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Work smarter with Windows

Work smarter with Windows
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First Published: Fri, Oct 10 2008. 12 14 AM IST

Updated: Fri, Oct 10 2008. 12 14 AM IST
SYNCPLICITY
Syncplicity is a free, easy to use, real-time file synchronization and backup program. It can be used over the Internet or a Windows local area network to instantly sync and back up files in several monitored folders. Currently providing 2GB of Web storage for two computers for free, Syncplicity deploys 128-bit SSL encryption security for all data transactions. It also offers complete remote access and version history. Individual subscriptions cost $99 (Rs4,495) annually for 40GB storage and unlimited number of computers
POCKET KILLBOX
Ever since its launch, Windows has suffered from an intensely insufferable habit of locking up unwanted files that you want to delete by saying that the file is in use. KillBox is a tool to delete these you-can’t-get-rid-of-me kind of perpetually in-use files. The utility kills the process and subsequently, upon reboot, deletes the file as well. A handy (and tiny) file assassin to park on your system to clear it of such irritants—however frequent or infrequent.
MY LOCKBOX
If you share a PC or laptop with a set of inquisitive colleagues or kids who like to venture into files and folders that you’d prefer to keep out of their reach, get yourself My Lockbox. This uncomplicated freebie program not only hides but also password-protects any folder on your computer. The lockbox folder is hidden from all users (including SysAdmin sniffers) and applications. The program is easy to set up and use, offers hot-key support, and protects your data jewels even in Windows’ safe mode.
VISTA BATTERY SAVER
For all its fancy features, Windows Vista is not very shrewd at power management when it comes to running voracious applications such as Windows Aero and Windows Sidebar on battery power. While Microsoft may claim otherwise, it is better to err on the side of caution and have a program, such as VBS, which automatically snuffs out Aero and Sidebar the moment your laptop is relegated to battery power. If you want these bells and whistles running even while on battery, you can have VBS deactivate the twin applications once the battery power has dropped below a preset level.
XPLORER2 LITE
A twin-paned, quick-loading, fast-paced, small-footprint, multi-tabbed offering that proffers the look and feel of Windows Explorer but packs far more power and functionality. Two panes means you can easily view, track and operate on two fronts at the same time. Multiple tabs entail short cuts to several preset folder locations. A clutch of keyboard short cuts—for virtually all commands—make Xplorer2 usage a very snappy affair once you get used to it. It has an internal file viewer and editor, duplicates finder, file splitter-joiner, bookmarks, FTP access, wildcard file selections, and lots more.
EDISON
It is a neat 28MB program that helps your PC save energy, minimize electricity costs and thereby also go the eco-friendly way. It does so by giving you improved control over your PC power usage. The energy-monitoring application allows you to tweak your PC’s power settings—be it switching off the display screen, spinning down the hard disk, or permitting the PC to hibernate. Once the energy profile is set, the application shows you the approximate (dollar) savings you are making on energy costs and CO2 emissions. On the downside, Edison requires a “.net” environment.
SLAWDOG SMART SHUTDOWN LX
This is a very useful PC power-down utility that allows you to—automatically, manually, or with a single click—shut down, log off, reboot, lock, turn off, standby, hibernate, disconnect from the Internet, or even display a reminder. You can also easily wake on LAN, kill processes, run screensavers, turn the monitor on/off, empty the Recycle Bin, and auto power-off after a period of inactivity, all in a snap. Don’t bother with the Windows Installer downloads here; just grab the “Single file installation”, pop the zip and run the extracted MSI file.
WINSPLIT REVOLUTION
Are you putting that monster monitor screen sitting in front of you to good use? Or are you just wasting that entire desktop real estate by running each application maximized? WinSplit organizes your open windows—allowing you to tile, resize and position them—to attain ideal space utilization on large screens. You can thus “divide” your screen into several parts—halves, thirds, or even fourths. And you can move and resize windows to any side or corner of your screen using short-cuts to quickly manoeuvre the windows wherever you want, in a blink.
MORE BITE-SIZED BYTES
Moffsoft FreeCalc
Dump the default Windows calculator and migrate to the more able FreeCalc. Among other things, it gives you a history tape of calculations (that you can view, save or print), adjustable calculator sizes, quick access via a systray icon, visible memory values and some colour schemes.
OneLoupe
Frequently need to view what you have onscreen in minute detail? Load up this easy-to-use “magnifier” to examine the finer details, quite effortlessly. Featuring an adjustable zoom range and large magnification window, it is also suitable for people with visual impairment or weak eyes.
PushPin
A utility that allows you to keep any window on top of all other windows, no matter which program is active.
emailStripper
This one removes the unsightly string of greater-than (>) signs and other unlovely formatting characters from your email forwards and replies.
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First Published: Fri, Oct 10 2008. 12 14 AM IST