Windows software of the day [July 30, 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 dotTech to never miss an article: RSS Feed | E-mail]

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Software for July 30, 2012

Expat Shield

The Games of the XXX Olympiad–or 2012 Summer Olympics for those not versed in official terminology–are finally here! Best of all, NBC is broadcasting all of the games for everyone to see without incessant chattering in your ear during crucial parts such as the opening ceremony. Wait, that’s not right. The BBC, off in the United Kingdom, is, and with Expat Shield, you can actually use a British VPN to access the BBC’s streaming site.

Expat Shield bills itself as the best option for maintaining your privacy and security using a VPN available. It assigns an IP in the United Kingdom, allowing you to access websites including the BBC’s online video player iPlayer. It’s on iPlayer, as shown to the right, that you can watch the Olympic games.

Expat Shield is supported by advertising, but where it inserts that advertising is unclear: is it popups on your computer, inserted into webpages you browse, or every nth redirect? They also block off certain content unless you purchase “EliteAccess”. It’s unclear what they block, but until it is blocked, Expat Shield is a great way to get around NBC’s less-than-perfect Olympic coverage.

Price: Free!

Version discovered: v2.25

Supported OS: Windows XP+

Download size: unknown – web downloader

VirusTotal malware scan results: 0/41

Portability: Requires installation

Expat Shield homepage

Immersive Explorer

Metro: love it or hate it, Microsoft is barreling towards it as fast as they can. Developers are even creating Metro-style apps for Windows 7. Immersive Explorer is one of those apps: it’s a Metro-styled Explorer alternative for Windows 7.

Immersive Explorer is surprisingly beautiful. As you open folders, media previews slide in from the left, and even on my relatively weak computer, animate quite nicely. The black background really helps bring the content forward, and although it currently doesn’t support it, integrated audio and video will most likely look amazing.

Although Immersive Explorer has really only had development releases so far, it’s a beautiful Explorer alternative and works surprisingly well with just your keyboard and mouse. Integrated photo viewing is wonderful, and integrated audio and video playback is planned for an upcoming release.

Price: Free!

Version Discovered: v0.1.1 preview

Supported OS: Windows 7+

Download size: 566KB

VirusTotal malware scan results: 0/41

Portability: No installation required!

Immersive Explorer homepage

[via Ghacks]

Scan2PDF

Looking for a way to easily scan documents as PDFs? Don’t go out and start up the Adobe PDF suite. Scan2PDF is a tiny little scanning app that scans and saves easily and efficiently.

Scan2PDF doesn’t bother wasting resources on a giant, flashy interface. It’s a scan button, an open button, a zoom button, and a save button. You just have to select your scanner, select a number of pages, and go.

Really, Scan2PDF is an awesomely tiny little program. It’s incredibly easy to use and quite simple, and makes a great scanning app for those not wishing to use Windows’ complicated built-in scanning app or a giant suite like Adobe.

Price: Free!

Version Discovered: v1.7

Supported OS: Windows 98+

Download size: 686-1086KB

VirusTotal malware scan results: portable 0/41 | installer 0/42

Portability: Portable version available!

Scan2PDF homepage

[via Freeware Genius]

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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7 comments

  1. Godel

    @ Rob (Down Under)

    Hotspot Shield is the US-based version of Expat Shield. I’ve no idea if it would work for your TV program.

    Annoyingly it has to load with every start-up, so I enable or disable it with Autoruns as necessary, then reboot.

  2. Jeanjean

    There are a lot of free VPN (Hideman for example). Just install one and run it. Clean your temp folder & cookies.
    StreamTransport must be start after your VPN (of course).
    It’s a free soft and easy to use (www. Streamtransport.com) : enter the address of the site (www.abc.com for example) and search the page to watch old episodes, play the one you must have and the link will appear in the bottom window of StreamTransport.
    Just clic on download !

    BTW, Desperate Housewives was a great serie !

  3. Rob (Down Under)

    @Jeanjean:
    Thanks,
    I no doubt will need hand holding (more details) on those – VPN and “Stream Transport”
    But there is no rush, as my neighbor has inherited (been given) some secondhand laptops , and I volunteered to get them working.
    Who knows some kind person at (or for) DotTech, might write an article on one or both of those subjects, in the meantime ?

  4. Jeanjean

    @ Rob
    Don’t try to be just anonymous (with a US Proxy), it don’t works anymore (at least on ABC).
    You must use a VPN (i think it’s the only solution !?) and “Stream Transport” to download your episode.

  5. Rob (Down Under)

    I missed an episode of Desperate Housewives (early in series 8)
    I believe I can view it on a US site, but it tells me to P.ss off back to Australia,
    Is there a way I can appear to be browsing from the US ?

    Thanks anyone,
    Rob
    PS I have practically all of the series 7 and 8 recorded on a PVR, awaiting me to have the time to watch them.
    When I ‘view’ (cough) that early series 8 episode, and the two final episodes of series 8, I will be hoping to save them somehow, so I don’t watch them out of sequence (don’t watch them til I have found the time to view all the earlier episodes on my PVR).
    I would appreciate advice on how to save them ?