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Now that I have a half hour commute to work, I've been thinking how great it would be if I could listen to my favorite Blogs into a podcast that I could listen to anytime. I started scouring the internet for an online utility that would do the trick. I came across Talkr.com which allows you to turn any rss feed into a podcast.

While the basics are quite simple, the whole process is quite involved, are many steps involved so bear with me. The first thing you must do is register for free with Talkr.com. Once you have registered, select my Podcasts. You will see there is a place to add an rss feed. Simply paste the rss feed link into the textbox and click the add rss feed button. That's the basics.

Now download Juice 2.2 which is a cross-platform podcast receiver. If you run Vista you will need to tweak some settings to get it to work (what else is new). The instructions can be found here. Now all you have to do is add the "Talkr feed" you created at Talkr.com and download the articles you wish to listen to. Upload them to your mp3 player and your good to go!

If you've been reading my blog at all, you know that my curiosity always gets the better of me. I started wondering how can I integrate an automatic podcast converter for my own blog articles, so that my readers wouldn't have to go through the whole process mentioned above to gain access to an audio version of my podcast.

The first site I discovered that will do this is vozMe. I followed the instructions for adding the code to Blogger websites and was easily able to add a link that let my readers at Zenodotus.net download individual articles for their listening pleasure. The one caveat is I did not like the voices used to read the text.

Then I started thinking why re-invent the wheel? Back to Talkr.com I went and sure enough they have instructions on how to add a listen to this article link at the end of every post. You must be logged in to your account to find the link.

Visit this blog article to find detailed instructions on how to add the proper code to your blogger site. There are two small changes to the code that need to be made:

  1. In the part of the code that reads &;perma_link you must change it to &perma_link or Blogger will scream about errors.
  2. Change the feed_id to match your id at Talkr.com.

Honestly, it seems a lot easier than it is. It took me most of the day! But I think it was well worth the efforts. Now you can enjoy listening to your favorite Blogs even if they do not have a podcast!

Next week I plan on doing a Ustream broadcast that walks you through the entire proces. By then I hope to have a way to integrate Talkr with Xanga.

create online store

Welcome to Podbean.com. You can edit this post by clicking "Manage" Tab then "Posts" sub-Tab after you log into your Podbean Dashboard. Podbean.com provides an all-in-one service for video and audio podcast/blog. You can customize your podcast/blog site on mouse clicking, see where your audiences come from on a geographic map powered by Google, moderate your comments with a built-in anti-Spam filter, easy to customize your iTunes podcast page in the iTunes preview page. Learn more at http://news.podbean.com. Have question ? Check out Podbean.com FAQ. Happy Podcasting!

Getting It Together

In a world that is saturated with Web 2.0 applications, it is vital to stay on top what's available, but just as important to maintain focus on developing solid, organized sites.

Recently, I have found myself feeling more and more like a salesman for every Web 2.0 app that I want to share with the world. In an effort to avoid feeling like a carnival barker, I am planning on reserving this blog namely for tech tips and technical experiences.

If you wish to continue reading my reviews of websites and Web 2.0 apps, you can read my reviews at my Viewpoints page or follow the RSS in the sidebar of this blog.

My thoughts on 21st Century Learning can still be found at http://zenodotus.net.

You can keep up with my training for certification in Linux, Cisco and Microsoft at http://certification.zenodotus.net/.

5 more Minutes

I didn't have much time for tech "stuff" this weekend and was kind of feeling guilty about it. It was my daughter's fourth birthday party on Saturday. So from 5 a.m. to just after midnight, it was non-stop setting up, cutting cake, opening presents, cleaning up. Sunday was spent watching TV and playing with new gifts. They grow up so fast and I realize that every moment counts. Yet somehow, I still felt guilty...until I read the following...Yes, I know it's a little sappy...

Five More Minutes !

While at the park one day, a woman sat down next to a man on a bench near a playground. "That's my son over there," she said, pointing to a little boy in a red sweater who was gliding down the slide.

"He's a fine looking boy" the man said. "That's my son on the swing in the blue sweater." Then, looking at his watch, he called to his son. "What do you say we go, Todd?" Todd pleaded, "Just five more minutes, Dad. Please? Just five more minutes."

The man nodded and Todd continued to swing to his heart's content. Minutes passed and the father stood and called again to his son. "Time to go now?" Again Todd pleaded, "Five more minutes, Dad. Just five more minutes." The man smiled and said, "O.K."

"My, you certainly are a patient father," the woman responded.

The man smiled and then said, "My older son Tommy was killed by a drunk driver last year while he was riding his bike near here. I never spent much time with Tommy and now I'd give anything for just five more minutes with him. I've vowed not to make the same mistake with Todd. He thinks he has five more minutes to swing. The truth is, I get Five more minutes to watch him play."

Life is all about making priorities, what are your priorities? Give someone you love 5 more minutes of your time today.

I usually would not post what I call "Happy Spam," but this one just reminded me how short life is and how we need to count the blessings that we are granted. If this is the kind of stuff you like to read visit Inspiring the Spirit

A neat excel tip

As an account administrator, I often need to take chunks of information from excel cells and merge them with other cells. For example, if I receive a spreadsheet with a few hundred first names and last names and need to create users based on first initial last name, I could spend a few hours cuting and pasting the first initial to the last name. Or, I can use a few fairly simple formulas to shorten the process to a few seconds. Let's use the following as an example:

step 1

The first step is to use the CONCATENATE argument to combine cells A and B. This formula is an excelent way to combine cells of almost any type. In this example I have placed =CONCATENATE(A2,B2) into cell C2. This effectively combines the text of cells A and B. For more on this formula please follow this link: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/help/HP100625621033.aspx

Once you have combined your first name and last name you will want to add the LEN function to a macro. You will want to select Tools --> Macro --> Record new macro. Immediately stop the recording. This will leave you with a "blank" macro. Again select Tools --> Macro --> Macros. Select the macro you just recorded and click edit.

Paste the following into the module that opens:

Sub <name of macro>()
'
' <name> Macro
' Macro recorded 5/27/2008 by <name>
' Keyboard Shortcut: Ctrl+<Letter of your choosing>

'
Dim cell As Range

For Each cell In Range("A1:A600")
If Len(cell) > 1 Then
cell = Right(cell, Len(cell) - 1)
End If
Next cell

End Sub

Close the editor, place your cursor in Cell D2 and run the macro. The result will be the cell below:

step 2

As you can see, the r characrter has been stripped from the First Name and has been properly concatenated to create a first initial last name user ID.

So let's break down the macro a bit (undelined, italic and red to define what each part of the macro does):

Dim cell As Range (selects the cell range as defined below)

For Each cell In Range("A1:A600") (defines the range)
If Len(cell) > 1 Then (states that if the length of the cell is greater than 1)
cell = Right(cell, Len(cell) - 1)
(command removes all but one character starting from the right)

And that is how easy it is to remove portions of a cell! For more info on the Len function visit:

http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/excel/HP100625691033.aspx

What a weekend.

This weekend marked the first in a series of tutorials I plan on conducting on Ustream.tv. The half hour broadcast focused on setting up a gmail and Blogger.com account. If you missed it, please take a few moments to view it by selecting menu in the UStream box at the bottom of the page. By selecting View profile you will be able to watch the taped show. I plan on continuing to experiment with this exciting new medium on a weekly basis. Keep your eyes peeled for future installments and a calander of upcoming topics.

Today, while creating summer school teacher accounts, I came across a user that had been a summer school teacher in the past who's account had not been deleted. When I went to change the password I was faced with the message in the title. Hmmm...that's odd, it's worked for everyone else? Tried a few methods to change the password and still nothing...Till I realized require unique passwords was checked. Once I changed that setting I was able to reset the password and re-enable requiring unique passwords....364 more things to learn this year!

O.K., so that sounds somewhat like a bad injury. For the past few weeks I have been trying to figure out why my Xanga has been "out of wack". The modules wouldn't line up right in Internet Explorer. Everything was fine in Firefox. Go figure. Basically to get the look I wanted I had to re-arrange my layout, drag my maincontent content into one of the columns and widen the column. Added benefit is that it throws the advertising to the bottom of the main page. Not a bad little trick, just frustrating as all heck getting there!

A somber note

Unfortunately, today is the memorial service for my good friend and colleague Joe Scordino and I will be unable to attend. It's a really rough day for me. Joe was a close friend and an asset to the community at large! I won't go into much detail here as I try my best to preserve my anonymity on the web. But if you want to know more about a great man and an even better friend, please follow this link: http://www.dailyherald.com/story/?id=193386

Rest in Peace Joey...

Myah OS


Today, I am "playing" with a nifty little Linux Distro called Myah OS. For some reason it doesn't seem quite as intimidating as other Linux distributions. It is available as a live CD (you don't have to install it to use it) and the hardware requirements are not insane. Check it out at: myah.org

It seems to be designed for the 21st century user in that it comes packed full of multimedia and internet applications directly out of the box!

Currently, I'm trying to add it to our Novell network. Unfortunately, it isn't always an easy process to get installations to work. That is one of my pet peaves about Linux. 99% of the time (O.K., so maybe it's 98%), it takes some computer background to install programs. Linux is definately not for the technophobe in your life. At least not yet. Wow, got up on my soapbox there. ahem....



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