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For Software Addicts: Yes!MaybeNah!
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December 31st, 2006

Nisus Writer Express: A Good Word Processor, But Not For Web Work

    
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December 31st, 2006

Getting Organized and Planning Projects: Another Rich Vein of Mac OS X Software

One of the problems I have had in picking a personal information management (PIM) application has been the large degree of overlap among various related categories. For example, where does a “To-Do List” application end and a “Project Management” application begin? Or how about daily journal software and applications that organize your notes? And let’s don’t forget “sticky notes” applications, “shoebox” software, “scheduling” applications, “file storage” tools, and so on.

Truth is, a lot of these categories are slowly merging, and that’s part of what holds me up: Surely the ultimate convergence will be upon us soon, so just wait a little while longer. Yeah, right. The problem with this kind of logic is that convergence is a trend that never stops, and if you never dive in and pick something to help you manage information and/or get organized, you never will. The reason convergence keeps going is that each new software idea sparks another one. Both users and developers participate in this amazing dance, and ultimately we all end up winners. This is why I stress the importance of avoiding lock-in. Whatever you choose, try to make it one that won’t let you switch to another one in a year or two, if the avatar horse you’ve chosen peters out before the finish line. With that brief intro, I’m going to start a new series looking at a category of software commonly known as “Personal Organizers.” These differ from PIMs mainly in their strict focus on project management, with the humble “to-do” list being the foundation for all of them. In 2006, there has been a rush to market by developers wooing converts to the “Getting Things Done” approach to personal organization. GTD, as everyone seems to call it, is the brainchild of David Allen, whose website and rapidly growing “flock” come across to the unenlightened as a serious religious movement. Obviously (I think), it’s not that, but just having arrived from Mars, it looks that way to me. GTD has numerous champions in the Mac world—in particular the popular 43 Folders website, which I first came to know as a champion of Quicksilver. It turns out that 43 Folders champions Quicksilver because it’s such a useful tool in adhering to the “GTD way.” Whatever you may think about David Allen and the specifics of his GTD prescription, most busy professionals today are definitely in need of help in Getting Things Done. Whatever tool or approach helps you with that worthy goal is worth adopting, and the arrival of so many helpful personal organizer tools will hopefully help more of us “get a grip” on all the “to-do” lists we’ve got floating around in our brain. What I’m referring to as Personal Information Managers (PIMs) are more “jack-of-all-trades” in their approach, recognizing that to-do lists are one kind of information we need to manage, but so are software serial numbers, online store receipts, web bookmarks, journal notes, blog entries, and so on. I’m starting the series with a software package that could almost be considered a PIM, and in fact I almost added it to that other list this evening. But ultimately, Process by Jumsoft is a Personal Organizer. Its focus is on helping you get things done, not on helping you organize all the information you have scattered around the house or office.
    
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December 31st, 2006

iTunes Volume: An iTunes Controller That’s Louder Than It Appears

    
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December 30th, 2006

Frictionless: To-Do/Project Software with Quicksilver/Mail Integration

    
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Posted in:Software AddictTags: , |
December 28th, 2006

Slashdot: Microsoft Bribing Bloggers With Laptops

    
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Posted in:Microsoft, Monopoly DamageTags: |
December 28th, 2006

Renkoo Thinks They Don’t Need Mac Users

    
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Posted in:Ajax, PC Prejudice, Web BrowsersTags: |
December 28th, 2006

DotFiles: Freeware Service App Toggles File Visibility

    
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December 27th, 2006

UnixServices: Turn Any Unix Command Into A Mac OS X App Service

    
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December 27th, 2006

GoodPage: A New WYSIWYG HTML/CSS Editor Debuts

    
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December 27th, 2006

FlyPath: A Finder Alternative That Flies?

    
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December 26th, 2006

WebKit Team Adds New CSS Methods for Text-Stroke

    
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December 25th, 2006

Windows Vista Set To Poison HD Video?

    
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December 25th, 2006

Interesting List of 10 Web-Based Operating Systems

    
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December 25th, 2006

MacResearch Website Tutorials Cover AppleScript, Cocoa

    
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December 25th, 2006

Art Text: Easy Text Effects

    
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December 24th, 2006

Clip Show: Upgrade Your QuickTime Player… for Free!

    
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December 24th, 2006

Classic Menu: Revive the Apple Menu in Mac OS X

    
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December 24th, 2006

Questions About Adobe’s Spry Ajax Framework

    
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December 24th, 2006

QueueMemo: Stickies Attached To Applications

    
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Posted in:UncategorizedTags: , , |
December 23rd, 2006

Democracy: Podcast Client Opens Up Internet TV

    
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December 23rd, 2006

CodeTek VirtualDesktop Pro: Is This Where Virtual Desktops Actually Work?

    
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December 23rd, 2006

You Control Desktops: Will Spaces Make It Another Sherlock?

    
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December 23rd, 2006

Leopard’s Spaces: Virtual Desktops for the Rest of Us?

I’ve been intriguedVirtual Desktops by the concept of virtual desktops since encountering them in a Unix system many years ago (I think it was an SGI Irix system), and then later when I set up Linux about 5 years ago to play around with that OS firsthand. Then, a couple of years ago I saw an early build of Virtue Desktops and thought it was pretty cool. I really loved the nifty transition effects and all the desktop customization you can do with Virtue.

However, Virtue seemed pretty flaky at the time, so I looked around to see what other virtual desktop environments there were for Mac OS X. To my surprise, there were several in addition to Virtue… including some commercial implementations. After trying all the free ones (I wasn’t interested in paying for this feature, since I didn’t even know if I’d like it), I decided Virtue was the best of the bunch.

But I also decided that Virtue’s flakiness was simply adding more time to my routine rather than helping me organize my work, and I finally broke down and decided to try You Control Desktops. Now, it may be a total coincidence, but just after I installed Desktops and restarted my system, the whole OS began to flake out, and I ended up having to trash my hard drive.

Needless to say, whether that was You Desktops’ fault or just a bad hard drive kicking in, it soured me on the whole idea of virtual desktops for awhile.

Then, when Apple announced in August that one of the premier features of its forthcoming Leopard OS would be a virtual desktop system called Spaces, I thought that maybe someone would finally get this thing done right on Mac OS X. Maybe the problem has been that the implementations I’d tried just weren’t intuitive enough, or right-featured enough, to be useful to me. I even said this out loud in an article of video snippets from the WWDC keynote that I published in mid-August.

Spaces IconApple’s initiative with Spaces also made me question my previous conclusion that virtual desktops were not worth the effort. If Apple is investing the energy to bring virtual desktops to “the rest of us” someone at Apple must believe that they are a user interface enhancement that will really benefit “us.”

So, I opened my mind once again to the idea of virtual desktops. As a member of the select Apple developer group, I’ve been getting the Leopard “seeds” as they’re released, and I’ve taken the opportunity to try out Spaces along with other new features of Leopard. Given my nondisclosure agreement with Apple, I’m not going to say anything about Spaces that isn’t revealed in Apple’s own presentation of it on the Leopard website. Instead, I’m going to spend a few minutes sharing my impressions of virtual desktops in general and of four other specific VD applications that are already available for Mac OS X:

At the outset, I’ll confess that my note-taking for this exercise wasn’t as rigorous as usual… I didn’t test for the same set of features in each application. Unfortunately, I can’t go back now and refresh my memory for the commercial products, because their demo licenses have expired. The reason for my relatively sloppy approach probably reflects my renewed conviction, after thoroughly testing Spaces, that for most computer users, virtual desktops are a waste of time and effort. Simply put, they’re an idea whose time has passed.

That’s a pretty harsh judgment, I realize, and one likely to make a good number of fellow geeks stop reading right here. After all, some users of virtual desktops feel strongly that they are highly valuable and necessary—for them. And I suspect that’s true. Given the probability for misunderstanding when expressing an opinion on a topic like this, I want to begin by exploring why virtual desktops arose in the first place and what benefits users get (or believe they get) from them. I also want to explore the expectations users have of virtual desktops like Spaces, in the very likely event that they’ve never actually used such a system themselves.

    
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December 23rd, 2006

Virtue Desktops: A Terrific Open-Source Virtual Desktop Manager

    
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December 23rd, 2006

PhotoStickies: Show Pictures or Movies on Your Desktop

    
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December 22nd, 2006

ASM: Single Application Mode in a Menubar Switcher

    
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December 20th, 2006

Listz: Manage Personal Information Through Lists

    
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December 19th, 2006

Onlife: Automatically Stores and Indexes Your Daily Activities and Content

    
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December 19th, 2006

Dockless: Make Dock Apps Go “Poof!”

    
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December 19th, 2006

Jer’s Novel Writer: Word Processing for the Creative Writer

    
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December 19th, 2006

Time To Learn More About Microformats!

    
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December 18th, 2006

Creammonkey: Greasemonkey for Safari Slowly Gaining Traction

    
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December 18th, 2006

Actiontastic: Another GTD Tool with Quicksilver Integration

    
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December 17th, 2006

PodStat: MenuBar Item for Your iPod

    
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December 17th, 2006

NuFile: Freeware Adds “New File” Context Menu Item

    
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December 17th, 2006

PulpMotion: Blending Slideshows, Movies, and Animations

    
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December 17th, 2006

Don’t Miss David Pogue’s Satirical Video About Windows Vista

    
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December 17th, 2006

Ulysses: Not Really A Text Editor, Or…

    
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December 17th, 2006

WriteRoom: If TextEdit Were Full Screen and A Standard Cocoa Feature

    
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December 17th, 2006

SlingShot: Publish/Subscribe Tool Syncs Multiple Macs

    
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December 16th, 2006

KeyBindingsEditor: Freeware GUI for Managing Cocoa Keyboard Shortcuts

    
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December 16th, 2006

Audio Companion: Audio Recorder Designed for Vinyl Lovers

    
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December 16th, 2006

Scrivener: A PIM With A Focus on Writing

    
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December 15th, 2006

Selling Vista: Computerworld Makes This OS X Copy Sound Like Microsoft’s Idea

    
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December 15th, 2006

Computerworld Finds Picky Faults With Mac OS X

    
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December 14th, 2006

Groboto: Pure 3D Creativity!

    
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December 12th, 2006

MPFreaker: More Control of Your MP3 Tags, Lyrics, and Artwork

    
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December 12th, 2006

Disk Order: Another “Finder Killer” Bites The Dust

    
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December 12th, 2006

Firebug Lite: Simulate Firebug Calls in Opera and Safari

    
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December 12th, 2006

Mounty: A Really Fast Disk Mounter

    
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December 12th, 2006

Windows Expert Calls His Transition To Mac OS X “Superb”

    
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December 12th, 2006

Microsoft’s Windows Chief Allchin “Would Buy a Mac”

    
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December 12th, 2006

TextParrot: Listen to or Record Text with New, Affordable Computer Voices

    
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December 12th, 2006

Dragster: Drag/Drop File Transfer Docklet

    
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December 11th, 2006

ClipEdit: Freeware Editor for Text and Image Clippings

    
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December 10th, 2006

AppStalker: Keep Critical Processes on the Job

    
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December 10th, 2006

RadicalSqueeze: Free Zipware Does Basics Only

    
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December 10th, 2006

Process: Project Management, Tiger Style

    
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December 10th, 2006

ToDo: A Pair of Dueling To-Do List Apps

    
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December 10th, 2006

CalendarCreator Service: Add Events and To-Do’s to iCal

    
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December 9th, 2006

True Confessions of a Mac Software Addict

Hello, my name is LelandSoftware Addiction Can Enrapture! Scott, and I am a software addict. Put me in front of a cool-looking website with cool-looking software to download, and I’ll use my hefty Verizon FIOS bandwidth to have that sucker on my hard drive almost before Safari has a chance to warn me that the download might contain an application.

This didn’t used to be a serious problem… it was just a harmless pastime. But in recent years, Mac OS X software has been on a major growth spurt. Each year the problem gets worse. There’s a Windows user I know who has a similar problem, and I really don’t know how he copes. He developed a cool website to publish his thoughts and let the world know of his favorite Windows applications, called The Great Software List. He’s been doing this for years, and it shows: The site is well organized, and he clearly explains his standards for great software and why he’s chosen the ones he has. The author has 184 Windows applications on the list… these are the apps that have earned his highest 5-star rating.

When I think about how many mediocre Windows apps he has to wade through to find these gems, my head spins. Keeping up with the onslaught of Windows software releases has to be a more-than-full-time job. I’m assuming there are probably at least 5 Windows apps released for every Mac app these days… That’s purely a guess, and it’s designed to be on the low side of the assumed Mac-market-share-based hypothesis. I would go absolutely bonkers if I tried to download and demo any more software than I already do, which is simply overwhelming nowadays. I wonder if worries about viruses, spyware, and other malware keeps my Windows counterpart’s download addiction under some control? Maybe so…

    
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Posted in:Reviews, Software MusingsTags: |
December 9th, 2006

Edgies: Super-Stickies on the Edge of Your Screen

    
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December 8th, 2006

Finder Window Manager: Perfect Gift for the Mac Control Freaks on Your List

    
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December 8th, 2006

Docktop: A Customizable Launcher Embedded on Your Desktop

    
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December 7th, 2006

QuickEffect: A New Freeware Core Image Effects Tool

    
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December 7th, 2006

DrawIt: Cool New Drawing Program for Mac in Beta Test

    
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December 7th, 2006

WeatherSnitch: A Weather Menubar App That Growls!

    
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December 7th, 2006

Background Gradiants with CSS

    
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December 7th, 2006

PhotoPresenter: This Amazing SlideShow App Also Builds Quartz Compositions

    
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December 7th, 2006

Rage WebDesign: A Complex, Powerful, and Daunting HTML Editor

    
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December 6th, 2006

Daily vX: FileMaker-Built Journal Takes Some Getting Used To

    
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December 6th, 2006

ZDNet Blogger Finds Apple Pro Laptop Cheaper Than Dell

    
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December 6th, 2006

Changes Meter: Freeware Monitors Hard Drive or Web Pages for Updates

    
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December 6th, 2006

MacGizmo: An Excellent Finder Preview While We Wait for Leopard’s “QuickLook”

    
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December 5th, 2006

Apple Publishes New “How-To” for Manipulating Quartz Compositions with JavaScript

    
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December 5th, 2006

Ghost Action: Yet Another GTD Tool Debuts

    
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December 5th, 2006

Midnight Inbox: Is New GTD To-Do List Manager Up To the Task?

    
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December 5th, 2006

Stapler: A Barely Functional To-Do List

    
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December 5th, 2006

Contrepoint: A Unique, Rails-Like Way To Build Static Websites

    
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December 5th, 2006

Protopage Adds Support for Safari

    
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December 5th, 2006

Google Sitemap Automator: Easily Create Sitemaps To Optimize Googlebot’s Site Crawling

    
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December 5th, 2006

EasyTask Manager: A New GTD App Raises the Bar on “To-Do” Lists

    
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December 5th, 2006

AudioSlicer: Split Your MP3 Files For Free

    
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December 5th, 2006

UltraMixer: Pro DJ Mixing Has Free Edition

    
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December 4th, 2006

krix: A visual music browser for Mac OS X

    
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December 4th, 2006

GimmeSomeTune: Highly Rated iTunes Freeware Fails To Impress

    
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December 3rd, 2006

Ivy: Yet Another iTunes Controller, With Search

    
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December 3rd, 2006

QuickTunes: Another Cool Freeware iTunes Assistant

    
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December 2nd, 2006

Is OmniGroup’s OmniFocus Vaporware?

    
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December 2nd, 2006

Cycling ‘74: An Amazing Non-Company And Its Amazing Creative Toolsets

    
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December 1st, 2006

ScreenSend: A Reliable Method of Screen-Sharing!

    
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December 1st, 2006

ThemePark Becomes Freeware, Adds Support for Intel Macs

    
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November 30th, 2006

Menufela: Haxie To Autohide Your Menubar

    
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November 29th, 2006

A Solution To Washed-Out h264 Video Exports

    
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November 29th, 2006

Constrictor: Not Just The Same Old Screen Captures

    
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November 29th, 2006

Finally! Someone Has Extended Prototype To Add A Scrollwheel Event Handler!

    
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November 29th, 2006

Measles: Why Shouldn’t Your CPU Monitor Be Fun?

    
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November 28th, 2006

Joomla! Gathers Steam as a Leading Open-Source CMS

    
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November 28th, 2006

One Finger Snap: Most Useful To Single-Button Mice Holdouts

    
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November 28th, 2006

EagleFiler: Gather All Your Information In An Organized File Cabinet

    
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November 28th, 2006

Posterino: Make Cool Life Posters and Postcards

    
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November 28th, 2006

Snippet Mind: Organize and Layout Your Diary

    
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November 28th, 2006

CNET’s Clientside Group Posts Mootools Primer/Tutorial

    
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November 28th, 2006

Smart Scroll X: Put Your Scrollwheel on Steroids!

    
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November 28th, 2006

One More Reason Why Discerning Mac Users Choose Safari Over Firefox

    
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November 28th, 2006

What If Growl Displays Were Just Little Web Pages?

If you’re a Mac user who’s GlassCandy Growl Artwandered in to this article and don’t know what Growl is yet, you might want to stop by that essential open-source project’s home page to get acquainted. Once your Mac starts Growling, you’ll understand how fitting it is that Apple’s naming all their OS X releases after large cats. :-)

If you’re a Windows user, you’re still welcome to read up on Growl and why it’s become a standard component of so many Mac users’ desktops even though it’s still only at version 0.7.4. If you find Growl cool, too, you know what to do.

This article isn’t about Growl, though. It’s about Growl displays—the part of Growl you actually see when an event occurs you’ve asked to be notified about. You see, like many other cool apps nowadays (Adium, Synergy, Menuet, etc.), Growl is “skinnable.” Part of the fun—and the utility—of Growl is that users can customize the appearance of different kinds of alerts. In fact, Growl provides you with an astonishing degree of control over your customizing, and this flexibility is one of Growl’s coolest aspects. Using the Growl Preference Pane, you can:

With so many options, it’s no wonder that Growl users collect Growl styles like some Mac users collect system icons or desktop pictures!

Growl notifications can take several forms: Email, speech (using the Mac’s built-in vocal chords), or visual displays. The visual display types are roughly broken down into two kinds:

  1. Displays you build with AppleScript or xCode (those with the extension .growlView), and
  2. Displays that are basically just little web pages (those with the extension .growlStyle).

It’s the latter type I want to briefly shout about today.

    
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November 27th, 2006

NetFixer: Freeware Captures Whole Web Pages in One Shot

    
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November 27th, 2006

Perian: Free Plugin Expands QuickTime’s Range

    
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November 27th, 2006

iWebSites: Freeware Lets iWeb Create Multiple Sites, Separately

    
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November 25th, 2006

Ubercaster: The Final Word in Mac OS X Podcast Tools?

    
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November 25th, 2006

Weather Channel Widget: It’s A Must To Avoid

    
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November 25th, 2006

Prado PHP Framework: An Ajax-Powered Framework for PHP5

    
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November 24th, 2006

Script.aculo.us 1.7 Beta Adds Morphing To Effects Library

    
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November 24th, 2006

Ajax Framework Qooxdoo 0.6.2 Adds Support for WebKit/Safari 3.0

    
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November 24th, 2006

Lollygag Takes On Atlas as a .NET Ajax Framework

    
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November 24th, 2006

QT Bridge: QuickTime Resource Warehouse (in French)

    
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November 24th, 2006

STAMPot: Cool Utility ‘Stamps’ QuickTime Movies on Web Pages

    
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November 24th, 2006

Google Web Toolkit Now Supports Safari/WebKit

    
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Posted in:Ajax, JavaScript, Safari & WebKitTags: , |
November 24th, 2006

PAGEot: Freeware QuickTime Tool Helps Embed QT Files into HTML

    
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November 21st, 2006

MediaRage: Swiss Army Knife for Your Digital Libraries

    
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November 21st, 2006

Streampad developer adds Ajax page history support for Safari

    
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November 20th, 2006

iTunes Statistician: Get Data on Your Music Collection

    
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November 18th, 2006

iFinance: Easily Track Your Finances on Mac OS X

    
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November 18th, 2006

NoteMind: Mind-Mapping Meets Personal Information Management

    
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November 18th, 2006

Apple Publishes Developer Tips for Testing the Nightly WebKit Builds

    
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November 17th, 2006

Ballmer: Linux Users Owe Microsoft Millions

    
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November 17th, 2006

MacSlash | Why Are Macs More Secure?

    
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November 17th, 2006

LinkABoo: Bookmark and Link to Individual Mail Messages

    
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Posted in:Software AddictTags: , |
November 17th, 2006

Cast Life: A Stylish “Easy Podcast” Maker

    
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November 17th, 2006

Podcaster: Easy Tool for Making Podcasts

    
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November 17th, 2006

Ten Ways To Make a Podcast, Plus One

Old Classic 45s Jukebox Feed in iTunes SearchIn August 2005, I was all pumped up to make my first podcast, and the webosphere was full of great advice, new tools, and lots of encouragement from Mac zines and blogs. I was particularly excited to put together an "enhanced" podcast using the new iTunes extensions Apple had released earlier that summer. With enhanced podcasts, you can embed "chapters" into a single audio file, and mark each chapter with text and images. That way, when the podcast plays in your iPod or in iTunes, the text forms a set of hyperlinks so the user can hop from one part of the podcast to another, while your chapter pictures help set the mood. This was a great new publishing medium, and obviously publishers all around the world were excited to adapt their ideas to it.

The podcast tool market was still in its infancy a year ago, but already there were quite a few choices. There were fewer choices for doing enhanced podcasts, but I had no trouble finding a good piece of freeware for my experiment: ChapterToolMe was awkwardly named but easy to use, and in no time I had a podcast to submit to the iTunes music store.

The aim of my podcast experiment was to publish the latest mp3 snippets added to the Classic 45's "Jukebox," and I planned to include a brief, spoken narrative about each 45 rpm record. I used Soundtrack Pro to assemble the audio file, and that was the time-consuming part. Stringing the mp3 bits together didn't take too long, but getting the narrative just right did. After doing one, I decided I simply wouldn't have time to make a series out of this, and my life moved on to other creative endeavors. (To my surprise, I see that my original podcast is still in the iTunes inventory... you can find it by searching for "Classic 45s Jukebox" or perhaps trying this URL.)

A few months ago, I finally sat down and adapted my PHP script that updates the regular RSS feed for Classic 45's to create a new feed just for jukebox items, including an enclosure tag for the mp3 files. Then the project lay dormant until last week, when a possible method of automating the podcast process suddenly hit me.

New Classic 45s Jukebox Feed in iTunes ListRather than putting together one big audio file, with recorded narration, and then dividing it into chapters using an enhanced podcast tool, I could just release each mp3 file as a separate episode. Each episode could include the text narration and facts about the record, plus the label or sleeve scan I normally include on the site. I wasn't totally sure this would work, but it seemed worth testing. If it worked, I could release a podcast without eating away up any more of my precious spare time. When I pointed Safari to the mp3 feed I'd made earlier, it loaded the "podcast" right up, displaying the HTML and image content along with a link to the enclosed mp3 file for the last 36 jukebox items. I then went to iTunes and entered the feed URL as a new Podcast subscription, and lo and behold, iTunes also loaded the feed, even providing little Get buttons for subscribers to download each episode they want.

So, the concept seemed sound, and the next step seemed to be a tools review. Was there some cool new application that would help me with the project? Perhaps there were new capabilities of the podcast specification that I could leverage. Thus, the usual sequence of my life played out again: One project led to another! :-)

    
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November 17th, 2006

Vodcaster: Freeware Tool Makes Podcasts and Vodcasts

    
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Posted in:Software AddictTags: , |
November 17th, 2006

Universal Music Group CEO Calls Non-Zune Owners “Thieves”

    
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November 17th, 2006

ProfCast: Turns Presentations into Podcasts

    
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November 16th, 2006

SimpleMovieX: Alternative to QuickTime Pro for Movie Editing

    
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November 15th, 2006

Flip4Mac WMV Player: Bend Windows Media To Your Will!

    
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November 15th, 2006

AppleInsider: Zune Not Playing Nicely With Vista

    
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November 15th, 2006

Zune’s Debut Spoiled by a Brief Shuffle on CNN

    
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November 15th, 2006

Les Posen Takes A Well Deserved Swipe at Powerpoint

    
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Posted in:MS WindowsTags: , |
November 15th, 2006

Disco: A Smoking Disk Burner for the Mac

    
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November 14th, 2006

HyperEdit: A PHP and HTML Editor with Live Previews

    
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November 14th, 2006

iStat: Pretty Cool System Monitoring Freeware

    
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November 14th, 2006

Run: Yet Another Prototype-Based Animation Framework Enters the Race

    
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November 12th, 2006

Apple’s Technical Specifications for iTunes Podcasts (RSS)

    
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November 12th, 2006

PhotoLine 32: Can Ugly Software Make Beautiful Images?

    
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November 12th, 2006

All About LAME - History, Recommended Settings, Versions, and More

    
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November 12th, 2006

Inquisitor: Instant, Expanded Search for Safari

    
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November 12th, 2006

Life2Go: Turn Your iPod Into A PDA

    
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November 11th, 2006

ImageBrowser: Freeware Image Management Tool

    
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November 11th, 2006

Can We Resume The Antitrust Trial Against Microsoft Now, Please?

    
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November 10th, 2006

JavaScript Publisher Host Class: Deliver Objects To The Right Subscribers!

    
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November 10th, 2006

Widgets 1.0: W3C Drafts A Widget Spec

    
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Posted in:JavaScript, Open Standards, WidgetsTags: |
November 10th, 2006

Desktop Transporter: Remote Desktop Client Now A Devon Product

    
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November 9th, 2006

Adobe Open Sources the ActionScript JavaScript Engine

    
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Posted in:JavaScript, Web BrowsersTags: |
November 9th, 2006

An About-Face by Microsoft with Atlas?

    
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November 9th, 2006

MochiKit.Animator: An alternative to Moo and Script.aculo.us

    
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November 9th, 2006

NoteBook: A Popular, Innovative Notebook-Style Information Manager

    
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November 9th, 2006

Dossier: Another Full-Fledged Personal Info Manager for Mac OS X

    
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November 9th, 2006

Memoir: A Notebook-Style Information Manager

    
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November 8th, 2006

Texter: A New Kind of Word Processor Debuts

    
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November 8th, 2006

ScreenShot Plus: A Small Step Up From Built-In Screen Capture

    
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November 8th, 2006

iCash: A Cross-Platform Money Manager Worth Trying

    
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November 7th, 2006

Did You Know Zune Does Not “Play For Sure”?

    
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November 7th, 2006

Money: New Version of Jumsoft’s Money Worth A Look

    
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November 6th, 2006

Fidelity Market Monitor Widget: The Best Stock Market Widget Bar None

    
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November 5th, 2006

iData 2: A Different Approach To Personal Information Management

    
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November 5th, 2006

SOHO Notes: Multiuser Sticky Brain Replaces Baby Brother

    
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November 5th, 2006

Journler: Highly Rated Freeware Notebook Supports Multimedia Too  

    
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November 5th, 2006

Mori: Another Personal Knowledge Management Tool

    
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November 3rd, 2006

Dabble DB: A New Web 2.0 Data App That Goes Beyond Spreadsheets

    
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November 3rd, 2006

ShutterBug: An Easy Way To Build Web Sites

    
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November 2nd, 2006

QPict: A Powerful, Affordable Digital Asset Manager

    
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November 1st, 2006

Bitmap Layout Helper: Quickly Measure and Capture Image Area Coordinates

    
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October 31st, 2006

Adobe Chooses WebKit for Its Apollo Project

    
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Posted in:Apple, Safari & WebKitTags: , |
October 31st, 2006

Inquisitor 3 for Safari Is Now Freeware

    
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October 30th, 2006

Dimensionizer: Contextual Menu For Sizing Images

    
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Posted in:Software AddictTags: , |
October 30th, 2006

Stattoo: An Alternative Dock for Information Feeds

    
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October 30th, 2006

Max: Create High-Quality Audio Files from CDs or Files

    
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October 30th, 2006

ClickPix: Create Your Own Desktop Pictures from Photos and Images

    
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October 30th, 2006

Video2Go: Another iPod-Video Conversion Tool

    
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October 29th, 2006

Jumpcut: Minimalist Clipboard Buffering for OS X

    
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October 29th, 2006

Amnesty Singles: Convert Dashboard Widgets for Desktop Use

    
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October 29th, 2006

Cooliris: Preview Links Without Clicking

    
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October 29th, 2006

How Many Firefox Extensions Does It Take To Make One SafariStand?

The title of this Many plugins built into SafariStandarticle is deliberately provocative: I don't know the answer to the question, and I don't really care. But having been there with Firefox many times, all I can say is that Safari plugins like SafariStand make me grateful that I don't have to find out. I've found it much easier to utilize and keep track of one plugin rather than keeping, say, six or more in sync and up-to-date.

Our culture is generally dominated by a "more is More" attitude, so that the browser with the most plugins is believed by definition to be the best horse to bet on. This is the same argument some Windows users have made for years with respect to their choice of operating system: I want to use the computer that has the most software to choose from. This argument is proven empty when you actually sit down and compare the quality of Mac software in a given functional category versus that of Windows software (don't take my word for it: Actually do it yourself sometime), and that emptiness carries over to the issue of browser plugins. Certainly, there are some software categories that you legitimately need access to a Windows PC for. But if you notice, nearly all such categories cover business, rather than personal, requirements, and they're for very narrow fields of interest indeed. The only personal software category where the Mac actually lags Windows is gaming, and I predict that the gap in gaming titles won't be nearly so large a year or two from now as it is today.

As far as the supposed dearth of plugins for Safari in comparison with Firefox, SafariStand is an excellent case-in-point. There are other excellent multifunction Safari plugins (Saft, PithHelmet, Safari Extender, for example), but I'm highlighting SafariStand because it's not only great, but also free. After all, if a Safari user finds they are starting to buy plugins, they really should consider paying for a browser that has dozens of plugins already built in, like OmniWeb. Being the cheapskate I am, I like free things, and SafariStand is one of my favorite freebies for Safari. Besides, most Firefox plugins are free, so it seems only fair to restrict this plugins conversation to those that Safari users can add without paying extra.

SafariStand Main MenuIn this article, I'm going to focus on just a couple of the best bits from the latest SafariStand beta, which are just too wonderful to remain obscure from the Safari-loving hordes. But very briefly, here is a list of the main functions that SafariStand adds to Safari. To gather these functions into Firefox would require the gathering of a half-dozen or more separate plugins, each of which would have to be authorized and kept up to date, etc.

  1. Option to restore your last workspace, or any of the pages you had open, on launch.
  2. Add sidebar with thumbnail tabs.
  3. Customize search engines available in the standard Google search form.
  4. Automate "find" function without having to type Cmd-F.
  5. Add color labels to your bookmarks.
  6. Enable site alteration, customizing allowable plugins, images, JavaScript, style sheets, and more for any website.
  7. Colorize the HTML source window, and make it editable.
  8. Reorder tabs in a window (this is a native feature of Firefox and will be one in Safari 3.0).
  9. Use the "Stand Bar", a floating palette with searchable bookmarks and history, as well as customizable SafariStand folders and RSS feeds.
  10. Configure your "Bookmark Shelf," a floating palette that lets you build and access saved "workspaces," which are lists of sites you open up in a browser session and want to save for later use.
  11. Access one of the best "Page Info" stores now available for any browser.
  12. For any site you're visiting, easily see a list of all the cookies the site has set, examine their contents, and/or delete one or more of them.
    
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October 29th, 2006

WriteInOne: Multi-Document Text Editor Tries To Speak Many Languages

    
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Posted in:Software AddictTags: , |
October 27th, 2006

Photo Desktop: Nifty freeware puts pictures on your desktop

    
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October 27th, 2006

SOAP Client: Get Out There And Find Web Services!

    
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