Free Software reviews


Instantbird a Mozilla based Instant Messenger

Instantbird plans to be for Instant Messengers what Firefox is for web browsers. The first version with the number 0.1 does show a lot of promise but naturally lacks the stability of a software that has been developed for years. It uses the Mozilla rendering engine to render IMs and the Pidgin libpurple to connect to the various networks.

Automatic compression of the Registry

I described a way to compress the Windows registry manually yesterday. The process itself was not really complicated but it involved booting into DOS to complete the changes to the registry that have been made by the process. Tehmul (more of that please) commented in that article pointing to a software named NTREGOPT (NT Registry Optimizer) which would optimize the full registry and perform the replacement during the next system boot automatically.

rightload ftp upload

Add FTP Upload to Right-click menu

RightLoad adds the ability to upload selected files to a ftp directly which removes the step to start the ftp client, choose the ftp server, browse the local hard drives and the possible location on the ftp server. All this can be set in RightLoad which should be a really useful software for most webmasters who regularly upload files to their ftps.

laptop alarm

Laptop Alarm

I always keep my notebook in sight when I travel around or sit in a public place like a library or Internet cafe. Not only because of the fear that someone could grab and steal it but also because someone could install software, invade my privacy or use the notebook for malicious activities.

dead pixel tester screenshot

Dead Pixel Tester

If you have bought a TFT monitor you might want to consider using a software like Dead Pixel Tester to see if it has any dead pixels. This could for instance be useful to see if it is possible to get the current monitor replaced by a new one because of to many dead pixels.

Zoogmo Secure Peer To Peer Backups

Zoogmo offers a way to securely backup personal data and store that data on so called partner computers. Partner computers can be anything from USB devices, network computers or even the computer of your friend that you can access over the Internet. The advantage of this approach is that you backup will be stored in an encrypted form on an external computer so that it remains accessible in the case of a computer crash.

win text file patch screenshot

Grab and modify Text from all Files in a Directory

The title of this article might be a little confusing at first glance. Why would someone want to scan files in a directory for certain strings and output them in a new file ? Few ideas come to my mind why this could be useful. Imagine that you were surfing a website with lots of images that you liked very much. You could download those images manually or use the software Win Text File Patch to scan all files in your browsers cache for a certain string and output them in a new file.

Forum Offline Reader

I'm a regular at several webmaster forums where I tend to read up on the latest trends and techniques. While forums are great for exchanging and gaining knowledge they have one disadvantage and that is that one needs to be online to be able to read what has been written there.

Open Office and Docx

Microsoft Office 2007 uses a new standard to save documents. You might have noticed that the documents saved are no longer named document.doc but document.docx. While this is not per se a problem for users with Office 2007 it is a major one for everyone else.

XP Keep Per User Display Settings

If you share a computer with several other users you might have noticed that it is not possible to set a differing screen resolution, refresh rate and color depth for each user. Windows XP forces each user to use the same resolution, refresh rate and color depth which is a great annoyance.


Updatestar: check if Software Updates are available

Updatestar seems to be the most comprehensive software to scan your system for installed applications and check whether updates for those found are available. I did try several similar applications like Secunia Personal Software Inspector in the past but was somewhat disappointed by the small amount of softwares that could be detected.


Compare Registry Snapshots with Regshot

Taking Windows Registry snapshots can be a way to analyze changes that have been made to the system during a set period of time. The time being of course the days, hours or minutes between the first and second snapshot.

One Hotkey Software to rule them all

Hotkeys can really speed up the daily working routine in Windows. Instead of using the start menu, shortcuts on the desktop or the Windows Explorer you simply press a few buttons which start the software automatically.

I recently discovered Qliner Hotkeys which is in my opinion close to perfect. The real advantage of Qliner Hotkeys is that it displays a graphical keyboard of all hotkeys currently in place. Users can drag and drop softwares around and browse their system for applications to add to spare keys.

Quickly Hide Windows

Just a quick login into Gmail at work to see if I received any new mails. Oh, no. My Boss is coming. What now. Panic ! If you experienced a situation like that, be it at work, school or even at home you wished for a function to quickly hide any window that should not be open right now.

Customize the Open and Save Window

The open and save dialogs in Windows have the nasty habit of not remembering any of the changes that you made while using them. I prefer a wider window to be able to read all filenames, navigate more easily through the folder structure and have more details in sight all the time.

Quickly Access your Windows with Win Flip

Windows Vista has that feature build in that lets you flip through all the open Windows by pressing Alt + Tab. This feature is called Windows Flip in Windows Vista and is available in all editions of Vista except Home Basic.

Blank out part of the screen

It is sometimes important to concentrate on a task at hand and blend out everything that is not related to it. This could be the case when reading an interesting article, editing a Microsoft Word document or playing a flash game. Everything around the needed area could be a distraction.

send to toys

Edit the Send To Menu

I never use the Send To menu in Windows. Never saw a reason why I should use it but I know that some love it to send files quickly to a defined folder or attach them to an email. As usual it is rather complicated to manipulate the Send To menu in Windows directly which is why users who would like to do so have to rely - as always - on third party developers.