Download of the Day: Thunderbird 2.0 (All platforms)

Posted on April 28, 2007. Filed under: Downloads, eMail, Software |

Windows/Mac/Linux: The good folks at Mozilla dropped the latest version 2.0 of the Thunderbird email client today, which supports Gmail-like tagging, Windows Vista and better search capabilities.

Gmail users will love this T-bird build, which makes setting up a Gmail POP account a one-step affair. My initial tests, searching over an archive of thousands of messages, show that T-bird 2’s search-as-you-type is quite snappier than past versions; and while I’m not yet used to the tagging interface, it’s definitely a step in the right direction. One thing I’d love to see in the future is support for already-assigned tags on downloaded Gmail messages. (They call me a dreamer.) See what Rick had to say about T-bird 2.0’s RC1. Thunderbird 2 is a free download for Mac, Windows and Linux.

+ Thunderbird [Mozilla]

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Xplorer2 file manager (Windows)

Posted on April 28, 2007. Filed under: Downloads, Explorer, Software |

Windows only: The Xplorer2 lite file manager is a superior alternative to Windows’ built-in file Explorer.

Xplorer2 sports a tabbed, 3-paned interface. The first displays the file and folder hierarchy for easy navigation. The other 2 panes are specific folders, which make it really easy to move files between two places or work with two sets of files at once. You can save favorite locations or even bookmark sets of folders associated with particular tasks and projects. Xplorer2 is self-contained (therefore thumb drive-friendly) and has a very mature set of keyboard shortcuts, which reader Ludwig summarized for us in an email. Check ’em out after the jump.

After just a few minutes of playing with Xplorer2 it’s easy to see all the places where Windows Explorer really does fall short.

+ xplorer2 Lite []

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30 Essential Pieces Of Free (and Open) Software for Windows

Posted on February 18, 2007. Filed under: Downloads, Free, Software, Windows, Windows XP |

Recently, I received a fresh new laptop from Dell. Upon receiving it, I did the traditional “installation of Windows from scratch” on it to remove a lot of the garbage that is preinstalled on Dells. Then I got really busy installing tons of great software that takes care of pretty much every software need I have. Not only was all of the software free, every piece of it was open source, which means that the code is peer-reviewed; no spyware here!

What follows, after the jump, is a list of thirty pieces of software that are the cream of the crop of open source software for Windows. Not only is every piece of it free, almost all of them directly replace expensive software packages.

Now, if only there were an open version of The Sims 2, I might go the whole way and switch to Linux…

+ 30 Essential Pieces Of Free (and Open) Software for Windows [via thesimpledollar]

The list includes Firefox, Thunderbird, Open Office, Bit Torrent, VLC Media Player, NotePad 2and more…..

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Download of the Day: Paint.NET 3 (Windows)

Posted on January 31, 2007. Filed under: Art, Paint, Software |

Windows only: Freeware app Paint.NET is a powerful, lightweight image editing alternative to Photoshop and GIMP.

Paint.NET have released a new version, and since it’s my favorite low-power editor, I wanted to give it a mention. If you need to do basic/intermediate image editing from time to time, but you don’t need the horsepower of Photoshop or GIMP, Paint.NET is a wonderful alternative. Version 3 adds, among other things, a tabbed interface for managing several projects in one window. Paint.NET is freeware, Windows only. Requires .NET 2.0.

+ Paint.NET [from Lifehacker]

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Download of the Day: Recuva (Windows)

Posted on January 22, 2007. Filed under: Recover, Software |

Windows only: Recover deleted files with Recuva, a new utility from the developers who brought you the venerable system-scouring tool CCleaner.

Though currently in beta, the spit-polished program couldn’t be much easier to use. Choose a drive to scan, wait a few seconds while Recuva looks for recoverable files (those that haven’t been overwritten on your hard drive), then review the results. Select the files you want and click Recover. Presto: The lost files return.

Although Recuva seems a little lightweight (it found only seven files on my system, two of them unrecoverable), it could save the day if you’ve accidentally deleted something you desperately need. Plus, the price is right: Recuva is free, so if nothing else it’s worth a try.

+ Recuva

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Rip DVDs with VLC

Posted on January 22, 2007. Filed under: DVD, Ripping, Software |

Im sure you’re already knew the incomparable VLC media player could play ripped DVDs, but did you know it could rip them as well? Blog site The Real Caffeine shows you how.

It’s a pretty simple process, though VLC can’t automatically determine which file on the DVD contains the actual movie. Instead, you must manually load and preview each file in turn, so it can take a bit of time to get things started. But that’s the only real obstacle. When you’re done, you’ll have an mp1v file you can watch in just about any media player (including VLC, natch). Ah, that VLC–it just keeps giving and giving.

+ How-to: Rip DVDs with VLC [The Real Caffeine]

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