Archive for the 'Free File Review' Category

Windows95 As An App – FreeFile Review

This is not a normal FreeFile Review. I like to present useful software, but this review is for a program that has no useful function. I’m not even sure of what to call it. On its GitHub page, it is referred to as “Windows95” and “Windows95 in Electron”. I’ll just call it “Windows95 as an app”. Whatever you call it, Windows95 as an app is simply Windows95 operating system running in a virtual machine.

What’s Good – It is a trip back to a simpler time for nerds. It is available as a standalone app, so nothing gets installed to your pc – just download and run. It is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. It is well sandboxed, so no harm can be done to your computer.

What’s Bad – It is well sandboxed, so it cannot connect to the internet. However, nobody should be surfing the internet with a 22 year old version of Internet Explorer 3. Just like Window95 of 20 years ago, it is not exactly stable. It will often freeze up, requiring a restart of the virtual machine.

— — — — The Bottom Line — — — —
No real work can be done with this app, but if you are nostalgic for old software and old computers, there is no easier way to go back 20 years.
Download Windows95 as an app HERE

Read more FreeFile Reviews on DanKostecki.com

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Icon Explorer – FreeFile Review

Icon Explorer is a program that enables the viewing, extraction, and saving of icons from programs(EXE and DLL) and from icon libraries (ICL). The program is for Windows only. It is portable; it requires no installation; just unzip and click to run.

To extract icons, navigate to the EXE or DLL within the Icon Explorer’s included Explorer panel. When all the icons contained in the EXE or DLL appear in Icon Explorer’s main window, you can save one or all icons by right-clicking. The icons can be saved as individual icons or as icon libraries.

What’s Good – The simplicity of the program. It has only a few settings to adjust (I found the defaults to be good), and an icon in the upper-right corner to choose one of five nice looking themes. The program does its job with a minimum of effort.

What’s Bad – I found nothing negative.

— — — — The Bottom Line — — — —

Obviously, Icon Explorer is a program that is used infrequently, even by power users, so the simplicity of it is clearly a good thing. Users who love tweaking their Windows PCs will be happy with Icon Explorer. Casual users can skip this program.

Download Icon Explorer HERE

Read more FreeFile Reviews at DanKostecki.com

Pic View – FreeFile Review

Pic View is “a simple picture viewer and manipulator”, from Alternate Tools, not to be confused with PicView, which is an iPhone app. Alternate Pic View performs basic photo editing functions with a few additional tools thrown in. It is Windows only and a portable version is available.

The Good – The interface is clean and easy to navigate. All of the image adjustments (color, brightness, contrast, etc.) work well, as do the image filters. It includes simple shape and text tools. It can batch convert images into 13 different formats, run a slideshow of a folder of images, and generate a QR code.
The Bad – This is a limited program. The image adjustments are basic. Very little can be done to customize the interface.

— — — — The Bottom Line — — — —

I find this program too limited for my workflow, so I can’t recommend it. However, I found the QR Code Generator to be an interesting addition, which is available from Alternate Tools as a stand alone application.

Download the QR Code Generator HERE

Download Pic View HERE

Read more reviews at DanKostecki.com.

Annotation With iPhotoDraw – FreeFile Review

iPhotoDraw is a free program for making annotations on images. The images can be existing images on your pc or screen captures from iPhotoDraw’s own screen capture function. The interface is attractive and well organized. iPhotoDraw is for Windows only.

The Good – Some might consider iPhotoDraw a one trick pony, but it feels very full-featured. For annotations, a good selection of simple shapes and lines are available, and can be adjusted in numerous ways. Drop shadows and outer glows can be added. The built-in screen capture is handy. Simple image adjustments are also included under the ‘Image’ menu.

The Bad – The only thing that I found confusing was saving. If you want to save a screen capture, just use ‘Save As’ – no problem. However, after making annotations, ‘Save As’ will only save the background image, not the annotations. To save the image with the annotations you must use ‘Export’. Not a problem, once you understand the process.

— — — — The Bottom Line — — — —

Everyone occasionally needs to make a screen grab and add annotations to it. iPhotoDraw is the ideal solution to create a good looking screen capture with a minimum of fuss. This free program is definitely a keeper.

Download iPhotoDraw HERE

Read more FreeFiles at DanKostecki.com

 

DocPad – FreeFile Review

Text editors are supposed to do one thing – edit plain text, but DocPad is a text editor that includes many useful tools, such as Spellcheck, Calendar, and a Macro Recorder. The default user interface is a colorful, slightly dated Windows Xp look. The interface has an incredible number of user adjustable options; however, simply changing the skin to one of the less colorful options (Understated or Old School) helps greatly. DocPad is Windows only.

The Good – So many useful tools are included, it’s difficult to decide which ones deserve a mention. My favorites are Spellcheck and Character Map. There are also Search & Replace, a simple Calendar, a Calculator, one-click access to Change Text Case, and a Statistics panel. The program also offers access to many Windows tools through the ‘Interface’ menu. Most of the tools and options are available via right-click as well as on the toolbar and menu. User adjustments are available for most aspects of the interface. 100 levels of undo.

The Bad – I found no real issues with DocPad. Minor annoyances include the default interface needing an update from the dated Xp look. The Spellcheck requires an additional download and installation (definitely well worth it). Being a text editor, it opens and outputs only plain text.

— — — — The Bottom Line — — — —

I really like DocPad. It has replaced Notepad on my PC, but I’m still trying to get used to my text editor not being a stripped down, one-trick pony. If you’re a Notepad user, DocPad will be a great upgrade.

Download DocPad HERE

Get the eBook FreeFile Reviews at Amazon

Read more FreeFile Reviews at DanKostecki.com

 

FreeFile Reviews Ebook Just Released

I’ve collected all of the FreeFile Reviews into an ebook. It contains over 50 reviews, dating back to 2009. Nearly half of them have just recently been updated.

It is available at Amazon.

For only $ 0.99, or free, if you have Kindle Unlimited.

Get your copy HERE.

Control Panel Replacement – FreeFile Review

neupanel-logo1

nuePanel is an application that attempts to organize many of the settings available in Windows. The sheer number of tools, Control Panel apps, and settings in Windows make that a daunting task, but neuPanel does a very good job of cutting through the clutter.

The Good – It appears that every possible Windows setting is available. The interface is simple, with rows of buttons in the main window and tabs across the top. The buttons are in alphabetical order, which speeds up finding things. ‘God Mode’ is available as ‘Control Panel (God Mode)’ under the ‘Troubleshooting’ tab.

The Bad – A few of the command buttons don’t work (they report ‘cannot find the file specified’). Finding what you want can still take a little time, due to the quantity of buttons available.

— — — — The Bottom Line — — — —

I’ve found neuPanel to be a timesaver. It provides one location to find the setting you need. This gets more valuable as Microsoft hides more and more settings. Most Windows users should find neuPanel useful.

Download neuPanel HERE

Read more FreeFile Reviews at DanKostecki.com


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