Friday is Free Day – Orbit Downloader

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Third-party download managers makes the process of downloading files from the web faster. They also provide you options to pause and resume the task. On today’s Friday is Free Day, I’ll feature Orbit Downloader and share other tasks it can do.

Orbit Downloader

Orbit Downloader

Orbit Downloader is a free download manager for Windows. Just like any other download manager, Orbit splits the file into chunks and downloads the segmented file in parallel – making the download faster compared to built-in download managers of web browsers. Once installed, the “Download by Orbit” task is added on your browser’s context menu. This app works with browsers like Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, Netscape, Safari, Opera, and Maxthon. It supports the following protocols:

1. HTTP
2. HTTPS
3. FTP
4. MMS
5. RTSP
6. RTMP

Grab++ is another feature of Orbit. It enables users to grab streaming music and videos from YouTube, Metacafe, Pandora, and MySpace. Just hover your mouse pointer on a video and a “GetIt” menu will appear.

One problem with Orbit is that it hijacks certain browser settings after you install – like changing the homepage and search engine. This may be avoided by doing a customized installation where you can specify if the app will override your browser settings or not.

You may download Orbit from it’s website.

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Friday is Free Day – CCleaner

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Everybody loves freewares – from audio editors and graphics design to games and computer maintenance. If you can just maximize or use it efficiently, you’ll get almost the same result as its paid version counterpart.

My thumb drive is full of freewares 🙂 and I use them most for computer maintenance. I just thought of sharing them and that’s how the “Friday is Free Day” concept came up. Every 1st and last Fridays of the month, I’ll feature freewares that may be essential to computer users. It could be for Windows, Linux, or Mac. If you want a freeware to be featured, send me an email at aenguillo [at] gmail [dot] com.

CCleaner

CCleaner

First up – CCleaner.

With this freeware from Piriform, you can recover drive space as it removes unused and useless files like history, temporary files, and cookies created by web browsers. On the other hand, Windows’  Recycle Bin and Recent Documents folder are cleaned while temporary and log files are deleted. However, only the current user’s temporary files and folders are cleaned.

CCleaner also has a registry cleaner to locate and fix problems in the Registry. An msconfig-like utility is also added which alters Windows’ startup programs. And finally the program may also be used to uninstall programs.

This application is now on version 2.31. It was rebuilt in C++ and is compatible to 64-bit versions of Windows. If you’re having problems with your current version of CCleaner, it is advised that you install and download its version 2.

You may download CCleaner from Piriform’s website or from FileHippo.

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XP Mode the Lite Way

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Windows 7

Windows 7

One feature being flaunted by Windows 7 is its ability to run Windows XP-based programs. It is required, however, that your processor supports Hardware-Assisted Virtualization (AMD-V / Intel VT ) and should be turned on in the BIOS. Hardware-Assisted Virtualization (HAV) enables full virtualization utilizing hardware capabilities, mostly from the host processor. If you want to try XP Mode, download first Microsoft’s HAV Detection Tool. Double click to run the tool and it will check if your processor supports HAV. The image below is the result of the test on my PC – and my poor PC does not support HAV (click to enlarge).

HAV Tool Result

HAV Tool Result

If you’re lucky and you get the HAV Tool’s approval, you may proceed to the XP Mode installation by downloading Virtual PC and the vitualized image of Windows XP. Make sure you select the correct Windows 7 version of your system.

For those who failed the HAV tool test, there’s an alternative for XP Mode and we’ll do it the lite way.

Download the VMLite Workstation app. This will replace Microsoft’s Virtual PC. One thing I’ve noticed is that VMLite (including the interface) is similar to VirtualBox. Download also the virtualized image of XP – select your correct Windows 7 version. It’s a 500-MB file so it would take time to download. Save the file in a folder that you can easily access, i.e. “C:/xpmode/”.

After all downloads are finished, install VMLite and if Windows security prompts for approval for device software installation, click “Install”.  After the installation, you will be asked to locate the XP image file you have downloaded. Specify the path and VMLite will continue on with the process. Fill in needed information.

Once XP is running, install your XP-based needed apps and run them once. Check your Windows 7 start menu and look for VMLite Workstation. You’ll see a folder named “VMLite XP Mode Applications”. This folder will contain the applications that you initially ran in Windows XP. From there, you can instantly launch XP-based apps (with XP running in Seamless Mode).

Win 7 Start Menu

Win 7 Start Menu

For questions, you may send eMail at aenguillo[at]gmail[dot]com.

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