Every year the community of coders at DonationCoder come up with brand new freeware tools for a year-end event they call New Apps for the New Year (NANY). These events typically involve DC members coming up with quirky or interesting ideas for free tools that solve specific problems posted by members or that implement interesting ideas in code, and they share them for free.
Last year’s event – NANY 2014 – wrapped up relatively recently with a slew of interesting freeware and donationware code nuggets that you should definitely check out. My top FOUR favorites (in no particular order) are as follows: Progress Bars of Life: progress bars for all of your projects right on the desktop, EpCheck: downloads info on your favorite TV shows straight into your desktop, RPClip: a simple, lightweight clipboard manager, and Process Piglet: which provides system tray notifications of memory hogging applications.
Here are little mini review of each of the four programs:
1. Progress Bars of Life: progress bars for all of your projects right on the desktop
The only program I know of that presents you with the prospect of thinking about (or predicting) when you might be kicking the bucket, and chart your lifespan’s progress bar on your desktop.
But wait — before you get the wrong impression, you need to know that Progress Bars of Life simply provides user-created progress bars for any kind of event or project that you are working on (or anticipating). It acts as a reminder for all of the projects that you may be involved in or working toward, without being specific as to tasks, subtasks, or individual to-do’s. Progress bars can be time based or you can simply click on the bar to set it at will, based on how much progress you think has been made.
A simple concept yet so unique and useful.I am finding it to be extremely useful in keeping me focused on the big picture. The only thing I can wish for is for an Android app that does the same thing and that can sync with the PC desktop version.
2. EpCheck: downloads info on your favorite TV shows straight into your desktop
A portable and very simple tool that provides information on all of your favorite TV shows from the TVDB.com database.
If you follow even a handful of TV shows you will find this a remarkably attractive tool, as I did. Double clicking on any entry will take you straight into the appropriate page on the TVDB website for more info.
3. RPClip: a simple, lightweight clipboard manager
“But does the world really need another clipboard manager”, I hear you ask, given that there are so many sophisticated FREE clipboard managers out there?
Actually, the reason I like this is that it is so simple and straightforward. Somehow, my experience with the most advanced and well known free clipboard managers always ends with me removing them from the system, because they either (a) somehow end up using too much memory esp. when you use the clipboard extensively in programs like Excel, or (b) somehow end up silently and gradually eating up all the free space on my hard drive, having saved the mountains of useless clips over weeks and months.
So, for those who like a simple solution, check out RPClip. You can edit and save your clips, and right click on the upper toolbar to use functions such as sort, dedupe, change case, etc. It doesn’t auto store your clipboard data from past sessions that you’ve used it, so you don’t have to worry about accumulated data eating up harddrive space.
The one option I wish it had, though, is the option to minimize into the system tray on closing, which is strangely not supported.
4. Process Piglet: system tray notifications of memory hogging applications
Learn which running programs are hogging your memory via instant, system tray based notifications. I recommend this to everyone, not just for someone who (like myself) installs and tests a lot of software, as it can provide important clues as to which programs if any may be causing problems on your system etc.
Jesse (a.ka Mouser from Donationcoder) who wrote this one promises to integrate it into his older app, ‘Process Tamer’ which monitors CPU usage (and which was one of the earliest programs we wrote about on this site). We’re certainly going to be on the lookout for that 😉
These are just ones I am partial to, although there many that should have been written up here as well. Visit the NANY 2014 page for the full list.