Top 5 Free Notepad replacements

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NotepadNotepad is one of the few tools that is been a part of Windows operating system and which have not been evolved since its initial release. Notepad is simple to use and lacks many features / enhancement. So it is always better to look for a replacement, which will overcome all known issues of Notepad.


Why Replacement?

Notepad has some disadvantages, which is known to everyone who uses it frequently. Here is a quick list of them.

  • Doesn’t have support for multiple document interface
  • Doesn’t display line number (this is harder part for programmer / debugger)
  • Doesn’t support syntax highlighting
  • Doesn’t support larger files
  • It is after all Microsoft product 🙂

To overcome these and other disadvantages many programmers looked into developing better tools that will be as simple to use as Notepad, yet offer additional features and enhancements that were left out of the original Notepad.

Couple of weeks back I wrote about my favorite notepad alternative and I asked my readers about their favorite too. Thanks to the readers who have given their views about their notepad alternative.

Top 5 Notepad Replacement

Here is the top 5 list of notepad replacement. I bet you will love at least one 😉

Notepad++
Notepad++

Notepad++ is a free source code editor and an effective Notepad replacement. Notepad++ supports several programming languages. The features include syntax highlighting, code folding, auto-completion, multi-document, drag and drop, full regular search support etc., It also has include advanced macro recording and playback feature. Moreover Notepad++ has most of my readers vote and it is the well-know replacement for Notepad.

Programmer’s Notepad

Programmer’s NotepadProgrammer’s Notepad is free, open source, text editor with special enhancements for Programmers. Programmer’s Notepad is a project featured in Source Forge, which comes in as one of the best notepad replacement for programmers. The main features include book marking, code highlighting / folding, no limit to file size, tabbed document support, project management feature and much more. Programmer’s notepad is my favorite choice for Notepad replacement.

PSPad

pspad.jpgPSPad is freeware code editor and wonderful notepad replacement. PSPad offers main features like rich text formatting, mighty code editing features, project management, syntax highlighting, auto-correction, HEX editor, text difference, spell checker, macro recorder and many more. PSPad also has inbuilt FTP functionality which is a plus for Web developers and Bloggers. PSPad is more advanced of all editors mentioned here. If you are looking for full functional and feature rich editor then PSPad should be your choice.

Notepad2

Notepad2Notepad2 is a lightweight, free and open source text editor. Notepad2 is a full functional Notepad like editor with syntax highlighting. It is also based on Scintilla source code editing component similar to Notepad++. The features also include drag and drop feature, regular expression search, syntax highlighting for most of the languages. Notepad2 is best suited for persons who need simplicity like Notepad and Code highlighting feature for fun programming.

MetaPad

MetaPadMetaPad is a small, fast and completely free text editor. It was designed to completely replace Notepad since it includes all of Notepad’s features and few extra features. The features include tool bar functionality, WYSIWYG printing, auto indenting etc., It is also been said it consumes less amount of memory than Notepad. So even if you like to stick with the simplicity of Notepad; you can very well try MetaPad.

I have complied the list with the help of my readers feedback and my thanks everyone.

Are you able to spot your Notepad replacement?

Programmer’s Notepad, simply powerful text editor

Programmer’s Notepad is for people who don’t prefer to code in either large IDE’s or just windows Notepad. Programmer’s Notepad is handy tool and good replacement for Notepad users. Programmer’s Notepad comes with lot of enriched features and is highly customizable.

Programmer’s NotepadI have to agree that I’m one among the people who extensively use Windows Notepad either to take notes or little debugging / code editing etc. Windows Notepad can’t be much efficient choice when it comes to coding / debugging. Notepad does lack features that will increase the productivity of programmer / debugger.

Consider a case where you’re trying to fix an error in multi-nested loop. Notepad does fail here and it would consume few extra time than the time intended if we use good productivity tool. One among such tool is Programmer’s Notepad. It would increase your productivity by reducing the time taken.

PNotepad’s Code Folding feature comes in handy here. Code Folding is a feature that allows user to selectively display and hide section of currently edited file. The section can be either a fragment of code or function etc. This feature is available in most powerful text editor and IDE’s

See the screen shot below with code folding done for function second_page(). Also have a look at Text Clips in notepad area.

Programmer’s Notepad Screenshot

Programmer’s Notepad offers syntax highlighting for wide range of programming and markup language. Also it has Text-clips option to insert the predefined code-snippets for various languages. Programmer’s Notepad also has a simple project management interface to manage the files related to the projects.

Key Features –

  • Code Folding
  • Code / Syntax Highlighting
  • Project Management / Grouping
  • Regular expression search
  • Code Snippets
  • Tabbed multi-file support
  • Bookmarking
  • Export feature
  • Addon Support
  • and lot more…

Programmer’s Notepad is an open source project that is featured in SourceForce Programmer’s Notepad is a free to distribute under GPL license. Thanks to Simon Steele for Programmer’s Notepad

Bottom line, Programmer’s Notepad can’t be a replacement in high-end IDE’s but it can be a good replacement for Windows Notepad.

What is your choice?

Quick overview of available Blogging Platforms

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blogging_platform.jpgBlogging has become a passion to lot of people these days (I can include myself). Technorati says a new blog appears every 2 seconds. And there are lot many novice blogger behind it. They will come across this question before they start a blog “which blogging platform to use?”

The options are wide open and choice is yours!

This article might not answer the question directly. However, I’d try to provide least information about most of blogging platforms that are available today either as a service or download.

WordPress.org
WordPress.org is the best and well-known open source Blogging platform. It is widely used commonly by popular self-hosted blogs around the blogosphere. It runs with minimal setup and it requires just PHP/ MySQL preferably in Apache. It rates high compared with other since it can be highly customized. In addition to this there are huge number of plugin authors and theme authors are there to help reduce bloggers effort. WordPress.org also has nice development community that ensures the WordPress core get better and better.

Blogger
Blogger is a free one-push blog publishing platform. Most of the novice bloggers starts Blogging with Google’s Blogger in first place. The new blogger comes in with Widget support that eradicated the use of HTML for templates. Setting up a blog in Blogger is painless and easiest of anything else. You can customize Blogger to certain extend only since they are not an open source solution. There are few popular blogs that still runs on Blogger.

WordPress.com
WordPress.com is a multi-user version variant of WordPress.org. WordPress.com have their own-hosted solution of newbie bloggers, who doesn’t have a hosting space. WordPress.com comes in with neat option for a newbie. WordPress.com comes with space restrictions; in addition to that you can monetize your blog.

Movable Type
Movable Type is a web blog publishing platform successfully developed by SixApart. It is the one who invented Trackback feature in the first hand that was later devised by other blogging systems as well and now it is more-or-less a standard. Movable Type is written in Perl and supports most of the Database as backend. Movable Type is best suited for business use.

Typepad
Typepad is a blogging service provided by SixApart and it is one of largest paid blogging service available now. Typepad is based on Movable Type and it shares most of its technical functions. Additionally, it also supports multi-user, mobile and photo blogging. Typepad is been successfully used by lot of professional writers.

LiveJournal
LiveJournal is a CMS that allows you to express your self by publishing your private journal, your blog or your forum or any of a social entity. It is the best in town for writing life journals.

Vox
Vox is a personal blogging service. It’s all about ease of use, privacy control, playing well with other web services, and staying connected to the people you care about. Vox is good platform when it comes to multimedia blogging.

Text Pattern
Text Patter is a flexible, elegant, easy-to-use content management system for all kinds of websites. Blogs works fine as well. Text Pattern also has its own list of plugins and templates.

Drupal
Drupal is a modular content management system and the blogging engine was initially indented for bulletin board system. Drupal is good for building online communities and those communities powers their blogging engine. It is written in PHP. It has a wide community support.

Joomla
Joomla is truly a content management system that forked from Mambo, a pretty good open source content management system. Joomla has won the best open source content management system of the year 2006. Joomla has a decent blogging engine and other extension.

Expression Engine
pMachine’s Expression Engine is not well know but it is a powerful and much extensible software that you may need to give a try. It is a complete content management system with much Blogging feature as well. In addition to Blogging module it comes with inbuilt gallery module. It is more suitable for heavy business blogs. Also the cost associated with it is high.

Nucleus
Nucleus is been around for sometime now and it is not much popular yet though. Nucleus is mature blogging software that comes with most of the required blogging features. Nucleus is also programmed in PHP and runs on MySQL backend.

b2evolution
b2evloution was developed from the same original code that spawned WordPress, b2Evolution is written in PHP and licensed under GPL so is always free to use. It comes with lot of features that you may need to check, which includes antispam, skins, multi-blogs, users, authors, integrated stats, its own plugin framework etc. etc.

TeraPad
TeraPad is hosted blogging solution which takes blogger beyond the blogging experience. TeraPad comes in with versatile blogging tools,  image gallery,  PayPal ready shopping cart, event calendar etc.  TeraPad places a its ad over the site which might annoy bloggers a little but may it is need for TeraPad to keep it service Free 🙂

This is not a comprehensive list, I might have left out few of them with or without my knowledge. You can very well indicate them by your comments.

Update (06/17) : Mayank has pointed out two more additional blogging service. I have added an overview of TeraPad; Thanks Mayank.

Vayama, international air travel ticket search 2.0

Vayama is a new air travel ticket search service. Vayama has few strong plus points when compared with other players. First, it focuses mainly on international travel unlike other domestic players. Second, it is build based on Web 2.0; the UI is amazing and is socially powered with travel tips.


VayamaAre you planning to travel overseas for business or personal reason? A new startup Vayama is here to offer you the best solution. Vayama is unique of it kind, which offers Americans to travel overseas with anease. International travelers always find it hard to find and book their air ticket. Vayama offer them help with robust international travel ticket search feature.

Vayama is backed by one of the largest travel organization in the world, BCD Holding. Vayama comes into industry with lot of experience and resource. Vayama also acts as travel agent to find good deals.

The first thing you notice about Vayama is the user interface. It has bought rich user experience with much friendly interface. Microsoft Virtual Earth powers the maps with touch and go feature. The touch and go feature makes the entry of airports much easier. You can click on the map and locate the airport. Alternatively for regular users, they can enter the three digit Airport code or start entering the first thee digits and select the applicable one from the list box.

Once you enter the departure / arrival airport and their corresponding dates, click on search to locate your travel itinerary. Vayama will search for thousands of public and private fare and finds the best deal for you. It will show you the route map for the currently available best deal. You can filter you results based on the stops, trip time, price, connection point, and airline.
Vayama Search Sceen
Based on the selection it will give you the itinerary for the travel with brief price information. Once you’re ready to reserve the ticket it pops you out with a 3D interface for seat selection. You have provision to book hotel and car also.

Apart from this Vayama has cool interface for getting around particular place. This feature would really help the new travelers. In that section you will find most basic information about the city, transportation, attractions and finally it does socialize with the blog on about those cities. Overall it will act as a good live travel guide!

Bottom line, Vayama helps American overseas travelers to an extent but it is yet to support ticketing for other nations, which I would say is the major drawback considering international audience. Vayama has the potential to take its crowd international along with international search it offers now

CodeIDE, a online code complier and IDE

CodeIDE is a web application that allow users to write and compile their code using their online interface. CodeIDE isn’t cool but I would it is a good idea worth a try. CodeIDE provides basic IDE functionality with option to save executable file. CodeIDE also did try well to socialize by providing a public chat.

CodeIDE logoI stumbled upon CodeIDE.com recently. CodeIDE is a browser based IDE that allows you to write and compile few programming language. Currently CodeIDE supports BASIC, Pascal, ANSI C, Perl, JavaScript, HTML, LISP, MATH, etc., CodeIDE is still in development stage and they are adding bunch of features lately. Now they have their own blogs, wikis, forum etc to share and learn idea between the users.

CodeIDE added compiler feature recently which allows you to compile your code remotely. They have support for Linux and Window executable now. They will be adding support for Mac pretty soon which would be more fun. But they have not yet released information on what kind of compilers, processors they use for compiling. They support compiling C code, it has it own positives and negatives. I will not be able to comment much on that since they haven’t provided the internal details.

CodeIDE offers a command line function, which was very similar to the command line provided by YouOS. The command line interface was clean and allows user to do basic file operations. Over the sidebar, codeIDE also has a File browser which resembled to DOS file browser tools. It didn’t come with much user friendly but handy though. The sidebar also has a Result window that displays the output of your code.

CodeIDE Screenshot

CodeIDE also comes with a simple text editor that allows you to import the code, export, search / replace and other basic things. Registered users can save their files and share their files to other user as well. The basic IDE functionality of creating a project and grouping the code base is also supported.

The most interesting part is they have public chats enable that allow user to socialize and interact with other programmers. They also have concentrated much on the social networking by having personal blogs, etc. They need to build upon this in their upcoming release as well. They have a user edited wiki documentation now. They have live support also to fix your issues online. Moreover forums are there for expert guidance.

CodeIDE has option to run the code interactively using their Run option. It will compile the code and display the result in output window. You have option to save the executable as EXE file or publish the project as required.

Improvements-

IMO, following would be reasonable enhancement /addon to their application.

  • an advanced full functional editor
  • support for syntax highlight this makes programming much easier
  • support for programming language like PHP, Python, Ruby etc.,
  • improved and well arranged UI currently all the components are placed clumsy in the homepage
  • better documentation and support
  • online help library
  • advancd complier features support

Bottom line, CodeIDE creates a new environment for beginners who can learn programming language without much pain of installing Compilers and IDE’s. CodeIDE will not be a programmers choice until they have support to most of the advanced / must have functions that are currently been supported by off-line IDE’s. But CodeIDE is a unique idea that need to be appreciated.

Joost – a free on demand internet TV

Joost is a new way of watching TV online. Joost is Web TV that combines both Television and Internet moreover it is a Free TV. Joost shows more than 150 channels and more programs in full screen quality. Joost also has the complete control of the internet; you can watch whenever you want. To add to this points Joost powers social networking too.

Joost - The new internet TV Joost is still in their beta stage and expecting commercial release very soon. Joost is available now through Invite and has release the Friends Edition. I have been looking for an invite to try out Joost; Thanks for Marsie from RotorBlog.com who invited me to Joost beta.

I was really amazed by Joost, the quality of the video was superb. Joost works on seamless Peer to Peer (P2P) networking. Joost provides selectable programs on over 150 channels, ranging from cartoons, movies, music, sports and documentary using peer-to-peer TV (P2PTV) technology. The original content is stored on main server owned by Joost and then distributed by users to other users watching the same program.

Joost is signing up deals with major video content providers which would help them to gain more programs and viewer ship. Latest in the list was CNN and Sony; Viacom was already in the list. Joost is also building up a social network around their viewer. Joost has channel chats, where users watching the same programs can interact. This is just a base for their social networking model.

Joost Screenshot

Joost Screenshot

This service remains free since it is been paid by advertising which are shown intermittently. The Joost interface is fairly simple and easy to use. The viewing experience is also great as it suffers not much of streaming problems. To add to the value, Joost is the venture of founders of Skype and Kaaza which were most successful. You need to aware of this; since Joost runs on P2PTV technology it will consume lot of your bandwidth for both uploading and downloading.

If you are looking for a Joost invite and didn’t have one till now; drop me a comment. I have Joost invites left out; you must try this service for sure.

IrfanView – the best lightweight image editor / viewer

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IrfanView is a fast and compact image editor cum viewer of all time. It is best for use of beginners to professionals. IrfanView supports almost every image format available; moreover plugins are available to enhance the support. IrfanView is well suited for single image editing tool to multi batch image processing.

IrfanView - the best lightweight picture editor If you’re working with images and computers for sometime you must have explored about this tool long back before. It is the cool tool for image editing for all ages right from Windows 9x to VISTA. Now we have a great news as well; latest version of IrfanView 4.-0 has been released. You can download the installation file right here. This release is little bulkier than all its previous release I believe. The size of the IrfanView installer is 1.10 MB (first time reaching Megabytes). This may be because of the improved Vista compatibility in the new release.

IrfanView is written by Irfan Skiljan, a graduate student of Vienna University of Technology. This compact software is completely free for non-commercial use. The development is supported by donation; feel free to donate towards this. IrfanView is especially useful when working with digital photos and their retouching. My top use of IrfanView is to watermark and resize my entire digital collection; so it is ready for Web.

Features Glimpse

  • Many supported file formats ( almost every image format)
  • Multi-language support
  • Thumbnail / Preview option
  • Slideshow (Save as EXE / SCR)
  • Fast directory browsing
  • Batch conversion / editing
  • Multipage editing
  • File search
  • Email Option
  • Multimedia Playe (plays popular video)
  • Change color depth
  • Scan Support
  • Cut/Crop
  • IPTC editing
  • Capturing
  • Lossless JPG operations
  • Effects (sharpen, blur, Adobe Photoshop filters)
  • Extracts icons from EXE/DLL
  • Lot of shortcut keys for ease of use
  • Command line options for experts
  • Customized plugins

Edward de Leau lists the 10 ways of using IrfanView. He writes clearly about how IrfanView can help in day to day image processing needs. Here is the quick summary on how IrfanView can be used,

  1. To take Screenshots
  2. To preview, sort, rotate albums
  3. To resize image
  4. To create thumbnails for online photo album
  5. To scan image
  6. To watermark my photographs
  7. To preform batch processing
  8. To apply effects / filters
  9. To set Windows wallpaper
  10. To do lot more with the image

Update:- Pallab has written a Ten Things you can do with Irfanview with more explanation.

IrfanView has been around for many years and keeps getting better. It might still require lot of improvement towards the UI. Hope it gets better too.

IrfanView is my favorite when it comes to basic image editing / viewing. If you never tried it before give a try today. Visit their homepage.

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