My Flypaper Mind Brenden Schaaf's opinions, ideas, comments, rantings, & minutiae

10Nov/130

I have 294 passwords…but I only need to remember one!

password hellI really do wish I had more time to write blog posts for this site.  It isn't that I don't have things to say -- it's that I have so much to say that I tend to say them on Twitter in 140 character bursts instead of here in long-form posts.  In addition, I continue to contribute to the Minnesota Society of CPAs member publication, Footnote.  I've written here about LastPass before and I tackled the issue of password generation/vault software for the September issue of Footnote.  I have been impressed by the feedback I have received and I hope that everyone that is serious about security and about making their lives simpler investigates the use of LastPass or a similar password management software solution.  Here's a link to my article: http://www.mncpa.org/publications/footnote/2013-09/I-have-294-passwords-but-I-only-need-to-remember-one.aspx

29Nov/110

A couple things I’ve written

Despite the lack of writing I've been doing here, my pen hasn't been completely idle.  In the past several months I've written a couple things for MNCPA publications.

  • A Footnote article from several months ago highlighted some file-syncronization services, including my favorite service, Sugarsync, that will keep files (especially those frequently used) synchronized across several devices.  This has been particularly handy to me since the demise of Windows Live Sync that I wrote about before and the added bonus of cloud-based storage is a nice feature when I'm on a machine I don't own.
  • A Student eNews piece hit the virtual press in October.  It urges students to learn to use technology while in school because employers will expect it and there are benefits to be realized while they are still studying.  It frustrates me that accounting majors are even allowed to graduate without knowing basic Excel strategies.  Hopefully some of them take my advice and the make an effort to improve themselves before they are on someone's payroll.
22Dec/100

My Review of Pricing Books

The concept of pricing and using it strategically has caught my fancy of late. Enough that I read four books on the subject while on vacation in August and wrote up my analysis for the current issue of the MNCPA Footnote. See my thoughts online at this link: A CPAs review of pricing books.

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29Apr/090

My favorite new application is Snagit

snagitSnagit isn't new...but it is new to me.  And by the way, I do have more ideas than just those that are technology or software-related, but for now these are on my mind so that is what I'm writing about.  I will run out of this kind of material soon, so if this bores you there is relief on the horizon (until I discover some new bit of software or a new gadget, that is).

I first heard about Snagit screen capturing software at the Management & Business Advisers Conference sponsored by the MNCPA in June 2008.  I downloaded a trial copy right after that and purchased a bundle containing Snagit and sister-app Camstasia within a week.  How Snagit flew under my radar up to that point is beyond me, but now that I've discovered it I want to share with you what a great application I think it is.

For starters, Snagit is something I use every day.  I first thought of it as a tool for creating software user guides since it so easily allows me to capture my screen or a portion of my screen so that I can, for example, paste an image into Word showing how to access/use a certain menu.  This has always (well, maybe not always but for many years at least) been possible in Windows by doing "Alt-Print Screen" and then choosing "paste" in Word, but Snagit extends the functionality tremendously and is even easier to use than this 2-step method.  This is one piece of software for which you will not need a manual (but there is plenty of support available should you need it).  The main thing I have used the support/learning tools for is to grab some nifty add-ons like stamps I can use to tweak images or additional outputs I can use to save steps transferring images I have snagged into other software.

Besides that obvious use, some things that I use Snagit for include grabbing images like the logos posted in this blog, error messages I can send to IT for troubleshooting, webpages when I buy something online and I want a copy of the order, or charts that I can paste into PowerPoint instead of embedding an Excel object. I'm sure the list of uses will grow and grow because every day I wonder how I lived without this software (I even had a copy purchased for my work computer because I really missed not having it there when I would habitually go to use it ).

Not only can you save a screen capture, but Snagit comes with some simple-to-use editing tools allowing you to markup images easily and professionally.  See, for example, the balloons I put on some images in the posts I did earlier about PDF software.  This makes your images so much more powerful and, as I said, adding/cropping/highlighting/emailing/printing/saving/etc. is all very easy to do.

So consider downloading a copy of Snagit and give it a shot for the trial period.  I bet you will be surprised at how much you come to rely on it.  After the trial period I think it runs about $50 to buy a license, though as I mentioned there are bundles with other TechSmith software that might be worth considering.  I'm sure I'll be doing a post on one or more of those soon!!