Friday, April 29, 2005


Aerobie Orbiter: The boomerang that always returns

The Aerobie Orbiter Boomerang is pretty neat

Boomerangs seem to live a life on their own and fly in whatever direction they want. The cool thing about the Aerobie Orbiter is that it always comes back. The instructions are small enough to fit on the boomerang itself so anybody can make a perfect throw and catch.

For kids 13 years and up


Free e-book by Andy Kessler: How We Got Here

The book How We Got Here by Andy Kessler is due to be released in June but you can download the book for free in PDF format. The eBook does not use DRM which is great news as you can read it on any device or even print it.

He has been a chip designer, programmer, Wall Street analyst, investment banker, magazine columnist, venture capitalist, op-ed writer, hedge fund manager as well as a book author. In "How We Got Here'", he covers the entire history of Silicon Valley and Wall Street from the industrial revolution to computers.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005


Cool Tool: Auto Stitch Panoramic images

I tried several panoramic tools earlier this year to make a 180 panoramic view from the porch of my parents house. To tell the truth; I gave up.

The best program I found was Panorama Tools by Max Lyons but I do not recommend it unless you know what you are doing or have a lot of time to learn how to use it.

AutoStich, on the other hand, promises to be completely automatic. No user intervention required. The cool thing is that it actually works!
This (unedited) picture was taken late last year:

All other panoramic tools I tried earlier this year on the same set of images failed. I guess what tricked them was that I took the pictures from right to left so the order of the images was wrong.

Edit the picture, to trim away the black borders, and you get a "perfect" panorama image:

The only, minor, issue is that it saves the output image as pano.jpg in the same directory as the source files. I hope they will upgrade the demo to a a final version to include a "save as" dialog box.


Via [Roland Piquepaille's Technology Trends]


Tent for kids in Lidl

Fun for kids: Lidl Italy has a neat set of tents for 20 euro this week:

The kit includes a tipi, tent, and a long (~2m) tunnel and comes with a handy compact bag.

Friday, April 22, 2005


Cool tool: DropLoad

DropLoad allows you to drop your files off and have them picked up by someone else at a later time.

You can upload the file to DropLoad and the recipients are sent an email with instructions on how to download the file. Files are automatically removed from the system after 7 days.Compress and larger files in 100MB chunks using a compression software like WinRar to share large files.

It is particularly useful when you have to send large files to many people. Sending mails or using a file sharing tool like HFS - Http File Server  means that each recipient will download their copy using your bandwidth. With DropLoad, on the other hand, the file is downloaded from DropLoad which is great news if you have limited bandwidth.

Wouldn't it be cool if GMail offered a similar system? Upload the file to your GMail account and give public access to your shared files.

Via [B2T blog]

Saturday, April 16, 2005


Find cool tools with SnapFiles and RSS

SnapFiles is the first place I go when I look for a new tool as it has tons of shareware and freeware.

I did not realize until recently that they have several of RSS feeds for new freeware/shareware, the best rated programs etc. Useful!

Friday, April 15, 2005


Google Satellite

Google has updated its map service with satellite pictures. Click the "Satellite" link next to the map link to get high definition satellite images with your directions.

Other projects do amazing things with Google Maps as well:

Via [] and [Jwz]



Make your own avatar for free that you can customize any way you want at

To dress your trooper, drag and drop items onto the skeleton. The applet uses a layering system, so if you try to put knickers on over your coat, you’ll probably find it won’t work! Experiment – if you want your shoes under your trousers, put them on first.

Friday, April 8, 2005


Cool Tool: PDF Creator 0.8

PDFCreator 0.8.0 is the best free PDF Generator I have tried so far, better than CutePDF and PDF 995. The open source generator can be downloaded from Sourceforge (project RSS feeds)

I has several features I really like:

  • You can specify the date, author, subject and keywords of the PDF document
  • By default it uses the name of the source document, and not the previously created PDF like CutePDF
  • It generates small files. A 1MB Word document with several screen shots and a lot off formatting became 160kb with PDF Creator vs 305kb with CutePDF!
  • Plenty of options for fine tuning quality vs size.

Thanks for the tip Michael S!

Thursday, April 7, 2005


MSN Messenger 7.0 released

MSN Messenger Version 7.0 has been released.

It has several new features:

  • The buddy list shows emoticons the display picture in the buddy list

  • Ships with the MSN Toolbar (I have not tried it yet as I am happy with Dave's Quick Search Taskbar)

  • You can set the status before you log in

  • Conversation changes include; Winks (short animations), Nudges (shakes the window) and free hand drawing (click the fountain pen)

And probably a whole lot more I haven't discovered yet.


LaCie 2TB Bigger Disk Extreme

LaCie just launched a 2 TB USB/Firwire storage with RAID support and burst transfer rates of 80MB/s. What more can a geek ask for?

Monday, April 4, 2005


2GB Gmail in color

Google celebrated the 1 year birthday of Gmail by doubling the storage to 2gb while Yahoo and others are still in the process of upgrading to 1GB.

Storage is an important part of email, but that doesn't mean you should have to worry about it. To celebrate our one-year birthday, we're giving everyone one more gigabyte. But why stop the party there? Our plan is to continue growing your storage beyond 2GBs by giving you more space as we are able. We know that email will only become more important in people's lives, and we want Gmail to keep up with our users and their needs. From Gmail, you can expect more.

They also added rich text formatting :

Give me a shout if you need a Gmail invite.

Friday, April 1, 2005


Google Ride Finder beta

The Google Ride Finder (beta) is another cool new service from Google. It allows you to see available rides in some cities in the US:

Some neat features:

  • The position of the available taxis are updated in real time when you click the "Update Vehicle Locations".

  • The map is similar to the Google Maps and offers the same impressive performance, smooth scrolling and click and drag support.

It works with:

  • IE 5.5+ (Windows)

  • Firefox 0.8+ (Windows, Mac, Linux)

  • Netscape 7.1+ (Windows, Mac, Linux)

  • Mozilla 1.4+ (Windows, Mac, Linux)

Cool Or What?