Thin Clients – How to assemble a cheap computer!

I have a pentium pro 333mhz and a pIII 933mhz setup as thin clients.

This kind of junk can be found easily and most of the times without any cost 🙂 The idea here is to have a typical client-server setup. I use SoThin for this and it does miracles for my kids! The server software is running on my home server (a mix of file server and media center right now). If you’re interested in this I recommend browsing http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thin_client Another tip for cheap computer parts. The HDs! I bougth 4 250gb HDs, IDE, one samsung and the rest Western Digital, on eBay. After formating them I mounted a dynamic partition in a RAID like partition. 3 HDs as a single data unit with about 700gb and one for recovery if something happens. The price? A 3+1 RAID solution for 65 dollars? 🙂 Try to find one in the market!

Greenshot Screenshot

Greenshot is an open source screen capture tool that is easy to use.

No install required just download, unzip, and execute greenshot.exe. It supports three types of screen captures; region, window, and full screen. Images can be saved as JPEG, GIF, PNG, and BMP. The screen shot can automatically save as a file, sent to a printer, clipboard, or image editor. The image editor supports drawing rectangle, ellipse, line, arrow, and add text. This screen capture tool is easy to use and can allows you to quickly add ellipses, rectangles, lines, and arrows to the image. Be warn this tool on its first execution sets itself up to be automatically when windows is started. This is easy turned off through changing its preferences. It also replaces the windows print screen key for capturing. If you are looking for a screen capture with more capabilities than the windows print key this might be it.

Kindle v. Paperbacks

Amazon.com released the first generation of their new e-book reading device in late 2007 with the device selling out in hours.

The Kindle uses electronic paper screen technology (E Ink) to reduce eye fatigue from flicker and glare. Unlike traditional screens, paper screens are not backlit providing an experience closer to true ink and paper. The device reads Kindle formatted books and periodicals which can be downloaded from anywhere in the US without a computer over the Sprint EVDO network without any continuing fee for the wireless access.

Documents formatted otherwise can be emailed to Amazon and converted to Kindle-formatting and then sent directly to the device for $0.10. Access to a handful of internet resources like wikipedia.com is included in the purchase price and web browsing is available at a cost. At just about $400, the Kindle certainly costs more than the average best-seller, but is not out of line with the competition. The cost to download the average e-book from the Kindle store is less than a physical copy (approx. $9.99 for a best-seller).

The cost-effectiveness of Kindle will vary substantially among users depending on their needs. It seems safe to assume that Kindle is already proving itself cost-effective to Amazon.com. This sort of device has significant appeal to numerous consumers; the reader, the techie, the green consumer etc. Amazon is also offering a self-publishing service for authors (or would-be authors) out there with their new digital text platform. This allows authors to self-publish, set their own prices, and receive 35% of the revenues. With Amazon’s more than considerable resources, the Kindle will most likely not only take the lion’s share of e-book consumers out there, it will create a sustainable market for this technology.

Image Tricks

Image Tricks is a free photo editing software for Mac OS X. Created by BeLight Software, this application has many good features, though it also has the limitations that can be expected from freeware.

This application has many of the features one would expect from photo editing software, such as cropping, resizing and recoloring. However, the application truly shines in its various effects. For example, if you want to make only the edges apparent simply select that effect and click. It allows the user to select the type of effect or distortion from a menu on the left side of the window, and the effects are organized under various headers like distortion and tile.

In addition to these effects, Image Tricks offers several masks, including one in the shape of an Apple logo for Mac fans. In terms of support, the BeLight Software website offers great and easy to understand help for any problems that you might have. If your question isn’t answered in the FAQ section or forum, the tech support can be emailed and they do respond quickly. In addition to their many other programs, regular updates for Image Tricks are released on the website. For a simple and free photo editing application Image Tricks offers many great features and BeLight has good support for their product.

Semagic for LiveJournal

Semagic is a free software client for creating and managing Livejournal posts.

While Livejournal’s web interface is simple enough for the casual poster, there comes a certain feeling of liberation from no longer being tethered to one’s preferred crash-at-the-worst-possible-moment web browser, all in a very lightweight package. For those familiar with Microsoft Word and its family, Semagic’s default WYSIWYG mode will feel right at home from the start, while enjoying LJ-specific features such as automatically coding cuts and user info links. Users can quickly switch between different accounts and communities, post to several journals at once, as well as save multiple unfinished posts for later completion. Journal entries can be managed and deleted from a single window, allowing users to dynamically edit any content they’ve posted, with or without Semagic.

With every common (and quite a few uncommon, for all you power-users) function available at the click of a button, any user will find their Livejournal experience streamlined when they pick this handy little application up.Semagic is a free software client for creating and managing Livejournal posts. While Livejournal’s web interface is simple enough for the casual poster, there comes a certain feeling of liberation from no longer being tethered to one’s preferred crash-at-the-worst-possible-moment web browser, all in a very lightweight package. For those familiar with Microsoft Word and its family, Semagic’s default WYSIWYG mode will feel right at home from the start, while enjoying LJ-specific features such as automatically coding cuts and user info links. Users can quickly switch between different accounts and communities, post to several journals at once, as well as save multiple unfinished posts for later completion. Journal entries can be managed and deleted from a single window, allowing users to dynamically edit any content they’ve posted, with or without Semagic. With every common (and quite a few uncommon, for all you power-users) function available at the click of a button, any user will find their Livejournal experience streamlined when they pick this handy little application up.

Zamzar Online File Converter

Zamzar is a great online application for converting a range of file types.

Images, documents, music and video files are just some of the more common file types that Zamzar allows you to convert online. There are free and subscription services available. The paid service offers online file management, faster support, and preferential file queue treatment.