Saturday, 29 August 2009

29. Office suites

There are many offline and online Office systems now available. Here is a collection of free systems, two of which are my own wider collections (BATS and PATS).

07-Aug-08 World on a USB
12-Aug-08 Online office "systems" - Zoho
01-Sep-08 BATS - Basic Assistive Technology Suite
12-Oct-08 Finance and free software (OpenOffice)
26-Oct-08 Portable Assistive Technology Suite (PATS)

Friday, 28 August 2009

28. File conversion

There are many reasons why you may want to convert a file from one format to another. Here are four online systems that could help.

25-Nov-08 Converting PDFs
23-Jan-09 Conversions - in Zamzar
14-Mar-09 Conversion - pdf to word
22-May-09 PDF to Excel - pdftoexcelonline

Thursday, 27 August 2009

27. Undeleting files

This is only one entry, but it can be a life saver if you happen to have deleted a file accidentally. It also goes onto a USB memory stick making it portable.

04-Sep-08 Recovery of deleted files - Undelete Plus

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

25. Browsers start page

These are three entries that are good home pages you can construct based on the pages you use most. Of course you can do this in iGoogle. But these three present visual forms.

22-Jan-09 Visual links - Homepage Startup
17-Mar-09 Quick web view - Sthrt
17-Jun-09 Quick links for web pages - Transferr

Monday, 24 August 2009

24. Summarize and synopsis

After a full year, I have only now realised that there has been only one summarizer entry. I shall try harder next year as I know there are a number out there worth considering. Basically, while everybody talks about text-to-speech to access large bodies of text, you still need to hold the content in memory. Why not instead try to reduce the memory load by reducing the total amount of text using software that creates summaries of that text? As Web 3.0 begins to develop, this is one for the future.

27-Aug-08 Cutting down reading - Subject Search Summarizer 4.01

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Saturday, 22 August 2009

22. Search functions

This year we have seen WolframAlpha and Bing come online. But probably more exciting from a dyslexia perspective are sites such as SearchMe (6 October 2008) which make the presentation of the information much easier to handle.

14-Aug-08 Research online - Zotero
06-Oct-08 SearchMe - The Visual Browser
17-Oct-08 Advanced search strategies
03-Dec-08 Advance search from Google - or not!
23-Dec-08 Search engine meets concept maps
24-May-09 Wolfram Alpha on test
08-Jun-09 New search - from Bing

Thursday, 20 August 2009

20. Location finding

There are an increasing number of mash-ups that combine different components such as GPS with Google maps, to help find where you want to go, where you are, and where the taxi can find you. These are spreading rapidly and will be widely used in the next year, no doubt.

23-Aug-08 Location hardware - Loc8tor
03-Jan-09 A taste of things to come – with extra Zhiing
09-Feb-09 Where am I? - Google Latitude
08-Mar-09 Giving some Latitude to Google
28-May-09 Location, location - with Zhiing

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

19. Backing up

I have to be honest here - I started to use Dropbox and then stopped. Not because I did not like it or it was not effective. It looks very good. It was just that, well, I could not find the three minutes need to set it up.

22-Aug-08 Mobile Office backup

29-Aug-08 Online backup - Carbonite
15-Sep-08 Store, Sync and Share files - with Dropbox
16-Dec-08 Back-ups
04-Feb-09 Backing up syncplicity
26-Apr-09 Email and backing up

Monday, 17 August 2009

17. Automated functions and short-cuts

I use AutoHotKeys all the time for making short-cuts. It requires a little programming skills, but it is worth it. It means I can do so much automatically from opening software to putting repetitive messages into an email.

09-Aug-08 Automated functions - Auto Hot Keys
19-Jun-09 Event management - with Marxio Timer
20-Jul-09 Desktop shortcuts and automate tasks - from Winautomation
23-Jul-09 Shut down your computer remotely

Sunday, 16 August 2009

16. Keyboard Skills

I always consider myself as being fortunate for having been forced to learn to type when I was younger. I see so many people struggling with keyboard skills, and fail to understand why nobody puts them in front of a simple program to improve those skills. Computers are so universal it is difficult to imagine somebody not benefiting from the development of such skills.

16-Aug-08 Keyboard skills - Qwerty Warriors

18-Sep-08 Did you know - Maltron Keyboards
09-Oct-08 Typing tutor - Nessie Fingers
24-Apr-09 Typing tutor - From Pete
13-Jun-09 Learning to type well - Goodtyping

Saturday, 15 August 2009

15. Time management

There are many types of time management software to contemplate, from ones that keep you out, to ones that track your activities, as well as things that do a certain function at a set time. Marxio Timer is a favourite of mine.

30-Aug-08 Time management - Time Sprite
06-Dec-08 Time (mis) management - AppActivity 2.0
25-Feb-09 Keep Out - Keepmeout
27-Feb-09 Time management - Manictime
19-Jun-09 Event management - with Marxio Timer
15-Jul-09 Scheduling meetings - with Doodle

Thursday, 13 August 2009

13. Speech to text

I beleive what is happening in many areas of technology, including speech-to-text, is that the heavy work end of the service is moving away from the end user and onto the internet. So in the past, to search the web using speech-to-text you had to have the software installed locally. But now you can speak to the mobile phone and the search is carried out using speech-to-text that is held online. It will only be a matter of time before there is full speech-to-text for ordinary document writing online too.

23-Oct-08 Speech-to-text - Dragon V10
19-Nov-08 Search the web by voice on your iPhone
09-Mar-09 Sounding off - With Vista Speech Recognition
30-Mar-09 Voice search - Blackberry and Google
12-Apr-09 Remote control by voice
18-Jun-09 Speech-to-text - Dragon 10 (video)
21-Jun-09 Window 7 speech-to-text - a review
16-Jul-09 Mobile speech to text - Voice on the Go

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

12. Onscreen magnifiers

Sometimes it is nice just to have a way to make the screen, or part of the screen bigger. My favourite is probably PicPick, which is really a picture editing program, but has a built in magnifier. However, the entry for 8 August 2008 also provides a source for many other magnifiers.

08-Aug-08 Free Magnifiers - Virtual magnifying glass
08-Oct-08 Zoom It
08-Jul-09 Picture editing program with screen grab - with PicPick

Monday, 10 August 2009

10. Optical Character Recognition

The world of scanning has evolved rapidly over the past twelve months, with the idea of cumbersome flat book scanners being replaced with mobile phone and online services. We are still not quite there, but there is a lot to already take advantage of.

04-Aug-08 Free scanning from your mobile phone - Scanr
07-Jan-09 Improved scans from your phone - Snapter
16-Apr-09 Online OCR - InstantOCR

Sunday, 9 August 2009

9. Shared desktops

I do like these new tools. You do get what you pay for (Elluminate offers better than video, but you have to pay for it) but the like of Dimdim and Teamviewer are free, and offer many valuable support possibilities.

26-Aug-08 Shared remote screens - Teamviewer
19-Dec-08 Ultimate sharing experience - Dimdim
14-Jan-09 Screensharing for Macs - Skype
05-Apr-09 Sharing all - Mikogo
11-Apr-09 Screensharing update - Dimdim
11-Jul-09 Video conference and shared environments - with Elluminate

Saturday, 8 August 2009

8. Document sharing

These I do find fun. I am not the sort that will go with Google Docs all in one go. I prefer to learn one system at a time. I use Editgrid and Etherpad all the time. ShowDocument looks like it could be interesting.

11-Sep-08 Shared whiteboard - Scriblink
03-Oct-08 Online spreadsheets - Editgrid
10-Oct-08 Online Whiteboard - Scribblar
29-Oct-08 Share your documents - ShowDocument
28-Feb-09 Online word processing - Shutterborg
28-Jul-09 Collaborative documents with Etherpad

Thursday, 6 August 2009

6. Plagiarism

I have not had a great requirement for accidental plagiarism software. But I do occasionally check to see if somebody is using my work without asking. These five are a good starting point.

24 Oct-08
12-Jun-09 Plagiarism checker from Plagium
03-Jul-09 Plagiarism - from Turnitin

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

04. Reminders systems with email and sms

These are reminder systems that send you an email when a deadline is reached (or is about to be reached). For example, lets say you have a deadline for project/essay plans to be completed. So you set a reminder for say 48 hours before, since you know you may forget. Then a reminder is sent out automatically, either by email (free) or through sms (not so free). As a Blackberry user with instant access to email, I do not need the sms option. The more sophisticated versions have a whole "college course management system". This could be very useful for some, especially if they had somebody to help ensure everything is put on the system.

Authors' choice: Superminder

17-Aug-08 Reminders online - Remember the milk
20-Oct-08 Email and SMS reminders - Soshiku
11-Dec-08 Beat the Deadline
25-Dec-08 Forgetting dates - You need a freminder
09-Jan-09 Keeping track - Using TrackClass
29-May-09 Reminders through Twitter - Mindmeto
02-Jun-09 When is it due - isdueon
11-Jun-09 Remember simply - with Superminder
06-Jul-09 Remember the milk - with iGoogle

Monday, 3 August 2009

03. Password protection

I did not know how much I needed password protection until I had it. I now use Keepass all the time (probably five times a day), whenever I log onto a website, whether it is Facebook, my bank account or this blog. Of course most of the time I log in using this machine, and Firefox will retain many of the passwords. But I do run another machine, and therefore I can transfer the portable Keepass via a USB memory stick. However, I admit that I should also have an online system for the very important ones, not least because I keep forgetting to back up the latest copy of Keepass. My fear is that there are still several instance when I need a password and do not have internet access. For any budding programmers out there, maybe there is still room for another service - an online password protection, which includes a local backup!

Authors choice: Keepass

28-Aug-08 Password Protection - Keepass
28-Oct-08 Forgotten passwords in Firefox
27-Dec-08 Online password management - Clipperz
10-Mar-09 Password plus online
15-Apr-09 Online password protection - Passpack

Sunday, 2 August 2009

02. Translation Services

There were nine reviews that came under the category of Translation Services. My favour is IM Translator. It has many languages for text-to-speech, and a vast number of translation pairs, as well as reverse translation. However, I like the Babelfish on my blog (and Google Translate, though it was not featured during the year).

03-Aug-08 The "No Pain" way to speak a foreign language - Emime

14-Oct-08 Scanning translator
16-Oct-08 Translation and text to speech - IM Translator
28-Jan-09 A nice translator - Nicetranslator
06-Jun-09 Translation - from Babelfish
02-Jul-09 Multingual translations - Foxlingo
05-Jul-09 Translation - making choices
14-Jul-09 Multilingual support - ClaroLingo
18-Jul-09 Definitions and translations from Answertips

Saturday, 1 August 2009

01. July Review

Today makes the first day of the second year of this blog. And tomorrow begins the Annual Review. But here below is the review for July. And my picks for the month? No question - PicPick (08) and iKon Maps (29).

Concept maps

10. Timeline and Gantt charts - Timeglider
13. Concept maps - with Wonder Wheel in Google
29. Concept mapping made simple with iKon maps

08. Picture editing program with screen grab - with PicPick
21. Picture editing program (better than GIMP?) - Aviary
22. Business drawing program - SmartDraw

19. Apple netbook coming soon? With touchscreen!
24. Dual screens - from EVGA's InterView

Reminders and memory
06. Remember the milk - with iGoogle
15. Scheduling meetings - with Doodle
17. Birthday reminder with iGoogle

04. Driving test - icandrive on iPhones
07. Making stories - with Storybook
25. Making educational games with Sharendipity

02. Multilingual translation - Foxlingo
05. Translation - making choices
14. Multilingual support - ClaroLingo
18. Definitions and translations from Answertips

03. Plagiarism - from Turnitin
09. Search pad - from Yahoo
11. Video conference and shared environments - with Elluminate
12. Browser update - Firefox 3.5
16. Mobile speech to text - Voice on the Go
20. Desktop shortcuts and automate tasks - from Winautomation
23. Shut down your computer remotely
26. The colour of money - from Google
27. Recording Skype video with Pamela
28. Collaborative documents with Etherpad
30. Statistics in pictures - with Cyberwit
31. The future of computer - Web 3.0