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Broadly defined "technology" e.g. software, water pumps

Best Free PowerPoint Replacement

I recently received this email:

What is the Open Source equivalent (or better) of PowerPoint? Where should someone go to download it?
Are there any difficult questions when downloading it?
If someone creates a presentation in the OS version, then takes their file to another computer, can PowerPoint play it or does the other computer need to download the OS version?
Anything else that should be thought through?

Perhaps the title Best Office/Productivity/Diagramming Software isn't sufficiently targeted at all the replacements, so let me restate that if you need a Free replacement for PowerPoint that can import/export PowerPoint files,'s Impress tool works great! You can download it right on that page. It does request a donation, but you can skip that. The installation is pretty simple, though it does request that you register (free process) which helps them understand their users more. You have the option of skipping the registration.

Learning to Use Impress

There are Tutorials available online which are pretty decent. The person who wrote those is a former teacher.

Import/Export and PowerPoint compatability

While it can import/export to PowerPoint format, it doesn't do that by default. And sometimes you'll have problems with the import/export function, so it's best to get all of your friends to use as well. Unless you have some really really good reason that you use PowerPoint, is a much better piece of software that doesn't require any expensive licensing fees.

Generaly speaking, though, you can run the files that were created by on any Microsoft Office computer. Just be sure to select "Save as type" of the proper Microsoft Office program.

Templates for Impress


Mother of Exiles

Inspiration: Your tired, Your poor

In Emma Lazarus famous poem The New Colossus she describes her personal interpretation of the Statue of Liberty. Lazarus' brief poem captures many of the concepts and ideals that people have for America as a land of opportunity, a shining city on the hill where poor exiles from around the world can seek freedom:

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phishing test quality - Mozilla-Google vs. Microsoft - where are Lijit and Netcraft

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Pathauto and URLify

There are a couple of points in this article which are either inaccurate, incomplete, or out of date. Hopefully I can clear them up a little.

Inaccuracies about Pathauto

Pathauto is not the cause of performance issues - the source of the problem is in the path module which is easily seen if you look at the project and component in the issue to fix that performance problem. While Pathauto isn't the source of the problem, it does a good job of highlighting it. Urlify, if it existed when 4.6 was popular, or an aggressive user who entered aliases for every node would cause the same performance problem.

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The Following is an Unbiased Paid Review

I previously wrote about this idea in Paid blogging - Review of ReviewMe, PayPerPost, Blogsvertise (not a sponsored post) and at that time I was NOT paid for the post. Well, the time has come and ReviewMe is now live and kicking. So, does my earlier review hold true? So far it seems to and that's not terribly surprising based upon the initial work they've done on the site. Use of the site is logical and simple. There are plenty of usability enhancements I found that I want to integrate into my own sites.

ReviewMe has several requirements for their service. First, all blogs submitted must pass their quality test. It's not terribly complicated how it works (nor how to game the system) but it does a decent job of keeping out the junk sites. Next, you must mention that it is a paid post which is certainly above the line in terms of the ethics and clarity of what's going on. Third, write a balanced review - no need for it to be extremely positive OR negative. Fourth, make money. So far, that seems to be it!

What's notably missing: onerous requirements such as required linking and/or link text that you MUST include in each post. Requirements to insert tracking bullets, requirements for a certain slant on the issue. Requirements about frequency of posts. It's really about the best situation I know for publishers and that's a great idea. If it works out right, they'll get the best group of publishers which will in turn draw in advertisers to the group.

This is a system built by and for people who understand the cluetrain manifesto: open and honest conversations with your consumers and in front of your consumers can only help your business. If your business can't stand up to that, time to change or close up shop.

I'm a little sad they don't have an affiliate program.

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Xcel Energy - Windsource Colorado Opens up to new subscribers

Well, after complaining about Colorado wind power so much I have to give them credit and point out that Xcel Energy is now accepting more subscribers into Windsource.

Bonus #1: They have an Online Signup form though it doesn't do a very good job of recognizing and remembering where you live.

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Finding color tags and their element - the hard way

Al wants to know - how can I get the color tags and the elements they apply to from a css file. I like the lazyweb so here's my idea, al:

[email protected] ~
$ cat file.css
.tabbrowser-strip {
padding-bottom: 0px;
background-color: #C8C8C8;
background-image: url("chrome://browser/skin/pb-1px-hor-gray-line.gif");
background-repeat: repeat-x;
background-position: top left;
border-bottom: 4px solid;
-moz-border-bottom-colors: #535353 #A1A1A1 #BDBDBD #D9D9D9;

[email protected] ~
$ touch empty.css

[email protected] ~
$ grep -v color file.css > empty.css

[email protected] ~
$ diff -up empty.css file.css | grep [{}+] | grep -v +++ | grep -v @@ | sed 's/+ / /'
.tabbrowser-strip {
+ background-color: #C8C8C8;
+ -moz-border-bottom-colors: #535353 #A1A1A1 #BDBDBD #D9D9D9;

Step one is your example. Step two creates an empty file. Step 3 takes everything BUT the color lines and outputs them into the empty. Step 4 does a diff in universal format with -p to "Show which C function each change is in.". Well, it's not a C-function but close enough. Then I did three extra greps and a sed on the end one to remove all of the lines BUT the function and "added" lines, two to get rid of the header lines, and the sed will take the plusses that were added by the diff and replace them with nothing.

Drawbacks and Weaknesses:

If you have plusses followed by two spaces in your css then they'll get silently removed. If you have a element named color like a <div class="colored"> then that would suck (but you can easily find those before hand...).

Making it run through directories and do this is a fun exercise with find ./ -exec (stuff) {} \;

Biggest drawback

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