Windows software of the day [March 30, 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 30, 2012

WinRoll

So. Many. Applications. How do you get room on your screen!?

Actually, it’s as simple as right clicking on their title bars. With WinRoll, it’s as easy as can be. WinRoll allows users to “roll up” windows so that only their title bar is showing. To make a window full size again, you just right click again. There’s really not much more to this painless piece of software. You can set a transparency on the rolled up windows, although this didn’t actually work in my testing. However, even with just the ability to roll up your windows, this is a tiny tool and would fit almost 170 times onto even a 1.44MB floppy!

Price: Free!

Version discovered: v2.0

Supported OS: Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7

Download size: 8.7KB

Malware scan: VirusTotal scan results 0/43

WinRoll homepage

Volumouse

Many laptops have a keyboard that’s laid out in a way that makes it near impossible to change the volume quickly or easily. Many desktops have the same problem: the volume control is on the speakers far from where your hands usually rest on the keyboard and mouse.

Volumouse is a great and cool solution to this problem that works by taking the two things your hands rest on (the keyboard and the mouse) and using them to control the volume.

By simply setting a rule such as “when the ALT key is down change the volume on the default playback”, you’ll be changing the volume just by scrolling in just seconds. And it’s not simply one rule: you can set up to 12 rules and change volumes on many different things, including on a per-application basis. Volumouse is a great tool to keep in your toolkit, and it’s a tiny one too.

Price: Free!

Version discovered: v2.00

Supported OS: Windows 98/ME/NT/2000/Server 2003/Vista/Server 2008/7

Download size: 51.7KB / 118KB /74.1KB

Malware scan: 0/43 (self install) | 0/43 (auto install) | 0/43 (self x64 install)

Volumouse homepage

Alarm

If you’re anything like me, you have several alarms so you actually get up on time in the morning. I have a phone, a tablet, and a digital alarm clock to wake me up. However, even though I have all these alarms, I still don’t always get up on time. With Alarm, I can set yet another alarm to hopefully wake me up on time.

With Alarm, you can set any media file you want as your alarm tone. In fact, you can even use custom codecs for files such as OGG, FLAC, and more! You can also make it run certain commands and show certain messages when the alarm goes off — perhaps open a web browser, or yell at you to wake up.

Price: Free!

Version discovered: v2.0.6

Supported OS: Windows ME (?)/2000/XP/Server 2003/Vista/Server 2008/7

Download size: 705KB

Malware scan: VirusTotal scan results 0/42

Alarm 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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12 comments

  1. Michael

    Alarm is really limited to being an alarm clock but I need countdown and countup timer. I found two softwares that would give me those two additional features: Cool Timer and Visi Timer. Both are pretty much similar except Cool Timer has much simplified GUI, smaller file size (5.7MB), allows user to preset their timers, and use any Wav, MP3, or Midi file OR one of several built-in sounds as an alarm. VisiTimer on the other hand has a fancier graphic GUI, large file size (15.8MB), label setup, and only limit to Wav as alarm sound. VisiTimer will autoinstall MS .NET Framework 4 during installation.

    Both are keeper for me but I more like VisiTimer because of the option to set up labels and more appealing GUI. Otherwise, Cool Timer is also excellent and pretty much has identical features as VisiTimer except of the above listed difference.

    Just thought I would share my discoveries here in case anyone is also looking for 3-in-one software like me.

  2. chinaguy

    For the purposes of a computer alarm clock I cannot recommend free alarm clock enough. It has many features including: waking the computer up from sleep or hibernate when the alarm rings, opening, afaik, any file directory or url on alarm, turning the volume to anywhere from %0-%100 when the alarm rings as well as unmuting the volume then it goes back to how it was before the alarm rang, repeating any alarm as many as 7 days a week, backing up and restoring alarms, starting with windows, supports 23 languages, having any of the alarms with or without snooze, turning the monitor power on, looping the alarm, and maybe some others that I have missed. The homepage is http://freealarmclocksoftware.com/ As I said I cannot recommend it highly enough and have found it vastly useful if only for waking up. In fact as long as all the setting are correct the only way I can mess it up is by keeping the earphones plugged in over night, or the computer completely off.

  3. Robert

    I am difficult to get up too, but I do the right thing. Even though my clock radio is next to me, my iPhone is in a spot to where I have no choice but to get up and turn it off. While I am up, I might as well stay up, but I’ll get in trouble if I go back to bed again. :)

    Awesome applications! I went ahead and downloaded all of them. Great finds!

  4. Jeanjean

    @ Peter
    If I make a click with the scroller on the minimize button of an Explorer window, I have a nice icon of a folder in the taskbar.
    If I do the same with a window of OE or a program for example, i have an empty space in the taskbar (if i clic on it the window comes back).
    Problem is to find the good one when there are several empty spaces … fortunately, when moving the mouse over it, you can see what program it is.
    BTW, Dexpot is not on my PC.

  5. Jyo

    @Locutus
    Tip: I am just like you! Some days I am just completely immune to my alarms clocks (I use my cell and an actual clock). But I have found that periodically changing the alarm tones helps. I guess it’s the element of surprise when you hear a new tone, so you become more alert, thus wakey wakey!

  6. Peter

    @Jeanjean:
    strange… on my Win7-amd64 box it works with FF, IE (32 and 64 bit) and Chrome. Windows Explorer behaves crazy. The window becomes smaller but not reduced completely. Java programs do not work at all and other applications may work or not. I’ll throw it from my system. Maybe it is not compatible with Dexpot.

  7. Janet

    I recently dled eXtra Buttons (portable), which has a lot more options and works with browsers. I was using AnVir TaskManager’s similar function (many of you already have that) but, again, eXtra Buttons had more options.

  8. Paul

    Winroll. Not much use if you have more than 2 windows open on a screen. Whatever you do, any window after the top two is inaccessible without going to the taskbar, which kinda defeats the point.

  9. Jeanjean

    @ smaragdus

    I’ve tried ! It simply closes the browser… and nothing to find in the tray.
    And the function is not disabled in the menu. Mystery, mystery…

    It works wel with a window of explorer for example.