Want to reorganize your library’s collection, but don’t have time to do the mass updates to the catalog for it or the money to pay a vendor to do them? Take a look at AutoHotKey (http://www.autohotkey.com)! It’s a free keyboard macro program that allows you to create macros and apps to automate repetitive tasks. I’ve used it for several years to do mass updates to many applications’ databases through the application’s user interface. Using an Excel spreadsheet that has the changes that need to be made, you can use AutoHotKey to create an app that performs all the keystrokes and mouse clicks required to navigate the database’s application interface to copy and paste the updates from the spreadsheet to the application’s data entry/editing screens.
For example, a major reorganization of the Children’s collection at Sump Memorial Library this spring required thousands of call numbers to be changed in our catalog and new spine labels printed. I extracted the barcode numbers and authors’ names using a catalog report into an Excel spreadsheet for all our children’s picture books. Using some simple text functions in Excel, I quickly created new call numbers for all the books based on the first three characters of their author’s last name. Using the mail merge capabilities in Word, I was able to print all the new spine labels in mass from the spreadsheet. Using AutoHotKey, I copied and pasted the new call numbers from the spreadsheet to the screen that permitted the editing of the items’ records brought up by the barcode number in the Follett and Koha catalogs. This method updated thousands of items’ call numbers in the catalog in a few days while volunteers helped put updated spine labels on the books and shelve them. In three-week’s time, we updated the catalog, relabeled and reshelved 10,000 books.
PCWorld’s editors band together to solve the greatest PC mysteries! Find out why your PC beeps on startup, what a .dat file is, how USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 differ, and much more! Read the full article @ PCWorld.com.
If you’re looking for a program that will make Ubuntu just a little easier to use when it comes to tweaking settings and installing software (not that it’s all to difficult in the first place) then check out Ubuntu Tweak.
“Ubuntu Tweak is an application to config Ubuntu easier for everyone. It provides many useful desktop and system options that the default desktop environment doesn’t provide. With its help, you will enjoy with the experience of Ubuntu!”
In older version of Windows, when you were connected to a network, there was a small icon in the system tray that blinked showing network activity. In Windows 7 you just get an icon that shows whether you’re connected, activity or not. To get that icon back just download and install the free Network Activity Indicator for Windows 7 from Igor Tolmachev. I installed it on my home desktop over the weekend and I’ve had blinky goodness ever since.
Igor also has a few other networking tools you might want to check out while you’re there.
Microsoft is now offering a public beta of Microsoft 2010. As far as I can tell, anyone can download it from Microsoft. You’ll have to register but they seem to be accepting anyone willing to play with it. I’ve been using the Technical Preview on one of my laptops for a few months now and installed the beta last week. First, I’m impressed. Second, it’s stable. Third, it’s completely compatible with Office 2007. (As far as I can tell.) Here’s some screenshots:
Windows Live SkyDrive is yet another one of those online storage solutions. (And not even the only one from Microsoft.) I haven’t used it as much as I might like mainly because it was yet another cloud storage system that you had to access through a Web browser. In other words, it wasn’t transparent to use.
If you download and install SkyDrive Explorer your SkyDrive is now presented as just another drive on your computer, even though it’s online storage. Once installed, just open “computer” and you’ll see SkyDrive Explorer listed there.
Just open that up as you would any other drive and you’ll have access to all of your SkyDrive-based files and folder. (You will be asked to log in first of course.) Additionally, if you’ve made a file public, you can right-click on that file and get the public URL for that file automatically copied to your clipboard for easy pasting into an e-mail or blog post.
I’ve still got Drop.io, and Dropbox accounts but this one does make Live SkyDrive seem just a little bit easier to use than those others.
I’ve not used this yet because I totally love uploading to flickr via Windows Live Photo Gallery. However, flickr schedulr has one distinctly interesting feature: the ability to schedule when uploads happen. Think about it, set it up to upload your photos overnight when your shared neighborhood bandwidth is much more available.
Flickr Schedulr is a Windows desktop application that automatically uploads pictures to Flickr based on a schedule (e.g. to post a new picture every day at a certain time). It allows you to create a queue of pictures to be uploaded, along with their titles, descriptions, tags, and the photoset into which they should end up.
- Easily maintain a queue of pictures to be uploaded to Flickr.
- Edit the title, description, tags and visibility settings for each picture, and optionally the photosets and groups to which the picture must be added.
- Get a visual overview of the queue through the inline picture previews.
- Drag and drop pictures onto the queue from Windows Explorer.
- When present in the file, automatically retrieves the title, description and tags from the picture when it is added to the queue.
- Warns you if there are pictures in your queue that are larger than the maximum file size you are allowed to upload.
- Can be run from the command line with the “/upload” switch to upload the next picture in the queue.
- Keeps a history of all pictures that have been uploaded.
- Shows you all your important account information, e.g. your remaining upload quota.
- Import and export the configuration (containing queued and uploaded pictures).
- All settings are automatically saved when you close the application.
Now you can read Kindle books on your computer.
- Get the best reading experience available on your PC. No Kindle required
- Access your Kindle books even if you don’t have your Kindle with you
- Automatically synchronizes your last page read and annotations between devices with Whispersync
- Create bookmarks and view the annotations you created on your Kindle
What little time I had at home this weekend I spent upgrading my Vista x64 system to Windows 7 Home Premium x64. A blog post on that experience is forthcoming. However, those of you still on XP might be interested in XP Quick Fix Plus.
There are a lot of excellent free Windows comprehensive repairing and fixing tools around the internet.
But there are times when you want just one quick fix for example when you are under a virus attack and you just want to enable the Task Manager or the Registry Editor so you can fight the virus back, or when some new installation changed your XP behavior and My Documents opens on every start up.
This is the right time to draw XP Quick Fix Plus with 40 common Windows XP problems fixes, only 0.58mb, portable, small and fast, a must have on every computer and with a small extra, a command line utility to fix 6 common problems directly from command line !
Oh, and they don’t require an install. So, feel free to unzip them onto a flash drive and run them on any XP machine you want.
I’ve recommended other free anti-virus programs in the past but here’s the new one from Microsoft, and it’s about time in my opinion. Like Microsoft products or not, you must admit that something that they’re the right ones to write an essential tool that needs to integrate directly into the OS. I’ve been using the beta for a while now and it’s now out in a final version for everyone. So, tired of paying for AV? Looking for something that does both AV and anti-malware? Give Microsoft Security Essentials a try.