Category Archives: Software

How to Send Keynote Presentations

Ever tried emailing a Keynote presentation? Uploading it? FTP? The progress counter just stays there, counting, but nothing ever gets uploaded.

The problem lies within Apple‘s .key file format. Keynote files are actually folders (or Packages, as Apple likes to call them) containing all the different files used in the presentation.

Right-click on any Keynote file and you’ll see “Show Package Contents” as a menu option:

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Selecting “Show Package Contents” will open a new Finder window with all the files used in your presentation:

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Keynote (.key) files behave the same way Application (.app) files do. Go to your Applications folder and try right-clicking on one of your apps: you’ll see the “Show Package Contents” option.

In order to be able to send someone a Keynote file, you first need to compress the file into a .zip archive and then send this compressed file. The recipient simply needs to uncompress the file to retrieve the original Keynote file and all its contents.

To compress a file simply right-click on the file and select the “Compress filename” option:

compress_keynote.png

That’s it.

Remember, to send (e-mail, upload, ftp, etc) a Keynote presentation, simply compress it to a .zip file and send the compressed version. If the recipient does not need to edit the presentation, you can always export to PDF (or any of the other export options).

Got any productivity tips? Drop us a note using the comments form.

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Kluster to go live on Monday

Kluster, a website where entrepreneurs will be able to promote their ideas, receive input from users, vote on the best improvements and then share the profits is set to go live on Monday.

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A Google search for Kluster reveals nothing more than their website (and a bunch of links to a long forgotten music band), which is quite remarkable. Google News has some additional details here, here, here and here.

Ben Kaufman, of mophie fame, is behind this interesting venture.

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Recreating the Places folder in Firefox 3 Beta 2

I recently upgraded my browser to Firefox 3.0B2 and, while importing my previous bookmarks, inadvertently deleted the Places folder.

Firefox 3 offers new Smart Folders that automatically track stuff like your Most Visited Pages, Recently Starred Pages, Recently Used Tags, etc. These folders require a special syntax to create them, but I was unable to find any information about the original settings online.

So I used the handy Restore Bookmarks function and then copied the Smart Folder settings, re-imported my bookmarks and added the Smart Folders by hand.

Here’s what you need to do if you deleted your Places folder:

  1. From the Bookmarks menu, select Show All Bookmarks to open the Places Organizer.
  2. Create a folder named Places in your Bookmarks Toolbar folder and drag it to the top of the list so it shows up as the first item from the left in your toolbar.
  3. Inside the Places folder create new Bookmarks (right-click, New Bookmark…) and use the following settings for Name and Location:
    • Name: Recently Starred Pages
      Location: place:folder=2&folder=2&sort=12&excludeQueries=1&excludeItemIfParentHasAnnotation=livemark%2FfeedURI&maxResults=10&queryType=1
    • Name: Recently Visited Starred Pages
      Location: place:minVisits=1&folder=2&folder=2&sort=4&excludeItemIfParentHasAnnotation=livemark%2FfeedURI&maxResults=10&queryType=1
    • Name: Most Visited Starred Pages
      Location: place:minVisits=1&folder=2&folder=2&sort=8&excludeItemIfParentHasAnnotation=livemark%2FfeedURI&maxResults=10&queryType=1
    • Name: Recently Used Tags
      Location: place:folder=3&group=3&sort=12&resolveNullBookmarkTitles=1&applyOptionsToContainers=1&maxResults=10&queryType=1
    • Name: Most Used Tags
      Location: place:folder=3&group=3&sort=16&resolveNullBookmarkTitles=1&applyOptionsToContainers=1&maxResults=10&queryType=1
    • Name: Most Visited Pages
      Location: place:sort=8&maxResults=10

Have you found any cool Smart Folders? Share the code/links in the comments below.

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The MiamiTwits Twitter Group

Following Technosailor‘s lead, and using his code, I’ve setup the MiamiTwits Twitter group for people in the Miami, FL area (and anyone else, really) who wish to subscribe.

All you need is:

  • a twitter account (of course)
  • follow @MiamiTwits
  • send a direct message to the group (e.g., d MiamiTwits Hello Miami!) and it will be automatically broadcast to the entire group.

Enjoy!

Gmail quietly increases storage space

Gmail‘s free storage has just gone up to around 4GB. I’m not quite sure when this occurred, but this morning my storage gauge indicated 70% full, which was considerably less than normal. I double checked, and it turns out Google added about 1GB of additional space to my Gmail account.


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What about your Gmail account? Did you storage go up?

NOTE: According to a recent post in Google Operating System, Gmail storage should increase to 4321MB on October 23rd, reach 6283MB by January 4, 2008 and then increase at a rate of 3.3MB per day thereafter.

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Flock 1.0 looks very promising

If you’re a social network junkie, following twitter, facebook, flickr, youtube

If you’re constantly sending urls, photos and videos to your online friends…

If you like having multiple tabs open at the same time with your favorite websites…

If you blog

If you use del.icio.us or ma.gnolia to save your favorite urls…

Basically, if you like to browse-and-socialize, then Flock is for you. And Flock 1.0 will blow you away.

Flock is a web browser, based on the Mozilla Open Source code. In their own words:

“Flock is The Social Web Browser. It’s the browser, evolved for people.”

Check out what Flock is about on their website. Download the latest version (0.9.1.3 at the time of writing this post) here. And learn more about Flock 1.0 (coming soon) here or watch a demo video here.

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Tracking conversations with Twitter

Twitter just unveiled a new feature that allows you to track any word when it comes up in a public Twitter conversation. You could, for instance, instruct Twitter to let you know every time your name comes up in a conversation, or your hometown, favorite band, or latest trend you’re tracking.

Currently, tracking only works through Twitter’s web and IM interfaces, which turns out to be a good thing.

This is how I’ve set up tracking:

  1. I use Twitter on my Mac through Twitterrific, which -as you will see- allows me to keep tracking results separate from my day-to-day twittering.
  2. Set up an IM account for Twitter. This will allow you to access the tracking functionality and receive results through your IM software. I use AdiumX and Twitter messages me through my gmail chat account.Twitter IM Setup
  3. On your Twitter friends page, set Notifications OFF for all users (so their messages won’t show up on your IM and get lost amid tracking results). You’ll still get all their messages through Twitterrific.Twitter Notifications Setup
  4. Using your IM software, send a message to the Twitter IM bot with tracking instructions. If, for example, you want to track any mention of Google’s stock ticker (GOOG), then simply send the message “track GOOG” to Twitter. You’ll immediately begin receiving updates, via IM, of any public Twitter conversation where the term “GOOG” comes up. The great thing about this is that your normal Twitter conversations will remain free of this additional message traffic.Twitter Tracking
  5. Once you see something interesting come up in your tracking results, you can use “whois username” to find out more about the person behind the post, and “follow username” to begin following this person on Twitter.
  6. If you decide to stop tracking a certain term, simply send “untrack term” to Twitter, via your IM software or the web interface. Send “track” to get a list of search terms currently being tracked.

It just occurred to me, while writing this post, that you could set up a nice stock tracker using this system. Simply enter the ticker symbol of whatever stock you’re interested in and see what the Twittersphere spews out. I’m gonna try it out and see what people are twittering about my favorite stocks.

What about you? How are you using Twitter’s tracker?

Using Twitter as a Marketing Tool

A friend recently asked me about ways his clients could use the power of social networks. As I was explaining to him the nuances of socnets as marketing tools, it occurred to me that Twitter could be used as a powerful marketing weapon. Imagine being able to immediately reach your clients with breaking news at zero cost.

Here are some examples, for different industries:

  • Retail: inform clients of new promotions, sales, time-limited offers, etc.
  • Real Estate: post new properties the moment they come on the market.
  • News: breaking news, behind the scenes info, insights into developing stories.

In this context, it’s no different than an RSS feed to which your readers subscribe – except that Twitter is somehow more immediate, and more personal than an RSS feed. Twitter, you see, is a two-way communications medium, whereas RSS is one way.

I searched the internet for more examples of people using Twitter in this context. One company using this is Woot.com, a website where you can buy items at ridiculous prices during a short amount of time (and very small inventories). I subscribed to Woot’s Twitter feed to check it out: Woot broadcasts the latest deals via Twitter. If you’re into the whole Woot thing, you’ll want to be informed as quickly as possible about new deals, as they usually go quite fast. Receiving a short tweet (that’s what a Twitter message is called) on your cellphone or Twitter app is preferable to constantly checking the Woot home page. After all, some of us have work to do.

Woot’s Twitter solution is as simple as it gets. You subscribe, you receive a tweet every time a new product comes up for sale (or when a product sells out). It’s one way (you don’t get to talk back), but who wants to talk to an automated script anyway?

Guy Kawasaki also uses Twitter as a marketing tool, this time to advertise new posts that appear on his Truemors website. But he sends too many tweets throughout the day and he won’t automatically add you to his list, which means you can’t talk back to him.

Robert Scoble, of Scobelizer fame does get it. He doesn’t send too many tweets, and he will automatically add you to his Twitter list if you add him to yours. Seems to me like the right thing to do. I certainly don’t want to be listening to someone’s tweets if I can’t reach back to him when I want to follow up on something he said.

NBC’s Jim Long uses his Twitter account to share behind-the-scenes looks while he’s off on secret media tours to Iraq or following President Bush to Australia. Though he won’t automatically add you to his list (so that you can tweet him), I get the feeling he would if you ask nice enough (and I suppose Guy Kawasaki would too. The problem with this it that you need to be able to contact them through some other means, as it’s not possible through the Twitter interface). Jim does, however, post a little too much as he tries to keep the conversation on a very personal level. [UPDATE: Jim’s mentioned on the comments that he does automatically follow people on Twitter.]

Here’s a short list of Dos and Don’ts if you plan on using Twitter as a marketing tool:

  1. Do use Twitter to sell your products, ideas, offers, insights, etc.
  2. Do advertise your Twitter account on your website, business card and marketing literature. Here’s mine.
  3. Do create a conversation. Add your users to your Twitter account. Let those who listen to you, talk to you.
  4. Don’t spam. Really. You don’t have to post everything to Twitter… your important messages will get lost amid the junk. If yours is a high-volume Twitter channel, let users know before hand.
  5. Don’t rely on Twitter 100%. Twitter’s service has been down a lot lately. Use Twitter as one more tool in your social media toolbox.

What about you? How do you use Twitter?

33 Fun Things to Do With Your Photos Online

Now that you’ve got yourself a digital camera, what can you do with all those wonderful photos? Here’s a list to get you started:

Organize and share them:

These services allow you to upload your photos, share them with friends and family, tag them, make slideshows and send them out for printing:

FlickrFlickr – Owned by Yahoo!, Flickr offers both free and premium services. You can tag your photos, add comments to any part of an image, create sets, collections, slideshows, print out photobooks, postcards, snapshots, etc.


ZooomrZoomr – Think Flickr, but map centric. Zooomr offers nice photo storage functions, closely integrated with geotagging (placing your photos on a world map) and e-commerce (selling your photos) functions.


SmugMugSmugMug – SmugMug is a wonderful website for storing your images. It’s fast, well supported, and offers plenty of sharing options, including making photos private and password-protecting them. There’s even a special offer for Yahoo Photos customers who are looking for a place to store their now orphaned images.


PhotobucketPhotobucket – Photobucket also offers tons of features including easy options to share your images online (particularly useful for bloggers and photographers sharing their photos in online discussions)


Shutterfly – Primarily a photo-printing business, Shutterfly also lets you store your photos, create photobooks, postcards, share your photos, etc.

Fix them:

These services will let you upload your photos and edit them online. Useful if you don’t have an image editor on your computer, or when you need to quickly edit a photo while at a cybercafe.

PicnikPicnik – I was impressed by this one. Picnik will even let you play with their software without creating an account (Scrapblog will too), a clever way to let you try Picnik without forking over your personal information. Slick looking, fast and powerful. Worth trying, even if just for fun.


LookWowLookWow – Java-based online photo editor. Will let you apply effects to an image, undo, compare and save.


SnipshotSnipshot – Another really good looking online photo editor. Not as powerful as Picnik, but worth trying.


PhixrPhixr – Has a nice set of tools, but took forever to load.

Create:

MyPictrMyPictr – Quickly create image thumbnails for online social networks. Upload your photo, crop the area you want to keep (usually your face), choose the network you need your photo for and MyPictr will spit out your image in the proper size and format.


QuickThumbnailQuick Thumbnail – Great when you need to quickly resize an image. A useful feature will resize your image to several sizes at once (i.e., 25%, 50%, 75%)


ePassportPhotoePassportPhoto – The Internet equivalent to a passport photo booth, it will format your picture so that it can be printed and cut into six passport-ready photos. No more paying $8 for 19 cents worth of prints. Make sure your photo is passport-worthy before uploading.


BigHugeLabsBigHugeLabs – Do almost anything with your Flickr images. Calendars, frames, print-out projects… too many to list.

Fun:

ScrapblogScrapblog – Online scrap books. A wonderful service by my Miami friends. You can give Scrapblog a try without creating an account (you can create an account later and recover your trial project). Connects directly to your Flickr account, so using your existing images is very easy. Amazing flash-based interface will leave you wondering what else is possible on the Internet. Let your inner Martha Stewart run wild.


Spell with FlickrSpell with flickr – A fun service that will turn any word into its Flickr image letters.


PhotagiousPhotagious – Online Slideshows, themes, editing, text, unlimited uploads. Should probably be listed under “Organize and share them” but their slideshow functions are in a league of their own.


RiyaRiya – Although it’s been transformed into a “visual search engine,” you can still access their original image storage and sharing service. Riya’s technology will let you search for items containing similar items to a reference image. It will also let you identify a person in an image and find additional images where that person appears.


PikiStripsPikiStrips – Turn any image or images into comic strips, with text balloons and special effects. Look through the earlier examples uploaded into the system for the better quality stuff. It seems the latest ones are mostly people making gang signs.

Map Them:

You don’t need a GPS to map your images online, though one certainly helps. These services will let you identify the geographical place where each image was taken and show them on a map.

PanoramaBuilder Build panoramic images by stitching together your photos. Now you can pan around a place as if you were (almost) there.

3cim Virtual ToursVirtual Panorama Tours on Google Maps – A list of panoramic images overlaid on Google Maps. Mostly used for real estate.


PanoramioPanoramio – Map centric photo storage and sharing. Geotag your photos, correct photos others have wrongly placed. Panoramio photos are regularly uploaded to Google Earth so that other Google Earth viewers can see them by activating the Panoramio layer.

Make real stuff:

Your digital images don’t need to stay trapped inside your computer (or the Internets’ tubes). Make books, posters, postcards… almost anything you want with these links:

MpixMpix – Photobooks, Cards, Magazine covers, greeting cards, calendars, bookwrap, tickets, puzzles and statuettes (these last ones you HAVE to see… worth every cringe-inducing penny!)


QOOPQOOP – Photobooks, postcards, mugs, stickers, canvas prints, mini photobooks, shirts, hoodies, mousepads, calendars, greeting cards, etc., directly from your photo storage account. Works with most popular photo storage sites.


FlattenMeFlatenme – Create customized children’s books with your little rascal’s image in place of the book’s hero or heroine.


RasterbatorThe Rasterbator – An application which creates rasterized versions of images. The rasterized images can be printed and assembled into enormous (or smaller, if you prefer) posters. See website for details.

Improve your technique:

Microsoft Research Group ShotMicrosoft Research Group Shot – MSR Group Shot helps you create a perfect group photo out of a series of group photos. With Group Shot you can select your favorite parts in each shot of the series and Group Shot will automatically build a composite image. Erase someone in the background, fix faces with eyes closed, etc.


Fascinating! Content Aware Image Resizing – An amazing image resizing algorithm. Watch the video and rest easily knowing that the scientist behind is already working with Adobe on the next Photoshop.

Improve your photos with classical artImprove your photography with classical art – An interesting technique that uses traditional classical paintings to correct the light and color of your photographs.


Automator Actions: Photoshop Automator Actions v3.5 – If you’ve got a Mac and Photoshop, these scripts might make your photo-editing life a bit easier.

Manage your digital images on your computer:

These programs will help you manage your entire photo library on your PC or Mac. Most will allow you to do minor editing, cropping, resizing, color correcting and printing. Easily upload your images to your favorite online photo storage service.

PicasaPicasa – PC/Linux photo management, also includes online photo sharing for anyone with a Gmail account.


iPhotoiPhoto – Mac photo management. If you’ve got a recent Mac, then you have iPhoto installed already.


Apple Aperture – Professional photo management for Mac.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom – Professional photo management for Mac and PC.

Updates:

2007/10/01: Make that 34 Fun Things to Do With Your Photos Online. Abhiram Sarat of flauntR sent me an email highlighting their quite promising online photo apps:

flauntRflauntR one-click effects – Online photo editing and effects. Includes uploading from your computer or flickr account and is nice enough to include sample images to play with. You can try out the apps (currently PhotostylR and PhotoeditR, soon PhotoprintR) without registering.