Archive for September, 2007

A free PDF viewer that lets you save changes to your documents

Sunday, September 30th, 2007

screenshot of PDF-Xchange Viewer

PDF-Xchange Viewer is a free Portable Document Format (.pdf) document reader. Of course, you can grab the "official" version of the Acrobat Reader for free from Adobe's website, but you may actually be settling for less if you do.

Along with being faster than the Adobe product, PDF-Xchange Viewer has additional features that aren't available on the free version of Acrobat. Viewing is made easier with special magnifier and scrolling tools. You can add your own sticky notes, or even make annotations in the body of any .pdf document, typing directly on the page, not just in forms documents. You can add shapes also, making it easy to emphasize particular passages with lines, boxes, and such. It's easy to extract text from a document, or to save pages or an entire document off to selected image-format files.

PDF-Xchange Viewer is a free download. It is compatible with Windows systems running Win2k or later.

Download PDF-Xchange Viewer

Conquer the Windows Registry with RegAlyzer

Saturday, September 29th, 2007

screenshot of RegAlyzer

Where is the most frightening place you can imagine? A dark, deep cave? A haunted house? The Windows Registry?

While Microsoft would like you to believe that there are no user-servicable parts inside, sometimes you just have to dive into the Registry to really get things to behave the way you want them to. Windows comes with RegEdit, a rather rudimentary tool to deal with Registry tweaks, but it leaves a lot to be desired.

RegAlyzer is an enhanced Registry editor. Along with the usual create, find, and delete functionality of RegEdit, RegAlyzer gives you enhanced search capabilities. Supporting regular expressions, you have a much more robust search functionality available, which will help you to find the keys and values you're looking for more quickly and easily. You can even set bookmarks to get back to areas you work with regularly, like the various startup sections (Run, RunOnce, etc.).

And as always, remember to be really, really careful when manually editing the Registry: one slip and you may wind up with a very expensive doorstop.

RegAlyzer works with most versions of Windows up through Vista.

Download RegAlyzer

Returnil keeps your system safe no matter what happens to it

Friday, September 28th, 2007

screenshot of Returnil Virtual System Personal Edition

Returnil is an interesting app that protects your system from virtually everything. When you start it up, it reads your entire system partition into memory, and then uses this virtual system for your session. This means that no matter what changes get made to your system, all you need to do to roll them back is to restart your machine. You can hang-out in dangerous neighborhoods online–or even let your overly inquisitive nephew onto your system–with no fear of things getting mucked up. Whatever changes are made, intentionally or not, to your system are strictly temporary.

Upgrading to the next version of your favorite app but not sure how your system will like it? Try it out first, and if everything looks good, you can go back and make it "real". When you want to make changes, you simply turn Returnil off and go about your business. Turn it back on and your changes stay put.

Returnil Virtual System Personal Edition is a free download for home users. It runs under Windows XP, 2003 Server, and Vista.

Download Returnil Virtual System Personal Edition

Don’t forget with ReminderCube

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

screenshot of ReminderCube

ReminderCube is a desktop calendar with several nice features. Along with the standard ability to enter and edit appointments, you can also track longer-term projects with a searchable task list. A special "all day" window allows you to make notes that don't apply to a specific task or appointment, but rather a whole day. Gone are the days of having to use poor old 8:00 am as the catch-all for notes for the day.

Included along with the day-and-date functionality you'd expect from a calendar, ReminderCube also features an RSS reader, image viewer, and even an application launcher. You may be tempted to use this tool as your system's main UI.

Customizable with a number of themes, skins, and user-defined color combinations, and even icons you can use for events and tasks, you can make this app your own. Show or hide the various windows, and you have a custom configuration that fits the way you work with your calendar.

ReminderCube is a Windows application.

Download ReminderCube

Your system will hum with efficiency with Performance Monitor

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

screenshot of Performance Monitor

Performance Monitor is a desktop tool that lets you know what's really going on inside your computer. Comprising four graphic displays of CPU usage, memory utilization, disk status, and network information, you will always be on top of your system's current status. You can drag the display windows around on the desktop, to keep them out of your way; you can even make them transparent so that you can "click through" them to hit items on your desktop underneath them. Or, if you prefer, you can drag them all into the Taskbar, allowing you to see what's going on without sacrificing any of your scarce desktop real estate.

You can configure Performance Monitor to run at a lower priority, to avoid having the tool take up too many of the system resources you're trying to measure. After all, what good is a tool that throws your measurements off because it's using all your machine's horsepower?

Performance Monitor is a Windows app and will run under Windows 2000 and later.

Download Performance Monitor

RSSOwl is a wise old bird

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

screenshot of RSSOwl

RSS has made everybody's life easier. Rather than having to run around the Web to see what's going on out there in the world, you can let the world come to you. Whether it's news and politics, social networking, or the musings in the blogosphere, the world literally beats a path to your door through RSS syndication of content.

RSSOwl is a free newsreader that lets you read news the way you want to. Along with the expected subscribe and read functionality, there are extras that deserve a good look. Enhanced search capability allows you to find just the posts you are interested in.

You can also search for newsfeeds you haven't discovered yet, helping you to cover your interests even better. Once you find a site you like, RSSOwl will scour the site, looking for every feed that they feature.

There's an internal browser, so HTML content will be rendered correctly for your viewing pleasure.

You can minimize the app to the System Tray, keeping it out of the way until it detects new unread items. It lets you new when you have new stories to look at, keeping you right on top of things.

A new Version 2 is currently under development. It promises to add Usenet capability, allowing you to go old school and keep track of Newsgroups as well.

RSSOwl is a Java application, and is available for Linux, Macintosh, and Windows systems.

Download RSSOwl

Scriblink is like a whiteboard, but without the stinky pens

Monday, September 24th, 2007

screenshot of Scriblink

Scriblink is an online whiteboard that allows you and up to five others to collaborate, as if you were all sitting around brainstorming in a meeting room. Various on-screen tools allow you to add shapes, text, and more. There's a grid you can toggle off and on, so you can draw with "training wheels" to make sure to keep things "straight".

Each user can select a color to use, so it'll be clear who's adding what to your board. Onscreen chat capability means that you can communicate verbally to support the graphic work you're all involved in.

When you're done, or if you want to do an incremental save of your board, you can save your board to their servers, and even email its URL to others, so you can all pick up again where you left off later.

Scriblink is an online service. All you need to participate is a browser that meets their specs (Firefox, IE 4, Netscape 6, or Safari 2 for Windows, or Safari 2 for Mac) and Java loaded on your machine.

Check-out Scriblink

Those who ignore history are doomed to not find their favorite websites

Sunday, September 23rd, 2007

screenshot of IEHistoryView

Every web browser keeps track of the pages you've visited. This is helpful in a number of situations, like when you click the "back" button. If you need to revisit a page you looked at earlier today, or even earlier this week, all you need to do is look through this browser history listing to go back. The bad news is that this history listing is generally kept chronologically, which means that if you know you have visited a site you want to revisit, you have to know when you originally visited it in order to find it in the history listing.

IEHistoryView will allow you not only to look at your browsing history in Internet Explorer, but you can then sort it by URL or page title, as well as date. Along with viewing and sorting the pages you've visited, you can delete individual list entries, and even save them off as text or HTML files.

IEHistoryView works on any Windows system, including Vista, with Internet Explorer version 4 or greater.

Download IEHistoryView

TAGAP: The Apocalyptic Game About Penguins

Saturday, September 22nd, 2007

screenshot of TAGAP

Did you ever have one of THOSE days? You know, you get up, brush your teeth, find that the world has been overrun by mutant penguins? I hate it when that happens.

TAGAP is The Apocalyptic Game About Penguins. As the name suggests, you're looking at the end of life as we know it through the eyes of a flock of penguins who have been used in vile experiments by Dr. Glowenko. Pablo (the good guy) fights against Pedro (the bad guy) and a host of zombie penguins, killer penguins, robot penguins, and more. Using the weapons available to you, including an arsenal of guns, featuring shotguns, machine guns, flame throwers, rocket launchers, and a disintegrator, and even chemical warfare, in the form of anti-penguin mind-altering drugs, you defeat the enemy, while collecting goodies for doing well. Penguins on steroids? Yeah, that's in there too.

Play TAGAP under Windows XP or Vista. No tuxedo required.

Download TAGAP

The File Splitter: It’s like a Ginsu knife for files

Friday, September 21st, 2007

screenshot of The File Splitter

Bigger is better, except when it isn't. Suppose you have a large file and you need to move it. Many email systems won't accept attachments bigger than 1MB in size. A diskette can hold only 1.44MB. Even a CD can only hold around 700MB. What if you could move half of the file at a time?

The File Splitter is a convenient way to break large files into several smaller files. Choose your large file by browsing to it, dragging it into the app, or just typing its path. You can choose the size of the resulting "chunks", and the app will tell you how many of them you're going to wind up with. After creating the smaller files, The File Splitter also creates a little executable (it's named "Create" followed by the name of the split file) that lets you knit the small files back together. That means that you can break you file up, email the pieces and the Create, and your recipient won't need to have The File Splitter, since they will use that Create program to reassemble the original file.

The File Splitter is a Windows app and will run under Windows 95B (OSR2) and later.

Download The File Splitter