The Must-Haves for a Windows 7 PC

I have a Windows 7 PC, and many a time, I have been caught repeatedly asking myself about the things that might come in handy in most tasks. I always had a little fear about what if I had to do an important assignment/project but I realized I do not have the necessary programs in a place where there is no access to internet connection.

By the time, you might have thought of multiple hacks that could overcome this situation. As for me, I thought of something to prevent this situation – a list of handy programs. Note that I’m not listing pre-installed programs here.

  1. 7-Zip because compression with Windows is mostly a mess and de-compression always lags. Also, the program supports larger number of formats (.tar, .7z, .wim) and password-protecting archives.
  2. Office because some basic tasks can never be left out. Word documents, forms, tables and other types of data management fall into this category. Recommended programs are Microsoft Office and OpenOffice.
  3. Audacity because basic (as well as advanced) audio handling is also necessary.
  4. Picasa because photo management is one of pre-requisites of a home computer.
  5. GIMP because advanced photo editing might also come in handy once.
  6. Anti-Virus because “with great power comes great responsibilities.”
  7. Firewall because you don’t need to allow each and every program to use your network connection.
  8. VLC because Windows Media Player can’t handle all formats.
  9. VSDC Video Editor because you never know when video editing might save you embarrassment.
  10. A Secondary Browser because it might save your ass when one fails. Try Opera in this respect. It’s VPN setting in private mode also allows to browse blocked websites.
  11. Handbrake because media format conversion might enhance compatibility in other devices.
  12. Bandicam because sometimes surveillance of your computer screen becomes necessary.
  13. PDF Reader because most official documents and user manuals use this format. Recommended programs are Adobe Reader and Foxit PDF Reader.
  14. Java Runtime Environment, Adobe Flash, Shockwave, Silverlight and other browser plugins because you cannot limit yourself to the wide range of content available online.

 

So, this is the end of the list I thought of. Did I miss anything? Do mention them in the comments below.

Limit Your Online Social Media Life

We have faced many problems relating to social media. With a great prospects comes great responsibilities, and when those are not followed properly, problems arise.

Many people have many a times tried to reduce social media usage but have ended up getting more addicted instead. The main problem sources here are handheld devices, especially smartphones. They always keep things at the reach of the hand and it becomes nearly impossible to live without them. In this post, I shall tell you some clever hacks to limit your social media activity in your phone.

Control Notifications

This is the main source which arouses you to stop doing whatever you are doing and then look at the phone to check what others are doing.  Whenever you are in some situation where you are bored, but focused, suddenly a buzz in your pocket awakes you from your concentration and instead of ignoring the notification, your mind starts thinking about how important it could be.

It could be a message from the girl you have been crushing on.

It could be some embarrassing photos of you posted by your friends.

It could be that your recent post could have got a thousand likes.

It could be…

Your mind floods the workspace in your brain with such sweet thoughts that you finally fall prey and think, “One look at it wouldn’t hurt.” But it does, and you realise it when you have wasted enough time to have the minute hand move 180 degrees. So, instead of letting that happen, just go to your phone’s app notifications and block notifications from social networking apps altogether. You can also keep your phone in silent mode or choose individual phone notifications for apps such as Facebook.

Use Lite Versions of Apps

Not all social networking apps have lite versions. However, you can substitute the heavy Facebook for a lighter version of Facebook Lite. Messenger lite is also available in the Play Store. Lite versions are specifically designed for less data consumption, less RAM consumption, less battery and CPU consumption. So you end up saving everything by using lite versions rather than just time.

Limit Number of Social Networking Apps You Use.

Are you a person who uses most social networks – Google+, Facebook, Twitter etc. along with many messaging apps such as Hangouts, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Google Allo and Duo? Then there is a certain possibility that some apps are just unnecessary. For example, you may be using Hangouts for only a group of people you know from work and they maybe on WhatsApp. So it makes no sense to contact them on Hangouts. Simply uninstall the Hangouts App and message them on WhatsApp instead. Try to maintain the number of social networking apps to a maximum of four.

Find Alternatives

Instead of having an app for every service you use, try to access them from web. Social Networks such as Google+, Twitter and Facebook have quite a good and improved web version.

Only Keep Contact with People You Know

Although this is a widely cited rule, this is also a widely disobeyed rule. I have seen many people on Facebook send a huge number of friend requests just for getting likes on their posts and photos. They then brag about how many friends they made and how many comments/likes they got. It is foolish enough to do that. It makes you seem like a person desperate for friendship and conversation. According to me, a person cannot have more than 150 friends at once. Therefore, limit for friend list to important people only. The same goes for Twitter. You need not follow every celebrity you like to get his or her latest updates. Just check the news out. If it’s something important, it must be there.

The Perfect ROM I found for SM-J500F

I have installed various custom ROMS and tried every feature, but none of them seemed to have enough stability to serve features and reliability as the stock. This is a ROM developed by XDA Developer SoUnd001.  Additional Credits include XDA Developers NickVerse, Bulgaricus and CyanogenMod/LineageOS Team.

So, let’s get started.

Bugs

Absolutely none. USB Tethering, in-call audio, everything works fine and as expected. I have not been able to find even one bug in it. However, the creator does mention a Bluetooth audio bug but it does not bother me since I do not use any bluetooth audio devices. I have not been able to achieve root directly yet, despite the files provided from official LineageOS source. You can, however, use root from ADB, an option under Developer Options.

Features

  • Low RAM consumption
  • Low storage consumption
  • Latest Android version: 7.1.1 Nougat
  • Fast and Stable
  • Easy customization of buttons, status bar and notification bar
  • Latest Android features
  • High-framerate camera recording (Upto 120 fps)
  • Noise cancellation for Camera
  • Screen Recorder Pre-installed
  • Pre-installed Privacy Manager
  • Highly customizable

What I’d Love To See Next

  • Better customization options such as that of CosmicOS and AospExtended ROM
  • Pre-rooted ROM

Download Links

Download LineageOS 14.1 ROM for J5 (Variants)

Download GApps (Choose 7.1 Version)

Download Add-ons for ROM

Installation Instructions

  1. Make sure that you are in J5 Stock ROM 5.1.1 Unmodified (SLK Version).
  2. Download ROM files and move them to an easily accessible folder in SDCard (External storage).
  3. Reboot to TWRP Recovery.
  4. Wipe System, Data, .android_secure, Cache and factory reset.
  5. Install ROM from SDCard (where you copied it).
  6. Install GApps (Optional).
  7. Wipe Cache/Dalvik Cache.
  8. Reboot.

 

Please see the XDA Thread for more information.

 

Sincerely,

AnonX

 

Nougat Features on Samsung J5

I own a SM-J500F with Marshmallow Update (INS). I am repeatedly bothered by how updating the software has decreased my internal storage. On the other hand, I am way too happy to be enjoying Marshmallow along with certain new features: App Permission Manager, Now-On-Tap, Notification Panel Upgrade, Lighter Lock Screen etc.

To say, I’m pretty easily bored by using various ROMs. I always try to seek the better, no wonder how good the present one is. I always think maybe one will be so unique to fascinate me. But it never turns up. So I start experimenting with root and other customizing apps (accessibility exploit). Looking back, I think that the following apps certainly did their job as promised.

1. Action Launcher

unnamed

Highlights: Nougat-based App swipe shortcuts, Vertical app drawer with single-swipe access, Google Home-shortcut pill and Google Bar Overlay.

Perfect in it’s shape and sleeker than default, the reason I uninstalled it was none other than the fact that I missed the features of the default TouchWiz Launcher. You might find it weird but I am kind of used to a horizontal and organizable app drawer with folders. Perhaps, the most important think that matters about a launcher is that; since it is the first thing you see when you open your screen, it must be convenient for you. A fancy launcher with hard controls with give you nothing except for the sake of show-off.

2. MultiWindow

android-n-multi-window-2

 

Highlights: Actual multi-window experience.

I expected it to handle native apps using multi-floating windows but it had apps of its own to do that. Guess only the Android system is capable. Notably, you can turn on multi-window from Developer options but you will first need to enable it by editing build.prob. Some serious flashing, huh? Nandroid backup is always recommended before you do any hard modification.

3. Google Allo

google-allo-and-duo-main

Highlights: Google Assistant integration.

I loved the assistant. I don’t even remember why I removed it. Maybe the cause was that I was already using too many messaging apps.

Later realization: “Self-customization even if successful often is unnecessary. Make the most of what’s really there.”

 

Have fun.

My Worst Pain

I am not the kind of guy who would definitely be offended by insulting comments – I take them as mere jokes and let them go. As a kid, I was very aggressive. I used to pick up fights now and then, but I was not a bully. I didn’t pick fights to bully someone else, but because they really offended me. As I grew up, I learned that these fights gave me nothing but pain and a bad reputation. I was not so proud of my acts myself either. Hence I left the path and slowly started calming myself. I led myself to be obsessed with one thing or the other to forget all the harsh times and comments and forgive all those offenders. I really did. From that time onwards, I was never disturbed by anyone’s comments because I believed in myself more than anyone else.

This situation was changed slowly by my entry into puberty. Those mixed expressions and complex emotions. I myself didn’t even know why I suddenly felt angry at something or someone. However I controlled myself by treating myself to the various adventures in life. My mom saw that those days were spent mostly in solitude so I was admitted to an art school, then music and then swimming classes. I kept busy with them so I usually adapted myself to social occasions and never really felt troubled thereafter.

Slowly, in my school, I came closer to friends. And this time there was a girl I had a crush on. I won’t describe about my experience of first crush, it is a widely common topic in the internet these days.

So, I went on and on, never really paid attention to what was inside me. I was in seventh grade when I thought to express my feelings for the girl. This was not an easy commitment and was not just of myself completely. This was brought about by communication, I don’t know why but that girl seemed to like me and even added me in her social circles. Even my friends thought that we had a thing for each-other. Then her news of being in a relationship came out. I didn’t know what to comment. But I passed.

On one side, her rumours came stronger that even I believed those were true and on the other side, we were growing closer. A time came when I was confused by myself as whom I could trust – my observations and personal experience or the widely accepted norms by everyone.

One day, my heart broke. This is the most beautiful pain I’ve ever felt. This was not of anxiety or stress but of relief, relief in the sense that I had got my answer. I still couldn’t believe it, but it was true. I was waiting for her to answer but there was no reply. I was revolving around the same pathway for too long. Then, some things happened, and I sort of gave up.

Do you want to know what her reply was that led me to break off from such a close relation? It was totally metamorphic. She simply compared her then boyfriend with oxygen. I thought Wow! How can one be just to cynical to dispose of such a connection?” It was too hard for me to live for a few days. Maybe it was because I had made my whole world in her – my present and future. This was my painful yet relieving story.

New Possibilities I’d Like To See

Weirdly enough, the world of ever-developing technology has given recognition to devices earlier unknown. This is the cycle of development. Any wonder how further will this go? No idea, right. Some might answer ‘to infinity’. Both are acceptable when we do not know the nature of development. Actually, my idea in this case is a bit harsh. I think that there will be a huge war that will shred all the development and some ‘erasing’ of the human mind would happen that would lead us to start from scratch again.

However, let’s put those things aside. This article isn’t about such a heavy question. Indeed it is about the near future achievements. Let’s now boost into the proposition.

1. Mind Controlled Machines

Ever thought of some devices that we could operate by our brain?

-“We still do. Using our hands and fingers.”

No, I’m talking about direct control here. By wearing some sort of bands in our head that converts nerve electrical impulses into machine language and tells the machine to do the job thought of by the user.
This would revolutionize security in the way that it has never been before. There would be no threat to life here, because the intruders wouldn’t even know what instructions are being given. That is, the reliability of a direct mind-to-machine connection.

Perhaps it would take a few decades, or maybe centuries to build this tech.

2. Imagination Imaging Device

future-tech-mainI have thought of this since I was a kid. May there would be a device that converts pictures, sound and motion we think of and project it into a digital monitor. This would be easier in every aspect. The face or pictures related to investigation can be directly viewed from the mind of the witness to build a perfect realistic model of the scene rather than an imaginary one. This technology can practically be used to make animations, sound and music. It might also be used personally for storing memories in a digital drive or print a photo of a moment you’d always want to remember, no cameras required!

3. Genetic Alteration For Desired Off-Springs

dna-human-genome-and-genes-ownershipEver wondered how your children would be like? Whether you wonder or not, you’d always want them to be like yourself, or maybe not in case you are the minority. This would be really experimental but we would be able to use it in the name of science. So that there may be more genetically fit individuals for various fields such as technology development, security, administration, medical science etc.

 

There is so more than that in my mind. It comes and goes, but not present right now. So I’d like to end this list for now. Be sure to drop a comment below if you have interesting ideas about the newest possibilities.

 

Imagination has no limitation. Shut off the outside world and turn your focus in your mind – and you shall surely find it infinite. -Myself, AnonX

My Anime World

If you are a fan of mystery anime and manga, you must be familiar with Detective Conan, a.k.a. Case Closed, an ongoing Japanese detective manga series by Gosho Aoyama.

Being an Indian, it is pure wonder how I caught up such an anime. Well, for the most simple reasons – starting with being a kid. Like every other kid, my world was filled with cartoons too. Most importantly the funny and wicked ones. Initially, I found amusement in watching Ninja Hattori, Perman, Doraemon, Shin Chan etc. Then I caught up with something more interesting like Power Rangers: Ninja Storm, SPD, Jungle Fury, Dino Thunder, Mystic Force, then RPM, Operation Overdrive – I liked all of them as a kid. But with growing age came distinctions, and from these distinctions came results – which I deduced that most of them were all alike.

It was during my third grade that I watched Detective Conan for the first time, and immediately liked it. The detectivity, the deduction skills, the mystery and none of them was all-alike like the other cartoons.

Other known anime such as Kochikame, Chhota Bheem and all its movies came and went by – but Detective Conan remained intact in my mind. Needless to say, some many important life events also went – first crush, first rejection, academic competitions, art competitions and friendships. My intellect and brain was developed, but the anime-filled kid-brain never changed, it wanted more.

In the subsequent years, I started watching movies, other detective series and once a time had come when the whole anime world had slipped from my mind – from myself. I got obsessed with more complicated activities and hence watched complicated films. I just watched a couple of them but was never content with the feeling they offered me. I was still a minor. I understood things, I understood the films, but in the end what hurts always hurts. You can’t drift from the reality. The consolation I tried to find was not present in those messed-up ideas.

Academic pressure began to increase and so I aborted all entertainment. Believe me, even TV subscription was stopped. But I read really damn hard and so I felt lighter six months later, a month before the final exam. I therefore sought relief from all the stress. I resumed watching movies and all, where roles were played by humans. Then after I realized no such good movie was left to watch. I resorted to animated movies, mostly those of Disney.

As of February, I started watching Detective Conan again. I don’t know what sparked the interest of it in me. Maybe it was a bit of movie research. I am not awkwardly sure what drifted my interest, but I am pretty sure that it is the way I thought it to be – pristine and unique in form. All the barrier is your understanding capacity. Impact your brain to understand like a kid and you shall see plain mysteries. Tell your brain to understand it like an adult, and you will be able to see the underlying romance, thrill, adventure, horror, action and all genres you love.

 

Conan Artistic

 

If you really are a fan of Detective Conan, a.k.a. Case Closed, you can grab the ongoing anime with integrated English subtitles here. Use VPN if you are denied access. Opera VPN using location ‘Singapore’ worked fine for me. An episode is added every week.