The Download Blog

Featured Freeware: Advanced WindowsCare Personal

This isn't the most feature-packed Windows optimization utility but we found it one of the easiest to control. Advanced WindowsCare Personal's simple interface offers two main options: Repair and Repair And Optimize. The former fixes Registry entries and cleans out your operating system. The latter does the same thing and tweaks Windows for maximum performance.

If you run into trouble, the Restoration option can return your system to its original configuration. The Advanced menu provides fine control over repairs and optimizations. Afterward, I noticed only one improvement, a reduced amount of used RAM, but that's not insignificant. … Read more

Power Downloader never forgets a Wi-Fi password

Power Downloader often uses his friends' Wi-Fi hot spots all over the world, but he doesn't visit each friend as regularly as he'd like. Months or even years go by before he sees them again. Whether they use a WEP key or a WPA, he never has to worry about keeping a password database with WirelessKeyView.

WirelessKeyView is a simple utility. The main feature lets Power D view the passwords his Wi-Fi manager has stored, but it offers more than just that. The spreadsheet-style main window shows the properties on any stored network name. Users can view not … Read more

Search Craigslist from your desktop

If you've ever hunted for a job, housing, or furniture on, you'll appreciate the help of a devoted desktop reader to sift and sort through multiple listings. I've taken a look at two free Craigslist-helpers on CNET Reader Pro and CraigsList Reader. While neither one is perfect, we found Craigslist Reader Pro to be the stronger choice, though it would do well to learn from what CraigsList Reader has done right.

Craigslist Reader Pro, published by CraigsPal, isn't pretty to look at, but it does quickly hone your search to Craigslist'… Read more

Mozilla: Web apps faster with Firefox 3.1

Updated at 2:40 p.m. PDT with more details about Firefox 3.1 features.

Firefox 3.1 will run many Web-based applications such as Gmail faster through incorporation of a feature called TraceMonkey that dramatically speeds up programs written in JavaScript, Mozilla said Friday.

JavaScript has been very broadly used to add pizzazz or flexibility to Web pages over the years, but in recent years, it's also become the plumbing for many rich Internet applications. However, because JavaScript has been hobbled by pokey performance, Web-based applications often struggled to work as responsively as "native" software running … Read more

Rooms lets you IRC from your iPhone

Rooms is, so far anyway, the first and only IRC client for the iPhone. It's pretty stripped down as far as IRC clients go, but for simple chatting, it works really well. That said, it has quite a number of bugs, probably because it's only version 0.5. For the uninitiated, IRC stands for Internet Relay Chat, and involves real-time Internet communication on chat rooms called channels. There are hundreds of IRC servers located around the world, and is probably one of the oldest forms of Internet chat rooms.

When you first start Rooms up, you'll be … Read more

Featured Freeware: CDBurnerXP

Though this multifaceted burning tool won't win any beauty awards, it has almost everything Windows users need to create CDs and DVDs. One of the most glaring holes in Windows XP is a good DVD burner program, and CDBurnerXP Pro fits the bill well. Despite a slightly confusing interface, this freeware tool should not disappoint users who take the time to familiarize themselves with its functionality.

The core of the program's feature set consists of three main tasks, which are prompted via a wizard upon start-up: writing data CDs and DVDs, creating CDs for audio playback, and ripping … Read more

New review: OmniGraffle (Mac)

Need to make a flow chart, a family tree, a diagram, or just plan the layout of your new apartment? Check out OmniGraffle, from the folks who make the classy OmniWeb browser. OmniGraffle offers all the tools you need to make professional-looking diagrams for any presentation you might have. Whether you're just sketching out ideas for a business plan or even planning an elaborate presentation, OmniGraffle helps you create a nice-looking diagram everyone will appreciate.

Still not sure if OmniGraffle is right for you? Download OmniGraffle and read our review.

Executor handles launchings, not killings

Similar to Launchy, Executor is a program launcher powered by hot keys that nonetheless offers a different program-starting experience.

The interface should be familiar to Launchy fans. A skinnable bar appears at the top of your screen, and as soon as you type in the first few characters of the program that you're looking for, a list of potential choices appears. The more you type, the shorter the list becomes. Users can also scroll down the list to click on the item they want.

From there, Executor begins to differentiate itself. The customization options that you can choose from … Read more

New Review: Photo to Movie (Mac)

Do you want a simple way to bring life to your photos? Photo to Movie is a fairly basic concept which adds drama to average photographs. Once you have your chosen photo, use the intuitive tool set to choose your starting and ending frames to create a camera path across the image. The end result is a slow motion pan across a photograph or several photographs, making for excellent slide shows with extremely smooth animations. You can even add music to make it more dramatic. If you're looking for a way to make a photo DVD, a personalized screensaver, … Read more

Yahoo OneSearch finds a home on your Nokia

Updated on 8/21/08 at 3:54 pm to correct information about the models supported.

Starting Thursday, searching the Web with a Nokia series 60 phone will be a little faster.

Yahoo's mobile team has released a free shortcut for OneSearch, Yahoo's search engine, that will live on your phone's home screen. The OneSearch widget promises to cut your labor two ways; first, by giving you a place to begin a Web search as soon as you turn on the phone and second, by suggesting search terms as soon as you start typing.

The home screen … Read more