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Brr! Bundle Up With Serif Software’s Super Line Of Freebies

imageRegular readers will remember yesterday’s link to Acronis True Image Personal 2010 – a freebie offer, in which participation was restricted to the United States and Canada.

Today, lets take a look at how a highly regarded U.K. based software developer, Serif Software – a company which understands that the World Wide Web is indeed, World Wide – generates interest in their product line. With over 6 million customers, Serif is a strong player in the application marketplace.

Recognizing, that restrictive download policies are a non-starter – Serif seems to be driven in this respect by – You live where? We don’t care! You want it?  You got it!

Serif had, for years, provided free access to slightly older full versions of  their full product line – top quality popular products which I’ve reviewed here many times. Here’s a stat which helps put some perspective on how just popular Serif products have been on this site alone – 71,000+ download clicks in the last 3 years, or so.

Now here’s the puzzler – virtually all of those clicks came from European and Asian users. I suspect, that’s a factor of name recognition in local markets.

There’s been a major change since I last had an opportunity to drop in on the Serif site (a visit prompted by the Acronis offer) – a very positive change, I think. Serif’s focus is now on providing Starter Editions of  all their current software.

I use Starter Editions of several popular applications – including Microsoft Word (who can afford MS Word on every machine  Smile ). While Starter Editions do not have all of the features of the full product – generally, I’ve found these applications meet, or exceed, most of my needs. Realistically though – that is not always the case.

Application available for download include – desktop publishing, image editing, graphic design, web publishing, and more.

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As an added bonus – free web templates, as well as free print templates, are available for download.

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Please note: As is so often the case – you will be required to “open” an account.

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Following which you’re good to go – as illustrated below.

Serif 2012

Subsequent downloads will require you to sign into your account. Having downloaded several applications this morning, including MoviePlus and PagePlus, I was pleasantly surprised to see how simple subsequent downloads are.

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Just another day in Toolbar land – so, caution is the byword – as always.

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All Serif applications are Wizard driven so, don’t worry if you lack experience in using a particular application – here’s a quick shot of MoviePlus Starter Edition which I’ve just opened to take for a quick spin.

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System requirements: Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7.

Download at: Serif Software

8 Comments

Filed under Freeware, Serif Software, Starter Editions

NirLauncher – 100+ Free Utilities In One Download

imageIf you’re  a Geek, then I’ll wager that you’ve got at least one of NirSoft’s incredibly useful small utilities on your Hard Drive – or, on a Flash Drive. If you’re not yet familiar with NirSoft’s  collection of free tools, then you’re in for a treat.

NirSoft offers over 100 freeware utilities ranging from Password Tools, Network Monitoring Tools, to System Tools and more. All are available as individual downloads, or you can download all 100+ applications in one neat package – NirLauncher

In order to start using NirLauncher, extract the files in the package to your Flash Drive, or your Hard Drive. After you have extracted the package, simply run the executable file – NirLauncher.exe

Once you’ve launched NirLauncher, you can then launch any utility you choose from the GUI. You’ll notice, in the following graphic, that the tools are grouped by function.

Clicking any graphic on this page will expand it to its original size.

A total of 106 Utilities.

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Password recovery utilities illustrated.

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Fast facts:

NirLauncher can be used from USB flash drive without the need to install.

NirLauncher package includes a variety of tools, including utilities to recover lost passwords, to monitor your network, to view and extract cookies, cache, and other information stored by your Web browser, to search files in your system, and more…

For every utility in the package, you can easily run it, view the help file, or jump to the Web page of the utility.

When installed on a USB flash drive, the configuration of every utility is saved into a .cfg file on the flash drive.

On x64 systems, NirLauncher automatically runs the x64 version of the utility, when there is a specific x64 version.

NirLauncher allows you to add additional software packages – including SysInternals Suite. Please see the download page for additional information.

System requirements: Windows 2000 up to Windows 7.  NirLauncher also works on x64 systems.

Download at: Nirsoft – scroll down to the bottom of the page.

Available languages: Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Traditional Chinese.

The false positive issue:

I recently came across a forum comment (on another site), made by a regular reader, who made the comment that he occasionally gets a malware warning on applications I recommend.

He’s right, and here’s why.

Many of the applications I test and recommend, are designed to be used by sophisticated users and often, these applications dig deep into the operating system replicating the behavior of hacking tools on the one hand – and malware on the other hand.

Some of the applications in NirLauncher are a perfect example of this. A number of the recovery utilities are in fact, hacking tools. Any application which can recover a hidden password is, by its very nature, a hacking tool.

You can see from the following graphic, that on installing NirLauncher my primary AV, Microsoft Security Essentials, went into overdrive to warn me of 5 potential threats contained in the NirLauncher package. This is exactly what Microsoft Security Essentials is designed to do.

Here’s what I said in a previous article dealing with false positives:

Antimalware applications are not immune from false positives. In fact, false positives are more common than many users realize. Just one example – some AVs are notorious for seeing extractor files in application setup files as a Trojan.

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Since I was well aware that the warnings were false positives – all items were allowed.

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Here’s what NirSoft has to say on the false positive issueAntivirus companies cause a big headache to small developers.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

9 Comments

Filed under 64 Bit Software, Computer Tools, downloads, Freeware, Integrated Solutions, PC Tools, Portable Applications, Software, System Utilities, Utilities

Free NirLauncher – 100+ Utilities In One Neat Portable Package

imageIf you’re  a Geek, then I’ll wager that you’ve got at least one of NirSoft’s incredibly useful small utilities on your Hard Drive – or, on a Flash Drive. If you’re not yet familiar with NirSoft’s  collection of free tools, then you’re in for a treat.

NirSoft offers over 100 freeware utilities ranging from Password Tools, Network Monitoring Tools, to System Tools and more. All are available as individual downloads, or you can download all 100+ applications in one neat package – NirLauncher

In order to start using NirLauncher, extract the files in the package to your Flash Drive, or your Hard Drive. After you have extracted the package, simply run the executable file – NirLauncher.exe

Once you’ve launched NirLauncher, you can then launch any utility you choose from the GUI. You’ll notice, in the following graphic, that the tools are grouped by function.

Clicking any graphic on this page will expand it to its original size.

A total of 106 Utilities.

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Password recovery Utilities.

image

Fast facts:

NirLauncher can be used from USB flash drive without the need to install.

NirLauncher package includes a variety of tools, including utilities to recover lost passwords, to monitor your network, to view and extract cookies, cache, and other information stored by your Web browser, to search files in your system, and more…

For every utility in the package, you can easily run it, view the help file, or jump to the Web page of the utility.

When installed on a USB flash drive, the configuration of every utility is saved into a .cfg file on the flash drive.

On x64 systems, NirLauncher automatically runs the x64 version of the utility, when there is a specific x64 version.

NirLauncher allows you to add additional software packages – including SysInternals Suite. Please see the download page for additional information.

System requirements: Windows 2000 up to Windows 7.  NirLauncher also works on x64 systems.

Download at: Nirsoft – scroll down to the bottom of the page.

The false positive issue:

I recently came across a forum comment (on another site), made by a regular reader, who made the comment that he occasionally gets a malware warning on applications I recommend.

He’s right, and here’s why.

Many of the applications I test and recommend, are designed to be used by sophisticated users and often, these applications dig deep into the operating system replicating the behavior of hacking tools on the one hand – and malware on the other hand.

Some of the applications in NirLauncher are a perfect example of this. A number of the recovery utilities are in fact, hacking tools. Any application which can recover a hidden password is, by its very nature, a hacking tool.

You can see from the following graphic, that on installing NirLauncher my primary AV, Microsoft Security Essentials, went into overdrive to warn me of 5 potential threats contained in the NirLauncher package. This is exactly what Microsoft Security Essentials is designed to do.

Here’s what I said in a previous article dealing with false positives:

Antimalware applications are not immune from false positives. In fact, false positives are more common than many users realize. Just one example – some AVs are notorious for seeing extractor files in application setup files as a Trojan.

image

Since I was well aware that the warnings were false positives – all items were allowed.

image

Here’s what NirSoft has to say on the false positive issueAntivirus companies cause a big headache to small developers.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

Comments Off on Free NirLauncher – 100+ Utilities In One Neat Portable Package

Filed under 64 Bit Software, Computer Tools, downloads, flash drive, Freeware, Geek Software and Tools, Portable Applications, Software, System Utilities, USB, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

Sysinternals Suite – More than 40 Windows Utilities In One Download

If you’re  a Geek, then I’ll wager that you’ve got at least one of Microsoft’s free Sysinternals utilities, such as Autoruns (startup monitor), on your system.

Autoruns:

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If you’re a geeky Geek, then there’s a good possibility you’ve installed additional Sysinternals apps like Process Explorer, Process Monitor, TCPView, or Rootkit Revealer; perhaps even more.

Process Explorer:

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TCPView:

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In total, there are 45 Sysinternals Utilities available – including:

File and Disk Utilities

Networking Utilities

Process Utilities

Security Utilities

System Information Utilities

Miscellaneous Utilities

Rather than pick and choose, and then download selected applications individually, you now have the option of downloading the entire set of Sysinternals Utilities, rolled up into a single download.

The Sysinternals Suite is comprised of the following bundled applications:

AccessChk 

AccessEnum

AdExplorer

AdRestore

Autologon

Autoruns

BgInfo

CacheSet

ClockRes

Contig

Coreinfo

Ctrl2Cap

DebugView

Desktops

Disk2vhd

DiskExt

DiskMon

DiskView

Disk Usage (DU)

EFSDump

Handle

Hex2dec

Junction 

LDMDump

ListDLLs

LiveKd

LoadOrder

LogonSessions

MoveFile

NTFSInfo

PageDefrag

PendMoves

PipeList

PortMon

ProcDump

Process Explorer

Process Monitor

ProcFeatures

PsExec

PsFile

PsGetSid

PsInfo

PsKill

PsList

PsLoggedOn

File size – 12.9 MB

Unzipped File size – 28.9 MB

Download at: Microsoft

An extremely useful set of Windows tools. In my view, a must-have for your Geek toolbox. You may not need these utilities often, but reaching for the right tool will be much easier with this suite on board.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

13 Comments

Filed under Computer Tools, downloads, Freeware, Geek Software and Tools, Microsoft, Rootkit Revealers, Software, System Utilities, Utilities, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP