Saturday, January 14, 2006

CQPhone: a free program that allows you to chat over the internet.

As you all know, I have a very old IBM Thinkpad with only 40 Mb of RAM, so most of the voice mail programs (Skype, Yahoo etc.) don't work for me.

CQPhone will work on any computer that is running Windows 95 or later. The use of microphone, speakers, and web cam is optional. Your computer must be connected to the internet. CQPhone as been successfully tested on Windows 95, 120 Mhz, 32 MB RAM, 33K dialup modem!!!

Here are some of the things it can do;

VOICE CHAT: high quality, two-way voice, even for people using a slow dialup connection.

TYPING CHAT: for people who prefer not to use voice.

VIDEO CHAT: for people who wish to use a web cam.

PICTURE SHARING: for people who wish share photos during a chat.

PUBLIC CHAT LIST: for people who wish to meet new friends.

PRIVATE PHONE NUMBER: for people who prefer not to use the public chat list.

NO REGISTRATION: CQPhone is ready to use as soon as you install it.


GOOD PRIVACY: Peer to peer connection - the chat is not saved.

WORKS BEHIND A NAT: Handles calls between two computers behind the same internet sharing box.

WORKS ON OLDER SYSTEMS: CQPhone as been successfully tested on Windows 95, 120 Mhz, 32 MB RAM, 33K dialup modem.

CLEAN UNINSTALL may be perfomed at any time.

I think this program is going to be BIG. Check it out at;

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Dirkey: Navigate to 10 pre-programmed directories from the Open/Save dialog

One thing that drives me crazy is when I have to flip between two folders repeatedly or when I want to go to a frequently used folder which has a long path name.

Dirkey allows me to allocate 10 "paths" to the keys Ctrl + 0 to 9.

Dirkey is a small utility that enables me to define "bookmarks" or "paths" and go back to these bookmarked folders from within File Open/Save dialogs and Windows Explorer.

Dirkey is active from Windows startup and sits in your systray. You can set and go to these bookmarks using your keyboard or your mouse. Just open your Open/Save dialog, navigate to the folder you want to bookmark and press Ctrl+Alt+(0 to 9)

Thereafter, open your Open/Save dialog from anywhere, and just press Ctrl+0 to 9

All bookmarks are global and are preserved when you turn your computer off. You can also open bookmarked folders in a new Explorer window.

Dirkey Home Page

Monday, December 26, 2005

w.bloggar: Create your blog posts off-line

I have a very old "steam-driven" IBM Thinkpad with only 40Mb of RAM which is the maximum it can have. As a result it is very slow especially when posting to a blog such as this one.

The w.bloggar is an application that acts as an interface between the user and one or more blog(s); in other words, it is a Post and Template editor, with several features and resources that the browser based blog editors do not offer.

Another great advantage of w.bloggar is that it is compatible with most of the weblog systems available (including this one), allowing an advanced user to have only one interface to several accounts hosted on several different sites, using different publishing systems.

Some of the many features;
  • Full text formating and justiying
  • Bullets
  • Insert links
  • Insert pictures
  • Preview work as it will appear online

Fore more information go here

Home Page

Friday, December 16, 2005

Taskzip: Backing up critical files automatically

Years of computer use have taught me one truth. Someday, somehow my PC will crash and nothing short of a completely fresh reformat will resurrect it!

Having had this nasty experience a few times, I now back up critical files and documents to an external device or to my free Yahoo Online Backup (30Mb per account).

There are many programs that do this but I have found problems with most of them. Either they are too large, too slow or save in a format that requires the original program to restore it (which gets wiped out in the crash anyway)

Taskzip is an old program but still does everything I want.
  • All backups are saved in *.zip format.
  • Select specific files or complete folders
  • Jobs can be scheduled daily, weekly or monthly at times specified by the user.
  • It only takes 1.6 Mb of space
  • It is very fast

Either let it sit in your systray until its scheduler launches the various backup jobs or let your Windows Task Scheduler launch Taskzip at a specific time for you. Mine gets launched at 8 pm and then does a backup job every 5 minutes till 9 pm when the Windows Task Launcher closes it again.

Suggested files to backup;

  1. Your Favorites folder
  2. Your My Documents Folder
  3. MS Word's
  4. Your Outlook Express folders
  5. Your Registry cab files
  6. Selected System Files (sys.ini etc)
  7. Your OE Address Book
  8. Any application configuration files
  9. Any Data files pertaining to your work.

... in fact anything that you don't want to lose. Some of my files are so critical I back them up every day, others I only do weekly or two-weekly.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

PrimoPDF: Allows you to create PDF Documents

If you need to create PDF documents, this freeware program is ideal.

Most of the freeware programs for creating PDF documents that I have tried, either install incorrectly, are crippleware or leave a watermark or advert on the resultant PDF document.

PrimoPDF does none of these. After installation it creates a virtual printer which appears in all programs which allow you to choose the printer destination.

It does occassionally ask you to register as a user (free) but otherwise it is fully functional.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Flash Note: Not a Notepad but better and faster!

If you're like me, copying interesting snippets , URL's, jotting notes etc. but find that most notebook type programs take too long to launch and open each time, then Flashnote is for you!

How often do you have to write down something, somewhere, some time? You may be speaking on the phone and you have to put down somebody's telephone number but your phone book is far away, or you may have to save URL to be able to use it in a few minutes or you may have just to copy a couple of pieces of a text and edit them, etc. There can be a great many of similar examples. What do you usually do in such cases?

I like this program because it launches like lightening (Alt S or click on program icon in the systray) and I can choose my background and text colors..

It's small and hardly uses any resources, automatically saves whenever you minimize or close. Use it like you would a whiteboard. Just write and leave it there. Even if your PC is off for a week, as soon as you start up, Presto! Your notes are there.

If you want to keep a copy of that whiteboard, just save it, wipe it clean and start all over again. You can re-load it again anytime. This one's a "must try".

The page is a continuous page (never-ending). It automatically saves your notes in a default txt file.

If you want to keep your musings just "Save As ..." (a name) and it's saved as a txt file ... then delete everything and you start with a nice clean page again.

MyUninstaller: Goes far beyong the Add/Remove Applet

The Windows Control panel Add/Remove program lacks in many areas. MyUninstaller is a great alternative to the Add/Remove applet.

It displays the list of all installed applications, and allows you to uninstall an application, delete a false uninstall entry, and save the list of all installed applications into a text file or HTML file.

MyUninstaller also provides additional information for most installed applications that the standard Add/Remove applet doesn't display such as: product name, company, version, uninstall string, installation folder and more.

The MyUninstaller utility is a standalone executable. It doesn't require any installation process or additional DLL's. Just copy the executable file to any folder you want, and run it.

After your run it, MyUninstaller loads the list of the installed applications from the Registry, and gathers information about each installation item. The loading and analyzing process might take between 5 and 15 seconds and even more, depending on your hardware, operating system, and the quantity of the installed application on your computer.

After the analyzing process is finished, MyUninstaller displays the details of all installed applications on your computer.

yWriter: For writing books and manuals

Do you write manuals, biographies, fiction, or your life story?

This program creates structures, chapters and paragraph topics then allows you to select each of the above and write the content without worrying about layouts, fonts or spelling. Don't spoil the creative process by stopping and formatting etc.

It saves each chapter as a txt file for later pasting in your word processor for final edit and formatting.

Designed by a published author, he also has some great advice about writing and publishing on his site.

KeyNote: The only notepad you'll ever need!

Another winner as far as I'm concerned.

Do you have lots of txt files, Configuration Data, PC Tips and Tricks, Passwords, ideas, to-do notes, lists, personal data (ID no,s etc.) Articles, Jokes or chapters of that book you're going to write?

Keynote lets you open a tabbed page for each category (eg. Articles) and then a tree within each category with master nodes (eg. Humorous, Poems, Literature, Favorite Sayings, etc.) and as many child nodes under each master node (eg, under Humerous:- Jokes, Bumper Stickers, Limericks etc,)

Notes are in any font, style, color, background etc. and everything is saved in one file (filename.knt) which you can backup in one shot!

Although this program is no longer maintained by the author, it is still being downloaded and used every day.

TrayManager: Reduce your overcrowded Systray

TrayManager lets you control the explosion of icons in your system tray by creating a submenu for the icons you use less frequently.

The original TrayManager worked only under Windows 95 and Windows 98. Version 2.0 adds support for Windows ME, Windows NT 4, and Windows 2000.

A new feature restores the icons in your system tray after an Explorer crash.

A simple configuration window lets you choose which icons to place on the TrayManager submenu. Double-click on TrayManager's tray icon to bring up the configuration dialog. Place the icons you use less often into a submenu to make it quicker and easier to find the ones you frequently need.

To access the icons in the submenu, just right-click on TrayManager's tray icon, and then select the item you want from the list. Right- and left-clicks on a submenu item work just as if the item were still in the system tray.,1759,1656480,00.asp

Ccleaner: Cleans your Hard Drive

I have a very old, steam driven Thinkpad with only a I Gb Hard-drive, so space is important to me. I have to clean all temporary files, junk files and uneeded stuff daily!

Ccleaner (Crap cleaner) is the best cleaning program I have found to date. It gives you a wide selection of options, allows you to choose which cookies to keep (you only have to do it once) and deletes the rest.

CCleaner is a freeware system optimization and privacy tool. It removes unused files from your system - allowing Windows to run faster and freeing up valuable hard disk space.

It also cleans all traces of your online activities such as your Internet history. But the best part is that it's fast (normally taking less that a second to run) and contains NO Spyware or Adware!

Go to the site and read the reviews, see screenshots and visit the Ccleaner Forum.

ClipDiary: Save all your Clipboard snippets

The utility will run on Windows startup and will record everything you place to the clipboard into its database.

At any time you can view the database contents, copy a needed item and paste it into any application. All you have to do is press the "Ctrl+D" keys combination or click the program icon in the system tray.

Clipdiary can record several formats: plain text, RTF (Rich Text Format) and bitmap images (BMP).

This clipboard stores everything forever! (or until you dump the clips you no longer need) and uses very little resources.

SlimBrowser: A great multi-tabbed IE alternative

There are a lot of IE replacement browsers out there and I have tried most of them.

I like Slim Browser because it is small, uses very little resources compared to any other out there and has all the features you could wish for.
  1. Open multiple sites in tabbed windows
  2. Closing choices: Close current, Close All, Close All Except Current, Close Failed, Close All except locked tabs
  3. It has a spell checker for those, like me who post on various sites and forums
  4. Blocks pop-ups (Just click an icon on the toolbar and popped site is unblocked)
  5. Translates sites to English
  6. Saves multiple (opened) sites as a group. Click on the group icon and all the sites are opened simultaneously (great for researching multiple sites)
  7. Autologin to password protected sites
  8. Clean your tracks, cache etc. with a click of a button or set it to clean your tracks on closing the browser.

... any many more features and options.

Uses your IE engine but much faster and smaller.

SlickRun: Launch programs using short aliases

SlickRun is a free floating command line utility for Windowss which gives you almost instant access to any program or website.

SlickRun allows you to create command aliases (known as MagicWords), so C:\Program Files\Outlook Express\msimn.exe becomes MAIL.

Enter a web URL into SlickRun, give it a short alias, and it will launch your browser and navigate to the specified address.

Run multiple programs in a few keystrokes, jot a note, look up a definition... SlickRun is the most natural way to interact with your computer.

Please note, SlickRun is not a "hotkey" program. There is a tiny little bar in which you enter the alias (or select it from a drop-down menu) and hit enter.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Unstoppable Copier: Copies from damaged disks

This handy little program allows me to copy from CD's and other removable media that have been scratched or damaged. Unstoppable Copier is the answer for all your damaged disks

SmartClose: Save and shut-down systray programs

From time to time I either ,

1. Need to free up resources by shutting down all my systray programs.
2. Need to shut down all programs to install new software
3. Need to resurect all systray programs after Explorer crashes

SmartClose shuts down and remembers which programs were running so that they can be restarted again when needed. Different configurations can be saved under different names.

SmartClose saves all your systray program information and then shuts everything down (except system essential programs). After a systray crash or after your new program has been installed, resurrect them again. Just start SmartClose and click a button. You can even save different configurations! SmartClose is small and does not stay resident. Launch it only when you need it.

ScreenRip32: Cut and save from your screen

ScreenRip32 allows you to "grab" either rectangular parts of any screen, the whole window or the whole screen on your PC. The resulting graphic can be saved in ICON, BMP, GIF, or JPG format. Small, neat and quick.

Foxit Reader: A fast, small PDF reader

Whenever I want to open a PDF document I found my regular Acrobat Reader took ages to load up and also took a lot of space on my Hard Drive.

Foxit Reader is small, loads fast and performs all the functions I need for viewing PDF documents.

Dellater: Gets rid of "cannot delete" files

Sometimes when you want to delete a file, a message pops up "File in use or protected - cannot delete".
Dellater marks that file and deletes it later at next boot-up.

AT Notes: Make Flashcards or Reminders

I wanted to put French expressions on my desktop as a way to memorize them. AT Notes allows you to post any text in any color or font onto your desktop. You can also set them to remain invisible until a pre-set time when they will pop-up (with sound) as a reminder.

AppSounds: Link sounds to any program

Would you like to add sounds to your programs? Appsounds allows you to link any sounds to any program.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

BB Filemap: Immediate notification of system changes

This small program has saved me more heartache than any other I have.

Designed to prevent nasties from installing themselves without me knowing, this program has also kept me informed about other changes to my system brought about by my tinkereing with configurations and new program installations.

Every time I start my PC, BB Filemap checks for any changes in my;
  • Root Directory
  • Windows Directory and
  • System Directory

and allows me to then compare each folder against their previous status. It also checks if any "startup" or "run" instructions have been added to my registry.

You have to check this one out!

AM-Deadlink: Maintaining your Favorites

If you are like me, you most probably have hundreds of links in your Favorites folder. Some, I am sure, you haven't visited for years but never-the-less you keep them because you think you'll need to visit that site someday.

AM-Deadlink checks every link and finds those that don't exist anymore.

It also can "harvest" every site's "favicon" and replace those boring generic ones

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Minimail: A fast launching email sender

Have you ever just been surfing the net when you suddenly had an urge or idea and wanted to send a quick email to someone?

Outlook Express takes too long to load and the "mailto:" command is not much faster.

Minimail loads fast and is very light on resources. It can send to multiple addresses and keeps an address history.

Launch it, write your message and close it again. It even accepts attachments. I keep its icon on my quick launch bar so that I have easy access at all times.

MyRun: Multiple program launcher

This is a really cute little program which allows you to run several programs with one click!

For instance, whenever I launch my internet browser, I like to also run

1. A little systray email monitor
2. A pop-up blocker
3. A password auto-login program and
4. A pinging program which keeps my connection alive and updates my system clock.

Of course, I could click all 4 icons or ... I can click one!

If you're into web authoring and need to run several "tools" at the same time, then this is for you.

MyRun allows you to group those programs you usually like to run together into one shortcut.

You might ask, "Why not use batch files [*.bat]?"

1. Batch files can't insert pauses pauses between launches.
2. Batch files can't set process priority.
3. Batch files can't set a window position and then hide it.
4. Batch files can't free physical memory before launching a program to minimize swap activity.

MyRun can.