Software Reviews by MrJaw69

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.

Advanced SystemCare Free Advanced SystemCare Free

Too much 2 stars
Advanced SystemCare Free follows the idea of optimizing my computer to increase performance. The trouble is, this software (and some others of its kind) then proceed to install piles of files, run at startup, and run in the background thereby adding to my machine's overall workload. Advanced SystemCare Free seems to have integrated itself into many areas of my computer, and I'm not convinced that it's really doing that much more than the optimizers that run and then go away. Price: Free
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CloneSpy CloneSpy

Is it just me? 1 stars
I expected the usual duplicate finder fare, but what I found is software that wanted me to go through and decide, duplicate file by duplicate file, which I wanted to keep. I admit that I didn't read the help file, because I used enough of these things that I figured I could navigate through the options relatively easily since I've used several other duplicate cleaners. Clonespy might be dynamite, but in my 15 minutes with the software I didn't find anything to indicate that. If you're not in the mood or don't have time for a learning curve, you probably want to look elsewhere. Price: Free
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AllDup AllDup

Bummer. 3 stars
It didn't find all my duplicates. I can sympathize with someone trying to write software like this as it must be pretty elaborate and somewhat trying to test, still, I wish that it caught all my duplicates. Price: Free
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Duplicate Cleaner Free Duplicate Cleaner Free

Didn't catch 'em all 2 stars
I reviewed this a few years back and was really impressed with it. It was a smaller, less elaborate program then. I'm re-reviewing this because of recent disappointments. I've tried Duplicate Cleaner Free on two different systems recently and it just didn't find all the duplicates. It's also slow and clunky sometimes and lacked some key features that I expect from modern software of this kind. I expected a lot for all the 5 star reviews (especially mine) but my advice? Skip it. Price: Free
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Playlist Creator Playlist Creator

A look at playlist creator 3 stars
To my amazement, I actually organized my mp3s, so I had need of a playlist editor. Though the reviews for this one were ominous, they were also several years old, so I took a chance on Playlist Creator. The good news is that many of the complaints have been addressed in later version that I tested. For instance, it hasn't (yet) hosed my system, the "nag screen" is only shown while the software processes the playlist and then it goes away, and it does, indeed, open existing .m3u playlists. These are good things, but as a spoiled 21st century user I do miss a few convenience features. For instance, PC automatically detects and flags files missing from a playlist, but then requires the user to highlight and delete the missing entries manually. I looked hard for a setting or button that would make those flagged entries go away with one click, but no, there ain't one. Another little grip is that PC doesn't check for duplicates in a playlist. Granted, somebody might want want duplicates, but an optional warning for those who don't would be a nice option. Still, I'd recommend it. Price: Free
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Agent Ransack Agent Ransack

Solid and functional 5 stars
I hate the standard Windows search. It's slow and it's clunky if you don't let the OS endlessly index the drive. When using windows search on a network drive, for some reason there's a delay before the search will commence. Happy was I to find Agent Ransack. It's very fast, it integrates with windows via right click or keyboard shortcut, and has power user features without being hard to use. The interface is clean and intuitive. Really good software keeps it simple but surprises you later with features you didn't even know you needed. Before I found that I needed it Agent Ransack had the ability to search multiple, specified folders. And there's no delay when searching a network drive, either. To nitpick, pushing F3 won't launch Agent Ransack, but maybe that's the fault of XP. Fortunately, CTRL-F will, so I'm good with that. Agent Ransack gets five stars, and I don't often give five stars. Price: Free
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Pablo Commander Pablo Commander

Awkward 2 stars
The problem with Pablo Commander is that it's hard to maneuver in. I expected that there would be an intuitive way to copy directories between panels, or to open the contents of a directory in the other panel, for instance. Commander-type software are meant to transcend the meager file managing abilities of the operating system, but when I tried to use PC, I felt as stymied as I did in the Windows environment. There's potential here, and I like that it's small and portable, but I feel as though I'm working for the software rather than the other way around. Price: Free
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SearchMyFiles SearchMyFiles

No cigar 2 stars
Though it has many features, SearchMyFiles is surprisingly clunky. When invoked it opens two windows: a list window, and a search window with lots of options. SearchMyFiles requires the use of wildcards for all searches, which is straight out of 1989. Choosing the search folder was cumbersome. I'd grown accustomed to Windows' search of being able to navigate to a folder, hit F3, and then having the software search, albeit slowly, the folder for my criteria. I'd hoped for something as intuitive as Windows' search, but faster. I'll keep looking. Price: Free
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FLV Player nano FLV Player nano

It's small 2 stars
I'm usually a fan of resource-saving software. The trouble with FLV Player nano is that it offers gimmicks over useful features. There are options to rotate the video, for instance, but no convenient way to fast forward or rewind it. The software also has quite a few bugs. If you're using a REALLY low end machine FLV Player nano may be your salvation, but for the rest of us, it falls short. Price: Free
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FocusWriter FocusWriter

So close . . . 3 stars
Here are a few things to keep in mind about Focuswriter: First, Focuswriter has no installer. I really like portable software, but that fact is going to throw off less geeky users. A dictionary is not included with FW (v1.4.1 at least) so there's no spell check. The developer's website offers a link to where to get a dictionary, but not how to install it. I figured it out, but less savvy users may be stumped. I wish that FW were more configurable. I keep having to navigate to the same folders again and again, because FW doesn't allow me to customize my save or theme locations. Speaking of themes I like them, but they're something of a distraction, which is what FW is supposed to be minimizing. They do help to set a mood, and keep things fresh. I like the daily goal word counter, I like the writing timer, though I wish the latter had a little more polish, like hot keys to start it and stop it. I also wish that FW came with a little documentation to explain things like sessions and the scene list. Certain configuration options are hidden in the themes area, which threw me for awhile, too. Overall, the exclusion of a dictionary keeps me from recommending Focuswriter. It's so close and has so many good features, that if you think you can figure out how to install a dictionary (or don't mind going without one), then Focuswriter might be for you. Maybe. Price: Free
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Shalom Txt Shalom Txt

Alas . . . 3 stars
It doesn't handle regular expressions. I can see where this would be really useful for formatting emails that have > in front of each line or something. It didn't have quite enough power for what I wanted. On the plus side, it doesn't install itself, so it's painless to download it and give a try. Price: Free
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TheSage TheSage

Needs streamlining 3 stars
First and foremost, I want to point out that TheSage is a capable dictionary/thesaurus. But I feel like the developers have made the software a too big for its purpose. There's a noticeable lag when invoking TheSage, and then more lag as it looks for the word I've typed. I've never encountered such delays with other offline dictionaries. The software is configurable to the point that almost everything has options. While some people might like this, I found page after page of customization options to be more bloat than blessing. Some aspects of TheSage that are just quirky. For instance, when looking up a word, information (such as synonyms) can be shown redundantly in the same window. I'm looking for dictionary software that will let me quickly find the definition I want, and then get out of the way. For me, TheSage ain't it. Price: Free
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WordWeb WordWeb

Went wonky on me . . . 2 stars
I used Wordweb for a couple years without difficulty. Recently, however, the software began acting up. Usage of Wordweb is contingent on environmental conscientiousness, you see, and after using the software for a certain amount of time a nag window appears and asks if you've been nice to mother nature. When you answer "yes" (as anyone, truthful or not, would do) the nag window is supposed to go away. Well, I answered yes long ago, but suddenly Wordweb throws up the nag window every time I start up the software. I'm all for clean air and symbolic gestures, but thanks to this bug I'm now looking for a new offline dictionary. Price: Free
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Puran Defrag Puran Defrag

Capable, but not great 3 stars
Puran Defrag Free Edition is fast, has boot time defrag (an option that is rare among PDFE's freeware peers), and can defrag volumes that Windows XP can't touch. However, I've used Puran Defrag Free Edition on three computers, and found it to be less than stellar. PDFE's Intelligent Optimizer (which is switched off by default) had a negative effect on the performance of each computer (all were Dells running XP.) Also, there's an apparent trade off for PDFE's speed: when I've double checked after a defrag, Windows' defragmentation utility shows a few fragmented sections remaining, though they are small. While PDFE does have options that XP doesn't, I didn't notice a significant performance boost over Windows' defrag util, after defragmenting. But if you have a very full, very fragmented drive, PDFE is a great option to have. Price: Free
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XMPlay XMPlay

The most fun you'll have with 318k 4 stars
I've used XMPlay for years. I'm told that XMPlay isn't exactly feature rich, but whatever it doesn't have, I don't miss. It doesn't clutter up the registry or hog your resources. When you download XMPlay, don't forget to stop by the author's website and get the latest version, and check out the selection of skins. Four stars. Price: Free
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Taskbar Eliminator Taskbar Eliminator

Good idea, awkward execution 3 stars
When it comes to computer interfaces, I've never been satisfied. Taskbars waste screen space, and the Houdini-style taskbars that pop up at you when you move the mouse to the edge of the screen activate whether you want them to or not. Taskbar Eliminator seemed like a good compromise. The trouble is, the software doesn't offer an option to customize the hot keys for activating the toolbar, and the default combo is rather awkward. Upon checking the homepage, I found that the author offers personalized fee-based builds of Taskbar Eliminator. I'm not willing to go that far for what's really only a convenient tweak. Three stars. Price: Free
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RealWorld Cursor Editor RealWorld Cursor Editor

Dazzling 5 stars
I'm still finding useful features on this gem. At first I was daunted by the size of the download (I'm strongly anti-bloatware) but Realworld Cursor Editor is feature packed and enjoyable to use. There's a lot of support on the developer's website, too. It's not often I rate software five stars (there's always, always room for improvement) but I'm really impressed with this offering. Price: Free
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MWSnap MWSnap

It's okay, but . . . 4 stars
MWSnap didn't really work for me. First of all, I wish that the assignable hot keys were more flexible. The application I was trying to snapshot already had alt + ctrl + S assigned, so I couldn't use the auto snapshot feature. Deprived of this functionality, MWSnap became a nuisance, as it popped to the front as each shot was taken. When I have a batch of shots, I want to get them taken quickly, then process them later. MWSnap, in this instance, didn't help me get the job done. Price: Free
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FastStone Image Viewer FastStone Image Viewer

Dandy 4 stars
I usually use another image viewer, but I got frustrated by my 'daily driver' and decided to give Faststone a try. There's a lot to like. The interface is clean and intuitive, the features are readily accessible. However, my other software has spoiled me when it comes to file types. There isn't much that XNview can't recognize and display. FSview doesn't know, for instance, what a Gimp .xcf file is, so it pretends it doesn't exist. I wish that FSIV would at least show a marker that says "unsupported file type" or something, with a file name, to let the user know that there are other files in a folder aside from what FSIV recognizes. No software is perfect, and I really like some of FSIV's features enough that I'll keep the portable version handy. Price: Free
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SysInfoMyWork SysInfoMyWork

Useful and efficient 4 stars
When I transitioned to a Windows computer from a Commodore Amiga, I was struck by how little feedback, comparatively speaking, the machine gave. I haven't exactly found a glut of software on the Windows side to amend the situation, so I was glad when I stumbled on SysInfoMyWork. I really like its small footprint, and that it provides two useful pieces of information about system performance in such a small space. I've got to admit that this isn't the most beautiful little utility I've ever seen, but a quick glance tells me the "vital signs" of my machine. Price: Free
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Neutron Neutron

Shall I compare thee to a summers day? 5 stars
Okay, maybe that's a bit of overkill, but I really, really like Neutron. It's tiny, unobtrusive, and cleverly conceived. It fulfills its purpose dutifully and then gets out of the way, which is exactly what it should do. Price: Free
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Stellarium Stellarium

Groovy! 4 stars
Stellarium reminds me of why I always loved computers growing up. Software like this provides real time, localized information that you just can't get out of a book. The features are plentiful, with some you don't expect but that enhance the experience very much. If I have a complaint, it's that Stellarium, like other programs of its kind, doesn't really tell a person much beyond highly esoteric specifics, so if you're not an astronomer, this information won't be particularly interesting. If the software tied into a database that told you more about the star, like when it was discovered, by who, and any other trivia, it would make astronomy a little more accessible to us non-experts. Still, it's great to be able to look up at the stars and know, finally, what I'm looking at. Price: Free
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TypeFaster TypeFaster

A little dry, but . . . 4 stars
. . . then again, how interesting can a typing tutor really be? I was impressed with the straightforward design of the interface: I basically installed it, chose my lesson, and got busy. Having said that, however, the software really didn't fulfill my needs. I've been typing for years but developed some bad habits that need correction, most noticeably, incorrect figuring on the backspace key. I downloaded this software because the description says that the lessons are configurable. Unfortunately, the backspace key is integrated into the software so it can't be added as a key press in the custom tutorials. (Why being able to fix a typing mistake in tutorial software is necessary is a mystery to me.) I think if you need a heavy duty refresher, or are just learning to type, this software would do the trick. It just didn't work for my purposes. Price: Free
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DeepBurner Free DeepBurner Free

Really nice, but no dual layer support yet 4 stars
I used DeepBurner for a long time, and once I got the hang of it, I found it to be solid and reliable. However, the lack of dual layer disc support sent me looking for something else. Price: Free
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HotkeyP HotkeyP

Reenergize your keyboard 4 stars
When I first got my laptop, a Dell, it had this little button near the top that called an all but useless (for me) help website. When I started clearing off all the bloatware that manufacturers put on new machines, that button stopped working. HotkeyP gave new functionality to that button with only a fraction of the bloatware's CPU/memory overhead. It's incredibly satisfying to personalize and customize function keys and key combos, and there's a lot of features on HotKeyP and they're easy to implement. If I had this for my Mac at work, I might not loathe it so much. :) I'm surprised to see this little gem isn't more popular. If you want your machine to be a little more efficient, a little more configurable, give HotKeyP a whirl. It doesn't even junk up your registry. My only complaint is that it won't open my external cd burner tray. Other than that, my compliments and thanks to the software author. Price: Free
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USBDeview USBDeview

Might save you a reinstall 5 stars
I wonder how many windows reinstalls have prompted by USB port failures? The USB ports on my main machine can be twitchy. With USBDeview I can wipe the USB record and start over, which is a very nice option to have. It's also fun to see what USB devices have been plugged into a computer and when. Hats off to the developer! Price: Free
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EaseUS Partition Master EaseUS Partition Master

Fills a need 4 stars
Partitioning isn't something most of us do a lot, and Windows doesn't seem to have a way to easily do this, so this software really helped me out. The interface is rather vague. I had to use a help file and tinker, but I got it to do what I wanted. Price: Free
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Mobysaurus Thesaurus Mobysaurus Thesaurus

Wish I could give it six stars 5 stars
The software: The features are incredibly comprehensive. It's very configurable. If I were to nitpick, I'd point out that it takes a long time to load up on my machine, and that delay breaks my stride when writing, somewhat, but I can live with that. Also, I would like to be able to access the same context menu in the "look up" field that is available down in the list of synonyms. The thesaurus: my problem with most thesauruses is that you won't find the word you're looking for, but you'll find a lot of words that no one knows and that don't really apply. Mobysaurus is just as guilty: it suggests good words as well as some delightfully eccentric ones. As an example, look up "blood" in Mobysaurus and you'll get lots of quirky offerings. This software feels like an actual paper thesaurus/synonym book, and seldom does software equal its printed forebears. Mobysaurus does. Writers will love it. Price: Free
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EasyRead EasyRead

Ctrl + scroll wheel = easyread 3 stars
I'm not trying to detract from the product, and having the + and - is a real nice addition, but you can simply press CTRL and use the scroll wheel to change the text size in most browsers. Saves you 200K. Price: Free
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FilZip FilZip

May not be good for complex archives 2 stars
Filzip tends to lock up on my XP machine, and to randomly skip files in nested directories when unzipping from large archives. Price: Free
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XnView XnView

Powerful 5 stars
I tried a couple other viewers, but I use Xnview so much I take it for granted. It crashes occasionally, but has tons of features and doesn't hog system resources. Hats off to the developer! Price: Free
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ShirusuPad ShirusuPad

I needed it but didn`t know it 5 stars
It's like having a legal pad built into your computer because it has that use-it-in-an-instant spontaneity. Shirusu pad saves you the clutter of post it notes, doesn't hog your computer's resources, and comes in mighty handy. Price: Free
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nPassword nPassword

Has potential . . . 3 stars
. . . but the problem with nPassword is that I found no documentation for it. I use it, and it's handy to drag and drop usernames and passwords, but I couldn't figure out how to implement the auto login scripts without documentation. It's better than typing passwords, but it needs a bit more work (like some instructions). Price: Free
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Gimp Gimp

It's good! 4 stars
. . . but it's a little different. When I first used Gimp it was doing exactly what I wanted it to do, but I didn't know it because I wasn't used to the interface, but now that I'm used to it I'm finding more and more useful features. If this is your first image processing software you might look for something a little less elaborate, but if not, I'd recommend it. It saved me from spending $100+ on a commercial product. I seem to recall that I had some trouble downloading the documentation, but so far I haven't needed it. Price: Free
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