Daily Archives: May 23, 2012

This is what the sparse post that went out yesterday afternoon was intended to be. I wanted to gather a bit of information for the next day’s post before I went to see a client. I was short on time and apparently hit “Publish” rather than “Save as Draft”. My apologies.

I am always on the lookout for free software & utilities that actually work and have run across three more for your consideration.

  1. Advanced Uninstaller Pro – Some weeks ago, I posted about software uninstallers that worked better than the one built into the Windows Control Panel and offered two possibilities: (a) Revo Uninstaller (b) Your Uninstaller. There were one or two others that were more “trial-ware” than anything else & Advanced Uninstaller Pro was one of them. Innovative Solutions have decided to make version 10.6 absolutely free. Are all uninstallers the same? Well, some uninstallers are better at finding things than others. I had considered Your Uninstaller to be tops at finding installed applications but I accidentally installed a bit of “crap-ware” the other day & went to use Your Uninstaller to get rid of it. That application could not find it but Revo Uninstaller did. The moral? It always helps to have two uninstallers available even if you only install software on rare occasions because when you really want to rid our PC of something, you need to find it & get rid of it completely!
  2. WinDirStat –  Ever wonder which files are consuming the most space on your Hard Drive? Then this may be the answer for you. WinDirStat analyses your HDD and displays the results in a proportional sized, colour coded matrix. You can learn what type of file it is, where it is and how big it is. Perfect for finding that monster logfile that’s squatting in a forgotten folder.
  3. FileType ID – This scenario has probably happened to a lot of us. Some one sends you an email w/ a file attached. Maybe it’s a file type that you recognise. Maybe it’s not. Since you don’t know the true nature of this file & the sender has always sent you good stuff before, you double-click on the file and – surprise, surprise – you wind up introducing your system to viruses, malware and other “cooties”. So how do you know what’s good and what’s not. Antivirus file scanning programmes have been known to miss a lot of things. (They have also been known to quarantine and/or delete perfectly safe files.) FileType Id will give you detailed information on any file before you open it by analysing the file’s binary signature. You can save the results of a file’s analysis as an HTML document And share it with friends, co-workers, etc. to get a second opinion. With around 4700 file-type definitions at the moment, this application is a “must have”.

All three of these freebies were reviewed at The Windows Club so you know that the applications have passed through an initial trial and review.

Finally, always keep an eye on what is going on with the installation process. In other words, read each installer panel carefully.  A lot of good software uses installers that want to add a toolbar for a search engine, etc. If you’re not careful, you might wind up with something that you really didn’t want.

It’s funny how the internet works. Yesterday, I posted about Brenda Pandos’ upcoming sequel to Everblue. Because of that post, I picked up a new follower on Twitter; Blackwing Books. Blackwing published Nightworld by Maureen Noel in October of last year. I took a look at it on Amazon and the blurb makes it sound interesting enough that I’m going to give it a go as a break from research for my never-to-be-published novel. A review will follow.

Funny indeed.

This one falls into the general dumbness category. You have probably heard the uproar over the auction of a bit of Ronald Reagan’s blood. Frankly, I’m not sure why anyone would want this other than to possibly clone Ronald Reagan. The story has repeatedly made the news for a number of days now, leading to this spot of brilliance.

Last night on the CBS Evening News, there was yet another story about the auction. To illustrate the story, they – being CBS News – put up a light-box with the headline (in big letters, of course) “Blood Vile”. Reagan’s blood may be vile but it was kept in a glass vial!!

Walter Cronkite must be spinning in his grave right about now and that’s the way it is.

Let us now praise famous men. Today it’s my brother’s turn as he turns 54 around Noon, EST. I’ve known Jim Tench Parsons all his life and I cannot speak greater praise of anyone than I do now for him. Jim Parsons is an avid ham radio operator – W4JTP – a walking encylopaedia when it comes to sports and/or beer, an amazing font of trivia, an amazing freelance writer, and a dyed-in-the wool fan of the Virginia Tech Hokies . He’s got three degrees from that fine institution and if you cut him, he will bleed burnt orange and Chicago maroon. Like his brother before him, he believes that The National Lampoon was the pinnacle of American literature and that the world ended – as we know it – when the Firesign  Theatre broke up.

But most of all, I want to tell of the great help and support he was during our late mother’s last months. No doubt he groaned inwardly whenever I asked “Do you have time for a chat?”, but he more or less cheerfully listened to my account of conditions at our mother’s house in Hopewell, gave advice, did research and was always ready to juggle his schedule so that we both had a respite from our familial duties. In short, I could not ask for better support from anyone.

I just wish that I was half the writer that he is.

Jim took more than his share of grief as a kid from his older brother and has yet to put arsenic in the bottle of single-malt that he bestows on me every Christmas. One or two of those bottles do look a bit dodgy, though. Nonetheless, he persevered though it all and I am – mostly – sorry for these, my misdoings.

I’m both glad and proud to be his brother and I wish him a very happy birthday and the prospect of many more to follow. His life partner, Bob the Cat, will no doubt agree and gift Jim a hair-ball or two in commemoration of this day.

Happy Birthday, JT!

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