Archive for October, 2005

Fifty Levels of Brick-Breaking

Friday, October 28th, 2005

JardinainsAtari fanatics who long for legacy arcade games for the PC will enjoy Jardinains, a reincarnation of the much loved Pong and Breakout games, but with a twist. As with the Breakout games of yore, Jardinains features different levels of play, with each level getting more difficult as you advance. But this souped up version goes beyond breaking bricks; it features a level editor, player-by-player statistics tracking, and cheat codes.

Most importantly, developers have added garden gnomes which look (and sound) cute at the outset, but eventually transform into an obsessed enemy that will take advantage of every opportunity to throw flower pots and little potted cacti on you! With the weekend looming, indulge in this much acclaimed freeware that is bound to provide you with a challenging and exciting diversion. The numbers tell a story, don’t they? Over a million downloads and still counting.

Download Jardinains

Eliminate Spyware with Yahoo! Toolbar

Wednesday, October 26th, 2005

Yahoo ToolbarFirst there were the browser wars, then there came the search wars (which just keep getting hotter!) and of late we have the toolbar wars — search tools installed on the browser bars. Both Yahoo! and Google have excellent toolbars, and there’s absolutely no harm in having both, because some of the coolest features these two Internet giants launch might first find their home on these toolbars!

Yahoo! Toolbar with Anti-Spy offers the Yahoo! web search by default, with the option for users to limit searches to favorite sites. Other search options including phone listings, news, stock quotes, products, maps, and movie show times (based on zipcode) can be completed via a drop-down menu. You can also add RSS feeds to My Yahoo.

Two things set the Yahoo! Toolbar with Anti-Spy apart from its Google counterpart: the anti-spyware and bookmark features. Anti-Spy is a spyware “assassin” that examines one’s hard drive for dangerous applications, suspicious items, as well as files that need to be placed under close observation. The toolbar’s bookmark feature lets users view and keep track of bookmarks from any PC, and import bookmarks currently stored in IE or Netscape. Though the Anti-Spy add-on bloats the file size of this plug-in, installation is fast and easy; Yahoo! offers a version for Firefox as well.

Download Yahoo! Toolbar

Free Magic Tricks

Friday, October 21st, 2005

Free Magic Tricks

Here's a great Friday time-waster: Classic Magic, a new site that shows how to perform hundreds of magic tricks. If you've ever thought it might be fun to liven up a party with a trick or two, this site will show you how to pull off dazzling sleight of hand with coins, eggs, and other everyday objects. There are also dozens of card tricks that will impress your friends on poker night. (Or possibly lose you some friends, if they catch you trying the false shuffles and card-up-the-sleeve tricks explained at the site.) All right, so maybe you don't want to try prestidigitation yourself — still. it's fun to find out how hundreds of classic magic tricks are done.

Visit www.ClassicMagic.net for Free Magic Tricks

Customizable reminder and task scheduler

Thursday, October 20th, 2005

Kirby Alarm & Task Scheduler

Do we need another task scheduler and reminder aid? You can’t be blamed for asking that question, considering how ubiquitous these features have become in most personal devices like PDAs, mobile phones, and even wrist watches. But you won't want to miss out on the lovely, customizable features that the Kirby Alarm and Task Scheduler offers. Users have been using it for keeping track of everything from television program times to online poker tournaments, eBay auction endings to medicine schedules.

Like most task scheduler programs, this freeware will pop up a note or play a sound based on user-defined intervals. However, you can also configure Kirby Alarm to run a program or send an e-mail at those times. Another cool feature is the Watch File, which allows the execution of a task based on certain conditions, such as executing file back-ups once virus scans are completed. The user can also set up recurring appointments such as virus pattern downloads, spyware scanner updates, and dental appointments. The options available in setting these reminders–fixed times, defined intervals, frequency, and conditional–add power to this application.

With the Kirby Alarm, you can afford to literally forget about having to remember something to do…

Download Kirby Alarm and Task Scheduler

Quotes in Your E-mail, the Easy Way

Wednesday, October 19th, 2005

Add a Quote

Have you ever found yourself linger on at the end of an e-mail message to let out a smile, feel perked up, or quite simply sit back and reflect for a moment due to a small quote appended to the message? Profound or light-hearted, inspirational or romantic, a few beautiful words in the "signature" section of your e-mail messages can make someone’s day, just as it made yours.

Quotes 2006, the latest edition of QLiner’s highly praised freeware, inserts random quotes into the signature file used with your e-mail client, be it Outlook, Outlook Express, Netscape Messenger, or Eudora. You can choose among categories of ready-to-use quotes, and include your own unique quotes in the mix.

Upon installation, Quotes creates a system tray icon where you can gain access to all the program's features. Hover over the icon to display the current quote; or you can click it to view the next one. Adding or removing quotes or categories is easy, so your signature won't go stale. A minor hiccup with uninstalling this utility is that will require the manual removal of the signature file from the e-mail application. But considering the readability that these quotes lend to your e-mail messages, there may not be a reason to do that all.

So, put a smile on a face, inspire someone and make somebody's day.

Download Quotes 2006

Create Keyboard Shortcuts with Hotkeys

Monday, October 17th, 2005

Hotkeys keyboard shortcuts

“Power users” or “masters of the Control, Shift and Alt keys” — people who seem to have programmed keyboard shortcuts into their fingertips as they deftly move from one task to another — will love the Hotkeys application (others can begin to appreciate the value of shortcuts!)

Hotkeys can be used to launch programs, open web pages, send keystrokes to other utilities, or log-off Windows, among other tasks. Numerous other add-ins add even more substance to the application, such the ability to control the system volume. With support for more than 100 international keyboards, Hotkeys can be used fairly universally. It is also a handy tool for scripting tasks, as users can execute multiple Hotkeys commands sequentially.

But what makes Hotkeys really valuable is that users can afford to forget a shortcut configuration (which tens to happen, right?), and still be able to use it. Just hold the Windows key for a few seconds and out pops an on-screen keyboard showing your configured keys. It is wonderful to have shortcuts at one's disposal without having to remember all of them.

Give your typing fingers a rest with Hotkeys.

Download Hotkeys

Batch File Renaming

Saturday, October 15th, 2005

Batch File Renaming

Now here’s a file management utility that can make life a lot more convenient for all lovers of digital devices, be it digital cameras, MP3 players, PDAs and mobile phone cameras. File Renamer Basic, as its rather intuitive name suggests, is a free batch file renaming program that facilitates the renaming of files and folders downloaded from all the aforementioned devices. What's the big deal? You can use it to give your pictures names based on the date rather than the unhelpful names (like IMG_2306.jpg) that your digital camera gives them.

With an interface that is uncomplicated and user friendly, users can easily rename files, specifying prefix, suffix, unique parameters, as well as extensions, right from the main page. Not only can these capabilities be applied to sequential numbers, letters, dates, and file filters, but users can also find or replace text strings. One key feature that is definitely a boon is the option to preview proposed changes before proceeding. Thankfully, File Renamer Basic does provide that option, thereby reducing the probability of any serious mess-ups with file naming.

So, if you are somebody who is prolific in the use of all these gadgets, File Renamer Basic may well come in handy.

Download File Renamer Basic

Comprehensive English thesaurus & dictionary

Friday, October 14th, 2005

Thesaurus and Dictionary Dissatisfied with the pre-installed dictionary or thesaurus in popular office applications? If your quest for the right meaning or the perfect word leaves you with the disappointment of a limited vocabulary and unwarranted frustrations, then turn to WordWeb. You’ll have a lot more words at your disposal.

A slimmed down version of WordWeb Pro, this freeware integrates easily with MS Word and is accessible quickly via its hot-key support or by clicking on the icon in the system tray. Simply highlight a word in a document or Web page, click Ctrl+Alt+W and voila! WordWeb brings up the definition and other helpful information.

With more than 140,000 root words and 115,000 synonym sets in its database, writers no longer have to access other online resources for their requirements. WordWeb also handles proper nouns, pronunciations, usage tags and, although not considered a spell checker, it is capable of suggesting alternatives to common misspellings.

Download WordWeb

Get rid of spyware and adware

Wednesday, October 12th, 2005

Bazooka Adware & Syware remover Even if you have an anti-virus checker loaded on your computer, you would still do yourself some good by using the Bazooka Adware and Spyware Scanner. A light (about 1000Kb) and fast scanning engine, this freeware is excellent at detecting hundreds of known spyware and adware installations such as keyloggers, activity monitors and Trojans. Why let these irritants invade your machine and compromise on your privacy and security when you can get rid of them without forking out a dime?

Bazooka performs two functions: one, it detects the unwanted spyware and adware. Two, it tells you how to get rid of those, step-by-step (unfortunately it does not do automatic cleansing, but one can’t really complain with the dummy-proof instructions). If available, links to uninstallers posted on the Web are also provided. The entire scanning process takes only about a few seconds to complete. Though limited in features, it is easy to use, quick, and can offer updated information for spyware newbies. Bazooka is compatible with Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2000/XP.

Download Bazooka Adware and Spyware Scanner

Free Printable Certificates

Tuesday, October 11th, 2005

screenshot

Here’s a brand-spankin’ new site to check out: Free Printable Certificates offers 100 certificates that you can download and print. You’ll find award certificates, certificates of appreciation, all sorts of education and job-oriented certificates, even gift certificates to use in your business. The selection ranges from business-y designs to a “no cavities” certificate for children.

Each certificate is available in two flavors: a free PDF version, and a $4 Microsoft Word version that can be customized before you print.

Go to Free Printable Certificates