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Software We Just Can't Do Without

I've called this section Life Savers because I'm hoping I can create a list of applications that will help increase the pleasure of computing or else help control some of the nastier side of that big wide world we call the Internet.

KeyScrambler

key scramblerWe all tend to worry about Key Loggers gaining access to precious user name and password data which is typed into most web based application almost every day by computer user's world-wide. But even though this risk exists very little is known by the average user on how to deal with the problem and ensure a safer computing experience. Well, that is until now!

Welcome to KeyScrambler the ideal deterrent to key loggers. KeyScrambler is a marvellous add-on which actually encrypts every key stroke you make, thus making it impossible for key logging software to read what user name or password you have typed.

KeyScrambler comes in 3 versions; Personal (Free); Professional ($29.99 (£15)); and Premium ($44.99 (£23). The free version (KeyScrambler Personal) is an Add-On application for Firefox, Internet Explorer and Flock web browsers. The Professional and Premium versions support other browsers (as well as those above) plus e-mail clients such as Windows Mail, Outlook, Firefox etc. The Premium version also supports certain Accounting/Tax packages, such as Quicken, MS Money, TaxAct, etc.

KeyScrambler is easy to Install and use. As soon as you start typing a user name and/or password, or even a web address into your web browser KeyScrambler pops up like a faithful servant and displays your encrypted key strokes as you type them.

For total piece of mind you can't do without this gem of a program.

Click here to download

CCleaner

ccleanerCCleaner is an extremely useful application that removes most of the un-necessary detritus from your PC. we are all familiar with Temporary Internet Files and Cookies, and are more than aware that the humble PC keeps a track of our movements as we surf from website to website.

CCleaner confidently removes temporary internet files, cookies, recently typed URL's, index.dat files, recent documents, run commands, search assistant autocomplete, temporary files, clipboard, memory dump, windows log files and a host of other files into the bargain. It will even empty your recycle bin.

You can use CCleaner to also check for integrity issues within the Windows registry.

CCleaner is a freeware application that can cover your surfing tracks so that other user's of your PC cannot see just where on the internet you have been. it even gives you the option of normal file deletion or secure file deletion.

This is definitely an application you can't do without!

Click here to download

VistaBootPro

vistabootproVistaBootPro has been specifically designed to edit the Windows Vista boot loader.

Users' of previous versions of Windows will, of course, be all too familiar with the Windows Boot.ini file. This is an easily edited file. Unfortunately, this has changed somewhat with the release of Windows Vista. A new boot loader has been installed that now requires access via bcdedit.exe.

For the average user bcdedit is extremely complex to use, requiring knowledge of command prompt commands. It is also necessary to run bcdedit in elevated mode by using the 'run as administrator' command.

VistaBootPro, on the other hand, has a user friendly graphical interface with tabbed sections. You can see at a glance the boot information and this can be edited just as easily as the original Windows boot.ini file. VistaBootPro is of particular benefit to those users who dual boot various versions of the Windows operating system.

When VistaBootPro was first released it came as freeware, sadly this has now changed and the developers now charge a fee for downloading this software.

Click here to download

Vista Readiness Test

vista readiness testTouchStone Software Corporations' Vista Readiness Test application scans your PCs hardware to check that your PC is ready for Windows Vista.

The Vista Readiness Test is a free test that is simply and quick to use. All you need do is click on the 'Click here to test now' button on the website and a secure Active X application will be downloaded which then access the readiness of your PC's hardware for Windows Vista.

The test itself doesn't take long and takes into consideration your CPU, System Memory, Disk, Video resolution, System BIOS date (the BIOS date needs to be after 2001) and ACPI version. The test also checks your device drivers for compatibility with the new operating system.

After the test has completed a Vista Readiness report will be created. This shows all hardware which has passed the test. Anything that doesn't pass the test will automatically be flagged. If driver updates are needed, then simply clicking a button will bring you to the Driver Update Scan Results. You can now see at a glance exactly which drivers' need updating.

For the price of $29.95 (US) (£15) you can have a one year subscription to driverAgent.com, giving you instant access tot he most currently available drivers for your PC. There is no more need for lengthy searches of the Internet trying to locate the correct driver replacement, your Driver Agent subscription instantly provides the correct and most current driver ready for download.

This application is simple and hassle free. rather than trust to luck that your PC is Vista ready, don't you think its time you made absolutely sure? With TouchStone's Vista readiness test you'll know within a few minutes whether your PC is ready or not and exactly what upgrades/updates you'll need to ensure a trouble free transition.

Click here to download