discussion / Community Base  / 2 February 2017

Info Tech for Non-Profits blog

Info Tech for Non-Profits blog

Only tangentially related to wildlife conservation technology, but I believe of general interest to anyone trying to maximize value in a field that doesn't have a lot of money to spare.

I’d appreciate any feedback. And if you have your own tips or tricks to share, let me know. If I write about it, I will absolutely cite you as the source.


Hey Dave, 

Thanks for sharing this, it's a great resource. I started reading your first (most recent) post out curiosity and then somehow found myself a few months deep as the following posts were so interesting and varied that they kept me scrolling and reading. You're covering a great variety of infromation in such an easy to read and understand way. I like the combination of tips, workflow improvements, information of software options and how-to instructions. 

Definitely something I'll be checking in on every so often.


For those of you who work with large datasets and/or have a high turn over in temp files, the below list of software packages just makes life easier when managing laptop space, cleaning up cached files and zipping/unzipping compressed documents. Enjoy:

- For extended displays etc. Display Fusion. Free for the first month or so for the advanced version and then basic but still free after that. Most importantly allows you to have multiple display profiles so when you remove your laptop from a dock you can switch to a different profile and visa versa.  

- For cleaning up a computer with a bunch of rubbish in cache folders etc. (taking up memory and slowing things down) which are difficult to find- CCleader.

- For playing all media and audio types while circumventing the frequent codec problem encountered with windows media player: VLC Media Player.

- For zipping and unzipping a variety of files and a generally superior compression ratio: 7-Zip. This also works for extracting pictures etc. from word documents without opening them- allows you to cut down on word document size without the palaver of opening and scrolling through it.

- Google Earth has now unlocked it’s PRO version with increased functionality for general use (used to cost $400 per year). You can download Google Earth PRO here.

- For programmers or those wishing to view script or large logs in a simple note pad layout but with proper coded colours, indents, file tabs etc. Notepad++.

- Finally for understanding how much space is available and what is taking up the room on any driver: SpaceSniffer.exe. Spacesniffer gives you a graphical representation of whatever driver you point it at (e.g. C Drive) which will allow you to identify possible areas of wasted space and/or bad sectors on external harddrives.

All of the software here was either introduced to me during my time with the Environment Agency or working with the Canadian government so they’ve all been vetted. The only one which is a new download mirror is the CCleaner link but it looks like the software I use on my machine currently. I usually download if from CNET but that comes up with a large number of popups…