Picks: Reviews of DriveScrubber, VCW VicMan's Photo Editor, Ashampoo UnInstaller Platinum 2, and PS Hot Folders.
|Published:||Jan 9, 2008|
|Author:||Michael E, Callahan|
DriveScrubber, by iolo Technologies, LLC. is the perfect solution for anyone who wants to really clean off a hard drive. I actually tested the program on my old computer when I got my new one over the holidays. Many users don't realize that when you delete a file it isn't actually gone. It's just not visible any longer. A person with the right knowledge and the access could easily retrieve your data. So, while I was going to give the computer away I didn't want to do so with any of my data on it. DriveScrubber goes in and erases files so they can not be retrieved. It doesn't just erase or format them, it wipes your hard drive clean! Ahh, but it has other uses as well. For example, say you just want to keep your computer secure and remove remnants of erased files, DriveScrubber can do that too. You can set it up to wipe just the disk space that is free. That means that any traces of things you've erased are gone for good. The program has a number of configurable options and I always like that. I actually like DriveScrubber better than several similar products I've tested. It's intuitive and easy-to-use perfect for users with all levels of experience. The program really gives you control over the process of really cleaning a disk drive, be it a 300 gigabyte hard drive or a 4 gigabyte flash drive. I like it so much that I'm also making it a Dr. File Finder Favorite and in 25 years of reviewing software there haven't been many of those. So, take a look at DriveScrubber, I recommend it.
System Requirements: Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2000/XP/Vista
If you're looking for a good way to edit images and photos then VCW VicMan's Photo Editor, by Vicman Software, might be the solution you need. The program supports a wide range of graphics file formats so you can work with the file types that you like. In testing it out I also found that it has a nice range of visual effects and filters that you can apply to your photos. You can really get some cool combinations going if you start mixing filters and effect. I like the fact that VCW VicMan's Photo Editor lets you preview the changes you've made before you accept them. That means if you turn your wifes face blue you can fix it. Everyone knows that I'm graphically challenged, but I found the program to be easy-to-use and intuitive, perfect for all users. You can use it to work on your photos or any other graphic image, like those you might have on your Web site. You can draw, select colors, insert text, select certain areas, move things around, fill in areas with color, and lots more. VCW VicMan's Photo Editor also lets you resize and crop your images. I also used it on some of my photos to adjust colors, contrast, brightness and more. It also has an "auto-correction" feature which works very well. So, if you're in the market for a full-featured program for working with images, VCW VicMan's Photo Editor might be just what you're looking for. Check it out.
System Requirements: Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2000/XP
One of the problems of testing so much software is that I also have to uninstall so much software. So, when I found Ashampoo UnInstaller Platinum 2, by ashampoo GmbH & Co. KG I just had to look at it. That was especially true when I saw that the developers claimed it was "the best uninstaller ever." Well, I tested it out by having it on my main machine for over a week and it did indeed perform very well. Is it the best? Hard to say and be fair, but it is one of the better uninstaller products I've tried. Ashampoo UnInstaller Platinum 2 has some really interesting features. For example, you can uninstall a program simply by dragging it to the uninstall icon. This is great for someone like me who tests a lot of software. Install, test, and uninstall with no muss or fuss. The program also has an "easy" mode and an "advanced" mode for you to pick from. You can even uninstall multiple programs at one time. I actually went into the Windows Registry to see how well Ashampoo UnInstaller Platinum 2 worked and among the programs I uninstalled with it, it did do a great job. It also has a feature I hadn't seen before in an uninstall program and that's the ability to reinstall a program you've removed. Slick. The program automatically checks for updates, has great help, finds duplicate files, and much more. The interface was catchy, intuitive, and easy-to-use perfect for both new and experienced users. I liked the program because it provides ease-of-use while also giving you a strong set of features. If you're looking for a really full-feature uninstall program, this is your solution. Give it a try and see for yourself.
System Requirements: Windows 2000/XP/Vista
I work with a lot of files and one of the most frustrating things is having to navigate to the same folders over and over. And having to do this because Windows took me to where it want to go. I don't know why Windows Vista Ultimate can't remember where I've just been, but it doesn't seem to. If you have this problem then you're going to want to look at PS Hot Folders, by PS Soft Lab I'm going to be buying some copies of this baby. It lets you get past all of the nonsense so you can easily Open, Browse, or Save As. You configure the program to work with the folders you want. As you work with the program you can refine your categorization because it isn't cast in stone. In testing it out I started out using just some basic folders I use for Editorial here on Tucows and the SIAF. Now, the program puts an icon in the system tray and in the open, browse, and save as dialogs of every program. In the screen shot, taken on my computer, I highlighted, in yellow, a little orange square that's in the Save As dialog in my text editor. Clicking on the orange square gives me instant access to the folder I want to get at. So, it doesn't matter what folders Windows have presented me with. One mouse click and I can see my Hot Folders another click and I select one and my document is save where I want it to be. I love it. I more than love it. I tested it in multiple programs including the Boxer Text Editors, Word, Excel, FastStone Capture, and several more. In each one there was the little orange square in the dialogs that took me to the folder I wanted. Yes, you can also use it from the icon in the system tray, but I liked using the one in the dialog. Now, if you want, you can even assign hot keys to your hot folders and this worked well also. One of the key things is that you must read the welcome tour! That tells you how to go about setting up your groups, adding folders, assigning hot keys, and so on. So, read it. You'll find that once you get going with the program you can go in and make modifications to suit yourself. I went in and added some separators between different groups of folders. This, in my estimation, is a very clever product and I'm making it a Dr. File Finder Favorite and those are few and far between. This is a program you have to try. Wow!
System Requirements: Windows NT/2000/2003/XP/Vista
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Michael E. Callahan, known around the world by the trademarked name Dr. File Finder, is regarded as the world's leading expert on shareware. Dr. File Finder works with software programs and developers full-time, and in the average year he evaluates 10,000 programs. Since 1982 he has evaluated over 250,000 software and hardware products. Mr. Callahan began evaluating software online in 1982 and no one has been at it longer. He currently works doing online PR and marketing for software companies, and is the Senior Content Producer for Butterscotch.Com.