Send large files over the internet

April 12, 2009

I’ve encountered a few situations in which I’ve needed to send someone a large file. E-Mail is great for small files, but is too unreliable for larger files. I started using Box.net, which works well enough, but it wasn’t quite what I was looking for, not to mention the effort and numerous clicks it takes to set up a “shared” file.

Since then, I’ve been using YouSendIt.com and Drop.io, which are much quicker alternatives and the recipient can download the file seconds later. Very convenient. Both have a 100MB limit, though they do have subscription services.

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Drop.io’s plans start at $10 a month for 1GB of space, all the way up to$99.99 a month for 250GB of space each month.

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YouSendIt.com’s plans start at $10 a month, too, and goes up to as much as $2999.99 a year for 60GB of storage.  Also,YouSendIt limit the amount of times a single can be downloaded to 100 times for it’s free service, unlimited for its other plans.

For more options, see Mashable.com’s list.

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Use a song as a ringtone for the iPhone

April 6, 2009

NOTE: This is the my more detailed explanation of the process. If you’re looking for the quicker tutorial, from which this post was inspired. go here: http://www.pcworld.com/article/156234/turn_any_mp3_into_an_iphone_ringtone.html.

I wanted a way to use a song as a ringtone on my iPhone, and I didn’t want to pay for the priviledge. There is the option to download, for a fee, a song from the iTunes store, and pay another small fee to use it as a ringtone.

I don’t like spending money if I don’t have to, especially when it’s so easy to use one of your existing songs as a ringtone in about 30 seconds, once you get the hang of it and do it enough times. Here’s how.

1. First, find the song you want to set as a ringtone, and watching the playback timer, find the 30 seconds of the song you wish to use for the ringtone. i.e.: If a song is 3:38 in duration, maybe you only want from 0:23 – 0:53.

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2. Left-click the song you want as a ringtone to select it. Right-click it, and choose ‘Get Info’.

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3. On the ‘Options’ tab, put a checkmark in each box beside ‘start time’ and ‘stop time’, and enter those 30 seconds mentioned earlier, and click ‘ok’.

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4. Right click the song again, and choose ‘create AAC version’. The new AAC version of the song will appear directly below the original song, and will be 0:30 long.

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5. Right click the AAC version of the song, and left click ‘copy’. Right click and choose ‘paste’ in whichever folder on your computer you want to keep a copy of your ringtones.

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6. Right click on the AAC song you just pasted into your ringtones folder, and left click ‘rename’. Change the extension to “.m4r”, and press enter to make the changes.

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7. You will get a prompt confirming you want to change the file, click ‘yes.

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8. Back in iTunes, Right click the original AAC version of the song you copy&pasted, and choose ‘delete’.

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9. Right click the original song, and choose ‘Get Info’.

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10. Go to the ‘options’ tab, and uncheck those two boxes beside ‘start time’ and ‘stop time’, or every time you play that song from now on, it’ll only play those 30 seconds. Obviously, you don’t want that. Then click ‘ok’.

11. Go back to your ringtones folder outside of iTunes, and double left-click that “.m4r” file. It will automatically open in iTunes and be shown as a new ringtone.

12. Now, all you have to do in sync your iPhone with your computer. To use the new song as a ringtone on your iPhone, under ‘settings’, and ‘sounds’, and ‘ringtone’, choose your new ringtone, so your iPhone will begin using it. (as shown below)

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Monitor Your Monthly Bandwidth

April 1, 2009

A few months ago, it occured to me that I had been downloading quite a bit. Since I don’t watch cable TV very much, I get most of my entertainment content online, which means I’m using up more bandwidth. I live in Canada and my ISP is Shaw Cable, and with their Xtreme-I package, only offer 100GB a month. That’s tough for me to hit on my own, but with three other housemates, it’s easy, so having a tool to monitor my own usage gives me peace of mind.

I found a free tool called NetLimiter. It has everything I could possibly need and more. You can monitor your daily, monthly, and even yearly usage, in KB, MB, and GB units. and even monitors the real-time bandwidth of every application running.

There are paid verions of the program available, but the NetLimiter 2 Monitor, which is the full name, is completely free.

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