Monday, August 28, 2006

KookieJar

What is KookieJar?

Kookie Jar is a program for Windows 95, 98, ME, 2000 and XP which generates signatures you may use with your favourite email or news program. A signature is a small piece of text, automatically attached to every email message or newsgroup posting. It typically includes a random quote -— a so-called tagline (a sample tagline file is included with the program).

Very truly a very simple and straightforward application which adds signatures with random quotes selected from a collection. I have been using it for sometime now and its making a huge impression on people who are reading my emails. The signature with its random quotes and tag lines appended, creates a first impression like never before. The set-up is fairly simple - identifying the correct Outlook (or any other email client's) correct signature file from KookieJar and then formatting it with the required tags which will be later replaced by the correct text/data. Set the frequency of change and its done - get a unique signature on every desired scheduled interval. Wonderfully enough the application is available for Windows 95, 98, ME, 2000 and XP which is usually difficult to see these days! The sad news is that this product is not going to be developed any further as the author has declared a "hobby programmer bankruptcy". Still the code is out in the open under the Mozilla Public License and is free for changes by anyone who would be interested. A great software, one of its kind, simple and small and openly available its something which speaks volumes of the philosophy of open source and its reach.

Another review on one more excellent software from the same author is KeyNote which will be talked about in my next posts. Till then happy signaturing using KookieJar!

I have also started a page http://opensourceforwindows.infogami.com/ where I will be segregating the applications I have discussed in separate sections for easier access. Infogami seems to be a great tool in the making which is definitely simpler and gives more freedom to us to make things the way we want to. Hopefully the page would be up and ready in a few more days. I am glad that the listible open source applications for windows page now has a considerable collection of open source applications for windows.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Safarp

Safarp is a small and fast alternative to the Add or Remove Programs Control Panel applet of Windows 2000/XP. It displays a list of the installed programs and allows one to uninstall / repair them.



Additional features are:

* Search function
* Obsolete list entries removal
* Export program list to a file (HTML, RTF, CSV...)
* New report templates can be written to export to other file formats
* Accessibility via the Control Panel (optional)
* Option to hide the Windows hotfixes
* Standard Windows interface (no fancy UI that slows down the program)

Then came Safarp

So I made Safarp. It was designed for Windows 2000 and later versions (Windows XP, Windows Server 2003...). Safarp stands for Small And Fast Add/Remove Programs. It's not as full featured, not as pretty, but it's fast. As a comparison, where Add or Remove Programs takes 30~40 seconds to load, Safarp loads in less than a second. This fastness is allowed by two features: the Fast mode and the Load icons option.


I had to write about Safarp. I could not resist talking about it. I have been so troubled with the Windows original "Add and Remove Program" that when I found about Safarp, it came as a big relief.
If anyone has used the Windows version of the application we are discussing then they would have realised the pain involved in uninstalling a program with it. The pain areas are basically the amount of time it takes to open the window and then the amount of time it takes to show the complete list of applications installed. It might not have be so perceptible had it not been that I install and uninstall applications routinely and so frequently. I have found the uninstalling of programs so dragging that I would at times postpone that for days so that I could do it together.
With Safarp this has become a breeze. It loads in a giffy and the applications are listed as fast. With a search feature I don't even have to scroll. I type the application name and it filters out just as I type. And click on the "remove" button to finish the purge! Small and Fast - Safarp can literally blow off your old uninstall experience like never before...
To keep Safarp small and fast, only Win32 API calls were used (no MFC).