BOOT CAMP 291 (09/09/03)


Shareware and Freeware, Part 5


We’re rounding off this short series of freeware and shareware programs with a small collection of desktop utilities, covering such diverse applications as backup, restoring deleted files, customising your settings and file renaming.


If you are new to downloading programs from the Internet please have a look at part 1 (Boot Camp 287). Finally, the disclaimer: these programs are believed to be free of spyware and viruses, we cannot provide any support and you use them entirely at your own risk.



EZBackup, freeware, 700kb, Windows 98/SE/ME/NT4/2k/XP

You shouldn’t need reminding about the importance of keeping up to date backups of all of your valuable or irreplaceable data files. The trouble is it’s easy to forget if you rely on a manual backup regime. EZBackup can do it all for you automatically, at a time of your choosing, copying selected folders, or even the whole contents of your drive to another location or partition on your main hard drive or a second hard disc; there’s also partial support for backing up to CD-R and network drives. EZBackup uses an incremental backup system, which makes it very fast; files are copied as-is and there’s no compression so that’s one less thing to go wrong if you need to use it in anger.



Xteq, freeware, 4.7Mb, Windows 98/SE/ME/NT4/2k/XP

It difficult to categorise Xteq, it does so much, from customising the appearance of Windows and your most frequently used applications, to running in-depth system diagnostics. In fact there are more than 800 functions, accessed from a familiar and simple to use Explorer type window. All of the changes Xteq makes are logged, so they can be easily undone, or copied across to other machines and extra functions can be added in the form of downloadable ‘plug-ins’.



Restoration, freeware, 193kb, Windows 98/SE/ME/NT4/2k/XP

How many times have you deleted a file or document, either accidentally or intentionally, and then regretted it? We’ve all done it but usually once the Recycle Bin has been emptied the file is gone forever. Restoration is a simple undeleting tool that can recover erased files in Windows. The program is tiny and doesn’t even have to be loaded on your PC; it will run from a floppy disc or keydrive. Simply scan your drive for deleted files, you’ll be amazed at what it finds… In addition to recovering deleted files there’s the option to make sure they cannot be recovered; it can also be used to recover deleted files from floppies and memory cards.



Siren, freeware, 250kb, Windows 98/SE/ME/NT4/2k/XP


Here’s a useful little program for owners of digital cameras. Most cameras give the picture files they create meaningless names, which can make them hard to identify later on, when you copy them to your PC. Siren is a batch renaming tool, so, for example, if you took a dozen pictures of a visit to a zoo, Siren can automatically rename them zoo001.jpg, zoo002.jpg, zoo003.jpg, and so on. Siren uses ‘expressions’ to change almost any parameter of a file name; it’s not for absolute beginners but once you’ve got the hang of it it’s fairly straightforward and if you change your mind or make a mistake the original names are easily restored.



JDN Speed Typing, freeware, 600kb, Windows 98/SE/ME/NT4/2k/XP

This unusual little program is meant for heavy-duty typists. JDN Speed Typing claims to be able to increase your typing speed by up to six times using a variety of clever techniques, including keyboard shortcuts and something called ‘Time Warp’, which allows you to press several keys simultaneously. Did you know, for example, that for every eight hours you spend typing, half an hour of that is spent typing the word ‘the’? JDN Speedtyping reduces this word, and other frequently used words and groups to single keystrokes. You have to spend some time training – the developer claims that you could be up to fifteen faster after just one hour – but if you stay the course you could be knocking out reports and that novel you’ve been meaning to write, in record time!


Next week – portable documents






A backup strategy that only records the changes made to the chosen files



A simple and ideally memorable sequence of two or three key-strokes, used to invoke a frequently used action or activity within a program or application



Portable memory device, designed to plug into a PC’s USB port and act as a removable drive




Monitor Calibration Wizard, freeware, 750kb, Windows 98/SE/ME/NT4/2k/XP


Our final extra bonus program is designed to help you set up your monitor display using a simple ‘Wizard’ that presents you with a short series of test patterns. You can create multiple profiles for different monitors and users and easily reset to your default settings.

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