Saturday, October 11, 2008

Supersized Linkfest: Freeware (with just a 10% markup)

(…that still makes it free by the way…)

Despite all my attempts at editing, I just couldn’t NOT mention the following freeware offerings that I have noted over the past “Ike” weeks.

Go ahead and take ‘em off the shelf. Poke, squeeze and sniff them.

It’s all fresh and yummy.

Clean It!

The following new or updated programs promise to keep your Windows PC nice and tidy.

JkDefrag Portable | - (freeware) – Yep. PortableApps has struck again and bundled up a great USB portable version of this venerable defragging software. It is fast and bare-bones.

JkDefragGUI - (freeware) – This GUI wrapper of the original JkDefrag is hand’s down the best.   Yes, even over the one mentioned above. What makes it so great?  It can also integrate with CCleaner to perform system cleanups before defragging as well as “wash” options to wipe deleted data from free hard-drive space.  Simply the best helper for JkDefrag there is.  Version 1.03 is coming soon.

Smart Defrag - (freeware) – IOBit software that promises to be able to defrag several hard-drives or partitions at the same time.  Although, I wonder if that actually makes the defragging process any “faster” if you spread it all out across multiple partitions on a single device or do them sequentially.  I hear the need for some testing and benchmarking!  Spotted on Download Squad.

PC Decrapifier 2.0 - (freeware) – This awesome tool to help clean up new Windows systems just got a major update. New engine promises more speed and easier support by Jason in the future for removal updates.  Always on my USB drives.

CCleaner - (freeware) – This trusted and recommended Windows system cleaner is now sitting on version 2.12.660 and supports Google Chrome cleaning, some security checks and support for modern CPUs as well as some recursive cleaning functions and GUI tweaks.  I always ensure I have the most recent version of this program before using it against a machine.

Slimming down the bloated iTunes 8 installer - (ZDNet how to by Ed Bott) – Nice tutorial on how to break apart the iTunes installer and only install the components you want.  Even if you don’t end up taking this approach it is good reference material for what all is packed inside that mega-sized iTunes download file.

WinPatrol Integration with Windows Explorer - (update) – WinPatrol now supports integration in the Windows Explorer context menu.  Nice touch!

Utilize it!

More updates from the Master of Utilities, Nir Sofer

OpenedFilesView - (freeware) – Now at v 1.26. Shows list of all opened files on your system.

USBDeview - (freeware) – Now at v1.26. Lists all devices currently and historically connected to your computer. Lots of detailed log information.

CurrPorts - (freeware) – Now at v1.51. Displays detailed info on all opened TCP/IP and UDP ports on your system and the process that did so.

RegFromApp - (freeware) – Now at v1.10. Monitors Registry changes of a selected target application.  Create a .reg file with the changes.

MozillaCacheView -- (freeware) – Now at v1.08.  View the cache contents of Firefox browser and show log file of all items stored in there along with lots of other valuable data for system review.

ChromePass -- (freeware) – New utility to perform Chrome browser password recovery.

ChromeCacheView -- (freeware) – New utility to perform cache viewing and item logging details er for Google Chrome web browser.

IECacheView -- (freeware) – Now at v1.20.  Same as above but for Internet Explorer browser.

RegDllView -- (freeware) – Now at v1.20.  Show list of all registered dll/ocx/exe files along with details as to when it was registered.

See It!

Various programs that simplify your ability to see things or get at unseen things.

ShowMyPC - (freeware) – I really like and frequently use this service/software to remote-support family and friend’s systems from home.  It is fast, simple, and does the job.  And it is a piece of cake to walk a pc novice through getting started on the other side of a phone call.  Latest versions now support New Chat, White Boarding features.  In addition they now offer a (paid) service to access your home or office PC similar to GoToMyPC.  It looks interesting, although if you have the technical patience and knowledge, you can set up your own remote connection service using open-source software solutions for free.

Moo0 ConnectionWatcher - (freeware) – Nice GUI that allows you to see which software is opening up TCP/UDP ports on your system.  Supports Vista.  Sound familiar? See also the recommended TCPView for Windows (Sysinternals), VStat, and CurrPorts. Spotted and reviewed by Confessions of a freeware junkie.

inSSIDer - (freeware) – “…a free Wi-Fi network scanner for Windows Vista and windows XP. Because NetStumbler doesn't work well with Windows Vista and 64-bit Windows XP, we decided to build an open-source Wi-Fi network scanner designed for the current generation of Windows operating systems.”  Nice GUI and great information presentation in the GUI.  See also: WirelessNetView and BluetoothView.  Picked up over at Download Squad.

USB Disk Ejector - (freeware) – Nice and dead-useful application to let you see and clearly understand just which USB storage device that is connected to your system you want to “eject” safely.  It rocks.  When I’m juggling the multiple USB portable drives we pass out to our technicians, I can get confused as to which is my Master duplication disk and which are the clones.  This keeps them in order.  Updated to 1.1.2.

Tray Disk Free - (freeware) – Yeah. I know. There are a LOT of other utilities that can tell you how much free drive space you have.  This one is nice in that it is pretty tiny and runs on both XP and VIsta (with an added file).  Needs some refinement tweaks but it tiny and works as promised. Spotted on Download Squad.

RegBench - (freeware) – This is a command-line (CLI) based utility to “benchmark” access times to various Registry hive files.  I suppose it could be used to baseline the effectiveness of various Registry defragging utilities.  Certainly is an interesting but niche product. See DonationCoder and gHacks pages for more information and details.

GPU-Z v0.2.8 - (freeware) – Awesome utility to provide all the technical information about your graphic processor (video card/GPU).  Reminds me a lot of the also incredibly useful CPU-Z program from CPUID which provides CPU, mainboard, and memory RAM details.

Fab's Autobackup - (freeware) – Use this cool tool when you need to target recovery of user profile data recovery from a dead/dying system (or when transferring data between systems).  I love the GUI and it has a lot of additional settings for detailed data backup tweaking.  As I understand it, it only supports XP so don’t try it against Vista unless you want disappointment.

Read It!

Various notices, lists, and miscellanea to ponder…

BPBible Portable 0.3.1 - (freeware) – Portable Apps now provides a USB turnkey solution for the BPBible study tool.  Can support the SWORD module libraries as well.  Really nice.  For more options when it comes to Bible study software tools see this GSD post: the other Word…

24 Great Open Source Apps for Admins & Technicians - Download Squad – Not a bad list. I’ve recommended and used most all of the items in the list.  There are some alternatives as well that I have covered over the years on this blog.  Certainly a nice refresher post.

Newsfox 1.0.4 Released – Hurrah! Major update to NewsFox, the most rocking RSS feed reader for Firefox ever!  Now supports “pausing” of feed pulling (look to the right hand side of the NewsFox toolbar where the favicons show the update count) as well as lots of feed handling refinements.

Newsfox Released – Doh!  Someone sounds a bit frustrated…. Hang in there Mr. Pruitt!  We understand how it goes!

NewsFox (XPI install link from Mozilla Addons)

Java SE 6 Update 10 b32 is now available – This is the beta version of the next-gen Java SE build.  I’ve been using it for a long time now and it seems much faster in Firefox (especially considering the 3.1 Java handling enhancements also built into that platform).

Try Out the New JRE Update Mechanism – This is awesome news!

One of the major features in Java SE 6 Update 10 is the new Java Runtime Platform (JRE) update mechanism. Going forward from 6u10, users will have faster and more robust experiences when updating their Java Runtime Platforms from one update release to another (ie. 6u10 => 6u11). This new Patch-In-Place update mechanism reduces the download size and increase the performance of the update process. In addition, there will only be one Java Runtime Environment left on users system. User will not see a list of JREs in their "Add or Remove Programs" anymore.

Looks to finally remove the need for products like JavaRa to help with the updating/older version removal process of Java updating. More info on JavaRa here.

Microsoft launches Phone Data Manager Beta - Download Squad – I don’t yet have a need to sync my mobile (phone) device data with my Windows systems.  However, if I were, this might be an application worth looking into more.


Is your download cart now as full as mine?

Bet you got lucky and don’t have a cart with that “wobbly wheel” in the front that I also seem to grab….



Nathaniel said...

Ok, Claus, I've got a question. You're obviously a huge freeware junky... how do you keep all your install and setup files organized? I have a lot of files myself and was wondering what your take on it was.

Claus said...

@ Nathaniel - The answer to that question is a post that will take me almost 1/2 of a day to compose!

Sounds like a great challenge!

In the meantime, let me point you to these two teaser posts from way-back-when as I was getting this all structured.

File and Folder Management?

Files and Folders Managed.

Believe it or not, I would say over 85% of the applications I have (and I have a LOT) are not "installed" at all and are portable on USB storage devices.

That makes all the difference in the to speak.

Hang on and I'll see if I can address your question soon!

Thank you for all your feedback!

--Claus V.

Nathaniel said...

Ya, I like portableapps, too, though I don't do so much work with them as I use to... mostly on my personal laptop, so I just use whatever... the registry doesn't matter that much... but if I can just get a ZIP file or the like, I often will.

And thanks for all the posts, Claus! You are one dedicated blogger.