The Download Directory - November 2012 (Part 2) - UltraVNC Beta, Firefox 16 Beta 3, BlueScreenView 1.45 Description: BlueScreenView

11/9/2012 12:08:33 AM


To help you stay on the bleeding edge of software releases, Betawatch is a guide to the experimental and unfinished versions of some of the most popular applications around. Can’t wait for new features? Now you don’t have to!

UltraVNC Beta

Description: UltraVNC Beta

UltraVNC is a remote server/viewer application aimed at home users, which allows you to control one computer from another, sending the screen output from the server PC to a viewing PC, and sending mouse and keyboards inputs from the viewing PC to the server PC. The software works over a network or the internet, is available to use completely free of charge, and is tailored specifically for Windows use. Features include encrypted connections, file transfers and chat.

The latest beta adds a number of updates and features. Chief among the changes are support for Windows 8 finally being added, the removal of a security hole that allowed the password to be broken under some circumstances, better support for multiple-monitor computers, the implementation of adaptive packet size for better performance depending on the type of network being used (LAN or WAN) and the rate of packet loss, as well as the removal of bugs, including one that saw the program occasionally stall at launch.

The latest version of UltraVNC is available as a free download from the website listed above, and it supports all recent versions of Windows.

Firefox 16 Beta 3

Description: Firefox 16 Beta 3

We know you can scarcely believe it, but yes, it’s true: there’s another recent beta of Firefox. Since last month’s instalment of Betawatch, the browser has reached version 16 and is ploughing ahead with new features following the tentative introduction of native PDF support, which arrived on the beta channel with version 15.

New features include the beginnings of web app support, new localizations (Acholi, which is a language spoken in areas of Uganda), improved JavaScript responsiveness thanks to incremental garbage collection, a new Developer Toolbar (with new buttons, quick tool access, an error counter for the web console and a new command line for hardcore keyboard users), improvements for CSS3 animations, transitions, transforms and gradients, a recently opened files list for the developer scratchpad, improvements in the debugger, removal of support for MD5 hashing algorithms in digital signatures, support for the ‘reverse’ animation direction, per-tab reports in about:memory, and minor changes to the user strings.

And here you are thinking that there’s no tangible difference from one version to the next. Maybe next time you’re prompted to update you’ll appreciate the work that’s gone into Firefox!

BlueScreenView 1.45

Description: BlueScreenView

Windows BSODs may be less common with current versions of Windows than they were in the past, but that’s only because Windows has learnt to simply reboot rather than let you see them. Disable that sneaky option, and you’ll still find them lurking in the background of any unexplained restart.

It’s fair to say that whether you see it or not, the dreaded Blue Screen of Death has caused Windows users more frustration than any virus or malware alone. A large part of the reason for this is the completely incomprehensible information they spit out. Far from telling you anything useful, BSODs virtually taunt users with indecipherable details about bad memory addresses or failed system hooks, none of which mean a thing to anyone outside of Redmond.

BlueScreenView, however, manages to make something of those details. By scanning the logs kept when your computer crashes, it can not only show you what caused the crash; it can even go some way towards helping you find out how you can prevent it happening again. If only Windows could be that helpful.

Admittedly, if BSODs are rare, one that’s both a recurrent and replicable is rarer still, but if you have one, an application like this is exactly what the doctor would order if he knew about it. The analysis tells you the time of the crash, the drivers that were loaded during it, what programs were running, and the exact calls that they were making to specific memory addresses at the time of the system collapse.

The details aren’t just aimed at hardcore programmer types, although they will no doubt find helpful information there. Even if you’re a mere dabbler in troubleshooting (and what Windows user isn’t?), you should be able to find enough pointers along the way to help you track down the source of the fault and, at the very least, try reinstalling or replacing it.

One thing BlueScreenView won’t do, though, is hold your hand through the process. If you’re a total novice, you might as well forget it; you’re not going to find a how-to guide or a step-by-step instruction to fixing the problems it exposes. Instead, you get access to the bare facts, and from there on you’re left to draw your own conclusions. If that appeals to the detective in you, great, but if you prefer automated assistance, you’re out of luck.

Recent additions to the software include a raw data mode and the addition of stack data, but these are aimed at the most advanced users. Beyond that, there’s very little about the software that even needs changing. It’s stripped down and functional, and ultimately, that’s what makes it so handy.


Release Type:


Official Site:


Powerful and helpful, very straightforward…


…but novices will be way out of their depth.



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