|Cool Sites & Software
We've narrowed down the best of the
best to one or two products in each category, with a preference for free stuff.
| audio/video | browsing
[ chat | email |
[ html authoring | paging
| push technology ]
[ server side | telephony
| utilities ]
Animagic GIF Animator (Mac + Win, Free
Optimises GIFs with compression up to 80%, and lets you build animated images from still
frames or other animated GIFs. You can also tweak the frames with fades, dissolves,
and wipes...too cool!
RealPlayer Plus (Win95 + NT + Mac, $29 US)
The most widely used multi-media push-me/pull-you delivery system around, RA Player Plus
will let you listen to sound bytes and see video on web sites all over the 'net.
There's a channel setting system, and radio buttons you can assign to 'net
broadcasters--rock while you surf.
StartSurfing (Win95, Free)
This very handy program runs quietly in your system tray and delivers a medley of
catagorised sites through pop-up menus you access from the icon. Sites are changed
several times a day, and a security feature blocks adult sites from small eyes.
Simple, customizeable IRC client with good support for registered users, and loads
of support and hint, trick, tip sites all over the web run by some of the many, many PIRCH
users out there.
Email 97 (Win95 + NT, Free Trial)
Brings power and flexibility to POP-3 mail. With support for multiple email accounts and
dial-up locations, it allows you to receive mail from one account and reply from another.
Supports the usual attachments, fonts, signature files, spam screening, etc., and the
registered version comes with very cool multi-language translators.
Paint Shop Pro 4.0 (Win + Mac, Free Trial)
This latest version of PSP brings many of the advanced features of more high-end products
like Adobe PhotoShop down to the "any idiot can use this" level. Even
though the trial period (cough, cough) never expires, it is, of course, well worth the
small registration fee.
Communicator 4.04 Page Composer (Win + NT, Free)
The bad news is, if you want to create advanced pages with a WYSIWYG editor, you're
going to have to cough up some dosh. But for free, basic, and easy-to-learn, this is the
very best available.
ICQ (Win95 + NT, Free)
ICQ ("I Seek You") is assigns each user a Universal Internet Number and lets you
add friends and co-workers by their UIN. It will then tell you who is online and
lets you send instant messages, transfer files, send people directly to URLs, and even
PointCast (Windows 3.x + 95, Free)
An intuitive interface and manageable options make PointCast the winner on your desktop.
One neat option brings news headlines to your screen saver! You select the web sites you
want to subscribe to, and breaking news and site update notices are delivered right to
WhatsUp Network Monitor (Win NT, Free
Monitors anything with an IP address, from routers, hubs and networks to email and web
servers. Provides a graphical display of monitored components with bells and whistles when
anything falls over, plus remote notification via alpha-numeric pager, digital beeper,
VocalTec Internet Phone
(Win 95 + NT, Free Trial)
IPhone lets you use your regular phone routed through your PC to connect to other
Iphone users world-wide over an Internet connection. The result? Talk long-distance
to your heart's content for the cost of a local call. Supports conference calling, voice
calls, and video conferencing as well.
Tweak UI (Win95
+ NT, Free)
Change the icons on your desktop, get rid of that annoying Network Neighborhood, institute
truly paranoid security settings, and generally regain control of your Windows 95 PC from
your Control Panel. Part of Microsoft's Power Toys suite, which has other advanced toys,
WS_FTP LE (Win95
+ NT, Free)
This FTP client has a clean interface with lovely windows drag-and-drop functionality.
Free to non-commercial home users, students, and faculty.