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A peek into the world of free downloads in 2008
Priyanka Joshi | December 28, 2007
How many times have you looked at the price of a software and felt as if you would have to mortgage your house in order to get a full set?
Genuine software prices, most of them at least, can be prohibitively expensive. Thankfully, there are still plenty of idealists out there who freely share their work and welcome others. We look at a few best free software downloads that you should not miss in 2008.
Gmail as a virtual drive
Software developer Bjarke Viksoe has developed a GMail Drive shell extension (http://www.viksoe.dk), a really dandy tool that creates a virtual drive on the computer linking the hard drive and GMail account.
This way, if there's ever a time when you need to access an important document, a picture or even a movie, all you need is this programme to have a peek at the files stored on the user's computer even if the computer is not accessible.
Once downloaded, the programme links a virtual Gmail hard drive with user's Gmail account. What it does not do is import any of the previous pictures, word documents, or any other attachments that are already saved in Gmail account previously. That needs manual syncing.
Make the web come to you
Browsing the web is just so 'uncool' these days. In 2008, let the web come to you, which is why RSS feeds were created. They are a way for you to keep up with your favourite blogs, news sites, political news or for that anything in the ever-growing web jungle.
RSS Bandit (http://www.rssbandit.org) makes it exceedingly easy to subscribe to and read RSS feeds and organise them as well.
A richer pocket mobile PC
Windows Mobile users would agree that the bundled clipboard by default is not so rich in functions like the one used in desktop Windows systems.
That is why you can install Clipboard Tool application to your Pocket PC and enhance the existing Windows Mobile Clipboard with this utility. (http://www.pocketpcfreeware.mobi/download-clipboard-tool.html)
Here, every time the user copies something, it is added to the stack. Once you want to paste something, just open Clipboard tool and select it from the stack. It has also additional features like the Links view, which allows you to filter out of the stack only the weblinks and the Filter view that adds regular expressions support, allowing complex searches.
DVD with a difference
The easiest way to separate features on DVDs is to compress them into .avi format. One software that does a pretty good job is 123 DVD Converter (http://www.dvvideotool.com). The installation file steals 5MB of hard disk space but installing the software is easy. While installation, it asks you to install the DivX codec which is also provided with the installation.
The user interface is shockingly simple, and yet it provides all the necessary tools for converting DVD video or just parts of it into .avi formats. The tool also allows extraction of audio files from the DVD, in which case the user has to select Extract Audio option. The audio files are saved in WAV format .
Back from the dead
Most Windows users are assured about being able to recover files which they regularly send to the Recycle Bin.
After all, that's why its there in the first place. So, why worry? But what happens when you may have emptied the Recycle Bin accidentally. Or worse , if you have deleted files from within a DOS window or a network drive, those files are not even sent to the Recycle Bin.
With Undelete Plus (http://www.undelete-plus.com), however, users can hope to retrieve files. All one needs to do is run the programme, let it scan the system for files that have been deleted including those removed from the Recycle Bin, deleted on a network drive, via a DOS window or from Windows Explorer with the Shift key held down.
Undelete Plus works fine with Windows 95/ 98/ Millenium/ NT/ 2000/ XP/ 2003/ Vista operating systems and supports all Windows file systems for hard and floppy drives and also recovers images from CompactFlash, SmartMedia, MultiMedia and Secure Digital cards.
Most of us think that once we have deleted a file, it's gone from the PC, right? Wrong. Even after deleting a file and cleaning out the Recycle Bin, there exist special softwares that can re-create the file.
File Shredder 2 (http://www.fileshredder.org) is a freebie programme that overwrites files with a random string of binary data and that too multiple times. User has a choice of five different shredding algorithms.
Almost a Vista
If you have seen and fallen for the Vista interface, then here is a tool to get that great graphic user interface to your old PC.
Vista Transformation Pack (http://vista-transformation-pack.en.softonic.com) will transform your Windows user interface to ultimate Windows Vista alike looks that everyone will never notice it's the same old Windows XP (or 2003).
The tool dolls up the existing Windows operating system with new system icons, skins and toolbars and desktop tools like a dock bar or a different system tray clock.
Although the transparent glass effect of the windows is difficult to recreate within XP, this pack, used in conjunction with Windows Blinds, does an excellent job of imitating it and giving your system a style that is hard to resist.