Sys­tem Util­i­ties

Windows Help & Advice - - WINDOWS 10 -

27 PDF read er Su­ma­tra PDF

Adobe needn’t have the mo­nop­oly on PDF read­ing. The for­mat is far more wide­spread than it once was, and there are smaller, faster, and more ver­sa­tile read­ers than, er, Reader – Su­ma­traPDF be­ing the best among them. It has a de­lib­er­ately sim­ple UI, be­cause you’re meant to be fo­cused on read­ing, rather than click­ing but­tons, and also in­cludes full sup­port for ren­der­ing most main­stream e-book and comic book for­mats, as well as XPS and DjVu files. www.suma­trapdf­

28 Email clie nt eM Client

One of the clean­est email pack­ages around, work­ing with POP3, SMTP, and ev­ery other email de­liv­ery tech out there, eM Client’s free ver­sion only re­ally re­stricts the num­ber of ac­counts you can use – ev­ery other fea­ture matches up to its pro tier. This in­cludes PGP in­te­gra­tion, so you can se­curely sign or en­crypt your mes­sages, along with ad­vanced con­tacts man­age­ment, im­port­ing from other email apps, and a chat client that sup­ports most com­mon IM pro­to­cols. http://em­

29 File syn­chro­ni­sa­tion Dropb ox

Keep­ing files synced be­tween your many PCs and an on­line drive is a sim­ple way of stay­ing or­gan­ised and safe, and it’s not without its op­tions. Google Drive, Mi­crosoft OneDrive, Box, even Mega, they all give you a lo­cal folder that au­to­mat­i­cally mir­rors one on­line. We favour Dropbox for this task, mainly be­cause it feels like the most re­spon­sive and sen­si­ble way to mag­i­cally clone your stuff. It’s what Dropbox was built to do – lim­ited stor­age space be damned.

30 Me­dia burner CDBurn­erXP

Op­ti­cal me­dia is a pro­gres­sively more mar­ginal form of stor­age, but it ain’t dead yet, and the flex­i­bil­ity to do more than Win­dows’ own built-in burn­ing tools is es­sen­tial. CDBurn­erXP, which shows its lin­eage in its name, can burn it all – you can even use it to write HD-DVDs if you can find the hard­ware – and it can cre­ate and con­vert ISO files, too. Per­fect for back­ing up back­ups. http://cdburn­

31 Mes­sag­ing Franz

Franz doesn’t ac­tu­ally of­fer its own mes­sag­ing sys­tem, but it does serve up just about ev­ery other pro­to­col. Con­fig­ure your Franz ac­count, add the ser­vices and user­names you want to use, and they’re repli­cated on what­ever ma­chine you log on to next. Get your Slack, your Han­gouts, your Skype, and even What­sApp all in one place, and stop shun­ning that one per­son who won’t move to the net­work the rest of your friends use. http://meet­

Notes Ever­note 32

The great ben­e­fit of be­ing the big­gest name in your field, as Ever­note surely is, is in­te­gra­tion. So many other web ser­vices tie into it that you often don’t need to make notes di­rectly – just chuck the con­tent you’re in­ter­ested in over to your Ever­note, and it’s there when you want to re­mem­ber, or­gan­ise it into note­books, and oth­er­wise make use of it later on. You can sync the ba­sic free ac­count with two de­vices. http://ever­

Util­ity setup Ni­nite 33

Ef­fi­ciency is the name of the game where Ni­nite is con­cerned. If you’re putting to­gether a new ma­chine, and you want it packed with free apps, Ni­nite can sup­ply them – in­clud­ing many of the apps fea­tured here – in one handy in­staller. Just check the boxes on the site, down­load your cus­tom ex­e­cutable, and fire it off to get the lat­est ver­sions of the most pop­u­lar ap­pli­ca­tions in­stalled with one click. No choices, no op­tions, just clean in­stalls of your favourite stuff. http://ni­

Vir­tual ma­chines Vir­tu­albox 34

It’s sort of re­mark­able that Vir­tu­alBox is free, par­tic­u­larly since it’s owned by a com­pany as big as Or­a­cle, but the fre­quently up­dated vir­tual ma­chine en­vi­ron­ment is es­sen­tial if you want to cob­ble to­gether sand­boxed Win­dows in­stal­la­tions, trial Linux dis­tros, or get up to all kinds of other shenani­gans that it might be use­ful to roll back or keep sep­a­rate from the rest of your PC. It’s highly con­fig­urable, and you can even set up your own vir­tual net­works. www.vir­tu­

Sys­tem info HWiNFO64 35

If you have a prob­lem with your PC – or even if you don’t – it’s use­ful to find out ex­actly how it’s op­er­at­ing. HWiNFO64 is a di­ag­nos­tic tool that can serve up ev­ery­thing from a brief over­view of your sys­tem’s com­po­nents to a deep dive into the mi­nus­cule op­er­a­tions of your PC. You can also use it for real-time mon­i­tor­ing, keep­ing an eye on the sta­tus of prob­lem com­po­nents, and pre­dict­ing fail­ure based on its find­ings.

Com­pres­sion 7-zip 36

We find it pretty amaz­ing how many peo­ple have the never-end­ing free trial of WinRAR in­stalled when 7-Zip does the job of ar­chiv­ing and unar­chiv­ing just as com­pe­tently, and doesn’t bother with the nag screens. What’s more, the .7z for­mat, which uses AES-256 en­cryp­tion and a su­per-high com­pres­sion ra­tio, is both smaller and, usu­ally, faster than us­ing .ZIP or .RAR to squash down your files.

HWiNFO64 en­ables you to get to know your PC in­ti­mately, and pin­point po­ten­tial prob­lems.

Set up a sys­tem with ease, and let Ni­nite han­dle the job of in­stalling free apps.

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