Category Archives: Tech

My new favorite Chrome Extension: ArchDaily

I try out various Chrome Extensions, and I have to say, the ArchDaily one is my new favorite. If you like interesting architecture, it is a fun way to see all kinds of interesting buildings and spaces from around the world. From the description:

Every time you open a new tab in your Chrome browser, we’ll show you a randomly selected photograph of an ArchDaily project. If you want to learn more about the project, you can easily click to see more pictures, drawings and information.

It also adds a clock to any new tab. It’s one extension I’ve kept installed.

Free app for finding duplicate files

I recently ran into an issue where my dropbox folder had over 8000 duplicate files in it, caused by some kind of syncing bug. I did not like the idea of having to go through and identify these manually, so I was very pleased when an app developer tipped me off to this excellent (and free) “dup” finder: https://www.hardcoded.net/dupeguru/

Word 2007 Blog posting

So I am working along in Word 2007 and I click new, and this option to create a blog entry appears. What the heck, I think. So I register my wordpress.com blog and type a bit and here goes! We’ll see if this actually posts.

I’ll even try adding a little mull-tah-mee-ja

UPDATE: Well, whadyknow, it actually works without a hitch!

The most useless error message of the year award goes to…

Microsoft LiveMeeting, for this meta-error: “An error has occured(sp) while creating an error report.”

myfavoriteerrorofalltime.gif

PureText – paste anywhere without formatting

Let’s say you are writing and you want to quote some text from a webpage in your message or document. So you select the text and copy it, but then when you paste it after your text you find that it is in a different font, font size and color.  Worse than that, when you try to keep typing after the quoted text, you see that your font style has been hijacked by the new text you pasted. Here is an example — notice how the font changes because the text came formatted from somewhere else:

Do you remember Otter Pops? They consist of, and I quote, ” a plastic tube filled with flavored sugary liquid; after being frozen the top is cut off. The frozen juice is eaten out of the top of the tube, like a popsicle without a stick.” [ACK! What happened to my font! Why doesn’t my computer realize I don’t want to change the font here?].

Does that situation look familiar?

 If so, here is a great (free!) little Windows utility I have used for several years to come to your rescue: PureText. Running PureText puts an icon down in your system tray (lower right screen corner) and it adds a keyboard shortcut that works everywhere. Once it is running you press [WindowsKey] + [v] to tell the computer to “paste the text, but please ignore any font formatting that the text had before.” It works like a charm — the text you paste adopts whatever style you were already using, eliminating the chore of trying to reformat the text after it is pasted in.

Every time I am put on a new version of Windows, PureText is one of the first items I install. To me it is indispensable!

Now for you Mac users (I’m one at home), I have heard (but not tried it yet) that PlainClip does the same thing for the Mac OS, but you will probably also want to first  install a Mac hotkey tool like Spark to make it easier to use (otherwise you will have to double-click the PlainClip app everytime you want to use it).

SplashID – your personal memorizer of passwords

I was trying to think of what I could write about that might be helpful to someone out there, and I realized that there is a software application that I love. I love it because it saves me from trouble frequently, the trouble being not being able to remember a password, ID #, username, account number, or other extremely left-brained piece of info when someone (or some website) asks me for it.

The tool is called SplashID (I’m not sure where the Splash comes from, other than it is developed by a company called Splashdata that has a bunch of other useful apps). I run it on my Windows laptop and my Palm Z22 — there is a version for each, and even a Mac version.

SplashID is like having a little personal database of tidbits of information you can lock up with a single password. Every time I set up a new account somewhere, like at a bank, or blog site, or public library, I enter the same data into SplashID. Then, when I can’t remember this information later (which happens almost every time I try to log in somewhere), all I have to do is open the application, enter my SplashID password, and wa-la, using a powerfully simple find feature I find the info I need, click the handy copy to clipboard button, and paste it where it needs to go.

The beauty of this application is that it syncs perfectly with my Palm. So if I don’t have my laptop, I can whip out my $89 Palm Z22 and instantly find the information I need. This application alone is worth buying a cheap Palm. It saves me all the time. For example, I’m at the store and can’t remember the PIN to my debit card (Bank of America pins are 6 digits!). I just whip out my Palm, write in my SplashID password and quickly find my PIN number.

Maybe a better example is a time when you have to access information you haven’t used forever. For example, your PC crashes and you reinstall your expensive Photoshop application only to realize you don’t remember your 94 digit registration code. No problem! Whip out SplashID, and there it is from when you entered it 2 years ago.

Or maybe you haven’t posted anything on your blog for over 3 months (like me) and you can’t remember how to log in to WordPress. Just fire up your SplashID application from your PC and within a few seconds you are in business again!

Palm version:

Palm version of SplashID

Windows Version:

Windows Version of SplashID

Mac Version:

Mac Version 

Find it at http://splashdata.com

Baby video monitor picks up feed from Space Shuttle broadcast

Honey, the baby’s spacewalking – CNN.com

A woman turns on her baby monitor and sees images broadcast from the space shuttle Atlantis. I wonder what went through her head when she first saw the images on the screen where she expected to see her baby!