Samurize utilities muSpec

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The utilities I use every day:

Samurize

Samurize

Samurize is an advanced info display app. It lets you show tons of useful data on your desktop: system stats (CPU, RAM, disks, processes), weather, calendars, todo lists, email notifications, etc. Unlike ready-made gadgets, Samurize can be customized to your liking. It comes with a learning curve, eased a bit by the inclusion of a visual editor. Its plugin structure sets it apart from its competitor, Rainmeter. Sadly, Samurize seems to be dying out :( See my Samurize plugins.

AutoHotKey

AutoHotKey

AutoHotKey is a Windows scripting /macro language. It lets you tweak Win interaction, and not just via custom hotkeys, as the name would imply. I can't imagine not having my AHK script around. Here's what it does for me:

  • Custom hotkeys for +20 apps, including Escape to exit any app, the same playback hotkeys in all video players / editors.
  • External drives always get the same drive letters and names.
  • Custom app behavior. E.g. Foxit (my PDF viewer) opens every document fullscreen, something you can't set up in Foxit by itself. Apps with big, hard-coded windows can be shrunk on start automatically.
  • TV-type OSD volume bar when changing volume / muting.
  • Screen capture (area, window, desktop) to any graphic format

This is done by one script, no need for multiple utilities.

Directory Opus

Directory Opus

As a power user, I used to run ~10 Win utilities at the same time. Not anymore: Directory Opus put them all in one app. The price is steep (about ~$80 or so), but it's worth it, as DOpus replaces many apps, including Windows Explorer. DOpus is clean and fast. Given its power, it takes a while to figure it out: the Byzantine settings dialog has tabbed pages inside tabbed pages. Some of the features:

  • Fast picture viewer which replaces the likes of ACDSee, IrfanView, etc.
  • Folder aliases for speedy keyboard navigation of your file system
  • Native handling of zip, rar and (soon) 7z archives
  • Configurable hotkeys with scripted macros
  • Single/double/triple-pane layouts with custom file "listers", folder trees, thumbnail pages, film strips, etc.
  • File renaming with patterns, numbers and reg. expressions

Plus: flat folder view, file associations, secure delete, file sync & compare, robust multi-file copy, FTP transfer with SSL, shortcuts + links, joining/splitting of large files and a boatload of other options.

Executor

Executor

Executor is a "launcher": it lets you start other apps in "shorthand", by typing short keywords. It's like the new Start menu in Win7, except more powerful. You can set up easy-to-recall keywords, like mail for your email client; you can launch programs, scripts or Executor macros (e.g. to center a window on screen). It's got a command-line calculator, too:)

Listary

Listary

Listary quickly navigates the file system when you use a file dialog. It can access your favorite or recently used folders (or files), folders specific to an app, etc.

Text Crawler

TextCrawler

Text Crawler is a very configurable search and replace utility for text files.

Other

Caffeine

  • Caffe1ne - simulates pressing the Shift key every minute to prevent your PC from going to sleep; easier than messing with your power settings, if you want to run a process overnight.
  • My Uninstaller - quicker than "Add and Remove Apps"
  • RapidEE- environment variables mady easy; much less damaging to the eyes than the built-in Win one-line micro editor
  • KeePass - open-source password manager
  • CCleaner - the mother of all cleaning tools