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Friday, May 22, 2015

KeyNote


 
    KeyNote is a freeware program that is very user friendly; you can install it and start using it immediately. This handy program is an “outliner” that allows you to organize text or place random pieces of information into tree-type notes or a well organized database. It's very handy for storing stuff in one location without having it scattered all over your hard drive.
    It allows you to keep notes or other stuff in a hierarchy of folders. You can create folders and pages, as well as sub-folders and sub-pages, and you can re-organize them easily by drag-and-drop. You can use colored fonts, bullet point lists and hyperlinks. You can also store images.
    What can you use it for? Personal information management, a personal diary or journal, a scratchpad for quick notes and ideas, writing and structuring small articles or larger documents, creating and storing electronic texts, outlines, reports, recipes, personal contacts.
    It is also a good way to store information on accounts, passwords, PIN numbers, but...you must remember to encrypt the file!
    You can makes lists such as what's in you collections, keep a list of Internet bookmarks, archive documents, such as articles downloaded from the Internet, store document templates, etc. Teachers could use it for class notes, student attendance and assessment notes. The possibilities are limitless.

Warthogs

 5 Neat Things About Warthog Skeletons   

Warthogs are members of the same family as domestic pigs, but present a much different appearance. These sturdy hogs are not among the world's most aesthetically pleasing animals—their large, flat heads are covered with "warts," which are actually protective bumps. Warthogs also sport four sharp tusks. They are mostly bald, but they do have some sparse hair and a thicker mane on their backs. Read More 

Wikipedia on Warthogs 



Warthog Facts - African Wildlife Foundation 

San Diego Zoo - Warthogs may not be the most beautiful or graceful creatures in the Animal Kingdom. But they are remarkable for their strength, intelligence, and flexibility!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Computer Art and Software


Museum of Computer Art - The MOCA site is host to hundreds of world-class digital artists and thousands of their images, all available for viewing here. 

Top 20 Most Essential Software for Artists and Designers -These are the twenty essential programs that every artist needs to consider training in to become the best in their industries. 

Paint like a pro with free digital art software

Tux Paint: Open Source Drawing Software for Children - free, award-winning drawing program for children ages 3 to 12. Tux Paint is used in schools around the world as a computer literacy drawing activity. It combines an easy-to-use interface, fun sound effects, and an encouraging cartoon mascot who guides children as they use the program.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Lifehacker

 
    Lifehacker is a cool site that's fun browsing and you might find something of interest. It contains a variety of life hacks. Life hacks are tricks, shortcuts, skills, or novelty methods that increase productivity and efficiency. That is, life hacks are just about anything that solves an everyday problem.
     The posts cover a wide range of topics including: Windows, Mac, Linux programs, iOS and Android, as well as general life tips and tricks. The staff updates the site about 18 times each weekday, with reduced updates on weekends. The Lifehacker motto is "Tips and downloads for getting things done."
     Lifehacker has four international editions, Australia, Japan, India and the latest one - UK which feature most posts from the U.S. edition along with extra content specific to readers from those countries.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Libre Office

     OpenOffice was installed on my old laptop, but after replacing the hard drive I opted to install LibreOffice. There isn't much difference between the two, but I went with LibreOffice because the latest release of this open source productivity suite is leaner, smarter, and more compatible with Microsoft Office docs than the old OpenOffice. 
     The developers of LibreOffice are keeping it updated and while it may not be the perfect replacement for Microsoft Office, the problems will be very minor, if noticeable at all, for most users. LibreOffice 4.4 handles Microsoft Office documents better than ever before even though document compatibility is not always possible. For me, it's really a non-problem, but it could be in some professional office applications, I guess. 
     In any case, I am very pleased with LibreOffice and have not run into any problems when using it for home applications. Highly recommended as a replacement for the pricey Microsoft Office. Visit Site

FreeOCR

     Before the hard drive on my laptop started going bad I used an OCR program called Simple OCR, but after installing a new hard drive running Windows 8.1 Simple OCR would not work for some reason. 
     I searched the Internet for a replacement, but kept getting warnings from my antivirus program, Webroot, that the downloads were unsafe. Fortunately, I eventually found one that did not give any warnings and worked beautifully. It's called FreeOCR. 
    FreeOCR allows you to import directly from twain scanners, PDF and popular image formats and the latest release has been tested with Windows 10. Available default languages are English, Danish, German, Finnish, French, Italian, Dutch, Norwegian, Polish, Spanish and Swedish. 
    FreeOCR outputs plain text and can export directly to Microsoft Word format. Free OCR uses the latest Tesseract (v3.01) OCR engine. It includes a Windows installer and It is very simple to use and supports opening multi-page tiff documents, Adobe PDF and fax documents as well as most image types including compressed Tiff's which the Tesseract engine on its own cannot read. 
     FreeOCR V4 includes Tesseract V3 which increases accuracy and has page layout analysis so more accurate results can be achieved without using the zone selection tool. The program is a freeware and you can do what you like with it including commercial use. The included Tesseract OCR engine is distributed under the Apache V2.0 license. Latest release: March 2015 v5.4 Totally free OCR software for Microsoft Windows 

Visit Site

Monday, May 4, 2015

Excel Spreadsheet Credit Card Calculator

     I do not like credit cards but they are about the only way to establish a credit history, rent a car, a hotel room and many other things. They advertise no interest credit cards all the time, but if you keep taking out new cards and transferring balances, it's going to hurt your credit history! Credit cards are NOT income! They are an expense. 
     Most people know they should pay their credit card bills in full every month, but few do. A credit card calculator translates things into hard numbers that will enable you to make the most cost-effective course of action. 
     A calculator can tell you the monthly payments you'll need to make to rid yourself of credit card debt within a certain amount of time or how different monthly payment amounts affect the length of time it will take to pay down what you owe. A calculator also helps you see how much debt is truly costing you because credit card companies assess interest on a daily basis, which means interest accrues on interest making it difficult to appreciate the true cost of big-ticket purchases paid off over time. Credit card debt calculators tell you exactly how badly you are getting screwed. 
     How fast could you get out of debt and how much can you save in interest payments? You can find out easily by downloading the Debt Reduction Calulator at Cnet. It's nothing fancy, just an Excel Spreadsheet and no installation is required.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

DraftSight FREE CAD Software Download

     For years in my professional life I used the industry standard for drafting, AutoCAD, and also had it installed on an old home desktop, but when I wanted a drafting program on my laptop, I was no longer able to install AutoCAD. Fortunately I discovered the free version of DraftSight (they also have a professional version for a fee). 
     The first thing I noticed was that it is very similar in appearance and function to the AutoCAD with which I was familiar, so the learning curve was almost zero. You can access existing AutoCAD DWG files and create new ones so the old drawings of my house were available without having to redraw them. 
     DraftSight is a proprietary free 2D computer-aided design (CAD) software application developed by Dassault Systèmes. It lets users create, edit and view .dwg and AutoCAD DXF files. As mentioned, the user interface is quite similar to AutoCAD. 
     The standalone, single-user version of DraftSight is free until a user saves or prints a document for the first time. They will then be asked to activate the product within 30 days using a valid email address and reactivate after six months and thereafter at 12-month intervals. Activation email and industry sectors must be the same as when initially activated, or the installation becomes unusable and must be installed again. 
     Dassault is known for its 3D CAD software in the Aerospace industry and elsewhere. Extra productivity features and services are available for a low price with Packs and Plugins and it's available in 14 languages, including all the help files; you can switch from one language to another at anytime. It is available for Windows, Mac and Linux. Highly recommended.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Death of a Pet


Here's a link to a great article by Mats Bengtsson discussing the death of his cat. If you have ever had a pet that passed on, you know how he felt; if you haven't, he does a great job of explaining the feeling.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Car Tires

  
   Saturday evening I was out of town and getting ready to get on the Interstate to make the 120 mile return trip home when my low tire pressure warning light came on. After stopping at a gas station to use the air pump I discovered it worked OK, but the pressure gauge on the nozzle did not work. And, since I couldn't tell which tire was low, I put air in all of them.
     Then, after driving around for 15 minutes trying to locate the tire shop a customer had told me about and not finding it, the light went out. I figured maybe it was just low pressure because the temperature was about 40 degrees and it was raining; sometimes those warning lights come on under those conditions.
     The trip home was uneventful. Sunday morning it was obvious the tire was low, but repair would have to wait until Monday morning. But, by Sunday evening the tire was completely flat so I had to put on the spare. 
     Monday morning I drove to the tire shop and they couldn't find any leaks so they just pumped it back up. This was done at no charge.
     It was very low again Tuesday morning, so it was back to the tire shop. This time they found a nail in the tread, but it didn't penetrate, so that wasn't the problem. But they finally found a shard of metal that had penetrated the tire's shoulder at an angle making it unrepairable, so I had to buy a new tire...cost: $221.

     Since the introduction and use of the radial tire the recommendation for sidewall repair has been if a tire's sidewall is ripped, it's best to throw the tire away and purchase a new one. It is expensive, but with the way radial tires are made and anchored, if you rip through the radial that underlays the tread with a sidewall tear, you are just putting yourself at risk.
     There is really no good way to repair a puncture in a sidewall unless the tear does not penetrate the radial ply itself. In addition to objects on the road such as nails, sidewalls can get punctured by hitting a curb, small accidents, and bent rims.
     Unfortunately, sidewall punctures can’t be repaired because the patch won’t hold. Tires have cords that run all around the tread of the tire, the part the makes contact with the road. But on the sidewall, those cords aren’t there. So, there’s just no way for a plug to fill the hole.

     Obviously, if the patch won’t hold, it’s going to continue to leak. Also, sidewall puncture repairs compromise the integrity of your tire. Even if a patch were placed over a sidewall puncture, the fact is, your tire is no longer able to perform at is best and that means it isn’t safe. Even at slow speeds it will be is susceptible to a blowout and the risk of serious injuries for everyone in your vehicle and those around you. When you have a sidewall puncture the best thing to do is replace the tire.

Monday, April 20, 2015

How Things Work!

     Are dogs colorblind? Why is it rude for someone to point? Who are some of the most storied circus families still under the big top today? Some persistent myths that are keeping us from getting the best possible rest. What are 10 spots that no amount of cleaner can ever wash away? Can you make a living on YouTube? Want to know about airplane contrails? Can animals predict death? What would happen if you never took a bath?
     These are just a few of life's important questions and if you're just dying to find out the answers to them and many more check out How Things Work!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Good News Network

     An article by the BBC published online last year asked the question, "Why are newspapers and TV broadcasts filled with disaster, corruption and incompetence?" and the answer according to psychologist Tom Stafford, "It may be because we’re drawn to depressing stories without realizing."
     When you read the news, sometimes it can feel like the only things reported are terrible, depressing events. Why does the media concentrate on the bad things in life, rather than the good? And what might this depressing slant say about us, the audience? "Many people often say that they would prefer good news: but is that actually true?" — Tom Stafford It isn't that these are the only things that happen. Perhaps journalists are drawn to reporting bad news because sudden disaster is more compelling than slow improvements. Or it could be that newsgatherers believe that cynical reports of corrupt politicians or unfortunate events make for simpler stories. But another strong possibility is that we, the readers or viewers, have trained journalists to focus on these things. Many people often say that they would prefer good news: but is that actually true? Read the article
    
     If you really do prefer good news there is the Good News Network. This website is a clearinghouse for the gathering and dissemination of positive news stories from around the world. The site says, "While it’s important for us to remain informed citizens...depressing stories can create a perception of a ‘crime- and greed-filled community’ out of proportion with reality. People need a well-balanced media diet, but broadcasters serve too much junk food — local TV news in the U.S., especially."
     So, the Good News Network was created in order to report on outstanding citizen action, innovative solutions to the world’s problems, and to shatter negative stereotypes in the public regarding race, governments, politicians, religion, corporations, Hollywood, public schools, and inner cities. The site features links to stories around the world and original news articles by the Good News Network editors, and contributing authors and columnists. Readers can also submit stories. 
     Hollywood?  Can anything good come out of Hollywood? In a Washington Times article back in 2012, columnists Dan Gainor wrote, "If you are a Hollywood star, you can do drugs, get arrested, cheat on your spouse or say foul things about women, and Hollywood opens its heart to you. Even child rapist Roman Polanski got a standing ovation during the Oscars. Dare to call out the disgusting CBS show "Two and a Half Men" though, and your days in Tinseltown are numbered. The entertainment industry can take just about anything except honesty." 
     I have never watched the show but according to the article the program consists of "juvenile sex jokes filled with every kind of sexual misbehavior and innuendo imaginable. Prostitution, lesbianism, sex in every location imaginable, illegal drug use and mocking of religious faith fill the screen and millions of American homes each week." 
     Throw in fake-staged-phony reality programs, talent contests with little or no talent, false history on history programs, fake documentaries...sounds about right for Hollywood. Still, occasionally the people inhabiting Hollywood do some things that are decent.  Like the "the Bieb" picking up the dinner tab for New York City police officers or Jay Leno surprising a veteran with a hot new car or Barbara Walters shelling out $10 million to a New York hospital for a new care facility.  
     In any case if you need a break from the depressing top news stories of the day, try the Good News Network.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Bible Analyzer

Download from cnet
Developer's Website

Bible Analyzer is a Bible study and analysis application developed to aid in the study of the Bible.

System Requirements:
•Microsoft Windows XP-8, Macintosh OS X 10.5-10.8, Ubuntu Linux
•60 Meg Hard Drive Space
•512 Meg Ram

This program doesn't work on a 64-bit computer!


     The program features Bible text comparison, proximity range searches, and textual statistical analysis, cross-reference panel, related verse searches and text-to-speech and audio features, harmony/parallel text generator, advanced related phrase search, multiple Bible search capabilities, exporting of study data and a session manager which allows the user to configure different sessions of modules for various types of studies.
     Along with the optional Authorized Version People Edition Bible, Bible Analyzer can search for specific individuals. For instance, any one of the Marys in the Bible can be found at the exclusion of the others.
     There is also a Download Manager with which all free and premium modules can be downloaded directly into the program. Bible Analyzer utilizes Bible, Commentary, Dictionary, Book and Image modules in an open-source database format so users can easily create custom modules with the built in "Module Creator."
     There are scores of free and premium modules available from the Bible Analyzer website: Works as E. W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes and Appendices in fully searchable, digital format, the 11 volume Understanding The Bible Commentary by David Sorenson, Books and Charts by Clarence Larkin such as Dispensational Truth, the 23 volume Pulpit Commentary, the 43 volume Expositor's Bible, the 56 volume Biblical Illustrator, and many more.
     Bible Analyzer is a tool that can help you with your Bible studies, whether you're preparing a sermon or just trying to deepen your understanding. Its interface is a little overwhelming and it will take a little time to familiarize yourself with it.
     You can view the King James Version, the American Standard Version, or both versions side by side. The commentary module lets you view notes from The People's New Testament or the Scofield Bible Reference, as well as record your own notes, and the dictionary module gives access to the American Tract Society Dictionary, the Scofield Reference Bible Notes Index, and Torrey's New Topical Textbook. The ScripturePad is a built-in word processor with which you can take notes or create lessons or sermons from within the program.
     Also included are a built-in text reader, daily devotions, a quiz function, and much more. You can even create new modules to customize Bible Analyzer's appearance and content. The program's built-in Help file is comprehensive and includes plenty of screen captures. Overall, the Bible Analyzer is a powerful and flexible tool that's appropriate for anyone who's serious about Bible study. It installs a desktop icon without asking and uninstalls cleanly The basic program is free but the program can be expanded with the purchase of add-ons from the developer.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Legal Theft

 
They Are Worse Than Payday Loans. Hard to believe...a cash-strapped borrower uses their car as collateral for a short-term loan, typically 30 days. A typical title loan comes with a $250 upfront fee and loans have to be repaid in full within 30 days. If borrowers can’t come up with the cash, they either sacrifice their car, or they can pay another $250 to get their loan extended. You can get them online.  

Yahoo Report - Report by NBC News - Ads Gloss Over the Risks - Consumer Complaints and Reviews - Fraud Guides

Dumb.com

This site is a collection of links to dumb web pages and an assortment of other things to keep you amused. Dumbdotcom

Popular Old Time Radio Shows from the 1930s, 1940s etc.
Everyday Objects Dancing On Sound
Funny trick questions you can ask your friends
Silly jokes...
If Baby Names Were Chosen Based On Parent's Profession
Over 400 free classic movies that you can watch online, forwards and backwards...
Riddles
Play more than 3500 Free Online Games!
Spot the difference in two images
Translate English to upside down typing (Klingon, Morse code, reverse text, sign language, and more)
Over 400 classic films you can watch for free
Wacky and strange names of real cities, towns, and villages
A list of strange and unusual streets
Texting codes for the elderly
Silly photos of cats with things on them:


Before Mt. Everest was discovered, what was the highest mountain in the world? Answer: Mt. Everest; it just wasn't discovered.

Insult: What are you going to do for a face when the baboon wants his butt back? 

...and that's just to name a few. I especially enjoyed the old time radio broadcasts.