Ninite is a free (for personal use) service which allows you to download and install several popular pieces of Windows software in bulk from a single installer – great when building a new PC or reinstalling an OS on an existing machine.
When you visit the site, you are presented with a list of well-known free and trial applications. Just select the ones you’re interested in, click Download and you’re presented with a small (~200K) stub installer which, when launched, downloads and installs each chosen application without user intervention.
I’ve just tried it on a new machine I’m setting up, and although it takes a while to download and install everything (I had selected quite a few apps), this part of the process is completely automated so you’re free to do something else while you wait.
If you have occasion to need to extract a .SIT (StuffIt archive format for Mac) file on Windows, you’ll need to install the free, ad-supported StuffIt Expander.
The developers, Smith Micro, force you to fill out a form and sign up for email updates before sending you a download link. To save you having to do this, I’ve republished the direct download link:
New legal music download service We7 offers free, non-DRM MP3 downloads from a number of popular artists. The catch? Each track has a 10-second advertisement tacked on to the start. A month after downloading an ad-supported track, you are able to go back to the We7 site and download a version with the advert removed. However, I downloaded two test tracks and found that the advert can be removed easily through the use of simple audio editing software. A very interesting business model indeed… only time will tell whether it is ultimately successful.
Mozilla has released the second beta version of Firefox 2. The usual warnings about beta software apply, but if you’re brave and would like a sneak peek of what’s to come, give it a spin.
If you’re not enamoured with the close buttons on every tab, or the tab bar scrolling feature, there are a couple of hidden about:config options that can be changed to disable the new features. See this Lifehacker comment for details.
Firefox 2 is slated for release in October of this year, with version 3 of the browser expected to appear at some point in 2007.