BotHack makes getting things done easy and fun. Delving deep into the technoweb, BotHack brings back simple and totally life-altering tips and tricks for managing your information and time. At this wild moment in the development of human-oriented technology, BotHack is your own personal early adopter, here to guide you through the onslaught of the new. The world is full of fascinating problems waiting to be solved: BotHack can help.

Friday, September 30, 2005

BotHack: How to get past the Annoying recorded Messages.

Ever tried calling your telephone service provider and got bugged by the recorded messages "Press 1 for new 2 for enquiry on 3 for billing 4 for information...blah blah blah"?

Here is what you have to do next time: Just call your telephone service provider and press the zero key '0' five or six times and you are directly taken to a Call Person who will help you with your queries. I first tried this with Touchtel then with tata indicom and it worked fine. It seems to work even with mobile phones.

Die Dulci Fruere

How to Preserve Newspapers

If you got a piece of artice or editorial in newspaper you would like to preserve - try the following tips by Sean to preserve the piece of newspaper longer and prevent paper to fade to yellow. All you need to have is some distilled water and milk of magnesia and other little accessories:

"… As I am getting ready the upcoming move to Seattle I have been attempting to wade through all of the junk I have accumulated over the years. Among the clutter was a small pile of newspapers from when I used to write for my college paper which I had wanted to save but the pages on the outside of the pile had already started to yellow from being exposed to light and air after only a few years. Well, after a not so brief trip around Google I found a way to prevent further damage using only…"

Hat tip to Sean for the news!

How to Preserve Newspapers - [Wayward Puppy]

Die Dulci Fruere

GmailThis! Bookmarklet

GmailThis! is a bookmarklet that can let you launch gmail and compose an email on the current page and url you are visiting, plus any text you have highlighted on that page in the body. I like it! This is quite a fast way to access Gmail:

"… GmailThis! is an easy way to make a Gmail email without visiting Once you add the GmailThis! link to your browser’s toolbar, emailing will be a snap. Or rather, a click. Clicking GmailThis! creates a mini-interface to Gmail prepopulated with a link to the web page you are visiting, as well as any text you have highlighted on that page. Add additional text if you wish and then email or save as draft from within GmailThis! …"

GmailThis! Bookmarklet - [From the Hall via The Office Weblog]

Die Dulci Fruere

Google School: Synonyms

Use synonyms when you want to search for a concept rather than a specific word sequence. By searching for ~nutrition ~information muffins, you tell Google to find related terms for each item tagged with a tilda (~). You’ll find not only exact matches (e.g. Muffin Nutrition Information), but matches on Muffins Food Facts and Muffins Vitamin Information. Searching for ~car turns up information on trucks and vehicles. Searching for ~pen yields pencils, graphite and sketch.

Die Dulci Fruere

Learn how search engines rank pages

Over at SEOmoz there is a great page that explains how search engines go about ranking your pages.

"This article contains a large list of the factors that can influence a web document’s rank at the major search engines (Yahoo!, MSN, Google & AskJeeves) for a particular term or phrase."

This is great stuff for any Web publisher to know. Search engines can be a bit mysterious with their rankings at best, but knowing even a little can help you set yourself up to be found.

Die Dulci Fruere

Strip your e-mail with emailStripper

In what makes for a nice and simple tool, emailStripper is an application that will remove the “>”, indents and other formatting characters from your e-mails. Great for dealing with mailing list threads.

That might not seem like much, but I don’t know how many times I’ve wanted to do this and haven’t easily been able to do so.

It’s free and for Windows only.

Die Dulci Fruere

Track Time on Windows

Yesterday I mentioned a time tracking application for Mac, TaskTime3. A few people wrote in asking about an windows time tracking tool. With some help from other readers we’ve found one. It’s called AllNetic Working Time Tracker.

"AllNetic Working Time Tracker is the application to track how much time you spend on different projects and tasks.

Time tracking can be started and stopped both manually and automatically (when the application detects that you started or stopped using computer). Time tracking can also be “paused”. Projects and tasks can be organized into hierarchical tree, thus allowing easy navigation"

Die Dulci Fruere

Send a Message to the Future You will send e-mail you compose at a day and time you request. Use it to remind yourself of an upcoming dental appointment or anniversary. Or write a letter to yourself about where you are in life and postdate it a year or five into the future. I’ve been using FutureMe for a couple of years and have found it very useful.

Die Dulci Fruere

Add a Gmail Delete Button with GreaseMonkey

GreaseMonkey for Firefox allows you to add DHTML user scripts to extend a web page’s behavior. People have built all sorts of strange and wonderful things with it. Over at, one hacker decided to add a delete button directly into his Gmail browser. When clicked, it moves the selected e-mails to the trash.

To use this extension, you’ll need to install GreaseMonkey, restart Firefox and then load the user script from the page linked below. You’ll be prompted to confirm the pages affected by the extension. Simply accept the defaults and then pop over to Gmail. Your new button will be ready and waiting.

Add a Gmail Delete Button [via PCHere]

Die Dulci Fruere

Paper vs Technology

Leon Ho has a great editorial in today’s Guardian about the whole ongoing paper vs technology controversy in the Getting-things-done community.

"[A]s technology has advanced, more and more of us have moved to computer-based personal information managers, lured by the promise that once you move to a paperless way of organising things, your life can become easier - and much more organised."

Ho advocates for paper, specifically his collection of index cards that helps him keep track of appointments, to-do items and so forth. Not only is paper cheaper, he summarizes, it avoids the nightmares of uncharged batteries, data loss and worries about theft.

Die Dulci Fruere

JotSpot Live: Collaborative Pages

JotSpot Live provides a light-weight Wiki-like solution to collaborative note-taking. Users create pages that can be edited in real time by others within an invited group. JotSpot aims—and succeeds to a point, although the site still has a fair number of bugs—to make the process easier and more transparent to the average business user than a traditional Wiki. The interactive editing tools feel like a word processor, which is a huge plus in my opinion.
Die Dulci Fruere

Roll Your Own Search Engine with Rollyo

With Rollyo, you create search engines that search only the sites you specify. Say, for example, you’ve got a a favorite group of sites like BotHack, GroundZero, Sagaro and so forth. Build a new “search roll” by listing up to 25 sites. You can then use that search roll to limit search terms to just those sites.

After building a search roll, you can “publish” it to share it with other users or choose Explore to see what kinds of custom search engines other people have built. Already the most popular search rolls include Media Buzz, Digital Cameras, and Parenthood.

BotHack Search [Rollyo]

Die Dulci Fruere

Let Wikipedia Write Your Next Term Paper

According to, Esquire writer AJ Jacobs put a badly written and error ridden article on Wikipedia and let the Wikipedian community have at it. Within days, the article had received hundreds of edits, was cleaned up, proof read and fact checked. If it worked for Jacobs, shouldn’t it work for you?

Die Dulci Fruere

Cracking the DS Wifi

With all the stuff going around with the PSP 2.0 firmware being cracked and Gizmondo now running unsigned code, it’s easy to forget about the other handheld that’s currently breaking blocks and opening new features to developers of homebrew. The DS. [via - via] Link.

Die Dulci Fruere

Solar powered net controlled RC Xbox...

Nice Xbox projects - a solar powered Xbox running FreeBSD, controlled via a cell phone using GPRS and it's a radio controller car too with web cam. Once the Xbox 360 comes out the old Xboxes will be dirt cheap to build projects like this. [via] Link.

Die Dulci Fruere

The $100 laptop moves closer to reality...

Nicholas Negroponte, the co-founder of the Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, detailed specifications for a $100 windup-powered laptop targeted at children in developing nations. Negroponte, who laid out his original proposal at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in January, said MIT and his nonprofit group, called One Laptop Per Child, is in discussions with five countries--Brazil, China, Thailand, Egypt and South Africa--to distribute up to 15 million test systems to children. Link.

Die Dulci Fruere

Yahoo! Site Explorer...

Site Explorer allows you to explore all the web pages indexed by Yahoo! Search. View the most popular pages from any site, dive into a comprehensive site map, and find pages that link to that site or any page. Here's ours from BotHack Link.

Yahoo! Site Explorer

Die Dulci Fruere

Samsung Mobile SGH-Z107

Samsung's exciting new mobile SGH-Z107 lets you say it in style with 3G. Check out the Mobile phone at Samsung Mobile SGH-Z107.

The Site is too cool. See for yourself. I would love to be able to figure this out. The JS used is the best I have seen in years. This is FREAKING AMAZING…Pure genius. Make sure to turn popup blockers off.

Samsung Mobile SGH-Z107

Die Dulci Fruere

Thursday, September 29, 2005

The top 50 sci-fi shows of all time

The passing of Don Adams (aka Maxwell Smart) has made us nostalgic for television's golden era of the '60s, when so many shows were unabashedly fascinated with modern technology and all the utopian promises it held.

Coincidentally, one of the more popular links floating around the blogosphere recently has been's "Top 50 Sci-Fi Shows of All Time."

The list takes a liberal definition of science fiction, including shows such as "Wild, Wild West" and "Xena: Warrior Princess." And then there's the issue of judgment, which comes into question upon such entries as "The Greatest American Hero."

Nonetheless, Blogma applauds any effort to remind us that there was once more to network television than reality shows.

The top 50 sci-fi shows of all time [Via CNET News]

Die Dulci Fruere

DivX Create software free today only!

To celebrate their 5th anniversary, DivX is giving away their normally $19.95 DivX Create Bundle software for free today only.

The DivX Create Bundle lets you create and play the swanky DivX media format, which adds interactivity to your video files with menus, chapter points, multiple subtitles and alternate audio tracks. The DivX Create Bundle includes a converter to transition digital video files to DivX and the DivX Player. The free download today only DivX Create Bundle is available for Windows only.

Die Dulci Fruere

ScreenGrab Firefox extension

The ScreenGrab Firefox extension saves whole, scrolling web documents from top to bottom as PNG files to your computer. Really neat way to capture an entire web page as an image. This extension requires Java and I admit I had problems getting it to work on my Mac, but perhaps you’ll have better luck. Free download.

Die Dulci Fruere

Download of the Day 3: Skype 1.4

Internet telephony application Skype version 1.4 is out of beta and ready for download, with new features that make it easier to make internet phonecalls easily on the cheap.

The new version includes support for call-forwarding from one Skype account to another for free and from Skype to up to three landlines or mobile phone numbers for as little as 2 cents a minute. Version 1.4 plays nice with Microsoft Outlook with an easy contact import and the ability to make one-click calls to numbers and names from Internet Explorer and Outlook. Skype 1.4 is a free download, Windows only.

Die Dulci Fruere

Daily news roundup

  • Google and Nasa in space venture [BBC]
    “Web search firm Google and US space agency Nasa form a partnership to use technology to help the space programme.”
  • Quote of the day: Blogging or dogging? [CNET]
    “A British survey finds that many people have no idea what the words blogging and podcasting mean.”
  • Apple to replace some iPod nanos [CNN]
    “Apple Computer reportedly has agreed to replace defective screens that cracked too easily on its sleek new iPod nano music player after complaints from consumers.”
  • TicTalk [NYT]
    “This cellphone is for children, but has lots of parental control.”
  • Prof-Ratings Site Irks Academics [Wired]
    “RateMyProfessors, with 4 million posted comments, is where college students go to grade their teachers. Now that the site’s big enough to influence class enrollment, educators view it as worrisome.”
  • Booths Silence Cell-Phone Boors [Wired]
    “An enterprising carpenter finds a growing niche in telecommunications: special booths for all those annoying cell-phone users.”
  • Electric Outlet Can Be Wireless Link [AP]
    “The common electric socket will serve as your home’s connection to broadband with a new chip developed by Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. — doing away with all the Ethernet cables or the hassle of hooking up to a wireless network device.”
Die Dulci Fruere

Download of the Day 2: TaskTime 3

TaskTime is a great application that helps you keep track of time spent on tasks and a whole lot more.
"TaskTime3 can make tracking time on projects a snap. Generate custom invoices then print, email, or save them. Unlimited clients, unlimited projects for each client."

I’ve been using it for a few days now and while I’m not currently using some of the advanced features like invoicing, I’ve found it to be a great way to keep track of time spent on a project.

If you’re looking for a good, lightweight timekeeping application, this is it.

It’s shareware, free to try, for Mac OX only.

Die Dulci Fruere

Must Have Mac Software

Over at the Wikitosh! Wiki there is a great list of “Must Have” software for the Mac. The list is fairly extensive and provides links to download sites with brief overviews.

I actually use a good amount of this stuff. Some of it is fairly obscure, but honestly useful as well. There are some great tools and utilities you might not know about on there.

Die Dulci Fruere

How to get down to one remote

Have too many remotes? I know I do. A Lifehacker reader writes in with a tip and some links to sites that’ll help you get down to one remote.

"How many people do you know use three (or more) remote controls for their TV, cable box, DVD player, etc? Most people never take the time to simply enter in the codes to make one of their remotes control all of their devices. Sites like these are good places to start finding all those codes."

Die Dulci Fruere

The “Ultimate” Pocket Notebook

In yet another version of the now classic Hipster PDA, Full Contact Geek brings us The Ultimate Pocket Notebook. This one has a nifty binder ring, and some “ultimate” enhancements.

"There are, however, three enhancements that I use to make this truly the Ultimate Pocket Notebook: the first and main one is the hair elastic, the second is the simple protective cover, the third is index cards with portrait oriented lines."

“The Geek” goes on to explain how to put it all together and some simple tricks on getting the best out of it.

Die Dulci Fruere

Hacking Backpack

As many of you know Backpack is a great productivity tool. What you might not know is that it can be hacked to do all sorts of neat things.

All around creative thinking dude, Taylor McKnight, has written up a list of tips and tricks for backpack.

In addition to some good tips on general backpack usage, like adding images and tweaking the style of your pages with CSS, he complies a list of more creative uses; creating a simple photo gallery, taking school notes and using it as a travel itinerary, among other things

Die Dulci Fruere

Build a Marshmallow Gun

If you’ve got some PVC piping, a hack saw and a few hours to spare, you can put together your own marshmallow gun. The always great Instructables site shows you how. The model shown in the site here is a two-handled air-powered unit—if you can call blowing through a PVC pipe air-powered—that delivers marshmallow ammo at high rates of speed.

Die Dulci Fruere

Find Authors with Literature Map

Here’s an offbeat web site: Literature Map. Like “What Should I Read Next”, Literature Map shows how authors you like relate to authors whom you might want to read. The way it goes about this is completely different. It provides a visual map of author names.

The closer they appear to each other, the more likely it is that readers who enjoy one author will enjoy the other. What’s more, you can keep clicking on author names to recenter the map. Fun to play with, a little strange, but useful to help you find new books to read.

Die Dulci Fruere

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

eHow to: Avoid Registration in a Website Using BugMeNot

While the boundless information on the Internet is truly incredible, the registration requirements on many internet sites are truly annoying. Why does that website need to know your email address, age, profession, income level, and zip code anyway? Fortunately there is an easy way around this annoying violation of your privacy.

  1. Test out BugMeNot by going to the login page on a website that has compulsory registration such as the New York Times or Los Angeles Times.
  2. Open a new browser window and enter
  3. Copy and paste the URL of the restricted website into Bug Me Not. The example depicted here is for the LA Times.
  4. Press return and it will provide a user name and password which will allow you free access to the restricted website.
  5. Copy and paste the user name and password into the login field on the website you wish to view.
  • Appreciate the fact that wikiHow and eHow require no login or sharing of personal information. wikiHow allows you to register if you want to get credit for your contributions, but the full site functionality is available even to anonymous users. No need for BugMeNot here.
  • only provides login information for free websites.
  • Often the first login BugMeNot gives you will not work, but you can ask the site for additional names to try.
  • The site has "liberated" over 87,000 websites that previously required free registration.
  • Skipping free registration will help you avoid spam.
  • When logging in, be sure to check the "Remember Me on Future Visits" box so that you won't have to enter a password again.
  • When using firefox you can install the bugmenot extension from here: After installation you just have to right click in the field where you have to submit the username.
  • Some people feel this practice is ethically questionable. You will have to decide for yourself.

Die Dulci Fruere

The Benefits of Work-Life Balance

Good pay is not the only factor of the best job. People start to realize having a job which able you to balance on work-life maybe the best job offer. To help people realize this, some top B-schools have started to open some courses to help people on juggling their responsibilities among their work and life:

"… Making your career your life is commonplace by now. But a growing niche of course offerings at top B-schools is helping students discover the fine art of balance. Today’s future managers are being encouraged, through self-assessment and case studies of companies with progressive human-resources policies, to apply personal-balance considerations to the culture of the organizations they’ll one day lead. They’re learning that the benefits of encouraging work-life balance can go straight to the bottom line.

Companies that provide balance for their employees rarely regret it, according to the Business Work-Life Study, conducted by the Families & Work Institute, a nonprofit organization providing research on workforce trends. Aside from experiencing greater commitment and lower turnover among employees, 82% of the 1,057 companies surveyed perceived the monetary cost of offering benefits like flextime, time off to attend school or child-care functions, and the opportunity to work at home, as being completely positive or at worst cost-neutral…"

This is probably a hidden gem for your career. In the long run, one with balance life will probably be more success than the one who is sprinting from start to finish. For me, I am still learning this fine art of balance. If you have any tips, please summarize why do we want to balance your work-life, and how can we go and accomplish this?

Teaching the Benefits of Balance - [BusinessWeek Online]

Die Dulci Fruere

How to e-mail a professor

College students, there are some tips and guidelines for you, if you want to get more from emailing your professor. Michael Leddy, a professor, has written a guideline based on his experiences from reading his student’s emails. Summary of the main points are:

  • Write from your college or university e-mail account.
  • Include the course number in your subject line.
  • Choose an appropriate greeting.
  • Avoid rote apologies for missing class.
  • Avoid direct requests.
  • Proofread what you’ve written.
  • Sign with your full name, course number, and meeting time.
  • Don’t send unexpected attachments.
  • When you get a reply, say thanks.

I understand where Michael guideline’s is coming from - I guess he has received many emails from students who expect him to remember which class are they in, do not treat email as a formal communication tool, and do not understand a professor may need to lecture many subjects per semester. Nevertheless, the guideline spells out very clearly on things should do on sending emails.

How to e-mail a professor - [Orange Crate Art]

Die Dulci Fruere

Five steps to your own photolog!

I came across a good, step-by-step, tutorial about creating your own photoblog with Movable Type today. Remembering that one of my teacher had asked me about it I decided to post the link.

"I am sure there are many ways to do a photolog, this is merely one of them and it came about after much searching of other weblogs and hanging out in the MovableType Support Forums. Thanks to all who came before me!"

It looks like a pretty simple implementation and the tutorial is presented in a way that is easy to follow. Those of you looking for a Movable Type powered photolog—this is a good place to start.

Die Dulci Fruere

Obtain Replacement Windows CDs from OEMs

When you need a replacement CD for a lost or damaged Windows disc, you may need to look beyond Microsoft itself. Microsoft’s support site specifically directs people to contact the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) for Windows support. Fortunately, Microsoft provides a list of the biggest OEM vendors, along with contact information.

Die Dulci Fruere

Download of the Day: Yahoo! Desktop Search

Yahoo!’s Desktop search product has graduated from beta with a few neat new features, including Live Search on selected words and a new battery saver which stops the CPU-intensive indexing when your laptop isn’t plugged in.

Y! Desktop Search indexes all the file types you’d need fast, sports a convenient tabbed interface and also searches your online Yahoo! content, like Y! Messenger conversations and your Yahoo! Address book. I’d like to see Y! Desktop Search also index the Thunderbird address book and my Flickr photos. Pretty please, Yahoo? Y! DS is a free download, Windows only.

Die Dulci Fruere

Morning news roundup

  • Apple responds to iPod nano screen concerns [Macworld]
    “Since being introduced almost four weeks ago the iPod nano has taken the MP3 market by storm, earning accolades from reviewers and industry analysts alike, but not everyone is completely satisfied. Some customers have complained about scratched and/or broken screens on their iPod nano, leading one user to even set up a Web site to outline his problems.”
  • Podcasting Goldrush Is On [Wired]
    “There’s money in them thar audio files! Not much, yet, and obstacles abound, but podcasters are mining everything from commercial sponsors to paid guest appearances in the quest for profitability.”
  • IPods for Anarchists [Wired]
    “Music sounds better on an MP3 player you’ve built from scratch. A DIY journey…”
  • Sony makes style pitch to women for flat TV [Reuters]
    “Sony Corp departs from the well-worn model of gadget marketing in ads for its new flat screen television, seeking to hook women consumers with the product’s slim lines as much as with its large display.”
  • 8 Charged in Illegal Release of ‘Star Wars’ [AP]
    “Eight Californians were charged Tuesday with involvement in the illegal release of “Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith” before the movie appeared in theaters.”
  • Password Overload Makes Enterprise Systems Less Secure [TechWeb]
    “A glut of passwords and mounting frustration over the clumsy way they’re managed actually makes enterprise systems less secure, not more, a survey released by RSA Security said Tuesday.”
Die Dulci Fruere

Ask Metafilter: Being productive in College

There is a great thread at Ask Metafilter about how to get the most out of your time in college. Petah asks:

"1. I’m looking for a program. One with maybe a calendar and a todo list for each day.
I want to be able to put all my assignments in the calendar ahead of time, and then each day look and see the assignments that I have to do.
I’m hoping this will help me to become more productive with my college endeavors.
2. Also, are there any general tips/hints/suggestions to being more successful regarding the scholastic aspects of college?"

There’s advice on how to interact with teachers, getting help with homework, taking notes, software, Getting Things Done and more.

Die Dulci Fruere

Download videos from iTunes

Derek from UNEASYsilence has an easy to implement tip that will help you download music videos from the iTunes music store.

"I stumbled upon a very useful PHP script which allows you to download complete music videos from iTunes. You have the option of downloading the smaller or larger .MOV format videos which can be imported into your personal iTunes library."

He’s taken the trouble of setting the PHP script up so you don’t have to. Just read the tutorial and follow the instructions.

Die Dulci Fruere

How to Deploy VOIP

From Information Week, a 10 minute guide to everything you need to know before deploying VOIP. Evaluate why you need VOIP rather than a traditional TelCo solution and then do a full network inventory. Author Matthew Friedman suggests you put together an RFP and outsource the work.

"It can be a great test of faith to entrust something as mission critical as your telephone system to an outside provider, of course, and whether you have the confidence in outsiders to manage the phones is an important part of the process. The bottom line, says Pierce, is that VoIP is new enough technology that there is a real benefit to being open to new ways of doing things."

Die Dulci Fruere

Ask MetaFilter Roundup

Die Dulci Fruere

Convert a Website to Plain Text

iPodulator is a new service that allows you to convert web pages and RSS feeds into plain text. You enter a URL, iPodulator returns the stripped results. You can then load the results into your iPod for reading.

This is an excellent idea in theory but unfortunately the implementation is still pretty basic. For example, iPodulator doesn’t know to strip blog rolls, google ads, etc. I look forward to seeing how this develops and what features get added over time.

Have you found a good service to harvest content without extraneous formatting? Let us know.

Die Dulci Fruere

Get off the Phone with Helpful Sounds

A horn starts honking. You make your excuses. “Sorry! Gotta go! My ride is here…” Have you ever needed to get off the phone? Fast? SorryGottaGo is a new website that helps you get off the phone and back to work. Just download any of the dozen or so helpful sounds (a phone rings, a pager beeps, a car alarm goes off, etc) and play it back on your computer as you talk on the phone. Instant excuse, instant exit. Plus, as a bonus SorryGottaGo provides pre-recorded responses to tele-marketers, saving you the embarrassment of face-to-face (or lips-to-ears, however that works) confrontations.
Die Dulci Fruere

Clear Text Formatting on OS X

Here’s a quick and easy way to strip text formatting from the OS X clipboard, allowing you to paste an unformatted string.
  1. Open Applications/AppleScript/Script Editor
  2. Paste the following text into a new script: set the clipboard to (get the clipboard as text)
  3. Save the new script into your home Library/Scripts folder as StripClipFormat. Make sure to save as a script (rather than a bundle or application).
  4. Launch Applications/AppleScript/AppleScript Utility.
  5. In AppleScript Utility, enable Show Script Menu in menu bar by checking the box for this option. This adds the OS X AppleScript Scripts menu to your main menu bar.
The new StripClipFormat item appears at the bottom of the Scripts menu. When chosen, it replaces the contents of the clipboard with an unformatted version of the same text. You can then paste that unformatted text into any program. If desired, use a key macro program such as QuicKeys to automatically select this menu item with a key-sequence such as Command-Shift-V.

Die Dulci Fruere

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Record your Skype calls...

This might be a good podcast recording tool - PowerGramo is a powerful recording solution for skype. You can record and replay any call in an easy and smart fashion. Best of all, all records are encrypted. You are the only one to review them after you login Skype. Also it's very simple to share them with your friends. PowerGramo provides popular small audio format instead of large wav file... Link.

Die Dulci Fruere

Chris Rock on Google Video

For the next four days, the premier of comedian Chris Rock’s new show, Everybody Hates Chris, is available for viewing in its entirety on Google Video.

The episode first ran last Thursday on UPN, and it’s an entertaining look at Rock’s teenage experiences growing up in Brooklyn in the early 80’s. There’s no viewer to download, no commercials included, and Google Video’s screen will size to fit your screen.

Die Dulci Fruere

IM acronym cheat sheet

Web site Student Slackers offers a handy guide to instant messaging acronyms and their meanings, like:

  • AAR - At Any Rate
  • BTWU&M - Between you and me
  • DEGT - Don’t Even Go There
  • LTNS - Long Time No See

Not as complete or work safe as the previously-mentioned Acronym Finder (which doesn’t spell out all the four-letter words quite as bluntly), this Dictionary of Instant Messaging Acronyms (DIMA) is a handy quick reference while instant messaging from the dorm room at school.

Die Dulci Fruere

Daily news roundup

Die Dulci Fruere

The Generator Blog

If you need something generated (a name, a ribbon, a password, some dummy text, corporate gibberish) a good place to start would be The Generator Blog.

They’ve got links and overviews to well over a hundred different online generators. Some of these are downright silly, but there are quite a few that are very useful as well.

Die Dulci Fruere

Help For BizDev thro' Printable CEO

As many self-employed people know business development can be the most tedious, unrewarding part of your business. I know I don’t like it. Well, freelancer and blogger Dave Seah has come up with a great way to deal with it.

He’s created the nifty little system he calls “The Printable CEO” and he’s put it out there for anyone to make use of.

"First, I made this list of tasks that I’ve decided contribute to my business growth, with points assigned that reflect their relative power factor. Although they’re all important, I gave lower weights to tasks that I already do frequently-–I don’t need the extra motivation."

I think the simple idea of weighting biz dev tasks is a great one. It should help you get the most out of your efforts. But he doesn’t stop there. He also provides a great weekly progress chart to help keep track of it all.

Die Dulci Fruere

Tips: D. Keith Robinson's Guide to Self-Mentoring

In today’s fast-paced working environment companies don’t always have a straightforward plan for their employee’s personal and professional growth. Even if they do, chances are it’s a pretty low priority. To be sure you’re successful and growing in your career you often have to take matters into your own hands.

A lucky few of us have mentors that can guide us down the right path. A good mentor can show you the ropes, point out potential pitfalls and be a sympathetic shoulder to lean on. If you have access to a mentor don’t take them for granted. Make sure you pay attention to them. Make sure you listen to their advice. They may not be around for long.

I’ve spent most of my life without a good mentor, for various reasons. I found out early on that if you want to grow and learn you need to push yourself. You can be your own mentor, and in some ways, even if you’ve got someone pushing you, it’s a good idea to take that high-level control yourself.

As I’m pretty familiar with self-mentoring, I thought I’d offer up a few tips, observations and suggestions. Let’s begin with lifelong learning.

Lifelong Learning

I’ve been a big fan of what many people call “lifelong learning”. It’s a philosophy of always pushing yourself to learn new things and expand your skill-set. I think the first step to mentoring yourself is making a commitment to lifelong learning. This means taking the initiative to read books on topics that interest you, take classes, ask questions and take an active stake in your personal and professional growth.

Discover Your Strengths and Weaknesses

You’ll want to evaluate yourself on an ongoing basis. Ask for feedback from your coworkers and peers. Listen to what they say about you and then honestly evaluate that feedback. Learn what you’re good at and what you need help with. Then take steps to improve upon those things.

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

One of the best ways to grow is to get uncomfortable. Try something you aren’t sure if you’ll succeed at. Push yourself to take chances now and then. Some of the best learning I’ve ever had has been when I’ve been put in a situation that I didn’t really like.

Reward Yourself

When you’ve made a breakthrough, or done something you’re proud of, treat yourself to something good. Have a special dinner. Go see a movie. Buy yourself something nice. Life is about living, not working, so live it up once in awhile.

Network and Look to Your Peers

Being your own mentor doesn’t mean going at things all alone. It’s important to connect with people who share similar talents, skills and interests. Take the time to get involved in your professional community, to meet your peers and get to know them. Chances are you’ll learn a lot.

Ask Questions

Be sure and ask lots of questions. One of the things I do is solicit “mini-mentorship” from my peers. I ask them about their lives, their work and their lessons learned. I’ve found that almost everyone has something good to share, and if you’re willing to listen you’ll learn something.

Become a Mentor Yourself

Some of the best lessons in life are those I’ve learned from someone I’m trying to help. Teaching can expose gaps in your own knowledge that you might have never thought you had. Take the time to help others, to share with them and answer their questions. You’ll be helping yourself in the process.

Take Some Time To Dream

Every once in awhile stop what you’re doing and think about where you want to be. Think about what you love to do, what you’ve got a passion for. Reflect on yourself and dream about what the future holds. I think sometimes we get so caught up in the grind that we lose site not only of the place we want to be, but the path we’re taking to get there.

Just Do It

I know, it’s cheesy, but it’s true. If you want to succeed at anything you first have to make the choice to do so. Sometimes heading out on a path with no guidance is very daunting, but you’ll never get to where you want to be if you don’t even take that first step.

--D. Keith Robinson

Die Dulci Fruere

DIY Disaster Kit

All the recent disasters remind us to remind you to prepare a disaster supply kit in advance. The Red Cross recommends that you stock six basic items in case of emergency: water, food, first aid supplies, clothing and bedding, tools and emergency supplies and special medical items. Visit the Red Cross site to read more. Take the time to plan and prepare. You’ll be glad you did.

Die Dulci Fruere

Monday, September 26, 2005


Ever thought of "Radio Jockey"ing from home? Starting a college Radio Station? Or Just forming your own community of broadcasting?Or forming a network thro' broadcasting? If your answer is yes to anyone of these then SHOUTcast is for you.

"SHOUTcast is a free-of-charge audio homesteading solution. It permits anyone on the internet to broadcast audio from their PC to listeners across the Internet or any other IP-based network (Office LANs, college campuses, etc.). The SHOUTcast audio homesteading system is comprised of three simple components :


One can visit the SHOUTcast directory or the broadcastes at anytime of the day and listen to what people are broadcasting all around the earth. The recommended Players are :

  • Windows users should use Winamp.
  • Mac users should use iTunes.
  • Linux/X Windows users should use XMMS.


Persons wanting to broadcast will need to run their own server, as per the instructions below, or find someone willing to run one for them. Once a server's located, broadcasters use Winamp and a plug-in called the SHOUTcast Source for Winamp Plug-In to send audio from Winamp to the SHOUTcast server. The tools are available here, and there's an entire section of the documentation dedicated to the plug-in.


The magic of the SHOUTcast system happens inside the SHOUTcast Distributed Network Audio Server (DNAS). This software runs on a server attached to an IP network with lots of bandwidth, and is responsible for receiving audio from a broadcaster, updating the SHOUTcast directory with information about what the broadcaster is sending, and sending the broadcast out to listeners. More information is in the server section of the documentation."

SHOUTcast is not only easy to use but also quick. The streaming of files is excelent and you get quality broadcasting. SHOUTcast also provides certain plugins to help youw ith broadcasting like DSP etc. They have a detailed tutorial on how to setup the server and broadcast in their on-line documentaion section. Hat Tip K.Ganesh of Colleger Magazine!


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Storyboard Your Day

Are you more of a visual person than a verbal person? Perhaps story-boarding, the technique where you sketch out a sequence in drawings rather than words, can help you plan your day. The idea works like this: you add pictograms, which is to say small sketches, to your planner to remind you of the tasks for the day. Many “memory-enhancement” programs teach you to use pictures to remember things. This idea builds right on top of that.

Die Dulci Fruere

Schtuff: Free Wiki

Want to set up a Wiki, but don’t know where to begin? Check out Schtuff, a free wiki service that lets you set up your own collaborative website in just a few steps. Sign up for a free account, define your domain (I grabbed “”) and add your “spaces”, the pages that make up your site’s contents. It’s easy-to-use and very quick but if you’ve never used a wiki before and you just want to explore, make sure to read through their copious help documents.

Die Dulci Fruere

Licking Envelopes

Is anything fraught with more peril than the hazardous task of licking envelopes? I’ve had enough paper cuts in my life to keep me wary. Unfortunately, I don’t send enough letters to make it worth keeping a moist sponge on my desk. My trick? I place the open envelope on my desk, lick my forefinger, and use that to wet the glue. Hey BotHackers, what do you do?

Die Dulci Fruere

Download of the Day: PureText

On Friday, BotHack posted an MS Office tip for pasting unformatted text. PureText: A Windows utility that lets you paste unformatted text into any open window in any program.

I downloaded a copy, installed it and and found it worked exactly as advertised. Now, when I want to paste unformatted text, I use Windows+V instead of Ctrl+V. That’s a lot quicker than the four clicks needed to “Edit”, “Paste Special”, “Unformatted Text”, “OK”.

PureText, which sits in my Windows tray, is fully customizable. If you don’t like the default (Windows+D) shortcut, you can easily change it to something more memorable. Windows, Free.
Die Dulci Fruere

Remove results from Google searches

Google’s experimenting with new functionality: a link to remove results from a site for all or specific searches.

Google-watcher Philipp Lennsen points out that removing spam from your search results after you find it could be too little too late, but it is interesting to see Google trying out new techniques in personalized search. Apparently not everyone sees the “Remove result” link, and if you do, you have to be logged in to get it.

Die Dulci Fruere

Daily news roundup

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Sunday, September 25, 2005

How to backup your web server

In a somewhat technical, yet detailed and easy to follow tutorial, Dave Shea explains a great way to back up your Web server.

"You have a web server located somewhere not physically close to you. You use FTP to send and receive files. You’re generally okay with this setup, except for one little chink in the armor: backup. Even if you don’t run remote scripts which generate files on the server (I’m looking at Movable Type here) which you never remember to backup, sooner or later your local copy and the server will lose synch."

I know first hand how much of a pain it can be to lose your site. Backing up your Web server is very important and this is a great way to do it.

Die Dulci Fruere

Saturday, September 24, 2005

eHowto, Tutorials and Tips: Roundup

Tutorials and Tips:

How To:

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NitterBog's Best Sites: Roundup

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Download of the Day: Roundup

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Friday, September 23, 2005

Top 10 Advantages of Introvert

There maybe some misconceptions about Introverts. Is it that bad to be a Introvert? Introvert Advantages, a site for the book The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World, has a list of top ten advantages of being an introvert, with a comparsion of top 10 misconception about introvert. Here are the Top Ten Advantages Introverts Possess:

10) Work Well With Others, Especially In One-to-One Relationships
9) Maintain Long-Term Friendships
8) Flexible
7) Independent
6) Strong Ability To Concentrate
5) Self-Reflective
4) Responsible
3) Creative, Out-of-the-Box thinking
2) Analytical Skills That Integrate Complexity
1) Studious and Smart

In the list of misconception, I think Lacking Social Skills and Shy maybe the one that many people (including me) are relating introvert to.

Top 10 Advantages - [The Introvert Advantages]

Die Dulci Fruere

Permission to Suck

Anguish, frustration, I’m so blocked. I’m not sure why writer’s block is so notorious. Is the profession filled with vociferous whiners? Do they get creative block more than others, more than musicians, artists, web designers, research scientists, strategic planners, or Fortune 500 Marketing Directors?

No one’s immune to losing their creative mojo. What about those titanic talents that we all admire but occasionally sneer at under our breath in a jealous tremor? Even they can sink; they’re just slightly more buoyant than the rest of us. Talent rises to the surface, but everyone can learn to swim. Although I have met some creative floaters who perform as asthmatics adorned with a 100 pound weight belt, but that’s rare enough to dismiss.

Imaginative creativity is an individual thing. Everyone’s method for reaching creative “flow” is proprietary. Without realizing it, organizations that try to enforce creative processes can better succeed at fostering resentment than nurturing creativity. I am a member of the GroundZero Reseach Forum and being in a room with a dozen people standing in circumference while holding hands, as they play “pass the story line” in an attempt to carve out a creative “space”, makes me feel more like corporate Hokey Pokey. I’ve never rushed to my workplace in a fit of imaginative ecstasy after compulsory creativity building sessions – have you?

Interview one hundred creative professionals [those who get paid to innovate for example] and methods will begin to distill to some invariant form. This is where all those “creative techniques” are born. Blocked? Go to the gym. Want to be creative? Meditate. Running dry on the ol’ inspiration? Start a journal.

Techniques can be highly effective. I have a tool box full of pattern breaking activities that where collected over 18 years. Yet, following prescribed techniques is similar to knowing a phone number for great take-out and being pleased with the food you serve; needs are filled, but what if they don’t like Italian? Got another number I can call?

Let’s back up a step. Creativity is the act of bringing something new into being. That new thing has form. Before it had form it was imagined. If I build a chair from a pile of mahogany, am I being imaginative? It’s not a given is it? I’m creative by putting my stylish spin on the chair idea, but it doesn’t guarantee an imaginative solution. The pattern needs to be broken in the imagination. When we say, “be creative”, we generally mean – be imaginative.

Being blocked is symptomatic of predictable patterns. The brain remembers everything as a pattern; random thoughts are imaginary, only patterns survive. In an odd twist, being blocked can hint at an ego that has been stroked by too much reverence. That’s why being touted as a world-class master or reputing great accomplishments with your special “style” can solidify a pattern cast in marble. You become a victim of your own brand, fearful of experimentation or disappointed with approval loss that often comes with new directions.

It takes courage to express imagination – as it takes courage to act out or walk naked onto a stage – and it takes skill to filter the imagination in a meaningful way. Imagination is so deeply personal it’s easily ignored except in dreams like so many vestigial insights pushed down making room for life’s challenges. It may not be a societal compliment to say, “he has an active imagination” but that is exactly from where true creativity stems. We all know how to imagine but the creatively skilled know how to harness imagination; they give it space, practice filtering and create new patterns.

So am I saying that this creative stuff takes work? You betcha. Maybe even a lifestyle change. Stress causes us to seek known patterns: bring your “A” game. Our “A” game is what we know works well; it’s proven and, therefore, doesn’t stretch our imagination. The trick is to combine your “A” game with your active imagination in just the right proportion to satisfy yourself and your challenge. Still, the more permission you have to suck, the easier it is to express your imagination. Here’s a rhetorical brain teaser: Is it possible for a talented musician to suck in an unimaginative way?

Corporate “Hokey Pokey” creative exercises as support for profit driven deadlines and performance incentives aren’t the best creativity stimulants. What’s needed is a culture change or – sans change – outsourcing. I’m confident that’s one reason Volkswagen hired Crispin Porter + Bogusky as their advertising agency of record. VW needs a company whose culture is steeped in imagination or at least one that is really great at leaching every last drop of creative blood from its stable of youngsters yet to hone their creative archetypes. While I’m not an insider, I’m certain the culture at CP+B is far less about reactive judgments and far more about proactive risks.

What happens to those pre-marbleized young talents? Do they get burned out and routinely patterned? Some do, but the best learn how to stay curious and open while resisting reactive judgments even under the most unsympathetic pressure. Nothing kills creativity quite like quick judgment – we fear it. Our imagination shrinks like – well, you know – and “I was in the pool” is no excuse for this kind of shrinkage. Taking an invulnerable stance is equivalent to moving away from imaginative solutions.

If you learn to endure fear, the imagination still needs fuel. Creative curiosity is a passionate muse search without an agenda. Vertical experience is helpful but broad horizontal experiences are crucial. Vertical knowledge is quickly assimilated; horizontal knowledge takes a lifetime of dedication. Without the open mind of a landscape thinker, companies are doomed to repeat what’s been done with little variation; the silo gets taller until it falls.

Want a technique? Try this: do. Find your passion for doing, and then climb on for the ride. Passion gives you courage to suck. Ever hear, “there’s no such thing as a bad question”? Of course you have. Yet, there are humiliating ones. A passionate question gets asked no matter how humiliating. It can’t, not be asked, just like creative talent can’t not do. Blocked? Plunge forth with ghastly ideas, dreadful songs, appalling paintings or unspeakable prose. Give yourself permission to suck. I’d be surprised if the great didn’t find its way out of that pitiful pile of poor.

Die Dulci Fruere

Tip: Remove Formatting and Paste

When copying text from Web pages into their MS Office documents, people often want to just capture words, not their format. Fortunately, MS Office provides a special command to paste the contents of your clipboard as unformatted text. Follow these steps.
  1. Choose Edit > Paste Special. A dialog box opens. (If you do not see this command listed, Personalized Menus may be enabled. Click on the expand menu icon (>>) at the bottom of the Edit menu to reveal hidden menu items.)
  2. Select “Unformatted Text” from the scrolling “As:” section. (In some Office variations, the choice is “Text” rather than “Unformatted Text”.)
  3. Click OK. MS Office pastes the text after removing all formatting information.

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Evening news roundup

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Discover Internet Protocols

TCP/IP. HTTP. FTP. PPP. etc-P. etc-P. If protocols are your thing, you might enjoy stopping by this great Wikipedia article, which discusses the TCP/IP protocol in great detail. It’s a terrific reference that can help you better understand exactly how BotHack and other Internet materials get transmitted to you.

Die Dulci Fruere

Download of the Day 2: Startup Inspector for Windows

A while back, BotHack talked about removing spyware from your computer. Today’s download, Startup Inspector for Windows covers the same ground as the built-in msconfig.exe utility, but it does it with a much nicer and friendlier interface—and with a larger database of known malware.

Startup Inspector scans your Windows Startup Folder and Registry and provides background information about the programs it finds. Use it to remove both harmful and unnecessary programs that hog your computer and reduce system performance. Just uncheck the items you want gone, click apply and restart your computer. Startup Inspector is a free download, Windows only.

Die Dulci Fruere

ObjectGraph Dictionary

ObjectGraph Dictionary is a great new online dictionary that uses a similar technology to Google’s Suggest.

Not only will it try and suggest the word you are typing, it will provide you with a definition for the suggested words—live and in real time—as you type. This is great for trying to look a word you’re not sure the meaning of. Just start guessing and checking the suggested spellings and definitions.

This one really has to be tried out to be believed.

Die Dulci Fruere

Improve Image Quality by Upsampling

Galen Fott of PC Magazine has written up a guide to improve your low quality images. Via a process called “upsampling” you can greatly increase the quality of images you’ve captured with your camera phone, for example.

"Upsampling is an image-editing process that enlarges your original photo, making up (or interpolating) additional pixels to fill in the gaps. There are several upsampling techniques, and professionals are divided as to when and how the method should be used. In truth, the best technique for one image might not be ideal for another."

Galen covers a few techniques that you can try out with most image editing software. As well he talks briefly about third-party applications that can do the heavy lifitng for you. The techniques are pretty easy to follow and while he asserts that they can’t work miracles, they should help.

Die Dulci Fruere

Download of the Day: Firefox 1.0.7

Mozilla has released an update to BotHack’s favorite web browser, Firefox. Version 1.0.7 includes security and stability updates, and Mozilla recommends everyone upgrade to the newest version. Firefox is a free download, Mac or PC.

Die Dulci Fruere

Copyurlplus Firefox Extension

Do you do a lot of linking? Do you e-mail links to your friends often. Then the copyurlplus extension for Firefox is just for you.

"The Copy URL+ extension enables you to copy to the clipboard the current document’s address along with additional information such as the document’s title, the current selection or both. You might find this behavior useful when you want to send (IM, email) an interesting link to a friend and out of laziness convenience you don’t want to copy the link and an explanation of what the link is in a single step. The explanation can be as short as the document’s title or it can be a descriptive text from the document."

Copyurlplus is a free download, and works everywhere Firefox does (Mac/PC/*nux).

Die Dulci Fruere

Apple Releases iTunes 5.0.1

Wow, that was quick. Today, most likely in response to people problems with iTunes 5.0, Apple released a new verison that should fix things for most people.

For those of you who, like me, held off on getting the new iTunes, my guess is it’s probably safe now.

iTunes 5.0.1 is a free download for Windows and OS X.

Die Dulci Fruere

BotHack: How to De-Lint your Clothes

Don’t you hate those small bits of fluff and pet hair that stick to your clothes, particularly your nicest black suit? If you’re about to give a presentation and you don’t have one of those commercial lint rollers on-hand, you can clean up with a simple trick: wrap a bit of scotch tape around your fingers, sticky side out. Gently pat the fabric to remove the lint. It’s easy to do and you surely have some tape near your desk. It may help to step out to the bathroom so your colleagues don’t ask you why you’re patting yourself.

Die Dulci Fruere

iPod for Party Music?

Planning a special event? Why not use your iPod to provide the music? Many people are balking at spending a few hundred dollars to hire a disc jockey. They’ve already got iPods loaded with the music they love.

Bad idea? Professional DJs think so. They’re not just out of a job. They think most people do a bad job picking music.

“From a DJ’s perspective, the music is not for you…You are playing songs people want to hear and that people want to dance to.”…She recommends sticking to crowd pleasers like “YMCA” by the Village People and “Whip It” by Devo.

Die Dulci Fruere

Discover Music

Aurgasm has one mission—to bring new and interesting music to your ears. This site provides a wide and eclectic range of music to listen to, to try out and to inspire. It currently features a collection of New Orleans Jazz that you’ll have never heard before. Previous collections include Norwegian Soul, Miami Funk, Indie Folk and more. Give your ears a treat. Stop by and check out what’s playing.
Die Dulci Fruere

Removing Windows Startup Items

At times, I begin to install Windows software before deciding to cancel the installation. Usually this isn’t a problem. Sometimes though, the installer places itself into my startup items and each time I boot my computer it prompts me to finish the installation. What a pain! Fortunately, it’s not hard to fix. Here’s how.
  1. Click on Start > All Programs > Startup.
  2. Right-click on the item you want to remove
  3. Choose Delete.
  4. Windows asks you to confirm your File Delete request. Click Yes.
  5. Empty your recycle bin and then restart your computer.
These steps use WinXP, but they’ll work with slight variations for any recent version of Windows. Over the next two days, I’ll post about Windows Startup Inspector and Windows Startup Monitor, two freeware items that help you take further control of your start-up items.

Die Dulci Fruere

Rubik's cube

The Rubik's Cube is a mechanical puzzle invented by the Hungarian sculptor and professor of architecture Erno Rubik. The cube consists of 26 smaller cubes, which can be rotated around to scramble or unscramble (solve) the cube. In solved state, each face of the cube is of the same color. All cubes can be solved in 29 moves or fewer.

Check out Rubik's official site

Learn how to solve the cube here.

GNUbik is a free program that renders an image of the Rubik's cube - to solve the puzzle, the cube can be manipulated using the mouse.

Happy cubing!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

eHowTo: get rid of deodorant stains

Did that bargain antiperspirant leave you with embarrassing white streaks on your button-down shirt or unsightly wet marks on your favorite blouse? No worries--you can usually remove these blights without too much effort.

1. Act as soon as possible to minimize chemical staining. Sponge white vinegar on the underarm stains to loosen the buildup of the deodorant's aluminum chloride or zinc salts, which discolor and weaken fabric over time.
2. Soak stubborn stains overnight in an enzyme-containing laundry detergent.
3. Launder with your usual detergent and color-safe bleach in the warmest water safe for your garment.

Overall Tip:
  • Let your deodorant dry before dressing.
  • Use a cosmetic sponge - they always get the white spots from deodorants right off, and they leave no trace behind!
How to Get Rid of Deodorant Stains [eHowTo]

Die Dulci Fruere

Get Book Recommendations

Looking for a good read? Try a new site called “What Should I Read Next”. You enter the name of an author and book you like, and the site recommends several titles to read. You don’t have to sign up, but registering allows you to add to their database and improves their suggestions.

Die Dulci Fruere

Download of the Day: Onlife

Onlife is a neat beta applicaiton that keep tracks of and records many of you daily activities.
"Onlife…observes your every interaction with sofware applications such as Safari, Mail and iChat and then creates a personal shoebox of all the web pages you visit, emails you read, documents you write and much more. Onlife then indexes the contents of your shoebox, makes it searchable and displays all the interactions between you and your favorite apps over time."

It’s not only good for helping you find those random Web pages and e-mails you lose. It provides a context to help you get a handle on where your spending your time. That can be very helpful to those who are trying to Get Things Done and finding that they’re spending too much time surfing, for example.

Onlife is a free beta for OS X 10.3.

Die Dulci Fruere