Archive for December, 2010


Microsoft seems to have thrown in the towel on Microsoft Office, that is when it comes to validating your Office program to verify its legitimacy. Late last week, according to and confirmed through a KB 917999, Microsoft has shut down the program to check whether your version of Office is genuine or not.

The silent shutdown of the program by Microsoft was unannounced, but confirmed through the KB article. Microsoft Office will now allow anyone who downloaded templates or pass through add-ins that require the genuine advantage to be completely bypassed, allowing both legitimate and illegitimate versions of Office to download and use extras.

The sudden and silent retirement of Office Genuine Advantage (OGA) means that Microsoft is giving up to prevent piracy of its community-made and in-house developed templates and other downloads.

This still doesn’t mean users can install any copy of Microsoft Office, as it still requires you to enter your 25-character key and verify it through Microsoft’s activation server. Office Genuine Advantage does not affect Windows Genuine Advantage, which is still an on-going program and required to install some Microsoft programs like Security Essentials.

When you want to to share music, movies, photos, or other files online, you’ve got countless options. We’ve examined most, and for our money, one tool emerges on top of the heap for its ease of use, wide support, and all-around excellence.

Sharing files publicly has always been a subject of hot debate, but put aside any legal concerns for the moment and consider: What if you want to just share some home videos or music privately with a few friends rather than the internet at large? What’s the easiest way to share large files?

The Answer: Opera Unite

For this writer and tech enthusiast’s money, the easiest and best way to share large files of any kind with your friends and family is to simply install Opera Unite, walk through a couple of quick configuration screens, and then send them the URL and password to access your content from any browser.

Plenty of web sites let you send large files around, usually by uploading a file and then sending a link to the content, and BitTorrent is also great for sharing large files, but the problem with both of those is that you’re unnecessarily putting your content out there online for others, and wasting bandwidth by sending it to third parties. (You could set up private torrents, but those still require an open tracking server, which aren’t always reliable.) Opera Unite sets up a fast, direct connection to share your files, it’s extremely easy to use, and best of all, it’s free!

Update: Many commenters have pointed out that Dropbox is an excellent way to share files, and we wholeheartedly agree. However, Dropbox has a 2GB limit for free accounts, which is hardly enough space to share a collection of large files with your friends—plus, you have to wait for an upload to finish before you can share it. With Opera Unite, you can share large directories of any size instantly, for free.

Setting Up Unite is Easy

Since Unite is just a component of the Opera browser, all you have to do is download and install the latest version of Opera. Unite comes along for the ride automatically, but you’ll need to activate it by opening up the sidebar, clicking the Unite icon, and going through the wizard to set up a free Unite account (see screenshot).

Note: You don’t have to switch to the Opera browser to use Unite, so if you’re a Firefox or Chrome loyalist, you can still choose to use Opera just for your file sharing needs.

Once you’ve set it up, you can right-click on Opera Unite Home and access the Properties, or you can select the File Sharing module and click the Start button to open up a short configuration wizard to help you share your files.

The Technical Bits

Internally, Opera Unite is nothing more than a web server that runs inside of your web browser, and uses the standard HTTP protocol so your friends and family can access your shared content from any browser. Your free Unite account gives you access to Opera’s dynamic DNS service, which means you can share your content with an easy-to-remember, unique URL that you can send to anybody. Unite automatically hooks into your router using uPnP to dynamically open port 8840, but it can also use a Unite proxy server when you’re behind a more restrictive firewall—though it will obviously be slower.

Everything is password protected, so even if you’ve set up file sharing and the URL is public, it doesn’t mean that people will be able to see what you are sharing—only those that you’ve given both the public URL and the password to can access your files. You’ll probably want to change the default passwords, though.

Share Files With Your Friends

Now that you’ve set up Unite, it’s time to start sharing. Click on the Unite icon in the left-hand pane of Opera (it’s the swirly-looking one), then double-click the File Sharing module.

You’ll be asked to choose the folder you wish to share. You can click the Advanced button and set up a few additional properties, but that’s pretty much all you’ll need to do to start sharing your files—a URL and password will be automatically generated for you so you can share those files quickly and easily.

After setting up your file share, the next time you double-click on the File Sharing module in the left-hand Opera panel you’ll open up the administration page. Look over to the right-hand side, where you can see the URL and the automatically generated password. You can copy and paste those to your friends, and they’ll be able to access the files immediately—but you should probably change the password to something slightly more difficult first.

Your unique Opera Unite URL will always be set to the [devicename].[username] address format, so you can actually have multiple devices set up on your network and easily share files with each one. If you would prefer to get a little more geeky, you can actually set up your own domain name for Opera Unite, but that’s probably overkill for just sharing some files with friends.

Accessing the Shared Content

Once you’ve sent somebody the URL, they’ll be prompted for a password to access the shared content, at which point they can browse through all the files you’ve shared and download them. Since Opera Unite usually enables port-forwarding on your router automatically with uPnP, the connection is surprisingly fast if you have a decent internet connection—it’s going to be slower if it has to go through the Opera proxy server.

What makes this really great for sharing with your less tech-savvy friends is that they don’t have to install any applications, or even install Opera—all of the content should work from any browser.

Taking Unite Beyond Simple File-Sharing

Since Opera Unite is nothing more than a web server, it also enables many downloadable modules to do any number of things that you could do with a full web server setup—like create your own streaming music server so you can access your content from anywhere. Just double-click on the media server module in the Unite panel, choose the location of your music folder, and then make sure to set a more difficult password. Just like that, you’ve enabled your entire music collection to be streamed from any browser anywhere, directly off your home PC. There’s a player embedded directly in the page so you don’t even need a media player installed on the other machine.

The fun doesn’t stop with media serving—there are modules for a simple HTML web server, photo sharing, whiteboards, chatrooms, file sync, and more.

office 2010 seperate installer

Microsoft Office 2010 full installer contains many individual applications like MS Word 2010, Ms Excel 2010, Outlook 2010, PowerPoint 2010, Access 2010 etc. These different software’s are combined into a single package known as MS Office 2010. If you want to use only one application out of the office 2010 suite, then instead of downloading the full Microsoft office 2010 package just download that individual office 2010 application using the link I’ve provided below.

microsoft office word excel outlook

Here are the free direct download links for the individual standalone installers for Microsoft Office 2010. These are links from the official Microsoft download servers.

Microsoft Word 2010

English 32-bit (x86): X16-33159.exe
English 64-bit (x64): X16-33122.exe

Microsoft Excel 2010

English 32-bit (x86): X16-30356.exe
English 64-bit (x64): X16-30329.exe

Microsoft PowerPoint 2010

English 32-bit (x86): X16-32694.exe
English 64-bit (x64): X16-32657.exe

Microsoft Outlook 2010

English 32-bit (x86): X16-32583.exe
English 64-bit (x64): X16-32546.exe

Microsoft OneNote 2010

English 32-bit (x86): X16-32472.exe
English 64-bit (x64): X16-32435.exe

Microsoft Access 2010

English 32-bit (x86): X16-29933.exe
English 64-bit (x64): X16-30247.exe

Microsoft Publisher 2010

English 32-bit (x86): X16-32967.exe
English 64-bit (x64): X16-32930.exe

Microsoft InfoPath 2010

English 32-bit (x86): X16-30496.exe
English 64-bit (x64): X16-30459.exe

Business Contact Manager for Outlook 2010

English 32-bit (x86): X16-56886.exe
English 64-bit (x64): X16-56921.exe

Czech 32-bit (x86): X16-56883.exe
Czech 64-bit (x64): X16-56918.exe

Microsoft Visio 2010 (Standard, Professional, Premium)

English 32-bit (x86): X16-33056.exe
English 64-bit (x64): X16-33029.exe

Brazilian Portuguese 32-bit (x86): X16-33050.exe
Brazilian Portuguese 64-bit (x64): X16-33023.exe

Microsoft Project 2010 Standard

English 32-bit (x86): X16-32864.exe
English 64-bit (x64): X16-32837.exe

Microsoft Project 2010 Professional

English 32-bit (x86): X16-32783.exe
English 64-bit (x64): X16-32756.exe

What decisions are you avoiding?

Every senior executive I’ve ever coached, without exception, has at least one (and usually several) key projects hung up and bottlenecked at him/her, simply because it requires a decision about something and there’s no clarity about what action is needed to move forward on making that decision.

If you can’t decide about something, it means you lack enough information to feel comfortable making some choice. Therefore, the next-action coaching question would be, “So what action do you need to take to begin to get the information you need to make that decision?” Nine times out of ten, there’s a specific action to take, such as “surf web re: xyz” or “e-mail A & B to set meeting to explore options about xyz.”

Every once in a while, though, the information you need has to come from inside—i.e. your intuition. You need to sleep on it. But even then, to really clear your head, you need to make the decision about how long you can “just sleep on it” until you feel like you need to actually make the Big Decision. Two weeks? Two months? Four days? Six hours? Whatever that answer is, you simply need to park a trigger in a calendar or tickler file to yank your chain at that point, ensuring that you re-assess the situation in your own timing. You might even, at that future point, decide that you need or want more time, in which case simply repeat the move-forward trigger. In other words, it’s OK to decide not to decide—as long as you park something appropriate in your “decide not to decide” system. Of course at some point you or the world may change sufficiently to have the whole thing exhaust its relevance and disappear; and you can simply forget the issue. But you will have consistently remained clear in your own agreement with yourself about how you’re engaged with the situation.

So, what decisions are you avoiding? What data would you like to get? Where could you start to get it?

Are you OK with not deciding? For how long? What reminder should you insert in your systems, for when, in order for your psyche to let go and really relax in its thinking?


“Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson