Startup Guru, by Lincoln Beach Software, Inc.
is one of those neat utility programs that fill a need and fill it completely! For most people, there are programs that load each time you start Windows. In some cases you know why they start and where they start from, but in others, you don't. Some programs install and they slip an entry in your "StartUp" folder. Or they put an entry in your Windows "Registry". Either way, you have programs starting and often, depending on your level of expertise, you may have very little control over it. Startup Guru takes care of all that and puts you
in control. It looks in all the places that a program can add a startup entry and shows them to you. And, it gives you some information about programs that run -- like who made them, and so on. You can even "see" things like spy programs that may be running on your computer. Startup Guru
gives you a look at every
program that starts with Windows and then it gives you some great options. If you like, you can remove a program and that includes things like spyware and ad-ware. Or perhaps you have program you use, but you only use it occasionally. In a case like that you can disable a startup item and then enable when you
want it to run. A feature I really like is the ability to schedule when programs load. In other words, instead of having all
startup programs trying to start at the same time, you can use Startup Guru to spread them out. Delay one program by 30 seconds, another by 2 minutes, yet another by a minute and a half -- it's all up to you. Very slick. The program gives you the ability to manage all of your startup items. And that helps to make your system a bit faster. You can even create handy "profiles" so you can have sets of different startup options. Startup Guru
, by Lincoln Beach Software, is an excellent tool for managing all of the things that load when you turn on your computer. The interface is very intuitive and the program is easy-to-use. That makes it perfect for both new and experienced users. It finds out what's starting and then puts you
in control. Remove things, temporarily disable certain items, and even schedule programs to load with varying delays. The program lets you manage the way Windows starts up so it suits you! So, if you'd like to have your computer start up faster and without a bunch of extra programs running, give Startup Guru a try. It works great -- I recommend it!
Cute Reminder, by CuteReminder Labs Inc.
is one of the neatest programs I've looked at in a long
time. And, since I look at over 200 programs each and every week, that's saying quite a bit. As the name implies, the program can be used to create reminders, but it can also be used for more. You can use it for jotting down ideas you have as you have them as well as notes. The program has lots of configurable options and I always like that in any program. One of the first things I liked about it was how easy
it is to use and access. It hides right off the side of your screen so when you want to do a quick reminder it's right there, ready to go. The program is intuitive and it's perfect for users with all levels of experience. Excellent!Cute Reminder
is "cute" and it also utilizes "skins" so you an change the way it looks quite easily. You can also configure the color of notes, ideas, and reminders as well as lots of other things. The reminder are slick -- they pop up, play a sound, and you can close them out or set them to remind you again - in 5 minutes or next month, totally up to you. I also liked the fact that the program reminded me when I'd told it to, but it didn't get in my way like many similar programs do. And it provides a quick and easy way to not only do reminder, but to also do notes and ideas. I found I used it a number of times when I was on the phone - to take down a phone number or a confirmation number. Very slick. And the program supports things like recurring reminders, a variety of audio formats, links to documents and Web pages, and more. It keeps a history of notes, ideas, and reminders, and you can search through them. It lets you archive items and even tracks things that are related so you could see the history of a topic at a glance. To me that's impressive. Cute Reminder
, by CuteReminder Labs., is one of those clever, yet carefully thought out programs that comes out once in a great while. I like its ease-of-use and the options it provides. It stays out of the way and is there when you need it and I like that a lot. It's configurable, it allows for archiving, and even supports recurring reminders. You can do quick reminders, but at the same time you can also use it to keep track of ideas or to jot down quick notes. You can search through all the things you've entered or just through the things in one category. If I use it for awhile longer, this could well become one of my favorites. So, if you'd like to find a program that's easy-to-use while have lots of good features, you need
to take a look at Cute Reminder. For the record, it's much more than just "cute", it's a great tool. This is one product I have to buy
and you might too! Check it out!
Dweep Gold, by Dexterity Software
is quite simply, just a ton of fun! This puzzle game has won the Shareware Industry Award for "Best Action/Arcade Game" and it's no wonder. The game is great for the whole family and adults will enjoy it as much as children do. The object of the game is to maneuver "Dweep" - the star of the show - through a series of logic puzzles. On every level I found different items that would help me get through the level. At the same time, there are also things intentionally put in your way, to slow you down. The trick is to avoid the hazards, find the good stuff, and make it through. I also found that there is often more than one way to solve a certain level. Dweep
has excellent graphics and sound, and it also teaches logic skills. The game is interactive and responds accordingly depending on how it's being played. The game is non-violent, it has wonderful graphics, and the puzzles are really very clever. It's a perfect game for "kids" of all
ages, so take the time to give it a try. Excellent!
Sonique, by Sonique
is a great program for anyone who's really into music. If you are, check this baby out. In my opinion, this is one of the best programs you're going to find for playing, and enjoying, MP3 files and other audio. The program has support for the most popular audio formats, including: MP3, WAV, S3M, MP2, MOD, and more. Sonique
has a unique interface, with animated menus that you have to see for yourself. And, it offers you great features like a playlist editor, a 20-band equalizer, support for plug-ins, and full support for the increasingly popular "skins." In addition, it has an excellent MPEG decoder, an online update feature, and it will let you search for music! Sonique is really unique
among audio players -- excellent!
FileStream Turbo Browser is a really excellent replacement for Windows Explorer. It's simply loaded with features and lots of neat little extras. You can use it to find files on your computer, copy, move, delete, rename, and lots more. You can view a huge range of files like Word, Excel, and more. It also supports views a wide range of graphics file formats. It can backup, restore, and lots more. So, take the time to check it out. I'll get to my full review as soon as possible.
FILEhand Search is a slick tool for searching the countless files you have on your computer. The program is fast, simple, and very easy-to-use. The interface is intuitive and uncluttered. This program is perfect for users of any experience. First, you pick out what type of files you want to search, which narrows down the search in many cases. You can pick from text, Word, PDF, WordPerfect, PowerPoint, and Excel files. Heck, this thing will even search for MP3 files! Impressive! So, take the time to check it out for yourself and I'll get to my full review as soon as I can.
SmartDraw is a drawing program that you can use for so many things. Use it to create maps, flow charts, floor plans, charts for your company or organization, and so much more! It's flexible and if you have a drawing need, I'd bet that most of the time, SmartDraw can meet it. Want to do your family tree? In various colors? No problem! And you have such a vast number of resources to call upon. It comes with over 50,000 shapes, built-in! Take the time to look at it and I'll be doing a full review shortly!
Gosh, time flies when you're having fun, and I'm out of time for this week. As always I hope you enjoyed reading about these excellent software products. Try them out for yourself and see what you think. And remember, if you find yourself using a "shareware" product, and liking it, take the time to register the program with its author. In that way the shareware marketing concept works for all of us. I'll be back next week with more Picks to tell you about.