Windows software of the day [April 7th, 2012]

Windows has hundreds of thousands of programs. Because of this great volume and lack of a central store, software discovery (aka finding new and useful programs) is extremely difficult. With our Windows Software of the Day initiative, dotTech aims to change that. Everyday we post three programs, allowing our readers to discover new software, daily. Enjoy! [Subscribe to our Windows section to never miss an article: RSS Feed | E-mail]

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Software for April 7th, 2012

Restarter

Your important program has just crashed. At 2am. You don’t get back til 8am and you need it to continue running. What do you do?

If you had Restarter installed, your program could’ve come right back up and continued to run. While Restarter won’t save program’s active states, a lot of programs are intelligent enough to recover once restarted, and it’s better than nothing.

It can also help when an application simply freezes. By restarting them when they’re frozen, you can ensure maximum uptime and usability. It’s great for both servers and things that tend to freeze a lot, like Firefox. (Cough cough.)

Price: Free!

Version discovered: v1

Supported OS: Windows 2000 and newer with .NET 2.0+

Download size: 363KB installer | 86.1KB portable

Malware scan: Installer 0/43 | portable 0/42

Restarter homepage

FileTypesMan

Windows is great in that it allows you to add default programs to open various filetypes, but its interface is downright terrible. It’s split into two sections, one for applications and one for filetypes–and it insists on reloading the list frequently. Instead of using Windows’ built-in tool, however, you can use the speedy, easy-to-use FileTypesMan.

With FileTypesMan, you can not only set the default program for a specific type, you can edit various context menu entries and change their caption and command to execute.

If you’ve got an unwieldy amount of file extensions to deal with but still want to change the filetype information, FileTypesMan is a great little tool to use.

Price: Free!

Version discovered: v1.61

Supported OS: Windows 98 and newer

Download size: 58.7Kb x86 | 81.3KB x64

Malware scan:  x86 0/43 | x64 0/43

FileTypesMan homepage

Famulus

A lot of application launchers are giant suites of things that take up megabytes of disk space and terrabytes of RAM all while sucking down a CPU cycle cocktail. Famulus isn’t like that: it’s a lightweight, superfast launcher bent on custom commands rather than as a general application launcher.

Famulus lets you run either custom commands or even Command Prompt commands. For instance, I can open dotTech by either creating a custom command to open http://dottech.org when I enter dotTech, or I can enter @http://dottech.org to run it in Command Prompt.

Famulus is a great little launcher, and it’s one I can really see myself using in the future. It’s not only free and tiny, it’s lightweight and super customizable — just how I like my apps.

Price: Free!

Version discovered: v1.00.3b

Supported OS: Windows 2000 and newer

Download size: 665KB

Malware scan: VirusTotal scan results 0/42

Famulus homepage

dotTechies: We have tested all the software listed above. However, Windows Software of the Day articles are not intended as “reviews” but rather as “heads-up” to help you discover new programs. Always use your best judgement when downloading programs, such as trying trial/free versions before purchasing shareware programs, if applicable.

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12 comments

  1. PapyLuc

    Launchers, Famulus, Autohotkey…

    For those familiar with AutoHotKey :
    In the help file (Autohotkey.chm) doing research : Search > dyn1

    Then you will find a script you can easily customize !

    (ToolTip Mouse Menu (requires XP/2k/NT) — by Rajat
    This script displays a popup menu in response to briefly holding down the middle mouse button. Select a menu item by left-clicking it. Cancel the menu by left-clicking outside of it. A recent improvement is that the contents of the menu can change depending on which type of window is active (Notepad and Word are used as examples here).

    Au revoir.

  2. Locutus
    Author/

    @Mr.Dave: Yeah, that’s the downside of using a free host — the required use of their tools and the lack of space to upload to. However, the download itself is clean and when I had an issue with the software the developer was prompt and helpful — very nice :)

  3. Mr.Dave

    @Locutus: Thanks, Locutus. I checked again… When I go to the http://crzyinc.weebly.com/famulus.html page, NoScript says it wants me to allow weebly.com. So it was weebly.com that I checked. But, I was able to go to the download page and download the file without enabling any scripts from weebly.com. Had to allow one from mediafire.com, a site that also raises flags with Google’s Save Browsing diagnostic, but not quite so many…. I did download Famulus and will give it a shot, it looks helpful!

  4. Mr.Dave

    I went to the Famulus home page but used NoSript (Firefox add-on) to check the site before downloading it. Here’s what it reports from Google Safe Browsing diagnostics:
    ——————-
    What happened when Google visited this site?

    Of the 13440 pages we tested on the site over the past 90 days, 29 page(s) resulted in malicious software being downloaded and installed without user consent. The last time Google visited this site was on 2012-04-07, and the last time suspicious content was found on this site was on 2012-04-07.

    Malicious software includes 502 trojan(s), 124 virus, 40 exploit(s). Successful infection resulted in an average of 1 new process(es) on the target machine.
    ——————-
    Does anyone know if this is due to using AutoHotKey as the program environment? Or is this site something to avoid?

  5. Mike

    Following up on Greg’s thought:

    — Could the programs being highlighted in the software of the day column be listed in the dotTech page 1 blurb, and with a short description–even just a parenthetical, such as “(Notification area favorite sites and program launcher)”? This would be much more informative and helpful than the placeholder paragraph currently being used on page 1.

    — Given the wealth of information being collected, is an index to the collection being kept by utility name and, ideally, a short description (such as the parenthetical noted above), and can it be made available for reference? Now is the perfect time to start, and keeping it up daily would be easy enough at this point (rather than compiling it later). And it beats searching through weeks, or more, of columns to find that utility you remember but didn’t download at the time (as I just did!).

    And, of course, thanks for the efforts and columns–a super idea! I sense the need for more computer storage space . . . . ;^)

  6. greg

    thanks for the listing. wondering if could do a teaser on email page so want have to click on link to see what is the new prog or just put the on the email page to start.

    thanks for work done.

  7. PapyLuc

    About “FAMULUS”,

    Very nice program. I knew about ” Famulus ” but I had not yet tested. Now it’s done.

    Note also, the beautiful French translation of the help file with ” GOOGLE “ :
    “…to edit an existing command simply click on it in the list, make any desired changes, and click the save button….”
    >>> http://crzyinc.weebly.com/famulus-help.html >>>
    “…Pour modifier une commande existante, cliquez simplement sur dans la liste, apportez les modifications souhaitées, puis cliquez sur le bouton Enregistrer…”

    Thank you all.

  8. RobCr

    Thanks for the time and effort for providing these ‘Heads Ups’
    When some of us are teetering ( Should I or Shouldn’t I ), on whether to try some of the programs, it might be a swaying point to know if they are ‘No Install’

    Thanks,
    Rob