tools

IrfanView – the best lightweight image editor / viewer

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IrfanView is a fast and compact image editor cum viewer of all time. It is best for use of beginners to professionals. IrfanView supports almost every image format available; moreover plugins are available to enhance the support. IrfanView is well suited for single image editing tool to multi batch image processing.

IrfanView - the best lightweight picture editor If you’re working with images and computers for sometime you must have explored about this tool long back before. It is the cool tool for image editing for all ages right from Windows 9x to VISTA. Now we have a great news as well; latest version of IrfanView 4.-0 has been released. You can download the installation file right here. This release is little bulkier than all its previous release I believe. The size of the IrfanView installer is 1.10 MB (first time reaching Megabytes). This may be because of the improved Vista compatibility in the new release.

IrfanView is written by Irfan Skiljan, a graduate student of Vienna University of Technology. This compact software is completely free for non-commercial use. The development is supported by donation; feel free to donate towards this. IrfanView is especially useful when working with digital photos and their retouching. My top use of IrfanView is to watermark and resize my entire digital collection; so it is ready for Web.

Features Glimpse

  • Many supported file formats ( almost every image format)
  • Multi-language support
  • Thumbnail / Preview option
  • Slideshow (Save as EXE / SCR)
  • Fast directory browsing
  • Batch conversion / editing
  • Multipage editing
  • File search
  • Email Option
  • Multimedia Playe (plays popular video)
  • Change color depth
  • Scan Support
  • Cut/Crop
  • IPTC editing
  • Capturing
  • Lossless JPG operations
  • Effects (sharpen, blur, Adobe Photoshop filters)
  • Extracts icons from EXE/DLL
  • Lot of shortcut keys for ease of use
  • Command line options for experts
  • Customized plugins

Edward de Leau lists the 10 ways of using IrfanView. He writes clearly about how IrfanView can help in day to day image processing needs. Here is the quick summary on how IrfanView can be used,

  1. To take Screenshots
  2. To preview, sort, rotate albums
  3. To resize image
  4. To create thumbnails for online photo album
  5. To scan image
  6. To watermark my photographs
  7. To preform batch processing
  8. To apply effects / filters
  9. To set Windows wallpaper
  10. To do lot more with the image

Update:- Pallab has written a Ten Things you can do with Irfanview with more explanation.

IrfanView has been around for many years and keeps getting better. It might still require lot of improvement towards the UI. Hope it gets better too.

IrfanView is my favorite when it comes to basic image editing / viewing. If you never tried it before give a try today. Visit their homepage.

Site24x7.com – A free website-monitoring service

Site24x7.com is a FREE beta web monitoring service provided by Zoho, a online collaboration leader.

I should have mentioned about this service long time back but unfortunately I realized the importance of similar service only after my site faced a server downtime. Thanks for Site24x7.com for alerting me on the event. I have being using this service effectively for past couple of months now.

This is another 100% FREE service provided by Zoho.There are several website that provide similar service. I personally prefer Site24x7 among them. Checkout the features page to find out why you should give a try too.

I would consider the SMS alert feature as a very good value add; it wouldn’t allow you to have a good night sleep if something is wrong in your site 🙂 Website owners will know about the importance of site uptime and I’m not going to write about it here. Site24x7 will alert you by email or sms. You can have multiple email or sms to which alert has to be sent.

A noticeable feature about site24x7 is its simplicity, i would say. It’s every simple to setup a site for monitoring. To setup a website for monitoring provide the website URL and then the polling frequency. You’re all set. This is pretty easy for any novice user.

With advanced configuration option you can specify the events for which you need to receive the alert. You can use the advanced option very effectively. It helps in lot of ways, the keyword options will let you not to loose the rank in search engines. Also you can get alerted for bad response time. In the option page you will be able to add multiple email ids. Also you can choose which form submission method you want to use. If your website is secured site, you would be able to provide the authentication information as well.

Recently, I found a option for monitoring the web application. For this you need to record the sequence of web application UI. I have never tried this till now. But would be worthy for guys who are running e-commerce site.

Sample Status Report

Site24x7 also has the option of emailing you out weekly / daily report. You will be also check out the archived stats online in their site.

Folks, If you are owning a website then I would highly recommend you to check this out.

Thanks Site24x7

Monitored by: Site24x7 - WebSite Monitoring Service

Update: Site24x7.com is no more completely FREE. Now they have a option for buying SMS credit.

My Favorite Top Five must have Firefox Add-ons

My Favorite Top Five List of FireFox Add-ons that I use and you must have.

Here is a list of my favorite top five Firefox add-ons that I use very often. I just can’t imagine doing so many things on Internet that I do everyday without their assistance. I also been using couple of others which didn’t make into the list since this is list of only Top Five.

You can read more post on [tag]Firefox[/tag] which I had wrote about Firefox and other addons. If you don’t have Firefox yet; download it today.

Firefox Recommends'

FireFTP

FireFTP is my personal top favorite, which lets me manage my site. FireFTP is a free, secure, cross-platform FTP client that provides easy and intuitive access to FTP servers. This eliminates a piece of software for those of you who use a separate program for FTP. Along with transferring your files quickly and efficiently, FireFTP also includes more advanced features such as: directory comparison, syncing directories while navigating, SSL encryption, file hashing, and much more! Webmaster should try this.


StumbleUpon

StumbleUpon allows you to discover and share great Web content matched to your personal preferences. Whether it’s a website, video, picture, game, blog, or wiki, StumbleUpon helps you find interesting pages recommended by like-minded people with a single click of the Stumble! Button. This helps you find interesting Web pages you wouldn’t think to search for. Read my earlier post about StumbleUpon.

ScribeFire

ScribeFire (previously Performancing) is a full-featured blog editor that sits right in your Firefox browser and lets you post to your blog easily. You can drag and drop formatted content, including images; from the page you are browsing and take notes as well as post to your blog. ScribeFire is compatible with most of the blog systems.

SearchStatus

SearchStatus a neat little tool that provides you with some handy shortcuts for site information like PageRank, AlexaRank, backlinks, keyword density, link reports, whois, keyword/nofollow highlighting, backward/related links and a bunch of other search engine marketing related tools. I use the tool to track the pagerank and alexa rank of site that I’m browsing.

FoxyTunes

FoxyTunes places remote controls for the media player of your choice within Firefox so you can control your music without leaving your browser. The controls appear on the status bar or one of the toolbars, so no space is wasted. You can pause, forward/reverse, play, adjust the volume, and see what’s playing. There’s also an alarm clock and a sleep timer. This is a must-have extension for users who regularly listen to music while browsing the Web as it is to me 🙂

Thanks to those wonderful add-ons. This is my favorite 5, I do use others too but not that often. If you have some else in top 5 list, your comments are welcomed.

PageAddict :: Monitor Your Web Addiction in Firefox

A handy Firefox Extension PageAddict to monitor your web addiction.

Are you addicted to internet? Do you want to know your addiction? If yes here is a handy utility that monitors your web usage. PageAddict is a free Firefox extension which can give you a summary of your daily online activity. It generates reports based on the amount of time spend on each sites you visited.

PageAddict can be downloaded from here. It is just a 10k download. Once you install the Firefox extension you need to visit www.pageaddict.com to know your addition. There you’ll get the time you spent at each site, percentages of overall time and the option to apply tags. You can even categorize different sites and restrict how much time you spend in each category per day.

Now find your addiction level and try to do something productive 🙂

Windows Live Writer, a blog publishing tool

Windows Live Writer is a new off-line WYSIWYG blog publishing system by Microsoft

Microsoft launched Windows Live Writer, a blog publishing tool few days back. After reading couple of reviews about this tool, I made my mind to take a chance to try out the windows app, which is freely downloadable from Microsoft site. This windows application allows you to blog directly to your site without a web interface. At the first site it resembles to FrontPage, a web publishing software from Microsoft. Windows Live Writer with integrated WYSIWYG editor will be useful for blog authors who like do thing pretty fast.

Windows Live Writer has a lot of bells and whistles – preview in WYSIWYG or HTML mode, support for most blogging platforms (Windows Live Spaces, Blogger, LiveJournal, TypePad, WordPress and others), easy insertion of photos and things like Live.com Maps, and tagging. What’s nice about Windows Live Writer is that it reads your current blog’s template and it lets you preview your content while creating it. It’s like seeing your blog post growing.

The rich-text editor is not impressing, as it contains the usual elements and doesn’t produce clean code (you’ll notice many unneeded tags). When you insert pictures, you’ve got more options: you can resize the picture, add a nice shadow, adjust brightness and even use some simple effects like sepia. Unfortunately, Blogger doesn’t allow you to publish images for the hosted blogs 🙁

Windows Live Writer is available only for windows and more over it’s still beta. The simple interface and the innovative additions make this tool a good replacement for the standard blogging interfaces and it’s a good alternative to Performancing for Firefox, Qumana, but it’s still far from a commercial application like ecto.

Windows Live Writer needs lot of improvements with features like categories, tags, etc., should show up. Moreover the formatting code should be clean.

For more information about the tool read the writer team blog at http://windowslivewriter.spaces.live.com/

Partition Table Doctor, manage your partition

Partition Table Doctor is a tool for managing Partition tables. Partition Table Doctor is effective when it comes to Partition recovery and hard disk data recovery. This tool was great help for me when I was struggling with Partition errors.

It was a wretched night for me; I was under assumption that entire thing got ruined for a minute. Yes, all the logical hard drivers I’d in my system had gone away after an illegal system shutdown. This was not new to me it has happened in past several times but mostly on the secondary hard disk which I don’t use anymore. I was totally astonished when the error occurred in my primary hard disk. It was horrible experience since I didn’t have a backup on the data, which I had in my primary drive 🙂

I tried few basic troubleshooting steps; but nothing seemed to work. So I started searching for a good solution for recover my logical partition. Finally this tool Partition Table Doctor stopped me. Partition Table Doctor sounded promising to me and I decided to give a try.

Partition Table Doctor ScreenshotThanks to Partition Table Doctor, it saved lot of my efforts that I had to spend on the recovery process. They had automatic recovery option that was a great feature. I was able to fix up most of the partitions using automatic recovery expect one. I had to fix it using manual recovery process, which was lot easier too. The tool was so handy and came in right time for me. If you’re one stuck up in similar problem don’t get panic just rebuild the partition table. It would work is most of the cases.

But I would recommend you to backup you partition tables, master boot records (MBR) into other media. Partition Table Doctor also has option for backing up this information or you can use any other tool.

Quick Feature List:

  • Recover deleted or lost partition
  • Fix boot sectors errors
  • Backup / Restore MBR, partition table and boot sectors
  • Easy to manage Partitions
  • Surface Test
  • and other advanced features…

Partition Table Doctor is really a great product when it comes to managing partitions.
Bottom line, Prevention is better than cure so backup your sensitive data in regular interval.

Update: I have reposted this on 06/22/07 with more information on PTD

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