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Best Of 2008
Best of the Web 2008
Our Favorite Software Discoveries

RegBench - Registry Benchmarker Utility

Looks like DC friend Jeremy Collake (maker of PECompact) released a cool little utility recently that benchmarks registry speed.

As Martin on ghacks points out, this will finally make it much easier to answer the questions about the effects of registry defragging and cleaning.  I can't wait to see the benchmark scores on before and after registry defragging so we can see what the real speedup is.

FinePrint vs. priPrinter

patteo wrote a fantastic mini-review of FinePrint, but was wondering if anyone is using Pelikan Software's priPrinter and what their thoughts are?

Continue reading the rest of the entry and discuss..

Split Browser: Cool Firefox Extension

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The Split Browser Firefox extension (by Shimoda Hiroshi) was actually mentioned by dk70 a while ago in a thread on favorite ff extensions.

It's a very cool extension that lets you tile multiple tabs within the firefox window.

I use tabs heavily, and the Tab Mix Plus extension is my daily companion.  I love tabs.  But occasionally you want to put two things side by side or have a few pages open and visible simultaneously.  That's where Split Browser comes in.  Packed with options it lets you split your window into multiple panels, resize and merge them at will.  Very useful and works very well.

Note: there are a few other extensions that do similar things -- I haven't tried them all and for all i know there may be better ones.. Anyone want to chime in.

New Freeare Discovery: Advanced Renamer

Advanced Renamer, version 02.53.00, Windows 2000/XP/Vista, Freeware

Advanced Renamer is freeware program for renaming multiple files or folders at once. It can use several different methods for calculating the new name including multimedia tools for sound and picture files.

Selected features
  •    Undo functionality
  •    Real time preview of file rename
  •    MP3/ID3 renaming
  •    Image renaming with EXIF support
  •    Thumbnail view
  •    Supports both files and folders

ghacks round-up: Battle of the Software Updaters

Screenshot - 5_29_2008 , 2_36_50 AM_thumb.png
Well here's a software round up that was long overdue, and Martin over at ghacks does a nice job with it.

Keeping the installed software on your computer up to date can be a time consuming task considering that users tend to have 100+ applications installed on their computers at the same time. To make matters worse there is no general way - like in Linux - to update your applications. Some offer build in update notifications but most do not have this feature.

The only way was until recently to visit the websites that host the applications manually and check for new versions. Some offered mailing lists or RSS feeds which could be used to stay informed without visiting the website right away.

So called Software Updaters could be the solution. There are actually quite a few programs out there that scan your computer for applications and display a list of outdated ones after the scan. But which one finds the most applications, which has the database that is updated most frequently and which actually works?

Troupware, another unknown gem collection of freeware


Their main software, (allmost) all gratis, and some with their own homepage:

BEATLE: (Beta)
BEATLE (formally SAPS) is a new media player from the creator of AudioShaker (formally an Understealth product).  BEATLE will allow users to play music, videos in an environment that is easy to use and offers an array of features that make media organisation extremely easy.  Features such as Mass Tag Editing, Mass File Renaming, Media Library, CD Player, Multiple Playlists, Move Music To Folders, Send To Devices and lots more are included as standard and extra features are available to allow you to sort your media in any fashion you wish.
CRP (Control Running Programs):  (needs Framework 2)
CRP (Control Running Programs) is a solution that will control all running programs within your windows session. In the section ‘Instance Controlling’, you can specify how many instances of a particular program will run at the same time, preventing memory overflow and instant program spawning from other programs. In the section ’Instance Launching’, specific programs will be launched once they have been closed, either by accident, from the user or the task manager. Drag & Drop support from explorer is also supported and multiple entries allow unlimited amount of programs to be used.

You can set CRP to start with the windows session, maintaining full control without manual loading and spawning instance support will allow you to run several copies of CRP at the same time. A full set of options are available via the ‘Options’ window and direct access to the current tasks list is also available.

Click here to read about more of the troupware programs..

Firefox Plugin Found! Server Switcher: Open dropped local files Using Local Server URL

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I posed this question on the DC forum:

When i do web development i often just want to drag a local file (html,php) from explorer into firefox.

The problem is that this results in firefox opening up file://E:\MyDocs\MyWeb\MyFile.php or something like that.

What i'd love is a firefox extension that keeps a list of mapping like: "E:\MyDocs\MyWeb/ ->"
So that when i drag the file into firefox, it opens up ""

Anyone know of any such existing extension?

Click here to read about Server Switcher -- the great firefox extension that does this

Another Cool Free Userbar Generator: BUG

Here's another userbar generator tool:

BUG is a free, fast and small program that helps you create userbars for use as forum signatures. It was built to simplify the design process so you don't have to use complicated drawing programs and still get your favorite userbars in seconds.

Click here to read about more Userbar Generators..

CheckFox Firefox Extension - Manipulate multiple checkboxes at once

Screenshot - 5_10_2008 , 9_10_32 AM_thumb.png
I was just cleaning up my wishlist and wondering if a firefox extension existed to let me handle multiple checkboxes easly, when i came across this article on 10 Useful Firefox Add-ons That Don’t Get Glamorised where martin mentions CheckFox:

Enables quick check/uncheck of checkboxes: To use, select area of page with checkbox(es), and then right-click. You should see Check and/or Uncheck depending on the clicked or unclicked state of the checkboxes.


discovered on
(read 2 comments)

The great free screen capture shootout for Windows! (Screenshot Captor wins Best Tool for Advanced Users)

Screenshot - 4_17_2008 , 11_30_05 PM_thumb.png
DonationCoder's Screenshot Captor won the recommendation for Best Screenshot tool for Advanced Users (for Personal Users since it's judged to be non-free for commercial use, which is true for non-small-home-businesses).

http://maximillianx....apture-shootout.html - high quality irc chat via the web

Screenshot - 4_14_2008 , 11_51_11 AM_thumb.png
This is the best looking irc gateway over the web that i've seen.  Really nicely done.
And they have a widget you can embed on your site as well (

discovered on via downloadsquad
(read 5 comments)

JabRef: Nice Open Source Bibliography Tool (like EndNote)

I have a fair amount of antipathy and distrust for Thomson ISI, the makers of EndNote, the dominant bibliography management tool on the marketplace.  They basically bought out every competitor product to endnote and then let them all whither and die, including the superior ones (Procite).

I've been very tempted over the years to embark on writing a free alternative to EndNote -- I think it's a crime (and ridiculous) that academic institutions haven't funded an alternative program that would be free for researchers.

So anyway it gives me a lot of pleasure to see a project like JabRef, which by all appearances looks quite substantial and promising:

JabRef is an open source bibliography reference manager. The native file format used by JabRef is BibTeX, the standard LaTeX bibliography format. JabRef runs on the Java VM (version 1.5 or newer), and should work equally well on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X.

InstantStorm: Freeware to make Flash based screensavers

Screenshot - 2_14_2008 , 11_04_56 PM_thumb.png
I meant to post about this a while ago.  There are a number of such tools to make screensavers out of Adobe Flash movies, here's a nice new free one, created by two 18yr old authors.

InstantStorm is a Windows freeware tool for creating Flash based screensavers with many advanced features. All you have to do is to choose a SWF file, set screensaver parameters and compile an executable installer.

open source replacements for fifty proprietary yet important programs

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Jimmy Atkinson has done a great job and found replacements for fifty proprietary yet important programms:

The following fifty proprietary programs are listed in no particular order within broad categories along with their open source alternatives. In some cases you could probably write your own book on frustrations with the proprietary programs shown here. In other cases, you’ll discover that the open source alternative isn’t quite up to snuff yet.

WikidPad - an IDE for your thoughts

Screenshot - 29_01_2008 , 9_28_58 PM.png
WikidPad is a Wiki-like notebook for storing your thoughts, ideas, todo lists, contacts, or anything else you can think of to write down.

In fact, it's even good for writing reviews! This review was written in WikidPad and I hope this demonstrates some of the neat functionality that I think sets WikidPad apart as, what I describe as, a Thought Processor.

One of the things that makes wikidPad different from other notepad type applications is the speed and ease with which you can cross link your information. Links in a wiki are created by typing in WikiWords using CamelCase; cross links can also be created by using keywords.

WikidPad has a choice of database back ends to use and is also portable.

Continue reading the full mini-review now..

CyLog Software: Tons Of Useful Stuff

CyLog has quite an impressive collection of software and utilities here.

Just a few examples:

3D Dissolve (This screensaver is freakin' AWESOME!!!! Old school goodness)
A fascinating colorful 3D screensaver that transforms 3D objects. The Beauty of Mathematics!

You have never seen a "sticky notes" application like this. Small, quick, beautiful and minimalistic! New version 2.00c has been rewritten from scratch and employs some of our best technologies.

Beautiful application launcher for all versions of Windows. Forget your Start button for ever!

Raster Font Editor
Create your own raster fonts to use in text editors and command-line shells.

All of the programs are donationware -- free but you are encouraged to donate. is funded by donations from readers like you. If you find this site useful, please consider becoming a supporting member by making a small one-time donation, in the amount of your choice.

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