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The Download Blog

WordPress creators re-create Twitter (sort of)

Automattic (the creators of WordPress) has created a microblogging service, but it's not for everyone--and that's the point.

It's called Prologue, and it's a new theme for WordPress.com users and blogs running off hosted WordPress installs. The goal of the theme is to let anyone setup a microblog, either for themselves or as a group--both public and private. Users can post short, to-the-point messages to their blog without having to go through WordPress' primary interface. It's essentially doing what Twitter can't, which is letting people create their own private groups and tag their … Read more

Voyant tells you when you can't retire

Although the Demo 2008 pitch came off a bit like an infomercial, Voyant At Home looks like an important and useful Web application for consumers. It's a personal financial planner that understands the impact of life events--children being born, college starting, retirement starting, and so on. You tell it your income and assets and when the life events will happen, and it tells you what your economic picture looks like. If you want to run some what-if questions, you can drag dates around (when you're buying that car, for example), or enter in alternate financial data--send the kid … Read more

Top 5 worst downloads of 2007

On a regular basis, Mark Sikes and I comb the download catalog looking for the absolute worst downloads for Windows that we can find. We then turn over our findings to Tom Merritt at CNET TV, who turns our selections into a rousingly entertaining video.

The end-of-the-year edition is an especially exhaustive search. We have over 75,000 Windows products live on the Download.com site, and thousands more are submitted each week. Mark and I have done the dirty work so you don't have to, and Tom is ready to count them down is his inimitable style.

One … Read more

gDocsBar makes Firefox more Google office-friendly

If you're a Google Docs user you're probably used to keeping a separate window or set of tabs open for your document source list. What if you could kill that extra tab or open window and manage everything from the sidebar of your browser instead?

Interaction designer Sandosh Vasudevan has come up with gDocsBar (download), a solution that rolls up all the functionality you'd find on the home screen of Google Docs and puts it the side bar of your browser, meaning it can be summoned and dismissed in an instant.

The sidebar features a search-as-you-type box … Read more

First Look: Zagat To Go

Now in its fifth version, Zagat To Go, compatible with the PDA and platform in-crowd, gives locomotive users access to Zagat's sprawling database of cleverly amalgamated dining reviews and ratings for the best spots in town for food, service, and decor.

The mobile version of the gastro-household brand makes good use of cell phone technology to deliver maps and directions, though Zagat strangely passes up some low-hanging functionality that forces users to do extra legwork as a result. Watch the First Look video below or read the hands-on review for more detail.

Try Zagat To Go for free: Zagat To Go for BlackBerryRead more

Power Downloader makes screencasts for free

With all his computer experience, Power Downloader gets a lot of calls and e-mails from friends and family who want advice with computer issues. Always happy to oblige, Power tries to find the easiest way to explain how to use various types of software and computer functions, but sometimes words alone are inadequate for complex computer tasks.

To make his explanations a little easier, Power Downloader found a program to make simple screencasts. Screen2Exe lets Power make little demo movies so his friends can see exactly what he's talking about. Screen2Exe leads him through a step-by-step process to record … Read more

Leopard users: Manage files better in the Dock

By now most Mac users (and certainly Leopard users) know about Stacks, the new file-management feature that resides in the Dock in Mac OS X 10.5. Stacks are great for many things, like organizing a bunch of similar files or keeping all the parts of a project together. To create a stack, you just put a folder in the Dock and start grabbing files and drag them to the same folder. You get your choice of the way it displays your files when you click the folder--either in a grid or fanned out. The less-than-useful issue I noticed, is … Read more

Uninstall like a pro with Revo

When you uninstall a program, there's a high likelihood that it's left you a little present behind, often in your Windows registry. Like an unclaimed sweater the day after a house party, rarely does this "gift" have much effect. When you've got 700 gifts sitting in your closet, though, you might wish you had room for more important things. Enter: Revo Uninstaller.

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Stress, drama, vivid virus nightmares

Published by William; Sydney, Australia

In our house, we used to share a computer. I had Spybot - Search & Destroy and Norton Antivirus installed on it, and I became the scanning boss since my parents barely knew how to click a mouse. After about a year, I discovered "DriveCleaner" in the program manager window. I tried uninstalling it, got an error, then saw the progress bar roll backward fairly fast. At least these malware people have a sense of humor.

But then: My computer was exceedingly slow and gave me constant pop-up problems. Stress session. I tried … Read more