Aug 252012
 

ClipCube was reviewed while an old beta version here on RGdot, now it is back. The current version is 1.1 and comes with a new look and a new site. It is still freeware and still doesn’t require installation. With a new emphasis on being a note taker and keeper – complete with tags – in addition to its clipboard history feature it more useful than it has been.

ClipCube

After running it click the tray icon to show or hide its window. The left side of the program window is where you find the search box and tags. There are three default tags or categories and they are Clipboard, Links and Scratchpad. The notes are on the main or right side with the newest ones first on the list. In addition to automatically capturing the clipboard you can create a new note by clicking Ctrl+N, the + button or right clicking the tray icon. Edit a note with Ctrl+Space or the editor button (the keyboard looking icon). Select one or more items or notes and click the tag editor button to move a note to the Scratchpad category or other existing ones. Create new tags using the same tag editor, Alt+N or by right clicking in the tags area.

ClipCube, via its tray icon, has another interesting feature called “Trim incoming text”. This trims white space from the beginning and end of any copied text.

The preferences include toggling ‘system tray’ mode on and off – this is same as click close to minimize or click close to exit – stay on top, monitor the clipboard, clear clipboard on quit, show tooltips, edit a note on double click and others. By default ClipCube keeps 500 clipboard items or notes, this can be changed to 100, 2000 or 6000. This limit applies only to the notes tagged with Clipboard and not others like Scratchpad.

Hotkeys are available at http://zodcode.com/clipcube/manual. A Mac version is in the works and depends on donations.

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Jul 042012
 

MyShelf (Version:1.0) is a newer software that is available for all operating systems, iDevices and Android as well. Information can be synced across devices and across a network. It strives to be both an organizer and central storage for text and images. Its interface fulfills at least one important requirement and that is notes, pictures and everything is saved using MyShelf is at least somewhat visible and in view when the program is open.

MyShelf

Use the Add tab to add text, image or alternatively import the current clipboard entry. A shelf or rectangular area is where items are saved, each can have a subject (type it in the yellow area when adding a shelf) and each can hold one or many text snippets or images. Tags are added via the tag tab. The tags can then be added to each shelf and will appear above them beside the shelf date.

Editing or moving around shelves is done while in quick edit mode. Click the Quick Edit mode button and then click anywhere on any shelf. It can be dragged (move mouse over the red/black circle) elsewhere to change its order or it can deleted (button on bottom right of the shelf). Clicking the Open button that appears when hovering over a shelf opens a separate window to edit its contents. MyShelf also lets you save the file back to its original format. For example an image can be saved to any folder in its own format.

MyShelf

When in edit mode one can archive a shelf, this will remove it from view. Archived shelves can be viewed and if needed unarchived and brought back into the default view by switching the program view from Show Normal to Show Archived (drop down near top right of the interface).

Shelves can have one of three sizes, click one of the three squares to the left of the aforementioned dropdown to resize them. MyShelf is java based and works on XP and newer, Mac OS, Linux systems and the aforementioned mobile devices (it is available in the App Store and Google Play).

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Sep 112011
 

Smereka TreeProjects is a feature rich freeform database that can manage, hold and centralize all sorts of information. It can create one or more fully searchable collections of information each in a single portable file that can contain anything from simple or rich text to entire web pages to file attachments and even alarm reminders.

Smereka TreeProjects

TreeProjects can be used to gather and organize data in a hierarchical way that also remains flexible where data or item(s) can be moved – right click and copy/paste or just drag items using the mouse – from one section, item or node to another. Each node or item can also be colored or assigned to one of the provided icons.

Tagging is another very powerful way of organizing personal data and TreeProjects offers tagging very much like the blogging method where under the details of an item or file one assign tags which are searchable and auto-complete as well.

Another important part of TreeProjects’ power is the revision feature. When saving an already existing item, a note for example, TreeProjects offers the user the option to keep the old version(s) as well.

The reminder feature (Items menu —> New:Reminder) lets the user work with alarm set to anything from once to yearly with not only a remind in advance feature but also a setting to make the alarm dependent to independent of time zones. This is useful because not only the program itself is portable –  after installing just copy the whole program folder, for example, C:/Program Files/Smereka TreeProjects, to a USB key – but as mentioned the database is in a single file, so the program, including the alarms, are useful everywhere.

In my tests TreeProjects did very well in capturing a webpage (see image below) with links and images intact. Just create a New:HTML via the Items menu or right click a parent or node, name the item, type in the URL (or browse to a local .htm/.html file) and go. Capturing items like passages of text is also easy and useful for research purposes. Using Ctrl-Alt-v keys instead of the traditional Ctrl-v pastes the copied item into TreeProjects’ active item.

Smereka TreeProjects

A spell checker is included as is a find as you type search feature which takes advantage of the SQLite foundation of the database. Transparent, behind the scenes indexing takes place and provides seconds away easy access to everything. SQLite allows for various views and sorting options that will always be available without destroying the ‘original’ view which the user may be comfortable with.

The Special monitored folder, see Tools menu, is another ease-of-use feature of TreeProjects. A folder, or the default provided by the program, can be monitored and items that are moved to it will be imported into the current item or database. Things like Word .doc files and .jpg images are imported as file attachments and ‘readable’ or supported ones such as .rtf files fully viewable and editable just like a new item created in the program.

One can set a whole series of keyboard shortcuts, see Tools menu, to things like opening a new item, capturing a new item and shifting between views.

TreeProjects is very impressive, it runs on Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7. It is currently available in Dutch, English, German, Russian, Spanish and Ukrainian. It costs $49. A free, very usable ‘sister’ program is also available.

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Jul 092011
 
Imagina

Imagina (Version: A 1.7 build as of this post) calls itself the next generation image viewer and editing tool or ‘virtual lightbox’. Its interface features the Microsoft Office style ribbon. Images can be opened using the camera icon in the top left corner and then any one folder viewed in one of several ways. One viewing method is the 3D effect, an attractive if somewhat CPU intensive way of navigating image folders.
Imagina also features such tools as noise reduction, support for tags, flip, resize and straighten among others. A ‘period style’ feature is a slightly enhanced sepia and black and white effect. Imagina also does a bit more than usual in the colour editing department in terms of its brightness, hue and saturation controls.
As image viewers go Imagina is more advanced and does a bit more than one might expect. Look for its additional features including playing movies at http://www.planetimagina.com/about.html

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Nov 112010
 


P2Do is a lightweight to do and task list that also provides a monthly calendar view in addition to its main list view. Tasks can be added and placed into categories and assigned tags or subcategories. After adding a task double clicking its entry in the list view will launch the window to add the aforementioned categories, tags or due date. Assigning priority and choosing icons are also done in the same window. The default and limited category and tag options (‘Main’ and ‘Relax’ just to name two) can be expanded within the program settings (lower left of the program interface) by adding one’s own.

The calendar view is capable of showing only tasks that are given a due date, at first thought this is perhaps a limitation but it is ultimately obvious why. It is also possible to search through tasks, P2Do should run on all recent versions of Windows and is available in both 32 and 64 bit versions and a portable version as well.

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Feb 152009
 

Shortly after I wrote about the dirhtml index.html generator I received an email from its developer. In part due to my confusion about the way the sorting options were presented and how the output listing was actually sorted Eric, the enware developer, had released a new, then beta, version. It has since gone out of beta and v4.833 presents a more intuitive sorting menu (see images below).

Older version of dirhtml

Older version of dirhtml

New version of dirhtml

New version of dirhtml

In my opinion it is now easier to visualize the output because the ‘Unsorted’ option is now in a column with all the primary choices that determine the shape of the output.

Two notable omissions in the original article were that at the ‘Input/Output’ and final tab it is possible to create a batch file by clicking the ‘Save Batch File’ button or F7. This will generate a batch file and an associated .ini file. Launching the .bat will use the .ini file, containing all the settings that have been gathered by going through the program, and this will then immediately generate the required output.  This is very useful as it makes subsequent uses much easier and faster. Also worth pointing out is the ‘div_recursive.txt’ script, one of the ‘Script’ choices in the initial ‘Folders, Files’ tab. This will generate an output with a recursive listing of the folders and files being worked on. It is a very useful way of presenting the results.

I also want to take this opportunity to write about the other freeware Eric is and has worked on.

First up is the Mp3 ImageMap. This is free for non-commercial purposes and portable. The developer, Eric, describes it as

…an attempt to bring back the shock value of music finding to people who know all their tunes and searches by heart, and incorporates a rather unique algorithm for dividing rectangles into N squares.

It works by the user specifying a folder (containing MP3 files for example), file extension(s)(MP3 and WMA for example), path to the output HTML file, image (GIF, JPG, JPEG or PNG) and choosing one of several sort types and then clicking ‘Build It’. The app will use the image to generate an image map with different areas linked to the different MP3 and WMA files. A nice and fun way to listen to music or simply launch files.

Next is the ScrapBook described as

ScrapBook is a freeware, unstructured database program that holds chunks of text.

A lightweight and only 252KB download, it is surprisingly useful. It is possible to save all sorts of text with the first line of the said text acting as an index. It is also possible to differentiate and separate different chunks by placing them in different ‘cards’. To navigate between cards one can, for example, use the left and right arrows or click Alt+L, F2. Even easier is finding text by using the ‘Find’ box. It is also possible to save shortcuts in ScrapBook and use it as a launcher by moving the cursor over the text or shortcut and clicking F12. One interesting feature is the ability to ‘tag’ cards, by clicking Ctrl+space, and therefore making an index or listing even more intuitive by then viewing a list of tags (Ctrl+T). As with dirhtml ScrapBook is filled with useful features.

Finally there is CopyDate, taking a further step in making tasks easier, described as

Copydate copies files, optionally inserting today’s date/time into the copied filename.

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Jan 232009
 

Last week I posted that in my opinion there is a general need for applications that do more than just tag music and photos. Tagging that extends to all file types can ease organization not least because searching for files in folders is not always the most efficient.

Therefore it was great to see that Samer @ Freewaregenius has found and reviewed TaggedFrog. In very much the same way and perhaps even better ways TaggedFrog does what I was looking for and perhaps more importantly is being developed and is not abandoned.

It is described by its author as

TaggedFrog allows you to organize your files, documents and Web links. Just add objects to the library and tag them with any keywords. That’s it. You can forget the file name or where the file is located, but don’t worry – the tags will find the file for you.

and it looks good. Although, in general, I think one would prefer to do without a .NET requirement but since Ultrafolder is dead and tag2find runs as a service this is a good and promising alternative.

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Jan 152009
 

There are many tools available to organize media, audio mainly, files. Mp3Tag and MediaMonkey being just two that support tagging music files among other features. One area that is not as populated is a desktop application that supports tagging files of any kind.

Ultrafolder, now defunct, was one such promising application. Upon installation a shortcut would be placed on the desktop and any file, be it music, word or image that was dragged to the shortcut would launch the program and allow the addition of tags. The only negative aspect that I can think of was that all the tagged files would reside in a single folder, otherwise I found it very useful and bug-free. Ultrafolder existed for a while under an expiring beta @ ultrafolder.com, but after the author discontinued development, due to lack of interest as he put it, the executable would only prompt for an update check and no longer launch. A very unfortunate decision by the author in my opinion.

In my search I have come across another app, it is called tag2find. Its development seems to have slowed since it initial launch and even though it is promising and with more features than Ultrafolder it has the disadvantage of needing to run in the system tray to monitor folders and also needing to be installed as a Windows service. It does have advantages, of course, and among them is the ability to move any tagged files and since it runs on a NTFS volume the meta information is easily carried over.

My search for similar apps continues, if you know of any please leave a link and a comment.

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