Mozilla Firefox, by The Mozilla Corporation
is a powerful Web browser that's loaded with all the features you need. Firefox is a project of the non-profit Mozilla Foundation. For those who don't know, the Mozilla Foundation was started by a bunch of folks who originally worked on the Netscape Web browser. Firefox is free, but you can make a contribution to the Mozilla Foundation if you like. But now, on to the review. To begin with, Firefox is fast. It's a lean, mean browsing machine! And you couldn't, or shouldn't, ask for more in a Web browser. It does a beautiful job of bringing in all
of your favorites, passwords, and so on from Internet Explorer. You can go full screen, zoom in on text, and review your history. The program has a very intuitive interface and is very easy-to-use and that makes it perfect for both new and experienced users. It supports add-in programs like AIRoboForm by Siber Systems, which means you can move to Firefox and still not have to fill out forms! Ahhh, but there's more! Firefox
is solid when it comes to security and gives you a full set of privacy controls to work with. It also resists "spyware" because it doesn't accept any ActiveX controls. In addition, the program has a built-in pop-up blocker so your Web browsing is more fun. Oh, and that reminds me, Firefox also features a tabbed interface so you can have multiple sites loaded at one time. And if you don't like a tabbed interface, you can turn it off. Slick! Another very cool feature is that Firefox has Google search capability built right in, so Google searches are right there for you. Beyond that, Firefox also has other search functions that make it a great browsing companion. And speaking of great features, the program also has built-in support for RSS news feeds, so you don't need any other application to read your news. I've tried just about every Web browser out there and this one is beautifully done. Firefox
is a powerful Web browser that's jam-packed with really great features. It brings in all your Favorites and more from Internet Explorer, can have a tabbed interface, has excellent security functions, and more including pop-up blocking. The interface is not only easy-to-use, but it's highly configurable and I really like that. You can make Firefox work the way you
want it to and that's how it should be. It even has "themes" so you can alter the way it looks. This is one great browsing tool and according to the Firefox Web site over 8 million users have made the switch to Firefox. So, if you're looking for an alternative to your current Web browser, this
is where you should start. And while the program is free, you can make a donation and get yourself a t-shirt! Take a good look at Firefox -- I recommend it!
Photolightning , by Photolightning
is a really slick program for dealing with digital pictures. I reviewed it quite awhile back when it was on version 1.0, but now it's at version 3.8. When I first looked at it, it was one of a few photo programs available. And at that time I felt that Photolightning was the easiest to use. I've looked at a lot
of photo programs since that time and I still think Photolightning is easier to user than many other photo programs. For many newer users in particular, all they want to do is get their pictures off their camera and move on from there. Photolightning makes it easy to get your pictures, work with them, and share them. You can remove that pesky "red eye" which is always present in pictures, especially of people with blue eyes. Sharpen the focus of pictures, crop them, or rotate pictures the way you want them. Photolightning makes it a snap! Photolightning
lets you handle your pictures in a variety of ways. If you want to print them yourself, the program makes it simple. It also offers support for the most common sizes, like 5 by 7, and a wide range of paper stocks. If you wish, you can also choose to utilize an online service for printing your photos. Send photos by email, burn them to CD or DVD, or even create a slideshow with them. The best part is that whatever
you decide to do, it's easy! You can send your photos by email and the program can either put them in a ZIP file, or make the files smaller so they take less time to transfer. Very slick. And another nice feature is that the program can handle batches of photos, making it easy for you to change the time stamp, the format, rename them, and more. Photolightning,
, by Photolightning Corporation, is a truly full-featured program for working with photos. Since I first looked at it in 2002, it's only gotten better. The program claims to be "as easy as 1, 2, 3" and it is! Many similar products make it very difficult to work with your photos, but that's not the case here. You pick what you want to work with, and go! What I like most about it is that it's very easy for new
computer users to understand and use. So, if you'd like a program that's quick and easy-to-use for working with your photos, take a look at Photolightning.
Bookmark Buddy, by Edward Leigh
is an excellent program for managing all of your Internet "Favorites". You can also use it to manage all of your passwords, which is a neat feature to have. Over the last few years I've looked at quite a few "bookmark" programs and this is one of the very best
I've seen. To begin with it's easy-to-use and I think that's important. At the same time, it has an intuitive user interface. So, the program is perfect for users with all levels of computer experience. I like the approach it takes ... it seems very logical, at least to me. You can have your bookmarks in categories and then create subcategories as well. So, for example, you could create a category called "Music" and then have music-related links in subcategories like "Blues", "Jazz", "Rock", and so on. The program has a very good search function so you can easily find any bookmark you happen to be looking for. Heck, you can even give descriptions to your bookmarks and assign them "keywords" and that makes things even easier to find. Slick! Bookmark Buddy
makes it easy to manage all of your bookmarks and passwords. At the same time the program is loaded with extra features and configurable options. If you want you can even encrypt your bookmarks, print them, edit them, and more. It has a feature called "SmartFolders" that contains all of the Web sites you visit regularly. Another neat feature is that you can schedule
visits to Web sites so you don't forget. The program handles your bookmarks, handles all your passwords, and makes it look easy. So, if you find yourself being weighed down by bookmarks and passwords, this
is a program you need to look at! It will make your life so
much easier. Give it a try!
Just Wallpaper, by L, Inc.
is a nifty tool that really makes your Windows "wallpaper" into something special. What do I mean by "special"? Well, it actually helps your wallpaper to do some functional things. For example, you can have a calendar over laid on top of the wallpaper. Have the current month, or three months. You'll never have to look for a calendar again -- it'll be right in front of you! Very slick. And, if you want, you can have the date and time. And besides a calendar, you can also put important notes up right on your desktop so you won't forget them. Or set the wallpaper to change at specific intervals like every hour, every 4 hours, and so on. Just Wallpaper
will also let you create themes so you can do some pretty neat things. For example, I created wallpaper taken from pictures of the woods at different stages of the day. Then, just had the program change them at appropriate times. So, my wallpaper changes just like the day does. Very cool. You can use "image masks" that give you a wide range of neat effects. You can use the same mask all the time or have it change, just like the wallpaper. Other great features include a "Power Search" option that can quickly scan all of your hard drives to find links to your Windows wallpaper. That makes using the program even easier. Just Wallpaper has lots
of configurable options, and you know how much I like that! Just Wallpaper
, by Lincoln Beach Software, is a very slick and clever tool to make "wallpaper" not only fun, but functional. With the ability to add a calendar, date and time, and important notes to your desktop wallpaper your wallpaper becomes more than just a 'pretty face.' And the program also makes wallpaper fun
by letting you create themes, use image masks, implement special effects, and lots more! Over the years I've seen lots
of programs for changing wallpaper. In fact, some of the first shareware programs for Windows were "wallpaper changers", but this is the best
I've seen. Give it a try -- I recommend it highly and I think you'll like it!
Well, that's all we have time for today. I hope you enjoyed reading about these Picks as much as I enjoyed writing about them. All of them are excellent products and well worth your time. Download them and give them a try. I'll be back next week with more software to tell you about. Until then, have a great week, a wonderful weekend, and happy downloading.