Archive for the ‘ Software ’ Category

PStart

A “Personal Start Menu,” you can customize what shows up in it and assign your programs into groups and folders for easy access. Ideal for managing any portable apps you may have.  All in all, pretty cool.

Pros:
Works just as advertised. Has a ‘scan for executables’ option: point it to a folder and it shows you all your .exe files, which can then be moved into groups or folders to you like.  Can also, I think, show files.

Cons:
Bland look.  To keep groups from nesting you have to add separators.  Sometimes required wiggling to move items from one group to another.

Rating:  8  8/10

Grab this program here.  Enjoy!

About the ratings: 
I copied Wired Magazine’s rating system because I like and I think it works well.  Here’s the key:
1 = A complete failure in every way
2 = Barely functional – don’t get it
3 = Serious flaws, proceed with caution
4 = Downsides outweigh upsides
5 = Recommended with reservations
6 = A solid product with some issues
7 = Very good, but not great
8 = Excellent, with room to kvetch
9 = Nearly flawless – get it now
10 = Metaphysical product perfection

How to setup/print half-letter-size booklets

If your window looks like this

You have this version of Word.  Remember this.  You will need it.

image

Microsoft Word 2007

clip_image004

Microsoft Word 97-03

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SETUP

For Microsoft Word 2007

1. Click on the Page Layout tab
image
2. Click Size
image
3. Scroll to the bottom of the list, and choose ‘Half Letter’ (Fifth from the bottom)
image
4. Under the Page Layout tab, click Margins
image
5. Choose Narrow
image

For Microsoft Word 97-03
1. Click File
File Menu
2. Choose Page Setup
Choose Page Setup
3. On the Margins tab, set Top, Bottom, Left, and Right to 0.5
Small Margins
4. On the Paper Size tab, change Letter to Half Letter (6th from the bottom)
Half letter selection
5. Press OK
OK

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PRINTING

For Microsoft Word 2007
1. Look at the table below to find how many blank pages you’ll need to put on the end of your booklet
2. Click on the Office logo in the top left hand corner of the window
07 - Office Logo
3. Hover over Print, then choose Print again in the resulting list
07 - Print Hover 07 - Choose Print
4. Set Pages Per Sheet to 2 (Under the Zoom heading)
07 - 2 Pages
5. Use the table below to find out how to finish the print job

For Microsoft Word 97-03
1. Look at the table below to find how many blank pages you’ll need to put on the end of your booklet
2. Click File
File Menu
3. Choose Print
03 - Select Print
4. Set Pages Per Sheet to 2
03 - 2 Pages
5. Use the table below to find out how to finish the print job

==============================

 

If you have written this many half-size pages (including the title page)

Add this many blank pages to the end

Put this in the Pages box (under Page Range).  Then follow the paragraph below the table.

Then put this in the Pages box after following the below paragraph
10 2 2, 11, 4, 9, 6, 7 12, 1, 10, 3, 8, 5
11 1 2, 11, 4, 9, 6, 7 12, 1, 10, 3, 8, 5
12 0 2, 11, 4, 9, 6, 7 12, 1, 10, 3, 8, 5
13 3 2, 15, 4, 13, 6, 11, 8, 9 16, 1, 14, 3, 12, 5, 10, 7
14 2 2, 15, 4, 13, 6, 11, 8, 9 16, 1, 14, 3, 12, 5, 10, 7
15 1 2, 15, 4, 13, 6, 11, 8, 9 16, 1, 14, 3, 12, 5, 10, 7
16 0 2, 15, 4, 13, 6, 11, 8, 9 16, 1, 14, 3, 12, 5, 10, 7
17 3 2, 19, 4, 17, 6, 15, 8, 13, 10, 11 20, 1, 18, 3, 16, 5, 14, 7, 12, 9
18 2 2, 19, 4, 17, 6, 15, 8, 13, 10, 11 20, 1, 18, 3, 16, 5, 14, 7, 12, 9
19 1 2, 19, 4, 17, 6, 15, 8, 13, 10, 11 20, 1, 18, 3, 16, 5, 14, 7, 12, 9
20 0 2, 19, 4, 17, 6, 15, 8, 13, 10, 11 20, 1, 18, 3, 16, 5, 14, 7, 12, 9
21 3 2, 23, 4, 21, 6, 19, 8, 17, 10, 15, 12, 13 24, 1, 22, 3, 20, 5, 18, 7, 16, 9, 14, 11
22 2 2, 23, 4, 21, 6, 19, 8, 17, 10, 15, 12, 13 24, 1, 22, 3, 20, 5, 18, 7, 16, 9, 14, 11
23 1 2, 23, 4, 21, 6, 19, 8, 17, 10, 15, 12, 13 24, 1, 22, 3, 20, 5, 18, 7, 16, 9, 14, 11
24 0 2, 23, 4, 21, 6, 19, 8, 17, 10, 15, 12, 13 24, 1, 22, 3, 20, 5, 18, 7, 16, 9, 14, 11
25 3 2, 27, 4, 25, 6, 23, 8, 21, 10, 19, 12, 17, 14, 15 28, 1, 26, 3, 24, 5, 22, 7, 20, 9, 18, 11, 16, 13

Print the pages according to the third column, then put them in order so that that the largest numbered page on the left side is on top (e.g. first the whole-size page with half-size pages 10 and 11, then the whole-size page with half-size 8 and 13, then the whole-size page with half-size pages 6 and 15, etc). It might already be this way. Turn them around so the blank side is facing you, then do all of the past steps again but with the numbers from the fourth column in the Pages box

Trillian Astra

This is an IM client along the lines of Meebo or (presumably, I’ve never used it) Digsby.  Kind of obscure, but a really great program. 

Pros:
Slick user interface.  Connects to:  AIM, ICQ, Bonjour, Facebook IM, IRC, MySpaceIM, Skype, Windows Live Messenger, XMPP (all Jabber, XMPP, and Google Talk networks), and Yahoo! Messenger.  It also has support for any POP3 or IMAP enabled email account and Twitter.  Lots of great color themes.  The main window doesn’t take up any space in your taskbar, just a small icon in your system tray.  You can switch it from one tabbed chat windows to multiple single-conversation windows.  When connected to certain clients (at least Windows Live Messenger) certain words, when mouseover-ed, pop up a Wikipedia article about that word.  Tested and certain words:  bacon, yay, and The Sixth Sense.  Windows snap to other windows and the edges of the screen.

Cons:
You must manually reconnect to Facebook every time you log on (basically, when you restart your computer).  Won’t pick up responses from one (only one!) of my friends on Facebook, but I suspect that’s an issue with Facebook.  As far as I can tell, disconnects you when your computer screensavers.

Rating:  9 9/10

Get it here.

About the ratings: 
I copied Wired Magazine’s rating system because I like it and I think it works well.  Here’s the key:
1 = A complete failure in every way
2 = Barely functional – don’t get it
3 = Serious flaws, proceed with caution
4 = Downsides outweigh upsides
5 = Recommended with reservations
6 = A solid product with some issues
7 = Very good, but not great
8 = Excellent, with room to kvetch
9 = Nearly flawless – get it now
10 = Metaphysical product perfection

 

On the left is the main window, on the right is an open chat windowTrillian Astra
No ma’am, no names here, nothing to worry yourself about.

My Portable Apps

This is a post I wrote a couple of weeks ago, saved it as a draft on Windows Live Writer until I could get links, and promptly forgot about it:

I’ve got a couple portable apps (only one from the actual PortableApps website) that I like.  Here they are:

Highly Recommended

  • Defraggler
    The best disk defragmenter I’ve ever used.  My favorite function is the Defrag Selected Files feature, so I can defrag just, say, a few files I was moving around.  Also much faster than the Windows built-in defragmenter.
  • Revo Uninstaller
    I’ve raved about Revo before, see this post to see its awesomeness.
  • Everything
    A crazy powerful, crazy fast search engine for files on your computer.  See this post.

Other good ones

  • Portable Google Chrome
    I use this when I want my bookmarks on someone else’s computer, or when Firefox is having beta-derived issues.
  • Weird Metronome
    A really fun and easy-to-use beat maker.  See their website for yourself.
  • Portable Movie Maker
    Replaces all the stuff that Windows Live Movie Maker got rid of.  I don’t make too many movies, it doesn’t get a lot of use, still good to have for when I need it.  Also, my netbook’s built in Movie Maker is FUBAR’d.

Ones I don’t use too much, but are good to have.

  • ClamWin Portable
    Portable virus checking for files; I don’t use this much because I don’t download much on computers besides my own.  Still, good to have.
  • Tor Browser
    On days when I’m feeling paranoid, I use Tor Browser (It’s really just Firefox with built-in Tor).  Sadly, it’s slower than Chrome so I don’t use too often.  Anonymity’s good, though, when I want it.
  • EditPadLite
    A totally customizable version of Notepad; on my computer I use Notepad++ instead.  On other computers, I usually use it as a to-do list sort of thing.

SphereXPlorer

This is meant to be a browser where instead of tabs, it pulls up multiple windows and you can arrange them around a ‘sphere’. Good idea, not so great program.

Pros:
Good idea for a program.  Easy to resize and move your windows around. 

Cons:
Hard to see the tiny windows on my MSI Wind’s screen.  Issues with lag.  Leaves behind marks when you move or close a window.

Rating:  4 4/10

You can download it here, if you like.

About the ratings: 
I copied Wired Magazine’s rating system because I like and I think it works well.  Here’s the key:
1 = A complete failure in every way
2 = Barely functional – don’t get it
3 = Serious flaws, proceed with caution
4 = Downsides outweigh upsides
5 = Recommended with reservations
6 = A solid product with some issues
7 = Very good, but not great
8 = Excellent, with room to kvetch
9 = Nearly flawless – get it now
10 = Metaphysical product perfection

SphereXPlorer

How to Change to Color of Office 2007

The default Office 2007 color is blue; you can change it to black or silver.

If you want pictures accompanying each step, go to this Instructable that I made.

1. Open any Office 2007 window (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc)
2.  Click on the Office 2007 logo in the top left corner
3.  Choose ~ Options, where ~ is the name of your window (Word Options, PowerPoint Options, etc)
4.  Make sure the subsequent window is set to the ‘Popular’ tab. 
5.  Under the dropdown list titled Color Scheme currently set to blue, choose either Black or Silver.  I personally prefer the black scheme.
6.  Click OK.
7.  You’re done!  Doing this affects the following Office 2007 windows: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access.  It does not noticeably affect OneNote, InfoPath, or Publisher.  I could not check Groove; I did not want to make an account.

Screenshots!

Black:
6 - Black Window

Silver:
5 - Silver Window

Stickies

Stickies is a small program that creates as many windows as you want (each with customizable background/text color) that you can type in.  They stay where you put them, even through shutdowns and restarts.  They keep their text, even through shutdowns and restarts.  I only have one at the moment, I’m using it to keep track of blog posts that I mean to write.

Here’s my sticky (upper-left corner):
Mah Sticky