Tiny Tools To Turbocharge Thy Transistors

I have decided to post a list of a certain freeware (usually at least for personal/non-commercial use) software that I am using or have ever used. I will probably exclude all the fancy and popular enough software tools such as Dropbox or Evernote which might be already known.

The reason is that sometimes you have no idea that you can do something efficiently or more comfortably, thus you never consider looking for the solution. That’s how most of the time I’ve got hold of all these programs.

Bulk Rename Utility

License: Freeware/Donationware
Platform: Windows
Homepage: http://www.bulkrenameutility.co.uk/
Well, the title says it all – bulk rename utility. If I remember correctly, first time I’ve found it and used it was either because I wanted to change a lot of file extensions from XYZ to ABC (not the actual extensions) or just enumerate files in folder from 0 to N. Aaand that’s the basic use of that program. Although it have enormous capabilities (including RegEx) for renaming files.

FastStone Photo Resizer

Licenese: Free for personal/non-commercial use,19.95 USD otherwise
Platform: Windows
Homepage: http://www.faststone.org/FSResizerDetail.htm
This application is almost the same as previous (BRU), just it works on images instead of file names. It is very handy when you want to mass convert from PNG to JPG or vice versus or just resize every image to a specific resolution 🙂 Or recompress batch of images to take up less space! Or even resize, rotate it by a certain amount of degrees, crop a bit and then save as a different format. And to do that for all 5000 images in a folder tree you have… 🙂

Clavier+

License: GPLv3
Platform: Windows
Homepage: http://utilfr42.free.fr/util/Clavier.php
This one is a bit more tricky. This piece of software allows you to create global Windows hotkeys for virtually anything. Select hotkey combination and select what it should do after it is pressed. It can either launch another program (which can be literally anything) or emulate keystrokes to “type in” stuff for you. Although I am not using the latter at all. The coolest thing that I could use it for is that on my laptop there is one Function (F1-F12) button without an extra laptop function (Volume Up/Down, Brighness Up/Down, Media buttons, Sleep button) assigned. So once, just out of curiosity I’ve opened up Clavier+ and tried pressing Fn+that empty button and it did register it as separate button! 🙂 Which was cool, because I managed to assign an extra hotkey. Which is “start browser/new tab”  although I rarely use it 😀

CoreTemp

License: Freeware/Donationware
Platform: Windows
Homepage: http://www.alcpu.com/CoreTemp/
There are many tools like this one. Simply put – it accesses your processors thermal data and displays in degrees. It’s neat to track your hardware’s temperature if you don’t want to get the magic blue smoke appearing. The one reason why I love this particular tool: there is an API for creating add-ons for it (although there are not many). And there is one add-on which makes all the data CoreTemp gathers available via HTTP protocol. And there are bunch of 3rd party applications to read and display that data. For example, Android application. Very efficient when you want to play something fullscreen but at the same time afraid that the game might be too demanding for your system 🙂 Or if you leave your computer doing some video conversion/rendering tasks at home and want to check if it is still “raw” and not “cooked”…

CrystalDiskMark

License: Freeware
Platform: Windows
Homepage: http://crystalmark.info/software/CrystalDiskMark/index-e.html
This small tool is not used on a daily(or any “-ly”) basis. This tool allows you to measure performance of your storage device, let it be HDD, SSD, USB memory stick or a SD Card. It allows you to run several distinct tests and outputs the writing/reading speeds of the storage device. It is quite useful tool for benchmarking devices or just simply checking if the label says the truth 😀

httrack

License: GPLv3
Platform: Windows, Linux and MacOS (latter somewhat hack…). Also, source available.
Homepage: http://www.httrack.com/
To put it bluntly – this is “read it later” offline version of the internet. If you find a webpage and you need to read it through, but it is long and you won’t have the internet access but will have time, then this application comes in handy. It will save the website recursively (or at least will do it’s best at this task). Which means, even if you want to follow up to next page of the same website or if the article is split in several pages, it will save everything as it would be online. So, next time you want to read, you can just open it up as static webpage from your hardware and enjoy the content. Of course, it will not be 100% exactly the same, mostly because of all the dynamic content will be made static. For example, if you save front page of newspaper, news articles won’t get updated 😀 It will (try to) make a snapshot. As mentioned before, it is very awesome if you want to read the website later without any kind of internet connection. Or if you want “back up” certain page, in case of website being taken down. Really handy tool 🙂

Free Disk (Usage) Analyzer

License: Freeware
Platform: Windows
Homepage: http://www.extensoft.com/?p=free_disk_analyzer
This handy tool displays the usage of your storage devices in a very handy way – it can display list of largest files or list folders ordered by volume they occupy on your drive and so on. This way it is easy to track down what is bogging space on your hard drive and possibly clean it up. Usually I find large temporary files (such as raw screen captures or already uploaded photos) with this tool which allows to free that space up 🙂 You could do this manually of course, but this tool makes it easier. First time run might take a while, because it will recursively go through all your computer’s folders and calculate how much stuff there is 🙂 But after the first one it will be easier since it uses incremental update later on. If you have lack of empty storage, this tool will be really useful 🙂

HashTab

License: Free for non-commercial/educational/personal use. Otherwise, $10 for single license.
Platform: Windows, Mac OS
Homepage: http://implbits.com/products/hashtab/
It’s not really a software, but more like file explorer extension. It adds an extra tab to any file properties and lists there various hash values of that file. The list of available hash algorithms is quite extensive and you can choose any number of them to be displayed. And there is neat “compare to another file” or “compare to value” input fields. In short: handy tool if you want to sure that your file integrity was not compromised or want to compare files without doing a lot of manual work.

inSSIDer
License: Commercial
Platform: Windows
Homepage: http://www.metageek.net/products/inssider/
Unfortunately, this piece of software became commercial only. Some versions ago it was free for personal use. Although, you could find that older version on the internet. And about what it does: it is more advanced wireless environment tool, displaying all available wireless networks with a bit more information about them. One of the most useful parts is visualization of all those networks in regards of Wi-Fi channel they are using. A very convenient way to find out which channels are still available or less [ab-]used by your neighbors. Although it might not be the solution for your slow internet (maybe because your internet is just slow), but it might help a bit. The developers at the moment are offering a lot of different tools at the moment, they might be different or similar, but I had not examined them up close 🙂

Well, this might be not the best and not the most extensive list. And this might be not even full list of tools used by me, but have a look and maybe some stuff you do will be easier from now on 🙂

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