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Useful Utility Links  

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Memory Recovery (MemTurbo)

If you ever get insufficient memory, or insufficient system resources messages, this package may be for you. I've been using it for years, and it's been an absolute God-send. You may have noticed that as you use your computer your available memory becomes less and less. This is because applications and Windows itself, do not release all of the memory they were using when you close an application or document. That is why your computer seems faster and more responsive after a reboot: all resources are available to it again. This utility, at only $20.00, recovers lost memory. It also defrags the memory in much the same way that the Windows Defrag program defragments files on a hard drive. It works in the background

You can download a free 30-day trial version to see if it helps, before you buy.
Check it out at memturbo.com

 

Personal Internet Firewall (ZoneAlarm)

ZoneAlarm is the industry standard software firewall program. There are over 14 million copies in use. The basic program is free for personal or non-profit use, and only $20.00 for commercial use. It's particularly important to protect your computer if it is using a cable or DSL connection where it is always connected to the internet. This program provides basic protection to your computer against hackers and data thieves with port blocking, and by making your PC invisible to other computers on the internet. When I first installed it I was surprised to find that it found dozens of sites trying to access my computer every hour. Scary!

It may be worthy of note that zonelabs has recently formed a strategic alliance with Visa International (visa cards).
Check this one at out at zonelabs.com

 

More Internet Security (WebWasher)

While ZoneAlarm provides serious obstacles to hackers breaking into your computer, there are other dangers you may not be aware of. Many websites have small invisible graphics hidden on their webpages called web bugs that trigger the sending of messages to third parties. These are generally used by professional data collectors to create user profiles of internet users.

Referer strings are used on the internet to track which page you access another page from, or the domain from which you have come. They can also disclose your search queries to third parties. It may be valuable to not let third parties know the surfing habits of you or your employees.

ZoneAlarm has no effect on these security violations. This is where a small utility called WebWasher comes in. It filters out web bugs and referer strings. It also filters out the cookies used by marketing firms while allowing those used by online shopping firms or network sites such as Microsoft to pass through.

Jason Catlett, a prominent internet consumer rights advocate is quoted as saying:   "The degree of surveillance that cookies have been used to provide is simply breathtaking in scope."

WebWasher can also be used to filter out unwanted banners and popups. This unwanted advertising can consume up to 1/3 of your bandwidth, creating a less rewarding and much slower internet experience. This program is free to home users, and $29 for commercial use (less in quantity).
Go to webwasher.com to find out more.

 

Yet More Internet Security (Ad-aware)

It may seem that I emphasize internet security a lot here - but it is necessary. They ARE out to get you, and they are good at it! Using the freeware Ad-aware by Lavasoft, I found several programs and cookies that have been spying on me. It's very likely you've got similar spyware on your computer. > It's certainly worth checking. If you get lots of unwanted email addressed to you, these spyware programs may well be how the advertisers got your name. This program uses a list of known spyware programs, which it updates regularly, in much the same way that anti-virus programs use a list of known virus definitions.   Below is a partial description of the program provided by Lavasoft.

Adware vs. Spyware
While advertising\sponsoring is a common way to publish and promote a product for free, some software advertising systems do more then just showing static banners, they make use of your internet connection to retrieve new banner ads from a third parties server and send various information about you.This information is collected and sold to third parties.
(In short words:The more they know about you, the higher is your value for them.)

Because of the unobvious and secret behaviour of these systems, they are also called advertising trojans. Most of these systems are installed with a (often popular) host application, which may or may not work without the snoopware components installed. Some attach themself to your browser, some are completely invisible.Popular applications including parasites are, for example Go!Zilla, AudioGalaxy, Gator, or BearShare.
Am I already "infected" ?
Is your browsing speed slower then ever since you installed this free "ultimate connection optimizer" ?
Some strange file always wants to connect to a remote server, but your virus scanner tells you it is no trojan?
Is your mailbox fed up with tons of targeted spam, and do some of these friendly advertisers even call you by name?
Then there is a good chance that you caught some advertising parasites lately.

Say NO to spyware!
Ad-aware scans your system for known spyware components and lets you safely remove them.
It uses a reference file which is regularly updated, to always detect the latest spyware parasites.

Go to the Lavasoft site to download or find out more.

 

Finding New Hardware Drivers

Have you ever called technical support when something isn't working, and they ask you if you have the most current driver for some piece of hardware. The most complete repository of driver and motherboard bios information on the internet is windrivers.com. If you need to find a driver, check them out at windrivers.com They also maintain links to virus definition update files for the eleven most popular anti-virus programs.

 

Screen Printer (PrintNow & Screen Printer)

Sometimes you just want to press the PrtScr key (next to scroll lock) and have the contents of your screen print. (Remember the DOS days) There are two recommended utilities that do this. The first is PrintNow from Ziff Davis. This is a free utility that must be downloaded from them. If you are already registered with them go to Ziff Davis PrintNow to download the utility. If you're not registered and you want this free utility, well it's time to release a little more of your identity to the world. Register at Ziff Davis Website .

If you're interested in a much more feature rich program go to Kayser Software to get Screen Printer for $23.00 or a 30 day free trial. In addition to printing the screen you can have it capture the screen to a disk file (either instead or as well as printing), capture (and/or print) only the active window instead of the screen, or capture (and/or print) a section of the screen. The screen captures are saved until you remove them. This is the package I used to capture all the windows from the various software programs, that are included in this site, such as the TreeSize window below.

 

Graphics Viewer (IrfanView)

IrfanView is very fast, and reads over 40 graphics file formats. When installed, you can double click any image file from within Windows Explorer, or My Computer, and immediately see that file on your screen; or you could use IrfanView directly. You can scroll through all the files in the folder by pressing the space bar, do some basic editing, and easily convert file formats. I've been using this program for many years. It has become an industry standard since then, and is freeware for personal use, and only $10.00 for commercial use. Their home page is found at IrfanView's Home Page which is mirrored in the US at the US mirror site. It is also available at many download sites such as Tucows or ZD Net

 

Registry Cleaner (RegCleaner)

After you uninstall a program, its registry entries are generally unaltered. This program lets you remove those entries very easily. Sometimes you may have programs that load on startup that you'd like to have not load. This program allows you to fix that easily. You can also easily remove unused and orphan DLL files. The purpose of this program is to keep your registry clean and to help you do make registry adjustments that are very awkward with either Regedit, Microsoft's RegClean or other commercial registry editors such as Norton's. It can be found at: the home page of the Finnish student who developed it by clicking here

 

Disk Space Analysis (TreeSize)

Have you ever wondered how many bytes are included in a folder (directory)? By looking at the bottom of the Explorer window you can find out. But if you want to know how many bytes are in the current folder and all its subfolders combined, you are out of luck. That's where the freeware utility TreeSize from JAM Software comes in. You right click a folder in Windows Explorer and TreeSize becomes a choice in your context menu. A window might look like the example to the right.

Here you can see a display of the folder I keep the data for some of my data CD's in. Note that The Timeslips folder has been expanded, and the TS9 folder below that. You might also note that you can sort either alphabetically or by size, and this list is sorted by size. If this is something you'd like, go to Jam Software's TreeSize page and download it by clicking here.

They also have a TreeSize Professional version for $30, which is much faster (noticeable if you want to check your entire hard drive), and has a nice graphical representation in addition to the text version you see here.
  TreeSize.gif - 42kb

 

Much Enhanced Text Editor (EditPad)

Many times when I attempt to open a text file I am told that it is too large for NotePad, and will have to be opened in WordPad instead which is not a true text editor. These are times when EditPad comes in handy it has no limit on file sizes it can work with. Another time is when I want more than one text file open at a time. I may want to cut and paste between text documents for example. Or maybe just look at one while working on another. EditPad allows an unlimited number of files to be open simultaneously. EditPad (now called EditPad Classic) was written by a student in Belgium who only asks that you send him a picture postcard of the area where you live in exchange for use of the software. It's a small request for a thank you. It was so much better than Microsoft's NotePad that it became one of the most popular text editors in the world. Since then he has developed two more versions of EditPad, EditPad Lite (which is free for non-commercial use) and EditPad Pro (useful for sophisticated programming or hexadecimal editing requirements, and costs $30). EditPad Lite can be downloaded from his home page by clicking here. You can find an independent review by clicking here.

 

Much Enhanced Process Manager (FaberToys)

In all Windows versions you can bring up the Process (Task) Manager by pressing the Ctrl-Alt-Del key combination. However you get very little functionality in Windows 95, 98, or Me compared to NT or 2000. In the NT family (which includes W2000) you are able to change priorities and see processes as well as applications with Task Manager - you can't do this in Windows 9x (which includes Me). FaberToys is a replacement or adjunct to Microsoft's Task Manager. It gives very detailed information on the modules and processes running on your computer, and all files being used by each process. Version and description information is provided, providing some functionality that the more advanced Task Managers of the NT family don't. When troubleshooting Windows 9x family computers, this tool can be very valuable. FaberToys is freeware, and can can be downloaded from the Faberware site by clicking here.

 

Customize and Optimize Your PC (Xteq X-Setup)

This is the most complete and easiest to use Windows tweaking program available. Xteq X-Setup has won awards from Ziff Davis (publishers of PC magazine & PC Week), CNet, Windows Magazine and many others. For customizing how Windows (any version) works on your computer there is no better general program. For example, whereas the default installations of Windows 2000 or XP have the UDMA/66 capabilites of the IDE controller disabled, I was able to enable them with this program. If this sounds like gibberish, there may be features you don't want to use, but some less technical, but otherwise difficult operations include the ability to rename the recycle bin, to control what icons are available in the Control Panel, or to create the option of starting programs in high priority mode. To the right you see where I set the computer to quit adding "Shortcut to " to the name of new shortcuts I create in the future.
Xteq X-Setup is freeware, and can can be downloaded from the xteq.com site by clicking here.

  xtec-X-Setup sample screen - 56kb