Pidgin and Toasters

by Ted Jardine Monday, March 17, 2008 2:38 PM

Peter blogged awhile back on the Windows Live Messenger no-ad alternative Pidgin (no, I am NOT interested in singles available in Surrey). I've been using it ever since and really like it; and I LOVE no ads and the large number of plugins you can, ahem, plug in, to get greater functionality.

One of those plugins is the Guifications plugin that displays "toaster" popups in a user-defined corner of the screen - the lack of which was the one show stopper in my books. Here's how to get toasting with the Pidgin in Vista (and XP for that matter):

  1. Go to http://plugins.guifications.org/trac/wiki/Guifications and download Guifications (I'm running 2.16 - there's v.3 in the works).
  2. Install.
  3. Go to your install's Tools -> Plugins.
  4. Enable Guifications (while enabling a bunch of the other plugins you might like such as History, Offline Message Emulation, Text replacement, Windows Pidgin Options etc.
  5. The default popups are ugly:
    image
    so go to http://sourceforge.net/tracker/?atid=676821&group_id=92888&func=browse and see what else is out there. Many are...ummm...lacking aesthetically... but two I found that are alright are the "Thin horizontal Aero-like theme" and a "Solid Vista Glass 3 Colors" one:
    Black-1
  6. Download one or a couple of 'em. If you find some others that are okay, let me know in the comments.
  7. Now locate your Pidgin guifications theme directory. Mine is located at C:\Users\tjardine\AppData\Roaming\.purple\guifications\themes.
  8. Copy your downloaded files into this directory (unzipped, but contained in the parent folder):
    image
  9. Go back to Tools -> Plugins, select Guifications, and "Configure Plugin". Go to the the themes tab and select one of your new themes. And while you're there, go to the Notifications tab and uncheck some of the non-essential notification events before you're driven batty by the constant reminders of everybody going idle, coming back, going away, etc.

You can also change the entire theme of Pidgin, but I didn't find any that worked well or actually looked decent in Vista apart from the default one. If you're interested, there's some brief instructions on Lifehacker for this.

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UBC SLAIS Inmagic DB/TextWorks workshop a big success

by Administrator Monday, March 10, 2008 2:25 PM

March 1st, 2008 (Vancouver) - Saturday morning was an unlikely school day for UBC SLAIS students. Nonetheless over 25 library and archival students got out of bed and made their way to campus to attend Andornot's annual Inmagic DB/TextWorks workshop.

Led by Andornot team members Rex Turgano and Bridget Martin, the 5-hour jam-packed event consisted of an overview Inmagic DB/TextWorks, hands-on training, and an open forum discussion on how to use the software to solve various information management type problems and scenarios. Be sure to read "DB/TextWorks debrief" blog post about the event on the SLA@SLAIS blog.

There were a lot of things to learn in one day, but the eager UBC SLAIS students were able to grip some of the core concepts, features, and most importantly the flexibility and ease-of-use in creating a DB/TextWorks database. At the end of the workshop, Andornot showcased some of the possibilities for publishing a searchable database on the web using WebPublisher PRO.

Our favourite workshop feedback: "WE WANT TO KNOW MORE!"

For more information about workshops and training, feel free to contact us.

Tags: events | News

Rex Turgano @ GLOBE 2008

by Administrator Monday, March 10, 2008 2:23 PM
Andornot Consulting team member Rex Turgano will be at this year's GLOBE 2008 Conference on Business and the Environment in Vancouver. As part of the Special Emerging Leaders Workshop for Youth 18-25 being held on March 14th, Rex will be part of a media panel on "Web 2.0: Using New Media Techniques to Motivate Change" and will also help lead an Executive Mentorship Program workshop in the afternoon.

Andornot is proud to have Rex at this event and looks forward to helping build the next generation of policy thinkers, entrepreneurs and community actors.

Tags: News | events

Oops: Tracking Changes in Microsoft Word

by Ted Jardine Monday, March 03, 2008 5:27 PM

Microsoft Word's "Track Changes" feature is extremely useful, but has the very real potential of embarrassing you and/or your company. I wrote an internal memo a couple months back because a client had sent a Word document that unknowingly had very private information visible with Track Changes enabled; this particular client had been tracking changes, but had not removed all traces of past edits before sending it off. Fortunately, I was as yet the only recipient, but that was something a little too close for comfort.

The Word 2007 help files include the following:

Life is full of embarrassing moments. Some merely cause temporary blushing while others can make you cringe for years to come. Of course, some of these episodes are preventable if you just take some appropriate action. For example:

  • That hiring manager you sent your souped up resume to opened it up in Word 2003 and saw all your creative editing right there, in the form of insertions, deletions, and comments. Your secret was out, and you now remain unemployed and living in your parents' rec room.
  • Before sending off your annual review form, where you let off some steam by inserting epithets and insults about your goody-goody coworkers, you hide the revision marks. Later that day, you're escorted out of the building.
  • You send off your contract bid with the proprietary notes (i.e. profit margins) not-so-hidden.

Solution: Before you send those documents off, get rid of the revision marks — otherwise, they're on by default when someone opens them up in Word 2003.

There's only one way to get rid of all those potentially embarrassing/incriminating changes, and that's by accepting or rejecting all of them. Go to the online Microsoft help article to find out the steps for all versions of Word. Read it. Do it. And if you don't, pray you send that Word doc to somebody nice like me.

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