Useful Programs

Install CAB files directly to a Windows Mobile Device from your Desktop via ActiveSync

Downloading a CAB file to install onto your Windows Mobile device can be a pain – after downloading the cab file to your desktop, you need to first copy it to your device, then find the cab file to install and then proceed to install it.

CABviaActiveSync is a simple, free program that adds a context menu to automatically parse the cab file on your desktop and install it via activesync. This can save you a bunch of steps and is incredibly handy if you are like me and are always installing/uninstalling programs to check out.

Download CABviaActiveSync from Modaco.

Skype Me

I’m trying to get more people to contact me via Skype rather than cell phone – so feel free to use the ‘Skype Me’ button on the right; or Add me to your contact list.

By the way, Skype, why won’t you get Caller ID working for US based phone numbers? This is the only thing stopping me, and I am sure a lot of people, from adopting Skype full on. Many people block Unknown numbers, or won’t answer if they see 0012345678 calling them!

On that topic… Skype Journal is a really great blog with regards to Skype and VOIP in general. If you are interested in VOIP, I would check it out!

Click a bunch of times – using AutoHotKey

Let’s say you use a piece of software which is horribly designed (or maybe you just don’t know how to use it properly) and you need to click a button thousands of times.

See specifics below if your are curious of my particular predicament!

Instead of clicking your mouse button like a crazy person – you can automate this task using software such as AutoHotKey. Using this software, it allows you to create a keyboard shortcut that lets you do a number of things without human intervention. This is handy for just about any sort of automated tasks where you find yourself clicking alot.

These instructions are for getting your mouse to click at a particular point on your screen a number of times.

Install AutoHotKey

First step of course is to install AutoHotKey.

Figure out where you need to click

Launch the included program AutoIt3 Window Spy. This will start reporting a bunch of information to you including Window Title and Class, Mouse Position, and other information that is useful if you are creating a more complicated AutoHotKey script.

Point the mouse to the Window where you want to click a bunch of times, at the place you wish to click. Make sure the window is active – this is important as we want to be specific as to where we click. Write down the coordinate for the “In Active Window”.

Create the Script

When you first run AutoHotKey (AHK from now on) it will ask you if you want to create a sample script in My Documents. Go ahead and do this.

At the bottom of this screen, add the following line:

!g::Click x,y,n

Where x = X coordinate, y = Y coordinate, and n = the number of times you want to click. For example in my use I used !g::Click 334,333,3000 which clicks in the active window at 334,333 exactly 3000 times.

!g means that the key combination will be Alt-G

Save this file and then Run AHK again. This will load it into memory.

Activate the window you wish to click in – then press Alt-G (at the same time)

Clicks away….

Your PC will click however many times in the active window at the specified location. Now your mouse will not wear down from the clicking and your time will also be saved!

Warning: Rant: This is why I needed to do this. The ever-fabulous Adobe Photoshop Elements does not have a great system to change your disk file structure. So when I wanted to change my photos directory from having lots of directories like 2006-01-23-10234323 into subdirectories like 2006/2006-01-23-10234323, it does not provide an easy way to do this. I wish it had advanced folder management like the MP3 Library Manager Media Monkey does – it allows you to rebuild your folders based on date, album, title, and just about every other piece of data imaginable. So when I did this manually and then wanted to “Reconnect” my photos to the correct location on the disk – Photoshop Elements has a horrible reconnect dialog that makes you click “Reconnect” on every picture you want to reconnect. I couldn’t find a way around this.

Pictomio – Image Catalog Software uses 3D Accelleration

Adobe take note – you need to add 3D acceleration to your software. I’ve just checked out Pictomio and it really has a kick-ass GUI which utilizes your 3D accelerating video card to view and zoom photos. This provides a much better viewing experience than my current image library software, Adobe Photoshop Elements. Photoshop elements uses what I assume is a 2D rendering of photos – both zooming and scrolling through your photos is slugging even on my fairly new PC. Take a look at Pictomio:

It is a pretty screenshot but you need to actually use the software to appreciate how smooth the GUI functions. This reminds of me of Coverflow and Apple – purchase this technology and incorporate it into your product Adobe – or your image library software will be out of date in no time.

Photoshop Elements releases about 1 version per year, and I do not see any reason to upgrade every year. First of all, it is expensive compared to other image cataloging software; secondly the number of features that are added just don’t justify the expense every year. Usually the updates are small little features that I do not use.

On another note; I also came across PicaJet which is another image catalog and management system and it also uses 3D acceleration in it’s interface. If Adobe doesn’t come around soon I may switch my 30,000+ photo catalog over!

Download Pictomio!

Remove Duplicate Email Messages in Thunderbird 2.x

I used to use a Thunderbird addon to remove duplicate messages in Thunderbird. This is handy if your mail client becomes “de synced” from your mail server, whether it be an IMAP or POP3 connection. Also this can occur if you restore a backup or import mails and it creates duplicates.

However, after Thunderbird 2.0 was released, this old plugin was not compatible. Eyalroz re-released the plugin under GPL and with updates for Thunderbird 2.0. If you have a need to remove duplicate emails – this is the plugin you need! Get it:

Remove Duplicate Messages (alternate)

Opera 9.5 alpha “Kestral” – I’m Impressed

The Opera team has announced that Opera 9.5 Alpha is now available.

I haven’t been an Opera user in the past. However, I’ve used their Mobile (Opera Mobile and Opera Mini) and their Wii browser and have been impressed. I’ve been missing out!

Opera 9.5 is nice – if you haven’t tried Opera lately I would give it a shot. I’ve heard other users rave about previous versions, but I always thought to myself: “It’s just another browser”.

9.5 has a ton of features but here are the highlights in my opinion:

  • Fast Page Rendering Engine
  • History Search
  • Bittorrent Client Integrated
  • Synchronize With My Opera
    – Synchronize Bookmarks, Speed Dial, and other Preferences
  • Improved Skin – Apple Human Interface Guideline support
  • Mail Client Built In

There is a slew of other changes in this release. I’ve found several pages which did not render properly or at all in this version – I know they are working on such things and there is a “report this page” button within the menu which helps you test their alpha stage release.

This Opera Browser definately gives me a “next gen” feeling and anyone who considers themselves an early adopter should give it a try!

Postfix Release Notes

I just read this in the Postfix Release Notes… and thought I had to share.

[Incompat 20060806] Postfix no longer announces its name in delivery
status notifications. Users believe that Wietse provides a free
help desk service that solves all their email problems.

Who said coders don’t have a sense of humor? :)