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Monday, April 16, 2001
Downloads of the week

Desktop Search Bar

An American, Patrick Deal, at the ripe old age of 19, already is a pretty good programmer. Heís developed a free custom search bar for the desktop that lets you instantly access any of 6 major search engines without having to first open your browser. Search Bar is a little program he created because he hated having to open a new browser window, go to a search engine site, wait for it to load and then do the search. Search Bar is a little window that sits on the top of all your windows to give you quick access to many different search engines. It comes with 6 popular search engines (Altavista, Excite, Google,HotBot, Lycos, and Yahoo!) but you can add almost any engine you want. You can minimise the program to an icon in the system tray for quick access to the Search Bar. Minimised, it shrinks to almost nothing as a magnifying-glass icon in the "tray" over by the clock. But even maximised, it presents a small, clean UI that hardly takes up any space. You type what you want to search for, select which of the six search engines you wish to use and click the search button. In a flash, Search Bar opens your browser, switches to the search engine of your choice, and feeds in the search terms. Itís incredibly useful. You may download it from www.freetune.com/sb/sb.htm


If you worry about your huge telephone bills and unexpected bills shock you every time, this is right tool for you to keep track of your phone bills. Donít get confused seeing the complicated interface of the Dialog box. Itís pretty easy to use. Basically what Bill MTNL does is to show you your current telephone bill as well as your predicted telephone bill according to your daily average calls. What you have to do is just start the counter when you log onto the Net or just enter the calls made by you manually (if your PC was off when you made the call) and rest all work is done by Bill MTNL!! It shows the bill at Rs 378 even though youíve been adding the calls properly? The reason is that 378 is your minimum bill (as per MTNL Tariff May 2000) and once you cross the free calls range (that is 150 / 2months) youíll see the amount 378 increasing. Though

for a few days (until you are in free calls range) you see 378 as your current bill, you could see your predicted bill (after 2 months) if you go by the average calls shown in "average calls" box. So you can be aware of your phone bill seeing the predicted bill...and you might need to decrease the daily average if you canít afford the bill that is shown in "Predicted Bill" box. All complicated settings such as changing MTNL Tariff and Call duration can be changed as you wish. Grab it from www.mandorg.com


SFX Maker

SFX Maker is a great, powerful and totally free self-extracting archive creation utility for Windows. It complements PowerArchiver and any other archive utility (such as WinZip or QuickZip) by providing an easy to use wizard that allows you to create powerful self-extracting archives. Self-extracting archives are .EXE files, which contain a ZIP archive. When they are executed the files are extracted to the users computer without the need of additional extraction software such as PowerArchiver. SFX Maker has many powerful features that enable you to create self-extracting archives, which behave exactly as you want. It has a wizard interface making selection of options quick and easy with default options at each stage or you can use the SFX Maker script format. It displays a customisable message to the user when run. It automatically extract files to the userís computer, creates spanned archives, lets the user extract all files or decides which files to extract, has various default overwrite modes with control over whether or not the user can change it, runs an extracted file such as SETUP after extraction, optionally removes extracted files when this program is finished, saves settings to a script file format, creates SFX files in your language and extracts to system-independent folders.

SFX Maker has the same installation requirements as PowerArchiver: Microsoft Windows 95 or 98 or NT 4.0 or higher, Pentium 100 Mhz or higher processor, 8MB or more RAM, a hard disk with at least 5 MB free (An additional 2MB required for SFX Maker), a Microsoft or 100 per cent compatible mouse (recommended). You can download it from sfxmaker.cjb.net


It is an award-winning freeware that allows you to evaluate mirror sites to figure out which one has currently the least traffic. Thus it allows to choose the fastest sites for downloads. To use Dipstick, you have to load the page that contains links into your MSIE or Netscape browser and dragínídrop desired links to the Dipstick window. You can also manually add as many links as you want by selecting Manual Ping option. You can enter URL, hostname or IP address there.

You will see rain going through Dipstick window. After the rain stops, Dipstick will show you results either by suggesting the best URL (default) or by sorting results in a table (which can be viewed by clicking on Dipstick window). After you are done, you can re-ping all selected URLs by clicking Re-ping All button in Dipstick window. It is a useful program and when run it opens just a square inch window on the screen where you can drag and drop URLs. Thus it remains inconspicuous. You can download it from: www.freewarenet.com

ó Raman Mohan

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