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Most of us use a password on our computers, files, and folders to protect against unauthorized access. However, password protection does not guarantee the safety of data.

So, to prevent data theft, encrypting the hard drive is the best option. While Encryption also uses a password for protection, it adds up the security by scrambling all the data inside a file and changing them into cipher codes. So, even if someone finds the file, they won’t be able to make sense of the data without the encryption key.

You have several options to encrypt the hard drive, such as the built-in BitLocker or other third-party tools in Windows. Let’s discuss the stepwise process to add the encryption using both methods here.

BitLocker has been incorporated into Windows OS since the time of Windows Vista. It now has much-improved security algorithms.

When you lock your drive with BitLocker, it encrypts all the files, and you will require the security password or recovery key to decrypt and access those data. It employs an AES encryption type with 128 or 256-bit keys algorithm for protection.

Let’s move on to keep your drive encrypted using BitLocker.

    Open Windows Explorer by pressing Windows + ‘E’.

    Select Use a password to unlock the drive. It may not be usual for everyone to possess a Smart card.

    Once the encryption completes, restart your PC.

    If you do not find the Turn on BitLocker feature in the context menu of the drive (in the case of earlier Windows versions), you can do this through Control Panel.

      Press Windows + ‘R’ and enter control to navigate to the Control Panel.

      Select View by Small Icons.

      Here onwards, follow the same instructions mentioned in and after Step 5 above.

      You can also use several reliable third-party freeware applications that can encrypt your drive with the highest security if you do not find BitLocker secure. Some of them are TrueCrypt, AESCrypt, VeraCrypt, and so on.

      Here, we are going to provide the steps to encrypt the drive using an open-source application, VeraCrypt, for demonstration.

      To Encrypt Non-System Partition

        Download the VeraCrypt Installer file and Install it accordingly on your system.

        Run VeraCrypt on your PC.

        Select Standard VeraCrypt volume or Hidden VeraCrypt volume by reading the information given there.

        Select Yes in the confirmation window.

        To Encrypt a System Partition

        If you are trying to encrypt the drive containing the Operating System, the process is a little different.

          Follow the same process up to step 3 mentioned above,

          Choose the Encryption method and set Password.

          Now continue according to the instruction mentioned earlier.

          It will take seconds to a few minutes to complete the process. You cannot access the encrypted drive yet, as it is hidden and unmounted. So, to access the encrypted drive,

            Run VeraCrypt again.

            Choose a random unused Drive letter from the list.

            Once you are free from security threats or you want to remove the encryption, you can easily decrypt the drive.

            You can turn off the protection in the drive to decrypt it completely.

              Open Control Panel and navigate to BitLocker Drive Encryption.

              Enter the password or recovery key to unlock it.

              The encryption will be removed from the drive.

              You're reading How To Encrypt A Harddrive?

              Use Encryptpad Text Editor To Edit And Encrypt Files In Ubuntu

              At times we store some of our personal or sensitive information in the form of plain text on our laptops or pen drives in order to make it easily accessible whenever required. While that does offer convenience, it also poses a great risk – risk of the information getting misused in case the laptop or memory stick getting stolen/misplaced and landing in the wrong hands.

              Encryption is one of the safest solutions to the aforementioned problem. While there are many tools available in the market that allow you to encrypt and decrypt information, wouldn’t it be even more convenient if there were a text editor that could double as an encryption/decryption tool as well? In this article we will discuss one such application, EncryptPad.

              Note: all the instructions/commands explained in this article have been tested on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS.


              EncryptPad is basically a normal text editor, but what makes it special is its ability to encrypt files. Not only plain text files, but you can also use it to encrypt and decrypt binary files kept on your disk. It’s an open source application that offers both graphical as well as command line interfaces.

              Download and Install

              On Ubuntu you can easily download and install EncryptPad by running the following commands:


              add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard




              apt update




              encryptpad encryptcli

              Of course, you can also install it from source; to download the latest version, head here.

              Once the application is installed successfully, it can be launched from Ubuntu Dash.


              Here’s what the EncryptPad UI looks like:

              As you can see, it’s a basic text editor UI with quick access icons for creating, opening, saving, and editing files. To start, let’s discuss how to password-protect a plain text file using the editor.

              Hitting the “Save” button will bring up a Password box where you’ll be asked to enter a new password as well as confirm it.

              This way you can protect a plain text file by encrypting it with a password.

              This way you can protect a plain text file using a key file. To open a file with such protection, the editor will require both a key file as well as the password that protects it.

              For more information on the editor, head to the tutorials section on the tool’s official website.


              The biggest strength of EncryptPad is that it’s not difficult to use at all. This, coupled with the fact that the tool’s official website, offers detailed tutorials, makes it ideal for new users. If you were looking for such an application, I’d encourage you to give EncryptPad a shot.

              Himanshu Arora

              Himanshu Arora is a freelance technical writer by profession but a software programmer and Linux researcher at heart. He covers software tutorials, reviews, tips/tricks, and more. Some of his articles have been featured on IBM developerworks, ComputerWorld, and in Linux Journal.

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              How To Soundproof A Room

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              Soundproofing a room versus acoustic treatment

              The first thing to know about how to soundproof a room is that you won’t actually be soundproofing in the literal sense. Soundproofing blocks the sound inside your space from escaping to the outside and prevents outside sounds from leaking into your space. You don’t hear cars, dogs, or leaf blowers, and your neighbors don’t hear you hammering out your guitar riff.

              This type of isolation is what you’ll find in professional recording studios, which are built from the ground up to achieve a perfect acoustic environment. Home studios, on the other hand, often are wedged into awkward rooms that may double as sleeping, working, or even parking spaces, making soundproofing extremely difficult and costly.

              When most people talk about room soundproofing, they’re actually referring to acoustic treatment, which shapes the behavior of sound inside a space to provide a true, accurate sonic experience. The ideal recording studio uses a combination of both methods. But home studios are about compromise, making the most of space, budget, and physical limitations.

              Sound Wave 101

              A simple schematic of surface-wave interactions: absorption (left), reflection (middle), and diffusing (right). Wikipedia

              Solving the acoustic problems in your room starts with understanding what’s causing them in the first place. Put simply, it’s all about following the path of a sound wave. Sound energy is generated when something vibrates in a medium such as air. When a sound source vibrates, it creates accordion-like pressure variations that emanate in all directions, sort of like the way ripples radiate out from a pebble thrown into a pond. These patterns of compressed and stretched air are sound waves.  

              Reflections and reverb: Sound in enclosed spaces

              Sound waves travel through any medium, including gases, liquids, and solids. What happens when a sound wave hits an obstacle? Depending on the size of the wavelength of the sound and the hardness, density, and thickness of the surface it hits, it’ll be absorbed, reflected, or pass right through.

              In enclosed spaces, direct sound travels straight to your ear or microphone, while reflected sound is slightly delayed as it bounces off surfaces on its way to you. As these reflections continue to bounce off room surfaces, creating second and third reflections, and so on, they build up, generating reverberation, or reverb, which is the sound that’s heard in a space after a source has stopped sounding. (A great example of reverb is that awesome echo you enjoy when you sing in the shower.) These frequencies reinforce each other and cancel each other out, creating peaks and valleys in volume, even though your speakers and ears are working just fine. These anomalies lead to two very common issues:

              Room modes are resonances that exist in a room. They create spikes and dips at specific frequencies: You might hear buzzing every time you play certain bass notes, you may notice exaggerated low frequencies, or you might hear no bass at all.

              The other is flutter echo, a rapid series of noises created by sound repeatedly bouncing back and forth between two untreated parallel surfaces. You know that metallic twang you hear when you clap your hands in a stairwell or bathroom? That’s flutter.

              How to soundproof a room: Start taming that room tone

              At its simplest, a great-sounding home studio should strike a comfortable balance between live (echo-ey) and dead (muffled), and should not emphasize or de-emphasize frequencies. Basic room treatment involves two techniques: managing mid- and high-frequency reflections with a balance of absorptive and diffusive materials, and reining in bass anomalies with low-frequency absorbers.

              Get to know your space

              Improving your room’s acoustics starts with an honest assessment. Listen to familiar recordings to get a sense of your room’s acoustic characteristics. Study mixes with wide dynamic range and detail; commercial tracks are great references because they’re designed to translate to a range of listening environments. Audio engineers are partial to meticulously recorded tracks by Steely Dan and Roxy Music (hands up if you’ve ever heard Avalon booming through the arena sound system before a big concert); Jay-Z’s The Black Album and Radiohead’s OK Computer are also iconic references. Do your favorite records sound boomier or bassier than usual? Do they sound thin and wimpy? Make notes.

              Find room modes by walking around while listening to music. You’ll notice that the bass might be loudest in corners of the room and practically nonexistent in other areas. You can also check for room modes by doing a frequency-sweep: Play a recording of an ascending sound wave; as the tone rises, listen for frequencies that stick out or vanish.

              Do a flutter echo test: walk around clapping your hands and listen for the telltale “metallic” ring of flutter echoes.

              Aim high: Absorptive and diffusive treatments

              Your performance may be great but your sound can suck without the right treatment. Stop blank walls from bouncing unwanted waves with the acoustic paneling. Auralex

              Conquering mid and high-frequency reflections means breaking the cycle of sound waves reinforcing and canceling each other out as they bounce around the room. The simplest way to do this is to apply surface treatments that absorb and scatter waves. There are numerous treatment options out there, from single panels to all-in-one packages and lines from top studio designers.

              Absorptive wall panels

              Acoustic foam panels work very well to absorb mid-to-high-frequencies and squash reflections. Absorptive wall panels and ceiling tiles are available in a range of thicknesses, dimensions, surface patterns, and Noise Reduction Coefficient ratings, which measure absorption effectiveness. The higher the frequency, the shorter its wavelength—frequencies at the top of our hearing range have wavelengths of just a fraction of an inch—so the thicker the foam, the more frequencies you’ll treat. Standard panels run about two inches thick.  

              If you’re a DIYer looking for how to soundproof a room, you can make your own treatments from fiberglass or rockwool, which are excellent sound-deadening materials. Installing carpeting won’t help much with absorption, but it can cut down on reflections coming from a hard floor.

              Acoustic diffusers

              Unlike acoustic panels that are designed to absorb sound, acoustic diffusers scatter sound in randomized patterns to break up reflections. Use diffusors to manage resonances and flutter echo. Diffusive panels are available in a range of surface patterns and sizes; applying them involves a bit of trial and error, depending on the severity of your acoustic issues. Bookcases loaded up with books and gear also make great diffusers.

              Never try to soundproof walls with materials that aren’t rated for fire safety, such as egg crates, blankets, and packing materials. Use nontoxic materials that are purpose-designed, and always check fire ratings.

              Mirror, mirror on the wall: Placing panels

              Here’s a great trick for dialing in the ideal spots for wall treatment: Have a friend hold a mirror against your walls and watch from your listening position as they slide the mirror along the surface. The point where you can see one of your speakers in the mirror is a sound reflection point; that’s where you should place treatment. (Remember to check the ceiling and the wall behind you!)

              All about that bass (trap)

              In small studios, the biggest acoustic offenders tend to be bass frequencies, which are so long that they extend beyond your room dimensions, making them difficult to manage.

              Because bass frequencies have such long wavelengths, foam acoustic panels would need to be several feet thick to absorb them. (For perspective, the wavelength of a low E string on a bass guitar stretches more than 27 feet.) Instead, bass traps are the first line of defense for home studios. These large, thick absorbers typically take the form of triangle boxes or panels filled with sound-absorbing material. Bass traps are typically placed in corners, where low frequencies naturally congregate. Start by placing them in upper corners, to conserve floor space. If you have room, run them from floor to ceiling. You can build your own bass traps from fiberglass, rockwool, or foam.

              Portable treatments

              A reflection filter allows you to record with a “drier” sound even if you don’t have a completely acoustically treated room. sE Electronics

              Say one day you’re recording a podcast and need to isolate your narrator, but the next day you’re tracking a group of instruments. Portable acoustic panels give you flexible sound control that you can adapt to different recording scenarios.

              Stand-mounted acoustic panels, or gobos, can be moved around to create temporary recording areas or to separate musicians or speakers. If you record a lot of vocals—spoken or sung—you might benefit from a reflection filter, an acoustic shield that wraps around a mic to form a portable vocal booth.

              If you’re feeling overwhelmed by these processes, suppliers offer prefab room kits, personalized design services, and free analysis software.

              How to soundproof a room: Keeping sound contained

              Yes, it’s very difficult to soundproof a room, but these tricks can help keep sound from leaking out of your space and outside sound from sneaking in.

              Mind the gap(s)

              Sound takes every opportunity to escape your studio through air and structures. When it comes to air gaps, doors are obvious culprits, but also look for spaces around air vents, outlets, and windows. Seal cracks and holes with stripping or acoustic caulk; block space under a door with a door sweep or draft stopper. Use a flashlight and a partner to root out and seal errant cracks.

              Truly committed and ready to take isolation to the next level? Upgrade a hollow-core door to a solid model (or fill the door with spray insulation), and upgrade single-pane windows to double-panes.

              Add mass How to soundproof a room: More ways to bring down the noise

              Minimizing noise in your studio calls for some literal out-of-the-box thinking. If you have the luxury to choose where you set up, avoid sharing a wall with a kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, elevator, or a sensitive neighbor.

              Create some acoustic separation between your computer and your microphone by keeping them as far apart as possible. If you can, put your computer in a closet or in an adjacent room. If you use a laptop, keep it on a stand to allow extra air circulation, which will keep your laptop’s fans from kicking in as frequently.

              If you’re feeling ambitious, line heating and cooling ducts with soundproofing duct liner.

              Location, location, location

              You can go a long way toward improving your studio sound without touching a hammer or spending a dime, just by placing your workspace correctly in the room.

              Aim for symmetry, but avoid sitting in the center of the room, where room modes can build up. Face a short wall, rather than a long wall, to minimize bass issues. When you’re dealing with a window, orient your workspace toward the window, so your speakers can fire away from the window and toward treated walls and surfaces.

              Orient your speakers and listening position in an equilateral triangle and set your speakers at a height that aligns with your ears. (Height-adjustable speaker stands make adjustments easy.)

              You’ve got this

              Acoustic processes sound complicated, but how to soundproof a room all boils down to simple physics. Introducing even just a few simple treatments will go a long way toward transforming the sound of your home studio. Take your time, be realistic about your budget and physical constraints, be open to trial and error, and you’re well on your way to creating a studio space that’s conducive to creating stunning mixes that will sound great everywhere. And that’s what it’s all about.

              How To Make A Smartphone

              Holograms aren’t just for droids and dead rappers. You can make your own with a piece of transparency paper and a four-sided hologram video. Properly folded, the transparency will combine the images on a phone or tablet screen to create “a reflection that gives you the illusion of an object hovering in space,” says Alex Cronin, a physicist at the University of Arizona.

              Smartphone Hologram

              Make the Hologram Stats

              Time: 10 minutes

              Cost: $0.30-$1

              Difficulty: Easy

              Tools and Materials

              Sheet of transparency paper

              Pencil, pen, or marker




              Smartphone or tablet


              Hologram Template

              Use this template to fold the transparency paper into a prism. Cut along the solid black lines and crease along the red lines.

              Copy the online template onto the transparency, with a radius of 4 inches or more.

              Cut along the solid black lines, and crease along the red lines.

              Tape the two opposite sides together to make a prism.

              Open a four-sided hologram video on your smartphone or tablet. We have one of these videos below, and you can find more by searching for “hologram video” (this is a particularly fun one).

              Place the small opening of the prism in the video’s center. Look through the side.

              Instructions—Without a Template

              No printer for the template? No problem!

              Use a compass and pen to draw a circle with at least a 4-inch radius on the transparency paper. Cut it out with scissors.

              Mark five dots around the circle, each the radius’ distance apart, and use a ruler to draw a line connecting them.

              Cutting along the lines, discard the rounded edges and the remaining third of the circle.

              Fold the trimmed transparency in fourths to make four separate equilateral triangles. Cut off their tips about an inch from the bottom and tape the two opposite sides together to make a prism.

              Open a four-sided hologram video on your smartphone or tablet. We have one of these videos below, and you can find more by searching for “hologram video” (this is a particularly fun one).

              Place the small opening of the prism in the video’s center. Look through the side.

              More Optics Hacks

              A smartphone can perform other optical tricks. Harvest a focus lens from a laser pointer, and attach it to the phone’s camera with some wire. The lens will magnify images to make a DIY microscope (full instructions here). Or stick a few pieces of clear tape over the flash, and color them with blue and purple Sharpie markers. This filter blocks out most visible light and leaves only the ultraviolet spectrum, turning the phone’s flashlight function into a blacklight (full instructions here).

              This article was originally published in the November 2023 issue of Popular Science, under the title “Smartphone Hologram.”

              How To Teach A Robot To Improvise

              Self-piloted drones have become sophisticated enough to land on moving aircraft carriers, but put a single unexpected tree in the way, and they will crash. Now a five-university group that includes specialists in biology, computer vision and robotics is trying to teach drones to dodge obstacles on the fly. Working with $7.5 million from the Office of Naval Research, the scientists aim to build an autonomous, fixed-wing surveillance drone that can navigate through an unfamiliar city or forest at 35 miles an hour.

              The group’s inspiration is the pigeon. Hardy, plentiful and receptive to training, the birds are easy to study. In flight, they estimate the distance between themselves and objects ahead by quickly processing blurry, low-resolution images, just as a drone will need to do. And, crucially, they have a tendency to make decisions at the last moment—within five feet of an obstacle.

              Step one is to teach robots to differentiate between obstacles and empty chúng tôi the researchers have taught the drone to see, they will need to teach it to make decisions. That involves grappling with the inherent ambiguity of visual data—with deciding whether that pattern of pixels ahead is a tree branch or a shadow. Drew Bagnell and Martial Hebert, roboticists at Carnegie Mellon University, are developing algorithms that will help the robot deal with visual ambiguity the way humans do: by making educated guesses. “They can say, ‘I’m 99 percent sure there’s a tree between 12 meters and 13 meters away,’ and make a decision anyway,” Bagnell says.

              It will take a lot of computing power to make those decisions. The drone will have to process 30 images per second while contemplating its next move. LeCun says that a processor that can run his algorithms at a trillion operations per second would do the job, but the challenge is to build all that power into a computer light and efficient enough to fly. The best candidate is a processor that LeCun developed with Eugenio Culurciello of Purdue University: a low-power computer the size of a DVD case called NeuFlow, which LeCun is confident he’ll be able to speed up to a trillion operations per second by the group’s 2023 deadline.

              Once they’ve built a robot that can learn, see and make decisions fast enough to avoid obstacles, they still have to teach it to fly. Russ Tedrake, an MIT roboticist, is already using motion-capture cameras and a full-scale prototype of the final drone to model the maneuvers it will need to perform. If the team succeeds, the result will be a robot that can descend into a forest and lose today’s drones in the trees.


              As the drone flies, its onboard camera will feed video to software that applies a series of filters to each frame. The first filters pick up patterns among small groups of pixels that indicate simple features, like edges. Next, another series of filters looks for larger patterns, building upward from individual pixels to objects to complex visual scenes. Within hundredths of a second, the software builds a low-resolution map of the scene ahead. Finally, it will compare the objects in view to ones it has “seen” before, classifying them as soon as it has enough information to make an educated guess.

              Andrew Rosenblum wrote in the April issue about trucks that fight jet-fuel fires. He lives in Oakland, California.

              How To Embed A Document In A WordPress Post

              At best, you can post a link to the document making it available for users to download. That works well, but sometimes you want users to view the document on your site without having them download it to use it elsewhere.

              There’s an easy way to add this functionality to your WordPress website, and that is by using the Embed Any Document plugin which allows you to embed any document of the following file types:

              Microsoft Word (docx, docm, dotm, dotx)

              Microsoft Excel (xlsx, xlsb, xls, xlsm)

              Microsoft PowerPoint (pptx, ppsx, ppt, pps, pptm, potm, ppam, potx, ppsm)

              Adobe Portable Document Format (pdf)

              Text files (txt)

              TIFF Images (tif, tiff)

              Adobe Illustrator (ai)

              Scalable Vector Graphics (svg)

              It uses the Google Docs viewer or Microsoft Online (whichever you prefer) to display the embeds on your website.

              Follow the instructions below to install and configure this plugin on your website.

              How to Embed Any Document in a WordPress Post

              5. A popup should appear on your screen. In the free version you have the option to upload a document or add it from a URL. If you want to embed a document stored in Google Drive, Dropbox, or Box, you’ll have to purchase the pro version to unlock those features. A possible workaround is to grab the document from your cloud storage and upload it using the “Upload document” option.

              7. Finally, save the post and preview it to see how the embedded document looks on your website.


              Here are some others plugins that allow you to embed a document on your site.

              Google Docs Embedder – Similar to Embed Any Document, it allows you embed documents in a wide variety of formats

              Google Drive Embedder – Helps you embed documents stored in Google Drive

              Wrap Up

              Ayo Isaiah

              Ayo Isaiah is a freelance writer from Lagos who loves everything technology with a particular interest in open-source software. Follow him on Twitter.

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