Sunday, November 11, 2007

Four Small and Sweet Software Apps

I've had very good luck this week in my freeware software trawling.

Sometimes I might find just one worthy software application and other times I hit a feeding-frenzy.

Here are four small and sweet freeware applications.  All can run "portably" off a USB stick or from a local folder without requiring "installation" on the system.

MyLastSearch - (freeware) - This new NirSoft utility scans the cache and history files of your Web browser, and locate all search queries that you made with the most popular search engines (Google, Yahoo and MSN). The search queries that you made are displayed in a table with the following columns: Search Text, Search Engine, Search Time, Web Browser, and the search URL. You can select one or more search queries and then copy them to the clipboard or save them into text/html/xml file.

As a system administrator, this is a nice tool to run when checking a user's system to ascertain certain web-searching activity.  It could also be helpful for parents and spouses.

Of course, if the history and cache has been cleared/deleted, then it won't be of much use...but I find most users are sloppier than we give them credit for...fortunately for computer forensic experts and system administrators...

OpenedFilesView - (freeware) - While this NirSoft utility is not new, it has been recently updated. It quickly will list all opened files running on your system. Detailed information included in results view include: handle value, read/write/delete access, file position, the process that opened the file, and more...  Once identified, it allows you to close one or more opened files, or close the process that opened these files. Really handy if you are attempting to delete/move/open a file and you get a "cannot delete" system error. 

Runs on Windows 2000/XP/2003/Vista (32-bit only !). Requires administrative privilege to run.  The latest version has these new options:

  • New option: 'Enable Explorer Context Menu' - Allows you to launch OpenedFilesView utility directly from Explorer window, and display only the file handles of specific file or folder.
  • New command-line option: /filefilter - Run OpenedFilesView with a file filter - display only the file handles of the file or folder that you specify.
  • The configuration of OpenedFilesView is now saved to a file instead of the Registry.

I find it an excellent companion utility to Microsoft Sysinternal's Process Explorer and Process Monitor utilities.

Q10 - (freeware) - This amazing little full-screen simple word-processor is cheeky-cute.  It contains the following features: Full-screen only typing, Live text statistics, Programmable page count formula, Customizable look and paragraph format, Portable, Timer alarm, Spell checker, Note support, Target count, Partial counts, Autocorrections and quick text, Standard and clean text format, Encoding and line endings agnostic, Typing sound effects ,Small, fast and stable, Autosaving, and Free.

I found it really fun to use and Alvis likes the word-counting feature for her school paper writing.

Download, install, run and hit "F1" once running to get the options menu up.

Jarte - (freeware) - this free, tabbed micro word-processing tool is based on Microsoft's WordPad engine.  However it brings an Apple-like skin, tabbed document support, and a simple interface to bear. It is portable and pleasant to use.

Some of the many features include:

  • Tabbed document windows for easy access to your open documents
  • Larger buttons for the most commonly used functions
  • Instant dictionary and thesaurus word lookup (integrates with free WordWeb)
  • Spell check and text search tools that do not park themselves on top of the text you are trying to edit
  • Single click bookmarking that make bookmarks both useful and usable
  • Instant access to the documents and folders you designate as your favorites
  • Instant access to the fonts you designate as your favorites
  • Use of the mouse scroll wheel button to copy and paste text

Sometimes you don't need a full-sized word processor like MS Word or Open Office Writer to make a grocery list or short essay/report.  In these cases, this just might be what you are looking for.



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