Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Fireshot – Capture an entire web page in Firefox

There are times when you want a screenshot of an entire web page, including the part that you can’t see unless you scroll down. Most screencapture apps fall down at this point, which is why you may need Fireshot. From the site:

“Unlike other extensions, this plugin provides a set of editing and annotation tools, which let users quickly modify web captures and insert text annotations and graphical annotations. Such functionality will be especially useful for web designers, testers and content reviewers.”


fireshot

Get Fireshot

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Sunday, June 28, 2009

ezDRoster - Free employee scheduling software

If you have a small business with some employees whose working hours need to be scheduled, this app can be utilized as either a desktop or web solution. And it's free! From the website:

"No matter what your business or organization - nurse staffing, medical staff, hotel and hospitality , restaurant, academic institution, delivery services, cleaning and maintenance personnel, trainees, help desk employees, transportation services, flight attendants, real estate, travel agency, retailer, convenience store, construction, volunteers organization - You need to run your business smoothly, efficiently.

DRoster's unique industry neutral design coupled with its rule engine flexibility enables you to customize DRoster to your industry-specific and department-specific employee scheduling needs, regardless of your organization's size.

Another DRoster benefit: DRoster uses a non-proprietary Firebird database. This means you can integrate all your scheduling data with your payroll software or any other data source. Seamless integration gives you an accurate up-to-the-minute picture of your human resources as well as total control of your workforce for crucial instant response. DRoster staff scheduling software is easy to install and use. Upgrade to DRoster's automated, computerized staff scheduling rostering solution today at no cost. It's about time you got your free fully functional copy of DRoster employee scheduling software.
"



Get ezDRoster

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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Lift your writing skills with VocabGrabber

Anyone who uses writing in life and wants to improve those skills will find the Internet tool helpful. I just threw it an article I wrote recently on Golden Platypus. I was impressed with the fact that I didn't seem to have overused any words, but the visual thesaurus gave me some excellent alternatives to the ones I chose. (See screenshot below.)


Go to VocabGrabber

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Friday, June 26, 2009

Alice - The easy (and cost-effective) way to shop for groceries

According to the website, everybody needs an Alice. When you're trying to make every penny, and every minute count, this Internet tool can make your life a whole lot better. Eliminate trips to the store, take advantage of comparison shopping and free shipping, get reminders so you never run out of essentials, and...need I go on?

Visit Alice.

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

ThumbView - Get Windows to show thumbnails for unsupported graphics files

Have you ever been tied in knots over Windows Explorer's unwillingness to display thumbnails unless the graphics in question are "supported"? Say goodbye to the forever with this little utility. From the website:

"ThumbView enables image thumbnails and tooltips in MS-Windows Explorer for filetypes that are not natively supported. It started with PCX, TGA, DDS and PNG images, but now ThumbView supports an amazing 19 image types - directly inside any Explorer window!"



Get ThumbView

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Taskbar Shuffle - Rearrange your taskbar buttons

I truly despise any advertisement that includes the words "...that's right for you." Seems like pandering to the ultimate degree. Now, before you start wondering where my mind has wondered to, I want to tell you about a little utility that lets you arrange your taskbar buttons into the configuration that's right for you. From the website:


"Taskbar Shuffle is a simple, small, free utility that lets you drag and drop your Windows taskbar buttons to rearrange them. Here’s a full feature list:

* Full 32-bit and 64-bit support
* Reorder your taskbar buttons by dragging and dropping them
* Reorder your tray icons in the same way
* Reorder tasks in a grouped button's popup menu in the same way
* Middle-click to close programs on your taskbar
* Works with UltraMon (version 3+ only) taskbars
* Tweak taskbar button grouping"

Get Taskbar Shuffle

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Monday, June 22, 2009

gdocbackup - Download and Backup all your Google Docs

This nice little utility app will quickly and easily download an offline copy of your Google Docs.

"GDocBackup is simple utility to backup (export) all your documents from Google Documents to local disk. It's open source, freeware and licensed under the Apache License Version 2.0
It does a simple backup: for each document in Google Docs, it downloads the document if the document is not present on the local disk or if it has a different date.
GDocBackup uses the official Google Data APIs (.NET version). The GDocBackup.x.x.x.BIN.zip file contains all required files."



Get gdocbackup

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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Nexus - Free Mac-like launch utility

No one can argue that OSX looks pretty. For Windows users who want the effect without the actual OS there are apps like Nexus. From the website:

"Nexus is a multi-level (paid version) dock system that nicely complements NextSTART and WorkShelf. Nexus provides super fast access to your most frequently used applications, with flexible options allowing it to dock or float anywhere on the screen, providing a myriad of "On Demand" possibilities. From it's generous use of situational sensitive context menus to it's advanced Drag-n-Drop support, Nexus is not only easy to use - it's a joy!"


Get Nexus

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Saturday, June 20, 2009

fotografix - A free Photoshop alternative at less than 1 meg

When you install a Windows app, the installer just sloshes parts of it all over your machine like an insane painter. That's why portable apps are so cool. Everything's in one file, ergo easily moved, ipso facto portable. This one does a fair imitation of the behemoth Photoshop and is only 680 Kb small.

"Enhance photos
Quickly correct and enhance photos and other images.

Compose rich artwork
Use layers and other advanced features to digitally compose art.

Automate frequent tasks
Make use of scripts to automate repetitive tasks."



Get fotografix

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Friday, June 19, 2009

CrashPlan - Planning for the inevitable

Computers crash. OK, not always, but often enough that it makes sense to have a plan for the possibility. Here's an app that makes it (relatively) easy to be ready if (when) it happens. From the website:

"No buttons to push or CDs to burn. Simply install CrashPlan and it quietly runs in the background protecting your files without slowing you down.

It's free to back up personal files to your own local and offsite destinations.

Your files are encrypted at your choice of multiple offsite destinations. Only offsite backup protects your files from theft, fire, and other local disasters. CrashPlan insures your privacy by encrypting your files before they are sent, keeping personal files personal.


With CrashPlan you have the freedom to choose your backup destinations. Back up your new Mac to your old PC, your laptop to a friend's desktop, whichever you want. Worried about using too much space on a friend's computer? Just attach a USB drive and back up to it using CrashPlan."


Get CrashPlan

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

StandaloneStack - A very cool way to access your files

Who wants to use the boring Windows method of getting at your files and apps? Not I. Here's a slick way of doing it from the taskbar.


Get StandaloneStack2

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Fast Duplicate File Finder - Combat data proliferation on your PC!

Those who have huge hard drives and think you don't need to worry about data proliferation should know that you'll probably care about it sooner than you think.

Date proliferation is the new boogey man, and deduplication is the new buzzword for the techie types.

Modern computers are duplicating files constantly. According to the all-seeing-all-knowing Wikipedia, "As data is created, distributed, backed up, and archived, duplicate data objects are stored unabated across all storage tiers. The end result is inefficient utilization of data storage resources."



So join the fun of deduping with this free app!

Get Fast Duplicate File Finder

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

After the Deadline - Improve your writing online

Everyone writes online. Many make so many mistakes they lose any credibility they may otherwise have earned by the value of their content. Sad, but indisputable. Sometimes this problem makes comparably sane folk want to strangle passersby.

What can you do to help? Use this online tool to check your writing before gracing the rest of the world with it.

Seriously, anyone can benefit from a little spell-, grammar- and style-checking. Here's a sample of part of one of my posts at Golden Platypus, and the possible improvements. (Had to click on the underlined words to see the suggestions.)

You can also try grammar check service from Spellchecker.net

Go to After the Deadline

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Monday, June 15, 2009

AllTextPaper - Transform busy web pages into simple, readable text

I happen to think my website is eminently readable. Not busy at all. That being said, if you have a differing opinion, or would like to trim down someone else's site, this online tool can do the job nicely. According to the site:

"Read the content minus the design, advert and others; basically just the text."

Here's my site texterized...




Go to AllTextPaper

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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Create your own website in minutes with Weebly

Have you often said to yourself, "Dammit, I want to make a website!"? Do you have stuff to say to the world, by God? Have you been held back by concerns about how much time it would take and losing what little bits of life you still have left after work and family? Then Weebly is for you!

Weebly has got to be the simplest way for someone to come into the 21st and get a web presence, finally. It's simple yet full-featured and can have you going in a few minutes. (After that it's up to you to come up with something to say.) The site offers tons of help and an interface that won't leave you frustrated.

And here's the beauty part: If you want to make money on the Internet, Weebly supports that, too!


Go to Weebly

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Saturday, June 13, 2009

Nomad.NET - Tabbed file-manager extraordinaire

Looking for a better file manager than the Windows default? This one's a very nice arrow to add to your quiver of tools. From the website:

# Full Unicode support.
# Tabbed interface. But in contrast to almost every other file manager tabs are not panel based.
# Powerful bookmarks system. You can bookmark you favorite folders, ftp sites or even searches (yes, you can create virtual search folders).
# One of the most powerful search engines on market (if I can say market, project is freeware). You can create very complex search rules, with ability to search in different encoding (complete encodings auto detect), use IFilter filters, apply custom text search rules (including regular expressions), search in hex, duplicates search and so on... For novices there is a simplified search that is not so scary at first sight.
# Powerful filtering system, based on the same core as search. You can use dedicated advanced filter dialog, or use simple toolstrip for quick filtering.
# Much simpler, elegant and polished UI (program must look nice, right?)
# Customizable visual themes[screenshot] and icon packs. And you can even create your own themes and icon packs.
# The most powerful toolbar you can even find in file manager.
# Improved main form layout. You can use single panel or dual panel mode (horizontal or vertical). Each panel can have its own tree view that can be hidden or displayed horizontally or vertically. And you can even store your customized layouts for future use.
# Ability to customize selected folders view and options (filter, sort, etc). This is unique feature and you cannot find it in other managers.
# Program is highly customizable via Options dialog[screenshot], including simple UI scaling according to your current system DPI settings (or manually).
# Breadcrumb folder toolstrip on every panel is much more powerful than simple folder name.
# Full internal support for many archive types (using 7-Zip libraries). Program can also handle WCX Total Commander plug-in, even in more powerful way than Total Commander did. You can view, create and edit archives.
# FTP folders support (with limitations yet, for example, only one http proxy allowed with no UI to configure).
# Many things were done more correctly - drag'n'drop from explorer, clipboard handling, shell file menus and so on.
# Support for shell shortcuts, url shortcuts (ftp only) and even shell folder shortcuts (rarely supported in other file managers).
# And last, Nomad is the first and only file manager written on .net. This is not advantage, because in addition to strong sides, it has some drawback. Just a fact.



Get Nomad.NET

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Friday, June 12, 2009

LiberKey Portable Apps - Now, that's a knife!

Excuse the Crocodile Dundee reference, please. This app groups gobs of software apps that you can load onto your thumb-drive or run from your desktop. It makes your thumb-drive the ultimate Swiss Army knife for your carry bag. From the web site:

"Portable use (installed on USB key, external hard drive, music player such as iPod, ...). It is possible because these software have been made portable. For example, LiberKey installed on your portable device can be plugged in any computer. Immediately you have under hand all your familiar tools."



Get LiberKey

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Ibrii - Makes researching anything on the Internet fun

Most people don't like the word "research." Back in my younger days, research meant going to a library with a bucket of quarters for the copy machine and several hours to endure torture worse than waterboarding. And that's after walking five miles, in the snow, barefoot, uphill both ways.

So it's a lot easier these days, but still not a fun task. Unless you use an app like Ibrii. Make personal notes, clip and paste anything, share with anyone. Reseach has never been easier. Watch the video if you don't believe me.

What is ibrii ? (English) from ibrii on Vimeo.

Check out Ibrii

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

BB Flashback Pro - The best way to record your screen I've seen

I posted a brief review of BB Flashback Express here, which is the free version. This post moves up to Pro, the most full-featured of the offerings from Blueberry.

This one is for the individual or company that wants to create first-class screencasts. Some of the features in Pro that you won't find in Express, or even Standard, are:

Export to Standalone EXE
Export to MS PowerPoint

Frame-by-frame video editing
Multi-track audio editing
Smooth out or re-record cursor movements
Speed up and slow down sections of the movie


The software comes with both a recording and an editing package.




A 30-day free trial is available here.

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Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Nitro PDF Professional - Create, edit, organize, secure and convert PDF docs

Many moons ago I bought Adobe Acrobat Standard. Still have it. I became spoiled. I love to fill in paper forms on my computer, for example. Not only is it more fun than writing by hand, it impresses the recipients of the forms. I also got used to the printer engine, the ability to add stamps and signatures, basically edit the hell out of any doc.

Well, I haven't wanted to spend money on the full Adobe Acrobat. But now I've been turned on to Nitro PDF Professional. It does cost money, and I usually post about freeware, but consider this an exception. I love this app!




Check out Nitro PDF Professional

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Monday, June 08, 2009

Desk Topmost - Brings desktop to fore without collapsing everything else

Some folks, when they need to see their desktop and they have several windows open, minimize those open windows one by one. It's true, I've seen them do it. Those a bit more aware of keyboard shortcuts do a Ctrl-D. The problem with that has been that the command minimized everything, meaning you've got to restore everything, which is a royal ouch.

So check out Desk Topmost. From the website:

"We usually use the keyboard shortcut "Win+D" or press the "Show Desktop" button in the Quick Launch Bar to access desktop, but unfortunately it isn't very convenient: If you like to keep 20+ programs running at the same time (just like me), the progress will take a few seconds. What's worse, you can't come back to the previous window instantly after running a program or opening a document from the desktop, you have to look for it in the taskbar and your train of thought is often interrupted.

Desk Topmost solves this in a different way: It will let the desktop float on the top instead of minimizing all the windows. It's 100% clean and FREE!"





Get Desk Topmost

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Sunday, June 07, 2009

bmlet.com - The place to go to find excellent bookmarklets

You know bookmarklets, right? Those little bookmark-plus-applet thingies you drag and drop on your toolbar? With a single click they perform a function on a web page. There are thousands of them, some you'll find very useful, others not so much.

Visit this site to browse or find one you particularly need.



Go to bmlet.com

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Saturday, June 06, 2009

Tab Sidebar Firefox Extension - See all open tabs at once

Here's an alternative to the usual tabs-along-the-top approach in Firefox. This add-on places previews of all your open tabs in a sidebar for easy viewing and navigation.


Get Tab Sidebar

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Bing Travel - Microsoft Bing adds travel to its arsenal

Looking for hotels, flights, or both? Don't know which travel search engine to use? No worries, Bing puts it all within easy reach with its newest addition. It will allow you to compare all of the major search engine results with a single click. Add to the mix Farecast technology and you have a winner as far as I can tell. From the website:

"Bing Travel offers unique features to help you Know When To Buy™ your airline tickets—now from most major U.S. and Canadian cities to destinations worldwide. Our smart travel search also allows you to easily compare, sort, and narrow down flight results for over a hundred websites."



Go to Bing Travel

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Friday, June 05, 2009

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Thymer - Web-based project management for people who hate project management

You'll need to sign up to be given an invite, but check out the video to see if this app fits your bill.

"Eliminate bureaucracy. Get organized. Don't waste your time filling out form after form. Thymer is a lightweight, flexible and intuitive system that sticks."



Get Thymer

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Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Opera 10 beta - Tons of slick new features

The battle 'ain't over by a long shot. Opera is still in the hunt with this beta of its newest version. Features galore...from the website:
"Ever felt a Web site was loading slowly? Do you think it will happen again? Think again: Opera Turbo is a compression technology that provides significant improvements in browsing speeds over limited-bandwidth connections like a crowded Wi-Fi in a cafe or browsing through your mobile phone while commuting.

Opera has always been the pioneer for how to deal with tabs in your browser. In Opera 10, we introduce a resizable tab bar. Drag the handle underneath the tabs to reveal thumbnails of your open Web pages. And, because great features should come in beautiful packages: world famous designer Jon Hicks created a whole new look for Opera 10.

You asked for it! Customize your Speed Dial to fit your own needs. Hit the configure button and choose from 4 to 25 favorite Web sites for quick access every time you open a new tab. You can also add a custom background so you feel right at home."



Get Opera 10 beta

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Tuesday, June 02, 2009

RadarSync - Keep your applications fresh

There was a day when technological change took place at a manageable pace. Do you remember that? Today, it races like a thoroughbred with a plane to catch. And it's only going to accelerate further. So what can you do? Use technology to keep up, that's what.

This application will track apps on your machine and let you know when there're a newer versions available. From the website:

"RadarSync is now free. Make sure your computer is running its best. Get the latest, correct updates for your PC's essential driver and software files with this free automatic update checker. Updating frequently prevents computer problems such as crashes, security holes and bugs, components and peripherals that don't work properly, and a s-l-o-w computer."


Get RadarSync

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Monday, June 01, 2009

Webinaria - Open source screen recording and sharing

Here's another "better-than-explaining" application that can save your sanity. Rather than trying to explain how to accomplish something you're doing on your computer to someone else - how frustrating that can be! - use this free application and website to record, publish and share it instead.


Get Webinaria

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