(Edited, 02-19-10)
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PC Management

Information for Management
Password Management
Add-Ins/Utilities
Troubleshooting
Browser Management
Manage and Share Digital Photos and Graphics
Estimates: Internet Connection Speed
Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) and FTP

Information for Management

Windows XP Professional How-To Videos (Microsoft Corp.)
Public access. Designed for Windows Media Player. These video clips (usually a few minutes) are arranged under the topics: Home and Small Office Networking; Communicate; Enjoy Music; Work With Photos; Work With Videos; Get Help and Support; and Go Mobile. These clips include how-to information along with a general promotion of different Windows XP features, clients, and options.

Windows XP Tips (Microsoft Corp.)
Public access. A list of tips includes many "simple changes" that can customize your desktop and operating system to create a more effective working environment. 

Free E-mail Newsletters--Computerworld (Computerworld, Inc., Framingham, MA; International Data Group, Inc.)
Ad-supported, registration required (e-mail address and Postal Code). Over 25 e-mail newsletters are available--from enterprise topics to issues that are relevant for SOHO (Small Office/Home Office) managers and entrepreneurs with Web-based business projects. Relevant newsletter options are available for student and professional counselors who need current information related to security, networking, Web development, and other topics.

Subscribe: Newsletters-InfoWorld (InfoWorld Media Group, San Francisco, CA)
No cost, ad-supported. Select from weekly opinion pieces by InfoWorld and contributing editors and over 30 information technology (IT) topics. Enterprise professionals, individuals, small businesses, and professional counselors involved with small network management or Web-based projects can identify relevant newsletters.

Windows Secrets Newsletter (Brian Livingston et al.)
Register by providing an e-mail address to receive a twice-monthly noncommercial or commercial version of the Windows Secrets Newsletter.

WinFind (Brian Livingston)
Use WinFind, a Windows tips search engine, to identify information included within the Windows Secrets Newsletter and over a dozen other organizations and databases.

Lockergnome, LLC (Chris Pirillo, Des Moines, IA)
No cost. Ad-supported subscriptions are accepted for daily and weekly Technology E-mail Newsletters (e.g., Windows Daily, Tech Specialists, Digital Media, Penguin Shell, Apple Core, Webmaster Weekly, Bits and Bytes, and Exclusive Focus).

Windows IT Library (Network Windows & .NET Magazine; Penton Media, Inc., Loveland, CO)
An alphabetical list of links to directories that include information related to the use and management of Windows operating systems, clients, utilities, and servers. (Book and other research options are noted within some .htm files.)

WUGNET [Windows Users Group Network] Computing Tips by Topic (WUGNET Publications, Inc.)
Public access. Review tips related to operating systems (pre-XP), Office applications (e.g., Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc.), and hardware. Registrants can receive ad-supported electronic newsletters--refer to: Free Newsletters.

TechTutorials--Free Computer Reference (7 Seconds Resources, Inc.)
Ad-supported. The directories within this site include many tutorials, white papers, tips and tricks, FAQs, how-tos and other technical information related to applications, operating systems, networking, etc.

Internet Archive NetCafé (Stewart Cheifet Productions, San Mateo, CA, and KTEH Public Television, San Jose, CA)
Public Access (a current version of RealPlayer is needed to view streamed files). The directory, Browse Net Café Episodes, links visitors to the list of episodes that have been broadcasted from 1997 to the present. NetCafé programs include a range of topics related to Internet and Web use patterns, and options. Streaming over the Internet can be achieved through either a broadband or narrowband connection. (Each episode includes written notes that explain the various segments within each broadcasted program.) For additional information related to downloading options, review information associated with the bookmark, Downloading and Playing Movies, which is within the directory, Frequently Asked Question.

Password Management

Any Password (Roman Lab Software)
No cost for individual and nonprofit use--registration required for licensing options; Windows 9x, Me, NT, 2000, and XP

Features: 

  • encrypts password files with IDEA/MD5 algorithms

  • store and arrange passwords, user identification, links, and notes

  • A hierarchical, Windows Explorer, or "tree" format

  • option to generate passwords--set characters and length

  • search for records

  • option for multiple users (with separate records)

Password Agent Lite [freeware version is at the bottom of the page] (Moon Software OÜ, Paide, Estonia)
No cost--limited to 25 entries or files--commercial option unlimited files; Windows 9x, Me, NT, 2000 and XP

Features:

  • AES/Rijndael (256-bit key) encryption

  • a Windows Explorer type interface

  • customize by organizing groups and subgroups

  • master password

  • fields include user identification, password, and a text box for notes

  • password generator option

Key Folder (Mag2 Software, Magnus Björk, Sundbyberg, Sweden)
No cost for personal use (no nags or ads)--commercial options for businesses; Windows 98, Me, NT, 2000, XP, and Server 2003; Internet Explorer 5.01 and later

Features: 

  • uses Blowfish and MD5 hash algorithms

  • store Web site and e-mail accounts, software license information, etc.

  • associate multiple Web sites or e-mail addresses with one record

  • create customized folders to organized your records

  • use the clipboard to copy and paste usernames and passwords to protected Web site

  • includes password generator, password expiration notation, and drag and drop support

Password Guardian (TSM Inc.)
No cost; Windows 9x, Me, NT, 2000, and XP

Features:

  • organized as a database system

  • fields for: account, login or identification; password, link, and notes

  • uses Blowfish encryption algorithm--peer reviewed to maximize security

  • copy and paste passwords to related Web sites

Add-Ins/Utilities

Office XP/2000 Add-in: Office Sounds (Microsoft Download Center)
Windows 98, NT, Me, and 2000
Would you like to have different sounds associated with toolbars, dialog boxes, zoom, and sending e-mail? This no cost add-in works with the 2000 and 2002 versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook--it can be uninstalled if your expectations are not met. 

Microsoft PowerToys for Windows XP
No cost add-ins. Microsoft's "unofficial" list of utilities that complement Windows XP includes the familiar Tweak UI utility (used for earlier versions)--approximately 10 additional utilities (e.g., CD Slide Show Generator, Power Calculator, HTML Slide Show Wizard, Webcam Timershot, etc.) are available for download and installation. Note: Tweak UI requires Windows XP Service Pack 1 (or a more recent update).

Tweak UI 1.33 
Windows 9x, NT, Me, and 2000
No cost add-in. Tweak UI is a set of unsupported tools that were created by the Microsoft Windows Shell Development Team for "power users;" however, intermediate users can apply most of these tools to better manage their Windows operating system. After installation, Tweak UI can be found by going to: Start>Settings>, and Control Panel.

Tweakomatic (Microsoft Corp.) 
Windows 2000, XP and Server 2003; Internet Explorer 6.0 and Microsoft Word
A no cost utility for advanced users and network administrators. A newly published (November 2003) utility, which includes options to configure Windows and Internet Explorer within both installed computers and PCs on a network. 


Use Adobe Reader to view and print Portable Document Format (.pdf or PDF) files. Adobe Reader is available for all commonly used desktop and server operating systems, and some PDAs (Personal Digital Assistants).

Note. Adobe PDF Online, a Web-hosted document conversion service has a trial service, which allows registrants to create up to five documents without cost.

Restoration 2.5.14 [at] Download.com (CNET.com/Brian Kato, Japan)
Windows 98 through Vista
Freeware. Restoration is simple, austere utility, which restores deleted from your PC via the Recycle Bin or through a keyboard shortcut. This small program has an option to run it from a floppy disk. (Due to the complexities associated with writing to the hard drive, some recovered files may be corrupted.)

Belarc Advisor--Free Personal PC Audit (Belarc, Maynard, MA)
Windows 9x, Me, NT4, 2000, XP, and Server 2003; Internet Explorer 3.x or later, Netscape 3.x or later, Opera or Mozilla
No cost. Download and install this utility, which identifies operating system characteristics, applications and utilities (including license numbers), and the hardware connected to your computer. No computer-related information is uploaded to a server. Alternatives that approximate, but do not match Belarc Advisor data include: 1) the computer information section of a Help and Support add-in by an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer); or 2) using the System Information Utility within Windows (Start>Programs>Accessories>System Tools>System Information Utility) to identify computer characteristics and connected peripherals.

Troubleshooting

Windows Support Center (James A. Eshelman)
Public access, donations accepted. This site is a welcome alternative to the multiple and ever-changing support directories that are maintained by Microsoft--it includes resources for troubleshooting (e.g., explaining error messages, FAQ, Forums, etc.) and optimizing modern versions of Windows. 

Microsoft Product Support Services include options (e.g., top issues, downloads, instructions, related sites, newsgroups, and contact support information) for both applications and operating systems. Refer to the main directory for applications, and the following links for operating systems:

Annoyances.org (Creative Element)
Public access. A collection of problems and solutions identified by users of Windows operating systems (9x, Me, 2000, and XP). Use the directories and navigation system, or find problems and solutions through a search system.

Bud's Windows Troubleshooter (Bud Allen)
Windows 9x, NT, Me, 2000, and XP
Use the directory for each operating system or a search system to identify troubleshooting tips and solutions. Access is provided to Bud's Troubleshooter's Forum, and a no cost newsletter (i.e., WhatsNews) is available.

Browser Management

Google Toolbar (including a Pop-up Blocker)
Freeware--Windows 9x, Me, NT, 2000, and XP; Microsoft Internet Explorer version 5.5 or later

A new install of the Google Toolbar includes its Pop-up Blocker. This blocker of pop-up ads is "intelligent" because it distinguishes between ads that do not require viewer action and additional information windows that require a viewer's action. Google's Pop-up Blocker also includes a feature, which allows a user to "teach" it to restrict its blocking of either ads or information windows on specific sites. 

Note. Users that have a Toolbar without the Pop-up Blocker should review Google's FAQ Installation section, which answers the question: How can I learn when a new version is available? Review About the Google Pop-up Blocker before an installation or activation.

Caution. If you select the PageRank feature within the Google Toolbar, your Web site visits will be tracked and reported to Google's servers--refer to: Toolbar Privacy Policy

Pop-Up Stopper--Free Version (Panicware, Inc., Seattle, WA)
Freeware--Windows 9x, Me, NT, 2000 and XP; Internet Explorer 5.x or later; Netscape 4.x and later

Freeware--commercial options are available. This utility blocks pop-up and pop-under ads, and free upgrades are available to users. 

POW! (AnalogX.com)
Freeware--Windows 9x, Me, NT, and 2000

Pow is a Windows utility, which blocks pop-up ads. It can be configured by a user to add (or remove) its blocking activity for specific Web sites.

Manage and Share Digital Photos and Graphics

Nero PhotoShow Express (Ahead Software AG, Karlsbad, Germany; USA--Glendale, CA)
Windows 98se, Me, 2000, and XP; Flash-supported Web browser; [latest] Macromedia Flash Player

No cost--an e-mail address is requested (but not required). The Express version is an introduction to the commercial version, Nero PhotoShow Elite--refer to the Product Comparison file for additional information.

Features:

  • supported file formats: .jpg, .tif and .bmp

  • photo editing--color adjustment (including red eye removal), and additional filters and tools

  • management--locate photos on your computer; organize and create slide shows with or without audio; and post to server or e-mail photos

  • photo creations--use online commercial options or PC applications to create calendars, mug, and other items

  • and more...

Picasa Photo Organizer (Picasa, Inc., Pasadena, CA; Google Inc., Mountain View, CA)
Windows 98, Me, 2000, and XP; Internet Explorer 6.x recommended; and Microsoft DirectX 7.0 or later

No cost--English only. Picasa is an organizer and [minor] editing utility for digital photos and graphics.

Features:

  • supported file formats: .jpg, .tif, .gif, .bmp, .psd, .avi, .mpg, .asf, and .wmv

  • organize photo albums transferred from a digital camera or a CD

  • browse or search your photo collection

  • drag-and-drop photos within the thumbnail view

  • editing--fix red-eye, enhance, or crop

  • print photos and create slideshows

  • share photos by using the complementary peer-to-peer client, Hello--see below...

Hello (Picasa, Inc., Pasadena, CA; Google Inc., Mountain View, CA)
Direct Internet connection required--not functional if proxy servers are used (e.g., the quasi-private networks, AOL and MSN)

No cost. As a 128-bit AES encrypted peer-to-peer (or PC-to-PC) computer client, Hello supports photo file sharing and one-to-one instant messaging. Peer-to-peer clients that triangulated through third-party servers maintain different records and controls; therefore, a file related to the protection and use of user information, and the Support and Hello FAQ file should be reviewed prior to downloading Hello.

Estimates: Internet Connection Speed

Test your Internet connection speed at Speedtest.net Speedtest.net (Ookla, LLC, Kalispell, MT)
Requirements: 1) Web browser plug-in--Flash 7, preferably Flash 8; and 2) JavaScript must be enabled.
Public access. An evaluation of your broadband Internet connection is completed using geographically dispersed servers. Download and upload speeds are analyzed and presented in kilobits-per-second (kb/s). Use the My Results to view a history of your broadband speed tests. The My Summary tab includes a comparison of your broadband speeds with regional, national, and global broadband providers.

The Bandwidth Speed Test (Domain Registrant, WUGNET Publications, Inc., Media, PA)
Public access--uses a Java plug-in. An online assessment of your download and upload bandwidth.

Speed Test-BroadBandReports.com (dslreports.com/Silver Matrix, LLC, New York, NY)
Public access. Flash 8 and Java-based Internet speed tests are available. A Directory of worldwide speed test sites is available.

SpeedGuide.net TCP/IP Analyzer (SpeedGuide.net; Speed Guide, Inc.)
Notice: This evaluation is not a broadband speed test--a click on the above link provides the following evaluations:

1. MTU (Maximum Transmission Unit, range, 68-1500)--the greatest amount of data that can be transferred in one physical frame on the network. Larger MTUs transfer data packet faster, and smaller MTUs can result in packet fragmentation;
2. MSS (Maximum Segment Size, usually 40 less that the MTU)--the largest segment of TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) data that a Winsock (Windows Socket) is prepared to receive;
3. TTL (Time To Live)--the maximum amount of time (in seconds or the number of router hops) an IP packet can live. The TTL value is noted as the lower of either time in seconds or the number of routers an IP (Internet Protocol) packet will pass through before being discarded; and
4. bandwidth and timestamps notes are listed
.

Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) and FTP

FileZilla: SFTP--Secure File Transfer Protocol (SourceForge.net; OSTG, Inc., Fremont, CA)
Windows 9x, Me, NT, 2000, XP, and 2003
No cost--GNU General Public License. FileZilla includes and Windows Explorer type interface, an option to resume failed file uploads or downloads is included, and it allows users to navigate through firewalls and proxy servers. FileZilla is a useful computer utility for Web site managers who do not use editors with an automated publishing feature.

Fugu: SFTP--Secure File Transfer Protocol (University of Michigan)
Mac OS 10.1 and later
No cost--OpenBSD group license. Fugu has an easy-to-use graphical user interface, which includes drag-and-drop features. It provides users with security through encryption for file transfer session.

WS_FTP Home--Winsock File Transfer Protocol-Home (Ipswitch, Inc., Lexington, MA)
Windows 98se, NT, Me, 2000, and XP
Trialware--use up to 30 days without purchasing a license. WS_FTP is designed around a Windows XP type graphical user interface, and it includes newer features (e.g., thumbnail view, browser URL integration, dial-up manager, automatically resume, etc.) related ease-of-use and increased security (i.e., 128-bit encryption). A WS_FTP Professional version is available.

Fetch 4.x (Fetch Softworks, LLC, Etna, NH)
Mac OS 7, 8, 9 and X
No cost for users within educational or charitable organizations--trialware (up to 15 days) for home or business users without purchasing a license. With a graphical user interface that is familiar to Macintosh owners, Fetch provides an array of options, such as: drag-and-drop, download resume, synchronization, large file transfer, compatibility with multiple server types, and much more. The present version (4.0.3, December 2004) does not support SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol). Fetch is available in English, French, Spanish, and Italian.
 

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Raymond Perry Jr, PhD, LPC, Site Manager

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