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Hey Microsoft, Where Are My Keyboard Shortcuts!?

Delete KeyI recently upgraded to Microsoft Office 2010. I really like the way the design team is going on their newer versions. It is really sleek and nice feeling, but I’ve noticed something missing… my keyboard shortcuts! I’m a Linux guy at heart (I install cygwin on every Windows machine I own and/or use) so performing tasks quickly from the keyboard are a part of my computing lifestyle. For instance in Outlook I could always type ALT-T, Y to permanently delete items in my Recycle Bin. Not anymore! The new interfaces are very mouse-centric and while they look good they leave out the ole shortcuts that have become second nature to me.

Wait a minute, you say! You can still use keyboard shortcuts. That’s true. Now to perform the same task in Outlook I can simply type ALT-F, I, T, Y. That just rolls off the tongue (or fingers), doesn’t it? Maybe in the next version I’ll be able to type “P-L-E-A-S-E E-M-P-T-Y M-Y R-E-C-Y-C-L-E B-I-N, Y-E-S I A-M S-U-R-E, T-H-A-N-K Y-O-U”.

Image Cut – Protect Your Website Images

Here’s a creative tool for professional webmasters who are looking for the fastest possible way to create high-quality html template and site design that include a foolproof method for splitting images to prevent theft. Visitors are forced to return to the site every time they want to view images and that automatically increases site traffic. Moreover with Image Cut you will make your images load faster and improve site rating on search engines.

Every professional web designer knows the routine. First you design your single image template using your favorite image editor such as GIMP or PhotoShop. Then you split the image template using a cutting tool that’s capable of creating the HTML to merge each image slice into a complete image.

Image Cut automates the image slicing process and saves you hours of time and unnecessary steps. Image Cut does all of the hard work for you. Just place the cut marks on your image right where you want them. Image Cut automatically saves each slice in an optimized file and then generates the HTML for you. You just drop the files onto your site and you’re ready to go!

Optimize web content for quick downloads saving web space and increasing playback speed. Image Cut will automatically choose the most compact file format for JPEG, GIF, PNG and lossless image quality for each picture segment. Even better, you can compare different qualities and resulting file sizes using quick preview and do custom optimizations at will. If a particular segment has no significant data it can be marked as “blank” so no image file is stored. And that’s ideal image compression!

Image Cut is SEO-aware and will help improve your site ranking by inserting ALT description image tags for every image. That means you can add keyword-optimized titles and descriptions for all your images. Quick and painless, Image Cut is designed to make SEO modifications that do their part in helping you achieve maximum site popularity in the shortest time possible.

Program features:

  • Supports more than 20 input image formats (including Photoshop PSD files);
  • Supports BMP, JPEG, GIF, PNG, and TIF output image formats;
  • Exports html file merging all segments into one reconstructed image;
  • Can optimize image format with fast preview of end quality (shows exact output file size);
  • Sets file type and quality settings for each part separately;
  • Automatically selects the most compact file format for each individual image part;
  • Saves cut parameters in project files;
  • Gives the ability to undo and redo splitter placement operations;
  • Zooms image working area in and out;
  • Has a built-in easy-to-use text editor with html syntax highlighting;
  • Supports drag & drop (projects and images from Explorer or other source);
  • Handles relative address for image parts;
  • Enables quick testing of resulting html;
  • Automatically selects color for blank image parts;
  • Gives the ability to customize splitter colors;
  • Quickly adds link and alt text to image reference in html;
  • Shows rulers;
  • And brings the power of batch splitting of multiple images using an arbitrary cutting template.

There is a FREE version you can download. Plus if you order the Pro version they will give you seven E-Books valued at almost $275!

Download A FREE Trial

Instant Source – Hacking Websites The Easy Way

I’d like to highlight a product for web development today called Instant Source by Blazing Tools Software. Now a huge disclaimer… I would not normally consider posting about a tool that is specific to the dreaded Internet Explorer. This is an exception, however because this tool is so absolutely cool and useful. (Plus I’m currently searching for a Firefox alternative)

Instant Source lets you take a look at a web page’s source code. Big deal, right? Well of course you have always been able to do this using the View Source command common on all browsers, but Instant Source kicks this concept up a notch. Now you can view the code for selected elements instantly, without having to open the entire source of the page. The program opens up a toolbar window at the bottom of Internet Explorer which displays the source code for whatever part of the page you select in the browser window.

Instant Source by Blazing Tools Software
Click the image to enlarge

You can even set it to show source code for every element under your cursor, allowing you to quickly peak through the source as your cursor moves across the page. Instant Source can show all Flash movies, script files (*.JS, *.VBS), style sheets (*.CSS) and images on a page. You can save all external files into the selected folder with a one click. Other features include handy HTML, JavaScript and VBScript syntax highlighting and support for viewing external CSS and scripts files directly in the browser.

Features:

  • You get the HTML of the page element as quickly as possible – just hover the mouse over it, or select it.
  • HTML editing directly inside web browser.
  • Enhanced View Source command replacement.
  • Instant Source can display the HTML code that exactly matches the visible content of the page.
  • It shows all external files on a page and lets you to save them with a one click.
  • Handy HTML, Javascript and VBScript syntax highlighting.
  • Easy real-time viewing of the cascade style sheets (CSS) and script files.
  • Quick access. Click on the button on the Internet Explorer toolbar to invoke Instant Source.

Now this is commercial software, but at under $15.00 it is not that great an expense for such a nifty piece of software. Also there is a FREE trial that you can download to give it a whirl. I’ve included a link to the trial download below.

LyricWiki Search Gadget Released

I just released my latest WordPress plugin, the LyricWiki Search Widget. If you have a self-hosted WordPress blog or site it adds a sidebar widget to search for song lyrics on LyricWiki.org. You can see it in action on my sidebar now, right below my last.fm album listings. I thought that was a fitting place for it.

I’ll also put a quick download link to it here, just in case you can’t wait to grab it!

LyricWiki Search Widget Plugin (24 kb)

Find Song Lyrics From Your iGoogle Page

Do any of you remember my post titled You Need Coolin’, Baby, I’m Not Foolin’? Basically I introduced my readers to the LyricWiki.org site which is a great way for you to look up lyrics and also allows you to contribute to the effort if you find songs that are not in the database.

Well, I’ve created a neat little Google Gadget that allows you to embed a quick lyrics search feature into your iGoogle personalized page powered by LyricWiki.org. You just type in the pieces of the song that you can remember and hit the Search button!

There is a product page on this site for the gadget named LyricWiki Search Gadget and it will soon be published in the Google Homepage Content Directory. You can also find it on the Google Modules website, an unofficial directory of Google Gadgets. Alright, alright enough with the web references.

Here is the obligatory screenshot. Ah, simplicity at it’s best! Even if I do say so myself.

LyricWiki Search Gadget Screenshot

Finally, if you want to install/add the gadget to your iGoogle page all you have to do is click the Add To Google button. Simple, eh? Add to Google

Well, go ahead and click! I promise it won’t hurt… bad.

EDIT: As of June 21 Google finally added me to the Content Directory which you can see here.

When Spyware Attacks! What Will You Do?

I have a reputation for being an all around geek, especially with my family and friends. So given the opportunity 😉 to help those in need of assistance I generally turn down any kind of monetary reimbursement. Instead I just pile the whole family over to their house and they usually end up feeding us. We have a great time talking, I fix their computer woes, the kids play and all is well. Usually.

During this one instance, however the poor victim (the computer) was not so fortunate. It was so extremely bad that I could not at first tell what the problem was. The thing just wouldn’t boot up. I soon discovered that it was because the system resources were being consumed on startup by an enormous amount of spyware applications that had accumulated on the system. I ended up taking the system home with me. After many, many… many reboots and system cleans with several different tools the poor thing was rendered useless. The Windows operating system was completely corrupted and damaged beyond repair and the only thing I could do was salvage what data I could from the hard drive and then perform a clean install for them.

Please, please… please folks. Don’t let this happen to you. It is actually quite simple. There are some very excellent tools available that you can basically install and forget about that take care of this. One of the better commercial products out there is called Spy Sweeper. What!? Pay for software? Yeah, I know. Believe me, though you do not want your identity to be flaunted all over the internet by rampant spyware applications. This is one area I would suggest investing a few greenbacks in. Spy Sweeper stands out, in my humble opinion as one of the leaders in this area of software. Plus they’re Windows Vista compatible! That in and of itself should get a reward, shouldn’t it? This software really is great though. It offers continuous protection with all the latest updates. It is really good at removing those stubborn hard to get out spyware apps and they have FREE customer support.

Of course there is always the alternative… you could just invite me and my family over and feed us while I fix your computer. If it’s too bad though, I may have to charge you since you’ve been warned. 🙂