Friday, September 12, 2008

Last Linkfest for now…

One more post before we finish batten down the hatches for the night.

Winds have picked up quite a bit here in Cleveland, Texas.  If all that we know and love survives the next 24 hours, I think I will find it in the family budget to pick up a hand-held wind-speed meter.

No rains yet.  Winds are stirring up the trees quite well and the wind-chime on the porch is ringing quite loud.  I can’t decide if its notes are comforting or alarming.

There has been a lone cardinal flying onto the back porch to get its last supply of seeds.  It seems fairly unconcerned.  I’m taking this as a good sign from above.

OperaCacheView - (freeware) – New Nirsoft app that allows you to be able to independently review the contents of Opera web browsers.  Great addition to have as it is fully compatible.  I really like these tools as they allow output of contents for logs and reports.  Turns out that Chrome uses SQLite files (much like Firefox 3) for it’s bookmark/history/etc. tracking.  I bet that it won’t be long until Nir Sofer has a similar tool for Chrome released.

MyLastSearch - (freeware) – Updated version now supports Opera web-browser search logging. 3.0 RC1 released - Download Squad – This beta version brings a number of cool and helpful bits with it.  Certainly a very good alternative for folks looking for a complete package (freeware) replacement for Microsoft Office.  For more details, please see the release notes.

Cubic Reality - (freeware) – This alternative file-manager has been nicely pulled together.  It has become the default file-manager of the latest iteration of my favorite VistaPE building program.  It has a number of tweaks and themes and other features that make it worth looking into.

FreeCommander - (freeware) – Version 2008.06b has now been released to the public.  This is my de facto choice for daily dual-pane file management.  Whatever you want to do with a file, it can pretty well handle it.  Yet the interface is very well designed without feeling clunky or ugly.  Simply the best of the best.  This version incorporates a number of bug fixes and minor enhancements.

The PC Decrapifier - (freeware) – A great tool to help clean up all the junk OEM computer sellers place on the desktop of a new system.  Latest version adds in removal coverage for several new models of PC’s and the junk that comes with them.

New Gmail Lab Experiments – Google Blogoscoped. Gmail team has added a few more experimental elements to Gmail.  Includes custom label colors, navbar drag-n-drop, go-to label shortcuts. Gmail blog also has found “Quote selected text”, “Default ’Reply to all’”, and “Vacation time” elements also available.

IEBlog : The IE8 Smart Address Bar Part 1: Navigate Easier and Faster  The IE 8 developers are heck-bent to convince everyone that IE 8 is simply the very best invention since sliced bread. It’s an extensive and detailed post that walks through many elements.  Suffice it to say, if you like this feature (similar and then some to Firefox’s Awesome Bar) then you might just be intrigued.  On the other hand, if you just like using the address bar in your browser to copy/paste/type in URL’s and nothing more, it might be terribly overwhelming.

BSoD: iTunes 8 Causing Huge Problems, BSOD for Vista Users – Gizmodo, An inside look at Apple’s sneaky iTunes 8 upgrade - Ed Bott’s Microsoft Report.  Apple rolls back problem driver in new iTunes 8 update – Ed Bott’s Microsoft Report.  Read all three  iTunes 8 brings with it a mix of Apple’s thoughts about what you “really need” in software in addition to what you really just want (Genius). One of those things was a BSOD for Vista users.  We keep our iTunes library on our XP desktop system.  I have loaded iTunes on our Vista system, but we use it only to listen to some streaming radio stations in there.  Turn out that a funky USB driver was the cause.  Apple did release a fix, but it requires the user to “…first uninstall Apple Mobile Device Support and iTunes, and then download and install the most recent version of iTunes. (Delete any previously downloaded versions.)”  Ed did some great detective work and finds that it looks like Apple just rolled the driver causing the fuss back to an earlier stable version.  Did nobody test this on Vista systems before releasing?  Surely they did…

SDN Program News : weblog - Java SE 6u10 RC2  is now available for download! See the summary of changes for b31 version, a list of all fixes as of the latest build. And for information on why some of us are crazy excited about the features in 6u10, please see the testing guideline.  Basically it is even more optimized to help make Opera and Firefox 3.0 and other software packages designed to take advantage of it execute Java and JavaScript that much faster.  I’ve been running these builds along side the latest regular release of Java 6 and have not encountered any issues.

Google Mobile App for BlackBerry: faster, stronger, better - Official Google Mobile Blog. With one exception (that I don’t use), and Opera mini,  the Google mobile applications are the only non-standard BlackBerry applications that I carry on my BlackBerry device.  This post goes into some improvements that enhance Google usage that much more.  Good stuff.  This includes the ability to customize icons showing on your Google access page, search-bar query offers as you type can save you time and sore fingers, and Google Apps support and update notifications.  Nice stuff.  Also just spotted: Introducing Mobile Search with My Location. Now your Google searches will leverage the Gears Geolocation API which powers the Google Maps feature on supported devices to show your location on Google Maps.  Searches will be tailored to your location as well. Cool!

Works almost too good if you ask me.



--Claus V.

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