The Download Blog

Two quick-launchers for Palm apps

Having something come to you is always better than having to go to it. Like Launchy for Windows and Quicksilver for Mac, Duh Button Launcher Plus and Initiate save you time by getting your apps open fast. OK, it's not like the Palm OS app launcher is an irrevocable time suck, but these apps just make the process smoother.

Duh Button Launcher Plus

Let's start with Duh Button Launcher Plus, because it's the free one. With just a little bit of work, you can map a list of your favorite apps to pop up with the press … Read more

Quicksilver: One of the best Mac apps

I was working on my Mac recently when a co-worker came up and asked me a question regarding a feature I wrote a while back. I turned back to my Mac, hit a couple of hot keys, and quickly found the piece in question. My Windows-using co-worker immediately asked me what the little program was that I brought up with the hot keys, and after a couple of key strokes, I proudly brought it up again: Quicksilver.

Quicksilver is one of those programs that is so useful I never even think about it when I use it. To open files, … Read more

Nada Surf, 'See These Bones': Free MP3 of the Day

"Popular" earned Nada Surf heavy MTV airplay in the '90s, but the alterna-rockers have actually been recording their best stuff in the last several years for Seattle's Barsuk label. New '08 album "Lucky" again showcases jangly, clever indie pop that's deliciously infectious and an absolute delight.

Run Firefox betas without losing your cool

One of the more useful tools that came with Internet Explorer 8 beta 1 was a toolbar button that easily switched between the beta and the previous stable iteration of the program, IE7. Nobody seems to have written a Firefox extension that does that--yet--but there are still several ways to have separate installations of Firefox 3 beta and the stable Firefox 2 on your computer, for both Mac and PC.

I covered one way Windows users can have dual installations back when FF3 beta 1 came out. Using PortableApps' Firefox 3 Portable beta 4, you can keep your Firefox 2 … Read more

What's choking your computer?

Editor's note: The topic of this Spyware Horror Story submission isn't among the usual culprits of computer stop-ups, but it was too amusing a story to pass up.

Published by Penny; Fallon, Nevada

My computer was running slower and slower, but it said I still had 75 percent hard drive space. I should have been suspicious when I started digging the ultra-fine undercoat hairs of our long-haired dog out of the keyboard as a way to fix my having to pound on it to get a response! I gave up, sent the computer in, and waited for the … Read more

gDocsBar now turns Google Docs into a Web archiving tool

Remember gDocsBar (download), that handy Firefox extension we checked out a few months back? It got a pretty neat update today that lets you do things that might not have been originally intended for Google's Documents and Spreadsheets service. The first is called Webclips, which is a fancy way of saying automatic copy and paste. If you find a big chunk of content you like, you can simple copy it, then drag it into the toolbar. gDocsBar will create a new document out of whatever you've highlighted, and preserve, as much as possible, the formatting and links.

The … Read more

Bug yourself with fancy phone notes

Sure, the iPhone and all those whiz-bang Nokia crowd-pleasers have users in their thrall, but that doesn't mean you should feel bad with the something else you've got. While searching for cool software for a Palm Treo 650, I discovered a productivity oldie that has yet to crumble into the dust of antiquity.

For Palm, and Windows Mobile 5 and 2003, BugMe Notepad is a handy, feature-rich note-taking app that comes with a companion for annotating screenshots pretty much how you like. For some, that means typing text in various colors. For others, importing a photo and scrawling … Read more

Get your hands on Firefox 3 beta 4

Claiming a massive number of fixes, Mozilla has released Firefox 3 beta 4 (download for Windows and Mac). This version is more stable than previous FF3 betas, but it also showcases some of the more interesting new features that we'd been promised, but until now hadn't yet arrived.

Of the more than 900 changes and fixes, four of the most useful are the add-on finder, the full-page zoom, the one-click site info, and greater cross-platform integration. Extensions are handled the same way as in FF2: users can click on an XPI and it will automatically be saved to … Read more

Firefox 3 beta, memory usage, and overlooked extensions

The big news today in the software world is a new beta version for Mozilla Firefox. The world has been sitting on Version 2 for almost a year and a half now, but the open-source foundation is making sure that Version 3 is fully baked before releasing a final version.

The latest beta release promises "more than 900 enhancements from the previous beta," but a large number of those improvements are back end and mostly invisible. Two significant features in the fourth beta that I appreciate are: an improved password manager toolbar that replaces the old semifunctional dialog; … Read more