This looks pretty fantastic. Do you have any suggestions for time tracking apps – for Windows, Mac, or Linux? I’ve had great luck with RescueTime, but I can definitely use something like Klok for tracking time on consulting projects manually.
The Best Time Tracking App for Windows
There are a number of different ways to track your work time, but for the majority of people, something like the free, cross-platform Klok is perfect for managing your workday, seeing how long your projects take, and tracking how you spend your time.
via The Best Time Tracking App for Windows.
I’m downloading this now – looks very cool. =)
Windows only: LightBox is an extremely user friendly tool for editing photos when you need more than a simple crop and resize but less than a full out Photoshop massaging.
How user friendly is LightBox? When you run the program you’re presented with a sidebar of common tasks like color balancing and red-eye removal. Mousing over each of them provides not only an explanation of the tool but sample pictures showing the results and every tool within the editor itself has mouse over tips. Once you’re actually editing your image you can easily—as seen in the screenshot above—divide the image to show how the alterations are effecting it compared to the original. The divided and side by side comparison feature is great for photo enhancements where your goal is to make the picture more appealing without giving it an unrealistic appearance. If you need additional functionality, there is a Plus version available for $19.95 which adds on features like masking and auto color correction. The basic version of LightBox is freeware, Windows only.
via Lifehacker – LightBox Makes Simple Touch-Ups a Snap – Image Editing.
This sounds awesome. I’m gonna have to pull out my SD450 and give this a shot…pun intended. 😉
Remember the Canon Hacker’s Development Kit, aka CHDK—the open-source firmware that turns your point-and-shoot into a super-camera? Here’s how bug enthusiast Tim used CHDK and DIY ingenuity for better macro results from his point-and-shoot.
Spending more money was off the table for Tim’s spending budget, so rather than pony up for some new, expensive equipment, he turned to the wonder of open source. His setup is a little heady if you’re not familiar with the subject, but Tim used a reverse mounted lens technique along with the focus bracketing feature of CHDK. The results—one of which you can see in the screenshot—speak for themselves.
via Digital Photography: Take Impressive Macro Photographs with Your Point-and-Shoot and CHDK.
Cool list from Lifehacker about how to lock down your data:
- Wipe that iPhone (or BlackBerry) before trading in.
- Use virtual credit cards for iffy online buys.
- Hide data inside files with steganography.
- Plan for the worst.
- Get smarter on security questions.
- Boost your browsing and downloading privacy.
- Theft-proof your laptop (and its files).
- Secure your wireless network.
- Encrypt your data whole or piecemeal.
- Use KeePass. Love KeePass. Be secure.
Read the details here: Lifehacker Top 10: Top 10 Ways to Lock Down Your Data.
In the past year we’ve highlighted hundreds of Windows apps aimed at making your life easier, boosting your computer productivity, and powering up your PC.
For those of you who weren’t able to keep up, here’s a look back at the most popular Windows downloads of 2008.
Keep in mind that this list is based on the popularity of posts we’ve published in 2008 only, regardless of the original release date of the app. Many were brand new this year, while others were solid updates to popular software. Here’s the full run-down of the 12 most popular Windows downloads of 2008:
via Best Of 2008: Most Popular Free Windows Downloads of 2008.
Yeah, I could really use this app. I’ve just been bookmarking links to my Bookmarks Bar in Firefox, then using Foxmarks to synchronize them to my home computer.
BTW, Foxmarks is teh awesome. You should really check it out.
Surely you come across web pages during the workday that are completely unrelated to actual work, but that you’d love to save for later—and the previously mentioned (and award winning) Firefox extension ReadItLater does just that really well. Once ReadItLater is part of your everyday workflow, it’s super-easy to park long articles or interesting tidbits you want to look at over lunch or at home in a “staging area” that’s available as an RSS feed, in your regular bookmarks, and even on other computers. ReadItLater may appear unnecessary to power bookmarkers who keep a “later” folder or tag, but on closer inspection it does offer features that make hitting the snooze button on a link much easier.
The Killer Feature: One-click Park
Without ReadItLater, to save a web page in your bookmarks in a “read it later” folder or tag, it takes a couple of steps. (Even with Firefox 3’s one-click bookmarking, you still have to tag or file the link.) With ReadItLater installed, Firefox gets a checkbox in the address bar next to the regular bookmark star icon. Click on that checkbox to automatically add the current web page to your ReadItLater list in one click. That’s it. Now you can get back to work.
(continued at lifehacker.com)
Update: Here are some new tips for Firefox 3 on all platforms and some specific tips for Firefox 3 on Linux:
This program looks awesome, and it’s comforting to know that both Download Squad and Lifehacker vouch for it. Check out the details; it might just replace MediaCoder for me…
Quick Media Converter is a Windows utility that will let you convert practically any audio or video file from one format to another. MPEG to H.264? No problem. WAV to OGG? Sure, why not.
Now let’s get something out of the way here. Quick Media Converter is basically just a fancy front end for the open source, command line FFmpeg media encoder. But it’s a really useful front end. The utility offers you two interfaces: an easy mode and an expert mode. In easy mode, you can choose from a number of predefiined formats. So just select the media files you want to convert, and click the Audio, Quicktime, WMV, DiVX, Xbox, PS3, or Wii button to create a file optimized for your system of choice.
In Expert mode, you have much more control over the code choices and settings. For example, in easy mode, there’s no way to convert a FLAC file to OGG. But you can do that in expert mode.
(via Quick Media Converter converts media… quickly)
All of these are excellent scripts, and many of them are available in the Better Flickr extension from Gina Trapani at Lifehacker, but my favorite by far is the Flickr Follow Comments plugin which makes that atrocity of a page into something sane and manageable.
Flickr, are you listening? The “Comments You’ve Made” page sucks hard. (Otherwise, I love Flickr to death, and everything else is somewhere in the range of pretty good to awesome.) 🙂
This post on Useful Flickr Userscripts has been submitted by Martin Gommel. You can see his work at his is a Flickr account and his blog KWERFELDEIN.
Userscripts are add-ons for the Firefox web browser, which dynamically enhance the communication and visualization of certain websites.
To be able to use these scripts you need to have installed greasemonkey on Firefox – this enables and manages the userscripts. If you have greasemonkey in Firefox you can install and use these userscripts instantly.
(via 10 Really Useful Flickr Greasemonkey Userscripts)
I’ve been using this extension for about a week now, and I can definitely say it’s been a big help to me in my flickr usage lately!
There are a ton of features that it includes, you can find out about all of them at the Lifehacker site linked below.
Everyone’s favorite photo-sharing web application, Flickr, has had tons of ancillary applications and user scripts developed for it to tweak, mod and add to its functionality. Dozens of Greasemonkey user scripts have popped up that make Flickr better; so in the spirit of Better Gmail I’ve rolled a few of my favorites into a new Firefox extension called Better Flickr. After the jump, check out Better Flickr’s features and grab the download.
Better Flickr Firefox extension
Updated: July 1, 2008
Released: May 29, 2007
Compiled by: Gina Trapani, using Greasemonkey scripts by several authors, compiled using a modified version of Anthony Lieuallen’s Greasemonkey Compiler.
(via Upgrade Flickr with the Better Flickr Firefox extension)
This is a really good read…
I would like to tell you that I was down but not out. That I just brushed myself off and got on with life. I didn’t. At first, I kept myself hyper-busy. That lasted for about three months. Then, I sank into a depression. I’m sure I was in shock for a long time. It was a very dark, confused time in my life. I kept pushing myself to get back to normal. That didn’t happen. I never got back to myself. I became better than I was.
(via How to Move On From Life-Changing Mistakes)
Another great article from Lifehacker about bookmarklets:
To start using a bookmarklet, make sure your browser’s bookmarks toolbar is visible. Then, drag and drop the bookmarklet link (enclosed in square brackets below each item on this post) to your bookmarks toolbar. When you’re on a page you want to use the bookmarklet? Just click its name on your toolbar.
(via Top 10 Useful Bookmarklets)
Another awesome post from Lifehacker…maybe I should just add their RSS feed as a widget on the sidebar. 😉
If you’ve ever done any serious Windows troubleshooting, you’ve no doubt come across a freeware utility or two by Sysinternals—like the excellent, previously mentioned Process Explorer. You may also know that Microsoft eventually bought up every Sysinternals utility and bundled it into a single suite of apps. Now Sysinternals has launched a new way to access their library of must-have utilities quickly and easily from any internet-connected PC.
First, you can point your browser to http://live.sysinternals.com/ for no-nonsense access to any Sysinternals tool. Even better, though, you can open up Windows Explorer and point it to
\\live.sysinternals.com\ to browse and launch any Sysinternals app as though you’ve already downloaded and installed it on your computer. That means next time you’re doing tech support for friends and you forgot your PC Rescue Kit, you can quickly get to any Sysinternals tool for help. At the very least, though, it’s a quicker way to start the BlueScreen screen saver on a friends computer.
(via Sysinternals Live is One-Stop Shop for Launching Must-Have Utilities)
Another wonderful Lifehacker post, about how to learn to play an instrument online
…might be a chance for me to finally learn how to play that guitar… 😉
Chances are at one point or another, you’ve either purchased an instrument or considered doing so with the intention of learning to play it; most of us, however, never get around the learning part. The internet is a glorious fount of freely available information, and it’s slowly filling up with excellent tutorials for getting good at just about anything—including playing a new instrument. Hit the jump for a handful of great resources for getting started with a new instrument online for the low, low price of free.
(via Learn to Play an Instrument Online)
Another great post from Lifehacker (of course) about how to set Gmail as your default mail handler in Firefox 3:
In today’s earlier list of five extensions you won’t need in Firefox 3, we said you won’t need any special toolbars, third-party apps, Greasemonkey scripts, or extensions to get Firefox to use webapps to open certain types of links. This means that when you click on an email address that uses the standard
mailto: email protocol, Firefox 3 itself can launch Gmail instead of a desktop app. By default, the Firefox RC 1 only comes with Yahoo! Mail as a possible
mailto: link handler, which leaves Gmail users out in the cold—unless you know how to set it up by hand. Here’s how to configure Firefox 3 to use Gmail as your default
mailto: application handler.
Ready to set up Gmail? Roll up those sleeves.
(via Set Firefox 3 to Launch Gmail for mailto Links)
Another great article from Lifehacker (AU) about how to pack a Photography Survival Kit.
Planning a long, leisurely trip through the wilderness, down the highway, or maybe around Thailand, and want to return home with some killer pictures to look through? David Hague, managing editor of Australasian Camcorder magazine, has been there, and back, many times. Hague keeps three separate backpacks for varying degrees of roughing it, but his list of potentially equipment-saving stuff is good for any on-the-go kit. Among the provisions, for still or video cameras (and yourself):
- Sealable plastic bags as emergency camera ‘raincoats’
- Lens cleaning kit
- Jeweller’s screwdriver kit
- Small table top tripod (from eBay – around $10)
- Dry socks
(via Pack a Photography Survival Kit)
Great article from LifeHacker (and very useful, as I’m just about to set one up myself) about how to set up your own Subversion server:
Subversion is open source version control software used primarily by developers that keeps every revision of important, frequently changing files. However, Subversion can be useful for many different purposes, whether you’re a web developer or a novelist – especially if you like to work in plain text.
Think of Subversion as a wiki-like repository for your files. Each time you make a change to a file or group of files that you’re happy with, you can commit those changes to your Subversion repository. If you don’t like where the changes got you, Subversion can compare your current version with any previously-committed version and pick out the best of the best so you never have to worry about finding your way back to a good or working version of a file.
In this first of my two-part Subversion series, I’ll show you how to set up and run your own Subversion server. Next week, we’ll get into the nitty gritty of using Subversion.
(via Hack Attack: How to set up a personal home Subversion server)
For something that you look at every day of your working life, your computer desktop doesn’t get as much attention as it deserves. That’s too bad, considering that the desktop can do a lot more than display wallpaper and hold shortcut icons. From widgets to workflows, from calendars to computer stats and beyond, you can do a whole lot on your desktop without manually starting up a single program. Hit the jump for our top 10 list of applications and tweaks that make your desktop a truly useful place to land.
(via Top 10 Ways to Trick Out Your Desktop)
Here’s a great tip from Lifehacker about how to set up an AutoHotkey script to copy/paste without manually switching windows:
I have one very simple AutoHotkey script which I use when I need to do some massive copying and pasting work, which simplifies the task into just one keystroke: Win+C.
With this script, I run Notepad (or any program to paste the content into), browse through some web sites, select text or pictures, and hit Win+C to capture the content—without leaving my browser. The script switches to the destination program (Notepad or otherwise), pastes the information, and returns me to my browser automatically. Check out the video for how it works. It’s good for transferring bits of data between two programs like compiling a list of email addresses. It’s also customizable—instead of entering a new line, it can move on to the next cell in the spreadsheet.
(via Copy and Paste Without Switching Windows)