Archive for November, 2008

Batch file rename tool for Mac

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

screenshot of Name Mangler

If you've got a bunch of files that you need to rename, Finder is not your friend. Whatever you may think of its abilities the rest of the time, it's not the friendliest environment for manipulating a bunch of filenames. Sure, you can fire up Terminal and start writing shell scripts, but that's probably not exactly what you had in mind either. How about a tool with the flexibility of those scripts, but the user-friendly front-end of a Mac GUI application?

Name Mangler is a tool that lets you accomplish all of this. It's easy to rename via find-and-replace, with support for Regular Expressions, so you can get some serious renaming done. You can add a serial number to file names, insert or remove characters, change case, and more. And once you've got this all figured out, you can save your renaming rules so that the next time you need to do the same task again, all you have to do is grab that stored configuration and go. Renaming has never been so easy.

Name Mangler is an OS X application. It'll run on your Intel or PowerPC-based Mac. And it's free.

Download Name Mangler

Share photos and videos

Monday, November 10th, 2008

screenshot of Memeo Share

So you just got back from your vacation, or that big wedding, or some other event that left you with a digital camera full of new photos. You can't wait to share them with everyone, but now the real work begins. Do you send them as attachments and totally overwhelm everybody's email programs? Or do you go in and start editing, creating lower-resolution versions of all those images. Neither option is terribly appealing.

How about just uploading them to Memeo Share? It's an online service that lets you post up to 1GB of photos totally free. Getting started is easy—all you need is an email address and a password. Install the software on your machine, create a "sharing circle" to share your pictures, and you're good to go. You can upload pictures and videos, so for your friends, it'll almost be like they were there with you, but without the mosquito bites or having to listen to Uncle Ralph's stories.

Memeo Share is a free online service. Uploading content requires that you install a client app on your Windows or Mac computer.

Download Memeo Share

PicPick Tools – All-in-one Design Tools

Sunday, November 9th, 2008

screenshot of PicPick Tools

Art takes inspiration and tools. You need to have the idea—I'm going to paint a picture of a sunset—and the tools to use to make it all happen—brushes, palettes, canvas, paints. Put them all together, add a little talent, and you're on the road to art. When you're working with graphics on your computer, you've got similar requirements.

Your inspiration may be the tech manual that you're writing, and you need to add a screenshot to it; you may be creating background for your next new game; or it could be any number of things. Now you've got to find the tools to use to make your dream come alive. PicPick is a box of graphical tools that may be just what you're looking for.

It's got a built-in screen capture utility that lets you grab whole screens or smaller regions of your display. It even supports dual-monitor systems. It has a full-featured image editor, so you can tweak your screenshots, or create new images as you need them. Tools like a color picker, on-screen rulers and protractors, and more let you manipulate your images like a pro.

PicPick Tools just sits in your System Tray until you need it, so it's not taking up valuable screen real estate. It doesn't require any installation, so it isn't leaving a bunch of extra DLLs strewn across your system, and no changes are made to the Registry.

PicPick tools is a free Windows application.

Download PicPick Tools

TiddlyBackpack Personal Wiki

Saturday, November 8th, 2008

screenshot of TiddlyBackpack

We're always looking for a way to organize the little bits and pieces of information that clutter up our brains. Whether it's remembering to stop by the store on the way home, that list of phone calls we need to return, or more, it's easy to get overwhelmed by the minutiae of everyday life. Slips of paper aren't enough, but full-on databases to track this stuff may be overkill. You need something in the middle.

How about a personal wiki? TiddlyBackpack is just such a tool. Storing everything in just one file, there's nothing to get list, and you can put it all on a USB drive and stick it in your pocket. It works like a full-powered wiki, in that you can edit pages, add to them, and even mark them up. And since it's so small, it's no problem to FTP it or email it to somebody else. Got another project to keep track of? Just create another TiddlyBackpack file and you're off and running.

TiddlyBackpack is just a straight-up HTML file with some JavaScript code thrown in, so it will work on just about any system with a web browser.

Download TiddlyBackpack

PDFCreator creates PDFs

Friday, November 7th, 2008

screenshot of PDFCreator

While they may not be the best thing since sliced bread, PDF files certainly have to be included in the top ten list of the best things ever. They're a great cross-platform file format that lets you share text and images with just about everybody. Unfortunately, creating those files can be a pain in the neck, especially in terms of how expensive it can be. A full version of Adobe's official PDF creation tool will set you back several bills, and frankly you may not need all the capability that you're buying with that expensive purchase. You may be able to create PDFs for a much more modest price—like for free.

PDFCreator is a free tool that lets you create PDFs on your own computer. Installed as a "virtual printer", if you can print a file, you can create a PDF document. You can encrypt your files so that people can read them, for example, but not copy content from them our print them out. Combining multiple PDFs into a single file makes it easier to keep track of your information. And PDFCreator can also create files of several other image formats from your documents as well.

PDFCreator is a Windows application.

Download PDFCreator

gDocsBar extension for Firefox

Thursday, November 6th, 2008

screenshot of gDocsBar

Since their beginnings as a humble search engine, Google has become many things to many people. Not content to help folks find information, they've become the go-to place for creating stuff as well. One of the more interesting ways that they have done this is with Google Docs, the online productivity suite that lets you create word processing documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and more. If you use Google Docs, you may want to take a gander at gDocsBar.

gDocsBar is a sidebar extension for Firefox. Once you've installed it, you can use your favorite web browser to easily upload documents from your local drive to your Google Docs account. Once they're up there, it's easy to search and filter documents from the sidebar, saving you time. Smart Folders help you to stay organized. And login to Google is easy with gDocsBar, with your passwords saved in Firefox's password manager.

gDocsBar is compatible with versions 2 and 3 of Firefox. You'll also need a free Google Docs account.

Download gDocsBar

Download Accelerator Plus

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

screenshot of Download Accelerator Plus

How much "stuff" do you suppose you download in a typical day? Even with a super fast connection, I'll bet you wished you spent less time dealing with downloads and more time actually working (or playing ) on your computer. Maybe it's time for you to check out a download accelerator tool.

Download Accelerator Plus might be the one you're looking for. It helps you take your already fast connection and makes it even faster. And if you don't happen to have broadband access, then you really need the help this app can provide.

It works it magic in several ways. It actually opens up multiple connections to the download site, so you can grab more of your file at one time. It's also smart enough to figure out whether your content is available in other places and then grabs it from those mirrored sites as well. And in the event of a broken connection or some other interruption, it can pick up where it left off, so that you don't have to re-download the stuff that already made it to your computer.

Download Accelerator Plus is a Windows app. It runs under Win98 or later, and it supports most recent web browsers.

Download Download Accelerator Plus

Take control of your disk images with DMGConverter

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

screenshot of DMGConverter

One of our favorite features of Apple's OS X is the use of disk images. They're a handy way to archive a pile of files while keeping track of all of their "Mac-ness", including files' resource forks and Finder icons. You can take your Mac data and move it all around without losing this important data. DMGConverter is a free tool that helps to enhance your ability to deal with DMG files.

It's easy to create new disk images, with its simple drag-and-drop interface. You can easily convert disk images from one format to another, including DMG, CDR, and even ISO images. You can also segment images, so that your archive can be sliced and diced into CD- or DVD-sized pieces, which is pretty handy. It supports most disk formats, so you can also exchange images with your buddies on Linux and Windows systems as well.

DMGConverter is a Mac application. It's distributed as a Universal Binary, so it works for both PowerPC and Intel-based machines. You must be running at least version 10.4 of OS X to use it.

Download DMGConverter

Free Anti-Malware Tool

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

screenshot of Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware

How many "nasties" are there lurking on your computer? Whether it's a virus problem, runaway spyware, or more, there are people out there who want to take your system over, or at least trash it so that you can't do anything. Either way, it's no good when they've got their hooks in you.

Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware is one solution to this problem. You can scan one- or all of the drives on your computer. When it finds bad things, it quarantines them, so they don't continue to mess your life up. If you're interested in just a single folder, a quick right-click will let you scan it right now. There are daily updates to the database, so you can be sure you're checking for the latest problems. If you're pressed for time, you can run a quick scan from the command line too.

Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware is a free Windows app. It runs under Windows 2000, XP, and Vista. If you choose to buy a license, you'll get extra features, including a real time protection module.

Download Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware

Amaya: browser from the people in charge of the Web

Sunday, November 2nd, 2008

screenshot of Amaya

Way back in 1996, the folks at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) decided that they wanted to show everybody what the Web could do. They developed the Amaya web browser, and it continues under development to this day.

No longer just a web browser, it incorporates editing features as well. Along with HTML, it also supports editing of stylesheets, XML files, SVG images, and more. Its WYSIWYG interface allows you to easily create web pages that make sense and look great too. A "structure view" lets you examine the object hierarchy in your document. The CSS tool lets you painlessly format your document correctly without having to have your stylesheet reference book open on your desktop. The included Annotea tool lets you make annotations to your text.

Amaya is a free, open source application. It is available for most popular computing platforms, including Windows (NT and later), OS X (Intel and PPC), and many flavors of Linux.

Download Amaya