Replace Outlook Express with Postbox Express

[Windows and Mac]

postbox-express-iconRecently, I’ve told you that people using Outlook Express should be switching to newer email clients. That’s because Outlook Express is old, it’s no longer supported by Microsoft, and it’s never going to improve. I’ve also written about several good replacements for OE. You can use Windows Live Mail, Mozilla Thunderbird, Incredimail or any one of several other free email clients.

Yesterday, I tried a new free email client named Postbox Express. The installation of Postbox is easy and it also allows you to import the old email, contacts and settings from Outlook Express. Here’s a look at the main interface of Postbox.

postbox-express-app

As you can see, it’s very similar to the layout of Outlook Express. However, there are a few features in Postbox that might convince you to abandon OE.

One of my favorite features is the ability to view conversation threads. Emails with the same subject line are grouped and sorted by date, so you can easily see the history of a conversation. This is the feature that Gmail made popular in online email services.

If that doesn’t impress you, maybe you’ll be more fond of the ability to almost instantly search your entire email collection. You can use words, phrases or special searches, as shown in the image below.

postbox-express-search

One final feature I’ll mention, is the ability to post content from your email to Facebook, Twitter or FriendFeed. If you’re a frequent user of social networks, this may be your favorite feature. To send text from an email, just highlight it in the email, then click the Postpull-down menu and choose where to send it.

postbox-express-post-to-facebook

Postbox Express let’s you view your Folders and open email in tabs so that you don’t have to close a message to do other stuff.

You can also extend the functionality of Postbox Express through Add-Ons, or install language packs, such as German, French, Spanish (Spain), English (British), Italian, Dutch, Portuguese (Brazilian), Russian, and Swedish.

If you are curious to see Postbox in action, here’s a video.

arrow-down-double-3 Download Postbox Express (Windows & Mac)

Techie Buzz Verdict:

As you can see, Postbox Express has many more features than Outlook Express. It’s free but there is a paid version with even more cool features. For most home users, the free version is more than adequate.

Techie Buzz Rating: 3/5 (Good)

10 New Screensavers – Your Zodiac Signs

[Windows Only]

Last week, I told you about the Christmas and New Year screensavers. This week, our friends at NewFreeScreensavers have added 10 new free screensavers with mostly Zodiac themes.

newfreescreensavers-lakewhitenewfreescreensavers-winterwhitenewfreescreensavers-aqua-clockwhitenewfreescreensavers-virgowhitenewfreescreensavers-capricornuswhitenewfreescreensavers-pisceswhitenewfreescreensavers-scorpiowhitenewfreescreensavers-sagittariuswhitenewfreescreensavers-tauruswhitenewfreescreensavers-cancer

I’m sure you can find plenty of other screensavers out there, but be careful to visit only safe websites when you are looking for them. As many of you have learned, 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.

One of the nice features of these screensavers is that they now have settings to mute the sounds. Some of the screensavers also have a setting to include a small analog clock on the screen.

newfreescreensavers-mute

arrow-down-double-3 Screensaver Download Page

*Windows 7 themes?

windows7themes-dot-net-christmasIf you have Windows 7, be sure to check out these nice Christmas themes. If you don’t have Windows 7, you can still snag the wallpapers by using this trick.

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)

Autoruns – for Controlling Windows Startup Programs

More and more people are becoming aware of how important it is to take control of the autorunprograms on their PCs. In case you didn’t know, an autorun or startup program will launch automatically when Windows starts. Quite often, it’s a useful program and you can find it’s icon in the system tray. However, sometimes an autorun is not that useful. You may not know it’s installed because it’s hidden or you’ve forgotten you installed it. When that happens, these not so useful programs are taking up processor cycles and eating up system memory. Your PC gets slower as more hidden programs are launched as an autorun.

Fortunately, there are several ways to take control of the autorun programs. Windows has a utility built in called msconfig, and there are also quite a few third party autorun apps such as this one: Autoruns by Sysinternals.

Autoruns is offered for download as a ZIP file. To install it, extract the ZIP file to a folder somewhere on your PC. You’ll see the following four files in the folder.

autoruns-files

Double click the autoruns.exefile to launch the program.

Here’s a peek at Autoruns in action.

autoruns-interface

The default Everythingtab, shows you all of the programs, services and scheduled tasks that are automatically starting with Windows.

If you find a program you aren’t familiar with, you can right click on it and choose the Search Onlinetask. That will open your web browser and send you to the search results for the file or process that you have highlighted.

In order to stop a program from running at startup, you can remove the little check-mark beside it.

The interface may look confusing at first, but if you run into any problems, you can always consult the built in help from the top menu.

arrow-down-double-3 Download Autoruns

Techie Buzz Verdict

Autoruns is a great free startup manager. The only one that I like better is WinPatrol. If you need to regain control of your PC, Autoruns is a good tool.

Techie Buzz Rating: 3/5 (Good)


Driver Magician Lite – Backup Your Windows Drivers Now

When trouble strikes your PC, you might need to re-install or repair Windows. Sometimes, after re-installing,   you find out that hardware such as the sound system or   a network card is no longer working. That means that the correct device drivers are missing.

When you don’t have the proper device drivers for hardware, you often have to spend time looking online for the correct drivers. Sometimes the drivers are very difficult to locate. Is there something you could do to prevent this problem? Yes, you can back up your drivers now, before you have a serious problem.

There are several free applications that allow you to back up system drivers. One of them is Driver Magician Lite.

You can find Driver Magician Lite at Download.com. When you run Driver Magician, it quickly scans and locates all of the drivers that your PC uses. All you need to do is place check marks beside each driver you wish to back up, then hit the Start Backupbutton.

driver-magician-0

The drivers will be copied to any location you specify. Each driver will be located in a sub-folder having the name of the driver. Also inside each sub-folder, will be an INF file which allows you to re-install the driver in the future. Double clicking an INF file will re-install the driver.

driver-magician-backed-up-drivers

I usually store my backup drivers in a zip file, somewhere online, such as DropBox. Never leave your backup on the same hard drive that your Windows is using. After all, your hard drive could crash and you’d lose the backups along with Windows.

arrow-down-double-3 Download Driver Magician Lite

Techie Buzz Verdict:

Driver Magician Lite is a simple way to back up your critical system drivers. Although you may not need those backups, if you ever do, you’ll be glad you have them.

Techie Buzz Rating: 3/5 (Good)

15 New Screensavers for Christmas and New Year

[Windows Only]

Thanksgiving has just ended. Even though I don’t approve of putting up Christmas decorations this early, our friends at NewFreeScreensavers have just added 15 new free screensavers.

I’m sure you can find plenty of other screensavers out there, but be careful to visit only safe websites when you are looking for them. As many of you have learned, 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.

nfsNewYearCountdown2 nfsChristmasCandle nfsNewYearClock nfsXmasWords nfsWineandcandles nfsXmas01

nfsXmas02 nfsXmas03 nfsXmas04 nfsXmas05 nfsNewYear01 nfsNewYear02

nfsNewYear03 nfsNewYear04 nfsNewYear05

One of the nice features of these screensavers is that they now have settings to mute the sounds. Some of the screensavers also have a setting to include a small analog clock on the screen.

arrow-down-double-3 Screensaver Download Page

Windows 7 themes?

holiday-lightsIf you have Windows 7, be sure to check out the Holiday Lights theme from Microsoft. If you don’t have Windows 7, you can still snag the wallpapers by using this trick.

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 Fridays | Top Tools of the Week #26

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.


Free DOCX and XLSX Viewers from SoftMaker

softmaker-icon

If you need a viewer to open the new Microsoft files, SoftMaker offers two new free viewers that open DOCX, XLSX, and many more.

 

Evernote 4 for Windows Updated, Adds OneNote Import Support

evernote_logo

Evernote 4 for Windows has been updated and it adds quite a few new exciting features. First off, it now has improvised search where keywords are highlighted within the notes. Secondly, they have added a new feature which will allow you to import notes for OneNote 2007 and OneNote 2010 and the ability to export your notes as a MHT files.

 

New Snapshot of Opera 11 Introduces Smarter Address Bar and Visual Mouse Gestures

Opera-Address-Bar

The latest snapshot of Opera 11 introduces an improved address bar along with a new mouse gestures interface.

 

xVideoServiceThief: Download And Convert Videos

alt

XVST is a free open source tool that can download videos from almost 76 popular video websites and convert them to the most popular video and audio formats.

 

Shareaholic a Simple Way to Share Web Pages

shareaholic-icon

If you have a sharing habit, Shareaholic is an addon you need to try. It’s a lot easier than going through a twelve step program to cure your addiction.

 

IDrive Provides 2GB Free Online Space, 150GB Cheap

IDrive Logo

IDrive provides users with 2GB free storage space and 150GB for $4.95 a month. You can also get free 10GB storage space by referring friends.

 

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

Yahoo Messenger 11 Games

Download Yahoo Messenger 11 Beta. Yahoo Messenger 11 Beta brings in social gaming from Zynga, OMGPOP and Elex and allows you to manage your Facebook and Twitter accounts.

 

Are Public Libraries Still at Risk Because of Microsoft?

public-library-icon

Microsoft doesn’t have a good answer, and they don’t seem to care. However, there’s no reason to worry. Using either of my recommendations, a library can avoid the risk.

 

Automatically Set Up Email Accounts in Outlook Express and Live Mail

code2-autoconfig-outlook

Manually adding accounts to an email client is one of the hardest tasks involved with email setup. Outlook AutoConfig can make it painless.

 

Replace Outlook Express with Incredimail

incredimail-icon

Outlook Express is old, insecure and no longer supported by Microsoft. Windows Live Mail and Mozilla Thunderbird are good replacements, but you should also take a look at Incredimail.

 

Replace Outlook Express with Windows Live Mail

wlm-icon

It’s time to upgrade. Outlook Express is old, insecure and no longer supported. Switching to Windows Live Mail is what you need to do.

 

30 New Screensavers More for the PC and Now Mobile Phones

screensaver-ico

In addition to 10 more great screensavers for the PC, animated wallpapers for mobile devices are now available for download.

 

Freeware Friday: Writemonkey

writemonkeytwitter

WriteMonkey is a distraction-free text-only writing environment that is portable, completely customizable and completely free.


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.

Free DOCX and XLSX Viewers from SoftMaker

[Windows]

softmaker-iconSoftMaker, the authors of an MS Office compatible office suite, are offering some free document and spreadsheet viewers.

The document viewer is called TextMaker Viewer and is able to open and view the following file types:

.docx, .docmMicrosoft Word 2007 and 2010
.dotx, .dotmMicrosoft Word 2007/2010 templates
.doc Microsoft Word 6.0 up to Word 2010
.dotMicrosoft Word templates 6.0 up to 2010
.tmdTextMaker 6.0 up to 2010
.tmvTextMaker templates 6.0 up to 2010
.odt OpenDocument Text
.ott OpenDocument Text templates
.sxw OpenOffice.org/StarOffice Text
.rtf Rich Text Format
.psw Pocket Word (Pocket PC)
.pwd Pocket Word (Handheld PC)
.htm, .html HTML documents
.txt Plain-text files

textmaker-viewer

The spreadsheet viewer is called PlanMaker Viewer and it can view the following filetypes:

.xlsx, .xlsm Microsoft Excel 2007 and 2010
.xltx, .xltm Microsoft Excel 2007/2010 templates
.xls Microsoft Excel 5.0 up to Word 2010
.xlt Microsoft Excel templates 5.0 up to 2010
.pmd PlanMaker 2001 up to 2010
.pmv PlanMaker templates 2001 up to 2010
.pmw PlanMaker 1.0, 2.0, 97
.sdc StarCalc 1.0, 2.0
.slk SYLK files
.rtf Rich Text Format
.dbf dBASE files
.txt, .csv, .prn Plain-text files

planmaker-viewer

Both TextMaker Viewer and PlanMaker Viewer will run under Windows 7, Vista, Windows XP, and Windows 2000.

arrow-down-double-3 Download SoftMaker Viewers here

If you’d like to see other ways to open, view and edit MS Office files, take a look at some of this post:   Free Microsoft Office Alternatives


Evernote 4 for Windows Updated, Adds OneNote Import Support

Evernote 4 for Windows has been updated and it adds quite a few new exciting features. First off, it now has improvised search where keywords are highlighted within the notes. Secondly, they have added a new feature which will allow you to import notes for OneNote 2007 and OneNote 2010 and the ability to export your notes as a MHT files.

evernote_logo

Evernote has been one of my must-have software on most of the devices I use. It has definitely become useful with the new updates it has brought. An update to Evernote 4 is now available and it adds a few exciting features including highlight search results.

In addition to that, you can now easily import notes from OneNote 2007 or 2010 into Evernote. Earlier, this was quite a painful experience. Evernote 4 also adds an option to export your notes as a MHT file. There has also been enhancements in note editing with improved copy paste, support for Asian characters, easier entry of geo-location information and more.

If you are already using Evernote 4, choose the check for updates to upgrade to the latest version or download Evernote 4 from here. More at the Evernote blog.

New Snapshot of Opera 11 Introduces Smarter Address Bar and Visual Mouse Gestures

Almost a month has passed since the release of Opera 11 for desktop (Windows, UNIX and Mac), which finally introduced extensions to the venerable browser, and added some other nifty features like the mail panel. In the meantime, Opera Software has released multiple snapshots with further improvements, and more than a hundred extensions have been submitted to Opera’s official extensions gallery.

Earlier today, the Norwegian browser maker released, what is perhaps the most significant build since the original Opera 11 alpha. The new build fixes a hefty number of bugs, while improving Opera’s extensions API. The most significant changes are:

i) Improved Address Bar: Chrome has already succeeded in redefining the web-browser UI (user interface). It was the first browser to get rid of the complicated menu structure, and merge the tab bar with the address bar. Opera Software implemented this in Opera 10.5. Now, they have taken another leaf out of Chrome’s book to simplify the address bar. The new address bar hides parameters in URL and the protocol prefix (http://, ftp:// etc.), and highlights the main domain name when not in focus. It also prominently displays security information about the website currently open. While some advanced users might be turned off by the new address bar’s tendency to hide URL parameters, the purpose behind this move is clear. Opera Software wants to make it as easy as possible for novice web surfers to spot phishing sites.

Opera-Address-Bar

ii) New Mouse Gesture UI: Opera was the first browser to add mouse gesture support (with Opera 5 released in 2000), and is still one of the few browsers to offer it out of the box. Mouse Gestures is a brilliantly addictive and useful feature that improves productivity by enabling the user to perform common tasks with a flick of his mouse. Unfortunately, most users aren’t even aware that this feature exists, and even those that are aware, use very few basic gestures. The latest snapshot introduces a new UI that pops up when you right click and hold the mouse for a while (provided that you have enabled Mouse Gestures). This UI guides you through some simple gestures that you are likely to find very handy.

Opera-Mouse-Gestures

iii) Improved Mail Panel: The newly introduced mail panel has been refined to make to make it more pleasant both visually and in terms of usability.

You can download the latest snapshot from Opera’s Desktop Team blog. However, keep in mind that this is preview build, and has some known (and possibly several unknown) issues.

Shareaholic – a Simple Way to Share Web Pages

shareaholic-iconThe name of this web browser addon tells you who it helps. If you are addicted to sharing cool links or awesome images in Twitter, Facebook or any other social web service, Shareaholic could help.

I tried it out, and it’s helped my sharing output already. Shareaholic supports sending content to over 100 different services.

Services

It’s easy to install and use. Just point your web browser to the Shareaholic home page, and install the plugin. They support Firefox, Chrome, IE, Safari, Opera, Flock and Songbird.

Mozilla Firefox Google Chrome Internet Explorer 8 Safari Opera Flock Songbird Music Player

Once installed, you’ll be prompted to customize it, so that it shows only the services that you use. Clicking on he Shareaholic icon in your browser will bring up the sharing menu.

shareaholic-menu

You might have noticed from the image above, that you can assign keyboard shortcut keys for each service. You can also use it to shorten long URLs. That’s really handy. I also like the simple posts it creates.

shareaholic-post

If you need more details, watch this video about Shareaholic.

If you have a sharing habit, Shareaholic is an addon you need to try. It’s a lot easier than going through a twelve step program to cure your addiction.

arrow-down-double-3Install the Shareaholic Addon/Extension

Note: We previously wrote about Shareaholic almost a year ago. You may also want to check out a similar addon called AddToAny.