ShareWare

One of the cool things about the Weeb is the ton of shareware out there. One of the uncool things is trying to find out what’s good. So, from time to time... and knowing the thought-processes and interests of some of our more avid PC fans... I’ll pop in a link to something I’ve discovered recently.

RoboForm v 1
http://www.roboform.com
FREE

Roboform is a free plug-in for your browser. It remembers all your login passwords, whether they be banks, forums, business sites... and will fill them in automatically. I find it saves an incredible amount of time and hassle.

RoboForm also fills in online forms automatically, which is great news if you ever have to regularly complete these things for online banking, ordering of items, etc. It is designed to handle any number of “identities”, so if you use two credit cards, for example, you can tell the program which info to use as required.

RoboForm will generate and memorize new passwords for you, and is totally secure. It will even store passwords that you use offline, such as your bank card PIN....

Tweak OL and Detach XP v 1
http://www.mcdev.com/
FREE

Both these tools allow you to change the “attachment” security settings in your Outlook XP e-mail client. (Sorry, doesn’t work in Outlook Express.) Tweak OL is a simple, three-click setup: Turn all attachments OFF, or turn all attachments ON.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Detatch XP offers much more control; you can set attachment security at Low, Medium, or High Risk, with an explanation of what each level of security provides. Or, you can set a Custom level, where you tell Outlook specific extensions to be on the lookout for.

I Hate Spam v 3.2.40
http://www.sunbelt-software.com/product.cfm?id=930#skus
FREE TO TRY; $19.95 u.s. TO BUY

The title says it all: “I Hate Spam” works with Outlook Express and Outlook. It is a super-spam-filter, and mostly automated; that is, you install it and that’s it. You can tweak it for more specific rejection of spam addresses, and it’s auto-updater regularly adds new addresses to the database. Even better, you can send a report to both the software manufacturer and your ISP to register new purveyors of porn and pathetic sales pieces.
The screen below shows, on the right, part of the list of friendly e-mails that will never be prevented from coming into my PC, and to the left the fields where you can specify similar e-mails. There is a screen just like it for “enemies”. You can even add words, without the e-mail address, to filter out. Which is good, considering the number of porn smams I’ve been getting lately. Spammers are getting “smart”, if you can say such a thing about these retards, and change their return addresses every day to try and get around this kind of anti-spam software.

Gazo 9 DigiBox
http://www.kuraemon.com/gazo/us/

This is not the biggest or best Photo organizing tool in town, but I like it because it is simple and fun. Once you’ve learned how to use it, you can download skins from the Gazo site to change the way it looks. Click the pics to see larger versions. The one on the right shows one of the selectable image displays. Note that there is lots of room for... Notes...

 

Santa Balls 2
http://sprocket.lockergnome.com:8080/sballs2.exe

Takes seconds o learn, and keeps you going for hours. Santa Balls 2 is almost freeware. That is, this version is free, and if you want the full version, you only have to pony up $5 US.

 

 

 

 

1 2 3 CD Ripper Shareware $29.95 to buy
http://www.zj-fountain.com/123cdripper/index.htm

A couple of people have mentioned how boring it is to copy music from their CDs so that they can convert them to MP3s and put them on a portable player. Well, for those of you who didn’t know, copying .cda to .mp3 doesn’t have to be done in “real time”. While there are absolutely a ton of MP3 conversion softwares out there, this little one is quick and easy.

123 includes conversion to Ogg Vorbis, for those of you who care (Ogg is yet another format trying to gain a foothold in the cash-cow MP3 biz). And, as you can see from the screenshot at right, it’s a very straight-forward and simple tool. Rock on.

EVITE Shareware
www.evite.com/reminders

The screenshot to the right shows the Evite Reminder page. You can tell that it includes pretty much all the types of reminders you might want to use. The text box for Description holds a lot more characters than the size of the box would indicate; you can add addresses, phone numbers, notes... all kinds of things in that box and when you review your input you’ll see that it is all there, separated out into a nice, readable format.

For a more complete range of services, check out the main page: www.evite.com. The site allows you to create online photo-albums, import your contact list from your e-mail client so that you can access it anytime, and create Events with auto-invitiation email-outs. Best part? It’s yet another freebee.

DOC COMMANDER Shareware
www.utilityplanet.com

I’ve been using Doc Commander (DC) for several months now, through a number of Beta versions. Today, DC is 100% compatible with Windows and and products like Office 2000 and Office XP. It is a replacement for the Open/Save dialog box that comes up when you use the File > Save or File > Open command from the menus of most programs. I like it for a number of important reasons:

  • QuickBar: the blue bar on the left side; you drag your most often-used folders or files to this bar, and they are always accessible. This is great if you do a lot of image inserts into tech docs like I do, or if for example you are doing a family tree and are always reference the same location for information, but are getting tired of having to use the File Explorer to dig through your hard drive lists. The QuickBar can be resized width-wise, so you can see as much or as little of the folder or file titles as you like.
  • The main file list area can be set to show Previews (as shown above) or Thumbnails of the graphics files in any folder.
  • DC has its own Search Tool, which is better and faster than Windows’.
  • A feature called SuperRecent lists the last 300 files you looked at on your PC, so if there is a file you want and cannot remember its location, just scroll through the SuperRecent list.
  • You can set filters of your own in the File Name field, eg: *.doc; DC remembers this and lets you access the filter at any time in the future. Again, this makes for an easier find for your files.

The Developers at Utility Planet are hoping to produce three versions of Doc Commander: a Pro version, for writers, photographers, and so on, with many more features; a Standard version that is basically what the program is today; and a Freeware version that will cripple some features but always remain free. So right now is a good time to download it, if it sounds like the kind of tool you might need.

OPEN OFFICE.ORG Freeware
www.openoffice.org
Screenshot

Sun has been pushing StarOffice as a free alternative to Microsoft Word. It’s caught on, because now they are selling it and corporations are buying. It’s still pretty darn cheap, though.

Meantime, they set about hosting a big, open-architecture project along the lines of the Linux concept: OpenOffice.org, an office package that can be contributed to and improved by anyone interested. With Linux, this has resulted in powerful operating system with far fewer bugs and much more intuitive capability than Windows could even dream about. In the case of OpenOffice, it would seem that Sun is well on their way to providing us all with a truly viable alternative.

This is a 57 MB download, so you might want to schedule it for bedtime if you are using dial-up Internet. I can’t put it on our website, because our free webspace is pretty limited.

ATTACHMENT REMINDER Shareware. $6.95 U.S. to register.
www.asynchrony.com
Screenshot

Ever sent an attachment with your e-mail, but forgotten to attach it? Never again. This shareware from Asynchrony activates a little button on your Outlook toolbar, which looks for keywords in your messages: “attachment”, “enclosed”, “see”... and any other words or phrases you typically use when including something. Too bad, though: it doesn’t say anything about working with Outlook Express.

TEXTED Freeware
www.greenhousemm.com
Screenshot
Now here’s a tool that everyone can use. It’s a funky little Text Editor that I use instead of NotePad. It is lightning fast, and it has a few options that make it useable, while NotePad just sort of sits there and acts stupid. Heck, with NotePad, you can’t even select a printer; it always uses your default. TextEd not only lets you select a printer, it also auto-saves whatever you type, and lets you add a Tab for a new file, and another, and so. And the tabs are all available next time you open TextEd. It will even sit in your system bar, just waiting for you to call it up, if you like. Tools include Find and Replace, and even Send by E-Mail... no more cutting and pasting. Very cool.