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Tag: App of the Week (page 2 of 6)

App of the Week: Easily Find What’s Hogging Space on Your Hard Drive with Space Sniffer [Windows]

Easily Find What's Hogging Space on Your Hard Drive with Space Sniffer | 40Tech

Every once in a while you try to download or install something, only to be told by your impertinent machine that you don’t have enough space. You try and try to resolve the issue, but, for the life of you, can’t find the files that are hogging up your hard drive. Everything seems accounted for. You’ve even emptied your Recycle Bin and cleared your temp folder, but all you get from your computer is some digitized, maniacal laughter — or maybe that’s just me.

Potential crazy aside, there is an easy and very handy free tool that you can use to smack some sense into your Windows PC. It’s called SpaceSniffer, and it will help you find and destroy what’s eating your computer’s storage space. You’ll probably be surprised by what you find.

I’ve tried a few different HDD analyzing tools. Many of them are ugly and not very fun when it comes to usability, and they are usually packed with features that you probably don’t need, because they take away from your singular goal: to find and delete what is keeping you from getting that new file or program on your machine.

SpaceSniffer | Easily Find Out What's Taking Up Space On Your Hard Drive

SpaceSniffer’s interface gets to the point. Every button has a point, and the display is clean and easy to understand — in it’s simplest form, the bigger the block, the bigger the file. There are a few simple animations that happen as the files populate, or when you double-click to zoom in on a folder or block, but they don’t distract or have any major impact on speed. If you’re in a hurry, though, you can decrease the graphics refresh rate in the Configure/Effects panel (or remove the animations completely in Configure/Colors). It won’t be as pretty, but it will be faster.

Basically, what SpaceSniffer does is go through your folders and analyzes how your disk space is being used, then presents it in a dynamic grid. From there, you can drill down into folders, tag and filter files to get a more specific look, and use the Windows context menu by right clicking to open folders or get right to the deleting part. You can even navigate during the scanning process, and SpaceSniffer will react to file system events (like clearing your Recycle Bin or deleting a file) to always stay in sync.

There are a few other tips and tricks such as printing customized reports and creating batch files for automation, but chances are you won’t really need them — if you do, check out the Tips and Tricks page of the SpaceSniffer website. You can also get a full list of the features here.

I have to tell you: I love this program. I used it to clear a whopping 50GB of space from my hard drive. 50 frickin’ gigabytes!! Of course, I immediately cut that down by half after installing the free-to-play MMORPG Age of Conan… but that’s another story. Bottom line: 50GB, man! I found files that made no sense, a bunch of space taken up by the mysterious $Recycle.Bin (even though my Recycle Bin was empty), and decided that, since I never use Hibernate in Windows, there was no need for me to allow the OS to reserve 4.5GB for it. I turned that off…

Check Out These SpaceSniffer Videos:

Running a Simple Scan

 

 File Tagging

 

SpaceSniffer is a portable program that plays nice with your machine, and doesn’t clog up your registry. Download it here, and see what’s taking up space on your hard drive.

SpaceSniffer | Uderzo Software


App of the Week: Paper Camera [iOS, Android]

Paper camera iphone

Both the iOS App Store and the Android Market offer an abundance of camera apps. There are so many, that it takes either great functionality or a unique twist for an app to stand out. One that does so is Paper Camera, available as both an Android and an iPhone/iPad app. Paper Camera lets you use your camera to output real time cartoon and painting effects that have to be seen to appreciated.

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App of the Week: Use AirDroid to Control Your Android Device From Your Desktop Web Browser

AirDroid

Regardless of some cool input tools, like Swype, entering text and controlling your mobile phone can still be cumbersome. On Android at least, you have the option of controlling your phone right from your computer, using AirDroid. AirDroid won’t let you do access all of your phone’s functions, but the list of available features is pretty impressive.

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Redesign Your Living Space Online With Homestyler [App of the Week]

Redesign Your Living Space Online With Autodesk Homestyler | 40Tech

I stumbled across this completely by accident. I was looking at some very cool ideas for creating furniture from shipping pallets (my lovely wife’s new obsession), and I saw that one person had done a mock-up of what she wanted her living room to look like. Then I saw the little “Autodesk Homestyler” branding on the bottom of the image and gave an audible “Heyyyyyyyyyy!”

What followed wasn’t pretty. Picture me — or yourself, if you don’t happen to know what I look like — wandering about my house with a tape measure, measuring every wall, window, doorframe, article of furniture, you name it. I was approximating angles, imagining what changes I might like, and constantly running back to my laptop so I could re-create — and then improve upon — my living space. It was obsessive, it was zen-like, and it was surprisingly effective.

Sure, sure, there were a few little glitches, like, in the panoramic or high definition snapshot 3D rendering of my living room, dining room, and kitchen, things like tables and desks  — and my stove — liked to turn invisible. There were conflicts with some of the models, too — my TV sitting inside my TV-stand, for example, or things just refusing to sit over or near each other, even when I had the placement rules disabled. Also, there is simply no way to change the dimensions of some of the models, or (most annoyingly) the height of the walls. (See images, below.)

These things created a need for that special sort of approximation creativity that we all sometimes have to draw on, but the end result was more than adequate for me to see what it would look like if my living room had a sectional couch, and maybe a mirror on the wall (the mirror even reflects when the panorama is rendered!). I now have a reasonable working model of my living space that I can go to and mess with before trying or buying anything — and it was all free! Free, dammit! Even if the entire app is in Flash, and there is no iPad app, I’m completely down with Homestyler. Once you try it, I bet you’ll love it too.

Here’s a few shots of me working on my place — all done within a few hours of mucking about:

image image  image  image  image  image

image

And here’s a link to my panorama (no iframes hereabouts, sorry).

What are your thoughts on Autodesk Homestyler? If you know of anything comparable, tell us about it in the comments!

Autodesk Homestyler


App of the Week: Use JavaRa to Update Java and Get Rid of Old Versions

Use JavaRa to Update Java and Get Rid of Old Versions | 40Tech

Java is a bit tricky. A lot of applications use it, and many of them come bundled with their own version of the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) — which they happily and oh-so-helpfully install on your system. This leads to multiple and redundant installs of Java on your computer, each of which may contain potential security threats, and may well leave you scratching your head as to whether you can or should delete them. Wonder no more… JavaRa is a free, light-weight utility that will clean up the redundant versions of the Java runtime, as well as update you to the latest version — and it has a few other tricks up its sleeves, besides.

There is no installation for JavaRa. It’s just a simple executable with some language options (English, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, French, German, and Finnish). Just click and go — though you may want to run it in Administrator mode for Windows Vista and Windows 7. The buttons are fairly self-explanatory: Search for Updates will search for the latest Java version, and Remove Older Versions will clean up your system.

If you’re looking to do a little bit more, click on Additional Tasks. You’ll get a pop-up that allows you to remove startup entries, other useless Java bits like logs and temp files, as well as get rid of the Sun Download Manager, and a few other goodies.

JavaRa Additional Tasks | Remove Old Java Files | 40Tech

JavaRa is a great little tool and can be found for free on SourceForge.