Backup Your DVDs and a Contest!

How often have you wanted to take a DVD that you own and move the contents to your laptop, iPod, iPad or, shudder, Android phone to take on a trip. Or maybe you just want to make a backup copy of that DVD for when the original gets lost or scratched. Well there are a number of tools to let you do so, but I was recently given the opportunity to try out one of the easiest. Daniusoft DVD Ripper

Daniusoft DVD Ripper for Windows and DVD Ripper for Mac OS X are basically the same program, just for the different platforms. DVD Ripper not only allows you to extract whatever movie it may be on your DVD, but will also convert it into MP4, AVI, WMV, MOV, FLV, MPEG or other formats for playback on almost any device. Additionally, you can use DVD Ripper to extract just the audio from a DVD and save that out to MP3, WMA, WAV, M4A, AAC, OGG or AC3 formats. In other words, there are an abundance of options for how to save out the files.

And that is why I said this is one of the easiest tools. DVD Ripper comes with many presets already established so that you don’t have to know the video size, frame-rate, or format of the output you want. Simply select your target device and DVD Ripper will take care of all of this for you. While not as fast in the copying process as some of the other products I have tried, such a the freeware HandBrake or MacTheRipper for the Mac, the pure ease of use wins hands down. Additionally, since DVD Ripper is developed by a commercial entity I would hope that they will keep up with technology. Unfortunately many free products, such as those I mentioned, have been left to languish with no updates. This sometimes makes those products finicky to use on newer operating systems or with new hardware. I have had no such problems at all with Daniusoft’s DVD Ripper.

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Tools for Twitter – Part 1

Twitter is great. I love it. It is fun, it is informative, and it can get out of control fast. If you are using this great social media party-line, then sooner or later you will start to wonder how to gain control of what is going on there. While there are lots of excellent applications for actually using Twitter from your desktop, such Twhirl and TweetDeek which are Adobe Air cross-platform applications, what I am looking at here are three web-based tools that will help you actually manage your friends and followers.

Twit Who?The first tool we come to is actually called “Friend of Follow”. This site will show you a simple but visually appealing tabbed overview of those people who you are following but who are not following you back, those who are following you but that you don’t follow, and those that are both followed and following. While the display is nice, and by mousing over each user you can get some basic information, Friend or Follow doesn’t really provide enough information for my to find it to useful for most uses. What I do find useful sometimes is that I can put the people listed in order by location or number of followers. This is perfect for when I want to know if there are people local to my area I’m not following.

Next up is “MyCleener”. Ever wondering which of your friends are deadbeats? Or which of your friends just isn’t keeping up? MyCleener will pull the list of people you are following and then put then in order by the last time they tweeted. I was actually surprised to find out that one of the people I was following hadn’t tweeted in over a year. While technically there is nothing wrong with following someone who doesn’t tweet often, it does inflate your following to followers ratio. And many people, myself included, use that ration as a kind of rule of thumb to your legitimacy.

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