Tuesday, March 31, 2009

MindRaider - A multiplatform outliner and note-taker

It's not only the thoughts themselves that are important. It's the way they're connected and organized that makes them useful. This open-source application helps do that in a big way. From the website:

"MindRaider is personal notebook and outliner. It aims to connect the tradition of outline editors with emerging technologies. MindRaider mission is to help you in organization of your knowledge and associated web, local and realworld resources in a way that enables quick navigation, concise representation and inferencing."


MindRaider

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Monday, March 30, 2009

Twittastic - A Twtter client with something special

With an easy gazillion Twitter applications out there you have to be discriminating. This one has some special attractions though and is worth a good look. From the web site:

# Simple interface, that works like the web page
# Drag and drop image uploads to www.twitpic.com
# Take screenshots of parts of your screen and upload. Double click required.
# Capture your webcam and send straight to Twitpic
# Infinite scrolling into past messages using a database. You can leave it running overnight.
# Drag and drop file uploads straight into www.drop.io
# One click short URLs. Reads what you have in copied and pastes the result. Services including www.urlborg.com, www.go2.me and www.is.gd are supported out of the box
# Text based emoticons
# Ability to shut up for 30' minutes. So you can brainstorm undistracted.


Twittastic

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Sunday, March 29, 2009

JOCR - Free OCR (Optical Character Recognition) Utitlity

OCR is one of the truly useful capabilities every computer user needs at his or her disposal. Scenario: You have an image file that contains text you need to edit. You cannot edit the text or copy it because it is in an image. Not editable. What do you do?

Most folks would go ahead and retype it. That's fine if it's just a sentence or two, but when it's mul;tiple paragraphs, there is an easier way. This free app allows you to screencapture the image and recognize the characters, converting them into text. From the web site:

"JOCR enables you to capture the image on the screen and convert the captured image to text. It is useful to revive the protected files whose text can not be copied.  JOCR enables you to copy text from any files and images on the screen such as protected Web pages, PDF files, error messages.  The program offers several capture modes.

JOCR requires Microsoft Office 2003 or higher version. If JCOR does not work, please manually install "Micorosoft Office Document Imaging" (MODI) that is included in the setup file of Microsoft Office. You can find MODI under "Office Tools" of the setup file."



JOCR


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Saturday, March 28, 2009

doPDF - Another way to create PDF files free

One of the most useful conversion jobs is converting documents to PDF files. If you've created a document in Excel or Word, or any format you care to name, and you want to send it in a form that isn't editable (i.e. you don't want people messing with it), or you want to send it in a format anyone can open (if they have the free Adobe Acrobat Reader or equivalent), converting to PDF is the thing to do.

From the web site:

"doPDF is a free PDF converter for both personal and commercial use. Using doPDF you can create PDF files by selecting the "Print" command from virtually any application. With one click you can convert your Microsoft Excel, Word or PowerPoint documents or your emails and favorite web sites to PDF files."



doPDF

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Friday, March 27, 2009

yWriter5 - A free writing tool for novelists

This piece of software was written by a writer for writers. From the web site:

"First, and most important, yWriter is FREE to download and use! Second, and still rather important, it's a word processor which breaks your novel into chapters and scenes. It will not write your novel for you, suggest plot ideas or perform creative tasks of any kind. It does help you keep track of your work, leaving your mind free to create."



yWriter5

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Now you can draw in Google Docs

Happens from time to time, you need to do a quick and easy, down and dirty flow chart, or some other type of diagram, and throw it into a document. Last time I was in that predicament I had to go looking for a free and simple way to do it. I wish this had been available then. From the blog:

"It's easy to create drawings using lines, free hand scribbles, text labels and a large choice of shapes that you can move, resize, rotate and adjust. Group, order, align and distribute and other features are available when you select objects you've drawn. You can also customize a range of shape properties, from line widths to fill color, and from arrowheads to font size, and much more. If you change your mind, there is undo and redo. You can collaborate with a friend or colleague on a drawing, or work alone, just as you can in Google Docs today."


Draw in Google Docs

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

JetByes - Exchange files without storage

There are many sites that'll let you store files for downloading by others. This one is a bit different. No storage involved, just a one-time link that you provide to your sharee. Dead simple.

JetBytes

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Zinc Beta 3 - Free Internet video browser

There are many ways to get and watch video media on the Internet. This may be the best yet. From the web site:

"Zinc™ is a special software application designed to organize and deliver the best of internet video- we call it an Internet Video Browser. It’s easy to use, and offers fast access to prime time TV episodes, movies from streaming services like Netflix, and web-only content.

Now for the best news: Zinc’s colorful screens were styled for display on a big-screen TV, because more and more that’s where today’s online video is watched. Connect your computer to your HDTV, and unleash the full power of Zinc."



Zinc Beta 3

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Monday, March 23, 2009

Muziic - Increase your playlist by many orders of magnitude

Forget all the semi-illegal methods. Now you can get the music you want and keep your conscience clear as crystal. From the web site:

"Muziic Player puts millions of songs right on your desktop, free and legally. Interested?

To use Muziic Player, simply type the name of the song or artist you wish to hear into the player's search bar. Muziic then searches and returns the most relevant results from the world's largest music database - YouTube."



Muziic

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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Windows Live OneCare - Get a free PC scan and tuneup

This is like going to the car maker to get a free tuneup. If you have an authentic copy of XP or Vista, and I know my readers aren't into pirating, you can get free scans by Microsoft...protection, cleanup and tune up.


Windows Live OneCare

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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Avira AntiVir 9 - Free personal edition now with anti-spyware and anti-adware

I've posted about the fact that this app is one of the best antivirus packages available, and that it's free for personal use. This latest version adds anti-pyware and anti-adware, making it a must have.


Avira AntiVir 9

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Friday, March 20, 2009

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Chrome 2 Beta now available to regular folks!

For all you crazy beta-lovers, the latest Google Chrome is out! From the site:

"Some of the new features you can try out include form autofill, full page zoom and autoscroll (both thanks to a new version of WebKit), and a cool new way to drag tabs out to get a side-by-side view (shown below)."



Google Chrome (BETA)

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Microsoft Worldwide Telescope in now on the web

You may not have wanted to install the desktop version, but how can you say no to the web client?

"WorldWide Telescope (WWT) enables your computer to function as a virtual telescope, bringing together imagery from the best ground and space-based telescopes in the world. Experience narrated guided tours from astronomers and educators featuring interesting places in the sky."

Now you can have it without installing the full application.



Microsoft Worldwide Telescope Web Client

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Da Button Factory - Make your own web buttons

Not a designer? Haven't got a clue how to make web buttons? This site is for you. Just input your text, make your design selections, click "Create!" and your button is made, awaiting your download. Nothing more to say. Except, tell your friends about...




Da Button Factory

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Monday, March 16, 2009

Rainmeter and Rainlendar - Prettify your desktop with useful info

I actually prefer the look and feel of the info these applications provide to that of gadgets available through the Windows, Yahoo or Google gadgets.

Rainmeter supplies system info primarily, while Rainlendar does calendars, to-dos and events.


Rainmeter and Rainlendar

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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Iconix Truemark - Verify email senders, identify phishers

News of email phishing has gotten most of us fairly afraid of our own email. Is that email from my bank really from my bank? Like that. Here's a solid app that gives you some reassurance. From the web site:

"At ICONIX, Inc., we want to bring trust back to email. That's why we've added visual identity to email - so you can quickly spot messages that have been verified as coming from that sender."


Iconix Truemark

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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Contxts - Send your business card via text message

This is one of those things you don't realize you need until you see it, then wish you'd thought of it first. It's a simple way to transfer your business card info via text messages. Saves trees and trouble.


Contxt

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Friday, March 13, 2009

PicoNote - A simple note taker for desktop, online and mobile

Note taking is a must for anyone without an eidetic memory. Unless you are a policeman, however, you probably don't go around with a little notebook in your coat pocket. So, for you, there's this great little note taker that can be used offline on your desktop or mobile, online as a web app, and even through Twitter.

Desktop Application


Web Application


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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Bit.ly - A better way to shorten URLs

As a budding Twitter user I have been forced to shorten my thoughts to 140 character Tweets, making the task of shortening URLs quite important. Everyone knows about TinyURL, but here's a method that seems to beat it. Especially useful is the bookmarklet.

bit.ly

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

OpenWith.org - Find free applications to open any file type

Someone sent you a .ppt file, but you don't have PowerPoint? What about a .rar file? If you ever face these types of situations, you can make good use of this application. From the web site:

"OpenWith.org provides detailed information about most file extension and links to free programs that can open and create each type of file. All of us at OpenWith.org have found ourselves helping our parents and friends open obscure file types time and time again, and decided that this information was best shared with everybody. There are plenty of great programs out there that will cost you hundreds of dollars to do what you need. What you probably don't know is that there is usually free software that it just as good. You just don't know about it."




OpenWith.org

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

UBitMenu - For those who hate the Office 2007 ribbon

I can't hear or read the word "ribbon" without remembering the line from Seinfeld, "Who won't wear ze ribbon?" In any case, there are many folks who hate the ribbon, and for you there's an application that'll give you a "Menu" entry letting you get to an Office 2003 classic menu.

UBitMenu

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Monday, March 09, 2009

GreenPrint - Save paper and ink!

I am usually loathe to participate in anything trendy, and nothing is more trendy that being "green." On the other hand, this will save you money, so it passes inspection. From the web site:

"GreenPrint's patent-pending software eliminates unwanted pages saving paper, ink, money, and millions of trees."


GreenPrint

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Sunday, March 08, 2009

kidsmenu - A Windows makeover for kids

Assuming many of my readers have young kids doesn't seem too much of a stretch, so here's a great shell replacement for Windows that makes it kid-friendly. From the web site:

"kidsmenu is designed to be a child friendly alternative/replacement windows shell, and is also functional as a normal launcher/menu application.

kidsmenu avoids some of the complexity and danger introduced by the standard windows shell (explorer) when put in front of young children. for example, as there's no start menu, hitting the windows key accidentally while playing a game won't show the start menu."



kidsmenu

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Saturday, March 07, 2009

WebShot - Screencapture an entire website in one go

Ever needed a screenshot of a web page, whole and undefiled? Most screencapture apps will only grab a window or the portion visible on your screen. This one gets it all. From the web site:

"WebShot allows you to take screenshots of web pages and save them as full sized images or thumbnails. Screenshots images can be output in the JPG, GIF, PNG, or BMP formats."





WebShot

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Friday, March 06, 2009

StuffSafe - Online inventory tracking

There are many excellent reasons to have a safe place where a list of your possessions is stored. If you want to submit an insurance claim after a theft or damage, or if you just like to keep track of your stuff, this web application is easy to use and will give you a bit of peace of mind. From the web site:

"f you're a home owner or renter, a secure inventory of your possessions should be a big part of your theft or disaster recovery plan. Having an up-to-date home inventory will help you get your home owner insurance claim settled faster, verify losses for your income tax return and help you purchase the correct amount of insurance."


StuffSafe

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Thursday, March 05, 2009

Zoho Writer 2.0 - Updated version released today

Online word processors are growing more and more powerful, and Zoho has not been left out. Today Zoho introduced an updated version of its Writer with several new features. From the web site:

"Zoho Writer introduces MenuTab -- a refreshing, elegant and intuitive toolbar with menu items neatly grouped in context based tabs. The simplified toolbar makes the end-users task that much easier in creating and formatting documents. Users also have the flexibility of navigating around any of the tab features with a single click of a mouse."




Zoho Writer 2.0

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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

MyApartmentMap - See apartments and prices in your area [Internet Tools]

Just so happens that I'm moving soon, so this will come in handy. It's a major time (and potentially money) saver. Just enter your city/state and buckets of info are at your fingertips. From the web site:

"MyApartmentMap processes thousands of apartment every day and records rent prices for cities all over the U.S. We then work on the data using a number of open source technologies and API's."


MyApartmentMap

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Tuesday, March 03, 2009

ShutDown Suite [Utilities] - Shut down, restart, or log off the quick and easy way


Remember: Daylight Saving Time begins on Sunday morning!


A combination of small freeware apps that make shutting down, restarting or logging off a breeze. From the web site:

"ShutDown Suite combines small freeware applications that allows you shut down, reboot your computer or log off from your user account. ShutDown Suite contains two packages: "No Install" and "Installer". Each package contains different applications. In "No Install" package, there are 6 programs. This programs never ask for confirmation when they launched. For Example: ShutDown Safe.exe application in this package shuts down computer immediately. But if there are any applications that have unsaved data, stops shutting down and wait for user's reply to that program's save warning. But ShutDown Force.exe ignores unsaved data and other programs and forces system to shut down. This may cause data loss. In "Installer" package, there are 3 programs: ShutDown, Reboot and LogOff. These programs have installer and uninstaller routines and display a tray icon and allows you shut down, reboot or log off your system easily via their tray icon menu. These programs also have "force" and "Start with Windows" options."

ShutDown Suite

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Monday, March 02, 2009

WeightMirror.com - Take 50 lbs off with this web tool

This is decidedly easier than actually losing 50 pounds. Have a photo of yourself you want to post online, but you look too fat? Upload it to this site and watch it take off the weight. This is what you've been waiting for! From the site:

"Our patent-pending face recognition technology is based on years of research at Stanford University and the University of Toronto. With one click and in just a few seconds, it automatically detects your body shape and removes up to 50 lbs. Try out this revolutionary technology now COMPLETELY for FREE!"


WeightMirror.com

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Sunday, March 01, 2009

FloorPlanner - Web-based, 2D/3D interactive floor planner

Use this powerful, free (for personal use) interactive web tool to build and share your ideas for floor plans. Who hasn't thought about switching things around in their home? Everyone moves once in a while. These are all great examples of when Floor Planner can come in handy. So before you start lifting heavy furniture, see it virtually and get it right. From the web site:

"Floorplanner is the easiest, quickest, and best looking way to create and share interactive floor plans. Using point-and-click, drag-and-drop tools, you can make your house plan in minutes, and rearrange it as often as you want. Then you can save, send, and print your designs to share them, or place them on your own website."


Floor Planner

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