From an email announcment from Paul Tomlin:
I have quickly grown quite fond of this program. It is a free Windows program, similar in concept to the commercial app ActiveWords which I demoed for a while, but it never stuck with me for some reason.
It’s basically a little command-line that you can bring up by pressing a key (Windows+Q by default) and then you can type “MagicWords” to launch programs, go to URLs, etc… I’ve setup words to take me to certain web sites I use at work, email myself, lock the computer, go to “Program Files” or “My Documents”, etc… It just seems much easier to me to use the keyboard than to hunt around for the proper shortcut and shortcuts , whether on the Desktop or in the QuickLaunch bar, take up screen real estate and make things seem cluttered. I strive to have my desktop as clutter-free and Zen-like as possible and this helps me have that and still be able to launch things quickly.
So to recap, my favorite productivity-enhancing programs, in rough order of decreasing usefulness to me:
What are yours?
Monday was a doozy of a day and the fun continued yesterday. First, the pager went off about 5 times during a meeting. Then when someone commented on it after the meeting, I jokingly pretended to give an OfficeSpace-style thrashing to it, but did it ever go lightly with my elbow. Well not that lightly apparently, because this seemed to have broke the LCD screen on the pager, which made me want to laugh, cheer, and freak out all at the same time (apparently, these pagers can dish out abuse, but they can’t take it). Luckily (or unluckily?) I was able to go down to the IS department and get another one in 10 minutes flat. Then the pager lie in waiting, mostly quiet, for a few hours (“Crouching beeper, hidden pager”) and then attacked in full-force at around 12:30pm at night, right after it sensed that I was relaxed and ready to go to sleep. When all was said and done, it was 2am and my wife was passed out on the couch, sleeping through the pages and I was an envious, tired mofo.
NEW at http://classifieds.yahoo.com:
* Updated category list that coincides with Y! Auctions & Y! Shopping
* Added a new “Wanted” category
* Created a FREE basic listing product that runs for 7 days & includes a photo on the detail page
* Refreshed the look and feel of the site
* Implemented user flagging of potential fraud & spam ads
Yesterday, some misconfigured servers at another ISP hammered Yahoo. We actually thought it was a DOS attack. I got 393 pages in < 30 minutes. I can still hear the sound of the pager, hammered into my head. Bleargh.
A friend of somebody at work released a Firefox extension that lets you “visually” see how web page elements are set on a page.. Very slick. This could come in handy for a lot of web designer folks out there.
I tried Skype yesterday. I haven’t had a successful two-sided conversation with it, but that is not the fault of Skype. I bought some adapters from Radio Shack to convert my 2.5″ headset jack to two 1/8″ jacks, but I suspect I got the wrong stuff — I might just buy myself a PC headset with two 1/8″ jacks or a USB connection since Skype seems to be promising. Recommendations? I’m thinking of this one:
I am impressed with the application so far. My friend Andy skyped me and the sound quality of his voice was excellent, better than telephone for sure. He couldn’t hear me so I had to type back to him, which definitely made for a very bizarre conversation dynamic.
I had even purchased $13 (10 English pounds) of SkypeOut credit so that I could try calling my parents on their landline. I wanted to find a free Skype voucher code so I could try before I buy so I searched the Internet but couldn’t find any, so I just plunked down the $13. This was before I realized that I had mic problems so I could hear them but they could not hear me. After 20 seconds of fiddling with the connection, I gave up and called them from a regular phone. I’ll try again when I get a better headset.