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Windows 2000-XP-Vista

Font Runner -- Organize Your Fonts

It's easy to end up with a large number of fonts on your Windows computer. Even if you only install a few fonts yourself, many programs install a font or two (or a couple of dozen) when they install themselves on your system. Managing these fonts can be a real pain. If you have a really large number of fonts, keeping them all installing in your Fonts folder can slow your machine -- not to mention making it hard to find the fonts your really want in a programs drop-down font list. A good font manager can help.

Pinta -- Free Paint Program for Linux, MacOS, and Windows

Paint.net is a nice program. It is far more powerful than programs like Windows Paint, it is easy for the average person to use (unlike programs like Photoshop), and it is free. Unfortunately, it is a Windows only program. If you work on different computers with different operating systems, it can be a pain to learn different paint programs -- especially if you only use them once in a while to create an icon or retouch an important photograph.

Mr Weather -- Free Weather Tray Application

If you are looking for an easy-to-use, light on resources weather application for your Windows desktop, you'll want to consider Mr. Weather. It's amazing how heavy some desktop weather applications can get. Besides current conditions and a forecast, many weather applications are set up to display ads, weather maps, videos, etc., etc. That's great if you want all that, but its overkill if you just want to discover current conditions and the current forecast. Mr.

GeekUninstaller - Portable Uninstaller

The uninstaller that comes with Windows 7 looks nicer than the one that came with Windows XP, but functionally is about the same. GeekUninstaller is a freeware replacement that is faster and often does a better job of removing the bits and pieces of code and data than windows programs often scatter across the hard drive.

From the program description on the GeekUninstaller web site:

SMPlayer -- Freeware Video Player for Windows and Linux

VLC tends to get all the video player love on the Internet. I've never been that impressed with VLC. It's certainly a "good enough" freeware video player, but its outstanding feature seems to be that it is the best known freeware video player. SMPlayer is an alternative video player that runs on Windows XP or later and on most modern versions of Linux. Like VLC, it's freeware and plays just about any video file you can throw at it. However, it as one feature that makes it my favorite: it remembers the settings for every video file you play. Not just the current location in the video file so it can resume where you left off, but all the setting changes you may have made for that specific video -- for example, the volume, subtitle color, which audio track you are using, what filters you have on, etc. This is great if you have to interrupt watching a video and come back to it hours or days later, especially if you had to watch other videos that needed different settings during those hours or days.

Take Command -- the Windows Command Line on Steroids

As I mentioned in my review of JP Software's freeware Take Command Console LE in February 2010, I used to use their old 4DOS program back in the days of DOS, Windows 3.1, and Windows 9x. 4DOS was the DOS Command Line on steroids: adding many features to the fairly primitive DOS command line.

EASEUS Todo Backup Free

Full backups of your computer system are an excellent precaution as disks and entite computer systems eventually fail. Unfortunately, they are a pain in the ass to perform and often a pain in the ass to restore from when your disk or computer fails and has to be replaced. There probably isn't any software -- free or commercial -- that can make the process truly painless. The latest version (2.5) of EASEUS Todo Backup Free comes close -- and as the name implies, it's free.

Firefox EPUB Reader -- Read EPUB Books in Firefox

EPUB is a standard format for ebooks used by many programs and devices (like the Barnes & Noble NOOK). There are millions of books available in epub format -- many of them free from Google Books, Project Gutenburg, and many other locations. Until now you had to download them and read them in a special program. If you have an ebook reader, this probably is not an issue as you probably want to transfer the epub file to your ebook reader so you would have to download it. However if you are going to be reading the ebook on your computer, it would be nice to be able to read it in your browser like you can PDF files. If you use Firefox (version 3 or 4) and install the EPUBReader extension.

OfficeTab -- Add Document Tabs to Word, Excel, and Powerpoint

Early versions of Microsoft Office used a multi-document interface. That is, if you had multiple documents open in Word, Excel, or Powerpoint you could switch between them using a tab bar within the Microsoft Office Application. Microsoft research apparently found that this confused new users who looked to their taskbar to switch between documents, so starting with Office 2003 Microsoft changed things so each document opened in a separate instance of the application and you switched between documents using the taskbar.

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).


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by Dr. Radut