Archive for the ‘Windows Communications’ Category

Magic Mail Monitor email tool

Saturday, April 10th, 2010

runs on Windows
screenshot of Magic Mail Monitor

How did we all get along before email? It often seems like one of those things you didn't know you needed, and once you got it, you wondered how you survived without it. The ability to communicate quickly and easily, to "leave a message" without having to stammer and stutter on an answering machine or voicemail, and to have a record of what you actually said (wrote) can be invaluable. But what's great for you also became great for everybody else.

If you decided to get right on top of your email as messages came in, you probably wouldn't get anything else done in a day. If you've got your email program running, you might have a hard time ignoring it. Maybe Magic Mail Monitor (that's a lot of alliteration!) can give you a hand.

This tool sits there unobtrusively in your System Tray, letting you know that, as the man says, "You've Got Mail". Preview new messages in the app without downloading them, and for the obviously spammy ones, you can kill them on the server without cluttering up your local drive with them. Create filters to automate some of your more mundane mail handling tasks, like sorting messages and deleting those that come from that Nigerian prince who seems to have everybody on his list.

Magic Mail Monitor is a free download and runs under Windows.

Download Magic Mail Monitor

Check your mail without downloading it

Friday, March 12th, 2010

runs on Windows
screenshot of Vallen POP3 Mail Checker

You're out on the road, but you want to be in touch with what's going on back at home or in the office. You know the email is piling up, but you don't want to grab all those messages just yet, since you know a fair percentage of them will be from some Nigerian prince or some guy who's willing to let you in on the latest magical fruit juice drink that will make you healthy, wealthy, and wise (perhaps wise enough not to fall for their scam?). Basically you want to check the mail, but I don't want to read the mail.

Vallen POP3 Mail Checker is a tool that lets you preview email in your POP3 email accounts. It's probably going to be most useful in situations where you're stuck with a low-bandwidth connection—like visiting Mom, where you know there's no broadband—or where you want to see what's going on but don't want to take up the space required for downloading messages onto your laptop or phone. You can also use this tool to kill spam on the server, rather than waiting for it to download and go through your email client's filters.

A Windows application, Vallen POP3 Mail Checker should be happy as an electronic clam on systems running Win98 or later.

Download Vallen POP3 Mail Checker

I'm gonna' wash that SPAM right outta' my hair

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

runs on Windows
screenshot of MailWasher

How much SPAM do you get in a day? And how much of your life do you waste in getting rid of it? Probably a lot, and too much, in that order. While we know that there's a special place in—you know, that hot place where bad people go—for spammers, that doesn't help you out now. There are lots of tools available to help you try to dig out from under the deluge of junk mail, but they can involve some heavy duty configuration headaches, and they don't always work for all the different flavors of mail you get, like POP, IMAP, online services like Gmail, and such.

It may be time to take a look at MailWasher. It's easy to install and set up, so you'll notice a decrease in spam shortly. You can preview messages on the server to start with, and teach this tool what SPAM is to you. Once you get it configured, turn it loose and good bye SPAM. If you happen to get over-zealous, there's a built-in recycle bin, so you can undelete those accidentally trashed messages.

MailWasher is a free download. It's a Windows app and should run under Win2k and later. If you need tech support, you'll need to upgrade to their "Pro" version, but frankly it all looks pretty straightforward.

Download MailWasher

Application automates routine email

Monday, December 21st, 2009

runs on Windows
screenshot of Karen's E-Mailer II

How many email messages do you suppose you send in a typical day? A couple? A bunch? Way too many? And how many of those are just routine stuff? If you're tired of typing the same message over and over again, we've found a tool that might give you some relief.

Karen's E-Mailer II makes it easy to automate the email process. You can create predefined messages and send them by just double-clicking a shortcut icon. Alternatively, you can fire-off a message from the command prompt as well. Stick that into a script or macro, and now your computer can email you when it does something important, like finishing a backup or completing compiling the newest version of the next killer app.

A free download, Karen's E-Mailer II is a Windows application. It should run fine on any Win32 platform from Windows 95 on up.

Download Karen's E-Mailer II

BlogBridge industrial strength news aggregator

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

runs on Linuxruns on Macruns on Windows
screenshot of BlogBridge

There are two types of people in the world: those who break the world down into two types of people and those who don't. Okay, old joke, right? But seriously, there are a lots of ways in which people can be broken down into two different groups based on their attitudes or behaviors. Take news feeds, for example. For some folks, it's all fun and games: keeping track of the comings and goings of friends, new music and video releases, and other general recreational stuff. For others, it's strictly business: vendors to watch, competitors to track, that soft of thing. This latter group usually has a whole bunch of stuff to try to keep track of; they need a tool that's as serious about it all as they are.

BlogBridge is an industrial-strength blog and newsfeeds aggregator. It supports all popular feed formats, and lets you keep track of what you've read and what's still waiting for you. With installs on multiple machines, you can keep your life synchronized between work, home, and even on the road. It's got heavy-duty search tools that let you find what you need fast, too.

BlogBridge is a free download. It's a Java app, so it'll run on systems that have the appropriate runtime installed, including many flavors of Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.

Download BlogBridge

Customer support via free chat system

Sunday, August 16th, 2009

runs on Windows
screenshot of LiveZilla

Documentation is an interesting thing. You can spend a lot of time and effort making your website or desktop app just as intuitive and user friendly as possible. For the more complicated stuff, you document it all, clearly and concisely, Maybe for your shrink-wrapped applications, you even send a User Manual to your customers. But when all is said and done, there's going to be somebody who needs some extra hand holding. Whether it's the wise guy who doesn't bother to read the manual, or the newbie who has no idea what you're talking about, they need help. If you've got a big call center, or have farmed it out to somebody else, fine; but it you're a smaller shop, you may not be able to handle all the phone calls in real time. This might be a good situation for live chat help system.

LiveZilla is one such system, but it comes with a special feature: it's free! It runs on your own web server, so you don't have to worry about your proprietary information falling into somebody else's hands. Now when your visitors have questions or concerns, you can handle them right away. Your support team can communicate with each other as well, so all your bases are covered. And to keep administration as simple as possible, LiveZilla is file-based: no database is needed for full functionality. You just have to make sure that your webserver supports PHP (5, 4.1.0 or greater), that's it.

LiveZilla runs under Windows. You'll need to be running Win2k or later, with PHP 4.1 or better on your server. You visitors can access the web client through any browser, so there are no special requirements for them.

Download LiveZilla

lightweight and user-friendly e-mail client

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

runs on Linuxruns on Macruns on Windows
screenshot of Sylpheed

Everybody's got an email client they swear by. Of course, there are other times where they've got a client they swear at. If you fall into that latter category, maybe you're in the market for a new mail program. This might be the time to check out Sylpheed.

Sylpheed uses a standard three-pane design, with a folder hierarchy on the left, and messages and individual message preview on the right. A small footprint means that system resources aren't taxed by this app. With powerful search and filter capabilities, you'll always be able to find just the message you're looking for. You can even save your results into a search folder, so you won't have to execute your query a second time. Smart junk mail control means that the more junk you receive, the less you'll actually see, as its filters improve with use.

Sylpheed is a free application. It runs on Windows (Win2k and later), Linux and other *NIX platforms, and Mac OS X (sorry, Intel processors only).

Download Sylpheed

Listen to reports and email

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

runs on Windows
screenshot of Text To MP3 Speaker

When you need to communicate an idea quickly, often the easiest way to do so is to make a phone call. Unfortunately, sometimes speed takes a priority over precision and detail in that phone call. If you really want to make sure that everybody's on the same page, there's nothing that can substitute for communicating in writing. Unfortunately with our hectic lives, it's not always easy to sit down and focus on the written word. If there were some way to combine the precision of text with the ease of voice, then you'd have something.

Text To MP3 Speaker is an app that takes text and turns it into the spoken word. Through the magic of speech to text technology, this tool takes your document—report, web page, email—and creates an MP3 audio file of it. That means that you can listen to that report instead of reading it. Or you can take your email along on your iPod and listen to it instead of having to plow through it all on-screen.

Text To MP3 Speaker is a free download. It's a Windows app, and requires the .NET Framework version 2.0 or above.

Download Text To MP3 Speaker

User-friendly, lightweight, fast email client

Friday, June 26th, 2009

runs on Linuxruns on Macruns on Windows
screenshot of Claws Mail

Where would we be without email? While we could probably go for quite a while without a telephone, we probably wouldn't last more than a couple of hours without email. While email itself is pretty simple stuff, getting it to work right can be more of a challenge.

There are lots of email clients out there that do lots of things, but as you know, when you add layers of functionality to any application, you're adding layers of complexity to it as well. By the time you format your message with all the pretty fonts and pictures, you can end up with a big message to send. This also means that the tool itself is pretty big and complicated. Claws is not such a tool.

What it is is a no-nonsense email client. You can't send HTML-formatted messages; you can't use it as a full-featured PIM. What you can do is use it for your POP or IMAP mail accounts—as many as you want to throw at it—as well as accessing your local mbox file. You can even create send-only accounts that let you access an SMTP server to push mail out into the world without receiving anything back. Plugins are also available to add more functionality to Claws Mail.

Claws Mail is a free app. It's available for a bunch of different Linux flavors, as well as Windows and Macintosh users.

Download Claws Mail

nPOP portable email client

Sunday, June 21st, 2009

runs on Windows
screenshot of nPOP

When you're out tooling around in the world, you need to check your email from time to time. Back at home or in the office, it doesn't much matter how big your messages are—you just download them and go about your business. When you're going portable, you may not want to download the photos from your nephew's dance recital or your niece's ballgame. You need an email client that lets you decide what you want to download, and when.

nPOP is just such a tool. It's got a small installation footprint, so you save space on your hard drive already. But the serious advantage comes when it's time to check your mail. Instead of automatically downloading all your new messages from the server, it just grabs message headers, like an old USENET reader, and lets you choose which messages to actually download. You'll know what's up there, without taking up the space and bandwidth necessary to actually download it all onto your portable machine. And if you like this model, you can certainly install this tool onto your desktop box as well.

nPOP is a free download. There are versions available for your Win32 desktop system (Windows 95 and later) as well as for your Windows CE-equipped device.

Download nPOP