At Last: Shockwave is now on Ninite

We’ve finally added Shockwave to Ninite.com.

After hearing about numerous sites and applications that still require it, we decided to reverse our earlier position on Shockwave. There was particularly high demand from educational users.

Shockwave is available for home users at http://ninite.com as well as for professional users and in Ninite One. As always, Ninite updates are immediate and transparent so there’s no need to download new Ninite One .exes.

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Ninite One now supports .NET 4

A few Ninite Pro users let us know that they’re starting to see (mainly enterprise) apps that require .NET 4 instead of .NET 3.5. So we’ve added support to Ninite One to install .NET 4.

If you’re using the manual selection it’s listed down at the bottom under Extras. Alternatively you can use the /select switch like this: NiniteOne.exe /select “.NET 4” /silent report.txt

For now we’re keeping .NET 3.5 as the only option in the free web-based version of Ninite. It’s still the right choice for most users and a big reason we run the free site is to make getting software incredibly simple. Part of this means paring down choices and just doing the right thing. I know most of my friends would get really confused if they had to pick between 3.5 and 4.

Thanks for using Ninite!

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After getting requests from some Ninite Pro users to support older versions of apps we’ve created a limited http://ninite.com/oldversions page. Right now it includes Adobe Reader 9 and Firefox 3, which were the main apps people wanted older versions of. This is only available for Pro users right now and should be considered a beta feature. We’ll try to keep these apps available as long as people use them and as long as the publishers continue to host those old versions.
The older versions are only available at that page as standalone installers and not included in Ninite One at the moment. This is due to the internal implementation of the /updateonly switch and also an open question about what users would expect (should firefox 3 be updated to firefox 4 or the latest 3.x version?).
Anyway, let us know what you think, and thanks for using Ninite!

After getting requests from some Ninite Pro users to support older versions of apps we’ve created a limited http://ninite.com/oldversions page. Right now it includes Adobe Reader 9 and Firefox 3, which were the main apps people wanted older versions of. This is only available for Pro users right now and should be considered a beta feature. We’ll try to keep these apps available as long as people use them and as long as the publishers continue to host those old versions.

The older versions are only available at that page as standalone installers and not included in Ninite One at the moment. This is due to the internal implementation of the /updateonly switch and also an open question about what users would expect (should firefox 3 be updated to firefox 4 or the latest 3.x version?).

Anyway, let us know what you think, and thanks for using Ninite!

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Speccy is now on Ninite

Users requested it and we added it.

Speccy is an attractive system information viewer that displays a ton of information about your PCs hardware. You can now get it on http://ninite.com under the utilities section, or just get it directly with our easy-to-share urls at http://ninite.com/speccy

Keep those app requests coming in, and thanks for using Ninite!

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PDFCreator

We’ve just added PDFCreator to Ninite after getting a number of requests for it. Some people specifically pointed out that they prefer it over CutePDF, another PDF printing tool we have on Ninite. Give it a try next time you need to export something as a PDF.

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Ninite Pro Trials

We’ve seen an explosion of interest in Ninite Pro from enterprise users recently.

To make it easier to evaluate Ninite (and pitch it to the boss/purchasing dept.) we just built a Trial Mode for Ninite Pro. All you have to do is fill out this quick form.

It’s the full Ninite Pro, so you can try out /silent mode, the /select switch, offline installers, the download cache, /updateonly mode, and all the other great Pro features described in our documentation. Take it for a spin, kick the tires a bit, then subscribe to Ninite Pro.

It’s really great to see Ninite helping so many people save time at work and we’re happy to see that word about Ninite is spreading fast. Thanks for using Ninite!

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CCCP

We just added the Combined Community Codec Pack to Ninite and Ninite One. It was heavily, heavily requested with many users specifically recommending it over K-Lite. Check it out at http://ninite.com/cccp and tell your friends too using our easy-to-share urls.

Keep the requests and feedback coming in, and thanks for using Ninite!

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/updatecache

Our Ninite Pro users really like the added speed they get from the Pro version’s download cache. It’s completely automatic for basic usage, it supports being placed on a network share or other location for special situations, and usually eliminates the need to wait for app downloads at all.

We’ve gotten a number of requests from Pro users to have a way to update the download cache without installing apps or making a frozen installer. So we added it. It’s called /updatecache and it’s documented along with the other cache help as well as the full list of Ninite’s command-line switches.

Please keep in mind that the cache doesn’t fully prevent new downloads. If a new version of Open Office comes out and you’re helping someone who’s on a dialup connection you’re going to be in for a wait. The solution to avoid problems like that is still to make offline installers with /freeze.

Let us know what you think of the new feature or if you can think of other ways Ninite can make your job easier. We’re always listening on our feedback page. Thanks!

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About Our Redesign

We recently redesigned ninite.com and I wanted to give some background on why we did it and what our goals were. Here are some screenshots of the old site to compare with.

The main idea behind the change was to make the site more readable and simple to understand.

We found that the old light text over a dark background was difficult to focus on. The bulk of text at the top of the page just invited users to skip it entirely. And our large background image could be slow to load and a performance nightmare over remote access or VNC. But the root of it is that text-heavy pages just weren’t easy to read before. We tested the new design on our help site for a couple weeks before converting everything to it since it is the most text-heavy part of ninite.com.

By stripping the page down to the basics I think we’ve accomplished a number of positive things. The site loads faster because there are fewer images to download. By letting the bullet points about what Ninite does flow down the side instead of get skipped at the top we seem to be communicating with users much more effectively. We get far fewer simple questions that are explained on the front page these days.

We were getting an incredible number of “Does it install 64-bit apps?” and similar questions before when this was literally the second thing on the page. (Yes, Ninite does install 64-bit apps automatically when appropriate.)

We also moved to a more traditional toolbar-on-top layout instead of the old links to the Linux version, etc. being on the bottom. This seems to fit better with the standard website layouts users are familiar with and makes the site easier to navigate.

It’s definitely still a work in progress, but we’re happy with the results so far. We’ll be experimenting with the design more over the next few weeks. As always, we do read and respond (when you leave an email) to all our feedback, so let us know what you think. Thanks!

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Embed Ninite in your site

Last week we highlighted our new simple sharing URLs like: http://ninite.com/firefox-skype

Now we have another great sharing option: Embedding a Ninite selection page in your blog or website. Here’s an example with some web browsers:

Pretty neat! The code for that is:

<iframe src="http://ninite.com/embed?only=firefox-opera-safari-chrome"
        style="border: none; width: 650px; height: 240px;"></iframe>

You can just paste that code into your page and you’ll have an awesome browser installer maker. It’s super simple.

If you look closely at the iframe’s src= url you can see another new feature: selection limiting.

You can actually choose any subset of apps from the Ninite frontpage to go in an embedded Ninite selector by setting the only= query string argument. Just string together their codenames with dashes. You can also make a list of codenames by creating an installer with the apps you want at ninite.com and then copying the last part of the installer page url (after ninite.com/).

You may need to adjust the iframe’s height depending on how many apps you add and if you want it to scroll.

The only= argument also works with the Ninite homepage, so if you don’t want to overwhelm a friend with all the apps on Ninite you can send them to: http://ninite.com/?only=firefox-skype-chrome-flash-flashie-vlc-dropbox

This can also be combined with the select= argument, so you can do something like: http://ninite.com/?only=firefox-skype-chrome-flash-flashie-vlc-dropbox&select=chrome-skype

You can start using these new sharing features right away. Just like with Ninite installers there’s no need for any signup or setup. It absolutely is the easiest and fastest way to share, install, and update apps.

We’d love to hear about what you make with these new features. Let us know on our feedback page or @ninite on twitter.

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