MissTechie

Everything new and tech gets reviewed here

Calendar making tool – create nice calendar grids

Whether you are a professional designer or you just want to make a calendar for yourself, you need a neat tool to make a calendar exactly to your liking. I prefer Calendar Wizard – an easy-to-use software for creating calendar grids.

Professionals will be interested in a variety of available plug-ins : Corel Draw, MS Excel, JPEG, BMP, Adobe PDF, HTML, TXT etc

Ordinary users will like features of applying any color scheme and marking any event on a calendar.

There’s a possibility to create calendars both for a month or for a year, make the months alignment variable, choose the type of a month’s representation and create multi-lingual calendars.

You can try to make own calendar free or read a full review at the developer’s website.

October 24, 2008 Posted by | Software | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Top flash elements of web design for attracting visitors to your website

Flash is a very powerful tool for adding animation and interactivities to any website or blog. My overview will help you to understand what types of flash content can help you to make your website more informative and presentative. Also I’ve reviewed some great tools for creating flash content you may need.

Flash Animation and Effects

Text animations, interactivities and actions, animated menus and buttons, flash introductions, navigation bars, news tickers – that’s not a full list of what you can add to your web page using Flash technology. Of course, the main purpose of using flash animation is to attract visitors. Not to get an inverse effect, don’t over saturate you web pages with flash graphics. It must be used for highlighting key elements of your web page, not to turn the whole page into blinking and moving pictures which distract visitors’ attention from the information they’re looking for.

Tools that can help you add flash animation to your website:

Flash Media Players

Flash technology enables you to embed both audio and video into your website. The advantages of using flash sound or video players are obvious – your visitor can have an enjoyable experience of listening to the music or watching a video clip. Also, it’s a great way for you to give them audio and video information for better promotion of your products or services. So, streaming website flash players are a great idea both for entertaining and informational sites. Flash media player can also be used for embedding still images into web pages. Nevertheless, I believe that it’s not the best way for representing a series of still images. It can be represented better as a flash slideshow (see the next paragraph).

Tools that can help you add audio or video to your website:

  • MC Media Player – a Flash-based media player for embedding video, audio and still images in web pages.
  • Flash WAmp – transforms any original Winamp skin to Flash-based web music player.
  • Wimpy streaming media tools – make it easy to present and manage streaming audio and video.
  • Fun SoundPlayer Maker – easy-to-use fully skinnable flash sound player for mp3 or radio streaming.

Flash Slideshows

Flash slideshow is a series of still images on the Web delivered one after another either automatically or manually. Flash slideshow is a popular technique of web-design because it lets user to view a series of images without opening other web pages. Up-to-date slideshow creators enable you to complete a slideshow with sound, text, transition and animation effects, preloader and navigation buttons. Slideshow in flash can be used for both artistic and informational purposes.

Tools that can help you add flash slideshows to your website:

  • FlashSlider – tool for easy creating and sharing flash slideshows with photos, transition effects and music.
  • Wondershare Flash Slideshow Builder – powerful flash slideshow software for making flash photo galleries and flash slideshows of your photos.
  • IncrediShow – software to help you turn your digital photos into flash photo slideshow.

Flash Charts and Graphs

Charts are comprehended by the average reader over 80 times faster than data. That’s why flash graphs and charts are widely used for web design to substitute high amount of monotonous written data. Bright animated flash chart not only helps comprehend data faster but also is an attractive element of web page design. Depending on what data you want to represent, you can choose either usual animated or static chart with embedded data or real time web-chart with dynamic data.

Tools that can help you add flash graphs and charts to your website:

  • Animated Chart – a Flash charting software which generates animated charts as movies in Adobe (Macromedia) FlashTM format for publishing them to websites.
  • FusionCharts – a flash charting component that can be used to render data-driven & animated charts for your web applications and presentations.
  • Swiff Chart – Swiff Chart lets you create eye catching animated charts in Adobe FlashTM format.

October 21, 2008 Posted by | Flash, Software, web design | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Key features of wallpaper management software – make the right choice!

Wallpaper manager is a program which helps you to manage your desktop wallpapers, change them automatically at specified time intervals, make background images fit your desktop perfectly, etc.

Reasons to use wallpaper management tool on your PC:

  • You want to change your desktop look and feel every day or on every startup but have no time to choose another wallpaper each time, wallpaper manager can do that for you.
  • You have tons of digital images and need to organize them into handy lists of backgrounds to choose from, wallpaper manager will be of use too.

Features which will help you to manage your desktop backgrounds effectively:

Wallpaper changer. Automatic wallpaper changer is a key feature of wallpaper manager. Also, make sure that wallpaper manager has an option of random wallpaper changer.

Multiple wallpaper lists. This option is really helpful, especially for different users of one computer. A perfect wallpaper manager must allow easy editing and changing wallpaper lists.

Changing wallpaper on the fly. You may want to change your desktop background at any moment. Not to waste time for opening program window, choose wallpaper manager which allows changing wallpapers using hotkeys or directly from tray or desktop menus.

Image positioning. Great feature which enables you to set the position of background directly in wallpaper manager software. Good wallpaper managers usually offer more image positions than Windows does. Each of them has different benefits – one allows setting individual positions for each image, another provides image stretching without distortion to fit widescreen monitors, etc. Take it into consideration while choosing the software.

Besides, you should check OS support and supported file formats to make sure that your wallpaper manager will meet your requirements.

From theory to practice. What wallpaper manager can I recommend?

I use Screen Calendar to manage my desktop backgrounds. Do you think I’ve mistaken because Screen Calendar is a calendar software, as its name says? No, I really mean this. Screen Calendar has all the features of wallpaper manager. First of all, it’s a wallpaper changer which switches desktop background at specified time intervals (from 5 minutes to 1 month), on specified weekdays, at exact time or on every startup. Wallpapers can be chosen randomly from folder or from background list.

Screen Calendar has built-in background list editor, which allows you to create as many lists as you want with ease. Images can be previewed directly from editor that simplifies list editing very much. Program saves background list as a text file and allows editing existing text files. Each list is available for further use, so you can create different lists for different users or for different conditions and change them with a few mouse clicks.

Screen Calendar allows changing desktop wallpaper on the fly using tray menu (Screen Calendar’s icon sits in system tray for easy access to all the options). Two mouse clicks or pressing a hotkey will switch your background at any moment.

Screen Calendar automatically makes background image aligned to certain place on a desktop, tiled or stretched to fit your screen. It may seem that all of these background positions are available in Windows’s display properties, but Screen Calendar allows more options of image positioning. At first, it allows placing image not only in the center of your desktop but everywhere you need it to be. Also, Screen Calendar provides stretching image without distortion to fit any monitor, including widescreen. That’s what you can’t do with Windows.

Screen Calendar doesn’t interfere with Windows themes and supports semi-transparent Windows’s taskbar. Besides being a full-featured wallpaper manager, Screen Calendar is a full-functional desktop calendar with day scheduler, reminder, MS Outlook and iCalendar support.

So, that’s why I use Screen Calendar. Download free trial version and make sure that it’s a perfect wallpaper manager and calendar planner in one software.

October 17, 2008 Posted by | Software, wallpaper management | , , , | Leave a comment

Online business in China or how to succeed in Chinese e-market?

Beijing 2008 Olympics have increased interests both to the whole country and to single business branches which are closer to people who are interested in technology, Internet and software.

In this post we’ll try to understand is it worth-while to sell software in China? Does huge population mean the huge market and huge profits? How to do business online in one of the largest and most complex economies in the world?

In its semi-annual report, CNNIC (China Internet Network Information Center) claimed that there were 253 million Internet users in China by the end of June 2008. That undoubtedly puts China to the first place in the world. Annual growth of users number is also impressive – 56.2% or 91 million users from June of last year. Big numbers, but a huge target of Internet users alone is not enough for success of e-commerce.

Barriers, which any e-tailer who wants to succeed in Chinese e-market should overcome:

Imperfect payment system. Because of the fact that the use of credit cards is not widespread in China, simple paying for software online often becomes a problem. Cash is still the main means of paying in China and it’s one of the reasons of slow growth of e-commerce in China.

Language barrier and localization. Chinese consumers prefer buying software of local vendors just because of language barrier. The process of online buying usually starts with searching for necessary product in search engines. Most of customers will use Chinese language and Chinese search engines to find what they need. Statistics shows that more than 64% of Chinese netizens use Baidu.com search engine and even the rest 35% who use Google or Yahoo will primary use Chinese queries for their search. Thus, if you software is not submitted to the Chinese search engines, you have little chance of success. Also, to be bought, software must be localized, i.e. adapted to local national-language features. And the software vendor should provide necessary support, also adapted to Chinese conditions.

Geographic limitations for deliveries. It’s obvious that no one can make profit when delivery cost is almost equal to the product price.

They are the problems you can solve. For example, you can find a reseller in China which will be responsible for localization, promotion and support, which will receive payment in local currency and will share your profits. And what about deliveries, software vendors have advantage over other e-tailers because a program can be downloaded and activated from any spot on the globe and registration info can be sent via e-mail.

Factors you can’t change in China online market, but can take them into consideration:

High level of piracy in China. The fact that software piracy rate in China is one of the highest in the world is well-known. It makes selling end-user programs difficult and unprofitable. Nevertheless, corporations still buy licenses.

Age of Internet users. Almost the half of all Internet users in China is younger than 24 years. So, if your software products target older and more solvent users, you may not find your target audience in Chinese Internet.

But, in spite of all the problems and difficulties, China is still one of the most perspective and promising markets. And if you like to take chances, try to enter China online market, the biggest and the most controversial online market in the world.

Think globally and act locally !

October 13, 2008 Posted by | Software | , , , , | Leave a comment

New Opera 9.6 – designed with your life in mind!

Opera Software has released the latest version of its web browser – Opera 9.6

What’s new in Opera 9.6?

Opera Link
Opera Link is a free browser synchronization service. It allows synchronizing Speed Dial websites, bookmarks, custom searches, typed history, notes and other browser data between computer(s) with Opera Desktop and/or mobile phone(s) with Opera Mini.

Opera Mail
• RSS/Atom feed preview before subscribing;
• Follow or Ignore threads and contacts – simplify recognizing important message and ignoring unimportant ones;
• Go To Thread allows viewing only the messages from the chosen thread;
• Low Bandwidth Mode lets to receive mail faster in the case of low speed Internet connection.

Opera Scroll Maker
Opera Scroll Maker simplifies reading text on long web pages. Scroll maker can be enabled to indicate the previous position of the bottom of the screen at the end of the page. It lets to find where to continue reading easily.

These and other great features along with improved performance and stability – Opera 9.6 is a must-have for everyone who uses Opera everyday and must-try for users of other web browsers.

Download Opera 9.6 and enjoy the web in a new way!

October 10, 2008 Posted by | Browsers, Software | , | 1 Comment

Technorati State of the Blogosphere Report 2008

This week, Technorati – the most popular blog search engine – releases its newest State of the Blogosphere Report 2008.
This year’s report is divided into 5 parts (or 5 days). Below are the most interesting findings of the first day.

Quick facts about blogging 2008

1. 133 million blogs indexed since 2002 vs. 70 million blogs in April 2007.
2. 900K blogs are created every day vs. 120K in 2007.
3. 10 blogs are created every second in 2008.
4. Daily number of posts is now only about a million vs. 1.4 million posts a day in 2007.

Blogosphere’s growth in 2008 is still impressive.

Hot trend of blogosphere in 2008 is growing popularity of blogs vs. the mainstream media

2007: 22 blogs are in the Top 100 list of the most popular websites.
2008: 4 of 10 Top entertainment sites are blogs, and two of them take the first and the second positions.

In 2008 blogs are changing their format and the difference between top blogs and classic mainstream media became less and less clear. This fact is also emphasized in the report: “Larger blogs are taking on more characteristics of mainstream sites and mainstream sites are incorporating styles and formats from the Blogosphere”.

Who is blogging or how does a blogger look in 2008?

Technorati also pays great attention to the bloggers – who they are, where they are from, why and about what they are blogging, etc.

Here are some of the highlights:
1. Two-thirds of all bloggers are male;
2. 50% are aged 18-34;
3. Bloggers are more affluent and educated than the general population (70% have college degrees);
4. 44% of bloggers are parents.

Reasons why people blog by popularity

1. To share their opinions and experience with others.
2. To meet new friends and like minded people.
3. Business or self promotion.

So, if you’re interested in blogosphere life, visit Technorati site to read the full report.

October 7, 2008 Posted by | blogs | , , , | Leave a comment

Hello world!

The most important tech news on the Web, services and tools get reviewed, discussed and recommended here.

Stay tuned! 🙂

October 7, 2008 Posted by | Software | , , , , , , | Leave a comment