Hot find


I'm Impressed With This Open-Source Organizer/Mindmap Tool

I recently wrote about a number of online services that offer a "virtual corkboard" application as an information manager and outliner.  I mentioned at the time that I had been unable to find such a program which runs natively under Windows.  A kind-hearted reader suggested in a comment to my story that I should check out a program called VUE, so I decided to do just that.

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Create .SWF Flash Moves With This Free Windows App

One of the most popular ways to create animation effects on a web site is to use Flash.  The official method for creating a Flash movie, ie a .SWF file, is to use Adobe's software.  But it's difficult to use, and very expensive.

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Reformat PDF Files Into Booklets Etc for Quicker, Cheaper Printing

Gimposition is a small, free Windows utility which alters the internals of a PDF file to change the page sizes, orders, orientations etc.  You can get it from  The download is less than 1 MB, though it does require .NET Framework 2.0.

So, why would you want such a program? The most common reason would be for printing a PDF file in booklet format, so that, when the stack of printed sheets is folded, the pages of the document are in the correct order. 

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Microsoft Launches Free On-Demand Virus/Malware Scanner

Microsoft has launched a new, free virus/malware scanner, that's designed to be used if you think your computer might be infected.

The program is called the Microsoft Safety Scanner.  To use it, download the file from and then run it on your PC.  The app is portable, so doesn't need an installer.  When you run it, it will analyze your computer and detect, and remove, many of the most prevalent viruses.

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The Virtual Corkboard. Could This Be The Best Personal Organizer App?

For years, I've been seeking the perfect organiser app for my PC.  My current favourite is probably TreePad, which is basically a tree-structured version of Windows Notepad.

But if you were to organise your thoughts on your real desk, rather than a virtual one, think for a moment about how you'd do it.  Chances are, you'd write things on small pieces of paper, and move them about.  So how come there are so few PC applications that allow you to do such things?

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Create Your Own Portable, Virtual Version Of Any Windows Program

I like the idea of portable applications.  They don't need any installation, so they don't add anything to your registry and they don't install any new services or drivers.  To run the program, just double-click it.  To uninstall the program, just delete the file(s) that make up the application.

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A Great Collection of Science-Oriented Tutorial Videos

The internet provides a great learning environment, and lots of sites offer collections of free videos that you can watch in order to teach yourself about various subjects.  One excellent example, which has been mentioned a couple of times recently in our forums, is the Khan Academy.  It hosts over 2000 short videos, instantly available for you to watch online within your browser for free. 

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Controversial Advertising Program Now Being Embedded in More Software

OpenCandy (OC) is an advertising product that some software developers are bundling with their programs. It can now be found in the installers of dozens of popular programs.

OpenCandy employs some controversial techniques in its operation and this has created some heated discussions in Internet forums and blogs. Some say it is adware or spyware while others say it is just another legitimate form of advertising. Whatever, you need to be aware of this product and its potential pitfalls.

How OpenCandy Works

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A Worthy Competitor To Dropbox?

You'll be aware, if you're a frequent visitor to this site, that I'm a huge fan of Dropbox, the online file sharing/sync service.  Copy something to your Dropbox folder on your PC, and it instantly gets synced to the cloud, and also copied to any other computers which are linked to your account and on which you've installed the Dropbox client app.  You can sign up for a free account at, and that gets you 2 GB.  Or do it via my personal referrer link at

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Turn An Old PC Into a Webserver

Have you got an old PC lying around?  Have you ever wondered how easy it would be to turn it into a web server, so you can learn about hosting your own web sites instead of renting space on a commercial server?

Back in 2009 I put together a step-by-step document that explains how to do it, using Ubuntu Server 7.10.  This is now rather out of date, so I've spent the past few days updating it for Ubuntu Server 11.04 (Natty Narwhal), which is available now ahead of its official launch next month.

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