Saturday, January 29, 2005

RSS: In Lego Form

One of the coolest RSS reader tools I use (and I do use several) is Serence's free KlipFolio. It's wholly unique in its approach to presenting news and blog headlines. Unlike the traditional RSS readers that feature an Explorer-like folder structure and a preview window, KlipFolio sits on your desktop as a collection of "klips," which are essentially interchangeable panels full of scrolling headlines. The klips are completely resizable and highly configurable, with many "skins" to choose from. You can even control transparency. Klips snap together like legos as you drag them around, allowing you to arrange them however you want.

When you download KlipFolio it has a few Klips pre-installed, but there is an endless supply of Klips available at the KlipFarm. Just click the "Show Preferences" button in the upper left of the menu bar and select the "More Klips..." button. You will be whisked away to the KlipFarm where you can hunt for Klips to your hearts desire. There are Klips for CNN, Wired, Slashodot, LiveJournal, and all the usual suspects. If you can't find what you're looking for, just download the "Feed Viewer" Klip and you can add whatever RSS feed you want.

I recently discovered a Klip for that lets you watch for jobs that match criteria you select. Now that's handy!

Check out KlipFolio at

Friday, January 28, 2005

What Bloggers Are Blogging About

Daypop, a cool site that a bills itself as a "current events search engine" has a Top 40 for blog topics. It's a great way to see what bloggers are blogging about right now. It's like a Buzz Index for blogs.

Check it out:

Then for a lark check out the most popular wishlist items on Useful? not really. But hey, if you're having trouble thinking of a gift for that certain someone, maybe this will spark an idea.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Best of the Desktop Searches: A Surprise

I've always liked Copernic, which is a cool research tool that aggregates search results from multiple subject-specific sites and allows you to save them, filter them, etc. Now the same people who created Copernic have the best free Desktop Search Tool available, which is called (not surprisingly) Copernic Desktop Search. For the uninitiated, a desktop search tool is a search engine for your own computer. It searches e-mail, files, music, and photos located on your own hard drive. Given the expanding size of hard drives, the number of e-mails we have to wade through, and our own lack of organization, this has become a necessity.

Everyone's been talking about Google's Desktop Search because, I think, people just like to talk about Google. I tried Google's and I really didn't like it. It killed my system and really didn't do the job. Don't get me wrong, Google itself is a fine search engine, but mostly because of its massive index. When I'm searching my own stuff, I'm more interested in ease of use, stability, and filtering. All of which Copernic provides with aplomb.

Copernic Desktop Search, once installed, starts indexing all the stuff on your hard drive. Depending on how much stuff you have, it could take a while, however it runs very silently in the background and uses very little system resources. You can install it and work on other things as it goes about its indexing business. I'd say install it and let it run overnight.

Next time you reboot and you'll notice a little search window in your task bar. When you click in the search window, you'll notice a little menu pop up above it. Go ahead and type in the word or phrase you wish to search for and then click on the appropriate item in the menu, which includes things like: Emails, Files, Music, etc. (you can also choose to search external sources like News, the web, etc.) The Copernic Desktop Search window will come up and list the results. This is very slick, quick and easy. The results window offers a preview window so you don't have to open any of the results to see them. Another nice feature.

For me the true test of a tool like this is how often I use it in my daily work. I use Copernic Desktop Search 5-6 times a day, usually for e-mail, but for files as well. I think you'll find yourself using it just as much.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Technogeekboy's Top Five Reasons to Use FireFox

I have been very excited to see the numbers on FireFox usage go up every week. Slowly but surely, FireFox has become the first real challenger to Microsoft's Internet Explorer since Netscape's heyday. There are several reasons why I think you should be using FireFox instead of Internet Explorer, but I'll limit myself to the top five. And I won't even mention security...

1) Tabbed browsing
I really don't understand why Microsoft has left this out every iteration. It's very user-friendly and seems like it would be easy enough to implement, but for whatever reason they've yet to steal the idea.

2) It's faster
It truly is, I've timed it. Even with a bunch of extensions (more on extensions in a moment), FireFox loads and browses significantly faster than IE. Dial-up users (you are still out there aren't you?) take note!

3) Extensions
Extensions are little add-ons that developers create and make available for free on the FireFox website. Some of them like, Stumble!, Web Developer, ForeCastFox, and Sage, I can't imagine living without.

4) Bookmark handling
Internet Explorer's "Organize Favorites" is and always has been a joke. How hard can it be to create an interface to organize a bunch of shortcuts? Apparently for Microsoft it's very difficult. As soon as you click on FireFox's "Manage Bookmarks" you'll smile. I guarantee it.

5) It's not Internet Explorer
I'm not Microsoft bashing here, honestly. Any company that owns 96% of the market is going to get complacent. Microsoft was pretty complacent to begin with, so that kind of domination has been deadly for IE. Even if you never switch to FireFox you'll still be reaping the benefits of it down the road when Microsoft finally gets off its butt and does something good with Internet Explorer.

...but just to be safe, go download FireFox anyway

Monday, January 24, 2005

The Best Brands of the World: Logo Database

Something tells me this site is doing something wrong (, but for anyone who's needed a logo for a presentation, it seems like manna from heaven. Type in the name of the company for which you need a logo and it returns a list of possible matches. I tried a random list of companies like ESPN, AON, Caterpillar, and Quaker Oats and it had them all.

Sure, you could try going to all the different company Web sites to get them, but Best Brands of the World has them in .EPS format, which beats those fuzzy web logos any day. Plus, some sites are very careful not to make their logo easy to download and use by mixing it with other graphics or slicing it into pieces.

Happy logo hunting!