Three Print Utilities I Use Everyday

Published August 28, 2006 in Tools - 0 Comments

Here are three printing utilities that have made my life easier, and they will do the same for you.

I use them almost every day.

1. Fineprint (

I use the free version, which suits me just fine. Fineprint allows you to print two, four, or eight pages on one sheet of paper. It will also support manual duplexing. You *will* use less paper once you start using this program. What is really cool is you can view the print job before sending it to your printer, and easily delete pages that you don’t need.

2. PDF reDirect (

Again, they have a paid version but the free version does everything I need. For years I used pdf995 but PDF reDirect has more features. Here’s a useful tip: when you buy something online, instead of printing out the sales confirmation page, just create a PDF, which you can later print out if you need to. In most cases, you won’t need to. What I do is then email the file to my web-based email system, giving me access to it wherever I have internet capability.

There are tons of other uses for PDF documents, but this will get you started.

3. Purrint (

Super easy to use screen printing utility.

Here’s one I stumbled across but haven’t checked out yet:

OK Printer Viewer (

According to the maker, this software keeps track of print jobs and allows you to see everything that’s been printed from your computer.

Safer Surfing from McAfee

Published July 1, 2006 in Tools - 0 Comments

If your homeschooled student has their own computer, I highly recommend installing the free SiteAdvisor browser plug in for IE or Firefox. SiteAdvisor will “advise” you if it thinks a site is safe. It is especially helpful for viewing results of google searches.

Download it for free from

Web page editor – NVU

Published June 29, 2006 in Tools - 0 Comments

If your homeschooled student is interested in creating web pages, check out NVU ( There are versions for Windows, Linux, and Mac. This is free, open source software that is well worth trying.
One feature I really like is the ability to import an existing web page.

The program lets you quickly switch between four “views”: “normal”, html tags, source code, and preview.

If you or your child want to get started with web authoring, give NVU a try.

Two Million Homeschoolers in U.S.

Published June 23, 2006 in Misc - 0 Comments

From the HSDLA web site:

How many children are homeschooled in the United States?

“There were an estimated 1,700,000 to 2,100,000 children (grades K-12) home educated during 2002-2003 in the United States. Homeschooling appears to still be the fastest-growing form of education.” – Brian D. Ray, Ph.D., Facts on Homeschoooling *
*Home education has constantly grown over the last two decades. The growth rate is 7% to 15% per year, according to Dr. Brian Ray, president of the National Home Education Research Institute (Worldwide Guide to Homeschooling).

How many high school (grades 9-12) students are being homeschooled?

An estimated 250,000 to 340,000 high school (grades 9-12) students were being homeschooled during the 2000-2001 conventional school year.
How many children are homeschooled internationally?

Numbers are hard to come by in some nations. But home education is on the rise in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Mexico, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and Japan.
According to Brian Ray, president of the National Home Education Research Institute in his recent book, “Worldwide Guide to Homeschooling,” there were an estimated 50,000 to 95,000 students homeschooled in Canada during the 2000-2001 school year. Estimates for England and Wales varied widely from 13,000 to 50,000. Australian figures were in the range of 35,000 to 55,000. And one homeschool organization in Germany reported between 500 and 600 homeschooled students.
In addition to these, there are many who homeschool while serving as missionaries, military, or employees of the U.S. State Department overseas.
Worldwide Guide to Homeschooling, B. Ray, PhD ©2002.

For more information, see

Potentially helpful piece of cell phone information

Published June 23, 2006 in Tools - 0 Comments

I was recently on the phone with a Verizon wireless customer service representative. He told me that even when my cell phone reads “No Service”, which is actually quite common where I live, that 911 will still work. I don’t see how this could be but he assured me that it was a new feature that they were instructed to tell every customer that called in. I don’t really want to test it to find out for sure.

Possibly more useful is the service “Free 411”. Simply call the toll free number (1/800-FREE411), listen to a short ad lasting ten seconds or so, and get the desired phone number for free.