Oranges & Lemons Ring The Bells of Saint Clemens

This week I’ve spent quite a bit of time evaluating web-based bug and issue tracking scripts. But I won’t bore you with the details beyond a warning. Never take the developer’s presentation of facts and features at face value. Always run through the online demo. Or if possible, download the scripts and set them up on your own web server then test them exhaustively. Diamonds, even in the rough, too often turn out to be lemons.

But that not so true of a few under-exposed Microsoft Power Toy-like add-ins. One is Microsoft TimeZone that (optionally) loads with Windows, and remains in the System Tray. Click the icon to display a balloon help listing up to 5 favorite city/location times. TimeZone requires the .Net (dotnet) Framework 1.1 or later installed on Windows XP SP1 or Windows Server 2003. You can also add ‘custom’ zones to the display list.

ISO Recorder - Set ISO save optionsAnother handy Windows XP/2003/Vista add-in is the free ISO Recorder. This installs into Windows Explorer. And is then available as a content menu command when viewing a folder.

ISO Recorder - Set ISO save optionsYou can also use ISO Recorder to burn ISOs to any recordable CD/DVD disk (feature requires CD/DVD writer installed). You can also use this standalone applet to copy CD/DVD disks. Even if the menu item reads Copy CD to CD. I was very impressed by its DVD copy and write speeds while mirroring a 4 GB DVD. Download a copy of ISO Recorder today.

In other software update news, the long-awaited Maxthon 1.5.7 upgrade (Build 82) is available. This now offers a new start page that’s quite similar to the version offered in the Maxthon 2 Beta. The Mouse gestures function supports mouse trails. This Maxthon version also adds support for native IE Toolbar add-in including those from Google, Windows Live and Yahoo. Resolves several bugs including one in the integrated RSS reader. It’s available in Standard (1.9 MB) and Combo (5.1 MB) editions. If you have Maxthon installed, use the integrated update (see Help > Check for Updates) feature.

The Maxthon 2 Beta is also coming along nicely. The most recent version is Maxthon 2.0.0.8042. And while the download is free you need to be registered user to use the software.

Although I must admit from being a frequent user, I now depend on Firefox 2 and Opera 9.02 in that order. With a little bit of IE7 RC1 mixed in. But the I used Maxthon 2 I was happy to find that its frequent crashes and memory allocation errors were history. And for an IE wrapper the pop-up blocker is much more effective that the native version included in IE7. And because the latter misses out on a advertisement blocker, that’s another advantage to using Maxthon.

As for Firefox 2, my copy (which began life as a Portable build) updates itself just about every day with a new interim build number. Read the BurningEdge blog for full details on what’s changing. I find that instead of incrementally updating the installed build with changed components the entire browser is updated at 7 MB an instance!

Of course if you missed on the Firefox 2 update experience, read through the Mozilla Firefox 2 RC1 Release Notes to see why you should think about an upgrade.

And on that note I bid adieu for this week. Stay safe until the next time.

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