Tag Archives: automatically

Point Your Mouse In the Right Direction – Automatically

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While watching a friend fill-in a Web Form recently, I was a little curious as to why she didn’t “Tab” down, from field to field – rather than using her mouse to move. So, quite naturally, I pointed out that using the “Tab” key was much more efficient for the task – only to be rewarded with a blank look, followed by a “huh?”

After a 30 second explanation, it came out that in the 10+ years she’s been a computer user, she was unaware of this shortcut. Yes, I know, you’re shaking your head and thinking – but, everyone knows that. Maybe everyone you know does – but, I can assure you there is a surprising lack of shortcut knowledge in the “tech savvy” generation. Particularly, when it comes to shortcuts that can help make a repetitive task flow a little smoother.

Here’s an example of a repetitive task which I perform every day, while setting up the Tech Thoughts Daily Net News column – made much easier than it might otherwise be, simply by setting the Mouse pointer to automatically select the “Insert”button in the “Insert Hyperlink” dialogue box.

First – I select the address I want to link with.

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Second – I copy the link.

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Third – I select the text I want to link with.

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Fourth – I open the Hyperlink dialogue box.

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Fifth – as you can see, the web address has been inserted automatically and the “Insert” button, has been automatically selected.

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Performing this same task, 30 or more times, while building a column, can be mind-numbing in its repetitiveness. So, I rely heavily on this auto feature. And, I’ll tell you frankly – I don’t bother looking to ensure  all is well – I don’t even look at the dialogue box – I simply click the Mouse button.

This feature works in most (but not all) dialogue boxes and, if you should decide that you could benefit by selecting this option – here’s how to do it.

Open “Mouse Properties” and select – “Automatically move pointer to the default button in a dialogue box”.

Pretty simple.   Smile

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2 Comments

Filed under Computer Help, System Tweaks, Windows Tips and Tools

Ninite – A Jaw Dropping One Shot Multiple Application Installer

imageI’ve used, reviewed, and discarded, a mix of free “One Shot” installer applications – applications which download and install multiple user selected applications, in one pass. The only keeper from the 5 or 6 I’ve looked at is, Ninite .

Since I dedicated a machine to run with Windows 8, a few weeks ago (which has run flawlessly, BTW), I finally got to the point where it was time to install a few of my favorite applications and, of course, I turned to Ninite to get the job done.

I choose to download, and install, the following applications – Chrome, ThunderBird, Google Talk, Glary Utilities, Revo Uninstaller, Songbird and TrueCrypt.

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A small downloader (248 KB) – launched from my download folder, started the download and install process – as shown in the following screen capture.

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Within a very few minutes (less than 4 minutes), the applications were installed (as shown in Windows 8 Metro UI), and ready to run. And, that’s the “jaw dropping” part – 4 minutes to download and install 7!!!, applications. Wicked!

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Windows – Just a small sampling of what’s available.

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If you’re a Linux user (and, I’m a dual booter), you haven’t been  forgotten.

Linux – What’s available.

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Fast facts:

No Clicking Next – Ninite fully automates installers off-screen.

No Toolbars – Ninite automatically says “No” to toolbars and other junk.

Always Up-to-date – A Ninite installer always gets an app’s latest version no matter when you made it.

It Updates Too – Just run your Ninite installer again and it will update the apps to their latest versions.

No Signup – Ninite just works. No account, signup, or client needed.

32 and 64-bit – Ninite installs the best version of an app for your PC.

International – Ninite installs apps in your PC’s language.

If you’re the kind of geek who’s into helping less experienced users – this is a terrific way to help them install the freeware applications that you know, through experience, are a “must have”. Best of all, once the installer is activated Ninite does the rest – automatically and in the background.

System requirements: Windows XP, Vista, Win 7 (x64 support).

Go to: Ninite site

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2 Comments

Filed under 64 Bit Software, downloads, Freeware, Geek Software and Tools, Integrated Solutions, Recommended Web Sites, Software, Timesaving Tips, Utilities, Windows 8, Windows Tips and Tools

Ninite – Use It To Automatically Install Selected Freeware On Family And Friends Computers

Time flies, for sure – it’s hard to believe that it’s been almost a year since I last looked at Ninite, a bulk downloaders services/application that downloads and installs multiple user selected applications, in one pass.

Just a small sampling of what’s available:

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The chances that a computer user will have to rebuild a system at some point is fairly high. There are multiple reasons why this might be necessary – an unrecoverable malware infection; system file corruption; system upgrade; and more.

As a “super geek”, the only reason you’ll rebuild is system upgrade time, hopefully. But, your friends and family … well, that’s a different story.

It’s probable that you (as the “on call” tech expert), have a specific list of freeware applications that you install on all machines on which you get the “help me” call. And, if you do, you can save yourself a “service” call by utilizing Ninite to your advantage.

Here’s an example:

I choose to download the following applications – Klitecodecs, Recuva, Skype, and Winamp. Ninite then created a specific URL – http://ninite.com/klitecodecs-recuva-skype-winamp/, in this case, from which the download was launched.

Should I then wish to share these applications (which will install automatically, without user intervention), with ……. – it’s as easy as sharing the URL.

How cool is that!

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Fast facts:

No Clicking Next – Ninite fully automates installers offscreen.

No Toolbars – Ninite automatically says “No” to toolbars and other junk.

Always Up-to-date – A Ninite installer always gets an app’s latest version no matter when you made it.

It Updates Too – Just run your Ninite installer again and it will update the apps to their latest versions.

No Signup – Ninite just works. No account, signup, or client needed.

32 and 64-bit – Ninite installs the best version of an app for your PC.

International – Ninite installs apps in your PC’s language.

This is a terrific way to help less experienced users install the freeware applications that you know, through experience, are “must have”. Best of all, once the installer is activated Ninite does the rest – automatically and in the background.

System requirements: Windows XP, Vista, Win 7 (x64 support).

Go to: Ninite site

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.

10 Comments

Filed under 64 Bit Software, Computer Tools, downloads, Freeware, Geek Software and Tools, Interconnectivity, Software, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

Free PC Decrapifier – Bloatware Begone!

imageYou might think that a reader comment that goes something like this, is unusual – “I don’t know how this program ended up on my computer. One day, it just showed up.” Surprisingly, this is not an unusual comment.

In almost every case, the reader is referring to the trial ware (crapware, bloatware), commonly preinstalled on major manufacturers computers. This is the type of thing that drives users buggy, since trying to figure out how to get rid of trial ware is not as easy as it should be.

Luckily, there is a free application designed to specifically uninstall these annoyances – and that’s PC Decrapifier. It’s been a couple of years since I last posted on this terrific application, so today, I’ve taken another look.

The program does not need to be installed; simply run the executable. Or, if you prefer, you can run this application from a USB drive. You choose the items to be removed from a preconfigured list, and you can create a restore point (highly recommended), to undo any changes.

Note: Since PC Decrapifier is written in a scripting language, you may get an security application warning. This warning (if you receive it), can safely be ignored.

The application, while designed to uninstall crapware, has additional functionality – as the following screen capture suggests. More on this in a moment.

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Anytime changes are being considered, creating a restore point is always good practice.

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In the following screen shot, you’ll notice the application has detected an application it considers crapware on my machine.

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The following screen shot illustrates a relatively unknown aspect of PC Decrapifier – its ability to act as a bulk uninstaller. The user simply checks off those applications which are no longer needed; clicks “Next”, and the application will launch the appropriate uninstallers. A slightly better solution than the Add/Remove Program applet when uninstalling more than one application, I think.

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Working with PC Decrapifier requires no particular skill. The application is “follow the bouncing ball” straightforward.

The following is the current list of software and items that PC Decrapifier can detect and remove. The list is generated from the items the program detects on your computer, and you then choose the items to be removed by the program automatically. What could be simpler than that?

Targeted applications:

AOL Install
AOL UK AOL 9.0, UK Version
AOL US AOL 9.0, US Version
BigFix
Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo XI
Corel Photo Album 6
Corel Snapfire Plus SE
Corel WordPerfect
Dell Search Assistant
Dell URL Assistant
Digital Content Portal
Earthlink Setup Files
Earthlink Setup Files
ESPN Motion
Get High Speed Internet!
Google Desktop
Google Desktop
Google Toolbar
Google Toolbar for Internet Explorer
HP Rhapsody
Internet Service Offers Launcher
Internet Service Offers Launcher
McAfee
Microsoft Office Activation Assistant 2007
Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007
Microsoft Office Standard Edition 2003
Microsoft Office Standard Edition 2003
MS Plus Digital Media Installer
MS Plus Photo Story 2LE
MusicMatch Jukebox
MusicMatch Music Services
muvee autoProducer 5.0
My HP Games
MyWinLocker
Norton AntiSpam
Norton AntiSpam
Norton AntiSpam
Norton AntiVirus 2005
Norton Ghost 10.0
Norton Internet Security
Norton Internet Security
Norton Protection Center
Norton Security Center
Norton Symantec Live Update A common component of Norton Symantec products
Office 2003 Trial Assistant
Orange Internet
PC-cillin Internet Security 12 Trend Micro
QuickBooks Trial
Quicken 2006 Possible Trial Version
Remove Empty Program Folders Looks for and removes empty ‘Program Files’ folders
Reset IE Home and Search Pages
Roxio Express Labeler
Roxio MyDVD LE
Roxio RecordNow
Sonic DLA
Sonic RecordNow Audio
Sonic RecordNow Copy
Sonic Update Manager
Tiscali Internet
Travelocity Gadget
Trend Micro PC-cillin Internet Security 14
Vongo
Vongo
Wanadoo Europe Installer
Wild Tangent Games
Yahoo! Music Jukebox
Yahoo! Toolbar for Internet Explorer

System requirements: Windows XP, Vista, and Win 7.

Download at: Download.com

Note: PC Decrapifier is free for personal use only. If the application is used in a commercial environment “you will require a commercial license. The cost is $20 per “technician” (not per PC)”.

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.

6 Comments

Filed under Computer Tools, downloads, Freeware, Portable Applications, Software, Uninstall Tools, USB, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

Free GmailDefaultMaker – An Email Default Handler Solution

Webmail can handle pretty much all of my email needs, except one – when I need to contact a business, or product developer, and no contact web page exists. For example, in the screen shot below, in attempting to contact the webmaster at OpenOffice.org ….

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I get this frustrating message. Here’s why – in Windows 7, Outlook Express is no longer available.

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Frankly, I got a little tired of performing the necessary dance to complete the task, so I looked for an alternative. And, I found one – GmailDefaultMaker, which despite it’s name works with Yahoo Mail, AOL, and Hotmail.

Note to developer: Business 101 – the product name should reflect the function. Change the name.

Install this tiny application in the language of your choice –

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Choose your default email service provider –

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And, your done.

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With GmailDefaultMaker installed, instead of the “you’re out of luck” message shown earlier, now when I click on “webmasters@openoffice.org” …….

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the application automatically opens up my Gmail compose pane as shown in the following screen capture. Pretty cool, no?

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System Requirements: Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0

Download at: the developer’s site (GmailDefaultMaker).

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.

10 Comments

Filed under downloads, Email, Freeware, Gmail, Integrated Solutions, Software, Utilities, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Free PC Decrapifier – Use It As A Bulk Uninstaller

imageYou might think that a reader comment that goes something like this, is unusual – “I don’t know how this program ended up on my computer. One day, it just showed up.” Surprisingly, this is not an unusual comment.

In almost every case, the reader is referring to the trialware (crapware, bloatware), commonly preinstalled on major manufacturers computers. This is the type of thing that drives users buggy, since trying to figure out how to get rid of trialware is not as easy as it should be.

Luckily, there is a free application designed to specifically uninstall these annoyances – and that’s PC Decrapifier. It’s been a couple of years since I last posted on this terrific application, so today, I’ve taken another look.

The program does not need to be installed; simply run the executable. Or, if you prefer, you can run this application from a USB drive. You choose the items to be removed from a preconfigured list, and optionally, you can also create a restore point (highly recommended), to undo any changes.

Note: Since PC Decrapifier is written in a scripting language, you may get an security application warning. This warning (if you receive it), can safely be ignored.

The application, while designed to uninstall crapware, has additional functionality – as the following screen capture suggests. More on this in a moment.

image

Anytime changes are being considered, creating a restore point is always good practice.

image

In the following screen shot, you’ll notice the application has detected an application it considers crapware on my machine.

image

The following screen shot illustrates a relatively unknown aspect of PC Decrapifier – its ability to act as a bulk uninstaller. The user simply checks off those applications which are no longer needed; clicks “Next”, and the application will launch the appropriate uninstallers. A slightly better solution than the Add/Remove Program applet when uninstalling more than one application, I think.

image

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Working with PC Decrapifier requires no particular skill. The application is “follow the bouncing ball” straightforward.

The following is the current list of software and items that PC Decrapifier can detect and remove. The list is generated from the items the program detects on your computer, and you then choose the items to be removed by the program automatically. What could be simpler than that?

Targeted applications:

AOL Install
AOL UK AOL 9.0, UK Version
AOL US AOL 9.0, US Version
BigFix
Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo XI
Corel Photo Album 6
Corel Snapfire Plus SE
Corel WordPerfect
Dell Search Assistant
Dell URL Assistant
Digital Content Portal
Earthlink Setup Files
Earthlink Setup Files
ESPN Motion
Get High Speed Internet!
Google Desktop
Google Desktop
Google Toolbar
Google Toolbar for Internet Explorer
HP Rhapsody
Internet Service Offers Launcher
Internet Service Offers Launcher
McAfee
Microsoft Office Activation Assistant 2007
Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007
Microsoft Office Standard Edition 2003
Microsoft Office Standard Edition 2003
MS Plus Digital Media Installer
MS Plus Photo Story 2LE
MusicMatch Jukebox
MusicMatch Music Services
muvee autoProducer 5.0
My HP Games
MyWinLocker
Norton AntiSpam
Norton AntiSpam
Norton AntiSpam
Norton AntiVirus 2005
Norton Ghost 10.0
Norton Internet Security
Norton Internet Security
Norton Protection Center
Norton Security Center
Norton Symantec Live Update A common component of Norton Symantec products
Office 2003 Trial Assistant
Orange Internet
PC-cillin Internet Security 12 Trend Micro
QuickBooks Trial
Quicken 2006 Possible Trial Version
Remove Empty Program Folders Looks for and removes empty ‘Program Files’ folders
Reset IE Home and Search Pages
Roxio Express Labeler
Roxio MyDVD LE
Roxio RecordNow
Sonic DLA
Sonic RecordNow Audio
Sonic RecordNow Copy
Sonic Update Manager
Tiscali Internet
Travelocity Gadget
Trend Micro PC-cillin Internet Security 14
Vongo
Vongo
Wanadoo Europe Installer
Wild Tangent Games
Yahoo! Music Jukebox
Yahoo! Toolbar for Internet Explorer

System requirements: Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7.

Download at: Download.com

Note: PC Decrapifier is free for personal 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.

13 Comments

Filed under Cleaning Your Computer, downloads, Freeware, Software, Uninstall Tools, USB, Utilities, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

AddonFox – A Multi Firefox Add-on Download Wizard

imageThroughout the year, we’ve looked at a number of what I call ”bulk downloaders” – services/applications that download and install multiple user selected applications, in one pass.

So far this year we’ve looked at Ninite, which provides a generous listing of freeware applications, LiberKey which installs up to 180+portable applications, and ZeuAPP, which makes it easy to download a host of freeware programs. As well, we looked at a number of others that, in the end, were not up to the task.

The basic premise with all these services/applications is – you choose your applications from a smorgasbord menu.

I must admit, that based on readers’ comments, these applications are not as popular as I expected. Who knew? Still, given that I perform an OS reinstall at six month intervals on each of my home machines, I find this type of application, especially Ninite, a valuable addition to my utility toolbox.

Linkular, has taking this multi download concept to another level by releasing AddonFox, which is described as “an install wizard for Firefox addons, enabling users to choose which categories they are interested in. The user is then presented with a list of extensions to choose from, which are then installed en masse.”

The following screen captures should give you a good feel for what you can expect if you choose to install this extension/wizard.

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For illustrative purposes, I have chosen to display both the “Customization” and the “Media” add-on menus, only.

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Clicking on any “More Info” link opens that particular add-on’s information page. In this representative example, I clicked on the Cooliris “More Info” link which then opened the appropriate page.

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AddonFox includes over 100 add-ons in its smorgasbord style menu, neatly broken down into the following categories.

Customization

Downloads

Fun

Languages

Media

Programming

Security

Privacy

Social

Visual

There’s not much point in reinventing the wheel, so the following information has been taken directly from the publisher’s Mozilla page.

Main Features

✔ Multiple addons are installed automatically according to your choice (We have over a hundred in the collection)
✔ Each addon is accompanied by a concise description and a link for more information
✔ You can personalize AddonFox by adding or removing addons after initial installation
✔ Many addons are configurable for a better user experience
When initially installing AddonFox, not all the addons included are on by default. We started you off with our editors’ choices but you can always add or remove any addon to suit your personal needs.

The following categories and addons are included:

Customization

Add to Search Bar – Make any pages’ search functionality available in the Search Bar
Autofill Forms – Enables you to fill out web forms with one click or a keyboard shortcut
Firefox Sync – Access your history, passwords, bookmarks, and open tabs across your devices
Google Shortcuts – Display all of your Google Services as buttons anywhere you like
Greasemonkey – Customize any site using thousands of user scripts
Menu Editor – Rearrange menu items in the context menu and the main menu bar
New Tab King – Adds most visited sites, recently closed tabs, and suggested sites to new tabs
Organize Search Engines – Organize your search engines with separators and folders
Organize Status Bar – Organize your status bar icons
QuickJava – Quick enable and disable of Java, Javascript, Flash, Silverlight and images
Samfind Bookmarks Bar – Quickest, easiest way to access your favorite websites
Speed Dial – Direct access to your most visited websites
Tab Mix Plus – Duplicate tabs, control tab focus, undo closed tabs and windows, etc.

Downloads

Download Manager Tweak – Open the download manager in a tab or sidebar, and get more info
Download Statusbar – View and manage downloads from a tidy statusbar
DownThemAll – Download manager and accelerator
NetVideoHunter – Download videos and music from video sites like Youtube
SkipScreen – Skips unnecessary pages on sites like Rapidshare, Megaupload, zShare, etc.
Fun
Destroy the Web – Turn any webpage into a shoot-em up video game
FootieFox – Live soccer scores for over 200 leagues and cups of 60 countries
Kidoz TV – Turn your browser into a safe kids Web TV, safe easy and fun
KidZui – Turns Firefox into fun, kid-safe browser and online playground for kids 3-12
Puzzle – Turn any image to puzzle pieces and play
StumbleUpon – Get random websites suited to your tastes with one click
Zoodles – Turn Firefox into a safe, virtual playground for kids 3-8
General
Billeo – Flags your search results where discounts and promotions are available
Context Search – Changes the context menu search into a menu with installed search engines
Feedly – Organizes your favorite sources in a magazine-like start page
Forecastfox – Adds live international weather forecast icons to the statusbar
FoxClocks – Puts small world clocks in your statusbar
Linkification – Converts text links into genuine, clickable links
Open IT Online – Open documents and images online without the need of additional software
PriceTrace – Do price comparison between online stores like Amazon, Newegg, Walmart, etc.
ReloadEvery – Reloads web pages every so many seconds or minutes
ReminderFox – Displays and manages lists of reminders and ToDo’s
Resurrect Pages – When going to a missing page, easily search for cached version of it
SimilarWeb – Instant access to the best sites related to the one you are browsing
WindowShopper – Instantly compare prices, find deals, and see similar items as you shop

Languages

Converter – Contextual unit, timezone, and currency converter on any web site
Dictionary Switcher – Switch between installed dictionaries and the current one in the statusbar
FoxLingo – Web page and text translator, dictionary, grammar checker, text-to-speech, etc.
Quick Locale Switcher – Switch Firefox default language
Media
Cooliris – Scroll an infinite 3D Wall of content from Facebook, Google, YouTube, Flickr, etc.
ImageZoom – Adds zoom and rotation functionality for images
Fire.fm – Fire.fm gives you access to the extensive music library on Last.fm
FireShot – Creates screenshots of web pages with editing and annotation tools
Flash Game Maximizer – Click a button or hit the hot-key to maximize (almost) any Flash content
FlashVideoReplacer – Replace embedded flash videos with mplayer compatible videos
FoxyTunes – Control almost any media player and find lyrics, covers, videos, bios, etc.
MediaPlayerConnectivity – Launch online videos in an external application
Picnik – Add a menu options and a toolbar icon for editing images online
Screengrab – Save webpages as images (saves an entire page, just a selection, or a frame)
TinEye Reverse Image Search – Find where an image came from and if it has a better version
TweakMDB – The Ultimate IMDB Enhancer, instantly add many tweaks to IMDB.com
TweakTube – The Ultimate YouTube Enhancer, instantly add many tweaks to YouTube
VideoSurf – Get visual video summaries and related videos on Twitter, Google, YouTube, etc.

Programming

Addon Developer Helper – Restart Firefox, restart and clear XPCOM cache, or restart chrome
Console2 – Improves the JavaScript console with filtering, removing duplicates, and more
Extended Statusbar – A Statusbar with speed, percentage, time and loaded size
Firebug – Edit, debug, and monitor CSS, HTML, and JavaScript live in any web page
FireFTP – FTP client
FoxyProxy – An advanced proxy management tool
HttpFox – HTTP analyzer
IE Tab – View sites in Internet Explorer within a Firefox tab
Nightly Tester Tools – Use addons that don’t support the newest Firefox version
Pixel Perfect – Overlay a webpage image on top of an actual webpage (requires Firebug)
SQLite Manager – Manage any SQLite database on your computer
Web Developer – Adds a menu and a toolbar with various web developer tools
YSlow – Analyzes web pages and why they’re slow based on Yahoo!’s rules
Security & Privacy
Adblock Plus – Blocks ads automatically on any web page
BetterPrivacy – A safeguard which protects from LSO’s on Google, YouTube, Ebay, etc.
BlockSite – BlockSite is an extension, which automagically blocks websites of your choice
Flashblock – Blocks Flash from automatically playing
Ghostery – Protect your privacy, see who’s tracking your web browsing and block them
LastPass Password Manager – Online password manager and form filler
LinkExtend – Provides meta-site-ratings for computer safety, child safety, popularity, etc.
NoScript – Allow active content (like Javascript) to run only from sites you trust
Password Exporter – Export your saved passwords to XML or CSV files that can be imported
ProCon – Filter web pages containing explicit content based on text on websites
Tamper Data – Use tamperdata to view and modify HTTP/HTTPS headers and post parameters
Unhide Passwords – Shows passwords as you are typing them in password fields
Social
AddThis – Share any page using social networking, bookmarking, blogging, and e-mail services
Better Gmail – Extra features for Gmail including hierarchical labels, attachment icons, and more
ChatZilla – A clean, easy to use and highly extensible Internet Relay Chat (IRC) client
Integrated Gmail – Combines Gmail with Google Calendar, Google Reader, Gmail Labs, and more
Facebook Dislike – Add a Dislike feature on Facebook.
Facebook Like – Share web pages you like and see how many people like the page you are on
FaceMoods – Add animated smileys and crazy emoticons to your Facebook chat
TwitterBar – Post to Twitter from your address bar
WebMail Notifier – Checks your webmail accounts and notifies the number of unread emails
WiseStamp – Empower your email signatures in Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, Hotmail, AOL, etc.
Yoono – Get updates, update your status, and share across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.

Visual

ColorfulTabs – Colors every tab in a different color and makes them easy to distinguish
Default FullZoom Level – Change or reset zoom level of a page from the statusbar
Fission – Combines address bar and progress bar (Safari style)
FoxTab – Flip between open tabs with a 3D display
Hide Caption Titlebar Plus – Maximize screen space by removing the Firefox window title-bar
NoSquint – Change zoom levels and color settings for all sites or per site
Personas Plus – Skins for Firefox (over 60,000 designs)
Readability – Makes reading on the Web better by removing clutter around what you’re reading
Searchbar Autosizer – Autosizes the searchbar as you type
Smart Bookmarks Bar – Hide bookmark names from the bookmark bar
Smart Stop/Reload – Combines the Stop and Reload toolbar buttons
SmoothWheel – Scrolls the page smoothly when scrolling the mouse wheel
Stylish – Install user generated themes and skins for any website
Tab Progress Bar – Provides a progress meter for each tab

Overall, I think this add-on has value. Particularly for those techies who volunteer as the “IT department”, for friends and relatives. Or, for those users who want to quickly get an idea of the categories available in the ever expanding world of Firefox add-ons.

Download at: Mozilla

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14 Comments

Filed under Browser add-ons, Browser Plug-ins, downloads, Firefox, Firefox Add-ons, Freeware, Software, Windows Tips and Tools

Free CNET TechTracker – Automatic Application Updater

image Almost all of your installed applications will offer to check for updates automatically. In fact, many applications have the annoying habit, on installation, of defaulting to this configuration.

Personally, I automatically turn this feature “off”. I just don’t want applications phoning home without my permission. It’s not because I don’t trust the developers…..well actually, it is because I don’t trust the majority of developers. Bill’s Internet paranoia in action once again, I guess. LOL.

Keeping applications up to date though, when automatic updates are turned off, can be a hit and miss affair. But there are solutions, and CNET’s free TechTracker application is one such solution. TechTracker is a Cloud based application which will detect, and download, updates for all of your installed software.

Once you have setup a free CNET account, TechTracker will query it’s own huge database after auditing your PC’s applications, to determine which local programs can be updated.

Updating installed applications is not just a question of increased functionality in the updated version, but more importantly, ensuring that any installed application which contains a vulnerability is updated in order to reduce your exposure to malware.

The following graphic illustrates a scan I did recently, which returned a report (the report is hosted on CNET’s site), indicating a number of applications which could be updated.

TechTracker

I choose to update CurrPorts, a free port checker which I use to continuously track my ports while I’m connected to the Internet. The graphic below indicates a successful download.

TechTracker 2

TechTracker 3

Setting the scan frequency with TechTracker couldn’t be easier, and you can choose, manual, every 4 hours (a little excessive I think), daily, weekly (which seems appropriate), or monthly.

I’ve just started testing this application, but I’m inclined to give it a tentative “thumbs up”. Any application that will make my computing experience just a little easier is a welcome addition.

System requirements: Windows (all), Mac OS X 10.5 Intel, Mac OS X 10.5 PPC.

Download at: Download.com

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6 Comments

Filed under Application Vulnerabilities, Cloud Computing Applications, Computer Audit Applications, Diagnostic Software, downloads, Freeware, Recommended Web Sites, Software, Windows Tips and Tools

Kick the Crap out of PC Crap with Free PC Decrapifier!

Is your Windows XP or Vista machine loaded with preinstalled crap? Tired of trying to figure out how to get rid of it? Then you’re in luck. Read on.

PC Decrapifier is a free uninstall utility that is specifically designed to remove nearly all of that trial and promotional software that’s been driving you buggy.

The program does not need to be installed, simply unzip and run, or if you prefer you can run this application from a USB drive. You choose the items to be removed from a list, and you can also create a restore point (highly recommended), to undo any changes.

The following is the current list of software and items that PC Decrapifier can detect and remove. The list is generated from the items the program detects on your computer, and you then choose the items to be removed by the program automatically. What could be simpler than that?

Targeted Applications:

  • AOL Install
  • AOL UK
  • AOL US
  • Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo XI
  • Corel Photo Album 6
  • Corel Snapfire Plus SE
  • Corel WordPerfect
  • Dell Search Assistant
  • Dell URL Assistant
  • OpenDNS Blog
  • Desktop Icons Removes Unnecessary Desktop Icons
  • Digital Content Portal
  • Earthlink Setup Files
  • ESPN Motion
  • Get High Speed Internet!
  • Google Desktop
  • Google Toolbar
  • HP Rhapsody
  • Internet Service Offers Launcher
  • McAfee
  • Microsoft Office Activation Assistant 2007
  • Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007
  • Microsoft Office Standard Edition 2003
  • MS Plus Digital Media Installer
  • MS Plus Photo Story 2LEMusicMatch Jukebox
  • MusicMatch Music Services
  • muvee autoProducer 5.0
  • NetZero Installers
  • Norton AntiSpam
  • Norton AntiVirus 2005
  • Norton Ghost 10.0
  • Norton Internet Security
  • Norton Internet Security
  • Norton Protection Center
  • Norton Security Center
  • Norton Symantec Live Update
  • Office 2003 Trial Assistant
  • Orange Internet
  • PC-cillin Internet Security 12 Trend Micro
  • QuickBooks Trial
  • Reset IE Home and Search Pages
  • Roxio Express LabelerRoxio Easy Media Creator
  • Roxio MyDVD LE
  • Roxio RecordNow
  • Sonic DLA
  • Sonic RecordNow Audio
  • Sonic RecordNow Copy
  • Sonic Update Manager
  • Tiscali Internet
  • Travelocity Gadget
  • Trend Micro PC-cillin Internet Security 14
  • Unnecessary Startup Items
  • Vongo
  • Wanadoo Europe Installer
  • Wild Tangent Games
  • Yahoo! Music Jukebox
  • Yahoo! Toolbar for Internet Explorer

Download at: Download.com

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