Krento: Interesting Freeware Application Launcher

Krento is described by its author as

Krento is an application manager and widget engine for Microsoft Windows

Krento is a lightweight launcher that is not too unlike Radian featured earlier here. Upon installation a circular set of ‘stones’ and a ‘pulsar’ appear on the desktop (see image above). The pulsar which fades into the desktop if the mouse is away from it offers one way to activate the stones or the main interface of Krento. By right clicking on each segment or stone of the program it can be changed to one of the pre-configured settings like the ability to show, in the center of the program interface, the current time, IP address or to shut down the computer. Alternatively stones can be configured to open programs with command line parameter support. Win+C is the default keyboard method of opening the program, this and other settings, for example to activate Krento via the mouse, are available in the program’s option (right click the tray icon). Using the Ctrl key with any one of F1 to F12 keys is the keyboard method of opening each of the 12 stone targets (the stones are numbered as seen in the image above).

Krento supports and includes many skins and is compatible with Rocket Dock and Object Dock skins as well, as explained here. One point to note is that as with any program with mouse and keyboard shortcuts this can interfere with other programs’ settings but since the defaults can change Krento of course remains useful.

Krento requires the .Net Framework (2.0) and works with Windows XP, Vista and 7.

Lunascape Is The Triple Browser

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.