| By Woody Leonhard |
My Oct. 25 column presented a very short list of the utilities I install on every new Windows XP and Vista computer.
Hundreds of you wrote with suggestions for more must-have Windows utilities, and I’ve found a few that really ring my chimes — read on.
The best of everyone’s favorite tools
In 15 years of writing books, blogs, and magazine and newsletter articles, I’ve never had so much mail!
Hundreds and hundreds of you wrote in, extolling the virtues of Windows add-ins you can’t live without. I’ve had a chance to slice, dice, download, and splice all sorts of new utilities, and I’ve come up with a small handful of real winners — programs that have found a place on all of the computers I feed and care for.
It’s quite remarkable, actually. As mentioned in my last column, I don’t install many new utilities, and I tend to delete after a day or two a fair percentage of the ones I try. Adding to the challenge, I have a distinctly miserly attitude: I greatly prefer free (or donationware) programs, but I can be coerced occasionally into parting with some folding money.
IrfanView displays every image you throw at it
In my rush to play with all the new goodies last time, I overlooked one key utility that’s been part of my bag of tricks for many years.
IrfanView belongs on every PC. Period. I’ve written about it before, on Mar. 2, 2006, and I cover it in all of my books. It’s a fantastic, small, free file viewer/player that displays every kind of file you’ve ever heard of, and many you haven’t.