Category Archives: Timesaving Tips

Ninite – A Jaw Dropping One Shot Multiple Application Installer

imageI’ve used, reviewed, and discarded, a mix of free “One Shot” installer applications – applications which download and install multiple user selected applications, in one pass. The only keeper from the 5 or 6 I’ve looked at is, Ninite .

Since I dedicated a machine to run with Windows 8, a few weeks ago (which has run flawlessly, BTW), I finally got to the point where it was time to install a few of my favorite applications and, of course, I turned to Ninite to get the job done.

I choose to download, and install, the following applications – Chrome, ThunderBird, Google Talk, Glary Utilities, Revo Uninstaller, Songbird and TrueCrypt.

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A small downloader (248 KB) – launched from my download folder, started the download and install process – as shown in the following screen capture.

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Within a very few minutes (less than 4 minutes), the applications were installed (as shown in Windows 8 Metro UI), and ready to run. And, that’s the “jaw dropping” part – 4 minutes to download and install 7!!!, applications. Wicked!

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Windows – Just a small sampling of what’s available.

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If you’re a Linux user (and, I’m a dual booter), you haven’t been  forgotten.

Linux – What’s available.

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Fast facts:

No Clicking Next – Ninite fully automates installers off-screen.

No Toolbars – Ninite automatically says “No” to toolbars and other junk.

Always Up-to-date – A Ninite installer always gets an app’s latest version no matter when you made it.

It Updates Too – Just run your Ninite installer again and it will update the apps to their latest versions.

No Signup – Ninite just works. No account, signup, or client needed.

32 and 64-bit – Ninite installs the best version of an app for your PC.

International – Ninite installs apps in your PC’s language.

If you’re the kind of geek who’s into helping less experienced users – this is a terrific way to help them install the freeware applications that you know, through experience, are a “must have”. Best of all, once the installer is activated Ninite does the rest – automatically and in the background.

System requirements: Windows XP, Vista, Win 7 (x64 support).

Go to: Ninite site

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Filed under 64 Bit Software, downloads, Freeware, Geek Software and Tools, Integrated Solutions, Recommended Web Sites, Software, Timesaving Tips, Utilities, Windows 8, Windows Tips and Tools

Pick Out PDF Text And Reuse It With Free Nitro PDF

imageAs an active blogger, I get a pile of information sent my way from application developers and service providers  – including media reports, product news, reviewers guidelines, and so on – most of which is in PDF format. So my PDF application of choice, Nitro PDF (the free version), gets a real workout around here.

Most often, the material received can be filed away for later retrieval but, there are times when the information needs to be acted upon relatively quickly. And, that might mean I need to “cut and paste” from within a PDF. Constructing a “pull quote”, for inclusion in an article, is a good example.

Accessing content from within a PDF can often be a bit painful though – without the right tool. Sure, a user might have the option of converting a PDF file to a Word file for example (depending on the capabilities of the PDF reader), then working with the contents of the new Word file.

A better way:

Nitro PDF provides a terrific feature in the free version of PDF Reader Version 2 – the ability to copy data directly from within a PDF file, and paste it into a selected application – so, no more converting, saving, opening, and copying, to get to your objective. Nitro’s solution is basically “one click simple”.

The following screen captures illustrate a real world example in which this feature can be used to save time – always a consideration for those of us who have little of it to spare.

Culling data from OPSWAT’s latest quarterly market share report (shown open in Nitro PDF) for inclusion in a new article for later publication, is a snap.

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It’s simple a matter of selecting the text to be copied (additional text operatives are available) …

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and, pasting the selected text into the appropriate application. In this case, LibreOffice (an outstanding substitute for Microsoft Office, BTW).

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If working with PDF files is a task you get involved in, then Nitro PDF is an application you should consider adding to your toolbox.

System requirements: Windows XP, Vista, Win 7 (32 bit  and 64 bit, Vista and Win 7).

Available languages: Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish.

Download at: Nitro PDF Reader

It’s not often that I feel comfortable rating a free application a 10 out of 10 – but, Nitro PDF meets my criteria in every way.

You can read a full review of this terrific free application here – NEW – Nitro PDF Reader Version 2 Launched Today (June 21, 2011).

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Filed under 64 Bit Software, Blogging Tips, downloads, Free PDF Software, Freeware, MS Word Alternatives, Software, Timesaving Tips, Windows Tips and Tools

Homework Help – 12 Web Sites That Lend A Hand

Need Homework Help? – Turn To These Terrific Web Sites.

imageParents, it seems, are less equipped than ever to jump in and help out with homework assignments. Statistics from the Canadian Council on Learning seem to indicate – two out of three parents feel incapable of helping their children with homework, or after school assignments.

As a parent what do you do; who do you turn to? As a student, since it’s unlikely you can turn to a parent; what do you do?

According to a Pew Internet and American Life Project study, you both turn to the Internet. The study’s research revealed that the Internet has become an increasingly important feature of the learning environment for teenagers, and is used as an essential study aid outside the classroom.

Students and parents report that the Internet is vital to completing school projects, and has effectively replaced the library for a large number of online students. As many as 71% of students surveyed, report using the Internet as their primary source for researching, and completing major projects.

If you’re a student or, the parent of a student, consider bookmarking the following web sites which will provide comprehensive and reliable educational information that can be used to research school projects, and homework assignments.

Discovery Education

Discovery Education offers free student resources that bring learning to life both inside and outside the classroom. We invite you to take a look at our interactive games, videos, contests, virtual labs and activities designed to help you dive deeper into a topic —and have fun too!

Refdesk 

Since 1995, Refdesk.com, has served as a one-click springboard to many of the Web’s top dictionaries, encyclopedias, calculators, atlases, news headlines, and search engines. The site also includes a handy “homework helper” section that provides help in all subjects for students in every grade.

ipl2 (Internet Public Library)

ipl2 is a public service organization and a learning/teaching environment. To date, thousands of students and volunteer library and information science professionals have been involved in answering reference questions for our Ask an ipl2 Librarian service, and in designing, building, creating and maintaining the ipl2’s collections.

HowStuffWorks

Have you ever wanted to know why an earthquake occurs? How CD burners work? What the sun is made of? These questions and a large number of others related to computers/electronics, automobiles, science, entertainment, and people, are all answered at this award-winning Web site. Simply type a query into the search window or peruse the topics by category. Extras include free newsletters, surveys, and printable versions of all answers.

Novelguide.com

The Web’s answer to those black- and yellow-striped Cliff Notes is Novelguide, a reliable and free source for literary analysis of classic and contemporary books. The site offers character profiles, metaphor and theme analysis, and author biographies.

CliffsNotes

Use these free CliffsNotes literature notes to help with your homework and tests. Browse the list to find the study guide you need.

Math.com

This site provides help in mathematics-related subjects, including basic grade-school math, calculus, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and statistics. Practice exercises are automatically graded, and this free site also features a glossary, calculators, homework tips, math games, and lesson plans for teachers.

Shmoop (Official Honoree of Webby Awards – 2010) is a new learning and teaching resource, lovingly made by Silicon Valley professionals and academics from Stanford, Berkeley, Harvard and other top universities. It is an online study guide for books, literature, essays, poems, US history, and quotes.

Wolfram Mathworld

With more than 12,600 entries this is one of the most extensive mathematics resources on the Internet.

Free Translation

Perfect for language studies, this handy Web site automatically converts text from one language to another. Just type and paste up to 1,800 words into the search window and then select the desired language.

No Fear Shakespeare

No Fear Shakespeare puts Shakespeare’s language side-by-side with a facing-page translation into modern English—the kind of English people actually speak today.

Science Made Simple

Science classes aren’t as easy for some to grasp as for others. At Science Made Simple, students of all ages can get detailed answers to many of science’s questions, read current news articles related to science, get ideas for school projects, and take advantage of unit conversion tables.

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Filed under Education, Homework Help Sites, Interconnectivity, Living Life, Online Learning, Parenting Help, Recommended Web Sites, Student Help, Timesaving Tips

Nemo Documents – A Powerful Free Document Manager

My Hard Drives can be a bit of a “black hole” when I’m trying to find a particular document. With literally thousands of documents – Word files, PowerPoint presentations, Excel Work sheets, not to mention, images, videos, and more, spread all over, I occasionally feel as if I’m lost in space.

Stepping into this void for me, is a recent find – Nemo Documents, a powerful freebie document manager from Danish open source developer IOLA.

With Nemo Documents running, I can now view all of my Word docs (for example), in an easy to read “Calendar” view as well as a number of additional file formats. Better yet, the program integrates with Windows Desktop Search so I can locate files based on phrases within the documents, file types, modification dates, and so on.

Setup is easy, and on the first run the program will audit customary file locations in order to index files.

Click on any graphic to expand to original size.

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In my particular case, and perhaps yours as well, most of my documents are not located in the “usual suspect” places so, the ability to add locations is critical.

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File support is fairly robust – including support for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF, Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, images, video files, Google docs, and many more. You can choose which files to add and index, from the Settings menu.

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Calendar view – selectable Day, Week, Month, Year.

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Focusing on an individual  file allows you to view specific properties.

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The “List” view provides additional file references.

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The application can be run in a number of alternative languages including – Chinese, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Hebrew, Japanese, Lithuanian, Russian, and Portuguese.

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Since Nemo Documents adds an application icon to the Windows notification area, direct access is quick and easy.

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System requirements: Windows XP, Vista, Win 7.

There is a version available for Linux here.

Download at: Developer’s site (nemo-docs.com)

Nemo Documents is not an application for everyone, but for those users who have to deal with a sizeable number of diverse document files, Nemo can certainly make the job much easier.

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Filed under downloads, File Management, Freeware, Linux, Open Source, Productivity Software, Software, System Utilities, Timesaving Tips, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

Right-Click Extender Version 2 – Adds Multiple Context Menu Commands

imageThe “right click context menu” in Windows is a hidden gem. I know, you’re thinking – wait a minute, the right click context menu isn’t hidden, I use it all the time. And, I’ll bet you do. But, you might be surprised to learn, that if you were to ask an average user about this menu, the chances are pretty good that you’d get a blank look in return.

If you’re a power user and a fan of the right click context menu, then you’ll be interested in the Right-Click Extender Version 2 (released March 11, 2010)  from The Windows Club, which will add a bag full of additional context menu support  in the following categories – File/Folder, Desktop, Drives, and MyComputer.

Following installation and execution of this free application, setting up and selecting the context menu items best suited to your needs is a snap – as the following series of screen shots shows. (Clicking on any graphic will expand it to its original size).

File Folder Setup.

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Desktop Menu Setup.

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Desktop Menu Options Setup.

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The following is an example, from my system, illustrating selective context menu items available to me on the Desktop following installation of the Right-Click Extender, Version 2.

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The following is an example, from my system, illustrating selective Windows Explorer context menu items available to me, following installation of the Right-Click Extender Version 2.

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Fast facts:

File and Folder Options: 

add or remove Copy To

add or remove Move To

add or remove Admin Command Prompt

add or remove Encrypt/Decrypt

add or remove File List Create

add or remove My Computer God Mode

add or remove Hide File

add or remove Unhide File

add or remove Hide Folder

add or remove Unhide Folder

add or remove Take Ownership

Desktop Options: 

add or remove Flip3D

add or remove Desktop God Mode

add or remove Control Panel

add or remove Task Manager

add or remove Administrative Tools

add or remove Registry Editor

If the right click context menu is a tool you use frequently, installing Right-Click Extender Version 2, should help give a boost to your productivity.

System Requirements: Windows Vista, Windows 7 (sorry, not designed for Windows XP).

Download at: MajorGeeks.com

The Windows Club offers a range of helpful Windows freeware apps – checkout their home page here.

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Filed under Computer Tools, downloads, Freeware, Geek Software and Tools, Integrated Solutions, Productivity Software, Software, System Utilities, Timesaving Tips, Utilities, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista

Get Your Geek On With These Firefox Keyboard Shortcuts

imageThere are plenty of ways to identify a “geek”, but the one  that stands out strongest in my mind is – geeks generally use keyboard shortcuts whenever possible. Watch a geek at a word processor and you’re likely to see the magic of – Ctrl + C (copy) and Ctrl + V (paste). Pretty cool, no?

No doubt you’re familiar with that old standby used to launch Windows Task Manager (Control+Alt+Delete), but with a little practice, you can dazzle your friends with your newfound “geeky” ability to bypass your mouse by using one/more/all, of the following Firefox keyboard shortcuts.

Consider printing the shortcuts so that you have a handy reference until the key combinations become second nature. I’m in the process of learning these shortcuts myself, so I’ve done just that.

Method:

With the Control (Ctrl) key held down, press the additional key to complete the action.

Ctrl

+ s – Saves a webpage to your computer for offline viewing.

+ o – Opens a webpage.

+ t – Opens a new browser tab.

+ w – Closes the current (open) browser tab.

+ n – Open’s a new Browser window.

+ j – Opens the Download Manager to view and track downloaded files.

+ + (plus sign) – Zooms in a webpage.

+ – (minus sign) – Zooms out of a webpage.

+ l – Opens Bookmark search.

+ h – Opens up your web browsing History.

+ d – Adds the open webpage to your bookmarks.

+ b – Lets you organize your bookmarks.

+ Tab – Toggles forward between all open browser tabs.

+ Shift + Tab – Toggles backward through all open browser tabs.

+ Shift + p – Opens an InPrivate Browsing session.

+ Shift + Del – Opens your browsing history so you can delete history, cookies, passwords, ……..

You can gain the title of “Uber Geek” by using keyboard shortcuts to launch common Windows functions. Read Get to Know Your Windows Key – Get Geeky With Keyboard Shortcuts, on this site.

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Filed under Firefox, Geek Software and Tools, Help, Timesaving Tips, Windows Tips and Tools

Can’t Load A Site? Maybe It’s Not Just You

It’s Sunday morning (like this morning), and you want to read your local newspaper online (as I do), but it’s a “no go”. You watch, (like I’m watching), and you wait, as the load icon spins helplessly out of control – but no joy; the site refuses to load.

Now, if you’ve just completed an OS reinstall, as I did just a few days ago, you might wonder if you’ve forgotten to reset, one or more, Internet settings, or perhaps your filters need adjusting. But, before you start to do all that heavy lifting, there’s a tool that will tell you if the site is actually unavailable, or if it’s happening to just you.

The web site, Down for everyone or just me? – will let you know in seconds if it is just you, or, if the site is really unavailable. Enter the address of the website you can’t reach, click on the “just me?” button, and you’ll have the answer instantly.

The following screen shots illustrate the process.

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It’s unlikely you’ll need this tool very often, but it will definitely come in handy when the inevitable happens. For example, WordPress.com has been off the air, for an extended period of time, at least three times so far this year. When this sort of thing happens, it’s good to know what’s really going on.

Add Down for everyone or just me? to you Bookmarks, and you’ll be ready for the inevitable.

Update: October 4, 2010. Steve, from Sanesecurity, has suggested the following services which you will find useful for site checking. Thanks Steve!

Host-Tracker

DownRightNow

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Filed under Freeware, Interconnectivity, Recommended Web Sites, Search Engines, Timesaving Tips, Windows Tips and Tools