Archive for the ‘ Software ’ Category

Everything

Everything is a little program (found here) that does what Windows Search really ought to.  It opens up a white window with a text box at the top and a blank space at the bottom.  But start typing anything in the text box, and any files with that chunk of text in them nearly instantly pop up.  I’m my family’s “tech support guy,” that is I have to do stuff on the computers for Mom and my little brother.  I’m forever trying to find files that my family somehow managed to misplace or programs that I can’t find on the computer that really ought to be there, and Everything made my life so much easier on both my computer (for finding files in directories that Launchy for some reason refuses to get into) and on other computers (for helping and finding files).  You can also get a portable version here, for sticking on your USB drive and carrying around with you.

Screenshot

By the way, what do you think of my new dual-screen wallpaper?

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The Great Instant Messenger War

I’ve tried out a whole bunch of Instant Messengers – meebo, Windows Live, Pidgin…  here, from my opinion, is their pros and cons.

Windows Live Messenger
Pros
– Looks nice
– Connects to other messengers
– Very very very few bugs or freezes
– Nicely set up contact list
– Easy to change picture or status
– Backgrounds
– Nice integrated games and webcam chat
Cons
– Only works on Windows
– Not so easy to add friends
– The status line can’t display hyperlinks

Yahoo!  Messenger
Pros
– Nice friend adder
– can be accessed from the web at
http://webmessenger.yahoo.com
Cons
– Purple color scheme (I don’t particularly like light purple, so It’s a con for me)
– Webcam is pop-up
– Only the one look

Meebo Web Messenger
Pros
– Connects to pretty much everything (for a full list, look at my older post about it)
– No new windows for your poor overcrowded Start Menu bar
Cons
– Opens the Meebo Blog in a chat tab when you open it
– has a pop-up thing at the bottom that opens if you mouse over it… which is, as it turn out, easy to inadvertently do
– Bulky webcam chat

Pidgin
Pros
– Linux!  
– Opens all your conversations in one tabbed window
– Works on Linux, Unix, Windows, Mac OS X, and Ubuntu
Cons
– No webcam capability

So there you have it.  Enjoy your IM service. 

BTW, I tend to use Windows Live Messenger and Meebo, depending on whether I open Firefox first or Windows Live Messenger first.  I have all four, though.

For downloads:
Yahoo! Messenger
Windows Live Messenger
Meebo (this links to the meebo website)
Pidgin

Also, I’m sorry I didn’t post anything for a while.  Hopefully two in one day will make up for it.

RocketDock

RocketDock is a freeware program that does the same thing as the dock on Mac.  It comes with the previously reviewed Vista Inspirat or you can get it on its own here.  Here’s a screenshot of my desktop running RocketDock:

 

image

The bar at the top with icons is RocketDock.  My desktop is Stream of Light by –kol, from DeviantArt.  The blue thing is the Gmail Icon for Google Sidebar.

 

On a side note, I think this post has the most links of all my posts.

PhotoScape

PhotoScape is a freeware program for editing and enhancing photos and images.  It’s got an easy to use user interface, lot of different capabilities, and it’s free.  Here is the link to the PhotoScape official website and here is the link to the Cnet download page for PhotoScape.

Photoscape

Here’s a screenshot of the startup window for PhotoScape (I’ve got PhotoScape v3.3, the latest version, I think)

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GnuPG

PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) was used as a email encryption program – but now it’s no longer freeware.  I recommend GnuPG, which does the same thing but is free.  This site will lay out how to download and use GnuPG4win, which is GnuPG that works on Windows.  Here is the link for Mac users, and here is the list of all supported systems.  If you don’t trust my links, you can go to http://gnupg.org to check it out.

AxCrypt

AxCrypt is a freeware program that lets you easily encrypt any file or folder on your computer.  You can choose a password or use a passkey file.  It also has a really easy-to-use user interface –
right-click the file or folder you want to encrypt, hover over the ‘AxCrypt’ option, then choose ‘Encrypt’.

Only for Windows

Get it here:  http://www.axantum.com/axcrypt/

AWESOME program

It’s called Vista Inspirat (http://www.crystalxp.net/galerie/en.id.130.htm). What it does is alters some system files so that your computer looks like it’s running Vista – but it’s still running XP. (It only works for Windows XP, as far as I know). It gives you the toolbar, the transparent window tops, the works. Also, it gives you a bunch of themes so you can get Vista in blue, or in black, or green, or Aero (another style – it’s basically a white-color Vista)… It’s pretty awesome. Best of all, it’s a free download!