Windows software of the day [June 13, 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 June 13, 2012

Turn Off LCD

Want to turn off just your computer’s screen while keeping the rest of your computer on? This way, you can do things like wait for a long process to complete, or listen to music. Turn Off LCD fills in this hole: it’s a free, portable application that lets you turn off your screen with just a double click..

There’s only two possible downsides to TOLCD. Whenever you open it, a command prompt window opens for a fraction of a second. It doesn’t effect usability but can look a little funny. Secondly, there’s no built-in keyboard shortcut for TOLCD. However, submitter Mike whipped up a quick guide for creating one:

The easy solution: create a shortcut to run the program, with the behavior you want. Simply store the program in your Programs file (or wherever you want); right click on the program and create a shortcut to it; right-click on the shortcut, choose Properties, and set the program, under the Shortcut tab, to Run as Minimized (this eliminates the black DOS screen)–also feel free on that tab to set a Shortcut key of your choice (choose a keyboard key–it will be appended to ctrl+alt for the shortcut). At that point, simple place the shortcut wherever you want–dragging it to the Taskbar is a convenient, non-obtrusive location, handy and ready for use. Or put the shortcut on your Desktop.

Thanks, Mike!

Price: Free!

Version discovered: v1.01

Supported OS: Windows XP+

Download size: 69KB

VirusTotal malware scan results: 1/40

Portability: Entirely portable!

Turn Off LCD homepage

Startup Sound Changer

Windows is extremely customizable. You can change the sound that plays when you hit the wrong button; you can change the sound that plays when you have low battery. You can change almost any sound but the one that plays when your computer starts up.

That is, until now. With Startup Sound Changer, a tiny little application, you can change that sound to any kind of sound you want. A five second section of your favorite song? Check. An alarm clock? Check (but for the sake of those around you please don’t).

Startup Sound Changer is quite easy to use as well. You can do one of three actions with it: play your current sound, replace your current sound with a new sound, and restore the original sound. Note that to use this nice little app the replacement sound has to be a WAV file.

Thanks Doug!

Price: Free!

Version discovered:

Supported OS: Windows Vista+

Download size: 318KB

VirusTotal malware scan results: 0/43

Portability: Entirely portable!

Startup Sound Changer homepage

Alt+Tab Tuner

Using Alt+Tab to switch windows is an awesome way to save time while multitasking. However, it’s a little bit uncustomizable. You can fix that with Alt+Tab Tuner, a tool that lets you tweak things like icon positions, transparency, and more.

Alt+Tab Tuner can control a number of things. For instance, you can make Alt+Tab a giant grid of icons that are mostly transparent instead of their usual small, opaqueness. You can even get the old Windows XP style Alt+Tab switcher, which is nice for a blast from the past or if you’re looking for the ultimate in speed and efficiency. Alt+Tab Tuner is a nice little tool for playing with Alt+Tab and can help you make it your own.

Price: Free!

Version discovered: v1.0.1.1

Supported OS: Windows 7+

Download size: 202KB

VirusTotal malware scan results: 0/42

Portability: Entirely portable!

Alt+Tab Tuner 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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10 comments

  1. Mike

    @Canuck50: Sometimes, you just want to turn off the LCD when you want to, and not to have to wait for the machine to take care of this. In those circumstances, Turn Off LCD works like a charm, if your computer does not have a monitor-off dedicated key (as my IBM ThinkPad does). I especially like the fact that it isn’t installed, consuming system resources, etc., or clogging the start of the machine. When you want to use it, simply double-click on the file or its short-cut (or use an assigned hotkey), and off goes the LCD. Voila!

  2. Canuck50

    Why not just use the “choose when to turn off the monitor/screen” option under “power options” within your computer settings itself? Have been using this option for years on both my Desktop and Laptop for years.

  3. Subbrilliant

    I’ve used Turn Off LCD for a while. It performs as expected however I wish that it had the ability to ignore mouse movements such that they wouldn’t cause the monitor to turn back on.

  4. Kelltic

    If you are using XP, you don’t need Sound Changer. All you have to do is open Control Panel, choose Sounds and Audio Devices, then click on the Sounds tab of the dialog box and you can change any sound in your system to anything you like.