My Favorite Freeware Utilities (1)

I’ve decided to list some of my favorite free utilities. My motivation was that I often see lots of people either unaware of the many goodies which would make their life a whole lot easier. I don’t claim that they are all relatively unknown so please excuse me if you already use most of them. Here I go:

Security

In this age of information security is everything. If your choice is using a free anti-virus software then AVG Free Anti Virus maybe for you. Actually, anything is better than Norton. I’m going to repeat this over and over again until the guys at Symantec do something about their security softwares sucking system resources like nothing I know of.

As to spyware and trojans Lavasoft Ad -Aware and Spybot Search & Destroy is enough for most of your needs. I’m not saying that they are perfect but they are just not any worse than those commercial correspondents.

Browser

Mozilla Firefox or Opera. Period. Don’t use Internet Explorer unless for some reason you must. If you think that you need a download manager here’s an excellent one, once commercial but now free, Flashget.

System Utilities

About every week (at worst every month) you are better of to erase your private data and other chunks came from/with internet. Use CCleaner. Easy to use and does the required job good.

From time to time you want to move/delete a file or folder and you get a message saying that you cannot because some other program is probably using it. Usually you have no idea what that other program is. Well, now you will know. Just download this wonderful little utility, Who Lock Me, and stop the hassle. Alternatively, you can also try another equally good application called Unlocker.

You download and try whatever you come across and then naturally uninstall at least half them? Good, but all those proggies usually leave some traces behind them. The applications own uninstall feature or Windows Add-Remove function is less than perfect. What you need is an utility that will monitor the installation process, take snapshots of the registry right before and after the installation and thereby uninstall the program as it should be should you wish so. Just ignore all those expensive commercials and download ZSoft Uninstaller.

Speaking of registry, it’s good to have a registry cleaner. If you you do everything else in an organized way you hopefully will not need this type of tool but still. At the very least your registry may get fat due to many files pointing nowhere and similar issues. There are literally hundreds of applications wondering around. Expectedly, some of them are freeware and not worse than the commercials in any sense. If you already have a registry cleaner that you’re happy with that’s just all right. Otherwise have a look at Advanced Windows Care. Apart from being a registry cleaner it also optimizes the system and all that. Remember! Always back-up your registry before performing any actions on it. By the way, if you need a registry editor, check out Registrar Lite.

For handling your Windows processes you need nothing but WITS.

You may find these two file management programs quite handy, both from the same company: Renamer and ReplaceEm. From the site:

When specifying which files to be included in a particular replace operation, you can add one file at a time, or you can tell ReplaceEm to use all the files from a particular folder — or the files from that folder that match a given file filter (such as *.txt or *.html). You can even specify to include all files that don’t match a particular filter. Additionally, you can decide to include the files from all subfolders of that folder.

One very powerful feature of ReplaceEm is that you can specify that the destination of the altered file be some other location than where it originally came from. This is handy, for instance, if you want to have some search-replace operations performed on a particular file and have it saved to a destination file, and then want to have different search-replace operations performed on the same file, and have it saved to a different location.

Another powerful ability of ReplaceEm is to make use of regular expression search-replace operations, as well as range search-replace operations. These are, in fact, so powerful and complex that most users will probably not need to mess around with them. They are, however, vital in certain situations, and turn ReplaceEm into a much more intelligent text processor.

Renamer is a command-line utility that allows you to perform mass renaming of files based on a UNIX-style regular expression.

You’ve probably come across one of those disrespectful applications. By disrespectful I mean they behave in a manner that they prefer and even dare to over ride your orders. A common example is those programs that put themselves in Start-up group and start with Windows. You tweak the start-up items but no they find a way to get there again. Therefore, you need a start-up manager. This utility called Starter is just perfect. Alternatively you can try out Startup Run which is almost equally good.

For managing your files and folders (instead of that don’t-know-how-to-label-windows explorer) check out Gyulas Navigator. Free, light, does the job almost perfect. For your navigation purposes my new toy menuApp is a must.

If you think that you have less than enough RAM you may need an optimizer. Here’s a tool I’ve used for years FreeRAM XP Pro.

Miscellaneous

You find Windows Media Player less than perfect, no surprise there. First you need a good codec pack. There are many. I use K-Lite Codec Pack. It includes almost every kind of codec you may ever need as well as some other goodies such as a wonderful movie player. My alternative choice for movie players are VLC media player and Viplay. For your audio needs the choice is clear: Foobar2000.

Well, until another freeware run that’s all for now.

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1 Comment

Filed under Essential Links

One response to “My Favorite Freeware Utilities (1)

  1. Great post. Hope to read more good posts in the near future.

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