software

Blog from your Palm with u*Blog

Fairly recently entered into the dictionary - if there at all - is the word "moblogging". Essentially it is the verb meaning to blog via a mobile device; a PDA, phone and so on, with bonus geek-cred if you're on the move skateboarding with your open-source buddies between free wifi spots or something similar.

Of course typing your life's work in a 2-mm screen with half-assed 1 kb per hour £10 a minute Internet access is a little fiddly. Hence specific software exists to aid the production of blog entries without requiring a full-on web browser. For those of you using a Palm OS device that can access the web directly - a Treo, Lifedrive, TX and so on - the Poorhouse would like to recommend u*Blog.

Counting rows using multiple criteria in Excel

Often in Excel you have a big fat table of data that you need to perform various analyses with. It wouldn't be out of the bounds of reasonability that you would want to count the number of rows that have a certain set criteria. Luckily, Excel provides the COUNTIF function to do exactly that. But it has severe limitations.

Fixing corrupt Access files

Microsoft Access, whilst in the Poorhouse's view is often a superfast and supereasy way to get useful results from data sources, is kind of notorious for buckling under pressure. Some of this might be elitist "it makes it easy therefore it can't be any good" type nonsense, but on the other hand it most certainly get a little weak at times when several people are accessing large amounts of data with it. Whilst most often it recovers well and the only serious effect is slowness and annoyance, rarely the database .mdb file itself can become corrupt and, ostensibly, unusable.

Quick .bin to .iso converting

Downloaded CDs and DVDs come in all sorts of crazy formats. ISO (with the file extension .iso) is perhaps the most common and well supported by tools such as Winrar and Iso Recorder amongst hundreds of others.

Many downloads come in the form of less universally supported formats such as .bin (with a corresponding .cue file). There are indeed plenty of programs to use these including Daemon Tools, CDRWin and Alcohol 120% but these often either cost extra money or require you to burn the image to a physical CD before using.

Paintshop Pro for cheap

Wannabe designers - now is a chance to escape the ravages of editing your hi-res pictures in Microsoft Paint. If of course, for some reason, you would want to. After all, if you can't solve it with a heady mixture of rectangle and the spray can tool why bother?

Anyhow you have until the 31st August to purchase Corel's (formerly Jasc's) Paint Shop Pro at an especially bargainous price. Until then, you can purchase it for under half price - a most reasonable £41.

No, it doesn't have the word "Photoshop" in its title, but nor does it have its (literally) above £500 pricetag.

Synchronised computing

For those people who have more copies of Windows than actual windows in their house, keeping the computers running in sync can be a slight chore. Generally, the more geeky Internet based things you use the easier it is. However even in these Web 2.0 days of Google Spreadsheets et al., most people can't get away with not storing anything actually on their own computer.

To solve this dilemma, there is such a thing as remote desktops, where a computer can act as a remote terminal insomuch as when you log in to computer 1, you're actually accessing stuff on computer 2. Guaranteed sync. However, assume you have a laptop and a desktop. You want to have the ability to not only sync the two, but when you leave the house, both computers should have the capability of working independently simultaneously, but any changes made to their files back over each other at some point in the future.

Skive browse 2: workFriendly

Hot on the heels of Ghostzilla comes another solution to that most horrific of problems – how to spend your office-working day playing on the Internet without receiving a vicious sacking.

Free WinRAR

WinRAR is a compression program to compress and decompress zip, rar and many many other types of files. It is extremely quick, versatile and generally good, and in the Poorhouse's opinion easily beats Winzip and other classics. It is easily worth the small amount of money it costs, but if you go here super quickly (i.e. before midnight today) you can get it free, free, free! Oh, and it's legal to do this. Don't look a gift horse in the mouth.

Avoiding the 401 authorization required error with Google calendar API

Using the previously-described procedure to interact with Google Calendar's API from Visual Basic 6 led to a seemingly strange phenomena at first.

Whilst trying to add an event for the first time, during the second POST operation (which includes sending the Auth code to http://www.google.com/calendar/feeds/default/private/full) rather than the event being added, Google replied with a 401 Authorization Required error like this:

HTTP/1.1 401 Authorization required
WWW-Authenticate: GoogleLogin realm="https://www.google.com/accounts"

Using Google Calendar API via Visual Basic 6

Google Calendar is a lovely looking and acting "free online shareable calendar service", allowing you to maintain your personal schedule, share it with others, and view public calendars.

Google has also provided an API such that your programs and websites can make use of it remotely; for instance to view, add or delete events. There are special client libraries to let you use it from the Java or C# .NET programming languages. It also supports communication via standard XML, to allow any other suitable language to get involved.

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