Tag Archives: Freeware

IDrive Provides 2GB Free Online Space, 150GB Cheap

IDrive Logo[Sponsored] Consider this. Back in 1995, a 2GB hard drive used to cost a bomb, today you can get 5GB space online for free without having to worry about losing your data. There are several such providers who provide users with free storage space, one of them is IDrive, who provide users which a simple and safe way to back up their files online.

So how is IDrive different from any other backup service? They provide 150GB of storage space for only $4.95 a month. I haven’t seen any other providers who provide so much disk space for that low. Secondly, you get 2GB free for life and can refer the service to friends to win an additional 10GB free space.

IDrive also provides several important features such as file archiving and versioning so that you can restore a previous version of a file even if you have changed it. It also backs up USB drives, external hard drives and mapped drives which are not physically attached to your computer.

Another interesting feature about IDrive is that you can backup any files, including music, videos, photos and more and do not have any bandwidth limits. Considering how good all this sounds, here are my tests of the IDrive client.

IDrive Encryption Key

Once you download the IDrive client, you can either sign in to it, or create a new account, the process is simple and hardly takes a minute. If you are signing up for the first time, you can choose to use a encryption key or choose to use a default one. It is advisable to create and use your own encryption key. Please remember to store you encryption key somewhere safe or you won’t be able to retrieve your data.

IDrive Interface

IDrive also provides users with a plugin using which you can access you IDrive content in Windows Explorer.   You can browse and access all your files from your IDrive just like would be browsing a regular folder on your computer.

IDrive Explorer Integration

As I had told earlier a free IDrive account provides users with 2GB free storage space, however, IDrive also provides a referral program using which you can earn an additional 10GB storage space.

Once you have setup IDrive, it will automatically choose the folders to backup. Of course you can change all the folders and allow choose a scheduling time to backup your files. After you have backed up your files, you can access them from anywhere using the IDrive client or a web browser.

Overall, IDrive provides an easy way to backup files to the cloud and access them from anywhere. The service is free to use and you don’t have any obligation to pay unless you want to upgrade your storage space. Also IDrive seems to have good ratings from both users and the PC Mag editors where the PC Mag editors rated them as 31/2 out of 5 and users rated them 3 out of 5.

IDrive is available for downloads on both Windows and Max OS X and can be downloaded from here. IDrive is also running a promotion, where they are offering a free 5GB account and a $10 iTunes card if you download their app for , or and follow certain steps. To learn more about the promotion visit this page.

Disclaimer: All views in this post are unbiased and true.

Yahoo Messenger 11 Beta Now Available, Introduces Social Gaming and Networking

Yahoo has released a new beta of their popular desktop IM chat software, Yahoo Messenger 11. The new version of Yahoo messenger allows you to play games with friends including several popular ones from Zynga.

Yahoo Messenger 11 Games

Yahoo Messenger 11 beta is now available for downloads and it includes social gaming. Yahoo had become more serious about the social gaming phenomenon when they partnered with Zynga to bring the popular game Farmville to the Yahoo network. Yahoo Messenger 11 Beta will include games such as Fishville and Mafia Wars from Zynga; Balloono, Pool and Draw My Thing from OMGPOP; and Happy Harvest and Happy Manor from Elex.

Yahoo Messenger Social Gaming

In addition to social gaming, Yahoo Messenger 11 Beta will also allow you to manage all your social networks from one place, including and Facebook. Users can download the beta version of Yahoo Messenger 11 from here.

Are Public Libraries Still at Risk Because of Microsoft?

A reason to panic?

public-library-iconBack in April of this year, Yardena Arar posted an article at Windows Secrets titled Microsoft decision puts public libraries at risk.

What did Microsoft do that puts libraries at risk?

They retired Windows SteadyState. In case you haven’t heard about it, SteadyState is a free application for Windows XP and Vista which completely protects a Windows operating system from everything except a hardware crash. It makes Windows almost bullet-proof. Thousands of home users, internet cafes, schools and public libraries depend on SteadyState for protection. However, it won’t be available for Windows 7.

According to Yardena,

… not only is SteadyState incompatible with Win7, Microsoft says it has no plans to introduce a Windows 7-compatible version. That’s leaving some IT managers scrambling for replacement technology and others vowing not to upgrade to Windows 7 at all.

Windows SteadyState is going away?

I recently discovered that it’s not only unavailable for Win7, SteadyState won’t be available after Dec 31st of this year. That’s a twisted Happy New Year’s wish to everyone wanting to use it on XP or Vista. If you plan on using it, be sure to download SteadyState from Microsoft, before it’s too late.

Are there alternatives to SteadyState?

If you settled for the answer given in that Windows Secrets post, you’d give up. In the article, Yardena says:

Third-party solutions, such as Faronics’ Deep Freeze, don’t appeal to cash-strapped educational institutions, which are already spending considerable money upgrading to Windows 7.

Worse yet, if you listen to Microsoft, they’ll tell you that you don’t need it. Here’s the Microsoft spin:

We have just released a whitepaper along with an accompanying document that describes Group Policy settings that you can use to configure computer and user settings and also a reference excel worksheet which can be used to look up and filter the settings described in the whitepaper. (source)

What a load of techno-crap! Does Microsoft think a librarian, teacher, cyber-café owner, or home user is going to read their white papers?

What is my suggestion for replacing SteadyState?

Fortunately, a security company named Comodo, recently released a free replacement for Windows SteadyState. As far as I can tell, Comodo Time Machine does nearly everything SteadyState does. It’s currently supported and works in Windows XP, Vista and 7.

arrow-down-double-3Download Comodo Time Machinecomodo-time-machine-icon_thumb

If you are interested in Comodo’s offer, check out this Video Review of Time Machine.

Why do we need Windows?

Why does a public library need to depend upon Microsoft for all of their software needs? The answer from any Open Source enthusiast would be Get rid of Windows!. If you need some arguments to use against your library’s or school’s addiction to Microsoft, be sure to read about Windows 7 Sins: The case against Microsoft and proprietary software

Use Free and Open Source Software (FOSS)

If a librarian or teacher came to me and asked about setting up several public computers , I’d have two ready answers for them. I could save them money and practically guarantee that they wouldn’t have any spyware or virus problems.

edubuntu-icon1. I’d burn a set of Live CD’s with Edubuntu on them. They could disable the hard drives and put these in the CD Rom drives. Whenever the PC boots up, they’d have a fresh new operating system that’s ready to use and kid-proof.

2. I could also install Edubuntu on each PC normally, as this old timer shows in a video.

Conclusion:

Microsoft doesn’t have the answer, and they don’t seem to care. However, there’s no reason to worry.   Using either of my recommendations, secure and trouble-free public PCs can be created at no cost.

Automatically Set Up Email Accounts in Outlook Express and Live Mail

It’s not a coincidence that I ran across this cool freeware app today. After reading about my advice to replace Outlook Express with Windows Live Mail, my friend Bob Constans sent me a tip about CodeTwo Outlook AutoConfig.

What is Outlook AutoConfig?

According to the author it’s …

a free tool that will automatically create your email account in Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express, Windows Mail and Windows Live Mail just by providing your email address.

That’s right, all you do is launch it, enter your email address, name and client.

Here’s what it looks like.

code2-autoconfig-outlook

Outlook AutoConfig will look up the email provider in it’s database and automatically configure your email client to use the correct settings. If it doesn’t work on your provider, you can contact the author to have your provider added to the database.

The next time you launch your email, you will be prompted to enter the password for the account.

autoconfig2

arrow-down-double-3 Download Outlook Autoconfig [Windows 7 / Vista / 2003 / XP / 2000]

Techie Buzz Verdict:

Manually adding accounts to an email client is one of the toughest tasks involved with email setup. Outlook AutoConfig can make it painless. Since it’s a stand-alone program, no installation is needed and it’s simple to use. I highly recommend it.

techiebuzzrecommendedsoftware1


Replace Outlook Express with Incredimail

incredimail-iconYesterday, I told you why you should upgrade Outlook Express to Windows Live Mail. My main concern is that Outlook Express is old, and that it’s no longer supported by Microsoft. People will continue to have problems with OE, and it’s never going to improve. Almost any new email client would be better right now. So, if you don’t like Windows Live Mail, or Mozilla Thunderbird, you might like Incredimail.

What’s so great about Incredimail?

Many people might tell you that Incredimail was designed for teen-aged girls. However, it’s flexible and even the more conservative email users can enjoy it. Once you look past the eye-candy filled interface, you might agree.

Here’s what the website says about this free email client:

  • Send beautiful email backgrounds
  • Add 1000’s of fun emoticons to your emails
  • Enjoy animated email notifiers
  • See exciting 3D effects in your emails
  • Add funny animations to your emails
  • Add cool sounds to your email messages

Install and Setup

Once you’ve downloaded Incredimail and start the install, there’s one screen that I’ll warn you about. As you can see below, Incredimail offers to change your default search engine and install a search toolbar. I haven’t found anything bad about these additions, and it’s up to you if you want them. You can remove them by clicking the Custom Installationbutton, and unchecking the filled check-boxes.

incredimail-setup

Setting up your existing email accounts is easy. If you are already using Outlook Express, You can import your correct email account configuration. When I installed it, this happened automatically and Incredimail was ready to use immediately.

Here’s a quick preview of what the Incredimail client looks like while it’s running.

incredimail-interface

There are tons of ways to customize the emails that you send. Here’s one I sent to my wife.

incredimail-sent

If you’d like to learn more about Incredimail, check out this video.

arrow-down-double-3 Download Incredimail (WinXP, Vista, 7)


Replace Outlook Express with Windows Live Mail

How much do you love your Outlook Express email? I subscribe to several newsletters and other various help sites. One of the applications that I see people asking about often is Outlook Express. There always seems to be someone having problems with it.

wlm-iconI used it for several years myself, and I remember having   a few problems too. I think it’s time for people to leave Outlook Express behind. If you agree that it’s time to try something new, I have a suggestion for you; upgrade to Windows Live Mail (WLM).

Why would it be a good idea to change?

Microsoft designed Windows Live Mail as a replacement for Outlook Express 6. You could say that it’s Outlook Express 7 and you wouldn’t be too far from the truth.

It’s a good idea to keep your software upgraded to the latest supported versions. Outlook Express is no longer supported by Microsoft. Unsupported software is typically more vulnerable to attack by hackers.

WLM has more features. You can add MS Messenger, RSS Feeds and a Calendar with reminders.

Is it hard to switch from Outlook Express to Windows Live Mail?

It’s easy. The first thing WLM does when it installs, is to look for an existing version of Outlook Express. It will automatically import all of your contacts, settings and old mail. If you decide you don’t like it, you can uninstall it and Outlook Express will still be there.

wlm-1

wlm-2

Do you need help?

You may not need it, but here’s a   tutorial on installing WLM.

Here’s a video showing how easy it is to use Windows Live Mail.

Here is Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5 of the video.

arrow-down-double-3 Download Windows Live Mail for XP

arrow-down-double-3 Download Windows Live Mail for Vista and Seven

If you decide to use WLM, be sure to check out our article about backing it up and restoring it.


30 New Screensavers – More for the PC and Now Mobile Phones

screensaver-icoCheck out the newest batch of animated screensavers below. In addition to 10 new screensavers for your PC, there are 20 new animated wallpapers for your mobile phone devices.

As many of you have learned by now, not all free screensavers are created equal. Many times, free means that you have to install stupid toolbars, adware and other unwanted junk along with the screensaver. That’s not true of the ones at NewFreeScreensavers.

10 for the PC

new-free-screensavers-nov-1

10 for Mobiles (240×320)

new-free-screensavers-mobile-1

10 for Mobiles (480×640)

new-free-screensavers-mobile-2

The files for mobile devices are animated gifs that you’ll have to transfer from a PC to your phone via cable or bluetooth. The download instructions on the page only work in Internet Explorer. If you experiment a little, you might find a way that those gifs can still be downloaded using other browsers.

Example animated gif from the mobiles download page:

nfsTiger240x320

arrow-down-double-3 10 Screensavers for PC

arrow-down-double-3 20 Screensavers for Mobiles

Techie Buzz Verdict:

I’ve downloaded and installed several of the screensavers at this site and never had a problem with any of them. These screensavers are safe, totally free, and there are dozens more to check out once you visit.

Techie Buzz Rating: 3/5 (Good)

Freeware Friday: Writemonkey

The past month I’ve taken to re-cultivating my love for writing fiction. I’ve been quite out of touch (which presumably shows up in my recent writings) but I am trying to get back into the groove. This usually strikes me when I have some pressing matter to attend to and is therefore suitably rushed and gives way to easy distraction.

Word 2010, with all its gorgeous reference markups, font styling and other bells and whistles is quite handy in these situations. However, it is also chock full of things I want and do not need. A two minute search for the synonyms of a word ends up as a two hour internet voyage; from an obscure word that pop ups with Shift+F7 to no less than twenty tabs open in Chrome about the word, its roots, images pertaining to the word and so on and so forth. Also very prevalent is the ubiquitous green underline that tells me that this sentence could somehow be better.

Knowing these shortcomings, I turned to the internet to suggest distraction-free word processors. After a bit of searching and some unsuccessful tries, I stumbled upon WriteMonkey, and boy am I glad that I did.

writemonkeytwitter

WriteMonkey has everything that I wanted a huge amount of customizable features, full-screen distraction-free writing environment and even the close-to-tray option.

Every option is tucked away neatly under the (slightly large) pop-up menu, and it even has a spell-checker to boot; although I’d be using Word’s spelling and grammar to proof my story once before publishing/saving it for good anyway. Some of the more useful options that I had never thought about are also present in WriteMonkey such as creating a new text file from the clipboard’s contents. Unabashedly useful and extremely light, WriteMonkey is the one tool that I’d recommend to anyone looking for a minimalist, distraction-free writing environment.

WriteMonkey Screenshot - click to enlarge

WriteMonkey is an installer-free Windows-only software that makes use of the .NET Framework (2.0+) and is developed by Iztok Stržinar as a freeware (with minor donor benefits).

Do check the self-explanatory screenshot of WriteMonkey.

Freeware Fridays | Top Tools of the Week #25

freeware-sign2

In case you haven’t seen them, here are the most recent posts in our Freeware category. We hope you enjoy reading about these freebies, and maybe you’ll find a keeper in the mix.


MS Money is Dead but Money Sunset is Free

money

Many people may not know that MS Money is no longer supported. However, Microsoft is offering a free version to anyone who wants it. I hope you didn’t buy a copy last year.

 

SugarSync Now Provides Free 5GB Storage Space

SugarSync Sync Service

Get 5GB Online Storage space with SugarSync. SugarSync for Windows, Mac, iPhone, Android and BlackBerry now provides users with free 5GB storage space.

 

Evernote Crosses 5 Million Users

evernote_users_5_million

Evernote, the popular note-taking software has crossed a huge milestone today; 5 million active and kicking users. Evernote, is definitely one of the best note-taking software which is available for multiple platforms including Windows, Mac OS X, iPhone and Android.

 

Join.me The Easiest Screen Sharing Online

alt

Do you know what screen sharing is? I’ll tell you about it, and I’ll also tell you about a free and easy way to do it.

 

Firefox Turns 6, Now Has 36% Market Share

browser_market_share_oct_2010

Firefox celebrates its 6th Birthday today. Firefox currently has about 36% of the market share according to Stat Counter.

 

Top Extensions for Opera 11

alt

Opera 11 now has extensions support. Here are some of the best extensions for Opera 11.

 

What is RockMelt? Do We Need a Facebook Web Browser?

rockmelt-login

There’s a new web browser designed around the idea that you can share more, and share more quickly on Facebook and Twitter.

 

BlackSheep Thwarts Firesheep Intruders

BlackSheep Firesheep Protector

BlackSheep thwarts snooping attempts from Firesheep. Protect yourself from Firesheep using BlackSheep Firefox add-on.

 

Dropbox’s Experimental Build Allows Pausing File Uploads And Define Custom Upload Download Speeds

alt

The latest experimental build from Dropbox allows you to pause file uploads and define a custom upload or download speed from Dropbox preferences.

 

WinDroplr for Easy Sharing of Images, Text, Links and Files

windroplr-icon

This free tool makes sharing stuff online, as easy as select, drag and drop. If you’ve ever used Droplr on a Mac, you’ll be happy to see you can use it on a PC now.

 

NotScripts: NoScript Extension for Opera and Chrome

NoScript-Opera

NotScripts extension brings NoScript like functionality to Opera and Chrome.

 

Bing Dynamic | Win7 Theme Displays the Latest Bing Wallpapers

win

Get your Bing wallpapers automatically with this Windows 7 theme. There are also ways to do the same thing if you are using Windows XP or Vista.

 


Be sure to let us know if you have a favorite freebie you’d like to see posted here. Our comments (below) are always open to you.

MS Money is Dead but Money Sunset is Free

money[Windows Only]

I wasn’t paying attention last year, when it was announced that Money Goes Bust. Over the years, I have used Microsoft’s home budgeting software several times and I know people that are still using it.

On June 10th of 2009, Microsoft announced that it would discontinue Microsoft Money. That was a problem for several people then, and it continues to be a problem now. If you have an old copy of MS Money, it won’t install properly because it requires an online activation that is no longer supported.

One of my friends, Joanne, recently contacted me and said that she was having trouble installing something called Money Plus Sunset Deluxe. She was getting an error about corrupt autorun.inf, and the install was failing. I found the solution to that autorun problem, but I was curious about this new version of MS Money.

This Sunsetversion is free, and according to Microsoft,

Money Plus Sunset Deluxe is designed to be a replacement for expired versions of Money Plus Essentials, Money Plus Deluxe, and Money Plus Premium versions.

For those currently using MS Money, don’t panic. If you need to re-install MS Money for some reason, you can use the Sunset edition instead. There are also several alternatives to MS Money that can import your Money backup files. I recommend Mint.com if your budgeting isn’t too complicated.

I decided to give Money Plus Sunset Deluxe a try. It’s only a 34mb download, and the installation is pretty simple. Below you can see screenshots as it installed on my machine.

msmoney (1)

msmoney (2)

msmoney (3)

msmoney (4)

msmoney (5)

arrow-down-double-3 Download Microsoft Money Plus Sunset edition (Windows XP, Vista, 7)

Techie Buzz Verdict:

I always enjoyed using MS Money. If you are using it now, you may want to give Sunset a try. I expect that this free version will be available for a long time, and it does not require activation or a previous license.


SugarSync Now Provides Free 5GB Storage Space

The   battle seems to be heating up. After Box.net increased their free storage space to 5GB, another sync service, SugarSync, has increased their   space to 5GB.

SugarSync Sync Service

SugarSync syncs your files across multiple platforms like ,  Mac OS X, , and . The service provides users with a desktop client which can then be used to sync files to the SugarSync servers.

The new 5GB free accounts will be available to both old and new users. SugarSync also provides a business account which provides users with 30GB space for $4.99 a month. If you do not have a SugarSync account, you can sign up for a free account to get 5GB storage space.

Also Read: 5 Services to Backup and Sync your Files

Evernote Crosses 5 Million Users

Evernote, the popular note-taking software has crossed a huge milestone today; 5 million active and kicking users. Evernote, is definitely one of the best note-taking software which is available for multiple platforms including , Mac OS X, and .

evernote_users_5_million

Another interesting point of their growth is that they added over a million users in the past 83 days. This might be partly due to their new Android app which was well received and Evernote 4 for Windows which was better than their previous versions.

Evernote took more than one year to get to the first million users, however, the adaptability of the software has grown a lot with them adding 4 million new users within the next two years. For more info on their achievement, visit the official Evernote blog.

Also Read: 11 Useful and Free Sticky Notes Software

Join.me – The Easiest Screen Sharing Online

Screen sharing lets you show someone your computer screen across the internet. Usually, you can even let a viewer take over the mouse and keyboard. I use screen sharing at work to help my co-workers with computer problems, and sometimes, even I get help. Often, people use screen sharing applications to give business presentations online.

Previously, my favorite screen sharing service was TeamViewer. It’s a free service, and it even includes voice and video chat. Now I am starting to use a different service, called Join.me.

Join.me is probably the simplest screen presentation service I’ve used. All of the these services require an installation of software on your machine. Usually, both the broadcaster (host) and the viewer (client) need to install something. Join.me breaks out of the crowd by not requiring the viewers to install any software. All they need is a modern web browser with Adobe Flash.

Here’s how it works …

1. Go to Join.me

2. If you wish to share your computer screen, click on the sharearrow.

joinme-share

3. This will start a download of the server software. (Windows and Mac)

Once you have it installed and running, you’ll see the Join.me floating toolbar at the top of your screen.

joinme-app1

4. Click once in the address bar and you’ll be able to copy or send the sharing address.

joinme-app2

5. The person you wish to share with, can either click the link you’ve sent them, or type the 9 digit number in the Joinbox at the Join.me website.

joinme-join

6. As soon as they join, you are sharing your screen. That’s when you can start using your floating Join.me toolbar to control the session. As far as I know you can invite any number of people to your screen sharing session.

The phone icon actually lets you call them on a conference line. I haven’t tried that feature because I usually call the person on my phone or use Google Voice to chat with them.

This service and it’s operation is best explained by watching this video.

Join.me quick preview and tutorial from Andy Traub on Vimeo.

.

Techie Buzz Verdict:

Join.me is a great service, it’s easy to use and it’s free. What more do you want? Actually, I would like to have video chat, but this service is still a winner for the viewers. They don’t need to install any software to see your presentations.


Firefox Turns 6, Now Has 36% Market Share

Mozilla’s baby is turning 6 today, with a 36% market share to brag about. Six years ago Internet Explorer one of the most used browsers, that is when Firefox was launched and quickly became popular among tech enthusiasts and developers. Now, the browser boasts of more than 1/3rd of the market share.

browser_market_share_oct_2010

In the past few years though, Firefox has also had to fend competition from and who have been rising on the popularity charts. With being delayed till 2011, Mozilla definitely has to buck up its game to extend their stay for several more years to come.

Firefox 4 is a definitely game changer for Mozilla, and hopefully this 6th birthday will give them a boost to get it out of the door as quickly they can. Here is wishing one of the best browsers I have ever used a very Happy 6th birthday. To get some goodies, visit the official Mozilla birthday page.

Top Extensions for Opera 11

has always been a browser with a small (as compared to or ) but devoted following that keeps increasing with each iteration of their browser. While their simple mobile version of the browser (Opera Mini) is vastly popular they never saw a similar growth in the desktop market. The folks at Opera Inc. thought it was probably due to the unavailability of Extensions for their browser, and so they added the extensibility of extensions in Opera 11.

So without further ado, here’s a look at the top extensions for Opera 11.

NoAds

NoAds: NoAds is a NoScript + AdBlock extension. In the words of its creator NoAds = (NoScript + AdBlock)/2. It blocks 99% of scripts on a site that originate from a different domain, blocks text ads and you can even import subscriptions from AdBlock as well as EHH! No more ads.

FastestTube - YouTube Video Downloader

FastestTube: This simple and sweet extension just adds a drop-down menu on any YouTube video page where you can download the video that is playing in many formats. There are some minor problems with the integration with Redirect to HTTPS videos, but that should be fixed shortly.

Reddited

Reddited: Are you an avid Redditor? Do you scramble up to submit a page to Reddit only to find that it’s already been linked to? Do you hang your head in defeat and rage at the trolls that are laughing at you? Then this is the extension for you. All it does is tell you if the page you’re looking at has been reddited or not. If it has been submitted, it shows you the comment count on the link as well.

Translate Extension

Translate: If you’re one of those anime fans without a drop of Japanese within you, or if you’re the newshound who has to go to various foreign-language sites for news then this extension will do you a world of good. Translate auto-magically detects the language of the page you’re currently working on and will offer to translate the entire page for you. Built on top of Google Translate framework, the translation, although slightly grammatically off, works and works well.

Opera Mini Simulator

Opera Mini Simulator: This one is for the web developers. The add-on loads your focused tab as how it would look under the Opera Mini environment. Though a little slow when simulating, the add-on is quite useful for mobile developers.

GMail [iOS mode]

Gmail [iOS Mode]: Don’t want to wait for the Gmail page to open when all you need is to know if you have unread mail or not? Enter the Gmail [iOS Mode] extension that changes the UserAgent of Opera to an iOS device’s. So you can use the slick and lean Gmail interface on your desktop browser itself!

Do you have any favorite Opera Extensions? Do feel free to share them with me through your comments.