The Download Blog

Featured Freeware: RSS Bandit

If Really Simply Syndication is like a drug for news junkies, allowing headlines, blog posts, and podcasts to be sent automatically to a computer's desktop every day, then RSS Bandit is the risk-free delivery system.

The basics are all present and accounted for, with subscribing, managing, and reading the flow of news all easy to perform tasks. RSS Bandit has many attractive features, too, allowing a user to merge news headlines from multiple sources onto a single page and organize articles based on keyword, read-unread status, and age. The built-in tabbed browser lets users read the full article and … Read more

TweakVI needs tweaks of its own

When a new program asks you if you'd like to create a system restore point before you finish installing it, there's only one reasonable conclusion: something bad could happen to the computer, the programmers know this, and so they're offering you a bit of Teflon for protection.

In TweakVI, the Windows Vista settings utility, it's a mighty fine idea to take the advice and create the restore point. It's not that the program hosed my computer when I installed it, but it's definitely a buggy program and the current version, at least, should be … Read more

Dashwire 2.0 improves phone-management software

Dashwire (review), a dashboard for synchronizing and managing the contents of your mobile phone online, has let loose with Dashwire 2.0 for Windows Mobile 5 and 6. Tuesday's release enriches the syncing client application with photos and with Facebook and Twitter updates.

The previous version of the downloadable Dashwire app, which opens the syncing channels between the phone's content and the online dashboard, was pretty much a blank placeholder--all back-end functionality and very little front-end personality. Now the screen displays your primary photo, status message, and a media ribbon of the photos and videos stored on your … Read more

Memeo launches Share for sending photos to grandma

Tuesday morning software company Memeo launched a new product called Share. Aimed at people who don't use photo- or video-sharing sites, Share lets you take what you've captured on your digital camera and beam it to friends and family members without clogging up their e-mail in-boxes with full-resolution shots.

The product is not aimed at the Flickr crowd, but instead at people who want to create small circles of people to share their shots with. That's not to say there's not a social element, since it can be configured to automatically upload your shots to Facebook. … Read more

Evernote 3.0 now open to all, still awesome

Today, Evernote 3.0 (download), the note-taking application I raved about in March, opens to the public for Windows and Mac users. I highly recommend this product. It's functional and useful, and beyond that its architecture is also interesting. It's a true three-platform play: it works very well, and somewhat differently, on desktop computers, mobile phones, and over the Web.

On a PC, Evernote is a good note-taking application. The current version also fixes some issues I had with earlier betas, and I'm seriously considering finally dumping OneNote, the note-taking application I use now, for this new … Read more

Featured Freeware: M8 Multi Clipboard

Beneath this clipboard manager's deceptively drab exterior lays a smart set of clip-management tools. Rather than holding one clip at a time, as the Windows Clipboard does, M8 Multi Clipboard can hold up to 25 items.

If you want to save a particular clip, you can store up to 25 in a single group. From there, you can create up to 100 clip libraries, with each of those holding 100 groups. The libraries, groups, and clips can be renamed for better organization, and it's easy to move or copy clips from one group to another.

The program's … Read more

Featured Freeware: Xplorer2 Lite

This slimmed-down file manager trumps Windows Explorer on many counts, but it may have too much flexibility for some users.

Xplorer2 Lite's interface is easily adapted to your preferences. Toolbars and information windows can be moved on a whim. You can browse two or more folders in one window, using program tabs and different panes. What's more, you can customize search windows and save the settings for later use. Visual filters improve crowded directory readability. You can easily rename multiple files at once, split or merge files, synchronize folders, and shred data to prevent recovery. However, Check Duplicates … Read more

Featured Freeware: Notepad++

Notepad++ is a Notepad replacement with an eye toward programmers, although it should also appeal to the casual user who wants a cross between Notepad and WordPad. Notepad++ has some noticeable differences from WordPad. Support for tabs is key, letting users manage different documents simultaneously. Line numbering is important, too, a feature that nobody mucking about in C should be without.

The interface is much simpler compared with some of its competitors. A familiar row of icons with their mouse-over labels sits at the top, and one row of tabs is just below that. The rest of the screen is … Read more

Featured Freeware: Stickies

Laugh it up all you want, you Web 2.0-using note takers. This simple note maker for your PC is small, robust, and excellent at what it does.

Stickies combines the best and most important features that you could want in a notes program. The program's main feature, the sticky note, can be customized on nearly every level, from font to color to behavior. The program installs a yellow sticky pad in your QuickLaunch bar. Double-click on it to load a new sticky, or right-click on it to access saved stickies and configuration options.

Fonts, hot keys, formatting, opacity, … Read more

Power Downloader revitalizes old add-ons

Whenever Firefox gets a major update, Power Downloader gets asked the inevitable question: what do I do if my favorite extension hasn't been updated yet? This time, Power D was asked by Kitty Kilobyte's cousin's sister's best friend forever, Tessa Terabyte. In her office, Tessa said, she has to copy text from Web sites and paste them into e-mails, and she used the extension called AutoCopy to help her do that.

AutoCopy is a highly useful extension. By simply highlighting a string of text, it would copy to the clipboard, and open a small menu asking … Read more