Tuesday, 30 June 2009

30. Twitter - a brief guide

As regular follows will realise by omission, I am not a great fan of Twitter. With 90% of all twits being made by 10% of the Twitters, and 40% never continuing after the first few months, it is not surprising. But maybe, just maybe, there could be some good information to be gleaned from some of those Twitters. I have been looking for some time for a good overview. And here is the best so far, courtesy of Jane Hart.

Guide to Twitter

Monday, 29 June 2009

29. How many days since? - Days since iGoogle gadget

This is a simple reminder that goes into the iGoogle home page. Just enter the events (watered the plants, serviced the car, fed the tortoise etc) and it tells you how many days have passed since then. Simple, and effective.

Days since

Sunday, 28 June 2009

28. An award - for this blog

Apparently this TechnoDys blog has been chosen as one of the Top 10 Dyslexia Blogs (chosen by Drs. Fernette and Brock Eide). For a full list of the other nine, including that of Tom West, see

Top 10 dyslexia blogs

Saturday, 27 June 2009

27. Picture browsing - Cooliris updated

The original Cooliris (see this blog 8 January 2009) was a stand alone browser. Now they have brought out a new version (in response to user requests) which sits inside the browser.


Friday, 26 June 2009

26. Managing pictures with Microsoft Office Picture Manager

If you need a way to make simple changes to your images, such as adjusting image size before emailing, and so not want to track something down on the internet, you could try Microsoft Office Picture Manager. If comes free with Office 2003 and 2007. It is not as intuitive as some, but if you have Office, it means you do not have to go further than your list of programs.

Below are two links to guides.

Picture Manager 1

Picture Manager 2

Thursday, 25 June 2009

25. Storybooks from Scotland

This is a great little website that, according to its own words "contains a captivating collection of activities for children aged 5-8 years. The site is based on popular children's stories by authors Scoular Anderson, Debi Gliori, Mairi Hedderwick and Frank Rodgers." This is backed up by interactive activities and authors readings.


Wednesday, 24 June 2009

24. New desktop - from YODM

YODM stands for Yet anOther Desktop Manager, and this offers the chance to have several environments running at once. For example you can have a work, a study and a home version. Each is set up on a virtual cube.

Although there are newer version, this one is the last that was free.

Yet anOther Desktop Manager

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

23. Stickies in iGoogle

There are a number of "stickies" and "Post-It" programs that sit neatly on your computer. But now you can have a stickie in your iGoogle home page. This means the stickie will always be with you, and it you make the note on your work computer, it will also appear on your home computer.

Verdict: I have installed it already.

iGoogle Stickie

Monday, 22 June 2009

22. Move and resize - KDE Resize and Move

This has become one of my favourite programs. Simple, but so useful! When you want to move a window in XP or Vista, you normally have to go to the bar at the top of that window (mine is the default blue). Imagine instead if you could go to anywhere in the window to move it. That is what this little program does. Install it (technically download, unzip and put it in your Startup folder) and then you can put the cursor anywhere in the window, hold down the Alt key, and the left mouse and move the window. It is wonderful! And once you have it, you will wonder how you survived without it.

And the bonus is that if you hold down the right key, you can also resize the window just as easily.

KDE Resize and Move

Sunday, 21 June 2009

21. Window 7 speech-to-text - a review

The speech-to-text in Vista is quite good, but the Window 7 version, out later this year, is even better. Here is a preview of its capabilities. (Sorry the video goes on a bit longer than needed.) If you are using it for basics, maybe this could cover most of your needs!

Windows speech-to-text

Saturday, 20 June 2009

20. Child friendly computers - from Asus and Disney

It seems that Asus and Disney have hooked up to produce an 8.9 inch computer which has built in child-friendly components. This may help them be more acceptable to the reluctant young learner, and at apparently a scheduled price of $250 (sorry, no European price offered), also should help minimise the digital divide.

Asus - Disney Notebook

Friday, 19 June 2009

19. Event management - with Marxio Timer

I do not install all the software I highlight on this blog. But this is one I do use on a regular basis. Marxio Timer is a simple interface that runs in the background and can perform a number of functions. The one I use it for most is to set reminders. It has a good countdown clock, and also will close applications at certain times if you set it to do so. (To stop yourself web browsing after lunch time is over?)

Marxio Timer

Thursday, 18 June 2009

18. Speech-to-text - Dragon 10

This seven minute video provide a good overview of what Dragon NaturallySpeaking can do. I particularly liked the extended commands shown.

Dragon NaturallySpeaking 10 video

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

17. Quick links for web pages - Transferr

This is a good simple online tool for develop a nice user interface for quick access to your web pages. It creates images from the websites you give it, to create a simple to use visual display.


Tuesday, 16 June 2009

16. Buzan mind maps update - iMindMap

Tony Buzan, the man who owns the Registered Trade Mark for Mind Maps, has just release a new version of his iMindMap software. Visit the website to download trial versions. See the Chuck Frey's review.


Review by Chuck Frey

Monday, 15 June 2009

15. New wave of communication tools - Google Wave

This is not actually released yet, but is a view of things to come. Wave is the new way to communicate, apparently with richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more. A wave is equal parts conversation and document, included shared.

Of particular note is that Google are moving forward with the notion of spellchecking by making greater use of context thanks to the huge databases they now have. It all sounds very exciting.

Google Wave

Spelling Correction

Sunday, 14 June 2009

14. Tutoring with Tutrrme

This is an interesting concept, though may be a little early in the development to be of much interest to many readers of this blog. However, I hope you can see the potential.

Basically it puts tutors and students together, being really a way to find the right person for the job. It is free, but there are currently very few tutors. (I assume if money does have to change hands, it does so through private contract.) I like in particular the maps that allow you to find the right person by location through a map rather than having to search through many long lists. It is a good idea, and it would be great if there was something specific for dyslexic individuals looking for support.

However, it is early days.


Saturday, 13 June 2009

13. Learning to type well - Goodtyping

Looking to learn to type? Here is a possible website, which also has versions in different languages (Spanish, French , German, Italian and Portuguese).

While it does not work in reinforcing phonics, it does provide a simple easy free method.


Friday, 12 June 2009

12. Plagiarism checker from Plagium

I like this plagiarism checker as all I need to do is copy my text from my document, insert into the box, and the software does the rest. That way I can see who has been using my words without me knowing. It also means that if you copy and pasted some text from the web, and then forgot which are your words and which are somebody else's, this is a good way to check!


Thursday, 11 June 2009

11. Remember simply - with Superminder

This is one of the easier reminder systems I have found so far. Sign up is just an email address and password. Then you pick a date from the calendar up to one year in advance, add a few words for the reminder, and the reminder comes to your email address. You can also add sms messaging, but you do have to pay for that through a Paypal system.


10. Saving the efforts - imacros in Firefox

Do you ever get fed up with repeatedly having to fill out forms, especially when they go over two pages. Or how about downloading information, or uploading when you do the same thing each time? This Firefox extension makes all that possible through a simple little tool with which you can save the steps, and repeat them later with the simple click of a button.

iMacros for Firefox

And in case you are lost as to how you do it, here are a couple of demos.

Demos for iMacros

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

9. Touch screen - Asus Eee PC T91

Asus have just release a new "netbook" with a 8.9 inch touch screen. This would be very useful for those who find trouble with the mouse because you need to look at the screen and still know what you hand is doing.

But what I like about this video is that it shows how the tablet can be used beyond thinking of it as just using a stylus.

Asus touchscreen

Monday, 8 June 2009

8. New search - from Bing

Bing is the new search engine from Microsoft, which is hoping (and already claiming - much to some people's disbelief) to rival Google and Yahoo. So far I cannot say it is particularly dyslexia friendly,but it is still in a Beta testing phase. It is still text led, and you cannot be sure which links are paid for. There is no within-page preferences, which would have been nice.


Sunday, 7 June 2009

7. Download videos - Keepvid

Do you go to Youtube and find a brilliant video only to find that a) you could not find it again, or b) you want to review it when you are not online? And this may be how to revise, and not just a music video! This online site enables you to download software and then view it at your leisure.


Saturday, 6 June 2009

6. Translation - from Babelfish

I could not find when Babelfish first started, but I am sure it was more than ten years ago, with AltaVista. Now it is supported by Yahoo, and comes as a Firefox download. Let us not kid ourselves, this is far from perfect translation. (To check, try translating something and then have it machine translated back to the original!) But it is better than nothing. (I have used it many times just to get an idea of what a document says.) Apparently it can translate among English, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Swedish, and Spanish. Not good enough for legal work, but a reasonable starting point for a rough guide (or some quick homework cheating!).


Friday, 5 June 2009

5. Concept mapping shared - with webspiration

This is another web based tool for developing and sharing concept maps. I did not find it too intuitive, but that may be because I did not spend enough time with it.


Thursday, 4 June 2009

4. Highlighting webpage -Wizlite

If you are somebody who likes to highlight text in a document, you must be frustrated when you search the internet. Unless, that is, you copy and paste it into a Word doc. But that can be a little messy. But Wizlite offers a simple alternative. This tool (available as a Firefox extension or bookmarklet) enables you to highlight text, and to share that highlighting with others.


Wednesday, 3 June 2009

3. Big memory - 64G from OCZ

I started this blog just over three hundred entries ago. Ad in those days I was talking about finding a good 2Gb stick that did all I need. But now I hear there are 64Gb memory sticks. Not quite as some I have mentioned. But still fit onto a keyring. That means you could carry all your software and all your files, including songs and videos (a video is typically around 3Gb). This is a long way towards a plug and play office, where you just sit down anywhere with a "dummy terminal" and have everything to hand. But don't forget to back up!

64Gb memory stick

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

2. When is it due - isdueon

This website is yet another reminders site, but with a greater emphasis on paying bills and other life activities (i.e. outside education). Simply enter the item, date and amount, and it will send email at the appropriate time. Not much more to say really except try it! I like sites that have easy registration, like this.

Is Due On

Monday, 1 June 2009

1. May Review

There was a lot to report this month about hardware, though also there were a number of interesting developments in the area of browsers.

3. Big sales for little laptops
5. Examining the way forward, with Norwegian computers
10. Digital camera with Polaroid prints
13. Laptops - Asus new 8.9 in tablet
15. E-books - Kindle DX
20. Flexible ebooks – Readius
27. E-book reader - from iRex

Concept maps
11. Concept mapping for projects - ConceptDraw
31 Reflections on concept mapping
19. Concept mapping - shared through Novamind

29. Reminders through Twitter – Mindmeto
28. When is it due – isdueon

12. Recovering bookmarks - Enhanced Bookmarks
17. Unknown changes
18. The new killer app? - WolframAlpha
23. Tidy website reading - TidyRead
24. Wolfram Alpha on test
26. Giving more viewing space - Tiny Menu
30. Google Chrome update

2. Edysgate revisited - Dyslexia wins
4. Waiting for approval - Approver
7. Talking books - with Stanza
8. Word mining - VocabGrabber
9. Using avatars - Star Trek style
14. Uploading and online sharing - Docverse
16. Making comics offline - Comic Life
21. Screen recording - BB Flashback Express
22. PDF to Excel - pdftoexcelonline
25. Online flashcards - Cobocards