Sometime last year, I embarked on a mission to create my own TinyURL or bit.ly. This project had no real purpose other than to help me learn how to use Google's AppEngine. All of the URL-shortening services I had tried up to that point were perfectly satisfactory for my needs, but I wanted to explore a little.
It didn't take long for me to come up with the site that is now 2ze.us. I learned some neat things about AppEngine, and the site worked well enough for my needs (just like the others). Eventually I wrote a Firefox extension to make it easier to use the site. It offers the ability to quickly shorten "any" URL, and it also has a preview utility. This allows you to hover your cursor over a 2ze.us link and learn various bits of information about it--target domain name, the target page's title, number of hits, etc.
Toward the end of 2009, I started writing the same sort of extension for Chrome/Chromium. It offers pretty much the same sort of functionality as its Firefox brother, minus keyboard shortcuts.
Before long, I found myself embarking on another 2zeus-related endeavor. This new project is one that I am actually quite proud of and satisfied with. I wrote a program that will run in the background on your computer. I call it "Clip2Zeus". This program will periodically poll your clipboard, looking for URLs in whatever text you currently have on it. If any URLs are found, the program will run out to 2ze.us and try to shorten them. Once a valid result comes back from 2ze.us, your clipboard is automatically updated with the original URLs replaced by the shortened version.
It doesn't stop there, though. You can control the program using a couple of interfaces. One interface is a Tk GUI, which allows you to set the polling interval or turn off polling altogether. Should you choose to do that, you can click a button in the GUI any time you explicitly want to shorten URLs in your clipboard. There is another command line interface that offers the same sort of functionality.
I've been using this program on several computers for a couple of weeks, and I haven't noticed any memory/performance problems at all. It works just as well on Windows as it does on Linux, and just as well on OSX as it does on Linux. It just sits there silently until you give it a URL. It works with any program that can access the standard clipboard mechanism for whatever OS you're using.
You can download and install it using easy_install or pip. Or you can download it and install it directly from http://pypi.python.org/pypi/Clip2Zeus/