Jan 052014
 

Process Liquidator

Process Liquidator is a small utility that pretty much serves one purpose. This is to have have quick access to running processes and if needed terminate them easily.

A right click on a process name terminates it. Process Liquidator displays process name and process id – and by left clicking on a name additional information about the process. Double click on any running process to see its child processes, if any, or click on the Childs button to see all. After clicking on a process name click on the Wins text to list Windows the process has open.

Process Liquidator

It is docked to the right side of the screen with an option to change docking position, it also auto hides by default and requires hovering the mouse on configurable edges of the screen to re-open. This and other options such as Warn before terminating and are available in the Config section (see images).

Process Liquidator should work on Windows 2000 and newer.

 

 

 

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Jan 032014
 

Process Piglet

Process Piglet is a small tool released as part of NANY 2014. It monitors top memory consuming programs and warns of any large changes in RAM usage.

Process Piglet is probably most useful for monitoring browser behaviour.  Of course there are programs that by nature require a lot of resources, those written poorly that have memory leaks and others that don’t release memory properly when different tasks are done or the program is closed. The more common culprits, however, are browsers. Also their add-ons and plugins (hint: Flash) are notorious for bringing even relatively powerful computers to their knees.

Process Piglet provides a window showing top memory users. It generates an alert when memory usage for a process changes a lot and offers the user to terminate or restart it. The same plus other options like navigate to folder are available by right clicking the process name in the program window.

The programs settings include an Exclusions option to ignore processes and by default only cares about processes using more than 50MB, this can be changed by right clicking the tray icon then Edit Options —> Memory Options.

Process Piglet should run on Windows versions going back to Windows 2000 and since it is new is evolving quickly.

 

 

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Mar 272013
 

Clover (Version: 3.0.258.0) is a freeware Windows Explorer extension that adds tabs to the explorer window.

Clover

Those who use Windows’ own explorer to navigate through folders know that it is cumbersome and not exactly efficient. Some use alternatives to Windows Explorer itself, XYplorer for example, and others use dock menus and shortcuts managers.

Clover take a slightly different approach not as common as the aforementioned alternatives, docks and shortcuts. It adds a Google Chrome type layer to the top of the Explorer window. Much like Chrome there is the now familiar blank new tab button (one of Google’s more interesting ‘ideas’ outside of their annual Spring cleaning)  and the bookmark bar.

The same Ctrl+T opens a new tab, Ctrl+Tab switches between open tabs, Ctrl+W closes a tab and Ctrl+D bookmarks a tab. It is also possible to drag a folder from Windows’ own Address bar to create a bookmark.

The program settings include themes (downloaded crx files), import/export bookmarks (html file), warn before closing a tab and a toggle to always show the bookmark bar. Clover runs on XP and newer.

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Aug 062012
 

September 3 update: License keys were just emailed to the winners, congrats and thanks for participating.

Comment below to win a license for Password Recovery Bundle Standard courtesy of Top-password.com worth $29.95

Password Recovery Bundle (Version:2.2 tested) is a toolkit that can prove useful if program or system passwords are lost or forgotten. It is simple to use and has a simple interface to help any user quickly recover passwords. There are three different editions of the program and the standard one can recover all types of passwords but is missing features such as resetting passwords for Windows’ server editions or databases (MS SQL).

Password Recovery Bundle

The Start Recovery button will retrieve passwords for instant messaging programs such MSN, Google Talk, AIM, Miranda, Trillian, Paltalk, Digsby, Pidgin and others. Passwords for email programs are also retrieved including the likes of Outlook, Windows Live Mail, Incredimail, and The Bat! System product keys are also supported and this includes the ‘Product Key Advanced’ option that works on a non booting drive connected to a working system. The user navigates to the non working drive’s Windows directory where Password Recovery Bundle will look for and retrieve the key.

Additionally there is support for recovering passwords from several FTP programs including FileZilla, CuteFTP, SmartFTP and many more.

The Recover From File button prompts the user to navigate to target files as it attempts to recover passwords. The formats supported are PST, Reach-a-Mail, PDF, Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Access, ZIP and RAR files.

Password Recovery Bundle

The Windows Password button creates a ‘Windows password reset bootdisk’ – this feature was not tested. This requires setting the BIOS to boot from DVD or removable media, then burning the iso bootdisk and rebooting the system with it. After rebooting the PC Password Recovery Bundle will get to work and reset the password to blank for any one of Windows accounts on that machine.

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Mar 062012
 

Kiwi System Info (Version: 1.0.0 tested) is a small system profiler. It provides a lot of detailed and advanced information on the specs of a Windows PC. In addition to All and About it is divided into seven sections or groups, each with a drop down menu providing information and specs not often available elsewhere.

Kiwi System Info

The seven sections are Hardware Info, Data Storage, Memory, System Info, Network, User & Security and Developer. The aforementioned dropdowns are too numerous to name them all but a look at the above image gives an idea on the wealth of specifications Kiwi System Info provides.

(Only) a few of the information available are (picked randomly):

In Hardware Info … 1394Controller, DeviceBus, PnPEntity, PortResource, TemperatureProbe.

In Data Storage … DiskPartition, LogicalFileGroup.

In Memory … MemoryDeviceArray, SMBIOSMemory.

In System Info … ProcessStartup, ProductCheck, ProtocolBinding, SystemBootConfiguration, SystemServices.

In Network … NetworkClient, PerfRawData_Tcpip_ICMP, SystemNetworkConnections.

In User & Security … NTEventlogFile, SecuritySetting.

In Developer … ClassicCOMApplicationClasses, CodecFile, DCOMApplication, ODBCDriverAttribute, SoftwareFeatureParent

Such is the detailed info that Kiwi System Info provides that it has a stop button and a timeout setting because retrieving and displaying some of the specs can and do slow the system temporarily. Kiwi System Info is a single executable only 360KB in size.

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Feb 052012
 

Commands in Demand provides a collection of tools and shortcuts to make it a centralized all purpose utility.

Commands in Demand

Of note is that every time the program starts there is an error that it is “unable to add hot key Ctrl+Alt+S” (see image), in its help file this hot key combination is described as:

…always reads the Clipboard contents (from any of its section you are working with, and even if its window is not visible), by pressing the Ctrl+Alt+S keys’ combination from your keyboard

Going down the program’s sections Commands in Demand includes the following:

It can kill unrepsonsive or other tasks, remove idle processes, copy text from any system error message, restart Windows Explorer, open task manager and kill a print job.

Next is a section to manage Windows Explorer with buttons to open subfolders, go one level up or deeper, minimize or restore windows, keep the active window on top, resize the active window, add transparency to it and more.

A Clipboard section that can read clipboard items, save them to a text file among others.

A multi-page Desktop section to show or hide desktop icons, use a screen magnifier, an on screen keyboard, capture active or other areas of the screen and gain access to Windows 7’s GodMode control panel.

The Devices section has shortcuts to Device Manager, open and close optical drives and safely remove USB.

Files and Folder has a text file joiner, hash checksum calculator, a list alphabetizer tool ( that can import text files or work with manually entered  text) and a few more shortcuts.

Graphics has a color picker, EXIF viewer and image convertor.

Icons can extract icons from files, hide and show desktop icons and refresh them too.

Internet has the shortcut to a translator, HOST file editor and additionally a shortcut to Google and Neave flash maps and another to search using any of 12 search engines.

Memory and CPU has live CPU and memory usage meters and an ‘Instant memory cleaner’ button.

Miscellaneous features a calendar that can calculate days between dates and a few ‘stress killing’ games.

Network has the shortcut to the Network Connections window and a tool to create Network and TCP/IP statistics reports.

System is another multipage section with shortcuts to the command prompt (normal and colored console), system folders plus an operating system ID report with common info like version, processor type, Windows product ID and more.

SysTray can mute/unmute sound, hide/show clock and a few others.

Taskbar can add transparency to the task bar and hide/show it.

Text and Editing has the join files and online translation shortcuts and two potentially useful tools to separately convert Unicode and ASCII texts between upper and lower case.

Windows Applications is simply a collection of shortcuts to things like Regedit, Task Scheduler, Character Map and others.

The Shutdown Panel has the reboot, standby, logoff , hibernate, shutdown and monitor off buttons.

Commands in Demand

The Tools of Mine section is basically a launcher where the user can add any shortcut and run it (see image above).

Commands in Demand (Version: 12.2 tested) is freeware, one zip file that doesn’t require installation and should run on Windows XP and newer.

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Jan 272012
 

PC Wizard (Version: 2010 1.961 as of this post) is a freeware from the same developers as CPU-Z, the popular CPU information utility. PC Wizard provides a lot of information about its host PC.

PC Wizard

Upon startup, which takes a few seconds, the Hardware section is first.

Hardware has 12 sections for System Summary, Mainboard, Processor, Video, I/O ports, Drivers, Printers, Devices, Multimedia, Network, Power Status and finally Voltage, Temperatures and Fans. The information available are specs for system manufacturer, Direct X, PCI slot, Open GL, disk drives, Twain devices, UPnP, audio and video codecs, network card and connection, battery status, if applicable, and lots more.

The Configuration section features information on Windows serial number, system uptime, default browser, default email client, control panel, desktop appearance, running processor and threads, DLL files, OLE applications, Microsoft components, fonts, Windows updates installed, uninstall info, startup info, file extensions, Window security status, services, .NET Framework and also a passwords section. Interestingly passwords detected one old and one current MSN (Live) Messenger password on the PC tested!

The System Files section has viewers for boot.ini, system.ini, event logs, internet explorer cookies and history and a section on environment variables such as system paths, architecture and more.

Resources section has IRQ info and a network sniffer with a list of IPs, ports and their state (listening, established, etc.)

The Benchmark section has tools for various memory, processor and video tests and a global performance benchmark test to do them all together.

Each section is printable and highlighted entries can be captured by the clipboard. The Tools menu has extras for enabling processor monitoring and gathering overclock information. PC Wizard is by no means the fastest program. Some info, like the DLL list for example, take a bit more than a few additional seconds to gather and present.

PC Wizard

PC Wizard is available in both portable and installer versions and should run on all Windows versions. As always with benchmark and system profile utilities some information may not be available if they are not supported either by the software or if they are not present on the host system.

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Jan 102012
 

System Information is a system profile and information utility. It presents the gathered information in a tabbed interface divided into System Info, Drive Info, Memory Info, Network Info, Installed Programs, Hardware Devices and Printers and Faxes.

System Information

System Info is an overview of the computer with Windows version, manufacturer, CPU type and speed and screen resolution. Drive Info has the specifications of the hard disk such as manufacturer, size, number of partitions, sector size and more. Memory Info has the RAM amount, total memory (including virtual) available and used. Network Info shows the network adapter type, machine name and MAC address. Installed Programs has a list of all programs, .NET framework, Adobe Acrobat and Internet Explorer versions installed. Hardware Devices is much like Windows’ device manager with a tree view showing processors, USB controllers and others (see image). Additional information on the devices is available when they are highlighted. Printers and Faxes provides information on peripherals and others like Microsoft XPS Document Writer and as the hardware tab before it additional info and properties are shown on the right hand side.

The generic name of the program is sure to confuse. System Information requires .NET Framework 2.0 and should run on Windows 2000 and newer.

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Jan 082012
 

System Spec (Version: 3.05 as of this post) is a system information utility that has some of the most comprehensive and complete set of information available. The initial screen provides a general system profile with the likes of Windows to BIOS version (see image) but there is lots more.

System Spec

System Spec divides the information it gathers into sections. These are, Personal Info, Memory Info, Display info, Disk Info, CD/DVD Info, CPU Info, BIOS Info, Internet, Installed Programs, Network, Printers, Sound, USB, Date and Time, Input Devices, Windows Version Info, Developer Info and USB Drives. A bit about the aforementioned sections follows.

Personal Info. Windows username, install date, version, key and others.

Memory Info. Total RAM, RAM speed, memory (RAM + virtual) totals, page file size and others.

Display info. Monitor type, refresh frequency, GPU type, all resolutions supported by the graphics card and more.

Disk Info. Hard disk size, (any) SMART info and file system flags.

CD/DVD Info. Info on all optical devices installed including manufacturer, product ID and read and write speeds.

CPU Info. A usage meter, CPU manufacturer, family, code name, voltage, clock speed, cache size and lots more.

BIOS Info. BIOS identifier, version and date.

Internet. Internet Explorer version, start page and other browsers detected. Explorer favorites and history.

Installed Programs (see image below) is more impressive than most. A list of all programs installed, shortcut to uninstallers, installed location, date. Information on publishers and help info/URL if available.

System Spec

Network. A list of networks and network devices such as network adapter and if available a list of computers on the network.

Printers. A list of attached printers.

Sound. Sound card info and specs, a tone generator, shortcuts to system sounds, mixer settings and buttons to test speakers.

USB. Number of USB controllers and info on any USB devices attached.

Date and Time. Current time, time zone, system up time,  UTC (Coordinated Universal Time), daylight savings start and end dates and more.

Input Devices. Information on the keyboard and mouse such as the type of mouse (number of buttons) and more.

Windows Version Info. Root folder, service pack, 32 or 64 bit and a bit more.

Developer Info. Java version, .NET version(s), ODBC drivers and IIS version among others.

USB Drives. This section information that is already accessible in the section on attached devices.

System Spec also features a whole set of commands and system shortcuts to control the system. Everything from shortcuts to safely remove USBs, start the run box, Windows Explorer, Task manager, Group Policy and hiding the taskbar (System menu). An on screen keyboard, System File Checker, Device Manager, Defrag, Scan Disk and Sys Edit (Programs menu). Standby Monitor, Eject CD and Mute Speakers and Microphone (Hardware menu).

The File menu can save information to a CSV or HTML file and also print a selection. The Edit menu offers to save selected specs to the clipboard but this didn’t work in tests.

System Spec is a freeware portable download and works on Windows versions going back to Windows 98.

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Nov 282011
 

HWM BlackBox (Version: 2.3 as of this post) is a hardware or system information and profile builder. Much like others of its kind it takes a few seconds upon startup to gather information.

The interface is tabbed and divided into Processor, Memory, Graphics, System and Benchmark. The Processor tab has information on number of cores, speed, cache and technology (90nm, etc.), bus speed, voltage, temperature and also live usage info. Memory has info on RAM slots filled or available, memory type, frequency, manufacturer, serial number CAS Latency and more. Graphics has GPU information like memory, temperature, max speed, DirectX version, raster operators and more. System has computer manufacturer, BIOS version, number of slots (PCI, etc.), fan speed and more, plus information on disc drives, optical drives and network devices. The Benchmark tab works only on Windows Vista and 7 machines. It will run various performance tests most likely only useful to gamers and overclockers.

HWM BlackBox

The arrow to the top right has options to save collected data to text or XML files, change refresh rates for the usage info, take screenshots of the program and a few other settings.

Some specs may not be available depending on the hardware’s and/or BlackBox’s support to retrieve them. HWM BlackBox comes with an online upload tool (see About tab) to measure up benchmarks and system specifications with or against others. HWM BlackBox is a single exe file, exists for both 32 bit and 64 bit systems and and requires the .Net Framework 2.0.

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