Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Technobrief #7

Summary: Recent findings of software, articles, tips, podcasts, and more.

  • Almost Perfect by W. E. Peterson (a story of the rise and fall of WordPerfect Corporation from the author's point of view; free online/PDF version)
Browser add-ons, bookmarklets
  • Ask & Record Toolbar lets you download, record and convert all kinds of Internet Video and Audio, right from within your browser.
  • PriceProtectr browser toolbar helps you monitor prices, keep track of your purchases, and get rebates when prices drop.
  • Readability bookmarklet removes clutter around text on web pages making it easier to read.
  • Web Development Helper browser extension for Internet Explorer that provides a set of tools and utilities for the AJAX and ASP.NET developers.
  • From ManagementSpeak by Bob Lewis:
    ManagementSpeak: Work space will be designed to create an environment that promotes teamwork and effectiveness, while improving space utilization.
    Translation: We’re going to cram twice as many employees into the same floor space.
  • From How to Do Things Your Customer Didn't Ask For by Jurgen Appelo:
    "The underpromise, overdeliver principle tells us that we should manage our customer's expectations in such a way that we are able to deliver more than the customer asked for."
  • From How to be a program manager by Joel Spolsky:
    "There are so many development organizations where specs are a monument to mindless bureaucratic paperwork that entire movements sprung up organized around the idea of not writing specs. These people are misguided. Writing a functional specification is at the very heart of agile development, because it lets you iterate rapidly over many possible designs before you write code."
  • From Make It Simple vs. Do It Simple by Jurgen Appelo:
    "It's a complicated thing to build stuff that is simple. It's a simple thing to build stuff that is complicated."
  • From Out with objectives, in with technique? by Bob Lewis:
    "Measuring employees is a bad idea because employees have a remarkable talent for gaming the system. They can: Work the system so the numbers look good; behave in ways that make the numbers look good while circumstances deteriorate; or just falsify the data outright. I pointed this out once in an executive meeting, and one of the participants recommended firing any employee who would behave this way. Interesting concept, as I was referring to a very large number of American CEOs."
  • Avidemux is a free video editor designed for simple cutting, filtering and encoding tasks.
  • Greenshot creates screenshots.
  • Ken Rename is a capable a multi-file rename utility.
  • RichCopy offers comprehensive file copying capabilities.
  • SEAMonster can resize images with minimal pixel loss (see seam carving).
  • Starter is an application startup manager which also provides extended process info (similar to Task Manager), as well as service and driver manager.
  • UnlockMe enables you to delete, move or rename files or folders that are temporarily locked by other processes.
TipsTutorialsVideos/podcastsWeb tools
  • AlternativeTo suggests alternatives to popular applications.
  • AnyClient is a web-based file transfer application that supports all major file transfer protocols including FTP/S, SFTP and WebDAV/S.
  • StyleNeat organizes and standardizes your CSS in a structure that makes it easier to define page areas and see how they relate to each other.
  • When is Good offers an easy way to find out when everyone is free for your next meeting or event.

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