Mike Williams

Explzh is a do-everything archive manager

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Some people’s archiving needs are simple: right-click to extract zips, combine a few files into a zip of their own occasionally, and that’s about it. Nothing that can’t be handled by Explorer on its own.

If you’re, well, a little more demanding, you might be interested in Explzh, a free archive manager for Windows with a host of features you won’t always find elsewhere.

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Transit App: a smarter way to navigate your city

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Finding your way around big cities is generally a challenge, even if you live there. You might know the best bus routes, or have mastered the metro, but you can still be in trouble if a service is unexpectedly cancelled and you're left looking for an alternative.

Transit App is a free Android and iOS app which helps out with a host of tools for planning journeys around and across your local city.

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PDF24 Creator v7 gains Explorer integration

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Free virtual PDF printer PDF24 Creator has been updated to version 7.0 with a range of new and enhanced features.

Top of the list -- and not before time -- is Explorer integration. Right-clicking one or more files now displays options to open, split, join, optimize, extract and convert them, while right-clicking the desktop allows users to import from the scanner, camera or clipboard.

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Convert.NET is an unusual desktop translator

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Convert.NET is a free (for personal use) text processing toolkit with maybe the most bizarrely mixed-up feature set we’ve seen.

Choose "Language Translation" from the list top-left and it seems reasonably normal. Type or paste text into the box, enter a URL, choose one or more files, select your source and target languages and the program translates them for you via Google, Bing, Yandex or Excite.

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1-4a Rename is a versatile batch renamer

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Renaming one file on a PC is easy. A whole folder full? That’s more of a challenge. Explorer can’t help, and even turning to the command line doesn’t give you very much.

1-4a Rename is a free, portable batch renaming tool which aims to change all that. It’s old, and the interface is a mess, but if you need real renaming power then it might be worth a try.

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WhatsApp Desktop is a very unofficial WhatsApp client

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WhatsApp is a great mobile messaging app, but you might occasionally wish you could run it from a desktop, where you can take advantage of the full-sized keyboard and screen.

There’s no official desktop app available, but if you like the idea then you could try the extremely unofficial WhatsApp Desktop, an open source tool available for Windows, OS X and Linux.

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CSVPad is a portable CSV editor

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CSVPad is a compact, free and portable editor for CSV and similar files.

The program can handle all kinds of format variations: tab separated, colons, semicolons, pipes, dollars and more. Fortunately you don’t have to worry about the details as by default CSVPad automatically detects and uses the correct format all on its own.

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Uncover hidden malware with RunPE Detector

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Malware uses many tricks to hide its process, and one of the most common is known as RunPE.

Essentially this involves starting a known and trusted process -- Explorer.exe, say -- in a suspended state, replacing its code with the malware’s own, then starting it up. Even running something like Process Explorer won’t reveal any problems unless you look very, very closely.

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Back up Windows and program settings with CloneApp

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CloneApp is a tiny, free and portable tool which can back up and restore the settings of many popular Windows programs.

Supported software includes 7-Zip, Adobe Reader, Classic Shell, Gimp, Google Chrome, Google Earth, IrfanView, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Office 2010/ 2013, Firefox, Opera, VLC Media Player, and it can preserve plenty of Windows settings, too: Favorites, Contacts, Network folder settings, Start Menu and more.

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Sicyon is a serious scientific calculator

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There’s plenty of "scientific calculator" programs around, but very few really live up to the name (trig functions and a degrees/radians switch really aren’t as advanced as some developers seem to think).

At first glance the Windows freeware Sicyon looks much the same. There’s a numeric keypad, the basic operators, then buttons of functions which you can use as required.

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Lock your PC with a USB flash drive

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KeyLock is a free Windows tool which allows you to lock your PC with a USB flash drive. If you need to leave it unattended for a while, just unplug the drive, a custom lock screen appears, and you won’t be able to continue until it’s reconnected.

Setup is easy. Connect a USB key, choose it in the Drives list, and you can save the details and start protection in a couple of clicks.

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Macrium Reflect Free 6 adds differential backups

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Paramount Software has released Macrium Reflect Free 6, the personal-use-only edition of its popular imaging backup tool.

The big addition is support for differential images, which save time by only recording the data that has changed since the last backup.

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PNotes.NET is the ultimate sticky notes manager

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"Sticky notes" software can be very basic, and that’s not necessarily a problem. Just being able to type plain text notes as required, add a "reminder" time and browse them all later is more than enough to be useful.

The open source Windows tool PNotes.NET goes further, though -- much, much further -- and is now so powerful that it takes the genre to a whole new level.

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AIDA64 brings in-depth system information to Android

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It’s best known as one of the most powerful and detailed system information tools for Windows, but AIDA64 is also available as a free app which can tell you everything you ever wanted to know about your Android device.

And we do mean everything.

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Auslogics BoostSpeed 8 adds boot-time defrag, System Advisor

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Auslogics has released Auslogics BoostSpeed 8, the latest edition of its freemium Windows maintenance suite.

The new build brings back System Advisor, which scans your system and suggests tweaks (programs to uninstall, Windows services you can disable, system settings which aren’t optimized -- there are 56 recommendation types in total).

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