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Unstoppable Copier

unstopcp1.JPG The Unstoppable Copier is a tool for both Windows and Linux where you can copy over files that could have had hard disk errors and corruptions. This tool basically uses multiple styles of recovery to see if it can recover what you have off of a drive.
Pretty useful considering hard drives still go bad in this age.

PrimoPDF

primopdf.jpg PrimoPDF is another free pdf generator, but with a few features that could actually sway in its favor.
First, it generates PDFs. Obviously. But it can actually print in different types of quality depending on what it’s being used for and take something that is original press quality and downgrade it depending on the use. This is fairly useful for things that need to be … say… online, but don’t need the print quality. It also allows you to merge pdf files together during conversion which is useful for combining documentation. Overall, it’s just a pretty good idea and there’s no catch, adware, or any of that. Even Vista compatible.

iTunes Saturday

Apple iTunes Apple iTunes Apple iTunes

Feng Gui

fenggui.jpg If you’re looking for a quick tool for heatmapping your website, Feng Gui seems like a pretty awesome tool to get a look at how users will look and click.
I have to say that the automated link generation is very interesting since it looks like most of the algorithm is based on images and clickable areas and where top is most likely to be clicked and as you scroll down the page, it gets less likely. What’s interesting is that for LUX, it actually generates the heatmap for the top area for the title and from knowing from actual heat map data that users actually do not click those areas. Yet, it’s a pretty good quick look at heat maps and how people would view the site itself.

Anime Watch: Tsukihime Lunar Legend

Based on the hit manga series, Lunar Legend Tsukihime, Vol. 1-3 is a twelve episode long anime about Shiki Tohno, a teenager that can see deathlines of which if they are cut, will destroy whatever the line resides in. Apparently this was an aftereffect of a terrible accident that he had as a child, and a mage Aoko Aozaki, gives him some glasses that takes away the sight of the deathlines. Unfortunately his past catches up with him, and eventually is forced to confront the accident of his childhood as different people start showing up in his life.
I must say that this particular anime was pretty good, but very slow. I didn’t miss out on much as it progressed and it took much of the twelve episodes to explain what was going on. By the end, it was getting a lot better and then the anime ends. Action wise, it could have used a little more push and moved forward just a bit more quickly.
In case anyone is confused as to if this has to do with the game Lunar Legend, I can tell you that it doesn’t. The storylines are fairly different. From a vampire perspective, it gives a spin on how vampiric lore came to be and why certain people had different powers. Actually it is in this part of the plot that I was more drawn towards since the high school drama parts were yawn driven. All in all? A good anime series, but not a great one.

VSO Image Resizer

image_resizer_main.jpg VSO Image Resizer does exactly what the name says it does. It resizes images. Very easily. It even allows you to set it up so that you can save a new copy or not and can interact with different types of raw image files from certain cameras.
That makes it incredibly useful. Personally, if I wasn’t using a Mac, this would be the tool that I’d use for blogging since there’s always a need to resize screenshots, pictures and photos. Optimized for Windows and free, you really can’t go wrong with this if you need a really quick fix.
One other thing… this tool allows single or batch mode resizing. Also allows for direct import from memory cards. I can hear the clocks turning right now…. that’s right. You can manage multiple files and resize them in one fell swoop. Awesome.

Microsoft adCenter Labs Demographic Prediction

demographicsprediction.jpg Much of the Internet is based on traffic patterns and how to generate more revenue based on targeted advertisement. Google makes its living off giving accurate information to its advertisers as well as the rest of the search engine competitors.
Well, Microsoft adCenter Labs has come up with a demographic prediction tool that basically looks at different types of queries and URLs and through their algorithm, determines which gender would go to your site and which age group is more targeted for it. It’s based on a month’s worth of MSN search data and all queries are using adCenter’s predictive model.
While it’s not as detailed as something like Analytics, it’s still definitely a useful tool to check out every so often to see if indeed all the numbers jive. Based on the gender and type of products you’re advertising, this could be very useful in tweaking your site to maximize the traffic and/or profits.

Karen’s Replicator

karensreplicator.jpg Karen’s Replicator is much like a lot of backup utilities… it copies a duplicate copy of your data to another target area.
What’s interesting about this product is how old it is, but also the features. You can designate different times that different files are copied, or not copied, or copied when changed, or even progressive copying. There are many different features of just backing up data that could be useful depending on what you need to do.
One significant note is that due to the age of the program, this is written in Visual Basic. Yes, that Visual Basic. 6.0. Crazy isn’t it. I actually wrote a couple VB programs ages ago, but I haven’t seen 6.0 code for a long long time. That should give you a pretty good idea that obviously people find this pretty darn useful to have kept it around for so long.

Wacom Graphire Bluetooth tablet

It’s been a while since I’ve purchased a tablet. The last one was a Wacom Artpad II, and I can tell you that I don’t believe there’s much that supports serial ports anymore.
In any case, I needed something that worked with my Mac well and I could flow freely. Since the Wacom Graphire Bluetooth 6×8 Tablet was wireless, it was a perfect match. The price was a bit more hefty than I would have liked but for the size of the tablet, it was definitely worth every penny.
The package comes with a charger, the tablet, a Graphire pen, pen stand, Graphire mouse, and manuals and software. Software is both the Mac and PC edition so that was nice. The Graphire mouse, I hardly use mainly because I use my Macbook Pro for most things and only need the tablet for design work.
The one thing that I love about this tablet is the size and that it’s wireless. While there’s some range on the device, you really don’t need to be sitting too far away anyways unless you have such a massive monitor that you might as well be purchasing a Cintiq.
For those that are considering to buy a tablet but have never used one before, this is just some advice on how tablets work. When you draw, your screen is proportional to your tablet. So therefore, the top left corner of tablet is the top left of your screen and so on so forth. Thus, if you are getting a smaller tablet, you will be making a lot finer changes for details than a larger one. Obviously the best would be a Cintiq since it’s a 1:1 ratio of drawing to tablet since you’re using a monitor sized board, but outside of that, to each their own. I chose the Wacom Graphire BT because of both size and wireless and so far I have been extremely happy about it.

PhotoRec

photorec.jpg Ever have a hard drive go bad? Had many photographs or something where a corrupted memory card or disk is just not the answer you wanted to hear?
Hey, you might be in luck. PhotoRec to the rescue! PhotoRec is open source, and can be used with your major operating systems (DOS, Windows, linux, Solaris, MacOSX, BSD), and basically looks at corrupted file systems and copies over whatever is there onto a working system. It’s best for its namesake, but it recovers many other things by looking at the mediums’ filesystem.
But why take my word for it? Just take a look at Kent Brewster’s story.