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Most Popular Hive Five Topics of 2009 [Best Of 2009]
Every week we pose a simple, focused question to the Lifehacker readership about a specific topic: Which is best? From netbooks and malware removal to home servers and wallpaper, here's a look back at the most popular Hive Five topics of 2009.
The Hive Five asks the question "Which is best?" in a variety of topics covering hardware, software, and sometimes even a combination of the two. Although sometimes it's easy to predict the winner—Ubuntu has had its share of wins, to be sure—the real value in the Hive Five isn't actually its ability to elevate a single winner to a pedestal but to highlight all the great options that are out there.
Between the four runners up in each Hive Five and the other options highlighted in the hundreds of comments on both the Hive Five Call for Contenders and the actual Hive Five every week, it's easy to discover new things. If ever you're not sold on the winner of any Hive Five always make sure to read over the comments and see if any of them tip you off to a new and awesome product you'd never heard of.
Five Best Netbooks Some months have elapsed since we asked you which netbook was best, but the newer models of the winner and runners up in that Hive Five are still the forerunners in the netbook market.
Five Best Malware Removal Tools Nobody likes having their machine laden down with malware. Check out this Hive Five to find great applications for keeping things running smooth and malware free.
Best Home Server Software Media files, data synchronization, and remote backups, oh my! Home computing has advanced to a point where it's practical to run your own home server, and we're running down the five best tools for the job.
Five Best Linux Distributions There are many, many Linux distributions, and a lot of unique reasons to like them. Read on to see which open-source operating systems inspired our readers to provide our biggest Hive Five response to date.
Five Best Wallpaper Sites Nobody likes staring at a boring desktop when they fire up their computer every morning. Keep your wallpaper fresh with the five most popular sites Lifehacker readers use to satisfy their wallpaper needs.
Five Best Free Data Recovery Tools The best way to recover from unexpected data loss is to be properly prepared. With one of the following tools on hand, you'll always be ready to save your data from the Reaper.
Six Best Video Editing Applications You want to be the supreme ruler of your own virtual cutting room? Better break out the checkbook—your film-chopping powers aren't going to come cheaply.
Five Best Web Browsers It's probably the most important and debated piece of software on the modern computer. See how your fellow readers get around the net, and vote for your favorite web browser.
Six Best MP3 Tagging Tools A well tagged MP3 collection makes everything from organization to playback easier. Keep reading for a closer look at your fellow readers' favorite tools for cleaning up their MP3 tags in this Hive Five.
Five Best Antivirus Applications Computer viruses are increasingly sophisticated and pervasive. If you can't afford to run your computer without some sort of antivirus software installed, check out these five popular options to protect your PC.
Five Best Live CDs Live CDs (and DVDs) are versatile tools, allowing you to boot into an operating system without installing anything to your hard drives. Let's take a closer look at the five most popular live CDs.
Five Best Disk Defragmenters Your computer is a busy beaver, rapidly accessing and utilizing files all in the name of bringing you what you want, when you want it. Sometimes it needs a little help tidying up, and that's where these five disk defragmenters come in.
Five Best Portable Applications Whether you got a shiny new flash drive over the holidays or your old thumb drive is looking for a new lease on life, pack it full of goodness with these five killer portable applications.
Five Best Instant Messengers Instant messaging has become so ubiquitous, an entire generation of internet users is probably unaware there was ever life without it. Check out the following five most popular instant messengers to to help you communicate across networks and the world.
Five Best Free System Restore Tools Backing up data is a great way to minimize losses after a computing catastrophe. But what about restoring your actual system right away? Here are the five most popular reader choices.
Five Best People-Search Engines Need to do a little online detective work? Track down anyone from long lost schoolmates to the new friend whose number you've lost with this assortment of powerful people-search engines.
Five Best System Tray Applications The Windows system tray can be so much more than a parking lot for programs you don't want cluttering up your task bar. Read on to see the five most popular tray tools readers can't live without.
Five Best Online Backup Tools Local backup is a useful and necessary part of securing your data against catastrophe, but with the advent of broadband and inexpensive online storage, you've got little reason to not back up critical files to the cloud as well.
Five Best PDF Readers Adobe's free PDF reader has long been a standard for handling its extremely popular document format, but you aren't limited to using it to view your PDF files. Let's take a look at five of the most popular PDF readers.
Five Best Video Players We've come a long way since animated GIFs and video-game-style MIDI files were considered cutting edge computer-provided A/V entertainment. Take advantage of today's high-quality video with one of these five most popular video players.
Hive Five: Five Best Mind Mapping Applications Mind mapping is a great way to add structure to brainstorming sessions and visualize your ideas. Check out the applications your fellow readers use to do their best brainstorming.
Five Best Windows Task Manager Alternatives The Windows Task Manager is a functional but basic tool for keeping an eye on what your computer's up to. If you want to go beyond the built-in tool and for more in depth information and control, check out these five alternatives.
Six Best Portable Operating Systems Why restrict yourself to merely carrying around your data on a thumb drive? Take your entire operating system on your flash drive with the excellent portable operating systems you'll find inside this week's Hive Five.
Five Best Portable Apps Suites Once upon a time, easy remote computing was a pipe dream, now people routinely carry gigs of data around on flash drives smaller than a modest pack of chewing gum. Manage your apps and data with these portable application suites.
Five Best Virtual-Desktop Managers Long before multiple monitors were popular (or financially feasible), there were virtual desktops—applications that allow you to swap your entire workspace with another for easy compartmentalization of your work. Here's a look at five of the most popular virtual-desktop managers.
Five Best Application Docks Remember the days of digging through folders of shortcuts and menus to launch applications? These days many users prefer customizable, attractive docks for launching and keeping track of their favorite apps. Here's a look at five of the most popular docks.
Five Best Time-Tracking Applications Where does the time go? Whether you need to know for billing purposes or just want a better idea of how your work day is split up, you can always answer that question with a good time-tracking application.
Five Best Software Update Tools Rather than wait around for your software to notify you of updates (let's face it, a lot of applications never will), these five handy tools keep an eye on your apps, alert you when an update's available, and streamline the updating process.
Six Best Exercise Planning and Tracking Tools Technology and exercise make an excellent pair; you can now track, plan, and graph your workouts more easily than ever. We're here to take a look at six of the most popular tools for the job.
Five Best Alternative File Copiers If you do any serious file copying on a Windows system, you'll quickly discover that there are substantial limitations to the default file copier. Ease your file copying frustrations with these five alternative copiers.
Which is Your Favorite Hive Five Topic from 2009?(polls)
Have a favorite Hive Five topic from 2009 that wasn't highlighted here? Let's hear about it in the comments. If you have a topic you'd love us to cover in 2010, make sure to send an email with your suggestion to tips @ lifehacker.com with "Hive Five" in the subject line so we can add it to our list.
_Best_of_2009_  Application_Launcher  Backup  Desktop  Desktops  Disk_recovery  Exercise  Feature  File_Management  Flash_Drive  Hive_Five  Laptop  Laptops  Linux  Malware  Mind_Mapping  Mp3  Music  PDF  Portable_Applications  Search  Security  Server  Top  Update  Virtual_Desktops  Wallpaper  Wallpapers  from google
december 2009 by 9diov
Google Translate URL Generates Instant Text-to-Speech MP3 Files [Tricks]
Need a quick MP3 file of a certain saying to goof on a co-worker? Whatever your needs, Google Translate can be used as an impromptu text-to-speech converter, providing a handy MP3 file of your chosen words.
It's not an official offering, but when Google Translate wants to provide you the spoken version of your translation, as it has done since last month's upgrades, it calls up a URL—translate.google.com/translate_tts—with something like q=Lifehacker+is+occasionally+more+goofy+than+productive appended at the end. Anyone can enter that URL on their own and attach their own search string. As an example, click on the link below to hear the text-to-speech work (or be prompted to download an MP3, depending on your browser setup):
http://translate.google.com/translate_tts?q=Hey+Lifehacker+types+it+is+nearly+2010+so+get+down+with+it
The service is, unfortunately, limited to 100 characters, and is English only at this point, and may or may not disappear if it sees heavy use/abuse. For the time being, enjoy Google Translate's help in telling your coworkers just how you feel in robo-speak, or narrating your slideshows, or crafting a killer computer-sung track.
Google's Text-to-Speech Converter Service [Google Blogoscoped]
_Tricks_  Google  Google_Translate  Mp3  Text-to-Speech  URL  URL_hacking  from google
december 2009 by 9diov
Best of the Best: Hive Five Winners, March through June 2009 [Hive Five]
The year is flying by, and so are our readers' picks for software, hardware, and other tools. Come on in to see the winners of our Hive Five polls for the second quarter of 2009.
Every week we pose a question to you, the savvy and experienced Lifehacker readers. Pulling from current trends, popular reader suggestions, and our own brainstorming sessions, we search out the next "Which is best?" question to put before the collective knowledge of the Lifehacker readership. We read all your comments, tally all your votes, and summarize the top five contenders for you. You vote on the best of the best and we return the next week with the champion.
The following list showcases the winners in each of the categories we covered in the second quarter of 2009. If a particular category catches your eye and you'd like to see the other contenders, click on the name of the category to to jump to the original Hive Five post; clicking on the name of the winner takes you directly to the web site for the software.
Best Image Editing Tool: Adobe Photoshop Photoshop has achieved such status in the design community and such widespread recognition by the general public that even non-designers recognize what someone is saying when they exclaim, "That's photoshopped!" Many of the techniques and methods that are standard across photo editing software were pioneered in Photoshop, like layers, slices, and image correcting macros and filters. On its own Photoshop is a titan of photo editing power, but thanks to a nearly complete dominance in the graphic editing industry, there are entire companies devoted to creating plugins for it. When it comes to manipulating images, if you can't do it in Photoshop, there's a strong chance you won't be able to do it at all. Photo by HVarga.
Best Portable Operating System: Ubuntu The same qualities that make Ubuntu so popular as a desktop operating system and live CD bring it a lot of popularity as a portable operating system. Ubuntu isn't the smallest portable OS in the portable operating systems Hive Five, but thanks to a number of factors, including strong saturation in the Linux market and an easy to use tool built right for flash-drive installations, Ubuntu makes a great addition to your portable drive.
Best Screen Capture Tool: Snagit Snagit is as far removed from the classic Print Screen school of screen captures as possible. Snagit helps you capture both still images and grab frames from video. You can capture your entire screen or regions of it, and thanks to a robust profile system, you can create profiles for all manner of capture techniques. Whether you only want to generate a screen capture after a menu is activated or you want every screen capture to be automatically uploaded to a server, you can create a Snagit profile to fit your purpose. On top of the highly customizable feature set, Snagit offers a built in editor for annotating your screenshots and adding basic effects. Finally, the app's screenshot organizer keeps your grabs in order with date, name, and tag-based searching. Snagit also has the ability to easily capture images from objects that are larger than the screen.
Best Malware Removal Tool: Spybot Search & Destroy Spybot Search & Destroy has made quite a name for itself over the years, earning accolades from both general and computer-focused publications. Spybot Search & Destroy is the highest ranked freeware tool at 2Spyware.com, a website that ranks malware removal tools. In addition to scanning for malware, Spybot Search & Destroy also has a variety of additional functionality, including a botnet scanner, hosts-file modification (to keep malware from calling home), a secure file shredder, and a dummy code feature (it replaces malicious or questionable adware modules with inert code so the dependent program will keep functioning). As an added bonus Spybot Search & Destroy is compatible with every version of Windows dating back to Windows 95.
Best Free Data Recovery Tool: Recuva Recuva is a user-friendly Windows-based tool. When you run Recuva, you can resurrect missing files using either the file-recovery wizard or the application's manual mode. The file-recovery wizard is handy when you're sure your data is gone but you're not quite sure where it went or how to get it back. The wizard lets you narrow your search type to pictures, music, documents, video, or all files, and you can set the search location to everywhere on your computer, removable media only, in My Documents, the Recycle Bin, or a specified location. If you don't need the wizard you can jump right into manual mode and get to work searching where you know the file should be. Recuva uses a green/yellow/red light system to indicate how probable the recovery of your files will be, and when available, it can provide previews of image files available for recovery. Recuva also includes a tool to securely wipe files you find, handy if you're attempting a file recovery just to ensure the files are actually dead and gone.
Best Journaling Tool: Pen and Paper Long before people were pecking out their missives on typewriters, let alone keyboards, they were quietly scribbling them onto paper. In an age of instant sharing and easy digitization, many of you showed a strong affinity for recording your most private moments with the solidly analog and difficult to share medium: pen and paper. For many Lifehacker readers there is no substitute for the privacy and ease of use that comes with keeping an old fashioned paper-based journal. Among the variations of the pen and paper motif you submitted, readers showed a distinct passion for high-quality pens and Moleskine notebooks. Rich paper and smooth flowing ink is apparently the icing on the cake of analog journaling. Photo by MShades.
Best Exercise Planning and Tracking Tool: RunKeeper RunKeeper turns your iPhone into an exercise tracking tool. Once installed you can monitor your speed, how far you run, and track your route on a map. You can review your data on the iPhone itself or upload the data to the RunKeeper website for analysis. The pro version includes audio feedback to make the application easier to use hands free, announcing how far you've run and other relevant stats. Finally, if you're so inclined you can have RunKeeper update your favorite social tools like Twitter or Facebook with workout updates. For more, check out our guided tour of RunKeeper.
Best MP3 Tagging Tool: Mp3Tag Mp3Tag is a an MP3 tagging tool with a rather spartan interface which lends itself to easy use. You can batch edit your MP3 tags, including iTunes specific tags like media type or TV Show settings. If your MP3 files are named with tags in the file name like band-album-track-title.mp3, you can tell Mp3Tag to convert the naming convention of your files into the actual tags. You can also go in the opposite direction, renaming your files to reflect their tags. The latter trick is handy if you'd like to make the file name easily recognizable during searching and also have a backup of sorts should the ID3 tag become corrupted or overwritten with an incorrect tag. Mp3Tag also supports expression-based renaming, allowing you to easily reformat the naming convention or formatting style of your files. Mp3Tag supports multiple online databases such as Freedb, Amazon, Discogs, and more for easy tag importing.
Best Netbook: ASUS EEEPC 1000HE When netbooks first appeared onto most peoples' radars, it was because of the earlier EEEPC models gaining surprising popularity several years ago. ASUS has continued to crank out rock-solid netbooks, building their reputation in large part to some of the longest battery lifes. While they claim 9.5 hours under ideal conditions, under real world conditions it's more like 6—still radically better than the 3 hours you can squeeze out of most netbooks. The 1000HE sports a 92% size keyboard and a 1.6GHz Intel Atom processor, 1GB RAM, 160GB HDD, 1.3MP webcam, 10.1" display, Wi-Fi b/g/n and Bluetooth for connectivity, and weighs in at 3.2 pounds. Every ASUS netbook comes with 10GB of online storage, free for 24 months after purchase.
Best Alternative File Copier: TeraCopy TeraCopy is one of the best known alternative file copiers, winning people over with an interface and functionality that one might call "just advanced enough". TeraCopy integrates with the Windows shell for drag-and-drop support and includes a solidly laid out right-click menu. It doesn't overwhelm you with a plethora of settings or options, but it provides enough advanced functionality to speed up file copying, notify you when files don't copy correctly, and allow you to bulk approve overwriting, renaming, and skipping of duplicate files. TeraCopy is also available in a portable version. The $21 Pro version adds the ability to select files by extension and remove files from the queue without having to start over.
Best Recipe Manager: Paper Traditionalists rejoice! Despite the creep of technology into all realms of our lives, many of you have eschewed search-friendly text, embeddable images, and virtual recipe sharing for storing your recipes traditionally on paper. Not all of you hand wrote your recipes—some printed and stored them—but there is a certain intimacy that comes with keeping handwritten recipes that some of you haven't abandoned. The votes for paper-based systems were scattered among 3-ring binders, bound notebooks, and 3x5 cards. Paper is an excellent and timeless choice for those wanting to avoid whisking an egg all over your laptop screen. Photo by Pink Sherbet Photography.
Best Clipboard Manager: Ditto Ditto is a portable clipboard manager with a hefty feature list. Not only does Ditto support plain text, but it can also copy formatting and even images. You can search your stored text clippings and synchronize multiple copies of Ditto together to update your clippings across computers. Ditto has full unicode support, so you can paste foreign and non-standard characters without a problem. You can group together your clippings to keep things organized by task … [more]
_Hive_Five_  Best_of  Clipboard  Data  Data_Recovery  Disk_recovery  Exercise  File_Management  Freeware  Image_Editing  Images  journals  Laptops  Malware  Mp3  Music  Netbook  Operating_Systems  Portable  Recipes  Running  screen_capture  Spyware  Spyware_cleaners  Tagging  Tags  Text  Top  Utilities  Writing  from google
june 2009 by 9diov

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