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Archive for July, 2007

Transfz 1.10 Beta Released – Powerful System wide Search For Windows Guaranteed

Monday, July 30th, 2007

1173963844-1.pngHere is a cool tool that comes highly recommended! Transfz (actually pronounced transfuse) is a integrated search agent in the form of a context menu that allows the user to launch online searches from any document or application on both the desktop and the web.

The good thing about this software is that it supports powerful extensions: Search and Replace, UPPER case, HTML insert etc. You can use the built-in Plug-in Creator to easily allow your favorite search engine to become an ever present standard in your desktop/web experience.

In the latest version which was recently released, Transfz 1.10 Beta , new features has been added and some changes had been made. These include:

Features:

  • High resolution icons in the global menu are included for all menuitems;
  • Clipboard holder now holds unicode chars without problems;
  • Google Video plugin added.

Changes:

  • Better tooltip handling (eliminated unnecessary checks);
  • Loop for clipboard gui update is faster due to less branching;
  • Restructured included plugins to allow more plugins to appear in enabled by default;
  • Numerous optimizations to make the icon based menu redraw faster.

Bug fixes:

  • Menu now no longer ‘double-draw’ if ctrl-d is pressed after menu has opened;
  • Clipboard disable in options module caused crash;
  • CNN plugin updated to reflect site changes.

More info available at http://www.transfz.com/

Synchronize Your Computer’s Clock With Atomic Time Servers Using DS Clock

Monday, July 30th, 2007

dsclock_main.gifDS Clock is a digital desktop clock that displays variable date, time, and time zone information built from the format string. You will definitely appreciate the fact that the program allows you to fully customize its look and feel. You also get to synchronize your computer’s clock with Atomic Time Servers.

The latest updated version just hit the software market recently. This latest version is DS Clock 2.0 Beta 3 and it comes with these changes:

  • Windows Vista support; 
  • Added Help;
  • Fixed bugs.

Check http://www.dualitysoft.com/dsclock/ for more info.

Blender: A Cool Design Instrument

Monday, July 30th, 2007

blender.jpgHere is a cool design instrument for your use. Blender is an extremely fast and versatile design instrument.  The fact that this software has a personal touch, offering a unique approach to the world of Three Dimensions makes it a must have.

What can Blender be used for? Use it to create TV commercials, to make technical visualizations, business graphics, to do some morphing, or design user interfaces.  One thing you will love about this software is the fact that you can easy build and manage complex environments. The renderer is versatile and extremely fast and all basic animation principles are well implemented.

It doesn’t matter what OS you are using, Blender has an edition that is perfect for you. There is Blender for Windows, Blender for Mac OS X, Blender for Linux and Blender for FreeBSD.

Want to check it out? Go to http://www.blender.org/

gVim

Friday, July 27th, 2007

gvim.jpgVim is a highly configurable advanced text editor. It is an improved version of the vi editor distributed with most UNIX systems. The g in “gVim” refers to the graphical version of vim, as opposed to the console version, so it’s the version Microsoft Windows users would use. Vim is available 100% free of charge, which is pretty amazing considering how superior it is to other editors and it is even considered to be an IDE.

Vim isn’t just for programmers though, it’s perfect for all kinds of text editing, from composing email to editing configuration files. I personally use it for everything from editing HTML and PHP code to taking notes.

Why should you use it? Well, for starters it runs on every operating system you’re likely to use so you’ll always feel at home whether you’re using Windows, Linux or Mac OS X. It’s also very fun to use and you’ll impress your friends because you can do everything with the keyboard and it’s so powerful that it can do things most editors can’t do. It has a great reputation among programmers and power users, many of whom fear it and will respect you just for using it.

But don’t let any of that scare you, vim is really not hard to use. You only need understand the basic concept of how it works, which I’ll try to break down briefly for you. Basically it has two main “modes”: Insert mode and Command mode. Insert mode is what most editors, such as Notepad, are always in. They sit there waiting for you to “insert” text and for most commands you have to use your mouse to navigate the menu to apply functions. But with vim you enter command mode (by pressing the Esc key) and then you can type commands by preceding them with a colon. For example, if you wanted to get help you would type “:help” in command mode. To get into insert mode you just press the “i” key on your keyboard (i for insert), then go ahead and type your text. Press “Esc” at any time to go back into command mode.

So what are some cool commands you can run while in command mode? Well, luckily you only need to learn a few for everyday use and they are extremely efficient. For example, if you want to delete an entire line of text then you would just type “dd”. If you want to undo that you type “u”, if you want to redo it type “Ctrl+R”. If you want to delete 10 lines of text type “10dd” (10 meaning the number of times you want to run the command–and that works for many commands). You’ll definitely want to look at some tutorials on vim and decide which commands are worth memorizing for your own needs.

Amongst many other things, gVim supports tabs and you can even split the window horizontally and/or vertically to view and edit multiple files at the same time. You can script vim and you can configure it to your hearts content by editing the _vimrc file it comes with. Vim can also syntax highlight all your files. It can do so much more that it would be impossible for me to list even half the things it can do here if I tried.

While it will take some getting used to it’s worth it. It’s been said that most of our computer time will be spent editing text files, so it’s very worth it to invest in learning how to use the best editor you can. I (and some of my friends) have tried many editors only to always come back to vim after realizing they lack too much functionality or are too slow. Indeed, there is a learning curve to vim; to pull a quote from Vim’s website: “Vim isn’t an editor designed to hold its users’ hands. It is a tool, the use of which must be learned.”

If you really can’t wrap your head around vim for some reason then try “Cream” which is a modern configuration of the Vim editor designed to be more intuitive for new users. It will get you up and learning how to use Vim perhaps a little quicker than you otherwise would.

To download gVim go here

To download Cream go here

Usage Monitor – set watch limits on processes

Thursday, July 26th, 2007

sw_ss_umon.gifThere are a number of different programs around that allow you to monitor your usage when it comes to windows programs but at the same time there are programs that are overstuffed with unnecessary stuff.   It is just not really logical to think that you would need a program overstuffed with different services in order to do the usage monitoring tasks that you want.   Monitoring your usage is one thing, but some of these programs come with so many different addons that even if you really knew what you wanted to do via the usage issue, you might not even really know where you should begin.

Usage Monitor  however makes sure that this is not really a problem.  It is a very simple software package that basically has a window where you can look at all of the different processes currently being run on your computer.  Through the use of the usage monitor, you can make sure that you have the ability to use it to set watch limits on the different processes on your computer.   This serves ultimately to allow the usage monitor to let you know when the processes are using too much of the system’s resources, thereby allowing you to quickly respond before the situation gets out of hand.

More information can be found at http://www.veign.com/download_app.asp?app=110

SmartRoster – Events scheduling software

Thursday, July 26th, 2007

box_75dpi.jpgSmartRoster is software for fully automating scheduling for churches, but can also be used for volunteer groups, or small businesses.

Here’s how it works, you first define the events and roles, then add people and put how and when they want to participate by nominating their events, roles, availability/non-availability, and work preferences. You then set the period you wish to schedule and click the AutoFill button to create the schedule.

It then goes through several different schedules and automatically picks the best one, balancing the workload as evenly as possible, while respecting work preferences. You can schedule either fully manually or, using the drag-and-drop interface, completely automatically, or a combination of both. It has a number of features to make sure everyone get their schedule, such as per-person reports,and automated email reminders.

It also has a ton of features and functions, so if this sounds of use to you or your organisation, check it out here for more info.

CDisplay Comic Reader 1.8

Thursday, July 26th, 2007

1034322713-1.jpgThere are a number of different places that a person can go to nowadays in order to read a comic online and indeed with all of the different pages available in JPEG format, you can tell right away that the people that are ultimately interested in the idea of reading the comic online would most likely have a hard time doing so. Opening up different pictures when you finish the preceding one is an annoying process and a number of the existing programs are way too general in order to make sense when reading the comic itself. A program specific to the needs of online comic readers is needed and indeed this is where the CDisplay Comic Reader 1.8 comes in.

The CDisplay Comic Reader 1.8 is a program that was written specifically to ease the burdens of people previously trying to read comics where every page was in JPEG format on a person’s hard drive. It was because of this niche that the software was made and indeed people that have used it can testify to how fantastic a piece of software it really is. It is simply a reader, so the software does not take up either much space on your hard drive or tie up much space in your system resources.  Ultimately, what the CDisplay Comic Reader 1.8 happens to be is just a fantastically simple solution to a problem affecting thousands.

More information can be found at http://www.geocities.com/davidayton/CDisplay.html

Blots – New take on an old classic

Thursday, July 26th, 2007

blots.jpgBlots is an addictive game that has a concept which will be very familiar to those of you who remember “Lemmings“.

You guide your troop of “blots” along lines which you draw, in order to guide them to their exit safely. But the lines fade away after a while, so watch out! There is also other things such as being able to draw a line between fire and bombs in order to create a “fuse” and therefore blow holes in walls. You may also burrow through some types of ground in some levels.

This is a cool little game that’s sure to please (or frustrate!) fans of that old classic game “Lemmings”.

Have a go and see for yourself!

Stellarium – a graphical representation of the night sky

Wednesday, July 25th, 2007

When you are talking about the sky, you are talking about something that people love.  During the space race of the 1950s and 1960s and ever since, the concept of space and space travel has inspired us as a race to go for bigger and better things and the idea of charting and exploring space has indeed long been in the minds of many children around the world.   In order to keep that dream fresh, those children of course start with the night sky and with Stellarium for Windows you can download a free program that allows you to make sure that even when the sky is cloudy, your child has a chance to look at the night sky in wonderment.

What exactly is Stellarium?  It is a graphical representation of the night sky.   You can change it to different times during the day and different sun angles as well as of course looking at the sky at night.  You can add or remove lines that point out all of the different constellations and of course you can even go so far as to look at the sky from different points on our lovely planet Earth.   One of the main drawbacks of really looking up at the sky, the one point of view, is something that has been defeated by the use of computer software and therefore your child can get a fantastic education all while spending more time looking at something they already love.

More info can be found at http://stellarium.sourceforge.net/

Process Monitor – advanced monitoring tool for any Windows system

Wednesday, July 25th, 2007

1173372607-1.gifWhenever you take a look at your own process monitor such as the one you can access from your desktop by pressing ‘Ctrl’ + ‘Alt’ + ‘Delete’, have you ever had the feeling of frustration of not really understanding exactly what was going on? Was the process list an endless list of things that you had no clue about? I’ve certainly had that feeling and for those of us that aren’t terribly computer savvy, the Process Monitor 1.12 is definitely the piece of software that you absolutely want to have.

It’s an advanced monitoring tool for any Windows system and it basically shows the real time file system activities. These include things like the actual tasks and processes as well as information about the registry delivered to you in real time. You can use any number of special features to figure out exactly what each task is doing and perhaps that more than anything else is what the appeal of this piece of software is. The idea that you can finally figure out exactly what’s been going on in your computer this whole time and then cut back on the programs that you don’t need so that the resources of your computer are free to deal with other things is a very powerful idea indeed.

More information can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/technet/sysinternals/utilities/processmonitor.mspx

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