Discourse and Improvisation ON Entrepreneurship And…

November 10, 2006

Where, oh where did my cursor go?

Filed under: Cool tools — dionea @ 1:40 pm

In the spirit of increased productivity, I’ve upgraded from one old CRT to two LCD screens, and new this week, now three. While I’m really enjoying the increased workspace, the cursor is a lot harder to find!

I vaguely remembered that there used to be some keyboard sequence that would animate a bull’s eye around the cursor. In googling for it, I found:

Guide for Aging Computer Users

Ten Tips for the Awkward Age of Computing

Courtesy of Brian Basset and Microsoft Corporation
Courtesy of Brian Basset and Microsoft Corporation

Ouch, this hits too close to home! The tips are Vista ready, but not quite what I was looking for.

Jiggling the mouse to move the cursor around doesn’t work if it’s in my peripheral vision, I can’t detect the motion. (Shouldn’t I be able to? Something to ask at my next eye exam.)

Any suggestions out there?


November 1, 2006

Do not disturb

Filed under: Cool tools — dionea @ 1:20 am

I wish this device existed: a telephone ringer silencer, with a timer, that controlled every phone in the house.  While I dearly love my extremely short commute, there’s one business disturbance I can’t easily get away from in my own house.  It’s really special when Europe jerks me from slumber. (I’ve long since learned to let it ring.) Taking the phone off the hook is one option, but then caller-ID won’t tell me what I missed.

September 23, 2006

Launching cool tools category

Filed under: Cool tools,Uncategorized — dionea @ 9:27 pm

With this post I’m going to launch a new blog category: Cool Tools. Cool tools are anything and everything that make my business or my life run just a bit easier, provide good value, and may even be a delight to use.

Today’s installment: free conference calls on http://www.freeconference.com.

That’s right, free conference calls. The only cost is the long distance charges from your and the other participants normal carriers. (If you want 800-number dialing, they do offer it as a paid service.)

The first time I used it I thought, where are the ads? Where’s the upsell to 800-service? How else could they possibly be making money?

The second time I used it I thought, uh-oh, I hope this doesn’t make us look cheap.

The most recent time a well-heeled business strategy consultancy initiated the con call, so I don’t think I need to worry about appearances any more.

So, how do they make money? Is this just some ploy to win “earballs” before they go down in the next equivalent of the dotcom bust?

I assume their model is similar to FreeConferenceCall.com (a service I haven’t used and can’t vouch for). According to the New York Times, “it routes calls to portions of the phone network that don’t get much use. The phone companies pay FreeConferenceCall.com a fee, and they recoup it through long-distance charges on portions of their networks that are idle.”


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