Sunday, August 21, 2011

Freeware Smorgasbord

Here is a collection of new and/or updated freeware offerings that caught my eye over the last month.

Because they survived the winnowing process, there was something about them that was worth me keeping and may be worth you checking out…even briefly.

Advanced Visual BCD Editor for Windows 7 and Vista via The Windows Club  “Visual BCD Editor is an advanced GUI for the BCDEdit utility in the Windows operating system. In fact it looks to be the first GUI utility to implement full editing of the BCD store. The user can create and change the value of more than 120 properties of BCD objects by simple edits. Other similar utilities do not  give access to not more than 30 properties.”  Utility project page link: BCD Editor for Windows 7 / Vista

Looks be be a lower-level BCD editor than my favorite EasyBCD 2.1 - NeoSmart Technologies utility.

H2testw 1.4 (via Google Translate) - German c’t website utility that is useful to check and verify your bargain bin USB drive grab is really not a fake that has had the reported storage-size manipulated. Use with caution (remove key data from your drive and not for use on the system-boot disk).

MJ Registry Watcher (Version - free registry change watcher/monitor application has been updated with some new features.

TEncoder: Open Source Multi-threaded Video Encoder [Windows] - via MakeUseOf blog review. Video format converters are now a dime-a-dozen. I probably have a collection of at least six portable ones that I keep handy (although-truth-be-told, I tend to use one or two exclusively.) However, this one caught my eye as it offers multi-thread processing.  Very handy if you have a multi-core system and a lot of video files to process. Utility project page link: TEncoder 

TeraCopy - my favorite alternative Windows copy handler from Code Sector has been updated again some time ago and I missed it. FileHippo has a well-summarized Change Log outlining the latest adds and fixes.

FreewareGenius reviewed ProEject recently. Eject USB devices quickly and safely with ProEject post via Clever tool to help those who live off their USB sticks manage them a bit more friendly-like.  Not a critical tool but a useful one.

Virtual Magnifying Glass Portable 3.5 (screen magnifier) - No, the Valca eyes have not gone so bad that I need this tool (yet) but that said, there are a lot of commercial products around there that accomplish what this one does, and not quite as nicely. So if you need an on-screen magnifier utility…for your family/relations, keep this one in mind. Just saying friendly like.

CCleaner 3.09 and CCleaner for Mac Beta 3 - Piriform has been hard at work enhancing their premier system cleaning tool and it shows.  Amazing both in terms of features and performance, this and Nir Sofer’s CleanAfterMe are the only two Windows cleaning tools I go to when doing the kind of Windows housecleaning work that must be done from time to time. (related: CCleaner Enhancer Adds 270 New Rules to CCleaner - How-To Geek ETC)

Newsfox - My favorite RSS Feed Reader for Firefox got an update.

This TinyApps.Org Blog : Backup to drive label instead of drive letter led me to the wonderfully featured Create Synchronicity backup and sync tool. Sweet! Thanks TinyApps!

VIrualBox has been getting some updates of late. BetaNews introduces the biggies in their post Finally, VirtualBox 4.1 brings Aero support, VM cloning.

Having been spoiled with Widows Virtual PC and it’s bundled “PC Additions” pack, I guess I didn’t do due-diligence in my ongoing parallel use of VirtualBox. Embarrassingly, I appear to have overlooked the fact that while you can install a similar “additions” pack into guest systems in VIrtualBox, there is also a separate “extensions pack” to bring more enhanced features to the VirtualBox software.

Installing VirtualBox and extension packs - manual page.

Downloads - VirtualBox (and the Extension Pack)


--Claus V.

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