Are you a PC user? Good; you are likely annoyed. Because, let’s face it, there are some parts of the “master of your domain” experience that are downright annoying to do. Novice users have it easy—to them, a computer is merely a portable word processor, a fancy little device that allows them to watch cats frolic online, catch up on the most recent versions of The Office without paying for cable, and surf the web for hours on end.
You, however, are not a novice user. You are intermediate, to advanced, to hardcore, and you don’t like it when you have to expend precious hours fixing up your PC in a variety of different ways. You want a system that works perfectly and you want it yesterday. Well, to that, I offer five meager freeware apps (or free Web apps) that should help trim some of the annoying processes out of your normal system use.
I’m a fan of the app RKill, based on some comments left in a blog post I made last week about my own personal trials and tribulations with a malware-locked system. Here’s the deal: When a piece of malware makes it impossible for you to run any new executables or applications on your system, you don’t really have much of an option except for rebooting into safe mode and clearing the offending intruder that way.
However, if this situation strikes when you’re in the middle of work, you might not get much of a chance to save your information before your system goes haywire. When stashed on a portable drive (or on the desktop), RKill allows you to kill known malware processes temporarily. This gives you a chance to get in there with a stronger scrubbing program and wipe out the offending app without having to completely reboot your system—in some cases, it’s a real lifesaver!
Okay, I kid on this one. Ketarin isn’t an application that will keep your own suite of applications updated as if they were mobile apps in the Apple or Android App stores. No, this low-profile application is like a giant fishing net for when you need to go back and reinstall the most recent versions of your favorite applications, period. I’m thinking… giant, disastrous computer meltdown.
Anyway, here’s how it works. The app monitors web pages (or even more useful Filehippo links) for changes akin to the new version of an application going up on a download page. Once this happens, it downloads said files to a specific location. Ta-da.
You can set up your own rules and expressions to ensure that only the proper file gets ripped from the Web whenever the app runs. Unfortunately, there’s not an awesome way to delete old versions of apps from your download directory—perhaps in a later version of Ketarin, eh?
Alright, hardcore users. If you’re looking for an extremely detailed way to allow your PC to take total command of a given directory, than Psycho Folder is your ticket toward a HAL-9000-like experience. This app allows you to assign custom rules to a given folder, which Psycho Folder will constantly monitor and, er, run… your rules… on… it. Yeah.
If you think that’s confusing, just wait until you see this app’s interface—there isn’t one. Although you have to type up your commands into a common XML document, you won’t find an app that gives you more powerful control over the automation of a given folder than this one. Easy. Simple. Powerful.
CloudApp is an extremely useful web service that, at its core, allows you to share any kind of file super-quickly. It’s also only really supported on Mac desktops… until now! But I won’t get ahead of myself. The beauty of CloudApp is that it’s nothing more than a mere icon on your (Mac) menu bar – drag a file over the icon and your system will send it on up to CloudApp’s Amazon-based storage. The app, in turn, spits out a short link—automatically copied to your clipboard—that you can then paste to an IM window or an email (or wherever) to share said file with your friends.
As I mentioned, CloudApp proper only runs on the Mac. At least, not until an awesome piece of software called FluffyApp came along to share this neat functionality with Windows users. Same deal as what I previously mentioned—just replace “menu bar” with “taskbar.” Sharing a file with a friend just got even easier than an instant messenger transfer or, dare I say it, an email!
It’s no secret that we’re slowly becoming addicted to the devices connected to our hands. Mobile phones are a technology geek’s drug of choice and for good reason—with but the mere press of fingertips, one can call down the furious power of the Internet, destroy unhappy birds, and chat up friends around the world.
The typing is a real pain, though. But that’s why we have predictive text for smartphones and, now, predictive text for PC users and their keyboards as well. The app A.I.type takes the functionality that you’re used to seeing on your Android device or iPhone and slaps it right onto your desktop or laptop system—perfect for those annoyingly small netbooks and their teeny-tiny keyboards, right?
I don’t need to tell you how predictive typing works. Fire up this app and give it a whirl for yourself—if you’re a speedy typist, you can ignore most of its suggestions. If you’re a slowbie, this might make you into a normal-speed…be. Yep.