Following are some very useful links if your looking for some software.
I use WordPress as more than a blogging platform, more along the lines of a Content Management System. When it comes to formatting pages, the existing visual editor; TinyMCE, leaves me wanting more control.
Windows Live Writer has undergone some serious improvements. So serious, I’d wager it rivals many, if not most other desktop blogging clients — free and commercial. Here is a quick overview of its Pro’s:
- Advanced text formatting features, such as headings and tables, are included in the WYSIWYG editor.
- Extensible via plug-in (Much like WordPress)
- Auto Save
- Choice between HTML/XHTML on a per blog basis. This is good if you’re a stickler for clean and well formed code
- Supports FTP upload to multiple blogs
- Supports date modification, which means you can set a post to publish in the future (or the past if you so choose).
- Tag support with a variety of providers, including custom providers.
- Advanced image insertion that supports thumbnails and lets you add some basic styles, such as drop shadow and photo style borders, to your images. You can even apply some more advanced image styling such as black & white conversion, sepia tone, as well as others.
- Video insertion
- Customizable ping list with trackback support
- In line spell checking
- Multiple writing views including layouts that mimic your blog and a full in software preview of the entry as it would appear on the blog.
Even though it doesn’t have everything on my wish list, it does come pretty darn close. Plus, the fact that developers can create plug-in’s to add functionality that’s not included by default only instills more confidence. In fact, With the growing base of programmers willing to develop plug-in’s, I can definitely see it going places. Microsoft has a winner on its hands with this product, but they can’t allow themselves to get too lazy.
For me, the fact that it saves me countless hours when it comes to formatting either pages or posts makes it a winner in my book
My best advice is to download the software (It’s Free), play around with it for a few weeks and decide whether it has all the features you need to help your productivity. Be sure to check out the plug-in repository.
MailBrowser is an addon that works with Gmail and makes dealing with your contacts and files a real breeze. As most of you know, I am a real fan of anything that works and is free and this qualifies on both accounts.
MailBrowser wants to make Gmail and Google Apps more useful by offering a consolidated view of all your contacts and attachments in a browser sidebar. In this sidebar, you can quickly search for contacts, see the latest emails you received from a specific contact, add calendar events and attach notes and tags to a contact. In many respects, MailBrowser looks a lot like Xobni for Gmail.
In short, MailBrowser stores all your data locally on your hard disk, so no information is ever shared with the service. Because all the data is stored locally, MailBrowser also keeps a copy of all your attachments on your machine. The application also syncs all the data back to Google Contacts in the cloud, so any changes you make on one computer will automatically appear on another machine.
When I first discovered this I was unsure of how this would make my Gmail better, but after trying it, I am sold and have added it to all of my machines.
For more information see the LifeHacker article or watch:
Of late DNS and their associated services has been in the news, with Google now starting their own DNS service (Google Public DNS). This article is to help anyone who is interested in the Who What and How.
What Is DNS
DNS stands for Domain Name Service, Wikipedia has a good definition at: Domain Name System. But in short you can look at DNS as the Internet White Pages. Every website has an associated IP (Internet Protocol) address. IP addresses are in the format of 12 numbers; xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx . DNS takes the domain name that you type into your browser such as: http://tekpedia.net and translates it to the actual IP address and then presents it in your browser.
Its easy to see how this can affect the speed of your browsing. Most of us use the DNS provided by our ISP (Internet Service Provider). This may not be the best choice in many instances.
In deciding what your best options are, the first step is to check the speed of some of the available services. OpenBench is an open source program that will test the 3 primary DNS services (Google, OpenDNS and your ISP’s) to see which is faster. You can download OpenBench from our downloads page:
Once you decide on the service to use you will need the Primary and Secondary IP addresses which OpenBench will provide. You will then want to configure your network settings for your new DNS servers.
You will need to restart your computer for your settings to take affect.
For the most part, you will want to pick the service which provides you the fastest response. I have been using OpenDNS for the past year and its not always about speed but its also about the tools the service provides. With OpenDNS you not only have access to a wide range of reports on your network Internet usage; Great if you have children. You are also provided a customizable content filtering. The filtering will allow you prohibit certain content from ever reaching your browser, such as Porno, Phishing, and Adware. This additional filtering can provide you an additional level of security you didn’t have previously.
OpenDNS is definitely worth a look see before you decide on which DNS service to use.
Making your email client go away. As we move closer and closer to a real cloud computing world, getting rid of your email client becomes more of a viable solution.
Up until recently I have been a long time Microsoft Outlook user. I have also tried just about every email client known to techkind. One of the biggest issues I always had was keeping my laptop email sycned to my desktop email and both of them synced to my Blackberry.
After much research I finally made the move to Gmail.
PCMag releases its top picks for the best freeware every year. Even though I may not agree with all of their picks they have put together a reall good list that should be considered. Here is what has to say about Freeware:
The best things in life often actually are free. Here, a list of 173 of the best things in life—free software, for launching apps, networking, backup, synchronization, entertainment, and more
You can read the whole article and list at: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2338803,00.asp