20 May 2007

#21. Good Things Come Faster To Those Who Don’t Wait

Welcome back to Jonathan’s Tool Bar & Grill, where patience is not our strong point. This week we hurry to recommend some utilities that shave precious seconds or minutes from your everyday activities.

Safe and Fast Add or Remove Programs Replacement

Life is short. So when you need to remove a program from your hard disk, who’s got time to open the Windows Control Panel and then wait for its Add or Remove Programs applet to populate the program list? You could do it faster with a pencil and paper.

Enter Safarp (see the heading just above if you can’t figure out the name on the first try). This clever utility removes installed programs the same way Windows does, but populates the program list almost instantly. What’s missing? Safarp only removes programs, and lacks options for adding new programs, changing Windows components, and specifying program access and defaults. Safarp also provides less information about each program, and does not display program-specific icons in its no-nonsense interface – but does supply a search function. So when you know what you want to get rid of, why waste time loading useless information about every program on your disk?

Safarp is free, and is available http://sourceforge.net, as well as from major download sites such as download.com.

YouTube On Steroids

Ever drum your fingers on the desk, waiting impatiently for a Hee Haw clip to load from YouTube and similar sites? And then when it starts to play, it stutters worse than Mel Tillis?

Speedbit Video Accelerator might help you stop grinding your teeth. Brought to you by the publishers of Download Accelerator Plus, the brand-new Video Accelerator claims to speed up your video streamloads up to five-fold, by establishing multiple connections to the server.

In my informal experiments, I noticed a definite improvement in video streaming times (though certainly not by the factor of five that the publisher claims can be achieved) and smoother playback with fewer hiccups.

Video Accelerator also bookmarks your recently viewed videos, and offers a video search function as well.

Presently, Video Accelerator works with YouTube, MetaCafe, DailyMotion, Grouper, and iTunes Premium. It works on all browsers and Windows 2000, XP, and 2003. Support for Vista and for more video servers is promised in upcoming versions.

Video Accelerator is free from http://www.speedbit.com.

Can’t Shut Down Fast Enough?

It’s bad enough that Windows starts up so slowly; must it take an eternity to shut down, too? Not if you use Slawdog Smart Shutdown. This free little gem closes Windows and turns off your computer with one click of its system tray icon.

Smart Shutdown offers many other clever functions and is highly configurable. But while it’s nice for your getaway car to have a disk changer, seat warmers, and electric mirrors, you mostly want it to get you out of there fast. Smart Shutdown delivers both. There are many other free shutdown utilities out there, but I like Slawdog’s the best. Get it at http://www.slawdog.com.

Come back to the Tool Bar & Grill each Sunday for another quick roundup of useful utility recommendations. If you see it here, you know it’s good. And tell me what you think by clicking “comments” below or emailing jonathanstoolbar@gmail.com.

1 comment:

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