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Top 10 free software apps for your laptop

Downloads to help you get more on the go

Laptops in general, and netbooks in particular, may give you the freedom to work on the go, but we also find that working on the move throws up a few frustrations. Here are our 10 favourite free downloads to solve your woes about working on the go.

Here's a common problem for laptop owners who also have another machine: how do you keep your Favourites and bookmarks synchronised among all your computers?

Let's say that you browse the web on your laptop, adding a few bookmarks and deleting a few.

The next day you use your desktop, but of course it doesn't have the latest bookmark changes you made.

Trying to make the corresponding additions and deletions on the desktop's web browser can be time-consuming - and that's assuming you even remember them all.

Xmarks solves the problem neatly. It synchronises the bookmarks on multiple PCs, and better yet, it does so between browsers as well.

With its help, you can keep Internet Explorer bookmarks on one PC synchronised with Firefox bookmarks on another. The tool even works on multiple operating systems, including Windows, Mac, and Linux.

The software used to be known as Foxmarks; since then, its creators have updated it with additional features, including the ability to offer information about sites when you conduct searches.

The extras are useful, but you'll really want this software for its synchronization of the bookmarks on all your PCs.

Laptop battery managers

Ah, batteries - the bane of every laptop owner's existence. They never seem to have enough power, and they run out far too quickly. These downloads will help you manage your laptop's battery life, and they can even help you get more juice out of a single charge.

You have work to do, but you know that your battery is starting to run out. So you keep checking the laptop's battery icon to see how much power is left - and every time you check, you waste precious time. Sound familiar?

This clever, free program shows your laptop's remaining battery life on your mouse cursor. The app can display the information on your desktop, as well.

You can have the cursor text's colour and transparency level change, depending on the power level.

For example, you can set the program to keep the text transparent in cases when your laptop is connected to a power source, but visible if the portable is unplugged and below a certain power level.

BattCursor has a lot of extras, too, such as ways to improve your laptop's battery life.

Want to check battery life, but don't like the idea of having your mouse pointer display the text?

Here's another alternative. BatteryBar shows, on your taskbar, exactly how much juice you've already used and how much you have left. You can set the app to display remaining battery life either as a percentage or as an amount of time.

Hover your mouse over BatteryBar, and you'll see even more information, including the total battery capacity, the discharge rate, the battery wear, and how much total capacity your battery has in terms of time per full charge.

When you first run the program, it won't appear to work. You'll need to configure your taskbar to display it.

Right-click the taskbar, and select Toolbars, Taskbar. Once you do that, the program will appear.

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NEXT PAGE: Wireless networking utilities

  1. Software downloads to help you get the most when on the go
  2. Xmarks
  3. Wireless networking utilities
  4. USB flash drive programs

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