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Inexpensive enhancements for Windows 95, Part 2
technofile  by al fasoldt
Columns and commentaries in a life-long dance with technology 
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Inexpensive enhancements for Windows 95, Part 2 


Technofile for Oct. 19, 1997

By Al Fasoldt

Copyright © 1997, The Syracuse Newspapers

Last week I described three very useful enhancements to Windows 95, Tweak UI, Stiletto and Zip Magic. This week I am adding six more programs to my list of recommended utilities:

NewPad, by Eugene Vassilstov, available from http://www.netcom.com/~ionna/newpad.html. Price: Free.

I praised NewPad in a recent article (http://www.dreamscape.com/afasoldt/texts/bp090797.html) and continue to appreciate its solid behavior. It is the best way I know of to replace the wimpy, inexcusably ill-behaved Notepad that comes with Windows 95. (There are much fancier replacements, but NewPad is ideal as a simple substitute.) If you use Microsoft's yuck-a-chuck Notepad at all, do yourself a favor and download this replacement.

RegClean, by Microsoft's engineering staff, available here. Price: Free. (If you get an error running RegClean because of a missing OLEAUT32.DLL file, you can download it here.)

RegClean checks the contents of the Registry (two huge files that contain thousands of entries) and removes outdated and incorrect information. It does this quickly and reliably. (A previous version of RegClean had problems, but the current one behaves well.)

Snadboy's Revelation, by Snadboy Software, available from http://www.snadboy.com/. Price: Free.

Snadboy's Revelation is, indeed, a revelation, because it exposes what all of us must have thought were the secret passwords in Windows. Passwords show up as a row of asterisks, and experts have said they cannot be recovered if you forget them because of the sophisticated encryption used to store them.

That's hogwash. Snadboy's Revelation gives you a spyglass icon that displays any password when you pass the icon over the asterisks. Microsoft doesn't like this at all, and has a response—but not a fix, mind you—in an article at http://www.microsoft.com/windows95/info/password.htm. Use Snadboy's Revelation if you forget your password for any program running under Windows.

RTVReco, by Jeremy Gelber of RTV Software, available from http://www.clearlight.com/~rtvsoft/files.htm. Price: Free.

RTVReco—the "Reco" stands for "reconnect"—pushes the "Reconnect" button for you if you lose your Internet dialup connection. It can automatically press any other button in any window or dialog box, too. It can search for specific text within a dialog box and even run any program when it spots that text. It's one of the cleverest utilities I have ever seen.

Shove-It, by Phil Hord of Phord Software, available from http://www.phord.com/. Price: $15.

Ever wonder why windows and other objects don't stay on the screen instead of half-disappearing off the sides when you move them? They don't because of Microsoft's half-baked programming. Shove-It fixes the problem neatly, popping everything back onto the screen if any windows stray off the top, bottom or sides. Earlier versions misbehaved on my computer, but the latest Shove-It is a gem.

Gravis WinDecks, by Darren Schueller and Advanced Gravis Computer Tech, available from http://www.gravis.com/Public/. Price: Free.

If you did not get an impressive-looking set of hi-fi component-style audio players with your PC, download the WinDecks and have fun. You get a CD player, a MIDI player, a WAV player and a sound mixer—and even a power panel and four remote controls. All look just like they were designed for an expensive home audio rack, except that they have more features than you or I could afford in hardware versions of these players.

Although Gravis makes its own sound cards, the WinDecks players work on all standard PC sound cards. And, yes, the WinDecks software is being given away free.


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