Category Archive: Windows

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.

Sep 23

Microsoft Image Composite Editor Stitches Images Together

Windows only: Microsofts’ Image Composite Editor is a free application for stitching several pictures together into one panoramic photograph. We’ve already shown you how to stitch photos into panoramas with free software or with Photoshop’s Photomerge tool, but the dedicated Image Composite Editor won’t cost you a dime, is dead simple to use, and works really well. I tested its chops with a quick panorama of my (messy) desk, and it stitched everything together quickly, with no effort on my part. For a one-off tool with very specific goals, Microsoft’s done this one right. The Image Composite Editor is freeware, Windows only, requires .NET 2.0.




Sep 23

FormatFactory Centralizes DVD Ripping, Media Conversion

Windows only: Free media file converter FormatFactory is a handy all-in-one utility for taking one kind of audio, video, or picture file and converting it to another. The interface is a dead-simple drag-and-drop affair, and it’s meant for running batches of files through converters—FLVs to Windows Media, MPEGs to iPod-friendly video, DVDs to DivX files, etc. You won’t get a lot of options for quality control, compression rate, or other tweaks, but for some folks, that’s really a benefit. FormatFactory is a free download for Windows systems only.