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RandallS's blog

Take Command Console LE -- Freeware 4dos For Windows

Ages ago back in the days of DOS, Windows 3.1, and Windows 9x, I used a shareware replacement for the DOS command line (command.com) called 4dos (from JP Software). When I moved to XP, I briefly played with the 32-bit version (4nt), but decided that I did not use the command line enough to justify buying it.

foobar2000 Audio Player on Windows 7

I've used Winamp or Windows Media Player on my PC since the Dark Ages simply because they were familiar and were good enough. My wife is a bit more picky about sound quality (and has far better speakers to be picky with) and has recently changed to foobar2000 as the very nice-sounding application that came with her sound card has not been updated in years. foobar2000 recently released a version 1.0 and my wife thought it sounded better on her system than any other audio player she tried, including a number of commercial players.

7Stacks -- Taskbar Stack/Menu

As I find the Windows Start Menu too crowded for easy use, I've been using True Launch Bar and Powerpro on Windows XP to modify the taskbar to start programs the way I like. Unfortunately, the Windows 7 task bar works much differently than in any other version of windows and my old reliables just don't work very well on my new Windows 7 box. After looking around, I found a freeware program that both looks nice and does the basic job I need done, even if it does not have all the bells and whistles I'm used to: 7stacks.

A New Computer and Windows 7

My 2002 era XP machine died last week: the motherboard failed after years of 12-18 hour a day use. I decided not to replace the motherboard as even new P4 motherboards do not provide much support for "ancient" technology like IDE drives, AGP 4x video cards, etc. -- buying a new motherboard would mean replacing most of my peripherals as well. I finally decided to go with an Emachines ET1331G-03w.

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CheckPlaces -- Check for Bad Bookmarks from Firefox

If you are like me, you have a huge collection of bookmarks in Firefox. I have some that I bookmarked years ago. I really need to go through my 1500+ bookmarks, look at each one, and decide if I still need it. However, I know this is something I will probably never have time to do. With CheckPlaces, I can at least let Firefox check each bookmark to be sure the web site still exists.

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Trim Space -- An Add-In for Microsoft Excel

While extra spaces usually aren't a problem when you are entering data by hand in Microsoft Excel, they often worm their way into data that import from other formats. Once in your spreadsheet they can be hard to find and they will often foul up your spreadsheet to the point it doesn't print -- or even work -- correctly. Manually finding these extra spaces at the beginning and/or end of items is a time-consuming and error-prone process.

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PDFCreator -- Print a PDF from Any Windows Program

PDF files have become a standard way to send formatted documents that you do not want the recipient to be able to change. Unfortunately, the Adobe Acrobat, the commercial software designed to create PDF files is priced for businesses and individuals who have money to burn. Acrobat also has many features that post people will never use. Fortunately, there are many programs, including a good select of free programs, that will create PDF files without Acrobat. PDFCreator is one of the best of the free PDF creation programs.

FeedDemon -- Google Reader Friendly RSS Reader for Windows

Google Reader is probably the most popular RSS Feed Reader around. It allows you to follow RSS news feeds from your favorite web site in one place. And you can access Google Reader from any computer. Some people, however, prefer to use a RSS Reader program on their computer as these programs generally provide features that online RSS Readers -- like Google Reader -- do not.

Lacuna Launcher -- Launch Multiple Programs from a Single Shortcut

If you are anything like me, you often need to launch multiple programs to do your work. For example, when I'm working on a web page I need my HTML editor, my browser, my photo editor, my text editor to use as a scratch pad, and I need to start my local web server and database server. It's a bit annoying to have to find each of these programs in my start menu (I don't do the hundreds of icons on my desktop bit) and start it.

Enter the freeware Lacuna Launcher.

Abiword 2.8 Features New Collaboration Support

Abiword is a powerful free cross-platform word processor program with the features most people need with the bloat and complexity of all the features few people ever use. The focus of the latest 2.8x version of Abiword is on improved collaboration features.

Here are some of the new features:

Improved Collaboration support


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by Dr. Radut