Sunday, May 13, 2018

5 Best Laptops under ₹25000 in India

Sunday, May 13, 2018 0

5 Best Laptops under 25000/- in India

Laptops are one of the most diverse electronic products out there. With tens of companies, hundreds of models, and thousands of features, it’s obvious for anyone to get muddled while making a pick. Considering the same, we have prepared an interesting list of 5 best laptops under ₹25000 in India which are worth buying.

One of the most significant features to consider while buying a laptop is your budget. There are very few brands that offer laptops, with attractive attributes, at an affordable price.

As a user, it’s a mind boggling task to narrow your list down to the final few that offers the characteristics desired by you at an inexpensive cost. It goes without saying that this feat requires hours of dedication comparing features and price.

So just to make things simple for you, here is a list of 5 Laptops priced at under 25000/- in India, with feature comparison.

#1. HP APU Dual Core A9 – ( INR 24990/-  Currently @ INR 20,990/-)

ProcessorAMD APU Dual Core A9-A9420 Processor
Processor Speed3 GHz with Turbo Boost Upto 3.6 GHz
RAM4 GB DDR4 RAM 1866 MHz Fast Clocking Speed
Hard Drive1 TB (1024 GB) HDD 5400 RPM
Graphics MemoryDedicated, 2GB DDR3
Wireless LanIEEE 802.11b/g/n
Mic, Speaker, Bluetooth,
CD/DVD writer, Web Camera
Interfaces2 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 2.0, 1 x HDMI (v 1.4b), 3 in 1 Card Reader (SD, SDHC, SDXC), 1 x Kingston Lock
OS64 Bit Windows 10 Home

The first laptop on our list is HP Notebook-15Q-BY002AX. It comes with AMD APU Dual Core A9 Processor, which is an ideal processor for laptops of this range. It is fast and efficient allowing you to do most works, like browsing, playing videos and so on, with ease. With a standard 4GB DDR4 RAM, you can even multitask comfortably.

It’s got a 1 TB Hard Drive, which is a pretty good storage capacity for all kinds of laptops, letting you store all your favorite multimedia and other forms of information. To support high quality graphics in different video formats and games, it has an integrated 2GB AMD Radeon 520 Graphics Memory. Also, a 15.6 inch display, further enhances your viewing and gaming experience.

Also, it has a preinstalled 64 bit Windows 10 Operating System to let you start your work as soon as you get your hands on the product, and taking your computing experience to a whole new level.
Laptops under ₹25000 in India - HP APU Dual Core A9
Laptops under ₹25000 in India - HP APU Dual Core A9- Source - Flipkart

With a thickness of only 2.3cm, and in a sparkling black color, it looks quite stunning. Also, weighing only 2.1 kg makes the product quite lightweight and handy, enabling you to carry the device anywhere you wish.

It is the most expensive laptop in our list, priced at INR 24990 only but currently on offer priced at INR 20,990/-

#2. Acer ES15 Core i3 6th Gen – ( INR 23,990/- )

ProcessorIntel Core i3-6006U 6th Gen processor
Processor Speed2 GHz
Hard Drive500 GB SATA HDD
Graphics MemoryShared, Maximum Upto 1.5 GB
Wireless LanIEEE 802.11b/g/n
Mic, Speaker Bluetooth,CD/DVD writer, Web CameraYes
Interface1 x USB 3.0, 2 x USB 2.0, 1 x HDMI,  SD Card reader, 1 x Kingston Lock, RJ45
OS64 Bit, Linux Preinstalled

Acer Aspire ES1-572-33M8 is another amazing laptop in our list. Unlike the previous one, it’s powered by Intel Core i3 Processor (6th Gen). Now, it is quite challenging to determine the difference in computing experience, with the change in processor, at this level. So, we’ll have to settle with the notion that whatever a user can accomplish with the former laptop, they can do the same with this one. Also, it has the same 4 GB DDR4 RAM, so not much difference there.

Now, Hard Disk is where the former one seems better. This laptop offers only 500 GB of space, which is 50% less than that offered by the previous one. It has an AMD Radeon Jet Le R5 M330 Graphics Memory, which is slightly less advanced than the former one, but still, it should be able to support high standard graphics. It also has a 15.6 inch wide screen to better your viewing experience.
Acer Aspire ES1-572-33M8- Laptop-Under INR 25000
Acer Aspire ES1-572-33M8- Laptop-Under INR 25000- Image Source : Flipkart

Instead of Windows, it has a preinstalled 64 bit Linux/ Ubuntu Operating System. Now, despite the fact that Linux isn’t as popular as Windows, it is a good OS. Great security features, ease in installing and updating applications and so on! Even the user interface is pretty friendly. It could comfortably be used as a supplement of Windows. But you could always go back to using your favorite one by installing it yourself, as the system supports both OS.

Look wise, it’s a pretty sleek laptop, with a thickness of 2.46 cm. Midnight black color further contributes to its charm. It is slightly heavier than the former one, weighing at 2.4 kg, still handy enough for you to carry it wherever you go

Standing alongside HP, it’s also the most expensive laptop in the list, priced at INR 23990 only.

#3. ASUS VivoBook APU Dual Core A9 – ( INR 23990/- Currently at 22,990/- )

ProcessorAMD APU Dual Core A9 Processor
Processor Speed3 GHz with Turbo Boost Upto 3.4 GHz
Hard Drive512GB SATA3 SSD
Display15.6' LED backlit HD (1366x768) Anti-Glare Panel
Graphics MemoryShared, Maximum Upto 1.5 GB on 4GB RAM
Wireless LanIEEE 802.11b/g/n
Mic, Speaker Bluetooth,CD/DVD writer, Web CameraYes
Interface2 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 2.0, 1 x USB 3.1(USB Type C), 1 x HDMI,  SD Card reader, 1 x Kingston Lock
OS64 Bit, Windows 10 Home

Another great laptop to buy is ASUS VivoBook X542BA-GQ024T. Like HP, it also has an AMD APU Dual Core A9 Processor, which pretty much should give you the idea, as in the things you would be able to do, with this device. Like the former two, it also has a 4GB DDR4 RAM.
ASUS VivoBook X542BA-GQ024T - Under 25000/- Pic Source -Flipkart
ASUS VivoBook X542BA-GQ024T - Under 25000/- Pic Source -Flipkart

Like ACER, it also has a Hard Disk of 500 GB, allowing you 50% less space than HP for your multimedia and other files, but still good enough. It is able to support high grade graphics with its 2GB AMD Radeon R5 M420 Graphics Memory. Now, just to make things simple, performance wise, this is quite better than ACER, but not as good as HP. This laptop also has a 15.6 inch wide screen, quite similar to other devices in the list.

In the same way, the device runs on a good-old preinstalled 64 bit Windows 10 Operating System.
The device comes in grey color, with a pretty decent slender look, and a thickness of 2.3 cm. It weighs 2.3 kg, again, lighter that Acer but heavier than HP.

It is the second most expensive product in our list, priced at INR 23990 only.

#4. Dell Inspiron APU Dual Core A6 7th Gen – ( INR 23499/- )

ProcessorAMD APU Dual Core A6-9200 Processor
Processor Speed2.4 GHz
RAM4GB, DDR4, 2400MHz 
Hard Drive500GB SATA3 SSD
Display15.6' Anti-Glare LED-Backlit Display
Graphics MemoryShared, Integrated graphics with AMD APU
Wireless LanIEEE 802.11ac, Dual Band 2.4&5 GHz
Mic, Speaker Bluetooth,CD/DVD writer, Web CameraYes
Interface2 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 2.0, 1 x HDMI(v1.4a),  3-in-1 Card Reader (SD, SDHC, SDXC), 1 x Kingston Lock
OS64 Bit, Linux/Ubuntu Operating System

The next laptop in our range is the Dell Inspiron 3565. Unlike ASUS and HP, it is powered by AMD APU Dual Core A6 7th Gen Processor. It is slightly less advanced and efficient, and more power consuming than A9. Therefore, multitasking and browsing could get a bit slower with time, in comparison to the other two.  It also has a 4GB DDR4 RAM so that doesn’t seem like an issue.
Dell Inspiron 3565 - Image Source- Flipkart
Dell Inspiron 3565 - Image Source- Flipkart

It also has 500 GB Hard Drive to store all you information. Unlike the other models, it has a built in AMD Radeon Graphics Memory, and though the model is not specified, it’s a pretty basic one, in comparison to the former two. So, while it might support various graphical elements, it’s not as efficient as the former three models. It also has a 15.6 inch wide screen for your comfort.

Similar to Acer, it has a preinstalled 64 bit Linux/ Ubuntu Operating System, however, you could install Windows yourself, as per your choice, as the system supports both OS.

It comes in a trending black look, with a thickness of only 2.3 cm. Quite handy like the former three, it weighs at 2.3 kg.

It is the second cheapest, or the third most expensive laptop in our list, priced at INR 23417 only.

#5. Lenovo APU Dual Core A9 7th Gen – ( INR 20990/-)

ProcessorAPU Dual Core A9-9420 7th Gen
Processor Speed3 GHz with Turbo Boost Upto 3.6 GHz
RAM4GB, DDR4, 2133MHz 
Hard Drive1TB (1024 GB) SATA HDD 5400
Display15.6' HD LED Backlit Anti-glare TN Display
Graphics MemoryShared, Intel Integrated Graphics
Wireless LanIEEE 802.11ac
Mic, Speaker Bluetooth,CD/DVD writer, Web CameraYes, NO DVD/CD Drive
Interface1 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 2.0, 1 x HDMI, 4-in-1 Card Reader (SD, SDHC, SDXC, MMC), 1 x Kingston Lock, Ethernet (RJ45)
OS64 Bit Supported, DOS

The last product on our list is Lenovo Ideapad 320E. It is also powered by AMD APU Dual Core A9 7th Gen Processor. The system is supported by a 4GB DDR4 RAM. Now, considering the price, two of its features are on par the high end laptops on our list.

It has a hard drive of 1 TB, again, amazing storage capacity for all your memories and significant credentials. Now, when it comes to Graphics Memory, it has an integrated Intel Graphics, which is the most basic in comparison to all other laptops in this list. Meaning that you may not be as graphically advantaged with this one, as with other systems. It also has a 15.6 inch wide display, quite similar to others.
Lenovo Ideapad 320E- Laptop Under 25000 In India
Lenovo Ideapad 320E- Laptop Under 25000 In India
Accordingly, it only has DOS Operating System installed, so you’ll have to install Windows/ Linux or any other operating system of your choice, on your own, adding extra time, effort and price to your routine.

It has a sleek look, black in color with metallic finish, and a thickness of 2.29 cm. Quite light and handy, it weighs at 2.2 kg.

This one is the cheapest laptop in our list, priced at INR 20990/- only except HP APU Dual core A9 Notebook-15Q-BY002AX which is also being offered at 20990/- on offer as of writing. So, in my opinion the HP APU Dual core A9 Notebook-15Q-BY002AX is the best laptop to buy under INR 25000/-. It's offering the highest discount of ₹4000/- as of writing.

Now, as you may have realized that with the decrease in price there was also a fall in the sophistication of the features, which I guess is obvious in any electronics device. So, from performance perspective, the laptops costing higher must be better than the ones that are low priced. But things are not like that always, as everything depends on the user, their needs, and how they choose to use the device. Just a thought!

Make sure to consider this list before you go on a relentless browsing and comparing spree. The products listed above are among the ones that offer the best features, with respect to the price they’re offered in. The Best Value for Money!

Of course, you could go ahead and look into few other brands and models, if our list doesn’t quite have what you need. Still, I hope that the blog proved to be helpful, and contributed to saving your time and effort up to a great extent. Now you go on, and have a happy shopping! Please share this post with other as there may be someone who is looking for a budget friendly high performing laptop under ₹25000 in India.
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Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Free SSL or HTTPS for custom domains is now available for your blog hosted on Blogger

Wednesday, April 04, 2018 0
This is a good news that Google is finally providing a free SSL ( Secure Sockets Layer) certificates to all custom domain hosted on blogger. This is the second major steps Google has taken after making SSL important for all the websites for better rankings in search engine. If you are hosting you blog on blogger and paying to your domain registrar or CDN service provider for a SSL certificate, you should be very happy to hear that you can now get the free SSL from blogger and do almost everything you could with a separate hosting package. But don't be so happy as I tried the free SSL or the HTTPS for custom domain in blogger and could not find it working well with AdSense.
Notification of Free SSL, HTTPS connection on Blogger Dashboard
Notification of Free SSL, HTTPS connection on Blogger Dashboard
I noticed that some of the older and best performing ads are not delivering ads. I initially thought, it would be the browser caches and history. I cleared the browser history, cookies and caches and tried to load the page in "incognito mode of chrome"and "private browsing mode of Firefox" and still no help. The same were delivering the ads if loaded over non https protocol, i.e on simple non SSL url.

If you are also excited to apply the HTTPS settings for your custom domain hosted on blogger, be little careful before you try this out. Also monitor the AdSense earning after applying the seetings. You can setup the free SSL on your custom domain hosted on blogger easily. here is what you need to do to try it out and install free SSL on your custom domain.

  1. Login to blogger dashboard.
  2. Choose the custom domain if you have multiple blogs hosted on blogger.
  3. Go to Settings > Basic.
  4. Select " Yes" under drop down list next to HTTPS availability.
    Enable HTTPS or SSL on custom domain hosted of free Blogger platform
    Enable HTTPS or SSL on custom domain hosted of free Blogger platform
  5. A message saying "HTTPS Availibility is being processed. Check back later.
  6. Just refresh the page after 5 minutes and the SSL would already have installed on your blog for the custom domain.
  7. It may take 10-15 minutes to process and load the site over HTTPS connection. So I recommend try after 30 minutes and see if all the pages are loading properly and you see a green padlock sign in browser.
  8. If the Green Padlock sign that ideally shows for any secure site also have any exclaimation mark or says the connection to this site is not fully secure then follow this guidelines mentioned by Google. After reading that article by Google you can fix the mixed contents or not fully secured errors for your blog or website hosted on blogger.
  9. If you still can not find the solution and need help you can ping me on skype:live:hawkdivetech or leave a comment below, I will try to respond asap.
  10. The only thing which I worried about was my AdSense earning. So I suggest you try to open all your best performing pages ( or most viewed pages) and see if the Ads are showing or delivering on those page while loaded over HTTPS connection.
  11. If you can not see the ads try to reload the page over HTTP connection and see if the ads are delivered.
  12. I even tried to load my website on a different internet connection to switch the ISP and the same thing happened.
Verdict:  Be careful before applying the free SSL or HTTPS availability setting for your custom domain on blogger. Make sure you check most of the old and new pages to confirm if they are delivering the ads over HTTPS connection. Google may bring some changes and it could run smoothly very soon since it's just new for the custom domain so make sure you ave checked this and you don't lose out on your daily earnings.

It really is a great decision by Google to provide free SSL for all the domain hosted on Blogger's free platform. I am very happy to see that and maybe we need to find some workaround to make this work flawlessly.
Free SSL, HTTPS certificate by Blogger to custom domain
More importantly, if you have made up your mind to migrate your site to load over https, make sure you follow Google's guideline to retain all the SEO score and page ranks. So that you do not lose your site's traffic volume. Although selecting HTTPS redirect to yes will automatically make your site moved to https://domain-name.com version but Google recommends to add the canonical tag in header to let search engine know the URL change from http://domain-name.com to https://domain-name.com. To find out the guideline and steps to do when moving a website with a change in URL, you can read this post by Google
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Sunday, April 1, 2018

Amazon Fire Stick VS. Google Chromecast

Sunday, April 01, 2018 0
So here we are! Finally bringing together, and making comparisons between, the two most popular online streaming gadgets in the world – Amazon Fire TV Stick and GoogleChromecast. Now, for this blog, we’re going to focus on Google Chromecast 2, which is considered to be more powerful and faster than the original Chromecast. Google Chromecast 2 can be bought from Flipkart in India which is currently on offer (20% off ) and costs only ₹2,699 as of writing. Let's go through this article on Amazon Fire stick VS Google Chromecast to learn more.
Google Chromecast VS Amazon Fire TV Stick
Google Chromecast

I’d like to make something perfectly clear here – we’re not trying to determine which one’s better – Chromecast or Fire Stick; we’re just trying to compare the two devices on various grounds.

Now, both the devices can turn your normal HDTV or any other display unit into a Smart TV, by allowing it to access the internet, and thus, a range of online streaming apps. However, each one offers exclusive features, which makes it pretty hard for the users to pick a favorite.

How does Chromecast work?

Chromecast is basically a bridge between your smartphone and your TV. The idea is to signal whatever is displayed on your phone onto your big TV screen, so that you can have a larger, clearer and HD quality viewing experience.

The possibilities are endless. You can use it to watch movies, series, photos, play games, and what not! The user uses his phone itself, but instead of looking at the phone’s screen, he looks at his TV screen.

There are two features within Chromecast that enables you to do that.


The first one is called Casting, and you use it to display specific apps on your TV screen. To use this feature, you need to simply open an app on your phone, and go to Cast option. Once you click on it, the home screen of the app will appear on your TV. When that happens, you can navigate around, the way you would on your phone’s screen. Here, you’ll have to use your phone as a controller.

But there is one thing that you need to keep in mind to use this feature. Only the apps supported by Chromecast can be displayed on your TV screen.

Mirror Screen

The second feature is called Mirror Screen, and as the name suggests, it allows users to sort of duplicate whatever appears on their phone’s screen onto their TV screen. And I’m talking about every single element – from the home screen of your phone to the individual app screens! It’ll be like using your phone, but you no longer will be looking at it.

With this feature, you can display whatever your phone supports on your TV screen, regardless of Chromecast’s limitations.

Also, with this device, you can connect your TV not just with your smartphones, but also your tablets and laptops.

How does Fire TV Stick work?

Fire TV Stick connects you directly to the Fire TV Cloud/ Store. Once connected, a homepage displays on your TV screen, which is filled with apps, divided into categories. You receive a remote control in your Fire TV set that you can use to navigate around. You could download or delete these applications as per your interest.
Amazon Fire Stick VS. Google Chromecast
Amazon Fire Stick

You could watch movies, play games, view photos and so on. With Fire TV as well, there is a limitation, i.e. you’re only able to access the apps supported by it. And also it is not supported in all countries, only the United States & UK, Germany, Austria, Japan and India ( Fire TV Stick 2nd generation only) currently support this device.

For the best gaming experience, Fire TV offers a game controller that the users need to purchase separately. Also, a feature similar to mirror screen is available, but it’s possible to use only if you connect your device with Fire phones and tablets. 

There are apps available for screen casting through Android as well but you need to install a third party screen casting or mirroring app on both the devices - Fire TV Stick and the smart Phones or tablet. One of such Apps for screen casting is All Screen Receiver. Once the apps are installed on both the devices you can cast the screen of mobile or tablet to your HD TV through Fire TV Stick.

User Interface and Set Up (Amazon Fire Stick VS. Google Chromecast )

Setting up Chromecast is a daunting task in comparison to Fire Stick. It goes without saying that a good internet connection is required for the devices to work properly.

With Fire Stick, all you need to do is connect the device to your TV, and follow the instructions on your screen. It practically installs itself. And you’re all ready to go!

With Chromecast, you need to take that extra step of connecting your smartphone to your device, after connecting it to your TV. And with every new smartphone that you wish to use as a controller, you need to repeat the connecting process. And then comes the casting/ mirror screening step. You need to go through it every time you want to watch something on your big screen.

Now, if we’re to not consider the set up process, the User Interface of both Chromecast and Fire Stick is quite friendly. Since Chromecast displays your phone’s screen on TV, it shouldn’t at all be challenging for the users, as they’re quite habituated to using their phones.

The interface of Fire Stick is also pretty rudimentary, quite similar to the home screen of digital channel networks. Instead of channels, however, the apps appear on the screen. The Alexa voice remote that comes with Fire TV stick is the additional benefit and beauty that adds voice control to your TV.

All About the Apps

Both Fire Stick and Chromecast support a large array of apps that allow you to watch movies and series, listen to music, view photos, play games and so on.

With Chromecast you can only view what’s on the phone. The device is meant for the users who have their minds set on what they want to do.

To look for new apps, or buy/ rent new movies, series or games, you won’t need this device. So, you’d rather do it while you’re not connected, and connect only when you want to watch them.

Fire Stick, on the other hand, allows you to explore through the list of apps that it supports. Since you’re connected to its cloud/ store, you can look for anything. Also, if you have an account in Amazon Prime Video, you get special offers while purchasing a lot of these apps, especially movies and series.

So, like I said at the beginning of this blog – there are pros and cons to both the devices, and our purpose is not to tell you which one is better. It’s up to you to analyze the features and take an informed decision.

Both Fire Stick and Chromecast are packed with features and entertainment options that are sure to transform your TV watching experience into something better. And all this at a very nominal price. By installing them, you’re adding ‘smartness’ not just to your TV, but also to yourself.

I hope that this post proved to be helpful to you. Do check our other blogs as well. And do share with us your experiences with the device. If you know anything interesting that should be included in this post - Amazon Fire Stick VS. Google Chromecast, do let me know through the comment section below.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

How to add a custom message to your macOS Login Screen?

Tuesday, March 20, 2018 2
Have you ever noticed a Mac showing a custom "Welcome Message" before you can login, or have you ever accepted any fair computer usage policy before you can log into a Mac. Starting from OS X 10.7 Lion, Mac users can add a custom text message or a banner to Mac login screen. This could be very helpful for a lab or work computer to convey an important message or a fare usage policy. Basically, there are two types of messages that can be shown to an end user, first is just a text message showing at the bottom of the login screen and second could be a kind of usage agreement banner with texts and images that a user must agree before he/she can logs into the computer. Setting up such a custom message or banner is as simple as copying a text and pasting it to a file. You can also add a custom message to be displayed when your Mac is locked or screen saver starts. This post will focus on how to add a custom message to your macOS Login Screen?
Add a Custom Message to your macOS Login Screen
Add a custom message to your macOS Login Screen 
The login message can also be used to display the contact information of Mac owner, which can be helpful in case the machine is lost or stolen. So, the message could be anything from tips of the day, an inspirational quote, contact information, computer hardware information to a computer usage agreement. Computer hardware information can be used to help identify a Mac in a domain network or to help an instructor to choose the right device in a lab before starting any test or demonstration exercise. There are also third party applications available to do the same task but Apple has already added this feature to OS X 10.7 lion and the later versions. If you don't want to read the whole article, you can also watch this YouTube video to learn different methods of setting a Welcome Message to macOS Login Screen.

There are following three different places where you can set a custom message. We'll look at all three places, you can display your message to users trying to login to your Mac.
  1. Set a custom text message to Login Screen of your Mac
  2. Set a Policy Banner that appears at Login screen and ask users to accept the policy
  3. Set a Screen Saver message that appears when your Mac is left Idle.

#1. How to add a custom message to your macOS Login Screen?

Add text to the login screen using System Preferences

To create the message:
  1. Click Apple icon at the top left corner and choose System Preferences.
  2. Click Security & Privacy, then select General tab.
  3. Open the padlock from the bottom left corner by clicking it and supplying the administrator password.
    How to add a custom message to your macOS Login Screen?
    How to add a custom message to your macOS Login Screen?
  4. Now check the box next to “Show a message when the screen is locked,” then click Set Lock Message.
  5. Enter the desired message to display at the bottom of the login window. There is no limitation for the number of words or characters. And only the text messages are allowed.
    Set a custom Welcome Message to Login Screen in Mac
    Set a custom Welcome Message to Login Screen in Mac
  6. Once you have finished typing the login message, click OK and then click the lock. That's it.
Now when you log out you will see the message at the bottom of the login window along with the user names. More interestingly, above mentioned steps actually edits the file /Library/Preferences/com.apple.loginwindow.plist and adds the custom message to it. If for some reason you do not wish to follow the above mentioned steps and rather want to achieve the same task using command line interface. Then type the following command replacing the "Welcome Text to Login Screen" with the one you desire. Open terminal from /Application/Utilities folder and type the following command.

sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/com.apple.loginwindow LoginwindowText "Welcome Text to Login Screen"

In order to remove the welcome message from login windows or to revert to default settings type the following command:

sudo defaults delete /Library/Preferences/com.apple.loginwindow LoginwindowText

This command line method is very useful for network or system administrator who need to issue any notice or information to users in a particular groups or get the policy document accepted network wide. Network administrator can use this command from server or remotely on any Mac computer to set up the welcome message. The next section would tell you how to set a login Policy banner in macOS.

#2. How to set a Policy Banners at Login screen in Mac OS X?

A policy banner is just a customized login message which may contain text, images, or both. It could be a set of rules, greetings, an inspirational quote or any kind of notifications or rules set by system administrator to convey the desired message to Mac users. The policy banner usually appears before the login window and must be accepted before proceeding further. Once the message is accepted, your Mac shows the available user account to login with. This is majorly used to get the terms and conditions accepted by the end users before they can use the Mac.
Policy Banner before Login Screen in Mac
Policy Banner before Login Screen in Mac
In order to set a Policy Banner at login screen in macOS, you just need to create a banner. Creating Policy banner is very simple.
  1. Just open the TextEdit app from /Application folder.
  2. Type your policy contents or terms & conditions.
  3. Include or insert images by dragging it to TextEdit. 
    Sample Policy Banner Rich Text Document
    Sample Policy Banner Rich Text Document
  4. Save the file to location /Library/Security/ folder in a plain text (.txt) or rich text (.rtf). Make sure you name the file as "PolicyBanner".
    Policy Banner to show at Login Window in Mac
    Policy Banner to show at Login Window in Mac
  5. You may want to initially save the file to desktop and then copy it to /Library/Security.
  6. Restart your Mac and you should see the Welcome message, login message or Policy Banner or whatever you want to call it.
Important Tips for System Administrator: If you have to set the same policy banner across multiple Macs, you may want to use a third party software or Apple Remote Desktop (Cost $79.99). Such software can make your job easier by distributing the same file across all the systems. For more information on Troubleshooting and fixing problems related to Policy banner refer to apple support article.

#3. How to display a custom message in screen saver on your Mac

Screen saver is just used to fill empty screen when your Mac is left idle. It is an important feature for computer security and privacy as it hides the documents you are currently working on. Sometimes, your manager wants to convey various different messages or policies to end users. Showing multiple images containing different policies, ethics and company's achievements in form of screen saver could be a better idea. To do this, first create a few pictures with policy and desired messages written on it and save them in a folder on your desktop. Then follow the steps written below. You can even show a custom text message in screen saver on your mac. Here is how you can do this:
  1. Click Apple icon at the top left corner and choose System Preferences.
  2. Select Desktop & Screen Saver and click Screen Saver tab.
  3. Now the different types of screen savers appear on left side of the window, and the right side shows the preview of selected screen saver.
  4. Click any of the screen saver types like Floating, Flip-up, Ken Burns, or classic to select it.
  5. Now select "Choose Folder..." option in the "Source:" pop up menu on the right - just underneath the preview of selected screen saver.
  6. Choose the folder containing the images of policy and desired messages.Click choose and you are done.
  7. Now left the Mac idle until the screen saver starts.
  8. If you don't want to show images in screen saver but a text message. Select the message option on the left side of the window.
    Show Custom Text Message in Screen Saver on Mac
    Show Custom Text Message in Screen Saver on Mac
  9. Click "Screen Saver Options..." on the right side of the window and supply the custom message to show when screen saver starts. Click "OK" and you are all set.
That was all about how to add a custom message to your macOS Login Screen. It can be used for various purposes. Please let me know using comment section below if you liked this post. Also tell me about any other tips & tricks that you have in your mind which I can cover in my next post.
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Sunday, March 11, 2018

How to Copy all the Links from Google Search Results into a Spreadsheet?

Sunday, March 11, 2018 0
It' really a great fun to have such a tool that can copy all the links from a Web page simply by dragging the mouse selection over it or can open all the the selected links in a new tab at once. I am talking about just the links and not the links with anchor texts. Yes, There are tools available that can make your job easier and you can do wonders using them. Specially, someone who are doing research or preparing a slideshow, creating a technical guides or any types of document or for publishing work. For anything that require you to do a lot of research or dig into the internet resources using search engines, you will want to open multiple tabs from the search engine results. Sometimes you will also need to copy all the links from the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) into a spreadsheet. Imagine, how easier all the above mentioned task could be, if you can achieve them in single mouse click.

If you still haven't figured out what I am trying to say. In a simple way, there are tools that let you extract all the links from a search engine results page or any web page to clipboard. It also allows you to open all the links in a new tab with a single mouse click. You can choose to open them in a new tab or copy the links into a spreadsheet without having to individually open each of them. This could really be very helpful for those preparing a sort of documents where they need to refer to some links from SERP. Someone who needs to open all the link in one click to make the job easier or anyone who is doing SEO and wants to collect the list of bookmarking sites or directory name in a spreadsheet, would want to bookmark this page. Here are few tools that work with Chrome browser.

How to Copy all the Links from Google Search Results into a Spreadsheet?

#1. Linkclump ( Free )

This is one of my favorite tools that let you copy, open in a new window or tab, bookmark all the links on the current page in one click. The best thing about this tool is that, you can assign separate command for different tasks. Using this tool is very simple , just press and hold the letter Z and left mouse button and drag the cursor over the Links and they all will open in new tabs when you let go off the keys.

How to Use

  1. Download and add the Linkclump extension in your Chrome Browser.
  2. By Default, Linkclump tool only has one action "Opened as New Tabs" enabled which open all the selected links from a page to a new Tab.
  3. You will have to set the other actions with your desired key combination.
  4. When you install the Linkclump extension, you are asked to add a new action command at the same time. If you did not notice this option, you can right click on the Linkclump icon in the browser toll bar at the top right and select "Options".
    Linkclump to copy all the Links from Google Search Results into a Spreadsheet
    Linkclump to copy all the Links from Google Search Results into a Spreadsheet
  5. Click "Add Action" button under "Actions".
  6. Select the command key and mouse button option to activate the action. I chose "Left Mouse button + X" key.
    Create new action in Linkclump
    Create new action in Linkclump 
  7. Select one of the four options under Action and hit save at the bottom.
  8. I chose copy and now when ever I press and hold the letter X and + left mouse button then drag it over the links on a page, and it copies all the links to clipboard.
  9. Now I would go to a notepad or spreadsheet and paste it there. Watch this small video on how to add an action and how to copy all the links from Google Search results into a spreadsheet.

Best Features

  • You can choose from one of the four options :- Open in a New Window, Open as New Tabs, Bookmark, Copy to clipboard.
  • Select your own custom keys to activate the action.
  • Smart select option if enabled, chooses only important links that it thinks. You may want to turn this off first so that all the selected links can be opened.
  • You don't need to worry about scrolling the page while selecting links to be copied or opened in a new Tab. The page scrolls up automatically when you drag the mouse towards bottom.
  • The best feature is the option to include or exclude a link containing certain words.
  • You can set time delay after which link should open in a new tab.
  • Supported on Windows, Mac and Linux.

This tool was very helpful to me when I needed to copy the link of tens of images from a WebPage and paste it into a Word document. It could also be a great help for a programmer or web developer as they need to define multiple images URL sometimes. They can upload all the images and copy their URL with single click. Another similar tool for Google Chrome are Open selected links, Links Grabber and Link Klipper, which are explained in next section. 

#2. Open Selected Links

As the name suggests, this tool scrape the links from selected area on a web page. Be it images, video, text links or form links, it collect them all and let you open them in new tabs. It doesn't allow you to copy links to clipboard. The best thing about this tool is that it adds an option in context menu and filter links for images, Video or Audio.

How to Use

  1. Download and install the browser extension.
  2. Restart the browser and select the area containing links and right click on selection.
  3. Choose "Open Selected Links" and select "All" to open all the links in selection in new tabs. 
    Open Selected Links tools for extracting links from a Web page
    Open Selected Links tools for extracting links from a Web page
  4. You can choose to select the images to just open image links in new tabs.

#3. Link Grabber

This tool works in a different way. It grabs or extracts all the links on a page in one click. You don't get an option to copy links from a selected area. Once the web page containing links is opened, simply click on Link Grabber icon in the browser tool bar menu to extracts all the links in a new tab. You can also right click on the web page and select Link Grabber from the context menu to open all the link in a new tab.
Link Grabber to Grab all the links from a web page
Link Grabber to Grab all the links from a web page
This tool also allows you to filter duplicate links and you can even group links by domain. Once you have grabbed all the links and it is opened in a new tab click on the Copy button to copy them all or simply select the links you want to copy. Copy and paste them into a spreadsheet.
Copy the grabbed link into a Spreadsheet or Microsoft Excel

4. Link Klipper - Extract all links

This is another simple but very useful tool for copying or extracting links from a web page. I believe, this tool was built keeping in mind the person who usually scrape or extract a lot of links from a web page and paste them into a spreadsheet like Microsoft Excel. Link Klipper will let you export all the links in CSV or TXT file. But again this tool will copy all the links even the unwanted one. Selection does not always work not at least on the Google Search result.

Among all the above mentioned tools, I found Linkclump the best. It is very neat and cleat. Simple to use just drag the selection area and keep copying the links. You might be wondering if there is any similar to Linkclump tool for Firefox browser. Don't worry, you have got Snap Links Plus and Multi Links Plus exactly similar to Linkclump.

For Firefox

5. Snap Link Plus

This tool is almost the same as Linkclump for chrome. It lets you copy links from a rectangular selection area or you can chose to open then in new tabs. It is very lightweight to you Firefox browser and simple to use.

How to Use

  1. Hold the right mouse button pressed and drag the mouse over the area of a web page you want to scrape links from.
  2. While you are dragging the mouse you also see a selection rectangle with number of links it has grabbed.
    Web Page link extractor for Firefox extract Web Page links into a SPreadsheet
    Web Page link extractor for Firefox
  3. If you want to just copy the links, press "Ctrl+C" keys while you see the selection rectangle with number of links it has grabbed. Once the links from selected area has been copied the selection rectangle will disappear.
  4. If you do not want to copy links but rather open them in new tab. Just let go off the right mouse button after selecting the area on a web page.
I hope this article has been a great fun as well as a great help for you. If you come across any new technologies or something more powerful, please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below. Those were few browser extensions that are the best in their category.
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Tuesday, March 6, 2018

How to mount USB or external drive in Single User Mode on Mac?

Tuesday, March 06, 2018 1
This article is specially written for those who are unable to boot their Mac in normal mode or Mac boot process stuck at grey screen with Apple logo and a loading bar. In such situations, your important data is at stake. You can't boot your Mac and can't copy the data over to an external hard drive or USB disk. But there is still a way to boot your Mac and recover data from there. The only way your Mac can boot for sure is "Single User Mode". In Single User Mode(SUM) you need to first mount USB or external drive to copy data over to it. This post will show you simple steps to mount USB or external drive in Single User Mode on Mac.

Warning: In SU Mode, your Mac boots in root user environment. Root user can make any changes and delete any files on your Mac. So if you have never used this command line environment or UNIX and Linux OS, make sure you type every command very carefully. Also make sure the USB disk or external drive that you are going to mount in SUM on mac, is formatted on Mac. If not formatted on Mac, You can format it under FAT32 filesystem on windows. Only the FAT32 file system of Windows platform is what I have found working flawlessly. exFat is another file system type that is supported by both Mac and Windows but it is formatted differently on both the platform. The cluster size is different in both the systems and that results in producing "Unsupported sector Size (0)" error during mounting any USB or external disk on Mac.
Unsupported Sector Size Error While Mounting USB
Unsupported Sector Size Error While Mounting USB - Single User Mode
The another problem that may come into your way to mount USB or external drive in SU mode is SIP (System Integrity Protection). In some Macs, you may not be able to mount USB external drive under single user mode due to SIP. You may encounter errors saying Invalid Signature; Trust Cache is disabled or Untrusted kext are not allowed, which appears after executing the mount command. So you need to disable the SIP on your Mac first.

This post can be very helpful for those trying to recover some important data from Mac which is almost died or can not boot. Here are the steps that you need to follow in SUM if your Mac can boot to SUM; If you don't want to read all these steps, you can also watch this YouTube video for a complete steps on how to mount a USB drive and copy data from internal hard drive to USB disk in SU mode on Mac.

How to mount USB or external drive in Single User Mode on Mac?

#1. Boot your Mac in SU mode by holding "Command+S" keys combination during startup.
#2. Let go off the keys when you see a black screen with white text scrolling.
#3. Wait for a few seconds until you see the last line written as "Localhost: root#".
#4. Type the following command.

/sbin/fsck -fy

fsck command will run a series of check on root drive and will make sure all the error are fixed. If it finds any issue, the command will try to repair it. Once the command has executed successfully, it will show a message “File system was modified” or “The volume (name) appears to be OK”. When you see the second message move on to the next step otherwise run the fsck command again until you get the second message.
#5. Type the following command to remount the root partition in read and write mode. By default, it's mounted read only.

/sbin/mount -uw /

#6. Now type the following command to get an idea of what all disk devices are currently listed by your system.

ls /dev/disk*

When I typed the above command on my Mac, I got the following disk devices with their name.
Listing All the Disk Drive Names
Listing All the Disk Drive Names SUM
#7. Now connect the external USB disk or external hard drive to one of the USB ports on your Mac. And type the same command "ls /dev/disk*" again and note down the name of the external hard drive or USB disk that you just connected. This would be the new name added to previous list and most often it is always the last disk name in the list. In my case the last one was disk4s1 and that is my Kingston USB stick.
Finding the Disk Drive Name for USB disk in SU Mode
Finding the Disk Drive Name for USB disk in SU Mode
My MacBook Pro has got multiple disk drives because I have got three different partitions of the internal hard drive. Each of them has Yosemite, macOS Sierra and macOS High Sierra respectively. #8. Now that you have got the name of the external USB drive. Your next step is to mount it, so that you can copy the data over to the USB device in SU Mode. Type the following command to create a mount point ( Just a folder or directory where the external disk will be mounted ).

mkdir /Volumes/usb

#9. Enter the following command to check the Filesystem of external USB drive.

fstyp /dev/disk1s2
Find the FileSystem type of a USB Disk or External Drive
Find the FileSystem type of a USB Disk or External Drive
My USB stick was formatted in FAT32 on windows and that's why it clearly showed msdos. Note down the Filesystem type listed here.

#10. Finally type the command to mount USB or external drive in single user mode on Mac.

mount -t msdos /dev/disk4s1 /Volumes/usb

Replace disk4s1 to whatever name your USB stick or external hard drive has got on your Mac. And replace /Volumes/usb to any mount point you created for your USB drive.

Note:- In case the USB disk or external hard drive is formatted in Mac OS Extended Format or you see the Filesystem type as HFS then type mount -t hfs instead.

mount -t hfs /dev/disk4s1 /volumes/usb

mount USB or external drive in Single User Mode on Mac
Mount USB or external drive in Single User Mode on Mac
When I ran this command I got some error despite turning the SIP off. I just ignored the error message and tried to create a test folder on the newly mounted USB disk. And much to my delight, It did work. I even disconnected the USB disk and connected it to a Windows PC to confirm that the test folder I created on Mac shows up on Windows.

Now you can use the CP command to copy the files and folders from the internal disk to a USB disk or external hard drive. Use the following command:

cp -pr /Users/username/Desktop /Volumes/usb

Copying Files from internal HD to External Disk in Single User Mode
Copying Files from Internal HD to External Disk in SU Mode
The -r flag is used for copying all the files recursively. So if you are trying to copy the whole folder including all the files inside it, you must use -r flag. The -p flag is used to preserve following attributes of each files being copied over.

"file mode, group ID, user ID, modification time, access time, file flags, Access Control Lists (ACLs) and Extended Attributes (EAs)"

How to unmount the USB disk before unplugging it from Mac?

After you have copied all the important files, you would want to take out the USB disk from Mac. Use "umount" command to do that, then type the command "exit" to restart or "shutdown -h now" to shut down your Mac.

umount /dev/disk4s1
shutdown -h now

That was all about how to mount USB or external drive in Single User Mode on Mac. And how to copy data from Mac when it is unable to boot normally.  I hope the above information would fulfill your need and save your time and money. In case you have any question or unable to do it yourself feel free to contact me through comment section below or Skype me. 
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Saturday, March 3, 2018

VPN Connection drops after closing the Lid of MacBook Pro

Saturday, March 03, 2018 0
This became an interesting issue to me when I first came to know about it. When I started to use VPN service to connect to my business network I found out that the VPN service get disconnected immediately after closing the lid of my MacBook Pro. It was so frustrating to sign into the VPN Service again and re-connecting to business network and opening all other apps required to accomplish my task. I would think If there is a way to stop this crippling behavior and keep myself connected to the work all the time even when my MacBook is in sleep mode or the lid is closed. In this post, I will share with you some simple tricks to prevent your VPN connection drop after closing the lid of MacBook Pro or when the Mac goes to sleep.

A large number of Mac users have noticed that the issue occurs because their Mac will immediately disconnect from WiFi network when it goes to sleep mode. Which causes all the services dependent on internet to disrupt and eventually loses the VPN connection as well. But for me, after digging the information around Apple support communities and different other forums, I found that this option is controllable through system preferences on every Mac. There is an option called "Put hard disks to sleep when possible" under Energy Saver preferences. It turns most of the network services off to save power, when your Mac goes to sleep. You can prevent this from happening, simply by turning this feature off. And for some Macs, turning the Power Nap ON allows you to stay connected with VPN connections that use a certificate to authenticate, not the VPN connections that only use password to connect.

Prevent VPN Connection drops after closing the Lid of MacBook Pro

Just follow the below mentioned steps:
  1. Choose Apple menu and select system preferences.
  2. Click to open "Energy Saver".
  3. Click the Battery tab, and uncheck "Put hard disks to sleep when possible" option.
    VPN Connection drops after closing the Lid of MacBook Pro
    Disable Put hard disks to sleep when possible option Desktop
  4. For some Mac Models check the box for "Enable Power Nap while on battery power" option.
    Enable Power Nap while on battery power on MacBook Pro
    Enable Power Nap while on battery power on MacBook Pro
  5. Now click the Power Adapter tab and do the same things as mentioned in step 4 and step 5.
  6. Also make sure "Wake for Network Access" option is checked.
  7. Now connect to your VPN network and close the lid of your MacBook Pro or leave your desktop to go for sleep. Once the system is in sleep mode or the lid is closed, try to open the lid and wake the system up and check if the VPN connection is still alive. I am sure this will work fine now.

Power Nap

Power Nap is a new feature introduced in newer Mac. It allows Mac computers with flash memory to perform a number of useful task even when the Mac is asleep. It can be enabled in both situation on battery and when plugged in. Here are few activities that your Mac can perform when power Nap is enabled and it is asleep.
  • Check and download new Mails.
  • Update Contacts, Calendar, Reminders, Notes and other documents stored in iCloud.
  • Keep Find My Mac service active and update the location of your Mac so that it can be accessed and wiped out even when asleep.
  • Keep the VPN and Software update services active as well.
  • Run Time Machine backup.

Important Note:- 

Power Nap is not available on all Mac model. Here is the list of Macs that support Power Nap.

iMac (Late 2012 and later)
MacBook Pro (all models with Retina display)
MacBook (Early 2015 and later)
MacBook Air (Late 2010 and later) - Requires OS X Mountain Lion v10.8.2 and later
Mac mini (Late 2012 and later)
Mac Pro (Late 2013)

Also the above method to prevent VPN Connection drops after closing the Lid of Mac will not be applicable in the cases where Mac is asleep for a long time. When you leave your Mac idle for a long time, it enters into a kind of deep sleep mode known as Safe Sleep or Standby Mode. It helps Mac conserve even more energy by turning off the power to some hardware parts such as RAM and USB buses.

Also, as another option - a forceful workaround suggested by John, you can control the Network Interface behavior whether it should turn off or not on user logout. In order to do this, you will need to find out the short name of the network interface which is currently active. Here are the steps that you need to follow.
  1. Open Terminal app from /Applications/Utilities folder.
  2. Type command "ifconfig" and hit enter.
  3. Note down the name of interface having status as active. Interface name usually appears on the left and looks something similar to en0 or en1. In my case also it was en1. The "ifconfig" command will give an output something similar to what is written below.
ether 00:00:00:00:00:00
inet6 0000::000:0000:0000:0000%en1 prefixlen 64 scopeid 0x5
inet netmask 0xffffff00 broadcast
media: autoselect <full-duplex>
status: active

4. Now type the following commands without quotes, to prevent the wireless card from shutting down in case of logout or sleep.

$ "cd /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/Apple80211.framework/Versions/Current/Resources"
$ "sudo ./airport en1 prefs DisconnectOnLogout=NO"
    That was all about the VPN connection issue where it used to get disconnected as soon as I would close the lid of my MacBook Pro. Un-checking "Put hard disks to sleep when possible" option actually fixed this issue for me. I hope yours will be fixed too. Just in case, it doesn't work for you then feel free to ask any question using the comment section below.
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