| |

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Free cool tools from Microsoft

Do you know that there are free tools available to download in Microsoft? And these tools can be very useful too. These set of tools are called Microsoft PowerToys.

Here are some of the tools:

  • ClearType tuner - Enables you to use ClearType settings and make it easier to read text in your screen
  • HTML Slide Show Wizard - Helps you create a slide show that can be readily place in your website
  • Power Calculator - Advance calculator that can be used to graph functions and other conversions
  • Image Resizer - Enables you to resize image with a right-click
  • Virtual Desktop Manager - Enables you to manage 4 desktops
  • Webcam Timershot - Lets you take pictures with your webcam at specified intervals - cool!
  • Tweak UI - The most powerful tool in the set. Originally first released in 1996 and continued to be developed for aiding windows users in different settings only tweak UI can provide. It enables you to customize the user interface of Windows including fading menus, drop shadow, cursor shadow, taskbar, desktop. And it also includes repair function for fonts and folders. Tweak UI can also be used to disable AutoPlay or autorun in your drives. I recommend you to download this tool and you'll discover many things you can use it.
If you want to grab these tools or check out other tools, here is the link to Microsoft PowerToys.

There are also other tools aside from the PowerToys that can be downloaded freely from Microsoft. The most popular is the "process explorer". It is developed by Sysinternals and was acquired by Microsoft. Process explorer is a powerful tool that can be used to analyze the different processes and threads runing in your system. An active virus can also be spotted in process explorer and its corresponding dll's. It is an advanced windows task manager and is also compatible with Windows Vista. It is actively developed with the recent release on February 4, 2009. If you install this tool, you also have the option to replace the task manager so hitting ctrl-alt-del will fire up process explorer instead. Here is its download link in Microsoft. It is a very useful tool in monitoring your system and the active programs.

Another powerful tool that you can use is autoruns, and also developed by Sysinterals acquired by Microsoft. Even though it is not as popular as process explorer it is still as powerful in providing you control over your system. Autoruns is a utility that gives the most comprehensive list and knowledge of auto-starting applications including the program that runs in bootup and login process and its corresponding registry entry. It can also show you different explorer and broswer extensions. Think of autoruns as a super advanced msconfig utility. Changing settings in autoruns is only recommended if you know what your doing. A mistake can cause your OS useless. Some viruses that schedule themselves to run at some time can also be deleted in autoruns "scheduled tasks" tab. You can also use this tool in optimizing start-up items in your pc as referred to this post. If you want to dowload this tool, here is its Microsoft link.