A MOT test is a U.K. Ministry of Transport vehicle inspection. It's thorough, so any rigorous checkup is apt to be called a "MOT test." Computer MOT from Dizzy Solutions is a free utility that automatically cleans your system, scans it for spyware and adware, and performs a variety of maintenance and tune-up operations. It uses two of the most-popular freeware utilities, CCleaner and Spybot, plus built-in Windows utilities like the disk defragmentation tool and CheckDisk. And when we say automatic, we mean "automatic" as in "no manual options" and no stopping … Read more
When you open a Windows program like Notepad or Windows Update, the program's name appears in the window's title bar. Right-clicking the tile bar calls up the system window menu, which accesses commands such as Minimize, Maximize, and Close. Moo0 WindowMenuPlus is a simple tool that can add extra entries to the system window menu and taskbar button, everything from Keep on Top to Kill Process. It's easy to use and totally free.
When it's active, WindowMenuPlus lives in the system tray, also known as the notification area. Its menu accesses entries labeled Turn On, Show/… Read more
AMD's Fusion series of APU processors first grabbed our attention at the beginning of 2011 for their impressive showing in 11.6-inch ultraportable laptops like the HP Pavilion dm1z, offering great performance and battery life for a good price. The E and C-series APUs representing the entry-level and thin-and-light side of the laptop and desktop universe have been updated, with memory and graphics enhancements and a promised gain in resting battery life.
AMD claims 12 hours of resting battery life on a charge on the C-series APUs, and 10.5 hours on the new E-series. Of course, our battery … Read more
There's an endless supply of Web-based tools that can convert just about any measurement from one unit to another. If you need to convert really obscure units, though, or need a conversion tool on a regular basis, try Unit Conversion Professional from Inventive Design. It's a free Flash-based tool that converts more than 800 pairs of units in 32 categories. It also includes a calculator and a library of scientific formulas.
Unit Conversion Professional's dialog-style interface opens with its menu page, which offers two scrolling lists, View Formulas and Convert Units. The conversion units are categorized from … Read more
Good record-keeping is an important part of any business, and people typically end up using multiple programs to take care of it. BusinessTracker is a simple program that aims to meet a lot of your record-keeping needs in one place. Although we like the idea of the program, it wasn't as easy to use as we hoped it would be.
The program's interface is plain and fairly intuitive, although not quite as intuitive as the program's documentation would suggest. BusinessTracker's functions are arranged in a tree hierarchy down the left side of the interface. There are … Read more
Comparison shopping for electronics is one of the Web's most popular pastimes. Dynamite Data's Dynamite Deals for Firefox is a free add-on that automatically searches for the best deal in electronics and other merchandise from several of the Web's largest retailers, including Newegg, Buy.com, and NextWarehouse, displaying comparison prices in a small pop-up window.
Dynamite Deals places a small stick of dynamite on Firefox's address bar. To use it, you simply browse to a single product page on a supported merchant's site and click the stick of dynamite. We browsed to a merchant's … Read more
It's hard not to prejudge a program called Glitter Frame GIF Maker. We had visions of a program that would likely only be appealing to a 10-year-old girl, and indeed, our prediction wasn't far off. That doesn't make it a bad choice, though--just a program with a limited audience.
The application's interface is plain and fairly easy to navigate. It comes loaded with 10 animated GIF frames, most of which include some combination of flowers, stars, hearts, and bubbles. To apply a frame to an image, simply load the photo you want to use, crop it … Read more
There are more disk-cleaning utilities available online than you can shake a memory stick at. They range in price from totally free to double digits, and in performance from excellent to lousy. We looked at a good one, Moo0 DiskCleaner. It's fast, flexible, and can run at startup or whenever you like. You can customize its function as well as its look. It supports some 130 targets, including temporary data, browser caches, and private data.
The Moo0 installation wizard offered to install a free autocomplete search tool as well, but we opted just to install DiskCleaner, which opened when … Read more
Moo0 DiskCleaner Portable is free, completely portable, nicely designed, and efficient at its task, which is to centralize the cleaning of your browser caches, cookies, temporary Windows files, and other resource hogs. It's very easy to use, thanks to its simple but effective layout and minimal steps.
We downloaded and extracted Moo0 DiskCleaner to a desktop folder. It's a portable application that needs no installation but runs as soon as you click it, so it can go just about anywhere, including USB drives and other portable devices; it's also a good choice for scheduling automatic cleanups. We … Read more
One of the most common problems that we encounter when evaluating software is cluttered, poorly designed interfaces. In this regard, Image Tuner is a breath of fresh air. This simple program lets you resize, rename, and convert images with an interface that's about as straightforward as it gets.
The program's design is clean and simple, with a handful of buttons across the top and a few drop-down menus on the side. It's quite easy to figure out how the program works, even if you've never used software of this sort before. You can select individual images … Read more