Skip to main content


Showing posts from October, 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 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.

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.

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.

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!

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 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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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:

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!

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.