Y’z Shadow – Drop shadow on every window, for windows

2007-10-26_200119 YZ Shadow Version Tested : 1.9
Compatibility : Win All

Description : Like drop shadow on Mac OS, this app creates drop shadow for all windows and menus. Customizable with regards to colour, and the ability to make menus transparent too. Exclusion of windows also very easy to configure with simple drag and drop feature.

My friends, again, I bring you another stylish app, this time from the world of mac rather than that of XP or Linux. If you have ever used a mac, have you noticed the drop shadow? Well I can’t say I have, but once I found this and took a look at a mac, I could sure see the drop shadow.

Now, Windows users can steal effects and styles from the mac, bringing them ever closer to the style of a mac, but running on windows. Not only do we have a mac skin using StyleXP (which you can still get a free key for!), but we now have the drop shadow, and the dock too! Its like a happy family reunion, except in the wrong house.

It has a very customizable shadow, and even gives you a live preview of what the effect looks like, which is rather handy. Also you can change the colour, bright pink, green, orange, it really doesn’t mind, or you could go for, say black?


Madotate – Fitting 3D desktop hinges to a window near you

2007-10-23_131320 Madotate Version Tested : 2.02.02
Compatibility : 98, 2000, XP, Vista

Description : 3D desktop enable you machine with Madotate, making almost every window the ability to be flipped, zoomed, moved, swiveled in almost anyway you want. Light weight on your resources too, unlike most apps of its kind. Adding the third dimension to your screen!

If the screen shot hasn’t already got your attention, then I don’t know what will. There are many 3D desktop apps out there, all doing this and that and some other flashy thing, but really, in all honesty, Madotate manages to beat them all.

Originally it was in Japanese, but several people translated it at various stages into English. Madotate adds an extra button just to the left of the minimize button on the active window. Clicking this will make it zoom into 3D mode.

Once in 3D mode, a window can be moved around with the left mouse. if you push a window towards an edge of a screen, then it will act like its hit a wall, and create a new hinge to that side, as you can see in the screen shot. the angle of this can be changed in the settings. If you hold right mouse down on the window in 3D mode


500GB arrives, questions about Linux, and a friends accident…

This morning, I was woken up to the door bell rung by a person from City Link with a nice hard disk sized package. Now comes the task of installing it, shouldn’t take too long.

The question that then arose to me is if I should format a partition for Linux or not bother at all? This worry comes to me after I had an emergency call yesterday with regards to a GRUB error. All sound too familiar? I thought so too, except there was a bit of a twist as the story developed. Master Boot Record problems yet again.


Portable Apps Suite – The best portable apps all together

2007-10-21_104231 Portable Apps Version Tested : 1.0
Compatibility : Win 98, ME, 2000, XP, 2003, Vista, and even partially Wine

Description : A menu interface for use with portable applications with several of the best already installed, working, and fully portable. More portable apps can be added. Also inbuilt backup function is available and easy to use. Works with any external storage device!

Portable Apps Suite is most probably THE best portable apps menu available. Free, simple and stylish too, this menu has a lot more to offer than meets the eye. The reason I say this is a review of the Suite rather than just the menu, is because you can download it with a set of pre installed portable apps, including the likes of Open Office (Free Microsoft Office compatible office suite), Firefox (Best web browser), Pidgin (Secure IM) , Sudoku (Number Puzzle), Sunbird (Calendar / task manager) and Thunderbird (Email client).

All of these apps are already made fully portable, meaning they won’t lave a trace on the host PC your using. You simply download the suite, select the drive you wish to install on, and your away. It does take a few minutes to install, but it is about 10 or so apps in one go, especially if your including Open Office, so its really quite acceptable.


AppAholic 2.0 – The competition, explanation, and plans.

Hey there. For you subscribers, you may have realized that AppAholic has been a bit lacking in number of posts recently, ie over the last week or so. This is because of my visits to many University open days and a ton of “back to college” work, as I plan to go to university next year. Thanks for your understanding and patience. Normal services will soon return! (This week! as I have no college)

In other news… APPAHOLIC 2.0 is on the way, although this may be taking place in several phases over the next 3 months. I’ve recently chosen my host, and have plans to set it up this week. I will have to play around sorting out the set up, but plan to transfer the blog to privately hosted. Not only does this give me miles more flexibility, but also enables ME to offer YOU a much better service.

With the move, I also decided that its about time AppAholic got a makeover. Having never created a wordpress style before, and not being a PS expert, I have decided its over to you, readers of AppAholic. I want your designs, ideas, suggestions, everything and anything. And oh yeh, there will be one heck of a PRIZE, along with free style XP key’s for users who I feel have made a big contribution. (not meaning donations, meaning design ideas, concepts, suggestions of WP plugins ect.)


DXWnd – Force almost anything into a windowed mode

2007-10-16_201052 DXWnd Version Tested : 1.20
Compatibility : Unsure

Description : A very simple app that forces a number of full screen games into windowed mode. Only works if game uses Direct X

It’ an odd post for today. Sorry about the recent lack. explanation to come. Anyway, DXWnd. I found this when I decided trying to run Final Fantasy in an emulator was not the way to go. So I borrowed FF 8 off a friend, however, to my horror, only full screen mode. I searched and searched to find a way to force it into a windowed mode, and came across one working solution.

All you do is add the exe and then run it, which forces the windowed mode. It claims to also work with Maple Story, but it’s quite an old project now, dead in fact, so I have no idea if it will work with MS or not. I had a go at MS a while ago, but uninstalled due to lack of HD space at the time.


Post2Blog – Blogging on the move

2007-10-12_132227-post2blog.pngVersion Tested : 3.01
Compatibility : Windows 95, 98, ME, 2000, XP 2003, Vista

Description : Free blogging software that caters for most of your every day blogging needs, with the ability to blog on almost any blogging format.

Personally, I have wanted a portable blogging software for quite a while. Post2Blog has been around for that while, but I have only recently decided to really try it out. There was a few reasons I didn’t before. First of all, originally it was for sale, however, now it is free! Also, I was browsing the web and found a portable version of Windows Live Writer, however it needed admin privileges to work.

I decided that reviewing the software itself would give me a perfect test of its capabilities. The other reasons I was hesitant to use P2B over WLW was because for once the people at Microsoft had actually done a good job. The biggest drawback for me is not being able to have a black background here.WLW is a true WUSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) blogging software, where as P2B lacks the ability at current to download the style. My blog, as you well know, uses white text. Naturally this causes a bit of a problem.


File Assassin – Head shot those stubborn files… in the head

2007-10-07_110640 FileAssassin Version Tested : 1.06
Compatibility : Windows 2000, XP, 2003, Vista

Description : “Assassinates” (or deletes) all and any file that refuses to be even touched by unlocking the file and its process, terminating the process that’s holding the file, and a few more advanced unlock modules and methods.

For those files you KNOW you don’t want anymore, but seem unable to delete, File Assassin really has the job under control. You select the target and the method’s you wish to try, and it will systematically go through each, increasing the level of force until it eliminates its target. Much like a personal hit man, except without the hefty price tag, and files get killed rather than people.

File Assassin is really easy to use and so intuitive that you can’t really go wrong, unless you choose the wrong target file.


Truecrypt – THE best real time virtual disk encryption security

2007-10-05_212847 TrueCrypt Version Tested : 4.3a
Compatibility : Windows 200, XP, Vista and Linux

Description : Creates a virtual encrypted disk within a file and mounts it as a real disk. Encryption is automatic, instantaneous, and extremely secure. oh yeh, and all Truecrypt volumes cannot be identified.

If your looking to hide something, secure something, or just keep something private, Truecrypt is the one app you can be sure will work. I can’t say I have used it loads, as I don’t often have anything to secure on my system. I can say thought, that this is the best app of its kind without a question.

With TC you can create a virtual drive inside a file, of a fixed or variable size. The virtual drive works just like a normal drive, whichever letter you choose to assign it to. The best feature is, even if someone suspected you have something hidden, there’s no way they can prove it. Truecrypt volumes can’t be identified, simple as that. There’s no identification method, and you can have a TC volume called whatever you want and whatever format you want too! There is still yet another level of plausible deniability.


Daemon Tools – Run virtual disks so you don’t have to (find them)

2007-09-30_202750 DaemonTools Version Tested : 4.08HE
Compatibility : Windows 2000, XP, Vista

Description : Creates 4 virtual disk drives which you can run any CD/DVD image on. Even those with copy protection work fully (Safedisk, Securom, Laserlock and RMPS) and run just as if you had the actual CD/DVD in a real drive. No more damaged disks or lost ones either. Nice addition to the system tray.

Daemon Tools (DT) is one of those apps that I’ve kind of taken for grated over the past few years. Picture this. You really need to find a disk (be it CD or DVD) really quickly underneath the mess of paper work and amongst the other hundred or so disks you have all over the place. Success, you find it, but as it tries to load up, you find its corrupt. Sure enough, it has a massive big scratch on the data side, making it completely useless! Or maybe you like this game really badly, but have to keep putting the disk away when you need to use the drive for something else. Sound familiar?

DT really is the best disk emulation freeware around. Recently (or since I last went to the site anyway) they have released a pro (pro meaning “you gotta pay for this one mate” kind of pro). However, this hasn’t meant that the free version has been left to die, or crippled by nags. Nope, its the same as it’s always been… Darn brilliant.

It creates virtual drives that appear just as real drives would everywhere on your system, and then you can run any cd image as if you had the disk in a disk drive. You do need another app to make the CD/DVD image though. If you have Nero, you can already do this easily enough. If not, then hang around for the next few posts to find out one of the best apps for making disk images.

So, lets talk a little bit more about the actual features…

It has full emulation of the latest copy protection, allowing you to easily rip your own games to a disk image and then use them on a virtual drive.