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  1. #1
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    Three exceptional apps for every Windows version




    BEST SOFTWARE

    Three exceptional apps for every Windows version




    By Michael Lasky

    Windows has always seemed a bit like that closet you're afraid to open — over time, it mysteriously gets cluttered with obsolete data, orphaned programs, and miscellaneous fritterware.

    Here's a fresh look at an exceptional software package that cleans your PC — and two valuable apps that can reduce printing costs and produce professional-quality portable documents.

    The full text of this column is posted at http://windowssecrets.com/best-softw...ndows-version/ (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.
    Last edited by Tracey Capen; 2011-10-10 at 15:44.

  2. #2
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    I didn't look into Nitro (I have Nuance PDF Converter Pro 7 installed) or Green Print. But System Mechanic? Looks outdated and pretty useless to me. The problems you mentioned aren't usually problems at all on Windows 7. You mentioned it finding 108 registry problems and that you let it auto-fix them. That's crazy and dangerous. You don’t need a registry cleaner; they can only hurt and never help. Fixing 108 keys out of a few hundred thousand won't do anythng for your box. Plus the 60,000 "mis-aligned" files simply means you need to defragment your drives. And a pretty good defragmenter is included in Windows 7 already. Don’t need System Mechanic to do that for you. Finally your computer does not need its RAM defragged! And it never will! System Mechanic is for the most part snake oil for your PC. It was probably useful 10 to 15 years ago, but it's not needed now.

    Thank you.

    Jim

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    Destry (2011-10-12)

  4. #3
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    System Mechanic not only provides no actually valuable tools, in my personal opinion, but the single time i tried to install it, to evaluate it at the request of a person who had been offered it at what seemed a good price, it immediately had an horrendous effect, by adding about 2 minutes to my boot time.

    Probably the greatest attack on the newsletter credibility I have ever read, was this article, classifying an horrendous app, with no practical use, as an exceptional app.

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    BATcher (2011-10-08),CLiNT (2011-10-07),Destry (2011-10-12),pcguy (2011-10-06),Pootle (2011-10-06)

  6. #4
    5 Star Lounger Lugh's Avatar
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    By Lincoln Spector
    Newsletter and photo = By Michael Lasky, fyi.

    I came here to post what Jim and Ruirib said, this is bad advice and damages WinSec's credibility.

    I used SysMech for a couple of years in earlier XP days, after Norton Utilities [whatever Symantec named the suite] became unusable. It worked well initially, but their marketing guys probably went to the same University as Symantec's because bloat and dodgy me-too features crept into subsequent annual updates.


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    CLiNT (2011-10-07),Destry (2011-10-12)

  8. #5
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    I want to reinforce the above posts. The article mentions that there is a good price on Amazon, which is true, but if you look at the reviews there you'll see that there are a total of 5 reviews, all 1-star, the lowest possible score. I almost bought until I saw the reviews, and then looked here to see what Lounge members had to say.

  9. #6
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    I used IOLO's System Mechanic years ago and had major problems with it. Luckily I was able to repair the "repairs" it made to my system. Thinking maybe the program was better and worth a shot (since I trust WinSec's reviews), I headed over to Amazon since it was mentioned in the article. I've never seen a larger collection of one star reviews and angry users. Several of the reviews were obviously written by competent users with plenty of computer savvy. I also checked to see what version they were reviewing, and it was the latest version. I’ll pass on this one, and I’m afraid I won’t be trusting reviews by WinSec in the future. =(

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    pcguy (2011-10-06)

  11. #7
    New Lounger mrobinson52's Avatar
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    My comment is more a cosmetic issue. If you save screenshots as jpegs, they end up somewhat blurry, as the screenshots in this article. If you save them as gifs, they are much clearer and easier to read. That is just a trick I picked up when I was doing a newsletter and worked with screenshots a lot.

  12. #8
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    Free Nitro PDF Reader 2 has QuickSign

    The free Nitro PDF Reader 2, already released, also has a QuickSign button which eliminates that time-consuming process by letting the user insert their digitized signature (which has to be scanned and saved as a JPEG). Nitro stores the signature for future use.

  13. #9
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    In regards to System Mechanic; I completely agree with the above comments. I'm seeing more and more of these rather poorly researched articles appearing in Windows Secrets and have indicated to them that I am not renewing my paid subscription for just this reason.

  14. #10
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    Wow. You didn't read the reviews of this product on Amazon, did you? Not good. In some instances horrible problems, and computer pro's who really claim this program completely munged their systems. You didn't mention it comes with a firewall and anti virus that will not let you keep whatever you have now. I went to Iolo, then to Amazon, and after reading those reviews, will stay with Jv16 Power Tools and CCleaner as a backup.

  15. #11
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    The entire article looks like an ad for the various software mentioned.

    Has Windows Secrets started using advertorials?

  16. #12
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    Wow, while Greenprint is a good concept, it doesn't work very well in practice. At least on my setup. Win 7 32 and an HP D7260. It prints the pages out of order and every other page upside down. There appear to be no Preferences or Settings in the software. Going on their website, the forum posts seem at minimum, a year old. I spent the $19 on this recommendation and was stoopid to do so without checking. Silly me. This article was nothing but but an advertisement, I guess. Windows Secrets just went down a notch in my esteem.

  17. #13
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    System Mechanic - caution

    I read Michael Lasky's recommendation of System Mechanic and downloaded the free trail version. It installed easily on my Windows 7 64bit pc. On its first analysis, it found several hundred registry errors. I had them fixed. It found other errors, but would not fix them unless I upgraded to the paid version. A couple of hours later, I again ran the registry scan. System Mechanic found a few hundred errors this time. Fewer than the first time, but still hundreds. I had not installed, uninstalled or changed any programs between the two scans. I had them fixed again. The next day, I ran the scan again. This time, there were fewer than a hundred errors. I had them fixed. Later that day, I got a pop up telling me of two registry errors. I had them fixed.

    As soon as they were fixed, I did a restart of the PC. The restart took several minutes. That's when the trouble started. Outlook would not open. Secunia PSI would not run. I tried to uninstall System Mechanic. Windows froze. I had to do a cold boot and restore Windows to a restore point before I had installed System Mechanic. Since I did that, everything seems to be back to normal.

    I don't understand why System Mechanic would not find all the registry errors on the first scan. I appreciate that I was running only the free version, but I am not eager to pay for a full version given the problems that this version caused.

    Now that I've read the preceding posts, I think that I'm well rid of System Mechanic. I only wish that I had one more homework instead of taking the column's recommendation at face value.
    Last edited by gwilki; 2011-10-08 at 23:10.

  18. #14
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    Need a simpler PDF producer

    Quote Originally Posted by Kathleen Atkins View Post



    BEST SOFTWARE

    Three exceptional apps for every Windows version




    By Lincoln Spector

    Windows has always seemed a bit like that closet you're afraid to open over time, it mysteriously gets cluttered with obsolete data, orphaned programs, and miscellaneous fritterware.

    Here's a fresh look at an exceptional software package that cleans your PC and two valuable apps that can reduce printing costs and produce professional-quality portable documents.

    The full text of this column is posted at http://windowssecrets.com/best-softw...ndows-version/ (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.

    I used a simple program called "PDF Producer" (on both a Win 98 and Win XP OS) from a company called Data Becker. Once installed, it popped up as a printer choice whenever I clicked on "Print" from within a program or within a browser. However, I cannot get it to install correctly on my new Dell notebook, which has a 64-bit Win 7 OS. I've tried using the Troubleshooting Compatibility tool, and still there's a file or segment of the program called PDF Genie which just will not install. While Nitro sounds like a fabulous program, it's way more than I need. All I need is a simple "Print" add-on that will turn things I create (or files I open) into a PDF .. both to keep the documents from being edited once I send them out, and because PDFs are so universal, that most everyone can easily open and view one. Is there no Win 7 compatible, safe and easy freeware, shareware or inexpensive program out there that mimics my old PDF Producer??

  19. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheWildInside View Post
    I used a simple program called "PDF Producer" (on both a Win 98 and Win XP OS) from a company called Data Becker. Once installed, it popped up as a printer choice whenever I clicked on "Print" from within a program or within a browser. However, I cannot get it to install correctly on my new Dell notebook, which has a 64-bit Win 7 OS. I've tried using the Troubleshooting Compatibility tool, and still there's a file or segment of the program called PDF Genie which just will not install. While Nitro sounds like a fabulous program, it's way more than I need. All I need is a simple "Print" add-on that will turn things I create (or files I open) into a PDF .. both to keep the documents from being edited once I send them out, and because PDFs are so universal, that most everyone can easily open and view one. Is there no Win 7 compatible, safe and easy freeware, shareware or inexpensive program out there that mimics my old PDF Producer??
    I use CutePDF Writer for that. It will also require Ghostscript, but they are both free and work great. CutePDF will create a printer you can then use from anywhere you need to.
    Last edited by ruirib; 2011-10-09 at 10:50.

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