Archive for April, 2008

Free Laptop Sticker

Sunday, April 20th, 2008

free_download.jpg The good folks at have created some dandy laptop stickers for (A laptop sticker is a sticker to, uh, stick on your laptop… but is easily removable or relocatable.) Want one for free? Just tell us your snail-mail address in the form here. U.S. addresses only (sorry, rest of the world.) Available while supplies last.

Doomi helps you take care of business

Sunday, April 20th, 2008

screenshot of Doomi

Outlook does everything. It's email, it's collaboration, it's scheduling; heck, it's even a development platform. The bad part? It does all that stuff.

I've got a bunch of stuff I need to do. What I don't need is a tool that takes more attention than the tasks I'm trying to get done. Like going after a pesky fly with a thermonuclear device, sometimes Outlook and its ilk are just too much for the job at hand. All I want to do is to make a list of what I've got to do, remind me to do it, and let me cross it off the list when I'm done. Nothing more.

Doomi may be just the ticket here. It's just a simple "to-do" list manager. Not a lot of bells and whistles, you can create and edit tasks, set reminders, and archive the stuff that you've done. No learning curve. No layers of stuff to have to dig through. It's a tool that lets you get your work done while it stays out of the way. 'Nuff said.

Doomi runs on both Mac and Windows machines. It uses the Adobe AIR platform, which requires either OS X 10.4 or later, or Windows 2000 or better.

Download Doomi

AutoVer has your back with realtime backups

Saturday, April 19th, 2008

screenshot of AutoVer

You're having a super productive day. You're coding like a demon, or you're banging out the blog posts, or letters to Santa or whatever. You're almost done. "Just this one little tweak," you say. Two hours later not only doesn't your tweak work but you can't get back to your original, because it went away several Saves ago. Oops!

AutoVer is a real time backup system. Never again will you have to worry about clobbering your only copy of some important document because of a bad edit. You can use it to make a full backup copy of any document each time you save it, or you can just grab changes, making it act more like a version control system.

AutoVer runs in the System Tray, so it's always there and you never have to remember to turn it on. You can configure it to watch or ignore certain files—temp files, the Windows directory tree, etc.—that change often, so you don't have a zillion copies of all the .TMP files that you really don't care about anyway.

AutoVer is a Windows tool. It requires Windows 2000 or later, and .NET Framework version 2.

Download AutoVer

Keep track of your stuff with Data Crow

Friday, April 18th, 2008

screenshot of Data Crow

How much stuff do you collect? No, not the dust bunnies under the couch—we're talking real collections here. Stamps. Coins. Baseball cards. How about CDs? Movies? I'll bet you can come up with a sizable list…or lists, if you have to manage a separate list of each collection.

Data Crow lets you manage everything through one tool. Designed to help you manage your stuff, it lets you enter a closet full of goodies. To help make things easier on you, it's smart about the data you're entering. Keeping track of a list of books? It can use Amazon to help flesh-out that list—give it the title, and you'll get back the publication date, author, cover art, all that good stuff. You'll get similar help with music and movies, as well as software. Data Crow will also look a the meta data that your music files and image files carry with them, so you won't have to re-enter all that. Tweak the UI so that you can enter things the way that makes sense to you.

Features include auto-numbering, automated backup, and reporting. A quick and easy loan management system helps you remember why you can't find your favorite Starland Vocal Band album: you loaned it to your brother-in-law.

Data Crow is a Java app, so it should run on most any machine that has a current Java runtime. For Windows users, there is a regular installer.

Download Data Crow

Angel Writer could be your document's guardian angel

Thursday, April 17th, 2008

screenshot of Angel Writer

Life is full of choices. Paper or plastic. Credit or debit. Small, lean text editor or behemoth full-featured word processor. What's a geek to do?

Angel Writer is a free rich text editor. More than just a text editor, it knows all about formatting. While you can save documents off as straight ASCII text or HTML code, Angel Writer can also create Microsoft Word-compatible documents, and gives you the flexibility to be able to choose fonts, add pictures, insert tables, create hyperlinks, and more. It's much smaller than Word, zips along at a pretty good clip, and costs much less than the High-Priced Spread. The learning curve is pretty shallow, since many of the commands are similar to Word, meaning that you probably already know how to use it.

Angel Writer is a Windows application, and should run on most any system you've got.

Download Angel Writer

WebbIE is an accessible web browser for the visually impaired

Wednesday, April 16th, 2008

screenshot of WebbIE

The saying goes "it must be true because I saw it on the Internet." While the veracity of that claim is suspect, there is no denying that if you look on the Web for any topic, you will probably find a lot of information.

Back in the day, most of what you found out there was textual—stuff you could read. Over time, it's come to depend more and more on images, movies, and other visual content. That's great, until you need to track down some piece of information and happen to be visually impaired. If this is your story, there are tools out there to help you out.

WebbIE is a fully accessible web browser for users with visual difficulties. With large, high-contrast buttons, sighted users will find it easy to use a mouse to get around. All commands are keyboard accessible, so folks who can't use a pointing device can still get where they need to go. The pages that you visit are presented as straight text, so screen reader tools have an easy time of it.

WebbIE also has an integrated RSS reader, making it easy to stay on top of news feeds. It includes dedicated access to Open Directory Project pages, which can help make it easier to find just the piece of information that users are looking for.

WebbIE is a Windows application. There are two separate installers, one for Win98/ME and another for Win2k/XP/Vista.

Download WebbIE

Pipette: this eyedropper operates across applications

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

screenshot of Pipette

So what the heck is that color? Whether it's on a web page or in a document, there's going to come a time when you have to match a color that you see on-screen, but you have no idea what color it is. Sure, it's easy to match a background color in Word or Excel, for instance, if the document creator used one of the canned preset colors. But what if they chose a different one? Not so easy now.

Pipette is a slick little tool that you can use to figure out just what color you're looking at. Fire it up, drag the little eyedropper tool to the area of your screen in question, and it displays the hex value (e.g. #3190C7, a nice aqua color) of the pixel at that location. You can drop that number straight into your HTML or CSS code and you've matched that color.

Pipette is a Mac application. It runs under OS X versions 10.2 and later. You can download it as a Universal Binary, or a platform-specific version for PowerPC or Intel machines.

Download Pipette

Take the easiest Web screenshots ever with htm2pdf

Monday, April 14th, 2008

screenshot of htm2pdf

Saving a web page to your local machine can be a bit of a pain. Typically you'll get the page itself, and then a directory full of supporting players, with all the pictures and so forth as well. If you need to move your download, you've got to remember to bring these extras along as well. Not so convenient.

htm2pdf is a free online service that converts web pages into PDF documents. It's easy to use: just enter the page's URL or even just paste its source code into the box, and click the button. You can decide whether to include Flash movies in your conversion, and you have the option of keeping your links active, so that clicking on them in the resulting document will still take you to the correct destination page. When the conversion is done—almost immediately, by the way—you get a link to click to download your new file. Like any other PDF file, you can do with it what you will—save it, email it, post it to your blog.

One word of warning, however, is that your document will be viewable by other folks who visit the site. That means that you may want to think twice before you PDF the Secret Decoder Ring page on your intranet.

htm2pdf is a free online service. It should work for anybody with a modern Web browser.

Download htm2pdf

Delicious Tray makes it easy to access your bookmarks

Sunday, April 13th, 2008

screenshot of Delicious Tray

You spend a fair amount of time tooling around the Web. You see things; you want to remember them. You flag the good stuff so you can come back. It would be nice if there were an easy way to get back there.

Delicious Tray is a tool that sits in your System Tray and gives you immediate access to your links and tags. When you set it up, it goes out and grabs all your tags and creates a context (right click) menu that includes all your bookmarks. To cut down on clutter, you get flyout lists for each letter (e.g. click on "A" to list all your "A" entries, etc.).

If you're busy adding tags, you can force Delicious Tray to update your list; otherwise, the default is every ten minutes, so you'll always be working with a current list.

Delicious Tray is a Windows app and runs under WinXP. It requires the .NET framework.

Download Delicious Tray

Focus your attention with Isolator

Saturday, April 12th, 2008

screenshot of Isolator

Are you easily distracted? Do shiny things grab your attention? Maybe Isolator can help you.

You know the drill: you're sitting down at your favorite Mac, trying to get something useful done. You've got several windows open. You're trying to focus on your work, but there are things happening in those background windows. Even if you close them all, you've still got your desktop staring back at you. Time to turn it all off.

Activate Isolator and it covers everything up. You can still see your active application, but everything else—background application windows, desktop, even the dock—is hidden. Hey, it even supports multiple displays. No more distraction. No more excuses.

Isolator is a runs on your Macintosh. It's even compatible with Leopard (OS X 10.5).

Download Isolator