Category Archives: Download Wednesday

Download Wednesday – Thunderbird 2

We all need email in today’s world for a host of reasons.  To communicate with staff, friends, and family not in that order.  Since email is so important I wanted to bring to the table a product that will help you out with your everyday emails.  If your a PC user then your probably familiar with Outlook Express, and Outlook.  Outlook Express was created as a free email client included in your computer build.  Outlook Express has been around for a long time and gone through various revision I think we are up to Version 6 at this time.

If your smart or wealthy you probably upgraded to Outlook which was created on the same platform as Outlook Express but with the intent of the business user in mind.  When this happened many people said Outlook Express would die and by all accounts in my opinion it has.  Microsoft has done no active updates to Outlook Express in years thus leaving another dinosaur in the dust.  While we could argue the point of weather Outlook or Outlook Express is a good product we will save that for another post.

The Open source movement has created great products in my opinion Thunderbird from Mozilla.org is one of the best email clients I’ve used.  Since today is Download Wednesday I just had to bring Thunderbird into the picture Thunderbird has won numerous awards and we have to remember the product is FREE.

Thunderbird provides you with a fast robust email client that can not only hand emails but RSS feeds, and newsgroups all in this one product.  While I like to personally keep all those in separate programs I have to commend Mozilla.org for including this sort of as a one stop shop.

I have created two screencast that show you the process from downloading the product, to install, and the configuration or setup.

Video 1: Download, and Install

Video 2: Configuration

More information about Thunderbird features here and Thunderbird download link.

Popular Thunderbird addons listed under this article on Makeuseof.com

Enjoy and leave comments.

TBTR

Wednesday Download – Google Docs

Google Docs logo

Working a full time job you probably sit at a computer for 8 hours then go home and you have another computer your using. Using so many computers there are gonna be times when you wish you had access to your documents from any computer at any time. If you have Google Docs your not missing a thing in fact your probably laughing right now saying “Is this really news TBTR, I mean honestly.”

There’s nothing to download; you access your documents, spreadsheets and presentations from any computer with an Internet connection and a standard browser. And it’s free.

Scenario your at work taking care of some last minute changes to a document, you get a call and leave in haste. When you get home your winding down about to watch your favorite TV show when you get a call that your friend she needs the list of things you were writing ASAP. You think back did I email that document before I left work? Then you remember it’s saved to your hard drive at work not at home. This leaves your friend with out the document and there is nothing you can do about it. Well sort of, if you had written and saved that document in Google Docs you could use your computer to login find the document and then edit or just send the document to your friend. Thus fixing a situation that may have been disastorious.

Online storage and auto-save mean you needn’t fear local hard drive failures or power outages.

While this is little far fetched it’s still true Google Docs is an online application that lets you create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations online at anytime from any computer. Google has set up the system to enable anyone to share, and collaborate in real time. Google Docs accepts most popular file formats, including DOC, XLS, ODT, ODS, RTF, CSV, PPT, etc. Access to your documents can be emailed to anyone you want and they get instant access.

You can publish to the entire world, just a few people or no one — it’s up to you. (You can also un-publish at any time.)

With Google Docs there is nothing to download it’s all done over the internet that also helps with backup of documents. No longer do you have to worry about a hard drive failure or misplacing some important documents you have access from anywhere. Google Docs even lets you post a document to the web with a single click you can set this for viewing by select people or anyone around the world.

You can now track how much traffic a particular published document is getting through Google Analytics.

While most of this article is written for the newbie in mind here is where I explain some of the NEW features that have been placed in this Online Application.

  • A host of free templates for documents, spreadsheets or presentations
  • Analytics tracking on published documents is now available
  • Custom Colors can now be chosen for documents or slides
  • Output can be to a PDF file so no need for Adobe Acrobat
  • Tech-Savvy users can now apply CSS to documents
  • Notes can now be added to your slide presentations
  • Off line access to your Google docs, sync when internet connection established
  • Presentations can be saved as PPT
  • View Google Docs on your mobile phone
  • Many more features

While Microsoft has stepped up and offered some of the same things with Office Live, Google Docs 100% FREE. While they do offer this for free there is a pay service if your a organization and want to put the whole company on it’s called Google Apps check it out.

This video explains a lot enjoy.


video by: leelefever

Try out Google Docs it helps you live longer 🙂

TBTR

Download Wednesday – Open Office

Today I wanted to let you know about OpenOffice which is the clone of Microsoft’s costly product Office. OpenOffice while different gives you some great features such as:

  • Text Documents
  • Spreadsheets
  • Presentation
  • Drawing
  • Database

The products listed are FREE you don’t pay for them because OpenOffice is a Open Source product. If you don’t have the money to purchase the most popular product Microsoft Office, download OpenOffice here.

Enjoy

TBTR

Download Wednesday – Freeware GIMP

Gimp logo

While I love taking pictures I don’t like the high cost of photo editing software such as Corel, Paint Shop Pro, and Photoshop. I have always looked for a free way to edit and do cool things with photo software then I came across GIMP.

GIMP is released under the GNU free software license which lets you use the program for free. The GIMP software project has been around for a long time since about 1996 according to the website. Currently the stable version of GIMP is 2.51.

GIMP was created because Linux users wanted a way to be able to use great photo editing software on a Linux computer build.  So they did what they always do, make a better mouse trap. It was later compiled for Windows but the first intention of GIMP were for Linux users. Plug-ins have been created for GIMP to expand the capabilities.

Screenshot

While I would love to really go into the specifics and show you how it really works, I’m gonna let you look the GIMP website over and see for yourself. Tons of Tutorial sites have been created to show you how to set up GIMP and how to do simple things with this extensive software.

  • The tutorials here go from beginner to expert helping you to get aclimated to GIMP
  • Tons of YouTube videos have been created showing you how to use GIMP here, last count was about 946 videos.
  • An awesome Wiki has been created here

Remember you can complain but why? It’s FREE

TBTR

IM applications get better and better I found another Digsby, it’s Cool

digsby logo

A few weeks ago I discussed my fascination with Meebo in my article “What? You can’t log on at work…I got a solutions” an Online IM program that works from your web browser no application install needed. I found another IM program that goes a step further, the Digsby application has the following connections which any well connected person should have especially a social geek:

······IM (Instant Messenger) – AIM, MSN, Yahoo, ICQ, Google Talk, Jabber, Facebook
······Email – Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo, AIM, IMAP, POP
······Social Networking – Facebook, Twitter, Myspace

With all those connections from one applicaiton, oh and a recommendation by a reader of this blog I decided to add this program and try it out so here are my findings.

The Digsby interface is fully customizable from the layout to the fonts the whole experience

After downloading the applicaiton from Digsby.com I was able to install the program with no problems. I did like the fact that I could Signup right from the application and create my name with digsby. Once the application was installed I decided to kick the tires and set up all my accounts. I noticed the interface was pleasing to the eyes and was not just thrown together it worked.

It just so happens that a friend of mine was online while I was setting all this up and started a conversation with me. I noticed the window popped up and we started chatting as ususal. Sometimes at work you want things to be a little more private so I minimized the chat window and to my suprise a little little window popped up which I could see what my friend was saying and at the same time it was big enough that I could reply back without opening up the huge chat window cool feature.

While the program has given me some issues once I got it up and running properly this application has turned out to work very nice

Because the system is logged into my Gmail, Yahoo, and Hotmail account I can see the number of messages or emails that are waiting for me to look at, another cool feature. Everytime a new email is received the Digsby interface shows me a small blurb of the subject line, I also have a small ICON in the bottom right hand corner that represents my Gmail account with a small number that shows how many emails are waiting for me.

The Digsby interface is fully customizable from the layout to the fonts to the whole expericence. Now for the really cool part if you have a blog or website and you want to interact with your customers and/or friends you can place a chat widget on your site. When people see this they can start talking to you right from your website as long as you have Digsby running on your computer at that time, if not I beleive it leaves you a message. This is cool when you want real time communications on your site, no tons of time trying to set everthing up you paste the code on your site and it’s working.

Click here to send me a message in the test area of my site.

All and all i had a great time using Digsby and I’m going to continue to use it for the future, there was only one problem I had which might get a little technical. After using Digsby for a couple of days I noticed now when I start my laptop in the morning I see digsby boot, then display a message from some user who sent the note overnight my Digsby program then freezes. It has happened two days in a row. So the only thing I can do is press Ctrl+Atl+Delete and end task on the Digsby program.

I have gone into the preferences and changed it so Digsby no longer boots on my computer during startup. I’m hoping to get a better response when I boot again, UPDATE>>>well I have booted the system again and now it works properly.

While the program has given me some issues once I got it up and running this application has turned out very nice.

If you are going to download this program remember you have to have administrative right on your machine especially if this is a work machine, if you don’t have rights like that remember to use meebo which I talked about before right here.

TBTR