Monday, April 21, 2008

VLC Media Player

"Hey, I can't open this video file in Windows Media Player" VLC Media Player! "I get a message that I don't have a DVD decoder installed when I try to play a movie" VLC Media Player! "I'm tired of having 5 media players on my computer" VLC Media Player! "I want a media player that runs on all of my systems, MAC, Windows, and Linux" VLC Media Player!

I can't say enough about this program. It plays almost everything you throw at it, and has network-streaming features, remote interface capability. There are installs available for Windows, MAC OS X, Linux, BeOS, and the code can be compiled to run on BSD, Solaris, and QNX. You can find it here.

Monday, February 04, 2008


This is one of those programs that I take for granted these days, so I didn't think about posting it here until now, but it is one of the most useful freeware programs I have ever found. WinDirStat analyzes your hard drive, and displays both graphically and numerically where your largest files and directories are. I just used it on a laptop at work and found a 15 Gigabyte temp file that needed to be deleted! You can remove files right from the GUI and then refresh the display to reflect the removal. It runs well as a portable too, so I keep a copy on my USB drive. Try it here.

Friday, February 01, 2008

MultiMon Taskbar

This little freeware program, also known as Oscar's Multi-Monitor Taskbar, seems to be the only alternative to the commercial UltraMon. Though it doesn't have as many features as UltraMon, it gets the job done. supporting two to three monitors. It adds a small arrow along with the standard controls in windows and programs that quick-switches the window to the other monitor. Programs appear on the taskbar for the screen they're running on, and there's even a little clipboard history utility on the extra taskbar as a bonus. I use it on my laptop, and when starting away from my docking station, I get a quick message on the screen that I currently do not have multiple monitors, and it quietly exits. You can find it here, along with detailed instructions. While you're there check out Oscar's other free tools.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Universal Extractor

I became aware of Universal Extractor when I started trying to make ordinary programs work as portable apps. Now, there's a lot more to making an app portable than extracting the install files into one location, but I'll save that for another post. Basically, Universal Extractor will extract almost any kind of archive, which includes many install and setup exe's. Simply right-click on any file and choose uniextract and the program will attempt to extract the file. Very handy for those driver installs we techs all curse, when we simply want the basic driver files! Get it here:

Monday, January 28, 2008

Drive Image XML (DiX)

Drive image XML is an excellent alternative to Ghost or other drive cloning and backup software. It copies drive-to-drive, backs up partitions and drives, restores them to the same or different partition or drives, and allows you to browse the backups. The big advantage is that DiX does all of this live, while Windows is running, by using Microsoft's Volume Shadow Services (VSS), allowing you to create safe "hot images" even from drives currently in use.

DriveImage XML runs under Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Vista only. The program will backup, image and restore drives formatted with FAT 12, 16, 32 and NTFS.

I was able to make a portable version of it to carry on my USB drive, and they mention on the website that it is installable on a bootable PE disk.

Get it HERE

Thursday, January 24, 2008

authorPOINT Lite

I was trying to use the feature in Power Point the other day which turns a PP presentation into a web presentation. This worked, but the resulting folder was huge, and I was unable to embed any other media in the presentation afterwards. I then tried Open Office Present because it has a Flash export feature. I got a Flash slideshow, and could use other Flash objects on the same page, but it was click-to-advance only!

This program, authorPOINT Lite, takes the presentation and turns it into a nice Flash package, with a navigation tree and other tools. They also offer a free hosting service for your finished Flash presentation. Download Here