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Windows 7

Dexpot -- Virtual Desktops Done Right

Dexpot is a deceptively simple virtual desktop program with many powerful features "hidden" beneath its surface for power uses. At its most basic, it creates up to twenty virtual desktops and allows you to move open programs between them and switch between desktops. This lets you, say have work projects open on one desktop, email on another, and your web browser and instant messenger programs on a third and switch between them based on what you are doing at the moment (or whether your boss is in the room).

Jumplist Extender -- Add Functions to Windows7 Jumplists

Jumplists are one of the most useful new features in the Windows 7 taskbar. Programs with well designed jumplists allow you to do all sorts of useful things by right-clicking on the taskbar button. Unfortunately, older programs do not know about jumplists and even many new programs do not take full advantage of jumplists. Jumplist Extender is a free program that allows you to add new items to a program's jumplist -- even older program that are not aware of jumplists.

AxCrypt -- File Encryption For Windows

Windows 7 Home Premium does not include file level encryption. This is limited to the more expensive (Professional and up) versions of Windows 7. While there are a number of freeware file encryption programs, I wanted one that worked as an Explorer extension for convenience and had both 32-bit and 64-bit versions. After looking around a bit, I discovered that Windows 7 and 64-bit support was still fairly rare. Fortunately, one of the better file encryption program, AxCrypt, had a beta version with Windows 7 and 64-bit support.

foobar2000 Audio Player on Windows 7

I've used Winamp or Windows Media Player on my PC since the Dark Ages simply because they were familiar and were good enough. My wife is a bit more picky about sound quality (and has far better speakers to be picky with) and has recently changed to foobar2000 as the very nice-sounding application that came with her sound card has not been updated in years. foobar2000 recently released a version 1.0 and my wife thought it sounded better on her system than any other audio player she tried, including a number of commercial players.

7Stacks -- Taskbar Stack/Menu

As I find the Windows Start Menu too crowded for easy use, I've been using True Launch Bar and Powerpro on Windows XP to modify the taskbar to start programs the way I like. Unfortunately, the Windows 7 task bar works much differently than in any other version of windows and my old reliables just don't work very well on my new Windows 7 box. After looking around, I found a freeware program that both looks nice and does the basic job I need done, even if it does not have all the bells and whistles I'm used to: 7stacks.

About My System

Screenshot Thumbnail -- Click to view full size

In early 2011, I bought a new computer so I could give my wife my old system. Her ancient system just wasn't up to handling her workload, so she now has my old eMachines ET1331G-03 but with a real sound card added. She is much more concerned about good sound than I am.

My new system is another inexpensive but powerful system. As I'm not a gamer, I would not be able to justify the cost of a high end system even without our poor financial situation (huge cancer bills to pay off with no medical insurance coverage). This time around the best combination of power and low price I could find was an HP p6774y -- which I bought at a very good sale price from my local Office Depot (of all places).

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by Dr. Radut