subjugate the universe. Where did such extraordinary powers come from?

None can deny that there is a creator who is behind such magnificent creation, the human intellect. Syedna Hamiduddin al-Kirmani (RA) has written that a simple table and chair need a carpenter to built it, then why not the universe. If things came into existence by it own means why did the sun choose to shine by its own light while the moon is illuminated by the suns rays? Questions such as these are never meant to be answered by the human mind or intellect, which is in need of an external and eternal noor to ignite it, just as the moon is in need of the sun’s rays. These questions can only be answered by the Divine Creator, the Master.

Religion carries the message of Allah which engulfs within it the secrets of life. Religion is only thing that can form a base for the human intellect and faith is the noor that ignites it. Every religion teaches but one thing, faith in the Almighty. The soul that brings life to the human body is there to stay even when the bones are decayed. The soul, the life, is but Allah’s creation.

The Soul has in itself the capacity for affection, it loves as it perceives, understands and remembers. Religion brings to life this quality while shedding light on good and evil. It is only when man abides by the divine laws that separate good from evil that a better society comes into existence. Science when becomes a backbone of religion develops better effects. The Rasail of Ikhwan al-Safa are a fine example. The divine township that the Imam (AS) has mentioned in these rasail is nothing but a fine blend of knowledge perceived by the senses and that which is spiritual. People call it meta-physics in today’s world. In fact the senses are the tools for spiritual development and the glow of the intellect. This is the philosophy of Ikhwan al-Safa, the brethren of purity.

On the other hand science has created doubts in religion and faith in today’s world. The misuse of the senses has begun to question the light of intellect, faith. Science has no time to discover the truths which still lay hidden to the human senses but instead has started questioning the faith in human existence. The reason behind such arrogance is the nature of the human race to keep itself alive. People seek the extension of an organic life which is bound to transform itself however slowly. These people lack the insight to look at their inner souls and thus question the divine laws that govern life. There are certain questions that the human intellect can never calculate it answers and conclude its results unless an external and divine noor of faith illuminates it. A blind and a person with sight are the same in a darkened room with no light. So, is the blind of faith and the insane.

“Let the soul be assured that somewhere in the universe it should rejoin its friend, and it would be content and cheerful alone for a thousand years”.

May Allah Subhanahu bless our beloved Maula (TUS), the divine noor embodied, a long life in sehat and afiyat. It is through his light that Mumineen clearly see the facts of life and its reality. Ameen

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Google's Adsense

Web Publishing and Internet started as a passion in my past and now its a part time income provider. I like to read and write both, to be precise and thats what led me to the business of web hosting.

Today the hosting and publishing passion has turned into a part time income source. Adsense, I say is one of the best online income providers then any other ad sourcing companies I have ever run into over the many years of web hosting and publishing. It does not come in the way of your content nor design with bogus banners and stuff. It provides genuine ads that are relevant to your content which pulls the interest of the readership resulting in a genuine click through. Well off course a larger part of my web presence income is derived from the Web Hosting and development business which happens to run smoothly even though there are bad debts but hopefully it is profitable. I would recommend publishers to take advantage of the wonderful program of Google Adsense.

Advertising on the web has never been easy and more precise. The stats that you get are also wonderful and can help you in many ways. One way the stats have helped me is that I have created an educational blog which has content related to teaching and education. I created this blog in intention to donate the income derived from this blog to educational purposes. The adsense stats help me know the exact income derived from this blog so that I can use it for the good intent.

Friday, May 04, 2007


Some Interesting Pictures


I ran into a stranger as he passed by,
"Oh excuse me please" was my reply.
He said, "Please excuse me, too;
I wasn't really watching for you."
We were very polite, this stranger and I.
We went on our way and we said good-bye.

But at home a different story is told,
How we treat our loved ones, young and old.
Later that day, cooking the evening meal,
My son stood beside me very still.
When I turned, I nearly knocked him down.
"Move out of the way," I said with a frown.
He walked away, his little heart broken.
I didn't realize how harshly I'd spoken.

While I lay awake that night in bed,
God's still small voice came to me and said,
"While dealing with a stranger, common courtesy you use,
But the children you love, you seem to abuse.
Go and look on the kitchen floor,
You'll find some flowers there by the door.
Those are the flowers he brought for you.
He picked them himself: pink, yellow and blue.
He stood very quietly not to spoil the surprise,
You never saw the tears that filled his little eyes."
By this time, I was feeling very small,
And then my tears began to fall.
I quietly went and knelt by his bed;
"Wake up, little one, wake up," I said.
"Are these the flowers you picked for me?"
He smiled, "I found 'em, out by the tree.
I picked 'em because they're pretty like you.
I knew you'd like 'em, especially the blue."
I said, "Son, I'm very sorry for the way I acted today;
I shouldn't have yelled at you that way."
He said, "Oh, Mom, that's okay.
I love you anyway."
I said, "Son, I love you too, and I do like the flowers,
sespecially the blue."

Are you aware that if we died tomorrow, the company that we are working for could easily replace us in a matter of days. But the family we left behind will feel the loss for the rest of their lives. And come to think of it, we pour ourselves more into work than into our own family ----
an unwise investment indeed, don't you think? So what is behind this story? Do you know what the word FAMILY means?