Friday, July 11, 2008

Youmail: Changing the Way We Look at Voicemail

Unless you have an iPhone, listening to your voicemail can be a real nuisance. solves this problem. Youmail provides a Free service to anyone that allows them to have their voicemail sent to their email address. One can still listen to their voicemails on their cellphone. The voicemails are sent to the email as either a sound file or as text. Another great feature of Youmail is that one can have their voicemails texted to their phone so they can read them. An added bonus is that one can select different greatings for different callers.

Buy a New Laptop for College at the right price!

Recently I went to Best Buy with a few of my friends who wanted to buy a laptop for college. When we arrived the salesperson began showing them many different types and suggesting his pick. I did a quick google search on the model number of the laptop and found it to be $250 cheaper online! And that was for a $750 laptop at Best Buy. It killed me to watch them buy it even after I made them aware of this. The point is, before you buy a laptop do a little research, Best Buy and Circuit City have nothing special to offer over others stores. If nothing else, go to Best Buy, talk to the salesperson, let them suggest one, then go home and research to find the best price. Another good thing to is to read reviews. Amazon is my preferred choice. The best places I would recommend to buy a laptop is,, and If you are looking to buy an Apple; which I highly reccomend, just purchase it off of If you are a student you get great discounts($200+), and you get a free iPod Touch. Even if you already own an iPod, you can sell the Touch on Ebay for around $250-300.

Automate Mac: Alarm + Apple Quick Start

Applescript is a powerful and useful tool for automation one’s mac. Here is a quick script I wrote to automate my mac in the mornings and have it serve as my alarm. This short guide allows you to automatically start your computer each morning at a specific time, start iCal, have iCal run the script which will play a playlist from iTunes to wake you up, then start Firefox and open iGoogle which can display the weather, news, you email, and anyother information, and finally open another tab for a different email such as my purdue webmail and log you in. If you think about this, it saves you about 5-10 minutes each morning between waiting for you computer to start up to opening all the different pages for information. Basically, it’s a great way to start your morning!

1. Download the script.
2. Open System Preferences -> Energy Saver -> Schedule… and schedule the time you want your mac to start up.
3. While still in System Preferences go to Accounts -> Login Items -> “+” to add iCal.
4. Open iCal, add new event, under alarm in the event creation choose ‘Run Script’, choose the script you downloaded.
5. Open the script you downloaded and change the iTunes playlist “SummerMix” to a playlist you make in iTunes.
6. Change the web address “” to the email service you want.
7. Change “username” and “password” to your information for your email service.
8. Get an iGoogle Account if you don’t already have one and make sure you have Firefox remember the password.
9. Enjoy!

If anyone has any suggestions to add or can get BitPim to work so it automatically syncs with a Bluetooth phone please let me know! Free High Quality Ringtones offers free transfers of any type of media to ones phone. All one has to do is choose if they want to send themselves a ringtone, animation, or wallpaper. Then, all you have to do is upload the file you want to put on your phone to the website. It’s incredibly easy! The ringtones are amazing in quality and clarity. Some of the top songs I reccomend uploading are Summertime - Sublime, Peace of Mind - Boston, My Life Be Like - Gritz, and Shipping Off to Boston - DropKick Murphy’s.

Keep All of Your DVDs In One Place With Handbrake

Handbrake is an open source software that allows you to put your dvds on your computer and save them to your hard drive. This can be extremely useful when one is going away to college. This solution allows one to put the dvds they (or their family) currently own onto their laptop so they can watch them when they are away from home. Also, it reduces the space taken up by the dvds, and large collections take up a LOT of room!

New iPhone Theme for PocketPC Devices

Like the new iphone? Don’t like the price of it? Well check out this new PocketPC app that allows you to have the iPhone interface on your PocketPC. There is even a program you can get that acts like the iphone touch keyboard. Check out this site….

Buy an HDTV projector on the cheap and build an HDTV antenna.

One of the most common things to do while chilling in the dorm is watching a flick. Well how about watching that flick on a 120" screen! An evo projector is an inexpensive and logical way to do this. The advantage of an evo is that it uses a special bulb that has a much longer life than other commercial projectors and it only costs about $20 to replace it, whereas a commercial bulb will run you about $250 to replace. The evo projector is only $400 and can be found at many stores online, just do a google search for evo projector.

Once you have that evo projector how about some free HDTV? That includes the antenna, below is a video on how to build your own coathanger HDTV antenna that will pick up the local channels and works better that most store bought antennas!

One final important piece of equipment is a cable for playing all of those movies you have stored on your laptop or just using your new projector as a computer screen. You will need either a DVI to Component or VGA to Component cable depending on what type of output your laptop uses. The cheapest cables of this type can be found at These types of cables go for around $5 on, but can go for over $50 at other stores. The $50 cables are only logical for uber-performance cinema quality home theaters that cost tens of thousands.