Saturday, June 28, 2008

New and Improved Freeware

Here’s hoping that this weekend will present a more relaxed schedule for Claus.

I’ve built up quite a collection of links and topics to post on.

Alvis will be heading off to a church-sponsored camp in North Carolina for the next week so both girls are working hard to collect needed supplies and get everything crammed in the travel-bags.

Hopefully that means I can seclude myself away from the hustle and bustle and enjoy some quiet-time on the keyboard and Inter-tubes.

Quite a lot of my favorite freeware programs have seen updates this past week. Here’s a roundup.

FreeCommander

FreeCommander – freeware - is a dual-pane file-management utility for windows.  There are a lot of great and free file-managers out there.  However this gem keeps rising to the top of my pile.  I use it constantly throughout the day and find myself lost without it. The latest version 2008.06 brings a host of improvements and refinements. The toolbar has been modernized, there is now a built-in FTP tool, and some more bugs have been squashed.  Portable on USB.  Very highly recommended.

Sysinternals

Process Monitor v1.35 – freeware – Updated version fixes a bug that broke action on Windows 2000 systems.  V1.34 just before it added in the ability to filter on result values. A very handy feature.

NirSoft Madness!

I don’t know when Nir Sofer finds the time to sleep.  Take a gander at this list of new and improved utilities from a Windows utilities provider on par with Sysinternals itself.

NirSoft Utilities Panel – webpage – just mouse over the listed items and quickly find the current version and last update of the focused utility.

MozillaHistoryView – freeware – Updated versions now support Firefox 3.0 and earlier versions. Lets you view the history files of sites visited by the Mozilla-based browsers, as well as significant data on each URL history item.

MozillaCookiesView – freeware – Updated version now supports Firefox 3.0 and the cookies.sqlite file.  Sweet!  I find this tool much easier to use to help me manage and remove nuisance cookie crumbs from my Firefox browser than the embedded tool in Firefox proper.

RegDllView – freeware – Updated version lets you delete items now. Use this utility to view and manage the registration and association of DLL, OCX, and EXE files.  Use with caution!

DeviceIOView – freeware – New tool that allows you to monitor the data transfer between a software/service and the device driver. Pretty cool and useful for diagnostics work.

CurrPorts – freeware – Updated version fixes compatibility issues under Vista non-admin accounts.  I use this tool to look for network connections and the process that is responsible for them.  Very useful when tracking down malware or bad-software behavior.

NK2View – freeware – Updated versions fix a bug and adds an additional CLI option. Use to maintain, edit, and audit Outlook’s auto-complete address store known as the NK2 file.

VideoCacheView – freeware – Updated version now able to extract flv files from the Windows temp folder.  This is a great tool to extract web-video files you have watched and save them for long-term keeping and enjoyment.

Spybot Search and Destroy News

Spybot-S&D 1.6, beta 2 - Safer Networking Forums

The team over at Spybot remain hard at work on the next pre-cursor to Spybot S&D 2.0.

This interim version beta release brings on some more fixes and tweaks. Do a custom install using the wizard to install along side the current release version if you want.  My tests and usage of these beta versions has been highly positive. Scan times are remarkably improved! 

No support quite yet for Firefox 3.0, but it may be coming soon in the follow-on beta/RC version.  A demonstration/preview “sample feature” download to apply immunizations to Firefox 3.0 does exist: Check out this forum thread and look at the bottom for the ZIP file. Follow instructions.

Alter Ego – SN is working on a method to run single (web-activity related) applications under another user account (one with lower rights for security).  Shortcuts are replaced and point to the new profile. Clever idea. ZIP file download is posted in the thread. They also offer an animated overview.  More related forum topics here.

The Spybot “next” posts link to a number of additional teases about upcoming feature add-ins. Not real sure what will be seen but it’s sure to be good when done.

Odd’s and Ends

Magical Jelly Bean Keyfinder v2.0.1 – freeware – Got Keys? Yes, many A/V apps love to alert on this and similar tools as PUP’s (potentially unwanted program) since they could be used to “steal” keys from users. However, Windows administrators and FSSS’s (Family System Support Specialists) often know that before you nuke a Windows system and reload it, you better record the existing license keys first, just in case uncle Bob finds he has lost that Windows XP setup key after all. MJBK is one of the best there is.  This version allows saves under a CSV format and additionally supports Office 2007 and Vista. You can also do a Load Hive to pull the data off a dead system’s drive. Glorious!

Revo Uninstaller Freeware – freeware – There are a bunch of Freeware Software Uninstallers out on the web for admins to use, all much better than the Windows Add/Remove Programs item.  While Revo is not my primary third-party uninstall tool, it does bring a number of great features to the table and is well-recommended for home users looking for something faster and more powerful than what comes with Windows by default.  I really like Revo as well in that they offer not just the standard installable version but a USB portable version as well. The latest version (1.71) brings a bug fix on top of numerous improvements seen in v1.70.

CCleaner – freeware – Updated version 2.09.600 now fully supports IE 8.0 beta and Opera 9.5 browsers for cleaning. There have been some memory handling updates for better performance and some GUI changes and tweaks.  Always my preferred temp-file cleaning tool. Don’t stop on their main download page. Hop over to their other builds link and consider the USB portable version or the “slim” version as well.

AM-DeadLink – freeware – The latest version 3.2 was actually updated back in Feb 08. I’ve loved this tool for a long time as it is the premier tool for looking for duplicate and dead bookmark links in your browser. Unfortunately it doesn’t (yet) support Firefox’s 3.0 version which maintains bookmarks in the sqlite format. Hopefully that will be coming soon.

Portable Start Menu – freeware – another tool from the maker of AM-Deadlink.  This one offers to run off USB stick or the local drive and create a mini-start menu launcher. Other apps like this exist (PStart for example) and I’ve got quite a collection waiting for a post of their own. What makes this particular version nice it that it can auto-scan a drive/folder source for .exe files and automatically add them to the list. Worth checking out.

--Claus

1 comment:

ffextensionguru said...

Welcome back. Missed reading your blog last weekend. Hope all is well and you do get some time to relax.