Software Reviews by D_Spider

The reviews and opinions below are posted by SnapFiles visitors. They do not necessarily reflect our opinion, and they are solely based upon the experience of individual users.


Excellent freeware 5 stars
If there were a rating for features-per-megabyte, this little icon editor would have a very high one. It can do batch processing. You can make your own filters (the settings for the built-in filters are accessible as models, so all that's required is patience). By reading the Help File, you can figure out how to use selections to achieve what's normally accomplished by using layers. Its resizing algorithm is good. IcoFX works fine with 32-bit color depth. If you want maximum functionality, use your big image editor's sophisticated features, save as a 32-bit PNG, open that with IcoFX and make an ICO with several images inside it (even Photoshop needs its icon-plugin). Or just use IcoFX until you *know* what additional features you want in an icon editor. They're unlikely to be free, and in the meantime you've made your own icons and transformed others and had fun. That's a great deal. Price: Free Trial ($29.99)
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ShellExView ShellExView

Wonderful, excellent! 5 stars
It even has a convenient "search" function. It does what all the other reviewers have noted, and one thing they haven't: you can disable the context-menu entries of useful programs that rely on the context menu (Recase, CROA, etc.) until you want to use them. Then re-enable, get rid of all the ugly capital letters, for instance, and return the right-click menu to its cleaned-up, shortened state. (If ShellExView doesn't list the shell extension you want to disable, check out NirSoft's companion utility, "Shell Menu View" [shmnview].) It's amazing how nice it feels not to have to look at an interminable list of annoyances every time you right-click! Price: Free
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LaunchBar Commander LaunchBar Commander

A versatile, fast, stable launcher 5 stars
It'd be 99% ideal if it supported multiple monitors, and 100% if its 25 skins were more varied in background color. It's easy to configure (drag and drop), can hold almost limitless items in multi-layers, includes its own icons and options to use those in Windows' shell, or in your other DLLs and EXEs, or your own ("large" = 32x32, "small" = 16x16, though other-sized icons are displayed as these sizes). Its shortcuts can execute programs, scripts, plugins, internal and external links, or display menus, submenus, the contents of folders, or special things like what you've chosen from the Control-Panel applets. My taskbar is on my secondary monitor, so the menus pop up there, but the floating or auto-hiding windows appear on the primary and won't be moved over. (Minor glitch: it says "Menu Commander" in Windows list of installed programs.) I've searched, and I haven't yet found a free launcher that's better. Price: Free
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Jarte Jarte

At first it may look a little weird... 5 stars
If you don't want or need a monster "office"-type word processor, Jarte will do just fine. It makes rich-text documents easily, imports pictures, does page-numbering, headers, footers, italics, boldface, multiple fonts, whatever size characters you like, highlighting, colors, etc. The interface is idiosyncratic, but it is easy to use and practical. Support from the author is generous and excellent. I've made some 30-pages-long documents with it; it's not just for short things. It's stable. I think it's the best small, free word processor available. Price: Free
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SyncBack Free SyncBack Free

It's unfair competition for SychBack SE 5 stars
I'm sure the pay-for program has extra features, but for an individual with a home computer the freeware SyncBack is more than adequate. Two suggestions for users: (1) Don't be put off by the "Advanced" tabs--the options they provide are perfectly clear, easy to implement, and very useful. (2) The complications users have encountered using SyncBack and Windows Task Scheduler can be avoided simply by doing backups "live"--after all, you have to be there to disconnect the drive you've backed up to when the backup is done (or else the backed-up data isn't safe); and, after you configure the way SyncBack works (the profiles) and do your first backup, subsequent ones go very, very fast. This is an impressive, excellent backup program! Price: Free
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Eusing Free Registry Cleaner Eusing Free Registry Cleaner

Alas, it makes some errors 3 stars
... that I know are errors: unused file extensions (which are in use), some paths, etc. I ran it several times, but I didn't let it clean anything until I checked the registry to be sure the path (for instance) was wrong. Other cleaners make errors, too, so I'm not singling out Eusing Free Registry Cleaner. And I have to admit I was impressed by its finding remnants of MSIE 4 (how long ago was that?) uninstall files in my very recently installed XPproSP2 registry. Overall, EFRC is okay, but I can't bring myself to trust it. Price: Free
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Registry Explorer Registry Explorer

When they get the bugs out... 2 stars
Registry Explorer seems like a great idea, but my experience with it was disappointing. First, it was a challenge to get the desktop icon off the desktop since it's not really a shortcut but is somehow integrated into Control Panel. Then, it behaved quirkily - I wanted to stop a program from starting up automatically, and as I navigated in the registry toward "...Windows Current Version Run" and clicked on the "+" in front of Current Version, Registry Explorer simply closed itself; I just couldn't get past that "+" sign. Later, it actually crashed-- didn't just close without doing any harm but left me wondering if it had made changes before it stopped responding. When I rebooted and tried again, same thing. So I uninstalled it. There are more dependable, less-anxiety-producing, free, registry-editing programs available. Price: Free
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Easy Thumbnails Easy Thumbnails

For thumbnails and... 5 stars
Easy Thumbnails is *very* easy to use, and it produces excellent results. It's also a really good image resizer-- any size, almost, to any other size, and for other formats than JGP. And the several resizing algorithms make possible some quite subtle effects. (The "best" algorithm depends on what kind of image--colors, contrast, etc--you use it on.) Simply excellent! Price: Free
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Win32Pad Win32Pad

All this in 70 k? 5 stars
Win32Pad's developer deserves some kind of achievement award! Unless one wants and needs *significantly* more features and is willing to "pay" for them with more resource use and a lot more intrusiveness (context-menu items, entries throughout the registry, etc.), this text editor more than suffices. It's a great replacement for NotePad, and even on a small pen drive you'll hardly notice it's there... till it does what you want it to do. Price: Free
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Notepad SX Notepad SX

Which features do you want? 4 stars
Notepad SX doesn't number lines, but it has some offsetting other features. Overall, it's the equal of the other listed text editors of the same size, and probably better than the others that got three-star ratings. If I could make use of its differentiating features, I'd use it. Price: Free
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Copernic Desktop Search Lite Copernic Desktop Search Lite

And it's for free? 5 stars
Copernic indexed 275,000+ "keywords" in my computer--I have a lot of texts, images, and audio files--and not only did that much more quickly than I expected but it also finishes searches as close to "instantly" as makes no difference to me. Now I'm batch-converting my Paint-Shop-Pro image files to compressed JPEGs so that Copernic Desktop Search can show me thumbnails of them (and I know from the "E" in those extensions that they're just copies, not JPGs I've made for Web pages). A side effect of this is that Windows Explorer can now "see" those images, too --but I didn't begin the project till I'd found how good Copernic is. Its search-within-texts, showing the words without having to open the files, is excellent, too. I'd tried Windows Live Search, and Copernic is faster and (I think) much better. Now I can go looking in my files instead of looking for a search tool! Price: Free
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Audacity Audacity

Powerful and usable 4 stars
I've used Audacity to convert WAVs into high bit-rate MP3s, to record off vinyl LPs, to adjust volume (amplitude), and to play with some sound files "creatively." It's a good, stable application, and I prefer it to NTi's wave editor (which I paid for). With version 1.2.3 there is a problem with memory management-- trying to convert edited WAVs to MP3s, I got "out of memory" errors (with XPpro and 1GB RAM?); the easy workaround is to close Audacity after finishing one file, before starting another (XP will take care of RAM use, then). And newer versions may have fixed this problem (I just haven't done any monster files recently); even if not, restarting the application between files is a small price to pay for such an otherwise versatile and dependable [and free!] audio editor. Price: Free
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QuickFill by BB QuickFill by BB

Others are better 2 stars
I was predisposed favorably because of another of BB's utilities, but this one was too cumbersome to configure and promised to be too much trouble to use. The "boilerplate" or "template" features of Yankee Clipper, ArsClip, Clipomatic, et al. are far more convenient, and the main point of these is to save keystrokes and mouseclicks, right? Price: Free
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CCleaner CCleaner

Overall, excellent! 5 stars
You can use it just to clear cookies and temp files after you're done surfing, and you can use it for regular clean-ups of the junk various applications leave on your hard drive, and you can use it to change "46D89-0" to "modem" in your list of installed programs (and to uninstall), and you can use it to get rid of useless stuff in your registry. Except for the last, CCleaner is foolproof and easy to use. As a registry cleaner, it's perhaps too easy to use, and not proof against one's own ignorance. So don't let it fix registry-things you don't understand, and CCleaner will become one of your must-have tools. Price: Free
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Cartoonist Cartoonist

Fun and easy to use 5 stars
A good graphics program's smudge tool can do more than Cartoonist, but not so easily. With the smudge tool, you'd set the size/shape of the selection area, the opacity percentage, the hardness of the area's border, and begin; then, more likely than not, you'd change some settings, and continue; then.... With Cartoonist, all you do is set the size of the selection area with a slider on the main window and get to work. Suppose your selection area covers the end of a person's nose; you depress the mouse button and drag (your person now looks like Pinocchio). Don't like it? --undo; like it? --save. It's that easy. Besides photos and caricatures, Cartoonist can "erase" or disguise distracting elements, make clouds and waves dramatic, etc. I'd like some larger selection circles, and I'd love variable rectangles, but Cartoonist's ease of use and excellent interface don't need improvement at all. Price: Free
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STOIK Deformer STOIK Deformer

Certainly worth a try... 3 stars
My chief negative response is to the fact that the tools are "small," "medium," and "large," with no adjustments possible. But someone else may find this uncomplicated instead of limiting. If you want to do funny, neat, and sometimes striking things to your photos and images without having to learn the details of a more conventional image editor and proceed step by step, Deformer may be just what you want. It's like a sophisticated image editor with on/off switches, or a graphics-effects wizard that takes care of the details for you. Price: Free Trial ($19.00)
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Kirby Alarm Kirby Alarm

Stable, flexible, easy to use 5 stars
Kirby Alarm is just about the perfect scheduler / reminder program. It is extremely stable--I've used it for almost two years and it hasn't crashed once (the only bug I know of is that it disables "Show Windows' Contents While Dragging," and this is already fixed in the current beta). It allows you to schedule programs and reminders in virtually every way possible: daily, yearly, the-nth-day-of-the-month, every-x-minutes (for graphics applications without autosave, I use a little sound to remind me). Setting up the schedule is easy, thanks to a very clear interface and useful error messages that tell you which checkbox you've missed. I use Kirby Alarm for all my computer maintenance: it opens the right program at the right time and reminds me to check for updates the night before, great! I wish some applications I've paid for worked this well. Price: Free Trial ($24.95)
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