- JDiskReport: generate beautiful disk usage reports
- SnippingTool++: like Windows’ Snipping Tool, but better
- NBCNews: get all of the latest news and headlines on your start screen
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 18, 2012
Is your hard drive running out of space? If it is, don’t worry: there are programs designed to help you seek out the largest files on your computer and nuke them from orbit. JDiskReport is one of those programs: with it, you can easily see the breakdown of space usage per folder.
JDiskReport is quite nice. It features a timeless user interface, following standards from ages ago that make it manage to still look quite nice. After scanning a folder or disk, you can just see the size breakdown in the large pie chart in the center, or by toggling percentage or number view in the left column.
Don’t like pie charts? You can easily switch to other graphs using the controls in the lower left of the chart view. There’s bar charts, and simple data tables. You can also opt for a more complicated pie chart showing what’s using up the file space inside each folder, recursively down your computer.
However, seeing a chart of usage per folder isn’t necessarily the easiest way to pick out large files. Instead, switch to the Top 50 tab, which will show you the largest 50 files on your computer. There’s probably several-gigabyte pagefile.sys and hiberfil.sys files; these are system files and can be safely ignored. (If you want to, you can get rid of the hiberfil.sys file by disabling hibernation.) Files other than these are the ones you’re interested in.
JDiskReport is a great program for people with mysteriously shrinking hard drives, or for anyone with an interest in generating pretty graphs. Or charts. Or seeing their biggest files.
Version discovered: v1.4.0
Supported OS: Windows/Linux/OS X with Java
Download size: 613KB
VirusTotal malware scan results: 0/42
Portability: Requires installation
There are plenty of screenshot programs for Windows, and many of them integrate with online sharing services to let you upload screenshots quickly and efficiently. However, many of those programs are way too bloated for such a simple idea. SnippingTool++ is different: it’s designed to replace Windows’ built-in snipping tool and augment it only with upload capabilities.
SnippingTool++ is easy to use. By default, it has four keyboard shortcuts: Ctrl+Shift+1 will take a snippet and upload it, Ctrl+Shift+2 will take a fullscreen screenshot and upload it, and Ctrl+Shift+3/4 will do the same things as 1/2, but saving it instead of uploading it.
If you want basic editing, SnippingTool++ also gives you the ability to paint on your screenshots. You get a choice of pencil, rectangle, filled rectangle, and bordered rectangle, but there doesn’t appear to be any way to switch between tools while editing.
There’s an added bonus to using SnippingTool++. If you want to upload text quickly, you can just press Alt+Shift+1 to get a Pastbin link for your clipboard. It’s that easy!
Overall, SnippingTool++ is a very nice and simple app, but when you dig into it, it offers anything an amateur screenshotter might need. It’s free, and requires Java.
Version Discovered: v4.2.1
Supported OS: Windows with Java
Download size: 605KB
VirusTotal malware scan results: 0/42
Portability: No installation required!
Are you an avid reader of
MSNBC News NBC News? If so, you’ll love their new official Windows 8 app. The app lets you read all of the top headlines from each section of their website, and pin your favorite sections to your start screen for easy access.
NBCNews is a very well designed app. Horizontally, you’ve got each individual section of their site, including NBC Politics, Today, Science, World News, and many, many more. Inside each section, you’ve got the latested headlines, with any needed pictures. By right clicking anywhere in a section, you can also pin it to your start screen, allowing you to get the latest news in a jiffy.
The article view is pretty nice as well. It features embedded video (tapping on it opens the video fullscreen) and plenty of embedded pictures, and while the article’s final links tend to trail off into another column, it still looks quite nice.
Any news addict would absolutely love the NBCNews app (so long as they like NBCNews). It’s free, and is available now on the Windows Store.
Last updated: 8/11/2012
Supported OS: Windows 8
Download size: 2.0MB
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.