Desktop enhancements

3 must-have freeware apps for multiple desktops

Users who are tired of running back and forth between multiple computers might want to give today's collection of freeware a look. First, we have two KVM switch replacements: Qsynergy, a more intuitive version of the popular Synergy; and Mouse without Borders, a quick and easy solution from Microsoft's Garage for sharing your keyboard and mouse.

A third alternative is Win Switch, a tool to share programs on multiple computers and unchain you from your desk. All three options differ from remote desktop applications such as TeamViewer or Splashtop, since all of the computers operate on the same … Read more

XMBC lets you customize mouse functions

From everyday office work to Web browsing or even casual gaming, (X-Mouse Button Control) (XMBC, but not to be confused with the open-source media-center software XBMC) lets you control your computer mouse like a hardcore gamer. With customizable mapping features and numerous profiles setup, X-Mouse Button Control lets you do so much more than your standard pointing and clicking.

Most modern PC games let you customize the mapping of your keyboard and mouse buttons, but strangely, Windows provides very few options for tweaking your mouse functionality. The basic Mouse Control will only let you make minor adjustments to cursor sensitivity … Read more

Add tabs to Windows Explorer with QTTabBar

A little Internet Explorer shell named Netcaptor introduced tabbed browsing, and major players like Opera and Mozilla Firefox (and then Google Chrome) made the feature a default tool for surfing the Web. Even though Microsoft eventually added tabbed browsing to its own browser with Internet Explorer 7, the idea of tabs never really translated to Windows Explorer ... until QTTabBar.

QTTabBar is an extension that brings tab functionality to the Windows Explorer file browser. Began as a project by a Japanese developer known as Quizo, QTTabBar (which also goes by QT TabBar) added tabs to Window Explorer during the many years … Read more

Camtasia makes your screencasts look professional

Camtasia for Mac received an update today that makes it easy to create professional screencasts (capturing all actions on screen) for demonstration videos, instructional videos, and other screen-recording projects. Some new features offered in version 2.1 of the software should make it even more useful, adding new Clip Speed and Remove a Color options to add to your screencasts.

Clip Speed lets you adjust play speed easily The new Clip Speed feature can be accessed from the Video FX tab, and lets you speed through slow processes in a demonstration or slow down a faster process you want your … Read more

Personal search app Found scans cloud and local data

"There's a lot of cynicism about search," Stephen Brady told me when we first met in August last year. He was working on a new personal search utility, then called BitLev and now called Found, that, he said, would help people find all their stuff, no matter where it was.

People have tried this before, and most have failed. X1, Copernic, and even Google's own Desktop Search app never got mainstream traction. And then Microsoft and Apple built desktop search into their operating systems. They made desktop search work better, but not soon enough. Nowadays, people … Read more

Miss the start button in Windows 8? This app will bring it back

People who just can't work in Windows 8 without the classic start button may want to check out a free app called Start8.

Designed by the folks at Stardock, Start8 tries to merge the convenience of the start button with the functionality of the new Metro environment. As such, it moves beyond the standard start menu with some unique features of its own.

You can download Start8 from its dedicated Web page and install it in the current beta, aka Consumer Preview, edition of Windows 8. Installation is quick and simple. After the app is installed, you'll see … Read more

How to use tabbed browsing in Windows Explorer

Download and install QTTabBar here. You should now see a new toolbar in Windows Explorer. Right-click an empty space on the bar to bring up QTTabBar's extensive Options menu. There's a lot of customization possible, but for most users, the defaults are fine.  There are two ways to open a new tab. The simplest is to hit Ctrl-N; this clones the current tab, but you can easily browse to whichever new folder you like. The second is to click the scroll wheel on your mouse when highlighting a folder; this opens that folder in a new … Read more

Love taking notes? Me too. Never forget another to-do list with Sticky Notes!

I am constantly taking notes wherever I go - whether that be on my phone, iPad, in a notebook, a napkin, and sometimes, I even write myself a little note on my hand, so I don't forget what to do. I've tried a number of notes and reminder apps, but sometimes, you just need a simple sticky note on your computer monitor to remind you that it's your mom's birthday or that Valentine's day is coming up soon. Well, that's where this app comes in handy.

The Sticky Notes app allows you to create … Read more

How to open files without proprietary software in Windows

It can be frustrating to receive an attachment or find a file online that you can't open. Maybe you don't have the latest version of MS Office, or maybe you just don't know what program is required. Open Freely is a great, free tool that lets you peek inside many popular file types. Here's how to use it: 

Download and install Open Freely here. When confronted with a file you can't open, launch Open Freely and click the open icon in the top left, then browse and select your file. (You may want … Read more

Best apps for Mac

Were you lucky enough to receive a new Mac laptop or desktop this holiday season?

Once you've booted up that shiny new Mac for the first time and have had a chance to look around, check out our Best apps for Mac to get the lowdown on great apps you can download. We feature both free and paid software in our collection and there's something from just about every category.

Whether you want a different browser than Safari, want to discover and listen to new music, or just need a multiservice chat client, this collection has got you … Read more