MissTechie

Everything new and tech gets reviewed here

iCal calendar on your desktop

iCalendar or iCal format for calendar data exchange was initially developed for use under Apple Macintosh operating system, and you can find tons of info how to show iCal on Mac desktop. Nevertheless, iCal calendar can be displayed on Windows desktop as well and there are short reviews of Windows desktop calendar tools that support iCalendars. They let you exchange iCal data between iPhone, iPod, Google Calendar or other web apps and your PC.

1. Desktop iCalendar – desktop calendar consisting of 4 widgets – monthly calendar, events, to-do list and weather widget. Allows to sync calendar and to-do list with Google calendar, exchange data with any device which use .ics (iCalendar) format.

desktop_icalendar

2. Active Desktop Calendar – desktop calendar with appointments notes, tasks, alarms and contacts. Allows data exchange with Outlook and Google Calendar. Supports iCal and CSV formats for data import \ export.

active_desktop_calendar

3. Screen Calendar – desktop wallpaper calendar and reminder, shows small or fullscreen calendar for one or two month. Allows easy synchronizing events with MS Outlook. Supports iCal fully that lets you subscribe to iCalendar sources, import events from iCal calendars (including Google Calendar) to the desktop and export events to .ics files.

screen_calendar

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June 18, 2009 Posted by | Calendar, Software, Windows | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

April’s most interesting and important news

calendar_april2What’s new this April?

1. Winamp 5.552 was released. What’s new:

  • Improved iPod Sync Support
  • New iTunesLibrary Import
  • New Online Services Gallery
  • New OurStage Radio Online Services
  • New Spinner MP3 of the Day Online Service
  • New Turkish, Romanian, and Portuguese Language Packs

2. Firefox 3.0.9 and 3.0.10 stability releases were delivered to fix some security and stability issues.

3. Firefox 3.5 Beta 4 is available for download and testing. New features and changes in this milestone that require feedback include:

* Beta is now available in 70 languages .

* Private Browsing Mode.

* Better performance and stability with the new TraceMonkey JavaScript engine.

* The ability to provide Location Aware Browsing using web standards for geolocation.

* Support for native JSON, and web worker threads.

* Improvements to the Gecko layout engine, including speculative parsing for faster content rendering.

* Support for new web technologies such as: HTML5 <video> and <audio> elements, downloadable fonts and other new CSS properties, JavaScript query selectors, HTML5 offline data storage for applications, and SVG transforms.

4. Facebook opened up its developer API stream that gave third-party developers an opportuniny to  connect to their users’ streams and let their users read their streams wherever they want. Now with the Open Stream API developers are able to create new applications and services with new user interfaces for the stream. One of the first examples of using the Open Stream API is Xobni – an Outlook plug-in which enables you to keep track of your social network activity immediately from the mail client.

5. Gmail presented two new features in Labs: suggesting new recipients while composing messages and easy inserting images into mails.

6. Hitwise company published stunning data about Twitter growth.

Twitter’s growth in Australia was 1,067 percent since the start of this year. The number of visitors to Twitter has more than tripled in New Zealand since the beginning of the year. Twitter’s share of online visits in the United States and Britain had increased by 570 percent and 621 percent respectively since the start of the year.

April 28, 2009 Posted by | Browsers, e-mail, internet, Mozilla Firefox, Social Networks, Software | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Vista Start Menu – an alternative to usual Start Menu

There are lots of various Windows enhancement softwares. Today we have the new version of one of them which can enhance Windows Start menu – a small yet powerful piece of software – Vista Start Menu 3.15. This program can become an alternative to usual Start menu, especially if you have tons of programs installed and therefore spend a lot of time looking for the needed program in your Start menu list.

The Start menu appeared in Windows 95 for the first time. After that only cosmetic changes were made in it and only in Windows XP there were first worth mentioning changes. The menu was expanded to two columns: the left column for installed applications, and the right one for access to user’s documents and system functionality. In Windows Vista, Start menu was also changed – there was added Search box. Nevertheless, no changes were made concerning the most important purpose of the Start menu – launching programs.

Do you need any changes in the Start menu? No, you don’t if you have only a dozen programs installed. If there are more programs, launching one program requires time directly proportional to the number of installed programs. The problem is partially solved by the Quick Launch Panel, but it also becomes almost useless when the number of programs increases.

Vista Start Menu software was designed exactly to solve this problem. There are some key features of the program:

  • Program in the list always stay in their places and are easy to find because they are exactly where you left them. This reduces time spent finding the needed program.
  • Start menu is resizeable and can be easily moved to any part of the screen.
  • Keyboard shortcuts can be used to launch programs and to control the power. You can simply remember the shortcuts for the most often used programs and launch them in a few seconds.
  • The icons of programs are displayed near their names, that cuts search time significantly. It’s much easier and quicker to find and recognize an icon than read a program name.
  • An amazing feature is quick access to the Internet search directly from the Start menu. Usual Search box serves either for search (Google search or simple PC search) or as a run option. You may begin typing immediately when the Start menu is open and then simply use keyboard shortcuts or mouse to select what to do with the text you typed in – find on your computer, search in the Web or Run.

vista_start_menu

All in all, I seem this program to be a very convenient alternative to the usual Start menu for people who have many programs installed. Besides, the basic version is free (all the features I’ve mentioned above and a few others are included with the basic version), and the price of the Pro version is reasonable for the feature set it offers. So Start working with pleasure! 🙂

*For writing a review, materials from Vista Start Menu website were used

April 17, 2009 Posted by | Software, Windows | , , , , | 1 Comment

Interesting Software Bundle

save-moneyBeing in permanent search of interesting offers on the Web, I can’t miss the March offer of Flarium.com and want to share my find with you. This month they offer a bundle of FlashSlider – neat tool for flash slideshow making, and Watermarking – software for protecting digital images. I seem this bundle would be a happy choice for everyone who publishes digital pictures to the Web. Watermarking software adds watermarks to protect image copyrights that is very important when picture is shared on the Web to avoid its illegal use. FlashSlider turns images into an eye-catching and web-friendly swf slideshow which can be used for everything beginning from family photo album to business demonstration. Both softwares are extremely easy to use and suitable for all kinds of users.

So, hurry up not to miss the FlashSlider + Watermarking bundle at a discounted price.

March 4, 2009 Posted by | Flash, Software | , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Best Software Christmas Sales 2008

It’s only one week left till Christmas, less than two weeks till the New Year. So, it’s time to buy software with Christmas discount until it’s not too late. Hurry up! I’ve composed a list of best offers and Christmas discounts on software for you.

flarium Flarium.com offers 10% discount for all products or up to 50% off on software bundles. There are flash software both for web developers and end users and calendar software.
Till December, 31th.
sothinkmedia SothinkMedia.com offers great discounts for software bundles. Here you can find everything you need to work with video – video downloaders, encoders, converters and many more. Save $15-55.
From December, 3rd.
acoolsoft2Acoolsoft offers Christmas bundle – PPT2DVD and PPT2Video software with $30 discount.

Till January, 5th.

moyeamedia_1Moyea Software offers web player software, swf and video converters and PPT to DVD burner. Save $20 on each product or up to $70 on software bundles.
Till December, 31th.
arcsoftArcSoft.com gives exactly what you need before the time of presents and greetings. Print Creations – print-projects software for creating cards, calendars, pages, scrapbooks. Save 30%.
Till December, 31th.
wondershareWondershare offers 20% discount for PPT to DVD and PPT to Video converters and free templates for PPT2DVD.
Till January, 5th.
lingvosoftLingvosoft offers great language tools – dictionaries, phrasebooks and language learning software with 10-15% discount.
Till December, 26th.

Happy Christmas shopping!

December 18, 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

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

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