Google Pack is a collection of free software packaged together with one simple installer distributed by Google. The pack includes a mixture of software including some of Googles own products such as Picasa and Google Desktop, and other programs such as Adobe reader and Norton Antivirus 2005 SE. The pack revolves around the updater that acts a package manager for downloading programs and updates.
A full list of the programs available: Google Earth Google Desktop Picasa Google Toolbar for Internet Explorer Google Pack Screensaver Mozilla Firefox with Google Toolbad Ad-Ware SE Personal Norton Antivirus 2005 Special Edition Adobe Reader 7 Google Talk Google Video Player RealPlayer GalleryPlayer HD Images When first launching Google Pack it will start downloading and installing software, you can however choose which programs you want. For instance I cancelled Google Desktop as it’s a bit intrusive on my desktop and start bar.
The Google website makes it easy to install programs as they are added to the pack.
Within the installed programs list it is easy to remove programs you don’t need.
Google Pack is a good collection of free software, it does a nice job of keeping them up to date and can integrate with your Google account. I found it especially useful when first installing a new PC as the software included with the pack is often what I find myself installing anyway.
The pack has plenty of room to expand in the future and I would like to see an audio manager, video player and maybe even an office suite such as Open Office. Currently Google Pack is Windows XP only.
Yesterday Apple released iTunes 7 with some funky new interface updates. We didn't get a movie store like in the US but we did get some ipod games! While i'm not sure that the games will turn the ipod into the next gameboy they are cheaply priced and does open the ipod up for a lot of new potential applications
Here are a few of the cool new improvements in iTunes.
The first one is the cover browser that lets you scroll through your music via the cover images:
The next view now shows the album art along with the tracks, I have then ordered it by album.
Finally the ipod connection interface has been updated and there are now more options for which media to sync to your ipod (without having to go into preferences).
Some great updates to iTunes well worth the download.
I get paranoid when it comes to data backup and anything that makes it easier and cheaper is always welcome. Currently I backup to external hard drive by simply syncing my home directory to the drive. This is great unless my house is burnt down or the drive is stolen and there is always the risk of it failing. I’ve looked into online backup but for any sort of reasonable space it will cost hundreds of £££ per year. Then Amazon launched s3, mainly meant as a development platform for web services it offered large amounts of cheap disk space and bandwidth. It didn’t take long for JungleDisk to start exploiting this as a data storage service.
As a price comparison each 1gig of data costs $.15 (8p)/month to store on S3 making it far cheaper then Xdrive, Box.net and .Mac (price comparison). Also unlike some other services JungleDisk allowed for unlimited storage. The client comes for Windows, Mac and Linux so it is easy to access your data and with it being online you can install the client as many machines as you want in order to access your data. JungleDisk currently makes no money from the service while they are developing it which does make u wonder how they intend to make it profitable in the future, I’m guessing either through charging for a premium client or somehow taking a cut of the disk space and bandwidth usage. I can see the service being popular but its uptake will be hampered because of slow Internet connections, while most of us in the UK can get between 8-10mb download our upload link has barely changed and still averages at 256kb. To upload 600mb of data it took 18hours, now just think if you say wanted to backup your mp3 collection and soon TV shows and films. Syncing to my external hard drive takes about 10minutes per week but a similar backup to S3 could take hours possibly even days. Online backup is affordable its just not quite accessible and it wont be until the ISPs start increasing upload bandwidth for ADSL and Cable users.
Did you know you can get automatic updates from ImAFish in your browser without even having to visit the site?
RSS feeds contain the latest posts from the various ImAFish services and you can easily subscribe to any or all of them within Firefox.
Not got Firefox? The safest and most secure browser on the Internet.
In order to put these feeds into Firefox do the following:
1. Click the menu Bookmarks then Manage Bookmarks
*The Bookmark Manager will open*
2. Click File then New Live Bookmark
3. Enter the address of the RSS feed you want to subscribe to by copying and pasting one of the following:
Extra (Beta) (Interesting news stories from around the web read more)
4. Drag your new live Bookmark to the Bookmark toolbar folder
*This will then display new posts in the Bookmarks bar in Firefox*
You can then close the Bookmark manager.
If the Bookmarks bar is not shown click View > Toolbars > Bookmark Bar.
Many other websites such as BBC news and the Guardian have RSS feeds that you can subscribe to in order to get automatic news so keep your eye out for the Orange RSS feed icon on websites.
Came accross this application earlier today for putting moustaches on your photos. Quite a pointless program but great fun.
It comes with a range of premade moustaches. Here are a range of examples from my great editing skills:
The program is OS X only and you can download it from www.notdustin.com/istache.
Any staches you do post them here to look at!
Digital photography has become so easy and cheap that if you’re like me I have hundreds if not thousands of photos on my computer. While Windows offers some basic photo viewing and editing options it doesn’t really allow you to touch up your photos to make them even better. One option is Google’s free photo editing program – Picasa 2 (
). When first installed it scans either your documents folder or hard drive for pictures. This can be annoying if you have graphics in your documents folder as you then have to remove them from Picasa. Unfortunately as many pictures and photos share the same file types it is very hard to distinguish them. Picasa allows you to do all the basic photo editing fixes such as removing red eye, straightening the photo, cropping and altering the colour/contrast.
As well as these there are more advanced options for tuning the light, highlights, shadows and temperatures as well as a range of effects including sepia, black & white and tint. Editing photos is simple in Picasa, I usually use Adobe Photoshop or Macromedia Fireworks but these can be complicated especially with the range of options available for advanced users. While Photoshop gives you more control over the photo Picasa is easier for the average user.
Apart from the editing functions in Picasa, it makes a good photo viewer allowing you to zoom in and out of photos as well as setting up slideshows and timelines. Picasa is similar to iPhoto on OS X while I prefer the interface in iPhoto, Picasa is more responsive when moving through a large library. Picasa provides easy ways to share your photos as well as print them. There are also options for setting pictures as desktop and screensaver.
I found the batch operations to be very useful. With my cheap Kodak camera being able to correct the colour and contrast makes such a difference to the quality of my photos. If you don’t like any of the changes made by Picasa you can revert back to the original. Picasa will work with the majority of digital cameras and is available for Windows 2000/XP and now Linux. Overall Picasa is a feature rich program that is free and will cover all the basic needs for managing photos.
It seems myspace is in the tech news almost every week so I thought it was about time to see what the fuss was about. Unfortunately unlike many others I wont be using it to organise a mass suicide however it is quite a nice site to keep in contact with people and its "free"?.
Anyway you can check me out/add me/bug me on my appropriately named profile.
Google today launched Google Pages a free website creating tool similar to Geocities. The nice part is that the interface is really nice and simple, in a way it
Went to a talk to from Rob Hopkins from the BBC, he was talking about election night coverage and the amount of effort that goes into just the one night. Was quite interesting to see what goes into broadcasting for 13hours live and how the different parts of the show fitted together.
For some reason tonight I decided to sign up for Friends Reunited, I
Posted my first article in almost a year about making money online through Google's Adsense. It could be quite useful for anyone with a website whether its on Switchweb or not.
I have been playing around with the sites advertising all day trying to get our adverts to perform a bit better. Unfortunately ImAFish isn't cheap to run so we rely on adverts to support the site.
Areas of the site like the gallery and blogs were not built with adverts in mind thus is it hard to hack them apart and add adverts into them.
One of the adverts I have been putting on the forum is to get people to install firefox - a free web browser which is advertised as being more secure than Internet Explorer.
You will see adverts like:
The other adverts are standard Google ones, when I do some more work on ImAFish over the coming months I will try to integrate the adverts into better locations to try to make money.
We had quite a bit of success with the adverts on the blending documentary website. ImAFish gets a good number of hits a day so being able to make some money off all these hits would be good.
An example of some of the Google ads is below:
There is also a google search box on the forum now which if you use it to search then click on sponsored links we make money.
Please keep clicking adverts if there is something you fancy and install firefox through one of our links!