Category Archives: Desktop Toys

Take Advantage Of Your High Def Computer Display With Slickscreen

It’s always seemed to me that there’s not much point in having a wide screen LCD display when surfing the Net – not when I have a ton of wasted space on either side of the web page I’m viewing.

Here’s what I mean:

In this screen shot (click to expand), I’ve got Internet Explorer open on a 22 inch monitor set at 1680×1050  – notice the amount of wasted screen real estate on either side of the Web page.

image

So, for the past few days I’ve been testing Slickscreen – an Internet Browser which takes advantage of high resolution displays by dividing the screen into separate windows.

In the following screen capture (click to expand), you’ll notice that I have three Web sites open – plus a running application (Windows Live Writer), which I’m using to write this post.

In fact, you can even run your regular Browser inside Slickscreen, if you wish, so that you have access to your personal configuration specific to that Browser.

image

The bad news (sort of):

The configuration options in the free version are far too restrictive in my view. At least two selectable startup web sites would be more appropriate, so that the full value of the application can be properly assessed.

image

Having to deal with the developer’s pre-selected sites, and then having to manually gain access to my sites, is less than ideal. Actually, it’s annoying as hell.

Click on graphic to expand to the original.

image

Fast facts (pro version):

  • Maximize your screen real estate with Slickscreen’s unique non-overlapping interface.
  • Capture Windows applications into our unique interface.
  • Compare and work with web sites side by side with ease.
  • Save multi-panel layouts, Slickscreen’s multi-panel bookmarks.
  • Drag and drop links from one panel to another for the ultimate in web productivity.
  • New:  Every Slickscreen panel can add ‘traditional’ web browsing ‘tabs’.
  • Leverages Microsoft’s Internet Explorer rendering engine for performance, privacy and security.
  • Lightweight – We keep it simple for fast web browsing.
  • Integrates – doesn’t try to replace – your default browser (Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer)
  • Panels can auto-refresh and auto-rotate at user defined intervals.  A great solution for corporate lobbies, break rooms or operational dashboards (requires a corporate license to use).
  • Skins:  Customize the look and feel.
  • Hosted on Amazon.com cloud infrastructure.  Get Updates fast and reliably.
  • No advertisements.  We don’t do ad-ware at Slickscreen.

System requirements: Windows XP, Vista, Win 7 (Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0 Client Profile – installed automatically if not present).

Download at: Developer’s site

User comments at CNET:

Pros: – Simple Download
– Great user preferences
– Drag and Drop features
– See multiple applications in 1 interface

Cons: – Some applications may function differently in Slickscreen

Pros: The ability to have VLC player, Outlook, Facebook and a work window, all in one interface is very helpful.

Cons: The new App Capture feature is a little glitchy at times. Understandable I suppose because.

Summary: Very nice application. Free version gives you more than enough functionality.

Pros: Ability to layout your screen with web and traditional apps in a non-overlapping fashion so apps/web sites don’t get hidden or clipped.
Dragging and dropping content from panel to panel is very useful.

Cons: You need a good sized screen or high resolution display. Minimum display resolution is probably 1200 pixels wide.

Summary: Great application for people with good screens.

Note: Since this is not a full review (after only two days running with the free version of this app, I’m reserving judgment), but instead, an informational post only – you may find the comments from CNET users valuable.

Initial impression: I’m leaning toward the professional version since the free version’s restrictions are annoying. On the other hand, at less than $5.00 for the pro version, I think there’s good value here.

From the developer:

Slickscreen Professional is a one time fee for home users.  Corporate purchases of 5 or more licenses will be good for two years from the purchase date, at which time, an upgrade fee may be required for continued use.

Home users can install Slickscreen Profressional on all of their personal PC’s.   Corporate users are restricted to 1 computer per license.

If you’re interested in this type of application, then I suggest you view the short video on the developers product information page, here.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

1 Comment

Filed under Antimalware Suites, Browsers, Desktop Toys, downloads, Freeware, Geek Software and Tools, Multimedia Tools, Multiple Monitors, Software, Windows Tips and Tools

Free Dexpot – Virtual Desktops To The Max!

Dexpot (latest release May 29, 2011), is a very cool application which, in the freeware version, will allow you to work with up to twenty separate and distinct virtual Desktops. For example, you could be working with your Internet browser on one Desktop, word processor on another, gaming on another …….. The possibilities are endless, really.

Personally, I find the ability to be able to copy and paste between Desktops, a major productivity enhancer.

Since many of the graphics in this review are Desktop screen shots, and quite large, it’s necessary to click on these graphics in order to view the full effect.

The application is highly configurable  as the following two screen shots indicate.

image

Each desktop can be configured independently to suit specific needs – including resolution, sounds, icons, background, and more – as the following screen grab indicates.

image

All controls are easily reachable from the Windows notification icon.

image

By clicking on the following screen capture to expand to its original 1682 pixels, you can readily see that there are four Desktops open. The focus is currently on Desktop two, where Internet Explore is running.

image

Using the application’s Windows catalogue command, in the following screen capture I’ve illustrated what’s open on Desktop One.

image

Desktop Two.

image

Desktop Three.

image

When you’re ready to close up shop – you’ll have the option of closing open applications, or moving them to the main Desktop.

image

Fast facts:

Desktop Manager – Your small companion for presentations and every-day desktop switching.

Settings – A clean dashboard which offers everything you need for total control.

Window catalogue – Have you ever seen windows tiling? No? Well, it is about time then.

Configure desktops – It is hard to believe how independent virtual desktops can be.

Desktop Windows – How can one describe such functional glory in three lines?

Desktop Preview – In case you want to know what is up on other desktops.

Full-screen preview – Microsoft XP Powertoy, just more beautiful, simple, and better. Full-size.

Desktop Rules – This small but powerful component helps to distribute windows.

System requirements: Windows XP, Vista, Win 7. (64-bit compatible)

Download at: Developer’s site (Dexpot)

Dexpot to go – Dexpot portable: Download Dexpot portable if you want to use Dexpot on a mobile storage device (e.g. USB stick). If you need to make your current version of Dexpot portable, click here.

Note: For private use only.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

7 Comments

Filed under 64 Bit Software, Desktop Applications, Desktop Manager, Desktop Toys, downloads, flash drive, Freeware, Geek Software and Tools, Portable Applications, Software, USB, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

Tick Tock “Clock” for your Windows Desktop

Guest writer Rick Robinette, one of my favorite Blogging buddies, explains why “Clock” is the perfect clock for your desktop.

Here is a neat little application called “Clock”… It is what it is!  This app is an analog clock that you install on your PC that has a vast array of features and options.

Once installed an analog clock will appear on your desktop (second hand and all) and  an icon will show in the taskbars’s system tray (at the bottom right corner of your screen). You can “right” mouse click on that icon to customize and change the appearance of your clock (see below).

I normally select “On Top” and “Transparent – click thru” so that the clock is always visible. There is also a calendar feature and a feature to set alarms (for reminders).

You have option to change the appearance of the clock by selecting from 50 different themes OR you can design your own clock theme. “Clock” has been my favorite in the clock software category and best of all it is FREE.

From what I can tell, Clock does not mess with the registry; therefore you could copy it to your flash drive and use it as a portable app (as I have done).

ClockClockClock

Features as described by the publisher:

Beautful! You’ll love the 50 themes provided!

Smart! It remembers your appointments!

Easy! You don’t need a degree in computer science to use it!

On Top! If you like, it will always be displayed, no matter how many windows you have open!

Customizable! Change the background picture to anything you like!

Unintrusive! Make it the size you like: choose between four pre-defined sizes or size it like you want!

Serious! Clock will not mess with your system registry!

Small! It’s only a 1Mb download!

Free! It costs nothing!

Download at the developer’s site.

This is a guest post by Rick Robinette, who brings a background as a security/police officer professional, and as an information technology specialist to the Blogging world.

Why not pay a visit to Rick’s site at What’s On My PC. Like me, you’re sure to become a frequent visitor.

2 Comments

Filed under Desktop Toys, Freeware, Guest Writers, Portable Applications, Software, Windows Tips and Tools