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.

TVersity

TVersity is a free media extender with transcoding capability.

As our gaming consoles have become much more powerful and begin also acting as the center of home theater systems, a glaring limitation is found, in that their internal storage is extremely limited, and physical media is clunky at best. Media centers allow you to stream/serve media from a PC. However, many consoles have limited streaming formats they will accept. TVersity helps overcome this, as it has the ability to transcode the files on the fly, so by and large, regardless of what format your media is, it will allow you to play it on your console. We have used this with the Microsoft Xbox 360, and it was not only easy to use, but worked very well. It still has some trouble with newer formats, but is heavily supported and updated as issues are found.

Fixing Bad Sectors

I work as an IT desktop support and one of the constant problems I come across is a hard disk drive with bad sectors and data loss.

I tried a lot of programs and the most efficient for me is Dmitry Postrigans MHDD. It’s a DOS application which has a lot of functions. Basically it scans the hard drive for bad sectors and writing delays. You can remap the bad sectors or erase them permanently. The good thing is that if you want to clone the disk to save the data, and save time, there are no bad sectors to report an error and end the clone operation. Still everything depends on the state of the disk. If it has up to 100 bad sectors you can delete them and still use the disk. If it’s above 100 all you can do is save your data and buy a new disk. You can also delete the whole disk down to the sectors low level format so all the sectors that have a response time over 3ms get restored to 3ms so the disk works faster. The program has a lot other options. You can cut the disk form one sector to another, work with the MBR, etc.

Cain

Cain is a leading security tool to scan your local network and your own PC for passwords.

It runs under Windows so the installation is quite simple. Furthermore, it comes with a detailed user guide to help you get started. You can configure Cain to intercept passwords for e-mail, Internet, database passwords and so on. What’s more, Cain is able to record VOIP, or telephone calls made over the Internet. It’s a very handy tool since you can use Cain to crack your own password protected files, such as Word or Access. It’s most powerful feature is the so-called “man in the middle” attack whereby you can intercept any traffic floating on your local area network. Combined with a powerful password intercepting technique, all you have to do is to sit back and watch the passwords appear of other users inside your network as well as the websites they visit.

Help Desk Solutions HEAT

The software tool I use frequently is Heat Plus Knowledge, by Front Range.

The software helpdesk side of the tool is simply HEAT. The Plus Knowledge component is a user friendly search database to find answers to their own questions. Knowledge databases are searchable databases in which users can search for the resolution to own problems. When dealing with user support systems, these are considered level 0. (Level 1, first level helpdesk tech, level 2, troubleshooting expert, level 3, a programmer, level 4, the software vendor).

1. Users can search for do-it-yourself help to fix their own problems
2. If the user cannot resolve their own problem, the solution tied to the error they are receiving can direct them to the correct helpdesk group to fix the problem
3. Users can search the knowledge database for how to instructions for new functions not covered in their training
4. The helpdesk staff can refer to the solution database to determine the correct second level solution to use to assist the user
5. The helpdesk staffs frequently search the entire database of solutions to determine what the root cause of a user’s problem is; this can lead to users being handed off to the correct support organization immediately, rather than being sent on a goose chase.

If a user can solve their own problem, they do not need to submit a ticket via the HEAT system to one of the helpdesk. Solutions that are Level 1 or higher are also in this database, directing users to the correct diagnosis and helpdesk. The solutions documents are created and maintained as filtered HTML documents. One benefit of this is that we can create the solutions, including screen shots, in Microsoft Word. Do a file save as to filtered HTML, and you have the solution document created. Move to the correct folder, and you’re done. Easy to use for support staff, straightforward for general users, and easy to maintain. That makes it ideal as a knowledge database and ticketing system. We already have enough problems to take care of without having to fix a buggy support tool, too.