Free Program Links
You should visit this link periodically to insure your Windows Software is up to date with current fixes.
Just click on the Scan for Updates link and Microsoft will check your Windows for upgrades,
then provide you with a list of recommended updates to choose from.

Security stars-5-0[1].gif (394 bytes)* Version Updated * * Download URL Updated *
The AGV anti-virus program.  This program will detect viruses, scan email and will periodically check for new virus definition updates. stars-5-0[1].gif (394 bytes)* Version Updated *
Ad-aware is a free multi spyware removal utility designed for all Win
dows platforms. It scans your system for components of known spyware parasites and lets you remove them safely. The newest update has a tracking cookie remover as well as an web update feature to keep the program database up to date with new offenders.[1].gif (394 bytes)* Version Updated * * Download URL Updated *
Spybot - Search & Destroy is another spyware search and removal utility with several more advanced features. One is an  immunization option allowing you to block many spyware downloads before they get on your computer. stars-5-0[1].gif (394 bytes)
SpySites is a program with a database of over 2700 known intrusive Spy/Sleaze sites and will import the list of these sites into to Internet  Explorer's Restricted Security Zone, setting policies to prevent them from performing intrusive acts on your PC. By setting the policies for the Restricted sites zone to a very high level of security, you can be assured that any web sites added to the Restricted sites zone cannot do certain things which could compromise your privacy and security such as installing and/or running programs,  leaving cookies to report on you and snagging your email address. Download URL Updated *
Sygate Personal Firewall is an easy to use free firewall to protect your PC from internet hackers, Trojan viruses and other security threats. It is highly recommended if you have a broadband connection or you PC is always on the internet. I also recommend using a firewall on dial up connections if your PC has adequate processing power.[1].gif (394 bytes)
StartupMonitor is a small utility that runs transparently (it doesn't even use a tray icon) and notifies you when any program registers itself to run at system startup. It prevents those utterly useless tray applications from registering themselves behind your back, and it acts as a security tool against trojans.  When you choose not to allow a program to register itself, the program's entry becomes disabled in Startup Control Panel (below), so you can go back and enable it later if necessary. NOTE: During installation of certain new software, if you receive an advisory indicating that the program grpconv.exe -o has registered itself to run at startup, allow this program to run, as it is a one time after installation temporary file cleanup utility. stars-5-0[1].gif (394 bytes)
Startup Control Panel is a small control panel applet or standalone program that will allow you to see, add, remove and control what programs are loaded when your computer starts.

Networking stars-4-5[1].gif (403 bytes)
Dial-Up Networking Monitor is a nice small program for monitoring your dial-up connections.

Navascope is a web acceleration and ad blocking utility.  One feature shows the name of each file downloading and its progress allowing you to click on it to terminate reception of the file.  It also has an automatic NIST Atomic Clock synchronization feature and lots more. it may no longer be available from from it's web site but if not you can download it by right clicking and selecting save as at:
Here you will find Flashget a download manager.  I prefer it over others because it has easily selectable features like; Disable Browser Monitoring, Multi-thread Download Streams and PC Shutdown on Completion. The older version had one ad banner which Ad*aware removes can be downloaded by right clicking and selecting save as at:
If you use a FTP (file transfer protocol) program SmartFTP has all the features in one easy to use Explorer style interface.
AOL Instant Messenger is free weather you use AOL or not. Just create a screen name and you can add your friends screen names to your buddy list. Also you can ad the screen name of any friends that use AOL. Anytime any of your friends are online they will show up on your buddy list so you can contact them via IM. One good feature of AIM is it's talk button. If you and the recipient of the IM have speakers and a microphone you can talk over the internet free to anyone anywhere in the world. Additionally AOL users can install AIM, logon to it with their screen name and they will have access to the talk feature. However AOL users may need to check the "use alternative internet address" box under preferences, talk.
Trillian is an instant messenger program that allows you to use all your user IM logins for AIM, ICQ, IRC, SN, and Yahoo in one chat program at once.

Clippy is a small free utility that will clean up forwarded email. Simply highlight the text and right click to copy it into the paste buffer. Then select click on Clippy and all of the ">" characters, HTML tags, and line break carrage returns will be stripped from the text in the buffer. Then just right click paste and the text will be pasted back with out the unwanted code.
Annoyed by spam or junk email? Once your on their mailing list it will keep coming until your address is no longer valid. That is what makes Mailwasher so great; by allowing you to bounce back unwanted email from your host server as "user unknown - error 550". Using this program you can log onto your mail server and return the unwanted email, before it gets downloaded to your regular email program. Advanced hint: I set my email accounts advanced options to "leave a copy on server for 5 days". That way if I receive unwanted email useing my regular email program Outlook Express, there is still a copy on my service providers host email server and I have 5 days to log on using Mailwasher and sing like Elvis "return to sender - address unknown". I have purchaced the Pro version myself as it has some new advanced features but if you can't afford it try the free version.
Grabit is a news reader and picture extraction program for use on Usenet news servers.

Viewers stars-4-5[1].gif (403 bytes)
IrfanView is a compact, easy to use image viewer with a huge selection of options and thumbnail viewer.
You can also edit images directly in IrfanView, to produce a variety of effects including lossless JPEG rotation.

Noise Makers
ReadPlease is a text to speech program that will read text out loud to you using a speech synthesizer.  Put your computer to work reading text (like my old Commanders Corner articles) while you concentrate on more immediate tasks, like eating.
Home Typist is another noise maker. It adds typewriter sound as you type and various other sounds to additional keys. I decided I like the audible confirmation when keys are pressed and thought maybe you would too. There is also a system called Tray Pilot Lite which hide or shrink you system trey icons when necessary making more room for program task bar buttons.

Windows Utilities stars-5-0[1].gif (394 bytes)
Wizmo is a tiny gizmo that lets you do things like shutdown, restart and turn you monitor off with a single mouse click and more. Better yet, if you put the shortcuts on your desktop and edit the properties you can assign shortcut keys like:
Ctrl-Alt-End for PC reboot, and Ctrl-Alt-PageDown for PC power down.
This site also offers the infamous UnPlug n' Pray for XP users.
Ever wonder what your computer is doing right under your nose?
PrcView will display detailed information about the processes running under Windows and your nose.
Among other things, it gives you the full list of DLL’s for each running process including full path and version information for each loaded module and shows memory, threads, DLL-usage for every process. It is similar to task manager, allowing you to check if a process is running, kill a process and more. Place a shortcut to it on your desk top, then edit the properties to assign it the shortcut key of Ctrl-Alt-Insert for handy access.
You are probably familiar with how Windows Disk Defragmenter needs to be periodically run to make the files on your disk contiguous to improve performance. Over time your registry files will also become fragmented, filled with holes and degraded performance will result.   RegCompact will quickly compact your registry files for the most efficient operation possible.
You may not be aware of it but Windows uses a dynamic registry file which continues to grow larger and larger with time and can bog down your computer with useless or invalid registry entries.  With RegCleaner you can easily get rid of those old and obsolete registry entries.  Use this program for cleaning and controlling your registry system.

Explorer Add-Ons stars-5-0[1].gif (394 bytes) * Updated *
Finally a PC clock & calendar utility I can recommend. PTBSync does it all. It can add the weekday and date to your taskbar clock and has an reminder alarm feature that can be set for one time events like "record movie" or repetitive events, daily , weekly or yearly. Integrated into a calendar you can add events such as appointment, anniversary or birthdays for which it calculates the persons age or anniversary number. The calendar also contains all holidays fixed or floating and special days. The event reminder/alarm can be set to play a sound, display a message, shutdown the computer or execute a file.  Oh yes, it also has an Atomic Clock synchronization feature. When you get to the web page click on ElmüSoft Download page for a complete discription. stars-4-5[1].gif (403 bytes)
Treesize is a handy utility that should be already be a part of Windows Explorer (but isn't yet).  It adds the selection choice "treesize" to the right click context menu inside Explorer. Click on this instead of properties for a folder or drive and a mini Explorer window will pop open showing the size of the folder and all sub-folders and their sizes in the directory tree. Being a window, it has various view selections and buttons, like one to print. This tool is very useful in determining how your drive space is being utilized. stars-4-5[1].gif (403 bytes)
The rjhExtensions program will add a number useful options to the right click context menu in Windows Explorer.  The options will work on all selected files and can be added or removed at any time by a small configuration window. They include: rename files, shred files, encrypt files, duplicate files, print directory list, copy directory list to file, copy path to clipboard, and DOS prompt.
Dialog Box Assistant is a small program that will add two buttons to the Open & Save dialog boxes in Windows.  One button is recently saved or opened file names and path, the other button is recently opened or saved to directories.  Very handy when you want to open or attach the same file repeatedly like your resume or when you want to save files to the same directory.  It gets rid of the clicking and finding over and over, once you've done it once it's there the next time. This one is a real no-brainer and a must. The newer version of this program has improved featrues but is no longer free and is shareware. If you want the free older version right click here and save as:
* Download URL Updated *
Dirkey will allow you to assign shortcut hot keys to Windows Explorer paths or can reside in you system trey and allow you to pull up a list of your "favorites" or paths you may need to access in Explorer repetitively. stars-4-5[1].gif (403 bytes)
FavOrg is about favicons. Favicons appeared with Internet Explorer. Whenever you connect to a Web site that proposes a favicon, Internet Explorer will download that icon to your system and will use it for any shortcut or menu item created for this web link. This is a useful feature because this will make finding a particular site in your Favorites folder easier, especially if you have many favorites. So, why do we need a utility to manage these favicons? Because Internet Explorer doesn’t do its job very well. The downloaded icon file is stored as a temporary file. Which means that after a while, the favicon will disappear and your shortcut will be associated again with the standard Internet Explorer icon. This often happens after cleaning up your Temporary Internet Files folder. FavOrg will fix this problem and ensure that your favicons are made sticky. That is, once downloaded, the icon will be assigned to the shortcut permanently. FavOrg stores the favicons in a user-defined folder.

Hard Drive stars-4-5[1].gif (403 bytes)
Samedir is a directory synchronization and backup program that can be used to copy directories and files to different hard drives, directories, partitions, CD-RW, Zip or other computers.  It is different than most backup programs in that it will synchronize the directories deleting files from the target that no longer reside on the source.  It is also quite fast only copying files that are new or updated unless otherwise specified. Additionally by synchronizing it preserves the original file dates.
Eraser is an advanced security tool, which allows you to completely remove sensitive data from your hard drive by overwriting it several times with selected patterns approved by the DOD. Eraser will also add a right click context option in Explorer to erase files.
Scanner is a small drive scanning program that displays a multi-colored pie chart of the directories and files using up your hard drive.
HDD Health is a simple program which can monitor and report your internal hard dive performance and failure statistics gathered by the drive itself.  The program can read the SMART (Self Monitoring And Reporting Technology) data of any manufacturers newer hard drives of which all are SMART compliant.  It will also tell model, serial number, firmware revision, every detail, and then some more, including the UDMA mode.


I use all the programs listed with Windows 98, ME & XP. The stars-5-0[1].gif (394 bytes)rating are a must have, the stars-4-5[1].gif (403 bytes)recomended if you have a use for such a program, as are the listings with no stars too.

BE ADVISED: All of the programs listed above are FREE

Here is are a few more sites that offer free or shareware Software & Utilities of all kinds: (All Free) (All Free)

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