The Download Blog

AIM's Windows Mobile chat app nails a bullseye

Updated 6/23/08 at 5:40 pm PST to correct details about the texting feature.

After the sophistication of desktop chatting, mobile instant messaging services often tend to look like rough, rickety wire frames. Not so for AOL's first house-made application for mobile phones, a rich AIM client for Windows Mobile phones versions 5 and 6.

Released earlier this month, the IM application is in beta stages and there are plenty of known issues, including the one that number-locks the keypad on T-Mobile Dash phones and made for a dead-end first attempt. Past that obstacle, AIM for Windows … 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

First Look video: Ad-Aware 2008

Ad-Aware has been around for nearly a decade and has been downloaded by hundreds of millions of people who want to scrub their computers clean. Publisher Lavasoft says that this edition includes better rootkit detection, faster updates, and other improvements. Check out what we thought about the latest version in this First Look video.

Featured Freeware: ObjectDock

Are you jealous of that slick Mac interface? Check out ObjectDock, a free utility that replaces the Windows Taskbar with a colorful, animated dock similar to the taskbar in Mac OS X.

ObjectDock displays icons for currently running applications and can hold quick-launch icons for your favorite programs. As you pass the cursor over each icon, ObjectDock magnifies it and displays relevant information, helping you find what you need even when you're running several programs at once. An attractive but optional clock rounds out the toolbar. The tiny utility comes with a dozen attractive skins, and users with slow … Read more

Yahoo releases Delicious plug-in for IE

Investors and industry watchers may have their eyes on Yahoo's executive departures and coming reorganization, but for most people involved with Yahoo are just users of the company's technology.

Which is why it's interesting that Yahoo released a version of its Delicious plug-in for Internet Explorer on Thursday. (Download Delicious Internet Explorer extension 1.0 for Windows.)

The plug-in, which Yahoo released in beta form in May, makes it easier for people to use the Delicious "social bookmarking" site. Delicious lets people store Web page bookmarks on a central server, label them with a description … Read more

Browser bruiser: Opera 9.5 versus Firefox 3

Two of the four major browsers have undergone some big changes in the past two weeks. Firefox 3 is, of course, the big news of the week, pulling down eight million or so downloads in its first 24 hours in the wild. However, the Opera browser updated to its much-awaited version 9.5 last week. Since both of them have got game but for different reasons, let's take a look at how they match up.

Empirically, the two most-cited complaints about browsers are speed and memory. Now, I'm a big fan of Firefox because it's so easy … Read more

Four FAQs on Firefox 3

Barely two days old, Firefox 3 has already been downloaded more than 12.3 million times at the time of writing. If you haven't downloaded it yet, you can grab it here for Windows, Mac, Linux, and a Portable Windows version.

The price of early adoption, even on a heavily-tested browser like Firefox 3, is early questions. Here are four you're likely to come across, and please add your own in the comments below. I'll do my best to answer them.

Question one: How do you kill the "awesome bar"?

Answer: A Howitzer, a crowbar, … Read more