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PowerBar

Type of Program: Desktop Utility
Supported Platform: Windows 95
Company Name: PLEM
Version: 1.55
Price: $20 ($15 if registered version sent by e-mail)
Installed Size:393KB (incl. help file)

Download/Homepage

One of the first and still one of the best program launchers available, PowerBar is designed to give you quick, one-click access to your favorite programs. But that is just the beginning. You get explorer or menu access to your each of your drives. You get system information such as memory used and available, disk space used and available, etc. OK, so those things are fairly standard in a program launcher, but what about these: virtual desktops, enhanced clipboard which saves the last 20 clipboard entries, multimedia player, screensaver enable and disable, screen capture, resolution change on the fly, the ability to place programs into the system tray, and computer shut-down and reboot, among other things? If you're beginning to think that this latest version of PowerBar does all the things that four or five separate other programs you've already got, you're beginning to understand what makes PowerBar a terrific bargain.
 
There is no installation -- just place the downloaded file in a new PowerBar folder and run it. To place programs on the PowerBar, just drag and drop. There are numerous set-up options such as location, size, color, and autohide, not to mention desktop options such as hiding desktop icons, enabling tooltips, browsing options and the like. All the "extras" such as screen capture and enhanced clipboard are accessed by right clicking either the PowerBar or a PowerBar icon you can place in the system tray.
 
There are a few things that could be improved, as with any program. For example, if you choose to hide the desktop icons, you can unhide them only be rebooting the computer. The Recycle Bin icon is refreshed . . . sometimes. And it would be nice if you could group programs (apps, internet, graphic programs, etc.) on separate tabs or pages that you can click to, rather than cluttering the single bar up with tons of tiny icons. But these are all minor issues compared to all that this program has to offer. Finally, the Help File needs a lot of help in both content and clarity (it clearly wasn't written by a native speaker of English), and the "?" button doesn't appear to work at all.
 
The evaluation appears to be full-functioning, except that you are limited to placing only 16 items on the bar, while the full version allows placement of up to 50 items. If you keep the program for more than 30 days, you should register it, although there doesn't appear to be any nag screens.
 

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Reviewed by: Shoshana Schiller

The program can be registered online on the company's website or by snail mail.


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