||Adobe's Acrobat Reader allows you to
read PDF format files commonly used for software documentation and
cross platform distribution. Unfortunately they do keep trying to make you
use their Download Manager software to get access but I've found this less
than reliable... you can download the full 7.0 version
||BigFix checks your computer for a
range of bugs, security holes, and problems caused by outdated software.
With a constantly updated collection of 'fixlets', BigFix is a key
tool for maintaining your computer's health and it's free! Once
installed you'll be subscribed to the BigFix & Fixlet Central pools. You can
then add the pool for your operating system and you might also want to add
on Evesham's fixlet site as it appears to offer general tips as well as
those specifically targeted at it's customers.
More info: http://www.bigfix.com
||With the advent of broadband it's easy to
keep your machine online all the time and (with a
installed) you can even arrange to run web pages or remote access from it.
However if you have a dial-up account your computer is likely to be given a
different IP address every time it logs on. You can use the free (at least
for now...) DynDNS services to get a proper DNS name for computer which is
updated every time you log on.
More info: http://www.dyndns.org
||CNET's Download has replaced Winfiles,
previously my favourite haunt for Windows freeware & shareware.
More info: http://download.cnet.com
|If you're like me, you'll find that Internet
Explorer's online/offline status doesn't always match your needs. InkSwitch is a freeware program which puts you back in
More info: http://www.inkland.org
|Apple's QuickTime viewer allows you
to view MPEG1 and Apple's own QuickTime movies.
More info: http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download
||Virtual Network Computing or VNC
allows you to remotely control almost any computer from any other. VNC
started as an open source project out of
AT&T's Cambridge Labs.
Their 'official' version can now be found at RealVNC or check out
http://www.darkage.co.uk for links to
more VNC flavours and additional tools. VNC is not quite as powerful as
pcanywhere but you can't
argue with the free price tag.
More info: http://www.realvnc.com
|A handy tool for finding just the right bit
of the registry to tweak. Run RegSnap, make some changes, take
another snapshot & compare the differences.
More info: http://lastbit.com
||The RealOne Player
has replaced Real's separate Player, Jukebox and other streaming media
tools. The free version is quite adequate for making & organising
MP3 backups of your favourite CD's and turns your PC into a Jukebox.
More info: http://www.real.com
||Tiny Software's Personal Firewall is
an alternative to ZoneAlarm with detailed monitoring but a less intuitive
interface. The free personal version (2.0.15) is still available
from various shareware sites - e.g. at Tucows
- but Tiny have moved on to trialware.
More info: http://www.tinysoftware.com
||Visit Tucows for all manner of shareware,
upgrades, hints and tips etc.
More info: http://www.tucows.com
|Tweak UI is an additional control
panel which allows you to control various aspects of Windows without
resorting to hacking the registry.
More info: http://www.microsoft.com/...
||VPOP3 is a low-cost e-mail server that can be used to
provide both local and Internet mail services for small businesses. VPOP3
is an excellent package which I use myself and have supplied &
configured for a number of clients.
More info: http://www.pscs.co.uk/vpop3
||VSOCKS Light is a free proxy
server that allows Windows 9.x users who can't use Internet
Connection Sharing to share an internet connection with other machines
on a local area network.
More info: http://www.pscs.co.uk/vsocskslight
||Forget themes, Webshots has the
coolest collection of desktop backgrounds and also provides a slideshow
More info: http://www.webshots.com
||Although the RealOne
Player is great for Internet Radio and recording
your favourite CD tracks, WinAmp has its charms with more skins
& mods than you can shake a stick at!
More info: http://www.winamp.com
||Microsoft's Media Player comes of age with
series 9 and is my current player of choice.
More info: http://windowsmedia.com/download
||WinZip is the essential file
compression tool - 'nuff said.
More info: http://www.winzip.com
||If you're concerned about computer security
(and you should be!) check out
the ZoneAlarm firewall. You should still be able to get hold of a
free version if it's for personal use. ZoneAlarm gives you complete control over which programs are allowed to
access the Internet and local networks. It may even help you spot a novel
virus or Trojan before it can cause damage to your system.
More info: http://www.zonelabs.com