Category Archives: tools


ZoomIt (by Mark Russinovich), a classic tool for presenting. Quite lightweight with few but good options. The zoom capability allows you to zoom into the area of the screen where the mouse points to. The draw and type capability allows to draw and type on your screen. Way cool if you are using a Tablet PC, though. Finally, the Break function is a countdown. Nice for speakers this one comes with a few nifty functions such as playing a sound and displaying a custom background image.


And no, it’s not a tool only for evangelists giving talks in large lecture theaters. It also comes quite handy in meetings and presentations within the team and in front of customers.


In case you are using the HTC Touch Pro or DHTC Touch Diamond, get your hands on the demo version of GScroll. Simply copy the .cab file to your device and start it from there. It runs for five minutes only, but this should be enough to convince you to get this tool.

It makes use of two of the built-in sensors of your HTC Touch Diamond/Pro to navigate in applications. The nice but less useful one to the Tap & Tilt functionality. Double-tab the center wheel and tilt the device to navigate within your applications. The more interesting one is the Swipe control.


By swiping your finger over the buttons you can navigate left/right and up/down. This becomes very handy e.g. using the photo and video collections. Using the touch screen there often causes the touch screen to recognize the swiping as a tap, opening the photo. Also navigating within Windows folders becomes quite comfortable.

A further feature is to assign the buttons to additional programs. However, this means not by pressing the button. It means by tipping the buttons. Once, I received the device I was quite frustrated to have only limited buttons on the device, compared to my previous devices.

How does it work: The device has not only the resistive touchscreen, the button panel is also a capacitive sensor which causes in fact that the navigation wheel works.

With a price of $4.99, there is no reason to support those guys in buying a copy.


Creative Commons Add-In for Office 2007

The Creative Commons Add-in for Microsoft Office 2007 allows you to embed Creative Commons licenses directly into PowerPoint, Word as well as Excel.

“This add-in enables you to embed a Creative Commons license into a document that you create using Microsoft Office Word, Microsoft Office PowerPoint, or Microsoft Office Excel. With a Creative Commons license, authors can express their intentions regarding how their works may be used by others. The add-in downloads the Creative Commons license you designate from the Creative Commons Web site and inserts it directly into your creative work.”

Once installed, you’ll find a new tab at your ribbon called Creative Commons. The License button allows you to create a new license for the document.

Creative Commons License Add-in

For me, it was always a pain to browse through the CC licenses to find the appropriate one. The add-in allows you to step through all options:

Select license type dialog

Allow commercial uses dialog

Allow modification dialog

Jurisdiction dialog

Finally, you select the license and assign it to the document. Visuals will be added automatically by the add-in and the license is then downloaded fro the CC web site.

Add/remove license functionality

Added license

Quite nice add-in that gives you some boost in productivity, especially when you deal often with Word and PowerPoint documents you hand out to the public.

Delicious Add-on Update

This morning, I was pleasantly surprised by this message box! Especially the first point was quite annoying. Using multiple machines for development I am using the Delicious add-on to share my bookmarks among the different computers.

New Delicious Add-On

In detail we got the following fixes:

1) Fixes problem where bookmarks are sometimes not saved in the user’s Delicious account.
2) Fixes problem with bookmarks not working from long toolbar menus.
3) Edit bookmark dialog now extends vertically to show all users from your Network.
4) Improvements to tag suggestion functionality when saving bookmarks

First Impressions on Google Chrome

Google Chome is out:

“Google Chrome is a browser that combines a minimal design with sophisticated technology to make the web faster, safer, and easier.”

It looks very lightweight, though. Reminds me to the early beginnings of Netscape and Internet Explorer. It gives you the impression that it’s quite fast. However, during rendering it looks a bit like Safari.

Google Chrome

For some pages that look quite nice in Firefox and Internet Explorer, rendering also behaves a bit odd. So, is this one more browser we have to test our Web application against?

Messed Up Rendering in Google Chrome

One feature provided is the creation of application shortcuts on your desktop that will open the Web site in its own, plain window. Very nice but failed several times when I tried. not sure if it’s worth switching from Firefox or Internet Explorer.


Take-Away Tools

Dana Coffey created a list of 25 tools you might also helpful. Nice list, though.

“With traveling and use of many different computers, many geeks (and geek girls) often find a need to have a uniform set of tools handy wherever we may be. I’ve put together a list of 25 invaluable portable apps that can be installed on an Ipod or Thumb Drive. These are really cool!”

Synthing Your Photos

Since Photosynth was announced the very first time, I was keen to try out this technology. Finally, Photosynth became public and you can create your own synths.

After installing the Browser plug-in you select “Create your Synth” on the Photosynth Web site.

Microsoft Live Labs - Photosynth

To sign in you’ll need a Windows Live account – probably you have a messenger account. You’ll start a synth by selecting a set of photos.

Photosynth - Start new synth dialog

The dialog is quite self-evident. Don’t forget to select the license you want to use for the synth. That’s quite important as each and every synth is public available.

Photosynth - Create synth dialog

Select “Synth” and then just wait…

Photosynth - Generating synth dialog

You’ll probably get a good “synthy” rate.

Photosynth - Synth completed dialog

And that’s what you finally get:


Formatting Source Code in Windows Live Writer

Amer Gerzic created a great plug-in to format source code while writing a post in Windows Live Writer.

Insert Source Code...

You simply paste the code into the plug-in Window, specify the appearance of the code snippet.

Source Code Formatter

He supports a wide range of languages within this plug-in which makes it so interesting. Currently supported languages are ASPX, C, C#, C++, COBOL, Cold Fusion, CSS, Eiffel, Fortran, Haskell, Java, JavaScript, JScript, Mercury, MSIL, Pascal, Perl, PHP, Python, Ruby, SQL, Visual Basic, Visual Basic Script, XML.

SysInternals Direct Tool Access

Simple but powerful:

What they say:

“This is a file share allowing access to all Sysinternals utilities. We have developed this to test an alternate distribution mechanism for our utilities. This will allow you to run these tools from any computer connected to the Internet without having to navigate to a webpage, download and extract the zip file.”

What you get:

Have you realized? got a new URI: Johannes Meinecke pointed out the new toolbar for Internet Explorer which is quite an improvement to the previously offered buttons.

aheil @

Since I use multiple machines for development at work and university but also at home, delicious became one of my favorite tools for managing bookmarks. The best feature coming with the new toolbar is definitely the complete integration into the browser. By selecting one of the bookmarks you can directly change it’s properties without browsing to the delicious site.