Windows Software

Featured Freeware: Wubi

If you're looking for a safe and easy way to test out the switch from Windows to Linux, Wubi might be the program for you. Wubi's dialog interface requires users to select a mere six options to install Ubuntu, but don't expect direct help with this utility. Users are expected to have a basic understanding of Linux and booting into alternate operating systems, and you'll have to rely on the Wubi FAQ and forums for assistance.

Selecting the install drive, hard-drive space, language, username, and password is quick with pull-down selectors. The most difficult decision is … Read more

Power Downloader makes screenshots Jing-le

One of the most effective computer crime-fighting tools in Power Downloader's arsenal is the screen capture. When Power D grabs a cap and uploads it to the Web for the world to see, he knows he's presenting advice to computer users in a very unimpeachable way. Effective screen-capping used to be a tedious multistep process, but the Jing Project streamlines it all for both Windows and Mac users.

From the team behind the screen-recording utility Camtasia, Jing is able to capture still images as well as videos. Once you've downloaded and installed the program, click the Capture … Read more

Featured Freeware: GOM Media Player

Along with VLC and the KMPlayer, GOM Media Player's support for a wide range of file formats has helped it stand out as a firm favorite. A pop-out playlist can save and organize your various media files, though the limited sort modes--two--hardly makes it a champ.

More impressive are the customizable settings on the control panel. Here you can adjust a video's image brightness, hue, and saturation. There's no preview window, and changes occur as the video runs, so unless you care for a rousing session of trial and error, be sure to tweak the settings after … Read more

Two quick fixes for Firefox 3

Just looking at the download count from Mozilla for the first 24 hours of Firefox 3, it looks like the browser upgrade is one of the fastest-adopted new program versions ever. Eight million downloads in the first 24 hours can't be wrong, right? Of course, no new program--even one as heavily beta-tested as FF3--is problem-free, and so I've got two fast course corrections for those struggling with incompatible plug-ins and Flash foul-ups.

Let's look at Flash first. Towards the end of my use of Firefox 2, before upgrading to Firefox 3, I noticed a peculiar Flash problem: … Read more

Featured Freeware: Yahoo Widgets

Although Google's Desktop is arguably the better-known miniapp desktop dock, the latest version of Yahoo Widgets--formerly known as the Widget Engine--is an excellent alternative for Windows and Mac users, making customization easier than before. It also comes with a revamped look.

The app has 22 default widgets, including a weather forecaster, a Yahoo Mail manager, a Wi-Fi signal checker, a calendar, and an iTunes remote. Though the true value of the app should be judged on the quality of the widgets developed, the platform itself is polished and easy to use.

A helpful tour introduces users to the basics … Read more

First Look video: Revo Uninstaller

One of the best programs out there for giving more control over Windows functions to users, Revo Uninstaller does far more than fast uninstallations. It has several levels of programs removal, from basic to giving your Registry a thorough scrubbing. Revo also provides in-depth resources for researching just what a program is and does, so you know what you're removing, as well as offering a suite of strong system tools. Check out what it can do for you in this First Look video.

Featured Freeware: RSS Bandit

If Really Simply Syndication is like a drug for news junkies, allowing headlines, blog posts, and podcasts to be sent automatically to a computer's desktop every day, then RSS Bandit is the risk-free delivery system.

The basics are all present and accounted for, with subscribing, managing, and reading the flow of news all easy to perform tasks. RSS Bandit has many attractive features, too, allowing a user to merge news headlines from multiple sources onto a single page and organize articles based on keyword, read-unread status, and age. The built-in tabbed browser lets users read the full article and … Read more

TweakVI needs tweaks of its own

When a new program asks you if you'd like to create a system restore point before you finish installing it, there's only one reasonable conclusion: something bad could happen to the computer, the programmers know this, and so they're offering you a bit of Teflon for protection.

In TweakVI, the Windows Vista settings utility, it's a mighty fine idea to take the advice and create the restore point. It's not that the program hosed my computer when I installed it, but it's definitely a buggy program and the current version, at least, should be … Read more

Dashwire 2.0 improves phone-management software

Dashwire (review), a dashboard for synchronizing and managing the contents of your mobile phone online, has let loose with Dashwire 2.0 for Windows Mobile 5 and 6. Tuesday's release enriches the syncing client application with photos and with Facebook and Twitter updates.

The previous version of the downloadable Dashwire app, which opens the syncing channels between the phone's content and the online dashboard, was pretty much a blank placeholder--all back-end functionality and very little front-end personality. Now the screen displays your primary photo, status message, and a media ribbon of the photos and videos stored on your … Read more

Memeo launches Share for sending photos to grandma

Tuesday morning software company Memeo launched a new product called Share. Aimed at people who don't use photo- or video-sharing sites, Share lets you take what you've captured on your digital camera and beam it to friends and family members without clogging up their e-mail in-boxes with full-resolution shots.

The product is not aimed at the Flickr crowd, but instead at people who want to create small circles of people to share their shots with. That's not to say there's not a social element, since it can be configured to automatically upload your shots to Facebook. … Read more