iSquint

iSquint is a popular video conversion software for Mac.

It offers users ways of converting their videos to various formats and completing tasks such as auto cropping and fitting 18 hours of video onto one DVD, (although I am yet to figure how someone would use that) in addition to converting wrong format videos for iPod video. It works with most video formats and is simple as “drop, drag and click” to convert a video file. iSquint has an available freeware version and also a registered version called “VisualHub” which costs $23.32.

y Writer 2

Novel writers know that standard word processors, such as WordPerfect or MS Word, aren’t always the best tool to use in crafting their masterpieces.

Those programs just aren’t made to keep track of the data that goes into writing a novel, and are feature-overkill for what writers need. Commercial software for writing novel exists, but is often expensive, or even, for those who aren’t yet getting paid for their writing, out of reach financially.

Enter y Writer from Spacejock Software. It’s free, well thought out software crafted specifically for writers of novels and short stories. y Writer 2 is the current version, and y Writer 3 beta is available, too. The download is only 3 MB, and the program installs under anything from Win 95 or Win98 and above. (I’ve got it on Win98 and WinXP machines.) With a driver downloaded from the y Writer website, you can even install it as a portable app on a USB flash drive, for portable writing wherever you can find a computer. Working the program is easy. A wizard helps create your first project. Then add chapters, characters, scenes to build your novel from initial outline to finished product. Scenes and chapters can be added, moved and deleted as your work progresses. A storyboard allows you to see how the storyline of each character progresses. Once you’re done, you can export your work to many text formats: html, text, rtf, and even NaNoWriMo obfuscated, for those who take part in National Novel Writing Month held each November.

Unlock Locked Files

Most of us must have had this problem of unable to delete some files in windows and windows shows an error message that the file is being used.

Most of the time we will end up rebooting the system to delete the file, even then some files may not get deleted. Unlocker is a free tool to delete such files which are possessed by a application process in Windows XP or Vista. Whenever we try to delete a file which we don’t want and windows pops-up a message that the file cannot be deleted, Unlocker will immediately come up from the system tray and provides the list of all the processes which are locking the file. You can choose to kill the Process which is locking the file, Unlock the file without killing the process. You can also rename or copy the file. If no processes are holding the file, we can select to close the processes running and let Unlocker delete the file for us.

TexShop

TexShop is a Mac OS text editor with a primary focus on Latex typesetting. Researchers and scientists all over the world use Latex to write research papers, proposals, review and project documentation.

TexShop has a nice user-friendly menu driven interface that simplifies regular editing and typesetting operations to regular users. When installed, TexShop integrates itself with the available Latex compiler, and allows users to compile their latex code into PDF documents with a professional format. TexShop also has built-in macros that automate the creation of bibliographical sections that contain citations to projects and research papers related to the document being edited by the user. TexShop has a powerful and fast spell checker with automatic correction. Best of all, TexShop is a freeware distributed under GPL public license. The current release of TexShop works best with Mac OS 10.5 (the Leopard version). It also works with Mac Od 10.4 (the Tiger version). After using TexShop for about six months, I found it quite handy and robust. I can easily typeset project documentation, research papers, and reviews into PDF documents with a professional look with no great effort.

How To Stay Organized

I’m a pretty busy guy. I’m a full time student, so my day is pretty much completely filled with homework, quizzes and tests to study for and other appointments. I used to have a lot of trouble staying organized, I’d forget about papers until the day they were due, and I once missed a midterm.

Then I found the application MiniTask. It’s based on Adobe Air, which lets developers create easy to use, internet based applications (though this one doesn’t use the internet. It’s a breeze to use, just right click to add tasks, separators (I use one for each day of the week) and even alarms so you don’t forget to do something important. It’s even customizable so you can change the colors to fit your desktop. I wouldn’t be able to survive without this app, it was the first application I downloaded when I switched computers and its sitting in my tray right now. If you have organization issues download this. You won’t regret it.

Enjoy Your Wine

Wine is not an Emulator! If you are remotely interested in Linux as an OS you probably have some things holding you back from switching.

Namely that piece of software that you love so much. Be it Microsoft Office or World of War Craft, every one it seems, has that one app they can’t live without. Ah, but we have Linux alternatives some might cry, but alas not everyone wants to use a new piece of software. They want their widget to be exactly like they remember it and that toolbar has to be in just the right spot. Enter Wine. Wine is an abstraction layer (pretty name for “it makes Windows programs think they are installing in Windows”.)

While far from being a true blue install of Windows it has some amazing benefits. Aside from the amazing activity level of the developers (I have seen a new version every 2 or 3 weeks). Its simplicity and brilliance are amazing. Imagine being in Linux and popping in your Office XP CD, up pops the installer, you type in your name, your product id code, and boom it starts installing. When the installer finishes you click on your K or Gnome menu click Wine and there is Office. And it looks and runs just as well (for the most part) as it would in Windows. This amazing product has come a long ways since it’s early development and has recently added support for DirectX 9.0c and is actively working towards .NETt integration. To download go to http://www.winehq.org. Enjoy your Wine!