12 January 2013

Get Creative With Evernote: 10 Unique Uses You Haven’t Thought Of

Evernote is one of the ultimate tools in productivity, and with a wide variety of multiplatform apps, there’s no limit to the way that you can use the service. We’re big fans of Evernote here at MakeUseOf, for lots of reasons, so we’ve written a list of 10 unique ways you can use the service – with some tips and tricks you might not have thought of.

Whether it’s taking advantage of Evernote’s checklist feature, or the fact that you can save photos in the app on the go, using the mobile app, don’t be afraid to get creative with your Evernote use. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to download our Evernote Manual for free.

Save Classified Listings Before They Expire

How many times have you bookmarked a Craigslist listing only to find that the post has expired next time you go to check it out? With Evernote, you can save the entire listing, with all of the information, contact information and photos by using Evernote’s Web Clipper. This feature can come in handy on sites like eBay, Craigslist, or just about any online classified site you can think of.

Take Notes While Reading a Book

If you’ve already made the switch to eBooks, making digital notes while you’re reading is nothing new, but if you’re still attached to reading books, and don’t want to put your notes in the margin, why not use Evernote? Create an individual notebook for each book, take photos of the page you want to jot a note down about with your phone, and type in the note with the image.

By using Evernote, you have a digitized and easy to search database of your notes – just make sure to include the page number in your typed up notes.

Keep Measurements, Sizes, etc. Handy When Shopping

Whether it’s measurements for your furniture, clothes sizes or even your printer’s ink type, you can take that kind of information with you everywhere you go. That way, next time you’re at the store, you’ll always have that information handy if you happen to find something that you want to buy.

Create Lists Of Everything From Goals To Groceries

Because Evernote allows you to create checklists, there’s no end to the kinds of lists you can create using the app. Whether it’s for day-to-day tasks like groceries, to life-long goals that are on your bucket list, or even just a list of movies you want to watch, you can take your checklists with you everywhere using the mobile Evernote app.

Record Your Prescriptions

If you have a lot of prescriptions, you can keep them organized using Evernote. Take photos of the doctor’s prescription, of the pill box or bottle, and even how each individual pill looks. Keep track of how often you take them, and how often you need to refill the prescription.

Save Photos Of Your Takeout Menus

Rather than keep a drawerful of messy takeout menus, why not take photos of the menus and save them to Evernote. Create one notebook for all of your takeout menus, and use one note per restaurant. While the images aren’t searchable, you can at least put in relevant tags making it easy to look up all the menus for certain types of cuisine, or better yet, searching for specific restaurants by name.

Save Your Favorite Meals At Restaurants

While it does require an additional Evernote app, in this case Evernote Food, you can keep track of your favorite meals, drinks and more while you’re out and about. Recently updated to add an awesome set of features and iPad support, Evernote Food can be the ultimate alternative to Instagramming your food.

Rather than share it with others, using Evernote Food is all about making it easy to remember which restaurant serves your favorite salad and where to go to get the best cup of coffee.

Save Important Documents: Warranties, Contracts, Birth Certificates, etc.

Any kind of important document that you want to keep track of, you can simply save in Evernote. Whether it’s an important contract, your birth or marriage certificate, or any other important papers, take photos of them, or save them as PDFs and save them to Evernote. That way you have important information handy with you no matter where you go.

Create a Virtual Library Of Your DVD, Video Game Collections, etc.

If you have a large collection of DVDs, video games, books, or anything else, you can take photos of each item, add notes about them, and even make a note of when you lend them out and who you’ve lent them to, and you can keep track of your personal belongings. Nothing is more annoying than lending a book to a friend and forgetting who you gave it to, so why not let Evernote help you remember?

Use Evernote As a Rolodex

While there are a lot of great apps that make it easy to exchange contact information simply by touching phones, the traditional business card is far from dead. Rather than keep a messy box of business cards, take photos of the individual business cards and save the note with the contact’s name.

Are you looking for more ways to get the most out of Evernote? Check out 3 more ideas here.

The post Get Creative With Evernote: 10 Unique Uses You Haven’t Thought Of appeared first on MakeUseOf.

What Is USB Debugging Mode On Android? [MakeUseOf Explains]

If you use an Android phone and you’ve searched forums for solutions to problems, you’ve probably heard the term “USB Debugging” every once in a while. You may even have seen it while looking through your phone’s settings. It sounds like a high-tech option, but it really isn’t; it’s quite simple and useful.

One beauty of Android is that it has a lot of built-in features, many of which are advanced. If you want to supercharge your phone with mods and whatnot, you can; if you want to use it just as it was out of the box, you can ignore the advanced stuff. USB Debugging is a feature that all users can benefit from, though, so you should know what it does and when to use it.

What Is USB Debugging Mode?

USB Debugging Mode is a mode that can be enabled in Android after connecting the device directly to a computer with a USB cable. The primary function of this mode is to facilitate a connection between an Android device and a computer with Android SDK (software development kit). As the name might suggest, Android SDK is a software suite that’s designed to aid in the development of Android apps.

Ever wondered how a programmer creates apps on the Android? They definitely don’t code them straight on the phone device! That would be nightmarish at best. Instead, they utilize the environment of the Android SDK to code apps on a computer, use USB Debugging Mode to transfer those apps to a device for testing.

But, again, here’s the takeaway: USB Debugging Mode establishes a direct connection between an Android device and a computer and readies it for deeper-level actions. That’s the important part.

In some versions of Android, the USB Debugging Mode feature may be called Developer Mode. With such a name, it can be easy (and reasonable) to think that you’ll never need to deal with this aspect of Android if you never plan on developing anything. That’s not exactly true.

Why Is USB Debugging Mode Important?

USB Debugging grants you a level of access to your device. This level of access is important when you need system-level clearance, such as when coding a new app. However, there are a few non-development-related benefits from this new level of access that can give you much more freedom of control over your device.

For example, with Android SDK, you gain direct access to your phone through your computer and that allows you to do things you normally couldn’t, like snag instant screenshots of your device or run terminal commands with ADB. These terminal commands can help you restore a bricked phone–a useful tool for any adventurous Android owner. Without it, you’d have to get a replacement phone.

USB Debugging is also necessary if you ever want to root your Android device. Before an app like One-Click Root can dig into your system and deliver the exploit that roots the device, USB Debugging is necessary to allow that function in the first place.

Yes, the original intention for USB Debugging Mode was only meant for developers who needed to copy data between their computers and Android devices, to install apps on the phone without notifications, and to read log data off the phone. But even if you aren’t a developer, you’ll probably run into a few apps that require USB Debugging Mode to function properly, so this mode does affect you and you should know about it.

What You Need to Know About USB Debugging Mode

By this point, you may have noticed that USB Debugging isn’t used all too frequently. You’re right. This feature of Android isn’t something that you take advantage of on a daily basis unless you’re coding an app. However, when it does come in handy, it really saves you a lot of time, effort, and even money.

Therefore, it’s best to keep USB Debugging Mode disabled and only enable it when you really need it. When running an app, for example, it’ll let you know if it needs you to enable the mode before it can do anything. When that happens, you can enable it, let the app do its thing, then disable it again. Few apps will require your phone to constantly be in debugging mode.

Lastly, starting with Android 4.2, access to the USB Debugging Mode option has been hidden by default. I’m not entirely sure why the development team thought that move was necessary, but fortunately it’s not too much of a pain to get it visible again. Read How to Enable USB Debugging on Android 4.2 if you need to know how.


Just know that USB Debugging is not a super-high-tech feature that you need to be afraid of. Think of it as yet another tool that gives you full control over your device. This kind of power does invite abuse, though, so keep it disabled at all times and only enable it when you know you need it and you’ll be fine.

If you have any questions about USB Debugging, please ask in the comments. I’ll try my best to answer them.

Image Credit: USB In Phone Via Shutterstock

The post What Is USB Debugging Mode On Android? [MakeUseOf Explains] appeared first on MakeUseOf.

11 January 2013

Three Gorgeous Apps That Give iOS a Run For Its Money [Android]

iOS hasn’t changed very much in appearance for the past few years – but it is beautiful. There’s an innate elegance and smoothness to many iOS apps; something that can’t really be captured in words, but more in the responsiveness of the interface and its functional minimalism. The same, unfortunately, can’t be said for Android – many Android apps are pretty messy, using a hodgepodge of unclear UI conventions and controls.

This, however, is starting to change. I’ve recently come across three different apps, each with a different purpose, but all united by one thing – aesthetics. These are apps by developers who take the Holo design guidelines seriously, and it shows. So today’s roundup is a different one, because it’s around form, rather than function.

For Twitter: Falcon Pro


It’s hard to count the things $1 Twitter client Falcon Pro gets right, but I’ll try – clean, flat aesthetics; clear tweets and typography; inline graphics that can be easily resized to fill the screen; and of course, lovely menus that slide in from left and right.


It’s an ambitious utility, and the animations aren’t as smooth as they can be, which is something holding back many Android utilities – iOS just feels smoother. Still, the way Falcon Pro utilizes every pixel on the screen and organizes functionality to be both clear and appealing is definitely something other developers can learn from. This isn’t a full-on review, but if you’re looking for a solid Twitter client, give Falcon Pro a shot.

I switched to it from Plume, which I’ve previously reviewed. It’s just feels better, and is more fun to use (at least for me).

For Reader: Press


I am not the only one inspired by iOS: Press is a new RSS reader that syncs up with Google Reader, and takes quite a few design cues from iOS app Reeder. We’ve looked at Reeder’s desktop version before, and just by going over the screenshots in that post you’ll see the similarity at first glance. Press shows your subscriptions on a light grey background, and its reading view is a pleasure to behold:


The only beef I have with Press is that it doesn’t sync items in the background, so every time I run it I have to tap the Sync button and wait a moment while it talks to Google Reader and pulls in all the feeds I didn’t read. Other than that, it’s a joy to use.

It’s far from the only news reader for Android – we’ve previously looked at Pulse for Android and JustReader, both fine options – but Press does have that understated visual flair that just makes it fun to use without coming off as ostentatious or overly animated (some apps just try too hard).

For The World Around You: Holo Compass

Finally, here’s simplicity itself:


Yup, it’s a compass. Holo Compass, to be exact. That’s all it does – it’s just a compass. It’s not a flashlight, not a map, not a measuring device, and not a camera. One simple thing, and it works. It’s visual minimalism reminds me of another of my favorite utilities, the Ovo timer for Android. Just like Ovo, Holo Compass uses a very flat scheme, with no shadows or anything to detract from its centerpiece, the compass. If your device has a reliable built-in compass sensor, Holo Compass is one of the best ways to use it.

A Design Trend

I feel that form follows function, not the other way around – i.e, the first thing a coder should worry about is what their app should help the user do. That said, the hallmark of a truly excellent product is that it manages to be both functional and beautiful at the same time – and I’m happy to see more and more Android apps arriving at this level of excellence. Also, I’m happy to say I’ve just included Falcon Pro and Press in our list of Best Android Apps.

Do you know of any other beautifully-designed apps? Let us know in the comments!

The post Three Gorgeous Apps That Give iOS a Run For Its Money [Android] appeared first on MakeUseOf.

Use Wolfram Alpha To Dig Up Cool Statistics About Your Facebook Account [Weekly Facebook Tips]

If you’ve heard of Wolfram Alpha before, you’ll know that it’s a wealth of knowledge that’s occasionally compared to the likes of the Star Trek computer. There are all sorts of weird and wonderful uses for Wolfram Alpha, including powerful search terms, other searching tips, widgets, a variety of cool uses and other truly powerful uses of Wolfram Alpha. However, even if you know all about these Wolfram Alpha tools, you may still not yet know about their Facebook analytics tool.

With the Wolfram Alpha Facebook analytics tool, you can find out a huge amount of information about your Facebook account. It’s quite fun to see which of your posts or photos are the most popular, who your top commenters are, who is sharing your posts the most and more interesting tidbits. Plus, it’s easy to use this tool and completely free. Why not have a go?

Using Wolfram Alpha for Facebook

Using Wolfram Alpha’s Facebook analysis tool is completely free, so all you need to do is log in using your Facebook credentials and give it access to your account. It will then either link your Facebook to your Wolfram Alpha account or create a Wolfram Alpha account for you. You’ll then see that “Facebook Report” is entered into the search box for you, so all you need to do is hit enter to get the results.

From there you’ll be able to browse information about your Facebook account or use the Wolfram Alpha search tool to find out things about your Facebook data. Then the fun starts! Here’s a video showing how it works.

What Does The Facebook Report Show?

Your personalised Wolfram Alpha Facebook report will show all sorts of statistics about you, your Facebook usage and your friends. Every time you visit Wolfram Alpha in the future these will be updated to reflect your current situation, so you’ll always see new information. The main screen shows an overview, but each section can be expanded by clicking the “More” button in the top-right.

Your personal data will show interesting facts related to your birthday and age, such as your star sign, how old you are in days, and some fun star and moon chart information (which presumes you were born in your listed home town).

Data collected about your friends will show you their locations on a map, charts of gender differences, age distribution, relationship statuses, friends who have the most mutual friends, most common names and surnames, and more. You can even see a diagram of your network, showing where the overlaps are between friend groups.

Statistics about your Facebook usage are also available, including when you log in and from which device or application, which posts you made were the most popular (across the whole of Facebook), which posts you made got the most likes, how often you post updates, how often you upload photos, how often you post links, your top commenters, the people who share your posts the most, post length, a map of your check-in history, your most commented on photo, your most liked photo, word frequencies and a word cloud.

All of the data can be filtered to show results for different timeframes or with other filters, such as for gender or age. This means you can keep exploring your Facebook data for quite a while before the fun stops!

Sharing The Fun

Of course, once you’re done exploring your Facebook data, you may want to share the results. It’s simple to share your favourite chart or a permanent page of your Facebook statistics with your friends via Facebook.

What did you find out about your Facebook account? What was your favourite statistic from Wolfram Alpha?

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What You Need to Know About Native Social Networking Tools In Windows 8

social networking softwareWhenever you switch to a new operating system there are always a few new things to learn – and with Windows 8, the learning curve has increased considerably with the new user interface and built-in store adding a new dimension to Microsoft’s long-running OS.

One of the key differences in Windows 8 is the approach to social networking. Whereas previously it was something that was easily covered by visiting websites or installing third party clients, social networking in Windows 8 – typically accessing services such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn – is made all the more simple by the provision of integrated support and approved clients that can be downloaded from the store.

Getting to grips with social networking in Windows 8, therefore, might prove quite difficult to start with – until you’ve got to grips with the People screen.

Windows 8 People Explained

For many years, Windows has got by without having its own dedicated contact management system. Unlike Mac OS X, Windows has instead relied on its integrated email tool or third party solutions, but with Windows 8, this comes to an end with the introduction of the People screen.

Like its Windows Phone namesake, this holds the contact details for all of your friends and family, and can display details from various social networks.

social networking software

Twitter, Facebook, Windows Live, LinkedIn and Google accounts are all supported, and can be added either by opening People and clicking the Connect option in the top right corner and entering the account username and password.

The immense benefit of this is that Windows 8 will then effortlessly import the details for all of your contacts from Facebook, Google or whatever your preferred social networking service is. Opening the People tool will then display your friends for you to scroll through, and you can use the What’s New button to see the latest news. Updates will also be displayed on the live tile on the Start screen.

Facebook On Windows 8

At the time of release, there is no dedicated Facebook app for Windows 8. Rather, users are expected to integrate the social network into their computers via the People screen, as described above.

social networking windows

This isn’t really a massive hardship; although there is no access to groups and pages through this tool, and Facebook games are also disabled (all of which can of course be viewed through the Internet Explorer browser), you can effortlessly move through conversations on Facebook through the People screen.

Engaging with your friends is simply a case of clicking their update, reading through the comments and leaving your own. The View Notifications button in the People screen will display any responses to threads that you’re involved in.

If you want to update your own status, meanwhile, you can do so from the main People screen – click Me and in the Facebook “What’s on your mind?” field you can leave your thoughts. This view also provides access to your Facebook photos by scrolling right.

Twitter For Windows 8

It’s not too different with Twitter. Importing an account requires the same steps, and the What’s New button displays not only updates from Facebook but also Twitter.

social networking windows

When you want to comment on or like a Twitter update, once again all you need to do is select it and tap the Like button and/or leave a comment; new status updates can be left by clicking the drop-down arrow (if there are multiple accounts setup) and selecting Twitter, before entering your thoughts.

You will be alerted to mentions and retweets in the View Notifications screen. Although not the most ideal way of using Twitter, the integration is good, and the Start screen live tile updates make it ideal for quick use.

Social Networking, The Windows 8 Way

Simple integration of these popular social networks enables users to skimp on installing dedicated apps, although in the case of Twitter this isn’t recommended for intensive use.

social networking software

Accounts for both Twitter and Facebook can be added to Windows 8, thereby populating your contacts screen (People) and enabling you to quickly interact with friends and family on your new computer.

Meanwhile, third party apps (for Twitter at least!) are provided that expand on the native integration – and if you want to play Facebook games, you can simply launch the web browser!

The post What You Need to Know About Native Social Networking Tools In Windows 8 appeared first on MakeUseOf.

10 January 2013

Send To Kindle By Klip.me: Take All Your “To Read” Articles On The Go Without An Internet Connection [Chrome]

Before the time of Kindles, we usually read everything solely on our computers. And perhaps you still do this. However, if you own a Kindle, such as the Kindle Touch which doesn’t have the best web interface (and that’s only when you’re around a Wi-Fi connection) you might still be disappointed in it’s reading capabilities.

If so, you should consider Send To Kindle by Klip.me, which was briefly mentioned before in How To Save Web Articles To Read Later On Your Non-Tablet Kindle. Send To Kindle is also a member of our Best Chrome Extensions page.

About Send To Kindle

Send To Kindle is a simple browser extension that allows you to easily send articles from your browser to your Kindle. Whenever your Kindle is connected to a wireless network, it will download the latest articles sent to it, allowing you to read web articles on the go in an easy-to-read format.

In addition to it working for Chrome (here’s the Web Store link), it is currently available as an extension for Safari as well. There is also a bookmarklet, which is compatible with IE, Firefox, Opera, as well as Chrome and Safari.

How To Use Send To Kindle

Send To Kindle works by “connecting” your Amazon account to Klip.me. This is done by adding the appropriate email addresses in the services, allowing them to “talk” to each other.

The instructions are pretty straight forward, but it is important that you follow them exactly. If you had trouble finding where to add the “kindle@klip.me” email address to Amazon, the image below should help.

Once you set up emailing on both sides, take a look at some of the other options below.

The options include keyboard shortcuts, 1-Click Send, including images with the articles and increasing paragraph spacing.

I highly recommend signing in and creating an account so that you can save the settings with your account and also view your “klips.”

You can also push web articles to your email address.

Before the article is sent, you’re able to preview it. The interface is pretty nice and although it’s not highly customizable, you can alter the background color by scrolling to the bottom of the page.

Also, you’re able to actually edit the title and text bodies before sending them. So you can remove an image or text that you don’t want, or if you want to add a note to the article, you can do that as well. This is a feature that isn’t very common in other tools to use when sending web articles from your browser to your Kindle.

Once you click “send” the article should arrive almost instantly to your Kindle, as the service is made to do so.


Of course, there are others that do this as well and we’ve explored a few similar options as well on MakeUseOf, but it’s no doubt that Send To Kindle by Klip.me is one of the best. Have you used Send To Kindle? If so, how has it helped you? Do you prefer a different service instead? Share your thoughts with us – we’d love to hear them.

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PeerPressure For Goals Helps You Get Things Done With A Little Help From Your Friends [iOS]

peer pressure appSetting goals is great, but accomplishing them is the real test we all face. This time of year, everyone is setting New Year’s resolutions, but let’s be realistic, many people will never actually pull off their resolutions. They seem to be one of those things we tell ourselves we will do, but in reality, we never really intend to complete them. Why not make this year the one you actually go hard for that resolution? Whether you are looking to quit smoking, lose weight, or write that book you’ve been dreaming of, make this the year you achieve your goal. Why not get a little help from your friends to really push you in the right direction?

With the app PeerPressure For Goals, you create and monitor your progress in all kinds of tasks. Where this app differs from so many similar apps is that is offers you the ability to share your goals with friends, which will help you actually stay motivated to succeed. After all, accountability and pressure from others can be a huge motivator, and this app is built with that in mind.

PeerPressure For Goals is free from the App Store, so there is no reason not to give it a try to see if it can help you make that New Year’s resolution a reality.


When you first boot up the app, it will take you through the process of creating a new goal. It’s a simple process, which means anyone can launch the app and get to monitoring their goals, and hopefully, succeeding.

peer pressure app

The first step is to choose the exact nature of the goal. The app has a giant list, so whatever it is you want to do will hopefully be there. This is nice because it gets the core options for the goal entered for you, which makes the process a little quicker. You can choose from the most popular goals via the first option, and if what you want is not there, you can scroll through the massive list of the categories and choose the goal that you want to make a reality.

peer pressure iphone

The goals are divided into two types within PeerPressure For Goals. The first uses graphs and has you chart your progress towards reaching a total number of some kind. The second type involves milestones that require you to hit certain marks after a certain amount of time. The app will automatically choose the kind that works best for the particular goal.

peer pressure iphone

Once you choose the goal, the app will have you enter specific parameters for it. For example, if you choose to do more of a hobby, it would ask you how many hours of the hobby you would like to do before a date of your choosing. This gives the option to make goals that are actually realistic for you.

peer pressure iphone

You will also select a peer group during the goal creation process. You can share your goals and progress with Twitter and Facebook. If you prefer to keep it a little more quiet, you can share the goals with only certain email addresses. This step is not optional, as the whole point of the app is to use motivation from your friends to complete a goal.

peer pressure app

Once you are finished, the goal will be saved, and you will have to come back and update your progress as you complete parts of the goal. To do this, click the update button and enter in how much of your goal you completed. You can type in a message, and when you are done, click “Submit” and it will be logged in the app and sent to people you selected during the goal creation process.


If you want this to be the year that you actually accomplish your New Year’s resolution, PeerPressure For Goals is the app for you. It will allow you to use motivation from the people who matter most to you to accomplish whatever you want. The app is easy to use, and it does one thing, and it does it well. Give it a try, and you might just find that the extra level accountability helps you achieve goals you never could before.

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Watch 19 Gunslingin’ John Wayne Westerns For Free [Stuff to Watch]

john wayne westernsMarion Mitchell Morrison, or John Wayne as he is more famously known, acted, directed and produced some of the most iconic western films of all time. His name is synonymous with gunfights, horses and the trademark bow-legged cowboy walk.

Wayne died in 1979 but his legacy lives on, himself having starred in more than 170 movies. 21 of these movies have been lovingly hosted on the Internet Archive and YouTube, where they can be downloaded, streamed and enjoyed by a new generation of wannabe cowboys.

Whether you’re a fan of The Duke, old motion pictures or entirely new to the Western genre, these films might just be worth a look – and they’re free.

Blue Steel (1934)

Considered by some to be the best of John Wayne’s Lone Star Productions films, Blue Steel sees Wayne in the role of a US Marshall pursuing the Polka Dot Bandit. For a film shot in 1934, the locations chosen for the shoots are considered outstanding. The opening scene is also of note, with many reviewers commenting that it’s really not clear what exactly is going on.

McLintock (1963)

For a slightly lighter twist on the cowboy theme try McLintock, a 1963 comedy western about a rich cattle baron and the women in his life. Wayne takes on the film’s namesake, one George Washington McLintock who is tasked with keeping the peace between crooked characters and his family. The film is an interesting mix of comedy and politics, with a stellar cast.

Rainbow Valley (1935)

Another early Wayne film for Lone Star Productions, Rainbow Valley is a 1935 black and white tale about an undercover government agent. The story is centred around Rainbow Valley’s new road, and newcomer John Martin (that’s Wayne’s character) who agrees to build it. When Martin’s former cellmate manages to free the leader of a gang, he trusts that Martin will help. Martin has other ideas, however.

Angel & The Badman (1947)

Taking the Western genre in yet another direction, Angel and the Badman is a romantic tale of outlaws and sweethearts. Wayne takes on the role of Quirt Evens, described as an “all round bad guy” by IMDb who is nursed back to health by a quaker girl. Eventually the girl falls for him and as the film’s tagline reminds us “he has to choose between love and the gun”.

Randy Rides Alone (1934)

More early Wayne, Randy Rides Alone is a typical western story about a man who has been wrongly imprisoned. Wayne is Randy Bowers, a man locked up for murders he did not commit. Bowers manages to escape prison against the odds and ends up stumbling across the den being used by the real murderers.

Sagebrush Trail (1933)

Noted for its epic stagecoach chase scene, Sagebrush Trail is shares many nuances with the aforementioned Randy Rides Alone. Jailed for a murder he did not commit John Brant (Wayne) escapes and joins a gang of outlaws. When Brant meets the man responsible for the crime he was falsely imprisoned for, he decides to forgive and forget but the bandits soon become suspicious of him and his so-called life of crime.

The Rest

In addition to these six there are a further 15 John Wayne pictures out there for the taking. In alphabetical order, they are:

Are you a fan of John Wayne and western films? Don’t forget to list your favourites and any other comments you might have below this post.

The post Watch 19 Gunslingin’ John Wayne Westerns For Free [Stuff to Watch] appeared first on MakeUseOf.

Cobian Backup – The Best Backup a Windows Computer Can Get For Free [Windows]

cobian backup Cobian Backup is a free backup software for Windows. It is crammed with featured, yet seems minimalistic at first glance. Users can create multiple backup tasks for different purposes, backups can be scheduled individually, back files up to multiple different locations, compress or encrypt backups, and more. If you are looking for a truly versatile and easy to use backup tool, look no further.

Cobian Backup has been developed by Luis Cobian. It is written in Delphi and used to be open source under the Mozilla Public License. Never versions have been closed source. The software itself is supported by an extensive Help file and a Tutorial available in its Program Files folder.

Installing Cobian Backup

The installation takes you through a basic setup routine, such as TOS agreement and shortcuts creation, but it also includes more advanced steps. Some of the options beg for explanations, which are offered both in a mouse-over tool tip and in the Help file. The location of the Help file on your computer may differ, depending on your operating system. During the setup, you can switch to one of over a dozen languages via a menu on the left-hand side at any time.

cobian backup

Once the program is installed, it will reside in your Windows system tray. Open it to continue the setup.

Setting up a Cobian Backup

Cobian Backup offers a lot of advanced features, but the developer managed to pack them into a simple and fairly intuitive interface. To create a new backup task, click the + icon.

cobian backup review

Backup tasks are organized like software preferences. There are eight different categories on the left-hand menu bar and options can be selected in the main window on the right. Under General you set a task name and choose the backup type. Explanations for each option are given in the mouse-over tool tip.

cobian backup review

The backup source and destination are selected under Files. You can add files, directories, FTP, or add a source manually. The latter is useful, for example when an external device is not currently connected to your computer. If you add multiple destinations, all will be used in case all are available, however the backup won’t be abrogated in case one isn’t connected. You can drag and drop files and folders from Windows Explorer. This is the final mandatory step.

cobian backup review

To use the Schedule is optional, but obviously key to a good backup. You can choose from a range of options. My personal favorite is the on startup one, although it’s not always practical.

cobian windows backup

All following settings are advanced and optional. Under Dynamics you can set a priority, how many full copies to keep of the backup, and when to take full copies in case you selected incremental or differential backups. To save space and increase security, you can make compressed and encrypted backups via Archive. The Filter allows you to include or exclude specific files. Under Events you can open or close programs before or after the backup. Finally, there are Advanced settings, such as using absolute paths, or running the task as another user.

Running Backups

You should always set a schedule for your backups, so they run automatically. However, you can also run all tasks manually at any time. Click the play button to run selected tasks, either a single one or multiple ones. Click the double play button on the far left to run all tasks. When you confirm you can set to shut down the computer when all tasks are done.

cobian windows backup

Backups can be paused or abrogated using the respective buttons, which become available when a task is running.

cobian backup

As a side note I should mention that Cobian Backup has crashed on me in the past. However, this never happened when a backup was running and the current version appears to be stable. Just be sure the program is actually running in ‘stand-by’ when you are expecting it to automatically launch a backup task.

Additional Functions

Browsing the menu bar will reveal many more functions, for example cloning a task and several tools. Further advanced options are available via the Settings button. Here you can change the language, set a Hotkey, customize logs, set up the mail log function, set an FTP speed limit, customize the visual appearance of Cobian Backup and its functionality, and much more.

Moreover, Cobian Backup offers a Tutorial (file location on your computer may be different) that takes you through the entire installation and setup process. While the screenshots reveal that it is based on version 9, it doesn’t differ much from the current version. Finally, a lot of additional information, for example backup theory, is available in the Help file.


Cobian Backup’s clear interface allows quick access to key features, so that even inexperienced users can navigate it without being overwhelmed by a flood of options. Experienced users on the other hand will be impressed by advanced features that not even many paid tools are offering. Taken together, Cobian Backup is a reliable, comprehensive, and intuitive to use backup tool.

More details about backups in general and Cobian Backup in particular can be found in our Backup & Restore Guide. Cobian Backup is one of the best software programs listed on our The Best Windows Software page. If you prefer to use default Windows features, read How To Set Up & Use Windows 7 Backup & Restore Feature.

How do you manage your backups?

Image credits: File and Document Backup via Shutterstock

The post Cobian Backup – The Best Backup a Windows Computer Can Get For Free [Windows] appeared first on MakeUseOf.

09 January 2013

Super Start Your Day With Visual Bookmarks And A Simple To-Do List [Firefox]

One of the ways to supercharge your browsing (and hence your productivity) is to use bookmarks. Bookmarking has taken on more and more visual forms. Firefox also gives us another way to start our day with the help of the speed dial. Firefox was probably one of the last browsers to get a speed dial or something that resembled its functionality. From Version 13 of the browser onwards, few can argue that the speed dial has not added to our day to day productivity.

But while the Speed Dial is a visual bookmark of recently visited websites, and a permanent home to your favorite pinned ones, it can be made into something more. That comes with the help of Firefox add-ons as usual. Super Start is a simple add-on that can supercharge your home tab on Firefox, and give your day around the web the launch pad it needs.

Super Start Adds To the Speed Dial on Firefox

Super Start is a featured add-on available from the Mozilla Add-ons gallery. With more than 95,000 users, it is worth a look into what makes it so popular. Super Start is described as a very handy ‘speed dial’ extension for Firefox. In layman terms, it gives us a super-fast way to open up websites and favorite bookmarks. A simple to-do task list is an added feature, and though it might be in the shadow of the visual bookmarks to begin with, its usefulness grows with time. This is how a Super Start infused browser tab looks in its full glory:

But to turn a blank tab into a visually bookmarked Super Start homepage takes a few clicks. And these few clicks tell us whether Super Start is simple enough as a weapon of choice for day to day browsing.

Setting Up A Few Super Start Visual Bookmarks

When you open a new tab after installing the Super Start add-on, you get a barebones Super Start page that’s ready to be populated with visual bookmarks. As you can see in the screen below, you have a choice of a few themes.

Let’s start adding our frequently visited websites and URLs. Super Start gives us a few different ways to add the visual bookmarks.

Input URL by clicking on the ‘plus’ sign

Clicking on the ‘+’ opens a dialog box and it’s pretty much self-explanatory. I don’t generally use the option that says – Use Firefox’s thumbnail service, as more often than not it doesn’t display the thumbnail. You can also select an image from your hard drive. You can also double-click on any blank space on the Super Start tab to open the dialog box.

Each visual bookmark gives you a few options. Next Snapshot is interesting because it lets you choose two views for your thumbnail image (Entire window or Top & left corner).

From any tab

You can add to Super Start from any open tab page by right-clicking and choosing the option – Add this tab to Super Start. You just have to click on the thumbnail’s configure button and customize the bookmark. For me, this is the fastest way to populate Super Start.

Create Groups with Similar Sites

You can simply drag and drop one visual bookmark into the other (or others) and create groups out of similar links and websites. You can give groups your own names. All grouped URLs can be refreshed and opened together with a single click.

A Few Other Customizations

We have covered the bases here, but there are a few other things you can do on Super Start. Here is a point-by-point run through…

1. To make the grid layout of the groups’ uniform, Super Start allows you to add placeholders. Placeholders are nothing but empty spaces which you can later fill up with URL’s and bookmarked sites.

2. From the Options dialog, you can enable a background color or add a background image. You can set the text color and add shadows. Transparency of the group rectangles can also be enabled, but if you have a darker wallpaper or color, I would suggest you leave this alone.

3. From the General tab of the Options dialog, you can also control the layout of the group by specifying the number of sites you want per line.

4. If you know your way around CSS, you can add your own customizations and structure the behavior of the page and its look.

And Finally…The Note List

You might forget it as a feature, but the Notes feature is quite useful once you start depending on it for impromptu scribbles. Click the Note icon on the top bar to hide or show the Notes. With a green Done button to mark completion, it is a simple Getting Things Done tool on your browser.

A Minimal but Effective Speed Dial

That’s how I would describe Super Start in a nutshell. It might lack the visual razzmatazz of other visual bookmarking tools, but the easy set-up wins it brownie points. Yes, I couldn’t resize the thumbnails or drag and rearrange the groups the way I wanted to, but I won’t cry over it. Instead I should crow about the speed with which I could set up the speed dial on the tab and make it my launchpad. Super Start has the crowd behind it. It is also placed on our Best Firefox Add-ons page. But we seek continued endorsement – so tell us what you think of this simple speed dial extension.

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