Category Archives: Tips & Tricks

7 Web Tools for Web Developers

Well, we certainly hope that everyone is enjoying the Olympics thus far. We support Team USA of course.

Now, there are many web developers out there of all levels. Each developer uses their own tools. Of course, it’s always good to have a large number of tools in the chest. Here are some good tools any dev. should use.

1) Notepad++
This is like a pumped up and pimped out Notepad. You can code in many languages, ranging from HTML/XHTML to PHP, CSS, Java, Javascript, Python, and others. It is a lightweight program that has syntax highlighting, multiple files in a tabbed file system, multi-language support, macroing, page preview, and TextFX, which lets you do things like run HTML Tidy. Now you will never need to suffer through the lack of features in regular old Notepad.

2) Codetch Plugin for Firefox
This puppy is a must-have for users who want to edit code on the fly. This tool is like Dreamweaver except free. It loads extremely fast (I notice no lag time) and it can edit code permanently for any file on your server. This makes validation very simple since you can fix an error right away because the code changes permanently.

3) VIM
This tool is called Visual Editor Improved. It is friendly and easier to use than its original, Visual Editor (VI). VI and VIM are modal editors meaning that the same key can have more than one job depending on the mode you set. It isn’t that intuitive, but it is amazing with efficiency once you get used to it.

4) Emacs
This program is sort of like VI in that it was (and is) more of a Unix/Linux program. However, this program is pretty beast with its custimazations. It has a powerful macro feature like Notepad++, can view and edit the file system, manage remote files, browse the web, check e-mail, and others. This program takes some getting used to. There is a simpler to use version called Xemacs out with standard menus and icons.

5) HTML Validator Plugin for Firefox
This simple plugin simply validates the XHTML on the current website with the W3 Validator. It lists each error with error messages, help on correcting said errors, and syntax highlighting of the error. It also has HTML Tidy to clean up your page.

6) Web Developer Toolbar for Firefox
This toolbar lets you validate your pages, edit pages (not permanently, but you can see what the change looks like), view your page in different sizes and resolutions, and get a speed report. This tool is pumped up with many different little settings to play with that will make any dev’s job easier.

7) Firebug Plugin for Firefox
This plugin lets you inspect you code, view code as an outline, and debug your code. It shows you what parts of your code are affected by lines earlier on. Changes you make are not permanent, but you can view results immediately after a refresh. It structures the code very nicely for ease of use.

Here are 7 non-IDE tool that anyone web dev should use to save money, space, memory on their pcs while speeding up their work.

Enjoy!
Voltaire

CCleaner – How to Make It Run In Background Silently

CCleaner or CrapCleaner is a freeware program for Windows.  I use it all the time, and it is great for cleaning your system from junk, as well as fixing your Windows registry from invalid entries.

Did you know that you can run it in the background silently via shortcut?  Yes, you can!

The easiest way to do it is via the tutorial below:

1) Open up CCleaner.  Go to options -> advanced.  Select the checkbox that says “Save all settings to INI file.”

2) Make a shortcut on your desktop to the CCleaner program. Right click the shortcut, go to properties, and make it say “”C:\Program Files\CCleaner\CCleaner.exe” /AUTO”.

Add the /AUTO part with a space right after the quotes.  Now exit back to the desktop, and everytime you run the shortcut, CCleaner will run in the background and clean up your PC!

For the graphic tutorial, go to the source.  Thanks!

Source

iPhone 2.0 update unlocked (even 3G!)

Hello guys! I just wanted to confess how busy I have been and how I have not been able to complete my Monday’s on the underground blog. I have a request for Versatile and Volatire. Can I please post updates about things which I can keep track of like Games, Phones, hacks and movies? Can I publish those posts at the time of their release? Please consider this and mail me. Thanks.

Well the main reason of me writing this post is that the iPhone 3G hack is here! The DEV team as always, have provided this hack for free. I took 2 weeks but it was worth the wait (all other softwares brick your phone!) Well for now, this software is only for MAC users (bad for us windows users :( ) but nevertheless, we can use a friends comp! Here is a picture of the Software, nice GUI huh??:

 

iPhone 3G

iPhone 3G

Now, for all those have MAC’s here’s a tip: The Mail 2.0 in the iPhone 2.0 update isn’t working, so dont upgrade your iPhone now… let the Dev Team make some fixes and I will notify you when this program is glitch free. But if you still want to risk your iPhone, here is the guide:

1. Get The Pwnage Tool Here (The Better v2.0.1)
2. Get the BootLoader Files Here
3.Follow this Guide: 

Step 1: If you are at 1.1.4 or lower, restore a fresh 2.0. If you are already at 2.0 this is not necessary. You can follow the restore guide for help on restoring in iTunes. 

        Note: you may see “Preparing iPhone software for restore” for a very long time. Could be 10 minutes.                         This is normal. Don’t panic and stick with it. 
        Note 2: If you get error 1600 you may try restore mode instead of DFU mode.  It can be finicky. Try                              going back and forth from restore to DFU mode.

Step 2: Extract the zip file. Extract the rar file for the bootloaders and put that in your Documents folder. Load up the pwnage tool. You will see this screen so click away the warning.  Note: some folks having problems loading the pwnage tool and the icon just sits there bouncing. You may try clearing your cache by deleting the {your name}/Library/Caches folder and/or /Library/Caches and reboot. You may also try booting into safe mode.

Step 3: At the top, select “Simple Mode” and click the phone or iPod that matches your device.

Step 4: Select the 2.0 firmware you used to restore your phone in step 1 and click the blue next arrow.

 

Step 5: Select your bootloaders that you downloaded from step #1. You will be presented a screen asking you if you wish to search the web for the bootloaders. Select NO.

 

 

Step 5 (a): Now select YES you wish to browse for the 3.9 bootloader.
Step 6: Repeat steps 5 for the 4.6 bootloader files.
Step 7: You will be prompted to create a custom FW image now. Select YES unless you have already done so in which case you can select NO. For first time users select YES. If you select NO, you will skip to step 10.
Step 8: You are asked “Are you legit iPhone”. This means do you need to unlock and activate (NO) or do you have a contract carrier like AT&T (YES). Select NO to unlock, YES to not unlock. (Note: if you do not unlock and you do not have a contract carrier, you will be stuck at connect to iTunes screen and will need to repeat this tutorial again).
Step 9: Wait for custom IPSW / custom restore image to be generated. This takes a few minutes. Also, be prepared to enter your password as part of the process.
Step 10: If your iPhone has been pwned before, say YES. Otherwise say NO. Note: if you have restored a generic image, you should say NO. Only say yes if you have pwned and your iPhone boots with the pineapple or custom boot image. If you pwned 1.1.4, you do not have to pwn again. This will pwn your phone. There is no harm in pwning your phone again, so if you’re in doubt go ahead and say NO.
Step 11: You are now instructed how to get into DFU mode. Follow the steps and you will be fine. If you get lost or behind just click my link and do it manually. Remember, DFU mode means you will not see anything on your iPhone screen. It will appear as it if is turned off but the computer will see the phone.
Step 12: Restore your custom firmware in iTunes. Remember you need to use Option-Restore to select your custom firmware file.
Step 13: Wait for iTunes to finish its restore. This takes a while. Be patient.
Step 14: If you selected “NO” to a legit phone, wait for bootneuter to run and do its thing.
Congratulations. You have a freshly pwned phone.This will provide you with stock iPhone + Cydia. At this point, there is no other 2.0 software out from the community. All the installer apps will not work. You will need to be patient as apps get ported and show up within Cydia.
Sorry, I could put in all pics, as there was very little space (upload space)

How To Hack your PSP to 4.01 M33-2

Do you have a modded PSP?  How about a non-modded PSP?  Well, you can upgrade your PSP to custom firmware.  Why would you want to do that?  Think about it.  WIth a modded PSP, you can run homebrew applications, but even more importantly, you can play copied games!

How you get these games is a mystery, but I’m sure with the age of the Internet, you could definitely find something if you are so inclined.

What do you need?

Requirements:

1. Pandora’s Battery.
2. Memory Stick Pro Duo (64mb to 8gb TESTED so far – any will do).
3. psp-grader-v005-lite-setup
4. Official PSP 3.90 Firmware.

Find the rest of the tutorial at the source at bottom of the page.  I have a modded PSP,  fat version, and it works great!  I got a 4gig memory stick, so that really helps with the games. :p

Source

New Awesome Firefox Add-On: ScribeFire

Hey everyone. This is Voltaire. I’m currently writing this post on a new add-on I found: ScribeFire. Essentially, it’s an amazing blog tool which every blogger should use. I am going to assume that this post hits the front page of The Underground as usual. Here is what the tool looks like:

First off, as you will notice, ScribeFire takes up the bottom portion of your current window, but its a static frame, so you can continue to browse without ever leaving the ScribeFire tabs. As such:


ScribeFire allows you to update many blogs quickly. You can update most of them all the time, and for WordPress users, this is an ideal tool. You can easily tag categories, view and edit old entries, and create pages, posts, and drafts. You can even save notes. Also, an interesting feature of ScribeFire is that it has its own tabbing feature, so you can create tabs similiar to Firefox. This easily allows for multitasking.

Just as well, you can easily use the WordPress categories. The default setup of ScribeFire has a panel on the right hand side with 4 tags: Blogs (manage all blogs form here), Entries (view all entries, notes, and pages of the selected blog), categories (check mark all categories for the post), and Options (standard blog options, in this case, WordPress options like timestamp, tags, trackback, etc.)

The functionality of ScribeFire is almost, if not better, than using the standard WordPress writing page. If you are a blogger, this is a great tool for you to fool around and play with.

Voltaire

Recipes for the soul. [and for the gut]

Stepping outside of the box, the traditional blog post you would find here, as part of life, comfort food is something almost all of us, whatever interests, culture or backgrounds we originate from. So for whatever it is you do, here’s a list of some of the best tasting stuff I’ve made for events I’ve been to in recent months. Note that I did not create any of these recipes, but only compiled those that I’ve made in the past which everyone enjoyed. For the ones people did not enjoy, please leave a comment of request.

So, why not start with dessert?

Root Beer Float cookies (with root beer glaze) – average time 15 minutes (depending on oven)

http://desertculinary.blogspot.com/2005/07/root-beer-float-cookies.html

With or without the glaze, served soft and warm, these are very relaxing. You can take a couple or down 10 and you’ll still feel satisfied. Hardly filling and taste very well like a root beer float. I recommend adding way more powdered/confectioner’s sugar, enough to make the glaze gooey that dries sort of shell like. Following the recipe will make a more watery and runny glaze.

Puppy Chow (with peanut butter) – average time 20 minutes

http://www.recipezaar.com/9370

Something about Puppy Chow, especially with peanut butter. Not quite sure what it is, but tons of people I know can’t stop eating this, even when they start to get sick. Please, do not feed to any actual animals, especially puppies and dogs.

Cheesy Spinach and Artichoke dip – average time 35 minutes

http://www.recipezaar.com/1209

This is a great appetizer for people who want something that tastes great but makes them feel like they’re eating healthy. Great for parties or small hang out sessions, LAN parties, you name it. You can set it to cook in the oven and go for a few frags against your buddies or get the house ready for a movie night. Also, a nice versatile dish for vegetarians, instead of platters of meats.

Chicken Cordon Bleu (with bacon!!) – average time 35 minutes

http://kalynskitchen.blogspot.com/2007/04/recipe-update-easy-chicken-cordon-bleu.html

For something that sounds so fancy, the flexibility of this dish is invaluable. As the recipe page mentions, you can quickly prepare the ingredients in 5-10 minutes and freeze it over night and save it for later in the week. Great for kids and family dinners, and come on. What carnivore doesn’t love bacon?

God speed, and Best wishes. (and bon appetit!)

¥

Expand Your Creativity. [volume 1]

Have you ever heard the term: “think outside the box”? Okay, do you know the origin of the phrase? Complete this puzzle:

Draw four straight, continuous lines that connect all 9 dots without lifting the pencil off the page (or in this case your finger off the screen):

Here is the solution: Click Here for Solution

If you couldn’t figure it out, you probably assumed you had to stay inside the box. If that’s the case, you know have the first major step in thinking outside the box. Eliminate your assumptions. The rules presented didn’t say you couldn’t draw outside the lines.

How do assumptions affect our ability to create success? Write down or type out your answer or answers, and think about what you came up with. This whole post can be applied to just about any area of your life, if you apply it properly.

This is a core element of the Blue Ocean Strategy. The Blue Ocean Strategy is geared towards business, and is spoken on and written into application towards business. But even if you’re simply drawing a design in a competition, or even just for fun, this will expand the creative processes your brain goes through. (refer to my past posts on the brain: Brain Train [part 1] and Brain Train [part 2])

Some DOs and DON’Ts are as follows:

Follow sequence in your plan – if you plot out steps, follow them step by step.

Focus on the big picture FIRST, focus on numbers SECOND. – If you have a time constraint, first take a look at what needs to be done, what your mission is, then think about the time, or the money involved, then tweak it.

Get into the field – see what other people are doing, and ask questions but listen when they answer.

Build enough time into the project – If you do have a time constraint, and you feel it’s a tight one, plan for it.

Approach field work as an anthropologist – Ask questions about the things they love and hate in the particular field you’re dealing with. If you’re drawing something for a contest, you may think of this as a no brainer, but ask what they look for, what “strikes their fancy” so to speak.

Do this work in a vacuum – Don’t do this work in an environment where the creativity is vacuumed out. If you’re drawing, like our examples are following, set yourself down in an inspiration environment.

Go too fast – Haste makes waste. Going in line with making a time plan, or some sort of schedule (preferably a time plan like a guideline rather than a strict schedule) so you aren’t rushing and lowering the quality of a specific part of the work.

Skip steps – If a baseball player skipped a step while running to home plate, the consequence to his action will be simple – he’ll trip and miss home plate. You’re going for a home run, run through all the bases without missing a step!

Too locked into current mindsets – Take time to think, without thinking about others in the field. If you’re drawing something, don’t think about other people’s drawings. Don’t think about any drawings. Just think about your own. Create a vision in your mind, visualize your completed drawing, and do it. However, you will eventually need to make some sort of comparison, but only to see what has been done, so you aren’t copying something else.

_________________________

This is all part of the Blue Ocean Strategy. I highly, highly recommend you research it, buy a book on it if you can find one, or watch some videos online. If the place or company you work for is having any seminars or speakers on Blue Ocean, GO TO IT. You will reap major benefits. It will not be like any seminar or lecture you have ever been to, and it will be fun – guaranteed!

The book “Blue Ocean Strategy” is published by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne and you can find it at any bookseller.

Another great post I stumbled across is here: http://techiteasy.org/2006/12/05/nintendos-wii-the-blue-ocean-strategy/

Please comment with feedback on your experiences or anything you know about Blue Ocean Strategy as well!

[ Source: The Change Agent Group ( changeagentgroup.com ) ]

God speed, and Best wishes.

¥

Staying “off the grid” [volume.2]

As my intentions were for the second volume of Staying “off the grid”, I would like to present to you part of the inspiration for the interest in this lifestyle: 30 Days by Morgan Spurlock, and in this episode, 2 big time “waste consumers” live in a small off the grid experimental area with other people who are accustomed to living off the grid. Whether or not you agree with the lifestyle, the show itself is very entertaining, and offers things other than how to live an off the grid lifestyle. Please watch:

This was the ONLY place I could find this video, so for the MySpace haters out there (you know who you are ;-) it’s ok.) try to grin and bare it. You don’t need a MySpace account to watch, this is a direct link to the video page. Enjoy!

30 Days – Off The Grid

God speed, and Best Wishes.

¥

iPhone themes and battery life.

Well, first of hi!! I am new to this underground community and will work here as an author. My name is Jvalin but you can call me Tizil7 :) This is my first post and I will try to make your’s a memorable experience here:) I will try and include all I can so, here it is:

I. Lets start with iPhone advice.
    a)Themes (How to apply them without downloading from Installer App.)
      

1. First, you will need to use the installer.app and install OpenSSH on your iPhone.
2. You will then need to install WinSCP on your computer. To connect to WinSCP you will need to go into your settings on your iPhone into Wi-fi, click on the little arrow next to the Wi-Fi you are connected to and get the ip address. Now open WinSCP on your computer….the Host Name is your ip address (with the periods) the user name is root and the password is alpine. Don’t worry about the Private key file, you don’t need to put anything there. Hit login.
3. Once WinSCP opens, the themes go into the var/root/library/SummerBoard/Themes folder. Once you are in that folder you will see all the themes that are on your iPhone. This is where you will want to add your new themes.
4. Create a folder somewhere on your computer that is the title of the theme you would like to add (ex…Chalkwork) then inside of the Chalkwork folder create another folder called Icons (with a capital “I”). Inside the Icons folder put all of the icon images that you would like to have. They must be named the same as the Title of the app, starting with a capital (Ex…Calendar, Customize, SummerBoard, Photos, Stocks….). You can also add a Dock and Wallpaper to the Chalkwork folder, they also need to be capitalized (do not put them in the Icons folder…just in the main Chalkwork folder). Once you have a folder of the theme with a folder of icons inside it you just drag the whole folder, Chalkwork, into Themes on WinSCP and hit Copy. Once it is done transferring you can go on your iPhone into SummerBoard and select the theme you just added. Note: your iPhone has to be on for the file to transfer!
5. If you are downloading a theme that is in a zip file…you will have to open the zip file and then create a folder on your computer that is the same name as the theme you are trying to download. Then copy the Icons folder from the zip file into the folder you created on your computer. This unzips the file so that you can add it to SummerBoard through WinSCP. You can also copy the wallpaper and dock out of the zip file into the file you created if you would like them too.

Trusted websites: Apple iPhone School, 5ubox, iPhone ThemeWorld, iPhone Wallpapers.us

Hope this little guide helped all those who needed it. :)

b) Increasing battery life.

1. Go to Settings>Mail>AutoCheck>Manual (This will save your battery by 50%)
2. Go to Settings>Mail>Push Mail Account>Advanced>Turn Off (Use this if you have a pushmail account)
3. Autocheck fewer e-mail accounts.
4. If you rarely use Wi-Fi, you can turn it off to save power. Go to Settings > Wi-Fi and set Wi-Fi to Off.
5. If you rarely use a Bluetooth headset or car kit, you can turn off Bluetooth to save power. Go to Settings > General > Bluetooth and set Bluetooth to Off.
6. Use it regularly so that all of its features and components are constantly used.
Hope all of this helps :)

[It took me about an hour to think what to write about and then pen it down] I will try my best to provide information to all of you :) I will be happy to answer any questions.

–Tizil 7

Staying “off the grid” [volume.1]

We all need a Social Security number, but who said we actually have to use it?

If you’re unsure what living “off the grid” refers to, think of M. Night Shymalan’s The Village. Complete disconnection from the rest of the world, especially corporations and the government. That’s true living off the grid, however, today that’s near, if not impossible for almost everyone, so I’ll bring you monthly tips on how to keep yourself as best off the grid as possible.

What’s the benefit from staying “off the grid”? Hopefully you’ll find your own personal reason(s) as you read through these posts. I can think of one thing that most of us can enjoy with little to no fear of having a shaded knock at our doors.

First, the basics;

Before I begin, I want to say: stop, using, Google. They index everything you search, and while it may be anonymous, if you have to use it, do it at a library.

  • Financial: No checks, no credit cards. Green = good, pay for everything in cash and change only. Don’t get a bank account, get a piggy bank. Also, loans or anything that require your information to truly optional places of financial standing are something you should avoid. Save your money and store it securely.
  • Security: Invest in a good ol’ fashioned Louisville Slugger, not an alarm system. Some alarm companies (Brinks, ADT, not necessarily them however) have the capability of monitoring the activity of their systems without any malicious activity having to go on, not to mention that’s another place where some of your most sensitive information goes. Look at the bright side, an alarm system offers no physical defense. Baseball bats, now, that’s another story. Be creative with a homemade alarm system. Get in the green mentality and recycle those noisy soda cans in a unique way.
  • Health: This one’s tough. Hospitals are nice, but if you can manage to find the right free clinic and take good care of yourself, you won’t have to give anything more than your name and a place for them to send the bill, which brings me to my next point.
  • Mail: Get a post office box, and have ALL of your mail go to that. An average post office box costs a little over $100 a year. Not bad at all for personal security. Not to mention any spam that you catch is diffused by the simple change of your box number, instead of having to move.

While that may be a short list, it takes a good effort to implement into your life. Please comment on this post with your experiences or if you have any suggestions.

[ Source: experience ]

God speed, and Best wishes.

¥

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