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About Me

An organization freak. Working on my own business.

How I Can Help

I love software and trying different apps! Also, I know a lot about making homes energy efficient using inexpensive modern technologies.

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Building an employee owned company.

29 Reviews by Daniel

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HackPad

HackPad

5/1/12

Editorial Review of HackPad

In software, "new" all too often means "complicated." New tools often tempt us with futuristic features and promises of improved productivity, but learning to use them can be a confusing experience, not to mention the time lost while trying to get up to speed. So when I see a tool that is truly new, but also manages to be simpler and more streamlined than the current alternatives, I am truly impressed. HackPad is one such tool: A new breed of Wiki that shows how much simpler and fluid wikis can be.

Hackpad features syntax highlighting for code, and lets you see who wrote what (also on regular pages).Most wikis have two page states: You're either viewing a page (a static piece of HTML), or you are editing it using a textbox in your browser. HackPad melds both modes into one: To edit the page you're currently viewing, just click anywhere in it. The screen doesn't change, and you're not taken into a bulky editing form. A text insertion cursor just starts blinking, and you can start typing.

HackPad can do this because it doesn't have to worry about collisions between multiple users editing the same page simultaneously and then saving and overwriting each other's work. In fact, there is no Save button: All edits are done in real-time, and other users viewing the page can see what you're typing as you're typing it. This feature made it easy to use for collaborative note-taking in SXSW.

ACreating new pages (or "pads") in Hackpad is as easy as highlighting a bit of text.nother thing that's confusing about regular wikis is figuring out who wrote what. A page usually looks like one cohesive piece of writing, when in fact several authors wrote and amended different parts of it. With HackPad, when you write a new paragraph, it is marked with an author color and your name is written in the margin next to it. When you edit an existing paragraph your new text is underlined with the same color, and anyone hovering over your text with the mouse can see that you wrote it, even if it's just a single word in the middle of someone else's sentence.

HackPad is still in its infancy, and it is not perfect. The most important feature missing is revision history: Individual users can undo their immediate edits (Ctrl+Z), but you can't roll a page back in time to a previous state. This is interesting, because HackPad is partially based on open-source editor Etherpad (acquired by Google in December 2009), a collaborative text editor that has an excellent timeline feature for managing revision history.

Hackpad offers page title search, but it doesn't let you search within pages.Another tradition HackPad breaks is the wiki syntax for links: Most wikis use double brackets to link to other pages. HackPad uses the trendy at symbol (@), which does double duty: You can use it both to link to other pages, and to mention (and invite) other users. When you log onto HackPad using a Google account, it accesses your contacts. Then, when you make an @ symbol and start writing the name of a contact, their full name and email pop up. Just hit Enter, and the contact is invited to edit the document with you (you don't have to use your Google account if you don't want to). Linking to other pages is also incredibly simple: Just write @, start typing their name and HackPad will offer to autocomplete it. And if you paste in a link to some rich content (say, a YouTube video), HackPad will immediately embed that video for you into the page. If you're coding, HackPad offers syntax highlighting for several languages such as HTML, JavaScript, and CoffeeScript.

HackPad includes easy to use privacy controls: You can set a page to be public, open only to people who have its link (like the mode Google offers for sharing Picasa albums), or open only to people you've explicitly invited.

HackPad does not yet offer commercial plans, but its free offering is full-featured, and feels amazingly fun and simple to use. If you've ever felt frustrated and limited by your current collaboration tools, take HackPad for a ten-minute spin. Careful: It's addictive.

--Erez Zukerman

Click.To

Click.To

4/9/12

Click.to is a nifty little utility that allows you to move copied text or graphics to their final destination without needing to do it manually. For example, you can select a street address in an email or text document, and use CTRL-C to copy it to the clipboard. As soon as you do, Click.to pops up and allows you to send it directly to Google Maps--no need to go to your browser, go to maps, and then paste in the text.

Click.to brings up multiple destinations for your selected text, from pasting it in Word to searching for it on Google.Although Click.to rarely presumes to tell you what to do with what you've copied, it's smart enough not to offer impossible options; you can't send a copied bitmap image to Google Maps or search for it on Amazon, for example. Beyond that, it's got a lot of built-in support for the most common applications and functions, including eBay, Excel, Facebook, spellchecking, and Word. Because Click.to hooks into the standard clipboard routines, there's no need to remember to invoke it using a special key combination--if you "copy," and the data type is something it can handle, it will be there.

Click.to offers more possible functions than can conveniently fit on the screen when you copy some data, so only a handful are shown instantly. Click.to calls these "satellites", because they hover above the cursor. The rest of the options are invoked from a drop-down menu that is part of the satellite row. It is trivially easy to change which functions are shown always and which are secondary, via the interface; it doesn't learn your habits.

It is also possible to create your own functions for Click.to. If you use a search engine or other Web tool which is not built-in to Click.to's list, you can specify the web site string to use. You can also add links to applications, provided you're familiar with the syntax the application uses to launch itself with associated content as a parameter. This may take some research, as it's not a commonly used aspect of most apps, though it is widely supported. The on-line help takes you through this process, step-by-step, for both "Web Actions" and "Windows Actions".

Shortly after this review went to press, the one feature I missed--the ability to automatically append copied text to a document--was added in. It's also important to note that while there are browser tools such as KwiClick or Apture Highlights that offer some similar functionality, Click.to is not a browser plugin, but a Windows tool, so it integrates fully with all of your applications.

--Ian Harac

Actualtools.com

Actualtools

5/2/12

This site offers a number of top rated utilities that allow the end user of the Microsoft Windows operating system to have much greater control and flexibility over its customization, appearance and functionality.
ACTUAL-MONITORS
"Actual Windows Manager" adds to your Microsoft Windows Operating system a number of advanced features for users of multiple display devices. Of these features I use most frequently is the "Push pin". Every window you open has the option to pin it to the screen so it stays "always on top", awesome!
Actual Windows Manager
"Actual Window Manager" seems like it would be an excellent candidate to make my top list of favorite Windows utilities, however it does not play well with at least one of my favorite utilities Stardock Fences. Unfortunately for AWM I refuse to go without my Stardock Fences! (Guys get this fixed!)
I will update this review further as I test some of their other applications.

Fieldston Software

Fieldston Software

1/11/12

What good is this software if it does not mimic the folder/collections structure of Google Doc?

Way better off just using an Html 5 enabled browser like Google Chrome.

Xrayz.co.uk

Xrayz.co.uk

1/11/12

Awesome program! One of the best i have found for organizing massive collections of bookmarks and favorites.

When used in conjunction with Lastpass jumping from site to site is safe, secure and faster than ever.

By using the export to Internet Explorer feature in conjunction with X-marks you can make web access to your links a snap.

Because the Linkstash database file is very small it is easy to allow cloud based access and/or sharing from other devices via the free accounts of third party services such as Dropbox, Sugarsync, Zumo Drive, Etc.

Backblaze

Backblaze

10/4/11

When I discovered Backblaze it was right after Mozy decided it was no longer going to offer an unlimited backup plan to it's customers. Prior to Mozy I had used Carbonite which to my dismay greatly reduces its customers upload speeds as soon as their trial period ends (of course after they pay).

So along comes Backblaze. First off; the backup speeds have been excellent (I backed up 2 Terabytes) in just over a week.

Recover was not quite as smooth however. When trying to return a folder to it's state as of a specific day it only allows you to recover the files that were backed up on that day not the entire folder as it was at that point and time.

So for instance lets say I deleted the "My Documents" folder by accident. If I want it back the way it was I would have to download all of the files that were ever present in that folder since I started backing it up even those files that have long since been deleted. I guess on the plus side it only goes back 30 days for deleted files.

Secure.LogMeIn

Secure.LogMeIn

9/23/11

Cons: Backups to remote systems but only as a compressed backup. in other words this service could never be used like a computer to computer file synchronization solution which I was looking for.

Horizon DataSys

Horizon DataSys

8/18/11

Their Rollback Rx is an absolutely indispensable utility to any PC it will work on. But...........

I have had major trouble getting it to work with my AMD based PC. After installation the software stops running after the first couple of reboots. Could not get an answer from tech support. Same problem occurs with Deep Freeze & Drive Vaccine (two of their competitor products).

So far Acronis True Image as the only operational way for me to enjoy snapshot technology on my AMD System.

Picasa

Picasa

7/29/11

I am an avid Googler and an individual who has always been fascinated with Google's business model and product development. When Google's Picasa came out as is with most of their products I had to check it out and see what it was all about.

I ended up adopting it as my primary photo hosting solution out of the shear desire to keep as much of my digital life under one proverbial roof. If you are not as rigid in this desire I highly recommend that you give the Picasa development team more time because some of the glitches and pains I have had to work through with regard to this service have been ongoing and very time consuming to put it mildly.

Problem #1
When synchronizing my web album with their Picasa desktop application I often find web albums duplicated. The major issue with this falls in the fact that there is no multiple album deletion capability so in order to fix this you literally have to log into your web account and delete the duplicate albums one at a time. When a hundred or more albums get duplicated this can take hours!

Problem #2
Because of the synchronization issue I ran into under problem #1 I began looking for an alternative way to keep my local directories in sync with my Picasa web albums. I tried out Gladinet Cloud Desktop (see my review on SiteJabber) which offers this very service.

What a nightmare! First Gladinet ended up creating hundreds of empty web albums with long binary titles during it's synchronization process with my Picasa web account. (remember the only way to delete an unwanted album is one at a time). Luckily the Picasa desktop software has a feature "Delete empty online web albums" that fixed this for me.

Note: when I used this option a window popped up to confirm I wanted to delete these few hundred albums but I could not hit the "yes" button because the window was so large it pushed the "yes" and "no" commands off the screen and the window was not adjustable. (If you ever find yourself in this situation click on the window, hit "tab" twice and hit the space bar. That will select the not visible "yes" button.

Problem #3
Not so much a problem as it is an inconvenience Google Picasa only allows folders one level deep for organizing. As an individual who loves to sub-categorize this is a hard limitation to work with.

Problem #4
The overall design of their desktop software and their online albums is not as user friendly or forgiving to customization as it could be. One thing that drives my bananas is that I can't default web albums to "show all" at log in. Ever single time I have to click the button. After every album you navigate into you have to once again hit the button. Very annoying.

Also, the sync to web buttons never seem to permanently stay in the "on" position, every so often I have to turn them on again. (Perhaps this is what causes album duplication). Just wish this wasn't so buggy.

In either case I will keep working with the software as it is improved but I can't as of yet recommend this site site or their desktop software for a novice user as I feel it could really add a lot of frustration to their life.

Picasaweb.google

Picasaweb.google

7/29/11

I am an avid Googler and an individual who has always been fascinated with Google's business model and product development. When Google's Picasa came out as is with most of their products I had to check it out and see what it was all about.

I ended up adopting it as my primary photo hosting solution out of the shear desire to keep as much of my digital life under one proverbial roof. If you are not as rigid in this desire I highly recommend that you give the Picasa development team more time because some of the glitches and pains I have had to work through with regard to this service have been ongoing and very time consuming to put it mildly.

Problem #1
When synchronizing my web album with their Picasa desktop application I often find web albums duplicated. The major issue with this falls in the fact that there is no multiple album deletion capability so in order to fix this you literally have to log into your web account and delete the duplicate albums one at a time. When a hundred or more albums get duplicated this can take hours!

Problem #2
Because of the synchronization issue I ran into under problem #1 I began looking for an alternative way to keep my local directories in sync with my Picasa web albums. I tried out Gladinet Cloud Desktop (see my review on SiteJabber) which offers this very service.

What a nightmare! First Gladinet ended up creating hundreds of empty web albums with long binary titles during it's synchronization process with my Picasa web account. (remember the only way to delete an unwanted album is one at a time). Luckily the Picasa desktop software has a feature "Delete empty online web albums" that fixed this for me.

Note: when I used this option a window popped up to confirm I wanted to delete these few hundred albums but I could not hit the "yes" button because the window was so large it pushed the "yes" and "no" commands off the screen and the window was not adjustable. (If you ever find yourself in this situation click on the window, hit "tab" twice and hit the space bar. That will select the not visible "yes" button.

Problem #3
Not so much a problem as it is an inconvenience Google Picasa only allows folders one level deep for organizing. As an individual who loves to sub-categorize this is a hard limitation to work with.

Problem #4
The overall design of their desktop software and their online albums is not as user friendly or forgiving to customization as it could be. One thing that drives my bananas is that I can't default web albums to "show all" at log in. Ever single time I have to click the button. After every album you navigate into you have to once again hit the button. Very annoying.

Also, the sync to web buttons never seem to permanently stay in the "on" position, every so often I have to turn them on again. (Perhaps this is what causes album duplication). Just wish this wasn't so buggy.

In either case I will keep working with the software as it is improved but I can't as of yet recommend this site site or their desktop software for a novice user as I feel it could really add a lot of frustration to their life.

LargeSoftware

LargeSoftware

7/22/11

So in case you don't know there are programs that bypass the Windows logon password. In fact a user with a boot-disk can not only login but they can actually change your password in the process.

The point is the files on your computer are most likely not secure, encrypted and passworded.

So I spent $20 on this docLock software they advertise on this site and come to find out it does nothing more than what I can already achieve by downloading a FREE version of 7zip from:

www.7-zip.org

A better option to this pointless program if you want folder level access security i to download "Folder Guard" from:

http://www.winability.com/folderguard/

Gladinet

Gladinet

7/7/11

Product Reviewed: Gladinet Cloud Desktop

I was very excited when I read the software's advertisement but quickly became disappointed with the hurdles I had to jump through to make it do what I wanted.

There was a heck of a learning curve trying to get Gladinet to do what it is supposed to do easily according to it's advertisements. Very rarely did I get the results I was seeking (if at all).

Although I do keep it installed for it's ability to mount my cloud storage folders I ultimately I gave up on the software when it came to automated backup and synchronization from pure frustration.

Cons and Complaints (Backup Operations):

1. Google Docs Issue: Had a heck of a time trying to get Gladinet Cloud Desktop to do a Cloud Backup to the directory I wanted in Google Docs. Even though I had previously setup some of the folder structure the way I wanted it in My Google Docs account to match my local storage. Gladinet insisted on creating duplicate directories side by side instead of comparing and synchronizing the one that already existed (very annoying and time consuming to fix manually). They should have a setup wizard or something.

Cloud Backup Settings Note: When setting up a backup task in Gladinet Cloud Desktop be sure to realize that if you want to backup say C:/My Files on your computer to a first level folder in Google Docs named "My Backup" to just select Google Docs as the target because Gladinet will create the "My Backup" directory automatically. If you create a directory named "My Backup" in Google Docs and then select it as the backup target then it will create a second level collection called "My Backup" inside of the "My Backup" collection you just created

Only solution I found was to fight with it till I got it right but then....

2. BACKUP ISSUE: After nearly a week of uploading I manually logged in and inspected my Google Docs collections to find that all of my backup directories had indeed been created however the files that were supposed to be inside them never arrived! (What the heck was it uploading for a week?)

Cons and Complaints (Synchronization Issues):

1. SYNC ISSUE: Files over 2GB are not supported and will result in retry errors. In addition if you have many of these and wish to purge these files from attempting a retry you have to select them individually to do so. If you have dozens of them this could take awhile, UGH!

Seems to be no way of telling it to ignore these files on future scheduled backups!

I will be contacting support on this issue and will post the results.

2. PICASA ISSUE: Received many pending retry notifications for files that could not sync with Picasa and the software offers no explanation as to why.

After contacting support with this error I was informed that sub folders are not supported in Picasa so whatever directory you store your pictures in can only have folders (1) level deep. Any deeper files and folder will result in errors. This is a Picasa limitation NOT a problem with Gladinet Cloud Desktop.

After analyzing the folder structure and verifying files are not greater than (1) folder deep I am still receiving a handful of retry notifications for files that can not sync with Picasa. As of yet I have still not figured out why.

3. PICASA ISSUE: Gladinet added a bunch of crap to my Picasa web folders.Grrr.

4. Now I am receiving many dozens of retry notifications for files that can not sync with Google Docs and as with the similar Picasa issue above the software offers no explanation as to why. (I want to add that they seem to be some sort of Gladinet or System file ending in .db)
I will be contacting support on this issue and will post the results. Never mind to time consuming there are better ways to backup than this.

5. Would not allow me to connect to Windows Skydrive though it advertises support for it.
From time to time cloud storage providers (like Amazon, Google and Microsoft) change their interface. When this happens it may take Gladinet a few days or so to correct the issue and release a patch which will be auto-detected by your Gladinet software once it's available. One day after having this error a patch was released and everything began working just fine with my Microsoft Skydrive account.

Cloud Sync Settings Note: When backing up to Picasa sub folders are not supported so whatever directory you choose can only have folders (1) sub-level deep all other folder and files will result in errors. This is a Picasa limitation NOT a problem with Gladinet Cloud Desktop.

07/07/2011
Verdict: I am no longer going to use Gladinet for backup operations because there are just to many issues I have run into which make it simply unreliable. I will as I said in the opening keep it installed for easy access to my Cloud storage providers.

Al-Anon.org

Al-Anon.org

7/6/11

All I have to say is that if you are an individual that can put ego aside and admit that there is a possibility that you don't know everything about life, regardless of how smart you think you are then you need to attend an Al-anon meeting.

More to come as I learn more.....

Allway Sync

Allway Sync

6/27/11

What a waste of time. Software lags really bad. Perhaps it is user error but I find that that it was a pain in the butt to get this thing to backup on a regular schedule to my NAS drive. Other applications I am currently using give me no issues.

US.trendmicro

US.trendmicro

6/27/11

So far (and as of this writing) as backup and synchronization software goes these guys spent a tremendous amount of time and money on development only to make their entire service completely useless for one of the most retarded of reasons. Ready for this.. once you install the software you cannot delete files! No matter what you do if you delete a file you no longer want their software will re-download it from your backup and put it back. Now I am sure sooner or later they will have to fix this but I mean really....how retarded.

Also, when they first advertised and got me sucked in they were an unlimited backup service which they did away a week or two after I had paid my yearly membership fee.

I submitted a support ticket and was able to get a refund for my money based on these two above listed complaints complaints.

Jumping Bytes Software

Jumping Bytes Software

6/27/11

As far as synchronization software goes I was excited about this one then I was quickly let down by the user interface. It seemed to not hold its settings after I would set up a task. Maybe it was user error but I am sorry, personally in my opinion it was just quirky compared to other applications I have used.

Insulation4Less

Insulation4Less

6/23/11

The radiant barrier insulation these guys sell is second to none.

After installing it in our home between our electric and our gas bill we dropped around $70 in the first month (this was about a year and a half ago) and the bills have never gone back up to where they once were. Our 7 bedroom 2500sf house was killing us on AC in the summer, now the heat just doesn't penetrate the house anymore. In fact our upstairs was unusable on hot days without the AC on and now its tolerable with an occasional 15 cooling.This product does what it says.

However....

The problem with the site is not what they sell but how they market it. They will run a sale for buy 1 get 1 free but then turn around and double the price during the promotion. So they are very dishonest in that regard. I have noticed also that the price of their products an shipping keep climbing higher and higher since we installed it. So in hind-site sign up for there emails and monitor the pricing.

1800PetMeds

1800PetMeds

6/23/11

Great prices, fast service and no hassles for your pets prescriptions. They contact the vet and take care of all the leg work.

Adeas Printing

Adeas Printing

6/23/11

Hands down one of the best printing companies i have ever used. Great prices, supper friendly staff and very helpful.

Their product line is very innovative and they have a lot of products no on else has.

Gmail

Gmail

6/23/11

Hands down one of the most feature rich email site (And they are constantly making it better). The spam filter is astounding in fact I don't know how they do it so well.

Daniel Has Earned 114 Votes

Daniel T.'s review of airfarewatchdog.com earned 12 Very Helpful votes
Daniel T.'s review of Xrayz.co.uk earned 2 Very Helpful votes
Daniel T.'s review of Al-Anon.org earned 7 Very Helpful votes
Daniel T.'s review of Insulation4Less earned 15 Very Helpful votes
Daniel T.'s review of Gladinet earned 7 Very Helpful votes
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Daniel T.'s review of Jumping Bytes Software earned 4 Very Helpful votes
Daniel T.'s review of actualtools.com earned 2 Very Helpful votes
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Daniel T.'s review of Paramount equity earned 3 Very Helpful votes
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