Lunascape Is The Triple Browser

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Aug 312009
 

Lunascape is described by its author as

…the world’s only triple engine browser

As seen by the developers the main strength or selling point of the browser is that every page can be loaded and rendered properly without switching browsers, since 3 browser engines are available within the program. On first thought that is an excellent concept but the user may need more convincing to use Lunascape because switching between open windows of Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome, by pressing alt-tab for example, does not add significant time to the process of loading a page.


Lunascape

Probably needing to rely on different and interesting features the developers have tried to include some options and ease of use features in the default install. For example it is claimed that Internet Explorer toolbars will work without any problems, using the same browser engine as Microsoft’s browser that might seem obvious, but as with most software that may not always be the case. A set of mouse gestures are included with the ability to set one’s own. Different tabs can be loaded using different engines within the same window. The Bookmarklets located under the Tools menu offer many built-in capabilities. One can go one level up in the site’s structure, check the cookies set by the particular site that is loaded, translate pages, zoom in and out, get a tinyurl for the address, using the Webkit engine rotate the page 90 degrees and many more. Lunascape supports add-ons and a large number of themes or skins are also available. Lunascape comes with an auto hide sidebar that gives access to virtually all its settings by hovering the mouse on the left hand side of the window.

It will likely find it difficult to compete with the browsers that everybody is more familiar with but Lunascape has most of the features users want or need.
Another note or two of interest is that the Lunascape download is 9MB for its initial setup file and in the process of installation it downloads approximately 19MB more for the Webkit (the Chrome and Safari engine) and Gecko (the Mozilla/Firefox engine). Also as a sort of crude test I loaded the same page (only 1 tab open) using all engines and recorded the memory usage and they are as follows:

23MB for Trident
58MB for Gecko
23MB for Webkit

These results are in line with most memory use tests of Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome respectively. Requirements are Windows 2000 to Vista and Internet Explorer 6 installed.

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Aug 302009
 

Hyperwords is a firefox add-on that adds useful features and shortcuts to some common and may be not so common tasks. The default install available on the author’s website and via the Mozilla add-ons site presents a menu any time a word is highlighted or selected. Via the menu one can search google, Microsoft’s bing, the web page the word resides on, and others for the selected word. The search options do not stop there as share prices can be checked if the selected word is a stock symbol, the word can be searched for on wikipedia, wiktionary, urban dictionary and other places. A shop shortcut checks amazon, eBay and others. One can share the text via email, twitter, facebook, and other supported blogging platforms as well. In some cases even more useful is the option to copy the text as plain text or as link and send it to notepad for example. The translate option presents many languages to choose from and replaces the chosen words with the translated version, however it is not immediately obvious how the original text can be reset to its original language. The view option scans the page for occurrences of the same word, paragraphs with the same word and more.
Hyperwords

The settings of Hyperwords include some additional possibilities and advanced features and give a good amount of control over the appearance and behaviour of this add-on. The first and perhaps most important in terms of making Hyperwords less intrusive is the ability to make its menu not appear any time a text is selected but to use it via Firefox’s own right click context menu or to require the user to click enter after highlighting a text. The aforementioned options for this are not the only ones available as others can be chosen as the list of settings is rather extensive. The included currency converter, available when a number is highlighted, can be tweaked for example and shortcuts for its use edited. The shop services such as Amazon can be localized to search local shops. One can set how search results are presented as well with the default being a new tab in the foreground.
Hyperwords is rather useful and the developers have provided its users ways to make it less intrusive and perhaps more interesting. Downloading it requires the acceptance of privacy policy that insists that no IP addresses or identifiable information are recorded but that stats are collected only to improve the add-on. A Windows application for use with software other than firefox is said to be in the works as well.

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Aug 242009
 

The not so clever article title aside SE-Explorer is a relatively new entry into the file manager/Windows Explorer alternative space. As of this date it is at version 0.0.30.600 and is not without its performance issues. The portable version tested on a XP computer is slow to start and the ever illusive zip or archive exploring or viewing seems to be a work in progress. I have tested and have looked for a file manager that handles archives well and have come up empty handed – with the possible exception of Ac Browser Plus featured here on RGdot – for the most part but SE-Explorer does come close in achieving it.
SE-Explorer

Feature-wise SE-Explorer is a good pick. Besides the aforementioned archive viewing it supports most image formats as well as viewing PDF, DOC, CHM help file and some other text based formats. Its built-in media player supports many audio and video formats which can be played as a whole folder or individually and also shuffled and repeated as a play list. A text comparer is also included as is syntax highlighting in its internal viewer, accessible by right clicking a document icon and choosing view. SE-Explorer also has a file search engine that can find files that satisfy a variety of criteria such as search ‘files by tags’ and others. The size scanner builds a drive summary and can classify or create reports based on largest files, folder sizes, file types and more. A task info tab keeps a record of file operations such as any moving and copying done and can be thought of as a log but it looks like it can include additional features in future versions of the program.
SE-Explorer runs on Windows 2000, 2003, XP, and Vista and is one to watch out for. Many more screenshots are also available at the developer’s site.

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Aug 162009
 

Caderno is described by its author as

Caderno is a remake of the common program “notepad”


Caderno
Another point the author likes to emphasis is that Caderno attempts to re-create a Firefox like experience. One important feature of Caderno that makes the aforementioned statement true, and the program very much Firefox-like, is that it comes with a ‘find as you type’ feature to search .txt or other files. It also features tabs for opening multiple documents. A session management console allows a user to work with a set number of documents and be able to reload them together. The revert feature – found under the file menu – can reload the last saved version of an open document. Caderno also supports PHP code completion, syntax highlighting for a growing number of languages and an improving though yet not full support for utf documents. A portable version is also in the works and should arrive after the author makes decisions on how to handle the program’s built-in crash recovery when working with a USB thumb drive.
Caderno is a relatively young project and a very interesting one, it should run on all more recent versions of Windows.

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Aug 112009
 

chevyvolt

General Motors has claimed that the first generation of its new electric car the Chevy Volt can run on an equivalent of 230 miles per gallon (one gallon equals almost 4 litres). If this is the case this is some of the best news to come out of the auto industry in a long while, not to mention it is coming from a US big three manufacturer. Further claims are that it will cost 40 cents a day to charge it via a standard plug at home. The miles per gallon compares exceptionally well with the Prius, Toyota’s hybrid electric that is considered by many to be a good environmental alternative these days. The Prius run in the low 50s miles per gallon range.

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TextCrawler Finds and Replaces Text

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Aug 092009
 

TextCrawler is described by its author as

…TextCrawler enables you to instantly find and replace words and phrases across multiple files and folders..


TextCrawler
TextCrawler is simple yet powerful. The first step in using it is choosing a filter for file extensions that are being searched, either from the choices presented or by typing one’s own. The second step is browse to the folder where the files are located. Note that the program’s options has a setting to scan or search subfolders as well. The next step is to type the text to find and the text to replace. TextCrawler supports regular expressions and the star icon beside the Find text area provides some examples for finding such things as dates or IP addresses. The program’s own help files explains regular expressions a bit further. An interesting feature is the ability to find the text being searched for first and then do the replacing after by clicking a separate button, this allows the user to preview all the instances of the found text before moving on. Also the Extract feature allows the user to copy all instances of the found text, this is useful for collecting information based on the search results.
The program also includes a Batch Commands tool to work with find and replace text pairs. Additionally the regular expression tester, which like the Batch Commands tool is located under the Tools menu, reduces the chances of making a mistake. TextCrawler runs under Windows 98, ME, 2000, XP and Vista.

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What Is In Your Startup?

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Aug 032009
 

One of the important ways to keep a system running well is to be aware of the programs that are run or launched when a system is started. The small yet highly useful Startup Control Panel was featured on RGdot earlier this year but another software from the excellent Nirsoft collection deserves a mention as well.

WhatInStartup is described by its author as

This utility displays the list of all applications that are loaded automatically when Windows starts up


WhatInStartup
This 47KB zipped download displays the name of the item that is started. The kind, that is if it is a registry item or a file in the startup folder of the system. And also the version, company name and perhaps most useful the location and the command line used to launched the item.
Two additional features that set apart WhatInStartup is the ability to run the program from another drive and to permanently disable items. The former feature is helpful because WhatInStartup can be used when a Windows system or partition is not working and therefore one can load WhatInStartup from another instance of Windows to check on startup items on the non-working system. The latter feature makes sure that when a user disables a startup item it can not add itself back to the startup list later. This can potentially be extremely useful when a piece of malware insists on reappearing even when deleted. It is also worth noting that the permanent disable feature can be disabled within the program if the user so chooses and as usual with programs from Nirsoft the program comes a with a collection of command line parameters that control many of the behaviours of its programs and in this case includes working with the permanent disable feature.

WhatInStartup works on any system running Windows 2000 and up, including Windows 7.

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