Windows software of the day [July 19, 2012]

Today’s Software

  • IOGraphica: create a beautiful graph of your cursor over time
  • KeyCounter: count the number of times you hit individual keys
  • WhatPulse: record and track numbers of keypresses and mouse clicks/distance

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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 July 19, 2012

IOGraphica

Want to create art based on where your cursor was located while you used your computer? IOGraphica is a free program that creates a map based on cursor movement and stillness, and can overlay it on a screenshot of your activity.

Here at dotTech we actually covered IOGraphica last August. When you move the cursor, a faint gray line is drawn; when the cursor rests, it draws a black circle corresponding to the time of the wait. It creates some absolutely stunning art, and is totally worth the minute system drain of it running in the background. Try keeping it open and minimized while you work: it’ll be a tapestry of circles and lines when you’re done!

IOGraphica is a very interesting program, and is absolutely free. Check it out!

Price: Free!

Version discovered: v0.9

Supported OS: Windows/OS X/Linux with Java

Download size: 460KB

VirusTotal malware scan results: VT not working

Portability: No installation required!

IOGraphica homepage

[via vsauce]

KeyCounter

What’s the most popular key on your keyboard? You might be surprised: it’s probably not the letter “e”, even though that’s the most common letter in the English language. With KeyCounter, however, you can be 100% certain in calling one key the most-used key on your ‘board.

KeyCounter sits silently in the background waiting for you to press keys. It can monitor any set of keys you want, but comes with built-in sets for letters, numbers, F-keys, various sets of function and punctuation keys, and plain ol’ all of them at once. When writing this up, my space bar took the brunt of the typing: it received 269 keypresses. This was just above the left shift key, at 222 presses, and the backspace key at 172. It’s interesting to see this, as I never before knew I used backspace so much.

If you’re interested in seeing what your most-used keys are, I definitely recommend giving KeyCounter a try. It’s tiny and lets you track your key use with ease.

Price: Free!

Version discovered: v0.0.1.2

Supported OS: Windows unknown

Download size: 335KB

VirusTotal malware scan results: 0/43

Portability: No installation required!

KeyCounter homepage

[via HowTo Geek]

WhatPulse

KeyCounter sounds cool, with its key-counting abilities and all, but what if you want more? Want your key-counting tool to count mouse clicks too, and have the ability to generate heat maps of most-used keys? WhatPulse will do just that for you, and it’ll do it with ease.

WhatPulse is primarily cloud-based, and requires you to sign up for an account with them before using the program. After that’s completed, it counts your keys, your clicks, and even the distance your mouse cursor has traveled. It can then send “pulses” containing the frequencies of keypresses to their server. (You can set it to send these automatically.) You can also generate heatmaps from the context menu.

WhatPulse is an interesting approach to keyboard frequency monitors in that it uploads to the cloud. This lets you compare yourself to your friends and your enemies the top WhatPulse users in the world right from their website. It’s a very interesting program, and if you’re looking for a long-term game/competition to play with your friends, why not see who types more?

Price: Free!

Version discovered: v1.7.1

Supported OS: Windows unknown/OS X/Linux

Download size: 1.1MB

VirusTotal malware scan results: 0/42

Portability: Requires installation

WhatPulse homepage

[via vsauce]

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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8 comments

  1. Locutus
    Author/

    @sl0j0n: I find it a little bit scary that in reality, every application can really monitor your keystrokes. As far as I know, there’s no special permissions you need to get to do what these programs do, meaning some random non-keyboard program could potentially be reading all of my keystrokes. Yikes :/

  2. sl0j0n

    Hello, all.
    I may paranoid, but”naveed” has a valid point, folks.
    ANYbody that can “monitor” your keyboard is all ready ‘keylogging’ your keyboard activity.
    Word up, peeps.

    Have a GREAT day, neighbors!

  3. Kraal

    @Sharon:
    I find these programs to be rather interesting, even though they don’t ‘solve’ a problem or improve windows. It would be neat to see a map of my mouse movement, especially from playing games that use the mouse.
    And knowing what keys I use most is an intriguing idea.

    It’s nice to see software that isn’t always about solving a problem or improving a core aspect of computing, but is something fun and interesting. Even if it isn’t particularly useful for much.

  4. Terry

    Dang, my €50 keyboard doesn’t have that feature. 10 years old and still in perfect shape.
    Also, I bet everyone has been curious about his or her keyboard/mouse usage. I know I’ve been. I remember using WhatPulse several years ago, just for fun. But to be honest, I’m kinda surprised it still exists :p

  5. Rob (Down Under)

    For $12 you can purchase a keyboard that does this for you.
    The most used keys are the ones where the letters are worn away.

    Rob
    PS If you are purchasing nail polish to fix it, white ain’t very white.
    I had to resort to using typing correction fluid.

    PPS Was that SHARON STONE’ing you ?
    I had the same basic instinct.