Posts Tagged 'Windows'

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

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

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Read more FreeFile Reviews at DanKostecki.com

 

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

GFXplorer – FreeFile Review

GFX

GFXplorer is a utility that gathers information about your Windows PC along with shortcuts to many Windows tools and utilities. It is only available for Windows. The program has a clean, simple, tabbed interface. The first three tabs contain information about the software and hardware on your computer. An ‘Export’ button allows you to save all of this info as a text document. The fourth tab, ‘Tools’, is the really interesting one. It has shortcuts to 18 of Windows’ tools and utilities.

The good – The ‘Tools’ tab is what makes this application a keeper. All of these tools are built into Windows, but finding them without a program like GFXplorer can be challenging. Some of the tools, such as ‘Display color calibration’ and ‘Malware Removal Tool’, are incredibly useful ones that Microsoft has decided to hide. Having all of these tools in one location can be a great time saver. The.zip download is a stand-alone program that doesn’t require installation; just unzip and run.

The bad – I found nothing to dislike about GFXplorer, but I have two suggestions to improve it. More system information (such as Windows keys and more details about storage drives) could be displayed. Since the ‘Tools’ tab is most useful, it should be the first tab, the tab that the program opens to.

— — — — The Bottom Line — — — —
Every Windows user should have GFXplorer. Having all of these tools available in one location is very handy. Shortly after I installed GFXplorer, I pinned it to my Start menu. I rarely pin programs to my Start menu, so that is a very strong endorsement from me. Get it today.
Download GFXplorer HERE

Read more FreeFile Reviews at DanKostecki.com

Photo Pos Pro – FreeFile Review

ppp

Photo Pos Pro is yet another photo editor. It has everything that is expected in a free photo editor and is only available for Windows. A paid version with a selection of more advanced tools is also offered.

— The good – Photo Pos Pro comes with plenty of tools and filters. It has all of the standard adjustments nomally available in most photo editors and many more. I like the right side palette, with the history, layers, and color palettes always visible.

— The bad – The user interface needs work. Very little customization by the user is possible. Every button and toolbar is visible by default, which creates a rather busy workspace. Unneeded tools can be hidden, but they are labeled cryptically (e.g. “CommandBarStripElement1”) in the ‘Customize’ context menu. Ugh! I don’t like the blue highlighting, used throughout the workspace, and I found no way to change it. Care needs to taken when downloading the program, as the latest version (3.0.5) can only be downloaded from Download.com, where unwanted programs are often included with downloads. I was able to download Photo Pos Pro without any ‘extras’. As with all free photo editors, the selection tools leave much to be desired. Tools not available in the free version, are not grayed-out, but instead lead to a web page where the Premium version can be purchased for $25. Ugh!

— — — — The Bottom Line — — — —

Photo Pos Pro has me confused. I want to recommend it because it is possibly one of the most complete free photo editors, however, too many things made me say “ugh!”. In the end, I give it a thumbs-down.

Read more FreeFile Reviews at DanKostecki.com.

Microsoft Windows Just Turned 30 – A Short History Of Everyone’s Favorite OS

billgates-s

ZDnet published this short history of Windows – from its humble beginnings in 1985 to today.

ZDnet article HERE


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