Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Helpful lightweight software

I'd like to highlight some lesser-known but lightweight and useful software that have made life that much easier.

Listary  This is one such software, my personal favorite.  Upon launch, it indexes file and directory names.  Then when you're in Windows Explorer you can just start typing the name of a certain file or folder (e.g. say, "Accounting") and it will get you to the right file/folder within the tree (e.g. "My Documents\Downloads\2014\Accounting.xls").  It's kind of like Spotlight in OSX (I'm not a Mac user, so it may not just be like Spotlight….).
Free to download and use.  Pro version adds some extra features

Wordweb  Lightweight thesaurus and dictionary.  If you write anything, even a dumb blog like this, you should have a thesaurus.  Free to use if you fly at most twice a year (seriously), otherwise a Pro version adds features.

Stardock Fences The name is a play on the "Windows" brand.  If you're like me and you have a mess of files and folders on your windows desktop, then you need Fences to organize them.  Fences adds, well, fences so you can group the icons into containers, say "Work in Process", "Payments", or "For Filing".  When used well, you’ll have a neat clean desktop; if you’re like me, you get something like the above screenshot.
Old version 1.01 works fine with Windows 7 x64 and is free.  The new version 2.0 is paid only but well worth the $10.

InSSIDer 3.0

MetaGeek InSSIDer 3  True to its name, this is a Wifi troubleshooting tool for network geeks.  It shows active wifi SSIDs and the strength of each signal, and whether or not there's overlapping.  If you're in a crowded office and you wonder why you can't connect, check out this tool.  Version 3 is the last free version, the newer version 4 is paid only but adds support for 802.11ac networks.  Wifi Analyzer is something similar for your Android smartphone. 

F.lux   Changes the color tone of your screen so it won't blind your eyes when you're working at night.  Twilight is something similar for your Android smartphone.  Both are free.

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