Free Software: It’s What’s for Dinner

Sorry for the poor showing lately, I’ve been horribly sick and only today committed to getting out of bed to do some work. Anyway, wince I don’t have any great blog posts lined up at the moment, I wanted to give a shout out to two free pieces of software that everyone whould get.

The first is Synergy, which allows you to use one mouse and keyboard across multiple computers, just as though they were multiple screens on one computer. I set up my desk with a Dell PC and a Mac Mini, with two screens connected to the PC. When both computers are turned on, I can flawlessly go from one screen to the next, including from the PC desktop to the Mac, without even blinking an eye. Brilliant. No more trying to figure out how to fit two keyboards and two mice on my keyboard tray.

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The second is the Firefox add-on Leechblock, which blocks selected websites during selected times of the day or days of the week so you’re not tempted to bum around on the internet while you should be working. The first day I installed it was my most productive day ever, and the subsequent days have not failed to disappoint. The program is very thorough, too; if you’re the type of person to mess around with the system clock or go into about:config to get around the restrictions, it gives you suggestings for stopping that kind of behaviour as well.

Kudos to free, open source software developers.

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