Archive for March, 2008

Google Send To Phone sends text messages from your browser

Monday, March 31st, 2008

screenshot of Google Send To Phone

Did you ever want to text yourself? You're headed out the door to some place you've never been before, so you dutifully looked-up the address and driving directions on Google Maps. It would be handy to send yourself a text message with that info in it, so that you don't have to drag along that printout of the directions.

Google Send To Phone is a Firefox extension that allows you to send SMS messages (text messages) to your mobile phone from within your web browser. Copy and paste whatever content you want from your page into the "text to send" field. If you're going long, the tool will automatically split your text into multiple messages.

Not only is this useful for texting yourself, but if you need to dash off a quick note to somebody else, you can do so as well. All you need is the phone number and carrier for your recipient.

Google Send To Phone is compatible with any system running Firefox version 1 or later. Sending messages through this extension is free, but charges may apply to receiving them; check with your carrier for details. Most major carriers are included in the list for sending.

Download Google Send To Phone

Put a weather man on your desktop with Weather Channel Desktop

Sunday, March 30th, 2008

screenshot of Weather Channel Desktop

"Tonight's forecast: Dark. Continued dark throughout most of the evening, with some widely-scattered light towards morning." —  George Carlin as the Hippy-Dippy Weather Man

While we could each probably make a forecast at least as accurate as that, getting the real weather forecast is a little more complicated. Whether you read the paper, watch TV, or listen to the radio, there are plenty of ways to find out whether it's going to be sunny or stormy.

Weather Channel Desktop hooks you directly into the resources of The Weather Channel. Sure, it's not the most exciting station on your local cable or satellite system, but you know you can always get weather info from them. With this tool, you get the local temperature in your System Tray. One click gets you current local conditions, severe weather warnings, and short- and long-range forecasts.

If only you could keep it from raining right after you wash the car.

Weather Channel Desktop is a Windows app. It runs under Win98 or later.

Download Weather Channel Desktop

PushPin helps keep you from losing your window—or your mind

Saturday, March 29th, 2008

screenshot of PushPin

Who's on first? Sure, it's the punchline to an old Abbott & Costello bit, but it's also a question you may ask when you're at work on your PC. You know the drill—you've got several apps running, and each of them has a document or three open, along with a couple of websites, your email client, and all that. Every time you click on a new window, it gets the focus, and everything else goes into the background. It can take a lot of [Alt]+[Tab]-ing to get back to the window you really want to have on top.

PushPin can help you keep that important window on top of all the others. Install this tool on your machine, and now you get an "Always on top" menu item for all system menus (the menu you get when you click on the program icon in the upper-left corner of an application window). Click it, and you'll never have to hunt for your most important window again. Change your mind? It's easy to turn PushPin off as well.

PushPin is a Windows app, and runs under Windows 95, 98, and NT.

Download PushPin

FinderPop is like putting your Finder on steroids

Friday, March 28th, 2008

screenshot of FinderPop

Your computer should behave the way you want it to. You're going to be most efficient when things make sense and fit with the way you work, so why shouldn't you have it your way, as the burger place says.

FinderPop integrates with Finder to let you stand your Mac on its ear. You can easily add items to context menus, so that you can get where you need to go with minimal effort. Command-click the menu bar and you'll get a process menu that lets you see what your machine is up to, listing both user apps and even background processes. Want to quickly see what volumes you currently have mounted? Shift-click on the menu bar and you'll see which drives you're attached to. Life is a lot easier when you're calling the shots.

FinderPop is a Mac app and requires OS X 10.4 or later. It's distributed as a Universal Binary, so it's good for your PowerPC or Intel machine.

Download FinderPop

NewsFire keeps you in the loop

Thursday, March 27th, 2008

screenshot of NewsFire

Where would we be without RSS readers? As we all get more plugged-in, we've all got more and more places we want to keep track of, and more information to digest. News sites, blogs, the list goes on.

NewsFire is a newsreader that lets you set things up the way that makes the most sense to you. While you can use it for plain vanilla subscriptions to your favorite feeds, you'll want to use its "Smart Groups" to filter and organize the constant flow of information coming across your desk. It has a minimal interface, so it's not all up in your face, demanding your constant attention.

NewsFire is a true Mac application, so it looks like and behaves like you'd expect it to. We've all been disappointed with Mac apps that really just look like Mac, but don't behave that way.

NewsFire is a free application for your Macintosh. It requires OS X version 10.4 or later.

Download NewsFire

Follow FreeDownloadADay on Twitter

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

If the RSS feed and e-mail newsletter just aren't enough ways for you to keep up with FreeDownloadADay.com, the squirrels now have a Twitter account! Just follow FreeDownload in your Twitter account for daily updates when the squirrels post a new article.

Print anywhere with PrinterAnywhere

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

screenshot of PrinterAnywhere

Printer sharing is a cool thing. You can make the most of your resources by having everybody print to one machine, rather than putting a printer on everybody's desktop. If only it weren't so complicated to configure and set-up that sharing.

PrinterAnywhere lowers the bar on printer sharing. Rather than relying on your expertise in networking, all you do is install the app and let it figure everything out. It detects your local printer and any network printers to which you're connected. Use is simple: you just print the way you normally do from your applications, you just choose the remote printer instead of the one sitting on your desk. And doing regular printer sharing one better, with PrinterAnywhere you can print beyond your network as well.

Your print job is encrypted, so you're safe printing around the block or around the world. And unlike e-mailing documents to other folks for them to print, with PrinterAnywhere the recipient can't keep an electronic copy or accidentally forward it to their whole email address book.

PrinterAnywhere is a Windows application. You need to be running Win2k or later to use it.

Download PrinterAnywhere

DropShare takes the pain out of file sharing

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

screenshot of DropShare

Probably the quickest and easiest way to share files with your friends or co-workers is to email them. Just attach a picture or a document to an email message and push the button. Unless you've got a large file.

Many email systems have limits on the size or number of attachments that they'll support. And of course if your recipient has a slower connection, it means that the day you send the big attachment is the day that they'll remember taking way too long to download their email. You could use an FTP server, but that can be a pain in the neck.

DropShare is an easy way to share your files: there's no configuration necessary. Install the app, drag and drop the file you want to share onto the icon, grab the resulting URL, and email or IM that web address to your recipient. Instant download. You can move individual files, or even whole folders. And you can even see when your recipient has downloaded the files.

DropShare is a Mac app, and requires OS X 10.4 or later. The publisher promises a Windows version soon.

Download DropShare

SplashUp may be the best image editor you never bought

Monday, March 24th, 2008

screenshot of SplashUp

Big deal image editors are nothing to sneeze at. Their power is awesome. Their price is breathtaking. How about a powerful tool that doesn't require that you refinance the kids to pay for it?

SplashUp is a full-featured image editor application with a difference. You can now do heavy-duty image editing in an online tool that doesn't require any installation—or cash outlay. Open this app in your web browser, and you'll see how much it looks like Photoshop. It's got the familiar tool palette with pencil, paintbrush, marquee tool, and more. It supports layers, so it's easy to make changes and add new content to your images. You can save your handiwork to your local drive, or you can easily share your pictures through Picasa, Flickr, and Facebook.

SplashUp is a free online service, that should be compatible with most modern web browsers. You can use it without signing-up, but if you create an account, you can take advantage of online storage of your images.

Download SplashUp

More than just a cry for help: EndItAll 2

Sunday, March 23rd, 2008

screenshot of EndItAll 2

While it sounds like a cry for help, EndItAll 2 is a tool that lets you shut down other apps all in one place.

You've been there before. You download a new tool, or stick-in the CD to install the latest version of WhizBang 3000, your favorite program. Up comes the window reminding you that you have to shut down all other apps running on your system. This leads to five minutes worth of digging around and trying to shut down all the other stuff you've got running. Some of them go willingly; others require the time-honored three-finger salute.

With EndItAll 2, you can bring up a list of all your currently-running apps, and
you can choose which ones you want to terminate. Close the well-behaved ones, and kill the ones that don't want to cooperate. Don't worry, though—you can't shut down any system-critical apps, so you won't accidentally crash your machine while taking care of business.

You can also script your shutdown, making it handy to perform unattended backups or system maintenance when you're not sitting at the console.

EndItAll 2 is a free Windows app and runs on just about any 32-bit Windows platform from Win95 on up.

Download EndItAll 2