Thursday, February 02, 2012

Moved to

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I decided to follow the whole vanity/brand yourself blogger movement, and I have moved my blog to 

Come join me there as I continue the discussion on things IT.

This blog will probably be repurposed as my personal blog very soon.

Enjoy and thanks for following me!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Save Google Notebook!

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I am convinced that if enough GN users get online and actively protest the closure of Google Notebook they may rescind.  Stranger things have happened (7th Heavens 11th season).

So.  What do YOU have to do? (I’ve already done it…)

  1. Comment on Google Notebooks blog.  As of now there are over 600 comments. Add your own.  I’ve learned something in life – numbers count in business.
  2. Sign the online petition.  It can’t hurt.
  3. Visit other blogs dedicated to bringing it back.  The least you'll do is arm yourself with info on where to go if Google doesn’t budge.
  4. Blog, tweet, email about it!  Make some noise!
  5. Keep using it! Just back it up, just in case…

ubernote and Google Notebook Downloader script – a perfect but sad combination

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I have been scouring the net to look for ways to get my Google Notebook data moved out of ìt to something else.

Let me make this perfectly clear – I don't want to do this. I love GN.  I use it every day, many times a day. My wife and I use it to research ideas, plans, trips.  wee even put our family Christmas wish list  there and invited the grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins t it so we were all on the same page…

Barring Google doing an about face and continuing to support GN, it is obvious that we need to move on.

As mentioned in a previous post, I have chosen ubernote, and now I was faced with the daunting task of getting all my various notes out of GN.  ubernote built

As I was doing some reading and found this entry on Digital Inspiration:

3. Download Google Notebooks in one go - If you have tons of notebooks in Google Notebook, you should look at this Grease Monkey script that adds a new "Export Notebooks" link on your Google Notebook page. You can click the link and download all your notebooks in either Atom (RSS) or HTML format.

Now, I have done this and I have a few things to say about this.

  1. I had 67 notebooks!  And 450 notes! Woah! There were many notes I had forgotten about…
  2. There is no easy process to download ALL notebooks into one atom file, or even bulk download all into individual files, and zip them together.
  3. The ubernote importer only allows ONE atom file at a time! doing this with 67 files was tedious.  The whole process to install the script, figure out how to export all the notebooks and then import them all in took 1.5 hours!
  4. ubernote is not Google Notebook.  sniff..  I thought it would import all my notebooks into their notebooks, but they don't seem to have the concepts of notebooks, but instead have singular notes.
  5. their tags did not easily match my notebooks.  If they had I could probably live with it… However I now have 14 tags called ASP.NET with different single notes in each.

It will take me some time to adjust, but at least my GN notes are someplace else.

Someone needs to start working on the Ultimate Cloud Downloader/Syncer!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Moving to Ubernote – Google Notebook replacement

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Its a sad day when my friend Google Notepad gets kicked to the curb, like some unwanted china at a garage sale.

My wife and I have used GN daily, copying notes, getting our thoughts together, and clipping web pages that we’d like to share with each other or look at again in the future, but with some relevant context to remind us why we were there.

We loved the Addin for Firefox, and is the #1 thing I miss having primarily moved to Chrome.

Google wants you to move to Docs.  They just don’t work for me. I loved OneNote when I used a tablet.  I just like Notes.  I had never looked anywhere else because I loved the simplicity and the fact it was integrated with the same gmail account I use for everything else.

However, all is not lost as ubernote has come to the rescue with a Google Notebook Import Tool. that will allow all your GN notes to be migrated.

I am in the midst of doing this, and will post an update when I am complete.

Blackberry Weather app

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Thanks to for this nugget.  A Java applet tgat displays the weather on your screen.

I am running it quite nicely on my Storm.

You can find the Weather App on the developers site at this link. OTA install is available at this Just make sure to select the right Jar file for the size of your screen. The 320 version works like a charm on my Storm. Gergely recommends trying the 240 version if the 320 version does not work on your device.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Finally got my hands on a SocialScope Beta invite

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After trying now for a week, I finally snagged an invite to the new Blackberry uberTweet tool – SocialScope - thanks to Blackberry Cool’s efforts, and being in front of my RSS Reader at the right time.

So yet another tech toy, er, productivity suite for me to test out on my Blackberry Storm..

Stay tuned.

SocialScope Hands-on Impressions
    – I wouldn’t download SocialScope yet if you’re a BlackBerry Storm user, as support isn’t really built in for it yet. If you must, then make sure to turn off Compatibility Mode.
    – The amount of things I can do with my Twitter account via SocialScope is great - retweet, favorite, it’s all there. Facebook is a little more limited (I have to log in to Facebook to look at photos?), but I believe that is a testament to how much more open the Twitter API is. That being said, I love that you can add Facebook friends directly to your BlackBerry Address Book.
    – Being able to ‘Tab out’ your favorite friends or followers is an incredible feature, and makes sure you don’t miss the important stuff.
    – SocialScope users now have the ability to set their refresh rate. I don’t know what the ‘auto’ setting is, but the lowest is 5 minutes, which doesn’t seem low enough to me.
    – Being able to customize what you receive notifications for is great. You can choose between Twitter replies, DM’s, or all messages (good luck!).
    – Adding photos or links, even while not in SocialScope, is bonus. Great, great feature.
SocialScope Feature List
    - SocialScope integrates your Twitter feed and Facebook updates into one application.
    - A tabbed Interface so you never miss replies, direct messages or updates from specific contacts
    - View all your social network status updates and picture updates in one place
    - Address Book Integration allows you to save your contacts’ social network information and see there updates from the address book
    - Support for standard BlackBerry shortcuts, r – reply, d – direct message, c – compose update, b – bottom, t – top, f – favorite
    - Post updates directly from your Inbox
    - Twitter search support with #topics highlighting throughout BlackBerry
    - @username highlighting
    - One click access to the “in reply to” messages
    - BlackBerry spell checker support
    - Tabbed Interface so you never miss replies, direct messages or updates from specific contacts
    - A direct message interface that makes it easier to see conversations
    - Post pictures via TwitPic from the camera or BlackBerry Media app
    - URL Shrinking with with the BlackBerry Browser integration
    - NEW! Profile Notifications (Experimental) for each message type
    - NEW! Refresh Rate Control (Experimental)
    - NEW! ReTweet capability
    - NEW! Added Follow/UnFollow
    - NEW! Remembers posting preference

Circuit City closing and liquidating.. What about the Source?

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Now that Circuit City is shutting down in the US, what will happen to the Source by Circuit City?

Will it go through its 2nd rebranding in 3 years?

According to

InterTAN Canada Ltd. ("InterTAN"), an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of US-based Circuit City Stores, Inc. (NYSE: CC: undefined, undefined, undefined%), today confirmed that The Source by Circuit City stores across Canada remain open for business and are not included in the liquidation process announced earlier today by Circuit City in the US.

On November 10th, 2008, InterTAN sought and obtained creditor protection by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA). Since that time, the Company has been working with NM Rothschild & Sons Canada Limited to pursue a sale of the Canadian operations as a going concern and has been in active discussions with a number of interested bidders. InterTAN expects to receive formal proposals with respect to a going concern transaction on or before January 23rd, 2009. The Canadian sales process is separate and distinct from the sales process followed by Circuit City in the US.

InterTAN operates or licenses 765 neighbourhood electronics stores and dealer outlets across Canada under the trade name, The Source by Circuit City. All of these stores are fully staffed and open for business.

So I guess this means a reprieve for now, but they are still looking for a buyer.  My suggestion is to quickly spend any gift cards, and return anything now that they didn't want for Christmas.

New Bolt Browser for Blackberry blasts in

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I have had the privilege of trying out a new Java based browser on my Blackberry Storm.

Thanks to BlackBerry Cool blog, they were able to get some invites to the beta program of this new browser.

Bitstream is the company behind this new browser, and they have been a little bit taken aback by the popularity of their beta program.

As reported in Blackberry Cool:

To get your copy of the BOLT beta, you must head on over to their download page and use the following referral code: ‘berrycool’. Do this even if you had already sent a request previously.Bitstream has now automated the request process, meaning you should get an email with the download link much quicker now.

So far I find it somewhat awkward on my Storm, although the built in RSS Reader is REALLY Cool. I will be trying it out shortly on my wife’s Pearl.

Sunday, January 11, 2009 – An Awesome place for Blackberry Storm backgrounds and ringtones

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I discovered today quite by accident, and I must say I am impressed with the variety and quality of the backgrounds and ringtones this site has, amd the owner of the site is quick and responsive too… – Create your own twitter background

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I have been looking and looking for a place to build my twitter background, and lo and behold, I found one!

Twitback is the place to go to get your own custom twitter background.  It loads your information, pics, links and puts it all together in one great package.

I found this at Twitdom which I found when I got a link from TechCrunch which was further linked from Microblink.

As you can see, I was following a long rabbit trail…

Windows 7 finished downloading

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After 5 hours, I finally have the Beta.  Now comes the fun of actually putting it on a few systems too kick the can…

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Finally downloading Windows 7

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After waiting most of yesterday and last night for my “window” to download it, I am now in the process of being 1 of those 2.5 million people to jump at testing W7!

Hopefully later this week I will get the opportunity to test it.

UPDATE: Don't use Google Chrome to download it.  It doesn't seem to work.

30 Essential PDF Documents Every Designer Should Download

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I came across this post as I was looking for Twitter backgrounds. Suffice it to say, After getting lost on many rabbit trails, I found this...A collection of some of the best PDF files available on the internet written by the industries more prominent professionals.

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Friday, January 09, 2009

Trying to download Windows 7

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I think I like everyone else in the world is trying to download Windows 7. Where is it?  When will MS Nirvana arrive?

Drop box is a handy collaboration tool

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In our office  many times we work on projects collaboratively via the virtual office which means someone is in Ottawa, someone could be in Ashton, someone could be in Toronto.  For the longest time we have been emailing each other attachments of PDF files, documents etc.

In the web 2.0 age, this is ridiculous.  So we discovered dropbox.  And now we can save  our files like we normally do but instantly we have shared it across our different computers and can keep things in sync.  I like it. I like it a lot.