The freeware Auto Window Manager adds additional functionality to the way windows manages the windows it displays. You could for instance customize that whenever a program opens it opens in maximized, minimized or default state. This setting should work with most programs and windows, i tried it with firefox and thunderbird for example.
Windows Explorer is a basic file manager with severe limitations that make it rather painful to perform some operations using it - you know what I mean if you ever tried to compare two directories using it for example. DMEXBar steps in and adds lots of functionality to the windows explorer by appending a toolbar to it. Once installed a toolbar should be automatically added to every windows explorer window, moving the mouse over one of the buttons in the menu displays a short information about that button.
ZoomIt is a freeware from Sysinternals which lets you zoom into part of your screen. With resolutions beyond 1600*1200 it becomes more urgent to have a utility that lets you zoom into part of your screen to magnify that part. It is also nice if you want to take a closer look at low resolution images for instance.
Oh well, the name wonderful icon is not really helping when you try to figure out what this freeware does. The main purpose is to assign new hotkeys to windows. The program offers you a great deal of predefined actions that can be assigned to an hotkey, for instance: Open Browser, Dos Box, Always on Top, Type Char xyz into window, reboot and many more. I would say there are around 100+ predefined actions and you also have the ability to create new ones very easily.
Sounds on my computer seem to be different depending on the application that is used to play the sounds. Sometimes I have almost silent video playback and loud intros when playing games. What's the matter with the differences ? Volumouse gives you immediate control of the volume on your computer making it possible to alter it without leaving the application that you are currently working with.
It is not possible to autorun applications from an USB stick in windows unless you already have a program started that watches the usb ports. APO usb autorun suite makes it pretty easy to use autorun informations on usb drives. The tool checks wether a connected usb drive contains autorun information, if it does those are executed.
I don't like the iTunes software, it is slow and I only use it for copying files to my iPod, never for listening to tunes. I discovered a winamp plugin that gives you full access to your iPod without iTunes, the plugin is called Winamp Media Library iPod Plugin. Once installed it adds the support to Winamp full or pro. I had to upgrade to full before I was able to use this feature but it is well worth it.
Widgets are small programs that add their small windows to your desktop and can be used from there. Widgets come in all colors and forms and you could categorize them the following way:
Everyone in the world seems to have a digital camera nowadays and many seem to be happy using the software that came with the camera. I'am going to introduce some of the free products that I'am using with my camera - you might have heard about some already but I'am sure some are relatively unknown to most of you.
Sometimes I create thumbnails of screenshots and include them in my articles to give you a preview of the subject I'am writing about. I normaly tend to use the print key on windows to make the screenshot and fire up gimp to reduce the size to be able to add it to the article. To be honest, this process takes way to long and I thought of ways to optimize it.
Those of you who got a glimpse at Windows Vista might remember the explorer breadcrumbs feature which it introduced. Explorer Breadcrumbs for XP takes this functionality to Windows XP. After you installed the free tool a new toolbar is added to the windows explorer showing breadcrumbs. Those breadcrumbs are identical to the navigation structure, if you are opening for example e:\apps\opera you see the breadcrumbs Desktop > My Computer > E: > Apps > Opera.
Jedi Concentrate is a very usefull application that fades out every part of the screen that does not belong to the active window. You can download it from the great website an app a day. The application is open source and uses only 44 Kb unpacked. All you need to do is unpack the application to any place on your hardrive and run it from there.
I found a pretty small and useful open source application that pulls images from google images in a given interval and displays them as the wallpaper on the pc the application is running. Once unrared you can run the application right from that location without installation; you will see a small icon in your system tray if the application is running. Right-click the icon and select options.
I received an email some days ago from a reader who would like to know if there was a program for Microsoft windows that would replicate the middle mouse functionality of Linux systems, that is copy a text with the first click and paste the text with the second click. Lucky me had already a bookmark to the freeware true x-mouse gizmo for windows website so I send him that information and think it made him happy.
If you want to make a screenshot by using the print key on your keyboard you have to paste the copied screen to an image manipulation program like gimp and save it from within that program. Would not it be much easier if pressing the print key would immediatly result in one of the following actions specified by the user: a) copy to clipboard (default behavior) b) sent to printer and print the screenshot and c) automatically save the screenshot on your hard drive.
Many websites post random images every time their page is reloaded, webcams come to my mind as well that load a new image once every few minutes. Saving a sequence of images is really painful if you do it manually. You have to click reload, save the image, reload, save the image. SeqDownload is a nice little freeware application that automates this task for you, download the program from the link above and unpack it into a directory of your choice - there is no installation involved, run it right fom the location you unpacked the files to.
Ghacks got slashdotted yesterday and I had to enable caching to make the site run fluent as usual. I'am sorry if you experienced troubles connecting to my website, those should be solved by now. When I was installing Windows XP on my new computer that had only SATA drives I had to use a floppy disk to load the SATA drivers because Windows did not have them onboard at that time. I had to buy a floppy drive, floppy disks and create a bootdisk and load the drivers from that disk during setup.
I sometimes quote websites and do a normal copy paste job to copy the website content to the editor of my blog or into a word processor. Unfortunately this copy job always pastes the original formatting of the original source to the editor as well which means that the text may have a different size, font type or color. It is quite a hassle to remove the formatting of the copied contents to make it look like the rest of your content.
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.