Rider 8 Tools: Super-search your documents

If you've ever wasted time scouring a long document for every place a specific phrase appears, or worse, have had to look for that phrase in more than one document, you need Rider 8 Tools ($19.95), a slim but powerful search application that finds multiple terms in multiple files within any set of parameters you throw at it.

For instance, if you need to see every time the term "business plan" shows up within three words of "market growth"... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Office Software

Tags: Word

Featured Freeware: Returnil Virtual System

Returnil Virtual System is an interesting compliment to your PC's security system, but it's not glitch-free.

The software creates a new partition on your system's hard drive, and then mirrors it. It acts as an isolated work environment that protects your actual system by preventing downloads and such from accessing it. Instead, anything created in this pocket of your drive--this virtual partition--is erased when you reboot. Since toggling the protection requires a reboot, Returnil isn't as simple as running a... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Featured Freeware , Security And Spyware

Tags: freeware

Take a 'byte' out of malware

I just took a look at Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, and it's a worthwhile security application. Some users and reviewers even think it's the best free malicious-software-only engine out there, and it's true that it has a lot going for it.

Surprisingly effective, it's a relatively speedy malicious software remover, with the quick scan taking about 10 minutes. The heuristics engine proved on multiple computers during empirical testing that it was capable of determining the difference between false positives and threatening dangers.... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Security And Spyware

Tags: freeware , spyware

Real Deal podcast on bandwidth caps

If Comcast's October 1 start date for their bandwidth cap has you rushing to fire up your torrent client, take a listen to today's CNET's Real Deal podcast. CNET TV Editor Tom Merritt, Webware Editor Rafe Needleman, and I discuss what the bandwidth cap means (hint: it's not a hat), why it's happening now, and what you can do to keep track of your data usage.

If you're interested in the programs we talk about, they can be found in... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Utilities And Drivers , Mac Software

Tags: freeware

Top defrag utility: IOBit Smart Defrag

One of the remedies I often recommend for a sluggish system is to defrag the hard drive. For those unfamiliar with the term, defragging involves reorganizing your hard disk by placing files closer together so your operating system can find them more quickly. Your Windows operating system comes with a disk defrag utility of its own, but anyone who has ever used it knows it takes an unbearably long time to do the job. Fortunately there are excellent free defrag... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Utilities And Drivers

Tags: optimize

Backup Chrome, create profiles

Google Chrome Backup is a bit ahead of its time. The customizable features in Chrome are so few at this point that it's not hard to memorize your settings. Still, that's annoying, and so this freeware steps into the memory gap. Google Chrome Backup also creates user profiles, useful for mutliuser machines with one log-in.

To create a user profile, simply click on the New Profile button and follow the instructions. Once created, you can use GCB to switch profiles,... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Browsers And Extensions

Tags: freeware

Skyfire mobile browser bulks up for open beta

Skyfire, a Mountain View, Calif., start-up that competes directly with Opera Mobile browser, announced Wednesday the opening of its public beta for Windows Mobile phones. This is good news if you've been waiting months to join Skyfire's private beta program.

In addition to going public, Skyfire has upgraded from version 0.6 to version 0.8, a move that brings significant performance improvements and a more fleshed-out start screen design.

On the start screen, Skyfire has shifted from a spindly design of bare... Read More »

Topics: Browsers And Extensions , Mobile Software

Tags: Windows Mobile , mobile browser , Skyfire

Featured Freeware: Dark Room

Based on the Mac software WriteRoom, Dark Room for Windows looks a heck of a lot like the classic text-adventure game Zork. It's a black background with a CRT-style green foreground color for your text that aims to offer a distraction-free application for writing. There are few bells and no whistles: this lightweight text editor is without buttons, menus, or anything else that might disturb your concentration. You can either accept the default preferences and start typing into a... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Featured Freeware , Office Software

Tags: freeware

Yahoo unveils Messenger 9.0

Updated on 9/24/08 at 12:00 pm with more details on the Pingbox feature. Updated on 9/23/08 at 5:40 pm to correct information on photo-sharing and Pingbox, and adds details about contact-importing.

Yahoo Messenger 9.0 became available on Tuesday for Windows XP--a week after Yahoo's target launch date and interestingly, a week after Microsoft released its beta update of Windows Live Messenger. Yahoo Messenger 9.0 as dramatic an update of its instant messenger as Windows Live beta is of Windows Live... Read More »

Topics: Chat And Email , Windows Software

Tags: Chat , IM , instant messenger , Yahoo Messenger

Featured Freeware: YouTube Downloader

YouTube Downloader works pretty well, given how basic the interface is. It has two main features: to download FLV files from YouTube, and to convert them to most major formats. If there's a YouTube URL in your clipboard, it will automatically paste it for you when you click on the dialog box. From there, just hit OK and the downloading will commence. One more left-click is all it takes to load the file in the converter, which supports iPhone,... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Featured Freeware , Browsers And Extensions

Tags: freeware