Mighty Drake, Inc.

Stuff I use

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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 clean off.
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 this icon.
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 contents
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 completely.
10 - Logitech Quickcam Express
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 grainy.
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 need it.
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 reader.
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 improve.

Other stuff

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 alternative.
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
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