Category Archives: Software

Some recommendations, mostly freeware, for thing that should have come with Windoze operating system.

My new (used) Chromebook

It’s been two weeks now since I bought a Chromebook on Craigslist. I have thought about it for some time, one I had seen at my PC User group meeting looked like it might be useful. I was waiting to see one for less than $100 and a Samsung showed up and I bought it.

The first thing I noticed was how quickly it started. Flash memory replaces the hard drive, no moving parts!

The second was the keyboard is not a normal PC board. The F keys are not labeled, there are no pgup and pgdn keys, no Home or End keys. It took a a while to discover ctrl-alt-/ would bring up a help screen including key combinations to handle these functions.

Now that two weeks have passed I found I really like this little thing. It does all that a good Android does but it has a keyboard. It runs any app the Play Store has so I can log into my desktop and run Linux or Windows programs with them but most of what I need to do works in a web browser and using Google’s Suite and drive I can handle all I need to do.

Windows Tradeup

Windows Tradeup

Right now Microsoft wants you to upgrade to Windows 10 so much they will buy your old computer (or MAC!) to get you to use 10 in a new computer. Follow the link above to read the details. If one of the reasons you have been delaying your Windows 10 upgrade has been concern your machine may not be new enough to work well with it, here is an opportunity to get a discount on a new machine.

Offline Blog Editing Tools

If you are not already keeping a Blog of your own you may be finding you are soon to be a minority.

It has become so easy to create one now the complex part is actually wring in it, and this article is about new ways to create or edit Blogs from other programs, offline so to speak.

The first I’ll describe is one I am trialing to make this part of this post. It’s a freebie from Microsoft called Windows Live Writer.


windows_live_writer_thumbI am trying to demonstrate how it will handle images very nicely, it even adds the show effect on the graphic you see.

Because it is a Microsoft product it handles inserting info from all the Microsoft services (which I am not a big fan, MS maps, video sites instead of YouTube and Flickr and Google Maps).

For a Windows product, it’s not bad.

Folder View

Folder View – Official Home

Folder View is a free (freeware) add-on for Windows that drastically enhances the way you browse the folders on your system. Files are often scattered around many different folders on the harddisk and locations on the network. Every time you want to copy, move, open or save a file, this situation leads you to a quest through levels of folders.
Click for large view

I haven’t tried this yet, but only becuase I have been using Windows Explorer replacements for some time. If Eplorer did these things I might use it again. (Linux has had this all along. )

Make Firefox Faster at Forever Geek

Make Firefox Faster at Forever Geek

If you aren’t using firefox and you have been reading my blogs, you have learned nothing. 🙂

If you are this link from has a very good suggestion on how to speed firefox’s browsing. It is for broadband (cable/DSL) connections and basically tells you haw to make Firefox load more than one page file at a time, much like the download Managers do. So instead of pulling in the HTML page, and each graphic one at a time you will pull in up to 30 items at once.

It works!

I made the move to Firefox/Thunderbird

I actually moved to using Firefox back in version .8 and I *HIGHLY* recommend it. For many reasons, security, features, speed, to name a few I find Firefox browser much better than MS Internet Explorer or it’s derivatives. (I used Netcaptor which was a fuller featured IE instead of IE before I upgraded to Firefox.)

Several months ago I switched mail programs from MS Outlook to MozillaMail, part of the Mozilla Suite. I liked Mozilla and wondered what the value of switching again to Firefox/Thunderbird would be. About a month ago I began switching to Firefox as Browser and kept using MozillaMail. The only drawback I found was clicking a weblink in MozillaMail always uses the Mozilla Browser, even when Firefox was ‘default’ browser.

Now I have everything working in the latest Firefox/Thunderbird combination and I’m finding I like it a lot.

The one thing I liked about MS Outlook was its calendaring ability. The Mozilla Suite has a Calendar that I found adequate and it is now available as a stand-alone program, Sunbird. It is an ical compatible program (meaning it uses a format MAC’s have used all along) and while I’m not yet as accustomed to it as I was the Outlook Calendar, I think its going to work for me.

All programs are under constant development and this Open Source program I will call ‘Ready for Prime Time’ and are recommendations from me. 🙂

Miranda Instant Messenger

Miranda Instant Messenger

If you use Yahoo IM or AOL IM or MSN IM or ICQ or Jabber or just want in house network IM this is one handy Open Source (No Charge!) Internet Messenging client.

I have a few people on each service that I like to stay in touch with but its memory (resource) intensive to run all the brand name clients so I was looking for some way to have them all in one.

Actually I have been using Trillian for this purpose for several years and it has a free version which works well but you really need to buy their Pro version to get full use of it. It is very good, but my $ is going to medicine and food these days, so a little more searching led me to Miranda.

Miranda has loads of Plugins that will not only let it interact with other IM servers but has added features for RSS feeds, Weather feeds, Stock feeds and more. It’s not as easy as prehaps the Yahoo IM itself to set all this up, but its not unreasonable either.

This is now one of my standards for OS Setups.

PSPad – freeware HTML editor

PSPad – freeware editor,PHP editor, XHTML, JavaScript, ASP, Perl, C, HEX editor

Once in a while I run into a real gem of a program and can’t believe it’s not better known.

I’m not a programmer but I play one on the web. 🙂

As such I need to work with text files and read them as a real programmer would, recognizing line numbers, programming formatting, and comparing file differences.

I have used Context free version for some time fairly happily but it is a little lacking of features in the free version.

I used Win32PAD and found it fast, but the line numbering doesn’t stay with the line when you word wrap.

Now I did a little searching today for a free file compare program and ran into PSPad at This is truly a *GEM*!

Not only is it doing normal text editing wonderfully but it has a file compare feature built right in. I has FTP built right in. It has excellent help files (in many languages) built right in. A spell checker built right in.

If you want a replacement for Windows Notepad just about anything will do but this program has everything I can imagine any normal human will ever need.

In my book it’s five star *****