Easily View Home Media Anywhere!

If you are looking for a way to listen and view your music and photos wherever you are, Tonido might be for you. It offers an easy way to setup a home server with a great looking graphical interface. With Tonido running, and web access enabled, you are able to listen to music, view photos, and share any files on any computer with an Internet connection. For users on the go, this is great to have.

After installing Tondio and setting up web access, you are given a url which you can use to access the server. After logging in on the page, you are brought to the administration page (seen above) which allows you to edit various settings, as well as launch any of the Tonido ‘applications’ (jukebox, photos, etc.) Each ‘application’ is simple to use, and  Jukebox is especially useful as it allows you to stream your home music colleciton anywhere, at a bitrate of your choosing.

Overall the interface is very clean and professional looking, and everything is easy to find. If you are looking for an easy solution to serve your home media collection, Tonido is a good place to look.

System Explorer

Ever wish you could replace Windows Task Manager with a more powerful alternative? System Explorer is the software for you. I recently tested System Explorer out and found that it does everything I need in a process manager, and then some.

Not only does it allow a user to see all running processes, and how they were launched (hierarchical tree), but you can also upload a file to be scanned by the leading a/v companies, search the process name in google with a single click, and even determine if you want the process starting with windows. All that, in the first two tabs.

As you continue to the next tabs in the “monitoring section”, you can view a history of programs accessed, what files are being used, what programs are accessing the net, and even create and compare “snapshot” of running processes.

In addition to the monitoring section, there is also an Autoruns viewer built right in, where you can view exactly what is starting with Windows, and have the option to disable or delete any entry.

Lastly, System Explorer includes an Unistaller tab as an alternate to Windows add/remove programs, and a Settings tab which allows you to enable/disable various components of the System Explorer tool.

Overall, System Explorer is a must have for any power user who wants to keep their system under a watchful eye without paying a cent.

Electric Sheep gives your PC a wooly zap!

Sheep frolic in the electric fields

Screensavers today are in a sad state—either you’re stuck with the mindbogglingly dull defaults that came with your operating system, or you walk through a minefield of spyware and gaudiness.  There hasn’t been an After Dark release in over a decade.  Our thirst for satisfying imagery for our idle computers will leave us dehydrated.

Or will it?  Enter Electric Sheep, the open-source lovechild of Scott Draves and thousands of computers worldwide.  On the most basic level, it’s a distributed computing project like [email protected], but instead of curing diseases, Electric sheep renders animated fractal light shows.  With an Internet connection, you can swap these animations (called “sheep”) so that the show never gets old.

Video of some sheep (transitions are more fluid in screensaver, this is just a demo):



No video? Get the DivX Web Player for Windows or Mac

For PCs that are Internet-impaired, you can download premade sheep from elsewhere and simply throw them into the right folder.  The amount of premade sheep available is staggering—ArmoredCavalry casually told me that he had downloaded eight gigabytes of the critters.  Just be sure to set your cache to the amount you download. If your cache is smaller, it will automatically delete the excess. For music lovers, electric sheep can be used as a Windows Media Player visualization with a free plugin.

One cool little feature is that the sheep can “evolve.”  By pressing up or down on your keyboard when a sheep is running, you say that you like it or dislike it, respectively.  The most popular sheep will “mate” and develop new sheep that have characteristics of both their parents.  If you aren’t scarred by the suggestion that love is a popularity contest, you can be treated to some pretty cool images.

Auslogics Freeware

If you have ever visited the download section of PC-pad, you may have seen (and used) Auslogics Disk Defrag, a completely free, speedy disk defragmentation program. What you may not have known is that Auslogics also offers two more great products completely free of charge. The first program is called Auslogics Registry Defrag. Like the title states, this program defragments the registry, keeping it compact and hopefully increasing the performance of your computer. Running the program is extremely easy (and relatively quick), but does require a restart. Here is a screenshot of the interface:

The second program is called Auslogics System Information. This program shows you a huge amount of data about your system, broken down into easy to navigate categories. It also allows you to create a report (with all the info included), in HTML, XML, or plain text. The program is very useful if you want to easily find a detail about the system you are currently using. Here is a screenshot of the starting screen:

Auslogics puts out quality software, with great looking interfaces, for free. So, if you haven’t yet, give one of the above programs a try.