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Archive for the ‘Good Websites’ Category

There is a website called Jott (free) which lets you call their phone number, designate a person to “jott” in your address book, and leave a voice note.  Then they will transcribe the note, and then send it to you, or whoever is in your address book as a text message and/or email.

There is even a feature to upload your whole gmail address book, but turns out this is not a good idea.

There seems to be a bug where if you don’t say a name right in the list, then it will keep asking you to choose one of the say 3 on the list.  But if the one you wanted to choose is not on the list, then you’re out of luck.  Need to hang up and call again.

Just keep a few in your Jott address book to minimize confusing Jott’s voice recognition system.

Note:  it’s in beta stage, so their website is a bit slow – hope it gets better.

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With the proliferation of different software out there, one thing that becomes a problem for the average joe is that there are different file formats to deal with, and quite honestly, the average joe doesn’t understand the many formats out there too well. What in the world is the difference between jpeg and bitmap anyways, and how do I save one as the other or vice versa?

Also, now there are different audio and video formats. There is .mov which is used by quicktime (belongs to Apple) and then the more generic .mpg. And now you don’t know what software players you need for all of them, or just don’t want to deal with it.

You can do various file conversion for free at the following website!

www.zamzar.com

I’m not sure what the name means, but it sure is a nifty idea (esp. that it’s free).

You just upload your file that you want to convert (sorry, just one at a time), and then you select the type you want to convert it into. For example, you can convert a video file in .mov to .mpg or vice versa. A nifty feature is that you can download a google video (.gvi) playable only on their google video player to a regular .mpg type that you can play on any typical video players (such as your windows media player). Then it emails you a link to where you can download the converted file.

Anyways, try it out. I just converted a .pdf (adobe) to a generic word document (.doc) for free! It was 5mbs and over 700 pages, but now my .pdf file, I can edit in Microsoft Word! Took only about 10 mins total. Pretty amazing.

Give it a try.

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Newer is not always better. Actually in the software world, sometimes, newer is just more bloated. You didn’t need those extra 5 features, because you don’t use them anyways!

Then you need to head on over to www.oldversion.com

They have older versions of popular (or formerly popular) software like Winamp. Do you remember version 2.95, that nice, small, stable version before the dreaded 3.x release? Yes, they have it.

Try it out! Older indeed might be better.

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If you’re like me and have friends and relatives you want to send pics to directly, but the total pics size is too big to send via email (like 125 mbs!) then you can benefit from yousendit.com.

Basically, www.yousendit.com is a website that lets you upload a file to its server, then gives your sender(s) a link to that file to download on their side. I know there are several sites like this, like rapidshare.com, etc, but I don’t like those as much, because they make you wait several seconds before a download for their free service. You have to pay to avoid those.

Yousendit.com lets you send up to 1gb for free with no wait time, and if you sign up for their premium services, the link stays valid for over the standard free service’s typical 7 days limit for your friends to download. I also think they provide better upload/download speeds if you sign up for their pay service. But the free version does well for me.

A good way to send a bunch of files together in one file is to zip it first. Remember that tool I talked about before, www.7-zip.org. Download their free zip tool that lets you zip up multiple files into one file to send. I even taught my dad how to zip and then use yousendit.com to send me his pictures!

Good luck!

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I’ve read through some Apple forums, and found good reviews about www.safeware.com. It’s an insurance company that insures your valuable electronics against damage. You pay a yearly premium. Seems fair priced. I just did a quote lookup for a $1200 laptop, and it quoted me $72/year, pretty reasonable. I even emailed them to ask a question, and they responded the next day.  They also have some links to some positive reviews, so check them out.

The great thing about this insurance is that it will cover accidental damage, where most laptop’s extended warranties will not. For example, Apple’s applecare does not cover accidental damage (I believe Dell does offer accidental damage for extra costs). This means if your say, laptop was dropped and no longer works, or if you spilled coffee, safeware will cover it!

If you’re accident prone, you might want to contact them and sign up. Really, better safe than sorry!

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Maybe you're trying to make a snazzy invitation or cover page for something.  You look at all the fonts you have in MS Word, and you're just not satisfied.  Nothing looks cool enough.  Well, all you have to do is download new fonts (most are available for free on the internet) and install them.  Sure, you say, that's easy if you're geeky.  No, it's easy even if you're not.  

Here's how:

1.  Go to a legitimate website, like http://www.1001freefonts.com.  (click on the different letter icons there to browse.  FYI, the PC Fonts, Mac Fonts links up top are just ads)

2.  Download the font you want to anywhere on your computer.  You might want to just create a folder first on your desktop (to keep it simple).  Right click on your windows desktop, click on New > Folder and name the folder "Downloaded Fonts".  Then download your fonts there.

3.  The fonts are usually in a zip file (meaning, it's been compressed to save size or to combine some files together).  Just right-click, and choose "Extract All Files" and keep clicking 'continue' until it's down extracting or 'unzipping'.  You should see the files.

4.  Right-click on the font file (probably ending in TTF or FON) and click copy.

5.  Open up your Windows Explorer, and navigate to the following:   C:\WINDOWS\Fonts   (you can even just copy and paste that in the address portion of your explorer window)

6.  Right click, and paste.  You're done!  When you open Word or Excel or any app using fonts, you should see the new font in the fonts list. 

Please note that if you are emailing your doc to anyone, your new doc won't show with the new font on their computer, unless the person you emailed it to has installed the same font.  But they can still read your doc of course, the font will be replaced with a generic font.

EXTRA TIP: If you are frequently experimenting with new fonts, you may want to just create a new shortcut on your windows desktop (right-click, New > Shortcut) and type in the C:\WINDOWS\Fonts  path.  That way, you have quick access to your fonts folder.

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If you're a real 'gotta know what the latest thing is' type of person, check out www.engadget.com.  You'll get the latest scoop on the cutting edge gadgets.

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