BOOT CAMP 289 (26/08/03)


Shareware and Freeware, Part 3


This week’s collection of freeware shareware programs could be loosely described as the bits Microsoft left out. These are tools and utilities that can help to make your Windows PC more functional, easier to use and dare we say, even prettier to look at... 


For more information about downloading and installing freeware and shareware refer to part 1, which also has details of WinZip, which you will need to ‘unzip’ or decompress some of these programs. We believe them all to be free of viruses spyware and adware but as usual you install these programs entirely at your own risk.



RAINBOW FOLDERS, freeware, 331kb, Windows 98/SE/ME//XP


Fed up with those rows of little yellow folder icons? Rainbow Folders lets you change the colours of your folder icons, any colour in fact, so you can colour code directories to make them easier to identify or just make them look more interesting of change them to XP 3D style. It doesn’t only work in Windows Explorer either and your coloured folders show up in every program’s Open and Save boxes. You can switch back to the standard colours just as easily and it can add ‘pop-up’ text boxes with little messages or reminders, like ‘Don’t Delete Me!’



XP POWERTOYS, freeware, 370kb, Windows XP (keyword ‘powertoys’)

Powertoys is an old favourite and comprises a suite of utilities that let you make major changes to the way Windows looks and works without touching the dreaded Registry. This latest version is for Windows XP but it includes many of the features of the earlier releases for Windows 9x, including of course Tweak UI for customising the user interface, Explorer, Taskbar settings and mouse actions. There’s also a powerful calculator, image resizer tool, CD Slideshow, Taskbar Magnifier and Webcam Timershot that lets you take timed shots from a webcam and save the images in a location of your choice.




OBJECTDOCK, freeware, 3.5Mb, Windows XP


This neat animated task manager and program launcher replaces the standard Windows Taskbar (easily reinstated if you want to keep it). The icons react as you move the mouse pointer over them, running applications are automatically included and it’s easy to add new objects and customise it with downloadable ‘skins’.




RJH EXTENSIONS, freeware, 673kb, Windows 95/98/SE/ME/NT/2k/XP

RJH Extensions is a simple add-on for Windows Explorer, vastly improving upon the standard range of file management features. Just right-click on a file or folder and a new expanded menu appears with nine extra utilities. At the top of many Windows users wish lists is Print Directory that does exactly what it says by printing out the contents of any folder. Two other popular features are Shred, for permanently deleting a file, and Encrypt, which uses a powerful encryption algorithm to scramble and password protect data so that it cannot be read or opened. 




AIDA32, freeware, 2.6Mb, Windows 95/98/SE/ME/NT/2k/XP

Aida32 is a powerful diagnostic tool that provides a detailed analysis of your computer hardware, operating system and installed software. There’s everything you could possibly want to know about the motherboard, processor, memory and disc drives, it will also highlight faults and make suggestions for possible performance tweaks. Benchmarks and system audits can be saved and used to help troubleshoot problems that may arise in the future.




CONVERT, freeware, 152kb, Windows 98/SE/ME/2k/XP


How often have wanted to know how many Petabytes there are in a Yottabyte or Dyne-centimetres in a Kilopond-metre? Maybe you’ve been flummoxed by microgram to pennyweight conversions? If so you need Convert, a simple little self contained program that does instant numerical conversion in over twenty different categories including temperature, speed, pressure, angles, area, power, acceleration, density, torque, flow, force and light.     


Next week – shareware and freeware 4, Multimedia





Deleting files in Windows doesn’t remove them from the hard disc, the space they occupy is merely marked as available and the data can still be retrieved. Shredding removes all traces of deleted files by overwriting them with random or meaningless data



The ‘look’ of a computer program -- cosmetics, colour and graphical layout, buttons, menus and dialogue boxes etc. A growing number of programs allow the skin to be changed -- like the cover of a mobile phone -- to reflect the users mood or personality



A yottabyte = 1,208,925,819,614,629,174,706,176 bytes and 1 petabyte = 1024 terabytes, or 1,125,899,906,842,624 bytes, since you asked…




This week’s bonus program is Dupelocator, a small freeware program (176kb). It works on all versions of Windows and as the name suggests it seeks out duplicate files on your computer – and you’ve probably got hundreds of them -- which are probably just wasting space. It’s fast, easy to use and can be downloaded from:

Search PCTopTips 



Boot Camp Index















Top Tips Index

Windows XP

Windows Vista

Internet & Email

Microsoft Word

Folders & Files

Desktop Mouse & Keyboard

Crash Bang Wallop!

Privacy & Security

Imaging Scanning & Printing

Power, Safety & Comfort

Tools & Utilities

Sound Advice

Display & screen

Fun & Games

Windows 95/98/SE/ME






 Copyright 2006-2009 PCTOPTIPS UK.

All information on this web site is provided as-is without warranty of any kind. Neither PCTOPTIPS nor its employees nor contributors are responsible for any loss, injury, or damage, direct or consequential, resulting from your choosing to use any of the information contained herein.