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Monday, September 3, 2001
Downloads of the week


FirstCap is a tiny program that checks if keyboard ‘Caps Lock’ function is active; in that case, it warns user with an acoustic signal. In addition it is possible to deactivate the Caps Lock button operation and reset the Caps Lock status when the Shift key is pressed in combination with a letter key. The program was developed mainly for word processor and similar programs. It helps eliminate situations where you had to rewrite a phrase because you didn’t notice that ‘Caps lock’ was active. The only visible sign of FirstCap activity is the small (Image) icon in the Status Area next to the System Clock. If you click with the left mouse button on it you can quickly enable or disable FirstCap services. It has three parameters — Control interval: This value represents the time after which the program will re-enable the control on the CapsLock active key. The counter starts on the last press of any key. For example, if we set this value at 3 seconds as we start typing, and if the CapsLock key is active, the program will beep, and if we continue typing, the program assumes that we effectively want to type in upper case, thus FirsCap will no beep anymore. Nevertheless, the control will activate itself again after 3 seconds (in our example) starting from the last key press. A piece of warning - you can choose between a PC Speaker Beep (with selectable length) or a .WAV file of your liking. Start: Check this option to run FirstCap at Windows StartUp. The program allows the deactivation of the Caps Lock by the following key combination, Ctrl + Alt + CapsLock. A window will tell about the Caps Lock status. Download available from http://digilander.iol.it/falsinfab/falsinsoft/download.htm


Group Mail

This freeware lets you send e-mail to many persons. You need a special e-mail client that lets you send a message to a large number of people. Your messages can be customised to fit your mass mailing needs. You can use mail merge, personalise the subject lines, and even send attachments to each person on your list. There are even filters included for every field so you can really target the audience you want. The first thing that you should do when you start Group Mail is enter e-mail settings. You will only need to do this once. The main details you require are your ‘From e-mail address’ and your ‘SMTP Mail Server’ address (if in doubt about this ask your ISP). If you are using the Pro version you can, of course, avoid using an SMTP Server and just send direct. For this to work properly though you will need to know the address of your domain name server (DNS), again contact your ISP if in doubt. Now, it’s time to set up some Recipient Groups. To do this, click on the Group Manager Tab on the Main Screen. To create a Group just click the new button in the Group Section. Give it a name and click OK. That’s your first group created and ready for recipients. Once you have set-up a Group you can add Recipients. Select the group you wish to add to first and then click the Add Recipient button. If you have Recipients stored in another file, these can also be imported. To import them just click on the Tools menu (on the Main Screen) and then on Import. Download it from www.infacta.net/files/igmsetup.exe

Qwik Reader

This textual tool was designed with students in mind or anyone else who has a lot of book reading to do. No, it won’t read the text for you, but it will scroll it for you at a preset speed. This program is meant to work with full-length manuscripts like the ones available through Gutenberg.net and Limeware.com. The text is scrolled for you, so you don’t have to move your eyes. It’s the ultimate feed of the information you crave. All without any speed-reading skills needed. In fact, this program will help you build some of the skills used in conventional speed-reading and the speed is fully adjustable so you can read at your own pace. Speaking of pace, not only do you read faster with this program but it helps you in maintaining a steady pace. You’ll be finishing books in hours rather than days. Qwik Reader saves file positions and automatically reloads them from the registry. No need to remember where you were. To use it, simply run the program then open up your favourite book. You can also drag the book to the icon on your desktop and it will be automatically opened. Once you have it open, just tap the space bar to start and stop the scrolling of the text. You may need to play with the speed settings a bit before you find a nice pace for yourself. Download available from www.qwikreader.com/download/QwikRd10.exe

AIM Gradient

This is a cool new feature for those of you who use AIM to instantly message your friends and family (or is that "message instantly?") It’s not earth shattering by any means, but it will give your text a cool gradient effect. Why do this? Because it looks neat. Besides, your single-colour text is boring. Just choose the two colours you’d like to use and watch them blend. Think of it as a new accessory, kind of like those fuzzy dice hanging from your rear view mirror. Download it from www.thirdgeek.com/catagories/tools/gradient.zip

MP3 Mystic

MP3 Mystic is an impressive piece of software that allows you to set up a Web server for delivering digital music. After a quick set-up process, you’ll be able to offer streaming audio as well as MP3 downloads from your computer. Obviously, MP3 Mystic can be used in a number of ways. First, you can use it to share music with friends as well as the public at large. Indeed, I can’t think of an easier way to publicise a band. Second, the program is great if you’d like to access your own personal music collection from any connected computer in the world. Publishing your music collection is as easy as selecting a route path to your MP3s and an IP port. After starting the server, your Web page will offer M3U files for streaming audio (compatible with WinAmp) as well as normal MP3 downloads. The program will analyse the contents of your disk and generate a handy search engine for locating tracks by keyword. MP3 Mystic’s Advanced settings dialog allows you to extend audio support for additional formats such as Ogg Vorbis. You can also add non-music formats to let visitors download any other kind of file. No knowledge of HTML is required, though you can easily customise the output. MP3 Mystic offers total control over the security of your Web server. There’s a function that enables you to allow or ban certain IP addresses from accessing the collection. This is useful if you only want certain persons to download your music. MP3 Mystic can also be managed remotely via a password-protected section of the Web site. You can view a log file with usage statistics, shutdown or restart the server and summarise server accesses by IP address. This freeware version offers all of the aforementioned features. It is available at www.rocketdownload.com/dnload/mp3mystic.exe

— Raman Mohan