Showing posts with the label tools

Slidy: PowerPoint Slides inside your browser

PowerPoint has a some things that are nice, but many people are terrible at handling all the fancy features and create behemoths of creativeness that are simply disgraceful to look at, let alone pay attention to. Wouldn't it be nice if you could simply make slides in a browser, preferably cross-browser and on mobile devices too, and get generic bullit or numbered lists, headings, simply builds and such?

That's just what Tim Berners_lee at the W3C did, when he built HTML Slidy. A light-weigth, cross-browser slide show presentation tool built using web standards XHTML and CSS. There is even a short howto on LinuxAndFriends. You can see an example there too.

Xiph.Org: QuickTime Components

was reading several threads about adding Ogg Vorbis support to the Mac. The open audio format is better than mp3 (twice the quality in the same space) but not widely supported because, uhm, I dunno. I guess it makes too much sense.

Anyway, while Windows is fairly easy with audio and codecs are abundant, Apple's OS X is a bit tighter and more anal difficult. However, has a bunch of QuickTime Components that work as an add-on to QuickTime (hence the name 'components'). This makes it ubiquitous for OS X, as almost anything can tie into that. It adds a simple library and then even iTunes can play back or rip to Ogg files. :) Brilliant!

see for more tools and GUIs, if needed.

Nokia NbuExplorer

When my N73 (S60 Symbian smart phone) crashed, I lost the ability to copy contents over to my new phone. I solved the immediate needs by mailing my most frequently accessed friends using Gmail. But I thought I could resync my new work phone with Google Contacts again using Google Sync. Helas, the Nokia 6500 Classic is not supported even though it supports SyncML. :(
However, I still have a recent backup of my N73 on the SD card (created backups monthly) and a colleague mentioned I should give Nokia NbuExplorer a try... :) Cool! Will do! Or convert them using the ABCNBU utility.

What have we learned from all this?!? No matter how inconvenient and bloatware and terrible Nokia OTI aka PC Suite is, it is worth trying to strip it down to the bare minimum so you can make regular backups of your contacts... because you never know when you'll really need that!

Running a Small Business on Free Tools

There are so many great free tools out there for people on small budgets or start-ups or simply those who want to save money for other things.

Check Wizkid Sound for their choice of free tools that run their small business. Add wikidot to it, for writing collaboratively on any form of loosely organized documentation.

There are free hosted subversion servers out there, to give you version control for your website development. Lighthouse gives you free issue tracking for bugs reports, defects and feature requests. Blogger/Twitter to post regular news or stay in touch with each other if you are geographically spread apart. WordPress for a full-featured CMS with room to grow. if you provide ICT services to customers and want an organized (ITIL v3) way of controlling changes and maintenance. Thousands of people provide free template designs for all major content management systems (CMSs) so there is no (immediate) need to hire a designer.

Twitter to Launch Business Tools

Your very own Social Network

BuddyPress, based on the popular CMS for sites and blogs WordPress, has been released as GPL. Now you can create your own Social Network a la Facebook with just your friends.

"The idea behind it was to see what would happen to the web if it was as easy for anyone to create a social network as it is to create a blog today. There’s been an explosion of social activity on the web, it’s probably the most important trend of the past few years, but there’s been a dearth of Open Source tools that enable the social web."

Simplify Media - stream your music to your iPhone

A colleague mentioned this really easy utility that lets you stream your music collection to your iPod or iPhone. Simplify Media installs as a server on your existing mp3 collection and stream music to you and any friends that you authorize! But it also streams it to your iPod, as the Touch model has WiFi access, as well as your iPhone. Whether on the road over 3G (!) of at home over WiFi.
It probably uses the DAAP protocol, which is already in iTunes and other players. So this is not really something brand new. It exists. But SimplifyMedia makes it really easy and... cross-platform for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux! Works with Ubuntu and Rythmbox. W00t! It can hook your entire iTunes, WinAMP or mp3 folder up to your friends, no wires necessary...


RareWares is a site for hard-to-find software. It kinda is. They have hard to find audio processing tools that you wouldn't believe. Multichannel Ogg encoders, FLV encoders, LAME 3.98, FLAC and AAC. Cross-platform too, if possible, and precompiled binaries for the lazy *cough* like me *cough*


Belysio reminded me of Bliin... I'd love to play with all these things. Lately, Web2.0 is ablaze with new start-ups, tools, mobile gadgets and services... *Sigh* Wish I was back at R&D... :(

WiFi monitor arrives on Linux desktops

A really nice WiFi monitoring, debugging and securing tool for WiFi networks, which has been freely available for Windows and OS X for some time now, has arrived for Linux too!

The Xirrus WiFi software let you:

Details on available WiFi networks, including SSID, signal strength, channel, and security
Current WiFi connection signal strength with five-minute history
Display of WiFi adapter IP and MAC addresses

Applications for the utility include, searching for WiFi networks, verifying WiFi coverage, locating WiFi devices, detecting rogue APs, aiming WiFi antennas.

Google Browser Sync Discontinued, No Firefox 3 Support

I've been a fan of Google's Browser Sync to keep bookmarks updated and synced between my home server, work Linux and Windows laptops, my MacBook guest account and Mac Mini media server's admin account. It worked great, syncing bookmarks and passwords. However, Google Browser Sync Discontinued with No Firefox 3 Support. So what next. Well, there is FoxMarks but it only syncs bookmarks albeit better than Google's own tool. But wikipedia also has a fine comparison of browser sync tools.

The PC Repair Toolkit in your Pocket: UBCD on a USB drive

If you fix people's PCs often, or run into crashes a lot or both, you should look in to this: The PC Repair Toolkit in your Pocket. It tells you how to put the contents of the Ultimate Boot CD onto a spare USB drive so you can take it along easily and add your own set of tools to it for maximum recovery power. :)

ExpressCard, SD and CompactFlash Adapters

My friend MrVanes mailed me about this ages ago (4 weeks actually) but I just reread his mail and the implications just dawned on me... :yawn: ;)
When you buy a new laptop, you may no longer have the trusty PCMCIA expansion interface that we used to use for modem/network functionality before these were always built-in, or for card readers... So now you cannot insert the card reader in the new ExpressCard slot, because it is physically different from the PCMCIA slot. So how can you read all your digital media cards, i.e. CompactFlash (CF), Secure Digital (SD), mini/micro SD and SDHC (High Capacity)? Well, MrVanes had the same problem and found virtuavia that sells ExpressCard adapters: card readers, e-SATA and printer interfaces, and more. But also an PCMCIA to ExpressCard adapter (if you want to use the old expansion cards on your new generation laptop!). But wait, there's more...! They also have ExpressCard to CF adapters, so you can simply stick your 8GB CF cards straight from t…

Convert mkv movies into mp4

Computer: open log
Stardate 200803.20
Personal log
In case you want to download HD MKV movies and watch them on your Mac Mini, you may need to convert them into H.264 MP4 format. This thread over at Mac Forums may help: Convert mkv movies into mp4
Computer: store log tools for Ubuntu

I had put off installing the player on my Linux laptop for weeks. Mainly because sound doesn't work right anyway, so what's the use of playing music? Right?
Just got a nudge from a friend at and decided to check... turns out there is an Ubuntu repository for the player and I can add and install in 2 minutes. LOL Wouldn't you know... Go figure!

Remote Desktop Connection for Mac

Was looking for an RDP client for the Mac, since I need to connect to Windows server at work and don't always need a full-blown Vista VM for that. 'Lo and behold, Microsoft has a Remote Desktop Connection for Mac.

VNC Viewer for Mac OSX

For remote mngt of non-Windows servers, VNC still rules. I admit, RDP is a better, more robust protocol. ICA (by Citrix) is said to be even better, but I don't care. I prefer good old VNC, TightVNC worked even over my 19K2 modems back in 1998! B)
Anyway, I needed a VNC Viewer for the Mac and was glad to find a SourceForge project called Chicken of the VNC. Don't understand the name but it works beautifully! Recommended!

Create ISOs images in OS X

Mikhail Esteves informed me plain and simple on how to create ISO image files in Mac OS X. It's so simple I didn't think of it.
I was trying to right click and trying to copy it: permission denied. I finally was able to dd a CD, by first unmounting the CD from the command line. That worked but then I was unable to eject or remount the CD, forcing me to reboot after each image. I knew there had to be an easier way. There is: DiskUtility.

Online collaboration workspace for teamwork and project management

Online collaboration workspace for teamwork and project management: "AJAX workspace is a secure Web-based workplace consisting of an integrated suite of simple and easy to use collaboration application. You can efficiently organize yourself, manage projects and work with your entire enterprise, colleagues and team member from one central location. The ideal tool for any type of project management regardless if you are working in a company or if you are working as freelancer from home. "

Compression Comparison Guide

We used to read about file compression tools eveyrday, back in the days of moving files on floppies. Space was limited, so it made sense. These days, people just copy everything in case they might need it for something or other sometime... So why bother testing file compressors? Because we can! And because technology have evolved.
Check out the Tech ARP - Compression Comparison Guide Rev. 2.0. It still matters which algorithm you use for what, and more time always means better compression!