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Monday, February 4, 2002
Downloads of the week


Are you learning a foreign language and do you need an efficient way to learn new vocabulary? Then Vocatude may be something for you. People often memorise vocabulary lists by going through the words over and over again, always in the same order and including the words they already know well. With a computer you can learn vocabulary faster. Vocatude lets you build a word list, select some words for a test and then you can start. The words will pass in random order and you will see difficult words more often than easy words. You can compare a test with a pile of cards. Each time you take a card and try to translate the word on it, you can look on the back to check your answer. Vocatude has many extra options. You can choose from open questions and multiple choice questions and for each word you can choose a direction: do you want to test it from the foreign language to your own language, the other way round or both. You can also choose how intensively you want to practise a word and when you've finished practising, you can take a test. When you build a word list, you can add different kinds of useful information to each word - a context, the part of speech, a lesson number and the pronunciation. You can also use this information in a test. For example you may like to practise nouns only or you may want to take a listening test. In multiple-choice tests, Vocatude uses the part of speech and lesson to select answers that fit together. Here is a list of its other main features: you can specify direction and exercise level for each word separately, view scores for individual words, scores are preserved until you reset them, open questions and multiple choice questions, answers in multiple choice questions fit together, record pronunciations, automatically detect speech in a recording, view and print keyboard layouts, print a word list and find/replace and sort functions. Download Vocatude from: www.vocatude.com/uk



Rainlendar is a customisable calendar that resides on your desktop and shows the days of the current month. The application is a Litestep plugin, but it can be used without the Litestep as well. You can use it even with the normal Explorer-shell if you like. The calendar can be customised to fit your taste (and theme). You can use different fonts and colours, select the background image or just use copy of the current wallpaper. All customisation can be made with a GUI, so no hassles with cryptic configuration-files or registry entries. Configuration of the calendar is done from a GUI that you open from the popup-menu. The settings are saved in a Rainlendar.ini-file when you press the OK button. All images can have pink (#FF00FF) as transparency or use real alpha-map. The items (numbers) in the image can be placed either horizontally or vertically. The correct placement is determined from the dimensions of the image (i.e. whichever is bigger: height or width). The images must be cropped so that they don't hold any extra space and their width (or height) must be divisional with the number of items in the image. Only BMP-files are supported for now. To install copy all stuff in the zip-file to some location (e.g. C:\ Program files\ Rainlendar\ ). The Rainlendar.exe needs the path for the ini-file as an argument or it refuses to run. Probably the easiest way to give it is to create a shortcut for the Rainlendar.exe and modify it. Add in the target-file after the Rainlendar.exe the path where the Rainlendar.ini file is. Download available from www.iki.fi/~rainy/prods.html


DL-Calc is a file download time estimator. It is impossible to accurately predict the time that it will take to download a file from the Internet, but DL-Calc will give you a fair estimate. DL-Calc will also calculate the efficiency of your connection to a download site. If you have an Internet account that automatically disconnects after a set time period, use DL-Calc to make sure that you can complete the download on time. To use DL-Calc select the unit that the file is measured in (Bytes, Kb or Mb) by clicking the appropriate tab, and select the nearest maximum file size from the drop down list. Next you select your connection speed. Then move the top slider across until the figure matches your file size. Finally, read the estimated download time. You can find this freeware at www.rwsoft.co.uk/dlcalc/dlcalc.zip

Open subfolder

We all live in a yellow subfolder. If that is true, how would they reach us? They'd have to double- click on the main folder, and then click again on a subfolder. Reaching those secondary folders would be much easier if you could just right-click on the main folder and have the subfolders listed in the context menu. Guess what this application does? Yes! It lets you dump double click. This nifty program also works on Macs. How's that for cross-platform coolness? In addition, if your selected listed folders also contain further folders; their menu items will also have submenus attached containing a list of folders contained within them. If you select one of those menu items, the folder with that name will be opened on the desktop. You may download this program from www.bubblepop.com/opensub/opensub.zip

Text in a Zip

The "ZIP" in this program's title refers to ZIP files, those lovely downloadable things. More often than not, each contains a few files. If you download too many of them, you can lose track of what exactly is contained in what ZIP. If you use Text in a Zip, though, you can easily scan through them using a search string. It's easier than going through them all manually. Once you've found what you're looking for, you can stop the scan (in other words, you don't have to wait for it to scan through everything). Text In A Zip can be run from the Command Line, and requires no user input; you enter a path or Network path to start from, and either a Search String or a File List of Search Strings (default is *.NFO *.DIZ *.TXT *.DOC)." www.mtzone.co.uk/progs/textinazip.zip

Raman Mohan