An animated desktop is a old dream came true.
There is something mesmerizing there.
This is far better than Dreamscapes, and something you would like to keep on forever, contrary to the toyish Dreamscape effects.
Contrary to what is told, the processor use is far from negligible. On my Intel dual core 1800 it reaches 10-30 of my computer force.
The second flaw is the low number of currently available backgrounds. This flaw is likely to disappear by itself as the software relies on third party developers.
The last flaw is the lack of options. Some animated backgrounds come with some variations but there is need for general customization.
Overall, great potential awaiting optimization.
I used ZipGenius for a while but dropped it when it became clear that no portable version would ever be released.
Beside that is was a bit bloated.
The software developer responded to this review on Mar 07, 2010:
That is not true. ZipGenius can be transformed to portable with a simple drag and drop: just move zipgenius.exe, the DLLs in ZipGenius program folder and the lang and skin subfolder to a USB drive and it will work everywhere.
I have been using BackUp4All pro since 2 years with perfect pleasure.
It is easy to use, complete while keeping things simple.
But I have two little problems.
The first one is that unless you took care to save the software configuration files themselves, using the program itself, there is no easy way to restore the configuration files manually. I could not find in the complete help system any indication of which and where about the various config files. I had difficulties re-installing all the jobs after changing my computer.
IMHO, config files should be all at the same place, possibly and preferably in the software directory itself for easy retrieval.
The second trouble is the lack of history track on the web site of the developers. I had a rather old version and was unable to find what was change since then.
Price: Free Trial ($49.95)
It has everything needed except 1) scripting language for advance use and 2) HTML templates (templates currently only allows plain text). Apart that it is very stable, open (many import/export for e-mails/contacts), and easily transportable (backup/restore the database is a snap).
One can regret the lack of communication of its developers.
Also, no cross-platform but Windows only.
Price: Free Trial ($35.00)
Excellent drive imaging tool, doing what it says.
This is very closed to Paragon drive imaging utility.
To choose between them both, here are some clues :
- Paragon supports HPSF, Acronis doesn't.
- Acronis supports ResierFS, Paragon doesn't.
- Paragon offers partition resizing, while it is a separate product to buy for Acronis.
- Both are supposed to support USB drives but it failed on my configuration with Paragon while succeded with Acronis. It may be just a problem of my own hardware, not a problem of Paragon itself. Since both offer 30-days trial, try both of them before deciding.
Price: Free Trial ($49.99)
ButtonFly was a good idea. It allows to create buttons images for the web in batch.
It was easy to use and powerful in ... 2001 when it was released !
Unfortunately it doesn't seems to be developed anymore.
The main drawback is that it doesn't export to png and doesn't properly handle transparency in the output, other than through the deprecated gif format. Thus is completely out of its time now.
Price: Free Trial ($24.90)
Back-up/restore and spreadsheet notes are among the chief features here. Nothing fancy, just plain productivity. You will soon buy the pro version which enable hierarchical notes tree.
This is a good app but the shadow feature is not correctly implemented : the shadow is flatened on a white (or colored) background), which should not be the case. This kind of flatening is necessary for files format lacking alpha channel, but when the output is a png file, the shadow option should not add a white (or colored) background, but instead produce a true shadow with alpha mask.
Price: Free Trial ($19.95)
This is a good app but the shadow feature is not correctly implemented : the shadow is flatened on a white (or colored) background), which should not be the case. this kind of flatening is necessary for files format lacking alpha channel, but when the output is a png file, the shadow option should not add a white (or colored) background, but instead produce a true shadow with alpha mask.
Price: Free Trial ($24.95)
Very good stuff with a lot of stuff. Do one thing and do it perfectly. Quick. Low footprint.
But there is a big problem : does not import neither export neither LDIF neither vCARD, only TAB or CSV. Also, does not integrate with the Bat, Pocomail, etc. it would just have been plain perfect.
Do only import vCard, does only export vCards, not enough import tweaking possibilities, ... Nowadays some freeware products offer more than this.
Price: Free Trial ($24.95)
Tried many, found this one. I regret that one cannot link to a local file just like one can link to a web url. And manual and RTF or basic HTML note-taking would be a plus (currently text only). But a valuable asset anyway.
Price: Free Trial ($29.95)
Analog used to be the best. Its feature list and customization is still bigger than many commercial products ! But there are two problems :
- it is piloted by a text configuration file. You need to create a batch file that point to a config file to run it. It is very efficient but it requires a high learning step ;
- it's development has obviously halted or dramatically slowed : no updates since mid-2005, nos upport for Internet Explorer 7 and new browsers, etc...
Two years ago I would have wrote : go for it !
Now I wonder.
I have been using FTP Voyager since 1999 or so. It is an amazing piece of software ; the synchronized mode by itself is absolutely a killer feature : the distant server window follows your moves between local folders. For web developers this totally out-perform solutions used in GoLive and the like.
The main lacking feature is scripting.
It is impossible, for example, to efficiently download periodically web servers log files without erasing previous logs, since there is no way to automate renaming of downloaded files, for example.
No bells and whistles here. Just a very efficient, small footprint, software that do one thing and do it well : defrag efficiently your hard disks, unattended, silently, in the background. Isn't what you would expect from such a software ?
Just one point : You may have to rune it twice at the first defrag if your disk is very, very fragmented. But then keep it unfragmented efficiently from there on.
Price: Free Trial ($15.90)
Installation is a snap. Help is good. Interface is good. Use is easy. But I never could finish a single full defrag (in COMPLETE/Name mode on a C: disk with 108 000 files) without a crash of OandO Defrag Pro. COuld never complete a single defrag in that mode (didn't test the other modes).
Uninstall was a snap :-)
Price: Free Trial ($49.95)
Magic Defrag does its duty to slowly but surely and silently defrag in the background. But it is not suitable for an urgent need to defrag. While it successfully prevent disks from fragmenting, it takes several days to initially completely defrag an hard drive very fragmented. It is also not very efficient at optimizing space, that is at forcing files to occupy the first half of the hard disk, the most efficient half.
Price: Free Trial ($14.99)
The help file is not fancy. But the software is very powerful. It doesn't write anything elsewhere than in its own directory, and you can even run multiple instances of it : wiping the directory just uninstall the whole thing ! Wish every freeware developer use the same respectful method ...
The main limit of SideSlide is the poor implementation of recursivity regarding folders. You can display a folder's content into a container block, but as soon as you click on a subfolder icon, the normal Windows Explorer is open (one would have expect the subfolder to open in the container instead).
Despite this limit I highly recommend this software.
I have tested all the Snapfile Application launcher category items. Most of them do not display 32x32 icons but smaller, harder to find at a glance ones. Some request an extra step to access icons and some even add extra lapse time to access icons, as if productivity tools were supposed to slow down your workflow ... Even worst, more than half softwares in this category do not offer a back-up/restore functionality, which mean that you cannot re-install it other than by re-creating categories and shortcuts manually !
I would not say that LaunchIt Now! has the nicest interface but :
- it has a back-up/restore utility ;
- it has the quickest system to access the shortcuts ;
- shortcuts can be displayed as 32x32 icons, the best trade-off in term of visibility.
Best solution over-all. The missing feature is the ability to recursively embed menus in menus. It is essentially a "flat access" system.
Price: Free Trial ($14.95)
Very efficient software that do welle what it does. I regret that there is no option for larger icons in the icons floating window mode. Big icons increases productivity.
Auto-hide feature doesn not work (as of version 1.55.03). This alone renders the whole stuff useless, despite interesting features. Wait for this to be fixed.
Couldn't find any back-up menu neither in the program neither described in the help file. Since I re-install my computer from scratch every year or so, for me JetStart is a no if I cannot re-import my settings from a back-up file.
Beside that, it lacks elementary options such as the ability to choose the lapse before visibility for the edge menus. Since it is supposed to be a productivity tool, edge menus should pop much quicker than they currently do.
I have been using Linkman for about five years. It can store hundred thousands of links with a negligible small footprint on CPU and a rather small footprint on the RAM (depending on the link base size) : For more than 2000 links in 300 folders, all with their url, name and keywords, the RAM footprint is currently 14 Mo. Search feature is very efficient. Most of all it works with any browser past and future, since it uses the OS main browser hook and additional browser through their system path. It has a very handy drop basket that resides on the desktop.
Price: Free Trial ($29.00)