Three useful pieces of software

So now that MacHeist 3 is almost over and I filled up on Mac software, it’s time to write a few words about Windows software I use because I’m forced to use by having a Windows PC at work…

First up is Fences. It’s almost a know fact that I’m a disaster when it comes to keeping my desktop tidy. It’s usually a mess of icons taking up at least half if not three thirds of the real estate. So a work collegue recommended me Fences (no, wait, he didn’t actually recommend it, he said INSTALL IT!) and indeed it did miracles. Basically it neatly organizes the icons on your desktop in “zones” aptly named Quicklinks, Recent things, Files and documents, Programs, etc. You can of course rename and reorganize these zones as you wish but it’ll mostly suffice to run the auto layout tool once a week or so to keep things under control. A nice feature is that when you double click a free area of your desktop it hides all icons (except those you specified not to) so you can eyeball your awesome wallpaper or (in my case) the solid black background.

The next one is Sandboxie. Ever had doubts about what a particular piece of software would write on your hard drive? That it would corrupt other programs or Heaven forbid your Windows installation? Use Sandboxie! It gives each program it’s own “sandbox” and doesn’t let it play elsewhere. It can come in super handy if you are forced to run an insecure web browser (cough, IE, cough) or if you frequently install new programs to test them out. Something goes wrong? Never mind, it’s in the sandbox. Empty it and your Windows is squeaky clean again.

The last one for today is Tail for Windows. If you ever dabbled with Linux server administration you must know tail or its more useful cousin tail -f. I think there’s no respectable admin on this planet who didn’t do at least one tail -f access_log. What tail does is that it monitors a file for changes and practically it scrolls it front of your eyes as it happens to be modified. It’s particularly useful for access logs because you can have a real time oversight of what’s requested from your server. Now, if you ever needed this for Windows, there you go.

Aaand without further ado that’s a wrap for today.

Posted in: technical, windows.

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