Sandip's Programming Zen

An attempt to share tech/coding experiences

Archive for the ‘Softwares’ Category

A neat screen capture utility

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I just downloaded Bug Shooting. It’s free (not anymore) and exactly what I wanted. Download size is just around 1 MB (.Net framework 2.0 required).

It is mostly targeted for developers and testers but anyone can use it as a normal screen capture utility.

It is light weight and has most of the features you normally require in such tools like different screen capture modes, text and shape annotations, merging multiple screen captures together etc.


Written by Sandip

July 15, 2008 at 6:58 am

Posted in Softwares

Switched back to Outlook from Gmail

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Today I switched back to MS Outlook from Gmail, I used to access all my office emails on a Gmail account but something drove me back to Outlook again, well here are my reasons…

1. Sending email in gmail is time consuming especially when you have a slow or unstable connection, In outlook you can compose email and just click on Send button (outlook don’t “complain” even if you are offline, it will send email in background process).

2. With Gmail you can’t access your email offline.

3. Can’t take backup of your emails on Gmail (yes, I need to as per our policy rule).

4. It’s simply easier to work with keyboard on Outlook than Gmail.

5. I just love the Outlook 2007 interface, it rocks.

Of course noone beats Gmail in email search and spam protection, I will continue to use it for my personal emails.

Written by Sandip

July 1, 2008 at 5:43 pm

Posted in Softwares

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Firefox 3.0 coming on Tuesday, are you ready to migrate?

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Firefox 3.0 is slated to be released on coming Tuesday. I am using it since they have released first beta. It freaking cool browser, but are you ready to migrate from your FF 2.0?
There are number of popular add-ons not compatible with FF 3.0.

Check compatibility report online here.

Written by Sandip

June 12, 2008 at 1:53 pm

Posted in Softwares

A suggestion to Windows Live Messenger team

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I am using both windows Live Messenger and Google Talk client but over the time I got frustrated with Windows Live Messenger.

Live Messenger exists long before Google Talk came but it is still lacking very useful feature of saving the chat history centrally on the web (just like Google Talk saves it in Gmail). This can be a frustrating experience in case you are using different PCs to chat, so either your chat history is scattered across the PCs (for no use) or you would choose not to store them (again for no use).

Another, When someone sends you messages when you are offline you receive them when come online next time (that’s good) but as soon as you close the chat window your Messages are gone and they are not saved in history (so if sender is offline by that time you have to wait until he/she comes online next time just to ask what he/she sent).

I hope Live Messenger team is working on it and we will see this feature soon.

Written by Sandip

June 4, 2008 at 8:34 am

Posted in Softwares

Edit OpenOffice docs without OpenOffice installed.

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People who mostly use MS Office often see difficulties when they receive or have to send docs in Open Office format, Of course you can install OpenOffice.Org and work, but is there a way out where you don’t have to install anything and still you can view, create, edit docs in OpenOffice format? The answer is Google Docs.

1. If you receive OpenOffice doc in Gmail then it is simple. Gmail automatically detects it and gives you link to open it in Google Docs, there it is saved and you can edit it.

2. You can also upload doc in Google Docs to view and edit them.

3. If you want to create a brand new OpenOffice doc then no problem, you can create a document in Google Docs and then Export it in OpenOffice format.

And, finally you can also convert your OpenOffice docs to MS Office format using that export feature and vice-versa.

Google Docs rocks.

P.S. is a great software and it can easily replace MS Office but this post if for those  who occasionally encounter OpenOffice docs and not want to keep an installed copy.

Written by Sandip

February 21, 2008 at 10:10 am

How To: Google Spreadsheet Entry Form

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Google has added a very nice feature to their online spreadsheet product. Now you don’t need to share whole spreadsheet for someone to add data, you can generate a web form based on spreadsheet columns (or just create form and columns will be created automatically) and invite users to fill them, cool thing is user view the embedded form in their mailbox too. Data filled out by user will be appended in your spreadsheet. A very handy way to gather info for online surveys or registration.

This is how you can do this:

  1. Create a spreadsheet (blank or with column fields).

  2. Create form

  3. User views it in their mail box.

Stop sharing spreadsheets, start collecting information [Official Google Docs Blog]

Written by Sandip

February 7, 2008 at 6:52 am

Posted in Softwares

Batch file Backup Utility

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For long I have been using a simple batch file to keep backup of important content on my PC. It is a very simple & flexible solution and you don’t have to install anything. However, the batch file is using a command line compressing utility called FBZIP you can download it from here, which you have to keep along with batch file.

You can run the bath file manually or schedule it according to your backup strategy

Following is the code for batch file.

@echo off

:: variables

set backup_drive=D:\Backup

set backupcmd=xcopy /s /c /d:12-31-2007 /e /h /i /r /y

set Fbackupcmd=xcopy /s /c /e /h /i /r /y


echo ### Backing up Desktop contents…

%backupcmd% “C:\Documents and Settings\…\Desktop” “%backup_drive%\Desktop”

echo ### Backing up My Docs

%Fbackupcmd% “C:\Documents and Settings\…..\My Documents” “%backup_drive%\MyDocs”

echo ### Compressing Backup Folder…

fbzip.exe -a -p -r “%backup_drive%\Backup_%date:~-4,4%%date:~-7,2%%date:~0,” “%backup_drive%”

echo Backup Complete!


In following line, date is used to check differences of target and destination folders only after specified date.
set backupcmd=xcopy /s /c /d:12-31-2007 /e /h /i /r /y

If you want to keep it simple then remove the date part (as follows), it will just check all differences regardless of date stamp.

set backupcmd=xcopy /s /c /d /e /h /i /r /y

Written by Sandip

January 30, 2008 at 10:22 am