Archive for February, 2007

Weather station on your Windows desktop

Thursday, February 8th, 2007

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Weather Watcher is a fun and useful program which allows you to have a full-featured weather station on your Windows desktop. Customize the program for your location, and it will pull information from the Internet to keep you updated on the current temperature, weather conditions, and forecast. Information for 77000 cities worldwide is available.

The current temperature and conditions are displayed in a tray icon when the program is minimized. When maximized, you'll have access to more detailed information, including hourly forecasts, international weather, and satellite maps. The program can be customized with skins, and the developer maintains a support forum if you need assistance.

Download WeatherWatcher

Organize your Mac OS X passwords

Wednesday, February 7th, 2007

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Pastor is a freeware program for Max OS X that will help you organize your passwords, website logins, serial numbers, and other information which is necessary to have but difficult to remember. Install the program by dragging it to your Applications folder, and you'll be immediately ready to take control of the password monster. Pastor can even generate passwords for you, then automatically store them, so you'll have maximum security without fear of being locked out of your website or application.

Documentation for the program is minimal, but the developer's website contains an FAQ. You can also contact the developer by email if you have questions, but the program is quite simple and intuitive.

Get Pastor

Manage your IE cookies

Tuesday, February 6th, 2007

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Chances are, your computer is filled with browser cookies, some useful, some not useful, and some perhaps harmful. IECookiesView is a small utility which helps you manage your cookies. Using an attractive interface, it displays the details of all cookies on your computer, and allows you sort them, view them, and delete the ones you don't want. It will even allow you to change the information in a cookie. If you're feeling adventurous, you can view information in the mysterious index.dat file.

IECookiesView works directly from the Internet Explorer toolbar. If you keep it open, it will automatically refresh the display as new cookies are added. If you want to change browsers while taking your cookie information with you, your cookies can be exported to Netscape/Mozilla.

Download IECookieView

Use WebSwoon to capture website thumbnails

Monday, February 5th, 2007

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Say you've written reviews of your favorite websites, and you want to jazz up the reviews by adding thumbnailed screenshots of each website's homepage. You could do it by hand – surf to each url, take a screencap, resize it in editing software – but the process would be time-consuming and rather tedious. Instead, you can use WebSwoon to automatically do the work for you.

To use WebSwoon, enter a list of urls into the program. WebSwoon will automatically visit each url, capture an image of each page visited, and save the image to a specified folder. You can specify the dimensions of the image you want captured, as well the format (your choices are jpg, gif, and png). Images can be saved with configurable names (url, date, number of site), so you don't have to rename them later. You can even specify whether you want the browser window displayed or hidden in the images.

Get WebSwoon.

Opera browser now available in version 9.1

Sunday, February 4th, 2007

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The Opera web browser has been released in "new and improved" version 9.1. Once upon a time, users had to pay for the privilege of using Opera, but the browser is now free for users of all major operating systems including Windows, Mac, and Linux. It's loaded with useful features, including tabbed browsing (with thumbnail preview), a popup blocker, a file download manager, a password manager, and a built-in BitTorrent application. The program also features some innovative concepts like "mouse gestures", where you can train your browser to perform specific tasks (like opening a link), when you move your mouse in a defined pattern. Widgets are another popular Opera feature.

Alternative browsers like Opera are often of interest to people with Internet security concerns, and Opera 9.1 is full of features to protect the user. Opera supports 256-bit encryption, and clearly displays the security level of the site being visited in the browser bar. You can clear the history and cache when exiting the browser, to protect your privacy, and there are a variety of ways to accept or deny cookies. The browser also has anti-phishing protection.

The Opera website clearly describes all the browser's features with text and video demos, and there's a large support community if you have questions or need assistance.

Download Opera 9.1.

Organize your DVD collection

Saturday, February 3rd, 2007

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EMDB stands for "Eric's Movie Database". This is a simple program which will help you catalog your DVD collection (so you don't end up with multiple copies of "Short Circuit 2"). When you enter a movie title in EMDB, it imports information about the film from the Internet Movie Database. You can supplement the information by adding a cover image and a personal film rating. If you loan your DVDs to friends and family, EMDB can help you track the loans so none of your collection will go missing.

A nice feature of the program is auto-backup. Each time new movies are added, the database makes a backup copy of itself in case there are any problems. EMDB does not require .NET Framework to run.

While EMDB itself is completely free, you can have your version of the program personalized for a fee of $10.

Get EMDB

FTP program for Mac OS

Friday, February 2nd, 2007

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Cyberduck is an FTP/SFTP program for computers running Mac OS X. It features an extremely intuitive and attractive user interface, and integrates fully with a number of external editors (like BBEdit), as well as with AppleScript. With Cyberduck you can accomplish almost any FTP task with ease, as it allows the user to synchronize local and remote directories, modify permissions on multiple files, and to resume transfers if they're interrupted. The program also allows bookmarking, importing bookmark files, and synchronizing bookmarks with iDisk.

Cyberduck FTP is available in twenty-three different languages, so it's the perfect choice for even the Welsh or Indonesian-speaking Mac user.

Download Cyberduck

Free Printable Valentines

Thursday, February 1st, 2007

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Valentine's Day is coming soon. Remember gradeschool, when you got to make Valentine's cards for everyone in your class (and even had to give one to the kid that you really didn't like?) Giving Valentine's cards isn't just for kids — just about everyone appreciates getting a silly, cute, fun card on Valentine's Day.

FreePrintableValentines.net makes giving Valentines easy. The site offers 50 Valentine's Day card designs in PDF format, which you can download and print for free. The site includes cards for sweethearts, friends, children, and even (who knew there was a need for this?) Valentines for robots.

So you can print out 40 copies of your favorite card and give one to everyone in your workplace. Even the folks that you don't like that much.

Get Free Printable Valentines