Nice online tools and tips for Air Travelers

In General by Michael Sheehan4 Comments

I figured that I would post some helpful sites and tips that I have found over time that can benefit the travelers out there. I guess that this is especially appropriate during the holiday season as well, but these are good general items. I’m sure that everyone is using Priceline.com or Orbitz.com or Travelocity.com or some similar flight fare shopping service (don’t forget to try an airline’s site directly to see if they have “unadvertised” fares).

Choosing your seat – Once you have your airline ticket, you probably want to find out where you are sitting on the plane. There is a fantastic site that lets you view the seating arrangements of airlines and even view interactive seating “comments”. What you need to do is visit a site called SeatGuru.com and then find your Airline and the type of plane that you are flying on. I am using Southwest as an example. Southwest has only 1 type of airplane that they use (or that is listed on SeatGuru.com). It’s the Boeing 737-300. [Note: click the image below to see it larger]

SeatGuru map

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Best Windows Screen Saver ever!

In General, Microsoft, Software by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

I came across this great screen saver for your Windows machines…but only install it if you are a bit of a geek, or you want to pull a prank on someone. Basically, this screen saver emulates a Blue Screen of Death (BSoD). When the screen saver starts, it looks like the infamous BSoD (actually pulling configurations from your system). This screen saver works differently according to the type of Windows machine you are running. On XP, it shows the BSoD, then it shows the XP bootup screen, then the blue screen right before the login prompt comes up and then a new crash-BSoD.

I think, though, the best thing about this Screen Saver is the fact that it comes from the Microsoft TechNet website. It is really refreshing to see that Microsoft has a sense of humor about this now. More information and the .scr file can be found [here]. Just a quick note, you have to hit ESC to exit out of the screen saver. Not sure what would happen if you actually Blue Screened during the screen saver…or how it works in Vista (might try that now).


Firefox Add-ons that I really like (and use)

In General, Software by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

I’ve been finding Firefox more and more to be the browser that I naturally launch first. It’s starting to beat out Safari and Maxthon as my preferred browser. It is great that it is basically the same across all platforms (Windows, Mac and Linux). The other great thing about it is the huge amount of plug-ons or add-ins (e.g., Extensions and Themes) that are constantly being developed and/or updated.

So there are several add-ins that I really like and use a lot (and there are thousands out there). One easy way to find what people like is to check the Most Popular listing on the Mozilla site. However, if an add-on has been listed for a long time (e.g., several years), then the download tallies may be higher. So you could have something that is really hot and a few months old having the same “weight” as an older extension that is good but not hot. Anyway…on to my listing (in alphabetical order in order to be fair).

ErrorZilla – tired of those 404 errors (page not find) or cannot connect to the server? Install this extension and you are presented with a variety of options to do (e.g., “Try Again,” “Google Cache,” “Coralize,” “Wayback,” “Ping,” “Trace,” and “Whois”). Get the extension.

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Track who is selling your Gmail email address

In General by Michael SheehanLeave a Comment

There is a nice little thing that you can do with your Gmail address (only) that can help you find out what sites have been selling your gmail address. Kudos to PCBGuy and the post they made on Hedir Review here. But here is the post if you don’t want to traverse the net to get there:

When you give your email address to a website, you hope that they don’t sell or trade your address to a bunch of spammers. Well if they do, here is a simple way to see what sites are responsible for what particular piece of email. This requires you have a Gmail account.

If your Gmail login name was [email protected] and you went to samplesite.com to fill out a registration form, instead of just entering [email protected] as your email, enter it as [email protected] instead. When Gmail sees a “+” in an email address, it uses all the characters to the left of the plus sign to know who to send it to. In this example it would still send it to [email protected].

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IQ Test

In General by Michael Sheehan7 Comments

A coworker sent me a link (and his results) to an IQ test online. It is called IQtest.dk and it claims to be a “Culture Fair” test. According to the site, the test “minimises the effect of cultural variables, such as language, mathematics, etc. The test is based on logic, but is furthermore designed to test learning capability, memory, innovative thinking and the ability to simultaneously address several problems.”

The test is Flash-based program that takes 40 minutes to run. The answers are not published anywhere. The questions all are around understanding patters as define in examples. You get 2 listed patterns of 3 images (e.g., 1-circle, 2-circles, 3-circles & 1-square, 2-squares, 3-squares) and then 1 incomplete pattern (e.g., 1-triangle, 2-triangles, [BLANK] ). You have to fill in the blank to complete the pattern.

The questions get increasingly difficult as you near the end of the test. I must admit, I was guessing towards the end. I finished my test with about 3 minutes to spare. It is important to do it without any distractions. (My wife called me at one point…but I still stayed within the time…grin!). What were my results? I captured a screen shot below:

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