Monthly Archive: November 2009

Monitor Off Utility: Freeware That Conserves Energy

Monitor Off Utility is described by its author as

…is a free program that allows you to take control of your monitors built-in energy saving features

Even though all computers and operating systems come with power management features that allow a user to turn off a hard disk or put a computer into standby or hibernate mode it is often more beneficial, sometimes even more reliable, to turn off a monitor via a dedicated third party tool. Monitor Off achieves this energy and money saving task in a light weight and freeware download.

This small download, available both as an

Startup Discoverer: Freeware Tool Displays Startup Information

Startup Discoverer is a simple, portable and no-install tool that displays any program that automatically loads when a Windows computer starts. It categorizes startup entries into one of 19 groups. These 19 groups, such as User Startup, BHO (Browser helper Object) Runs and Winlogon, display either in blue text, meaning the group has programs or applications associated with it, or in black, meaning the group is empty. It is possible to save any or all of the groups’ lists to a text file or to print them. More features, such as editing or deleting startup items would be welcome but

Green Tech: Google’s PowerMeter and Cisco’s EnergyWise

Reducing power usage and consumption is one of the best, easiest and immediate measures we can take while politicians wrangle through their greedy needs. Two large corporations that, along with IBM, have set up internal goals and business models based on selling and promoting green products are Google and Cisco. Two tools released by the aforementioned that have the power (pun intended?) to affect everyday electricity usage both at home and at work are Google’s PowerMeter and Cisco’s EnergyWise.

Google’s PowerMeter is a tool that Google has released free and made available to consumers in partnership with power utilities and

New Version News: Caderno and Dexpot

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

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:

Radian: The Radial Circular Launcher

Radian is described by its author as

Radian is a simple radial application launcher

When Radian is launched it starts with what it calls design mode, which is also accessible any time by right clicking or double clicking its system tray icon. This startup briefly slows the system while the program searches and indexes its pre-configured shortcuts, described below. In design mode Radian’s circular or radial interface is divided into 4 quadrants (see image). Each quadrant can be configured, using its corresponding wheel icon residing near the center of the circle, to hold chosen shortcuts and their respective icons. Three

Google Fast Flip: Speedy News Browsing

Google fast flip is a service from google labs that aims to make news browsing a faster experience. A selection of websites are displayed in categories such as Recent and Most Viewed. There is also further categorization by topic – such as Sports and by single source – where one can view several thumbnails from the same site. Clicking on a news source increases the size of the chosen news and loads it on its own page. Here one can click to share the news, rate it as ‘like’ or to navigate to the actual web site it is taken

Stellarium Is Astronomy Central

Stellarium is described as

Stellarium is a free open source planetarium for your computer

Stellarium is an excellent companion for the hobbyist and the curious astronomer. It has an attractive interface that is at the same time educational. Stellarium provides a view of the sky similar to the one that would visible to the naked eye at any given time.

The program has two slide-in menus at the bottom and left hand corners of its interface and they offer tabbed menus that control a multitude of settings and features. The list of features is extensive and Stellarium is really a

StartUp Is A Launcher…And An AppManager?

StartUp is described by its author as

WPF tool to help you launch your programs easily.

To start off the developer page does not mention the name ‘StartUp’. The only place this program’s name is visible is in the solitary screenshot. One can easily confuse its name to be ‘AppManager’ as that is the domain URL and also the title of page. That minor quibble aside, on to the program itself.

Upon installation StartUp looks up or indexes the system’s start menu, quick launch and recent documents entries and presents them in a rectangular interface (see image) and also groups

Visualizing Carbon Emissions

Burning fossil fuels has contributed immensely to the problem of climate change or global warming as some call it. It is clear that some countries have contributed far more in terms of pollution and emissions. One of the big political debates hampering progress in the ‘climate debate’ is the acceptance of the share of responsibility and any extra costs for those more responsible. In the final analysis important conferences like the upcoming Copenhagen 15 or COP15 need to produce near term and tangible results if we are to survive.

The Washington Post science section has produced an interactive global emissions

Text Block Writer Organizes Notes And Thoughts

Text Block Writer is described by its author as

…a virtual index card program for writers

Text Block Writer works similar to the way one would write notes on one or several pieces of paper. By using Text Block Writer one can organize the notes in pages and columns cleanly. It is also possible to export all notes to the standard *.rtf format or keep using the program’s own *.tbwml format which in itself is simple *.xml.

Each note is saved in a square or rectangular block, within a page. Each page contains at least three (by default but can