Technology

Technology surrounds us

Evernote IV: A new hope

The Evernote 4 UIEvernote is a tool I heavily use multiple and where I keep massive amount of information. In short Evernote is an application which help the user to remember things. It can be scanned documents, web pages, audio, images, pure text or even hand written text! Everything get stored and indexed online (you can choose to keep it offline) so that you can search for it afterwards. It is simply an extra brain, kept online.

How I use my iPad

The iPad was shown to the world and as usual the world quickly divided into two distinct teams. Once again it is a struggle between the people who likes Apple and the ones who don’t. I did like the idea of it from the first day I saw it but I did not have any idea how I would feel about it after a few weeks of usage.

18 best free tools for Windows

Now and then I find myself with a new laptop in my hands which I am to produce things with. At these times I always seem to install the same set of applications before I can feel at home with the new work-horse. I thought I’d be so bold to share this list of applications to you, if you know a better alternative to any of the mentioned applications do tell me! One thing very important here is that the list need to be free as far as possible, I do love open source.

To make this list as easy as possible to over-look I tried to categorize them for usage: Everyday tools, GTD, Graphical and Development.

Everyday tools

Launchy

Application launcher so that you don’t need to have manus organized or tidy. Hit a shortcut and write the name of the application you would likt to launch and press enter – done! Takes a litle time to get use to but when you have, you wont be able to work without it.

Miranda IM

Instant Messaging-client which can be used for ICQ, MSN, Yahoo etc.

Chrome / FireFox

Personally I use Chrome as my favourite browser nowadays but I would recomend both Chrome and Firefox, they do deliver so much more then Internet Explorer, Opera or Safari currently does to mention a few.

Related:
Chrome instead of Firefox

Spotify

For all countries where Spotify have been allowed to operate, the service has opened the door to music for the people.

Total Commander

Better controll over files and folders, integrated ftp-client etc.

Dropbox

A network-based service where you get 2GB of space for free at a remote server to store your files. Secure and swift!

TrueCrypt

For times you want to remotly store documents which are personal at places which can be in-secure you can encrypt them in a “vault” to increse security.

Putty

THE SSH and telnet client for windows.

Filezilla

Sftp and ftp client.

Open Office

Replacement for Microsft Office, free if course.

uTorrent

When it comes to torrents, this is the most minimalistic client I’ve found.

WriteMonkey

Zenware for writing which let you focus on the task of writing and nothing else.

GTD (Getting things done)

Remember the Milk

Task-manager which can remind you on the thing you should do.

Evernote

Take notes of everything! Text, photos, sound or files.

Graphical work

GIMP (GimPhoto)

GIMP is the open source alternative to the comercial Photoshop. By many said to be a complete alternative. Anapplication called GimPhoto also exist which is more specialized on photo editing (based on GIMP).

Inkscape

Vector-drawing and illustration-tool. This is a good alternative for Illustrator for the happy amateur.

Related:
Inkscape 0.47 released

Development

Notepad++

Minimalistic editor with syntax highlighting for multiple languages and support for addons.

Eclipse

A full development-studio with packages for almost all languages.

Cygwin

Get you favourite *nix-tools on the windows platform by using this console in a box.

Is Google Wave yet another forum?

Since my first encounter with Google Wave I have tried to specify what it really is. What is the strengths of it and in what areas can it improve my daily work or personal life. And I have finally come to a conclusion, even though it might be an early conclusion which will be revised many times in the future. This is my take on Google Wave, as of today.

Most of us have a situation at work or in school where assignments, discussions and notifications is sent out to us. An e-mail is the old letter made up by ones and zeros. If I am to send a mail to two friends it will be duplicated and each copy of the mail will be distributed to both friends mailboxes. Now by doing this digitally one might think that this is not that big of a deal, not like we’re going to fill up the wires that builds the Internet anyhow, right? But the fact is, the enormous amount of mails that are being sent around the world pushes the mail servers all over to have to work in overdrive to deliver everything. This in the end makes allot mails cost allot of money.

Early on in the days of Internet forums made an appearance and even before that using bulletin boards which one had to call up with a regular phone which was then connected to a computer which could interpret the squeaks and beeps. Just like the not boards downtown where anyone which knew of the board had the ability to post a note there for anyone to see the digitalised forums was a meeting place for information. The problem that the forums did face was that to let someone read what you had written they had to have access to that specific forum. But then, along came e-mail with global servers which did handle the distribution of mails to all corners of the world which was attached to the same network.

Mail has since then become the bread and butter to send and receive information. The big problem with mail as of today is the fact that every mail being duplicated each time it is being sent which cause it to branch each time. If a mail is sent to three persons and two of these answer the first person must then forward the answers to all recipients again to give them all information. So a simple mail sent to three persons has in very short time multiplied into eight new unique mails. So what would be the better solution then? Well, if all recipients was able to see the same instance of the mail and comment on it, no duplication was needed. And this is what forums once solved, and what Google Wave today try to re-invent.

The fact to remain though, Google Wave is yet another forum in a fancy pair of pants. Sure there is functionality to embed this and that into ones waves but the main strength of it is the fact that each recipient will see the same instance of information as everybody else reducing the traffic of our networks.

So, to sum up. Is there anything in Google Wave which can not be done using a simple forum or for that matter, FirstClass or solution as it?

Up until this day, I must say no. Even though it can be solved using a simple forum, I stil quite like Google Wave. And I will continue to follow it to see where the development will take it.

Inkscape 0.47 released

Some time ago I wrote a short review of the application Inkscape which is a great free alternative to Illustrator. For a happy amateur like myself, Inkscape can do all that I want it to. The only thing that really did bug me with the version I’ve been running for some time (0.46) was the lack of performance. And guess what, performance-fixes is one of the big things they push to have been fixed in the new version. And what I’ve seen this far they managed to get it a bit more “snappy”.

I still longing for a re-work of the overall graphical user interface of the application though. If they would like to get it to an enterprise-level they need to get it more user friendly for the start. For reference I’d like to point out the launcher which can be found for Photoshop Elements which is a polite way of trying to help the user without pushing help in their face (office-paper-clip, I’m looking at you).

All in all Inkscape still is the best alternative when it comes to drawing vector graphics for all us people not really in the mood for throwing dollars for the big suits. And to be completely honest here, the more I use it the more I feel that it covers all I need with flying colors.