Shareware

I don’t want to be lame and give you news that’s not real exciting so here is a list of some of the shareware I have found to be exceptional for the Windows 95 operating system. All of the following can be downloaded at Windows95.com.

Browser:
Forget about Netscape. Microsoft Internet Explorer has gone from a “not so bad” application to the best browsing experience on a Win95 system. Supports Java, floating frames, ActiveX, bgsounds, marquee, and a host of others. Expect higher popularity after the major services use IE as their default.

Mail/News:
The Mail/News combo from Microsoft is the best I’ve ever seen in this genre. With filtering, automatic decoding of files, html style editing, and powerful search features, MS Mail/News will bring electronic communication to a whole new level. I actually spoke to some of the MS representatives and they actually put in some of my suggestions for the next version. Are they reaching out to the internet or what??

HTML Editor:
I’ve used about 20. They are lame. But if you want something that can grow with you and is powerful enough not to get in your way, try HomeSite. It has some very powerful features and a nice interface. I use it for all my HTML and have never tried to kill the computer over a table tag.

FTP Program:
I actually broke down today and bought the registered version of CuteFTP. It’s got a very logical interface: Your HD on the left and the server on the right. It’s free for 45 days, and the registered copy is only 30 bucks. I use it to upload all my files to the server. It’s the fastest, hassle free FTP I’ve used.

Image Manipulator:
Paintshop Pro is cheap and shareware, but its got its limitations. They just came out with PaintShop Pro 4 with some added functionality, but they took away some of the best features. Boggle. If you’re poor and need something powerful, PaintShop Pro will get you from here to there. But if you are serious about your work and want to look the best, I suggest buying Adobe Photoshop. It’s the standard world wide and rightly so with a architecture so powerful and easy to use, you’ll wonder how you ever did graphics without it.

Video Conferencing:
VDOLive is what I use to video conference with my partner’s parents in San Fransisco. It’s not the best technology in the world but it gets the job done (most of the time). I tried C-U-See-Me but I couldnt get it to show my video. I am using a Matrox Millenium 4meg card with a media XL daughter card for the capture. All of that is attached to a SONY HandyCam. I get a black screen. Anyone want to try to help me? Anyway, VDOphone shows me the video, so I recommend it.

> Telnet:
Commnet works fine for me. It’s got this woman’s voice telling me when I’ve connected. Its the cutest thing. Anyway, it supports all the basics and some of the more powerful features. Good Telnet program.

Other standards are:
MapThis: to do all your imagemaps. Best I’ve seen.

Gif Construction set: Basically your only choice if you want animated gifs.

Extra Extra: Right before I finished this column, I noticed that Netscape beta 7 is available. Didn’t they just let out beta 6 a few days ago? I’ll check what the upgrade is. Stay Tuned.

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