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Convert Text to MP3 Files. These Great Online Services are Both Free.

Ever downloaded a hefty text file, such as a free e-book or a product manual, and then come to the sad conclusion that you probably won't ever have time to read it?

If so, here's a great idea.  Why not convert the text to an MP3 file, and listen to it on your MP3 player when you're out and about!

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Microsoft Offers Web-based Office Applications for Free

In a direct response to the popular free Google Apps service Microsoft has quietly launched the beta version of its own free online suite of office programs.  Called “Office Web Apps” it offers free online versions of Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint and Microsoft OneNote.  Even better they are giving users 25 GB of free online storage to store their documents on Microsoft’s SkyDrive service.

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Make Your Own Customized Bootable Linux Live CD (or USB Stick)

Recent versions of Ubuntu and other Linux distros can be set up to create “persistent” live CDs and USB flash drives where your data is saved across sessions.

That’s nice but what if you want to preserve your wallpaper, theme, custom drivers, apps and general system configuration?  In other words, have a live CD or USB where Linux is configured specifically to your personal taste and requirements.

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A Free Utility that Creates Bootable USB Drives

Bootable Linux Live CDs such as those offered by Ubuntu and Mint are a great way to try Linux without interfering with your Windows installation. They are also a handy tool to have on hand as they give you access to your Windows data without the need for Windows. This can be invaluable should your Windows system become unbootable or infected by difficult-to-remove malware.

CDs are however an inconvenient format to carry around. USB Flash drives are a better solution as they are smaller and give better performance.

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How to Generate a Tiled Print. Two Great Online Utilities.

Have you ever taken a great picture with your digital camera and wished that you could print it out as a large poster?  If so, then I have some good news for you.  You can, and you don't even need to install any software on your PC.  All you need is a standard desktop printer (laser or inkjet) and Web access.

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Convert Any Web Page to a PDF File

Have you ever wanted to download one or more web pages in a form that you could read on a PDA or an ebook reader?  Have you ever come across a large web page which you wanted to print, but which your web browser simply couldn't scale properly?

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Find the Passwords Internet Explorer is Storing On Your PC

One of the features of modern web browsers is that they automatically store usernames and passwords for many of the private web sites that you visit.  This can, of course, be a very useful feature.  Sign up for a discussion forum, log in once, then you don't have to worry about logging in again.  Just let your web browser fill in the details automatically, each time you visit the site.

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New Sysinternals Tool: RAMMap

 

I just noticed that Sysinternals released a new free utility called RAMMap. It is a great companion to the rest of this extraordinary set of system utilities.

RAMMap requires Windows Vista or higher, or Windows Server 2008 or higher.

Here is what Sysinternals writes about it:

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Two Excellent Free Mind Map Programs

I've always been a fan of a business graphics package called Smartdraw (www.smartdraw.com).  It's an easy way to do mind maps, org charts, calendars, room plans, flyers, web pages, and just about every other type of graphic you can imagine.  However, at almost US$300 it's not cheap.

Edraw (www.edrawsoft.com) is cheaper, at around US$100, and works in a similar way. 

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Find Out What's Been Causing Your PC to Crash

Windows is generally quite tolerant of badly behaved programs but sometimes a program (or especially a device driver) causes a problem so severe that Windows gives up entirely, and you're left with nothing but a Blue Screen of Death.  

Before Windows stops responding, it normally creates what's called a Minidump file.  Within this file are a lot of clues as to what caused the problem.  However, understanding the file is not easy.

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