Saturday, October 31, 2009

Windosill – A peculiar Flash puzzle game

Windosill is an intuitive puzzle game implemented in Flash that can be played online or downloaded to your PC or Mac. Windosill is the story of a small toy car that escapes from a child’s cupboard and enters into a surrealistic world of curious objects. The toy car takes you through a series of scenes which you have to explore – click, prod, poke and pull. The goal of each level or scene is to reveal a small box that would unlock the door to the next scene.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Windows 7 Logon Screen Rotator

Yesterday I wrote about Windows 7 Logon Screen Editor. Today I bring you Windows 7 Logon Screen Rotator. As the name implies, Logon Screen Rotator lets you not only change the Windows 7 logon background but also randomize it so that a new background is displayed every time you start your computer.

Connectify turns your Windows 7 computer into a WiFi router

Connectify.me is a new application that enables any Windows 7 computer or laptop with a wireless network interface card to be used as a Wifi (or wireless) router.

Installing and running the application is simple. Just download the EXE file from the website and follow the installation steps. Once installed, a Connectify logo will appear on your system tray. Choose a name and password and click on the “Internet Sharing” button to turn your computer into a WiFi router.

Decreased Productivity – Stealth browsing in Firefox

Looking for ways to bluff at work and secretly browse the web? You are lucky you came here. We have extensive guides to help employees goof off at work. And here is another addition.

Decreased Productivity is an addon for Firefox that sanitizes the appearance of web pages allowing you to discretely and efficiently navigate the web without anyone noticing.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Taskbar Meters: Cool CPU and Memory usage meter for Windows 7

One application that resides permanently on my system tray is the Task Manager icon, that displays CPU utilization. I have been doing this ever since I switched to Windows XP from Windows 98. Today I noticed a new application released by the Codeplex community.

Change Logon Background with Windows 7 Logon Screen Editor

A small but fantastic change in Windows 7 is that it officially supports changing of logon background screens. The only way to do it however, is through a registry hack, that is until now. Windows 7 Logon Screen Editor eliminates the hassles of editing registry and changing file names. All you have to do is click “Set Background” and select a picture. To test the new screen simply click on the Test button.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Oxelon Media Converter – Convert media files from Explorer context menu

Oxelon Media Converter is an audio/video file converter software that I fell in love with at first sight. It’s neat, spartan interface appealed to me. Oxelon Media Converter even integrated with the Windows Explorer context menu allowing me to convert media files directly in Explorer by right clicking on them. I was sold.

Free download ACDSee Photo Editor 2008

After ACDSee for Pentax 2.0 (which is still available, by the way), comes another promotion for readers of the Polish version of the CHIP magazine. This time they are giving away license keys of ACDSee Photo Editor 2008, the latest version which sells as $50.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

mug.gd – The most evil URL shortener

There is a general opinion among webmasters and bloggers that URL shorteners are evil. As Joshua Schachter, the founder of Delicious, explains:

The worst problem is that shortening services add another layer of indirection to an already creaky system. A regular hyperlink implicates a browser, its DNS resolver, the publisher's DNS server, and the publisher's website. With a shortening service, you're adding something that acts like a third DNS resolver, except one that is assembled out of unvetted PHP and MySQL, without the benevolent oversight of luminaries like Dan Kaminsky and St. Postel.

Windows 7 Transformation Pack for Ubuntu

A year ago we saw how we could make Linux look like Windows XP. Now a new transformation pack is making rounds - the Windows 7 Transformation Pack made especially for Ubuntu.

The Windows 7 Transformation Pack contains GDM theme, Icons Theme, GTK Theme, Windows 7 Wallpapers, Windows 7 Sounds, Gnomenu theme, Panel Backgrounds, Cursor theme and DockBar. Looks damn good!

First DirectX 11 benchmark demo released

If you own a spanking new DirectX 11 video card, you might want to know how it fares in the DirectX department. Tom’s Hardware in a blog post announced that the “supposedly” first DirectX 11 benchmark demo has been released by Unigine Corp. The demo named “Heaven” runs on Unigine’s proprietary engine and is available for free download.

Monday, October 26, 2009

5 short links for today #19

1. I'm up here, boys: “Windows 7 launch is a lot like seeing an old girlfriend suddenly show up on your doorstep…”. Possibly the best Windows 7 analogy I have read ever.

2. Microsoft Fix it Solution Center is a site where you can browse or look up some common errors encountered in Windows and other Microsoft products and get the solution. This is an official Microsoft support site.

Automatically move/copy files by extension with DropIt

DropIt is a simple tool for Windows that let users automatically move or copy files to different folders based on their file extension, by dragging and dropping files into it.

dropit_window DropIt appears as a small floating window on the desktop that stays above all open windows to remain visible at all times, and which can be positioned anywhere on the screen. The ideal location is to keep it near the system tray on the lower right corner of the screen.

c2i GMailNotifier for Windows 7

c2i GMailNotifier is yet another Gmail notifier that integrates with Windows 7.  Although we saw Gmail Notifier Plus integrate better with Windows 7 features like Aero Peek and took full advantage of the Jump List, c2i GMailNotifier is not bad, if you ask me. The screenshots below speak for themselves.

Building Generator scripts for Blender and 3DS Max

Computer generated imagery (CGI) and 3D animation is not everybody’s playground. It’s true that 3D modeling software today are earlier to use than before and there are plenty of tutorials on the Internet to help you learn. Sometimes you will find scripts that makes your job even easier.

The Building Generator script is such a script that enables even the most novice user to create beautiful cityscapes with minimum fuss. No sweating over modeling, rigging or texturing.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Linus Torvald poses in front of Windows 7 stall

During the recently concluded 1st Annual Japan Linux Symposium held at Tokyo, Japan, Linus Torvald was seen posing in front of a Windows 7 promotional booth that Microsoft had setup - right across the street from the symposium’s conference center!

Free download Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 Beta

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is an image management application database which helps in viewing, editing, and managing digital photos. Lightroom is designed to assist both professional and amateur photographers in managing thousands of digital images and doing post production work.

Microsoft offering one-to-one Windows 7 support via Twitter

Microsoft has recently set up a Twitter account called @MicrosoftHelps that aims to provide Windows 7 customer support on a one-to-one basis. The account is just a week old and there are already 2.5k+ followers. No doubt, this number is going to inflate in coming weeks. At present not too many users are aware of the existence of this account though.

Windows Double Explorer – Dual panel Windows Explorer

Windows Double Explorer is a file explorer for Windows that lets you view two Windows Explorer windows side by side. Most third party file explorer applications comes with their own file browser and are meant to be used as a replacement for the default file explore of Windows. Windows Double Explorer, on the other hand, uses the existing Microsoft Windows Explorer to browse files making Windows Double Explorer not a replacement but a complement to Windows Explorer.

Create a bootable Windows 7 installation USB with Windows 7 USB/DVD Download

When you purchase Windows 7 from Microsoft Store, you have the option to download an ISO file or compressed files. You have to burn that ISO file into a DVD for installation. If you plan to use a USB drive instead, the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download tool will allows you to create a copy of your Windows 7 ISO file on a USB flash drive as well as a DVD.

Friday, October 23, 2009

ATI Tray Tools for ATI Radeon video cards

If you own an ATI Radeon graphics cards, you will like ATI Tray Tools. (NVidia user? nHancer is best for you.)

ATI Tray Tools is an advanced tweaker-application that resides in the system tray of the Windows taskbar and allows instant access to video options and settings via a right-click menu. It can be used as a light weight alternative to the more bulky official Catalyst Control Center (CCC), but it can also exist along with the official tool.

How to create and use a system repair disc in Windows 7

Windows 7 has a utility that lets you create a system repair disc. The system repair disc allows you to recover your data in the event of a boot failure or hard disk crash, and restore your computer to an earlier state. To create a system repair disc follow these steps:

Windows Access Panel – Simplified control panel for Windows Vista and 7

The control panel for Windows Vista and 7 is so crowded that it’s hard to find the controls or settings you are looking for. Often it requires multiple clicks to arrive at any tools. I always use the search instead. If you find the control panel a bit overwhelming, here is one program for you.

Volery, the single installer for popular application, is now Ninite and open to all

Recently, an online service called Volery received quite a rave among tech websites (no, we didn’t cover it). Volery allowed users to download a single installer that installs the most popular applications on their PC at one go. The installer is totally customizable – you can choose the applications you want to include in the installer. Volery was in private beta at that time.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

AnyToISO – CD/DVD image format converter

Often optical disc image creating software defines and uses its own proprietary image format. This is especially true for commercial software. Proprietary file formats are almost always tied to that particular software package. A popular example is the NRG format which is used by the Nero burning program. In order to burn a disc saved in the NRG format you’ll have to use Nero and Nero alone.

Dead Man's Switch emails key persons if something bad happens to you

Ever since computers and the Internet touched our lives, we have been living almost two lives in parallel. Our online lives revolve around social networking sites, discussion boards, online communities, blogs and so on. We have email accounts with multiple contacts. We are in Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and in many others. Wouldn’t you like to pass on your data, some message and maybe your login information to someone you trust if something bad happens to you? Or would you like to disappear silently like you never existed?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

GB-PVR – Media Center and Personal Video Recorder

GB-PVR, as the name says, is a PVR (personal video recorder) and media center application for Windows, whose main function is scheduling TV recordings, pausing and playing back live TV. GB-PVR also functions as a media center, something which we reviewed quite often in the past (XBMC, Media Portal, Moovida, Boxee). It has a digital video recorder, an online radio station tuner, a music and movie player, an image viewer and the like.

Manage documents on desktop and online with Mendeley

Mendeley is a free, cross platform software that organizes and manages your documents both on the desktop and online. Mendeley was originally designed for managing and sharing research papers and collaborating online. But the versatility of this program allows even the average user to use it to manage and share office documents, ebooks and such.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Free full version of WinX DVD Author

Free software giveaway from DVD software publisher WinX continues. Their earlier giveaway of WinX DVD Ripper Platinum still has eleven days left before the offer expires. Starting from today, Oct 20, they are offering another free download – this time WinX DVD Author. This giveaway is going to last till Oct 31- the day when both offers expire.

How to bring back the shutdown confirmation box in Windows Vista and 7

In Windows XP, when you click on “Turn Off” from the start menu you are shown a confirmation dialog box from which you are able to choose different options like Shutdown, Restart, Hibernate and Standby. The shutdown confirmation box gave you an opportunity to change your mind after you’ve hit the Turn off button. More importantly it prevented accidental shutdown of Windows.

Skylight application launcher

Skylight is an application launcher for Windows that can be used to launch application, search files, look up meanings of words in online dictionaries, search Google, YouTube etc.

SBar Taskbar Replacement - Windows 7 task bar features in XP and Vista

One of the most noticeable improvement in Windows 7 is the task bar, rechristened as ‘Superbar’. The thick glassy task bar with features like ‘Jumplist’ and ‘Pin-to’ has endeared many to the new operating system. If you are one of those who are still not ready to upgrade to Windows 7, there is a way for you to enjoy some of the new task bar features while continuing to use Windows XP and Windows Vista.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

50 years of space exploration in one map

Remember the Mission to Mars map showing all missions to the red planet? Here is another map showing nearly 200 solar, lunar and inter-planetary explorations attempted during the last 50 years. This is mesmerizing.

50-space-exploration

Humorous fill-in-the-blank correspondence forms

Ever had to send an apology note to a friend you called names at a party the previous night? Or had a crush on someone you met at the aforementioned party and you’re wondering how to convey your feelings? Don’t stress yourself. The Bureau of Communication understands your dilemma and brings you a selection of ready-to-use, fill-in-the-blank forms for everyday correspondence.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Free download of Paragon Partition Manager 9.5 Pro

Those who missed the earlier giveaway, here is another chance. Paragon Partition Manager 9.5 Professional edition is once again available for free download. It’s a hard drive partitioning software that lets you split hard disk partition, delete partition, create partition, merge partition and so on. The product is worth $80.

Windows System Control Center, control panel for Sysinternals and Nirsoft utilities

Windows System Control Center is a wickedly useful control panel for Windows. No, this is not another system tweaking, registry tampering application. WSCC is a control panel that lets you install, update, execute and organize the utilities from various system utility suites like Windows Sysinternals and Nirsoft, as well as Windows own set of system tools and commands.

Free PC Tools Internet Security 2010 1 year license

Internet security software publisher PC Tools is known for it’s frequent promotional offers which enables users to get their hands on the full product for free. Like the previous Internet Security 2009 package, the Internet Security 2010 is currently being given away to Australian Westpac Banking Corporation customers.

Run Opera Widgets as standalone desktop applications

When Opera introduced widgets in 2006, they were a part of the browser meant to extend the browser’s capabilities. These widgets were, in fact, full fledged web applications built using Web technologies (such as HTML, CSS, AJAX, Canvas, and SVG), and powered by Opera.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Copy changed files

Copy changed files is a free Windows utility that does what it says. It monitors a directory and whenever it detects any files being changed, copies the changed file to another directory leaving other files untouched.

MiniMap plugin for Visual Studio, jEdit and Emacs

MiniMap is a plug-in available for Visual Studio and text editors jEdit and Emacs, inspired by the MiniMap feature of another text editor - Sublime Text, which we reviewed a few days ago.

Remove nag screens or automate mouse clicks with ClickOff

Shareware programs are usually as good as freeware except their nag screens that splashes right in the center, disrupting your work and forcing you to sit through the 30 second promotion while try to convince you to buy the paid version. Curiously, even some freeware come with splash screens. ClickOff is a small, free, Windows utility that helps you deal with such disruptive and irritating nag screens.

K-Sketch – Sketchy animation tool for novices

Animation is a powerful communication and visualization medium but accessible only to a few because most animation tools are extremely complex and time-consuming to learn and use. Simple animation tools exist but even those have a fairly steep learning curve that most users are afraid to take, or don’t have the time.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

AVI ReComp makes unplayable AVI files playable in DVD players

Let me clear this before you get all excited. No, you cannot play AVI files if your DVD player does not support MPEG4. There is no workaround for this. But even if you do own a DivX/Xvid supporting DVD player, it might not always be successful in playing AVI files, particularly if your DVD player is of an older model.

Move or backup emails from one account to another with MailCarbon

Migrating from one email account to another is tough. It’s like moving to a new house, only harder. The thing is, no email service provider wants it’s users to leave and so provides no easy way to move their mails from one account to another. If you switch email address you’ll just have to leave your old mails at your old address.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

5 short links for today #18

1. Wikirage is a site that tracks the pages in Wikipedia which are receiving the most edits over various periods of time. Popular people in the news, the latest fads, and the hottest video games, Internet memes, zeitgeist, and trends bubble to the surface. Gives you an idea of what’s hot on media right now. The site also lists the top editors.

Animated [b2] Gmail Notifier

[b2] Gmail Notifier is a funny way to check new emails. It’s a free Adobe AIR based Gmail notifier for Windows, Linux and Mac that alerts you of new emails through cool animations.

[b2] Gmail Notifier is as simple as an email notifer can get. All you have to do is enter your Gmail username and password, and login. The notifer sits quietly in the system tray and keeps checking your account for new mails at set interval which can be adjusted by the user. The notifer comes with 4 animations and 2 additional animations can be downloaded and installed from the website.

WinExt – Gnome like horizontal top bar for Windows

WinExt is a free software for Windows that docks a horizontal launch bar to the top (or bottom) of the screen, much like the horizontal menu bar you find on the Gnome desktop. WinExt gives you access to your programs, folders, hard drive partitions and other areas of the operating system through menus and icons which can be placed on the bar.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Windows Doors – A spoof of the OS

I love spoofs. The first Windows spoof Windows Really Good Edition – a Flash based parody of Windows Millennium was absolutely hilarious. Although Windows Doors doesn’t invoke the same kind of laughter, it’s pretty witty nonetheless.

Sublime Text - text editor for Windows

Sublime Text is a text editor for Windows intended to be used by programmers, developers, and in fact anybody who need to work with text. In a field crowded with freeware like Notepad++, jEdit and Notepad2 that provides plenty of powerful features for writing code, what new does Sublime Text has to offer?

7 stacks – Icons stack for Windows

Remember Standalone Stack, the Mac OS X like stack for Windows? Here is another one – 7 stacks.

7stacks is a free application that lets Windows users have "stacks" of icons in their Taskbar or QuickLaunch Toolbar or even in the desktop. 7 stacks purpose is to reduce icon clutter, by grouping of icons into handy menus which can be launched from a single icon. For example, you can create a stack for all your office documents and another stack for Internet related applications. You can create up to 10 stacks in all.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Windows 7 Launch Party host is selling kit because nobody came to his party!

It’s obvious. Everybody who applied to host Windows 7 Launch Party did it because of the prospect of receiving a copy of Windows 7 Ultimate for free. Some actually did host a party, some faked it. One guy not only did NOT host a party, he came up with some pretty funny excuses his friends supposedly told him for failing to show up.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Open source DVD authoring software AVStoDVD

The DVD authoring software market is so sparse that you can count all of them on your finger tips. Most of these are commercial programs and only a couple of them are freeware. Among the freeware, DVD Flick is worth mentioning. Another one which has a decent set of features is AVStoDVD.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Brief – What Firefox’s feed reader should have been

One of the features that has undergone virtually no improvement is the Live Bookmarks - the RSS feed reader of Firefox. Live Bookmarks is unique but not the typical feed reader users want. If you want a more usable feed reader, use Brief.

Disk2vhd converts physical disk into virtual disk for use in virtual machines

In a virtual machine setup, sharing files and programs between the host machine and the virtual machine is bit of a bother. You can share folders by networking between the two machines, but the virtual machine itself has to be built from scratch right from installing the operating system to installing software and configuring it the way you like.

Awesome Photoshop Fridge Magnet Kit

Get rid of those boring watermelon magnets from your fridge door, and get this set of very original and very realistic magnets shaped in the form of our beloved Photoshop GUI elements. Looks so fun on the fridge.

photoshop_magnet_kit_angle

DVD43 decrypts encrypted DVDs on the fly

DVD43 is a fantastic little tool that integrates into Windows XP, 2000 and Vista and overrides DVD Video copy-protection and DVD Region limitations on-the-fly. It acts as a driver for a DVD drive but disables zone and copy protection information enabling the DVD to be played-back outside of its intended region. DVD43 works silently in the background and is completely transparent to the user.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Spectives, an online visual RSS feed reader

Thumbnails are always eye catching but the geek population generally prefer text -the one and only reason why visual search engines never became popular. Probably visual RSS feed readers will suffer the same fate, but it’s definitely worth checking out.

Mission to Mars

A beautiful info-graphic showing the successes and failures of all missions attempted to reach Mars. You can find more stuff related to the Mars missions – articles, images, slideshows, podcasts at Why Mars? Why Now? And have you sent your name to Mars yet?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Decrypt HTTP traffic with web debugger Fiddler

Most people just couldn’t fathom how complicated the web is. From the time a user types the URL into the browser’s address bar and hits Enter, to the time the web page opens – a period barely a few seconds long, a thousand different things happen. Your request goes through thousands of kilometers of undersea optical fiber cable, across several continents, through hundreds of computers performing millions of calculations till it reaches the destination, and then makes the same trip back home. All this happens before you can even say “Internet”.

Send letters from Google Docs, email and more via PostalMethods

Traditional postal mails, the ones made from dead trees, is one of those few pre-Industrial Revolution technologies which has survived the digital revolution. Despite the growing use of Internet, emails and other communication methods, the postal mail system has shown little sign of decline. Last year 440 billion pieces of mails and letters were generated by the world population, out of which 203 billion were handled by the US Postal Office alone, in a country where 72% of the population uses the Internet.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

BuddyFuse integrates Google Talk and Twitter with Windows Live Messenger

BuddyFuse is an addon for Windows Live Messenger that integrates social networking sites and third party IM networks with MSN messenger. Currently it supports only Google Talk, Twitter and the Dutch social network Hyves. The developers plan to integrate other networks like Facebook, AIM, ICQ, XMPP etc in coming months.

Matt's System Helper-Outer

Matt's System Helper-Outer is a useful program that makes launching common Windows system tools and executing Windows console command a lot easier. Simply put, it’s an interface to the command line where users can click on buttons rather than memorizing commands.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Could Hot Babe be the best CPU utilization monitor ever?

Hot Babe is a graphical CPU utilization monitoring utility for Windows (and Linux) that displays an anime styled drawing of a scantily clad, generously endowed woman. Initially, the woman is clothed. As the CPU gets busier and hotter, the chic starts losing her clothes, bit by bit, finally ending up totally naked at 100% CPU utilization.

Desktop Google Reader

There are quite a few ways to read feeds subscribed through Google Reader on the desktop. FeedDemon is the best one out there, though there are still a few issues with the synchronization. RSS Bandit is another desktop feed reader that can sync with Google Reader. Then there is the official Google Desktop gadget for Google Reader. Another pretty decent one is Desktop Google Reader.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Find non-free works in Linux distributions and earn “GNU Cash”

The Free Software Foundation (FSF) has set up a new scheme under which the foundation will start rewarding those who could spot and report any non-free or commercial components buried deep inside Linux distribution, thereby violating the guidelines maintained by FSF and the very essence of the free software movement.

4 advanced command prompt alternatives for Windows

I know you are used to the mouse and clicking of buttons to run programs and tasks. So these tools aren’t for you. But if you are an IT administrator and regularly use the command prompt, then you will definitely appreciate these four utilities.

5 short links for today #17

google-logo 1. Google Holiday Logos: An archive of all special occasion Google logos celebrating holidays, birthdays and other events. The archive dates all the way back to 1998. There is even an RSS feed that will keep you updated.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Create abstract digital sketches with Alchemy

Are you a digital artist running out of ideas? Do you want to create some abstract designs but don’t know from where to start? Try Alchemy. 

Alchemy is a peculiar open source drawing tool that can be best described in their own words:

GigaGalaxy Zoom, the 800 million pixel image of the Milky Way

Among the various activities and projects taking place under the International Year of Astronomy 2009, is GigaGalaxy Zoom, a project undertaken by the European Southern Observatory (ESO). The GigaGalaxy Zoom project features three gigantic images that reveals the full sky as it appears with the unaided eye from one of the darkest deserts on Earth. Users can zoom in and explore the night sky, particularly the Milky Way, at an incredible level of detail.

Free download ACDSee for Pentax 2.0

ACDSee for Pentax 2.0 is a special version of the photo album software ACDSee for Pentax camera owners, and equivalent to ACDSee 6.0. It doesn’t matter whether you own a Pentax camera or not, although legally you should, the download link is openly available on Pentax’s Polish website. This is an old version (the current version being 3.0) of the software but powerful than most photo managing tools.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

How to play games and surf at work yet look busy

Every office has an evil creature called the boss. He makes rounds in the office spying on what people are doing, and oh! here he comes. Drat! you have too many chat windows open, and Twitter too, and Facebook, and you are nearing a high score in Pinball. As you frantically click on all X’s, and mentally draft your resignation letter your boss stops to check the monitor of your colleague in front of you. That gives you enough time to close all fun applications and open the spreadsheet you should be working on. That was close!

Google introduces a better site translation widget

Google just announced a new site translation widget for website owners. This new widget is better than the old widget on several counts.

Firstly, the old site translation widget was bulky and looked like a scar in the face when placed on a website. The new widget is sleek and will blend well with any site template.

Scan Tailor - Post-processing tool for scanned pages

When you scan a page, the scanned output usually includes regions you would like to omit - the edges of the page, for instance. Also the scanned copy might be slightly askew or clipped to one side. When you are scanning a large number of pages, usually books, these errors tend to escalate generally because of the monotonous nature of the job. Often you will have to sift through your scanned pages to correct these errors.