Productive Convergence of Technology and Life

Tending to contribute to, encourage, or bring about an enjoyable technically enhanced life.

Archive for the ‘Mac’ Category

Automatically Blog Your Life with SWURL

Posted by conducivetechnology on July 5, 2008

If you are like most people you find yourself managing multiple blogs and social networking site then SWURL is here to help provide a one place stop for your readers.  Swurl is FREE and supports the following site integration:

What’s nice is that Swurl will retroactively seek out all your old posts and filter them in.  Each post is set up by your day of activity, so if you didn’t add anything to any of these services there simply won’t be a post. One of the most usable features is you can also view your entire stream of activity in a large calendar, called a “timeline.”
An easy yet highly customizable feature is that it allows you to drop your own custom css to tweak the colors, style and look of your SWURL.

Post a link to your Swurl below and tell us how you like it.


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More Firefox 3 Hacks & Must Have Add-Ons

Posted by conducivetechnology on July 1, 2008

Previously we covered how you can turn on Firefox’s advanced color profile support through the about:config settings page.  I’m sure you were tempted to take a look at what other “hacks” could be performed.  Here are some more options you may want to play with in the about:config settings page.  Also we have listed our top favorite Firefox 3 updated extensions.

Don’t remember how to get there?  Visit our previous post

  • To auto Complete URL while typing in the address Bar
  • To set the number of auto complete URL in the address bar
    browser.urlbar.maxRichResults = #
    (# indicates the number of auto complete URLs shown. The default is 12)
  • To disabler Browser Toolbar Tip = False
  • To paste copied content by clicking the center button on the mouse
    middlemouse.paste = True
  • To disable blinking text
    browser.blink_allowed = False
  • To create a single close button to for all Firefox Opened Tabs
    browser.tabs.closeButtons = 3
  • To increase number of recently closed tabs
  • Right click view source in your editor
    view_source.editor.path= Path of Editor
  • To enable fast scrolling across tabs
    toolkit.scrollbox.scrollIncrement =75
  • To stop displaying website icon in address bar and on the tabs = False
  • To enable spell check in text fields
    layout.spellcheckDefault = 2
  • To speed up the browser
    network.http.max-connections 30 to 96
    network.http.max-connections-per-server 15 to 32
    network.http.max-persistent-connections-per-server 6 to 8
    network.http.pipelining false to true
    network.http.proxy.pipelining false to true
    network.http.pipelining.maxrequests 30 to 8
    network.http.pipelining.ssl false to true
    network.http.proxy.pipelining false to true
  • To disable annoying browser behavior
    Change the following values to ‘false’
  • To show more tabs on single window
    browser.tabs.tabMinWidth = 75

You can find more technical details about the about:config settings at Mozillazine


Colorful Tabs
Makes Tab Viewing even simpler if that is possible.  Tabs will be displayed in different colors for your viewing pleasure.

One of the greatest download manager extensions available.

Better Gmail 2
Add useful extra features and skins to Gmail, like hierarchical labels, macros, signatures, file attachment icons, and more.

This is one of my favorite features ported over from Opera into Firefox with this great add-on.  Fast access to your favorite sites through thumbnails, like Opera Speed Dial.  Fast Dial replaces “about:blank” page with a panel of thumbnails of your favorite sites. Click on an empty cell, assign a site URL, click OK – a thumbnail will be generated for a site. You can also add sites opened in browser or existing bookmarks by right-clicking them and choosing “Add to Fast Dial” from context menu.

Flagfox shows a flag icon in the status bar indicating the current website’s server location.  Provides quick access to information about the country of origin, as well as the ability to lookup the site’s registrant via Whois.

Never be annoyed by a Flash animation again! Blocks Flash so it won’t get in your way, but if you want to see it, just click on…

If you use Firefox on more than one computer, you’ll want Foxmarks. Install Foxmarks on each computer, and it will keep your bookmarks synchronized. You can also log in to to manage your bookmarks from any computer.

FoxyTunes lets you control almost any media player and find lyrics, covers, videos, bios and much more with a click right from your browser.

Highly customizable weather forecasts from, displayed in any toolbar or statusbar.

Google Toolbar
Gives you the ability to search Google from a toolbar, access gmail, auto fill forms and several other features.

Allows you to customize the way a webpage displays using small bits of JavaScript.
Hundreds of scripts, for a wide variety of popular sites, are already available at

This extension allows you to use your Gmail Space (4.1 GB and growing) for file storage. It acts as an online drive, so you can upload files from your hard drive and access them from the internet.  It’s great for storing/sharing files with your friends. Also very good to backup photos and music files (as you can view/listen to them from Gspace).

PDF Download
PDF Download relieves the pain experienced when encountering PDF files on the Web. Whenever you click on a PDF file, PDF Download lets you know before trying to open it, and then offers you choices such as downloading, opening, or converting it straight to HTML.

Forget your passwords! Sxipper accurately fills in forms, manages passwords and your OpenIDs.

Webmail Notifier
WebMail Notifier checks your webmail accounts and notifies the number of unread emails…
Supports : gmail, yahoo, hotmail, daum, naver, empas, nate and mor

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Little known Phone tips, fun, and hacks Part 1

Posted by conducivetechnology on June 24, 2008

Grand Central

Dream up a phone with the following features:

  • 1 number that never changes and that rings all your phones
  • Screen callers
  • Listen in on a call before picking up or listen while voice mail is being left and jump in.
  • Record calls on the fly and access online
  • Block unwanted callers
  • Email or SMS voicemail notifications
  • Have 1 number that rings different phone numbers based on whos calling
  • Personalized greetings
  • Personalized ringtones
  • Ability to have someone call you through a webpage without showing your number
  • Switch phones in the middle of a call
  • More, more, more

Grand Central which was aquired by Google is your answer and its FREE!  Still in beta if you are able to get in is well worth it allowing you ro regain the simplicity of one phone number while retaining the features you enjoy.

Magic Jack

For those still paying for landline phones I ask why oh why oh why?  One of the best VOIP (Phone through your internet) solutions is Magic Jack.  Unlike its competitors Vonage, & Sunrocket it is only $20 a year… no that wasn’t a typo its $20 a YEAR!  It is a rather clever device that offers unlimited VoIP calling over the Internet in North American for $39.95 for the first year and $19.95 for subsequent years, and includes voice mail, 911 support, caller ID and free 411 service.  The magicJack is a USB dongle about the size of a box of matches. The phone jack on its side allows a connection to regular telephone handset. Windows XP and Vista are supported, and also a beta firmware for OS X.

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Firefox 3 Better Photo Quality Hack

Posted by conducivetechnology on June 22, 2008

Firefox 3 has blazing speeds but at a price.  For you photofanatics out there you may notice that your pictures don’t look as rich as they should be.  The culprit is Firefox’s advanced color profile support.  It is not enabled by default.  If quality is more important than speed than take advantage of the hack below to enable this feature and begin browsing in rich color once again.

To enable it, type about:config in Firefox 3’s address bar.  You will see the following message below and just go ahead and click the “I’ll be careful, I promise!” button.

In the Filter field, type gfx.color_management.enabled and set that value to true (its default value is false).   You will need to restart Firefox for this to go into effect.

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Firefox 3 has been released!

Posted by conducivetechnology on June 18, 2008

I have been beta testing the new Firefox browser for a while now and have been anticipating its final release.  Even the IE team from Microsoft celebrated the day with a cake for the Mozilla team.

I have to admit that I have been quite pleased with IE7 and preferred it over Firefox 2 but I feel as though once again I will be switching favorite browsers.  I have also been beta testing IE8 as well as Opera releases but this post is a celebration meant for only one browser Mozilla Firefox 3.0  With over 3 years of testing and development the final release has finally arrived!

IE7 celebrates Firefox 3 release with a cake delivered to Mozilla team.

Here are some new features that are beneficial:

  • Speed and performance:  Firefox3 by far is alot faster than IE7.  They are using a new rendering engine that reduce memory leaks or cycles.  I am not one to believe performance graphs provided by review sites but I can personally see a difference in speed with Firefox 3.  This is of course once the browser is open.  The startup times from a cold start in Firefox unfortunately are still slow compared to IE7
  • Frecency:  This I have found to be one of the neatest features.  As you are typing an address in the address bar it uses a a combination of frequency and recentness—to determine the best suggestions.  I have found this to be quite helpful and can even type just a part of the URL into the browser and be taken directly to the site.
  • Updated bookmarks bar, smart bookmarks, download manager.

Don’t take my word for it though, try it yourself! Firefox can be downloaded below.

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Delicious Library 2 Not your ordinary library.

Posted by conducivetechnology on June 3, 2008

Mac Only:  Imagine just holding a CD or DVD or video game or book or whatever up to your webcam, and it magically reads the UPC and downloads that item’s cover and all pertinent information about it, and displays all my stuff on photo-realistic shelves?  Wake up cause its now better than you imagined.  Whether for insurance purposes, inventory management, or just plain organization Delicious Library 2 seems like a great program to help catalog those hundreds of cds, dvds, books and a whole lot more.  Loaded with many features it is no wonder that Delicious Library 2 was rated Best Mac OS X Leopard Application. Unfortunately this one is a Conducive Technology rarity, as it will set you back $40.  For you mac heads out there let us know how you like it.

Visual Cataloging at its greatest.

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Top Tech Tools Collection

Posted by conducivetechnology on June 3, 2008

Diagnostic Utilities

Hitachi Drive Fitness Test:
Use this to test the integrity of you Hard Disk Drives.  Works with most but not all drives.  This file is in iso format and will need to be burnt onto a CD.  This is used by booting from the cd.

Windows Memory Diagnostic
Use this to test the integrity of your system Ram.  If you are running Windows Vista this utility is built in. Simply type in memory into the start menu, and you should see the first option will say Memory Diagnostics Tool.  If you are not running Vista or need a bootable version, download the file above and it will create a bootable CD for you.

An advanced System Information for Windows tool that gathers detailed information about your system properties and settings and displays it in an extremely comprehensible manner.  I mainly use the secrets function to find saved passwords that have been forgotten.

Ultimate Boot Cd
UBCD4Win is a bootable recovery CD that contains software used for repairing, restoring, or diagnosing almost any computer problem.

Mac Only: Do you have a shiny new flash drive in your pocket ? Or perhaps a small portable hard drive ? Now you can turn it into a Mac OS X diagnostic, repair, and maintenance tool. DasBoot allows you to take any third party boot CD and quickly create a bootable diagnostic device that contains any of your own utilities you may wish to install.

Data Recovery
This one is not free but highly recommended.  Out of all the data recovery software I have used this one is by far the most successful.  I have had success recovering files from some pretty bad drives and flash devices.  Before you spend thousands on clean room recovery try this first.  True story I used this to recover files off of my backup drive that was physically failing and in bad shape.  Note:  If your drive is not recognized by the bios then most likely this will not recognize it either.

CD/DVD Burning Utilities

Burnaware Free edition Note: The free version is no longer available after being sold
BurnAware covers all of your most common burning tasks, from burning audio CDs and video DVDs to disk images (like ISO files) and regular data discs. (Windows Only)

Mac OS X only: Free, open source application Burn lets you burn almost any kind of CD or DVD on your Mac.

Spyware & Virus Removal Software and Tools

Note:  Virus and spyware removal can be a time consuming and tedious task.  I am a professional and yet a full manual cleaning af a system can take me anywhere from 30 min to an couple hours.  Most of the utilities noted below are most effectively used on a clean system for preventive proactive protection.

Webroot Spysweeper with Antivirus
Out of all the security suites, freeware applications and online scanners.  Webroot Spysweeper by far has been the most effective in prevention and protection against malware.  It for the most part compared to other security suites is very lightweight.  It can conflict with other security suites so remove any existing security software.

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