Utilities 2005

We find that we cannot live by Windows alone. Utility programs are written to enhance your computing life.

We find that we cannot live by Windows alone. Utility programs are written to enhance your computing life. They can make Windows work better. They can bring added features to what you are doing on your computer.

By no means am I endorsing or recommending any of these programs. I am merely trying to show you some of the options that are out there in cyberspace.

Below you will find a list of software to evaluate. Most of these programs cost under $100. See if any of these might fit your needs.

Browser add-ons:

Copernic Tracker (www.copernic.com) - This program will inform you when new information has been added to your favorite sites. It will check as often as you wish, and it will look for changes that you are looking for.

Bookmark Buddy (www.bookmarkbuddy.net) - This utility organizes your bookmarks, and will save and encrypt your log-on names and passwords.

WebPicker (www.superlogic.net) - This program allows you to save a Web page (text, graphics, and anything else on the page) into a WebPicker Library.

Browser toolbars:

Google Toolbar (www.google.com), Ask Jeeves Toolbar (www.ask.com/toolbar), MSN Toolbar (toolbar.msn.com), and Dogpile Toolbar (www.dogpile.com) -These utilities slot into Internet Explorer to help you find what you are looking for.

Password managers:

Login King (www.loginking.com), Roboform Pro (www.roboform.com), and Account Logon (www.accountlog on.com) - These programs will automatically input your name and password each time you visit a site that requires them. Some of them will store your address, phone numbers, credit card information, etc., so when you are asked for this information, it is supplied “on the fly.”

Trace removers:

Acronis Privacy Expert (www.acronis.com), Cyber Scrub (www.cyberscrub.com), and Window Washer (www.webroot.com) - These programs wipe out Windows temporary folders, files in the recycle bin, browser cache, history, and cookies.

Instant messaging aggregators:

Gaim (sourceforge.net/projects/gaim) and Trillian (www.ceruleanstudios.com) - These programs connect you with most of the instant messaging services out in cyberspace, all at the same time.

Screen grabbers:

SnagIt (www.techsmith.com), Full Shot (www.inbit.com), and Easy Screen Capture (www.longfine.com) - These programs allow you to do more than your PrintScrn button on your keyboard. They allow you to capture moving video and more.

File recovery:

Undelete (www.executive.com) and Search and Recover (www.iolo.com) - These programs claim to be able to recover files of varying types.

Image Recall (www.flashfixers.com) - This program helps to recover files from digital camera media.

File compression:

PKZip (www.pkzip.com), Stuffit (www.stuffit.com), and WinZip(www.winzip.com) - These utilities allow you to compress a file in order to save space.

Defraggers:

Diskeeper (www.executivesoftware.com) and PerfectDisk (www.raxcosoftware.com) - These programs are more efficient defraggers than the one provided with Windows.

Utility suites:

Norton System Works (www.symantec.com) and Iolo System Mechanic (www.iolo.com) - These are all-in-one tool kits to help you with maintenance and cleanup.

Of course, you can go to sites such as www.pcworld.com, www.cnet.com, and www.zdnet.com. These are wonderful resources for reviews of software, and will help guide you through your decision process. Don’t jump into these programs too quickly. Make intelligent choices depending on your real needs.

Jeffrey B. Dalin, DDS, FAGD, FICD, practices general dentistry in St. Louis. He also is the editor of St. Louis Dentistry magazine, and spokesman and critical-issue-response-team chairman for the Greater St. Louis Dental Society. Contact him by e-mail at jeff@dfdasmiles.com, by phone at (314) 567-5612, or by fax at (314) 567-9047.

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