RandallS - Thu, 2012-07-19 14:48
It's easy to end up with a large number of fonts on your Windows computer. Even if you only install a few fonts yourself, many programs install a font or two (or a couple of dozen) when they install themselves on your system. Managing these fonts can be a real pain. If you have a really large number of fonts, keeping them all installing in your Fonts folder can slow your machine -- not to mention making it hard to find the fonts your really want in a programs drop-down font list. A good font manager can help.
RandallS - Thu, 2012-07-19 10:57
Paint.net is a nice program. It is far more powerful than programs like Windows Paint, it is easy for the average person to use (unlike programs like Photoshop), and it is free. Unfortunately, it is a Windows only program. If you work on different computers with different operating systems, it can be a pain to learn different paint programs -- especially if you only use them once in a while to create an icon or retouch an important photograph.
RandallS - Wed, 2012-07-11 20:37
Autohotkey is one of the best "macro programs" for automating Windows. I first mentioned it on this site back in 2006: AutoHotKey. Unfortunately, there has never been anything quite like it for Linux. Now these is: Autokey. Autokey is not a Linux clone of Autohotkey, but it how most of the power of Autohotkey in a Linux friendly format. Like Autohotkey, Autokey lets you manage a collection of scripts and phrases, and assign abbreviations and hotkeys to these.
RandallS - Mon, 2012-07-02 18:00
If you are looking for an easy-to-use, light on resources weather application for your Windows desktop, you'll want to consider Mr. Weather. It's amazing how heavy some desktop weather applications can get. Besides current conditions and a forecast, many weather applications are set up to display ads, weather maps, videos, etc., etc. That's great if you want all that, but its overkill if you just want to discover current conditions and the current forecast. Mr.
RandallS - Sun, 2012-05-13 06:00
The firewall that comes with Windows Vista and Windows 7 is actually quite powerful. Unfortunately, it takes a firewall expert to do much more than block unwanted incoming connections with it because one needs to write rules to handle anything else. Windows Fire Notifier is a small program and hooks into Windows Firewall and pops up whenever a program tries to use the Internet, allowing you to either allow it (it will write the firewall rule to do so for you) or continue to block it.
RandallS - Sat, 2012-05-12 12:56
The uninstaller that comes with Windows 7 looks nicer than the one that came with Windows XP, but functionally is about the same. GeekUninstaller is a freeware replacement that is faster and often does a better job of removing the bits and pieces of code and data than windows programs often scatter across the hard drive.
From the program description on the GeekUninstaller web site:
RandallS - Tue, 2012-04-10 13:46
Drupal 7 has been out about a year. I just upgraded the Software Gadgets site as all the contributed modules I need for all my Drupal 6 sites have become available. The upgrade was relatively smooth with only a few problems to work out before I could make the new version of the site available.. I think all the major upgrade problems on this site have been fixed and all the content is available. Some things look different and some (hopefully minor) issues may have been missed.
RandallS - Tue, 2012-01-17 13:08
VLC tends to get all the video player love on the Internet. I've never been that impressed with VLC. It's certainly a "good enough" freeware video player, but its outstanding feature seems to be that it is the best known freeware video player. SMPlayer is an alternative video player that runs on Windows XP or later and on most modern versions of Linux. Like VLC, it's freeware and plays just about any video file you can throw at it. However, it as one feature that makes it my favorite: it remembers the settings for every video file you play. Not just the current location in the video file so it can resume where you left off, but all the setting changes you may have made for that specific video -- for example, the volume, subtitle color, which audio track you are using, what filters you have on, etc. This is great if you have to interrupt watching a video and come back to it hours or days later, especially if you had to watch other videos that needed different settings during those hours or days.
RandallS - Tue, 2012-01-10 13:26
I haven't used any version Mac OS a lot, but one of the things I've never really liked is Finder. Like Explorer in Windows, it's a very basic file manager that probably serves most people well enough. However, I've never been "most people". In Windows I use Directory Opus and/or Xyplorer -- two commercial file manager replacements. The borrowed Mac I use to test software for Software Gadgets has a commercial replacement for Finder (Pathfinder), but it is a bit too "Finder-like" for me. I've discovered a (currently) free dual pane file manager for MacOS that seems nice: Moroshka File Manager.
RandallS - Mon, 2012-01-02 11:17
Bins is a low cost ($4.99!) desktop enhancement for Windows 7 that will help you make better use of the space in your taskbar. Bins was created by the same person who created Fences -- which helps organize icons on the desktop. I've never been a huge fan of Fences because I like a clean desktop with only a few icons, so there is nothing to organize. My taskbar is a different story. I like having a large number of program icons pinned to the taskbar so I can easily start my most used software and because if you pin the software it's easy to find when you want to switch to it from another running program. Unfortunately, even on my Widescreen monitor there's really not enough space to pin all the programs I would like to. Bins solves this problem is an intuitive and useful way.