Amazing Skies [pics]

[How To] Send Email To Any Cell Phone As A Text (for Free)

Want to send a short email to a friend and get it delivered to his/her cell phone as SMS? If you know your friends’ phone numbers and the carrier they are on then you can easily send emails to their cell phones directly from your email program.

free Email To Sms gateways

Here is how it works:

Most of mobile carriers offer free Email To SMS gateways which can be used to forward simple text emails to a mobile phones. And the good news, majority of those gateways are free and available to the general public.

You just need to know the number and the carrier of the recipient to start emailing them to mobile phone. Below we put together a table listing free email to SMS gateways for different carriers. You can use as quick reference both for US and international mobile numbers.

Free Email To SMS Gateways (Major US Carriers)

Carrier Email to SMS Gateway
Alltel [10-digit phone number]
AT&T (formerly Cingular) [10-digit phone number]
[10-digit phone number] (MMS)
[10-digit phone number]
Boost Mobile [10-digit phone number]
Nextel (now Sprint Nextel) [10-digit telephone number]
Sprint PCS (now Sprint Nextel) [10-digit phone number]
[10-digit phone number] (MMS)
T-Mobile [10-digit phone number]
US Cellular [10-digit phone number] (SMS)
[10-digit phone number] (MMS)
Verizon [10-digit phone number]
[10-digit phone number] (MMS)
Virgin Mobile USA [10-digit phone number]

Free Email To SMS Gateways (International + Smaller US)

These are all I could find from Wikipedia and other sources. If you’re aware of any other ones please share them in comments and I’ll add them to the list.

Carrier Email to SMS Gateway
7-11 Speakout (USA GSM)
Airtel (Karnataka, India)
Airtel Wireless (Montana, USA)
Alaska Communications Systems
AT&T Enterprise Paging
BigRedGiant Mobile Solutions
Bell Mobility & Solo Mobile (Canada)
BPL Mobile (Mumbai, India)
Cellular One (Dobson)
Cingular (Postpaid)
Centennial Wireless
Cingular (GoPhone prepaid) (SMS)
Claro (Brasil)
Claro (Nicaragua)
Cricket (SMS)
Emtel (Mauritius)
Fido (Canada)
General Communications Inc.
Globalstar (satellite)
Illinois Valley Cellular
Iridium (satellite)
i wireless
Koodo Mobile (Canada)
LMT (Latvia)
Meteor (Ireland)
Mero Mobile (Nepal)
Movicom (Argentina)
Mobitel (Sri Lanka)
Movistar (Colombia)
MTN (South Africa)
MTS (Canada)
Nextel (United States)
Nextel (Argentina)
Orange Polska (Poland)
Personal (Argentina)
Plus GSM (Poland)
President’s Choice (Canada)
Rogers (Canada)
SL Interactive (Australia)
Sasktel (Canada)
Setar Mobile email (Aruba)
T-Mobile (Austria)
T-Mobile (UK)
Telus Mobility (Canada)
Thumb Cellular
Tigo (Formerly Ola)
Tracfone (prepaid)
Virgin Mobile (Canada)
Vodacom (South Africa)
Vodafone (Italy)
MobiPCS (Hawaii only)


If you can’t find a gatewayd for your current provider here, check out following links:

If you are aware of any other free sms to email gateways please add it in comments. Also let us know whether you tried any of the above and your experience with it.


[How To] Remove Unwanted Crapware From Your Brand New Windows 7 System

remove unwanted programs filesMost people have dropped their hard-earned cash on a brand new computer at some point. Unless you’re a Linux convert or Apple-enthusiast, chances are your shiny new PC came with the latest copy of Windows. But is that all it came with?

Manufacturers have always seen fresh OEM Windows installs as blank canvases for passing on some of the worst software they can find. 30-day trials of programs you’ll never use, needlessly complicated media applications for an MP3 player you don’t have and numerous “helpful” toolbars make up the list.

Clearly, it’s time to take a stand and take back your new PC.


What Is Crapware?

Crapware, or to use its proper name of “pre-installed software” is anything on your shiny new PC you didn’t ask for. You might have to pay to unlock a full version, it might be a non-transferable license valid only on that machine. Most of it is not going to enrich your Windows experience.

It is even possible that some of these applications could be slowing your PC down in some way or another as many of these nuisance programs will run at startup.

If you own a Dell machine then it probably came loaded with the Dell Search Assistant which “provides search results when you enter either a search query or an incorrect website address into your Web browser’s address bar” (not my words). This is a prime example of crapware, as most modern browsers have this one covered already.

Internet service providers often jump on the crapware bandwagon, and it’s not surprising if you find a litter of unwanted AOL, NetZero and Tiscali setup icons somewhere on your PC. There’s also likely to be trial versions of oft-used software. Seeing as you’re a MakeUseOf reader you’ve probably already got your fingers in the free software pie, and if you’re anything like me you’ll shudder at the thought of “shareware”.

Lastly there are a few features included with Windows 7 that you may consider crapware. Do you ever use Windows Media Centre? Have you replaced Windows Media Player with your favourite media app? You can remove these elements too.

How Do I Get Rid Of It?

Scouring your PC for each particular offending item will probably take a while. Despite this being the only way to be sure you’ve got rid of everything you don’t want, there’s a couple of tools to help you on your way.

The first is PC Decrapifier. The clue’s in the name, but this useful application will look for some of the most common items your PC manufacturer is likely to have installed and give you the option of removing it.

remove unwanted programs files

The software runs on Windows XP, Vista and 7 so if you’ve still not got round to removing the fluff from your old machine then this will work for you too.

Your virus scanner (or “30-day free trial virus blaster”) might throw up a false positive when you download this one, ignore it and soldier onwards. There’s no need to install anything either, which is wonderfully ironic.

PC Decrapifier will throw up a helpful notification reminding you that if you have manually installed or chosen to keep any of the programs found, make sure they’re not selected for removal on the next step.

You will then be asked if you are running PC Decrapifier on a brand new PC. Once you’ve chosen you’ll be asked if you want to create a restore point, which is optional.

remove unwanted programs

The application will then attempt to detect any known bad software to remove. If you installed Windows yourself you’re probably not going to find anything, I didn’t. The final screen will give you the option of removing any other installed software that the detection process may have missed.

You will then be able to click next, and confirm that you want to remove any items you have selected.

remove unwanted programs

Turning Off Windows Features

If you find that you never use Windows Media Center or another main Windows feature then you have the option to remove it. You can always add features again later, provided you’ve got a Windows CD/DVD.

Click on Start, Control Panel and then Programs and Features. Once the window has loaded you can click on Turn Windows features on or off. In the box that loads you’ll be able to remove whatever you want, including Media Center, Media Player and even Internet Explorer.

remove unwanted programs

Uncheck whatever you want to remove,  and click OK. You’ll need to restart your PC before your chosen changes are made.

Anything Else?

Well there’s always the chance that something was missed, so you’re probably going to want to have a good look through your Start Menu for any lingering software you’ll never use. It’s also worth checking out exactly what’s starting up when your PC boots.

To do this you’ll need to launch the Microsoft System Configuration Utility. Windows XP users can hitStart then Run, Vista and 7 users might need to search for “run” and open it from there. Once the Run window has opened, type msconfig and hit Enter.

remove unwanted files

Click on the Startup tab and have a good look at the list of applications that start-up when Windows first loads. Uncheck any you don’t need, things like Java and graphics configuration utilities aren’t strictly required and will only slow your machine down at boot.

For anyone who doesn’t mind installing more software to do this for you, then Soluto is a great little boot streamlining tool.  Or check out WinPatrol. Anything you know you don’t want starting up can be removed, and if you think you don’t need it full stop then you can remove it from your system yourself.


Once you’ve finished going through your PC with a fine-toothed comb, removing all that you don’t want and leaving only that which you do then I’d recommend running a quick registry clean with CCleaner. This will help remove any signs of the programs you just uninstalled from the registry.

remove unwanted programs files

Remember if you’re after a new PC then you don’t always have to specify an operating system and many manufacturers will ship you just the hardware.

You’re then free to either order an OEM copy of Windows on the same order and set it up at home, or try a completely different operating system altogether. Certain manufacturers (Dell included) now give you the option to opt-out of nearly all pre-installed software at the checkout.

If you like the free option you could also try Linux. Ubuntu is now establishing itself as a viable alternative at last, and it’s available in so many flavoursat no cost.

I recommend you take a heavy handed approach to removing crapware, ask yourself – would I ever install this? If the answer’s no then you know what to do. Good luck.

Do you hate crapware as much as we do? Any tools or tips? Did you go Mac or Linux and avoid this situation? Let us know in the comments.



[How To] Share your iTunes music and video across your home network with home sharing

If you have more than one computer at home, as most people do these days – you may have wondered how to get some music or videos from one computer to the other. While there are many different and complicated ways of doing this iTunes now allows you to share all your content, very simply, with up to five different computers on your home network. Find out how to do this, after the break.

1. Click on Home Sharing in the left navigation screen of iTunes.

You’ll find the Home Sharing on the left panel, beneath the iTunes Store.

2. Enter the Apple ID and password of one of the accounts in your household.

Authorization is simple, but requires you to have an iTunes account, and to have authorized the computer in question to play media associated with that account. Once that’s done, your Home Share libraries should appear in your source list.

2. Go to the other computers in your household and enter the same Apple ID and password. You can do this on up to 5 computers

Clicking on an available library brings up a straightforward list of all the media available on that library. As with Shared Libraries, you can only view Home Shares in list view, not in Grid or Coverflow. It’s inconvenient and unfortunate, but it doesn’t really detract that much from the feature’s usability that much, especially since you can still filter the library via search.

3. Copy the music, TV shows, movies, etc you want from the other computer to your computer. You can copy by clicking and dragging files from their library to your library.

You can also break down the shared library into categories, just like iTunes’ native library is divided up. Clicking on any item in any category will activate the “Import” button, which allows you to physically copy the item to your current library with a single click.

4. See files that do not exist on your computer by clicking “Show All Items” and changing it to “Show Items not in My Library” at the bottom of the iTunes Screen.

To make it easier to find items you don’t already have, there’s a simple drop down menu in the bottom left-hand corner of the media browser window that lets you choose between “All items” and “Items not in my library.” You can also open the “Settings…” dialog to set up automatic transfer of new purchases from one library to another via Home Sharing, ensuring that your content is up to date across all computers.

5. Set up future syncing of future purchased items by clicking “Settings” in the bottom right corner of the iTunes screen.

Click the types of media you wish you have automatically transferred to your computer.

And that’s pretty much it. This works on iTunes 9 and above. Currently it only shares between iTunes on your Mac and PC, we imagine this will also allow you to share between your iPhones, iPad’s and Apple TV’s in the future. Maybe we will see this in iOS 4.3 ?

If you have any questions or comments, please leave below.