CNET Editors' review
Like many free applications, The Hat from Harmony Hollow Software uses software to do something usually done "the hard way." In this case, it's drawing names from a hat, the time-honored method for randomly selecting individual entries from a group. The app can randomize a list of names so no one can complain about who goes first and who goes last. It can also draw individual names or pairs of names for raffles, sweepstakes, and ongoing contests. It does this all without requiring you to actually write down names, cut up the list, and throw it all into a hat.
The Hat opens with a compact interface displaying a blank field with an icon-based toolbar above and a large Shuffle button below. The icons are simple; just buttons to select, add, remove, edit, print, and save lists, as well as Help, About, and Options menus. We clicked the large green plus sign and typed some names into The Hat's list view, though of course you can enter any text, not just names. We pressed Shuffle, and the interface came alive, shaking like a go-go dancer, flashing changing colors, and playing a "shuffling" sound that was a bit too close to digital jitter for our ears as it randomly reordered the list. The next thing we did was to click Options and uncheck the box for playing sounds, though we kept the flashing colors and shaking window. We also turned the sound effects off for the individual name picker feature, which has its own interface you access from the File menu by clicking either Pick Individual Names or Pick Pairs of Names. In this feature, The Hat selected names from the main list, removing them as they were selected and displaying them in a separate list of selected names, thus ensuring that names couldn't be selected again. As with the main view, we were able to save lists and results as text files and print them out. This is handy since you can create separate lists--your 1st, 2nd, and 3rd period students, for example--and call them up or edit them at need.
The Hat is basically a simple randomizer with a straightforward interface. That's what software is all about, at its core: using code to simplify work. We can see how The Hat would appeal to teachers, parents, contest holders, coaches, gamers, and others who need to pick individual names or randomly order groups.
From Harmony Hollow Software:
Just like drawing names from a hat to determine a random order for a group of people or to choose individual random names or groups of names. Just input a list of names in any of several different ways, then let the program randomly re-order the entire list automatically or pick any number of random names individually or any amount of names at a time. Cool animation actually shows the names coming out of a hat or, optionally, a colorful beach bucket. This is great for selecting winners of raffles or sweepstakes or for parents or teachers to decide a random, arbitrary order for kids to do things such as play video games or do other activities, assignments, or chores. You can also select to draw as many names at a time as you wish in case you need to choose random groups from a larger group. Name lists can be saved and loaded from within the program in case you have different classes or groups of people from which you need to select random names frequently.
What's new in this version: Version 3.0.7 added ability to switch between themes (hat, beach bucket, or treasure chest) directly on the name-drawing window.
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All versions:4.0 stars
out of 22 votes
Current version:1.3 stars
out of 3 votes
My rating:Write review
Results 1-3 of 3
"tons of malwares"
Version: The Hat 3.0.7
none as long as it's so contaminated
install 4 or 5 different malwares
"It's cute and functional. Especially if you like junk."
Version: The Hat 3.0.7
Cute and functional.
Asks if you want to install a bunch of added programs in installation. That is fine except you don't get to "skip" one or two programs which will install themselves on all of your browsers and who knows where else.
I just wanted to pick a Christmas list! Instead I'm spending an hour sorting through spammed out programs. And now I get to uninstall everything :(
"Put Spyware on computer DO NOT INSTALL"
Version: The Hat 3.0.7
I now have a second window open in my internet browser, and spyware repeatedly picked up in my scans.
I am a competent computer user who knows how to uncheck things when installing new programs, etc. But this program still managed to get spyware on my computer that uninstalling the program does not fix.