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Yahoo has high hopes for calendar makeover October 8, 2008

Posted by Mike in News, Online Service, Organize, Worth a Look, Yahoo.
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The Internet pioneer will revamp its online calendar starting Wednesday. New: subscriptions, sharing, and targeted advertisements for events.

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A Blogger’s Best Friend: Zoundry’s Blog Writer Software June 4, 2008

Posted by Mike in Blogging, Freebies, Organize, Reviews, Software, Technology.
3 comments

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Attention fellow bloggers!

Zoundry’s Blog Writer software will make your life easier.

How, you ask?

  1. Free software (click to visit download page) makes it easier to compose and upload your posts to popular blog sites like WordPress, Blogger, Typepad, LiveJournal, etc.
  2. Download your existing posts (and categories) into the Blog Writer software for faster editing and updating.
  3. Innovative “Create Link to” feature allows you to quickly locate product images (very helpful if writing a product review) on web sites like Amazon.com and Buy.com. For example, It helped me grab images when writing my post about Father’s Day Gift Ideas.
  4. Use the software to backup your blog posts. After downloading your posts, you can save them as HTML files on your PC.
  5. The software allows you to quickly ping Technorati, Google’s Blog Search, Feed Burner, My Yahoo and and other similar sites.

And more good news…..Zoundry is updating Blog Writer to make it even better. The new version, in beta, is called Zoundry Raven and is available for download now.

Read more about it on Zoundry Raven’s blog.

If this software isn’t to your liking, you may want to try BlogDesk software instead.

Powered by Zoundry

Tips on Setting up a Holiday Budget November 22, 2007

Posted by Mike in Finance, Freebies, Holidays, Learning, Money, Online Service, Organize, Software, Technology.
2 comments

Holiday Candles

How does holiday budgeting find its way onto a blog about technology? Well, it just so happens that technology can help you setup a budget and stick to it. Not to mention, there are web sites and blogs out there with good advice on personal finance.

While November and December is the time for family, turkey, thankfulness, holiday lights and gift giving, January tends to be the time for credit card bills and financial shock and awe.

Hopefully, setting a holiday budget can help you get the best of both worlds: Happiness in November and December without the shock and awe of credit card bills.

With Thanksgiving upon us and Black Friday Ads enticing us to shop and save tomorrow, I’ve located a few tools and advice web sites for you to use.

Do you have any tips or tools that you can share regarding a budget? If you do, please share them.

Happy Holidays!

Pingme and Jott: Two Great Services Mashed Up Together! August 20, 2007

Posted by Mike in Business, Freebies, Online Service, Organize, Technology.
1 comment so far

In my earlier post about PingMe,  I casually suggested that combining the services of PingMe and Jott would be an excellent enhancement to both; kind of like combining chocolate and peanut butter.  Both products benefit. Mmmm. Peanut butter.

 Lo and behold,  Stephen Lombardo of Zetetic LLC was reading.  He and his software development consultancy created PingMe and they’ve now created a PingMe/Jott mashup that turned my suggestion into reality! The mash up allows someone to create a PingMe reminder by calling it in via Jott’s phone to email service!

 Stephen will give you all the mash-up details on the Zetetic site.  Read all about it!

 Thanks, Stephen!

Do You Need a Reminder? Pingme’s Free Online Service will Keep You on Task August 17, 2007

Posted by Mike in Business, Freebies, Online Service, Organize, Technology.
5 comments

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Pingme has designed an easy to use reminder service to help us remember what’s important to us. If you’re like me, you have too much to remember in your daily life. To keep track of it all, I resort to post-it notes stuck to computer monitors, messages scribbled on the back of scraps of paper or emails sent to myself with a “to-do” list.

Whether its a grocery list, an anniversary date or a reminder to pick someone up at the airport, Pingme can help.

With a free Pingme account, you can setup the service to send a reminder to your email address or your mobile phone as a text message. These reminders can be recurring (i.e. once a year to remember your anniversary) or a one time reminder to pickup your friends at the airport.

Pingme also has a “pester” option that allows me to send my reminder more frequently, say every hour, 30 minutes or 10 minutes.   I’d get irritated (at myself) quickly if I received a reminder every 10 minutes.  However, to each his/her own and that may be a valuable feature to you.

When I setup my account, I was asked to verify my email address and mobile phone number (via text message). After doing so, I logged in to create a new reminder for myself. You can add multipe emails and phone numbers too. You’ll be able to choose where to send the reminder (email, phone or both).

I think the folks at Jott and the folks at Pingme should join forces to create a stellar service.

Jott’s voice to email technology could be modified by PingMe to quickly create reminders when I’m driving in my car and not in front of my computer.

Take a look at Pingme and keep it in mind the next time you’re staring at your post-it covered computer monitor trying to remember what you forgot.

Get Organized with “Tidy Start Menu” Software July 9, 2007

Posted by Mike in Freebies, Organize, Software, Technology, Worth the Money.
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Do you get tired of looking through the long list of installed programs on your start menu?

I know I do. So did Dennis Nazarenko and he decided to do something about it. He created a software program called “Tidy Start Menu.” The program allows a user to quickly and easily arrange the list of installed software programs on a computer into categories.

He offers two versions. One is free and the other is an “extended” version that currently costs $19.99. Either version can be downloaded from his web site, www.tidystartmenu.com.

Click here to download the free version.

Click here to register and download the pay version.

I downloaded the free version to test it out. The version I installed is v3.3 and I used it on a Windows XP Professional Operating System.

I found it very intuitive and easy to use, especially if you choose to operate the software in “Simple Mode”. It is not a misnomer.

In the free version, you are not able to create your own category names. You must use the ones that come in the program.

These categories are:
Office, Utilities, Games, Entertainment, Internet, Programming, Graphics, Security and Other.

If you aren’t satisfied with these options, then the pay version is a better choice for you.

I do suggest taking a moment to use the Backup feature in the software. You can store a backup of your original start menu and revert back to it in case you don’t like the results when you use Tidy Start Menu.

The program organized my programs menu with ease. However, a word of caution: It also organizes the programs menu for ALL other profiles on my computer. I happen to use both a work and personal profile on my computer, so the changes I applied using Tidy Start Menu on my work profile carried over to my personal one.

For me, this is not a problem. However, it may be if you share a computer with a family member, colleague or roommate who logs in with their own profile and doesn’t appreciate your attempts at organizing the cluttered programs menu.

I also found it interesting that the Tidy Start Menu program only appears on the Program Files Menu of the profile that you used to install it. I installed it using my work profile. The program doesn’t display on the programs menu for my home profile, so I couldn’t use it easily from my home profile.

Often, software programs offer the installer a choice to make the program available to ‘everyone’ or to ‘just me’.  This program didn’t.  I uninstalled and re-installed it just to make sure I didn’t miss the option.  It isn’t there.

All in all, those are small issues and the program works well as advertised. I recommend it as an option to someone looking to get their computer organized.

Kodak Gallery – Mobile Photo Scanning June 29, 2007

Posted by Mike in Online Service, Organize, Photos, Technology, Worth the Money.
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As a regular user of the Kodak Gallery (formerly Ofoto), I get periodic emails about their products and services. A recent email about a mobile Scan Van caught my attention.

Here’s the scoop: Kodak will send a high tech van to a shopping mall, school or other location. They’ll ask customers to schedule appointments with them. Their staff will then scan and upload 200 photos for $24.99 into a customer’s free account at the online Kodak Gallery.

Scanning by professionals with professional equipment for $24.99?

That’s quite a deal, especially for those who either aren’t comfortable using a computer scanner or don’t have the time to do it. A person could convert several photo albums worth of pictures into digital copies quickly and inexpensively.

With the pictures digitized, you can view them online, share them with friends and family and have an online backup of precious photos. It looks like a good idea from Kodak: Taking the hassle out of picture scanning and giving people all the benefits of digital photos.

Of course, the only downside I see at the moment is a BIG one:

At the time of this posting, the Kodak “Scan Van” is only scheduled for events in Atlanta and North Florida. Ouch. I’m not about to hop on a plane to take advantage of their service, but I’ll keep an eye out for any future events in Northern California.

The Kodak Scan Van!