Category Archives: Tools

Add Chat to Your Web Site with Plugoo

The UW Law Library has recently upgraded our IM/chat reference service with a new tool called Plugoo. We’ve added a text chat box to our home page inviting our students, faculty, and staff to contact us with reference questions. And it was free and easy.
Interested in developing a chat service for your organization? Just get yourself an instant messaging account, register with Plugoo, copy some code into your web page and you’ve got your own chat service.
This is an awesome tool for libraries. Patrons can contact you in real time right from their computer. They don’t need to have an IM account to use it – just type their question into the box. And if you’re not logged into your IM account, patrons can email their questions instead.
Anyone else using Plugoo? If so, please share your comments.

Remote Printing From Anywhere

From inter alia: Remote Printing Made Easy

PrinterAnywhere is an interesting application — it allows you to safely print documents on any printer, anywhere in the world — or to have documents printed on your computer from anywhere in the world. It’s a free download, but both you and the owner of the other printer has to have the software installed. Once you’re both up and running, you can easily print a file to the other’s printer with just a few clicks. According to the site, the print jobs are encrypted, so PrinterAnywhere is safe to use.

Free Collaborative Office Tools – Word Processing & Diagrams

This morning I learned about two neat collaborative office tools:

  • Writely – Word Processor (from Boing Boing):

    Google has re-launched Writely, the online word-processor they recently bought, in public beta. Writely does everything most things Word does, for free — and saves its output as PDFs and even RSS feeds (subscribe to a word-processor doc!). It features collaborative editing — multiple editors on the same doc at once — and can be used as the editor for writing your blog, saving out to a post instead of a file on your machine.

  • Gliffy – Diagramming Tool (from Slaw):

    Gliffy is a web-2.o cross between writely and MS Visio. Lots of drag-n-drop tools for work flows, wireframes, floor plans. Plus, it’s a web application that requires no additional software. The other cool part is the ability to collaborate with others.

Guide to Dialing Internationally

For those that occasionally need to make international phone calls but aren’t sure how to dial the number, see the International Dialing Codes guide from timeanddate.com
Enter in your location, the location of where you are calling, and the phone number, then click on “Show Dialing Codes”. The next page shows you how to dial the number. There is also a link to a world clock so you know what time it is in the country that you are calling. Very handy.
Source: DALL Blog

Free Directory Assistance

From Librarian in Black:

Free411 (1-800-Free 411 / 1-800-373-3411) is a completely automated free directory assistance service that works on cell and land lines. I know my cell phone carrier charges $1.50 for each directory assistance call. No longer will I fall for that!
Just call the number, give the city and state, choose whether it’s a business, government, or residential listing, and say the listing’s name. You’ll then start to hear a 12-second advertisement, which you can bypass by pressing a certain key (*cough* 2) on your keypad. The number is given to you twice. I tried it four times with four different listings in four different cities, and the voice-recognition software got each listing correct–even the number for our local library, which is notoriously hard to find for directory assistance. My only criticism is that it doesn’t auto-connect you like some of the directory services do. But hey, I’m thrifty enough to dial the numbers myself to save a few bucks.

Create a Graph

From InterAlia:

Here’s another extension of the Web 2.0-type Office products we’ve seen a lot of lately — Create a Graph is a product of the National Center for Education Statistics — so it’s for kids and students, but that doesn’t mean we can’t use it, too. You can create 2-D, 3-D, or drop-shadow graphs, and you can export them to PDF, JPG, or other image formats. Just fill in the blanks with your data, and you’re off.