What to install on a tiny Windows laptop

What to install on a tiny Windows laptop

At the end of December, my colleague Seth Rosenblatt put together a thoughtful and in-depth Windows Starter Kit that collects the best-of-breed freeware applications for all categories. But what if your new Windows computer can be balanced on the palm of your hand and contains only a whiff of RAM?

Take, for instance, the tiny Acer AspireOne laptop that my mother purchased on little more than a whim and a phenomenal deal. Not for kitchen lookups of recipes or way... Read More »

Tags: Windows software

The worst downloads of 2008

The worst downloads of 2008

Sure, you're all jazzed about Barack Obama and looking forward to a brighter 2009, but what about the catastrophes of 2008? I'm not talking about the financial meltdown, Sarah Palin, or The Love Guru, I'm talking about the worst downloads of the year.

Every three months, Tom Merritt (of CNET TV renown) and I collaborate on a lighthearted tribute to the software failures that stick out among the many excellent programs on Download.com worse than John McCain supporters at the... Read More »

Tags: Windows software

First Look video: Slacker for BlackBerry

First Look video: Slacker for BlackBerry

Slacker Radio started 2009 with a burst, releasing a mobile version of Slacker's streaming-Internet radio app for BlackBerry (story|download) that takes unique advantage of its hardware and storage capabilities to add some truly useful features.

Check out this First Look video to watch these features play out on the BlackBerry Bold.

... Read More »

Tags: First Look , BlackBerry , Internet Radio

iPhone apps of the week

iPhone apps of the week

When I was at Macworld a couple of weeks ago, it shouldn't come as a surprise that I had my eyes peeled for upcoming iPhone apps. Certainly the new 17-inch MacBook and the updates to iWork and iLife were at the top of my priority list, but once I started walking around the show floor, my mind quickly turned to iPhone apps.

There were several on display, but one game at the Freeverse booth from developer Strange Flavour caught my... Read More »

Topics: Mac Software

Tags: iPhone , Apple , apps , iPhoneappsweek

First Look video: Windows 7 beta

First Look video: Windows 7 beta

The beta of Windows 7 shows off Microsoft's most innovative operating system in years. Everything from the look to the guts has been overhauled. A completely revamped taskbar changes the way you'll interact with your programs for the better, and nobody will be complaining about the faster boot time, the faster program launch time, and the improved resource management.

In this First Look video, I'll give you a quick overview of what Windows 7 beta can do and how to... Read More »

Tags: First Look , Microsoft , Windows software , Windows 7 , operating system

First Look video: Watch Vringo in action

First Look video: Watch Vringo in action

In case you missed our news yesterday about the release of Vringo 2.0 Mobile Application, we created a little video to show you the app in action.

Vringo's free video-ringtone service lets you customize what your other Vringo-registered friends see on their screens when you call.

Although it's only available right now for Sony Ericsson handsets, all you other Java- and Symbian-phone owners will want to pay attention, because version 2.0 is said to be headed your way by... Read More »

Tags: First Look , video , Java

Photogene fills void in iPhone feature set

Photogene fills void in iPhone feature set

The iPhone has many great features, but its camera quality isn't one of them. However, Photogene for the iPhone and iPod Touch is an application that can give photos a little sparkle.

Photogene is an image manipulation tool that lets users crop images, correct color distribution, sharpen, rotate, and mirror images, as well as add special effects. (To view more Photogene features, check out our slide show.)

Apple didn't include image-editing features in its iPhone photo viewer software,... Read More »

Tags: iPhone , iPod Touch

Save tag searches in Thunderbird

Save tag searches in Thunderbird

Many moons ago when Mozilla introduced Thunderbird 2 (Windows and Mac), one of the neat new features was that the neat new feature of tagging could be combined with the neat new feature of Outlook-style saved searches. However, there was no documentation on how to do this, and it got pushed aside for more important things.

In other words, I forgot about it.

As soon as I remembered, I was surprised to find very little documentation about it.... Read More »

Topics: Mac Software

Tags: freeware , open-source , Thunderbird , Windows software , search

Vringo 2.0: Crisper video-ringtone quality, UI

Vringo 2.0: Crisper video-ringtone quality, UI

Vringo's video-ringtone service has been on our radar for well over a year, and the company's fun and unusual product is just getting better and better. The release of Vringo Mobile Application 2.0, with its full-featured client for Java phones, makes up for the slight disappointment of the online video-ringtone-creation studio.

Vringo capitalizes on the fever of personalized media by letting you create a video ringtone that others see when you call them--so long as they're Vringo users,... Read More »

Tags: video , Java

Fractal flair

Fractal flair

We all know what fractals are, even if we can't explain them very well (myself included). In simplest terms, fractals are geometric shapes that can be split into increasingly smaller, yet identical, fragments.

In 2002, Scott Draves created something called "fractal flares," which are a class of fractals that use nonlinear transformations and color in a way to create spectacular images. His work was put into a free, open-source fractal-flame called Apophysis.

I've been playing a bit with Apophysis this week, and be warned: once you get started,... Read More »

Tags: Windows software