Apps of the Month 2

posted by on 31st May 2007, at 9:52pm

It’s time for some Apps of the month once more. This month, we have some excellent Windows utilities (sorry Mac and Linux users). The first is SpeedSwitch XP, a little applet designed for laptop users that can speed up or slow down your processor at will to offer performance or power saving. The second is Programmers Notepad, a far superior alternative to the default Notepad included in Windows.

SpeedSwitch XP

Platform: Windows XP
Licence: Freeware
Available from: (direct link to installer)

For a few years, laptop processors have been designed to change frequency on demand. Higher frequencies require more power, but deliver better performance, and lower frequencies require a smaller amount of power but do not offer the same performance. Normally Windows will organise this speed for you, using more power when using processor-intensive applications like Photoshop or a video convertor, but lower power settings when doing something like browsing the web. Speedswitch XP is an incredibly useful applet that sits in your system tray, designed to allow laptop users to control the speed and power of their processors. This is very useful if you want to optimise your battery life or have your processor blazing along when your computer is plugged into the mains. It is one of the many things that frequents my rather huge system tray.

The functionality of this program is included by default in Ubuntu Linux – just send me a PM if you want to know how to activate it.

For those of you with a laptop, you will notice a difference. My programs, particularly my web browser, blaze along when I use my processor at 1800MHz rather than the lower 800MHz which the computer defaults to without Speedswitch.

Rating: 9/10 – offers powersave versus performance, although does not actually allow controlling of the available frequencies, just modes.

Programmers Notepad

Plaform: Windows (probably works in Wine, too.)
Licence: Free and Open Source (BSD)
Available from:

Dont be scared, this isnt just for programmers, although it does help with programming immensely.

A lot of you here will used a tabbed browser, and know how useful it is to have more than one document open in one window at once. Programmers notepad brings this to the basic text editor, as well as syntax highlighting, which helps immensely with programming, making the job a lot easier through colouration and formatting of different parts of the code in different ways, as well as many other features.

The more advanced features of Programmers Notepad compared to notepad have resulted in me hacking my registry such that anything that would go through notepad now goes through Programmers Notepad. Anyone who wants a guide on how to do this for themselves can PM me on the forums.

Rating: 9/10 – an extremely good notepad replacement, although does not offer the same features as many other programming IDEs.

If you have some favourite programs you want to share, you can post them in this thread on the forums. All the programs posted there will be considered for future Apps of the Month.

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