Test-drive Trillian Astra

Trillian used to be the most prolific multiprotocol chat client around, even garnering a spot on Google's collection of recommended programs. You can sign up for the beta of its long-awaited upgrade, Astra. In the meantime, we've put together this collection of images that show what the new version of the program will look like.

... Read More »

Topics: Chat And Email , Windows Software

Tags: Chat , Trillian

One-click Firefox searching

Like many other Download.com staffers, I use a customized version of Mozilla Firefox. I run the Littlefox theme to maximize real estate, Tab Mix Plus to manage my myriad tabs, and a few other essential add-ons like CustomizeGoogle and Greasemonkey for specific functionality.

The most noticeable tweak in my version of Firefox is the lack of a search-engine box in the upper-right corner of the browser. Back in summer 2007, I explained how and why I killed it.... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Browsers And Extensions

Tags: browsers , search , Mozilla Firefox

Easy backups for Mac: Backblaze

Just about everyone who works with a computer knows they should perform regular backups, but only a very small percentage actually do. While people's intentions are good, most simply think backing up their computer is too much trouble or software is too complex to figure out. Unfortunately, when the big crash finally does occur or a laptop is stolen, for example, the resulting loss of important data has us pulling our hair out wondering why we didn't take the plunge... Read More »

Topics: Security And Spyware , Utilities And Drivers , Mac Software

Tags: backup , Cloud , Encryption , Files

Yahoo will ping Messenger 8 IMers to upgrade

Sometimes, skipping a software update makes sense. Sticking to Windows XP instead of switching to the Vista operating system is a case in point. Yahoo Messenger 9 is not.

On Tuesday, Yahoo announced that it's time to grow up. Like it or not, in a few weeks, Windows users still chatting on Yahoo Messenger 8 and Yahoo Messenger 9 beta will see a window pop up at sign-in urging an upgrade to the latest version of the free chat client.... Read More »

Topics: Chat And Email

Tags: Chat , IM , instant messenger , Yahoo Messenger

PhotoList for iPhone lets you rate, label pictures

Touting itself as a media management app for iPhone and iPod Touch, PhotoList ($1.99) lets you create photo albums on the iPhone and then fill them with images you can label and rate. You'll be able to further sort images by their name or their star rating, which can be a convenient way to quickly find images in a large collection.

As with any application that requires you to build a media library from scratch, setup takes time, enough of... Read More »

Topics: Digital Photography , Mobile Software

Tags: iPhone , iPod Touch

Trillian Astra's still alive, beta available

Editors' note: At 2:30 p.m., April 14, we added information about the Instant Lookup feature and other in-chat features. Updated information can be found at the bottom of the post.

The first of the multiprotocol chat clients, Trillian got its start nine years ago and had been updated with some regularity through 2005 and 2006. It was included in the Google Pack, a collection of freeware that Google was supporting. On the heels of Trillian 3.1, Cerulean Studios announced... Read More »

Topics: Chat And Email , Windows Software

Tags: Chat , Trillian

Get Twitter in Adium

Mac users: are you a Twitter user who also uses Adium? If you are, you'll appreciate third-party plug-in, TwitterIM. With this plug-in installed, you'll be able to receive Twitter messages in a chat client window. Though the developers of Adium have promised Twitter support in upcoming version 1.4, Twitter users can get started early with this third-party plug-in.

You will need an account at Twitter to get started. Once you're registered, download and install the TwitterIM plug-in... Read More »

Topics: Chat And Email , Mac Software

Tags: Chat , Twitter , social

Write like mad with WriteMonkey

This lightweight and portable program is similar to other focus-driven programs like Dark Room or Q10. Still in beta, WriteMonkey can be run in a window, but the intent of these one-hit writing tools is to be used at full screen, eliminating distractions.

There are a couple of things that WriteMonkey does very well. First off, all the major program commands are accessible from the right-click context menu. When the program loads in full-screen mode, you can... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Office Software

Tags: freeware

NBA playoffs info and an excellent golf game: iPhone apps of the week

To go along with my obsession with software, games, and all things iPhone-related, I also have a healthy(?) obsession for basketball. March Madness is over, but there's still the NBA playoffs coming up on April 19. A few teams are still in the playoff race, even with only a few games to go in the regular season. While my team didn't even come close to making the playoffs (Hint: We Believed), I will still be watching a few of the... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Browsers And Extensions , Utilities And Drivers , Mac Software , Mobile Software

Tags: iPhone , Apple , iPod Touch , 3G , iphonappsweek

Hawkscope gets the drop on your files

Hawkscope is a cross-platform, open-source project that provides alternative navigation through your files for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Still in beta, it's also extensible, so not only can you jump folders in a zippy, context menu-style tree, but you can search Google, check your Gmail, and post to your Twitter account from the Hawkscope interface.

Hawkscope appears as a hawk icon just next to your clock, so that's the system tray for Windows and the menu bar... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Desktop Enhancements , Mac Software

Tags: freeware , open-source , Twitter , Gmail