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Use Virtual Router Manager to turn your Windows 7 computer into a Wifi Hot Spot

I recently came across a useful application called Virtual Router over at CodePlex. It creates a Wifi Hot Spot on any computer running Windows 7 (all versions except Starter) or Windows Server 2008 R2. I installed it on my Acer Aspire One Netbook and gave it a try.

Virtual Router Manager

Virtual Router worked great. I was able to connect to it immediately. I can see using this when at remote locations with a couple of wifi enabled smart phones. Here's a quote from the project page:

Virtual Router turns any Windows 7 or Windows 2008 R2 Computer into a Wifi Hot Spot using Windows 7's Wireless Hosted Network (Virtual Wifi) technology.

The Wireless Network create/shared with Virtual Router uses WPA2 Encryption, and there is not way to turn off that encryption. This is actually a feature of the Wireless Hosted Network API's built into Windows 7 and 2008 R2 to ensure the best security possible.

You can give your "virtual" wireless network any name you want, and also set the password to anything. Just make sure the password is at least 8 characters.

If you are running Windows 7 (all versions except Starter) or Windows Server 2008 R2 and have both wired and wireless network adapters, you should give this application a try. It is available for download from the Virtual Router project at CodePlex.

Enjoy,
Scott

Simple drag and drop in Windows 7 with Windows Double Explorer

In this article, I'd like tell you about Windows Double Explorer, a CodePlex project. This handy program manages two or more versions of Windows Explorer in one application in Windows 7.

Windows Double Explorer

Drag and drop can be scary at times in Windows 7 with only one monitor. Windows Double Explorer makes this task simpler. You can also add your favorite folders to the toolbar for faster access. Here is a quote from the project site:

Windows Double Explorer manages two or more Windows Explorer in one application. Also you can add your favorite folders with drag and drop to the toolbar for quick access. It's easier to manage your disc structure. (A kind of Norton Commander or Total Commander).

I encourage you to give this useful application a try. It is available for download from the Windows Double Explorer project at CodePlex.

Enjoy,
Scott

CodePlex - Open Source Project Community hosted by Microsoft

In this article, I would like to tell you about CodePlex, an Open Source Project Community hosted by Microsoft. Open-source software is computer software that is available in source code form for which the source code and certain other rights normally reserved for copyright holders are provided under a software license that permits users to study, change, and improve the software.

CodePlex allows developers to create new projects, join projects already in development, to use the applications created and provide feedback. Now, before you start thinking that this site is only for developers, let me tell you it is not (o.k., I will admit that I found this site looking for some C# code). This is a great place to find some really cool applications for the Windows platform. I have written several articles about the applications I have found here and keep finding more every time I stop by.

Here are some of the features of CodePlex:

  • Source Code Control
  • Project Discussions
  • Wiki Pages
  • Feature / Issue Tracking
  • Release Downloads
  • News Feed Aggregation

I encourage you to go over to CodePlex and take a look around. Maybe do a search or two. You might find a really cool app.

Enjoy,
Scott

Edit more types of text files with Textpad

In this article, I would like to share with you a handy application for text editing called TextPad. If you have ever used Notepad, you will love TextPad.

TextPad

Some of the features I like are spell checking, undo/redo capability and a great search/replace engine. Here's a quote from their web site:

TextPad® is designed to provide the power and functionality to satisfy the most demanding text editing requirements. It can edit files up to the limits of virtual memory, and it will work with the 32-bit and 64-bit editions of Windows® 7, Vista, XP, 2000, Server 2003 and 2008.

TextPad has been implemented according to the Windows XP user interface guidelines, so great attention has been paid to making it easy for both beginners and experienced users. In-context help is available for all commands, and in-context menus pop-up with the right mouse button. The Windows multiple document interface allows multiple files to be edited simultaneously, with up to 2 views on each file. Text can be dragged and dropped between files.

In addition to the usual cut and paste capabilities, you can correct the most common typing errors with commands to change case, and transpose words, characters and lines. Other commands let you indent blocks of text, split or join lines, and insert whole files. Any change can be undone or redone, right back to the first one made. Visible bookmarks can be put on lines, and edit commands can be applied to lines with bookmarks.

Frequently used combinations of commands can be saved as keystroke macros, and the spelling checker has dictionaries for 10 languages.

It also has a customizable tools menu, and integral file compare and search commands, with hypertext jumps from the matched text to the corresponding line in the source file (ideal for integrating compilers).

TextPad is available on a try before you buy basis and is available for download at TextPad.com

Enjoy,
Scott

RAW Image Viewers for Windows

When I migrated from Windows XP to Windows 7, one of the things I have missed is the Microsoft Powertoys. A couple of the functions have been integrated into Windows 7 (Open Command Window Here and Power Calculator), but there are still a few I am stilling looking for applications to replace them with.

One of them is the RAW Image Viewer. I am into digital photography and like to organize and work with digital RAW image files in Windows Explorer (much as you can with JPEG images). But Windows does not have support for this format built-in. Well, I am glad to say I have found a replacement for it.

FastPictureViewer is a free collection of 32 and 64-bit RAW Image Decoders for Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7.

Once installed, you have the same features for RAW image formats in Windows as you do with JPEG, BMP, PNG, GIF, and TIFF, complete with thumbnails in Explorer, preview and slide show support in Photo Gallery / Photo Viewer and metadata search integration.

For more information and to download FastPictureViewer, please visit their web site.

Enjoy,
Scott

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