Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Tiny Tools for Techies

Don't I have anything better to do with my time than keep feeding the animals?

Yep. (Alvis and I are playing Zoo Tycoon together today...)

Here are some tiny tech tools that just might make your pc life a little bit easier and more productive.

Replacing Start Run - The Quest Continues via Scott "Computer Zen" Hanselman.

These applications he shares are alternatives for digging into that Windows Start Menu button system; including such gems as Slickrun, Colibri, Find and Run Robot, and my favorite, Launchy.

Check out Pegtop's PStart as well. I've recently switched to Pstart from Remora USB Quick Launch as my USB file launcher of choice. If you're just a little bit clever, you can also use PStart to auto-launch CD-R contents on auto-play.

Do you do a lot of copy/pasting of file/folder path-names? I do. Enter Suresh Online's Clip Path. This is a handy little Shell Extension program that allows you to capture the entire path to clipboard simply by right-clicking on a target file or folder. Nice! Just download the zip, unpack it and right-click the .inf file and select "install." Then it's good to go. Via Lifehacker.

I found this cool little Microsoft toy the other day: Microsoft Exchange Server Error Code Look-up

"Use the Error Code Lookup tool to determine error values from decimal and hexadecimal error codes in Microsoft Windows operating systems. The tool can look up one or more values at a time. All values on the command line will be looked up in Exchange's internal tables and presented to you. If available, informational data associated with the value or values will also be shown."

What that means is that if you have this tool, and come across some strange hex-code error hash in a Microsoft app, just feed it into this app via command-line and it will spit out some (hopefully) more useful error code description. The title and Supported OS say it is for Exchange and Windows 2000, but I've found it works just fine for XP as well. More examples of usage here on Valery's Blog and over at The Tech Republic.

PlacesBar Editor. Mad Dog Sofware (freeware). Tired of being forced by Microsoft to use those "handy" commonly used locations when you are opening/saving a file? Mine are "My Recent Documents, Desktop, My Documents, My Computer, My Network Places." Only I don't use two of those, ever. This mini-app allows you to select ANY folder and exchange it for ANY of those listed (must have five). Nice!

Got a big text (.txt) file (say.....AOL data?) and your notepad app is choking on it trying to open it because it is just so big? You need to look into JR Split File. Handy tool to chop up those houmongal .txt files into custom-sized pieces.

And how does one handle renaming the pieces into a better format? Pick any of these clever file renamer tools. Many can handle batch processing of files as well.

Rename Master
Ant Renamer
Oscar's File Renamer

And if you need a renamer application more geared for image files, check out FastStone's Photo Resizer

My two favorite file management utility programs (I almost never use Windows Explorer any more) got updated recently: A43 and FreeCommander. Check them out.

OK, now let's leave the tools and check out some games.

Like space adventure/campaign games? Check out Vega Strike. Think retro-quest adventures like you played on your Commodore are still cool? Then you want the King's Quest games. More of a side-scroller? Sound's like Atomic Butcher [Das Humankapital] is the game for you. More? Boats, Submarine Warfare, Mutant Camels, and tossing paper wads.

That should keep you pretty productive.

See you in the skies,

No comments: