Weekly Tips, Tricks, Gadgets and Goodies #2

So, here it is. The second week of TTGG. I found a bunch of things this week. Enjoy!

Goodies #1: There’s a lot of hype lately about Twitter. Don’t understand it? Here’s a video that explains it in plain English. [Google Video] It still seems a little tooooo much for me. I don’t want to know what someone is doing every minute of the day, and I don’t want to have to update my info all of the time too. I’m an old fashioned tech-noob.

Goodies #2: We’ve got no T.V. at home. It’s a conscious and wise decision. It means more time to spend with each other, reading books etc. But we get the hankerin’ for some media entertainment every once in a while. I looked on pbs.org last night and found a cool show with good quality video feeds: Wired Science. The best were the “What’s Inside” segments featuring Chris Hardwick. He’s a pretty funny guy.

Gadgets #1: http://www.scribd.com/ This is a cool project for getting your documents in a viewable format without having to worry about programs. It will take a pdf, word document, power point, and anything from OpenOffice or the OpenDocument format, and display it in your web browser (using Flash and JavaScript). I’m thinking this will be ideal for letting people view research papers and such on a digital historians site. It would be cool to see this in JStor as well. Their current interface is a little clunky (one page at a time, slow loads, no text copy, etc). It would probably be even easier for them to get content on their site. Come to think of it, this would be great for any online journal.

They call it iPaper (everybody’s on this “i” bandwagon), and have a platform version available for you to embed the service on your own website. Look for it here one of these days.

Tip #1: Change your Leopard Dock even more using the LeopardDocks App from LeopardDocks.com I like the jet black look.

Trick #1: (not really sure what the difference between a tip and a trick is, but it allowed alliteration and acronyms to work) Take a quick snapshot of your screen in Mac OS X. Hit the Command-Shift-4 keys at the same time, and your mouse becomes a cross hair. Click some where, drag the box, and bing-o! a picture on your desktop appears. Quick and easy!

TipTrick #2: Get different languages in your Mac OSX dictionary. It makes looking up words in other languages easy. And, for the second part of this tiptrick, some people use QuickSilver for fast application launching and fancy program work. I haven’t had the time to figure it out, but stumbled upon an easy built in tool that works similar: SpotLight. Hit Command-SpaceBar and start typing. Type “Firef” and Firefox is your first result, hit enter and it opens the application right up! You can change the preferences as to what shows up first, and what shows at all. Type in a word, and SpotLight will give you a definition. Nice! Now the fingers seldom leave the keyboard!

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