AllMyApps – The App Store for PC owners.

If there is one word that sums up what people love about computers these days, that word has got to be apps.

Because apps are everywhere and for just about everything, apps for productivity, apps for the office, apps for games, apps for maps, and probably apps for laps, gaps, raps and naps.

But so far it is Apple who are synonymous with the rise of the planets of the apps and it was only a few weeks ago Apple triumphantly announced its 15th Billion app download.

Admittedly most of those have been for iPhones and iPads through the iTunes store, but Apple also launched a very successful dedicated App Store for its Mac computers too.

But if you don’t have a Mac and you ‘just’ own a PC with Microsoft Windows as your operating system, you may have been feeling a bit left out lately, where are all the apps for you?

Well I’ll tell you. They’re all collected on a website called AllMyApps, it’s the closest Windows equivalent of the Apple App Store there is and best of all…practically all of those apps are free.

AllmyApps logoNow of course as an independent website it isn’t quite as slick as iTunes or the Apple App Store but it’s all set out by category, name and icon and just by hovering over an icon a handy little dialog box pops up to tell you all about that App, along with its star rating. Actually that’s a better feature than what the Apple App Store gives you.

And also conveniently it places the most popular apps in any particular category first and foremost, an endorsement from all those before you that those are the Apps you really ought to consider downloading.

Apps like CCLeaner for instance, in the Utilities category, a brilliant way to regularly clean out the crappy unused files on your PC and generally speed it up.

And in Security, there’s the most popular free anti-virus program around in the form of AVG Anti-Virus. If you don’t have Nortons, Kaspersky, Mcafee or the like on your PC, hurry, download it while you still have a computer to use.

In fact whatever the app, if it’s made for Windows this is the perfect one-stop shop to find it, whether you looking for a specific app like Skype or just browsing for a particular task you need fulfilling and you want to see all the options in one place.

To top it off, AllMyApps is also its own app, which automatically collates all your other Apps or Program on your PC, whether downloaded from AllMyApps or not, will alert you whenever they’re updated, and install that update for you.

For yet more features of everything¬†AllMyApps can do they’ve even created a video about it.


So I urge you, do have a look at AllMyApps and you can use the following link, Allmyapps App Store to take you there. It’s worth it just to see all the free goodies that are available for your PC,¬†you don’t necessarily have to download anything now.

Because if this is the age of the app, this is one place you’re bound to enjoy many appy returns to.
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The 107 best websites on the web…apart from this one.

Now you know I like to keep up to date with all the latest and greatest new web apps and web sites don’t you.

But finding them and then finding the time to tell you about them are two different things. These days you see I can barely find the time to scratch my arse if it itches…and unfortunately I can’t find the volunteers for that either.

Nevertheless I remain as committed as ever to bringing these great websites to you, even if I can’t always tell you about them in my own inimitable fashion. Namely long-windedly and with a few bad jokes.

And so it is with pleasure that I present a ready formed run-down of some of the websites that I’ve been wanting to to tell you about, plus a few extra for gravy, in a new list from MakeUseOf called The 107 Best Websites on the Web.

Now why they chose the 107 best websites on the web when it’s such an arbitrary number I cannot say. Or indeed how they can claim it’s a definitive list of the best websites when [spoiler alert] this one isn’t on it.

But that obvious quibble aside, it is a list to include many other great websites broken down into 20 bite-size categories like Entertainment, Productivity, Software Downloads and Security/Privacy so there’s bound to be something of interest to everybody, whatever you’re looking for.

Although I think the best discoveries from lists like this are the ones you didn’t know you were looking for.

There is one which should appeal to everybody however and that’s Groupon in the Local Category. Which given it’s a discount shopping portal may make it a strange candidate for a Local section. But it’s a discount site with a twist because the deals come to you, they are all for your local town and when they’re usually at least 60% off, it doesn’t matter where they put it, you should look at it and sign up for it. Their link takes you to the American site though, use this one for Groupon UK.

So there we are, that’s the 107 best websites on the web according to MakeUseOf. Funnily enough they include themselves on their own list but I don’t blame them because it really is a great resource for everything web related. They certainly have plenty of free how-to guides on subjects like Facebook and Twitter and all sorts of other computer stuff which are available here.

I can’t say that ALL the other websites would be on my list though, I mean Wikileaks is on there. Wikileaks! Surely the best websites are the ones that are the most useful to the most amount of people. How is that Wikileaks?

Its readership has gone down by at least one in Pakistan recently as well.

Prostopleer – What’s the Russian for free music downloads?

You know what a sure sign of success on the net is, it’s when your name isn’t just a name anymore, it becomes a verb.

And we’ve certainly had that with Spotify when it comes to listening and building up a collection of free streaming music via the web.

It’s been great and still is. But once they realised that building our music libraries while they lost millions every month was not the best business model, things changed a bit. Because now with their free accounts limited to just 10 hours a month, the Spotify music gravytrain may not have come of the rails completely but we’ve definitely lost a carriage or two over the side.

So in that case, what else can we hitch our musical caboose to?

Well, there’s always We7. Not the service it used to be with its unlimited free requests for artists and songs (although you can still have 50 specific requests a month after you register), We7 has changed to an exclusively ‘Radio’ based format. And while I think it’s probably the best at that type of service, it does spoil the goodwill rather with just a few too many adverts.

And then there’s Grooveshark, the biggest free streaming music player available from the States. All request based I’m pleased to say with lots tracks and features although unfortunately there’s still no getting away from the ads. However once you get past a big advert on the front page, for something American it’s not too bad ad wise.

But if you prefer your free music players to be just about playing the free music without the big intrusive images, I have another option for you.

It’s called Prostopleer, it’s Russian and apart from Roman Abramovich’s millions if you’re a Chelsea fan like me, it might just be the best Russian export since Vodka.

Prostopleer logoBecause what you get is a very cool, very minimal but very slick streaming music service that makes it a doddle to search for your favorite songs. And should you take the few seconds necessary to register with Prostopleer you can then drag and drop them into any number of playlists you create. The quality of the music is great and while not everything is on there, I’ve found plenty of tracks that Spotify and We7 don’t have.

Mind you, that might have something to do with the way Prostopleer gets its music, since it allows its users to upload new tracks to it and for that matter download those songs as well….for free.

Now whether you do that is up to you, I’m just saying that it’s a feature over and above its entirely safe music streaming. But I did my due diligence before writing this, ok I Googled for half an hour, and I found no bad reviews for it at all, reviews I could read in English anyway. Look, I’m just trying to cover my arse here.

I will categorically tell you though that I’m using Prostopleer a lot. If you’ve previously focused on Spotify it’s a great unlimited music alternative. And don’t be put off if it displays in its native Russian when first loaded, down the bottom of the page there’s an option to quickly toggle the user friendly English version.

I still don’t know though what Prostopleer itself means, to me it sounds more like a cure for male prostate problems. What I do know is that you should definitely dip your finger in.

Go on, perform your own examination now at the Prostopleer website.

Be Funky. The art of photography made simple.

Let me ask you this, have you ever felt like the frustrated artist.

That you know deep down inside you’re just bursting with creativity but the only thing you’ve ever really drawn successfully are the curtains.

Well, let me introduce you to a great little resource by the name of Be Funky, an entirely free browser based application that lets you unleash your inner Banksy by at least turning your photos into works of art.

For this is what it does, and brilliantly easily too. With one click of the mouse you can transform photographs into stencil drawings, cartoons, fine line sketches and dayglo half-tone Warhol paintings amongst many other inbuilt styles and then fine-tune them as well.

And not only that, you can access all sorts of other customisable goodies too, adding frames, speech bubbles, shapes, even a beard and devil horns to a picture of your Mother-in-Law if your creative muse so dictates…assuming she doesn’t possess either already.

Getting started is simple as well, you upload pictures via an elegant little interface and you can even select those images you already have online on social networks accounts like Facebook, My Space or Flickr.

Plus once you’re done, Be Funky is just as slick in allowing you to share your masterpieces, sending the finished results to your desktop, back to those same community accounts or you can just as easily email your work to your soon to be impressed friends.

Plus it does all this without need for registration, although it does only take a minute to create an account and then you’ll be able to save all of your prized creations.

I think Be Funky is terrific, it’s one of those websites which is part serious application, part frivolous fun but wholely ‘just one more go’ compulsive.

But don’t just take my word for it, visit Be Funky and draw your own conclusion.

No puppies were harmed in funking up these photographs

No puppies were harmed in funking up these photographs

Free Rice. Helping to feed the World and your vocabulary.

Right, I want you to stop what you’re doing and I want you to go to a website called Free Rice.

Well not right now obviously, first I want you to keep reading but afterwards I do want you to go to a website called Free Rice. In fact I implore you.

Because not only will you get a chance to test your intelligence and learn some stuff but in your own little way you’ll be helping to fight World hunger as well.

And I know how fanciful that sounds but it’s absolutely true. Let me explain.

FreeRiceFree Rice is a very neat little website that is run by the United Nations World Food Program and one which lives up to the name because its sole purpose is to provide free rice to some of the poorest people of the World in over 75 countries.

And it does this with your help using simple but fun vocabulary tests, alongside some other quizzes, that for every one of your correct answers the various large companies who sponsor the site donate 10 grains of rice.

Not alot obviously but when hundreds of thousands of people are taking the challenge every single day that’s a lot of bowls being filled.

On the day before I posted this, the site says 22,659,350 grains were donated and since Free Rice was launched in October 2007 a total of 66,691,160,670 grains of rice have been contibuted so far. That’s 66 billion, crikey, I wouldn’t want to count ’em.

But apart from the fantastic charitable aspect of the site, it’s just simple addictive fun. You’re given a word and asked what it means from a choice of four options. And oh they start off easy but begin getting harder and more obscure until you think they must be making the buggers up.

With 60 levels of difficulty as well, which for every 3 correct definitions you go up a level and for a wrong ‘un drop down a level, there’s a distinct sense of achievement when you beat your previous best. Of course that’s when they start hitting you with words like ‘dyspeptic’ and ‘vituperation’ to define.

And I was dyspeptic and hurled plenty of vituperation at the computer screen when those came up I can tell you.

Not that I knew it immediately, because then I didn’t know dyspectic meant bad tempered and vituperation meant verbal abuse. At the time they just meant I wasn’t as clever as I thought I was, but I’m a little bit cleverer for knowing them now.

So do the clever and charitable thing yourself, go to the Free Rice website by clicking this link and the first thing you should do before starting the tests is to select the Options Tab and click the button for it to remember your own tally of contributed rice. Trust me, you’ll be returning to the site plenty more times yet.

Tell your friends about Free Rice too, and if you know any kids definitely tell them about it, they’ll be the ones to benefit most other than those to whom a simple bowl of rice means so much. And if they object at first, make the little darlings visit.

Between a bit of coercive vituperation and helping to donate some food for the most needy, Bob Geldof would be proud of you.

Earth Album. Not just a pretty picture, there’s lots of them.

A bit of a variation on my previous theme with this one.

Because in the last blog post I told you of the new features of Google Maps and how I can see it being used for a bit of retro-tourism.

That is with its ability to provide photographs of any place that you’ve been to and want to revisit again, at least virtually.

Well if you’d like to view absolutely the finest and most evocative photographs of a favourite destination then I have an alternative for you, one that will have you cooing wistfully and planning your next visit back there.

Earth Album

There's no place like Rome.

It’s an application that combines the DNA of Google Maps and Flickr and from such a blessed coupling has been born a website love-child called Earth Album…a fantastic picture book of the whole World.

One that’s prefaced within the Satellite View we know from Google Maps but don’t usually see from such a heavenly perspective.

And just as in Google Maps you can zoom down, down deeper and down over your area of choice, or your own house for that matter, until you see your neighbour throwing some rubbish in your back garden. Well not quite but I know he did it. My cat does crap in his garden though so I let it go.

But the real eye candy occurs when you select a country to visit because now you will be presented with a strip of thumbnail images that you just click on to enlarge to absolutely captivating effect. For these are no ordinary holiday snaps, these are some of the most beautiful photographs you could ever hope to see.

Photographs that don’t just capture the places of that country but also it’s people and spirit. And as you would expect, further refinement can be achieved by clicking a specific city, or by searching for it, which will display only those particular images for you.

But Earth Album is so smart and selective that if you zoom zoom until almost the zoomiest of zooms, and then click anywhere on the Satellite View, a little yellow rectangle will appear and now only the photographs taken from that exact spot will appear. It is amazing.

It has to be a popular location mind you, don’t expect pictures of cat poo in your back garden to show up.

And you can even look by category of images as well, whether it’s mountain, sunset, city or even for some reason food, but whatever your selection it’s all a visual feast for the eye anyway.

So whether you want to revisit a favourite city, check out an intended destination or just want to view spectacular photography this is a great resource and click this link to Earth Album to see how good for yourself.

For if a picture is supposed to paint a thousand words, the thousands of pictures on Earth Album speak absolute bloody volumes.

Promotional Codes for your online shopping.

We all shop on the Internet these days don’t we.

And when we do, and you’re deep within your virtual shopping basket you’ll often see a form field asking the tantalising question ‘Do you have a Promotional Code?’

A frustrating little box isn’t it

Because no, I don’t have a expletive deleted Promotional Code and now I’m expletive deleted off because I’m paying full expletive deleted price and some other expletive deleted isn’t!

Sorry, I was having a momentary flashback there.

But it turns out that getting these codes isn’t difficult, it’s just knowing where to find them, and I have two websites for you to check out for the next time you’re at the checkout.

The first one is www.myvouchercodes.co.uk which is the UK’s largest website of discount codes and is a price comparison site of sorts as well. And the other one you should try is www.promotionalcodes.org.uk which isn’t quite so all encompassing but it is easier to navigate.

They’re both very good, with tons of participating retailers, and you can get codes for online shopping and printable vouchers for various high street stores and restaurants.

Of course another option your shouldn’t overlook is simply to go to Google and for example type in ‘Ann Summers discount codes’ and see what’s available. But often the displayed results are for offers that have expired by then so here’s something else you can do. (and could come in handy for any search query)

On Googles own page click the little Advanced Search link by the side of the input box and once there, expand an option under the sexy title +Date, usage rights, numeric range, and more and now you can refine your search to within a day or a week and Google will only provide the very freshest results.

But remember fellas, even if you’re not paying full price for that french tickler and saucy maids outfit just be certain to be home when your purchases are delivered.

If the wife takes delivery and she’s a size 18 when the outfit is a 12 and she doesn’t believe the tickler is a blow up novelty cheese grater you could end up paying a far higher price.

And I don’t think divorce lawyers do discounts.