Windows software of the day [August 14, 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 August 14, 2012

ClipSync

There’s something rather odd about Android. For all of the synchronization built into the platform, why is there no good way to synchronize simple things like the clipboard? Until ClipSync, that was but a pipe dream. Now, you can sync the two with great ease.

ClipSync is very easy to use. First, install it on your computer. It runs invisibly in the background and has no settings whatsoever. Then, install the app on your phone or tablet and open it. Select New Server and find your clip server. Repeat the last two steps for any devices you want to connect–go on, it’s limitless! Now, you’re ready to save the world–wait, what?!

It’s easy to use and, coupled with the video above, is great fun. If you’ve got an Android device, there’s no reason to not use ClipSync: it’s free, it’s fast, and it’s quite useful.

Price: Free!

Version discovered: v1.2

Supported OS: Windows; Mac & Linux coming soon

Download size: 902KB

VirusTotal malware scan results: unknown

Portability: Requires installation

ClipSync homepage

[via AddictiveTips]

Image Resize Guide Lite

“Wow,” you tell yourself, “that sure was a nice vacation to [place I wanted to vacation to]! Now let’s look at the pictures I took.”

Upon opening the pictures, you notice something went horribly, horribly wrong: there’s a random person in the background of each and every one of them! Image Resize Guide Lite is a free program to remove unwanted pieces from photos by removing lines of least importance.

Image Resize Guide Lite makes use of a technique called seam carving to remove unwanted distractions: it’s what they call a smart resize. Unfortunately, access to this tool is limited in the free version, and I was able to access it only one of the two times I tried to use it. When it did work, it worked quite well, and was able to remove much more of photos than I thought before turning them into jelly.

My recommendation? Don’t bother with the payware. It may look nice, but at the end of the day, it’s not worth potentially installing bloatware or even accidentally installing adware when a perfectly good webapp will suffice. Instead, use the free webapp Rszir.

Note: be sure to download the Lite version from the bottom of the page!
Be sure to uncheck bundled adware when installing. 

Price: Free with $45 upgrade

Version discovered: v1.3

Supported OS: Windows 

Download size: 3.4MB

VirusTotal malware scan results: 0/41

Portability: Requires installation

Image Resize Guide homepage

[via AddictiveTips]

PNG Gauntlet

There are numerous programs out there to compress PNGs to their minimum size. There’s previously covered PNG Crush, for instance, which uses the pngcrush algorithm to smush the files as far as they’ll go. However, PNG Gauntlet is different: it uses a combination of three algorithms, virtually guaranteeing that the files will end up as tiny as is humanly (machinely?) possible.

It’s easy to use, too. With PNG Gauntlet, you just drag and drop the files you want compressed in, and then select a destination folder. If you’re feeling daring, you can always just overwrite the files when it’s done compressing. I compressed the last several day’s worth of WSotD screenshots, and from 5MB of screenshots I saved 0.9MB. It took quite a while to do this: 25 minutes. It’s really not noticeable, unless you’re the host of a (semi)popular website who’s looking to save on bandwidth.

Overall, PNG Gauntlet is a good but slow program, and while it would be nice to save more space with it, it’s perfectly acceptable to save a few kilobytes here and there. It’s not really a program for mere desktop users, but if you run a server you may notice a decrease in load times and weights after running it.

Price: Free!

Version discovered: v3.1.2

Supported OS: Windows only

Download size: 901KB

VirusTotal malware scan results: 0/42

Portability: Requires installation

PNG Gauntlet homepage

[via Ghacks]

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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9 comments

  1. RobCr

    @Locutus:
    Thanks Locutus, I will store a reminder to check that out.
    I am subscribed to Your Android Apps of the day. They are all in my inbox (unread), waiting for me to get around to them.

    I have become a big fan of wireless keyboards (full PC size) with wireless mouse, for my PCs.
    Recently saw an advert for tiny little usb cable that plugs into the the tiny usb socket on the Galaxy S2, and has normal USB socket on the other end. It allegedly allows one to plug in the above mentioned keyboard, and use it for the phone.
    I ordered a few from different ebay suppliers, as they sometimes don’t fit, but only cost $2.
    Haven’t got around to trying them yet either.
    My middle name is Don’tProcrastinate but I never use my middle name.
    Thanks,
    Rob
    PS Will it work in Australia ?

  2. RobCr

    @John:
    Thanks John, I will check it out.

    @Eric:
    I actually deliberately used IrfanView’s Options screen to change some insignificant setting.
    That allowed me to run Everything, to list all INI files on my PC. I then sorted Everything’s list, by modified date. That allowed me to discover where IrfanView has it’s INi file, and what name it goes by.
    I use INI files in all my VB6 programs, but it would be unwise (most times) for me or anyone to be changing the contents of INI files, in other peoples’ programs, as one never knows what else their code does, when an option is changed via the supplied Options screen.

    PS Ashraf,
    Have you ‘played the last post’, for post numbers ?
    Where have the post numbers gone.
    I was storing a reminder to check out AirDroid, and I normally also store the post number.

  3. Eric

    @RobCr:
    Yeah, changing the settings within the application itself is always best and definitely more convenient but INI files are often a mystery. I have never understood why so many software developers refuse to make their programs more customizable.

  4. RobCr

    @Eric:
    Yes thanks, I did see your post.
    I have it up my sleeve, but I am still digging into the settings.INI file (i_view32.ini)
    My inspection of that file, did not reveal an answer.
    So I thought – ‘what if I copy the file, and place it on the other PCs’
    In my efforts to locate the settings file, I fired up IrfanView, and modified one of the settings.
    After saving it, I fired up everything, and located that recently modified file.
    I took a copy, but I noticed when I next used IrfanView on my main PC, that I had lost the Arrows up/down zooming. It is a bit like Quantum physics – If you observe what is happening, it changes the result.
    I will locate a copy from one of my image backups, and try pasting into all my PCs.

  5. Rob (Down Under)

    I have the 2nd best cell phone in the universe (Samsung Galaxy S2).
    Is there an easy (and safe) way to type my message/text on my PC, and get it into a SMS that I wish to send ?
    I am guessing ClipSync could do it, but is there an easier (and safer) way to do it ?

  6. Eric

    I tried out Png Gauntlet a while back and it works great. I have yet to find a single png file that it can’t shrink and there is no loss in quality because png is a lossless format. On average you will shrink the images by about 25% but some of my images were shrunk by over half.
    It is also extremely consistent in how it shrinks images. I took several identical screenshots with several different tools. The screenshot sizes varied considerably until the gauntlet reduced them all to near identical like plus or minus 1% in size.
    It can be very slow though. It varies from slow to extremely slow, so just put a few images into it, make a cup of coffee, make a pot roast, watch Gone with the Wind, Ben Hur, and the entire Tour de France, and untangle the cords behind your computer and tv and it should almost be done.