Windows software of the day [July 7, 2012]

Today’s Software

  • Hash Reporter: verify downloaded files by checking “hashes”
  • Z-Cron: schedule tasks and applications
  • Explzh: compress and decompress files

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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 July 8, 2012

Hash Reporter

Did that file download correctly? I’ve previously had experiences where I had to download a file five times before it got to me correctly. When that happened, I spent a good five or ten minutes each time trying to get it to work before realizing it was a bad download. If I’d used Hash Reporter to check on it, I’d have discovered instantly!

Oftentimes developers post short “hashes” on their websites, either MD5, SHA1, or SHA256. To compare your download to their file, you just have to use a program like Hash Reporter and make sure your file matches up with their hash. Hashes are mathmatically calculated based on the data contained in a file, so if anything got corrupted, it’s readily available to see.

Hash Reporter is quite easy to use. Drag a file on, and instantly you’ll see the hashes appear. You can then just glance at the developer’s site to see if anything’s up! It’s that easy.

Price: Free!

Version discovered: v1.0

Supported OS: Windows unknown

Download size: 51KB

VirusTotal malware scan results: 0/42

Portability: No installation required!

Hash Reporter homepage


Want to open a particular program at a particular time? This can be great for automated backups at 3 in the morning, or starting your favorite websites when you normally sit down to internets*. However, using Windows’ Scheduled Tasks is a nightmare that  leaves one wishing for something better. Something like Z-Cron.

Z-Cron can be a bit confusing. However, with a little bit of time, it’s not too bad. To create a new task, just hit the Task button in the left hand sidebar. Then type in a name and perhaps a description. To choose which exact program to open, you just need to browse with the “..” button. Then you can schedule the task with the Scheduler tab.

Z-Cron is quite the program when it comes to scheduling. You can set tasks to run only on certain days–Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, weekends, whatever you please–and at certain times throughout the day. The time scheduler is a bit tricky, but if you pause and look at it for a few seconds, it’ll probably make sense. You can just select an hour and a minute intersection at five-minute intervals throughout the scheduled days.

It’s overall a really nice program for creating scheduled tasks, and definitely deserves more attention.

*to internets: v. use the internet

Price: Free!

Version discovered: v4.9

Supported OS: Windows XP+

Download size: 6.1MB

VirusTotal malware scan results: 0/42

Portability: Requires installation

Z-Cron homepage

[via AddictiveTips]


Want to extract files with ease, with a familiar interface? Explzh fits the bill perfectly! It has an interface much like 7-zip, but in many ways quite superior. It also supports many filetypes, meaning you don’t have to give up interoperability.

The interface in Explzh is much nicer looking. It has standard Windows new/open/save/etc buttons, and has a tabbed file browser interface. It also has two columns, meaning you can manage archives on the left while viewing them on the right.

Explzh can create LZH, ZIP, CAB, TAR, RAR, BZA/GZA, BCA, YZ1, 7z, ACE, RX, and ISH files, and can decompress LZH, ZIP, installers, TAR, deb, zpio, ar, lib, a, RAR, BZA/GZA, GCA, YZ1, 7z, ACE, RK, ISH, MS-EXPAND UUE, XXE, and BASE64 files, which really just means it supports anything you’ll ever really need.

All in all, this program is amazing, and can really support anything you throw at it.

Price: Free!

Version discovered: v7.05RC54

Supported OS: Windows XP+

Download size: 3.0-3.4MB

VirusTotal malware scan results: 32-bit: 0/42 | 64-bit: 0/42

Portability: Requires installation

Explzh homepage

[via AddictiveTips]

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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