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Down for everyone or just me?: Check website status
May 5th, 2009 by Beth

Ever have that horrible feeling when you go to your site and it’s down? HOW LONG HAS IT BEEN LIKE THIS? HOW BAD IS IT?

I just had a problem with one of my client’s sites, at the exact second I was showing it to him. Ugh! I ran to the hosting site and opened a trouble ticket.

Turns out, it was just a problem from my connection. We checked it on Downforeveryoneorjustme.com. The site lets you enter a URL to check and gives you instant feedback about whether it’s officially down. Awesome free tool.

Down for everyone or just me?.

FastStone Screen Capture: Another way to avoid the “Print Screen” Button
Apr 30th, 2009 by Beth

Sigh. I guess it was bound to happen. I found a low-cost screen capture tool that competes with Jing, which is one of my all-time favorites.

FastStone Screen Capture comes in as an unobtrusive toolbar. You can capture windows, the full screen, a scrolling screen and a video with audio (see my sample below — I don’t think the audio recording is as good as Jing). In addition, when you capture something, you get a whole host of editing options to add a little more flair and details — Jing simply lets you annotate and draw arrows. And FastStone has a couple of extra handy tools like a screen magnifier plus a color picker (similar to another Beth Favorite, Pixie).

FastStone has a number of ways to export your capture, but I still prefer Jing’s integration with Screencast.com, which allows you to simply toss your capture online into your library without having to actually upload it.

Overall, I give FastStone an A- and still give Jing an A. But they’re both pretty darn cool and are infinitely better than your “Print Screen” Button.

FastStone Screen Capture – The Best Screen Capture Software.

BeepMyStuff.com: Track your personal book and multimedia libraries
Apr 24th, 2009 by Beth

This tool is a little strange, but I can see how it may be handy if you need to track your home library or if you sell things on Half.com or the like. Of course, I know people who keep detailed catalogs of their personal libraries, so maybe this tool would be perfect for them.

BeepMyStuff.com lets you use a webcam to capture the barcodes from your DVDs, Blu-Ray Movies, CDs, Video Games and Books.

Homepage | BeepMyStuff.com.

FileHippo.com Update Checker – FileHippo.com
Apr 13th, 2009 by Beth

I just downloaded FileHippo.com’s Update Checker. In minutes it gave me a list of the 6 applications on my desktop that needed updating, along with links to do so. Handy!

FileHippo.com Update Checker – FileHippo.com.

TextFlow: Online document collaboration
Apr 10th, 2009 by Beth

Sometimes I like these Web 2.0 applications just because… well… they’re just so colorful and cool, just like when you splurged on the awesome chartreuse spiral notebook with the gel cover and extra pockets in middle school.

TextFlow is a document collaboration website. You drag and drop your document into their application, and then you drag other people’s versions. The changes and suggestions from everyone are color coordinated, and they slide out and bookmark themselves in cool ways.

As a professional writer, I’ve really never had much trouble integrating changes from multiple people into one document, so I wouldn’t really need TextFlow, but I’m a sucker for a pretty notebook.

TextFlow offers a fully functional personal edition for free (that includes a watermark “Not for Commercial Use”), or it’s $99 per user per year for the full edition.

Another cool thing…. great storytelling in their promo video.

TextFlow.

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