Aug 152011
 

As a fan of WordPress (who isn’t?) I was excited to hear about Instant WordPress via this wpmu.org post. Instant WordPress is billed as a “complete standalone, portable WordPress development environment” and “The easiest and quickest way to install WordPress!” The 54MB download installs a portable and completely self contained copy of WordPress on a PC. There is no need to go through more time consuming methods like installing wampserver , XAMPP or others if the exclusive or main use of using MySQL and php is to work with WordPress on a PC.

Instant WordPress

After installing Instant WordPress on a XP desktop I was disappointed to see that it would not start, it did generate an error (see above image) but the error was obscured by the program’s splash image. The error dialog was not movable using either the mouse or keyboard. I looked in the program’s folder, found the splash image (splash.png) and decided to resize it to a smaller size image so that the error would come into view.

Instant WordPress

The error in question was “%1 is not a valid Win32 application.” (see above image). That particular error is often associated with Windows not reading or liking a blank space in some configuration (in many cases a batch file) of the program in question. I decided to move the Instant WordPress folder from the desktop – whose “Documents and Settings” path contains spaces – to c:\ and as expected it worked (see below image).

Instant WordPress

Instant WordPress is the easiest method yet to play with WordPress and it comes with a few dummy posts and pages. As of this post it is bundled with WordPress 3.2, MySQL 5.1.46-community-nt with phpMyAdmin, Apache 2.2.15, and PHP 5.3.2.

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Nov 182010
 

kuView

kuView is a free and opensource lightweight image viewer which tries to aid the user in collecting and managing photo and image collections. The version tested for this review, admittedly a ‘pre’ (1.7pre [178]) release, is not bug free and not the fastest. For example the thumbnail panel (available via the Panel menu) is not always populated with the images of a highlighted or chosen directory.

kuView supports copying, moving, renaming and printing images. Re-sampling algorithms such as Lanczos and reading metadata and EXIF information associated with a photo. It can also rotate and set an image as wallpaper. One can also view directories as a slideshow, favorite a directory and move between directories, not only levels up and levels down but in ‘history’ mode as well, all using the Traverse menu.

Two additional features less common to image viewers is the ability to manage a Picasa Web album or gallery from within kuView and also to view, complete with thumbnails, images inside an archive (*.zip, *.tar, *.gz). It also supports reading RAW images.

kuView is unicode capable, has a set of command line interface options and is availabe either as an executable or a full blown installer. It should run on all recent Windows versions.

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Nov 112010
 


P2Do is a lightweight to do and task list that also provides a monthly calendar view in addition to its main list view. Tasks can be added and placed into categories and assigned tags or subcategories. After adding a task double clicking its entry in the list view will launch the window to add the aforementioned categories, tags or due date. Assigning priority and choosing icons are also done in the same window. The default and limited category and tag options (‘Main’ and ‘Relax’ just to name two) can be expanded within the program settings (lower left of the program interface) by adding one’s own.

The calendar view is capable of showing only tasks that are given a due date, at first thought this is perhaps a limitation but it is ultimately obvious why. It is also possible to search through tasks, P2Do should run on all recent versions of Windows and is available in both 32 and 64 bit versions and a portable version as well.

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Nov 042010
 

SE-DesktopConstructor

SE-DesktopConstructor is a simple no-install tool that help you customize your desktop and add a few extras to it.

SE-DesktopConstructor lets you to change your wallpaper in minute to day increments. A wallpaper folder comes with the program where one can use the default pictures or gradients that come with SE-DesktopConstructor, add one’s own pictures to that folder or just use another folder altogether. There is a color fader available to play around with the wallpaper and for example to make it seem brighter or dimmer in different regions. Using paint shapes one can add shapes (ellipse, rectangle or round rectangle) with customizable colors and borders to the wallpaper itself so as to create a virtual desktop area where a number of icons may be grouped together.

SE-DesktopConstructor also features a set of clocks and calendars in different shapes and formats which can be positioned anywhere on the desktop with their own customizable colors and fonts.

SE-DesktopConstructor is an attractive addition to a PC and runs on Windows 2000 and all later versions, it is also portable.

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Aug 312010
 

Ultra File Search does what it’s name suggests, it can search for files and for text inside files too. It can do that not only for files residing on local drives but for files on other drives such as on a DVD or on an USB key.

Ultra File Search supports masks for filtering the search into a number of specified criteria. These criteria include not only the more common date and size masks but also less common attributes such as read only, compressed, encrypted, temporary and others including searching system or hidden files.

The ‘Containing Text’ tab can search any words, all words, as phrase and other criteria such as restricting the search to a matching case. Here it is also possible to bypass media, image, system and hidden files so as to not waste time searching for text inside them. It should be noted that Ultra File Search does support searching inside EXE and DLL file formats.

One additional and potentially time saving feature is the ‘Append Results’ one. Checking this option makes it possible to keep any displayed search results visible when additional and subsequent results are performed. Therefore various search results can be combined into one results window.

If needed parent or containing folders can be opened from within the program. Results can also be exported into various (plain, tabbed, csv, HTML and XML) text formats. Ultra File Search is available in a portable edition that can be run from flash or USB drives. Ultra File Search is freeware and runs on Windows NT 4.0 and newer versions.

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Nov 222009
 

In this series of posts called New Version News I will highlight some of the newer versions of freeware downloads reviewed earlier on RGdot.com.

Caderno, the notepad replacement and alternative reviewed here is at version 2.10 now. Some notable and new features include the following:

  • Code folding.
  • A better and more complete UTF (UTF-16) support.
  • The portable version that was in the works earlier. Also an U3 version, the format that is especially created for USB flash drives.

Dexpot has reached version 1.5, it was originally reviewed here, and offers a number of interesting and useful features like the following:

  • The Dexcube plug-in, for some 3D effects features.
  • The SevenDex plug-in, to make maximum use of the the taskbar on the new Windows 7.
  • Task switcher and desktop switcher, which increases access and efficiency in using applications that reside on different desktops.
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Nov 022009
 

plaintext

PlainText is another alternative lightweight and no install software to make copying and pasting text more efficient and useful.

In much the same way as PureText featured earlier on RGdot.com PlainText removes formatting from text copied from such sources as the web. This includes removing the likes of font sizes, colors, images, tables and borders. The program let the user choose any combination of the Windows, Shift or Ctrl keys along with any one letter or number to use for pasting the text unformatted. This key combination would be used as an alternative to the traditional and standard Ctrl and V keys.

PlainText sits in the system tray, consumes less than 5MB of memory, is a 486KB download and is GPL GNU General Public License v3 software.

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KUninstall Is A Capable Alternative Uninstaller

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Sep 272009
 

KUninstall is described by its author as

…is a small, quick and powerful uninstaller

KUninstall runs on Windows 2000 and XP and provides a non-Microsoft alternative to the sometimes very slow add/remove programs feature of Windows.
KUninstall

It is a 377KB unzipped portable download that offers an unzip and run way to list all the programs installed on a computer and then uninstalling them as needed. It is also possible to browse and clean up the folder and registry items that are possibly left over by the program(s). Right clicking on any item provides the latter options and also an option to the uninstall quietly or without intervention, however this is not supported by all programs.

KUninstall also provides some additional information such as install date, these are available either in the programs columns or by choosing the detail info option when right clicking. One additional feature is the target like icon called Finder. Click on the Finder icon and drag the mouse to the icon of any running program or desktop shortcut to get some additional options and information. The filter makes finding an installed program easier, however this is not necessarily the fastest feature of KUninstall.

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Apr 302009
 

Depeche View is described by its author as

fast search tool loads all text file content from a folder into memory

Depeche View is capable of loading a very large amount of text in seconds and all into one window or instance of the application. In my usage I loaded over 100MB of text files in mere seconds. It does this by loading the files into memory so the program will actually show as a high user in the system’s task manager.


Depeche View

The real strength of Depeche View is in its other capabilities and the number of actions that can be taken with minimal, sometimes one, click. To start, Depeche View is a ‘search as you type’ application similar to that of Firefox’s search therefore eliminating extra typing and dialogue boxes. Some highlights (no pun intended) of the program are described in brief in the following lines. Shift-click on a word and all instances of the word will be highlighted. Right click on one instance of the search results to open a second window showing the search results leaving the original window for other searches or operations. Restrict the search to a case sensitive one by clicking the Case button to the bottom right of the program window. Click the Filter button in the same location to be presented with all and only the lines that contain the searched item. Use Showtab to highlight tabs and spaces in the opened files. Click Bookmk and then Alt-click a word to bookmark all instances of that word.

Depeche View has so many tricks and possibilities and even an Easy Settings button, the round object or button to the left of the bottom menu items. Pressing it deactivates such actions as the one-click search. It is not immediately clear to me why this makes the program easier to use but it is an option to try out.

As mentioned Depeche View has simply so many possibilities that can be played around with. Just as an additional example one can capture a clipboard item and perform a search for it. Read further in the ‘Further reading: help system contents’ section of the program’s homepage.

Depeche View can be used to search inside text files, within a folder, like in such things as source code, logs or simple text files and it can be set to read .bin files and hidden and system files as well, an extended edition can look into archive or .zip and .jar files too. It is freeware and doesn’t require installation.

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Easily Gather And Collect Notes with CintaNotes

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Mar 222009
 

CintaNotes is a lightweight and potentially extremely useful note taking program. At a portable download of 344KB and an executable of 625KB CintaNotes is useful and small. Notes are collected via a configurable hot key (Ctrl+F12 by default), a simple paste or by opening the program and using the Add option. In the first two cases the title of the note is automatically taken from the originating application window and if it happens to be from a web browser the URL is added to the note’s Link field.

CintaNotes

Each note is dated and can be tagged. A real time search bar finds them by any or all of text and title, time, link, title, text and tag. It is also possible to merge notes by selecting them, by using the usual Ctrl or Shift keys, and pressing Ctrl+M. The font and color of notes and the whole program itself can be configured as well. A hot key is configurable to bring focus to the program and also to add a new note. Perhaps the feature that makes CintaNotes most useful and hassle free is the Silent Clipping one. When checked under the Options menu the program window does not pop up whenever a note is added, when using the aforementioned Ctrl+F12 for example, the program will instead show a balloon tip at the system tray with the contents of the note being captured.

CintaNotes runs on Windows 2000, 2003, XP and Vista and fully supports unicode text.

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