Windows software of the day [August 11, 2012]

Today’s Software

  • YAPM: a more powerful Windows Task Manager with built-in network monitoring
  • MRU-Blaster: destroy most recently used lists
  • ACDSee Free: the new Free version of ACDSee, a photo viewer

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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 dotTech to never miss an article: RSS Feed | E-mail]

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Software for August 11, 2012

YAPM

Every second you sit at your computer, mind-boggling amounts of information are flying by. One app needs to upload a file, so it calls another app, which calls a system call, which runs a command down a wire to a hardware-level controller, which spins a metal saucer and uses a record player to transfer the information back up the line to the app waiting in the first place, where it can upload the file to the web. But what apps are running, and which ones are using the network? YAPM is an extremely powerful network monitor and Windows Task Manager replacement that seeks to be the best there ever was.

When you first open YAPM, you may be put off by its ribbon interface. However, this ribbon interface is actually a smart way to organize a lot of information and options into a coherent interface. The tabs are organized by data type, allowing you to see processes in one tab, jobs in another, tasks in a third, monitored processes in a fourth, services, programs on the network, and more. The buttons under the tabs provide easy access to anything you might need to do with the processes within. Need to start or stop a service? There are large red buttons for that!

The Network tab is a lot like the result of running the netstat -a command. It gives you a list of all connections, be they established, listening, timewaiting, or any other status. You can view the process running a connection from the right-click context menu on any connection.

In essence, YAPM is a very powerful network and task manager alternative. If you’re looking for a better way to manage your running connections and processes, there’s really no better choice. It’s good-looking, well-designed, and extremely featureful. However, it’s somewhat of a niche program, and serves no use in the vast majority of the computing world.

Price: Free!

Version discovered: v2.4.2

Supported OS: Windows unknown

Download size: 1.1MB

VirusTotal malware scan results: 0/40

Portability: Portable version available!

YAPM homepage

[via AddictiveTips]

MRU-Blaster

Did you know that your computer keeps track of every file you open? Check it out for yourself! Just open up the jumplist on, say, Notepad, and be surprised as you see the files you most recently opened with Notepad. While it’s definitely a feature that helps people work better and faster, it can still seem to some like a security risk. MRU-Blaster is a free program that helps protect your privacy by blasting out all of these most recently used lists.

MRU-Blaster is quite simple. It has a main window that lets you do one of four things: exit the program, see who wrote the program, change program settings, and start the scan. If you opt to configure settings first, you’ll be able to choose which programs it doesn’t wipe out. By default, it wipes out various Office programs, various Windows programs, and more, but if you want, it can ignore certain programs.

Otherwise, start the scans! On my testing computer, it found 257 total items, consisting of 17 lists and 240 items. Computers used more frequently will probably have much higher rates of incidents, but even as it is, that’s certainly enough tracking to justify a cleaning. You can either see the found items and have one more chance to save them, or simply opt to clean all results, but either way, MRU-Blaster will quickly destroy the items it found.

Overall, MRU-Blaster is a great program for those worrying about their privacy. However, many people rely on recently used lists for their everyday computer use, so this program could potentially hamper your ability to work properly. If you’re not one of those people, MRU-Blaster is yet another tool to save another gram of privacy in the digital age.

Price: Free!

Version discovered: v1.5

Supported OS: Windows 95+

Download size: 484KB

VirusTotal malware scan results: 0/41

Portability: Requires installation

MRU-Blaster homepage

[via AddictiveTips]

ACDSee Free

There are a thousand different photo viewers on the planet, and ACDSee Free is not an exception to that. It’s yet another photo viewer, spiced up in a way that just might make it worth a few seconds of your time.

ACDSee Free is not the world’s most featureful app. It’s essentially a faster version of Windows Photo Viewer: it allows you to rotate and set your wallpaper, but not much other than that. Its speed is its main bragging right, but even that is up for grabs against other photo viewers. It can view BMP, GIF, JPEG, PNG, TGA, TIFF, WBMP, PCX, PIC, WMF, and EMF formats, meaning it won’t often leave you with an unreadable file, but also automatically sets itself as the default unless you specifically tell it not to. There are notable missing formats such as RAW and PD, but since those are heavyweight formats, they’re not needed as much in a program like ACDSee Free.

In short, ACDSee Free is yet another photo viewing app. It can read a lot of formats, but it has notable exceptions that would leave it out of the running for any serious photographer and digital artist. If you’re looking for a photo viewer, it definitely belongs on the “worth a glance” list, but in all honesty Windows 7’s built-in Photo Viewer works perfectly fine as-is. There is just not much reason to need a program like ACDSee Free.

Price: Free!

Version discovered: v1.0.18

Supported OS: Windows XP+

Download size: 12.4MB

VirusTotal malware scan results: 0/42

Portability: Requires installation

ACDSee Free homepage

[via Ghacks]

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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11 comments

  1. Eric

    @Rob (Down Under):
    Arghhhh. This website did not let me format my comment correctly. Everything between the two brackets should be indented. That is lines 4-9 of the script.
    The script will only work when irfanview is open(technically any open window with “IrfanView” in the title). It will then replace all ups downs with +- and make up down zoom in and out as you wish. Hope this helps.

  2. Eric

    @Rob (Down Under):
    I’m a little late to the party but hopefully you will see this Rob. My weapon of choice when dealing with stubborn programs that won’t let you customize keys is autohotkey. There is a portable version available and it uses very little resources.
    All you need to do is paste the 10 lines below into a text document and save it with the .ahk extension then drag that document onto the autohotkey.exe. Autohotkey also comes with a compiler than can change the text file into a standalone executable.
    This will need to be running when IrfanView is or else started with windows and ran all the time. There are probably better ways to do this but this works on my computer. Be aware that it will always change the functions of up and down to +- within irfanview. I have designed it to not interfere with other fullscreen applications but I couldn’t test that fully. It will sit in the system tray and can be turned on and off easily. I hope this helps. I am a novice at Autohotkey so there is probably a better way to do it but this should work.
    These are the 10 lines. Type them exactly as you see them.
    SetTitleMatchMode, 2
    IfWinExist,IrfanView
    {
    #ifWinActive IrfanView
    Up::NumpadAdd
    Down::NumpadSub
    #ifWinActive ahk_class FullScreenClass
    Up::NumpadAdd
    Down::NumpadSub
    }

  3. Eric

    YAPM has already been handy. I noticed my internet connection was being used constantly and I was suspicious of what program was doing this. I remembered YAPM, fired it up, and instantly found the offending program. I had heard of YAPM before but never thought of a use for it til I saw it listed here.
    Great find!

  4. Rob (Down Under)

    @Jim-1:
    Thanks Jim, Josh.
    I went to one of my other PC’s, and used –
    Options and Properties/Settings
    In the first Tab, I ticked
    ‘Start in full screen mode’
    That worked, thanks.
    (I notice that in my main PC, that that checkbox is not ticked, but I do get full screen as I described earlier ?)

    I then tried to find an option to get the Up/Down arrows to Zoom in and out.
    I could not find that option anywhere.
    I browsed the help file, and noticed that the + and – keys do do that, however the up/down arrows keys have become a habit for me. (Brains are less ‘plastic’ at 70)
    Does anyone know how I can do that ?

  5. Josh

    Have tried ACDC, SlowView and many others, but kept going back to IrfanView as default quick image viewer and manipulator. It is more versatile, especially with some of the plugins (including RIOT) which are available. I agree with Rob (Down Under) that, after all these years, the developers should have made the settings for the screen views more user friendly – it is the only hassle that irritates me. However, experimenting with the settings as suggested by Jim-1, will soon get you the default which suits you, so this is not a major issue. Overall, IrfanView is an excellent, low resource, very fast, efficient and free application.

  6. Jim-1

    @Rob (Down Under):
    Have you tried changing the view settings on Irfanview?
    Go to Options -> Properties/Settings -> Full Screen to choose the default display (or Viewing for more options near the bottom). I prefer to keep mine on “Fit to screen” so I can see all of large images, but there are several full screen settings available to choose too.

  7. Guido

    Not ADCFREE, not IRFANVIEW, nor no other software but only one: FSVIEWER.
    It is an incredible software, and you could not find any other as good as this one.
    Portable and running perfectly on any PC and any version of windows.
    Guido

  8. Rob (Down Under)

    I would like to recommend IrfanView, but I can’t.

    Say your needs were simple –
    – Double click an image file, and it fills your screen.
    – Press Esc to close the image.
    – Or, use Left Right arrow keys to see other images in the same folder.
    – And when viewing an image, you can use the Up Down arrow keys to Zoom in/out.

    I have IrfanvIew on my main PC and it does the above, precisely.
    So I should be stopping people in the street and telling them about it.
    However I have recently installed it in a couple of other PC’s, and I can’t get the image instantly filling my screen. Instead the IrfanView application appears (mind you you can then get to full screen, from the IrfanView application)
    When I can get those other PCs to instantly fill the screen with the clicked image, I will be recommending IrfanView.