How to run your favourite desktop utilities from almost any computer using Portable Applications

photo.JPGIn the course of my day, I use two or three main desktop and laptop computers in two or three different parts of the city.

And yet, working on different devices, I still have access to a core set of tools and utilities that I find essential to my daily work. Here’s how I do it.

Some of the computers are ‘client’ managed, so I don’t have complete control over the software suite I have available to me.

There are two options that I use, though I find myself moving to one more often these days.

But before I get ahead of myself, let me write a little bit about the applications. Continue reading “How to run your favourite desktop utilities from almost any computer using Portable Applications”

My top Apps of 2010

bestapps.jpgEveryone’s got a Top ‘something’ of the year list, so I thought I’d jump in with my picks for Top Apps of 2010 — with a little twist; only one app, per platform, amongst the 3 platforms I use (Windows, iOS (iPad), and Internet). Yes, Internet, for my purposes is a platform — it’s mostly device agnostic, and had great new apps this year.

So, without further adiu…
Continue reading “My top Apps of 2010”

Remote control your computer from your iPad

Some say that the iPad is a magical device. I won’t go that far, but it is kinda cool, though it does have its shortcomings — especially when you compare it to a desktop or laptop computer. There are just many things done much better on a computer than on an iPad, which is why it’s neat that there’s computer remote control software for the iPad.

One of the easiest I’ve found to use is LogMeIn Ignition. Part of the LogMeIn family, Ignition lives on your iPad (or iPhone, or iPod Touch, or Android) and allows you to control any computer you’ve registered with the LogMeIn service.

Here’s how the process works:
1. Get a free LogMeIn account
2. Install LogMeIn Free client software on every PC/Mac you want to control
3. Register those computers with your LogMeIn account information

If you stop here, you now have the ability to control any of your registered computers from any other registered computer (that’s running the client software), or through the LogMeIn web interface (which is very slick!).

4. Install the LogMeIn:Ignition client on your iPhone/iPod Touch or iPad

And you’re done. You can now control any of your computers via your iPad.

LMI1.jpg

Continue reading “Remote control your computer from your iPad”

How to view PDF files on your iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch with DropBox

Dropbox really is an amazing computing and file sharing application. I was initially introduced to it when I needed to easily share files with various computers across the internet — and email was not an option.

Recently my wife asked me for another solution to viewing PDF files on her iPod Touch. She’d been using this process where you load the image into Stanza on a Desktop, then share it with the Touch. It works, but takes too many steps. Is klunky, she said.

Dropbox basics

On your desktop computer, when you install Dropbox, it creates a watched and shared Dropbox directory.  Anything put into this directory is shared with your online Dropbox account.

Any other computer you install Dropbox on will immediately have access to your online Dropbox account, and have access to those files  you saved on the other computer.

Dropbox has an app for that

For the iPhone and iPod Touch to access those files, you’ll need to install the free Dropbox app. Once you’ve set it up with your login credentials, viola! You have access to those same files you dropped into the shared directory on your desktop computer. Including media and document files.

Finally. The must-have app for your iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch

I’ve been in love with Dropbox for a while now, so much so I’m promoting it in my adspace in my sidebar.

Dropbox has made it much much easier to transfer files between computers. Sure, I could email them, but that’s not at all elegant. All I do with Dropbox is copy a file to a folder, and it’s automagically copied to a Dropbox folder on all my other computers, as well as a private folder in my secure Dropbox online storage space.

Now, there’s an app for that
So aside from the usual reason for running dropbox, the ability to sync your files online and across computers, we can now add iPhone and iPod Touch to that hardware mix, where previously we had to make do with a web-application interface.

Apple has finally approved the actual native app, so here’s what you get:

  • Access your Dropbox on the go
  • Download files for offline viewing
  • Sync photos and videos to your Dropbox
  • Share links to files in your Dropbox

What this means — you can now easily access all sorts of files among all your various computer on you iPhone or iPod Touch.

And, if you ‘favourite’ the document in the iPhone application, it’s downloaded to your device for offline viewing — great for iPod Touch use outside of a Wi-Fi zone.

So go ahead already, and download the app! And don’t forget to set up a Dropbox account if you don’t already have one.