More Cool Software, March 2008
Ventrilo – Surround Sound Voice Communication Software. It’s surround sound VOIP in a chatroom GUI. Now I asked my friend, we’ll call her Mmmmm, for the moment, just because I haven’t thought of a good alias for her yet, when she sent me the link to download Ventrilo. I said “Why in gawds name would I want this? This surround sound internet phone, when I already have Gizmo?” Do I really need to talk to my friends in surround sound?
“It’s free,” Mmmmm said. Nuf said?
Well it involves running a free server client, which thankfully I wasn’t responsible for. It’s cross-platform, Windows, Mac and Linux platforms; the sound is absolutely amazing, compared to Gizmo and it’s annoying cycling, which results in loss of sound every so many seconds. The sound is so true and clean that it’s a little creepy, especially if you are hooked up to surround sound speakers in your bedroom, as I am. It also supports voice chat for groups. Even though Gizmo is $0.01 per minute, Ventrilo is $0.00 a minute. The chat room GUI is downright dismal, do what I do, look at something else! Maybe the person who runs our particular server can post on the set-up. http://www.ventrilo.com
Adium – If you are on a Mac and don’t have Adium, either you do not IM ever, do not have internet access, have no friends, or have been living under a rock for the last several years. This is the best chat client EVER! I actually neglected to re-install it for over a year, after I replaced my PowerBook’s hard drive; I finally installed a new updated version, and baby, it’s tits! There are lot’s of add-ons, and many options for customization, visual and otherwise. Adium let’s you log into all your chat screennames, even myspace chat. It’s free, Mac users have no excuse, unless you really have no friends. http://www.adiumx.com
iClip – iClip is the best clipboard utility I’ve come across. It’s interface is elegant, and customizable. Every time you copy ANYTHING, be it a web link, text or an image, iClip stores it in the recorder. What’s really nice is that iClip gives the user the option of creating separate menus to permanently store everything. One click, and what you’ve copied is pasted into whatever application, web browser, etc, you are working with. It also comes in a free widget. inventive.us/iClip
Amnesty Singles – If your are like me, with way too many widgets running in your dashboard, then Amnesty Singles is for you. I love this tiny little app! AS, let’s you turn any widget into a separate desktop application. http://www.amnestywidgets.com
CSSEdit – A few years ago, MacRabbit’s CSSEdit was a nice little app for tweaking your CSS, in a nice simple interface. Imagine my surprise, when I got a load of the new CSSEdit! It’s like a whole new application. You can extract all the CSS from any site, view a site in X-Ray mode, and make changes live, for ANY site. I am still learning about all the new options, but at this point I can already see what a great app this is for the beginning CSS coder and the experienced, alike. macrabbit.com
DeskLickr – this is a nice little free app I like to run, when I’m sick of all my desktop images. DeskLickr accesses photos from the DeskLickr Group on flicker, which I am a member of. It allows you to view all photos from the group, or only new submissions, or ban photos from your desktop which you never want to see again, or mark them as favorites. DeskLickr is Mac only as far as I know, but I’m sure there is a Windoze app out there that does something similar.
DeskShade – If your desktop is a perpetual mess, don’t bother cleaning it up and organizing, just use DeskShade. Not only does DeskShade hide everything on your desktop, giving you a nice clean workspace, but it will gladly change your desktop picture, complete with animations, with a click of your trackpad. You can always put away your desktop toys later, just don’t tell Mom!
GoogleMail – Or gmail. OK, if you are still using Hotmail or Yahoo, you need to get yourself over to GoogleMail and grab a gmail address, (hey! grab two, they’re free) and pick up Google Talk, as well. It’s 2008, not 1995, drop those old free-mail addresses, paleeze! Yahoo and Hotmail are SO-O decrepit and useless these days, at least in comparison to gmail. Do you really enjoy traveling through 3 or 4 pages just to get to your Inbox? REALLY? Wouldn’t you like to send and receive attachments of over 20MB? How about using your 2GB of mail storage for file storage, using a simple Firefox add-on? Here’s the best reason of all, they actually give you their incoming and outgoing mail servers to use in your mail client, for free. Yahoo charges for that little convenience. Gmail is fully customizable for POP and IMAP, in fact it’s so customizable I’ve gotten lost in there. You can use it in conjunction with your existing server space and it’s loads better than the email that I pay for on this server. Get off your ass, and tell your friends you have a new, better free email address, and tell ’em to write you there.
Next time, BitPim, for us Samsung cell phone users, who can’t Sync their phones to their Mac. I’m still trying it out on my A900, which is not supported yet. There is a generic profile to play with, hopefully I won’t completely screw up my phone.
Now playing: Belle & Sebastian – Expectations
Now playing: The Dears – Find Our Way To Freedom