Stuff I use
- 1 - PC-Cillin
- Anti-virus. Last year I took a trip and took my MightyBed laptop with me and used
a dial-up account to get on the net. I made the mistake of leaving my drives shared.
So, I got hit with a worm. But, I don't have any virus software on that
machine, so I didn't realize it at first. It wasn't until I copied an infected file
from MightyGigger to MightyMouse, where PC-Cillin is running, that I was informed of the
virus. PC-Cillin apparently scanned the file in real time and immediately popped up
a window telling me about it. This is only the second time a machine of mine has
ever been hit with a virus. Luckily, the virus wasn't a nasty one, and was easy to
- 2 - Belkin UPS
- UPS = Uninterruptible Power Supply. I am now a huge proponent of UPS'.
They've gotten cheap enough that they're very much worth the money. The power here
is pretty good. But every once in awhile I'll get a glitch. Most of the time
it's just for a split second. Just enough to have rebooted the machine, if it hadn't
been for the UPS. Usually it wouldn't be a big deal. But every once in awhile
I'm in the middle of something that I'd rather not have to redo. The UPS has saved
me a couple of times. Well worth the money.
- 3 - Windows Scheduler
- Don't use it, anymore. But haven't bothered to figure out how to turn it off.
They're not nice enough to make it straightforward or obvious. This is the
sort of thing that should be in the Startup folder, but of course they couldn't do that.
They have to bury it deep in the bowels of their startup sequence. Another
example of why Mickeysoft is so annoying.
- 4 - Compaq printer control
- The software that comes with my printer. I should prolly figure out how to remove
- 5 - Mouse applet
- Just the mouse. I need to figure out if I can get it out of my tray somehow.
- 6 - Sound
- Just the volume applet.
- 7 - Desktop
- One of the Win 95 PowerToys. For the most often used items, obviously the Start
Menu and the Quick Launch bars are the best places. But those get crowded
quickly. So the desktop is a good place to put several more not-quite-as-often-used
items. The big problem is having to minimize or move windows to get at the
desktop. This little toy displays the desktop icons in a list for quick
access. One potential problem with this program is actually an advantage. It
displays the icons in unsorted order, however they appear on disk. To put them in a
useful order, move them to a temporary directory. In a DOS box in that temp
directory, dir /b > xxx.bat. Edit the bat file and sort them into whatever order
you wish. Add a move command to each to send them back to the WINDOWS\DESKTOP
directory. Now, the order in the list is what you want. Of course, there are
several other toys in that pack that are useful.
- 8 - Matrox Display applet
- I have a Matrox G400 TV in this machine. This gets installed automagically by the
Matrox software. I haven't taken the time to figure out how to turn it off.
- 9 - Mike's Micro Meter
- Windows sucks. Hard. And in Win 9x it's common to run out of Windows Resources. This little program
helps me keep track of when I'm running low. I try to reboot before I run out
- 10 - Logitech
- I now have a Logitech Quickcam. I don't like it as much as the old cam, a DSC-300.
This one is not nearly as good in the low light of this office. It's very
- 11 - SetiHide
- I've been running SETI@Home for 4 1/2
years, now. I've even written my own program to produce an
email sig and post current progress to a web site.
- 12 - Webshots
- They have some great pics on their site. Unfortunately, the copyrighted pics are
trapped inside a proprietary file format. So the only way to get at them is to run
their screensaver/wallpaper changer. I'm annoyed I can't turn the tray icon off.
I'm trying some different programs for those tasks on another machine, but the
quality of pics isn't as good, and it's more difficult to grab a bunch of pics at once
from most sites.
- 13 - Flashpath
- I have a standalone card reader on the P166. But since I don't have that machine
on all the time anymore it became a hassle to use. This floppy disk card reader is
pretty convenient. Of course, new cameras come with USB connectivity built-in, so
this won't be necessary much longer.
- 14 - IconSaver
- Damn Windows. Every once in awhile it'll forget how my icons are laid out on my
desktop. And once it starts doing that, it'll forget over and over for a week or
two. Then it'll fix itself. I've been running icon position saver programs for
years, now. This one is free. It also includes the ability to type in the X/Y
coordinates of each icon, if you wish. That lets you line them up nicely, which is
really hard to do by hand.
- 15 - CalendarScope
- I was looking for two things in a calandar program. 1) Synch my calander to my
geek box. 2) Produce an HTML page with a subset of my schedule (my sports schedule.)
This program even imported all my existing appointments. And an added bonus,
it has a good text file import, which it turns out makes it much easier to put a new
season schedule in all in one fell swoop.
- 16 - ePrompter
- This is a stable program that does one thing pretty well. But there are a coupla
options I'd like to see handled differently. I'd like to define my own sound to
play. And I don't want a blinky icon in my task tray. Just a color indicator
when I have mail waiting, along with maybe a count of unread messages. One of these
days I'll write my own.
- 17 - Hotsynch
- Comes with the geek box. I'm considering turning it off except when I actually
- 18 - DU Meter
- Sometimes it's nice to know how good a connection you have to the net. Sometimes,
when you start a download it'll run for a few seconds and then stall. But it can be
hard to tell that's happening. Since this utility shows the total network traffic
going in and out of the machine you can verify how it's going.
- 19 - Trillian
- There are a few different all-in-one chat programs. This is the one I found a year
or so ago, and it seems to be still ahead of most of the pack. It has Yahoo cam
capability. And a plug-in system along with a few useful plug-ins, such as an RSS
- 20 - GetRight
- The big thing this one has is for very large files it'll open up multiple connections
and download multiple sections of file at one time. Many download sites limit each
individual download, so it takes multiple connections to fill the broadband pipe.
- 21 - TinyClock
- The main advantage to this little guy is that it saves screen space. Since I run
the task tray two-high the standard clock wastes space. Now, I turn the standard one
off and put this guy in the blank space under the Start button.
- 22 - Popfile
- Spamcop used to stop about 90% of my spam. Lately, it's down to about 60%, so I
often see ten a day. So I'm using Popfile as a second line of defense. I've
only started using it a week or two ago, so it's only about 85% accurate, so far, with
many false positives. I'm gonna let it go a bit longer and see how much it'll
- A programmer's editor. These guys think like I do. It has a C-like macro
language, but I've only ever written about 5 lines of code in it. Almost every time
I've wanted a feature, it was already available as an option. I use it for 90% of my
editing. It automagically writes to disk when you switch to another task, so it
works fairly well with MS DevStudio.
- Microsoft bugs me. I find their products to be often less than acceptable.
Buggy and hard to figure out. Therefore, I'm willing to look for and support
alternatives. Especially in areas where cross-platform compliance is paramount, such
as web browsing. Mozilla is another good
- I tried Forte, but found it clumsy. Gravity fits with the way I like to peruse
newsgroups. Not that I have much time to read newsgroups. And they're just not
as focused and useful as Compuserve's moderated forums.
- If you've used MetaCrawler you know about
multi-engine search pages. But seeing 20 or so hits per page and having to wait
between pages is a pain. WebFerret runs on your local machine and hits some 25
search engines and displays the hits in a standard listbox. This makes it much
quicker to skim up and down the list of hits.
Stuff I Used On My P166, circa 1999
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Last modified: November 14, 2003