Archive for April, 2007

It’s not “guaranteed #1 ranking”, but you know where you stand with Rank Tracker

Monday, April 30th, 2007

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Among the challenges facing webmasters and search engine optimization consultants, is that of understanding how you rank on the various search engines for your all-important keywords. If knowledge is power, then understanding where you show up in search results is the ultimate power. Digging manually through page after page of search results can be a big drain on your time. Automated tools can be expensive and have a steep learning curve.

Rank Tracker will let you track an unlimited number of keywords for an unlimited number of websites. You can see how your rankings move over time, with change records for daily, weekly, and monthly fluctuations. Progress graphs make it easier to understand your ranking and trends over time. Rank Tracker currently supports over three dozen different search engines, so the ones you are most interested in are probably included.

Available through a free license for Windows, Mac, and Linux, Rank Tracker can be an important part of your website promotion strategy.

Download Rank Tracker

Open Terminal Here makes it easier to get in touch with your inner UNIX

Sunday, April 29th, 2007

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In spite of its cool interface, there are just some things you can’t do with the Finder, where you need to open Terminal to talk to your OS X’s “inner UNIX”. Getting to a directory nested six layers deep can be a real chore, especially when many of the folders have Mac-friendly but UNIX-hostile spaces embedded in their names. Quotation marks and backslashes can make you crazy.

Open Terminal Here is an Applescript droplet that lets you open a Terminal window in the currently-selected folder that you’re visiting in the Finder. Use OS X’s browse-friendly UI to navigate through your folders, and then pop Terminal open and you’re right there. Open Terminal Here sits in the toolbar of your Finder window, just waiting for its next assignment. Or as a droplet, you can drag a folder and drop it on its icon and open a Terminal window immediately in that folder. A big time saver to be sure.

Open Terminal Here requires OS X.

Download Open Terminal Here

It’s 10:00 pm. Do you know where your packets are?

Saturday, April 28th, 2007

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Can you ever be too careful? Most new OS’s have built-in firewalls, but many older systems don’t. It’s just too dangerous out there to connect to the Internet without at least a software firewall between you and the bad guys out there. Enter Jetico Personal Firewall.

This application does all the things a good software firewall should do: it’s a packet filter that can hide you from non-trusted machines, it monitors applications as they send data out from your system, and keeps you informed at all times about what your system is doing, so you can stop it if Trojans or other bad things are trying to “phone home” or involve you as an unwitting participant in the next great DDoS attack.

Along with keeping track of packets and applications that come and go, Jetico Personal Firewall logs significant events. The end user can enhance the predefined set of policies, allowing just the right level of firewall protection.

Jetico Personal Firewall has been localized in several languages, and is compatible with Win95 and later.

Download Jetico Personal Firewall

Treepad Lite: heavyweight information manager and database

Friday, April 27th, 2007

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Treepad Lite is an intuitive, easy-to-use data management program. Instead of building elaborate data entry forms with keeping track of complicated data types, you simply type your information into the app as free-form text. The genius of Treepad Lite is in its tree-based structure that allows you to organize and re-organize as you go, dragging “articles” and nodes around the screen and grafting them onto the “tree” wherever they make the most sense. Having entered data into the app, you can then easily search for it to retrieve what you need.

Treepad Lite supports hyperlinks, so you can reference and access other files and documents on your system, the Web, newsgroups, email addresses, and more.

The look and feel is like Windows Explorer, so you already know how to use the interface.

Treepad Lite is small enough that you can run it from a floppy or a thumb drive, so it is highly portable. You can use the included installer, or simply drag files to where you need them. The app is totally self-contained, so there aren’t a bunch of extra DLLs clogging up your system.

You can run Treepad Lite on any Windows system from Win9x or later. There is also a Linux version available.

Download Treepad Lite

Commercial Invoice: It’s almost like printing money

Thursday, April 26th, 2007

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Small businesses are always looking for the perfect invoice. Billing your clients doesn’t make you money, it costs you money. You want to be able to generate bills quickly and painlessly so you can get back to business.

Commercial Invoice is a free application that allows you to create, edit, print, and update custom invoices. All information is editable, so you can update items, quantities, even enter a sales tax rate to compute your totals.

You can save your information and recall it later, searching by invoice number or customer name. Customize your invoices with your logo and contact information. You can even export your data to Excel.

Backing up and archiving your important data is simple: you just save your data out to a text file and you’re good to go. If you need to restore, the Load function reads in your saved data.

Commercial Invoice is a Windows app and requires Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0.

Download Commercial Invoice

FileHamster: free realtime file revision solution for content creators

Wednesday, April 25th, 2007

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Pick your scenario: Create new document; could be a graphics file, could be a source code document. It works file. Tweak it here. Tweak it there. Tweak it a few more times. Now it’s broken. How do you get it back? You saved it after each tweak, but did you save each version to a separate file, or do you just have the last saved version?

What about three different versions of the same file? Use this filter here and that filter there. Unless you come up with some pretty clever naming conventions, you now may have a hard time getting back to the exact version you want.

FileHamster may be what you’re looking for. FileHamster will keep track of each revision for you. Set it to watch a particular directory; any “save” in that directory and you’ll be prompted to enter a note or otherwise keep track of what changes you’ve made. It’s much easier to play “what if” games if you can be confident that you aren’t going to lose your work by saving over it.

FileHamster requires Win2k or later and the .NET Framework 2.0.

Download FileHamster

Sunbird brings Mozilla to your calendar

Tuesday, April 24th, 2007

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Sunbird, a standalone application of their Calendar Project, is a calendar and scheduling tool built on the Mozilla framework like its siblings Firefox and Thunderbird. Like those apps, it’s an open source, cross-platform application.

With Sunbird, you can look at a day, week, multiple weeks, or a month at a time. Enter events to attend, tasks to keep track of, and more. Create “to do” lists. Set reminders for single-occurrence events or repeated items.

Sunbird supports multiple calendars, so you can keep your work- and home lives separate. You can store your calendars locally, or you can park them on a server to share calendars with others in your workgroup.

Sunbird’s functionality is also available as an extension for the Thunderbird email client called “Lightning.” This gives you Outlook-like integration between scheduling and messaging.

Sunbird runs on Mac (OS X 10.2+), Windows (Win2k or later), and Linux (kernel 2.2.14 or better, with appropriate libraries) and is localized into at least seventeen languages.

Download Sunbird

Easy to learn, but hard to master: Typhoon 2001

Monday, April 23rd, 2007

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Typhoon 2001 is a free OpenGL-based game inspired by the Atari Jaguar game Tempest 2000 and the arcade game Tempest.

You control the Claw and battle any number of Flippers of various types to control a Web, the field of play for the game. Typhoon 2001 comes with a hundred Web files, and includes an editor so you can create your own.

There are three scoring modes, so you can adjust to the way you want to play. You can get bonus points for destroying an enemy off in the distance, or for taking down several in rapid succession. Powerups appear periodically when you destroy an enemy, allowing you access to new weapons, and awarding you bonus points.

As a graphics-intensive app, Typhoon wants the biggest, baddest graphics card you can get, preferably an OpenGL capable 3D-Accelerator card.

Typhoon 2001 will run on any version of Windows from Win98 up through Vista.

Download Typhoon 2001

Take a step back with ASCII Generator

Sunday, April 22nd, 2007

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Back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, before graphics cards and laser printers, ASCII was the only game in town. You could get images on your screen and your printouts only if you could create them out of alphanumeric characters. You can revisit those days with ASCII Generator.

Using only plain old text characters, ASCII Generator converts your images into high-quality ASCII art. You can save these off as .gif images or as straight-up text files. You can use the default font, or choose your own for a different look. Another effect that wasn’t available way back when is that you can save the text file in color. It’s a different look than you’ve seen before, and reflective of some pretty clever engineering.

ASCII Generator can use image files from your system, or from your clipboard. There is a batch mode that allows you to feed the app a list of images to convert.

ASCII Generator will run on any Win32 platform.

Download ASCII Generator

NTFS Undelete

Saturday, April 21st, 2007

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Deleted files aren’t necessarily gone from your system, but they require special care to bring them back. Even after you empty your Recycle Bin, your files may still be recoverable. When files are deleted on a Windows system, the files aren’t immediately destroyed, rather they are flagged in such a way that the O/S knows that they can be overwritten to reclaim their space.

While there are several tools you can use to undelete files, NTFS Undelete is distributed in three different formats. Since the mere act of installing a file recovery application may actually destroy the very files you are working to recover, NTFS Undelete can be downloaded as a .zip file or as an ISO disk image that you can burn to a CD or DVD. Running from removable media helps prevent the accidental destruction of your deleted data.

Your files are recovered onto a different volume than the one on from which they were deleted, so that the very act of recovering the deleted files doesn’t irrevocably destroy them.

The publisher also hosts an active online forum open to discussion of all things NTFS.

NTFS Undelete can be used on any NTFS volume under Windows 2000, 2003, or XP.

Download NTFS Undelete