Probably familiar with the Compare feature in your Word program, but have you ever tried to compare for differences between two PDFs? Not the easiest task, usually. But, as usually is the case, someone has ridden to the rescue with a very cool application called DiffPDF. Open source and available for both Windows and OSX. Once you load up your two docs, you can specify whether you want the application to scan for appearance, characters or words. Differences will then be highlighted in the dual doc window. Compare particular pages or page ranges, or the entire document.
Local and not web-based, so upload security is not an issue. Very handy to have when you need it. Thanks, Lifehacker and QTrac!
Those crazy Lifehacker guys are so good at taking complex information and organizing it! Take, for example, which social network to spend your valuable time in – apparently, there’s a chart for that. In their post “Which Social Network Is Right For You?” (link here), Kevin Purdy breaks down some of the features of Twitter, Facebook and Buzz and compares them, complete with color coding. “Comprehensive” would be an understatement. Here is the chart from his article (you may need to CTRL + to zoom a bit for the text, or hit link above to original post to get a full-res image). Bear in mind that “green” is good – feature available, “yellow” is feature may be available but difficult to implement and “red” is you can’t find it here:
In a nutshell, Facebook’s plus is that it is relatively easy to identify friends, while the drawback is the convoluted privacy and other settings and issues surrounding same. Twitter also is a favorite based on its simplicity and ease of use. Downside is reliance on confusing array of third party applications and the noisy firehose of a substantial follow list, unless list controls are employed. Lifehacker’s jury is still out on Buzz mostly because it is too new and is undergoing some sizeable changes as it progresses. But it is agreed that, despite its flaws with respect to integration and privacy, Buzz represents its own animal (albeit with a strong resemblance to Friendfeed) and deserves attention.
I pretty much agree with their analysis of the sites. Pay attention to the ability to send feeds elsewhere (RSS), remote posting and notice options if you don’t plan to regularly reside on the sites themselves.
You can always count on Lifehacker for a great list of tools and you have to love free. While you may have many of these, odds are you don’t have all of them, and there likely is something of use to you in this list. From Windows 7 beta (no longer available), to icon organizers and Hulu, from speedy DNS server finders to widgets for your desktop, there are lots of goodies in Santa’s bag. Popularity is judged by the level of interest in the original Lifehacker post on each tool, so it is someone subjective. Check in and check out with a new computer toy to help you get the job done.
I have been having a “deja vue all over again” experience. It is the experience of hearing people say “gee, now that I am on Google Wave, what do I do with it?” The hype has been focused on Wave’s deployment as a killer collaborative tool. But how exactly do you get-to-done with it?
I haven’t yet been able to scare up a real project on Wave affording an opportunity to really put its collaborative forces into play. But I swear by its potential. And now I can point Studio readers to an excellent “how to” guide by a true Google Guru, Gina Trapani of Lifehacker, discussing how to manage a group project in Wave.
Gina’s post focuses on her ongoing project – writing a book aptly named “The Complete Guide to Google Wave.” While the book isn’t being written in Wave, it is being managed in Wave. She lists various tricks and tools she and her co-author employed, including shared tags and saved searches, how to reply to a blip below or in-line with it, or how to edit the blip, how to mark a reply private, how to playback a wave, and a list of helpful gadgets and bots (those crazy add-ons that make Waves exciting with multi-media goodness).
Gina also points out that adding Google Gears to your set-up isn’t necessary but helpful for securing more complete functinality. Installing Gears and a developers’ version of Chrome were the first tasks I undertook following my invitation to Wave and I do recommend it for new (and existing) Wavers.
If you are like me and haven’t yet been able to put Wave through its paces for a real, honest-to-goodness task, check out the Lifehacker post to cull some tips and tricks secondhand. And if you are on Wave already, feel free to add me to your conversations – I would love to chat – I’m firstname.lastname@example.org.