The Download Blog

Power Downloader feeds his news

Hunting down dastardly captcha hackers and spyware slimeballs is busy work, even for a man as talented as Power Downloader. Power doesn't have a lot of free time, so it's hard to remember to check all the Web sites that are important to him. His solution: instead of surfing a list of bookmarks, Power Downloader uses RSS feeds and FeedDemon to make the news and podcasts come to him.

FeedDemon is one of the best programs for managing your RSS collection. The interface is slick and easy to personalize, which is important since Power wasn't too impressed … Read more

Joongel makes searching social sites simpler

Joongel (rate it!) is a new plug-in for Firefox and IE7 that lets you search through various social media and news sites using the same query. Unlike a search aggregator that mixes up all the results, you have to view them on each service's results page. It's simply emulating the same effect of having each site's custom search installed in your browser's built-in search bar.

If you're a search junkie, this is a whole lot faster than having to navigate to each site and then use the search tool. Essentially it's saving you one … Read more

Shed wasted space with Xslimmer

If you spend a bit of time searching the Mac catalog, you might notice a lot of applications that seem identical. These are separate installers for the same programs, but one is for a Mac with an Intel processor, and the other is for a PowerPC chip. Not every program has separate installers, though, and once you've got your program up and running that can lead to a lot of wasted space.

Xslimmer is an effective shareware tool that costs a lot less than buying an brand-new hard drive, even at the plummeting cost of memory. For … Read more

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