Windows Software

Power Downloader resurrects your dead (files)

The name Pandora originates in Greek mythology, and it means "all-giving." It's an appropriate name for the program that Power Downloader recommends for you this week, too. Pandora Recovery is a well-designed freeware program that can restore files you've deleted or thought lost because of a hard-disk failure.

Accidentally permanently deleting a file is a fact of computing life, but as long as the hard drive is NTFS-formated, Power D happily recommends Pandora to all of his friends. Whether Kitty Kilobyte needs to recover an old spreadsheet long since gone, or Francois Foto didn't realize … Read more

Put Meebo IM on your desktop with Meebone

Not sure how useful this will be for most folks, but if you're a fan of browser-based chat service Meebo and would like to use it right on your desktop an Adobe AIR application called Meebone will do just that with some elegance.

Like Gabtastik, which does the same thing with Facebook Chat and Google Talk, Meebone will effectively trick the Web app into thinking it's running in your browser. The big difference is that you'll be able to move chat windows around and minimize them to your taskbar like you would any other desktop chat app.… Read more

Insider Secrets: Best free security apps

You don't have to pay a cent to keep your computer secure against the bad guys. Watch this discussion on best practices and best apps between CNET TV's Tom Merritt and Download.com's Seth Rosenblatt. When you're done, head on over to our Security Starter Kit to check out must-haves for both newbies and power users.

Hands-on: iTunes Remote App

We've had a few minutes to play with the Remote App (download) for the iPhone. The (not surprising) verdict? It's an easy must-have for any iPhone or iPod Touch owner who enjoys listening to music at home.

Once you've upgraded your iPhone (or Touch) to version 2.0, just go to the App Store and search on "remote." (Amazingly, that--not "iRemote"--is the program's official name.) You can download it straight to the phone over a Wi-Fi connection (tap the word "free" on the upper right corner), and it auto-installs, adding a new icon to your home screen. … Read more

Apple launches new iTunes with App Store

Apple has launched the latest version of its iTunes Store a day earlier than anticipated.

iTunes version 7.7, available now for Windows and Mac, includes the App Store, a method for delivering third-party iPhone applications.

The download appears to have some quirks: for this user, the version number remained at 7.6.2, and no direct link to the App Store was available, but it could still be reached by linking here.

The newest version of the iPhone is due out Friday. The App Store will be preinstalled on the new iPhone 3G, but it will also be available … Read more

Featured Freeware: Vuze

Formerly the feature-rich Azureus, Vuze takes Azureus' BitTorrent foundation and builds on top of it a network for video discovery and user-created video publishing tied together by social networking.

From XML torrent options to IP filters, firewall tests to UPnP plug-ins to baked-in social networking, Vuze isn't breaking new ground--the original BitTorrent client has gone this path, too--but it is doing it in an innovative and attractive way. When you install the program, you're faced with a Web 2.0-style interface from which you can get a general overview of your torrents and Vuze's latest media. Users … Read more

Encrypt an operating system using TrueCrypt

TrueCrypt has been the standard for file and folder encryption since 2004, and it doesn't hurt that it's open-source freeware, either. The latest update includes the power to do more than protect the mere output of your work: you can now encrypt and hide an entire operating system using the program's wizard.

As the step-by-step guide points out when you start it, one of the reasons you might want to create a hidden OS is in case of extortion. A little paranoia doesn't hurt, either. So, when you create the hidden OS, it also creates signposts … Read more

Featured Freeware: JAlbum

JAlbum for Windows and Mac users is a long-time favorite free Web album generator. There's no wizard to direct you through the process, but a quick look through the menus will be enough to get you started creating image collections online.

To begin, specify the original image folder, set the album-destination folder, select the images, and generate the album--it's really not more complicated than that. Using the integrated FTP client, you can upload your album to your Web site or you can use the integrated Web server to serve your album from your computer. The JAlbum site also … Read more

Expand your desktop by 360 degrees

In general, I'm not much of a fan of desktop-enhancement software. I like programs such as TweakUI that let me change the aspects of Windows that are extremely annoying to me, but I generally ignore desktop components such as wallpaper, themes, sounds, and all that jazz.

Despite my reservations about "needless" desktop enhancements, however, a new public beta for the software 360desktop intrigued me with its promises of "unlimited desktop space" and the ability to save any part of the Web directly to my desktop. After creating a System Restore point in case my Windows … Read more

Featured Freeware: ThunderBrowse

ThunderBrowse remains one of the best plug-ins for Mozilla Thunderbird. It's a favorite of mine, but if you haven't tried it recently there are some excellent new features worth noting.

If you've never used it before, ThunderBrowse lets you open Web links in Thunderbird's preview pane. It's that simple, which is why it's such an useful tool to have. From social networking friend invites to quickly scanning that hometown article sent by Your Dear Ma, ThunderBrowse cuts out huge chunks of time from your work flow by speedily opening HTML pages in its own … Read more