081220 Ultimate Windows Tweaker here is the short URL: tinyurl.com/5pncgq. Vista4Experts at http://www.ntcore.com.
Bangkok Database & Wanda Sloan Recommendations
blabberize.com - make the mouth of any picture move and blab, XP right click menu editing at bartdart.com; Surprise - Gift Ideas, CdCoverCreator, Gmail There's a lot more at: tinyurl.com/225qg7 & gmailtips.com had 63 wonderful ideas, Dual Boot XP/Vista, Nivio - virtual Microsoft Office environment in a browser, www.portablefreeward.com Yod'm 3d desktop ; JkDefrag - simple and easy GNU defrag; File Managers - Total Commander (download as torrent - only 5.11 working hacked), Free Commander; PDF Printer - PrimoPDF;
ScrapbookFlair photo shows and scrapbook templates are all available, PDF Xchange Viewer over Foxit; PDF Sumatra View/Print
Disk editors: http://www.x-ways.net/winhex/index-m.html , http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing/products/diskeditor
Bulk Rename Utility (http://www.bulkrenameutility.co.uk) and ReNamer (http://www.den4b.com).
Uninstallers InstallSpy is from the team that makes the wonderful SyncBack backup program, at http://www.2brightsparks.com/freeware. Revo Uninstaller is well explained and available for download at http://www.revouninstaller.com. MyUninstaller and other free programs are at http://www.nirsoft.net.
freedownloadmanager.org now using GetRight, sudoku, Invisible web: google, berkeley, rs; Net learning eliteskills.com wikiversity
nirsoft.net tiny utilities, USBdeview, pw recovery, MS Product key lookup, uninstaller, hacker tools, LOTS more
Web Video Capture keepvid.com, zeraha.org Free nFLVPlayer and standalone nPassword, rivavx.com Riva FLV Encoder, wixy.net/flv_converter - online converter
Task Manager dimio.altervista.org/eng/ Dimio's sight with great Freeware
Abiword - GNU wordprocessor, XML output, also check Notepad2
A more complete Start Menu for XP/Vista
TweakLite - To make any program or file to run with a short name (ie. notepad), to create System Commands' shortcuts, & more
Vladimir has put an excellent explanation of FileSearch at kolmck.net/apps/FileSearch.htm but to downloadgo to Downloads, then Apps at http://www.kolmck.net.
locate32.webhop.org This free, Unix-derived program begins by making an index, so in that sense it is something like Google. It makes a database of every file in every folder it can access on your computer. It is pretty fast at this, although you can continue working while it compiles the file list.
ImgSearch - click on Downloads, Apps, #4 = duplicate photo killer
GOM Media Player only 4mb. CD Art Display - one skin for multiple players
orbitdownloader.com: Orbit adds videos and music from the social sites _ YouTube, MySpace and all of those. And it also grabs streaming video and audio and saves it for you. In a way, Orbit Downloader combines most of the good stuff of the old download managers _ speed, drag-and-drop and a mini-reference library _ with everything that this week's AppShot, VDownloader (on the back page) handles. Then it throws in the very specialised and rare task of capturing embedded streaming multimedia such as from Pandora or Yahoo Radio just for example. It handles most of this through your browser, so you need to follow instructions and let Orbit install cleanly. It works with all popular browsers, including Opera and Netscape.
utorrent.com: is a small, one-file program that requires no installation _ ie, it runs from a USB drive
BitComet simple, easy and fastest in Thailand
071010 pcdecrapifier.com - cleanup harddrive craplets; Duplicate Killers: lcibrossolutions.com/dmff, dupkiller.net - with nice popup window; ImgSearch + Download + App's - delete all common types of digital photos and graphics (and similar onces), even including icons and Microsoft Word formats.
071017 LCD cleaning: never use paper (towels, tissues and so on) and never spray liquid directly on the screen, Start with a dry cloth, like the soft ones they give you when you buy eyeglasses. Wipe gently, because pressing hard can burn out pixels. If the dry cloth didn't work, use a little water _ a 50-50 water-vinegar solution could be even better _ to dampen the cloth, and do it again.
Here are the links for the software, starting with Start Menu Cleaner, which seems no longer available from its programmer at Swedish firm Mithril, but can be directly downloaded through Download.com at this link: tinyurl.com/2myxlx.
Expired Cookies Cleaner is at tinyurl.com/la4a2.
Advanced Disk Cleaner is Romanian, but easily accessible at www.innovative-sol.com/cleaner and yes there is an actual hyphen just before "sol".
Autoruns is now found via Microsoft at tinyurl.com/3adktf.
Look for Advanced Windows Care right at the top of the home page for www.iobit.com.
Wise Disk Cleaner is last, but not least in any manner, through www.wisecleaner.com.
Locate32 is available and documented at locate32.webhop.org.
071024 Shutdown SW: SuperFast Shutdown lives at http://www.xp-smoker.com, where you should click on Freeware. Yes, that is a real hyphen between "xp" and "smoker". OR Create and MS bat file with "shutdown.exe -s -t 00" in it. AND
Force Shutdown has a semi-complicated URL, so I will shorten it to tinyurl.com/3cqn3e. Icon SW IcoFX is the fine work of Attila Kovrig, who apparently is Romanian, and keeps his program and a load of help and information at (icofx.xhost.ro)
071101 Old SW: Old-versions.net, OldApps.com and at OldVersion.com.
HD Visualization SW: WinDirStat semi-psychedelic effect background, help and download, go to windirstat.info.
Disktective: no install, pie chart http://www.disktective.com.
Disk Space Visualizer, tasteful, sensitive earth colours http://www.z-a-recovery.com
Sharp-edged tools for the toolbox
Customise your computing environment
The very nice people who put out the excellent cleanup utility CCleaner have invented a new defragmentation trick and the tiny, good-looking software to perform it.
Defragging a hard drive is a tiresome chore, best left running on an unattended computer while its human owner looks after more important tasks such as getting down to the salon before the 5pm ladies' night rush - or overnight.
Defraggler does it differently. It finds all the individual files that are fragmented on any given drive, and then lets you take care of these, one by one or in batches of your choice.
The result is that you can get a newly installed program or downloaded video squared away on your computer in a minute or three instead of having to wait all night.
You can read up and download Defraggler at http://www.defraggler.com.
A while back I found Taskbar Button Manager, which lets you re-order the buttons on the taskbar. I find this useful, because I know where to click without searching for the application. The program is 1.4MB and has to be installed.
Taskix is 63KB and can be run from the Utils folder without installing. Guess which one I am using? It's at taskix.robustit.com.
TrayIt (40KB for Windows XP) allows you to put icons for your always-running programs in the system tray (down by the clock) instead of taking up room on the taskbar. Click on Downloads at http://www.teamcti.com.
|Safavor is a portable manager for your web favourites. You can search quickly on the web site name, link or, most conveniently, on your own personal description you have entered for the web site.|
Xcalday is a lovely program that combines a calendar and a notemaker into what turns into an excellent appointment and reminder list.
The program has a tiny footprint while it is running, showing a calendar for the current month - or another if you wish, but only one at a time.
Click on the date number and a small window opens where you can write your reminder. The note is saved automatically, and the calendar date becomes boldface to remind you that you have a chore or reminder on that day.
The Xcalday home page is xcalday.sylfid.com.
ProxyPal is a perfect program for me to carry and use my laptop between home and the stupendously tacky yet invariably calming Post Database suites. There, I just compute; here I have to use a network, and that network requires a proxy.
ProxyPal lets you add a one-click button to the toolbar of Internet Explorer and most compatible browsers. Click, the proxy is on; click, it's off. The alternative is a lot of mouse clicks and often the need to keep the proxy settings in human memory as well. Pick up ProxyPal at http://www.bartdart.com.
Safavor is a standalone program independent of your browser to keep track of your Internet favourites. It is also much better at keeping track of your most popular web sites than any single browser.
The program does not install, so you can put copies on various computers and media such as your USB thumb drive. Details on the favourite web sites are kept in an XML file alongside the Safavor software, and thus can be updated and copied back and forth easily.
Safavor lets you write your own description or notes about each web site. This is a great idea, because you can search and find old favourites by remembering the keywords you used to describe the sites, even if you can't remember just where you found the web page.
The 108KB Safavor download can be found at http://www.koolgo.net.
|Xcalday gives you both a calendar and one reminder note for every day, with bold dates showing where you have written notes.|
Tiny Editor is less than a third the size of Notepad, yet has more features including your choice of fonts for both viewing and printing. It is at tinyurl.com/2wutjp.
EasyISO is the simplest, fastest and most convenient way to burn files to a CD. If you make MP3 disks for the car, or you want to back up folders quickly or actually make an .ISO disk, this is your software.
It is a standalone program you can copy to your USB drive or - yes! - a floppy diskette, although you need the two language files as well.
Start up Explorer, drag the folders or files you want into the single window of the program, click Burn and wait for a minute or two.
The generous German programmer Dirk Paehl no longer keeps this program on his web site, but many downloading sites too. MajorGeeks.com has several links to download the 281KB file.
Quick Google lives up to its name. Run this little (211 KB) beauty. From now on, two quick taps on the Ctrl key launches a little pop-up window where you type your Google search, which then opens in your browser. That is, you don't need to go to the Google web site.
Google geeks made this one. Download it from the extremely sparse code.google.com/p/quickgoogle.
071114 Anti-Virus: AVG free version is arguably the best. Other excellent products I have tested include the free avast! Home Edition and Panda anti-virus.
071121 Latest CPU specs: http://www.pantip.com/tech/market,
Wanda Torrents: - Torrent (at http://www.utorrent.com) is a sleek Ferrari, Azureus (azureus.sourceforge.net) is an open-source Rolls Royce that runs smoothly if ponderously on almost all computers, and BitComet (http://www.bitcomet.com) is a Mercedes that is wonderfully configurable but is a bit arrogant about hogging resources. That is no problem if you toddle off to bed while downloading, of course, which many people do. There are other programs, but these three all run well on Windows.
If you plan to burn, the Roxio and Nero suites are marvellous at converting computer files to DVDs or video-CDs. So is the absolutely wonderful and tiny French software ConvertXtoDVD (tinyurl.com/kvvw6) for 40 euros, or about 2,000 baht.
071127 Archizer, Zip, Rar, etc - PeaZip : PeaZip does everything important that all the other archivers do if you put them together for FREE. Manage Startup Programs: Starter is by the friendly people at CodeStuff, which appears to be sort of a collective at codestuff.tripod.com.
071206 - Firewall comodo.com. Foto-Mosaik sixdots.de.
071226 - Years best. VistaStartmenu, Live Writer - Blog Editor, Calendar Magic - all kinds of calendars, Jpeg Resizer, ImgSearch - finds photo duplicates, WordWeb - dictionary and thesaurus, Bandwidth Vista - real time bandwidth monitor.
080109 Sticky notes:
080116 ccleaner XP Cleaner and XP SafeGuard an XP Cleaner and Tweaker with cool help. Dirkey - Ctrl-0/9 for moving to a bookmarked directory when Open/Save a file. Right Click Menu - editor FileMenu Tools and Notepad Replacement editor, LopeEdit 5.4, with tabs.
080123 Anti-Virus: (http://www.avast.com/). Avast and AVG.
080130 Password Keeper: Keepass.info. PDF Sumatra View/Print. Download Videos - Keepvid. DVD Burning - Roxio and Nero Burning ROM (not freeware) - Burn AVI's to DVD but need to change the format to do so. Old Drivers - members.driverguide.com
080214 Picture Management - Simple xnview.com does 400 file types, Picasa - how to install w/o Thai languange.
When installing, untick all options you see. You can use them later. Go ahead and install the program, then start Picasa from your Start menu. There is a choice to only index the My Documents and My Pictures folders, but I suggest you take the default choice, which is to gather up all photos in all folders on your computer. You'll see Picasa work now, and the language doesn't matter. The software will gather photos from everywhere, and arrange them in folders according to date. This is the default arrangement of the program, and I think it suits most people, most of the time. When it finishes with this, you can simply change the language. Click on Tools (second from the right on the menu bar), then on Options (the bottom entry. Down near the bottom, select the language choice as illustrated in the screenshot. After you click "Apply" and "OK", you will have to quit Picasa and restart it for the non-Thai language to show.
Link to Tutorial website for how-to info. 100 Alternative Search Engines
0804156 Music Players:
=== Spider Player: 1/2 the size of Winamp and better. spider-player.com
Good for playing a song, a bunch of songs, a playlist of songs, a folder of songs.
Drag a song into the program, and Spider, of course, plays it. Drag in another one and - here's a concept Winamp still doesn't grasp - it adds the second song to the playlist, without affecting the first at all.
If you click a song before the first one has completed, Spider fades out the original and fades in the second one. This is such a small detail, but so noticeable compared with the former big program on the block.
Spider has a proper tag editor. While it only works for one song at a time, it is inclusive. Not only can you fix song, artist and album titles, for example, but you can paste or import the complete song lyrics.
After you've edited the tag on this song, you don't have to play the next song to edit the next tag, either. It's right there by clicking the "next song" arrow.
There are a tonne of other features, including converting songs into other formats, the ability to rip CDs straight onto your computer, or change the program's hot keys to anything you like better.
=== AIMP2 (site w lots of Russian but some English) More techincal than Spider but has intenet radio.http://www.aimp.ru (russian and some english)
AIMP2 would please the music-freak just a bit more than Spider. There are 18 equaliser bands as opposed to 10, and the features tend to be a little more, well, featurish.
Tiny feature? You can rate your own music, and go back and find it a few days or months later according to your ratings. It has superb search. It changes many tags with one click if you want.
A big feature? Both AIMP2 and Spider start up exactly where you left off when you quit the program. AIMP2 even remembers the playlist before the one currently playing. Take that Winamp!
=== Songbird older but great net search for music. http://www.songbirdnest.com
Is a unique music program, difficult to describe. It's a standalone browser, a music box, a search engine. The whole is greater than its parts.
Built on the Mozilla (Firefox) browser engine, Songbird does a heck of a lot more than play and store your music. In fact, it would be close to useless if that's all it did, even though the developers keep the program well oiled and up to date.
Its main feature is its music search. Give Songbird a title or artist, and it will troll the Internet looking for them, particularly on music blogs. If you want, it will play, download or play and download the song, and add it to your music library.
Songbird is a great example of a program that is not just adding features willy-nilly. Developers of this open-source software continue fine-tune its strengths, and are very chary about adding features just to make the program advertisements look better.
=== MediaMonkey http://www.mediamonkey.com. is the BMOC, Big Monkey On Computers. It was, arguably, the first truly excellent jukebox and library that was full-featured, free and - this is perhaps key - polite.
From Real to iTunes, meaning just about the whole time of the rise of the MP3 to format king, computer users had to put up with pushy, arrogant, often downright unpleasant programs that hogged music duties, installed totally unwanted and bloated brother software, and insisted on running in the background even if you specifically ordered it not to.
Just for example, the unpleasant iTunes organiser from the sainted Apple not only catalogues media on your computer that you tell it not to, it comes with its attached evil Siamese twin, the almost unusable media player QuickTime. This undetachable duo is so out of control it could make the Khao San Road Songkran gathering look like a military drill team.
MediaMonkey does not insist you use it to play all media, but politely asks. You tell MediaMonkey which songs or other media you want in your catalogue/jukebox, and it will not simply index everything it can find. It will not start up automatically with Windows unless you take action to make it do so.
And how about this? MediaMonkey will sync your portable music player, including an iPod, and will not delete anything you've already put on the iPod because Apple thinks you're a criminal and must have got those extra songs at Panthip Plaza or, worse, your sister.
What MediaMonkey does, and why it's the top of the heap right now, is quickly organise tens of thousands of songs (or fewer) in your audio libraries, organise them in many different ways, including finding album art according to your preferences. It then finds them very quickly, helps you build playlists or mixes, and either plays the media or passes it to another program such as Winamp if you prefer.
One, it plays music in good quality. Two, it organises music, almost any whichway, and finds it the same way. You can organise by artist, say, and search and make playlists by genre. Three, it has an excellent tag editor, as good as any standalone software. This is a solid music program.
But no program suits all people in all ways. There's a new kid on the block that I have wrung out, and I have to say I like it a bit better.
Player, Tagger and Organizer, to give it its full name, is arguably derivative of MediaMonkey and earlier jukeboxes, but the programmers and others at BBox world headquarters in Utrecht, the Netherlands, have put their own solid touches on the software.
Point BBox at a folder where your music lives, and the program indexes digital tracks at a rate of better than 2,000 songs a minute - or at least it did for me.
At one point, the indexing appeared to break, and the program asked my permission to send an automated message to HQ with details. Mastermind Cris Doorn personally sent me email asking if I could help identify the problem, suggesting it could be a bad MP3.
In fact, I couldn't help him, because when I restarted BBox, it sailed through the remaining indexing.
Once that is accomplished, as you should expect, BBox will find and present your music in a virtual New York millisecond. And then it will play your choices - or randomise if you wish - in what to my ears sounded like superior quality.
It also has what the authors call "Smart Volume", meaning that it will adjust the output of flaky MP3s that are too soft or loud.
Geeks and would-be deejays can really have a ball with this program - two types of cross-fading, changeable tempo and the ultra-dork mode where you can play every song backwards. How the world got along without backwards-music until BBox is a wonder, given what we know about the Beatles and Revolution 9 and its importance to intergalactic affairs.
080423 Small is Great: Q-Dir 4-windowed File Management Manager, Notepad2 notepad editor plus+, Darkroom White Room Editor, Accent typing
080529 Small Utilities: Cropper - very small screen capture utility; TaskBar Rearranger; Calculators - Microsoft+, FreeCalc - w/tape, CCalc like paper
080604 thumbdrive SW for comparing laptops HW/SW System Information for Windows; copy text w/o formating Window-V hotkey with PureText; take the crap our of emails with Email Stripper; cleans emails with copy, paste into stripper, ta-da! AND
What Smart Web Printing does is allow you to clip portions of web pages, and save just the clippings. You then can edit those clippings, reorder them as you like and prepare them for a page (or more) of printing. Alternatively, if you don't want to print, save them as a PDF, a huge advantage for many people these days.
080611 Vista & XP Start Menu - Launchy, WinLaunch - Vista only, Start Menu for XP/Vista (past recommendation).
080617 Process Security Manager Analysis of Windows Process in the Task Manager and then links to there home base. Cool!
080827 FTP Recommendation, From a Window Right Click Rightload.org, Full Blown 5-star FTP Client - Filezilla
080903 Executer/or and Launchy for quick program starts
080910 Notepad replacement Metapad; Explorer replacement File Organizer 1.3 - download not working
081001 Keyboard mapping Microsoft Remapkey.exe; SharpKeys @ RandyRants.com. There is a specific link to the utility in the far right margin.
Free Virus SW: Alternatives to AVG, Avast Home Edition and Avira, which are respectively at http://www.avast.com/eng/avast4home.html and http://www.free-av.com.
Earth Alerts home page at earthalerts.manyjourneys.com. Earth Disaster SW.
081008 Softperfect: Network speed Networx and File Recovery & Undelete Files. LicenseCrawler - discover PC Lincense numbers. Change File Types and Associations with FileTypesMan
081028 Tag editor mp3tag.de/en ; Tag downloader after ripping a CD audiograbber.com-us.net.
081112 FTP by WinSCP; Microsoft Document Compatibility - Free Microsoft programs to read documents are available at tinyurl.com/yn4xum. The Microsoft Compatibility Pack is described and available for free download, no checking, at tinyurl.com/y5a879.
081127 Start Menu Programs: Advanced Run, Circle Dock & Launchy and Cleanup your Taskbar with TrayEverything
090128 Duplicate File Finders: Dupkiller & Fast Duplicate File Finder first selection by Wanda, does binary search.
090211 File and Folder Finders Locate32 - indexes all then is faster than Google 8k. Everything Searches on the fly and stays in memory.
090311 HelpDesk - Backup and Syncing Sync SW: Syncback , MS SyncToy, Snapfiles.com and SyncBack
Hack: files by extension, "intitle:index of" osho mp3 (hack pdf, nero exe, saibaba avi)
Image searching: 10 Tips;
Flight Status: TG Flight 125 for flight info; bangkok airways flight 712;
Currency conversion: "4,000 US dollars in Thai currency";
Comparison Shopping with quotes and keyword: "better than productname." or "productname sucks"
Google search on desktop: gSearch
proxy site: youhide.com, video download - keepvid.com
Download Speed www.speedtest.net
www.speedtest.thaivista.com, www.bandwidth-place.com, www.speakeasy.net/speedtest, www.dslreports.com/speedtest
Chiang Mai - Alternative Lifestyle Links & Contacts
detox-chiangmai.com - Tim Robins and his crew, we've heard good things, great location by Siam TV
healingrishispa.net 2.5hr Detox and Cleanse 2,800bt with Free Transportation. 053-844-828, 081-832-2029
taogarden.com Mantak Chia's Center. Detox, Cleansing, Blood Test, Ayurvedic and more. Expensvie for Thailand, but great service and facility.
oemcollect.com/FootSaunasF088.htm Ion Foot Spa from China
Wat Phradhat Doi Suthep - Course at Doi Suthep in Chiang Mai. Easy access and great for beginners. 053-295-5012
Bangkok: Healthy Recommendations
tamarind-cafe.com - Great International Styled veggie food in a Trendy environment. Tamarind Cafe Gallery F-Stop, Sukhumvit Soi 20, 02-663-7421
rasayanaretreat.com - Raw Food, Yoga, Spa AND Ear Candling... Cool! Rasayana Raw Food Cafe, 57 Soi Sukhumvit39 (Prom-mitr) Sukhumvit Rd, Klongton-Nua Wattana 10110, 66-2662-4803-5
Medical Insurance in Thailand
There are about 5 companies in Thailand that sell only health insurance. They come under the "General Insurance" category. Expats can purchase health insurance through them without having to show a Work Permit or having to buy life insurance. The names of these companies are BUPA, LMG, AXA, NZI-IAG and Thai Health Insurance (THI). There are also many health insurance companies outside of Thailand that cater to expats around the world. They tend to be more expensive though.
pattayaexpatsclub.com/healthcare.htm - this is the best educated expat club in Thailand. They can always give the best answers to questions about staying in Thailand short or long term.
ajarn.com/Banter/health%20insurance%20options.htm - a real life story about using insurance in Thailand and hospitals
siam-info.de/english/insurance_health.html - a great summary of some of the Issuers (Foreign and Local companies) available here compared side-by-side.
DashHemp.com - 877-561-1824, Hemp clothing that works, from Santa Cruz (of course)!
proflowers.com/catalog3 - flowers from grower to door
stonehengestones.com - this is the only place on the planet licensed to quarry and sell the 480 million year-old Preseli Bluestone formed by volcanic action. 5000 years ago some Neolithic people with a bit of inspiration and UMPH hauled 100+ of these ton stones (some 3 to 4 tons) to over 200 miles to Salisbury Plain in Wilshire to form Stone Henge. Find Blue Stone at this site worked into jewerly or carved for meditation and spiritual uses.