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Useful Utilities | Computer Security | Windows | MS Access and VB6/VBA | Perl and Web Programming | Contact Us

Useful Utilities

Bandizip Bandizip is a lightweight, fast and free All-In-One Zip Archiver. The perfect replacement for the slow and outdated WinZip utility.
Sumatra PDF Reader Sumatra PDF is a free, powerful, small, portable PDF reader for Windows. Much better and faster than the bloated virus-riddled Adobe Reader.
HxD Hex Editor HxD by Maël Hörz is a fast freeware hex editor which handles files of any size and can be used for raw disk editing.
Highlight Converts source code to formatted text with syntax highlighting. Coloured output in HTML, XHTML, RTF, TeX, LaTeX, SVG, BBCode and XML format. Supports 160 programming languages. Includes 80 colour themes.
ShareX Take a screenshot, have it uploaded and get the URL copied to your clipboard with a single hotkey. Just brilliant for getting screenshots in a variety of ways. Used to include a neat image editor, but sadly the latest versions don't - bring back the Greenshot Image Editor!
Nullsoft Scriptable Install System We use the Nullsoft Scriptable Install System (NSIS) to package and distribute all updates to our clients. Reckon on taking three or four hours to figure out how to use it. (Hint: work through the examples they provide, starting with the simplest.) Then it's just a dream to use. Highly recommended.
GUIdumpASN The GUIdumpASN application allows you to view and print a human readable version of an Abstract Syntax Notation One (ASN.1) file.
Pandoc Pandoc is a universal document converter. If you need to convert files from one markup format into another, pandoc is your swiss-army knife.
Notepad++ Notepad++ is a free source code editor and Notepad replacement. We couldn't do without it. Highly recommended.
WinSCP WinSCP is an SFTP client and FTP client for Microsoft Windows. Handles all the latest secure protocols to transfer files between your local computer and a remote server. Has an excellent user interface.

Computer Security

POP Peeper POP Peeper sits silently in your system tray and notifies you about new messages in any of your mailboxes. You can preview messages and delete unwanted emails before they get onto your system. Set your email client options NOT to download messages unless you click on the Send/Receive/Get Mail button. [In Thunderbird: Tools > Account Settings > Server Settings then uncheck "Check for new messages at startup" and "Check for new messages every ..."]
HijackThis A free utility which quickly scans your Windows computer to find settings that may have been changed by spyware, malware or other unwanted programs. For expert users only. (Note: download this from sourceforge, not from anywhere else.)
CCleaner CCleaner is a freeware PC optimization tool. It combines a system cleaner that removes unused and temporary files from your system and also a fully featured registry cleaner. The underlying software appears reliable but be careful following links on their site that suggest you "may need a tune up".


Agent Ransack The free Agent Ransack tool helps you find files and information on your hard drive quickly and efficiently. Much better than the Windows search tool. We love this and use it all the time.
XnView Classic Don't like the Windows 10 Photos app to view jpg/png/gif files? Replace it by setting your default Photo Viewer to XnView, a lightweight multimedia viewer, organizer and converter for Windows by XnSoft. We've tested many alternative free image viewers and this is by far the best - NO Adware, NO Spyware. We consider the simple classic program to be sufficient for our purposes, but they have more enhanced programs (XnView MP) and other useful image utilities.
IrfanView Irfan Skiljan's wonderful freeware viewer and editor for just about any sort of graphic or media file.
VLC Media Player Do you hate Windows Media Player and all its unwanted "protection" and its rights to destroy your computer if it does not agree with what you are doing? (If you didn't realise this, read the license conditions; you agreed to them.) As an alternative, use the VLC media player - a highly portable multimedia player for various audio and video formats as well as DVDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols.
WinDirStat WinDirStat is a disk usage statistics viewer and cleanup tool for Microsoft Windows. Find out which files and directories are taking up the most space on your hard drive. Has a brilliant visual display.
Process Explorer Mark Russinovich's Process Explorer shows you information about which handles and DLLs processes have opened or loaded. Shows much more than the standard Windows Task Manager, including services that may have been added by a virus
Speccy Priform's free Speccy is an advanced System Information tool for your PC. Use it to find out what's inside your computer.
FileMenu Tools FileMenu Tools by LopeSoft allows you to customise the context menu of Windows Explorer. Get rid of all those annoying options when you right-click on a file. Plus lots of handy utilities.
Path Editor Fed up trying to edit your PATH environment using the standard Windows Environment Variables menu (if you can find it). Use the free, open-source Path Editor program instead. Thanks to "masoomshaikh". Just perfect.
Default Programs Editor Default Programs Editor makes it easy to fix file association settings in Windows, including context menu items, icons, and descriptions.
Image Resizer for Windows Image Resizer for Windows allows you to right-click on one or more image files in Windows Explorer to resize them (like you used to be able to do in Windows XP).
USB Disk Ejector Having problems getting your USB drive to eject? Use the USB Disk Ejector by "Bennyboy". A program that allows you to quickly remove USB (and firewire) drives in Windows. It contains many features and flexible options.
Caffeine If you have problems with your PC locking or going to sleep when you don't want it to, Caffeine will keep it awake. Zhorn Software has lots of other useful utilities for Windows.

MS Access and VB6/VBA Programming

Dev Ashish's Access Web Page Probably the best Access resource around. FAQs, code, utilities, add-ins and lots of tips, plus a comprehensive set of links to other resources on Access.
VBnet Visual Basic Developers Resource Centre Enhanced functionality using the win32 api for intermediate and advanced visual basic developers using 'VBClassic' (not VB.NET). If you need to call something using the Win32 API, it's probably here.
Karl E. Peterson's Classic VB Code Maybe Classic VB wasn't so bad after all... Especially Karl's list about how VFred (aka VB.NET) totally breaks most existing VB code.
Allen Browne's tips for Access users A great set of tips for Access users, especially the Tips for Serious Users and the Pop-up Calendar.
Tips from the FMS Team A mixture of Access, VB, and other tricks and tips. Includes what to do with the Error 49 Bad DLL calling convention error in your Access database.
ADO Connections Carl Prothman's collection of ADO and ADO.NET connection strings. Samples for OLE DB Providers, .NET Data Providers, and ODBC Drivers, both DSN and DSN-Less.
Jenda Krynicky's Regex Control If you want to use Regular expressions (Regex) in your VBA code or use a better interface than the messy Microsoft VBScript Regular Expressions object, try using Jenda Krynicky's Jenda.Rex Active-X DLL. We have used this in Access projects to do some really hairy stuff with large input data and frightful expressions. We love it.

Perl and Web Programming

Rex Swain's HTMLified Perl 5 Reference Guide A superbly short and handy version of the Perl 5 Desktop Reference by Johan Vromans converted to HTML by Rex Swain.
Javascript Reference Full reference manual to JavaScript from Mozilla.
How To Make A Website If you don't want to make HTML pages by hand like we do and use a content management system instead, read Robert Mening's step-by-step guide.
Web site hosting We use HostDash Blazing Fast Hosting to host this web site.


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This page last updated: 5 August 2021