Reviews

Super 8

Picking a movie to watch at our house can be a real pain in the bum sometimes.  Darc loves horror movies, and I don’t.  I like dramatic movies, and he doesn’t.  The kids like kid movies, and we grown-ups don’t.  I and my son love documentaries, Darc and the MiniNess don’t.  So you can see how it can be sort of a trial sometimes.  I swear, we spend more time in the “search” menu at Netflix than we spend actually watching a movie sometimes! 

This past weekend though, we found something that was a family winner.  It had action and adventure, scary stuff but not gory.  The characters were realistic and well acted, which is saying a lot for early teens!  The special effects were done well also, which is a given, I suppose, considering Spielberg produced it.  Still, they weren’t over the top or anything like that, just appropriate to the story.

Here’s what the blurb says:

In the summer of 1979, a group of friends in a small Ohio town witness a catastrophic train crash while making a super 8 movie and soon suspect that it was not an accident. Shortly after, unusual disappearances and inexplicable events begin to take place in town, and the local Deputy tries to uncover the truth – something more terrifying than any of them could have imagined.

We guessed 1979 right off because of the music.  The music is a real walk down memory lane!  LOL 

We gave this 5 stars on the Netflix rating thing.  It was good enough that I’d be willing to watch it again, and I’m pretty sure the kids would too. 

Check it out!  I think you’ll like it a lot.  Smile

https://i2.wp.com/ia.media-imdb.com/images/M/MV5BMTM5NzkxMzQ5MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNDYwMTA3NA@@._V1._SY317_CR0,0,214,317_.jpg

Super 8

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GMail Add-ons for FireFox

It’s been a while since I’ve done a post about software or add-ons, or anything like that.  Recently I’ve come across a couple things I thought I’d share with you. 

I found Send Later, Follow Up Reminders for Gmail | Download Boomerang in Chrome, and found that there is also a FireFox version, so you know I had to have it.  As big a fan as I am about scheduling my blog posts, doing the same thing for my email has huge appeal for me.  This handy dandy little program, Boomerang, will not only send out your emails on a schedule, but it will also come back to you if you don’t get a reply to an email.  So if you were expecting someone to answer back, and they don’t, and you forget about it, Boomerang can let you know.  Pretty doggone cool! 

Boomerang also has a pay version that has a few more bells and whistles. 

***

I saw some reports on this one: SaneBox is Awesome and I confess I didn’t download it because it’s $5 a month and I’m a cheapskate.  I don’t generate enough email to justify it, but if I did I’d be all over this one I’m sure.  The reviews were good and it sounds like it’d be a good product for a company.

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This add-on is awesome.  ActiveInbox – Business Gmail Addon to Organize Email Tasks & Folders.  I’ve been using this one for a few years now, and I even wrote a little on this one back in 2009 in a post called Twitterpated « The "Ness" in DarcNess 😉.  Back then it was called GTDInbox (for Get Things Done) and it’s still as cool now as it was then.  It really helps you streamline and organize your email.  You can also find it here: Active Inbox HQ, outside of FireFox.  I can testify that it does indeed work with the latest FireFox upgrade.  They also have a pay version that includes a few more features.

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The other add-on for Gmail is also one I wrote about in the Twitterpated post.  It’s called Integrated Gmail :: Add-ons for FirefoximageIt’s also just as nice now as it was back then.  Hasn’t changed much at all, just kept pace with all the FireFox upgrades – which is no mean feat, I tell ya!  Just a year ago FF was 3.6, and now it’s 14.1!  Sheesh.  Anyway, what’s nice about Integrated Gmail is that you can have multiple Google programs open in a single tab.  Their home site is: IntegratedGmail.com.  I love that you can collapse all the elements and that you can have everything all in one place.  And now you can even add non-Google sites, such as Amazon for example.  Talk about 1-stop shopping! 

*****

If you try something I’ve mentioned here, I’d love to hear about your impressions of it.  And if you know of something I haven’t mentioned that’s made your GMail experience more streamlined and efficient, I’d love to hear about that too.  Smile

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Categories: FYI, Reviews | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

Screen AArrgh!

So I’m a little irritated.  With FireFox Add-ons, that is.  One in particular, actually.  I know, I know.  What could possibly compel me to say something negative about one of my beloved FireFox Add-ons?  Well, I’ll tell you.

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Clipped on 7-July-2012, 12:43 AM from Lolcats – Funny Pictures of Cats – I Can Has Cheezburger?

Some years ago I found an awesome little add-on called FireShot.  Worked like a dream.  It’s a handy dandy little program that can take a screen capture for you and then you can save it or annotate it – add little captions to your screenshot or whatever.  I used it tons of times, several times a week if not on a daily basis.  Loved it.  A few months ago, it did its auto-update thing and without knowing it, users had a copy of the 30 day trial of the pro version.  And no one knew that until the 30 days were up and all of a sudden FireShot stopped working and users got this annoying little pop-up saying that the trial had expired and if you wanted you could go to the website and upgrade.  As awesome a program as it is, I’m not paying $35 to take screenshots and I totally resent the bait-and-switch technique they used.  R.E.S.E.N.T.  They said on their website that if you decided not to go with the pay version, the add-on would automatically revert to the free version.  Only, that didn’t work.  Uninstall, reinstall, no dice!  That made me mad.  I found a fix by editing the registry and things seemed to be working fine again.  Lo and behold, another update and the doggone thing breaks again, and this time the work-arounds and fixes won’t work.  So I uninstalled it, and not just the wimpy little “tell FireFox to uninstall this add-on” button, but the big bad Control Panel “get this crap off my computer” button.  Okay, I don’t really know if there’s a difference but the Control Panel felt a lot more official.  I broke up with FireShot

I found a couple of other little add-ons that seem to have potential but don’t have the bells and whistles that FireShot did.  Those are Screenshoter and Abduction!  Time will show if either of them are any good.  They got decent reviews so that’s encouraging.

I did learn a few weeks ago though, that Windows 7 actually comes with a screen snipping tool.  Who knew?!  Start Menu, All Programs, Accessories, Snipping Tool!  AND the Snipping Tool WILL do annotations too, at least with a pen or highlighter button.  If you put a shortcut to Snipping Tool on your Taskbar, it’s always right there for you.  Seriously. Sweet. That works not just on whatever’s up on your browser, and whichever browser you’re using, but you don’t even have to be online to use it either.     image

Also, if you use OneNote, it will go grab screenshots for you too, just click the Insert Tab and then Screen Clipping.  Really, all you need to do is press the Windows Key and S at the same time.

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So, I’ll miss FireShot.  But I do have some great tools to help keep my screen captures warm on those chilly nights. 

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Woo

imageMy loving husband sent me an article a few days ago, “Why Internet Explorer will survive and Firefox won’t.”  He knows of my love for Firefox, the one he turned me on to in the first place, to get me away from the pop-up and hacker-friendly  Internet Explorer.  I was kind of sad when I read the article.  If you’ve known me for any length of time, you know how passionate I am about FireFox and being able to use my beloved add-ons.  Oh my gosh I love add-ons!  Once I found them, I barely gave IE a wave goodbye. 

That was in 2005.  Seems like so long ago, and I guess in tech-years, that’s like centuries or something.  I’ve been locked in embrace with FireFox ever since and haven’t regretted it in the least.

Oh, I looked at Chrome.  With a bit of trepidation.  Seems like Google was using it to gather lots of private information. 

Not interested in Opera very much.  There’s nothing wrong with it or anything, it just wasn’t my speed.  Although, they’re coming out with a new version soon. 

This month has been a big month in the “browser wars.”  War?  Really?  Why not battles?  I like the alliterative qualities of that better.  Browser battles.  Smile  All three of the biggies made major upgrades this month.  All showing off for our attention, wooing us with their features. 

I read the article my husband sent me.  Looked like FF was on the outs, and IE9 and Chrome were neck and neck for the lead.  IE9 has some bang-up new features, so they say, and Chrome backed off on the privacy issues and also had some cool beans features, and the kids in the know say both have awesome add-ons.

Add-ons?  One of my drugs of choice.  Smile

I went to check it out and frankly, while they’re making great strides, they can’t compete with my beloved FireFox

Then I came across these articles: Firefox 4 downloads eclipse Internet Explorer 9 and Firefox 4 usage share is twice Internet Explorer 9 in half the time.

So it looks like FireFox just might be around longer than the writer of the first article thinks.  Heh.  Smile  I sure am happy about that!

But I’m playing with IE9 and Chrome anyway.  I guess it’s good for a girl to know a bit about the other prospects in the neighborhood. 

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Categories: Current Events, FYI, In The News, Reviews, Thinking out loud | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Posting from the Future!

No doubt you’ve heard me mention “future posting” before on one of my posts and maybe wondered what I was talking about.  Future posting is one of the coolest – in my opinion – features of WordPressBlogspot doesn’t have it.  Sure, you can put a different date on your Blogger post, but it will still post immediately.  It’ll just have a different date on it.  WordPress withholds the posting of your post until the date and time you specify.  So, all my nifty keeno weekends posts?  Future posted.  Sometimes months in advance.  I get in a quiz mood, do a dozen or so, and post them all in one sitting.  Same with the LOLCats.  I save those in my Reader, then slam up a dozen or 2 on my blog but future post them all.  So on weekends, my blog is on auto-pilot and I can sit back and catch up on comments, my Reader, other folks’ blogs, whatever.  I set up my holiday posts sometimes months in advance like that too.  I know, I’m a bit on the weird side – but it’s cool and that’s why you love me.  😉

WordPress date stampSo here’s how you do it:  See that pic over there?  See where it says “Publish Immediately”?  That’s where you can alter your date and time stamp in WordPress.  You can pick any date you want and any time you want.  You can even “past post” a post, too.  WordPress will simply put up your post and pretend that you really did post it in 2005, or whenever you told it.  WordPress won’t tell.  When you future post, WordPress keeps it in your posts list as “scheduled posts.”

Here’s a secret – I am never up at the crack of dawn to get my post up.  And I never use WordPress to publish my posts either. 

I use an amazing little tool called Windows Live Writer.  I love this program so much and praise it so highly you’d think I worked for Microsoft.  And pretty much anything that WordPress does – as far as posts are concerned, Live Writer does it too.  Now, you can’t do anything pertaining to adjusting – say, your side bar – in Live Writer.  Live Writer is only concerned with posts.  You can add pictures, video, links, photo albums, tables, maps, tons of stuff.  See my little signature down there?  Saved as a text template in Live Writer.  Two clicks and it’s in my post.  Easy peasy.  The table I use on my football blog is saved as a text template in Live Writer too, so I don’t have to make a new one every week. 

Live Writer also has a drafts feature so if you get an idea for a post but can’t finish it in time, you can save the draft.  And since Live Writer is an offline utility, you can create tons and tons of posts while you are offline, and then publish them to your blog once you do get online.  Live Writer date stampSee the method to my madness?  During this time when I don’t have an Internet connection of my own, one that is spotty at best, I can write my posts ahead of time and then when I do finally get a connection, it’s much faster to hit publish than it is to try and type up a whole post when I may lose my connection any moment.  Here’s what the date scheduler looks like in Live Writer.  It sits in the lower right corner.    

Another neat feature that Live Writer has is a saved link directory.  So, you can save a link and then whenever you type that word or phrase, Live Writer will automatically do the linking for you so you don’t have to do it every time. 

You can add multiple blogs – for instance, Darc and I both have multiple blogs set up on this computer’s Live Writer, and either of us can choose which blog we want to post to.  Live Writer saves all our information if we want it to.  Oh, and there is also a spell check, and a word count utility.  Plus, Live Writer has a big gallery online that has lots of plug-ins you can get to add to your Live Writer and make it more personalized to suit your particular needs. 

Also, I like to adjust my blog font.  I can do that in Live Writer, but not on WordPress.  Just an FYI, there.  🙂

Now, say you’re browsing online – using your FireFox browser naturally.  And you come across something that you really want to blog about.  You can highlight some text – if you want, if not that’s okay too – and then click on your handy dandy “I want to blog about this in Live Writer” link that you have in your browser.  If you highlight text, that text will automatically show up in the blog post.  Otherwise, just the link to the article will show up.  Must have FireFox, Grasshopper.  🙂

If you don’t want to use Live Writer though – I have no idea why but I suppose some theoretical reason could possibly exist – but let’s just say for the sake of argument that you can’t or won’t use Live Writer.  You can browse through the FireFox Add-ons and look for ScribeFire.  Well, you don’t need to browse now, since I gave you the link.  ScribeFire has lots of useful features, but it sits exclusively IN your FireFox browser and can’t be used offline.  You can save drafts though, and post to multiple blogs and use pictures and other neat things.  ScribeFire tries really hard to be the online version of Live Writer and while it’s an excellent product, it doesn’t do quite as much as Live Writer does.  Here’s a picture of what the ScribeFire date modifier looks like.  ScribeFire date stampAnd no, you can’t adjust your blog font in ScribeFire.  You can adjust your view, but not what actually posts, like you can in Live Writer.  

So, there’s some blogging basics for you.  Would you believe that 5 years ago I didn’t even know what a blog was?  Now you know.  🙂

 

Categories: FYI, Reviews | Tags: , ,

I can see clearly now

Once upon a time, I had great vision.  I was the b*tch who’d walk up to the vision check at the DMV and just read the last line on the eye chart.  I admit I liked seeing the confusion on the clerks faces.  :twisted:  I was lucky, and blessed, to have my 20/15 eye sight.

And then I hit 40.  Last time I went in to have my eyes checked back in ‘05, I knew I’d waved that envious 20/15 a fond farewell, and the doc confirmed I was only 20/20 then.  Average, although terrifying to me.  The slight blur where things were once crystal clear is scary, because I know it will only get worse and there’s nothing I can do about it.  I don’t know what my sight is now, but I’m probably not even 20/20 anymore.  I can get away with using mild strength reading glasses for sewing – I don’t need them for reading – yet.  But reading online can sometimes be a real aggravation because most fonts on blogs seem to be a 10 pt. font and that’s just a touch too small to be comfortable for me now.  At least, on a 1280×1024 screen resolution it’s too small.  Me, who once could read a 2 pt. font at 100 paces.  😉

But *cue the rescue music* I have come across my latest blogging hero.  Enter NoSquint.  For users of FireFox, it’s an add-on that makes blog reading soooo much nicer.  I’ve been playing with it the past couple of days and I’m so pleased.  Woo!  What it does is adjusts the blogs you read without having to use that annoying Ctrl++++++ thing.  Once you install it, you can tell it to make just the text bigger, or everything on a page bigger.  You can make it universal, or specific only to certain blogs.  You can set a default color scheme of your choice to override the one you’re reading, or everything you read.  You can choose your own default colors for links, too.  You can set it to adjust text size in increments, and with just a roll of the mouse wheel you can adjust the page.  And it sits there on the bottom of your FireFox browser so it’s right there if you come across a page that’s just too small to read comfortably or distinctly.  You can even tell it to disable background images for those pages that are too busy to see the text clearly. 

I have been so happy with it.  It’s not everyday I come across an add-on that does all I hope it does, but this one has been working great.  And I know there are some of you out there who struggle with less than perfect vision and just need a little tweak, that reading online can bring on headaches sometimes because the font’s too small or the colors too weird to read well.  I have real trouble with the black background stuff, and now it’s not a problem anymore.  Whew!  And no more Ctrl+++++!  What a pain that is!  Click the link above and give it a spin.  You’ll see what I mean.  🙂

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Stuck in the Middle

I have a confession.

I’ve fallen in love with a new show.image

Well, okay, it’s not a new show, but it’s new to me.  Actually it’s in its 6th season now, and I just found it a few weeks ago.  It’s Medium.  See, I like to watch Ghost  Whisperer.  That’s my other confession.  It’s a nice bubblegum kind of show, always with the happy ending, pretty Jennifer Love Hewitt.  I swear, I knew when she was just a tiny little thing she’d grow up to be a star.  Ghost Whisperer is to TV what romance novels are to reading. 

But CBS acquired Medium this summer after NBC dumped it, and they put it on after Ghost Whisperer and for some reason we decided to watch it when it started this season.  And we got hooked by the writing.  It incredibly well done.  Sure, set aside your disbelief or belief in the subject matter of psychic phenomena, and instead look at the way they do dialogue and backstory.  The way they show family life, siblings dealing with each other, parents trying to cope with children and being out of work and trying to pay bills, struggling with their kids’ teachers.  We’ve been catching up with the show for a few weeks now since it’s syndicated on some other channel, and we haven’t been disappointed yet.  Rarely happy endings, but satisfying ones.  Not too large, not too small, just right. 

The other show I’ve taken a shine to – for many of the same reasons as Medium – is The Good Wife.  Great writing, good acting, well done scripts.  Always entertaining.  Just a touch on the “she always wins her cases” but they build up the tension fairly well.  Add in a mother-in-law you want to strangle and hey, it’s a win-win.  🙂

Those are my new favorites.  How about you?  Found anything new to love lately?

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