Windows software of the day [April 12th, 2012]

Today’s Software

  • Qwertick, an app to make typewriter sounds
  • Minibin, a system tray recycling bin manager
  • WinPlusX, a quick settings panel

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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 12th, 2012

Qwertick

Is anything more satisfying than typing on an IBM Model M? Actually, I don’t know because I’ve never used one. However, I’ve heard they’re the best keyboard ever produced. They had just the right amount of click and the right amount of springiness.

After installing Qwertick, you’ll get to hear the sound of a typewriter. It’s not the nicest sounding typewriter, but it’s still a nice thing to have. It’s also not loud and in your face like many of its competitors.

Price: Free!

Version discovered: v1.0.1

Supported OS: Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7

Download size: 33KB installer | 26KB portable

VirusTotal malware scan results: 0/36 installer | 0/43 portable

Qwertick homepage

MiniBin

Keeping an eye on your Recycle Bin can be a pain. Especially if you keep your desktop hidden, you can often lose track of its used space and wind up having only a tiny bit of hard drive space left by the time you remember to empty it.

MiniBin offers an elegant solution to this problem: by adding a recycle bin to the system tray, you can always keep an eye on it to make sure it’s relatively low. And if it’s too full, MiniBin offers a nice fix for that too: double click and it’ll empty the bin.

MiniBin is a really nice (and really themeable) program that lets you keep good track of your recycle bin and make sure it doesn’t use up too much space.

Price: Free!

Version discovered: v3.8.3.0

Supported OS: Windows ??

Download size: 100KB

VirusTotal malware scan results: 0/43

MiniBin homepage

WinPlusX

Windows 8 brings many new features to the traditional desktop, and pretty much all of them are 100% controversial. One of these new features is a quick menu that can be accessed by hitting Win + X. Developer Abhishek Pratap Singh decided that he wanted this feature now, not when Windows 8 comes out, and thus WinPlusX was born.

By hitting Win + X (or right-clicking on the Start menu) you can call up a special menu that’ll contain tons of links to Windows options: Event Viewer, Command Prompt, and Windows Explorer all make appearances, and you can also add your own shortcuts.

WinPlusX is a free tool that lets you carry back one of the (slightly) less controversial features from Windows 8 to Windows XP/Vista/7.

Price: Free!

Version discovered: v4.0

Supported OS: Windows XP/Vista/7 

Download size: 1.3MB – requires .NET 4.0

VirusTotal malware scan results: 0/42

WinPlusX 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. Marcelis

    had a family emergency yeterday so sorry for late reply. got an ibm thinkpad t42. it has windows xp professional on it. got it when a company went out of business. all can afford right now. that why trying free stuff out.

  2. Rob (Down Under)

    I thought my questions were reasonable, and would be wise to wait for the answers ?
    But since we are jumping in with solutions, I will jump in with this one.
    There is a program called KeyTweak which has been around for years.
    I have used it with laptops that were giving me problems.
    You can choose another key on your keyboard and map it to become the Left or Right Windows key.
    Here is an article on it -
    http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/window-on-windows/how-do-i-remap-my-keyboard-with-keytweak/861
    And in the article there is a link to the download -
    http://webpages.charter.net/krumsick/

  3. Locutus
    Author/

    @Marcelis: The Windows key is a little key that has a flag-shape on it. This flag’s actually the Windows key. If yours doesn’t, it might have an Apple logo or something else. Look for a command-type key that, when you press it, opens the start menu.

    To get the recycle bin off your desktop, you can go to Personalize > Desktop Icons > uncheck Recycle Bin.

  4. Rob (Down Under)

    @Marcelis:
    More info is usually a good thing -
    - Version of Windows
    - Is it a laptop
    - Brand of PC
    - Model number
    If my memory serves me correctly, I had an IBM laptop (briefly), and it did not have a Windows key (They are still fuming over the young Bill Gates legally robbing them)
    I have some suggestions, but will await your extra info.

  5. tejas

    I’ve already made 2 comments that didn’t get posted, but I’m going to try again…….

    @Marcelis:
    1) On Win7, right click the desktop, and select Personalization > Change desktop icons. I don’t remember how it’s done on XP.
    2) The Win key will generally have the Windows flag on it, pressing it will open the Start menu. If you don’t have one, as far as I know, you’ll have to get a keyboard that has one, to use it.

  6. Marcelis

    Two questions here. Please answer them.
    1. How do you get the recycle bin off the desktop? Or is it permanently there?
    2. what is a win key? my keyboard does not have one. so how can this be used if you do not have one?

  7. tejas

    My earlier comment didn’t get posted for some reason…… oh well.
    Thanks for MiniBin. I didn’t realize I needed such an app, but I do now. ;)
    @Rob (Down Under):
    Yes, it’s a “No Install”…. and don’t call me Shirley ;P
    @Mike:
    That won’t be a problem on a desktop machine, and I don’t find the Mobility Center all that helpful on my laptop anyway….

  8. Mike

    As to WinPlusX, note that right now, natively, the Win + X key combination calls up the Windows Mobility Center (in Vista and Win7), kind of nice to have. Not sure if WinPlusX can be reassigned to a keypress of the user’s choice or if this conflict otherwise easily can be avoided, without the use of a separate hotkey program.

  9. Rob (Down Under)

    Is WinPlusX a ‘No Install’
    (That is, can it just be placed in a folder in my C drive, and it can run from there.)
    Shirley I can’t be the only (serious) one interested in knowing if programs are ‘No Install’ ?