AppAholic reachers 100 RSS subscribers. Would you like the forum back?

For those of you who have been following AppAholic for quite some time now, you will know that there used to be an AppAholic forum. Due to hardly anyone using it, I took the link off quite a while ago. Would you like to see the forum back? Would you use it? I will bring back the forum if this posts gets over 20 comments. Who knows, I may even start handing out some kind of prize’s on the forum if your lucky! (License keys of course) READ MORE »

Interview – Samer THE FreewareGenius, reveals all his secrets!


imageSamer from Freewaregenius agreed to answer a few questions for AppAholic. Being a reader of Freewaregenius, these are questions I’m interested in the answer to, aswell as questions I though would be interesting to everyone. For those of you who don’t know, Freewaregenius is a freeware review blog, much like AppAholic, just a different flavor. Well worth a read.

17 Questions in total, including… “What do you have in your system tray on boot?”, “What RSS feeds do you subscribe to?”, “What’s your favourite 5 freeware apps and why?”, “Name a few of your other favorite tech blogs”

1. What inspired you to create your freeware blog?
Before I started Freewaregenius I used to spend a lot of time downloading and installing cracked applications that I would almost never use. This was becoming an activity that was taking a significant chunk of my time, and it started to bother me to think that this was a rather pointless activity when, at least in theory, I could have been investing that time doing something else that was productive. I remember I started to think about how I can channel the time and energy and my interest in software in a way that was more useful. Then one day my wife’s laptop was acting strange and I clean-installed Windows on that machine, then realized that all the ‘must install’ apps that I put on it afterwards were in fact freeware. That was when I first started to seriously think about publishing a blog about freeware, but one that would include only interesting programs that I found that were worth installing or checking out.

2. Where do you find the freeware to review?
I have approx 87 RSS at this time feeds from all sorts of sites that I sift through every day. But coming up with stuff to review has always been a very serendipitous activity. I realize that there a pattern of web surfing behavior that I do that has helped me find ‘interesting’ apps, but I will also say that my way looking for and learning about freeware has changed with time. When I first started my blog I spent a long time on the alt.freeware Google group, which is an excellent resource. Then there was a time when I would spend time on Stumbleupon stumbling away, which I also almost never do now. Dapper was an important discovery for me, and it allowed me to create RSS feeds from all the major software directories that filter out any non-freeware so I don’t have to do it. These days when I am looking at feeds I’ve developed the ability to look at an entry or program and decide whether it is likely to be well made and/or interesting, and, if so, I will always go to the developer’s site to check out what other freeware they might have on offer. In fact this is an excellent way to find software nobody has heard of. I also would like to mention three good friends of mine who sometimes write for Freewaregenius and often scour the net and send me links. I’m also sometimes alerted to interesting stuff by readers emailing me to let me know.

3. What stops you giving up on writing your blog?


Darn it – The story of a blasted screen

On Monday, my screen decided to go rather odd. Loads of lines, random screen movement, and darn right annoying glitches. Nothing to do with the actual computer, just the screen. Even when the computer was completely turned off and disconnected, the “no signal” message had the same graphical errors. Sorry about the lack of posts. I should have the interview up today. READ MORE »

Linux uninstalled and master boot record restored

Yup, finally got round to actually getting rid of Linux of my machine, too little hard disk space you seen, and as I cant use the internet with it yet, it seemed rather pointless to have it installed. If you happen to have just removed the Linux partition like I did before, and now can’t even boot into windows because of a GRUB error, then keep reading!

I decided to play it safe, and restore the boot record first, and then delete the partition. That way if I got it wrong, I wouldn’t have to re install Linux again and play around for another hour! Luckily it worked almost perfectly.

I found my old Windows XP installation disk, and booted up with it in the drive. Annoyingly, for some reason, although I had set CD drive as first, it would still boot into GRUB.


Two Exclusives to come this week! – Interview and new Beta

Hi there. Sorry this weeks been a bit hectic for me with regards to college and work. Lots of work to do, and so only did one review. I can say without a doubt that there will be plenty more to come.

In the meantime though, I have two more exclusives to share with you! I think they could both prove quite interesting.

Firstly an interview with Samer, THE FreewareGenius, and secondly, a new online storage app called HumYo, in beta only right now. Both AppAholic Exclusives!


Process Tamer – Stop those processes taking all your CPU

2007-09-17_094958 Process Tamer Version Tested : 2.09.01
Compatibility : XP, 2000, NT

Description : Monitors and catches run away process that try to take all of your CPU. Set which apps you want to have loads of power, and those you wish to put on the back seat. Control them before they control you!

Lets face it, with all the mod con apps you have installed, chances are, you have maxed out your CPU before now and had to turn you machine of manually. (For those of you who are not sure, you can tell this happens when you computer appears to freeze/go very slowly, and makes loads of noise from the fan going really fast) Its just plain annoying and inconvenient, just when you were in a rush as well. So you have to restart your machine, and that just takes way too long. Then you wonder why you even bothered trying. Never fear, tame those blasted greedy processes!

Applications like CD/DVD writers tend to want to take control of the CPU to get the job done as fast as possible. Also, by their very nature, they take up a lot of processing power. Its very annoying when your working on multiple projects, and go to save something when your machine freezes, and you have no idea if its going to come back again. Well now, you needn’t wonder anymore, as process tamer will lower the priority of the offending process, and let you continue you work regardless.


Shock Aero – 3D flip from Vista… on XP (+ mac one too)

2007-09-08_210259 Shock Aero Version Tested : 1.35
Compatibility : 2000, 2003, XP

Description : Puts the Vista 3D flip alt tab effect on XP, or even the mac OS style alt tab view, whichever is to your preference. Simple easy install with easy change between the two. Slightly slower than on Vista to load, but only once, so not really a problem.

An app that does exactly what you really want it to do. Another user generated app that carries out a function Microsoft want you to upgrade to Vista for, which you can get free on XP!

Obviously this won’t be perfect without flaws and bugs, but for what it is, heck, lets be having it installed please! By the way, do you like my new desktop image? Better than black right? I though so too!

I tried Vista a few days ago when I did some computer installations in an office, and can’t say I liked the whole experience. For someone who wants to stick to XP for a while longer, ( big while longer) but still wants to show off, then download this right now. For the portable show off, you can get the portable version too!


CD Art Display – How your album art should be displayed

2007-09-09_114550 CD Art Display Version Tested : 1.0
Compatibility : XP, Vista

Description : Displays CD album art on the desktop by searching locally and online. Can even find and display CD art and lyrics for most songs. Also has plug ins for most media players so that it can start and end with the player, as well as control it and edit ratings.

Its a real neat app that works almost flawlessly. For a real album art freak like me, this is really handy and stylish to have. This is the perfect addition to your desktop widgets, as it isn’t limited to widget coding. Its ability to use amazon as its album art source makes it as good as Media Monkey at getting album art.

CD Art Display will first check locally, and then check using the music tags to search on amazon for the art. You get the odd time when it can’t find it for obvious reasons, but generally, its something I’ve always wished someone would make. It also displays the track details, and you can even skip, pause and play tracks with buttons that come up when your mouse moves over the album art.


How to NOT uninstall Linux! and unformatting a hard disk

Another installment on my Linux experience is here!

So I got given a free 80GB hard disk from a friend who didn’t want it anymore, so I thought why not. I decided I would move the Linux installation over to the new HD so my C drive could have a little room to breath again.

Then I booted up Linux to repartition my C drive back to pure FAT32, and half the E driver into ext3. Little did I know that I simply couldn’t just remove the partition that Linux was installed on, which is what I did. then I found that I couldn’t reformat the E drive as it had some corruption according to Linux (probably why my friend didn’t want it anymore).

I wanted to watch a vid on my PC for lunch, so I decided I would solve the issue later. However, my lunch was halted by the fact that Windows wouldn’t boot up! Fact anything wouldn’t boot up!

GRUB ERROR 22! what the? I couldn’t load Windows or Linux or even safe mode. The boot screen wouldn’t even load…


Orbit Downloader – Download anything from any websites

2007-09-05_183538 OrbitDownloader Version Tested : 2.1.7
Compatibility :
NT, 2000, XP, 2003, Vista

Description : Free multimedia download manager that can download anything off any website’s. Such as songs off Myspace and Pandora, and videos from Youtube and Metacafe. Browser integration for most browsers plus the useful “get it” icon and grab++ as ell as batch download support.

I thought it about time I reviewed a download manager, and this is one of the best out there, free too of course. If you like what’s been dubbed web 2.0 (as in videos and music and such) then this was built for you. Not only does it download any material off any site, it actually increases the download speed by making multiple connections and looking for mirrors. It also integrates into a number of browsers.

Its incredibly light on resources too, which cant be said about some download managers. It claims to use only 3MB of RAM and 3% of CPU, and under closer inspection, that’s a well warranted claim.

The grap++ option is very clever. You can download tracks of Pandora by looking in the temporary internet files and copying across the files that are between 3 and 10 Mb. Orbit effectively monitors the temporary internet files. You can even filter them into music, video and flash (see screen shot).