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Archive for the ‘Tools’ Category

Reading and writing from Excel

Hackszine has a short piece that points to some useful resources for reading and writing to Excel files from Perl and PHP.

Given that spreadsheets and graphs make management happy this might be useful.

Fusion Goes Release Candidate

VMWare have made my day with a release candidate for Fusion 2.0.

I’ve been using Fusion 2 on my secondary Mac for a while and have just (last week) put it on my daily computer. I’ve run into a couple of minor bugs and wrinkles but no real show stoppers. I’m looking forward to putting RC1 through it’s paces.

Prism Comes to the Mac

Recently I mentioned Fluid, an application built on the same WebKit as Safari, which turns any web page into a stand alone application.

The Mozilla folks have been working on Prism, a similar (in fact it inspired Fluid) application based on the Mozilla engine under Firefox. The last time I looked they did not offer a Mac version but that has now been corrected with version 0.9

I’ve not used it much but, while it is similar, I like Fluid better, if for no other reasons than when you create a web applicaiton with Fluid the application name is the name you give the app whie in Prism it remains “Prism”. It also appears that you cannot “upgrade” the application you have created in Prism as you can with Fluid.

If, however, you have a web page that doesn’t work in Fluid it might be worth a try in Prism. I’d also keep an eye on both projects as I’m sure they will improve.

Emailchemy has a new version out

This is getting a little tedious but every time I see one of these neat utilities get a version bump I am reminded of how useful I have found it at some stage.

Emailchemy is one of them. If you never need it consider yourself lucky, but if you are attempting to shift a number of users off disparate email clients to a new standard then Emailchemy is a huge friend. Since I last used it this utility has only improved. It can read from a huge number of email clients and write the results out in a number of useful formats. It even includes an IMAP server so you can get the mail into a new system easily.

What utilities have you found useful for converting mailboxes and address books?

Fluid adds userstyles in 0.9.3

Fluid, the webkit based app that turns any web page into a stand alone application has had a minor version bump.

If you’ve never come across Fluid before let me recommend it for adding site specific browsers to your arsenal when building images. It is trivially easy to use and the applications you build will even update themselves to new version of Fluid when available.

The minor bump does add a great new feature - “userstyles.” This allows you to specify CSS style information for any page using wildcards. Visit the Fluid blog for details, including a nice screencast showing the userstyles feature.

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Vuescan gets minor version bump

Vuescan has had a minor version bump to 8.4.81. I know that technically Vuescan is not a utility but I still think of as a tool - it’s got me out of many a pickle with old or misbehaving scanners. Just download the demo and i it talks to that hoary old scanner that does’nt have Leopard compatible drivers available then buying a Pro version of Vuescan is an ecellent investment.

Cyberduck improves

Cyberduck, my favourite open source FTP client (it also handles SFTP, WebDAV and Amazon’s S3 service) has had a version bump.

If you haven’t tried Cyberduck I recommend you give this excellent tool a try. It is incredibly well integrated with the Mac OS and has a superb interface; I never seem to need to open a manual to use it.

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