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Top 10 Must have Windows Applications.

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by Nathan Brom/Bromy2004

Introduction

There are numerous websites out there for any different type of program you can imagine.  Of those, you'll need to decide which ones are legitimate and aren't trying to steal your money or infect your computer.  From the remaining sites you then need to actually install the program and see if it does what it's supposed to do.

So to save you the time and effort I've put together the top 10 programs that I've found.   With these programs I've always tried to install them wherever I'm employed because they are very useful.

Launchy:

http://launchy.net/
Launchy was one of the first utilities I found, and I instantly fell in love.  It is an enhanced version of the "Windows->Run" box, allowing you to (at a keystroke) launch your favourite programs, or even with a command line attached.  Launchy ApplicationHere I've searched for "beta" and it has picked up all the Office 2010 Beta programs ready for me to choose.
Launchy SearchingWhat separates Launchy from the other "Launchers" is what happens when you make spelling mistakes.  If you use Launchy frequently you'll start to find that it knows what you want (sometimes before you do).  Here I've misspelt "one" (on purpose) and you'll see that it knows that it's a frequently used program and shows OneNote.
Launchy TypoThe next feature of Launchy I'll point out is called "Runner"  It lets you launch customized commands.
Launchy RunnerI've constantly needed to kill a process for what ever reason.  Instead of opening the Task Manager and then kill each process individually, I created a runner for TaskKill.exe
Launchy TaskkillThen all I need to type is my Keyword "Kill" press TAB then type the process name... and voilà, no more process.
Launchy Taskkill 2That can be modified to work with any program that uses command lines.

Xobni (Inbox reversed)

http://www.xobni.com/
Xobni is my next favourite, it provides advanced searching capabilities for your e-mails that Outlook cannot even comprehend (Sorry for the other users who aren't using Outlook, this is Outlook only)

The common question I got from PersonA, "Get me that file that PersonB sent PersonC and CC'd You"
so you received a file, goodness knows when, in a CC'd email and you're not sure where you foldered it.

Type the name in Xobni (PersonB or PersonC) and up pops all the attachments
XobniThe other great thing about Xobni is the network tracker.  It shows all the people who have been referenced in an email that you received; i.e., PersonA sent an email to PersonB and C and PersonC sent that email to you.  PersonA and B will show up in your network as well as PersonC's network.

Another fun feature the the history.  Xobni can plot on a graph your average emails of Months/Days/Hours.  It can show your response time compared to emails received (my Tuesday response time was about 30 minutes more than my average and my Friday was the best :) )

ASAP Utilities:

http://www.asap-utilities.com/
ASAP utilities is an Excel add-in that has dozen upon dozens of tools, from "Reset Last Cell" (a common problem with frequent Excel users") to "Freeze panes on multiple sheets at once."
ASAP Add-inIt is free for 90 days within an commercial organization or completely free for Personal use.  A complete list of all the utilities is available on their website
List of ASAP Tools

CCleaner:

http://www.ccleaner.com/
CCleanerCCleaner can clean the temporary files, your registry (be very careful with this one) and various other options from multiple browsers (Cookies,Password,History etc.)

CCleaner made my list because of its usefulness although it wont be used very often.  It does have an Unistaller but I prefer to use another program for that (Revo Uninstaller)

Unlocker:

http://ccollomb.free.fr/unlocker/
Everyone who has spent some time around computers has come up with the annoying warning "Cannot Delete Folder: It is being used by another person or program."
UnlockerWhen you get these errors Unlocker kicks in, opening up a windows showing just what is using that folder/file and from there you can close the program normally or Kill the Process from Unlocker.

Fences

http://www.stardock.com/products/Fences/
Fences is a Desktop utility that allows you to organise your desktop more efficiently.  It allows you to "Fence" in your desktop icons to clean it up.  For instance, all your "Games" together, all your "Documents" together.
http://www.stardock.com/products/Fences/information.asp

Google Chrome

http://www.google.com/chrome
I think Google chrome is the best browser available.  It has been designed with speed in mind and as such there is no useless toolbars that you never use (I ended up having 5 toolbars on Internet Explorer).  

The best change from the standard browsers in the OmniBar.  It takes place instead of the standard address bar.  It's within this that Chrome steps ahead of the competition.  It can be used to search your website immediately compared to going to the site and then searching.   To start it up you need to take the long way once, Chrome then picks up the details and skips the step for you.

The search for "Bromy2004" in Experts-Exchange.com has the address
     http://www.experts-exchange.com/simpleSearch.jsp?q=bromy2004&sfFreshSearch=1&searchSubmit=1
associated with it.  I just type "ex" in the omnibar show this
ChromePress Tab then type your search query...
Chrome Search,,, and that takes you straight to the search results.  I've tested this and it works on about 99% of all sites.

Revo Uninstaller

http://www.revouninstaller.com/
Next is the Revo Uninstaller I mentioned earlier.   The benefits of Revo compared to standard windows uninstaller (WUI):

Faster Loading
Revo loads the program list faster the WUI (Every single time I've tested)

Advanced Remove
Revo allows an option to "Advanced Uninstall" the most useful thing on the entire Program.  Apart from running the standard uninstall it also scans the Registry and the hard drive to find any left over files/registry keys.

Quite often you'll find a folder in C:\Program Files that you removed ages ago, in it is the INI file or some other settings.  The same goes for C:\Documents and Settings\UserName\Application Data\
That works even if the uninstaller is corrupted, effectively doing what the uninstaller was supposed to do.
Hunter Mode
Hunter Mode is a feature of Revo, where you can drag a "Bulls Eye" to a program shortcut to start the uninstall process.

WinDirStat:

http://windirstat.info/
Windirstat is the application I use to find what's taking up my Hard drive space.
WinDirStatHere I can see that "Program Files (x86)" takes up 37.1% of my C: drive.   In the Map at the bottom you can also see what size the files are (Larger shape=Bigger size) and the white outline is the selected folder.

TweetDeck:

http://www.tweetdeck.com/
Last but not least, TweetDeck.
TweetDeck (TD) is an app that consolidates your Social Networking accounts into 1 simple display.  This is my most recent acquisition and as such I'm still learning more about it every day.

The basis behind TD is the have a different column for each account.  At the moment it is V 0.33.2 and can use Twitter, Myspace, Facebook and LinkedIn.   You can have different columns for each of those accounts, or for separate filters for them.  For example, you could set up Twitter next to Facebook next to Facebook (Pictures only) next to Facebook (Statuses only)  as well as being able to view photos and such directly in TD you can also update your status on all of your accounts in 1 hit.

Summary

That is the end of my first article, please comment if I've made any mistakes. Murphy's Law says there will be at least one.

The list again
Launchy: http://launchy.net/
Xobni (Inbox reversed) http://www.xobni.com/
ASAP Utilities: http://www.asap-utilities.com/
CCleaner: http://www.ccleaner.com/
Unlocker: http://ccollomb.free.fr/unlocker/
Fences http://www.stardock.com/products/Fences/
Google Chrome http://www.google.com/chrome
Revo Uninstaller http://www.revouninstaller.com/
WinDirStat: http://windirstat.info/
TweetDeck: http://www.tweetdeck.com/
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Author:bromy2004
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3 Comments
 

Expert Comment

by:appleman123
thanks for all the useful insight
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Author Comment

by:bromy2004
Not a problem.
and welcome to Experts Exchange
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Expert Comment

by:Rayne
thank you bromy2004
This is Extremely useful :)
Thank you
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