Many of you might be knowing the Open Source arm of Microsoft – CodePlex. It has some really awesome applications. I have been following the site for quite some time now. It is filled with applications that make software development a breeze and it also has some really nifty tools that help you in efficiently using your Windows PCs.

Here are some projects that I liked, some are for developers and some for making your PC more friendly. So, let’s begin with the list:

1. Vista battery Saver:

This one is really sweet. It’s a simple application that allows you to turn ON or OFF the Window Vista Sidebar & Aero at specified battery %. Also, allowing you to customize as to whether you want a notification message when Sidebar & Aero are disabled/enabled.

With some modifications, I feel that this application can also be used as a ‘Game Mode’ where one can disable these features to consume less RAM while gaming. Considering it Open Source maybe someone can do it.

Project Description

This tiny program will save up to 70% of your battery by disabling those nice, but greedy Vista features. Running in task bar with private workset of 5.5M and 0% CPU it will do all work for you, by enabling and disabling customizable features when power source changed or battery power fall under certain percent.


Vista Battery Saver

Download Page | Project Page

2. Wireless Migrator:

The idea is pretty cool, something I feel that Windows 7 should have within it when it ships. The tool backs-up and restores all wireless network settings from your computer.

Project Description

This feature is extremely useful, when you have to reinstall your computer or use the same settings of wireless networks for different machines. In order to use the program, all you have to do is to run it once. The program generates a small file, can be handled and transferred in diskette. Later if you’ll run this generated file, all settings of wireless networks will be restored on target machine.

Sounds simple works like a charm and handy. Screen-shot:

Project Page | Download Page

3. QuickLaunch:

This one is my favorite and the most useful for XP users & Vista users who have turned off the Search Index IMO. A simple stand-alone application which consumes very less memory as compared to the work it does. QuickLaunch allows you to quickly launch your documents/files/programs anything that you index. It’s the Vista’s Start Bar search on your desktop.

You can define the folders you want to be indexed and also exclude the files with certain extensions, which is pretty cool.

I develop QuickLaunch because I need it in my daily work. It helps me to quickly launch tools like filemon, procexp, windbg, kb articles, etc. If you have feature request, please feel free to let me know. I will do my best to add it into the next release of QuickLaunch.

Jialiang (QuickLaunch Developer)


QuickLaunch Folder Addition

QuickLaunch Search

Project Page | Download Page

4. Threeter:

A Twitter client for Windows which i find to be simple and efficient. I have tried some before but un-installed them within the first 10 minutes of installing them. This one is cool.

Project Description

Lightweight and easy to use Twitter client written in .NET 3.5 (C#). The application stays at the system tray and can be activated using a hotkey combination. Press the hotkey, enter your message, press enter. Posting to Twitter could never be easier!

Available in English and other languages. Works with Windows 2000/XP/2003/Vista/2008 as long as you have .NET Framework 3.5 installed.


Threeter Settings

Yeah! It’s a translucent window!

Project Page | Download Page

5. Vista/XP Virtual Desktop Manager:

This one brought CodePlex into the news some weeks back. A virtual desktop manager giving you 4 desktops to switch from, making for a less cluttered desktop.

Project Description

One of Vista’s most talked-about new features is the Desktop Window Manager (DWM). A new set of thumbnail API’s can be used to access thumbnails of open windows. This virtual desktop program takes advantage of this new API and uses some tricks of its own to provide a powerful virtual desktop manager with a full screen thumbnail based preview. You can have as many desktops as you want and can seamlessly switch between them.


Virtual Desktop Manager

Project Page | Download Page

I enjoyed compiling this list. Look forward to another one where I will list some developer tools that sound cool to me.