Archive for the 'Software' Category

Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger: GetSocial 1.03 is here!

Oh boy, have I got some neat stuff for you today – GetSocial 1.03 is ready, and it’s jam-packed with new stuff, go get it now!

What is GetSocial?
GetSocial is a program I’ve made, that will generate social bookmarking toolbars for your blog or website within seconds! Because it makes pure HTML code without scripts, GetSocial is the ideal social bookmarking solution for WordPress.com bloggers. Oh, and it’s also absolutely free!

What’s better in GetSocial 1.03?

Add to Twitter
I’ve considered replacing the Ma.gnolia button with either Twitter or Yahoo! Buzz, but apparently there was nothing to consider: Twitter it is! I’ve decided to go with the following twitting format: “Title @ Permalink”.

Character limit handling
Twitter has a 140 characters limitation, so I’ve designed GetSocial to handle long inputs when necessary. Realizing that your link is the most important bit of information, the title will be automatically trimmed if the total length of the message is too long. If there’s only enough room for 5 characters of title or less, only the permalink will be sent to Twitter. Note that your permalinks will never be trimmed, even when the link itself is longer than 140 characters.

Inspired by the Twitter thingy, I’ve also added auto handling for Digg (which has a 60 characters limit for its title field).

Permalink verification & Automatic error correction
Okay, I’m officially sick and tired of this bug in WordPress.com where you get the permalink all messed up if you copy it from the edit window (the PLEW bug). The first thing I did with the new version of GetSocial was to add a permalink check feature. This (optional) feature pings your website while making the toolbar, and makes sure that the permalink you’ve entered actually exists.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t enough to solve the permalink bug because WordPress.com generates error pages, so if you’ve got the domain name right, there is no (simple) way for the program to know that the post address is correct.

This is why I’ve also added a special algorithm that detects and autocorrects permalinks that are affected by the PLEW bug. This is a heuristic algorithm, but tests have shown very high (>95%) rates of success in detecting and repairing affected permalinks.

Support for CSS effects
If you’ve got the CSS upgrade from WordPress, you’re going to love this! With GetSocial 1.03 you can easily add special graphic effects to your GetSocial buttons, simply by pasting some CSS code to your blog.

For example (Internet Explorer only):

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine
(Hover your mouse over this toolbar and see what happens)

CSS Code:

#primary .getsocial img {
filter:gray
}
#primary .getsocial a:hover img {
opacity:1;filter:alpha(opacity=100)
}

Add the above code to your blog’s CSS, and your GetSocial buttons will appear in B&W. When visitors to your blog will hover over them with the mouse – they will change to full color. There are tons of other effects you can make, but if you want to support browsers like Firefox you can only use alpha effects (you can find an example at the bottom of this post).

Text links
In additional to the regular buttons, GetSocial is now capable of producing a text-only version of the social bookmarking toolbar:

Facebook | Digg | Del.icio.us | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Furl | Newsvine

Better support for Mozilla Firefox and Google chrome
Your toolbars will now have tooltips for Firefox/Chrome in addition to the previously available tooltips of Internet Explorer.

Code and image optimization
I’ve managed to remove a few extra bytes from the images GetSocial puts in your blog, and there are also 5 new mirrors for the images. Some tweaking I’ve done also slightly reduced the size of the GetSocial executable (so this time you’re actually getting more for less!)

As usual, I’ll be absolutely delighted if you’ll click either one of these buttons (preferably both!):

Download GetSocial

<3Thanks!

PERMALINK / SHORTLINK

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Advertisements

Doctor Tray – Open & Close your CD/DVD/Blu-Ray with a keyboard hotkey

UPDATE (April 20, 2009): If you’re looking for an easy way to open and close your disc drive (CD, DVD or Blu-Ray) with a keyboard shortcut of your choice, Doctor Tray is perfect for you! It’s fast reliable easy to use and absolutely free. Go get Doctor Tray!

Doctor Tray (DVDA) is a new windows application that will enable you to open and close your disc drive(s) using keyboard shortcuts. It is generally intended for media centers, where the user is usually far from the computer, but will probably prove to be just as useful for normal desktops. Doctor Tray supports systems with up to three optical drives, and works with CD-ROM, DVD and Blu-Ray disc drives. As usual, it’s 100% free – download it now!

Screenshot of Doctor Tray v1.00

Doctor Tray v1.00 screenshot

Download Doctor Tray - it's free!

The works
With doctor tray you’ll be able to define keyboard shortcuts of your choice for each drive operation, and also control your system drives using the mouse. As with GetSocial, I’ve made some serious efforts in order to make Doctor Tray as simple, intuitive and easy to use as possible with a non click wheel product :)

About Doctor Tray
A friend of mine bought a dedicated multimedia computer for his living room. He’s using an infra red remote keyboard & mouse to control this computer from the comfort of his couch and asked me if I could make a program that will allow him to open and close his Blu-Ray door using a keyboard shortcut. I’ve made DVDA (DVD Assistant) which was later renamed “Doctor Tray”.

How does it work?
After you download Doctor Tray (which is 100% Virus/Adware/Whatever free), extract and run Dvda.exe (No Installation is needed, but you will need to have Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 installed: nothing a quick visit to Windows Update won’t solve).

Free software?
Doctor Tray is a donationware, which means you can use (and share) it for free & for as long as you like (you can’t sell it or tell people you’ve made it yourself though). It is neither limited nor crippled in any way. If you use/like it, please show your love by giving me a kiss or by donating 5.00 USD (why five?) Thanks! :)

Make a donation with PayPal - it's fast, free and secure.

Download DoctorTray.zip (109KB) here.

PERMALINK / SHORTLINK

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Talkinator – Chat widget for WordPress.com

I’ll begin by reminding everyone that this website is generally about my own work. However there is that “and other cool stuff” thingy, right below the Hillel Stoler title, so from time to time I reserve the right to write about cool (or just useful) stuff other people are doing :)

Talkinator is an anonymous chat widget that will work on wordpress.com blogs, thus eliminating the meebo.com monopoly. It was made by the same people who created Mailinator – a single serving mailbox service. The idea behind Talkinator is that people could chat on your blog or website without the need to create a user or download any software.

http://t8ra.info/$r?s=0&t=h&w=250&h=350&c=8b0000&b=Wordpress%20Com

You can set up a unique chat room of you choice, or (to my understanding) use an existing chat room – in which case people visiting your blog will be able to chat with people on other websites where this room is also available. I’ve created a chat room called “WORDPRESS COM”, you can add it to your blog by copying the following code:

&lt;iframe width=&quot;250&quot; height=&quot;350&quot; marginwidth=&quot;0&quot; marginheight=&quot;0&quot; scrolling=&quot;no&quot; frameborder=&quot;0&quot; src='http://t8ra.info/$r?s=0&amp;amp;t=h&amp;amp;w=250&amp;amp;h=350&amp;amp;c=8b0000&amp;amp;b=Wordpress%20Com'&gt;&lt;/iframe&gt;

Talkinator looks pretty much low-tech (but not in a good way), and lacks on functionality. However, it is very easy to implement, and the code survives the wordpress.com filters. Another downside is the minimum widget size (which is 250px). This limitation will make it harder to put this widget on your wordpress.com blog’s sidebar (which is probably thinner than that). Also, the script generator could be improved (to say the least) but do check it out!

TIP: When you use this chat, a random username is automatically generated for you. You can change your name by writing “/nick NEWNAME” where NEWNAME is of course a name of your choice.

PERMALINK / SHORTLINK

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

GetSocial 1.01

GetSocial v1.01 (huh?) is now available! It’s exactly the same as good old version 1.00 except that the image border/padding issue that occurs in some WordPress.com themes is now resolved. Download GetSocial v1.01 now!

nice vs. very nice!

If for some reason you really need the first release (version 1.00), or any other future-old-release(tm) you can always get every version of GetSocial here.

UPDATE (June 23, 2008): GetSocial v1.02 is now available. Go get it!

PERMALINK / SHORTLINK

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

GetSocial – Social Bookmarking for WordPress.com

GetSocial is made especially for WordPress.com bloggers. It automatically generates a (specially designed) social bookmarking toolbar for each one of your posts. This is a 100% scriptless way to create social bookmarking links, which makes it a perfect solution for wordpress.com users. It is also based on a 3 step wizard interface which is very friendly and easy to use. Oh, and it’s 100% free!

Download GetSocial now:

Download GetSocial - it's free!

Great, but what is a Social Bookmarking toolbar anyway?
Well, here are some fine examples (made with GetSocial v1.00) – Try it!

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to Ma.gnoliaAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

Add to FacebookAdd to NewsvineAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to Ma.gnoliaAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Furl

Screenshot of GetSocial v1.00

GetSocial v1.00 screenshot

How does it work?
After you download GetSocial (which is 100% Virus/Adware/Whatever free!), Extract and run GetSocial.exe (No Installation is needed, but you will need to have Microsoft .net framework 2.0 installed: nothing a quick visit to Windows Update won’t solve).

You can then select between adding Social Bookmarks to a post or an AddThis.com button to your blog (more on that later). You will need to enter a permalink to your post (which is the web address of your post) and the title of your post.

Click next and select your preferred type of Social Networking toolbar design (there are four of them!), after you get your code, paste it to your post (while in HTML Edit mode) and that’s it! Sounds difficult? Try it, and see for yourself just how easy it is! :)

UPDATE (July 23, 2008): Teck, from the Teck~Line blog, wrote a post about how to use GetSocial here.

UPDATE (August 24, 2008): Lee Aase, from Social Media University Global (SMUG), made a YouTube movie about using GetSocialwatch it!

Free software?
GetSocial is a donationware, which means you can use (and share) it for free for as long as you like (you can’t sell it or tell people you’ve made it yourself though). It is neither limited nor crippled in any way. If you use/like it, consider donating 5.00 USD (you can do it!) to the author of the software (that’s me!) Thanks :)

Make a donation with PayPal - it's fast, free and secure.

What did you say about AddThis.com earlier?
GetSocial lets you create an AddThis.com button for your blog as a whole. It is a little known fact, but when you put an AddThis.com button in your blog’s sidebar (even if you selected ‘WordPress’ when you generated the code on their website) your button will not link to your blog, instead it will link to the AddThis.com website! This is due to scripting limitations on wordpress.com that removes important parts of the script. I have found this error on every single AddThis.com button I’ve seen on wordpress.com so far!

UPDATE (May 19, 2008): Netty Gritty wrote a good article about the AddThis.com problem here.

How to check if my AddThis.com button links to my blog?
It’s very simple really: click it, and on the Bookmark & Share page click on ‘Favorites’ (See photo). This will add a website to your browsers favorites – if it’s your blog then everything is okay, but if it adds AddThis.com then everyone who ever used it promoted AddThis.com, and not your blog!

Does your AddThis.com button really bookmarks your blog?

The good news: GetSocial can fix this for you in no time :)

What else?
Enjoy GetSocial!

Oh, and one more thing, GetSocial is not affiliated in any way with WordPress.com, AddThis.com or any of the Social Bookmarking providers.

Download GetSocial.zip here.

UPDATE (June 02, 2008): I’ve received some requests regarding a spacing/border issue in some WordPress.com themes. A new version, GetSocial 1.01, resolves these issues. Every download link in this post has been set to point to the most recent version of GetSocial. Scope this.

UPDATE (October 21, 2009): There is a new cross-platform on-line version of GetSocial. No download is needed, and it will work with every OS (Yes, it will work on a Mac). It’s called GetSocial Live, and it’s fast, easy to use and free! GetSocial Live is always up to date and currently features the latest Twitter and Yahoo Buzz buttons, read all about it here.

PERMALINK / SHORTLINK

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Cheat Machine

Since I’ve posted here about the Hebrew UI for Second Life, I’m receiving (almost) daily search engine traffic from various Cheat Machine related queries (an amazing fact by itself!)

hillelstoler.com is generally about my own work, but since I don’t like to disappoint my visitors (and since I liked it a lot once), here is Cheat Machine 2.20 by a Forest Software. To my knowledge this is the most recent DOS version, and the only one that is Freeware:

Download Cheat Machine – Don’t get mad, get even!

Hit the keyboard with your head to continue …

Note that you will need to set the date to 1998 or so in order for this software to run.

Cheat Machine is a handy collection of cheat codes, trainers and easter eggs for antique software. I was very inspired by this specific piece of software around the mid 90’s when I began to program for DOS (using Borland’s Turbo Pascal). I liked the obsession for details and the overall fun atmosphere. The people (or person?) who made this software took their work seriously while not taking themselves very seriously – this, in my opinion, is a great recipe for (software) creation.

In the end, this is just a small piece of software that has very limited functionality, but every bit is plated in gold. It was fun to use, and you could clearly see it was fun to make. Software team leaders will argue that such “gold plating” is not only unnecessary, but also puts the project at risk and waste money and time in developing features that the customer did not pay for (while also making the software more complex and potentially buggy). Although I accept this to be generally true, I believe that in software manufacture, like in every other aspect of life, the key to success is the correct balance (which is never exactly halfway btw). You need to have something that will motivate your team and create that good vibe of excitement about the product. Let’s face it, not every project is very interesting to make, and spicing things up by adding some so called “gold plating” will not only make you proud of your work and give you the energy to successfully glide through the rest of the project, it might also give you a competitive edge because even if most people won’t notice your extra work someone somewhere probably will.

That said, never put time limitation on your software (especially if it’s freeware!) claiming that a new version must surely be available, because nothing last forever and having to change the date on my computer every time I want to run your 10 years old application is not very hot :) I could try to patch it, but the EXE is protected against just that!

PERMALINK / SHORTLINK

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Microsoft Windows Update mistakes PC for a Mac

Although I am using a genuine Microsoft Windows XP Professional, I’ve received the following error message while using Windows Update earlier today:

Screenshot - Click to enlarge

Thank you for your interest in obtaining updates from our site. This website is designed to work with Microsoft Windows operating systems only. To find updates for Microsoft products that are designed for Macintosh operating systems, please visit…

Yeah, Right.

PERMALINK / SHORTLINK

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine




Taken with FLIR Systems InfraCAM SD

Chillin' @ Heat Transfer Lab
(May 2007)

Welcome!

Like This!
Hillel Stoler - הלל סטולר
(and other cool stuff)
I'm currently looking for interesting freelance projects.

Visitors Since April 1st, 2008

  • 128,366 Happy Campers

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog via email:

Join 46 other followers

I really would appreciate that, thanks!

Miscellaneous Miscellany