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Desktop Icon Manager

Those of you with laptops know that sometimes, during the course of your travels, you’re going to plug in to a projector and give a presentation.  Unplug it the wrong way, or plug in to an older projector with a different screen resolution and POOF – all your desktop icons are scrambled when you unplug or next sign in to your laptop.

The same effect can happen when plugging into or un-docking your laptop from a docking station.  Especially if you have a two monitor setup.

You then need to spend a few minutes re-configuring your desktop.  After doing it many times, you begin to wonder if there is a better way.  THERE IS!

While there are a number of these little utilities out there, I recently discovered my new favorite.  It is FREE.  It is low maintenance.  It is easy to use.  It takes up little (or no)  memory, depending on how you choose to use it.

It’s called Desktop OK and you can get it here.

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Posted by Steve Maziarz - June 7, 2011 at 7:54 am

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Outstanding PDF Viewer And More

Have you, like I, wondered out loud about how nice it would be to have a PDF Viewer that let me do a little bit more than view?  My need for such a product was brought about by the countless number of PDF forms that I had to download; fill out manually; and fax back.

Holy Cow! Talk about a mix of the modern world and a throw back to the Stone Age of Computing.  A FAX machine?  Who has got one of those laying around? OK. Most of you may still have a Fax/Modem card in your PC. But do you still have a “land line” / POTS to plug it in to? I ditched mine. Why pay for it when we both have cell phones and we’re in a large metro area?  I digress. Sorry. I ramble on sometimes.  There is a lot of knowledge in this head of mine just dancing around and wanting to be shared.

So, anyway, back to our quest for a PDF Viewer that would allow me to FILL OUT ANY PDF FORM AND SAVE IT. Surely, I thought, this must be a common need.  Someone somewhere must have created one by now.  So, off I went with my software sniffing bloodhound in tow.  I check all the usual sources. I tried a lot of ones that came close.  Then I hit PAY DIRT.  When I read the feature list for this incredible tool, I just couldn’t believe my eyes.

Check it out:

  • Add Comments and Annotations to any PDF file (subject to security settings) – unlike the Adobe Viewer which requires the PDF creation tool to be ‘certified’ by Adobe !
  • Add & apply Custom Stamps from any Image or PDF File and even your Windows Clip board !
    Mark-up pages with text and objects
  • Type directly on any PDF page, not just Adobe enabled forms documents – in Typewriter mode.
  • Export PDF pages or entire files to any one of the supported Image formats including BMP, JPEG, TIFF, PNG and many more …
  • Extract text from a PDF page/File
  • Improved navigation of large or complex PDF files both simple and enjoyable with the extended functionality of  ‘Loop’ and  ‘Pan’ Window tools
  • Fill and Save Adobe Forms to disk, email or ‘post’ !
  • Full Javascript Engine included
  • Updated JPEG2000 Compression support – improving speed.
  • Plug-Ins for both MS IE or Firefox Browser’s included
  • Integrate seamlessly with your favorite translation software to translate text on the ‘fly’ – including :  ABBYY Lingvo 12, Translate It!, Lingoes.
  • Includes comprehensive Help file and PDF Manual – no extra downloads required to add features etc.
  • Portable version also available – can be run from any suitable device such as a Memory stick/CD/DVD etc – simply unzip and use – no installation required – just 4MB download !

What’s the price for such an outstanding tool?  FREE.  Outstanding professional software at MY FAVORITE PRICE.

PDFViewer

CLICK HERE TO GET IT

PLEASE NOTE: Look at the very top of the page under featured products.  When last I checked it had a rather large DOWNLOAD NOW! button there.  ALSO: They have a very affordable PAID version which gives you even more features.

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Posted by Steve Maziarz - January 19, 2010 at 6:26 am

Categories: Software, Tech Tips   Tags: , ,

Outstanding Affiliate Manager

About a year ago, I needed to find some Affiliate Management Software for a client. They didn’t have a huge budget and wanted a fair amount of features.  So, as usual, I began my search with the various Open Source offerings that were out there.  I was not impressed. Then I moved on to the commercial offerings. While there were several out there, they either had a monthly fee, charged by the affiliate or were prohibitively expensive.

I easily looked at 25 different packages between the Open Source and Commercial offerings and was about to toss in the towel in frustration when I found iDevAffiliate.  It had everything I was looking for and more:

  • Affordable (Starts at $99.99)
  • No recurring fees (You buy it ONCE. You host it. You own it.)
  • Multiple ways to pay
    • Per Sale -Flat Rate
    • Per Sale -Percentage
    • Per Click
    • Per Lead
  • Multiple Payout Levels (up to 100 Per Payment Style)
  • Fully Configurable (lots of options)
  • Robust Marketing Support For Affiliates
    • Add unlimited text ads for Affiliates to use
    • Add unlimited banner ads for Affiliates to use
    • Add unlimited Flash banners for Affiliates to use
    • Add unlimited HTML ads for Affiliates to use
    • Add video training
    • Add PDF advertising materials
    • Page Peel Ads (this is really neat)
    • Sample Ad templates in PSD format
  • Multiple Language Support
  • Outstanding Affiliate Interface
    • Create and Track Campaigns
    • Create and Track Keywords
    • Traffic Logs and Statistics
    • Conversion Ratios
    • Export Tracking Data
  • Interfaces to and works with a HUGE number of shopping carts and payment gateways
  • Pay Affiliates via a Built-In interface to PayPal or via Hard Checks
  • Optional Module to Export Payment Data to QuickBooks

Needless to say, I was very impressed. When I had a look at the online demos, I was sold. I recommended that we go with it and the client agreed.

PLUS – Outstanding Support

Setup was easy and went without a hitch.  Shortly after we began using the program, we noticed something amiss. I e-mailed support and was expecting the typical two day delay.  I got a response later the same day.  They pointed out that it was a configuration issue and told me exactly what I did wrong and how to fix it. One the very first try.

About a month later, I found something else that looked amiss. It was a relatively trivial item about the way the graphic charts were displayed to the Affiliates.  Again I e-mailed support and they confirmed it was an issue. Within two days, they had developed a patch and sent it to me and all was well.

I don’t know about you, but my feeling is that there is a LOT of software out there.  To me, what separates the good from the bad is how they handle support.  I’m happy to say that the folks at iDevDirect do an OUTSTANDING JOB!

Oh, and one other thing I discovered is that this software has built-in fraud detection and other outstanding tracking  features to insure accuracy.

Find Out More. See The Demos. Click on the Banner Below.

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Posted by Steve Maziarz - December 15, 2009 at 9:42 am

Categories: Software, Tech Tips   Tags: , ,

Convert Any Document To A PDF For FREE

There are actually a COUPLE of ways to do this and I have been using these methods for YEARS with no complication and great success. These methods just work.

Plain. Simple. Easy. (and FREE) – Just the way I like it! Just the way it SHOULD be.

METHOD 1 – Open Office ->  Just use the Convert To PDF Feature found in Open Office.  It’s as simple as you can get: Just Press the PDF button toward the top of your screen!

If you’re not familiar with Open Office, I have another post here which describes it. For those of you who want the abridged version – it’ll do just about anything that Microsoft Office will. It even reads and writes in Microsoft compatible formats.

METHOD 2 – Cute PDF -> Once installed, Cute PDF makes your computer think that you have attached another printer to it.  But, when you “print” to THIS printer, the end result is a PDF file instead of a printed page.  Pretty neat, huh?   Also, FREE!  Just check it out here:  http://CutePDF.com You’ll want to look for and download the CutePDF Writer.

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Posted by Steve Maziarz - December 14, 2009 at 9:20 am

Categories: Software, Tech Tips   Tags: , ,

KeePass Password Keeper

KeePass Password Keeper Logo

KeePass Logo

Do you have little sheets of paper and post-it notes hanging around with all your passwords to the various sites you manage? Then this little gem of software will help you keep them all in order, in one place, safe and secure from prying eyes.

Plus, it’ll even help you automatically log in to those sites once you get there.

Yes, I can hear you saying “But I already have that built into my web browser.” Sort of. But what you have built into your browser is nowhere near as secure as this! In fact, if you store your passwords in your browser, even a guy like me, with almost no ‘hacking’ experience, can have access to all your passwords with just a little effort.

If you have to keep a LOT of password and login information around, I’ve found this tool to be quite useful. I like the way I can categorize things, store additional information and comments, color code my listing, give each listing it’s own icon (I use the favicon from the site itself) and quickly copy and paste login information.

KeePass Main Screen

KeePass Main Screen

To get you started, KeePass will import your existing password information from your browser.  In my case, it took a little extra effort. I first had to export my password information from Firefox and then use an add-on tool to KeePass to import the data in.  It was a slight inconvenience for someone with my experience.

But if you don’t feel like ANY hassle, you can just start by entering all those little scraps of paper into KeePass and just enter the new information for existing sites as you visit them.  Before long, KeePass will have everything it needs to make your life easier and it will become a trusted friend.  As a web developer and someone who manages many websites for clients as well, having this little tool around is nothing short of outstanding!

Clicking on the screen image above will take you to the site.  It will open in a new window.

UPDATE: 12-25-2009 There is a new Plugin available which lets you automatically grab the favicon for a site. I suggest you download it to make things a lot easier for you.  Up until this morning, I had been collecting my icons manually.  You can download my icons here.

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Posted by Steve Maziarz - November 27, 2009 at 9:01 am

Categories: Software, Tech Tips   Tags: , , ,

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