June 29, 2011
Often times we find ourselves complacent with the Windows and Mac applications that we already own. However, once you check out these great apps you will be wondering why you haven’t heard about or used all of these before. From design to productivity, we have you covered in this weeks edition of Unplggd’s Weekly Download Recommendations.
IrfanView: Great for beginners and experienced users, IrfanView is a freeware graphic viewer that has many unique and interesting features. This application supports a plethora of file types including Adobe Photoshop filters. For the incredible price of free, it’s hard to find a better option for the last majority of your photo needs (pictured above).
June 14, 2011
As the battle between traditional desktop apps and web apps rages on, there an interesting middle ground forming: desktop apps that bring the best features of web apps right to your desktop. As part of Unplggd’s Weekly Download Recommendations, this week we rounded up some of the best native applications that replace popular web apps. Now you don’t need to leave those same tabs open all the time in your browser; they’ll have their own home on your desktop.
June 7, 2011
Dropbox has quickly proven itself to be one of those “must have” applications. Its seamless interface make syncing files between your multiple computers are breeze. While your primary reasons for using Dropbox may be the ones advertised on the site, with some third party hacks and settings tweaks there are some truly awesome uses for your Dropbox account.
DropTunes: Playing audio files from your Dropbox account is already something that can be done. However, DropTunes takes the pain out of clicking each individual file and creates playlists from the music folders that you store in your Dropbox. Additionally, DropTunes give you a nice user interface to adjust volume, pause, and even click forward and back tracks.
March 3, 2011
We’ve all had this problem: we wake up in the morning and find out that our computer virus scan that was scheduled late last night is still running and basically stops you from getting any work done on your computer unless you interrupt or cancel it. Here are a few ways that we’ve found to make these scans run faster.
1. Run a default virus scan: Deep virus scans are thorough, but if you have a lot of data, they can take a lot of time. They can last anywhere from a few hours to over a day, so use the default level scan unless you really want every nook and cranny of your machine scanned.
2. Free up space on your hard drive: The more data the virus scanner has to check, the longer the scan will take. Delete anything you don’t need, and try to keep the apps to a minimum.
3. Run scans selectively: Instead of scanning all of your hard drives, program your software to scan only one hard drive per scan. The other hard drives can be scheduled for scans on other days. That way, you are only scanning one hard drive per scheduled virus checkup.
4. Run scans on your main hard drives: If you use a multiple USB hard drives which aren’t plugged in all of the time, then you can keep scan time to a minimum by running the scans only on your main hard drive. Periodically, you should scan also those hard drives, say every two to three weeks.
5. Pause your scan: Start your scan when you go to bed on a week night, pause it when you get up if you have to use the computer, then start it up again once you leave for work. This gives your computer time to scan pretty much everything.
(Image: HD Free Wallpapers)
This story appears in partnership with Unplggd, a site for people who embrace technology and design in their home.
Balance, Products, Technology
April 21, 2010
[Discover just ran this fascinating piece by Christine and I couldn't resist it for Lifework. I'd love to know if any of you try this software. You'll have to read to the end to see why I've included a photo of Jim and Pam's wedding from The Office, courtesy of NBC's official site. Cerentha]
It started where it always does, with me wishing for more time. Since 24 hours a day is all any of us get, I’d need to be more efficient. Enter RescueTime, software that records, in a very Big Brotherish way, where you spend your time on your computer. As you use Word or Excel, shop at zappos.com, or play Farmville on Facebook, RescueTime is running in the background, mercilessly recording ever minute of it.
Initially I thought it was cool. The very first day, RescueTime awarded me a blue ribbon and told me I was in the top two percent of users—oh, the rush! But it turned out I hadn’t properly launched the program the day before, and those stellar results were only for the previous five minutes.
I have several computers I use throughout the day for different projects. Every time I returned to the computer on which I’d installed the software, RescueTime demanded to know where I’d been. The default responses include “Leisure” and “Other work” and the program allows you to customize. (I created a category called “Doggy management,” since I have a high maintenance dog.)
Often it was tough to be accurate. On a normal day, I might be away from my main computer for four hours, during which I’ve worked on a client’s project, thrown meat in the crock pot, and played tennis. There’s no way to log those activities individually, unless you remember to return to your computer between each one.
Furthermore, I sometimes found myself responding to the constant “where have you been, young lady?” like a recalcitrant teenager, clicking on the “None of your business (don’t log this time)” button, even when the time had been spent productively. While this tactic was personally gratifying, it did not help my productivity score.
To its credit, RescueTime did curtail my Facebook habit. I work alone and Facebook is to me what the water cooler is to office workers. RescueTime noticed when I lingered there too long (something you can set in the preferences) and notified me. I learned how to go to Facebook, skim my friends’ status updates, comment on a few, and leave. No more disappearing down the rabbit hole!
That worked great until a friend emailed me a link to Superwolf Ogles, a Facebook page written by a cat who is in an open relationship and has political leanings (Meo-ism).
Impossible to resist, right? I took a quick peek. Soon I was looking at a picture of a young woman named Steffani sitting on the Great Wall of China, and then at wedding photos of another complete stranger.
RescueTime waggled its Big Brother finger at me, but, already on my way to the video clip of Jim and Pam’s wedding dance (on “The Office”), I just sneered. The only one who can rescue my time is still me.