Windows software of the day [April 10th, 2012]

Today’s Software

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About Windows Software of the Day

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 April 10th, 2012

Absolute Uninstaller

If you install a lot of software, you probably would like to uninstall a lot of software too. However, uninstallation is a process that oddly takes longer than installation and is generally much more annoying. “We’re sorry to see you go, take our survey to tell us why!”

Much like Windows’ built-in uninstaller, Absolute Uninstaller lets you remove software. However, unlike Windows’ uninstaller and even the awesome Revo Uninstaller, Absolute lets you batch uninstall programs, making uninstalling much less painful. Simply click Batch Uninstall, select all the software you want uninstalled, and click “Uninstall Checked Programs”. It’ll automatically run all the uninstallers one by one.

Unfortunately, Absolute Uninstaller doesn’t stop the uninstallers from prompting you. They’ll still ask “are you sure” sometimes, and some will even open up surveys. But it’s a huge step forward from the old method of selecting each program one at a time, and it helped me trim my list from 159 programs to <fill in number here> — a huge improvement.

Just be sure you don’t accidentally try to uninstall Absolute Uninstaller like I did.

Price: Free, with $39.95 upgrade

Upgrade details: Upgrade to Glary Utilities Pro, a full system maintenance suite

Version discovered: v2.9

Supported OS: Windows (unknown)

Download size: 2.1MB

Installation notes: Attempts to set homepage — be sure to opt out!

VirusTotal malware scan results: 0/42

Absolute Uninstaller homepage

Desktop URL Embed

If you’ve used Windows since before Windows Vista you’ve probably heard of Active Desktop. Active Desktop was a technology that enabled users to embed webpages on their desktop. However, it was removed in Windows Vista due to either low use or being a security threat. Desktop URL Embed brings it back in a totally safe and secure way by instead utilizing the Windows Sidebar/Gadget utility.

Desktop URL Embed is quite simple. You install it as a gadget and simply configure its URL, window size, and refresh rate. If you can find a good, non-locked down mobile website, you can use that: they make great desktop widgets. For instance, every Reddit page has a mobile site that looks awesome.

Unfortunately, since Desktop URL Embed uses the Internet Explorer engine, the gadget can be a bit slow and a bit wonky at times. For instance, when I had the Android reddit on my desktop, IE insisted on adding a blue link outline to all the images that were links. However, DURLE is still quite useful, especially if you like to browse certain sites often and would like to not have to refresh the site all the time.

Price: Free!

Version discovered: v1.0.0

Supported OS: Windows Vista/7

Download size: 2.8KB

VirusTotal malware scan results: 0/42

Desktop URL Embed homepage

Qatapult

Want to quickly switch between programs and run various keyboard commands? Alt+Tab is one solution, sure, but do it with style — use Qatapult. Inspired by the Mac app QuickSilver, Qatapult lets you launch programs, send emails, and more. You can search the web using either Google or Amazon and even browse your computer’s filesystem.

Qatapult is a nice little app if you’re looking for a nice launcher. However, it’s still version 0.2, and is a bit buggy and configuration only works by manually editing the config file. However, even with these issues, it’s still quite a promising application and is unique enough to be useful.

Note: The readme.txt file says the defauly keyboard shorcut is Ctrl+Space. It is actually Shift+Space.

Price: Free!

Version discovered: v0.2

Supported OS: Windows Vista/7

Download size: 2.3MB

VirusTotal malware scan results: 0/40

Qatapult 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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13 comments

  1. Becky

    I avoid all the hassle with IE or with extra tabs with instapaper and with FFox’s Session Manager addon. These let me save any tab I want to peruse later…much later. They don’t add extra stuff to my desktop. They do tend to get forgotten just like the links in my bookmark/folders file but that may be my age or relative degree of interest.

  2. Janet

    @Rob (Down Under):

    I looked at your link and still don’t get it….Their screenshot looks just like my IE Favorites tree with folders and subfolders. Only difference seems to be that I have my lists directly in their folders instead of zq’s separate right-hand pane. Handier to have it all together down the left side of the window while browsing. To add a new site page, I just drag the icon fron the address box directly into the requisite folder. And you can also copy and back up the IE Favorites folder and take/put it anywhere. The only advantage I can imagine is if you have multiple browsers (?). I only have IE, so I don’t see anything it can add to my very orderly Favorites folders and subfolders……..

  3. Rob (Down Under)

    I downloaded the latest version (of URL Gather), which only appears to have an installer.
    My attempts to get my data into it, resulted in a loss of about 95%
    I uninstalled, and replaced the backup of my earlier folder.
    I am working again, with no loss of data.
    I have written to them, to see if we can make the latest version portable, and retain all previous data.

  4. Rob (Down Under)

    @Janet:
    Hi Janet,
    Did you browse this page -
    http://www.zqware.com/index.php/product/urlgather
    Most of that page is describing it’s features and benefits, and includes -
    “Using browser’s function(such as IE favorites or Firefox bookmarks) is not convenient when there are too many sites. Then let URL Gather come to help you”

    This is me speaking again -
    Being portable, you can just copy the whole folder, to back it up somewhere.
    And when your PC dies, or you just start using another PC, you just place a copy into that other PC.
    I have a folder called
    C:\PGMS_NoInstall\
    I have sub folders for all my portable (No Install) programs.
    That whole folder can be backed up, and all of your data and settings are transported with the backup.
    The whole folder can be placed in any other PC, and everything works, and is up to date.

    Rob
    PS IE users, using FireFox with NoScript, is the only way to surf.

  5. BLACKBIRD

    (This is referring to the Windows Software section…)
    Your new organized method of categorizing Is great…
    EXCEPT for one…. MINOR? ? ?…. detail.
    Is there a possibility that you could include the NAME of the software(s)
    in your emails? I,… and I believe,… many others…. used to only click on the ones that we found possibly
    interesting…… But now we have to click on everything just to see what they are about.
    Thanks!

  6. Rob (Down Under)

    I don’t like things running on my PC, other than the main program(s) I am currently using.
    I have been looking for an opportunity to mention a program, that I use very frequently.
    It is not an exact alternative to ‘Desktop URL Embed’ but it may provide an alternative to those that are slightly tempted to use ‘Desktop URL Embed’ to solve a slight need they have. (I may prevent them using a sledgehammer to crack a walnut)
    The main reason I love the program (that I am about to suggest) is, it has saved me from a ‘hoarding habit’ I had of keeping tons of Tabs open in FF, to remind me to follow up on them sometime.
    The program is ‘URL Gather’ and is FREE -
    http://www.zqware.com/index.php/product/urlgather
    It is very similar to FlashNote in it’s layout (Tree structure on the left).
    You create Folders, and sub folders, and then store URLs on the right.
    I love this program (see my PS).

    Getting back to those that may have a slight need for ‘Desktop URL Embed’
    Instead they could have a folder in URL Gather, called say ‘Check frequently’
    When they wish to do their hourly check, they just single left click the SysTray Icon.
    And then double click the desired URL. Which launches it in your browser.

    It is a ‘No Install’ which some people love (hint, hint).

    Rob
    PS My bad habit of keeping tons of Tabs open, reminds me of something I saw in a documentary, where a Russian husband was very disorganized, and was frustrating the hades out of his wife. At one point she yells out to him, in another room, ‘regulate yourself’
    That still tickles me, when I recall it.
    In regards to my bad Tabs habit, I have ‘regulated myself’