Saturday, April 2, 2011 “Cool Websites and Tools [April 1st]” plus 10 more “Cool Websites and Tools [April 1st]” plus 10 more

Link to MakeUseOf

Cool Websites and Tools [April 1st]

Posted: 01 Apr 2011 08:31 PM PDT

Check out some of the latest MakeUseOf discoveries. All listed websites are FREE or come with a decent free account option. You can make use of them without spending a dime. If you want to have similar cool websites round-ups delivered to your email daily email subscribe here.

Add Your Website Here!


TxtJet – Many of us still have basic mobile phones that only send and receive phone calls and text messages. Since these phones do not have Internet capabilities, we cannot check our emails on them. But thanks to TxtJet, we can now receive our emails as text messages to your mobile phone. Read more: TxtJet: Forwards Emails As Text Messages To Your Mobile Phone – Although data from your social media profiles is readily available, it is hard to export it to formats that you can instantly use for analysis. is a nice web app that lets you quickly download your Facebook/Twitter profile analytics in a CSV or Excel report. This tool essentially becomes your source of raw data for your social media campaign. Read more: Export Your Data From Social Media As Excel Or CSV



SaleLocator – Day sales are always a great delight for bargain hunters. However finding a sale that will suit your shopping trip can be very challenging. If you are looking for the next big promotion in your city, then you should check out SaleLocator. This tool provides a database promo deals in your locality, laid out on a map so that you can plan your shopping for the day. Read more: SaleLocator: Finds & Maps Local Shop Deals



Binpress – Hiring freelance programmers to write up the source code for your programming tasks can be quite time consuming. A much better option is Binpress, a website that acts as a marketplace for buying and selling source codes online. It can help you find and purchase the source code you need. Read more: Binpress: A Marketplace For Buying & Selling Source Codes



Exhibit Core Floor Planner – Before organizing a party that involves many people, it would be a wise idea to plan the floor arrangement to accommodate everybody. Thankfully there are numerous web tools that can help you virtually organize your room and visualize your ideas. Exhibit Core Floor Planner is one such web tool to create event floor plan online. Read more: Exhibit Core Floor Planner: Create Event Floor Plans Online


These are just half of the websites that we discovered in the last couple of days. If you want us to send you daily round-ups of all cool websites we come across, leave your email here. Or follow us via RSS feed.

Hey Facebookers, make sure to join MakeUseOf on Facebook and get access to some exclusve stuff. Over 70,000 fans already!



More articles about:

The 5 Best Questions From You [MakeUseOf Answers]

Posted: 01 Apr 2011 06:31 PM PDT

MakeUseOf Answers welcomes great challenges and great solutions alike. Both are showcased every Friday as we honor the winners in our Best Answer of the Week contest.

This week the prizes go to:

Best Answer of the Week – Mike

1st Runner Up – ha14

2nd Runner Up – pceasies

Congratulations to the winners!

Thank you very much everyone for your time and effort! If your answer wasn’t chosen this time, know that it was appreciated nevertheless! Maybe you will be more lucky contributing a solution to some of the best questions:

MakeUseOf Answers can teach you a trick each day. Read, learn, and share by browsing the Latest Questions. For regular updates subscribe to the Answers RSS Feed.

Need help? Ask A Question at MakeUseOf Answers.

Need Assistance? Ask questions to MakeUseOf staff and thousands of other readers on MakeUseOf Answers!



More articles about: , , ,

Top 5 Websites Other Than Amazon To Find Great Kindle Books

Posted: 01 Apr 2011 04:31 PM PDT

books for kindleWith the availability of so many free or affordable e-reader programs and devices for both Mac, PC, and mobile device users, you can find some good free ebooks – especially classical literature – to download and start reading in a matter of a few minutes. With Kindle being the most popular of e-readers – both in its software platform for Mac, PC and mobile devices, and its hardware versions – many websites have popped up to provide free downloads of what is called the Kindle or .mobi formats for Kindle e-readers.

First off, if you don't know how to download free Amazon Kindle ebooks to your PC, check out Karl's article here and see my article about how to add and read Kindle books on your Mac and Apple mobile devices. Free eBook Collection

Before we delve into the 5 other online sources for Kindle books, let’s remind ourselves that has a section of free ebooks - mainly older, out-of-copyright and pre-1923 books – that you can browse and download to your Kindle. Popular current features include Leo Tolstoy's classic War and Peace and Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.

books for kindle

Amazon's free ebooks listings are easy to browse and download. You can sort the list by Bestselling, Avg. Customer Review, and Publication Date, and Price: Low to High.


ManyBooks has a well organized listing of popular free ebooks, including the mobile format. A good place to start browsing on this site is its Categories page which lists over 60 genres of books – including Adventure, Banned Books, Fantasy, Politics, Satire, and Science Fiction.

kindle books available

When you select a book, you need to click on the accompanying pull-down Download button to get a list of ebook formats, many of which include .mobi.

kindle books available


FreeKindleBooks is not a visually appealing site, but it too offers thousands of Kindle-compatible ebooks in the classical category. This is the site you go to if you're looking for books by writers like Charles Darwin, Emily Dickinson, W.E.B Du Bois, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Homer, Sarah Orne Jewett and William Shakespeare.

kindle books available

Titles on this site do include book cover images. When you click on a title, the linked .mobi version, like the above image, will download to your computer or mobile device.


MobiPocket has over 116,000 listings. What sets this site apart is that it includes Kindle books in various international languages, including French, Spanish, Portuguese, Danish, and Russian.

download kindle books

Book categories include Juvenile literature, US politics, Criminology, history and the like. Unfortunately, listings don’t include descriptions beyond the author and title.


If you're not finding what you're looking for on any of the sites above, you might try the search engine, JustFreeBooks.

download kindle books

This site searches over 700 websites for free listings. The search results for titles will include the available formats of ebooks, including Kindle .mobi.

download kindle books

Project Gutenberg

Established in 1971, Project Gutenberg has the largest single collection of free electronic books on the Internet.


You mainly search by title and catalog to find ebooks on this site. But you also can check out its Bookshelf listings, which includes 80 different categories of ebooks. If you're an avid reader, you could easily spend hours on this site.

books for kindle

Clicking on a title also brings up listed ebook formats. There's also a link to read ebooks online.

These are the free Kindle ebook sites I found the most well established and easy to use. If you know of other sites that should be added to this list, please let us know about them.

Our other Kindle related articles include:

Borrow Kindle eBooks From The Kindle Lending Club
How To Remove DRM from MOBI and PRC eBooks
Reading Ebooks on The iPad with iBooks & Amazon Kindle [Mac]

Hey Facebookers, make sure to join MakeUseOf on Facebook and get access to some exclusve stuff. Over 70,000 fans already!



More articles about: , , , ,

The Best Of: Windows Software [Update]

Posted: 01 Apr 2011 03:30 PM PDT

As you may know, we have a page that’s populated with only the best Windows software. We simply call it The Best Of: Windows Software page. After some more thorough research, we’ve updated it to include an additional 12 new apps.

  1. Threatfire – under Malware/Spyware Removal
  2. FreeFileSync – under Backup
  3. PDF Xchange viewer – under Documents
  4. Nitro PDF Reader – under Documents
  5. Send to Toys – under Productivity
  6. Dexpot – under Productivity
  7. Exact Audio Copy – under CD/DVD Tools
  8. DVD Flick – under CD/DVD Tools
  9. PeerBlock – under Downloads
  10. Sticky Password – under Others
  11. TeamViewer – under Others

We’ve also added a new category called Files/Drives and populated it with:

  1. FileMenu Tools
  2. FreeCommander
  3. TeraCopy
  4. EASEUS Partition Master (originally from Others)
  5. Unlocker (originally from Others)

Go ahead, head over to The Best Of: Windows Software page and check the new apps out!

Hey Facebookers, make sure to join MakeUseOf on Facebook and get access to some exclusve stuff. Over 70,000 fans already!



More articles about: ,

The 10 Coolest Google Chrome Themes

Posted: 01 Apr 2011 02:31 PM PDT

google chrome themesThe big three – as far as browsers are concerned – have been making headlines as of late. Microsoft released IE9, which was downloaded nearly 2.5 million times in the first 24 hours of being released. While impressive, Firefox 4 came out clearing some 5 million downloads in its first 24-hour release period. Google Chrome has even been in the news with some of its new features, like talk to search, being integrated in its latest beta release.

Out of the three browsers I’ve mentioned, Chrome is still my favorite. It’s very minimalist and I’m a fan of the overall design and functionality. Besides all that though, one of the cool things about Chrome is also one of its most basic features – the ability to add themes. People have created a lot of great themes for the Chrome browser that you can install with a simple click. In this article, I’ll show you the Google Chrome themes that I thought were the coolest.

What’s so cool about themes? Well, rather than try explaining it to you, check out this cool YouTube video that Google has whipped up for your viewing pleasure.

1. Chuck Anderson

google chrome themes

This might just be my favorite theme on this list. I’m a fan of the grayish-blue tabs and the bright universe-like stars in the background. I think you’ll like it, try it out.

2. Glow

themes for google chrome

Glow is a really cool theme because, while it has a black background, it is actually quite colorful at the top. If you’d like to see your back, refresh, home, and preference buttons glowing you should be a fan of this one too.

3. Tiesto

themes for google chrome

If you’re looking for a dark theme, Tiesto is a pretty cool looking one. This one used to be my go-to default theme for a while, and I like the use of gray and white mixed in with the black background.

4. Gradient

themes for google chrome

This theme is displayed as a gradient (go figure) of various shades of blue. If you’re into blue you should like this one, and I can honestly say it shouldn’t be too bright for your taste either.

5. Glossy Blue

chrome themes

I like the Glossy Blue theme because of its use of grays and blues. With this theme, the tab you’re focused in on will be a shade of blue, while all the background tabs will be grayed out.

6. Pencil Sketch

chrome themes

The Pencil Sketch theme is attractive because of its simplicity. It’s very basic, which is something you might like considering you’re a Chrome user in the first place.

7. Jack Spade

chrome themes

This theme by an artist is pretty cool because it has that hand-drawn feel to it. If you’re a fan of the blue and orange color combo, or you’re into patterns, this might be your theme.

8. Rampage

Rampage is a recognizable contemporary fashion brand according to the theme page. Regardless of what that actually means, I just like the look and feel of this one.

9. The Beatles

Let’s face it, there aren’t many things that are cooler than The Beatles. If you’re a fan, or you just wish your browser was a little more groovy, you should check out this theme.

10. Mario

google chrome themes

The Mario thing is also pretty cool, especially if you’re a big fan. It’s a little too bright for my taste, but perhaps that’s just the sort of thing you’re looking for.


Are you a fan of any of the Google Chrome themes I provided above? If you aren’t, or if you’ve been inspired to create one of your own, we’ve got you covered. You can create your own themes using Chrome Theme Maker and this tutorial on How to Design a Browser Theme for Google Chrome by Tim.  Let us know what decorates your Chrome browser, in the comments below.

Hey Facebookers, make sure to join MakeUseOf on Facebook and get access to some exclusve stuff. Over 70,000 fans already!



More articles about: , ,

Hot Tech Deals [Apr 1st]

Posted: 01 Apr 2011 01:30 PM PDT

If you’re in the market for a new computer, laptop, mobile phone, games and other accessories; don’t waste your time searching online. We’ve taken the liberty of locating the best tech deals and unifying them into a single post for your convenience.

For more fresh hot deals, visit our Hot Tech Deals page, which is constantly updated.

  1. Dell Inspiron 14R Intel Core i5-2410M Dual-Core Sandy Bridge 14in Laptop w/ 2yr Warranty, 2yr McAfee $699 via code HLSKSR06S9ZG0F (Exp Soon)
  2. Sony BRAVIA XBR-46HX909 46in 3D LED-Backlit HDTV (Locally Dimming, Netflix & MORE) $1399.99 Free Shipping via code EAU25201 (Exp Soon)
  3. Cooler Master Storm Scout Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $69.99 Free Shipping via code EMCKFKJ37 (Exp 4/7)
  4. Seagate Momentus XT 500GB 2.5in Internal Solid State Hybrid Hard Drive $94.99 via code EMCKFKJ26 (Exp 4/7)
  5. HP Pavilion dm1z AMD Dual-Core E-350 (FUSION) 11.6in Laptop w/ ATI Radeon HD6310M Graphics $399.99 via code NB5751 (Exp Soon)
  6. HP ENVY 17 Intel Core 7-2630QM Quad-Core Sandy Bridge 17.3in Laptop (6GB/750GB/Radeon 6850) $1199 via code NB7275 (Exp Soon)
  7. HP dv7tqe Intel Core i7-2630QM Quad-Core Sandy Bridge 17.3in Laptop (6GB/750GB/Blu-Ray/Radeon 6770) $892
  8. HP Pavilion dv6tse Intel Core i5-2410M Dual-Core Sandy Bridge 15in Laptop (6GB/640GB) $664.99 via code NB2315 (Exp Soon)
  9. Crucial RealSSD C300 128GB Internal SATA3 Solid State Drive SSD (TRIM) $199.99 Free Shipping via code EMCKFKJ22 (Exp 4/7)

Image credit: Modified from Svengraph’s icon set

Do you like MakeUseOf articles? Don’t forget to share our articles with others! It’s really important to us.



More articles about:

5 Time-Killing Google Android Apps For The Moderately Bored

Posted: 01 Apr 2011 12:31 PM PDT

android apps boredSmartphones are really great for those idle moments when you’re stuck waiting for short periods without the aid of a book. While many of us would turn directly to phone games for entertainment, others are more keen to read popular news stories and see the latest strange pictures the Internet has cooked up. If you ever find yourself in the latter category, you’ll love the free Android applications in the following list.

Most of the following applications have tie-ins with social bookmarking sites and can therefore also be used to share your favourite items with your friends. If you do, your friends who are bored at work will love the way you spent your 20 minute wait at the doctor’s office.

Reddit Is Fun

If you love Reddit, you’ll love the Reddit Is Fun application. It’s a simple interface, allowing you to read posts or comments, then vote on submissions and comments.

interesting android apps

You can even reply to any comment — just click on the comment and you’ll be given the option.

android apps bored


Just as the Stumbleupon web app and browser extensions can induce hours of entertaining idleness, the Android Stumbleupon application is a sure-fire way to kill time pleasantly. The application has been well designed so that you can either stumble through your favourite topics or stumble through the best types of media for smartphones, such as photos or video.

interesting android apps

XKCD Viewer

You have to admit, one of the best things about having a smartphone is having access to comics in idle moments, and what better comic than XKCD? Open the XKCD Viewer app and it’ll show the most recent comic. To use, swipe the screen to see the rest of the picture and see the menu to read the hover text. Move back through the most recent comics one by one or click the dice for a random entry.

interesting android apps

MakeUseOf Application

If you’re a fan of our blog, you’ll love the MakeUseOf Android application. It’s the best way to stay on top of our latest news, applications, cool tips and tricks. Read more about the application here.

apps for when your bored

Reddit Pics

You might think an application like Reddit Pics would be redundant if you already use Reddit Is Fun, but you’d be wrong. Reddit Pics takes pictures from the /r/pics Subreddit, filters it for NSFW entries and shows you the pictures in your Android app. Basically, all you do is swipe to move back through the archive and see all the best pictures Reddit has offered lately. Or if you prefer, you can choose your own Subreddit to browse. The point is that it’s such a simple way to browse the pictures that have been submitted. You’ll love it.

android apps bored

More Ways To Kill Time

If you’re still looking for time-killing Android apps, here’s a few more articles you’ll love:

What’s your favourite time-killing Android application? How do you waste your time in waiting rooms? Let us know in the comments!

Hey Facebookers, make sure to join MakeUseOf on Facebook and get access to some exclusve stuff. Over 70,000 fans already!



More articles about: , , ,

10 Cool & Interesting Web Applications On Fonts & Typography

Posted: 01 Apr 2011 11:31 AM PDT

web applications fontsI have always been intrigued by how thick and thin lines, angles and shapes can come together and form beautiful fonts. Just a shift of pressure on a stroke and you can get something entirely new. That's the magic of typography.

Typography is art in its truest sense, and the web has certainly made it more mainstream. Choosing the right fonts and a theme to go with it are joined at the hip when it comes to web design. The right combination gives us a web design that spells 'wow'.

Not all of us are graphic designers or art directors; but that shouldn't stop us from exploring the wonderful world of typography. Typefaces and fonts are just a part of it. There are varied web applications and websites that can help perk up your interest.

Explore these ten websites…some of them are practical tools and some are just cool. In the end, I am sure you will see that fonts aren't just print on a page.

Flipping Typical

web applications fonts

When you first land here you won't immediately grasp what it is about. The single page display of fonts shows you the popular typefaces you have on your computer. The whole thing is a bit of Javascript 'magic'. You can also type in any text and see it displayed in different typefaces. Also, you can change the font name in the top black bar to change the display with the new default font. (See Directory mention)

You can also try the similar STC fontBrowser 2.0 online tool to view the active fonts on your system.


web typography

You have seen a font somewhere but can't exactly place the name of the typeface. TypeNavigator helps you sort through the probabilities with its unique visual search system. Select the closest look from the choices on display; then work through the forms like width, angle, contour etc to narrow down your search. Think of this useful font app as a filter to jog your memory cells and get that fuzzy font you remember from somewhere.


web typography

This web app gives you two routes to get to an obscure font. Answer a series of questions or search for a font by giving part (or whole) of its name. The site says that it is the largest independent directory of typefaces on the Internet, with information about fonts from 645 publishers and 175 vendors. Click on any of the tabs to search fonts by appearance, name, similarity, or by a descriptive word. (See Directory mention)


web typography

This useful font website is for the web designer who wants to compare web typography and settle on one. Typechart's usefulness comes in because the web designer can also download the CSS for the particular font. Using the preview, font rendering for Windows and Mac can be compared against each other.

We Love Typography

typography web application

Membership to this cool type related blog is by invitation only, but that's because the site wants to focus completely on beautiful typography from around the web. If you love typography, then the visual website is a must visit.


typography web application

Typedia is a community encyclopedia of typefaces. Using the search engine on the site you can search for typefaces, designers, foundries, and other related links. Another way to look into the world of typography would be through the listings on the site (check Browse Listings). The site explains its principle as – think of it like a mix between IMDb and Wikipedia, but just for type.


typography web application

Typetester as the name indicates is a very useful tool for web designers who want to compare the appearance of different fonts on the screen. You can pick the ones given in the list or also use the ones detected on your system. You can also compare each font against each other by changing the parameters like color, size, case etc.


We have looked and admired fonts. Now, if you think that it's time to design a few fonts, you can try out this free online font-building tool. If you have ever tried your hand at designing icons on a grid editor then this tool will be familiar to you. Using simple strokes you can design fonts. It's not difficult, but you have to be patient and creative. Fonts can be saved, shared, and downloaded for your use. Check out the gallery to see the scope of this online app. (See Directory mention)

The Rather Difficult Font Game

This simple guess the font game can leave even the most well versed designer stumped. But you can discover cool new fonts while you rack up the score. There's even an iPhone app.

Dance Writer

web applications fonts

Typotheque Dance Writer is a fun application that takes your letter inputs and converts them into dance movements. You can for example type in your name and make the interactive human figure move to it. There's no useful application for this…except a bit of fun. One of its fun uses is to type in a text message and email it as dance movements to your friends.

We have seen that fonts and typography websites come in many flavors – from the practical to the fun. For more regular uses of fonts, check out some of our previous posts on fonts

5 Excellent Sources To Download Free Text Fonts
10 Cool Free Computer Fonts That Will Make You Stand Out
How To Create Your Own Fonts & Characters on Windows

If you love typography, let us know about your favorite website.

Image Credit: Shutterstock

Hey Facebookers, make sure to join MakeUseOf on Facebook and get access to some exclusve stuff. Over 70,000 fans already!



More articles about: , , , ,

4 Great Uses For Amazon’s S3 Web Services

Posted: 01 Apr 2011 10:31 AM PDT

amazon s3 web servicesDespite Amazon being most well known for their retail services, they actually also offer a host of web services for developers and home users that take advantage of Amazon’s experience and scalability with massive amounts of data warehousing. One of those services is called S3, which stands for “Simple Storage Service“.

Here are 3 ways in which you can make use of Amazon S3 web services today.

Introduction & Amazon S3 Costs

S3 operates on a basis of paying only for what you use, with separate fees for storage, data transfer and data requests. Ignoring data request fees because the cost is minimal, the fees break down as follows:


5GB free, then $0.15/GB per month (100GB = $15)

Data Transfer (Upload)


Data Transfer (Download)


As an example then – if you used it to store 100GB of data – it would cost you $10 to upload it all, $15 per month to store it, and a further $15 when you decided to download it all again.

So what can you do with all that cloud storage?

Backup Your Computer Files

The most obvious use is for cloud-backup of your important files. While I don’t suggest you spend the next 6 months uploading your entire 4TB video collection to S3, they do claim to achieve 99.999999999% file durability, which means anything you upload will most certainly not get destroyed. For critical files you couldn’t stand to lose, it is the most cost effective and secure way of ensuring you have a solid backup.

To make the backup process simple, you’ll need some software to automate the process. Arq is the best option, but the price tag of $30 may be off-putting for some. However it does offer some fantastic features like being able to set a monthly backup budget. JungleDisk is a pay-monthly reseller ($3/month) that provides similar software. On the free side, S3BackupSystem is a capable utility for Windows.

Check out this site for 35+ more S3 backup and sync tools.

amazon s3 web services

If you want to back up large amounts of data (more than 40GB), Mozy may be a more cost effective solution with their unlimited plans. However many users say that the speed is much slower than Amazon.

Backup Your Online Life

With the recent news of the possible demise of the Delicious bookmarking service, many of us realised that social feeds and online personas are something we might want to back up – but how do you back up your data when it’s stored in an online service? The answer is with Backupify and S3. Backupify, which offers a free 2GB/5 account plan, takes the data out of various social networks and online services, and stores it on an S3 account. If the thought of losing your Twitter feed makes you wince, it might be worth a look.

amazon s3 web server

Store Large Downloads For Your Site

If you have large files that users can download from a website, like a podcast or videos, it works out cheaper to host them on Amazon s3 which means less stress on your server. In case you didn’t know, all of our fantastic free MakeUseOf guides are hosted on S3.

The Amazon s3 WordPress Plugin makes it super-easy to upload the files and make links from within the standard WordPress editor.

Host An Entire Website On S3

As long as your website consists only of static files, it’s actually possibly to host the whole thing on Amazon. The speed will be relatively fast compared to a shared hosting, and you’ll never have to worry about downtime. As a cost estimate, a 20-page website with about 10MB of files with 200 visitors a day would work out at about $5 a month to host on Amazon, and you’ll need to do a little editing of your domain name configuration to get it working. Unfortunately this won’t work for a dynamic database-driven website, such as a WordPress-based blog.

amazon s3 web services

In terms of reliability, S3 offers perhaps the best uptime of any online service provider, no matter what you choose to use it for. The goal of Amazon S3 Web Services is not to offer a complete packaged product that you can just use though, but rather to offer the tools and services to build products on top of. It’s exciting to see what has been done so far, not just with S3 but with the entire range of services they offer that we will explore at a later date.

For now, let us know if you have other unique uses for S3 in the comments, or if you already make use of another cloud storage facility.

Hey Facebookers, make sure to join MakeUseOf on Facebook and get access to some exclusve stuff. Over 70,000 fans already!



More articles about: , , , , ,

Quickly Access & Report All System Devices With DevManView [Windows]

Posted: 01 Apr 2011 09:31 AM PDT

system device managerIf you’ve ever had to deal with troubleshooting hardware on your computer, then you probably have some experience with the Windows Device Manager. It is a simple tool that comes with Windows and lets you browse through all of the devices to check for device properties and conflicts.

However, I’ve always found that the stock Device Manager that comes with the Windows OS is a bit lacking. The one thing I like about it is the fact that it’s easy to navigate, as the main screen has all devices nicely categorized, but that’s the extent of anything good I have to say about it. To find information or properties about the devices, you have to click around through various screens, and there’s no simple or straightforward way to export information outside of the device manager if you want to save information about the system.

This is why a free utility like Device Manager View (DevManView) from NirSoft is useful. It gives you fast access to everything you need to know about all of your devices and it provides both GUI and scripting reporting of device information. When it comes to looking for driver information, you can either use the resources Saikat wrote about previously, or just use this software and instantly search for new drivers on Google.

Quickly View Device Information

There’s no installation required when you download the DevManView system device manager. All you have to do is run the executable. When you do, you’ll see a listing of all of your system device drives, along with more information about them than you probably even knew was available. Be sure to scroll to the right because there are a lot of columns filled with data on each driver.

system device manager

You have a list of actions you can take for any driver with just a few clicks of the mouse. Right click on any device and you can instantly enable or disable it. Select several devices at once and press F6 or F7 to enable or disable all of them. Here, you can also quickly access the device INF file, view settings in the registry, or even click on “Google Search” to do an instant web search for that particular driver.

system device enumerator

Click on “Properties” to see the information that you’d have to dig through the stock Windows Manager for. With DevManview, you’ve got the Manufacturer, flags, service and a host of other information in a single view.

system device enumerator

While the main view isn’t quite as organized as the stock Windows Manager, you can filter which devices are displayed under “Options“.

system device enumerator

If you’ve enabled the firewall on a remote computer to allow it, you can even access and modify device drivers on a remote system as well. This is a pretty slick way to manage all of the devices on the various computers in your house from a single computer.

check system devices

Reporting Device Information To File

The main reason that I prefer DevManView over the standard Windows Device Manager is the fact that it’s so much easier to export all device information. The standard Windows Device Manager doesn’t provide any simple way to save your device information, but the DevManView program offers a whole list of formats that you can export all of your device information to, including text, tab or comma delimited or even HTML.

check system devices

If you only want to save information about a few devices, rather than the entire list, just select a few using CTRL-click and under “View” you can export those select items to an HTML file. The program saves the report to a local HTML file in the DevManView directory and opens up the report in your default browser.

check system devices

Accessing Device Information Through Scripting

If you prefer scripting over using a GUI, DevManView has you covered. From the command prompt, you can perform a whole list of commands on your devices, or you can use the program to produce device reports from script. For example, you can use the /stext, /scomma or /shtml parameters to choose an export format for your device information.

Additional parameters you can set in command mode are things like /LoadFrom to load device information from remote computers, /ComputerName to specific a network computer name to perform device commands on, or /ShowOnlyConnected to output only those drivers that are currently connected. You can even enable or disable devices from script using the /enable or /disable parameters. You can see all of the command parameters in the readme.txt file that comes with the download.

system device manager

The nice thing about exporting your entire list of device information to something like a CSV file is that in a text or Excel format you can turn the information into a useful report. You can use this to take an accurate snapshot of your system at any point in time.

Using Windows utilities like DevManView lets you see information about your system devices that you’d otherwise have to dig through the system device manager for. When it comes to managing many computer systems and keeping an inventory of what hardware is installed on those machines, the report generating features of DevManView are a godsend. Give this useful Windows utility a try and let us know what you think.

Have you tried any other free NirSoft utilities? Share your thoughts about DevManView and other NirSoft Windows utilities in the comments section below.

Image Credit: Majoros Attila

Hey Facebookers, make sure to join MakeUseOf on Facebook and get access to some exclusve stuff. Over 70,000 fans already!



More articles about: , , , ,

7 Awesome Add-Ons That Only Work With Firefox 4

Posted: 01 Apr 2011 08:31 AM PDT

addons for firefox 4 betaFirefox has long been the darling of geeks everywhere, but its popularity has waned lately, mostly due to competition from Google’s Chrome browser. Firefox, while stable and practical, simply wasn’t as quick as Chrome. Some, such as myself, switched.

Now Firefox 4 is out, and the browser has been substantially redesigned to improve performance and offer a better interface. The add-on ecosystem always changes when a new browser version is released, and Firefox 4 is no different. Many older add-ons are broken – at least for now. Fortunately, there are a few new or revised add-ons already available.

Movable Firefox Button 1.3

addons for firefox 4 beta

This add-on makes the Firefox button in Firefox 4 movable. By default, the button hangs out in the upper left hand corner, on the same part of the interface used by tabs. This add-on lets you move it to someplace else, such as alongside the search bar, which frees up more room for tabs to appear.

FabTabs 1.4

firefox 4 addons

The concept behind FabTabs is simple – make tabs visually distinct. That way, you’ll be able to tell the sites you have open in your tabs at a glance, without reading any text. This is great for users who like to open lots of tabs, as having large numbers of tabs open forces each tab to become smaller, which soon makes the text useless.

Fab Tab accomplishes this by taking a screenshot of the website you’re viewing and working some math wizardry to find the most prominent color, which it then applies to the corresponding tab. Although this sounds easy to fool, it worked perfectly in my usage. It even picked red for CNN, despite the fact that most of the website is white.

Easy App Tabs 3

One of the new features in Firefox is the “app tab.” This is a small tab that is used to mark websites, like Facebook, that you want to use but don’t need to devote an entire tab to. By default, app tabs are placed by right clicking and then selecting Pin as App Tab from the menu, but Easy App Tabs lets you do the same by simply double-clicking a tab. It’s quicker and easier.

Vertical Toolbar 0.2

firefox 4 addons

Opera users might like this one, has the purpose of Vertical Toolbar is to add, well, a vertical toolbar – which looks quite a lot like the one Opera has when you open the “panels” toolbar. Firefox isn’t Opera, though, so there isn’t quite as much stuff to put on the toolbar by default. You gain access to your bookmarks, browsing history and download manager at the top, while at the bottom you’ll find buttons for full screen view, printing and refreshing the page.

Things get more interesting if you open up the Firefox button, go to Options, and then go to Toolbar Layout. There are a number of toolbar functions listed here that aren’t included by default but can be added easily. If you have installed the Movable Firefox Button 1.3 add-on you can place your Firefox button on the vertical toolbar as well.

Tab Badge 1.2

firefox 4 addons

As websites command more of our attention and become more like apps, notifications become more important. A program has no problem telling a user when something has happened, but that sort of behavior isn’t common from a web browser.

Tab Badge seeks to resolve this issue by adding a small, bright-red visual notification on open tabs of social networking and email sites. This add-on works with Twitter, Facebook, Gmail and more.

Instant Preview 3

This add-on is straight from Mozilla Labs, which means its a feature that didn’t quite make it into the full web browser, but is being worked on and considered for future use. Once installed, pages that show up in the search bar when you are typing will begin to load automatically. Once you click on them, they’re already partially or completely loaded, creating a web experience that feels smoother. However, this behavior will only work with websites you have visited before, which is the add-on’s one downside.

Custom Tab Width 1.0.1

addons for firefox 4 beta

Another simple but useful interface tweak, Custom Tab Width lets you determine how wide or small a tab can be. By default, Firefox limits tabs to a maximum width of 250 and a minimum width of 100. If you’re a tab heavy user, though, you can use this add-on to reduce that minimum width to whatever you’re comfortable with. This is a great add-on to use with FabTabs.


Usually, this is the part where I point out that there are lots of add-ons available, I can’t possibly cover them all, and I’ve selected those I’ve found most useful. To some extent, that applies. But the list of add-ons for Firefox 4 is small at the moment, so the 7 listed here represents about 25% of all Firefox 4 add-ons currently available!

Of course, folks will be quick to jump on the bandwagon, so the list should expand rapidly. Mozilla has a special “Only for Firefox 4” section set up on their add-on page, so you might want to bookmark it and check back in a few weeks to see the new add-ons that have been released.

Hey Facebookers, make sure to join MakeUseOf on Facebook and get access to some exclusve stuff. Over 70,000 fans already!



More articles about: , ,

No comments:

Post a Comment