Opera Browser Setup for Slow Connections

The main topic at the April 28, 2011 Freeware SIG session inspired by a posting on Lifehacker.com, as the internet connection where we meet is usually very slow.
As usual, the session started off with a short slide show presentation of the main topic, and then we branched off into other items of interest to those in attendance.
The notes and actual presentation regarding setting up and using the Opera browser for slow connections are posted in LibreOffice/OpenOffice.org format, Microsoft Office (PowerPoint 2007 for the presentation), and PDF format in their corresponding folders at the BRCS Freeware SIG box.net site. http://www.box.net/shared/3933b4mnnl

After the completion of the main topic some others were discussed:

Question

Where can I find cartoons?

Answer

Don’t know anywhere in specific, other than http://xkcd.com/ and http://geekandpoke.typepad.comhttp://geek-and-poke.com, both of which have appeared in this blog. The suggestion is to search in Google for them, and when you see ones you like bookmark the link and/or subscribe to the RSS feed if available. Also, if you see one in print, check and see if there is a link to the cartoonist’s site and go there to check out the other cartoons by the same cartoonist.

Question

Is there a free equivalent to Microsoft Publisher? I have files in Publisher 97 format that I would like to open and work on.

Answer

There are some out there but I have no experience with them. I don’t think that any of them will open Microsoft Publisher formatted files though, as it is a proprietary format.

The above question brought up a discussion of where to find alternatives to other applications. One suggestion was to Google “alternative to aaaaa”, where aaaaa replaces name of the application you are looking for an alternative to. Also the site alternativeTo http://alternativeto.net/ was explored as much as was possible with the connection available.

Kindle for PC, eBooks, Free Music

Someone mentioned eBooks and the Kindle device. I let them know that I had just been trying out Kindle for PC available from Amazon, a free download and free to use. Just go to Kindle for PC [Download] to check it out.

I demonstrated how it looks on my laptop and advised that there were plenty of free books to download, though not recent best sellers of course.

This led into where to get free music to listen to. I suggested jamendo http://www.jamendo.com/en/ and gave a brief demonstration of what was available in my favorite genre of jazz. There were over 300,000 tracks available at the time we visited the site.

All the music posted there is under Creative Commons http://creativecommons.org/ license, so is legal to download and listen to.

May 26, 2001 Session

As we were closing up, I reminded everyone that Paul Nappo will be taking over for the May 26th session, and that I was sure he would do a good job.

March 24, 2011 Freeware SIG Session

There was no PowerPoint presentation for this session, nor was there a handout. This post will have all the links referenced during the session.

The session opened by informing all that IE (Internet Explorer) 9 and Firefox 4 (both full and portable versions) were released during the week. Also advised that IE 9 does not work on MSWindows systems lower than Vista, so if XP is being used you will have to stick with IE 8, but make sure to keep updated.

The main portion of the session for the evening dealt with some freeware for working with text.

The three shown were:

StripMail

A portable utlitiy for cleaining up email text for easier reading and use of information. I say portable because, there is no need to install as it is run from the .exe file.

Version 0.99h was the version shown, a newer version is available at the link, along with a more in depth explanation of what it is and what it does.

Download

The link to obtain your own copy of this freeware utility is:
http://www.stripmail.net/

Information From Other Sources

If you would like to read what some others have said about StripMail, check out the following links to a couple of blog postings:

http://www.addictivetips.com/windows-tips/format-and-clean-up-text-of-emails-for-easier-reading-with-stripmail/

http://www.techsupportalert.com/remove-unwanted-formatting-from-text.htm

http://download.cnet.com/StripMail/3000-2369_4-10892623.html?tag=mncol;1#editorsreview

NoteTab Light

A portable freeware Windows Notepad replacement, featuring tabs, runs off USB Drive, no installation, libraries for HTML, XHTML and CSS for blogging and website development, and much more.

The version used was 5.7b, a newer version is available at the link.

Download

Direct link: http://www.notetab.com/downloads.php (At this time it is the third download button on the page (Download | light)

Quickly, I went over how easy it is to use for using quick HTML tags in a blog post, and how I use it all the time for things like that. Also, showed how I can have a bunch of different TXT files open at one time, so I can switch back and forth.

Information From Other Sources

Blog posts about NoteTab Light:

http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/ditch-your-windows-notepad-for-notetab-light/

http://johnbmarine.blogspot.com/2011/03/notetab.html

PhraseExpress

A freeware text replacement utility, install or portable version.

This particular piece of software shown in response to a question about text replacement at the February session.

The version used was PhraseExpress USB v8.0.127 (the portable verion), also available are a desktop install version, and a network edition.

Download

The downloads can be found at: http://www.phraseexpress.com/download.htm

This was explored in depth, as there was no previous information available.

We went through setting up a snippet of text to be used in an email signature, assigned a hot key, and set up for autocomplete.

We copied text to the Windows clipboard from various locations and then saw how they were all listed. If you close PhraseExpress before saving the clips somehow they will dissappear, as the utility does not autosave. But, it is still better than the Windows Clipboard, in that it keeps all that was copied while PhraseExpress is running, instead of each replacing the other in Windows Clipboard.

There is lots more that can be done with PhraseExpress, but we did not have time for more than just an overview.

Information From Other Sources

Blog post about PhraseExpress:

http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/4-cool-applications-productive-text-editing/

Other Items Discussed

BRCS Special Interest Groups

When told that the links to the freeware discussed would be posted on this blog, it was found that very few knew how to access the blog.

This prompted a short review of the http://brcs.org Special Interest Group page, reachable by clicking on the Special Interest Groups button of the homepage. This has information regarding the current Special Interest Groups with links to further information about each.

The link to this blog, was pointed out.

Also, all were encouraged to comment on any of the posts, and/or to email me at the address shown under the Freeware/Open Source SIG listing.

April 28, 2011 Session

No specific topic is scheduled for the April 28, 2011 session, suggestions are welcome.

May 26, 2011 Guest SIG Leader

The May 26, 2011 session will be led by Paul Nappo, during my abscence.

Where I Find Free Software February 24, 2011 Session

After a long absence due to meeting place being unavailable for November and December of 2010, and the moderator’s unavailability for January 2011, the BRCS Freeware Special Interest Group (SIG) met in the evening of Thursday, February 24, 2011.

The subject was where to find free software. We were actually able to go to a few of the sites mentioned, and then our connection to the internet suddenly died out.

The presentation, notes, and a document containing all the links mentioned, have been posted in LibreOffice, Microsoft, and PDF formats at:

https://app.box.com/v/brcs-freewaresig.

These are all under a Creative Commons license, so you may use, alter to suit your own needs, share with others, etc., as long as attribution to http://brcsfreewaresig.blogspot.com/ is shown, it is for noncommercial purposes, and it is shared under the same licensing.

As always, please comment if you need more information, or if you have further information.