Archive for July, 2007

Protect your system with SUPERAntispyware Free Edition

Saturday, July 21st, 2007


No matter how careful you are, sometimes spyware just happens. At best, it will slow your system down and hog resources; at worst, it may decide to "phone home" with your credit card information or more. Not a good thing by any stretch.

There are a lot of tools out there to help deal with the spyware epidemic. One that we recently ran across is the SUPERAntispyware Free Addition app. SUPERAntispyware allows you to customize your scans, so that you can explicitly include- or exclude folders and drives. This allows you to scan the way you want to. It also boasts a limited ability to repair broken Internet connections. Frequent updates are available for manual download, so you can always be on top of the next bad thing to come down the pike. SUPERAntispyware is compatible with most antivirus and spyware apps, so you can run more than one at a time–kind of a belt-and-suspenders approach to make sure nothing nasty is happening to your system behind your back.

While the publisher also has a Professional (paid) version available, all core functionality is available through the free version.

SUPERAntispyware Free Edition is free for personal home use. It requires Win98 or better.

Download SUPERAntispyware Free Edition

WikyBlog combines wiki and blog features

Friday, July 20th, 2007


According to Chevy Chase, new Shimmer was both a floor wax and a dessert topping. While WikyBlog won't make your floor shiny or go down well after dinner, it does combine two different functionalities into one product.

WikyBlog takes the collaboration and revision functionality of a wiki and combines it with the threaded comments of a blog. The result is an app that allows users to work together in ways not possible before. Create a wiki page, edit it–or allow others to edit it–start a threaded discussion, and so on.

The WikyBlog site is itself built using WikyBlog, so you can take a look and see what the app has to offer. A guest account lets you go in, move around, make a page or two, and try it on for size.

WikyBlog uses MySQL on the back end for its database, and requires PHP version 4, or make it easy on yourself and sign-up for an online account, and let the gurus at WikyBlog do the heavy lifting in terms of sysadmin stuff.

WikyBlog is available as both a download and a hosted service.

Download WikyBlog

You won’t be haunted by Ghosts of hard drives past with HDClone

Thursday, July 19th, 2007


Catastrophic hard drive failure. Grown men cry; children run from the streets. It's not a pretty picture.

You back up your data regularly, right? Even then you generally only grab your data–after all, you still have the original distribution media for your applications and all. But how long would it take you to re-configure your system back to how you like it, if you had to start from scratch.

Sure, we'd all like to have a RAID array, so that we always had a live, current copy of our drive. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a freeware hardware solution to this problem. How about a free software solution?

HDClone allows you to make a complete image of your hard drive. That means that you save not only your data, but also your installed applications, your configuration and settings, and everything else. When the unthinkable happens, you can just pop in a new drive, restore the cloned image, and you're back in the game right away.

HDClone is O/S independent, because it boots into its own operating system. It will run on any x86 platform with 2MB of RAM.

Download HDClone

Grab a healthy serving of news with Snarfer

Wednesday, July 18th, 2007


Snarfer is a newsreader that is equally comfortable with RSS, ATOM, or XML feeds. It has a shallow learning curve, so even newbies can be up to speed in very short order.

Along with plain-vanilla newsreading capabilities, Snarfer adds extra functionality. Newspaper view, for example, will allow users to read multiple messages in a single page. Message can be sorted, dragged around and organized in a user-configurable tree structure, to better match the way you read your news items. Web searches are persistent, which means that you only have to build your query once, and then Snarfer will continue to search for those keywords on an ongoing basis.

You can build filters to sort your incoming messages based on rules you define even before you see them. In addition, Snarfer will allow you to search across feeds, so you don't have to know where to look for messages, just what you're looking for.

Snarfer also includes a Search Wizard that makes it easy to build complex queries for both eBay and Craigslist, allowing users to always stay up-to-date on items from both of these important, time-sensitive sites.

Download Snarfer

Sweater or sun dress — WeatherSnitch gives you what you need to know

Tuesday, July 17th, 2007


Mark Twain suggested that "everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it." While WeatherSnitch can't do anything about the weather, it can keep you up-to-date with current conditions and forecast information.

WeatherSnitch is always available, running in your menubar, meaning that you lose no space on your desktop. By default, it displays current conditions for your selected location. You can configure it to add additional locations, so you can enjoy basking in the sun in San Diego while keeping track of the latest storm in Buffalo, where your brother is.

You can configure WeatherSnitch to specify how often it should update its information. You can cycle through your locations, so they will each appear in turn on your menubar. Click on the menubar to open the detail window for more info. With built-in links to (The Weather Channel's website), you can drill down even further for complete weather information for your selected locations.

Maybe you can't really do anything about the weather, but with WeatherSnitch you will certainly know all there is to know about it.

WeatherSnitch is a free Mac app that requires OS X 10.4.

Download WeatherSnitch

KlipFolio keeps you on top of the latest developments

Monday, July 16th, 2007


How much "stuff" do you have to keep track of? Email, stocks, sports scores, temperatures–the list does go on. You can track most of this stuff through your web browser, but then you've got a zillion windows open on your desktop, and with many of those you have to remember to refresh them to make sure you're looking at the latest and greatest, and not just last hour's news.

The folks responsible for KlipFolio call it "the world's smallest personal dashboard and sidebar." Essentially, KlipFolio enables you to use any number of "klips", little widget-like mini apps that allow you to monitor system performance (hard drive space, CPU and RAM usage), track weather info, track the latest additions to YouTube, monitor stocks and favorite webcams, and more.

With KlipFolio, you can drag your "klips" around your desktop and park them where you want them. You can create "groups", a way to glue several klips together, and drag them over to the side of your screen, or tuck them away in a corner so you can keep an eye on them without losing all of your precious desktop real estate.

KlipFolio is a Windows app and requires Win2k or later.

Download KlipFolio

WinAudit tells you what you’ve really got in your system

Sunday, July 15th, 2007


Computers are, to say the least, complicated beasts. With all the pieces and data, it's impossible to stay on top of what all is there. Sometimes, though, you really need to know what you've got. Install a new app, add a new piece of hardware. Will the rest of your system measure up? Do you have enough RAM? A fast enough processor? The latest service pack?

WinAudit allows you to see what exactly you've got in that box on your desk. Hardware, software, settings–it's all there. It's small enough to run from your USB flash drive or a diskette. It doesn't require installation, so you can take it with you, and it won't clutter your system with extra DLLs and such.

WinAudit has been localized in many languages; it even has a Unicode version for languages that use two-byte characters.

You can run WinAudit on one system, or all your systems, so you can use it for your desktop or all the machines on your network

You can run WinAudit on just about any Windows system–even NT 3.51, for crying out loud!

Download WinAudit

Checkbook Ease–it’s not free money, but it will help you get a handle on your financial situation

Saturday, July 14th, 2007


Money. There's never enough of it. And even when you have it, it's a hassle to take care of it. Budgets, checkbooks, credit cards, the whole thing–how do you keep on top of it all?

Checkbook Ease Freeware is an easy-to-use tool that lets you stay on top of your budget and your spending at the same time. Everything is available to you in one window, so you're never far from any part of the application. With built-in calendar and calculator, you won't spend time jumping back and forth to other apps running on your system.

Data entry is straight forward–you just fill in a couple of fields and you're done. The on-screeen check register looks like the one in your checkbook, so you already know how to understand it. To simplify data entry, you can clone transactions. This month's power bill is the same as last month's, only the amount has changed. Just grab the earlier one, edit the dollar amount, and you're done.

While Checkbook Ease won't put any money into your account, it will help you take care of the money that's already in there.

Checkbook Ease Freeware requires Windows 95 or later.

Download Checkbook Ease Freeware

Take control of your controller with Xpadder

Friday, July 13th, 2007


Got a perfectly good gamepad, but a game that doesn't like it? Xpadder may be just what you're looking for.

Xpadder is a controller-to-keypad translator. You can run keyboard-only games by mapping keyboard keys to keys on your game controller. If you can type it, you can do it through your game controller. Even mouse commands can be emulated. Xpadder supports up to 16 controllers at a time, for multiplayer games.

Testimonials on the website tell stories of using Xpadder to create "hardware macros", where long strings of characters are mapped to controller keys, enabling users to perform complicated series of tasks with simple button presses.

Xpadder can auto-detect many controllers, but even if yours isn't one of them, you can still set it up manually to take advantage of the software. Along with "normal" controllers, Xpadder can work with any other type of controller: joystick, steering wheel, dance pad, and more.

You need to be running Win98 or better to use Xpadder.

Download Xpadder

Make your correspondence all clean and neat with EasyEnvelopes

Thursday, July 12th, 2007


Nothing looks nicer than an envelope that's been computer-addressed. No hand-scribbled hard-to-read address, no off-center peel-and-stick label–it's the real deal. Unfortunately, it's a pain in the neck to print that address. You can bet that whatever you're working on, it isn't your word processor, yet that's the only place you can address that envelope. So now you've got to fire Word up and go through that whole rigmarole.

EasyEnvelopes is a Dashboard widget for Tiger (OS X 10.4). That means you can now print that envelope no matter what else you're working on. Just fire it up and go. You can do one-off labels, or you can grab contact information out of Address Book.

With EasyEnvelopes you can print standard-sized or custom envelopes. You can optionally add postal barcodes for five- or nine-digit ZIP codes, so your letter carrier will be a happy camper. With localization support, you can use correct format for addresses in Europe or other international locations.

EasyEnvelopes is distributed as a Universal Binary, so it'll work on both PPC and x86 machines.

Download EasyEnvelopes