Saturday, August 29, 2009
Wednesday, January 02, 2008
The first component of this new site is "Windows Freeware." This is a more concise version of the freeware theme that I started here on Blogspot. I'm continuing to update the library, and I won't be neglecting it. It's a lot easier to update (no offense to Google's Blogger).
The site has a lot of virtual sawdust and its performance dogs a bit at first, but I'll get it cleaned up and work out the kinks. But please feel free to look around. And if you have any freeware suggestions, I'd appreciate it if you'd pass them my way (mwrisner at g mail dot com ... you know how to interpret this).
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
If you like to add taglines or signatures to your email messages that include quotes and sayings, you're not alone. If you'd like to rotate or change those taglines often, then you're used to a lot of cutting and pasting ... or you don't do it at all. Random Tagline Manager will rotate those taglines for you when used with an email application that supports Text, HTML, and RTF messages. The application includes 6,500 taglines, and you can add and delete to your heart's content.
This powerful utility will help you more easily manage the Vista boot manager. This would be most helpful when you dual boot on a system that previously only had Windows XP (or earlier). You can re-order the default boot OS, rename non-descriptive "Previous version of Windows" entry, and more. If you're running a version of Vista x64 and are feeling confined by the ability to run only signed drivers, Vista Boot Pro can allow unsigned drivers to be tested.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
This is like Microsoft's SyncToy on steroids. Much of the folder (and subfolder) mirroring capabilities are redundant. However, GoodSync offers a few more features that might compel you to switch ... or start using a utility such as this in the first place. You can make GoodSync monitor your USB drive for changes and have those changes echoed to the destination/backup folder immediately. Sounds great, as long as you're not depending on the destination's files as a poor-man's version control.
If you're interested in fine-tuning your computer's internals, SpeedFan will allow you to do just that. You can fully customize fan speeds based on temperatures to your specifications. If you don't know why you'd want to do this, then this utility was meant for someone else. Don't worry though, no need to take it personally.
If you think remote backup is too costly, think again. Mozy offers up to 2 GB of free remote backup space. And if US$60 per year sounds reasonable to you, Mozy will allow unlimited space for your backups. Not too shabby, eh?
If the name doesn't make you love it, then what it does for you certainly will. When you buy a new PC from an OEM, it will come with your OS of choice (probably some edition of Vista), an office productivity suite of some kind ... and a lot of junk/bloatware/crap you didn't ask for. The folks that make PC Decrapifier know how to get rid of most of the junk. Run the app, and it will present you with a list of crapware it can remove for you.
Microsoft acquired the makers of Virtual PC a while back and then offered it for free. Who ever said the Redmond titan doesn't have a heart? If you like to tinker with your OS in potentially dangerous ways, Virtual PC gives you a safe playground. As long as you don't save state when you exit, it will come up pristine the next time to restart the session. Virtual PC supports any version of Windows (you supply the discs for installation). The only caveats are that you'll need plenty of disk space and RAM. The virtual machine will consume your real hardware resources.
Sunday, June 03, 2007
I started playing on the Internet before the World Wide Web took off. So command line programs for FTP were the status quo. Then WS_FTP LE was released and made it super easy to transfer files using Windows (3.11 for Workgroups, by the way).
Since those good ol' days, WS_FTP has gone commercial, so it's no longer free. I've played with SmartFTP and FileZilla, but never really fell in love with them. I actually found their interfaces cluttered or confusing. Then I found Core FTP, and I was immediately reminded of the Spartan simplicity and intuitive interface of WS_FTP. If you're like me, do yourself a favor and grab this nifty FTP utility.
downseven Rating: 5 out of 5
Every now and then, you need to resize an image. Especially when you're posting a picture of that old sofa on Craigslist or emailing a picture on the new baby to the proud grandparents. Most online uses for images do not require 2590 pixels wide, which is standard output for a 5 megapixel camera.
To tame these huge images, you'll need to downsize them. Windows XP has a handy PowerToy to downsize images, but Windows Vista doesn't have that option (at least not at the time of this posting). So consider VSO's Image Resizer. Select one or more images in Windows Explorer, right click, and select VSO Image Resizer. The utility will open up with several simple settings. Click OK, and the images will be modified in a matter of a few seconds.
downseven Rating: 4 out of 5
Visit the VSO Image Resizer Web site
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
Windows Clippings is a terrific utility created by Kenny Kerr whose blog is hosted a ASP.net. His application replaces WinSnap on my freeware list, because that app became shareware when it upgraded to 2.x.
Windows Clippings has almost everything you need in its current form (version 1.5.15), and it'll have it all when version 2 is released. Currently, it supports Windows XP and Vista. It can grab single or parent/child windows. In Vista, you can choose whether to include the windows behind the windows (via PNG transparencies) and window shadows. Version 2 will have a plethora additional features, including support for drop down menus and so much more (details are on Kerr's blog).
Kerr takes a minimalist approach with Window Clipping's operation. There is no main window, the app runs slickly from the task tray (near the clock). When you want to capture something, double-click the task tray icon. Your desktop will blur. Select the window you're after and it will become clear (Shift+click to include a parent window, if applicable). Finally, double-click to grab the image (Shift+double-click to keep the parent).
You can choose to have the captures copied to the Clipboard, to disk, or to OneNote 2003 or 2007. Very nice options.
The screen capture utility is housed in a file less than 165KB. It is also self-contained, meaning you don't have to go through an installation process. Just tuck the executable in a folder and double-click it when you need it. If you want it available any time, then the Options allows you to have it start with Windows.
downseven Rating: 5 out of 5
Visit Kenny Kerr's Window Clippings home page