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Updated: 5.6.2006

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-- intro
-- rules
-- principles
-- tweaks
-- hints
-- articles
    -- cmdline
    -- security
-- links


-- config
-- terms
-- projects
    -- certs
-- various
-- specs
-- events7
    -- events6
    -- events5
    -- y-2005
-- about
    -- website
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This page was until recently (18.11.2005) listing and describing only protection/security related GUI applications. I wrote back then that "there are just too many other favorite not security-related applications that I use, to mention them all here (but I probably will in the near future)", so this near future is today. I also need to mention here on the very beginning that I like minimalism and things being "clean" and "lean" also in this area of computing; and also for all these programs in general, I disable everything that is possible to be disabled. For Blackbox shell for instance, that means to use only the required plugins, for Firefox I use only the pure core, i.e. zero extensions and the default theme. And now I can say than in all that time I have tried so many applications, and so I've already chosen the most reliable/stable ones.

I much relly on all the applications listed on this page and recommend them to everybody. Also note that the great majority of them are "non-setups" except for the firewall, anti-virus, anti-spyware applications and few others; so in general the installation procedure is nor required nor recommended. I list them similarly as they are organised on my computer, under D:\Software\ directory for "non-setup" ones and under D:\Program Files\ directory for "setups". Further, they are separated into various "groups" in regard to the way I use them. I in fact have several principles in place here, i.e. "residents" go to their special directory-tree, then I separate them by their main purpose, i.e. "Games", "Players", "Projects", "Support" preograms and so on.

For other applications see pages cmdline.html and security.html, while for various other links, see section "Sites offering more than one product:" on page links.html. Then for the forum threads/topics related to the BSODs caused by a particular anti-virus software, see the: Fearful HD problems, especially the one that occured today topic at CastleCops forum, then here Fearful HD problems, especially the one that occured today topic at Wilderssecurity forum, and the Winforums 12 x 12 pixels icon "low-level format" - whole HD only, or possible only one (the one damaged) partition topic at Winforums, but also see the bottom of this page for a detailed description of a problem. In future, I am also planning to add few screenshots, for example screenshots of programs' GUIs, important dialogs/configuration windows; all this for you to better understand the general idea. Maybe I might even add some tips on recommended/useful configurations, tasks to perform etc.

My various blogs: Here is a list of links to my various blogs; as first a link to my Voljatel Blog, both in Slovenian language, as second there are the links to the two "ad revenue sharing community" blogs Senserely Blog [feed.png add], writingUp Blog [feed.png add] in English language, then there are the three unsorted blogs Kuro5hin Blog, Spread Firefox Blog [feed.png add], and CastleCops Blog [feed.png add] also in English language, and finally the two futile blogs Slashdot Blog (this one doesn't get much attention), Techrepublic Blog (it's inaccessible to non-registered visitors), both in English language too.

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/NOTE: From the site's update on 5.6.2006 onwards, this particular site will not be updated anymore. To be honest, I made few additional modifications on 6.6., 7.6., 8.6., 9.6., and 16.6., further on 13.7., 23.7., 23.8., and 26.9. in 2006, and finally on 14.1. in 2007 (which was the absolutely last update), but that was all just fixing old errors and formatting, and no new content was added. Optionally see the last "events-entry" on page "events7.html" (it's a short related announcement), and the first entry on the "events8.html" page (it describes all this in great details), however, the second one is located only on "still-updated" site-variants. Anyway, this notice applies to: Bravenet, Freehost386, Geocities, and Greatnow free-hosts (and from 14.1.2007 this includes also Atspace free-host), so for the current variant with the fresh content, please head on to one of these two main sites: 50webs, Voljatel, which are, as mentioned, the only ones still being updated.

NAVIGATE: next cmdline.html, security.html


I will start with a three rather special programs (and they don't fit nor into "non-setups", nor into "setups" category); if they can even be called programs; the fist two are rather a pre-installation platforms, i.e. a stripped-down Windows XP capable of running from a boot CD-ROM (see also: http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/programs/sa/support/winpe.asp), and a second one is rather an OS emulator. UltimateBootCD: http://www.ultimatebootcd.com, BartPE: http://www.nu2.nu/pebuilder or Bart Lagerweij's PE Builder (its name stands for "Windows Preinstallation Environment"), Cygwin: http://cygwin.com and continue with the more or less system applications (mostly residents), I will just shortly list various programs that are descibed in details on other site's pages. However, I will not list any programs from the Sysinternals site here (except from PageDefrag below), since they are described in details on the "security.html" page and various others too. Also note that these programs in this section/paragraph (and in the one above) are all "non-setups".

So regarding "projects" (DC ones in this case), there are Seti@Home program: http://seti.berkeley.edu, Folding@Home program: http://folding.stanford.edu, Prime95 program: http://www.mersenne.org/prime.htm (here is a link to main-site: http://www.mersenne.org), and a "non-DC" project, a BeWeS MouseTracker program: http://bmt.bewes.be, http://bewesbmt.sourceforge.net, http://sourceforge.net/projects/bewesbmt. Then there are "Players", most recently discovered was an "audio-only" player called XMPlay: http://www.un4seen.com, http://www.un4seen.com/xmplay.html, then are various "multimedia-players" that I use; in no particular order there are CrystalPlayer: http://www.crystalplayer.com, BSPlayer: http://www.bsplayer.com (it's a Slovenian program, i.e. written by a Slovenian programmer), VideoLAN's VLC Media Player or shortly VLC: http://www.videolan.org, http://www.videolan.org/vlc and finally Gabest's Media Player Classic: http://sourceforge.net/projects/guliverkli, a Windows Media Player "clone" that supports Real Players .rm and .ram file-formats, Quick Time's .mov extension etc. And well, this is not a player, but I guess it suits here in this section more than in any other; it's a "chess program" called Arena: http://www.playwitharena.com, http://www.playwitharena.co.uk and you can play chess of course locally, and also with many folks online through their dedicated server.

Further, I recently started using the bbLean: http://bb4win.sourceforge.net/bblean branch of Blackbox for Windows: http://www.bb4win.org alternative shell, shell-replacement or yet better a window-manager to use unix terms (by the way, there are many others; just do a Google search for "shell replacement" or "alternative shell") instead of bb4win: http://bb4win.sourceforge.net (here is a site from program's author: http://www.ratednc-17.com, and here: http://shells.loose-screws.com a list of various other alternative shells), the original one which I now use for almost two years. Blackbox uses "workspaces" (like terminals in Unix, though not so "independent"), so I have much less cluttered taskbar compare to default Explorer's one. And just few weeks ago I started using also the bbLean's bbLeanSkin plugin (as it name suggest: it's a skinning plugin), well see, I was avoiding to use it because I've always run Blackbox with only default/required plugins (because of my "minimalism principle"), then I was afraid of incompatibilities and also I expected it would consume enormous amounts of CPU (for instance like Minimizer-XP program: http://www.totalidea.com does for putting that small button on each window when changing focus, see below); however, surprisingly it doesn't at all. And another thing is that it also offers a "rollup/rolldown window" feature so that now it replaces Winroll: http://www.palma.com.au/winroll programs for me. Well, there are also four others worth mentioning; as first a HardDriveIndicator program: http://optionalreaction.com/software/hdi from Optionalreaction that monitors current hard-disk's activity (reads/writes) in real-time, then there's TaskSwitchXP Pro: http://www.ntwind.com/software/taskswitchxp.html program from Ntwind Software that is a really advanced "task switcher" (or Ctrl+Alt+Del replacer) and it's basically the same as one of the MS's "Powertoys for Windows XP" (I remember trying that one out back then, but if I recall correctly it was quite a resource hog; especially when switching focus), however, this one is also available in a "non-setup form" (i.e. a .zip archive, and no installation required) and has many more features and configuration options. Then there are a RUNit: http://www.magister-lex.at/RUNit program which is a some sort of shell/start-menu (there is also one similar called program called RKlauncher: http://home.cogeco.ca/~rklauncher), and an OpenAs: http://www.shellcity.net/openas/openas.htm, which is more or less only a sort of extension, but from these I use only TaskSwitchXP Pro.

Another crucial "resident" is the so-called RAM-drive/disk program, particularly the QSoft's one from this: http://www.ramdisk.tk site; for details see the event entry dated "10.10.2005" on the "events4.html" page and the following threads on Ars Technica forums RAM drives and XPArs Technica 12 x 12 pixels icon http://episteme.arstechnica.com/groupee/forums/a/tpc/f/99609816/m/665008855731 and What's the purpose of the "UsrClass.dat" file thread on Ars Technica forums: Ars Technica 12 x 12 pixels icon http://episteme.arstechnica.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/99609816/m/770008085731. Once more, I must say this yet one more time: I really totally love the whole idea of having a portion of RAM reserved for a drive that behaves as a hard-disk. Now I store all the Internet Explorer's cached files on the RAM-drive, i.e. locations of its "Temporary Internet Files", "Cookies" and "History" folders. But anyway, loosing these files (in case of a system crash) is not a problem at all, since its only a cache and these files are meant to be stored only temporary. Otherwise I can always copy them to some safe location before rebooting and then copy them back into the RAM-drive. Then I use it for other programs too; for instance the DNSKong programs I use constantly writes to its log-file and also IPs resolved to host-names to its presets.txt configuration file (it's in a "hosts-file" style/format), then I also use RAM-drive for my Total Commander file-manager's "tcthumbs.db" and "tcthumbs.idb" files (a thumbnail cache files), lately even for its .ini files (which are also often written to) and its treeinfo files "treeinfoC.wc", "treeinfoD.wc", "treeinfoE.wc", "treeinfoF.wc" (for each drive/partition separately) and finally Bginfo's "BGInfo.bmp" graphic; a walpaper with system related information. Therefore I am saving my hard-disk from a lot of additional but especially unnecessary stress, i.e. unnecessary writes to a hard-disk. I even got used to store one of the Firefox's profiles in-there. Additionally I later even got the idea (and realised it already) to move the whole Start Menu directory-tree into the RAM-drive (except for "Programs\Startup\", but I don't use Programs\ branch anyway), since I know for sure that there are lots of hard-disk seeks when browsing through sub-menus; see the "principles.html" page for even more details.

Then there is a Ritlabs's DosNavigator: http://www.ritlabs.com/dn, a 16-bit DOS "Norton Commander" clone "alternative" file-manager (i.e. alternative in a meaning other than the default Windows file-manager Explorer.exe, which is confusingly also the process of the default shell), in fact, it's a DOS shell too, if you start it with autoexec.bat; while for to both kinds of them, nicely GUI-designed, and "text-mode" ones (most of them coded for 32-bit environment, but some are also 16-bit environment based), see the "links.html" page for links to their main-sites. It is interesting to see the "file-management solutions" used in them, for example, I especially recommend a 32-bit file-manager called Fwin32. Next is of course much more important and non-stop used Ghisler's Total Commander file-manager: http://www.ghisler.com, for which I can say without any doubt that it is the most useful programs from all, and I simply couldn't live without it. I also use it's built-in FTP client for uploading 7 variants of my homesite. It implements a totally cool feature to upload files with "lists", i.e. no establishing separate connections to each host, all I need to do is just click on one button and choose which list to upload. Here is a good site with quite a few useful configuration tips: http://digdug.cx/total, and two sites with various plugins/addons here: http://www.totalcmd.net and here: http://clubtotal.free.fr. Anyway, I will list some of its main features, however, for details check the File Manager of your choice thread thread here: Ars Technica 12 x 12 pixels icon http://episteme.arstechnica.com/eve/ubb.x?a=tpc&s=50009562&f=99609816&m=756004786631&r=756004786631.

The main Total Commander's features:

1. drive combobox, drive buttonbar, etc.

2. menus for apps' execution (or folder opening)

3. menus with "directory hotlist" (or "Hotlist facility", i.e. pairs of pre-set dirs)

4. in-built commandline, which supports also in-built commands (like cd, del, xcopy, etc.)

5. folder/directory tabs (also another tab for used dirs)

6. "real" virtual folders (i.e., CLSID Folders, labeled as \\Control Panel\, \\Recycled\, \\Desktop\, and not their "HD-representatives" D:\Recycled\, D:\Documents and Settings\User_Name\Desktop\, etc.)

7. button bar with:

-- a. most used folders

-- b. most used apps (it's preety handy having the button for cmd.exe sitting above, so it's really easy to execute it from any dir in no-time - as current/working dir - also very useful in "cooperation" with commandline from 4)

8. "compare files by content" tool

9. "multi-rename" tool

10. "synchronize dirs" tool

11. "compare files by content" tool

12. advanced search (the most powerful, I've ever seen)

13. hex/binary viewer (called Lister)

14. supports regular expressions

15. supports many plugins

16. built-in FTP client with "Lists upload" feature

17. cable connection through parallel port

18. in-built commandline, which supports also in-built commands (like cd, del, xcopy, etc.)

19. all settings are stored in two .ini files (one for general config, and one for FTP config), therefore keeping the registry clean

20. hot-keys or keyboard-shortcuts for copy/move file-operations (beside many many others); see here for a complete list of them: http://users.volja.net/tayiper/hotkeys.txt (damn the Explorer and its mouse-selection -> right-click -> copy -> right-click -> paste)

21. in-built packers (ZIP, ARJ, LHA, RAR, UC2, ACE, TAR, WCX), viewer, external viewer option, etc.

22. two panes (it's a NC clone, right??)


Then there are various "Support" programs; now located under "General" directory on my computer, while the directory "Support" contains others, like the ones I use from Total Commander's Start Menu, from batch-files, shortcuts (yeah, the "Support" directory also contains command-line programs) and so on. I will begin with a fellow Arsian's ArsClip program: http://www.joejoesoft.com/vcms/97, a clipboard monitoring utility from http://www.joejoesoft.com site, then an Adobe's Acrobat Reader replacement called FoxitReader: http://www.foxitsoftware.com, http://www.foxitsoftware.com/pdf/rd_intro.php from Foxitsotware (if I recall correctly, Acrobat Reader installation is more than 20 MB in size), a DC-projects stats monitoring program DCMonitor (also written by an Arsian): http://devel.bluetentacle.co.uk/dcmonitor/v1 from http://devel.bluetentacle.co.uk site, a well-known and widely-used compact, easy to use image viewer (which can also edit images to produce a variety of effects) called IrfanView: http://www.irfanview.com; this one is also a "must have", a Cac106 or College Alarm Clock application; http://www.geocities.com/vinodtandon/cac, DiskCheckup: http://www.passmark.com, http://www.passmark.com/products/diskcheckup.htm; a programs that reads the SMART attributes (Self Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology) and reports if there seems to be a problem with any of them (if the "state" is not OK), and three other hard-disk info/space-occupation programs, WinDirStat: http://windirstat.sourceforge.net, Werkema's SpaceMonger: http://www.werkema.com/software/spacemonger.html and Scanner: http://www.steffengerlach.de/freeware, http://www.steffengerlach.de/freeware/scn2.zip. Then there are two ID-utilities, as first Aida32: http://www.aida32.hu/aida32.php, http://www.majorgeeks.com/download181.html; which is the best one in my opinion; however, it's not developed anymore (its successor is Everest: http://www.lavalys.com; however, it is not a "non-setup" programs anymore), PC Wizard 2005: http://www.cpuid.com/pcw

Then is the Ciphrtxt: http://www.roadkil.net from Roadkil.net that encrypts optional texts (password protected of course), LockNote: http://locknote.steganos.com, http://sourceforge.net/projects/locknote, which saves the encrypted text into an .exe file itself, and thus makes it "portable" (i.e. there is no need for this program to be residing on other computers, the user just needs a password to see the contents), and a similar but much smaller in-size fSekrit: http://www.donationcoder.com/Software/Other/fSekrit program, also a non-setup application which same as LockNote "generates" portable .exes that contain encrypted text, however, it is totally smaller in size (fSekrit's 39.0 KB compare to LockNote's 296 KB), and there are few other advantages too, further, a Password SafePwsafe or shortly Pwsafe: http://passwordsafe.sourceforge.net, a programs which allows users to store all passwords in a single "safe," or password database or to create multiple databases for different purposes, while each database is independent of the programs and can be moved and used on different systems, and another similar "password database" program called KeePass: http://keepass.sourceforge.net, which I don't use. Then Mp3Gain: http://mp3gain.sourceforge.net, a programs that analyzes mp3 files to determine how loud they sound to the human ear; it can then adjust the mp3 files so that they all have the same loudness without any quality loss (this way, one doesn't have to keep reaching for the volume every time it switches to a new song), then a Notepad++: http://notepad-plus.sourceforge.net text-editor (however, I use EditPadLite, see below), and a Hexplorer: http://hexplorer.sourceforge.net, http://artemis.wszib.edu.pl/~mdudek (also called "ICY Hexplorer") hex-editor program. Next is HTMLOptim program: http://meesoft.logicnet.dk/HTMLOptim from Meesoft site: http://meesoft.logicnet.dk, http://meesoft.com, which I use to optimize my HTML documents with it (program is described in details on "events3.html" page, the "9.7.2005" entry); it removes unnecessary spaces, characters, new-line characters, tabulation symbols, double space symbols, tags (tag parameters quotation-marks), HTML comments and possibly also LF symbols, CR symbols (if such symbols exist), further, the Enabler program: http://www.securitysoftware.cc/Programs/Enabler.exe from Securitysoftware site: http://www.securitysoftware.cc (see also for a Sustain command-line programs on "cmdline.html" page); a tool that might be totally useful because it doesn't show processes in a manner Windows Task Manager does, but it shows windows (even hidden ones) and controls (dialogs, buttons etc.) that "runs" in a dedicated processes, a CacheSet program: http://www.sysinternals.com/Utilities/CacheSet.html from Sysinternals site: http://www.sysinternals.com (see below for Pagedfrg and also "cmdline.html" and "security.html" pages for other programs from Sysinternals); a programs that allows you to manipulate and performance tune the working-set parameters of the system file cache; changes have an immediate effect on the size of the cache, then a recently discovered XP_PageFileMon program: http://www.dougknox.com/xp/utils/xp_pagefilemon.htm, a programs that queries the current/peak pagefile usage, and I made a batch file to monitor the pagefile usage, so that XP_PageFileMon checks the usage on specified intervals, writes the results to the log and exits without user intervention (I've set the interval time with the Doze program, see "cmdline.html" page); I found XP_PageFileMon mentioned on this site: http://aumha.org/win5/a/xpvm.htm, and finally the Xteq's XFind program: http://www.xteq.com/products/xfnd/index.html, http://www.xteq.com/downloads/xq-xfind.zip from XTeq that enables you to search through .doc and .txt files for words/strings without actually opening them.

Next are various "Internet" supported programs; my p2p-sharing programs called Soulseek: http://www.slsknet.org, http://stereodeluxe.spymac.net, http://membres.lycos.fr/stereodeluxe, http://testic.demon.co.uk/Soulseek%20Clients, http://www.bitspider.com/main.html, http://threetwosevensixseven.blogspot.com/2004/12/soulseek-chatreader.html; although it's originally a "setup-required" one, it's only a .zip archive made self-executable so I can easily extract the files and use it as a "non-setup" program. Slsk is NOT a multi source p2p programs meaining that you always download only from one user. Also I like that compare to Kazaa which downloads .dat files named randomly, i.e. "random_string.dat", Slsk downloads normal .mp3, .mpg etc. files, with addition of the word "INCOMPLETE~" in front of a file, i.e. "INCOMPLETE~song_title.mp3", "INCOMPLETE~movie_title.mpg" etc. Anyway, in regard to programs usage/purpose; I really hope it doesn't require further explanation, and another p2p one called DC++: http://dcplusplus.sourceforge.net, which I don't use, but it is fairly good and popular, then a WackGet program: http://millweed.com/projects/wackget, a download manager that enables you to resume aborted/interrupted downloads, an IRC chatting client HydraIRC: http://www.hydrairc.com and another web-browser Off By One or shortly Offby1: http://offbyone.com/offbyone that uses an independent Webster's browser control (doesn't need an installed browser to work; it depends only on OS libraries): http://www.HomePageSW.com (see the article on Wikipedia that I helped editing: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Off_By_One), while I am using it as my "supplemental" browser, i.e. obviously it is meant for as private surfing as possible by default because of all the missing features (Javascript/ActiveX support) compare to other browsers, but especially because of the way of caching ("only memory-resident caching"), so nothing is stored on disk at all. Taken from the program's website: How are pages, images and cookies cached? "The page cache and image cache are memory-resident and utilize no disk storage, so they disappear without a trace at the end of a browsing session. Persistent HTTP cookies are stored across sessions in the file HPSW.CKI, which may be safely deleted between sessions for maximum privacy." Further, a CacheSentry program: http://www.enigmaticsoftware.com/cachesentry/index.html from Enigmaticsoftware: http://www.enigmaticsoftware.com which fixes serious bugs in the Internet Explorer cache manager. This programs basically takes over the job of managing the cache from Internet Explorer, and the result is your web browsing session will be more enjoyable. CacheSentry isn't like those "web acceleration" programs that hook into IE and attempt to make guesses about your browsing habits. CacheSentry simply does a better job of removing files from the cache, and fixes a few other bugs present in most versions of Internet Explorer. In addition to fixing bugs, CacheSentry also reports some useful information to you, such as the true location of a cache folder, the current amount of space cached files are using and information about the volume in which the cache folder is kept. I alos use another Enigmaticsoftware's programs called CacheMonitor: http://www.enigmaticsoftware.com/cachemonitor/index.html that lists cache entries in details so you might check it out too; it lists entries in 14 columns from "Expire /timedate", "Flags", "URL" and "Local file" to "HTTP Response header" and so on. The latest versions of CacheSentry also remove Cookie files that haven't been used for months. Next is a Radsoft's CIP program: http://www.radsoft.net/gallery/cip, http://www.download.com/CIP/3000-2381_4-5547183.html, an extremely fast IP checker, capable of handling nearly 30 URLs per second; which is much faster than your browser or other comparative products currently available. It process the "hosts" file, used by browsers and other Internet enabled programs, to locate URLs on the Internet. As the IP for each URL must be resolved before it can be accessed, having a local cache of IP addresses can save you considerable time online, while you can also "redirect" dangerous IPs to "localhost", i.e. to your own computer. Then I also used a software proxy programs called Proximitron: http://www.proxomitron.info, http://www.proxomitron.info/files/index.shtml (Naoko Proximitron, the last/final 4.5-j release) for quite some time; particularly I used it so that it run in/with one of Firefox's profiles, but more or less I don't use it anymore, because I simply have nothing to hide (or at least not much), and also I don't do anything illegal when I am online. It's a local filtering software proxy and it offers also the "remote proxy" feature so that when you connect to some site, you are actually connecting "through" some other IP address. Anyway, but then I discovered that I actually don't need it; it's only useful for paraniod people. Then an only 81 KB in-size K9 anti-spam program: http://www.keir.net/k9.html from Keir software. K9 is an anti-spam application that "sits" between servers and an e-mail client; so it's not the type that only checks the servers for spam (however, it can also do that), but "ignores" the e-mail client. I use it with Mozilla Thunderbird, and well, it's also available in the "non-setup" form, i.e. a .zip archive, no installation procedure required. Yeah, I know that this might sound strange, but that was the main reason for trying it in the first place. And finally in this section, two also very important there are my main two "non-setup" security related programs (both from Pyrenean); first a DNSKong (the article that I wrote for Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DNSKong); a so-called personal caching/filtering "psuedo-DNS server" and another Pyrenean's programs called eDexter (it offers an "Auto Pac" feature); a programs used to replace those empty boxes that occur when you use the Hosts file to block ads. This is the main author's site here: http://www.pyrenean.com, the DNSKong's dedicated page here: http://www.pyrenean.com/?page_value=-1 and its "third-party" support site here: http://accs-net.com/hosts/DNSKong.html, and here is the eDexter's dedicated page: http://www.pyrenean.com/?page_value=-2. Then there are also two other related sites worth mentioning, see these: http://www.accs-net.com/hosts three: http://www.pyrenean.com/inetprivacy.php sites: http://accs-net.com/hosts/eDexter.html. They are both programs that run as a local-only HTTP servers, and they are both available also in the "no-setup" form.


As far as making the registry as compact as possible, and registry hives and system files defragmented to minimal number of fragments (contiguous), there are two FREE and "non-setup" programs that do this job perfectly, ehm, actually they work somehow in cooperation one with another. One programs is called Ntregopt from Larshederer homepage: http://www.larshederer.homepage.t-online.de, http://www.larshederer.homepage.t-online.de/erunt/index.htm which optimizes the registry hives, i.e. it recreates each registry hive "from scratch", so therefore you need to run it just before rebooting; I got used to clean the registry with Reg1Aid, Ad-aware, SpyBot or CCleaner before executing Ntregopt and the registry optimization, for registry-files to be as small as posible before processing them. for the registry to be as small as posible before optimizing it. And while your are at the Larshederer's site, also check the Erunt program. It's a programs used to backup the registry, while I especially like its sub-program Autoback contained in the same .zip archive as Ntregopt and Erunt; for a more detailed description of both programs see the page "events1.html", the 14.3.2005 entry. Erunt and Autoback are command-line programs and both are very handy to backup the registry on/after boots (I do it with a batch file so that there's no interaction at all), i.e. I've put the shortcut to that batch file into %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Start Menu\Programs\Startup\ directory so that it backups registry nomather with which account one logs-on. The other one is called Pagedfrg from Sysinternals site: http://www.sysinternals.com/Utilities/PageDefrag.html, but this one doesn't optimize the structure of registry hives, it's in fact capable of defragmenting them. Additionally, it also defragments the pagefile and services' logfiles (three files with .evt extension), and also it is run after booting, i.e. just before the "pre-logon" screen after chkdsk finishes checking the disk (of course if it was set to do so), so it is run in a manner, that if I re-structured my registry hives with Ntregopt before rebooting computer, they are defragmented when still being "fresh" on the next boot.

Further, for an "on-demand" defragmentation, I use the Contig command-line program: http://www.sysinternals.com/Utilities/Contig.html from Sysinternals site (see the page "cmdline.html" for more details), which first analyzes the current file/folder fragmentation and then allows user to defragment a single file (it's first programs that I've seen to offer that), or defragment multiple files; of course, it is also directory recursive. It can also make "pre-contiguous" empty files with fixed/choosen size (with unlimited lenght), i.e. so that the files are defragmented before used for the first time and before containing any data/before being written to. Defragmentation is the process of moving portions of files around on a disk to defragment files, i.e. this means basically moving the file clusters on a disk to make them contiguous. Did you know that defragmenting ~500 MB of Temporary Internet Files, "index.dat" files and various other junk files is a waste of time and you should clean up your hard-disk (i.e. remove/delete the mentioned files) before attempting to perform a disk defragmentation?? Anyway, the fragmentation occurs like this: when a file is written to a disk, the file cannot be written in contiguous clusters. Non-contiguous clusters therefore slow down the process of reading and writing a file. The further apart on a disk the noncontiguous clusters are (and to the more fragments these files are splitted), the worse the issue, because of the time it takes to move the read/write head of a hard drive (this is called "seeking"), however, most of the I/O hard-disk access is random and not sequential. So for example, if first the block 1 and then block 20 are read, it doesn't matter if the file is sequential, i.e. the hard-disk will have to seek anyway. And most I/O is of that nature with major exception being large data files like huge mp3s, movies etc.

And there is also another "on-demand" defragmentation command-line programs that I use called Dirms: http://www.dirms.com/home/docs/dirms1.asp available on the DIRMS - Do It Right MicroSoft site: http://www.dirms.com, which is also an "on-demand" type of defragmentation program; it first performs a free space evaluation, then defragment and/or optionally move the files to the front of the drive (optionally according to the file-modification dates), and additionally it can also compact them, i.e. minimize the space between the files. However, for an "on-the-fly defragmentation" of common files (I mean files that are not locked by the system during runtime), I use the Buzzsaw program: http://www.dirms.com/home/docs/buzzsaw.asp (from the same site/author as Dirms; btw. both programs just make use of common Win32 APIs and there is no way for them to corrupt your hard-disk, i.e. the defrag API would simply not allow this to happen), which is a defragmentation programs that runs at the idle priority (it's a lowest priority available), so that one can continue with other work without Buzzsaw using valuable CPU time. Buzzsaw watches the drive/drives for any modified files (the drive must be NTFS-formatted), and it also monitors the hard-disk usage level. It waits 60 seconds before attempting to defragment a newly fragmented file (before any defragmentation begins), and additionally, the version 2.0 decreases I/O issues by only defragmenting when the disk is greater than 95% idle, i.e. it doesn't defragment the file/files till the hard-disk usage is less than 5% for some time. But although I use the "on-the-fly" defragmentation programs mentioned in the above paragraph, I do other defragmenting with the the two "on-demand" defragmentation programs. I usually perform this with the "Run" dialog-box (I have templates of commands pre-prepared, or just use the history drop-down box), from my Total Commander: http://www.ghisler.com file-manager's in-built command-line, or with the use of batch files. All the three possible ways are very quick and easy to perform, compare to defragmenting the whole drive/partition with the Windows defrag. Yet I need to decide/discover which one is actually the fasters/easiest to execute. Also note that I was used to running Buzzsaw over night (for it to defragment my hard-disk's D:\ drive), but lately I rather shut it down since it would only defragment Prime95 program's files, which are only the backups of the results generated every two hours and not "actively used" as in for instance in the FAH's case. And maybe a bit related, that's one of the reasons why I also exit MouseTracker application (I certainly don't use my mouse when I am sleeping), since it "generates" CPU spikes (up to 0.50% of CPU) every 10 seconds or so, however, it's it true that I leave all the other 0.00% of CPU consuming programs running, at least if they are at 0.00% when computer is not actively used by me. Of course, this all applies when I am going to sleep or out for a long time, i.e. obviously I don't exit programs just like that all the time.

And now I can say than in all that time I have tried so many applications, and so I've already chosen the most reliable/stable ones. And it was like some kind of "process of developing my minimalistic approach" (during that still-going-on period of getting my computing knowledge and skills), for example, there was this "all-in-one" system utility System Mechanic from Iolo: http://www.iolo.com, http://www.iolo.com/sm, http://www.iolo.com/sm/6/index.cfm; a 2-3 MB in lenght program, which I've used for such system-maintaining jobs/tasks for quite some time. I've especially used its "shredder" function (to overwrite files, they call it "Incinerator"), and Cookies and Temporary files deletion feature. And guess what??!

In case of "file shredding":

I fully replaced it with only 60 KB in-lengh SDelete: http://www.sysinternals.com/Utilities/SDelete.html command-line application from Sysinternals: http://www.sysinternals.com which is actually much more powerful than System Mechanic's "Incinerator" feature.

Cookies and Temporary files:

I rather got used to write batch files to do the very same job, or before that, I've sucessfully replaced it with more efficient and smaller application, and above all - now one huge, and "deeply-integrated" application is less on my system, and after all also 3 megs of disk-space are freed.

And there are many, many similar cases. Another example was the Boot Switcher application: http://www.angelfire.com/wizard2/hkeylocal/boot.htm, http://www.angelfire.com/wizard2/hkeylocal/boot2.htm, http://www.softpedia.com/get/System/Boot-Manager-Disk/Boot-Switcher.shtml from Pantaray software Systems, and I used it to set boot from my Windows 98/SE to Windows XP and reverse. I mean, if you have two Windows OSs installed, on booting, this "List of operating systems" is displayed for number of seconds, choosen in Control Panel's System applet (see below), and this application enabled this feature, to not display this list, but to boot directly to pre-choosen OS (I actually see now, this also can be set under Control Panel's System applet). But the "problem" is/was, it was the kind of software, that was needed to run all the time (i.e., running as process, being a so-called "resident" application), and again, guess what happened?? I discovered lately this 9 KB in-lenght Rebooter application: http://dana.ucc.nau.edu/~tsr22/apps/#rebooter from bCheck's homesite: http://dana.ucc.nau.edu/~tsr22/apps, and replaced the Boot Switcher application with it. Because if I compare the Rebooter to Boot Switcher in general; Rebooter is a "non-setup" programs and again, much less disk-space consuming. And additionally, it doesn't need to run as a resident at all. And so again, one resident-running (and being resident completely unnecessarily), more or less "deeply-integrated" application less on my system and 1 MB of disk-space freed.

I actually discovered afterwards, that all these OS-boot options could be all set also under:

Control Panel -- System -- Advanced -- Startup and Recovery -- Settings -- System Startup

But it is somehow too much time-consuming to go to this Control Panel applet each time when you want to set/change the boot-options. So with Rebooter programs you just execute it (when you need to set boot options), click on the specific OS to which you want to boot to next time.


/NOTE: The section with my favorite "setup" programs is planned for the next site-update. I was so in hurry, that I couldn't finish it. So until then, I will only list the links of these programs without any further description. First, an anti-virus programs AntiVir: http://www.free-av.com (see the page "security.html" for a full description); it's the anti-virus programs that I currently use and will use it also in future, then DriveImageXML: http://www.runtime.org/dixml.htm, http://www.runtime.org/peb.htm (see also: http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/programs/sa/support/winpe.asp and http://www.nu2.nu/pebuilder), Daemon-tools: http://www.daemon-tools.cc, http://www.daemon-tools.cc/dtcc/portal/download.php, Firefox Preloader: https://sourceforge.net/projects/ffpreloader, http://matt.sixxgate.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=92, Cryptainer PE: http://www.cypherix.com, http://www.cypherix.co.uk, http://www.cypherix.com/cryptainerpe/index.htm, http://www.cypherix.com/prods.htm, http://www.cypherix.com/sitemap.htm, http://www.cypherix.com/downloads.htm, http://www.cypherix.com/reviews.htm, CCleaner: http://www.ccleaner.com, CheetahBurner: http://www.cheetahburner.com, http://www.cheetahburner.com/free.html (or, if that link doesn't work), Motherboard Monitor 5: http://mbm.livewiredev.com, CPU Eat n Cool: http://www.stepwiki.com, http://www.stepwiki.com/view/Projects/CpuEnC, http://www.stepwiki.com/view/Projects/CpuEnCDownload; a programs that doesn't call HLT function/instruction like CPU coolers on 9x systems (because NT-based operating-systems have it already built-in), but it cools normally or over working CPU, taking his functions slowly "off" one by one, and because of this, it's just ideal for laptops in particular (i.e. the problems with laptops and high temperatures) and in various "critical" cases; for instance if the fan stops working, and you are not by computer etc. In fact, I have found it very useful to use CPU Eat 'n' Cool in a cooperation with a MBM5 programs program (see above for the link), so I have a suggestion/tip for everybody; it's a bit modified post of mine from MBM5 forum's FAQ page. The topic title is Tips from MBM users, see this link here: http://www.livewiredev.com/bbs/showthread.php?s=005c60d859bc0e217fcf1894237ced83&threadid=2764 (the post number three, my nick is also "satyr")

- when the temperature exceeds 41 C, MBM5 runs CPU Eat 'n' Cool, and turn it off, when it's back to 38 C

- when/if the temperature exceeds 51 C, MBM5 runs a "shutdown.bat" batch file, with a command-line command: shutdown -s (shutdown the local computer), or shutdown -f (which additionally also forces any running applications to close before the shutdown)

I need to add also this, but probably you all know it since it's logical; in the summer you change the Launcher's temperature settings to be 3-5 C higher than during the winter.

/EDIT: I've discovered lately that in my particular case (an old house, massive walls etc.), the CPU, mobo and case temperatures are in fact higher in the winter than in the summer; as opposed what I've wrote in the MBM5 forum's FAQ page few years back (see the link above)

And maybe to add also this; the CPU Eat 'n' Cool programs is designed to somehow "cooperate" with MBM5, meaning that it reads MBM5 sensor's readings even if MBM5 is NOT currently running and even if MBM5 is NOT running and is NOT in the memory anymore (was running but now not anymore)

then the EditPad Lite program: http://www.editpadlite.com, http://www.editpadlite.com/editpadlite.html, http://www.editpadpro.com/editpadlite.html, http://download.jgsoft.com/editpad/SetupEditPadLite.exe from the JGsoft site (there are also a Pro: http://www.editpadpro.com and Classic: http://www.editpadlite.com/editpadclassic.html versions available), with which I created my site and now regulary modify/update the site's documents. It's a really useful "multi documents" text editor programs with a powerful Search and Replace function (and many other features), I doubt that without it this site would even exist; at least not in the current form. Similarly to Soulseek programs mentioned above, this one is also originally a "setup-required" program, however, it's only a .zip archive made self-executable so I can easily extract the executable and use it as a "non-setup" program. For validating HTML documents locally/offline, the HTML-CSE-Validator: http://www.htmlvalidator.com programs is perfect for that job. Then there are Mozilla's: http://www.mozilla.org, https://update.mozilla.org well-known and popular web-browser Firefox: http://www.mozilla.org/products/firefox, and an e-mail client Thunderbird: http://www.mozilla.org/products/thunderbird; for a detailed description of Firefox and Thunderbird see the page "security.html", further, a stream downloader called HiDownload: http://www.streamingstar.com, then two indispensibles; first a hard-disk recovery programs PCInspector: http://www.pcinspector.de with which I once managed to get most of my data back from a totally corrupted/screwed partition, see the I ACTUALLY DID IT ... I rescued the data from a totally screwed disk !!Ars Technica 16 x 16 pixels icon http://episteme.arstechnica.com/eve/ubb.x/a/tpc/f/99609816/m/758006059631 thread on Ars Technica, http://www.pcinspector.de/file_recovery/UK/welcome.htm, and Registry First Aid: http://www.registry-first-aid.com, http://www.RoseCitySoftware.com/Reg1Aid (for a full description see the page "principles.html"; particularly the "THE NON-SETUPS PRINCIPLE"), DUMeter: http://www.dumeter.com, http://www.RoseCitySoftware.com/DUMeter, FireLogXP or ICFAnalyser from 2brightsparks: http://www.2brightsparks.com/downloads.html, http://www.2brightsparks.com/freeware/freeware-hub.html#4, http://www.2brightsparks.com/assets/software/FireLogXP_Setup.zip, SpywareBlaster: http://www.javacoolsoftware.com, http://www.javacoolsoftware.com/spywareblaster.html, YPOPs: http://yahoopops.sourceforge.net, http://dbeusee.home.comcast.net, http://www.anujseth.com, http://daniel.bryg.net/yahoopops.php, http://home.nyc.rr.com/bryg/yahoopops, http://shyam.freewebpages.org

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