Jan 072014
 

Dukto

Sharing and sending files over the internet gets easier and more trivial with every passing year. The same is almost true when it comes to sharing files on a local area network, between two computers in a house for example. It is a waste of bandwidth and resources to use the internet for such a case. There are relatively complex solutions for transferring files in a home network, some require the same operating system and others fiddling with permissions and folder share settings. Dukto (version: R6) is one tool that reduces the effort and also happens to be multi-platform.

Dukto does not write to the registry or pollute the system, its Windows, Linux and other versions can be downloaded and just executed.

Dukto

Just open the program on all installed devices and its discovery protocol should find the others. In most home cases there is nothing else to do but to choose a file, folder, text or clipboard content to send to another computer. There might be times when the discovery might not work and Dukto will attempt an IP connection – the IP address of every device is shown by clicking the bottom middle icon and can be entered manually for IP connection transfers. It is possible to configure where received files are stored by using the bottom right settings icon.

If an error is seen it can be due to a firewall blocking Dukto. The program can be white listed pretty easily, for example in

Windows XP:

Start —> Control Panel –> Windows Firewall, Exceptions tab —> Add Program

Windows 7:

Start —> Control Panel —> Windows Firewall —>Allow a program or feature through Windows Firewall, Change Settings and Allow another program buttons

Linux Mint 13 MATE edition:

Menu —> Firewall Configuration. The Firewall is normally disabled when Mint is installed. If it is enabled for any reason Dukto may not work and allowing it will require a firewall that can add application rules and not port or IP address based rules. For example Linux-Firewall.org

Dukto is available for Windows XP and newer, Mac OS 10.6 and newer and via repositories (or manually via deb or rpm files) for use on Linux computers. As tested on Linux Mint 13 the deb file downloaded from http://software.opensuse.org/download.html?project=home:colomboem&package=dukto was used – simply download and double click to ‘Install package’ and it’s ready to be used.

Jan 052014
 

Process Liquidator

Process Liquidator is a small utility that pretty much serves one purpose. This is to have have quick access to running processes and if needed terminate them easily.

A right click on a process name terminates it. Process Liquidator displays process name and process id – and by left clicking on a name additional information about the process. Double click on any running process to see its child processes, if any, or click on the Childs button to see all. After clicking on a process name click on the Wins text to list Windows the process has open.

Process Liquidator

It is docked to the right side of the screen with an option to change docking position, it also auto hides by default and requires hovering the mouse on configurable edges of the screen to re-open. This and other options such as Warn before terminating and are available in the Config section (see images).

Process Liquidator should work on Windows 2000 and newer.

 

 

 

Jan 032014
 

Process Piglet

Process Piglet is a small tool released as part of NANY 2014. It monitors top memory consuming programs and warns of any large changes in RAM usage.

Process Piglet is probably most useful for monitoring browser behaviour.  Of course there are programs that by nature require a lot of resources, those written poorly that have memory leaks and others that don’t release memory properly when different tasks are done or the program is closed. The more common culprits, however, are browsers. Also their add-ons and plugins (hint: Flash) are notorious for bringing even relatively powerful computers to their knees.

Process Piglet provides a window showing top memory users. It generates an alert when memory usage for a process changes a lot and offers the user to terminate or restart it. The same plus other options like navigate to folder are available by right clicking the process name in the program window.

The programs settings include an Exclusions option to ignore processes and by default only cares about processes using more than 50MB, this can be changed by right clicking the tray icon then Edit Options —> Memory Options.

Process Piglet should run on Windows versions going back to Windows 2000 and since it is new is evolving quickly.

 

 

Jan 012014
 

epcheck-nany

 

The latest edition of DonationCoder’s New Apps for the New Year is here. The programs shared this year include the following:

  •  ImgFloat – an app to overlay the desktop with a recently taken screenshot  [with Screenshot Captor]
  • Q-FlashCards – an Android program for learning (vocabulary, dates, whatever) using virtual flash cards. Perhaps a good option for learning a new language
  • Text Inspection & Manipulation Utility – an utility to inspect and manipulate text. Case conversion, encrypt, sort, search and more
  • Zeno’s Alarm - lets you set future events, and it will alert you every time you cover half of the remaining duration
  • Esc Close - close a program by just pressing the ESC key thrice … even close a tab by pressing ESC key twice.
  • epCheck – a  tool designed to let you easily track and view TV series data. Data provided by TheTVDB.com

and many more.

epcheck2-nany

The latter retrieves information for just about any tv series for viewing on the desktop. Search, add a series and then view the information downloaded in a list and description format with number of episodes and seasons plus episode dates and summaries. Past and upcoming episodes are presented in a ‘weekly’ tab that can be configured to show X number of past and future days. epCheck also links to the series’ wikipedia page (Series —> wikipedia) and also includes links to various relevant pages on TheTVDB.com

 

 

Dec 312013
 

Hornil Photo Viewer

Hornil Photo Viewer (version: 1.0) is a new freeware for home use image viewer from the developer who brought us the very capable Hornil StylePix photoshop alternative.

Hornil Photo Viewer is pretty much no frills and there are certainly many more better known alternatives available but it fills the need well enough for a basic image viewer. It features a file tree on the left, several ways to list or view images in the main section and a histogram, waveform, exif info (and the option to remove the info) and thumbnail viewer on the right.

Other features included are full screen mode, view in slideshow, image zoom, flip, rotate and convert and a launcher for any external image editor. The familiar keyboard shortcuts are available too, for example Ctrl+PgUp and Ctrl+PgDn to navigate through images. The supported formatted are png, jpg, tif, bmp, ico, jpc, pcx, tga, tif, ico, jpc, jp2, pcx, pgx, pnm, pgm, ppm, ras, ska, wmf and tsp. Hornil Photo Viewer runs on XP and newer.

Dec 272013
 

I have removed the link to the Lollipic site and modified/’trimmed’ its review. Why?
Lollipic, as I mentioned when posting this review, is very obviously a clone of ShareX. ShareX is an open source software and it is possible to use its source code to create another program. However, one of the stipulations in the open source GPL license is that source code remain available by whoever uses it. As of the time of the review and this note the source code is not available on the Lollipic site.
The developers of ShareX contacted me and kindly asked that I remove this review.
Eventhough a mere review, my review, is not in any way a violation of any license I have decided to not support Lollipic and while a screenshot (and a sentence or two) remain there will not be a review or a link to its site.

Lollipic

The choices for taking screenshots and sharing them are numerous and some even look remarkably similar as to make a person wonder if he is experiencing deja vu.

*Edited/removed*

It is clear that LolliPic is a ShareX clone and naturally both are based on the same set of tools like GreenshotImageEditor.dll just to name one.

LolliPic requires the .NET Framework.

Dec 232013
 

Gwennel

Gwennel Doc is a notebook that is WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) and supports the odt open document file format.

Start by creating a new notebook, save it with a name and start typing. It is possible to just leave it at that, type, insert images, tables and links and have notes that are portable using the aforementioned xml based standard format.

However it is also possible to define presets or styles to use to format the notes. Either through the Format menu or by right clicking any one of Text, Paragraph, Bullets and Numbering and Table different fonts, colors, margins, line spaces, table widths and other styles can be defined for use in a notebook. These new styles will be available in the toolbar drop down menus for text, paragraph and bullets.

The default font used by the program is Tahoma but if a style is created to with another font for text then it can applied to any part of the notebook. Right click Text —> New Style and choose the font. Start typing and apply the style to it by highlighting text and choosing the style from the toolbar drop down. The same can be done to a paragraph for its font, alignment, background color, line spacing, border, and indentation. Bullets and Numbering can have number or bullet styles, different spacing, alignment and others (see image below). Similarly a table’s border, width, margin, cell colors (including alternating colors) can be saved as a style and applied via the Table —> Insert Table menu.

Gwennel

Gwennel Doc (version: 0.14) is portable and very lightweight, a few sample styles are available as a separate download but the main download comes with a sample and documentation that can serve as a reference itself.

 

Dec 182013
 

Bitdefender

Comment below for a chance to win one of 3 Bitdefender Total Security licenses courtesy of Bitdefender Antivirus!

Bitdefender is one of the better rated and tested antivirus and internet security options. Sites like av-comparatives.org which do extensive testing rate it high in detection but also high performance wise in what is termed as Impact Score on a system.

Total Security 2014 as its name indicates includes many features that go beyond a simple antivirus, some may or may not be useful or needed for every user but each does a bit more to protect the computer and the user.

For example, the wallet allows for safe storage of site details and other data used to automatically login into sites. It can be configured to do banking and other payment sensitive browsing in a separate protected browser. There is also a well rated inbound and outbound firewall and a tool to protect and scan external USB devices.

Its other features include Yahoo Messenger chat encryption and a vault for encrypting files,  a safe file eraser or shredder and an anti-phishing feature. Emails are scanned so malicious items don’t make it to a computer. Additionally an online service (MyBitdefender) provides limited free storage and remote control and recovery features for devices, including mobile, running it and attached to the user account.

All in all a very complete security and piece of mind tool Bitdefender Total Security 2014 runs on XP and newer. Bitdefender also offer other mobile, home and business software that provide theft and more extensive cloud based protection.

Dec 142013
 

ShareX

ShareX is a multipurpose, feature rich utility geared towards sharing anything captured on a pc. At its core it is a screen grabber that does a lot more, including just uploading files.

Clipboard upload is the first in the list of its features, it auto detects urls to use a url shortener, it defaults to the bit.ly service. The Capture option features full screen, Window – with a list of open windows to choose from, monitor, rectangle, rounded rectangle, triangle, ellipse, diamond, polygon, free hand, last region, auto capture and screen recorder. The last two are configurable timed snapshots and animated gif.

After capture has options for Add image effect, Annotate image, Add watermark, Copy image to clipboard (on by default), Print image, Save image to file (on by default), Save image to file as, Copy file to clipboard, Copy file path to clipboard, Perform actions and Upload image to host. The Perform actions options is when an external program is set to open after the capture. The programs can be set in Task settings —> Actions, some of which are detected and added by ShareX.

After upload has options for Use url shortener, Post url to social networking service, Send url with email and Copy url to keyboard.

Destinations are configured per file type. Imgur.com is the default for images but they can be uploaded to imageshack, tinypic, flickr, photobucket, picasa, twitpic, twitsnaps, yfrog, imm.io, file or custom uploader. For text pastebin is the default with paste2.org, slexy.org, pastee.org, paste.ee, gist.github,com and file available. For url shortener there is the aforementioned bit.ly plus goo.gl, j.mp, is.gd, tinyurl and turl.ca and finally for social networking service twitter is the only one available as of version 8.4.1.

Almost everything is configurable, for example screenshots can be named with anything like year %y, month %mo, title of active window %t, millisecond %ms, auto increment %i, computer name %cn, random number %rn and more in their name and their default folder changed too (Application settings —> Paths). A proxy server can be added via Application settings —> Proxy. The format of the image can be changed from the default png to gif, jpg, tiff or bmp and its quality adjusted too (Task settings —> Image). The watermark and image effects are also configured via Task settings —> Image. ShareX can also watch folders and upload files placed in them automatically (Task settings —> Watch folders). The naming pattern is also available for clipboard items (Task settings —> Upload).

Hotkey settings include ones for capturing the entire screen, active window and rectangle region. Others can be added with every action configured too (see image below).

ShareX

Any of the services that do not allow anonymous uploading can be setup via the Destination settings menu. The file uploader options are dropbox, mega, box, ge.tt, rapidshare, sendspace, hostr, Atlassian Jira, Google Drive, Minus, email and ftp. The custom uploader option is an advanced feature described fully at http://getsharex.com/docs/#CustomUploader. This tool uses POST and GET methods to upload and dynamically generate urls.

The program has two separate history tools to keep a log of every use. ShareX works on XP and newer and, once again, unfortunately requires .NET Framework   4   3.5.

Update: Thanks to Jaex for mentioning the correct .NET requirement

Dec 112013
 

Notepas

Notepas is a multiplatform free text editor with some advanced features. It is feature filled and mostly aimed at programmers. Most features are available docked by using the corresponding menu or button to make the options visible on the left hand side of the program interface. It supports several highlighters for different languages. Notepas is a solid option at version 0.9.23 and can do a lot, a few of its features are listed below.

It has several levels of code folding, the 0 button that has a drop down to 9  folds code several child or inner nodes making it very easy to view a document’s hierarchy. Code filter under Tools can search for specific strings and show only lines containing it. Code Shaper also under Tools can do some advanced text filtering by adding a comma after a string of code, trimming space, removing line breaks and more. One simple example is adding line breaks. In the first screenshot one part of the sample XML snippet is highlighted, when breaks lines before </firstname> is applied it is converted to the form in the second screenshot. Of course this example is meaningless but is one trivial example of the kind of things Notepas is capable of.

The selection menu has options to to toggle case of selected text, convert tabs to space, strip first characters, strip markup, add comment code and other text manipulations based on the word or characters in the selection.

Notepas

The program’s settings window (Settings—>Settings) is mainly for customizing the appearance of the code such as colors, character spacing and other highlight options. There is an option to increase font size or stay on top or restrict Notepas to one instance as well.

Notepas is available in portable download for both 32bit and 64bit systems as well as Linux machines.