Archive for January, 2008

Don't get all befuddled with Unfuddle

Monday, January 21st, 2008

screenshot of Unfuddle

Software project management is not easy. Configuration management and version control, bug tracking, communication—how do you ever find time to write code? Even dedicated project managers can have a hard time keeping on top of things for all but the most modest projects. Even if you're all over it, where are you going to find the time, let alone resources, to set up servers, implement security, and the thousand and one other things you need to really manage your project?

Unfuddle offers help. A hosted environment for software development, it offers the open source Subversion version control system, helping you to keep track of all the changes made by all your developers. In addition, you can enter, assign, and track bugs and feature requests. The Dashboard feature allows you a quick overview of your project whenever you want it.

You data's never stored in any proprietary format, so it's always available to you—no fear of its being held hostage. You're using SSL to talk to the servers, so your data is secure in transit as well. The built-in time tracking lets you keep track of your human resources. With its integrated messaging system, everybody will be on the same page, with the ability to carry on threaded discussions, upload attachments, and more.

Unfuddle is an online service and supports Firefox (1.5), Safari (2.0), and IE (6.0).

Download Unfuddle

Information is power: Qasper Office Personal

Sunday, January 20th, 2008

screenshot of Qasper Office Personal

Qasper Office Personal is a customer relationship manager (CRM) with a difference. Along with the normal lead tracking, scheduling, and contact information you'd expect, you also get calendars, reports, document sharing, Outlook synchronization, and more. Now you can keep on top of your business, no matter the size, just like the big guys do. Over twenty modules helps you keep on top of your business by staying on top of your information.

The free personal edition is ad-supported, and if you decide you can't live without it, there is an upgrade path to the paid version.

Qasper Office Personal requires Internet Explorer 6.0 or later, meaning that while you may gain a great new Windows tool, it's not going to help you out on your Mac. It will run under most flavors of Windows, including NT, Win98, and later.

Download Qasper Office Personal

View Your Mind helps you figure out what you're thinking

Saturday, January 19th, 2008

screenshot of View Your Mind

If you're like me, you can't sit down to think without a legal pad in front of you. Somehow it's always easier for me to grasp a situation when I can draw a picture of it. You get your keywords out there, maybe add a few arrows to indicate relationships between nodes, that sort of thing. The hard part of this paper-based thinking, though, is that it's not so easy to change and refine your thoughts without extensive use of a pencil eraser (with the attendant holes rubbed in the paper), or of having to go through several iterations of your plan, starting from scratch each time.

View Your Mind may be the tool to use for these types of situations. Not just a drawing tool, it actually helps you to organize your thoughts and reorder them as you work through the process. Along with being able to order and arrange nodes, the note editor allows you to annotate them, so your main drawing doesn't get cluttered with the details.

View Your Mind is available for free; grab it for OS X as an image (.dmg) or Linux as an .rpm package.

Download View Your Mind

Q10 is the little text editor that could

Friday, January 18th, 2008

screenshot of Q10

Q10 is a full-screen text editor that lets you get your work done. A single compact 360KB executable gives you text editing, spell check, autocorrection, "quick text" for often-used strings of text, and more. It's just a single executable, so you don't have a messy install, so you can take it with you on your USB drive.

Configure it to work the way you do: auto-save after a specific interval of time or text (e.g. every ten minutes, every ten paragraphs), customize how you count pages (you're not stuck with an arbitrary 250-word page), and so on. Add your own notes in your text so you can keep track of what you're doing. Customizable counters let you keep track of how much you've produced overall and in the current session. It deals equally well with all types of line endings, so you can deal with files from Windows, Linux, and Mac without having to keep track of where it all came from.

Q10 runs on your Windows system.

Download Q10

Network Notepad helps you stay on top of your network configuration

Thursday, January 17th, 2008

screenshot of Network Notepad

Computer networks can be complicated beasts. Just keeping track of who's where can be a full time job. Often it's easier not to document changes, hoping that you'll get back to them later (you won't) or that your design will be so obvious that you won't need to document it (it isn't). You really need to keep track of what's going on here.

Network Notepad is a sketching tool that helps you draw network diagrams. Supplied with a basic set of icons, you can grab the additional images you'll need to show workstations, servers, switches, and more. You'll have your new network designed, or your current network documented, in a jiffy. Drag-and-drop lets you move items around on the screen until you get the layout just right. Add host names and IP addresses to keep track of what's where in your neck of the woods. You've also got a full set of flowchart symbols, so you can outline processes as well as topologies for your network.

Network Notepad is a Windows app and will run on most any 32-bit platform from Win95 on up.

Download Network Notepad

You're in command of your files with muCommander

Wednesday, January 16th, 2008

screenshot of muCommander

muCommander is a cross-platform file manager. With an interface reminiscent of Norton Commander, you can easily browse not only local volumes, but also remote files via FTP, NFS, Samba, and more. You can copy and move files, rename them, create directories—basically everything you would expect a file manager app to do.

You can save time and effort by also being able to create and manipulate files of several popular archive formats, including ZIP, TAR, Gzip, and more.

You can configure the UI to make it work the way you do—sort by file- or directory name, extension, size, date, or permissions. Show or hide hidden files; mix folders in with files (like a Mac), or separate them out, like Windows.

muCommander is built in Java, so it runs on any platform that supports Java, including Windows, OS X, Linux, and more.

Download muCommander

Build a mosaic without all the pesky glue and tiles

Tuesday, January 15th, 2008

screenshot of MacOSaiX

MacOSaiX is an interesting application that allows you to create a mosaic image. Select your original picture, and then choose the shape and number of mosaic tiles you want to create, and finally grab a source for the images you want to use, and you'll create a new piece of art based on your original. Choose hexagonal, rectangular, or even puzzle-piece shaped tiles, and use either Google images or random glyphs to create your masterpiece. You can create very low (10×10) or very high (10,000×10,000) resolution images by choosing the number of tiles to use. Needless to say, the more details and colors you have, the higher you'll need to dial up the resolution.

As with any image manipulation program, the more RAM you have available, the faster things will be accomplished here.

MacOSaiX is a Mac application and requires OS X.

Download MacOSaiX

file.io lets you spread the love around

Monday, January 14th, 2008

screenshot of file.io

If you're looking for a quick-and-easy file sharing tool, you may have found it with file.io. It's a free online service that lets you share whatever types of files you want with just about anybody. You don't even have to sign up for an account; you just choose a name (for the folder to which you upload) and a password, and start uploading. For each file that you put on their servers, you get a discrete URL, so you can share files individually with others. It looks like you're supposed to be able to upload any type of file, but you'll get best results with music (mp3) uploads.

Your uploads stay there for a month, and with a built-in RSS feed generator, folks can keep an eye on your latest and greatest. You get 200MB of storage space, with a maximum file size of 100MB.

Download file.io

Your image is as pretty as a picture with FotoSketcher

Sunday, January 13th, 2008

screenshot of FotoSketcher

Back when you were a kid, the measure of how great a piece of art was was how closely it resembled a photograph. You drew that? It looks exactly like a picture! With FotoSketcher, it is a picture.

FotoSketcher takes your image file and transforms it, giving it the appearance of a drawing. Whether black and white or color, your picture will look like a hand drawing. Controls allow you to vary the intensity of the colors of the resulting image, as well as defining the appearance of the edges. Add paper texture to show your drawing on what looks like handmade paper.

Sometimes a hand drawn image is more classy than a photo for greeting cards, but if you have no artistic talent (like me), you'll appreciate the results from a simple button click. And you won't get charcoal all over your hands, either.

FotoSketcher is a free download, and runs under just about any flavor of Windows.

Download FotoSketcher

Find out what's really happening with ProcessScanner

Saturday, January 12th, 2008

screenshot of ProcessScanner

Why is my system running so slowly? I'm just sitting here with my hands folded neatly in my lap, but there are lights flashing and hard drive sounds on my machine, and everything seems to take forever. I'm not doing anything, but the computer seems to be running a marathon.

Or maybe it takes five minutes to boot up in the morning. All you want to do is check email, but it seems like you should have packed a lunch before you started.

ProcessScanner can help you figure out just what your system is up to. Even when you're not explicitly running programs, your system is doing a bunch of stuff "behind the scenes." If you could figure out what that all is, maybe you would find that there were a few applications or processes that really don't need to be happening. It will tell you which processes are running on your system, and maybe more importantly, it'll tell you which applications own those processes. Now you can see what your system is doing "behind the scenes," and armed with that information, take action to throttle back on all that stuff. Sure, it seemed like a good idea to load all those fonts when you were doing that big publishing project, but right now, it's just consuming bandwidth and clock cycles. You get the idea.

ProcessScanner is a Windows application.

Download ProcessScanner