BOOT CAMP 347 (12/10/04) 


Shareware and Freeware part 5 -- Utilities


THE final part of this short series on free (and nearly free) software -- otherwise known as freeware and shareware -- looks at a selection of tried and tested tools and utilities. These are the odds and ends that Microsoft left out of Windows or major applications, which can make your PC easier to use or help to solve problems when things go wrong.


SPACEMONGER, freeware, 103kb, Windows 95/98/SE/ME/NT/2k/XP

RUNNING out of space? Have you ever wondered how much room all of those applications and data files are taking up on your hard disc drives or memory cards? Spacemonger will tell you with a simple to understand colour-coded graphic display that shows exactly what is stored on your PC and how much room it is consuming. Double click or right click on a block to zoom in, show more details, open or delete.



RESTORATION, freeware, 162kb, Windows 98/SE/ME/NT4/2k/XP

HOW many times have you deleted something on your PC by accident? Of course you can always retrieve files from the Recycle Bin, provided it hasn’t been emptied. Even if it has all is not lost and Restoration can recover deleted files after the bin has been cleared. Restoration has another useful trick up its sleeve; it can also make sure that sensitive that files you don’t want to be restored stay deleted. The program is small, non-intrusive; it doesn’t even have to be loaded on your PC and can be run from a floppy or USB pen drive.



REGSEEKER, freeware, 307kb, Windows 98/SE/ME/NT4/2k/XP

REGULAR readers will know that the Registry is the repository for configuration settings for Windows and the programs installed on your PC. Over time it accumulates a great many redundant entries, as programs are installed and removed. These can slow your PC down or cause unexpected problems resulting in a corrupt Registry that can stop Windows working altogether. Regseeker is a safe and easy to use Registry cleaner tool that identifies unused and superfluous entries; you can then decide whether or not to keep them. Deleted files are automatically backed up so they can be restored in the event of anything going wrong.          




EZBACK-IT-UP, freeware, 988kb, Windows 98/SE/ME/NT4/2k/XP

HARD disc drives are now incredibly reliable but it would be a huge mistake to rely on it and keep all of your important data files in just one place. EZBack-It-Up is a fast and efficient backup tool that copies all of your critical files to a separate partition on your main drive or better still, to a second drive or CD-R (formatted for UDF or packet-writing). It makes incremental backups, which means it saves time by only copying and updating the files and folders that have been created or modified since the last backup session. It has a built-in scheduler, so backups can be carried out in the background at a time of your choosing and a details of all the files copied are recorded in a permanent log. 



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

OVER the years there have been several worthwhile improvements to Windows Explorer but RJHextensions fills in some of the remaining gaps, adding a raft of extra features. These include the facility to print the contents of a folder, ‘shred’ files so they cannot be recovered, encrypt files using the powerful Blowfish algorithm, rename, duplicate or copy files, provide one-click access to a DOS window and copy a file path to the Clipboard. Once installed the extra options are displayed by right clicking on a file or folder.



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

IF you have ever wanted to know how many Yottabytes there are in a Nibble or suddenly find that you need to convert Kilopond-Metres to Dyne Centimetres or even Pennyweights to Grams then you need this brilliant little program on your PC. Convert will instantly calculate conversion values in over 20 categories including temperature, speed, pressure, angles, area, power, acceleration, density, torque, flow, force and light, to name just a few.



BELARC ADVISOR, freeware, 605kb, Windows 98/SE/ME/2k/XP

WHAT’S under the bonnet? You may already know such mundane things as your PC’s processor speed, memory size and hard disc capacity but what about the make, model and capabilities of your hard drive, CD-ROM or video adaptor?  Belarc Advisor scans your PC and displays, in an easy to understand web-page format, the minutest details about your PC and all of the programs stored on it, including most licence and registration codes. Clearly most of this information is of little use or interest on a day-to-day basis but it could prove invaluable to a service engineer attempting to diagnose a fault. Why not use it to take a ‘snapshot’ of your system while it is running smoothly?



PLEASE note that you install and use these programs entirely at your own risk and we are unable to provide any help or support -- check the web sites for FAQs and troubleshooting tips. Don’t forget to backup all of your important data before installing any new software and if you find these programs useful please help the author or publisher to continue to develop their product by paying the licence fee or making a small donation.


Next week – XP Safe Mode





Powerful cipher or encryption system used to scramble data so that it cannot be read without an appropriate decryption key



Tiny pocket-size memory module that plugs into a PC’s USB port, used to transport data between PCs. Now available with capacities ranging from 8Mb to a gigabyte or more,



1,208,925,819,614,629,174,706,176 bytes, since you asked…





WORD TOYS, freeware, 1.5mb, Word 2000, 2002, 2003

If you use Microsoft Word then you should definitely give this interesting little utility a test drive. It’s actually a suite of more than 30 tools and enhancements that let you personalise the way Word looks and operates. Highlights include a keyboard shortcut to accented characters, Double Save (saves a document to your hard drive and any other nominated drive), Folder Icon Manager, Favourite Everything -- customise your most frequently used functions, Document Recall (quickly find any document you’ve worked on, up to a month previously), Quick Numbering (numbers paragraphs in over 50 formats), Speed Sort (change the order of paragraphs) and Out Of Office, which leaves a message on your screen when you are away from your desk.

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