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Friday, March 28, 2014

Some PC App Recommendations

This past week I had to bite the bullet and reformat my work laptop. Piriform's CCleaner was a big help, as I was able to export a list of all installed apps. To do so, open up CCleaner and click on "Tools". At this point "Uninstall" should be highlighted, and on the bottom right-hand side, click on "Save to text file...".

Once I had my list, I installed all of the apps on my new laptop. I figured that I would note some helpful items here. I use Windows 7, so if you're running Windows 8, then your experience could be different.

  • Actual Multiple Monitors allows me to have the Windows 7 taskbar extend to my second screen. I can pin separate applications to this taskbar.
  • Advanced IP Scanner is my go-to address space scanner.
  • Autohotkey is something I would like to play with more, but my killer app for this so far is this gem, which allows me to use Ctrl+V to paste into the command prompt and Powershell.
  • Beyond Compare allows me to compare files, folders, and even registry entries. I've been using this for many years.
  • EMCO makes two utilities that I really like: MAC Address Scanner and Remote Console. Usually I use Powershell remoting, but this has come in handy when there is a configuration issue on the client side and I'm not able to use remote Powershell.
  • Image Resizer Powertoy Clone for Windows allows me to right click on picture files and quickly resize them.
  • NetSetMan allows me to quickly switch between different network adapter configurations, such as when I need a static IP address at a remote site, or when I want a static address on the iSCSI network.
  • QtTabBar gives me the ability to have tabs in Windows Explorer. This is a killer app......
  • Multiplicity allows me to have a kind of software KVM. If you've seen my setup, I have two screens above and two below. Each set of two is a different computer, and this lets me control all four screens with on keyboard and mouse.
  • Tabs for Excel was a big win with the accounting department when I discovered it and installed it for them. Now I can have multiple spreadsheets open in one Excel window.
  • VirtualCloneDrive runs in my system tray and allows me to mount ISO files.
  • Vistaswitcher (don't be scared off by "Vista" in the name), gives you a much better interface when using Alt-Tab to switch between open applications. Instead of just showing the name of the running apps, it shows you what's within the window.
  • Windows Grep will let me search through a bunch of text files for certain strings. I know I can do this through Powershell, and this is a total crutch, but sometimes things are just easier with a GUI.
  • WizMouse allows me to use my mouse's scroll wheel to scroll through something without changing my active window. All I have to do is put my mouse over the inactive app's window and scroll, and it works!


  1. Holy crap, that Ctrl+V tip for cmd+posh is freaking awesome. Checking that out!

    There's always(usually) alternatives to every utility. I've used most you mention, and I have a few alts that have always worked great for me. I use MagicDisc for ISO mounting in Windows(free). I also use AlwaysMouseWheel instead of WizMouse, which is a free & EXTREMELY small/portable app.

    We all have that 1 app we know we don't need but use it anyway, similar to your Windows Grep. Mine's Nano for Windows. Sometimes I just hate having to adjust a posh script via notepad++ for something small. I know nano like the back of my hand, so it's always a very quick edit.

    1. Since I can't edit my comment, I meant to add one more important one. Ditto - the clipboard manager. Probably one of my most utilized apps on work and home computers.

  2. Many years ago, I had a bad experience with MagicISO. I can't even remember what it was, but I found VirtualCloneDrive and never went back.

    I have always thought that I could use a clipboard manager, especially when I'm doing documentation. I'll try Ditto, but every one I've tried has been less than useful. That might not be due to the software; sometimes you have to sacrifice a little bit of productivity when you first start using a tool to reap vast benefits later on. I've just never had the patience for that while using clipboard managers.

    An app that I like but don't have a great use for right now is DexPot. It's is a great virtual desktop app for Windows. I really liked it, I just didn't use it that much.

    1. Cool. Yeah, I think if you were to try Ditto, you'd like the way the dev implemented a few features. Instant searching, hotkey to pop out menu where you mouse is, etc. It's helped me tremendously trying to remember syntax for certain script commands.

      DexPot looks good. I've used VrituaWin, but like you, I just didn't end up using it that much. I do use 3 monitors so that's probably why. What's funny though is I use the multiple desktops at home on Linux. I just don't find my self doing that on Windows for some reason. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯