Category Archives: Cool

Post-It Notes Resume


I am currently searching for a job, as the result, I often carry in my “murse” (man-purse) a stack of paper resume. Due to the size of the bag (a Tom Bihn Small Cafe bag), I have to fold the pages in half. In addition, these pages add bulk in a bag where space is already at a premium.


To solve this problem, I put my resume online, then point people to it.

Posting Resume Online

I used Google Docs to create my resume. Consequently, they already available online. All I need to do is to make my document public and received a random (and long) URL. The next step is to shorten that URL using a URL-shortening service such as Now that I have a short, easy-to-type URL, the next step is how to give that URL to someone. Writing on a piece of paper is always an option, but there is a better way.

Post-It Note Resume

To easily hand out my resume, I print the URL for my resume, along with a QR code on Post-It notes and carry those notes with me. These notes take only a fraction of spaces compare to the full letter-size pages of my resume. They are easier to hand out as well.

To create the QR code, I searched online and found many places to do so. I used for my creation, but other sites work as well. Next, I searched online for a way to print onto Post-It notes and found many pointers as well. The one I used was from a site called One Good Thing.

2011 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

Madison Square Garden can seat 20,000 people for a concert. This blog was viewed about 65,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Madison Square Garden, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Explore Your Photos with Lightroom’s Metadata Browser

Have you ever tried to look for a particular photo that was taken on a specific date, or by a specific camera? Lightroom’s Metadata Browser can help you to locate such a photo and more.

Last weekend, I had an out-of-state visitor and we talked about photography in general. When he asked me to show him some sample of a particular lens, in this case, my Nikkor AF 50mm f1.8D, I had no problem locating it under the Lens section of the Metadata Browser. The visitor was at awe of easy and speedy it was to pinpoint such information and thought that feature alone worth Lightroom’s full price.

To use the Metadata Browser, you must first switch to the Library module. You can do this in Lightroom by clicking on the “Library” module at the top right corner of the screen, or type ‘g’. Next, locate the “Metadata Browser” section in the left pane and click the disclose triangle to expand its sub-sections. Here, you can browser your photos by camera type, lens, file type, aperture, shutter speed, ISO speed rating, date, location, creator, and label.

I often find the camera type useful when I am trying to locate photos taken by a particular camera. For example, most of photos taken with my camera phone is for note-taking purpose. Therefore, by locating these pictures, I can browse through my notes. You can also browser by date to locate pictures you took on a specific date (birthdays, picnic, …) Even the lens browser is interesting: By looking at the lenses and the number of photos taken by each, I can have a general idea which lens is my “pet” lens (current, the 18-200mm) and which is not (my 12-24mm).

I am confident that you will find even more uses for this feature. Go to the library and use the Metadata Browser. Soon you, will find yourself hooked.

EasyEnvelopes Does It

I found myself many times wanting to print an envelope, but do not want to spend the effort to do so. Who would want to fire up an application, fill out the return and mailing addresses, position them so they appear just right, then change the page layout, then print. Enters a free utility that handles this task in an easy and efficient way: EasyEnvelopes Ambrosia Software.

EasyEnvelopes (EE) is a Mac OS X widget. Installing it is as easy as double-clicking on the widget. After installation, I launched the widget for the first time and to my pleasant surprise, EE has filled out my return address using my home address. The magic lies in the integration with Address Book application.

The first thing I did was to configure the widget by clicking on the “i” at the bottom right corner of the envelope. From the configuration screen, I can change the envelope size, font size, USPS bar code, the return address and its placement (in front or in the back). Once configured, the fun began. The widget allow searching for entries in the Address Book, or I can enter a new address in. After that, clicking on the stamp to print. It could not be simpler.

Since the Address Book application also allow envelopes printing, why do I need this widget? First, EE allows printing an address that is not in the address book (think rebate address). In addition, EE gives more control over the the return address: home, custom, an image, or none. Finally, EE can optionally print the US Postal Service’s bar code, which should help speeding up mail sorting and increase accuracy.

In conclusion, EasyEnvelopes is one fine widget that performs only one task very well: printing envelopes. In addition to features, performance, and ease of use, EasyEnvelopes offers an unbeatable price: free. This tool will stay in my arsenal for a long time.

Verilux HappyLite Mini Ultra

I have been eyeing this lamp for quite sometime because I am in need of a desk lamp with natural light along with its therapeutic promise. Finally, after reading a review from the Gadgeteer site, I purchased one.

When I first use the lamp, the light seems too bright and shines to my eyes instead of illuminating the desk. However, that’s what the lamp was designed for: shining the light into the user’s eyes for therapeutic effect. The power switch has three settings: off, low, and high. I normally set it on low, but during the day, I set it on high to compete with the ambient light. Why do I have to turn on a lamp in daylight, one might ask. If you live in Seattle during the winter, you know that the sky is mostly gray and dark. In order to operate the switch I have to use both hands: one to hold on to the lamp and the other to slide the switch. Otherwise, sliding the hard switch with one hand will only slide the whole lamp around the desk. After a few days of use, I started to get a hang of turning on and off the lamp with one hand, but it is still a difficult task nonetheless.

After a week of using this lamp, I have to admit that it does not make a good desk lamp–and rightly so because Verilux did not design this as a desk lamp, but a therapy lamp. As a desk lamp, the HappyLite Mini Ultra shines directly onto my eyes, as the result, I can hardly see anything else on my desk. My idea of a desk lamp is something that would illuminate the desk, not my eyes.

So, if it is not a good desk lamp, does it make a great therapy lamp? To answer that question, one must have a metric to measure happy mood. That means I cannot objectively say that the lamp works. However, it does brighten up my office and in turn reduces my eye fatigue. I find that by putting the lamp just slightly behind me, it makes an excellent reading light. For this reason, I am considering buying a floor model for my night reading.

In conclusion, it was me that chose the wrong kind of lamp: I looked for a desk lamp and purchased a therapy lamp instead. Nonetheless, the lamp does help me with my reading and brighten up my den, especially at night.

Neat Desktop: MenuShade

Once again, I would like to thank Merlin Mann for his pointer to this gem. MenuShade hides the menu to remove one more distracting piece of information from the user’s desktop.

The user can choose various degree of shading, from completely invisible to visible. For my MacBook, I choose to turn it completely dark so the menu bar disappear altogether.

Neat Desktop: Desktopple

Continue with my neat desktop theme, I also found another cool application: Desktopple. This little gem hides the icons on the desktop to give the user a cluster-free desktop.

As a matter of personal preference, I choose a near-black background for my desktop when hiding the icons. Others might opt for a different color, or even a desktop picture of their choice. I also turn on a hot key to toggle hiding : cmd+\.

While I am only using Desktopple for a few hours, I really love it and consider purchasing the pro version after a few more days of evaluation. Purchasing the software is my way to say thank you to the developer, not because I need additional features of the pro version.