Sunday, March 30, 2008

Two free utilities to enhance your productivity

Yesterday, I installed two utilities that have already helped me increase my productivity. Both are Windows applications.

Windows Search 4.0 Preview
The first is a search tool for Windows XP and Vista that indexes your desktop and tells you in a flash which character string exists in which file. I'm quite impressed with it – not as bulky as Google Desktop or any of the other index-your-desktop-and-search software that take up a lot of space. It is a new tool meant for Windows Vista but can also be used on Windows XP. These are the versions supported according to the link provided:
32-bit versions of Windows Vista with Service Pack 1 (SP1)
All 64-bit versions of Windows Vista with SP1
32-bit versions of Windows XP with Service Pack 2 (SP2) or a later version
All 64-bit versions of Windows XP
Windows Server 2003 with SP2
All 64-bit versions of Windows Server 2003
Windows Server 2008
Windows Home Server

Just yesterday evening, a client asked for clarifications on some phrases of a project with a large number of files I had translated. I launched this utility with which I had already indexed my data folder containing all the translated data files. See for yourself here the results of a search for a phrase that appeared almost instantaneously:

The list of files containing the Japanese string appeared in less than 2 seconds; the preview window on the right however, did take several seconds before displaying the file. The download for the 32-bit Windows XP version weighed in at only about 5.3 MB. It appears to be an exciting tool to play with and search for all kinds of information from your desktop. Search for passwords that you use sometimes - you'll be surprised at the results. Definitely a keeper!

Utility for updating applications on your desktop
The Free Update Checker from scans your desktop for updates to download and also provides the links from where you can conveniently download them and keep your PC running smoothly; it also gives a list of beta updates! The Update checker is only 100 kb and works very fast. Note, however, that although it works on any Windows PC running Vista, XP, 2003, 2000, ME or 98, it requires that the Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 be installed. Here's what it showed me when I installed and ran it:

The arrows on the right indicate the sizes of files to be downloaded and also serve as links.

Have a great weekend!

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