Category Archive: Software

Oct 30

Disable V-Cast Manager Popup

A fresh annoyance on the Verizon HTC Droid Incredible and Droid X is the V-Cast Manager web page that automatically launches¬†each and¬†every time you plug the phone into your computer. This issue surfaced after Verizon pushed the Android Version 2.2 (Froyo) update through their network to my Droid Incredible. Fortunately, I discovered a way to …

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May 17

Everything Portable Finds Files Fast

Windows only: Everything, a super-snappy file finder that’s one of our Top 10 tiny & awesome Windows utilities, offers a new portable version that’s just as speedy as its standard-installation sibling.

Everything’s portable version takes a few seconds on launching to build a database of all the files on an NTFS-formatted drive, saves it in whatever folder you’ve saved the application, then brings up a single text box to type into, and a big white space without any files listed—yet. As soon as you start typing in file names, regular expressions, or boolean-style operators (like ! in front of “not” phrases), Everything almost instantly pulls up the files matching that search. And there’s a lot that’s been added to a new version earlier this month, including support for USB/removable drives, shortcut keys, and a claim to improving search performance by 30 percent. There’s also a host of nifty options you can enable, like an HTTP server for remote file searching—hit the MakeUseOf link below for a peek at a few of those value-added items.

Everything portable is a free download for Windows systems only.

Feb 23

Enigma Desktop 2.0 Released, Adds Installer, Widget Manager, and Templates

Windows only: Reader Kaelri, well-known for his killer Enigma desktop, has released a new version complete with an installer—making this amazing desktop customization easy enough for anybody to install.

The latest update includes features geared at beginners—the new welcome dialog in the middle of the screenshot adds widgets to your desktop which can be easily dragged around the screen—making customizations easier than ever. The full list of new features includes:

– EXE Installer
– GUI widget manager.
– Template configs – usable right out of the box.
– Black & white variants for every widget.
– Individual story links for the RSS Reader.
– Show/hide button for Sidebar.
– New mail indicator for Gmail Icon.

Getting started with Enigma is simplified down to just a couple of steps, detailed in the included instructions:

1. Download and install Rainmeter. (http://www.ipi.fi/~rainy/legacy.html)
2. Run EnigmaSetup2.0.exe to install the theme to Rainmeter. (Make sure Rainmeter isn’t running while you do this.)
3. OPTIONAL: Choose one of the files in “Templates.” Replace C:\Program Files\Rainmeter\Rainmeter.ini and replace it with your desired template. (Make sure Rainmeter isn’t running while you do this.)
4. Run Rainmeter.

The full package includes fonts, AutoHotkey scripts, and multiple templates to get you started. Kaelri recommends also installing either the NOOTO, CleanGlass, or SlanXP visual styles for Windows to match the Enigma look. Don’t know how? Follow our guide to installing custom themes. Great work, Kaelri!

Enigma is a free download for Windows users only. Linux users can check out the previously previously mentioned Enigma for Linux.

Jan 04

Track Your Computer Usage

Windows only: Productivity Meter is a time tracking tool from Fruitful Time, makers of the task manager we reviewed earlier this year.

Once installed the software sits in the background and keeps tabs on your activity. Productivity Meter tracks the active versus idle time, how your active time is split among applications, which applications were used the most, and which websites you browsed and for how long. You can review the stats for the last day, week, month or a user defined block of time. One of the most useful features is the ability to tag programs, windows, and domains. It would be entirely useless to many users—myself included— if the program simply told you when you’d been using a web browser and time spent on certain domains. I use a web browser for nearly all the work I do on my computer. By using the tag function I can tell Productivity Meter which domains I access for certain tasks and jobs. It’s tracking for how much time I spend doing Lifehacker related work became significantly more accurate when I tagged all the domains I use. Another concern was that with a triple monitor setup and a huge number of windows open at any given time it wouldn’t accurately track what I was really focusing my time and attention on. After testing it for the better part of a day it does a fantastic job tracking what I’m actually working on. The program is free for personal use, with the small caveat that after 30 days the ability to generate time cards is removed. If you don’t need to generate time cards to show a boss or client how your time was spent on a give project it shouldn’t matter much. All the graphs and information in the main dashboard is available even after the 30 days window. Productivity Meter is freeware, Windows only.


Dec 17

VirtualBox 2.1 Now Available

All platforms: Free and open source virtualization software VirtualBox gets a “major upgrade” to version 2.1 which is now available for download.

Besides a gaggle of fixes, the changelog details new features:

  • Support for hardware virtualization (VT-x and AMD-V) on Mac OS X hosts
  • Support for 64-bit guests on 32-bit host operating systems (experimental; see user manual, chapter 1.6, 64-bit guests, page 16)
  • Added support for Intel Nehalem virtualization enhancements (EPT and VPID; see user manual, chapter 1.2, Software vs. hardware virtualization (VT-x and AMD-V), page 10))
  • Experimental 3D acceleration via OpenGL (see user manual, chapter 4.8, Hardware 3D acceleration (OpenGL), page 66)
  • Experimental LsiLogic and BusLogic SCSI controllers (see user manual, chapter 5.1, Hard disk controllers: IDE, SATA (AHCI), SCSI, page 70)
  • Full VMDK/VHD support including snapshots (see user manual, chapter 5.2, Disk image files (VDI, VMDK, VHD), page 72)
  • New NAT engine with significantly better performance, reliability and ICMP echo (ping) support (bugs #1046, #2438, #2223, #1247)
  • New Host Interface Networking implementations for Windows and Linux hosts with easier setup (replaces TUN/TAP on Linux and manual bridging on Windows)

We’ve already shown you how to run Windows apps seamlessly inside Linux with VirtualBox; what OS combinations are you using it with? VirtualBox is a free download for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.






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