26 September 2010

gbrainy: A Game App To Exercise Your Brain

gbrainy logo              

If you like games like brain age for the DS. How about something akin to that, but for your desktop?.

gbrainy is a Mono (Open .Net) based brain game. You usually will find it as part of any Linux Distro that carries Gnome (Desktop Environment) along  with Mono. Like Suse or Ubuntu. But it also got a recently updated Windows version you can use in XP, Vista and 7.

 

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There are 4 kinds of brain games you can play with gbrainy:

Logic Puzzles

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                       Challenge your reasoning and thinking skills.

Mental Calculations

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           Arithmetical operations that test your mental calculation abilities.

Memory Trainers

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                                  To prove your short term memory.

Verbal Analogies

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                                  Challenge your verbal aptitude.

 

As you play the games, it will go building a gaming history of your progress and will provide you stats and graphics about said progress. To better tailor the games to your level of challenge comfort, access the settings preferences and adjust difficulty, accessibility and game session history tracking accordingly.

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gbrainy is a great free and proven brain game you can enjoy from your desktop. To those that like these kind of games, this one should not need further introductions than what has been shown at this post already.

Just install and play. The gbrainy for windows installer will supply everything it needs to run without the need of any further intervention. Now enjoy and put your mind into a workout for a bit.

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gbrainy info

gbrainy                              <— Direct Download Link

*updated links on 26/09/11*

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Click here if you were looking for the gbrainy online web client

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22 September 2010

MetroViewer: A Metro UI Styled Image Viewer

MetroViewer logo

MetroViewer is a Metro UI (Zune Software, WP7) styled image viewer. Only meant for those that cannot get enough of it, while they wait for WP7 and the new Zune Software to come out. Right now is in a Beta state and could be considered only a novelty app at this point, until it gets more featured.

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Will update this post with a rundown of features for the app, once it gets released as a stable release. But even in its beta state, i found to be stable enough in XP and 7.

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MetroViewer Info

MetroViewer                                 <—Download Link

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20 September 2010

downforeveryoneorjustme?: The Simplest Online Site Uptime Checker

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The site you want if you only want to know if a certain site is down or not. No detailed explanations or stats, just a Yes or No answer.

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You only enter the domain you want to check and click on the “or just me?” link and it will tell you.

Service is free and serves as a promo for Site5 Web Hosting. But if you want a not so minimalistic second opinion, you can check downornot. 

And if you like this minimalistic approach to web tools, you can also check goingtorain.

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downforeveryoneorjustme?

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Chirbit: Share Audio Online, Fast And Easy.

chirbit logo

Chirbit is a online audio clip host and social network. It allows you to record or upload audio files into a user profile update stream. Each audio clip (in this case chirbits), can then be quickly played from the chirbit site via their individual audio players, posted to Twitter and Facebook as a link with a sharing button or embedded to a blog/website as every chirbit is able to generate a iframe audio player widget.

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There are two ways of sharing audio clips in chirbit:

1.-Recording

Using a Webcam Mic or Input Mic, you can record a audio message of up to 5 minutes. This can be done directly from the site and once you are done with your audio clip, it gets quickly processed and added to your chirbit account. This process can take anywhere from 1 to 3 minutes.

2.-Uploading

Grab a audio file from your PC and host it in Chirbit. The file limit is 120mb and the supported audio file formats are:

  • MP3 (120mb = 30 to 120 minutes audio play)
  • M4A  (120mb = 60 to 90 minutes of audio play)
  • WAV (120mb = 10 to 15 minutes of audio play)

Every M4A and WAV file uploaded is reencoded into a MP3 file. Uploaded MP3 files will not get reencoded, but should be of stereo quality and at least 22050Hz.

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Other interesting features of chirbit include the ability to translate text blurbs to audio clips and extract audio clips directly from a video via the chirtbit user dashboard.

Alternate usage includes mobile uploading support.

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Chirbit is a interesting free audio clip host and social network service.  A similar service to this would be Audioboo, but the later is more focused in Mobile support. Chirbit, while a online tool, it is geared more for those using a full desktop OS and browser at this moment. It is a great service that while its focus may be the sharing of quick audio messages and comments. It can also work as a good free podcast or music file host, even if not intended for it.

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Chirbit

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Bing Downloader: Download Bing Daily Photos From Around The World

Bing Logo

Bing Downloader is a open source and portable (lone exe) .NET 3.5 based app from Codeplex by Mugunth Kumar. It allows you to download the Bing Daily Photos from 6 different locations automatically into a folder in your default windows images folder (library if using Windows 7).

Now at version 3.0, Bing Downloader offers a simple and automated way to download Bing Daily photos from around the world, and it also will show you country by country the hot spots facts from the photos, the photo location and its corresponding copyright mark.

Bing Downloader 3.0 screenshot

Supported Bing Daily Photo download locations, so far include:

  • 1.-United States
  • 2.-Canada
  • 3.-Japan
  • 4.-Germany
  • 5.-China
  • 6.-United Kingdom

Bing Downloader 3.0 will put all the downloaded images in a folder apply called BingImages. This folder will always be in your default windows Images Library/Folder. This app is really the best and easiest way to download Bing Daily Photos, while at the same time don’t losing the info and facts you get from the Bing Homepage. Compatible with XP SP3, Vista SP1+ and 7.

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Bing Downloader                                <— Project Page

Bing Downloader 3.0                       <— Direct Download Link

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Trackingnumber: Online Package Tracking

trackingnumber.org logo

Trackingnumber is a online package tracking portal, that allows you to track the progress of any package shipped by USPS, FedEx, UPS, DHL, TNT, Canada Post and Australia post.

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The best about it, is that it gives you not only the package summary and the tracking records of the package to be shipped, but also the last location of the package visualized in a embedded Google Maps view.

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Other option like Trackingnumber would be Boxoh. with the difference that it adds 3 more package companies (TNT, Canada Post & Australia post)  into the fold.  A useful site to have in your bookmarks.

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Trackingnumber

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14 September 2010

JumpControl: Add Shut down, Restart, Sleep, Lock, Log Off Controls To The Windows 7 Taskbar

ProtoSphere logo                         DeviantART logo

JumpControl is a portable (folder contained) OS Session Control app for the Windows 7 Taskbar by ProtoSphere from DeviantART. It allows you to control your PC most basic OS Session Management tasks from the Windows 7 Taskbar, via a JumpList window.

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Features

It comes with the following supported OS session management tasks:

  • Shut Down
  • Restart
  • Sleep
  • Switch User
  • Lock
  • Log Off
  • Restart Explorer.exe

Install

In order to install it, you only need to extract the app folder from the ZIP file JumpControl comes in, then put the folder wherever you want it the app to reside. In the case of this kind of app, the Programs Files folder or C: would be the best choices. But if you want to have it apart in a USB drive or SD card to carry it around, there is no problem with that. After you have decided that, just run it and it will instantly show the app configuration window. The only configuration to set is if you want to show all the OS session management tasks available in the app jumplist or only some of them at a time. Last step to finish setting it up, is to make the application JumpList appear and then click the “Pin this program to taskbar” option.

Done. Is that simple.

JumpControl is a great little portable app for those who like to customize their Windows 7 Taskbar.

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JumpControl info

JumpControl                             <— Direct Download Link 

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Down Or Not?: Check Any Website Uptime

down or not? logo

Down Or Not? is a online tool to check any web app, blog or social network uptime. It can go from just telling you that the site is up or down in a single clear sentence, to explain you how it can assure you it is up in more detail. All without leaving the same page.

The way it knows if a website it is up, is because it checks from 3 network monitoring stations from 3 different locations. And secondary to that, if other Down Or Not users have checked the same site uptime in the past 6 hrs, it will show you what results these other past checks were. Giving you a better overall uptime diagnosis.

Service is free and it don’t even shows you ads while using it. The reason being  that the service itself is a promotional online tool for Watchmouse. A website network monitoring paid service. So, since it is meant as a tech demo for a professional solution. That makes it a more credible and dependable tool you can use with more confidence of it being reliable.

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As a extra utility to checking one website at a time. you can also check their social websites monitor dashboard at social.downornot.com.

 

If you are looking for something similar, you may also want to check hootmonitor.

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Down Or Not?

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13 September 2010

ClipUpload: Share Images, Text And Files Online, Directly From Your Clipboard.

ClipUpload logo

ClipUpload is a portable (folder contained) .NET 3.5 based clipboard-to-web sharing desktop app. It is only a matter of download, extract and run. Once it is running, it will sit in your windows system tray. The only thing you need to do to use it, is to copy a image, a selection of text or a file anywhere in your computer up to 300mb to your clipboard via right-click, and then just click again on the ClipUpload system tray icon so it starts uploading what you have selected.

Usage

The most admirable about ClipUpload is how well thought out its the usability of the app, so it is as simple and easy to use as possible. It don’t needs to be installed for starters. You just download the rar file, extract the folder where you want the app to be, and then just run the app.

Now, you just need to select what you want to share to your clipboard. While its original purpose was to share from the clipboard to a FTP server. It has now eliminated the need of having one, as what you share will be uploaded to a specific free online host,  based on the type of content your are sharing.

1.-File Sharing

Select any file up to 300mb to your clipboard, click on the system tray clickupload icon and it will start uploading your file right away to SendSpace.com.  Once it finishes uploading the file, it will in turn copy the file online url to your clipboard. Done.

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2.-Image Sharing

While you can select and share any kind of file to SendSpace via the app file sharing function. It will make one distinction with Image files. If ClipUpload detects that what it is sitting in your clipboard is a image file, instead of using SendSpace, it will send the image to Imgur.com and send the image file url to your clipboard as it finishes, just like with a file. And as anything being shared, it will also give you a system tray notification once it happens.

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3.-Text Sharing

While sharing files and images is a three steps operation, sharing text adds a small extra step to the process. Focus on the text you want to share, select a blurb, right click, copy and then click again in the system tray ClipUpload icon.  It will transfer the blurb in a instant fashion to PasteBin.com. One of the oldest and longest running online text sharing services.  You of course will still get the proper notification that the url for the text landing page is in the clipboard ready to use.

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ClipUpload is without a doubt one of the best Clipboard sharing apps. Thanks to its simplicity, ease of use and being a utility you will actually want to use often. It  of course also helps that it is a app to enhance one of the most common functions, you are guaranteed to use multiple times every single day. Something that should increase the chances for you to keep using the app regularly  if you decide to try it out. And you should as i totally recommend it. Compatible with XP, Vista and 7, just check if you have the .NET framework 3.5 installed first before running it.

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ClipUpload Info

ClipUpload                                      <—Download Page

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Color Schemer Online v2: A Online Color Scheme Generator

ColorSchemer logo

Color Schemer Online v2 is a online instant color scheme generator. You enter a RGB or HEX color value, and it will generate a usable matching color scheme. This tool serves as a companion to the also free portable pixel color picker desktop app called ColorPix.

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This online tool is completely free as it serves as a promotional vehicle for the paid tool called ColorSchemer Studio 2. That is targeted for professional web designers. But if you only want to assist yourself while designing a blog or website template theme.  Color Schemer Online and ColorPix should be of enough help for that kind of goal.

It is Web Tech(HTML,JS, CSS,etc)  based, so that means it can be seen even in all browsers, in all platforms as it is.

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Color Schemer Online v2

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Pixie: A Portable Basic Pixel Color Picker

 Pixie logo                       

Pixie is a portable basic pixel color picker widget-like app from Nattyware. It allows you to see the color along with its color value, in 5 different color value formats, of anything below your cursor.

Run it, simply point to a color and it will tell you the hex, RGB, HTML, CMYK and HSV values of that color. You can then use these values to reproduce the selected color in your favorite programs. Pixie will also show the current coordinates of your mouse pointer.

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As one of the portable apps with the smallest data footprint (11k)), you could possibly stumble with, don’t expect anything but the bear basics. Beyond taking the reading of pixel color values, It only can do 3 other things:

  • 1.-Copy HTML color value to clipboard  ( Ctrl + Alt + C )
  • 2.-Open a system color mixer window ( Ctrl + Alt +X )
  • 3.-Open a captured color selection are in a magnifier window ( Ctrl + Alt + Z )

But while Pixie is a simple and basic portable app. It is also one of the easiest to carry along thanks to its tiny data size. You don’t even need a USB drive to carry it around. Put it in a zip and you can even save it in your E-mail or Skydrive and redownload it if needed. Finally, it is also a “universal” Windows App as it can be used with Windows 2000, ME, XP, Vista and 7.

If you are looking for something similar, but more featured, check out ColorPix.

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Pixie Info

Pixie                                                  <— Direct Download Link 

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12 September 2010

Trasir: Check Out Your Basic Info Data In One Glance

Trasir logo

Trasir is one of those “Simple as it gets” online single purpose tools. To use it, you only need to load the website. It then gathers all the public info data, your browser transmits to all the websites you visit, online apps and search engines.

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There is of course a lot more info that can be gathered from you over time, and from the bank of cookies sitting in your computer, etc, etc.

But if you are wondering what is the info you and mostly everyone is transiting to the world, trasir is the onlie tool that shows you exactly that . The only recommendation is that unless you are receiving remote pc tech support from a trusted source, you should never ever openly share you IP address, much less in your blog, twitter or facebook.

If you are looking for another tool like this, there is also the online tool apply called Support Details.

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Trasir

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05 September 2010

Snippy: A Portable Snipping Tool Alternative For Windows XP

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The Microsoft Snipping Tool was originally made as part of a pack of tools that could be added into the two editions of Windows XP Tablet.  Other versions of Windows XP never officially got it.

Later on, with the release of Windows Vista, the software stacks created for the special editions of Windows XP were fully consolidated into the OS. But while Media Center software was openly available for everyone to use. The Snipping Tool needed (or needs, i don’t recall if SP2 changed this) to be enabled as part of the extra Tablet focused Vista features in order to be accessible.

Only with the arrival of Windows 7 and the advent of what now is known as Windows Touch, was that the Snipping Tool became a default and fully accessible tool in the OS.

There is a really long history of this little tool. So long that its actual origins dates from the initial development of the Tablet PC concept back in 2000. If rumors are to be believed, the very first developments of the Tablet PC were not actually done in alpha builds of Windows XP, but Windows 2000. That means that the snipping tool is already a  over a decade old.

Snippy is an alternative for the Windows XP Tablet Edition version of the Snipping Tool. Supposedly developed out of app envy, once it was obvious that the original tool was going to remain off limits for the common versions of Windows XP (Starter, Home, Pro).

While it is not as featured as the original Snipping Tool, it does mimics the general basic features of it. 

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Using Snippy
    • Click on the Snippy icon – mouse cursor changes to a pen – mark an area of the screen – the marked area is now in your clipboard.
    • If you want to select a rectangular area, just hold down the Shift key while dragging. You can configure some things like the color of the border and so on by right-clicking on the Snippy icon in the taskbar. One of the things you can do here is to set a keyboard hotkey for activating the capture mode.
    • Snippy also supports multiple monitors. If you have a dual-mon set up, you can use Snippy to grab images off either or both monitors.

Some Notes

The most amazing qualities about Snippy is that it is portable, tiny (100k) and that it got almost universal compatibility. It was designed for XP, so it don’t needs anything to be run in XP as it is and it will give out the most consistent behavior only in XP.

But as i said, it is actually a universal windows app. It works in all Windows OSes from Windows 98 to Windows 7. And it can  even run and be used perfectly in Linux or Mac via Wine/Crossover.

The very best alternative to the original Microsoft Snipping Tool for Windows XP.

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Snippy Info

Snippy                                                         <— Direct Download Page 

Snippy (Mirror)                                   <— Download Page 

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But if you want the real one, you can also get it and install it in any Windows XP version you happen to have. Just check this other post:

Install The Original Tablet PC Microsoft Snipping Tool In Any Windows XP

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02 September 2010

Instantizer: The Easiest Online Polaroidizer

instantizer.com logo

Instantizer is a very basic Polaroid online image converter.

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You only need to follow a 4 steps web form to use it. It just cannot get easier than this.

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Once you have converted your picture, it will give you a preview of the converted image and a photo file link for it, only active and usable for up to 24hrs. 

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A quite usable generator, not the best, but it is the fastest and easiest. But that comes with a big trade off: It is a faux-polaroidizer. It don’t really applies a polaroid effect to your images, just fits them into a Polaroid style framed photo, that you can set into a particular degree of inclination with a little pen-like scribbled description.

If you are looking something similar, but more advanced and featured, start by checking out Polaroin.

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Instantizer

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01 September 2010

Flashdo: A Online Marketplace For Stock Flash Components

flashdo logo

Flashdo is a online marketplace to buy and sell stock Flash or Flex components. Templates, Galleries, Video Players, Menus, Utilities, Buttons, Audio Players, Preloaders, Animations, Icons, Games, etc, etc.

If you want to buy, you first need to create an account and then deposit some cash to be used for buying while using the site.

If you want to sell, you will also need a account and then agree to the terms of the marketplace for a commission of 60% to 70% depending the value of what you plan to sell. Then, you just upload the files you want to offer.

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A fairly new site, and while there are less than 500 items on display in it, it is a interesting option to explore for flash developers and designers.

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Flashdo

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