Tag Archives: software

Finally, Free Instant Messenger for the Blackberry

OK, I know it has been awhile, but I moved across the country; so I was a little tied up 😉
Webmessenger

I have blogged about a couple of other instant messengers for Blackberries before, and have had various amounts of success with them. There is a new player out there. WebMessenger has been around for awhile, but they recently announced that they were offering their personal instant messenger for FREE!

I tried it out and it was a breeze to set up. One of the biggest issues with Instant Messengers has been to get MSN Messenger, or Live Messenger on a Blackberry. WebMessenger does this without a hitch. RIM has been saying for some time that they would have a version for MSN, but so far only Yahoo and Google Talk.

Before you try to get it working on your Blackberry, you need to set up an account on the WebMessenger site. You simply tell them your logins for each of the IM’s out there and then when you login on the blackberry, all your contacts will be there.

…now if I could just get Rogers to offer a cheap data plan.

Instant Messanger within your Browser

Meebo is an online Instant Messenger application that allows you to run the application from within your browser. This is perfect for those times when you are traveling and need to use an Internet Cafe, or a locked down PC at work that does not allow you to install applications. I wrote about Meebo previoiusly.

To further integrate Meebo into your browser, Meebo has just released a Firefox extension. This adds a pane to the right side of your browser and lists all of your buddies online. You can also ‘disconnect’ the pane and have it work as if it were a stand alone application.

MSN Messenger on a Blackberry

I have had a Blackberry for a few months now and am finding more and more features for it. This week I finally found an IM client for MSN Messenger. (note to US readers, AIM is the IM of choice in the US, in Canada MSN is the most widely used) The advantage of EQO is that is can do ICQ, Yahoo Messenger, AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) and even Skype via a plugin.

Blackberry does have IM support on its server software, but only if you have the most recent 4.1 version

Now I have email and IM wherever I go…(I just have to figure out if that is really a good thing 😉

Folder Share

I recently upgraded my network at home to 1GB. I wanted to find a software that would backup my files incrementally. Meaning, as a file was changed, its backup would also be changed. I was able to find FolderShare. This is now a free service from Microsoft Live.

You simply download the software onto the 2 computers you want to synchronize. Point to the folder(s) you want to be in sync. and the software does the rest. As you change files on one computer, it is backed up on the other.

Skype

2006 is coming to an end and so is the free phone calls via Skype in the US and Canada. I previously blogged about the promotion whereby you could call any phone in the US or Canada, using Skype and not pay any long distance. However, don’t give up on Skype yet, as they have a new service. For $14.95 per year you can continue to call any phone in the US or Canada without long distance charges. I have been using this service for hte past 6 months and it is great. Little known feature is that you can forward your calls to your cell phone. For example. My family is in Vancouver, I am in Toronto. When they call me on Skype, if I am on the computer I just put on my headset and start talking. But…if I am away from my computer, the call is automatically forwarded to my cell phone. No charge to me and no charge to them. So click on the graphic below and download the all new version 3.0. Then sign up for the SkypeOut service. The special price is only available until Jan. 31, 2007. After that it will be $29.95 per year.


Installing Windows Media Center Edition 2005

To say that Windows MCE is not something I would recommend to the general population is an understatement. It is one of those things, that if it goes right…no problem. But if it goes wrong, then (as in my case) you are in for 2 days of headaches. Now I see why it comes pre-installed on PC’s. I recently decided to upgrade my storage capacity on my main PC and thought it would be easy to upgrade to MCE at the same time. Everything was going fine, until I started doing the automatic updates. All of a sudden, updates started to fail, one after the other. I checked all over Microsoft’s site and knowledge base. They just kept saying to re-install. After 5 times, I figured I would have to re-install Windows XP and abandon my quest for a Media Center PC.

Then I happened to stumble across a blog site called The Green Button.This site was a Godsend. Not only did it explain in detail, exactly what the problem was with the updates, it broke out each update step by step with instructions on how to manually do the updates. Something about the order of the updates and whether you have .Net 1.0 or 2.0 installed and when you installed them.

So 2 days after I started, I now have a functioning Media Center.

Tags: Windows Media Center Edition, , , The Green Button

Creating Podcasts

It is rather simple to create Podcasts. You simply record a conversation. That conversation could be in person, over the phone, or in many cases over Skype.

Where it becomes difficult is processing the recording. As anyone who has tried to post a podcast in its raw state, it can be very difficult to follow due to the varying volumes of voices. There are 2 tools out there that can help with this process.

One of of the most popular open source products is Audacity. This is a complete recording studio for Windows, Mac or Linux. It is available for download here.

A new product is out in Beta called the Levelator from Gigavox Media. It is simpler, yet more complex. Audacity will level the volumes, but does it in real time as it is playing the track. Levelator creates a map of the full track first, then applies some algorithms to level the volumes.

Tags: , netcast, , Levelator,