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Download of the Day: Google Toolbar 3 Beta (Firefox)

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Firefox only: Access your bookmarks from anywhere, open Google Docs & Spreadsheets files and do other cool stuff with Google Toolbar 3 Beta.

Effectively playing catch-up with the similarly robust IE Toolbar 4, the beta boasts half a dozen new features, including custom buttons; a Send To menu for sharing pages via e-mail, SMS or blog; and the option to open documents and spreadsheets right in your browser. The latter is a Firefox-only feature; sorry, IE users.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t get it to work; Firefox kept asking if I wanted to open my document in Word. (And, yes, I enabled Docs & Spreadsheets in the options.) If you have better luck, tell us about it in the comments. In the meantime, this is still a worthwhile upgrade for the Firefox crowd. Google Toolbar 3 Beta is free; it requires Firefox. — Rick Broida

Google Toolbar 3 Beta [via The Official Google Blog]
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dezembro 13, 2006 Posted by | Dicas, Ferramentas, Tips | Deixe um comentário

FaxZero sends free faxes

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The LifeClever blog raves about free outgoing internet fax service, FaxZero:

It’s free and lets you send a PDF or Word document to any fax number in the USA. FaxZero prints an ad on the coversheet, but leaves the main pages uncorrupted (Ad-free faxes are about two bucks). The test fax I sent arrived quickly and with a very crisp, clear resolution.

You’re limited to 2 free 3-page faxes a day, and your file attachment size limit is 10MB. The ad, while not something you’d like on professional business faxes, isn’t too bad – oh, and the cover sheet with the ad doesn’t count toward your 3 page limit. What do you use to send internet faxes? Let us know in the comments. — Gina Trapani

FaxZero [via LifeClever]

dezembro 6, 2006 Posted by | Dicas, Ferramentas, Tips | Deixe um comentário

Geek to Live: Visualize your hard drive usage

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by Gina Trapani

Remember when you were sure your computer had all the hard drive space you’d ever need? Gigabytes sell for less than a buck a pop nowadays, but with video, music, photos and web clippings hogging up hard drives more and more each day, that “Low Disk Space” message may come a lot sooner than you ever expected. Where did all those gigabytes go?

If you need to free up space on your hard drive fast, your best bet is to start wiping out the big space-eaters right away. But don’t waste time guessing who they are; there are easy ways to inventory what’s clogging your hard drive. Free tools for Windows, Mac and Linux map your hard drive usage so you can get a birds-eye view of what’s taking up most of your coveted hard drive space.

Windows disk visualizer: WinDirStat

The free, open-source utility WinDirStat displays your disk usage in a color-coded map that shows what file types and folders take up the most space on your hard drive.

Using WinDirStat, it’s easy to identify the biggest space hogs on your disk. The utility provides a three-paned view: tree view (upper left), list view (upper right), and treemap view (bottom panel).

The treemap represents each file as a colored rectangle, the area of which is proportional to the file’s size. The rectangles are arranged so that directories make up rectangles that contain all their files and subdirectories.

As shown in the tree map view below, if you select a folder in the folder tree, the area on the treemap is highlighted for easy visual reference of what’s taking up what kind of space.

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Similarly, if you select a file type from the list on the upper right hand panel, the areas on disk taken up by that type file – say, MP3’s or AVI’s – are highlighted within the tree map. Select files by folder name, file type, or colored rectangle, and delete or move them from within WinDirStat.

Mac/Windows/Linux disk usage visualizer: JDiskReport

Like WinDirStat, multi-platform freeware JDiskReport also provides graphical disk usage statistics using more common pie/line/bar charts, as shown (click to enlarge).

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Since JDiskReport is Java-based (hence the J), you’ll have to download and install Java in order to run it.

Command line: du (disk usage)

Not so much into this whole graphical user interface thing? Command-line lovers can also use the du (disk usage) command to get an idea of what’s taking up what. The -h parameter makes the file sizes human readable. From Cygwin on Windows, or the Mac Terminal, cd into your directory of interest and try:

$ du * -h 

The output will look something like:


28M FileFormatConverters.exe
28K LH_Logo_Store_Image.jpg
32K Lazy_Store_Image.jpg
5.3M photos-for-flickr
52K Travel form - small Word 03 - gtrapani.doc
28K Travel form - small.docx
16K emailnewgoogdocs.png

A few more du hints:

  • To just see directory sizes, drop the star and just use du -h
  • To sort the list of files by size, use du -h | sort -n

This article at Linux.com, Disk usage analysis and cleanup tools, also has more on du and other ‘nix-based GUI tools.

Of course, if you keep getting that “low disk space” message, it might be time to pony up a few bucks and get yourself a new hard drive. Here’s how to install a new internal hard drive on your computer. Lastly, to avoid regular disk cleanups, schedule a script to do it for you. The hard drive janitor script deletes files from any folder (like your downloads or temp folder) older than a certain number of days. I swear the janitor has recovered gigabytes of space without any intervention on my part over the year I’ve been using it.

How do you manage your used and unused bits and bytes? How do you decide what files get kicked off your hard drive platter island? Let us know in the comments.

Gina Trapani, the editor of Lifehacker, likes her hard drives spacious and mostly free. Her semi-weekly feature, Geek to Live, appears every Wednesday and Friday on Lifehacker. Subscribe to the Geek to Live feed to get new installments in your newsreader.

dezembro 6, 2006 Posted by | Dicas, Ferramentas, Tips | Deixe um comentário