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Category: Free Stuff

Firefox 2.0

You probably know Internet Explorer 7 came out last week. Woohoo. Hoorah.

But did you know Firefox 2.0 comes out tomorrow??? Yeeehawww!!!

As a special treat for you dear readers of this blog, here is a secret link to grab Firefox 2.0. It’s sitting there waiting to be announced, but you can get it now!


The Simpsons, TV, etc

If you are a fan of The Simpsons, you might want to read this. You can now watch every episode of The Simpsons online for free. I don’t know how they are getting away with that, and it might not last very long, but it’s there and working, commercial-free. I never knew how Santa’s Little Helper got his name until last night.

On the TV tip, as the new seasons begin to rev up, I am eagerly awaiting Battlestar Galactica. In the mean time, I am watching the DVD set of Firefly that I acquired from Target for 18 clams. I am digging it, though it saddens me knowing that only one season ever existed…

What are you looking forward to this fall on TV?

Fun With Google

Google never ceases to amaze me. I am now a GCal addict, having organized my life for the next 55 years, WITH text messages being sent to my phone to remind me of upcoming events. I have been smitten with Google Adsense, I am a big fan of GMail, and I cannot get enough of Google Earth.

So maybe Google really is trying to take over the universe, but doggone it, I am OK with that as long as they keep the steady supply of geek toys flowing. And if they offer me a job some day.

While revelling in my little Google stupor, I discovered a cool, free PDF called 55 Ways to Have Fun With Google, which to my amazement, introduced me to 55 entirely new reasons why Google rules. If you care anything about the next hour of your life, you will read this PDF.

The book is offered by and can be purchased in print from their site.

And for those of you who still can’t find something on Google, come tell me about it.

I want a ____ to ____

Need some free software to get something done? Check out I want a freeware utility to… where the list of over 400 applications keeps growing. Many of these I use often.

Now you can double your pleasure with “I want a Firefox extension to…”. A great way to learn why the world’s best web browser keeps getting better.

With many of the applications and extensions on those two sites you can then carry your life on a thumb drive or ipod, which is always cool.

Links For You

An update for Firefox was released today, bringing it to version I suggest you go get it if you don’t use Firefox, or use the auto-update feature (Help > Check For Updates) in Firefox if you do.

Harvest is a really frigging cool web-based time tracking application. I have been toying with the free demo account and am going to set up a full account when I am done writing this. If you do any sort of freelancing you should check it out.

Today I launched a site I have been working on for a publisher called Enlightened Ink. Glad to see it get out of the starting gate.

After seeing my golf balls slice off to the right every time I hit them last week, I started wondering about The Perfect Swing: Reality or Myth?. Check out all the links to tips at the bottom of the page.

Former AFCCC co-worker Jason seems to have latched onto the wonderful world of blogging quite nicely, putting together a great site for his family.

For you web developers, Vitamin seems to be coming along quite nicely, with great articles from some of the web’s leading minds. And it looks cool too.

Dell has started shipping their higher resolution laptops using a default 120dpi setting for the display. While this helps the readability of text on these systems, it makes an awful bug in Internet Explorer 6 rear its head. What happens is that IE tries to upscale gif images in addition to fonts, thus rendering them very pixellated and jagged. This frustrated me for about a week recently, until I learned the reasoning. If you want to remain at 120dpi but not have the problem, there is a registry hack you can use.

Man, oh man, I want one of these USB turntables so I can finally convert my record collection to digital format. Actually, just to be able to hear some of my old records on a nice system would be great in and of itself.


My Favorite Web Apps

These are some applications (free and not free) that I have been using a lot, and that I would now consider myself unable to live without. All of them are web-based in that they are accessible from the internet and can be logged into from anywhere. This makes working from home, from the office, and from the coffee shop a breeze.

Backpack –
This application is excellent for anyone doing any sort of project management, freelancing, or collaboration. I was skeptical at first when I signed up for the free trial, but then I realized the power after using it for a few weeks. I was hooked when they lowered the price of the mid-level package.

Backpack allows you to set up projects (Pages, as they call them) for each of your projects. Each of these Pages has to-do lists, Notes, file uploads, the ability to share this content with someone, Writeboards, and more.

One of my favorite features is the Reminder feature, which will send you an email and/or a text message on your phone when an event is about to occure. Also, there is the ability to send an email to Backpack and have it be added to a Page automatically. Pretty darn cool.

TimeTracker v2.0 –
After trying numerous time-tracking apps that run off my PC, I landed at the TimeTracker web site. I can now set up projects and keep track of how much time I have spent on each. Slices of time can have notes appended to them so I can keep track of what I did during any given time. This makes billing clients for work I have done a breeze. Oh, and it’s free!

ForPerfect CInvoicer –
This is an online billing/invoice system that you have to download and install on a web site yourself, but it does everything I need it to do, albeit a little confusing. I wanted a tool to keep track of client invoices, send out reminders, send out recurring bills automatically, integrate with Paypal and 2checkout, and be reasonably easy to use for clients. This does it all. Configuring it to look and act like I wanted took a little time, but once it was done everything is running smoothly.

It costs $39.95 and requires a little MySQL knowledge to install it. There is a live demo on their web site (linked above).

HipCal –
I have talked about HipCal before, and I still love it. It is more feature-rich than any of the other online calendars I have toyed with. For a while I thought 30Boxes was going to trump HipCal, but when their developers showed a lack of interest (if not a defiant stance) in enhancing the repeatability of events, I gave up on them. They are shooting themselves in the foot if you ask me, but I digress…

HipCal rocks, and after their first couple of rocky months (bugs, server issues), things seem to have stabilized and I am enjoying the free calendar a lot. It will send me reminders of events, and has a simple to-do list on the side.

Netvibes –
Netvibes keeps getting cooler and cooler. It’s a ‘start page’ of sorts that allows you to customize the layout and content to your liking. You can add your favorite RSS feeds, widgets, email interfaces, and more. They just launched a major upgrade that has a ton of great features. I have tried other similar start pages, but they all suck and are clunky compared to Netvibes.

That about wraps it up.