Tag Archive 'online tool'

Jul 30 2012

Say “Night, Night” to Long Installation Sessions with Ninite

A new computer is a popular high school graduation gift, and a great one at that! However, getting all your favorite applications and software isn’t as exciting, and can be a very time-consuming process. Luckily, Patrick Swieskowski and Sascha Kuzins–two awesome people at Secure by Design, Inc–have created a way to streamline that process for us!

Click here to visit Ninite, a website with a long list of popular software that you can download in a single bundle.

Ninite Software Options

What would you like to download?

Check the software you want on your machine–Ninite (which takes suggestions of what apps to include) offers a multitude of selections in categories such as browsers, imaging, media, developer, and documents.

This is great if you are (as we hope you are) a devout user of Firefox and Chrome, because your average Windows machine, for instance, comes only with Internet Explorer. How about another free favorite of ours, the imaging app Gimp? Yup! It’s there too.

Ninite's Installer

Easy to download the bundle!

After you’ve made your selections, download the installer and treat it like a dot exe file–execute it! All the programs you want will quickly download. It’s as easy as that!

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Feb 12 2010

You Are What You Annotate

Now that the semester is moving forward you are probably trying to focus on being a productive student. So you came here to find some help in, right? Of course right. If you spend a lot of time researching on the internet there is a site called Diigo that you should check out.

To put it briefly Diigo is a highlighting, bookmarking and site sharing tool.

One of the reasons I started using Diigo was, it gave me the ability to highlight and place sticky notes on webpages. When I have to read a long online text for class a tool like Diigo gives me the option to directly annotate (take notes) on those pieces. So instead of printing out a bunch of pages I just bring my laptop to class and read my (searchable) notes. Plus, I am saving the environment, right? The notations have different setting: private, public, or shared with group. So depending on your need there are different settings. A fun little bonus to using Diigo is if anyone else has it installed on their computer and they place a sticky note on a webpage and make it a public note then anyone else who also has diigo can see it too.

Another great feature of Diigo is the ability to archive webpages in html and image formats. This is more than just being able to bookmark a page for later use, it gives you the ability to capture a site at a moment in time. This can come in handy for websites that have an ever changing face, like Wikipedia. Once you have saved a page in this format through Diigo they become searchable within your personal archive. So, if you can’t remember what words you used to tag a bookmark (or didn’t tag at all, shame on you!) you can find the page by remembering words that appeared on the page itself.

Whether it is strictly for your own personal use or for building a list of resources in a community, Diigo is a powerful way to organize and annotate the content on the web.

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Jan 15 2010

Fun Foto Effects

Maybe you are still thinking about the awesome winter break you had and my suggestion to create collages wasn’t enough for you. Perhaps you are feeling creative and want to spiff up some of you favorite photos. Why not try some fun photo filters? Before you complain about not having Photoshop or even the knowledge on how to create cool filters, why don’t you take a look at Rollip?

Rollip is a professional online photo effects site with 40 photo filters. Say you have a picture of NYC and you want to get artsy with your photo you can go easily go from this:

Rollip NYC Pic

to this:

Rollip NYC Effect4

Now you look like a professional photographer that knows how to change saturation and hue (insert other photography words) to create a new image, with a new feel. Rollip has an easy to use interface, it is all done online so you don’t have to worry about downloading any software to use and of course best of all it is free.

So, grab some favorite photos, try out some filters and tell your friends you worked for hours to get the right white balance…or something. Happy filtering!

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Jan 11 2010

Collages Made Easy

It is a new year and school is starting back up for starving students everywhere.

I’m sure during your winter break you took plenty of pictures of family, friends and perhaps some tropical locales you were lucky enough to visit. Now that you have all these lovely pictures I bet you are thinking about all the cool ways you can display them, right? You could spend your time printing pictures out and arranging them in a neat collage like you did back in middle school or you could head over to Photovisi and make a collage there.

Photovisi gives you lots of great template options to choose from and you can crop images inside the site too.  Best of all you don’t even have to sign-up to use their very easy to use  free tool. When you are done it creates an image perfectly sized for wallpaper on your desktop background. In a few minutes I made this:


cc licensed flickr photo shared by umwdtlt

Ok, so maybe I am not the most creative person in the world (yes that is a pizza box as the background) but, I am sure someone like you could make a collage much better than mine in no time at all. So go ahead and make that collage of you and your friends making fools of yourselves or maybe a secret collage of your celebrity crush. Also, if you happen to make a collage worth putting on everyday items you have the option personalize various products with your collage. Didn’t you always want a mug with your mug on it?


cc licensed flickr photo shared by umwdtlt

So try it out and let us know how it goes. If anything, the best part about online collages is not having to worry about getting glue all over the place or maybe that is just a personal issue…anyway happy collaging!

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Jun 12 2009

Create & Collaborate

This latest cool stuff was pointed out to me by Patrick Murray-John who once again has found a rockin’ tool. Creately is an online tool that lets you create diagrams and designs and collaborate with others on said stuff. This is one of the best programs I have seen for diagram and design collaboration because not only is it intuitive but it also comes jam-packed with lots of useful features and lots of granular control.

Creately Screenshot

The objects are smart and have features that only appear when you need them to by clicking on them. The tool has hundreds of features but does not overwhelm you with a myriad of menus and buttons. The toolbar is simple and elegant too. Images can be stretched, skewed, and inverted. You can change colors, size, font and there is an infinite undo and redo button (yay!). The tool saves revisions so you can revert back (like wikipedia) if necessary. There are lots more features I could talk about but it is better if you go there and try it out for yourself. Creately is a powerful tool and most importantly (to this site at least) it is free!

Collaboration is made easy by clicking the share button in the upper-right hand corner and sending it off to your fellow collaborators. You can also leave comments to discuss the diagram/design and Creately allows you to intelligently point to a specific piece within the diagram/design so other people know exactly what you are talking about. There is little confusion when using this tool, it is really user friendly. Another great feature that is simple but important is the ability to export what you have created. There is the option of creating an image, PDF, XML, or to send it off in an e-mail. You’d be surprised how many tools that work great don’t have great options for exporting what you create, for this Creately gets extra bonus points.

As of today (6/12/09) it is in private beta but, I got an account easily enough and within half an hour I was playing around with Creately. So next time you have a group project that requires designing or diagramming I expect you will enlighten your group about this awesome tool. And go ahead and take the glory for making the group project much easier through your “discovery” of this cool tool, I won’t tell them where you heard about it.

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