The Download Blog

Power Downloader shows you What's Running

One of Power Downloader's big concerns is that the average user lets his computer get away with too much. How many of us, Power D asks, truly know exactly which programs and processes are active at all times? There are several programs that can help you answer that question, and one of Power Downloader's favorites is What's Running.

What's Running is similar to Windows Task Manager, except far more informative and useful. The cramped multipane interface can be hard to read, but even it has its good points: it lists processes in a parent-child hierarchy--incidentally, not … Read more

Control BitTorrent downloads from Facebook with Morrent

So much for Scrabulous being an end-all diversion on Facebook. Try Morrent instead, a simple tie-in to the popular BitTorrent software uTorrent that runs right in Facebook (read: sans software) and lets you monitor your torrent downloads and uploads from wherever.

Aimed mainly at folks who want to check up on their downloads at work or away from their primary machines, Morrent is more than just a convenient status window--it doubles as a remote control. You can pause and re-prioritize downloads. You can also start downloading new torrents by uploading them back to your home machine.

While the same results … Read more

Featured Freeware: JetAudio

During installation, you have to be careful if you don't want to set JetAudio Basic as the default application for audio and video files. However, the freeware application gives you plenty of reasons to make it your only player.

The interface has a modern design that looks like an equalizer. You can customize each section of the program, from CD ripping to format conversion, to your heart's content. The program can convert files among some a number of formats, as well as read and edit MP3 tags. The built-in Cross-fader, Reverb, and Wide-sound modes provide a nice touch … Read more

Save ink and paper with the Nuke Anything Firefox add-in

I'm very stingy about installing Firefox extensions but one that made my short list is called Nuke Anything. Simply put, it lets you right click on something in a web page and remove it. I use it almost every time I print a web page to save on both ink and paper. Even web pages that aren't printer-friendly (and there are all too many of them) can be sculpted, if you will, reduce their paper and ink requirements.

Nuke Anything can remove both text and images. To remove text, first select it, then right click and chose the &… Read more

Give your laptop some 3G love

As we head into the long weekend here in the States, I caught word of a newfangled freeware called JoikuSpot Light that might appeal to traveling owners of laptops and 3G phones that can't get their Wi-Fi connection to, you know, connect.

Joikuspot, and its Windows Mobile sibling, WMWiFiRouter, let laptop users wirelessly connect to their phones' 3G signal, piggybacking on it to your messages out and get fresh data in. If you're stuck in an airport or hotel room with a crappy or nonexistent Wi-Fi signal, JoikuSpot will enable to you to connect. If you've got … Read more

Web Albums made easy on Windows and Mac

Just about anybody with a little computer experience can put a bunch of photos together onscreen and print them out. But what if you want something a bit more exciting? Maybe something that gives you the flexibility to control the layout, add captions, and upload your work to the Web so your friends and family can enjoy it. JAlbum, for both Windows and Mac is one of my long-time favorite programs. JAlbum just got a major upgrade, so if you're looking for a way to get your photos out to family and friends, it's definitely worth checking out.… Read more

NewsGator introduces feed suggestions

NewsGator converted its popular RSS feed aggregation clients to freeware in January 2008, and now that seed has borne fruit: recommended fruit, to be precise.

Partnering with SenseArray, a collaborative filter from Uprizer Labs, NewsGator now offers live RSS feed recommendations from feeds that the user hasn't already subscribed to. Currently available only on the online NewsGator client, the filter pulls information from NewsGator as well as its sibling desktop clients, FeedDemon for Windows and NetNewsWire for the Mac so that users who synchronize their RSS data will be contributing to the list of recommendations.

Brian Kellner, NewsGator's … Read more

Featured Freeware: Blender

If you've ever thought about making professional-quality animations but decided not to because of the cost of the software, your excuse just got up and walked out the door. For Windows, Mac, and Linux, Blender is a free, open-source 3D rendering program that puts the power of the medium back into the hands of the artist.

Blender features a laundry list of animation essentials that can be broken down into categories: Interface, Modeling, Rigging, Rendering, Animation, UV Unwrapping, Shading, Physics and Particles, Imaging and Compositing, and Real Time 3D/Game Creation. The interface, though loaded with complicated tools, is … Read more

IE7Pro adds even more features to IE

The one must-have add-on for Internet Explorer is IE7Pro. It gives Microsoft's browser many of the features that Firefox aficionados consider essential, such as mouse gestures, ad blocking, user scripts, and other basic tweaks. Now IE7 users can add a session manager and prefetching to that list.

Using IE7Pro is a snap. The add-on installs an icon on your IE status bar at the bottom, and you right-click it to access the IE7Pro options. Think of it as a context menu for your plugins. The Settings panel is accessible from that menu or using CTRL+F7 hotkeys.

The session … Read more

Ad-Aware improves for 2008

This year's major update to user favorite Ad-Aware looks to be more of a course correction from some of the missteps in the 2007 version. The adware and malware detection engine has undergone a significant overhaul, resulting in faster scan times, and the interface has been changed.

The changes to the detection and removal engine will be noticeable to long-time Ad-Aware users, with Lavasoft touting faster scan times and better rootkit detection. New users should notice that the app performs faster than integrated antivirus and antimalware programs, and that's because only the paid version of Ad-Aware comes with … Read more