DownZemAll is an open source download manager for Windows, Linux and macOS

Recently, while casually browsing GitHub, I came across a name that seemed familiar at first; it turned out to be a new download manager called DownZemAll.

DownZemAll is an open source download manager for Windows, Linux and macOS

The program’s name is very similar to the popular DownloadThemAll! extension for Firefox, which is what surprised me. The official page reveals that the developer of DownZemAll started the project during the time the legacy add-on stopped working with Firefox Quantum, and seems to have used it as the inspiration to rewrite this application.

But that’s where the similarities end, because DownZemAll is a desktop program. Let’s take a look at it to see how it stacks up. The interface is mostly what you’d expect in a download manager: a menu bar, toolbar, the main pane, but unlike others, DownZemAll has a sidebar too. The options in the side panel are also available from the right-click menu.

The download pane displays the filename of the content that you’re downloading, the server where it is being obtained from, a download progress bar and the percentage of completion, the file’s size, the estimated time for the download to be completed, and the current download speed. Click the plus button on the toolbar to add a new download and paste a file’s URL in the download field. Optionally enter a custom name to save it in. You can set the download folder from this dialog box. The program also supports batch downloading of files.

DownZemAll add new download

DownZemAll displays a pop-up notification near the system tray when a download has been completed (or failed). Right-click on an entry in the download list to view DownZemAll’s context menu. This menu (and the side-panel) lets you view the download information (URL, size, etc), open the file, rename it, delete it or open the folder where it’s saved.

You may copy the download URL, and manage the download (pause, resume, cancel, remove), move them up or down the queue. The program can also be used to download videos from streaming services. Click the video download button (next to the + icon), and paste the stream’s URL to download the media.

DownZemAll context menu

Down Right Now (companion extension for Firefox and Chrome)

While DownZemAll is a desktop program, it has an optional extension for Firefox and Chrome called Down Right Now. While the name sort of sounds like a website server status checker, this one is actually a tool that sends the download command from your browser to DownZemAll.

Down Right now new download

So, how does this work. Once you install the add-on, it is available on the toolbar as an icon, and as a context menu item. Mouse ever a file that you want to download, right-click on it, and select “Save link with Down Right Now”. This sends the download to DownZemAll which immediately starts the download process. I did have an issue with Down Right Now, and that’s because it didn’t recognize the portable version of the desktop client. So I ran the Install.bat in the portable folder, and it created the relevant registry entries. And bingo!, the add-on recognized it as an installed program.

Down Right now download all content

There’s one additional function that the extension is capable of. Click on the Down Right Now toolbar icon and it should display all links on the web page you’re currently on, and you can choose which ones of those you want to save. This does remind me of DownThemAll.

Portable versions of DownZemAll are available for 32-bit and 64-bit computers. The application is based on QT5 and written in C/C++. There are 2 different portable builds available, MSVC is the Microsoft Visual C++ version which uses Chromium’s engine and Google Gumbo. The MinGW GCC Compiler version does not use Chromium.

Note: It appears a newer version of the program has been released. This review is based on version 1.7.3. The application is also available for Linux and macOS, but I was unable to test those.

Though DownZemAll doesn’t have automatic browser monitoring, the extension bridges the gap pretty well. I didn’t find anything to complain about regarding the download speeds and the overall performance of the program. It is in my opinion, a good alternative to XDM and HTTP Downloader (which I have been using for the past few months).

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Stick notes on your desktop and get reminders with Alarm Stickies 3

Alarm Stickies 3 is a freeware application that displays sticky notes on your desktop. It also has a reminder functionality, hence the “alarm” in the name.

Stick notes on your desktop and get reminders with Alarm Stickies 3

The program starts in the tray; click on its icon to create your first sticky note. You can also do this with the keyboard shortcut: Control + P. A small window should appear where you can enter your note. The note editor displays the date and time when you created the note and notes stay on top of other windows.

See that arrow icon in the corner? If it’s green, it’s an active note which means that you can type in it. That’s useful, if you want to edit it. But if it’s purple, it’s a sticky note that’s being displayed over other notes. You can move stickies around the screen by moving the mouse over the top or bottom center and dragging them to the location you want to place them at.

You can change the background color of a sticky note by pressing Ctrl + C. Alarm Stickies 3 supports many keyboard shortcuts which you can customize. Of course, you can have as many sticky notes you want. But do remember, they stay on top of other windows, so you may want to resize them by dragging them to a location where they don’t interfere with your work.

So, how do you save notes? Drag a sticky to either side of your screen to preserve the note’s data. However, if you drag it towards the bottom it deletes the note forever.

The sticky note widgets are not displayed when you exit the program or hide them. You can however view them by right-clicking the tray icon and selecting “List of stickies with alerts” or “List of outdated stickies”. This opens up a window that lists your notes, and you can copy a note just by clicking on it. This isn’t convenient, but the notes aren’t lost. Stickies with alerts can be restored by clicking the “Modify” button.

Setting alerts

Create a sticky note, type something and hit the F8 key. This creates an alert, i.e. a reminder.

Alarm Stickies 3 set an alert

You can optionally enable an alert sound from the “Sound Settings” window. There are two options to choose from: single time alert sound or continuous sound. Click on the sticky that has the alert to mute it. The program comes with four built-in sounds that you can pick from for the alert. When the alert is triggered, two things happen: The sticky note associated with the alert is automatically centered on the screen and the sound is played.

Alarm Stickies 3 set an alert sound

Alerts will work even if the note isn’t stickied, i.e. if you dragged it to the side to close it, the alert will be triggered when time and date criteria are met.

Calendar

Alarm Stickies 3 calendar

Alarm Stickies 3 has a built-in quarterly calendar. Click on a future date to create an alert.

Recurrences

Save birthdays, anniversaries and other recurring dates from the “Recurrences” window. The program can be set to notify you when the date criteria is met. Or you can set a custom notification to be alerted a few days in advance.

Alarm Stickies 3 recurrences

The application is not portable.

Note: The program doesn’t play well with date formats other than the US format (mm-dd-yyyy). I tried using other formats from the settings, but noticed that trying to set an alert or clicking the modify/delete button in the “list of stickies” crashes the application. The only workaround for this is to use the US date format in Alarm Stickies 3’s settings. This does not affect the date format used by Windows.

Alarm Stickies 3 works fine if you use it for everyday notes. But the lack of support for automatically displaying previous notes is kind of a let down.

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Windows 10 PowerToys 0.16 update introduces new tools

Microsoft revived the classic PowerToys application some time ago; it created a modern version of PowerToys, made it open source, and has released updates regularly since then.

PowerToys 0.16.0 is the latest version that just got released on GitHub. The new version introduces new utilities, improvements, and includes more than 100 fixes on top of that.

Just download the latest setup file from the project’s GitHub releases page and install it to get started. You can install it over an existing installation of PowerToys if the software is installed already on the device. PowerToys adds an icon to the System Tray area when you run it. First thing you may want to do is right-click on it and select Settings to configure the utilities and functionality.

Here is an overview of the new tools included in this release:

Image Resizer

image resizer

Similarly to the previously introduced PowerRenamer tool, Image Resizer is a shell extension to resize one or multiple images. Provided that the feature is enabled — which it is by default — all it takes is to select images in File Explorer and then the Resize Images context menu option to open the configuration screen.

Here you find presets to choose from — small, medium, large and phone — and a custom resize option as well. The four presets are all configured to fit the selected images within a specific pixel range, e.g. within 1266*768 pixels if you select medium.

Only the custom option provides additional options including switching from pixels to percent, centimeters or inches, and switching from fit to fill or stretch.

Three additional options are found below of which one — ignore the orientation of pictures — is checked by default. The other two, “make pictures smaller but not larger” and “Resize the original pictures (don’t create copies)” are not enabled by default.

All it takes to resize pictures is right-click, select the Resize Images option, make the selection on the configuration window that opens, and hit the resize button. Image Resizer creates copies by default and that is the recommended way as you don’t get any previews of the outcome.

Text-based Alt-Tab Alternative Window Walker

alt tab walker

Window Walker adds another option to find processes quickly on the system. It is a text-based Alt-Tab alternative that you activate with the shortcut Ctrl-Windows.

Window Walker opens a prompt similar to the Everything Search prompt that accepts user input. Just type characters to get real-time results based on the processes running on the system.

The tool focuses on processes only at the time and seems to use fuzzy logic to match processes; this means that you may get results that match the entered characters only partially.

SVG and Markdown Preview panes in File Explorer

markdown viewer

The new PowerToys release adds two new preview options to File Explorer. SVG Preview and Markdown Preview provide users with options to preview these file types in File Explorer’s preview pane.

Both new preview options are enabled by default.

Other changes

Microsoft improved the FanzyZone tool in the new release. FanzyZone adds layout options for windows to the Windows operating system. In this release, multi-monitor support was improved by adding support zone flipping switching on multi-monitor systems.

Closing Words

PowerToys tools add new utilities to Windows 10 that may improve productivity. Some of the included tools are basic, e.g. the renamer or image resizer, but they may be sufficient for basic tasks. Advanced users may prefer dedicated tools instead as these provide more functionality and customization options.

Now You: have you tried the new PowerToys yet?

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WinRAR 5.90 Final is out

RARLAB, the developer of WinRAR and the RAR compression format, has released WinRAR 5.90 to the public. The new version of the shareware program for Windows introduces numerous new features, improvements, and fixes. The last version of WinRAR, WinRAR 5.80, was released in December 2019.

WinRAR 5.90 is already available for the supported operating systems Windows, Mac OS X, FreeBSD, Linux, and Android. Existing users may download the latest version of the compression software from the developer website to install it over a currently installed version. WinRAR does not support automatic updates.

Select Help > About WinRAR to check the installed version before and after installation to verify that everything went smoothly.

WinRAR 5.90 Final

winrar 5.90 final

Interested users may check out the release notes for the new version directly. Since it is quite a long list, here is a summary of the most important changes in WinRAR 5.90:

  • RAR compression speed improved on systems with processors with 16 and more cores.
  • The maximum number of threads that WinRAR uses has been increased from 32 to 64- The command line switch -mt accepts values between 1 and 64 to reflect the change.
  • The new “threads” input field in the settings replaces the multithreading parameter. It accepts values between 1 and the number of cores of the CPU.
  • When browsing archived contents, packed and unpacked sizes are now displayed.
  • RAR5 archive repair performance has improved.
  • Progress bar and cancel button are displayed if the reading of archives takes noticeable time.
  • Some windows, archiving and extraction progress windows may be resized now.

Several bugs are fixed in the new version next to that including a fix for repair displaying “Recovery record is corrupt” when in fact it was not. While the message did not impact a successful repair operation, it did irritate users.

Closing Words

WinRAR is still a very popular file compression application, and that is despite the fact that numerous free alternatives such as PeaZip 0r Bandizip, or are available.

Now You: which compression tool do you use and why?

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Nirsoft's latest tool helps you manage Windows Defender Threats in bulk

WinDefThreatsView is a new freeware tool for Microsoft’s Windows 10 and 8.1 operating systems by Nirsoft that assists administrators in managing threats detected by the operating system’s built-in antivirus protection Windows Defender Antivirus.

Windows Defender Antivirus is the default antivirus solution on Windows 10. Users may install third-party security software which may take over but part of the userbase uses the default solution instead.

Like many other built-in Windows tools, Windows Defender Antivirus is not particular well designed when it comes to configuring and managing the application. The program displays a notification when a threat is detected but the only option to deal with those is on a one-on-one basis. Important management dashboards such as the threat history or various protections are not easily located on the system and it often takes lots of clicks and knowledge to open these menus.

WinDefThreatsView

windefthreatsview nirsoft

WinDefThreatsView provides an alternative, at least when it comes to managing detected threats. The free program is provided as a 32-bit and 64-bit version for Microsoft’s Windows 10 and 8.1 operating systems.

Just run the program from any location; it is provided as an archive that you need to extract first but does not need to be installed.

The application lists all detected threats in its interface. For new threats, it is necessary to hit the refresh button if the program is running already to have these picked up and listed as well. The program loads local threat data by default but you can use it to display the threat data of remote computer systems as well.

Select Options > Advanced Options to do so. You need to switch to “Load threats data from remote computer” and specify the computer name and username/password if required.

load threats data remote computer

Note that you may run the tool on a Windows 7 machine to connect to a supported operating system using the remote computer option.

All threats are listed with the filename, threat name, severity, domain user and process name, time and data of initial detection and remediation, threat ID and status, action, paths, and more.

All data or a selection can be saved to various file types including txt, csv, xml and json. A right-click on a selection displays options to handle all selected threats at once.

Select “Set default action for selected threats” to select an action, e.g. quarantine, allow, block or remove, that you want applied to the threat. You may use it to manage all threats or a subset of threats at once which improves manageability significantly.

You may also run the program from the command line but only to export threats to a new file that you specify.

Closing Words

WinDefThreatsView is a handy portable program for Microsoft Windows administrators who manage systems with Windows Defender Antivirus enabled. Besides the useful option to manage multiple threats at once, it is also capable of exporting threat data to several file formats.

Now You: Which security solution do you use on your devices?

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