31 December 2010

Happy New Year - Feliz Año Nuevo from Appatic

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At the call of a toast, surrounded by  the warm of company from family, friends and loved ones.  Looking at a sky full of lights and hearing the sounds of bells afar announcing the new year is here, I wish you all a great New Years Eve and a excellent 2011.

Cheers.

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Fireworks Desktop Backgrounds for Windows XP & Windows Vista

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If you are going to celebrate the 2010-2011 New Years Eve all the way. That means you need fireworks beyond those you will see in TV or in person, while you are drinking champagne and wearing a party hat looking at a sky full of lights.

So, why not adding some Fireworks themed Desktop Backgrounds to your PC as a commemoration?.

Yeah, why the hell not, right?. That is why I bring you 13 Fireworks Desktop Backgrounds (Wallpapers) for  all of you with a Windows XP or Windows Vista PC.

Taken from the Fireworks Windows 7 Theme.

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Linkage

Fireworks Desktop Backgrounds                        <— Download Page

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Fireworks Windows 7 Theme

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There are not enough fireworks shows over the year if you ask me.  So anything that can bring you fireworks is good in my book. More if it comes handy for a celebration. And what better if it is for the one that includes confetti, party hats and champagne like New Years Eve?.

So for this 2010-2011 New Years Eve and the ones to come, you can use this Windows 7 Theme full of Fireworks all the way across the sky.

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This theme comes with 13 desktop backgrounds.

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Fireworks Windows 7 Theme                               <— Direct Download Link                      

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Arctic Desktop Backgrounds For Windows XP & Windows Vista

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If those Winter Desktop Backgrounds (Wallpapers) I posted last week were not enough to produce you chills, here it got you 15 Arctic Desktop Backgrounds for those of you with a Windows XP or Windows Vista PC.

Taken from the Arctic Windows 7 Theme.

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Linkage

Arctic Theme Desktop Backgrounds                            <— Download Page

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Arctic Windows 7 Theme

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Looks like Microsoft decided that the Winter Windows 7 Theme didn’t  offered enough chills for the 2010 Holiday Season. Because now they have also added a Arctic Windows 7 theme.

A theme full of ice, icebergs, snow owls and even polar bears to marvel at from your desktop.

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This theme comes with 15 desktop backgrounds.

Linkage

Arctic Windows 7 Theme                               <—Direct Download Link

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29 December 2010

ffArchive 1.0: A FriendFeed Backup Creator

Friendfeed icon                         

Friendfeed at this point, as a service, is in a state of uncertainty.  No one knows if it is going to continue to be open and functioning in 2011 or not. But considering that most of the tech of it has now been already integrated into Facebook, its now longtime owner. It could indeed get the plug pulled in the coming months. Something that would certainly suck if you happen to like it.  But if it does comes to that sooner than later, and you indeed have a certain attachment to your Friendfeed account. You now can just back it up.

ffArchive is a ClickOnce enabled (easy install/uninstall) .NET app from CodePlex, that you can use to backup your entire FriendFeed account and even the public FriendFeed streams of people you follow.

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It installs in 3 clicks and then you only need to put your FriendFeed username to start making a backup of your account. The private part of your account like direct messages and discussion feeds need  authentication by a FriendFeed Remote Key you can get by clicking in its link within the App.

After you have done that, you can fully backup your account. Once you have finished, the app will show you a backup report at the right side of the app window. Very simple, very easy to use.

Works in Windows XP SP3, Vista and 7.

Linkage

ffArchive 1.0                            <—Direct Install Link

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If you use Friendfeed and want a better way to use it, then also check FriendFoo.



28 December 2010

Word To MediaWiki Converter Add-in For Word 2007 And Word 2010

  Office 2010 logo               MediaWiki Logo

If you have a  online wiki or  you want or have to contribute to a online wiki site. More times than not, such online wiksi are based on MediaWiki, just like Wikipedia.

Contributing to a Wiki page unfortunately means getting used to a mediocre built-in online wiki page editor or launching WordPad and write up your contribution in MediaWiki compatible text formatting.  Something I always found a chore, a bother and a drag all rolled into one. But you can now avoid that compromise completely thanks to this new Word Add-In.

Microsoft Office Word Add-in For MediaWiki is a Official Microsoft Word free Add-In. This Word Add-In makes writing your wiki contributions easy. Because with it, you just write them as you would write any document.  Once you are done writing your Word document, you just go to the file menu, and then the “Save As” dialog. In there you will now see a MediaWiki option, that when you select it, will convert your Word document into a MediaWiki formatted .Txt file.

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Then you just need to copy and paste from the .txt file into any online wiki that supports the MediaWki format. That means, pretty much all of them.

Features

Microsoft Office Word Add-in For MediaWiki supports the following features:

  • Basic text formatting
    • Bold
    • Italics
    • Headings
  • Lists
    • Bullet point lists
    • Numbered lists
  • Images
  • Hyperlinks
  • Tables

Requirements

  • Office 2007 SP2 or Office 2010 RTM
  • Windows XP, Vista or 7

Some Notes

I tested it in Word 2007 in Windows XP and Word 2010 in Windows 7. Found it to be working smoothly.

For anyone that got their own MediaWiki site or that contributes to a Wiki on a regular basis, this Add-in comes of as a huge time saver and productivity booster. Fully recommended.

Linkage

Microsoft Office Word Add-in For MediaWiki                  <—Direct Download Link

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Kladjes: A Silverlight Based Reminder Notes Board App

Kladges Logo

Kladjes is a little Silverlight 4 app that allows to have your own virtual Reminder Notes corkboard for you to pin notes on. A app that is not meant to replace a fully featured To-Do list app or anything like it. The only perceived goal is to offer a digital replacement from the traditional corkboard people used to put on their desk to pin down notes. And as that, it does a fairly good job at it.

 

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The best part about Kladjes ( besides being completely intuitive to use ) is that you can use it online-only via your Browser or you can choose to install it to your desktop in just 3 clicks thanks to it being SL4 based. You only need to load the site, right-click in any open space of the board, click on the “install this application”  context menu option and then accept the installation once the dialog appears. That is it. Now you can also use Kladjes offline and from your desktop too.

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A very simple app, but with a fair amount of charm. Works on Windows and OS X.

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Kladjes

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24 December 2010

Merry Christmas – Feliz Navidad From Appatic

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( 2010 Christmas Tree in Buenavista, Mexico City )

 

Wish you all a Merry Christmas – Feliz Navidad from Mexico City and hope you have a great festive time with Family and Friends. 



Holiday Lights Desktop Backgrounds For Windows XP & Windows Vista

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A big part of the cheer of Christmas is the atmosphere it has. One full of decorations, stars but more than anything; full of lights.  Here I got you 17 Desktop Backgrounds (wallpapers) around the concept of Holiday Lights.

Taken from the Holiday Lights Windows 7 Theme.

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Linkage

Holiday Lights Desktop Backgrounds                                      <—Download Page

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Holiday Lights Windows 7 Theme

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Decorations, Stars and Lights are all part of what form part of the Christmas time atmosphere.

Microsoft wants to make sure you also embed some of that into your Windows 7 PC, and for that reason they got this festive Windows 7 theme called Holiday Lights for you to download.

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Full of imagery playing with the concept of Holiday Lights in all kinds of scenes, this theme comes with 17 desktop backgrounds.

 

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Holiday Lights Windows 7 Theme                                    <—Direct Download Link

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Get just the Desktop Backgrounds if you are in XP or Vista.

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Winter Desktop Backgrounds For Windows XP & Windows Vista

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Nothing like celebrating a season change like getting new Desktop Backgrounds (Wallpapers) for you to stare at while at your PC.   So here I got you 13 winter backgrounds for those of you with a Windows XP or Windows Vista PC. 

Taken from the Winter Windows 7 Theme.

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Linkage

Winter Desktop Backgrounds                     <—Download Page

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Winter Windows 7 Theme

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Winter is already here, so why not welcome it and  embrace it properly with a Windows 7 theme?.

That is what Microsoft thought so too, and that is why they are now offering one for you to get.

A theme with some really pretty snowy scenes and panoramas all worth to be displayed in your desktop.

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This theme comes with 13 desktop backgrounds.

Linkage

Winter Windows 7 Theme                        <—Direct Download Link

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Get just the Desktop Backgrounds if you are in XP or Vista.

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Windows Interactive Holiday Calendar 2010

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Christmas Day and the week that follows it until New Year is usually a week with many blocks of free time to kill, for one reason or another. If you want to have something to do in those moments with and remain within the spirit of the holidays (or at least convince yourself of it ) while on your Windows PC. Microsoft got just the right thing for you or for you to pass along to other Windows users:

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A festive Windows related Holiday Calendar 2010.  This Silverlight based calendar of December 2010 lights up as you view with activities, tips and free goodies during the whole month.  The point of Microsoft with this site is of course to get you up to speed with some good Windows software for you to use with your Windows PC, show you some cool Microsoft related stuff promos and also give you out some free goodies in the process.

After checking out what it offers so far, I found it a nice festive promo, since it is very well executed. To the point I wish they had released it as a Windows Gadget or that they had at least let you embed it elsewhere.

For experienced users it brings you some nice goodies and holidays related  tools, but when it comes to new users or casual users it has the potential to come off as something quite neat and useful. Linkage

Windows Holiday Calendar 2010

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03 December 2010

aReader: A Fully Featured WPF Based XPS Reader

CodePlex Logo

When it comes to document formats, it is clear that PDF is king. No one can really deny it. Then, it is all about Microsoft Office formats starting with Word (both .doc and .docx) as the most common.  After that, one could argue the most common may be the ePub eBook format. But not quite. At it is actually XPS if one is talking about professional geared documents.

XPS original  purpose as a document format, unlike what many say, was not Microsoft way to trump PDF. But to have a alternative to it that they could control. In specific have a PDF alternative to offer for Microsoft Office customers. And while it never gained popularity in the consumer market, it is fairly well used in the business and enterprise markets. But more surprisingly, it has started being used as actual alternative to the ePub eBook format by some publishers, vendors and even some eBook pirates.  Reason why it is now not uncommon to see eBooks distributed in this format too.

There is no shortage of eBook readers, but in most cases they are tied to a vendor eBook store front market plus other not essential functions.  So if you want to handle XPS documents for free, you end having to use one of the two free XPS viewers Microsoft provides. Viewers that happen to be OK, but not rich enough or dynamic enough.

aReader is a Open Source .WPF 3.5 based XPS Reader from CodePlex by Agam Fuja Kurniawan. That has the advantage of not being just a XPS document viewer, but an actual reader too. This means you can use it to handle all kinds of XPS documents. No matter if they are work reports or if they are eBooks.

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aReader got a well designed app window, that should come off as instantly familiar given it uses the Fluent UI-UX that debuted in Office 2007 you know simply as “The Ribbon”, and that now you can find in many other apps as well. 

Features

  • Ribbon Interface
  • Multiple-Document View
  • One Click Document Navigation Controls
  • Jump To Page Navigation Input
  • Zooming
  • Type Text To Find
  • View Document Pages As Thumbnails
  • Printing
So, If you were looking for a good and free fully featured XPS reader, look no more and try this one out.

Works on XP, Vista & 7. In the case of XP, you need to be using a up to date XP SP3 install.

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aReader Info

aReader 1.0                                       <—Direct Download Link

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01 December 2010

Webutation: Website Reputation Checker

Webutation.net logo

Website reputation and link verification is something that can now be seen integrated in some Anti-Virus like AVG or in IE8 with its SmartScreen. Both check for fraud and malware based on a website reputation list neither actually show. AVG solution is integrated with your browsing and can result a bit too much and at the same time it can slow your browsing experience a bit. IE8 SmartScreen on the other hand got a too hands-off approach, where it only will alert you if there is a perceived problem or if you manually want to verify a website. Something you don’t really bother doing unless you are already suspicious of a website or it happens to be a website that is too obvious of a possible hazard.

So neither are a medium balanced solution, and neither are a solution that shows you an actual score card of the website reputation.

Webutation is a Open Website Reputation checker that scans for fraud and malware in a site, while at the same time providing a scorecard with useful info, in a simple and clear way.

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                               (Example of a Webutation Scorecard Page with Appatic as the subject website)

When you check for a website reputation, you get a webutation scorecard page. In it, it gives you the following website information:

  • Website Preview Screenshot
  • Number of Webutation reviews (if any)
  • Google Safebrowsing Check Result (Safe or Unsafe)
  • Website Antivirus Check Result  (Safe or Unsafe)
  • Web Of Trust Check Result (from Very Bad to Excellent)
  • Child Safety Rank ( Safe or Unsafe)
  • Google PageRank
  • Alexa Rank
  • Webutation Overall Score Badge (from 10 to 100 and from red to green)

 

This way you have all the info you could need at a quick glance. And if you want to submit your own webutation rating, you can do that too. Other extra is that you can grab your webutation score badge and put it in your blog,  if you want people to know you got a good and safe site.

appatic.com 

Webutation is a interesting idea that has done before in many ways. But that thanks to it being clear and simple, it really stands out. Other thing done right is their aggregation of other website checks besides their own to formulate their final score. Score is updated in what looks to be a monthly basis. That means it is also a good way to track your website performance and safe status in one single page. This makes it a must have bookmark for any webmaster and blogger.

However, the most important thing Webutation it has going for users, is that it extends to the browser with extensions. Right now it only got extensions for Firefox and Chrome. So i just hope that they plan to release extensions for IE, Safari and Opera. Because the more people uses this, the better quality website reporting it could offer and the more chances it has to actually make a difference.

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Webutation

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