Wednesday, September 29, 2004


As the name implies, Restoration is a file restoration program. This one seems to work really well on my XP system. It is simple to use, and also gives you the option to really delete files, that is, destroy them so that simple undelete programs like this one cannot restore them. ( Experts with specilized software might
still be able to retrieve data after you use the "delete completely" option).

From the Download site:
"Restoration is an easy to use and straight forward tool to undelete files
that were removed from the recycle bin or directly deleted from within
Windows. Upon start, you can scan for all files that may be recovered and
also limit the results by entering a search term or extension. In
addition, it also provides the option to wipe the found files beyond
simple recovery. The program is small and standalone, it does not require
installation and can also run from a Floppy disk. Restoration works with
FAT and NTFS as well as digital cameras cards. "

Runs on:

Get it here:


ProcInfo is a very handy little program that gives information about
running processes just by clicking! It works really well!

From the Download site:

"ProcInfo provides you with a quick overview of all currently running
processes and displays detailed information for many of them, explaining
what they do and if they are needed. It uses several online resources to
gather the information (if available) and allows you to classify processes
by assigning an icon to each. In addition, you can terminate a selected
process and browse the local folder for further investigation. "

Runs on:

Get it here:
ProcInfo From Snapfiles

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Open Expert

This is a handy little app that enhances the "Open With" function on the
right-click menu. It works really well on both my XP and 98 systems.

From the developers site:

"Ever had the problem that you frequently use a file type with more
than one application, while you can only associate one application
with that file type?

OpenExpert enables you to specify any number of suitable applications for
each file type. In this way, when you open a file, instead of being
restricted to using a single pre-determined application, you can easily
choose among a list of suitable applications.

Easily open your graphic files in your favorite paint programs or
view your HTML files in either Netscape or Internet Explorer, just
with a few mouse clicks. You can even add different versions of the
same program to the OpenExpert menu."

Runs on Windows 9x/ME/NT/2000/XP

You can get it here:
Open Expert

Pegasus Mail

For quite a long time I have been exclusively using the Pegasus email client, which in my opinion, is streets ahead of any other email program that I've tried to date.

Pegasus is the brain-child of gifted New Zealand programmer, David Harris. In spite of the vast amount of work involved in maintaining and updating such a complex program, David is committed to keeping Pegasus totally free. The only revenue that the programmer derives from Pegasus is through the sale of manual sets and Pegasus novelty items such as clocks and coffee cups. The online help files that come with the software are very good, so there is no need to buy the manual unless you need help with particularly advanced configurations.

The program's comparative security is just one of its outstanding features. As the information on the site states:

"Pegasus Mail protects you from even the worst HTML-borne virus and trojans, and protects your privacy by intercepting web bugs. Pegasus Mail is immune to *all* the exploits that affect the "other" mailer - browse your mail with genuine confidence."

Pegasus also has an outstanding filtering system that allows you to set up simple, or very complex, rule sets to ensure that your mail ends up exactly where you want it. This includes the ability to manipulate copies of sent emails to appropriate folders as well as server side filtering. This powerful content control can be an excellent anti-spam tool.

Another plus is the control the user has over the way email is sorted. Within each individual folder, you can set one of a number of views, such as threaded, or grouped, views, subject, date, sender, or size, and the folders will retain this configuration between openings.

This software has so many features that it would be impossible for me to write about them all here. For me, its the attention to detail that makes the software so good. For example, if you include the word "attachment" in the text of an email and then don't actually attach anything, it will ask you if there was meant to be an attachment before it executes the send. This can prove to be a real embarrassment saver!

As you may have gathered from the above, this is software that I, and many others in the worldwide community of Pegasus users, have grown to love.

However, because the program is so powerful and feature rich, it may not be quite as easy to "drive" as clients like Outlook Express. That is, to get the most out of the client, you may need to spend some time learning its secrets. Also, the aforementioned security features mean that it may handle HTML email differently than OE users have grown to expect.

All in all, I consider Pegasus Email to be among the very best programs that I use, and this includes bought programs as well as freeware.

Click the link below to download the program and find out more.

You can find out more about Pegasus and download the program via the link below:
Pegasus Mail

Monday, September 13, 2004

Read Please 2003

ReadPlease 2003 is an excellent freeware program that converts text to
speech. To use it, you simply copy and paste the text you want
to here into the program window and press "play". There are two
female and two male voices to choose from and you can vary the
speed of the voices as well as the font size of the written text.

I use ReadPlease as a way of checking essays or other written
work. Actually hearing the material spoken out loud can help to
identify grammatical errors, missing words and even spelling

You can also use ReadPlease to read emails or website content
while you relax with your morning coffee.

A bonus for me is that my young children love it. They can type
in words or sentences and have it spoken back to them very slowly
or very fast. Also, if they type in some strange word like
hoooaaaaaapppp, the voices come out with some weird sounds which
they think are hilarious.

The standard version of the software is free, but you can also
purchase a "plus" version. When you download the free version,
you can choose to install a trial of the plus version. This will
revert to the standard version after a set time.

You can download the program from here:
ReadPlease 2003

Friday, September 10, 2004

First Thoughts on Gmail.

What can I say? Gmail is great! For someone who has never been a fan of web-based email, that is high praise indeed!

A couple of weeks ago I finally received an invitation to start a Gmail account. Gmail is Google's web based email service. Currently, I think you can only get a Gmail account via an official invitation. I believe this is Google's way of rolling out the new product in a controlled and sensible fashion. So far I'm very impressed. Now that I have an account, I get to send invites to a few other people.

Gmail has some quite innovative ways of handling web-based email. It is also very fast, and has a massive amount of storage space. Very powerful search facilities make it easy to find exactly what you want. I'm planning on using it for some of the ezines I subscribe to. With a 1000mb of storage and excellent search capability you could store 100’s of issues of a newsletter and find the article you're after very quickly.

Gmail is still new and will need some improvements in some areas, but I'm sure it will just get better and better. One thing that bugs me at the moment is that it won't work correctly in Opera 7, which is the browser I mostly use.

I haven't had time to fully explore Gmail yet, but I'll write more about the product in the near future.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Virtual Desktop Manager

I've been playing around with some of the Microsoft XP Power Toys.
One of the coolest is the Virtual Desktop Manager. If you work on
your computer with several applications open at once, then this toy
might increase your efficiency quite a lot. It took me a day or so
to get used to using virtual desktops, but now I'm finding it to be a
very efficient and intuitive way to use Windows.

Of course, your opinion of it will be largely dependant on your
personal taste and your individual computing style. Still, if you
use XP, you might like to give it a whirl.

From the download site:

"Virtual Desktop Manager is a Microsoft Powertoy for Windows XP. It
allows you to maintain up to 4 different desktops, each with its own
applications and desktop wallpapers. It integrates into the taskbar and
allows you to quickly switch between your virtual desktops. You can also
assign keyboard hotkeys to switch between or preview all 4 desktops at
once. For example, you can open your e-mail program on one desktop, an
Internet chess game on the second, several Internet sessions on the third,
and multiple database sessions on the fourth."

Runs on: Windows XP only.

Get Virtual Desktop Manager