Thursday, August 30, 2007

Zoho Adds a Start Page!

Zoho Start

Zoho is already well known (and lauded) for its excellent suite of online apps. They all work beautifully and give us the opportunity to do our work online, collaborating with colleagues and sharing our documents with others. The one thing Zoho lacked has now been added: One place to access all our documents, whichever application they are associated with. Now we can go to Zoho Start. Enjoy!

Zoho Start

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

FotoFlexer: A Powerful Online Photo Editor

FotoFlexer

To continue the theme of manipulating photos, this online application can do things to your photos you never thought possible, like removing blemishes, changing hair color and changing backgrounds, all without being a Photoshop guru.

FotoFlexer

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Saturday, August 25, 2007

Paint.NET 3.10 Final Version - New Photo Effects

Paint.NET Portrait Effect

Why spend hundreds for commercial photo-editing software when Paint.NET will do the job for free? The newest version of Paint.NET has arrived, and it boasts some cool new photo effects like the Portrait Effect and the Ink Sketch Effect.

Paint.NET 3.10


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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Vista Feature for XP: Visual Task Tips

Visual Task Tips

Another little bit of Vista eye-candy for XP users, this small, fast and light program adds thumbnail previews to your taskbar tasks when you hover over them.

Visual Task Tips


[via One Tip a Day]

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Sunday, August 19, 2007

Webmail, Plain and Simple: Litepost

Litepost Webmail

If you feel a bit overwhelmed with web mail offerings these days, you probably have company. All the bells and whistles are dandy, if you want them and need them. But what if you happen to want a simple, clean interface? Today is your lucky day, my friend, because I am going to introduce you to the web mail you desire: Litepost.

From their welcome email:
We're Different:
Until now, the webmail experience has been a stale and confusing experience. Instead of finding new ways to help you communicate better, other services just add more features, often at the expense of usability. Fortunately, we've rethought webmail, focusing on one thing: sending and receiving messages (imagine that). No more, no less. (If you really want to subscribe to RSS feeds from within your inbox, we hear the new Yahoo! Mail beta has it.)

Clutter-Free Design:
Instead of burying the user in features they'll never use, the Litepost webmail experience is simple and straightforward. Nothing in the interface is out of place, nor is any detail too small. Using webmail is suddenly a quick and intuitive workflow, rather than a chore. Browse, sort, read, manage, and send with ease.

Everything Is Free:
Just like most other services, Litepost offers free hosted email accounts. But we've taken the definition of free to another level. We've made the Litepost webmail server an open source download, so you can install the solution on your own server, without relying on another company to store your messages.

One Size Doesn't Fit All:
Out of the box, we think the default Litepost webmail interface will work great for most people. However, if a user has different preferences or needs, we happily support change. Interface templates allow you to totally change your webmail experience, both aesthetically and functionally. Find one that suits you or design your own.
Litepost has quietly opened its registration to all comers.

Litepost

[via downloadsquad]

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Saturday, August 18, 2007

Faster, Better Defragging: IObit SmartDefrag

IObit SmartDefrag

If you are looking for a better way to defrag your drives, without paying for commercial software, I have a great suggestion: IObit SmartDefrag.

The defragger that comes with Windows is notoriously slow, gets hung up easily, and is difficult to schedule. SmartDefrag is fast and easy to use. It works in the background using few system resources to keep your hard drive optimized.

IObit SmartDefrag

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

350 Channels and Something On at likevid

likevid

Nothing on that you want to watch on cable? Nothing good saved on the DVR? Summer can be a drag as far as TV-watching is concerned. We have to wait for new seasons of House and 24, or whatever it is you like to watch.

Well, there are online TV channels you know. Check out what's on over at likevid, a free multimedia portal with hindreds of online TV channels. Just click on a genre, then select the channel you want. Simple.

likevid

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Mobile Web Tips: Flightstats

FlightStats

I like to throw in a tip for users of Internet-capable cell phones and PDAs every so often, and today is every so often, so here goes.

Today's excellent mobile web site is called FlightStats Mobile. It's designed to fit beautifully on the smaller screens of cell phones, and it provides an enormous amount of very useful, almost-real-time information about flight status and related issues. Set it as a favorite so it'll be there the next time you need up-to-date airline info.

On your phone's browser, navigate to mobile.flightstats.com.

[via Tech[dot]Blog]

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Size Wars: Hotmail Grows Standard Storage to 5Gb


Windows Live Hotmail

Can you remember when Hotmail gave you 10Mb storage for your email? I may be misremembering, but I think that was it. My how things have changed. First Google touted its massive email storage, now up to 2.888Gb. Much later, Yahoo went unlimited. Now Hotmail has enlarged itself to 5Gb for standard users. Mama mia!

Of course, like any sensible person, I have all of these email services and more. Do I need them? Of course not. Need has nothing to do with it. So why do I have them? I have no idea. I guess it's because I can.

So if you haven't used Hotmail in a while, you might want to rethink your decision to abandon it. It has a nice new interface and more storage than the next guy.

Windows Live Hotmail


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Monday, August 13, 2007

Find People You're Looking for with PeekYou

The old way to search for people was by calling long distance information where you thought they might be and hoping to score a hit. Not very efficient. The less-old way was to input their name into a white pages online directory. Better. But the newest way to search for someone is by using a people-search engine like PeekYou.

Most people who live in the modern world have some sort of online profile, and PeekYou is ideal for mining what's online: web sites, social networks, photos, etc. You can also create an online profile and add it to PeekYou, for yourself or friends and relatives. Registering allows you to keep track of your edits to PeekYou. So, the next time you want to find someone, give PeekYou a try. With over 50 million profiles to date there's a good chance you'll find what you're looking for.

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

Time to Add Linux to My OS Tips!

Freespire

I started with only Windows XP. Then one of my kids got a Vista-loaded machine. Now I have installed a Linux distribution on an old machine that no one in my family was using. (If I could only fit it on my desk!) So this will be the first of many future tips featuring Linux.

I tried Ubuntu but ran into trouble with my wireless adapter and video card. My refresh rate was stuck at a headache-inducing 60Hz. Then I saw that the latest version of Freespire was a lot more friendly to Windows vets, so I installed it. It is a beautiful GUI, I have to say. Very fast on my 8-year-old Pentium-4, 384Mb, 16Gb machine. Freespire is available as a torrent download.

Freespire 2.0


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Saturday, August 11, 2007

Planning Events the Cool as Peaches Way: ActiveCiti

ActiveCiti Online Event Planner

This Internet tool makes me want to plan something. I do not care what. Just for the chance to use it. ActiveCiti is that tight.

It's finally time to leave those paper invitations and legal pads behind. If your friends aren't web savvy enough to do it the Internet way, you should get some new friends. Sounds harsh, I know, but they'll just hold you back.

Seriously, you should (don't you hate when strangers tell you what you should do?) use this site for your next party or whatever. If you don't have an event coming up, you should sign up and bookmark the site so the next time you have something going on you can use it.

ActiveCiti

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Friday, August 10, 2007

Windows Live Folders Becomes SkyDrive

Windows Live SkyDrive

The inventor of the web (not Al Gore) envisioned a world where data could be accessed seamlessly by any computer, no matter where that data resided. There would be no sense of having gone from your own local drive to a server anywhere in the world. All that information would be available to you with a minimum of fuss.

It hasn't worked out quite that way, but it's getting there. Windows Live SkyDrive, the newly minted name for Windows Live Folders, gives you 0.5GB of free storage for the files you want to share with the world (or just your trusted colleagues). It has a nice look and feel, although some folks prefer the old version. Sigh. There's always someone with a gripe.

Windows Live SkyDrive

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Thursday, August 09, 2007

Dress Up Your Desktop with High Rez Backgrounds

InterfaceLIFT

Getting tired of your desktop background? I know I am. Getting tired of your desktop background, I mean. Well, you can do something about that by downloading some absolutely stunning high-resolution pictures from InterfaceLIFT. This site has an amazing collection of free desktop wallpaper pictures, in whatever size your display requires.

InterfaceLIFT

[via Lifehacker]

Barry's Best Computer Tips is updated several times every day; the easiest way to get your daily dose is by subscribing to our news feed. Stay on top of all our updates by subscribing now via RSS or Email.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Free Open Source Alternative to MS Project

OpenProj Beta 2

There have been excellent (free) alternatives for Microsoft Office applications for a while now. Arriving recently is an open source alternative to take the place of the costly stand-alone application Microsoft Project. OpenProj Beta 2 is a public beta that is available for Linux, Unix, Mac and Windows.

OpenProj Beta 2

[via Download Squad]

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Trek the Web with Walk2Web

Walk2Web

Until totally immersive virtual reality arrives (within 20 years or so), this might be the most intriguing way to traverse the links from web site to web site. At least it is at the moment. Walk2Web lets you take figurative steps from here to wherever the links might take you.

Start out by typing in www.barrysbestblog.com and see my linked sites appear. Click "more" and go further out; click on a linked site and see where that site goes. At each stage a computer voice tells you what you've stopped and a mini home page appears. It really is a great way to move through the web's complex network of links, discover new sites, and learn new things. Give it a try at...

Walk2Web

[via Download Squad]

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Application Launchers: 8Start for Windows

8Start Application Launcher

Application launchers are designed with one goal in mind: to help you access your favorite applications faster. In the computer age, seconds are an eternity. Milliseconds are todays seconds. Shaving a mouse-click or two off the process of finding and opening an application is what these things are about. Enter 8Start.


VistaPrint


8Start is a freeware application launcher that puts your most-used applications at your fingertips. It does this by bringing up groups of buttons with a simple mouse or keyboard sequence which you specify in the setup. The buttons appear immediately underneath your mouse.

8Start takes a few minutes to configure, but promises to give you back those minutes and more as you use it. (The application was developed by a non-English speaker, so don't be put off by the grammatical errors on the web site. They program is solid and well designed.)

8Start Download Page

[via CyberNet]

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Monday, August 06, 2007

Convert Online Videos to Any Format: FLV IX

FLVIX

With this nifty online video converter you can convert and download videos from YouTube, Google Video, or from the site FLV IX itself.

Just enter the video's url in the textbox, select the format you want it converted to, then click "Convert." Once it's been converted, you can download it watch on your PC, mobile device, iPod or PSP. And all this is free, of course.

FLV IX


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Sunday, August 05, 2007

Lay Out Your Home or Office with Floorplanner.com

Floorplanner.com

How many times could I have used this web site? Too many. But the good news is, I can use it now. Whenever I need to move my home or my office, or even if I just want to consider different room layouts, Floorplanner can be a real time, and back, saver.

Rather than move stuff around to see if it all fits, or waiting until you move in to think abut best to place all your stuff, why not use Floorplanner to do it virtually first? With a free account you can try out various configurations to your heart's content, and all without putting a strain on your precious spine.

Floorplanner

[via CyberNet]

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Saturday, August 04, 2007

Windows Mobile Downloads: Keep Recordin'

Keep Recordin' for Windows Mobile

The standard Windows Mobile recorder sucks, mainly because it records to Main Memory, which, as Windows Mobile users all know, tends to be a bit cramped. To the rescue comes Keep Recordin, which has the advantages of letting you choose where to record to (flash memory!), suppresses ambient noise and stores recordings in chronological order. So go ahead and record that business meeting, that lecture, or that suspicious person. (Well, be careful about the laws on that one.)

Keep Recordin'

[via downloadsquad]

Barry's Best Computer Tips is updated several times every day; the easiest way to get your daily dose is by subscribing to our news feed. Stay on top of all our updates by subscribing now via RSS or Email.

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Friday, August 03, 2007

Vista News: Reliability and Compatibility Packs Coming Soon

Since I now have a Vista machine in my home, and bearing in mind that many of my readers are using Vista, I will add Vista issues and news to my blogging milieu. News for today is good!

Microsoft is reportedly planning to release two important Vista updates on it's next patch Tuesday, August 7. They are a “Performance and Reliability Pack” and a “Compatibility and Reliability Pack."

So keep your eyes peeled for the updates in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen.

[via ClickRight]

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Spyware Terminator 2.0 Update Available

Spyware Terminator 2.0

Spyware Terminator, a spyware protection application I have recommended before, has just released an important update, Spyware Terminator 2.0.
Spyware Terminator 2.0 features new, streamlined functions that enhance its effectiveness, speed, efficiency and accuracy. Version 2.0 significantly increases users’ protection level by integrating an extended database of spyware, adware, keyloggers and other malware with sister product, Web Security Guard, whose database of threat-rated websites checks and reports Internet objects associated with these websites. Spyware Terminator 2.0’s most notable enhancements include:
  • New Summary Page displays program status overview and guide-posts to access functions
  • New option to create up to five custom scan profiles
  • Improved scan accuracy, efficiency and speed
  • Scan report history is recorded for future review
  • New Internet Protection tab delivers enhanced protection via:
  • Cookies Scan - lists cookies related to websites reported as dangerous
  • Favorites Scan - checks all items, displays and enables
  • System Immunization - checks Internet objects
  • New offline help file and new help tab structure has improved content
  • New Safe Database boosts real-time shield and reduces the number of alert dialogs
  • New option to manually check for updates in case of automatic update failure
  • More options to set scheduled scans
Spyware Terminator 2.0

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Thursday, August 02, 2007

Introducing a (Relatively) New Social Bookmarking Site: Jumptags

Jumptags Social Bookmarking

There are so many social bookmarking sites available today that you can easily get lost in them, but here is a relative newcomer, still in beta (seemingly a permanent state for some), but arriving with some interesting functionality, like the ability to save notes, feeds, and contacts.

It's worth a look at Jumptags.

[via downloadsquad]

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Clean Up Windows Explorer Context Menu: FileMenu Tools

Couple of days ago I showed you how to clean up and reorder your Firefox context menu. Today, you can use FileMenu Tools to do the same thing to Windows Explorer.

Right-click anywhere on your desktop and take a look at the context menu that pops up. Does it have so many items that you have to search for the one you need? Does it have items that you never ever ever use? Do you want to do something about it?

PCWorld's Steve Bass points us to a fix for this annoyance called FileMenu Tools.

FileMenu Tools

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