Found an awesome video converter!

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I've found an awesome video file converter called RiverPast Video Cleaner Pro that'll let me convert files from the standard Motion JPEG AVI format that our digital camera uses into tiny MPEG-4 that I can easily redistribute online. This paves the way for me to put our years of video footage online for you all to download, without having to take forever to do so or use up all of our web space.

It has two really cool features that I like. Firstly you can add a whole bunch of files to its list to process at once, secondly you can set it to store the new files where the original ones came from. Putting these two together I was able to queue up 400+ files to be converted, hit the convert button and continue on with my work while it churned away. Simply awesome!

Horde is awesome!

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I just wanted to say that the personal information manager (PIM) Horde is awesome! I set it up for use at mc-kenna.com and after a little fiddling it is working great! Lovely work!

Useful plugins for Mozilla Thunderbird (email client) (UPDATED)

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We use the program Mozilla Thundebird for doing all our email. Its pretty easy to use, reliable and does what we want. One of the best things about it is that people around the world have written lots of plugins for it to make it that little bit better. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Enigmail gives you an easy way to encrypt outgoing decrypt incoming messages. You need GnuPG or PGP to use it.
  • Bork Bork Bork! changes your messages to read like the Swedish Chef from The Muppets :-)
  • CompactFolder adds a toolbar button to compact the open mailbox. Very useful.
  • Contacts Sidebar is something I wish Thunderbird had built in, but now I can have it anyway. It shows your addressbook under the mailboxes sidebar for easy access. Simply wonderful!
  • Easy Get Mail Button adds a "Get Mail" button to your toolbar that only fetches mail for the account you've selected - handle if you've got oodles of accounts (like we do).
  • Display Mailing List Header adds an extra row to the message header with links to subscribing / unsubscribing from email mailing lists.
  • Leet Key is kinda like Bork Bork Bork only lets you convert text (either what you write or read) to l337 5p3@k, morse code, etc.
  • MailTagger adds smileys to your messages, what more do I have to say? :)
  • Move Search Items moves the Find and Search fields into the toolbar or titlebar to save screen space.
  • Quote Colors lets you change the colors displayed for different levels of quoting (i.e. for replies to replies).
  • Text Size Toolbar adds a very simple feature missing from Thunderbird - you can now easily select the text size !
  • Timestamp simply adds the date & time to a message you are writing.
  • View Headers Toggle Button lets you easily select between showing the summary headers or all headers.

Here are some others that look good:

  • AddressContext adds extra menu items to context menus. I haven't tried this one yet.
  • Attachment Extractor simplifies saving out attachments from multiple messages at once. Could be useful.
  • MessageFaces lets you view avatars that some people add to their emails.

Custom made t-shirts, mugs, you name it!

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There's a company out there that lets you sell everything from clothes to postcards to posters to mugs and mouse-mats with a picture of your choice. All you have to do is upload a picture to them, say which products you want and how much mark-up, and they'll do all of the hard work. And the cost to you? Zilch! Zero! Nothing! What's more, once a month they send you a check with your portion of the income, e.g. if the base price on something is $10 and you sell it for $12 they'll send you $2 for each sale! Pretty awesome if you ask me.

One nice thing for security-conscious folks is that they have an option when you are setting up your shop to make it private, which hides it from website search engines and directories - not completely secure but not too bad either.

I finished Luxor!

Over the past several weeks Jen and I have been playing a came called Luxor after being introduced to it by Jen's sister. Its a really fun puzzle game where you have to match up spheres before they reach your temple.. blah blah. It starts off pretty slow and an average computer user (someone who's pretty good with the mouse) could get fairly far with it with a little patience. Some of the later levels, however, are a real pain, some of them I had to re-do six or eight times, but in the end I manage to finish it, with Jen's help. Oddly enough I kinda found the very last level easier than one or two of the others, but between good luck, good timing and Jen calling "green, left" at appropriate times, I was able to get through it on my third try. Yeehaw!

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