Desktop Enhancements

Copernic Mobile: View PC files from your phone

Applications that let you access the files on your desktop from anywhere else are wonderful things, but the traditional remote-desktop app has one annoying flaw--you must browser for an e-mail, photo, or document in often tall, brambly file trees. Copernic Mobile (see slide show), in a sturdy prerelease build for Windows XP and Vista, offers the thorough indexing of a remote-access tool, but with a search component that makes finding those individuals files as simple as using a desktop search tool like Google Desktop--or Copernic Desktop Search.

It works by downloading Copernic Mobile's remote access application to your desktop … Read more

Xandros instant-on platform: Who needs it?

Linux shop Xandros is launching the Presto "instant-on" platform for PCs and laptops at the Demo 09 conference.

When I saw my first PC with an alternate, quick-boot Linux operating system (DeviceVM), I was impressed. But I no longer think this is a viable market. I do not believe consumers want to run two operating systems on their computers--one fast to boot but limited, and one slow but capable. They want what they know, and for most of them, that means Windows. That's why Windows XP has become the popular operating system for low-spec Netbooks. And with … Read more

Your most popular screensavers

Though computer monitor technology has long since passed the days when you truly needed to "save your screen," screensavers are still a lot of fun and a great way to personalize your desktop when you're away from the computer. This collection features screensavers that are most popular with our users.

Free Fire Screensaver sets your icons and windows ablaze. Watch as each item slowly catches fire and begins to smoke on your desktop. Crackling and popping sounds and a musical soundtrack complete the effect. Add your own MP3 to customize your desktop flare-up.

3D Fish School Screensaver Read more

TweakXPlorer skins Windows Explorer, but why?

If you're a demanding aesthete who insists on stamping your imprimatur all over your computer's interface, TweakXPlorer might be just what you've been looking for. If you're looking for a serious Explorer performance-enhancing drug, you're probably going to want to look elsewhere.

TweakXPlorer is a simple utility that lets you slap an image in Explorer's background, change font colors, and adjust background settings for the Explorer toolbar. Simple buttons with clean icons will help you navigate through the three main interface tabs.

There's TweakFolder for folder changes, TweakToolbar for toolbar adjustments, and TweakThumbnail … Read more

Valentine's Day downloads

With Valentines day just a couple of days away, why not get in to the spirit? We put together a collection of screensavers and Valentine's Day themed downloads to get you in the mood for the most romantic of holidays. Hopefully, it will also act as a reminder to those who might forget. Ahem.

Some of these downloads are paid and others are free, but any one you choose will certainly put you in the spirit of Valentine's Day.

Cool EasyCard lets you create Valentine's cards (or any type of greeting) with your own photos and the … Read more

First Look video: Google Earth 5

Google Earth 5's big new features include the other final frontier, the 20th century, and the Red Planet.

For Windows and Mac, Google Earth 5 maps the ocean, explores the past with historical maps, and shows you there's more to Mars than red dust. Check it all out in this First Look video.

Video: Google Earth dives into the sea

Google Earth is adding an ocean feature, allowing people to dive into the deep blue right from their desktop, CBS News Correspondent Daniel Sieberg reports.

John Hanke, director of Google Earth and Maps, said, "Vast parts of it are largely unexplored and we don't really know what's down there."

While the visibility in the water has been cleaned up, everything you see is based on actual data. It's not quite swimming with the fishes, but it will let you see where they live.

Hanke showed Sieberg some impressive images that can be found with the … Read more

Hands on: Google Earth 5 delightful but imperfect

Google Earth upped the cartographic ante again today with Google Earth 5 for Windows and Mac. As CNET News reported back in April 2008, the latest version incorporates even more data from NASA, the BBC, National Geographic, and other proprietary sources to create one of the most unique map offerings ever, meshing comprehensive real-time data on Earth's surface with information on the oceans, the stars that we see, historical maps, and topographical information on Mars.

Conceptually, the oceanic maps are great. It is beyond cool to be able to see ocean-related points of interest like shipwrecks, and have cross-referenced … Read more

Weather apps: Six more weeks of winter?

Even if you're not one to trust a groundhog's shadow as your weather vane, watching a pet rodent emerge from a hole before hundreds of onlookers is a fascinating North American ritual. The rest of us may not have the prognosticating meteorological savvy of a Punxsutawney Phil, Buckeye Chuck, or Shubenacadie Sam, but on February 2, we can have the next best thing--weather widgets and applications.

Here are some of our favorite ways to read the mercury on our Windows PCs.

Weather Watcher Live A full, but well-ordered display, detailed forecast, animated map, and severe weather alerts are … Read more

Windows desktop bling

If you're glued to your computer, you should make it as inspiring as you can.

That was our goal back in September 2006 when we first put together a collection of top desktop enhancement apps.

Since then, Microsoft's spiced-up graphics have added a charm to Vista that XP out-and-out lacked, but is the blue look you, or can you still do better? We've picked out the best free and free-to-try downloads to give you a brightly colored taskbar, animated wallpaper, and dynamic cursor options for your XP or Vista box. Check out the desktop eye candy in … Read more