How to create iPhone Ringtones

Back in December 2008 I posted a link to a tutorial on how to create iPhone ringtones. Which worked well, as long as you had the patience to pin point the timings of a track. Well since then I have had to get a little bit more ‘technical’ with my ringtone creation. Mainly because of the music I was trying to clip.. So I thought it was about time I put another tutorial together, but this time a little bit more in depth, covering all the aspects of clipping using the wave display.

First of all your going to need some tools to attack the music file you want to convert. I have always sworn by Audacity for all my music work. Audacity is ‘freeware’ and available for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and Unix
Once you have downloaded Audacity you will need to download and install the library, I use the FFMpeg Library which is also available for WindowsMac OS X, Linux and Unix
Once you have all the tools downloaded, launch the Audacity editor. You will be presented with a new project window which looks similar to the one below (depending on OS)

Now, all you need to do is locate your MP3WavSound file through the built in menu system, or drag and drop it into the dark area in between the menu bar and status bar. Once it’s done loading the music file you should be presented with a window which looks like this (obviously this will differ for each sound file)

Using the built in menu bar you can play the track, and locate the section you want to clip. Remembering that most devices using 30 seconds of the clip for the tone. Once you have found the section you want click on the wave table where it starts, and drag you mouse whilst keeping an eye on the field under the ‘Length’ radio button until you have grabbed 30 seconds worth. You should notice the highlighted section will turn a slightly darker grey colour:

With the section highlighted, if you press the ‘Play’ button Audacity will play the section you have selected. If you are not happy with it you can move the highlighted section back and forth with your mouse until you find a section you like.

Once done simply click Edit > Cut in the menu bar, or ctrl + x on your windows keyboard (cmd + x on Mac) to cut out the section of track. Now click File > New to open a fresh project window and paste in your clipping. (Edit > Paste etc)

Check you have clipped the correct part using the play button, and once you are happy click File > Export. Give it a meaningful name and select a location for the file, in the format drop down box select “M4A (AAC) Files (FFmpeg)” and click ok.

Once the export has completed, locate the file and rename the extension from .m4a to .m4r.

Now open iTunes, select the ‘Ringtones’ sections and drag in your newly created .m4r file. All that’s left to do now is sync you iPhone, select the new file in the settings menu and your done.

So hopefully, you will never pay for a ringtone again ūüôā

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Repair a Netgear DG834PN

Firmware upgrades have always been a risky business, due to the ease of ‘bricking’ your device. Basically a failure to complete the upload or upload of a firmware file can result in a near useless device which can often be unrepairable.

However, if you are lucky (as I have been) there are steps you can take in order to try and recover the original EEPROM and re upload the latest firmware version.
If you have a DG834PN which has the ‘Power’ and ‘Tick’ light flashing on and off, then following the steps below may just bring it back to life!
Follow each step carefully, ensuring you select the correct options from the list!
  1. Connect your DG834PN to a power outlet.
  2. Connect a SINGLE pc* to the DG834PN using an RJ45(Network) cable. (Unplug any other devices as a precaution)
  3. Download the Netgear Recovery Utility.
  4. Unzip the utility to a new folder.
  5. Download the latest available from the Netgear Support Site. (See the downloads tab)
  6. Unzip the firmware file, and copy it into the same folder as the utility
  7. Double click the UpgradeWizard.exe
  8. Click Next, now select the network adapter that your Netgear DG834PN is connected to, Click Next again
  9. Ensure there is only one device in the list (this should be your DG834PN) highlight it and click Next
  10. Ensure the MAC address matches the one on the bottom of your router and click Next
  11. Now, click the Update button.
The UpgradeWizard will perform several steps on your router, the first one may take some time and during this part the progress bar will not move. Wait patiently for this to complete. Once done the router should reboot it’s self and your PC will obtain a new IP address.
You should now find the router has returned to it’s previous state, and should be working as expected!
* The PC you connect needs to be a Windows XP Service Pack 2 PC or higher. If you experience issues with the recovery utility, attempt the recovery on another XP PC. (I had to try two) Should you want to do this from a Mac, you will need to boot using bootcamp first of all.
If you still experience issues with the repair, please use the Contact Me page, get in touch and we can arrange shipping the router, I will then attempt the repair for you.

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Parallels Desktop 5 for Mac

For a good few months now I have been happily migrating my computing habits and loosing my windows dependancy to shuffle over to being completely Mac based. When I first migrated over I was happily using Sun’s VirtualBox, but recently one of my friends told me about Parallels.

My first impressions where that I am happy with my current Virtual Machine set up and no need to change! However, I today managed to get round to downloading a trial copy of Parallels. First impressions was a bit of mixed feelings. It took quite some time to convert my VirtualBox VM to Parallels. However now it’s done – I love it!¬†
The Windows applications and icons integrate seamlessly with the Mac OS X. Giving you your running Windows apps in the dock, along side your other Mac apps. You even get your normal system tray apps in the toolbar!
Upon running your Windows based applications, they launch as if they are standard mac apps. Seamlessly integrating into the Mac Environment. All the file opensave menu items operate as if there running as normal, giving you access to your windows file systems. 
I really can’t believe how seamless the integration is.. This is a must have application for any heavy mac user. Even Steam powered games seem to work well. With for VM’s is quite unusual!¬†
Parallels even claims it’s able to support the aero application switching, I am currently unable to test the fact as I only have XP on the VM currently.
Parallels is available direct for ¬£59.99, I have seen it selling in high street stores for at least ¬£10 more then the online price. So this really isn’t a bad price!

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EXPIRED – Partition Manager 10.0 Personal – Free for one day only!

If your looking for a partition manager to handle your windows partition, I highly recommend you grad Partition Manager now for a 100% saving! For today only (11th Jan 2010) you can get your personal copy completely free of charge!

  • Fast and easy Partitioning: Perform partitioning operations in only a few clicks. Create, format, delete or undelete partitions, repartition hard disks without data loss, redistribute free space between partitions, merge two partitions to one, etc.¬†
  • Manage Vista/XP or Vista/Windows 7 on one PC: Run several versions of Windows on your PC and switch between them easily upon startup.¬†
  • Resolve all common boot problems: With the Boot Corrector you can eliminate all common boot problems and keep your system stable.
Grab your copy now! You don’t have long!!¬†Sorry folks – you missed it!

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ComboFix to the rescue

ComboFixMore and more recently I have been given computers with
mass Rootkit infections. Each unable to connect out to the net, performing painfully slowly and most advertising the infection and attempting to spread using the instant messenger network.

Although I always treat these infections on an individual basis and work my way down my predefined tool set, I am finding 1 particular tool is rapidly making its way up my list as the first tool try. ComboFix is a free spyware remover created by sUBs 

“Combofix was designed to scan a computer for known malware, spyware (SurfSideKick, QooLogic, and Look2Me as well as any other combination of the mentioned spyware applications) and remove them.

ComboFix allows the manual removal of spyware infections . It ‘s a specialized effective cleaning tool, which is useful compared to other malware and spyware removers.

After Combofix finished,a report will be created. You can use this report to search and remove infections which are not automatically removed.”
ComboFix is really easy to use even my nana could start fixing these infected PC’s..

How to use combofix:
  • Disable or Close all anti-spyware, anti-malware antivirus real-time protection, which may affect ComboFix.
  • Download¬†the latest version of ComboFix (2.8mb)save to you desktop
  • Close all programs of you computer
  • Double click ComboFix.exe on you desktop
  • When Combofix finished, it will create logs for you.¬†
Some infected PC’s I have had the pleasure of working on have prevented ComboFix from running, which is also quite easy to get around. Simply rename the ComboFix exe, I tend to use 123.exe. Then try running it again!
I am yet to come across a Rootkit infected PC requiring this and then other tools before it’s back running normally!

Obviously I would still recommend using an AntiVirus application such as McAfee and perform regular updates and scans!

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