Visually comparing PDFs to identify changes or differences is harder than it sounds, and it sounds hard enough, not to mention extremely boring. But it's all too easy to miss subtle differences with the Mark I Eyeball, and some changes might not be visible at all. Why put yourself through it when there's a free tool that can do the job for you, only much faster and more thoroughly? It's called DiffPDF, and it's from RubyPDF Technologies. With dual file selection tools and display panes, this efficient tool makes quick work of a tedious but necessary … Read more
There is no imminent shortage of sticky notes apps for Windows. They come as desktop apps, gadgets, and add-ons. Most are free; some are portable. Some merely provide a quick-and-easy way to pin reminders to the desktop. Others try to replicate the look of paper sticky notes but with enhanced features. That describes 7 Sticky Notes, a free sticky notes program that uses shading and highlighting to give its notes a realistic 3D look.
The program gave us two installation options, Normal or Portable. We chose the standard installation, but Sticky Notes would make a great portable tool, combining versatility … Read more
Legroom's Universal Extractor is a free extraction tool designed to let you decompress and extract files from virtually any archive, including some you probably haven't heard of before. What it can't do is create archives; the developers are quite clear that Universal Extractor isn't meant to take the place of utilities like 7Zip or WinRar. Instead, it bundles together a variety of useful backend utilities. It's a great addition to your Windows toolkit, and great to have around when you need it, even if that's not very often.
Universal Extractor has a user interface … Read more
Spybot - Search & Destroy Portable is a free security program that scans for and removes malicious or unwanted adware, malware, spyware, and other threats on any compatible Windows PC without requiring you to install it. That's because it's been portable-ized by PortableApps. Its download contains everything you need to run Spybot without the program making any changes to your PC, beyond purging junk, that is.
Spybot's portable application installer (.paf) can save the program's executable to virtually any directory, including a USB thumbdrive. Spybot's interface consists of a two-paned main window and a navigation … Read more
Do you use more than one Skype account? One developer grew frustrated with the limitations of trying to use his multiple Skype accounts on one machine in one session, so he wrote Skype Launcher, a simple piece of freeware that automatically signs in to multiple Skype accounts with a single click. It automatically detects accounts that are already signed in to Skype and only launches offline accounts.
Skype Launcher opened with the Skype Launcher Configuration utility, to which we added our Skype accounts by entering each account's name and password in a pop-up. A check box let us choose … Read more
Progress in upgrading math's tools has been uneven: blackboards have become whiteboards, but calculators and software have come up short in trying to replicate the speed and simplicity of pencil and paper. Math-o-mir is the result of the surprisingly difficult effort to develop a software-based equation editor to meet that need. It's a free tool with one goal, to make writing and editing mathematical equations as easy and natural as scribbling on a pad. It's not a math engine, design tool, or image editor, though it uses some of the same concepts, such as freehand drawing and … Read more
Fish are a popular theme for screensavers; the computer screen lends itself well to aquarium-like graphics, and screensaver developers have taken full advantage of that fact. We like this trend, too; these screensavers bring some of the beauty and relaxation of aquariums to your desk without the hassle of cleaning tanks and adjusting pH levels. Free Desktop Fish Screensaver is one of many such programs, and it didn't do much to impress us. It's not awful, but there are many similar programs out there that we like better.
The program installs easily and appeared in our Display Properties … Read more
While the casual movie fan might be content to keep her or his movie collection on a shelf and pay little attention to it, true film buffs tend to be a bit more proactive when it comes to organization. GrieeX Movie Archive Program is a database that lets people keep track of the movies they own and import a variety of related information from the Internet, too. We like the premise of the program, but in practice, it leaves a lot to be desired.
The program's interface is plain and fairly easy to navigate, although some of its features … Read more
Do you find yourself constantly flipping back and forth between Facebook and whatever it is you're supposed to be doing? In about as much time as it takes to say, "There has got to be a better way," you can download and install Facebook Toolbar from MSBit. This free Firefox add-on places a new toolbar in your browser that contains everything you need right at the top of whatever browser window you're in.
We installed the Facebook Toolbar and restarted Firefox, and then opened the add-on manager to view Facebook Toolbar's options. These involve selecting … Read more
Developer Dave's Ultimate Football Results is a free Google Chrome extension that fetches results from the most popular soccer leagues from multiple BBC Sport pages and displays them in one page in Chrome. It's the fastest way to check the latest results for your team, league, or association.
Ultimate Football Results is compact and, like most Chrome extensions, installs almost instantaneously. It placed a soccer ball icon in Chrome's address bar; we clicked it to access the extension's setup options. This involved selecting feeds for four tabs, each with four separate frames containing a drop-down list … Read more