Banazîr the Jedi Hobbit (banazir) wrote,
Banazîr the Jedi Hobbit

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The Power of Convenience

As I advise my students, I often find myself reviewing "nifty tools" and time-saving tricks of the trade with them.

Examples of these include:

  • Citation Indices and Bibliographic Services: Google Scholar, CiteSeer, DBLP

  • Search tricks: Googling for authors by name, doing a breadth-first search of a citation index, using synonymy, using Google define for acronyms, etc.

  • Content management systems (CMSes): TikiWiki, MediaWiki

  • Communication tools: SkypeOut, Trillian Basic (and Trillian Pro), and IRC (XChat, Adium, Irssi)

  • Unix and Linux commands: find/whereis/locate, sort/grep/uniq/cut/join, df/du/free, etc.

  • Scripting: Shell scripts using the above, sed/awk, Perl, and Python

  • Microsoft Office 2007 tricks: Everything from how to use the new Word 2007 ribbon to how to write simple automation scripts in Excel (and VBA)

Among the tools you use, what do you find to be the biggest time-savers? I'll compile a categorized list, summarize it in a later post, and follow up to maintain it on our Tiki.

Tags: computers, software

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