Windows software of the day [May 27, 2012]

Today’s Software

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About Windows Software of the Day

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 May 27, 2012

FastUnzip Snack

Unzipping is a chore in every version of Windows. Windows 7 made it easier, with its easy-to-use built-in ZIP support in Windows Explorer. However, it’s still not fast enough if you’re constantly dealing with ZIP files. FastUnzip Snack is: double click to unzip.

FastUnzip Snack works by becoming your default ZIP/RAR/7z/TAR/CAB handler. When you open one of these files, it automatically extracts it to a folder of the same name, just like every other program does. The difference is that FUS has no fancy settings to play with and no fancy Confirm? button to push. You open the file and it’s unzipped.

I just started using FastUnzip Snack and already it’s more than paid off to have it installed. It’s a tiny program, weighing in at under 2MB, and it makes using portable software a breeze. You click the download link, you click the download notification, you open the program, and you’re done. It makes archives downright easy to use!

Price: Free!

Version discovered: unknown

Supported OS: Windows unknown

Download size: 1.2MB

VirusTotal malware scan results: 0/42

Portability: Requires installation

FastUnzip Snack homepage

Windows 7 Aero Blur Tweaker

Dislike the blur part of Aero? Lucky for you, it’s extremely easy to disable with this one-click, one-use program from Door2Windows. To turn off the blur, just click Hide Blur: your windows will all get transparent borders. To turn it back on, just re-open W7ABT and click Show Blur. Like magic, your windows will lose their fully transparent borders and regain the slight blur in the background.

That’s truly all there is to Windows 7 Aero Blur Tweaker. It’s almost beautiful in its simplicity.

Price: Free!

Version discovered: unknown

Supported OS: Windows 7

Download size: 423KB

VirusTotal malware scan results: 0/43

Portability: No installation required

Windows 7 Aero Blur Tweaker homepage

Logon Changer for Windows 7

The default Windows 7 login screen can get a little…. boring. However, with twenty seconds and a portable application, you can change it. When you’re done, you can have a graceful waterfall, a picture of your grandchildren, or a pepperoni pizza as your login background.

Logon Changer for Windows 7 is as simple as it gets. It changes the login screen’s background through a series of registry changes originally intended for manufacturers to include their own custom backgrounds and lets you automatically resize any picture to fit the screen. It’s really as easy as dragging and dropping your desired picture onto the changer and clicking OK.

If you’ve been looking for a newer, more interesting login background picture, try Logon Changer for Windows 7. It’s easy and free!

Price: Free!

Version discovered: v1.2

Supported OS: 

Download size: 243KB

VirusTotal malware scan results: 0/42

Portability: No installation required

Logon Changer for Windows 7 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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15 comments

  1. Kyle

    @RobCr:
    Thanks, that is good advice and i already am following it to some extent: I’ve moved the document folders to a separate partition where i also have my “download” folder. Plus i use FreeCommander XE as my Windows Explorer replacement which, like the one you use, also allows tabs and it has separate navigational panes (each with their own folder tree). My preference, largely due to laziness, is simply not to have to create and name a folder myself. Since the zips i download are usually named the way i want for the folder, or similar to it, i just adjust the zip name if needed and then extract it to a subfolder, and after that use shortcut keys to move that folder to a directory in the other panel.

  2. RobCr

    @Swim:
    Regarding your post, the author of the program attempted a reply, but has not got through yet.
    Here is what he wished to reply to you –
    “Also, I tried to reply a comment on dottech, (the one from Swim) explaining that no registration is used/needed and can just be downloaded and use either here or my site”

    Rob
    PS I posted my mumblings in the authors Donation Coder forum.
    It appears that either Locutus got it wrong, or I am misunderstanding what Locutus wrote.
    Apparently it does not create a folder out of thin air. It just extracts it’s contents in the same folder as the zip (the way god intended).
    PPS I just read page one of that thread, and apparently Locutus got it right, as it does appear to create a sub folder with the same name as the zip. (Unless someone beat it out if the author, in subsequent posts on that thread. I am reading more of the thread now.)

  3. howard

    @Ashraf:

    Good Morning, when i go to the url you listed, the “obvious” download is:
    ADL Uncompressor. i don’t want it!

    following your kind admonishment, i find under the second image on the page, entitled: How To Show Blur: a blank or semi blank rectangle, clicking it took me to the tweaker zip. which downloads, installs etc. so thank you.

    BUT, again, when you open: doors2windows, the ‘sucker’ download [ADL Uncompressor], appears to be the product discussed by virtue that it is the only apparent download on the screen – please warn us of these “sucker” adds, when getting to what Wotd recommends. thank you. howard

  4. RobCr

    @Kyle:
    PS
    I tend to accumualte lots of things in my flat, and it is a very small flat, so finding things can be a nightmare. Also I sleep weird hours
    I saw a documentary recently, and they visited a russian couple.
    The husband was very much like me.
    So there he is wandering (dithering) around his house late at night, and his wife yells out from the bedroom “REGULATE YOURSELF”.
    It might be because it is so close to home, but every time I recall it, I have a chuckle.
    If you won’t be offended, can I say –
    “REGULATE YOURSELF”

  5. RobCr

    @Kyle:
    If you held a loaded shotgun to my head, I would never be unzipping files in my Downloads folder
    If you look back to discussions on File Managers, I discuss XYPlorerFree which has Tabs.
    You can lock one Tab to your Downloads folder, and you can have that tab sorted by date.
    The downloads can accumulate in there till the cows come home.
    When you are ready to move files from there, you will find that all the sets are together.
    EG a .mht saved web page, and a zip you downloaded at the same time.
    You open up another tab, and navigate to the target folder,
    You then highlight the set of files in the Downloads folder, and drag them to the target Tab, and let go.
    Once you are in there to unzip, there is no need for that flippin sub folder to be created..
    Rob
    PS Don’t use the Downloads folder (or any of the folders) in Documents and Settings
    Create C:\Downloads instead, and train all your programs to use that.

  6. howard

    when i go to: [Windows 7 Aero Blur Tweaker homepage] or:
    http://www.door2windows.com/windows-7-aero-blur-tweaker-hideshow-aero-blur-in-windows-7/

    all i can find is something called Download Manager; which when i download and install appears to be a downloading program – not what i am expecting! AND IT TRIES TO DOWNLOAD AND INSTALL ALL SORTS OF ___P!
    warn us if we are getting extra bull___t!

    I’m disappointed with your windows for a day when this happens.

    Make it absolutely bone clear what you are peddling. When I read comments on door 2 windows it scares me that this was offered.

    Tell me or show me, that i am wrong here. Thank you.

    Howard warriner

  7. Kyle

    @ebony:
    RobCR mentioned the cons of extracting a compressed file to a subfolder, so i will mention one of the pros. If you download various items to a ‘catchall’ type folder, then it can be a necessity to unzip files to their own subfolder rather than cluttering up the download folder and then having to sort out what is what.

    For instance, in my download folder i currently have pictures, setup files, and various other knickknacks that i haven’t gotten around to sorting out yet. If i then download, say, a zipped Librivox audiobook it would be a pain to unzip it into that folder and then have to winnow out the mp3 files from the other files, and then after that create a folder to stash them in.

    Much easier for me to rename the zip file to an appropriate name, unzip it to a subfolder which will automatically have that name, and then move that folder to my audiobook directory.

  8. RobCr

    @Swim:
    Thanks for mentioning that it is on Donation Coders.
    Is it freeware, or one of their contributor only downloads ?
    (I am a contributor, which gets you a Serial for all future programs)

    I have had a grumble on the programmer’s forum page.
    So hopefully I can start to spread some sanity in the world.

    Just because MS does something, does not mean they thought it through.
    EG In XP’s Task Manager, if you click a column header, it sorts with the least at the top.
    What user would click that, and wish to look at the processes, that are using the least resources ?

  9. Swim

    Fastunzip is one of those d@*#n Donation Coder programs that makes you jump though 70 hoops to register their freeware.

    I avoid that crap like the plague and I suggest that you do, as well. Life is too short to play their childish games.

  10. RobCr

    I organize my folders and folder names with great care.
    My OS has been running for about 5 years (imaging to replacement PCs as old ones die)
    There are a massive number of files and folders, yet I can locate things without needing Search programs, and without needing Win 7’s lucky dip Start menu (having a dig, as my 5 year OS is XP) . Also I do not have horrible indexing going on in the background.

    Back to your question.
    I am very careful about where I intend to place the files, and having a zip program extract to a sub folder that it decides to create out of thin air, has zero benefit for me. As I then have to move the files back to where I intended, and delete the folder.
    Shirley (Airplane) , no one needs or retains that sub folder that zip programs create ?

  11. RobCr

    When you say –
    “it automatically extracts it to a folder of the same name, just like every other program does.”
    Do you mean that it creates a sub folder with the same name as the zip file ?
    I know windows does that, AND I HATE IT.
    If I place a zip file in a folder, and extract it, I want the files that were in the zip file, to be placed into the same folder that the zip was in (NOT into a sub folder, that it creates without my permission).
    If other programs do that, I will not be using them.
    7Zip has the feature, when you right click a zip file, and choose ‘extract here’, it extracts the contents into the same folder (no sub folder created.)