TAG: Tools

First Look: Web Whiteboard

Web WhiteBoard Logo

Every day I’m amazed by the kinds of tools people create. Sometimes they’re small free projects, and other times, they’re just tools that solved a specific problem. Thankfully, like me, developers love giving them away for everyone to use.  Today I stumbled across a cool whiteboard tool that lets you collaborate with others for free[1].

10 Things People STILL Pay For (That They Can Get for Free) [2009-2014]

It can be quite discouraging. You go buy something only to find out later that you could have gotten that for free. When looking at technology, there are a number of truly inventive and clever ways you can get things without having to pay for them. This article has a Canadian slant, but most of these 10 things are universal.

This was published in 2009, and I thought it would be cool to go back and check out how free each of these items are now.

The BIG LIST Of Online Tools

List Icon by NemoYou may remember my previous BIG LIST of Google Reader alternatives. Building that list was quite time consuming, but enjoyable. Whenever I tabulate these kind of things, I use them later as an internal reference. This time around, I wanted to shed some light on the ever-growing number of tools out there that exist solely online. If you wanted to check into a domain or determine if your mail server is safe, these tools will help you do that. So, without further delay, here’s the list.

The Elevator Pitch

@jimayson on #SmartDevNet elevator pitch

Photo Credit: Flickr

2013 has been an interesting year for myself, and Calwell. It has been a good year to be involved with technology consulting, and we’ve has helped solve a great deal of technology challenges. During the year, I’ve also seen a great shift. More prolific blogging about real products and ideas. More companies and individuals interested in having me be a part of ideas they’ve created. I have had a few ideas of my own over the years; but I am now in a better position than ever to support and invest in other ideas.

What connects all of this is Calwell’s continued growth. Through the great number of challenges faced and starting with almost little support and less investment – Calwell was not supposed to succeed. Over the years, however, a great deal of amazing folks grew to support what I was doing and that grew to something I’m proud of today. Sure, it’s ongoing, but I’ve learned a lot about this thing called “independent contracting”. Today, many see this as something they want to do. On an average day, I see a number of elevator pitches from various companies and individuals – many of them I have started to invest in.

My Google Reader Replacement Odyssey

Google Reader LogoWhen we first found out about Google’s plan to shut down its Reader product, many of us who used the tool were shocked and disappointed. Surely Google knew that many of the same people who were power users and promote the work they did – also used the very powerful and capable Reader tool to read and discover news? Well, barring a last-minute reprieve, we’re going to lose Google Reader on July 1st. This is an account of some of what I’ve done to replace this important and useful tool during these months – and tool I eventually settled on.

Extract Files From Windows Easy Transfer (MIG) Archives

MIG ViewerThe Windows Easy Transfer Tool is wonderful. Over the years, I’ve come to find it’s utility and function improves with each use. As a migration tool, it’s support for Outlook and Office configurations is useful. The ability to migrate a computer in-place for profiles changes is handy. And, as a profile backup tool, it may be worth a look. Introduced in Windows Vista and available for Windows XP, the Windows Easy Transfer is a tool of many uses, but one of the lingering drawbacks has been the inability to extract files from the generated .MIG archives. Not to worry though, I’ll show you how to do it.

Basics: 2 Utilities You ALREADY Have On Windows That Can Fight A Virus

XP-Infected-EditionRight now, one key reality of supporting Windows computers is that they get viruses. There are more viruses for Windows than on any other computer Operating System that you can get. So, it should come as no surprise that I’m quite interested in what can be done to combat threats on a Windows computer with tools you already have. Today I’m going to look at three tools you’ll find on most any Windows flavour out there: Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7. Namely, wmic and taskkill. This is going to be more of a beginning overview of how you might use these tools to identify and stop a rogue application on your computer

8 Essential Tools For The IT Guy

Often on this blog I write alot about tools or utilities – they are generally interesting applications or programs that I have tested that I thought you might find useful too. What every IT Guy tends to keep, however, is a cache of essential utilities that he/she use with them all the time. As you become more tuned to the kinds of utilities you use, you’ll find ways to make them more available to yourself when you are at the client (at a moments notice). 

6 Free Ways To Work With PDF Files (Decrypt Them Too)

Acrobat LogoPDF files, or “Portable Document Format” (wikipedia) files, are as close to near-ubiquity as anything can be in the technology world. If you have a file, and you want to share it in the format you originally had it laid out in – you’re probably going to be using a PDF file to do that. For many years folks have been creating PDF files with the Acrobat Application and reading them with the Acrobat Reader (get the official free reader here). What many do not know, however, is that the PDF format is so mature now that many of these things you do (and often pay for) can be done without the use of the often slow-and-bloated official applications or can be done completely free. I’ll give you a few scenarios and then the alternative method to go about this – please note, the application listed are for Windows.

A Free Utility That Should be Built Into Windows: GreenPrint

GreenPrint Logo

I’m always looking for new and interesting utilities. The Internet is a wealth of these utilities and many of them are free. In this series of blogs I’ll go over some of the best and most interesting I have found – I welcome you to go try one of them and let me know what you think!

Today, I’m going to look at a small utility that acts simply as a Print Manager or a Print Previewer. This utility gives you the ability to print ONLY the pages you need or want to print and remove the ones you don’t need. This is such an important function on a computer, I’m not sure why everyone doesn’t do it – and what’s more –  why the current version of Windows doesn’t include this utility!