Sunday, November 28, 2010

Open Source Screen Shot Utilities for Windows

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To help write some posts for this blog, I needed a free Windows screenshot utility. So Googling around a bit, this is what I found.

GreenShot - Installs as a System Tray icon in the lower right hand corner of your desktop. Screen shots can be taken by right clicking the icon or by using the PrintScreen key combinations. Files are saved in the PNG format by default. Simple and easy to use. I'm giving this a try right now.

I also found ZScreen but I haven't tried it yet.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Two Tweaks to Improve Chrome

Webkit icon
Here are two things you can do to improve the Google Chrome browsers user interface.

Add a Home Button
You can add a home button to the interface. To do this, do the following:
  1. Click on the Wrench icon
  2. Choose options
  3. Choose the Basics tab
  4. Scroll down to the Hope Page Section
  5. Check the Show the Home button on the toolbar option

Add the Link Bar
You can show a link bar, like most browsers, it is just a little hard to find.
  1. Click the Wrench icon
  2. Mouse over Tools
  3. Check Always show bookmarks bar

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Must Have Software for a New Windows 7 System

Well, I have been setting another new Windows 7 Home 64 bit machine. So this is my updated list of must have software. Most are free and open source.

I run multiple browsers almost all the time. Firefox as a development and default browser. Chrome or Safari for web surfing, and SeaMonkey for those multiple profile sort of situations.

  • Firefox - Best overall browser and best for development.

  • Chrome - Fast browser from Google. Minimalist interface.
  • Safari - Default browser for a Mac. Small and fast like Chrome.
  • SeaMonkey - Based on the original Netscape browser. Supports multiple profiles.  Can run 2 or 3 browsers, each with its own set of bookmarks.

Internet utililies and cloud applications.

  • Drop Box - A disk drive stored in the cloud. Provides access to a disk from Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Linux, you name it. A must if you want to move files between different platforms and devices.
  • Filezilla - A secure FTP client for Windows. A must for transferring files to and from a Unix system. FTP and SFTP is supported. Lots of features.
  • Pidgin - Open source chat client for Windows. Used to be know as GAIM.
  • Putty - Windows SSH and Telnet client. A must if you do any Linux or Unix work.
  • Skype - Free Internet phone service and chat. You can group chat with up to 5 people
  • Thunderbird - Mozilla's awesome e-mail client.

  • ActivePerl - Perl for Windows.
  • Cygwin - Want a Bash shell on Windows? Want some of your favorite Unix utilities?  Then Cygwin is for you.
  • Jedit - A really flexible programming editor written in Java.
  • Java - Install the 32 bit and 64 bit versions for 64 bit Windows. Just the 32 bit for 32 bit.
  • Komodo Edit - A cross platform open source programming editor. Lots of features for free. A commercial paid full featured IDE is also available.
  • Notepad++ - It is always a good idea to have a good native programming text editor around. For those times when you need a quick tweak or just want to view something. For Windows, Notepad++ is the best option out there.
  • NetBeans - A great Open Source Java IDE.

  • SQLite - File based SQL database.
  • Silk Svn Subversion Client - Windows 7 64 bit command line version.

  • Open Office - Open source office suite.

  • - Open source graphics program.  A basic photo app without all the features or price of Photoshop.
  • SVG Anti-Virus - Great free or paid anti-virus you can buy and install online.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Free iPad Ajax Drawing App from 37 Signals

iPhone iPad picture37 Signals has created a cool Ajax drawing app for the iPad called Chalk. I haven't tried it out yet, but it looks cool.

Notice that you can create pretty cool stuff without the hassles of the App Store.

Restoring an iPhone or iPod Touch

iPhone iPad pictureThe TipB blog has this nice write up of how to restore an iPhone or an iPod Touch. Step by step instructions with pictures.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Make Your iPad Function Like a Laptop

iPhone iPad picturePopular Mechanics has a short article on how to turn an iPad into a laptop.

Two things mentioned in the article that are key in my mind.

  1. Get an Apple Blue Tooth Keyboard - A must have if you are gonna do any serious data input. It is small, lightweight and has a long battery life.
  2. Install DropBox. The iPad doesn't have any good way to move files to and fro. Dropbox makes this possible.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

iOS: Adding Domain Suffixes to Net Addresses

iPhone iPad pictureThe TipB blog has this post on how to add domains other than .com to address on the iPhone. A very useful and awesome tip.

Windows 7: Stop Windows Explorer from Jumping Around

Microsoft Logo
While setting up a new Windows machine, I noticed an annoying problem with Windows explorer. When I clicked on a shortcut in my favorites list, Explorer jumps down to the Desktop folder and opens the folder I clicked on. Favorites gets pushed down in the left pane and I have to scroll up to see the list again. Not the behavior I want.

So how do you fix this? If you right click on the left pane in Windows Explorer, you get two pop up menu options. Show All Folders and Expand to Current Folder, both are checked. Unchecking the second option prevents the left pane from jumping around. Now when clicking on a Favorite, only the right pane will change. Unchecking the first option, reduces the number of folders displayed in the left pane. Unchecking both gives me the kind of behavior I want with Windows Explorer.