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Windows Utilities

Invaluable Windows Utilities:
1. 7zip
Until the inclusion of a limited zipping functionality in Vista you needed an external program to even handle zipped compressed files. Even now none surpass 7zip, being free and open source it's still better than the built-in zipping capabilities of Windows.

2. doPDF
This Utility allows you to print to PDF, a feature already available on Mac. But doPDF does such a better job than Mac or Linux equivalents. Still free but not open source, it's one of the utilities I use the most in my research as it allows me to save webpages quickly, without having to worry about book marks or incompatible formats.

3. Soluto
This cool utility form a start-up in Israel allows you to easily select what programs get loaded at boot-up speeding up the time it takes for your computer to boot up. The killer feature is that it allows you to delay utilities that I would like loaded but after I boot, like the Uninterrupted Power Supply utility that doesn't need to load at boot but should at some point.

4. Copernic Search
After using the Search Feature on a Mac I couldn't stand the crappy Windows 7 search function, which seemed worse than the one on XP. This is a life saver utility when you're trying to find that file you're sure you have but can't remember where it is.

5. Oscar's File Renamer
This little free utility by independent software maker Media Chance, is really useful when renaming photos. It uses a template that is based on a text document. After you're happy with the changes only then do you apply and change so you can do quite a bit of changes before setting the changes in stone.

6. Notepad++
This text-editor is fantastic and better than the wimpy Notepad that's included with Windows. It's even more powerful than Gedit in Linux. It is open source and free. This utility is so good it's better than any free utility for Mac and competes with the like of the heavy weights Textmate and BBBedit, both closed-source expensive apps on the Mac.

7. InfraRecorder
This little utility both free and open-source (and also portable). It allows you to burn DVD and CD images, data discs and music discs too. It's user interface is beautiful and easy and the utility very powerful. 

8. Microsoft Mathematics
This utility I confess I haven't explored fully but seems like a cool program that lets you have a full graphic calculator on your PC, and it's free. It's also available as a 64bit download so it works real well with Windows 7.

Missing Utilities:
There are a few utilities that Windows really needs but still lacks like a good Dictionary like Mac OS X's or a good Screenshot utility. I use GIMP for screen-shots but it's not ideal to have to launch a full program for just taking screen-shots.

UPDATE: I wrote a part two here.


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