Windows News, Updates, tips and software


Ultra-Pad a Wordpad replacement

Wordpad offers an advanced functionality in comparison to Notepad but is not able to compete against Office suites such as Open Office or Microsoft Word. Ultra-Pad is a Wordpad replacement for Windows which adds several features that Wordpad does not offer. It can be enhanced with themes for instance, an option that Wordpad does not offer.


Move MyDocuments to another drive

Microsoft tried to enhance Windows XP by adding a central folder for user data which is called MyDocuments which is the default place for save games, pictures, music and everything else that is user related. The default location has some disadvantages though. First, it adds another folder that has to be backed up if you do backup your data regularly.

Filezilla FTP Client

I have been working with the ftp client Filezilla for some time now and switched to release candidate three of the new and upcoming Filezilla 3 just recently. I have to use ftp clients on a daily basis to upload files to my websites and edit php and html files that are already on them. They are indeed useful for webmasters but on a decline when you take a look at all Internet users - my opinion but supported by the fact that most modern browsers support ftp downloads as well.

10 Freeware Recommendations 2

It has been a while since I posted the first part of this mini series entitled 10 Freeware Recommendations. Two months are a long time considering that I write about software almost every day here at Ghacks, that is why I decided to open my treasure trove again and present you another batch of freeware recommendations for Windows that will probably make your day.

remove empty directories

Clean Windows from all empty folders

It happens from time to time that folders are not deleted when uninstalling software in Windows. It can also happen that other applications move data and leave folders intact in the process. This happend to me when I used a new mp3 tagging software that moved all my mp3 files to a new directory leaving the old folders empty.

Change Vista's Windows Experience Rating

If you want to show of your Windows Experience Rating in Windows Vista which displays a hardware rating of your computer but have a rather weak score you should consider tweaking the results to get a better score displayed at the end. The Experience Rating is derived from five subscores which are: Processor, Memory, Graphics, Gaming Graphics and Primary Hard Drive.

norton removal tool

Norton Removal Tool

I have been using Norton products in the past and was always astonished how resource hungry those products were. They surely looked professional which was the main reason why I did install them but they slowed down the system and were really hard to remove from the system.

Fix for slow Vista Network Transfer while playing Music

Reports have been flooding the web that the network transfer speed of Windows Vista drops to a low level when the user plays music at the same time. While there does not seem to be a obvious connection between network transfers and sounds being played and everyone would probably consider other possibilities first it seems that a service called MMCSS, the Multimedia Class Scheduler Service.

Microsoft killing Autopatcher Project

I have written several times about the Autopatcher project which was basically providing users with the opportunity to download one executable file that contained all official patches for their Microsoft operating system. This method had a lot of advantages over downloading patches from Microsoft servers: You would save bandwidth if you had to apply the patches to more than one operating system and did not have to rely on the automatic updates website to select the patches.

page update watcher screenshot

How to get notified about website updates

From time to time, you might want to check whether the contents of certain websites have changed since the last time you visited them.This could be lots of work if you intend to check them out manually and a tool, that would check websites automatically would be really handy in this situation. Especially if we are talking about dozens or even hundreds of websites and not just a handful.

Process Lasso a Process Manager

I read a very interesting comment from Roman Sharp in my article that explained how to automatically terminate hung applications in Windows XP. He recommended the software Process Lasso and guess what, it was a great recommendation.

Process Lasso can probably be described as a application that manages processes. This is however not a task manager replacement but a software that can be configured to automatically react in certain situations.

kill app timeout

Automatically Kill Hung Applications

Windows can really sometimes annoy the hell out of me. Starting a new software that was recently installed and seeing it hang after the start with delayed reactions from the system can be really painful. Hitting CTRL + ALT + DEL and waiting minutes before the dialog pops up is not the number one solution to get rid of a process that is stuck in nirvana.

Autopatcher August 2007 released

The Autopatcher team seems to be back on track with the release of core and update Autopatcher files for Windows XP, Windows 2000 and Windows 2003 Server. Additionally, and for the first time, Autopatcher files for Office 2002, 2003 and 2007 have been released as well.

Windows Vista Sidebar Styler

I don't like the Windows Vista sidebar that much and think that most applications - also called widgets and gadgets - are pretty much useless. The Windows Vista sidebar styler is a great software for those who use the sidebar and would like to have more options to customize the look and feel of it.

CCleaner 2.0 beta

I decided to uninstall the old CCleaner version that I had installed on my system and replace it with the first CCleaner 2.0 beta version which was released just a few days ago. The new CCleaner version was rebuild from scratch in C++ adding Windows Vista, 64-bit and portable support to this excellent software.

XdN Tweaker for Windows

XdN Tweaker is not one of those usual tweaking softwares that give you access to change hundreds of Windows settings in one tiny menu. This one is different. It concentrates on only a handful of tweaks that are not so common and supports Windows Vista, Windows XP and Windows 2003 both 32-bit and 64-bit versions and needs the .net framework 2.0 as well.

Clear all non system fonts automatically

Roman commented on my article about removing fonts to increase system startup speed yesterday mentioning the free software Font Frenzy which could remove all non system fonts with the click of a button. This is way more elegant than the suggested manual way that I came up with yesterday which is why I would like to write about Feed Frenzy today.

windows fonts

Why you should check your Fonts Folder regularly

A friend of mine was asking me why the boot process of his Windows XP operating system would take this long. I took a quick look at his system and found out that he had more than 700 fonts installed on his system. A in depth analysis by pc spy using a virtual xp system and Microsoft Bootvis confirmed that 1000 fonts would delay system boot time by 30 seconds compared to 5.33 seconds if only 100 fonts are installed on the system.