have absolutely no business on the Internet without an effective firewall.
This is true whether you have a high-speed broadband connection, which is
probably “always on,” or a conventional dial-up connection, which also is
probably always on because it takes forever to download anything. Why,
you’re probably either being pinged or having your ports probed right now.
There are several personal firewalls out there that offer some modicum of
protection and a false sense of security; ZoneAlarm actually keeps
substitute for a solid firewall and not intended to provide anti-virus
protection, but Defender is an additional ingredient in your system security
cocktail, helping to protect against spyware, popups, unwanted and
unauthorized changes to your system settings, and other security threats.
is a small, fast text editor for Windows 9x/NT/XP with features similar to
Microsoft Notepad but with many additional: Persistent window placement,
dirty file indication, select/drag/drop text, intelligent find and
replace, external viewer support (e.g. web browser), usable accelerator keys
(Ctrl+S, Ctrl+N, etc.), dual customizable font support, optional quick exit
(Esc key), configurable tab stop setting, auto-indent mode, go to
line/column, seamless UNIX text file support, block indent and unindent
(Tab, Shift+Tab), recent files list, WYSIWYG printing, no file size limit
(re Win9x), hyperlink support, user interface language plugins.
If you run Windows 2000 or XP, two functions on your toolbar conveniently
allow you to copy and move files to different folders. If you run Windows 9x, you
wish you had these functions. With FileTargets you've got something
better. Right click on a file or folder. FileTargets appears on your context
menu. Select it to display a sub-menu that lists folders and groups of
folders that you have set. Just select the destination folder of choice and
your file or folder is quickly dispatched to that destination. Completely
configurable options allow you to specify whether the default action is
moving or copying, which folders are always displayed as targets, and what
groups of sub-sub-menus of folders are available as targets. This
functionality beats that of the native Windows 2K/XP Explorer toolbar
You may not believe it, but
almost surely you have it in some form or another somewhere on your
computer: spyware! It sneaks in insidiously, disguised as a perfectly
innocent piece of software, or piggy-backs on the download and install of
something else. Ad-aware searches deeply into your folders, files,
and registry, revealing all the titles that are known to be spyware, safely
removing them upon request.
your motherboard's name and ID? Your chipset? What are your memory module
names and serial numbers? What are the product keys of your installed
software? EVEREST Home Edition is a system information,
diagnostics, and benchmarking program running on Win32 platforms that
extracts details of all components of your PC to give you all these answers,
and many more. This info is displayed on screen, printed, or saved to file
in various formats like HTML, CSV or XML. For corporate users, EVEREST
Professional (not free)
offers command-line switches, network audit and audit statistics, remote
system information, and network management.
[Note: If/While still available, opt instead for
AIDA32, a very similar ancestor of
EVEREST but with a few additional capabilities that EVEREST offers only in
its Pro edition (software license keys and command line options, e.g.). A
few alternate sources—they may not last much longer:
Where has all your precious disk space gone? Find out quickly and easily
with TreeSize. Launch from the Start menu or right-click on any drive
or folder to launch from its context menu. Drive consumption immediately is
exposed in both numerical and graphical formats, including all subfolders in
a familiar, expandable, Explorer-like tree structure. One of the handiest
utilities to have around both for troubleshooting and maintenance.
days, data recovery tools have become extremely sophisticated and sensitive,
and the intelligence agencies that use them have developed great expertise
in recovering anything you’ve ever saved on your hard drive. But don’t
flatter yourself, they’re probably not interested. Yet, if you’re concerned
about anyone prying into what you hope is your private business, Eraser
is your best shot for rendering your files irrecoverable. See
Secure Deletion of Data from Magnetic and Solid-State
Memory, a very technical and interesting paper on the current
state of the science of data recovery and certain steps that can be taken to
make this effort significantly more difficult. In the battle of the
tolerances of commercially available disk drives versus the tolerances of
highly specialized recovery equipment, Eraser in many cases may tip
the balance in favor of the former by pushing recovery beyond the
cost-benefit threshold of the latter. Perhaps the greatest benefit derived
from this shredder is the knowledge of the limitations of all shredders.
An easy-to-use program that converts
the most popular units of distance, temperature, volume, time, speed, mass,
power, density, pressure, energy, and many others. Includes the ability to
create custom conversions.
Ever need an icon for a special
project or meaningful desktop shortcut? Well, do you have any idea how many
icons you already have, right here on your computer? Why go searching all
over the Internet or spend hours creating your own cheesy icons when you can
steal some really good ones other people have already made! Icon Snatcher
is a free 32-bit utility that can extract icon files from any .exe, .dll, or
any other type of file that might contain embedded icons. Each icon may be
saved in either BMP, ICO or GIF format, or copied to the clipboard for
pasting into your favorite graphics editor. You can also pick the background
color for maintaining the transparency of bitmaps and gifs.
Here’s that utility you need to rip(off) tracks from your CDs, convert them
to WMAs or MP3s, and store them where you please. CDex reads the
digital data directly from the CD without ever playing a note, so there’s no
loss in sound quality due to intermediate data handling. Lots of features
and settings—ripping methods, read sector management, bitrate, jitter
correction, normalization, file name and playlist formatting, ID3 tag
options, etc.—let you tweak for your situation. Numerous encoders supported.
Depending on your sound card and speakers, your computer can sound better
than your stereo.
I've Got Some Balls
Game: Use your arrow keys to negotiate your ball through the perils—traps,
loops, jumps, delicate navigation—of each level, collecting all the diamonds
to advance to the next level. Spectacular 3-D graphics, lighting, and
spatial effects, and extremely smooth motion over almost frictionless
surfaces. The author no longer is maintaining Balls. Get it here,
now, while you can.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
Saver: You will be mesmerized and your processor will be exercised by this
highly computation-intensive screensaver. Set the Electric!
parameters using the Settings button on the Screen Saver tab of the Display
Properties applet in Control Panel, and an endless variety of ever-changing
patterns will keep you entranced. It will take you some time to experiment
with all the possible combinations of the settings parameters. To get
started, try these, which produce some fascinating and nostalgic “Time
Tunnel” effects: Particles tab—Types: Electrons, Number: 1;
Colors tab—Cycling speed: Slow, Palette: Neon; Effects tab—Effects: Normal,
Dissymetric [sic] tiling.