Gadgets Media

Lifehacker Photo Roundup

We just got a new (inexpensive) digital camera, the Kodak EasyShare C613. Er, except ours is pink. Hey, it was the only one in stock and we wanted it before we went to the hospital. :P As I was already searching Lifehacker for half-remembered photo editing/managing links I thought I would share them with you. You are welcome.

Namexif – allows you to rename all of your photos based on the date they were taken. Handy if you have a bunch of pictures off varying digital cameras with the ever-so-helpful names IMG00145.jpg and so on. Picasa can do this as well, if you highlight multiple photos and press F2, but this is great for non-Picasa users. May have mentioned this before.

What’s Its Color? – you can upload or link to a photo, and it will tell you what colors are complementary as well as the most common visually unique colors. Great if you are trying to figure out a color scheme based on a logo or picture.

Photoshop Express – like Picnik before it, a basic web-based photo editor. I might still like Picnik better but both are very handy if you are at a friend’s house or otherwise away from your software and need to do some basic retouching.

Make OpenOffice Work Better with Word

I’ve used OpenOffice on occasion, and am quite happy with the features it has as far as word processing go. However, conversions back and forth to Word can be spotty. Cnet has an article about how to make OpenOffice play nice with Word docs. Won’t make it perfect, but some of the changes will definitely improve your chances of getting the docs exchanged with minimal formatting impact. Spotted at Lifehacker.

Batch Rename Digital Photos by Date

Lifehacker posted a note about Namexif, a quick and dirty tool to rename your digicam photos based on EXIF date info. It’s a feature that you can get via other means (Irfanview and Picasa have ways to do it) buf if you don’t use either of those, you can try this. The comments on that post have a bunch more options, too.

Lifehack Your Leopard Mac

I know I have at least a few Mac readers based on my site stats, so this one’s for you. Lifehacker has a conglomeration of tweaks for Mac OS X Leopard, from killing the reflectivity and transparency of the Dock, to customizing Quick Look and Time Machine. Take a look, they may have a solution if there are any annoyances you have with your new OS.

Life Media

Google Search Tricks

You may know some of these already, but Lifehacker has a handy guide for getting more than just your normal search results from Google. Since many of us have Google as our homepages (or use the Google toolbar), it’s a quick and easy way to find out when a movie is playing, check the weather, or check the status of a flight among other things.

Lifehacker: Update Windows, Linux Style

Appupdater is a executable that lets you run command line updates for a wide range of applications, going as far back as Windows 98. If you have used the apt or yum package management available in many Linux distros, it works in much the same way. Looks like it could be a real help to those of us who are a bit forgetful about making sure our software is fully up to date.

Lifehacker's Guide To Free Software And Webapps

Lifehacker has a roundup for 2007 Free Software and Webapps they have featured (and like). Where applicable, they have linked to many of the guides and screenshot tours of the various apps. As usual, anything missed is pointed out in the comments. Some very useful stuff I need to check out.


Sprint Steps Up (after a bit of coercion)

So, my wife was paying our Sprint bill the other day for our cellphones, but on the page to submit the payment, got an error. Unbeknownst to her, it went ahead and processed the payment with the account info that was on the page, but we had wanted to change the account it pulled from first. The end result was 2 charges, one to a near empty account, and one to the right one. She called their ‘customer support’ immediately in hopes they could reverse or block that additional charge. No dice. Basically gave us the ol’ eff you, thanks for the credit which we will hold onto until your next bill. Jen escalated it up the chain, speaking with someone on the financial department who reiterated all that, with the added bonus of being exceedingly rude.

Frequent readers here know I check out some of Gawker Media’s blogs (mostly Gizmodo and Lifehacker). I encountered (and blogged about) the Consumerist’s guide to fighting back against Corporate America. I knew Sprint had info in their list of executives, so I mailed a few of them (the ones with titles most likely to help in a situation like this) on Monday. Today, the payment is not only returned to us, but sent straight back into the bank account! Which the phone monkeys had claimed was not possible for them to do. GG Sprint for taking your medicine and keeping a customer, I didn’t want to have to cancel with them as their service in this area has been light-years better than some of the other companies we’ve tried. And thanks to the Consumerist.


Lifehacker: Open Clamshell Packaging With Your Can Opener

It’s that time of year again, the one where you will be screaming in frustration and pain as you struggle to get into that new mp3 player or flash memory for your camera, thanks to those horrible plastic clamshell packages. A Lifehacker reader decided to try out his manual can opener on it, and claims that it works like a charm. I am definitely giving that a try this Christmas.


I was surfing Lifehacker again, and found the link to VectorMagic, and online tool for taking your bitmap images and vectorizing them. It works very well, taking in .jpg, .bmp, .gif, .png and .tiff and giving back .eps, .svg or .png. I’m having a ball uploading various pictures and things and seeing what the output looks like.

Lifehacker: First Look at Firefox 3.0

Lifehacker has a preview of the latest beta build of Firefox 3.0. They have updated bookmarking with STARS, saved searches, as well as the typical design updates you get with a new version.


Lifehacker's Top 10 Video Rippers, Encoders and Converters

Lifehacker has posted a Top 10 list for Video ripping, encoding and converting. Mostly freeware and open source software, some of which work for Linux and Mac along with Windows. If you wanted some new software to convert your pr0n–er, instructional videos to a format that fits on your iPod or PSP, take a look.