TUCOWS ARTICLE

Picks: Google Desktop, Printer Activity Monitor, Alien Outbreak 2: Invasion and more

Doc reviews Google Desktop, Printer Activity Monitor, Alien Outbreak 2: Invasion, Font Fitting Room, Cute Reminder and ABIX.
Published: Jan 25, 2006
Author: Michael E, Callahan
Software that can help Good for Cow Rating
Font Fitting Room Standard 3.5.3
Shareware
Download A preview and management tool for both installed and yet to be installed fonts, easy to...
Cute Reminder 2.3
Shareware
Download Create desktop notes, set up reminders and manage your ideas.
ABIX 7.30.00
Shareware
Download ABIX includes everything you need to store and organize ALL your information in one place.

ABIX, by Loginor, is a personal information manager (PIM). It offers a lot of features as well as a lot of flexibility. I found the program to be very easy-to-use and also quite intuitive. That makes it perfect for users with all levels of experience. From my perspective I think this is the kind of product that could be used for work or home. It gives you a full range of module, including memos, to-do lists, agenda, address book, budget and more.

ABIX is quite easy to use, so the learning curve for most users should be small. It's one of those products that most people will pick up and feel comfortable with. You can use it to manage all of your contacts, addresses and phone numbers, and even a budget. The budget section was interesting to me because most personal information managers don't include it even though nearly everyone has a budget of some sort. Another slick feature is a built-in backup function so your data is always safe. Slick!

ABIX also has a section for cards where you can keep notes, famous quotes, recipes or just about anything. The program functions well over a network (LAN) and you can even password protect your data. So, if you're looking for an all-around product for keeping you really organized and on track, ABIX might be just what you're looking for. Check it out!


Alien Outbreak 2: Invasion, by Alawar Entertainment, is a slick game that simply caught my eye one day, so I downloaded it. That happens to me a lot, as is evidenced by the 220,000 programs I've evaluated. But the title and description appealed to me and since I don't review many games any more, I downloaded it.

Alien Outbreak 2: Invasion is in many ways reminiscent of the early Space Invader games. For those of you who don't remember those, you had wave after wave and row after row of alien craft descending on you. Sadly you usually had some pitiful weapon to shoot back with. Well, that's not the case in this game. You don't have just one weapon, or even two, but you have 10! Awesome. Hey, but it doesn't stop there. You can also earn some bonuses, some super weapons, and the ability to make your ship more powerful. You didn't get any of that stuff in Space Invaders.

Alien Outbreak 2: Invasion will keep you on your toes. I believe there are over 75 levels and 32 different enemies that you have to take out. Another cool feature of this game is the fact that you have to face what are commonly called bosses among gamers.You have to be ready all the time otherwise you get blasted into space dust. The program has good graphics and excellent sound effects, and may be addicting. So, if you're looking for a game that's both fun and challenging take a good look at Alien Outbreak 2: Invasion. I recommend it!


Google Desktop Search, by Google, installs easily and quickly indexes files on your computer. Indexing is done when your computer is idle and even though I have a lot of files on my main computer, the indexing was very fast. Kind of what I've come to expect from Google. The program lets you search your computer for text files, Word documents, e-mail done in Outlook or Outlook Express, and even Web pages you've viewed recently. It will even index and let you search through your AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) chat sessions. You can also search through Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations. The program lets you decide what it indexes and I like that.

Google Desktop Search is a program I first reviewed when it was still a beta program. Well, this is version 2 and it's really changed. Yes, it will still put an icon in your system tray so it's very easy to access, but now it does more! A new feature in this version is called the Sidebar and it is SLICK! Here again, the folks at Google let you decide what you see in the sidebar, and I really like that.

Google Desktop Search utilizes the sidebar so it can bring you news headlines. It can bring you your weather. It gives you a little scratch pad where you can actually type little notes for yourself. You can alter the preferences, view the current status, and change what things you see. You can look at pictures on your computer -- I had it showing me pictures of my grandchildren. It can even let you preview your e-mail, read RSS feeds, show you places around the world from satellite views, and more. Not to mention the fact that the program still takes the power of Google and puts it on your computer. So, if you're looking for a way to search for things on your computer, and get a whole lot more, you owe it to yourself to check this out. I like it so much that it's not only a Pick, but I'm also making it a Dr. File Finder Favorite and those are few and far between. Check it out.


Cute Reminder, by CuteReminder Labs Inc., is one of the neatest programs I've looked at in a long time. And, since I look at over 200 programs each and every week, that's saying quite a bit. As the name implies, the program can be used to create reminders, but it can also be used for more. You can use it for jotting down ideas and notes. The program has lots of configurable options and I always like that in any program. One of the first things I liked about it was how easy it is to use and access. It hides right off the side of your screen so when you want to do a quick reminder it's right there, ready to go. The program is intuitive and it's perfect for users with all levels of experience. Excellent!

Cute Reminder is "cute" and it also utilizes skins so you an change the way it looks quite easily. You can also configure the color of notes, ideas and reminders as well as lots of other things. The reminder are slick -- they pop up, play a sound, and you can close them out or set them to remind you again - in 5 minutes or next month, totally up to you. I also liked the fact that the program reminded me when I'd told it to, but it didn't get in my way like many similar programs do. And it provides a quick and easy way to not only do reminders, but to also do notes and ideas. I found I used it a number of times when I was on the phone - to take down a phone number or a confirmation number. Very slick. And the program supports things like recurring reminders, a variety of audio formats, links to documents and Web pages, and more. It keeps a history of notes, ideas and reminders, and you can search through them. It lets you archive items and even tracks things that are related so you could see the history of a topic at a glance. To me that's impressive.

Cute Reminder, by CuteReminder Labs., is one of those clever, yet carefully thought out programs that comes out once in a great while. I like its ease-of-use and the options it provides. It stays out of the way and is there when you need it and I like that a lot. It's configurable, it allows for archiving, and even supports recurring reminders. You can do quick reminders, but at the same time you can also use it to keep track of ideas or to jot down quick notes. You can search through all the things you've entered or just through the things in one category. If I use it for awhile longer, this could well become one of my favorites. So, if you'd like to find a program that's easy-to-use with lots of good features, you need to take a look at Cute Reminder. For the record, it's much more than just "cute," it's a great tool. This is one product I have to buy and you might too!


Dr. File Finder Quick Picks
Dr. File Finder Quick Pick

Printer Activity Monitor is a neat utility product that actually monitors how your printers are used. I'm sure it was intended for business, but you could use it at home as well. It's slick because it shows you if a document has printed and if so, which of your printers it printed on. That can be a real time-saver when you're using more than one printer. The program can print reports for you and those can make your printer usage more effective. I'll have a full review for you as soon as possible, but don't wait for me, check it out!


Dr. File Finder Quick Pick

Font Fitting Room is a neat program from dealing with all the fonts in your collection. It lets you preview each font so you'll know exactly what it looks like. It lets you work with a wide range of font types, including True Type, PostScript, Open Type and more. Using the preview function you can look at fonts before you install them on your computer, which can be a time saver. You can even print out a list so you can see the fonts you have. Check it out and I'll get to a full review as soon as possible.



About Michael E, Callahan

Michael E. Callahan, known around the world by the trademarked name Dr. File Finder, is regarded as the world's leading expert on shareware. Dr. File Finder works with software programs and developers full-time, and in the average year he evaluates 10,000 programs. Since 1982 he has evaluated over 250,000 software and hardware products. Mr. Callahan began evaluating software online in 1982 and no one has been at it longer. He currently works doing online PR and marketing for software companies, and is the Senior Content Producer for Butterscotch.Com.

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