Featured Freeware: WinSecret

UPDATED: There are 12 categories in WinSecret, not eight.

Novice users get a helping hand with this freeware tool for easily tweaking Windows. WinSecret's simple multimenu interface logically arranges the program's many tweaks into 12 categories. The Help file spends more time explaining installation than program operation, but the tweaks presented are organized better than in many similar applications.

Each of the categories includes tabs for general tweaks and extra tabs for tweaks that restrict functions and tools. Keeping the restrictions... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Featured Freeware , Utilities And Drivers , Desktop Enhancements

Tags: freeware

Mind maps: See a different way to think

When you're wedged next to someone at a conference, you can't help noticing their business from the corner of your eye. That's how I saw that my seat mate at last week's BlackBerry Developer Conference was using FreeMind (for Windows and Mac) to take notes on the talk.

I've looked at the freeware application FreeMind before, but had never seen it in the wild. I have to admit, compared with my two pages of linear notes organized primarily by... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Office Software

Tags: notes

This Buddi needs to be friendlier

Buddi is a finance managing program that's poised with potential. Open source and free, it offers an extensible experience for both Windows and Mac users that's wrapped up in a simple tabbed interface. As they say in the money biz, it looks great on paper.

The application can create new accounts from four credit types--cash, checking, investment, and savings--and five debit types--credit card, liability, line of credit, loan, and prepaid account. Users can create their own account types,... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Office Software , Mac Software

Tags: freeware , open-source

New AIM 6.8 for Windows gets a mobile slant

Updated at 11:30 am PT.

On Tuesday, AOL released AIM 6.8 for Windows. The version update of the chat client, which AOL is calling a "refresh," adds a mobile slant. One of the new features lets you share photos with buddies on the T-Mobile network (U.S. only) when you drag or import a photo into the instant messaging window. Friends can save the image or respond with a photo of their own, which will pop up in your IM window.

... Read More »

Topics: Chat And Email , Windows Software , Mobile Software

Tags: Chat , IM

Featured Freeware: gMote

gMote is one of the easiest to use mouse gesture tools around. gMote's dual-pane configuration interface makes it a snap to create and program mouse gestures, and takes extra steps to teach new users how it works via a prompt on first run to check out the built-in tutorial.

Press the create button, make your mouse gesture in the test window, and then use a pull-down to assign one of the 30-plus actions. The actions center on browser, media... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Featured Freeware , Desktop Enhancements

Tags: freeware

Halloween screensavers for a spooky PC

You don't have to be a werewolf or vampire to get excited about Halloween. What other holiday lets you dress up as a triceratops and snort at passersby or flashback to your grade-school years with a pretty pink ballerina tutu? Your Halloween festivities don't have to stop at the front door. Slap a virtual holiday jack-o-lantern or spooky scenes on your Windows desktop with this collection of Halloween screensavers.

Magical Halloween screensaver

If your idea of magic is a spell that... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Desktop Enhancements

Tags: Windows software

Ringdroid: Awesome Android ringtone-maker

One of the most striking things about this early batch of Android apps is how many excellent freebies there are. Ringdroid is yet another sophisticated, intuitive freeware app that will prove a boon to T-Mobile G1-toting ringtone-lovers.

Ringdroid lets you create ringtones from MP3, WAV, and ARM files you load onto your phone through the SD card or that you purchase through the Amazon MP3 store.

Unlike many Android apps that use the Menu keys to store some software functions,... Read More »

Topics: Mobile Software , Audiomp3

Tags: Android apps , Google Android , G1

Shopping with Google Android: Which app is best?

ShopSavvy, Barcode Scanner (by the ZXing team), and CompareEverywhere (an Android Challenge winner) are three free shopping applications for Google Android poised to help you find the best deals in town and online.

At their core, they're nearly identical, using the phone's camera to auto-focus on a barcode. That barcode is then matched to a product using an open source decoding library, ZXing, that was developed by Google engineers last year. (You can also search... Read More »

Topics: Mobile Software

Tags: Android apps , Google Android , G1

Featured Freeware: Folder Guide

Place your favorite folder shortcuts on the right-click menu with this handy freeware utility. Folder Guide's compact button and results window interface won't take more than a minute to understand. Even the single-page Help file is superfluous.

Operating this utility is a piece of cake. Simply click Add to create an alias and insert the folder path. A built-in browse function makes it easy to navigate to the folder. The alias is immediately available under the Folder Guide option on... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Featured Freeware , Utilities And Drivers

Tags: freeware

Qik announces streaming video for BlackBerry

California mobile video company Qik on Sunday announced the alpha release of version 1.0 of Qik for BlackBerry. The free, downloadable application (covered here and demoed here) lets cell phone filmmakers stream video live from their mobile phone to Qik.com, social networks like MySpace, Orkut, and Facebook, and to any personal blog.

When you're done filming, Qik also plays a post-production role by auto-publishing the recorded video stream to YouTube or Seismic. You can opt out by turning the feature... Read More »

Topics: Mobile Software

Tags: BlackBerry , video , streaming