Print Websites Easily with Print Friendly

 

Print Friendly is a nice site which helps to correctly format web pages for printing. The site also optimises your printing, by removing annoying ads to.  If you print content from the web, Print Friendly is definitely worth checking out.

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Proporta Gadget Bag – A Review

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Hannah, from Proporta was kind enough to send me the Proporta Gadget Bag for review just before Christmas. Since then, I have been carrying the bag everywhere I go!

The Proporta gadget bag is a great and handy way to store all of your gadget accessories. The “Transformer-like” nature of this bag means you can unzip the front two compartments and take the smaller bag anywhere. Alternatively, you can assemble the whole thing to organise your gear for a long journey.  The gadget bag is perfect for those people who love their gadgets and carry around a lot of cables and adapters.

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Click on each picture to enlarge the view

As you can see, the bag is small with the compartments on and even smaller when the compartments are zipped off. The bag is particularly useful if you are a netbook user too. Overall, I love the concept, because it is so easy to use.

Never again will you lose your batteries, battery chargers, media sticks or USB cables!

Pros: It is very light and incredibly flexible with lots of compartments. You can’t go wrong with this case.

Cons: The gadget bag misses a small briefcase style handle. Other than that, it’s perfect.

Overall A+

The Proporta Gadget Bag is available from Proporta.com priced at £24.95.

In fact, I think I may need need to get a few more of these!

Digital Projection Genius

 

Wow. I first heard of this tiny projector from a post on Engadget some months ago. The video above, (though in Spanish) shows how amazing this tiny projector is. The Optoma Pico Pocket Projector is the UK’s smallest and lightest projector of its type, and the first to use DLP technology to guarantee remarkable image quality. The Optoma Pico connects to a variety of media devices for projection of presentations, or digital media such as videos or pictures.

Small and light at just 115g, the battery-operated projector is primed for instant plug and play viewing on the move. The tiny machine will connect to a variety of personal media players, mobile phones, iPods, PDAs and cameras. With a very reasonable battery life of two hours, this should be more than enough to cover a meeting, or the projection of a movie

 

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The Optoma Pico Pocket Projector will be available from selected UK retailers and online stores from November 2008, priced at £249. Personally, I can’t wait to get my hands on this device and take it for a road test. A definite item to add to Santa’s stocking this Christmas.

For more information, visit: www.optomapico.co.uk .

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Godin’s 9 Steps to Presentation Nirvana

 

In my opinion PowerPoint has an unfair reputation as a bad presentation tool. We have all heard comments over the years such as, “death by PowerPoint”. However, it is not the tool which is the problem, it’s often the presenter. My two favourite books on presenting, help to improve the style of your slides. The books also offer sound advice on limiting the amount of text on your screen.  Often, people respond more favourably to stories. Seth Godin, makes this point in his post below.

  1. Don’t use PowerPoint at all. Most of the time, it’s not necessary. It’s underkill. Powerpoint distracts you from what you really need to do… look people in the eye, tell a story, tell the truth. Do it in your own words, without artifice and with clarity. There are times Powerpoint is helpful, but choose them carefully.
  2. Use your own font. Go visit Smashing Magazine and buy a font from one of their sponsors or get one of the free ones they offer. Have your tech guy teach you how to install it and then use it instead of the basic fonts built in to your computer. This is like dressing better or having a nicer business card. It’s subtle, but it works.
  3. Tell the truth. By this I don’t mean, "don’t lie," (that’s a given), I mean "don’t hide." Be extremely direct in why you are here, what you’re going to sell me (you’re here to sell me something, right? If not, please don’t waste your time or mine). It might be an idea, or a budget, but it’s still selling. If, at the end, I don’t know what you’re selling, you’ve failed.
  4. Pay by the word. Here’s the deal: You should have to put $5 into the coffee fund for every single word on the wordiest slide in your deck. 400 words costs $2000. If that were true, would you use fewer words? A lot fewer? I’ve said this before, but I need to try again: words belong in memos. Powerpoint is for ideas. If you have bullets, please, please, please only use one word in each bullet. Two if you have to. Three never.
  5. Get a remote. I always use one. Mine went missing a couple of weeks ago, so I had to present without it. I saw myself on video and hated the fact that I lost all that eye contact. It’s money well spent.
  6. Use a microphone. If you are presenting to more than twenty people, a clip on microphone changes your posture and your impact. And if you’re presenting to more than 300 people, use iMag. This puts your face on the screen. You should have a second screen for your slides–the switching back and forth is an incompetent producer’s hack that saves a few bucks but is completely and totally not worth it. If 400 people are willing to spend an hour listening to you, someone ought to be willing to spend a few dollars to make the presentation work properly.
  7. Check to make sure you brought your big idea with you. It’s not worth doing a presentation for a small idea, or for a budget, or to give a quarterly update. That’s what memos are for. Presentations involve putting on a show, standing up and performing. So, what’s your big idea? Is it big enough? Really?
  8. Too breathtaking to take notes. If people are liveblogging, twittering or writing down what you’re saying, I wonder if your presentation is everything it could be. After all, you could have saved everyone the trouble and just blogged it/note-taken it for them, right? We’ve been trained since youth to replace paying attention with taking notes. That’s a shame. Your actions should demand attention (hint: bullets demand note-taking. The minute you put bullets on the screen, you are announcing, "write this down, but don’t really pay attention now.") People don’t take notes when they go to the opera.
  9. Short! Do you really need an hour for the presentation? Twenty minutes? Most of the time, the right answer is, "ten." Ten minutes of breathtaking big ideas with big pictures and big type and few words and scary thoughts and startling insights. And then, and then, spend the rest of your time just talking to me. Interacting. Answering questions. Leading a discussion.

Most presentations (and I’ve seen a lot) are absolutely horrible. They’re not horrible because they weren’t designed by a professional, they’re horrible because they are delivered by someone who is hiding what they came to say. The new trend of tweaking your slides with expensive graphic design doesn’t solve this problem, it makes it worse. Give me an earnest amateur any day, please.

I would add a further point.

10.   Watch other presenters.  YouTube and TED, carry great videos of experts presenters. My advice is to  study, watch and learn from them. Watching other presenters is a great way of improving your own technique.

Classic Hugh!

I want the world222

Enough said.

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Hot Off The Press…

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I’m feeling a little bit proud today. Back in March this year, I was awarded BCS Chartered IT Professional Membership. Today, my name and quite a few others were published in today’s Daily Telegraph, how great is that?  You can find me near the top of the fourth column!

“…Chartered IT Professional membership (CITP), is a gold standard for people to aspire to: experience,
proof of competence, academic achievement – a total package underpinned by a code of conduct”.
The BCS began offering its members chartered IT professional status in 2004. Four years later, 18,000
members have earned the right to put CITP after their names.”

Becoming a CITP is great. However, it has to mean more than just letters after my name. So, over the coming time ahead I’m going to see if I can find ways to reach out with the BCS and give something back to the industry.

Can’t get to a copy of the Telegraph today? Download a PDF version of all the Chartered IT Professionals here.  Well done to all the newly minted CITP’s . A proud day for all of our mums!

[Extra] Wendy Grossman reports on how professional status within the computer industry could help companies choose the right people

Grab Office 2007 for less than a tank of diesel!

Indeed, Microsoft UK are selling Office 2007 for the bargain price of £38.95 in their Ultimate Steal Promotion.  What’s the catch?  You have to be in academia and have a registered .ac.uk email address.  I made use of this offer last year and I am very glad I did! 

Terms and Conditions apply

This post is dedicated to all those in UK Universities. I think I’m missing my days stressing over essays!

Digital Nomads keep Dell Weird

“Keep Dell Weird”, a recent post from Hugh grabbed my attention.

[NOTE TO PEOPLE WHO WORK AT DELL:] Remember where you’re from. Austin, Texas. Love it. Cherish it. Never forget it. Rock on.

I’ve long admired Dell. I believe their products offer good value for money and their consumer and corporate products appeal to a wide section of people.

IMHO, “Keep Dell Weird” suggests a company that is different to others in its industry. It recognises that its audience is different and the company is passionate about delivering great products. But also, passionate people who work at Dell want to connect and engage with everyday people.

If this sounds reminiscent of the Blue Monster, there is definitely some cross over. However, back to Dell.

Dell has been a great poster child in its adoption and embracement  of Web 2.0 technologies.  The Texas based company has also been one of the few companies to embrace the wisdom of the crowd with its IdeaStorm site. The company runs an SME blog and more recently has embraced the use of Twitter. You  can even find Dell’s CEO on Facebook if you look hard enough.

However, Dell’s new social media related site, digital nomads recently caught my eye.

 

Digital Nomads is a site for those of us who work regularly on the move. Perhaps out of coffee shops or airports. Or, maybe those who drag their office around with them in a rucksack. The Digital Nomads site is specifically catered for the mobile warrior. The site also rocks for a number of very cool reasons.  

Firstly, the site is led by Lionel Menchaca, Dell’s Chief Blogger, and Dell’s Bruce Eric Anderson. Thus, the dialogue is authentic and from within Dell.

Secondly, it’s a great for sharing content. We, as digital nomads can go there, participate in and read posts that might interest us. However, we can also read posts from within Dell and learn all about exciting projects and tools that we can use, to make our lives easier

You can also grab digital nomad wallpapers and your own digital nomad badge from the site. Tres cool.

This is going to be a fascinating project to observe and participate in.  Dell’s on going conversation with the audience is great and my opinion keep’s Dell Weird!

Nice work Dell.

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The Virgin Eye

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Take a look at the Virgin Eye, as mentioned by Alex Hunter at Fuel. The Virgin Eye scans the Internet looking for news, pictures and stories from the Virgin Empire. 

The Virgin Group are taking Social Media technologies VERY seriously.

Very cool.

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How are you feeling on Twitter?

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I came across Twistori tonight. The site is a "first person" visualization of Twitter messages, inspired by We Feel Fine. Twitter messages are filtered by occurrences of the phrases "I love", "I hate", "I think", "I believe", "I feel" & "I wish", which are placed in a visual scrolling message ticker, similar to Digg Labs BigSpy.

The site is a great aggregator for human emotions on Twitter.

Very Cool.

Also check out  http://wwdc.twistori.com for WWDC tweet coverage.

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