Windows software of the day [March 20, 2012]

Windows has hundreds of thousands of programs. Because of this great volume and lack of a central store, software discovery (aka finding new and useful programs) is extremely difficult. With our Windows Software of the Day initiative, dotTech aims to change that. Everyday we post three programs, allowing our readers to discover new software, daily. Enjoy! [Subscribe to our Windows section to never miss an article: RSS Feed | E-mail]

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Software for March 20, 2012

FeedDemon

If you regularly visit a large number of websites, you may have heard that you can manage or subscribe to websites using “RSS”. This RSS protocol lets RSS “readers” download articles from websites and display them in a consistent and easy to use interface. Some readers even synchronize with Google Reader, an online RSS reader. This synchronization enables you to have multiple RSS readers across dozens of devices such as your phone, tablet, PC, and anything else. FeedDemon is an RSS reader that reads RSS feeds and has the ability to synchronize with Google Reader, for those of you that use Google Reader. It has an easy to learn interface and stays out of your way when not needed. In addition to allowing you to read RSS feeds, with FeedDemon users can share articles with one-click, tag articles, watch for new articles by keyword, and download podcasts.

Price: Free!

Version discovered: v4.0.0.22 lite

Supported OS: Windows XP/Vista/7

Download size: 3.93MB

Malware scan: VirusTotal scan results 0/43

FeedDemon homepage

Paint.NET

Photoshop is prohibitively expensive and prohibitively hard to use. Most people simply need an easy to use, well-designed photo editing program that’s not needlessly complex like GIMP. Enter Paint.NET: with no previous experience I was able to make this boring bridge photo (as seen in the screenshot below) much more colorful and sharper (though I may have overdone the sharpness). Paint.NET has all the features amateurs desire in a image editor (image editing tools such as wand selection, paint brush, pencil, and paint bucket; effects; layer support; etc.) with a familiar Photoshop-like interface.

Price: Free!

Version discovered: v3.5.10

Supported OS: Windows XP SP2/Vista/7

.NET Framework 3.5 required

Download size: 3.6MB

Malware scan: VirusTotal scan results 0/43

Paint.NET homepage

MoonyDesk

If you like to keep your desktop nice and clean like I do, you’ve probably decided at some point in time that it’s a little too sparse. A tasteful clock, or perhaps the weather, would be nice. MoonyDesk lets you have a clock and/or weather widget that goes well with any color scheme and is very minimal in design.

Price: Free!

Version discovered: Alpha

Supported OS: Windows Vista/7, possibly XP

.NET Framework 3.5 required

Download size: 582KB

Malware scan: VirusTotal scan results 0/42

MoonyDesk homepage

dotTechies: We have tested all the software listed above. However, Windows Software of the Day articles are not intended as “reviews” but rather as “heads-up” to help you discover new programs. Always use your best judgement when downloading programs, such as trying trial/free versions before purchasing shareware programs, if applicable.

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19 comments

  1. Jyo

    @Ashraf: There was an article not long ago on howtogeek about the classic version of minecraft. They made it sound as if it was something new, when in fact it the classic version has always been free. Tis the source of your confusion?

    Locutus, where can I get the awesome minecraft wallpaper up top?

  2. Ashraf
    Mr. Boss

    @jayesstee: Hehe…

    @Locutus: I bought Photoshop CS5 for $40 a few weeks back when it was on sale for students (turned out to be a pricing mistake). And I must say I have no idea why. For my purposes I have yet to use it for anything that I couldn’t of done with Paint.NET; that is not to say I won’t in the future but yeah…

    Also thanks for FeedDemon. I’ve been looking for a good RSS reader.

    @Jyo: The mention of Minecraft reminds me — isn’t Minecraft free to play now?

  3. Ashraf
    Mr. Boss

    @Henk: We did make sure to state it is Alpha version but I can see your point of making it more obvious. Thanks for the feedback.

    @PapyLuc: Glad you like it! Thank Locutus.

    @Patrick: Glad you got it to work.

    @Allen: I don’t understand why people refuse to install .NET o_O

    @Elendil and @SFD: Ditto. It makes programming a lot easier.

    @ebony: Glad you like it! Locutus is tasked with the job for the Windows section at the moment — I’m sure he will bring us goodies daily.

    @Mike: Indeed!

  4. Henk

    Good idea.
    Feeddemon and paint.NET are programs which have proven themselves over the years.
    However, I think you should mention that MoonyDesk is in fact in Alpha state.
    Indeed, it looks nice and should work well, but alpha state means: “Use at your own risk”