Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The iPhone Honeymoon is Over Folks

At least that is the impression you will get after reading this article by Dwight Silverman on Chronicle.com. The luster has worn off for some folks and the reality of some of the more sucky aspects of the iPhone have sunk in. How many metaphors have I mixed so far?

Dwight tested the iPhone's usability by carrying around both his new iPhone and and his Samsung Blackjack to see which he would prefer for various uses. Some of the iPhone's weaknesses have to do with some of its strengths, strangely enough. While remaining very cool, these features also possess some major difficulties.

Dwight discusses how the iPhone handles email, web-browsing, and connectivity, as well as its virtual keyboard and storage capacity. If you love your iPhone, the article may rile you. If you haven't decided whether to get one or not, the article will be very helpful in informing your decision.

A month of use, and iPhone's not as cool

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Monday, July 30, 2007

Great Firefox Extensions: Menu Editor

Menu Editor Firefox Add-on

Used to be you had to live with whatever your Firefox context-menu served up. Why did it put the menu items in that order? That item I could do without. Like that. But no more will you be at the mercy of the programming! Now you have the power, with Menu Editor!

Alright, that was a little dramatic, but this really is a powerful tool. When you install Menu Editor to Firefox, you can simply change the right-click menu by adjusting Menu Editor's preferences in the Firefox Add-on list. Rearrange or remove menu items to your liking and become even more productive.

Menu Editor

[via Simplehelp]

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Sunday, July 29, 2007

Jing: Screen Captures and Screencasts Made Easy

Jing Project

I have to tell you, this looks like a fabulous download. Called Jing, the application lets you create and share screen captures (with lots of annotations) and screencasts with simplicity and ease.

I've never created a screencast, but I can easily see how useful they can be. They're great when you need to see how to do something on your computer, and since I offer computer tips and tutorials on my blogs, Jing seems like it will be a fine fit.

Once you've created your screen capture or screencast, all you have to do is click "Share," and you'll have a link automatically added to your clipboard, which you can then paste into an email, an IM, or your blog.

Check it out for yourself from this video tour.

Jing

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Saturday, July 28, 2007

Problem: You Need to Share a Very Large File

Driveway

Solution: Driveway

With Driveway you can upload files of up to 500Mb with no limit on total storage and no limits on downloads. Those are some fine numbers, folks.

Rather than trying to send large files via emails that'll probably get shut down by your ISP anyway, just park them at Driveway and email the links. Easy as pie.

Driveway

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Friday, July 27, 2007

Freeware Screen Capture: Window Clippings

Window Clippings Freeware Screen Capture

Now that FastStone no longer offers its screen capture utility for free, the hunt is on for a feature-rich freeware alternative. Window Clippings free version does a good job of fitting the bill, and the 10 dollar version will leave your wallet intact, if just a bit lighter.

The freeware option includes these features:
  • Include multiple windows in selection
  • Launch Options window from command line
  • Launch capture screen from command line
  • Hide notification icon
  • Convert to black and white
For just $10, you also get to:
  • Include mouse pointer
  • Allow object selection
  • Freeze window during capture
  • Delay before capture (to capture pop-ups)
  • Copy file to clipboard
  • Configurable image formats
  • Post-save events
  • Register and configure add-ins
  • Crop or expand selection
  • Quick select desktop, work area or monitor
Screen capture utilities have been a powerful tool for me in my blogging, but you'll find them helpful whenever you want to show a friend what you're seeing on your screen and for 1,000 other things besides.

Window Clippings


[via downloadsquad]

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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Send Self-Destructing Email: BigString

BigString

If you are a little-brain, you regularly send emails that you would never want splashed on the front page of your newspaper or could be, and perhaps have been, used against you in court. If you are smart, you never use email for sensitive communications. If you are brilliant, you use self-destructing email.

Scenario: You want to send someone an email but are a bit concerned about the possibility of its contents being copied, forwarded, or somehow coming back to take a chunk out of your behind. What do you do? Here's a neat solution: BigString. BigString is all about "ending sender regret."

With BigString you get (for free, mind you) email service that includes these features:
  • Self-Destructing
  • 2 GB of Storage
  • Recallable/erasable email
  • Video Emails
  • Non-Forwardable/IP Locking
  • Large Attachment Capacity
  • Non-Printable/savable emails
  • Automatic Message Highlighting
  • Advanced Email Tracking
  • Advanced Spam and Virus Filtering
  • Masquerading
  • Advanced Message Sorting
I dare say that's a hefty bundle of features right there.

BigString

[via Lifehacker]

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Throw Out the Bathwater: Revo Uninstaller

Revo Uninstaller

I always enjoy finding free software that picks up where Windows leaves off and does the job better. One shortcoming of Windows is its inability to remove applications cleanly and completely. Which is where Revo Uninstaller comes in.

This freeware application removes unwanted programs and finds any leftover files or registry entries so you can get rid of those as well. It has a unique "Hunter Mode" that lets you easily manage running applications. Included with the uninstaller:
  • Auto Start Manager - stop programs to start automatically when Windows starts;
  • Windows Tools Manager - handy and useful tools bundled with every Windows;
  • Junk Files Cleaner - find and remove unnecessary files from your computer;
  • Browsers History Cleaner - erase web site history, visited pages history, temporary internet files of Firefox, Internet Explorer, Netscape and Opera web browsers;
  • Office History Cleaner - remove history of most recently used files in MS Office;
  • Windows history cleaner - remove recently opened files history, delete temporary files, remove tracks and history saved by Windows;
  • Unrecoverable Delete Tool - erase files and folders forever;
  • Evidence remover - make sure already deleted files, folders and other data are unrecoverable;
Revo Uninstaller

[via downloadsquad]

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

How to Use a Naked Alarm Clock

Free Computer Alarm Clock

Planning to take a tiny little snooze at your desk, but afraid you might not wake up until tomorrow? Concerned about missing the big meeting? If these questions have you nodding your head either in affirmation or stupor, then a Naked Alarm Clock is definitely what you need.

The enticingly named Naked Alarm Clock actually involves no human nudity, sorry to disappoint. On the other hand, it will do the job of letting you know when time's up. It happens to be a flash-based, on-screen alarm clock with very simple controls. So you can set it and forget it.

Naked Alarm Clock

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Monday, July 23, 2007

Grab the New Alexa Toolbar for Firefox: Sparky

Sparky

Heretofore it was a depressing scenario for Firefox users who desired to make use of Alexa. Alas, they had no recourse but to use IE (shudder) or cobble together some weak-sister alternatives. No more! Sparky has arrived!

Now we can have our very own Alexa toolbar for Firefox. An added benefit is that when you visit my site in a browser with an Alexa toolbar, my Alexa-rating goes up! You can enjoy it too, since it will give you an idea of the popularity of every site you visit.

Sparky

[via JohnTP.com]

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Sunday, July 22, 2007

Freeware: Visualize Your Hard Drive in a New Way

WinDirStat

WinDirStat is a wonderful freeware utility that allows users to examine the contents of their hard drives in a whole new way. Actually, you can view your hard drive directory in 3 ways.
  • The directory list, which resembles the tree view of the Windows Explorer but is sorted by file/subtree size,
  • The treemap, which shows the whole contents of the directory tree straight away,
  • The extension list, which serves as a legend and shows statistics about the file types.
But here's the beauty part: The main window shows you your files in graphic view, as squares sized in proportion to file size. Now you can quickly see the largest files that are taking up room on your hard drive.

WinDirStat

[via jkOnTheRun]
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Friday, July 20, 2007

Add Recent Posts Widget to Blogger Blogs

Recent Posts Widget

I wanted to have a widget in my Blogger sidebars like the ones that I have in my Wordpress blogs. I was able to find one that is a breeze to customize and install, and it works swimmingly. Made available by Beautiful Beta.

Blogger "Recent Posts" Widget

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Motherlode: Bookmarklets, Favelets and Snippets

Who among us can honestly say they have no use for bookmarklets? Even if you have no idea what a bookmarklet is, you still could use a few. So admit that you are a bookmarklet junkie and move on. Here, in this very post, I will help you OD on bookmarklets by pointing you to the motherlode.

If you aren't familiar with them, bookmarklets are tiny snippets of Javascript that are stored within browser bookmarks and do all manner of neat things when clicked. For example, MultiSubmit will submit your posts to 19 different social bookmarking sites (providing you are registered with them). That's one I can definitely use.

Smashing Magazine has put together this great gob of excellent bookmarklets, so head on over and snag a few.

Bookmarklets, Favelets and Snippets

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Dash for Windows Gets You There Stat

Dash

Dash is the Windows equivalent to Quicksilver on the Mac platform. It represents a new way to launch applications, send emails, perform searches, all without having to navigate the contents of your machine. You can see a 5-minute YouTube video that shows some of what it can do.

So far it seems like one of the most powerful productivity enhancements for Windows I've seen yet.

For example, say you want to open your web browser. First you call Dash by pressing a hotkey. Then you start typing Firefox (or whatever the name of your browser is). By the time you have typed 1 or 2 letters, Dash knows what you want. Finally you just press Enter and Dash will open your browser. As simple as that. Or perhaps you want to do a Google search (or any search for that matter) on Spider Man. Again, you call Dash, start typing G…, then spider man. Press Enter and Dash will open your browser at a Google search for Spider Man.

Maybe you are working with some files and folders. You select a folder, call Dash, start typing Zip, press Enter, and Dash will Zip compress the selected folder. Nothing could be simpler or faster!

You can launch your most used applications, or those you have not used in years, without frustration. Instantly send email, do all sorts of web searches, go to your favorite websites, create appointments, play music, zip files, find and open documents, and much more. All without clicking and without wasting time.

Can Dash read your mind?

Yes it can. Well no, not really but it will make you wonder. Dash learns from you, and remembers. It only takes a few keystrokes to perform all sorts of tasks, and there is nothing to memorize, you just type what you want. The power of Dash is unlimited, besides all the built in commands, you can create your own easily. Plus you can also catalog your computer using Dash scanners, or apply and create new skins, and with the use of plugins, Dash can grow indefinitely.

Well worth checking out!

Dash

[via jkOnTheRun]

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

100 Open Source Apps to Make Your Wallet High

Open Source Fluxbox

How can you not love open source? I guess if you sell commercial software you might have a bit of hatred, but as a consumer you have to love it.

Datamation has published a fantastic list of 100 great open source applications for you to use in place of costly commercial software.

100 Open Source Downloads

[via Download Squad]

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Miro Launches Today!



The amazing and free desktop Internet TV aggregator that I reviewed a few weeks ago has been being refined, updated, renamed and reborn as Miro. To be launched sometime today, it is a really great piece of software that will pull in and play media from many different sources. Keep checking the link to see when the download is made available.

Miro

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Find Your Pied-A-Terre with Terabitz



This is a very cool web site based on a fantastic idea. Blending real estate listings with almost everything else under the sun, Terabitz lets users find listings, then find the "quality of life" things located nearby. Say you plan on moving to Ocala, Florida. You search Terabitz and see a listing that looks good. But what schools are nearby? How about movie theaters, cafes, libraries, banks, whatever? No problem. You can customize the interface like you have never seen before.
Terabitz is the first comprehensive and customizable real estate Web site that fundamentally changes the online real estate industry by helping consumers make smart decisions before, during, and after the property transaction in ways never before possible. We, at Terabitz, realize that every home exploration is unique. That is why every user can customize, store, and share their real estate data and content to fit their own personal needs. Terabitz enables more than just a single comprehensive source for property listings - it also allows integration of unlimited local neighborhood information, market research, schools, restaurants, crime and safety statistics, service providers, financial tools, and more. Every category of information is available in one place and is customizable by individual for every step of the process. Additionally, Terabitz provides a platform and community where users can share all the relevant preferences and information amongst themselves, their friends and family, and the local market service providers that are helping them through the process.
I'm planning to move soon, and I will definitely be using Terabitz.

Terabitz

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Monday, July 16, 2007

Gmail in Outlook 2007!

Many of you love Gmail, but you have to use Outlook at work. Or maybe you love them both, I have no idea. Point is, you need to be able to access your Gmail in Outlook 2007. You are in luck then, because I can tell you how to do this.
  1. Make sure your Gmail is set up to allow POP access. Go to your Gmail account, click on Mail Settings, then the Forwarding and POP tab. Click on one of the choices.
  2. In Outlook click Tools>Account Settings. Choose the Email tab and click New.
  3. Enter your Gmail info. Make sure Manually configure server is not checked, then click Next.
  4. Click finish after Outlook has configured the server settings.
[via PC Tips Box]

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Tired of Repetitive Actions? Let iMacros Do them For You

iMacros

iMacros is a highly useful Firefox extension that allows users to automate their repetitive tasks in Firefox.
The Web browser is probably the most frequently used software today, and many tasks are highly repetitious. iMacros for Firefox relieves the repetition of checking on the same sites every day, remembering passwords and filling out web forms. Web professionals can use the software for functional testing and regression web testing of web applications. Another use is to automate web scraping, for example online stock quotes or web store prices.
Set up macros for filling out forms, downloading files, uploading data, performing searches, extracting data and more. Limited only by the user's imagination.

iMacros

[via Lifehacker]

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Sunday, July 15, 2007

Techie Boy Scouts are Always Prepared: USB PC Repair System

surgeon's tray

What's the tech equivalent of the Swiss Army knife? The thumb-drive PC Repair System! If you want another metaphor, how about the doctor bag, or the surgeon's tray, whatever.

Over at Daily Cup of Tech there's a great collection of tools for PC troubleshooters. You can download the entire set of 37 apps for free at only 32 megabytes total.

PC Repair System

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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Your Appearance Gets You Clearance: Banana Security

BananaSecurity

A new form of PC security, BananaSecurity lets your face be your password. Of course we have all seen face recognition security in the movies, and we suppose they might be present at NORAD, but on your little PC?

Yep. All you need, according to Banana, is a web cam and a smile. And the PC, of course. Oh, and their software, which is free.

BananaSecurity

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Friday, July 13, 2007

Windows Live Search Mobile V2 Released

Windows Live Mobile

Windows Live Search Mobile has been a popular application for phones and PDAs running Windows Mobile. Microsoft has released a new version, V2. You can run it as a client or as a web-based version. The client can be downloaded for java-based or Windows Mobile devices. I've got it on my T-Mobile MDA and it works very well.

Live Search Mobile V2 [via TechSpot]

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Latest QuickTime Update Supports Full-Screen

QuickTime

One of the biggest weaknesses of QuickTime was the fact that you could not view videos in full-screen format, at least not with the free version. QuickTime 7.2 fixes lots of bugs and supports full-screen viewing.

QuickTime 7.2

[via Download Squad]

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Windows Live OneCare Releases 2.0 Beta!

Anyone looking for an all-in-one security solution for their PC should check out Windows Live OneCare. Just released is the new 2.0 beta version with some nice features, such as multi-PC and home network management, and a speeding up of boot times by removing rarely used applications from the start-up folder.

You can try Live OneCare for 90 days for free, take it around the block for three whole months. Give it a try by clicking below.



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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Add Page Element Above Header in Blogger

Add Page Element

Layout elements above a blog header are very useful things. By default, Blogger does not give you the option to add an element in that prime sweet spot. Indo-Tech has a very simple way to hack your Blogger template to allow you to add a page element above your blog's header. Sweet joy!

Indo-Tech

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Try Semantic Web with Lexxe

Lexxe

Better ways to search and access the ocean of information that is the Web is the holy grail of the Internet. Companies are beginning to introduce their versions of semantic web search which use Natural Language Processing (NLP) technologies. Here is one of those offerings: Lexxe. Try it and see how it works for your searches.
Founded in 2005, Lexxe Pty Ltd (ACN: 117 090 454) has been developing a third generation Internet search engine with advanced Natural Language Processing technologies. Our initial research and development of the search engine dated back in October 2004, with the help of a number of supportive individuals. Lexxe is based in Sydney, Australia.

"Lexxe", /leksI/ or pronounced 'leksi', our company name, is derived from a linguistic term "Lexical", which means "related to words". It emphasises the processing of language from the level of words and the meanings associated with them, which is a core issue for Lexxe.

Lexxe has been exploring more intelligent ways to find information for users in a more meaningful way. We believe this method will eventually bring far more accurate and relevant search results than the current search technology. Our technology is built upon the foundation of advanced Natural Language Processing technology. Please find out more about our technology.
Lexxe

[via Alt Search Engines]

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Mix Weather with Google Earth to get guiWeather

There is no shortage of sources for weather information, that is true, but this one may be the most fun. guiWeather adds tools to Google Earth like a Radar tool, a Current Conditions tool, Global Lightning, Watches and Warnings, and, coming soon, Tropical Weather. I hope that one comes before the first hurricane.

guiWeather

Don't have Google Earth? No worries, just click here.

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Buy or Sell Documents at Gazhoo

It's about time someone did this. Content is king, and you have the ability to create great content at will. So, what do you do with it? You can post it or use it to attract visitors to your web site. You could try to sell it in a newsletter. Or, thankfully, you could make it available for purchase at Gazhoo.

Gazhoo is like an eBay for documents. If you need a document, for example a certain type of business form or a legal document, you can easily search for what you need. If you find something that meets your need, you can buy it. If you are a creator of great content, you can post it on the site. If someone downloads it, you get paid. It's quite simple, and it's a great idea.

Visit Gazhoo here.

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Monday, July 09, 2007

Flock Gets More Beautiful (and Smart)

Flock 0.9

Let it not be said that I lack a balanced taste in browsers. I appreciate both beauty and intelligence. Enough said. For this reason I can commend to you the new Flock, version 0.9.

Knowledgeable sources tell me that Flock 0.9 is set to be released tomorrow. But I am not one who will wait for that to happen. I am one to try the beta. Yes, a day is too long.

I've downloaded and installed the beta from here. The page warns me to back up my settings, which I do. The page warns me that there may be bugs, since it is a beta. I acknowledge. After the setup program migrates my settings, and gathers updates for my add-ons, the browser opens like a flower catching the sun. It is pretty.

I already use Flock to post to my blogs, but it can do so much more, and the new features in 0.9 make it probably the coolest browser in the browser world.

Read/Write Web gives a detailed description of Flock 0.9's new features.



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