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Jing 1.5 (Windows)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008 by Island Dog | Discussion: Windows Software

I have talked about Jing before, and it's one of my favorite free apps for capturing screenshots and video of your desktop.  TechSmith released an updated version for Windows users yesterday.

Updates include:

  • Capture selection should start more quickly
  • History should be open more quickly
  • Memory 'leaks' cleaned up
  • Over all memory usage decreased
  • Automatic selection of 'sub windows' restored

Download: Jing 1.5

ID's Top 5 Desktop Apps

Some of my favorte apps for 2008

Tuesday, February 12, 2008 by Island Dog | Discussion: Windows Software

I do a variety of things for work everyday. Whether it's writing articles, creating graphics, screencasting, etc. there are always a few piece of software that always comes in handy. Some are free, and some are paid software, but I can tell you now these are definitely worth the cost.

Here is my top 5 favorite desktop applications to use during a "normal" working day. They are in no special order, just the top 5.


1) Windows Live Writer

One of the main things I do during the day is write. Blogs, news, articles, you name it and I will mostly likely do it. For much of it I use Expression Web, simply because I need the server tools, and it has more formatting options. However, when I need to make a quick blog post, or a post that doesn't require a ton of formatting, Windows Live Writer is what I reach for.

It has an easy to use interface, and can integrate with many blogging platforms like WordPress and JoeUser. One of my favorite features is the ability to download plugins to enhance WLW. There are many to choose from, but you can find plugins that can add Flickr photos to your posts, videos, etc.

Download: Windows Live Writer (free)




2) SnagIt 8.2

SnagIt from Techsmith is what I mainly use to create screenshots. While there are a few free alternatives which I have tried, the features and ease of use that SnagIt offers makes this application worth every cent. It has a variety of ways to capture screenshots whether it's a simple full screen image, or a scrolling web page. It also has a integrated editor which can do basic image editing and the ability to add a wide range of graphics such as arrows, callout boxes, and text.

Download: SnagIt 8.2 ($39.95)



3) ObjectDock Plus 1.9

Having a big list of applications that you use often means you need an easy way to access them. I personally can't stand going through the Windows start menu, and I do not like my desktop cluttered with a bunch of icons. Stardock's ObjectDock has been one of the most valuable time savers I have ever worked with.

There is a free version of ObjectDock available, but the Plus version is highly recommended. One of the biggest features of ObjectDock Plus is the tabbed docks. With this you can add a dock that has tabs which you can label which gives you easy access to applications, shortcuts, web links, etc.

Download: ObjectDock Plus (free version, Plus version $19.95)



4.)Witty

I am a big social networking user. One of my favorite sites to keep up with is Twitter. Twitter allows you to post messages to the public, or a group of friends. It's a great way to keep up with your friends and contacts, and also a good way to network.

You can use Twitter through its website, by sending text messages, but I don't want to stay logged into the website all day just to see what's going on. Witty solves that problem as it's a Twitter client that is powered by the Windows Presentation Foundation. It's still in its early stages, but the developer, Alan Le, is working hard on making Witty the best Twitter client out there.

Download: Witty (free)



5) Flickr Uploadr 3.0

Flickr is one of my favorite sites. Not only is it a great place to upload your photos, but it's also a perfect way to share photos with friends and family, and form groups with people of similar interests. There are many way to upload your photos. You can upload them through the Flickr website, through Windows Live Photo Gallery, and plenty more. My favorite is the "official" Flickr upload tool. It has a simple interface that allows you to upload multiple images, tag them, put them in sets and more.

Download: Flickr Uploadr (free)

OpenOffice 2.20

Wednesday, March 28, 2007 by Island Dog | Discussion: Windows Software

Latest update of this great office suite.

"OpenOffice.org is the open source project through which Sun Microsystems is releasing the technology for the popular StarOffice productivity suite. It is an international office suite that will run on all major platforms and provide access to all functionality and data through open-component based APIs and an XML-based file format. It establishes the necessary facilities to make this open source technology available to the developer community."


 

Microsoft Building New Free Mail Client

Sunday, March 12, 2006 by Island Dog | Discussion: Windows Software

"

Internet Explorer isn't the only application to enjoy a resurgence in Windows Vista -- Microsoft is readying a new desktop e-mail client that will be integrated into Windows Live and eventually replace Outlook Express. Dubbed Windows Live Mail Desktop, the product is currently in beta testing.

As IE development stagnated following the release of Windows XP, Outlook Express -- Microsoft's free e-mail client -- suffered a similar fate. But the OE team returned to update the product for Vista under the name Windows Mail, and is now expanding that work with a completely separate application."

Microsoft Office 2007

Friday, March 10, 2006 by Island Dog | Discussion: Windows Software

Microsoft has put up a preview section for Office 2007. 

Preview of the "new" gui - http://www.microsoft.com/office/preview/uioverview.mspx

Prices - http://www.microsoft.com/office/preview/pricing.mspx

iTunes 6 released

Wednesday, October 12, 2005 by Island Dog | Discussion: Windows Software

Apple has released iTunes 6 for Windows and Mac. You are now able to download and view videos, and tv shows. This new release comes at the same time Apple unvealed the new video iPod.


From the Apple website.

"iTunes 6, the next generation of the world’s most popular music jukebox and online music store, lets fans purchase and download over 2,000 music videos and six short films from Academy Award-winning Pixar Animation Studios for just $1.99 each."

Process Controller 3.0 released!

Real-Time Process Monitoring and Management for Windows NT, 2000, XP and 2003

Thursday, September 29, 2005 by FutureMillennium | Discussion: Windows Software

Process Controller is a system tray-based utility that lets you monitor and control the activity and resources of your system in real time. With it you can see how much processing power and memory is currently being used in the system, quit any application, and view the memory usage, processor activity and windows created by any application.

When run, Process Controller appears in the system tray showing two small meters. The left-hand meter shows the current processor utilisation; the right-hand meter shows the current memory load. You can change the colours used as well as opting to just display processor usage. On dual processor systems, the left-hand meter is split into two smaller meters showing processor load for each CPU.

Clicking the icon opens the main menu, from here you can access all of Process Controller's features, including a number of dynamic menus which display the memory utilization and processor usage of all running processes in real-time. Selecting a particular process will also give you the option of terminating it, or displaying its activity in a small window.

Screenshot - Download

Google Releases the New Google Desktop

Includes the New Sidebar

Tuesday, August 23, 2005 by Larry Kuperman | Discussion: Windows Software

Google has released Version 2 (Beta) of the Google Desktop. Fast and powerful as ever, it now includes a customizable sidebar. You can check out the screenshots at http://desktop.google.com/screenshots.html and download the desktop from http://desktop.google.com/



It is as fast and slick as one would expect from Google. Installation was trivial and there was virtually no set up. (I had to enter my Gmail account to have that checked, but it detected my Outlook settings by itself.)

If you need to search for emails, documents, etc. then this is a valuable tool. The search seemed even faster than in earlier versions. It also offers a news ticker, weather, the usual conveniences. I thought that the addition of a "Scratch Pad" for notes was a good idea. The "Quick View" of frequently visited web pages and files was also nice.

If you find a sidebar intrusive, you can also configure the Search bar to float, allowing you to place it where you want, or to be a part of your Windows taskbar.

The most pleasant surprise was the integration with Outlook. It adds a Search field right into the Outlook toolbar.

Google is offering an Enterprise version, intended for businesses. See http://desktop.google.com/enterprise/index.html. Not only does the Google desktop integrate with Outlook (which I still think of as a business application) but with Lotus Notes, as well.

At the risk of being trite, it is clear once again that Google "gets it." This is clearly a well-conceived and well-written application. I give it a 10 out of 10.


How do you use Multiplicity?

Multiplying your computing power

Tuesday, July 12, 2005 by Frogboy | Discussion: Windows Software

So what exactly is Multiplicity and why should you use it?  Multiplicity is a program that allows users to take multiple computers in a given room and use them together as if they were one mega-computer.  It's not quite "distributed" computing but in the hands of someone who knows what they're doing, it can come pretty darn close.

The idea behind Multiplicity is that each computer in the room still has a monitor hooked up to it.  But only a single "master" computer needs to have a keyboard and mouse.  The computers are connected together via a network connection (wireless, direct ethernet, firewire, whatever).  Multiplicity can detect other computers that have it installed and allow the user to choose the physical location of the other computer (to the left or right of the master computer for example).  When the user moves their mouse cursor onto a screen connected to another computer, the user is then controlling that computer.  It's not remote control.  The monitors are still connected to their respective computers. You're just using one keyboard and mouse to handle your various computers. Multiplicity then sets up a universal clipboard between the machines which helps them work together as one. 

What makes Multiplicity special is its reliability and ease of setup and management.  It's incredibly easy to set up and manage and has a lot of usability options that can help make people highly productive.

Multiplicity is used by all kinds of people.  We've sold copies to test centers where a single person might want to be using several computers at once.  We've sold it to IT departments where the IT administrator might want to clear off their desks of various keyboards and mice and use just one set to control the various computers under or on their desks.  We've sold copies to graphics designers, 3D modelers, software developers, and power users.  We even have a lot of people using it to help them play games.

So how is Multiplicity used? Here are some specific examples:

Scenario 1: What do do with the old machine?

So you've got a new computer, but your older computer still has some life in it.  Do you just let it collect dust? And what about getting all those files off of it? Multiplicity can solve that. Just get a cheap old monitor and hook it up to the old computer and use it right next to your new machine. As you need a file from your old computer, just right click on the file, choose copy, and then paste it onto your new machine's desktop.


Scenario 2: The laptop of tablet PC user

Your main desktop has the better mouse and keyboard on it.  But you have a laptop (or tablet PC) that you use heavily.  Multiplicity is very handy for this. You can use your main desktop machine's keyboard and mouse to control your laptop or tablet PC (if you have a tablet PC, Multiplicity is a must-have).


Scenario 3: The testing lab

Do you ever have to test something on multiple hardware configurations? Multiplicity lets you r clear your work area of excess keyboards and mice and lets you run those various computers from a single keyboard and mouse. If your desktop has more than one keyboard and mouse on it, you need Multiplicity.


Scenario 4: The Artist

If you use 3D Studio Max or Maya you should think about getting Multiplicity.  Have one machine dedicated to rendering and another one that has your graphics editing package (Photoshop or whatever) and a third machine that you use that is your more casual office machine.  You get the resources of all 3 machines, you can move graphics and such between all machines, etc.


Scenario 5: The software developer

Do you write software? Having one computer that is doing the actual debugging and coding and the other one that you use for everything else can be very handy. On a personal note, when writing Galactic Civilizations II it was very handy to be able to take screenshots on the development machine and then paste them into my Word document on the other machine to let me get ready for E3.  But it also comes in handy because I never lose work due to "Bad things" happening to my other projects because debugging locked something up.  I used to use SMP boxes and multi-monitor setups, never again.


Scenario 6: The Gamer

There's a bunch of scenarios for gamers.  Whether that be the MMO player wanting to have two characters at once. Or the user who likes using Instant Messenger a lot but doesn't like getting interrupted while playing games. Or the gamer who wants to be able to surf the web for hints or whatever while they're playing but also doesn't want to give up any memory or CPU to other programs while playing.

Multiplicity really does transform how you use your computers.  Right now, as you read this, if you've got more than one keyboard and mouse on your desk, or you have a laptop and a desktop PC, you should definitely check out Multiplicity. 

For those of you who have Multiplicity, let us know how you use it.

Microsoft goes after PeopleSoft customers

PeopleSoft's acquisition of Oracle triggers competitive response..

Wednesday, December 15, 2004 by Frogboy | Discussion: Windows Software

A top Microsoft executive is warning PeopleSoft customers that they might want to think about a technology shift, now that Oracle's acquisition has been approved.

"Oracle's acquisition of PeopleSoft may be moving forward, but difficult technology decisions lie ahead," Microsoft vice president Bill Veghte wrote Wednesday in the e-mail, which was seen by CNET News.com. "The ongoing challenges of owning and maintaining business applications remain unchanged."

such as SAP or Microsoft.

"Migration to another ERP solution, including Microsoft Business Solutions, SAP and other partner ERP solutions on the Microsoft platform, are additional options available to PeopleSoft customers seeking greater clarity around technology direction and platform alignment," Veghte said. "The Microsoft platform continues to gain momentum as the platform of choice for industry-leading ERP vendors."

Read the full thing at CNET's News.com.

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