Software Reviews by Rustyboy

The reviews and opinions below are posted by SnapFiles visitors. They do not necessarily reflect our opinion, and they are solely based upon the experience of individual users.

Paint.NET Paint.NET

You've got to have this on your hard drive 5 stars
Paint.net just keeps getting better and better. The first features that made me install paint.net were the availability of layers and a great clone tool. Having used it for a while, it is now the programme I reach for when I need to adjust or clean up an image - it is quick and easy and has excellent results. The interface ("floating tool windows") seems odd at first if you are not used to that but it is easy to adjust to. Price: Free
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Zeta Producer CMS Zeta Producer CMS

Not as easy as they say 2 stars
I am always a bit skeptical when I see software on a website that has one glowing review full of praise written by someone who has only ever done that one review. Anyway, I downloaded Zeta to try it out and found it to be confusing to use with a very limited number of templates available unless you upgrade to the paid version. My search for the easiest to use CMS continues. Price: Free
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SlySoft Virtual CloneDrive SlySoft Virtual CloneDrive

Light and effective. 5 stars
Virtual Clone Drive is a handy thing to have to mount ISOs rather than burning the files to disc. It has a history so it will remember (if you want) your mounted ISOs, saving you the hassle of entering the details each time if you tend to use certain ISOs (eg game ISOs) regularly. Also, it is a small download and consumes little memory. It has worked flawlessly here. Besides, it uses a cool sheep icon as a drive icon, that's gotta be a bonus. Price: Free
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Stellarium Stellarium

Wow, double wow 5 stars
Stellarium is a real gem. For beginner sky watchers (like me) it has the basics and is intuitive to use. For the more advanced users it has a lot of extra features, with more deep sky star catalogs available for download should you so wish. A definite keeper. Price: Free
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avast! Free Antivirus avast! Free Antivirus

The best antivirus 5 stars
I was a dedicated Avira user but now find Avast to be as good (or better), all while using low system resources. Also, Avast does not issue many false positives like some other AVs. Just set up Avast and forget about it; let it do its job quietly and effectively without bugging you all the time. Price: Free
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Freemake Video Converter Freemake Video Converter

Simplicity but not configurability. 4 stars
Freemake is a brilliantly simple piece of software that does what it says it will do. The tradeoff for this simplicity, however, is the lack of control the user has over adjustments and settings (which is not necessarily a bad thing depending upon the targeted users); Freemake is also not the quickest at what it does. If you want a simple way of converting then Freemake is for you. If you are a constant fiddler and tweaker who is always trying to find the perfect settings for your output then look elsewhere. One thing that did annoy me though, was not being able to choose "burn again" once I had converted to DVD as I wanted a second copy. I couldn't even find the converted files on my hard drive. Overall though, Freemake is worth having and using. Price: Free
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SpaceSniffer SpaceSniffer

Portable and indispensable 5 stars
Of all the disk usage utilities I have tried, Space Sniffer is the best. The display is easy to understand and you can delete things from the display area, there is no need to navigate using some other method. It is portable, too, and now lives on my handy-dandy fix-the-family's-computer USB stick. A great diagnostic tool to have in your arsenal. Price: Free
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Pale Moon Pale Moon

Well worth trying 5 stars
I was a bit skeptical about trying Pale Moon as we have all seen programs promote themselves as better, faster, etc. After installing it, I found it is indeed faster than FF and I now use PM exclusively. Even my beloved Greasemonkey works on it. Gotta love PM. Price: Free
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Microsoft Security Essentials Microsoft Security Essentials

Mostly good 4 stars
I am running this on my Win 7 RC box and it performs very well, using few resources and remaining unobtrusive. I installed it on my wife's XP laptop and it must have conflicted with something as it just made the laptop completely freeze as soon as it booted. Upon removal of MSE from the laptop and the return of AntiVir, all was back to normal. It is well worth a try though. Price: Free
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MP3Gain MP3Gain

Small and effective 5 stars
Mp3gain is great for "normalizing" your various mp3 files which, if sourced differently, will have the volume levels all over the joint. Choose the folder that holds your mp3s and press the "Track Gain" button. Then you can sit back while mp3gain sets the volume levels to a default around 89 (adjustable if you choose, but I find the default to be the best setting). It's amazing how many mp3s have settings that are way too high. mp3gain recurses sub folders, too, so once you choose the main folder all songs in folders within that one will have their volume normalized. Get it, you won't regret it. Price: Free
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SpeedyFox SpeedyFox

Slight improvement 4 stars
I just downloaded SpeedyFox and ran it on my Firefox profile and it did make a noticeable difference to the startup time. It wasn't a mind-boggling improvement, but an improvement nevertheless. Price: Free
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Explore and Burn Explore and Burn

Simple yet effective 5 stars
I have always been looking for a small burning program I can use when I don't need some full-blown app, mostly for those times I just need to burn some data quickly to disc. Well, I have found it in ExploreandBurn, which is very simple to use and is great for burning data from a Right Mouse Button click. Price: Free Trial ($14.95)
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Dr.Web CureIt Dr.Web CureIt

Don't download it until you need it 5 stars
Great piece of software, no installation required. Because the database updates several times daily, you will always be asked to download the latest version (~11mb) unless you run it immediately. Keep the link and download it when you need to use it, that way you will have the latest database. Price: Free
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Trillian Trillian

Multi IM coverage 4 stars
Trillian (no ads!) covers a wide range of IM services and is easy to use and skinnable. It doesn't do webcam unless you upgrade, but when you want webcam you can always fire up one of those other adware messengers for a session. The other downside for the free version is that it doesn't merge users, so you have Fred@MSN and Fred@Yahoo showing up, not just one Fred. Oh, did I mention that there weren't any ads? :-) Price: Free
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CCleaner CCleaner

Five stars 5 stars
I have used other cleaners but CCleaner has the edge in that it covers a variety of things. Also, it doesn't automatically delete stuff but asks the user first, which is good for careful types. CCleaner is a regular part of my computer maintenance program. Price: Free
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Rainlendar Lite Rainlendar Lite

Handles all my reminder needs 5 stars
I love Rainlendar's ability to sit transparently on the desktop, pop up reminders for me (eg birthdays, appointments) complete with alert sound, have tooltips upon mouseover, etc. I use it for all my to-do things, it is brilliant. Price: Free
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SizeMe SizeMe

Very handy 4 stars
A handy tool, even as an indicator and not necessarily for burning the final choices. I would have liked to have seen a method whereby you can choose one or more "must include these files" and SizeMe will fill up the rest. Price: Free
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PSPad Editor PSPad Editor

The reigning king of text editors 5 stars
I used to be a dedicated NoteTab Light user but PSPad is now the best text editor. One feature I love is the Tool Panel, the tabbed window down the left hand side which allows quick access to your files and even has a "favourites" tab where you can define your favourite files or folders. This is great if you often revisit a certain file for editing. PSPad has many, many features - in fact I am discovering more as I go. A must have. Price: Free
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Revo Uninstaller Revo Uninstaller

A definite keeper 5 stars
Revo is very good at removing stubborn remnants from incomplete or incorrect uninstalls. It hunts out left over registry keys and deletes those too (after user confirmation). An excellent piece of software. Price: Free
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EaseUS Partition Master EaseUS Partition Master

Good, if a little fiddly 3 stars
This software does exactly what it says and does it well, but the downside for me is the GUI and lack of instructions in the help file as to its correct use. I fiddled and dragged my partitions until I got them exactly where I wanted them but because this took 5 moves to get it "just right", Easus performed those 5 operations. Make sure you do it in as few moves as possible, otherwise it will execute all operations, not just the final settings as I assumed. Perhaps I should have spent more time reading carefully, but the manual isn't clear on this point - I think it should either be an important warning for people to watch or make adjustments a different way. Good software though, just bear this little quirk in mind and adjust your sizes carefully. Price: Free
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Gimp Gimp

Persevere, it's worth it. 5 stars
I tried The Gimp a while back and (like many others I suspect) gave up on it as I thought it "awkward". On my second try of The Gimp, I persevered and the results were excellent. It is extremely powerful and once you put in a little effort to understand how to use it you will be well rewarded. The documentation is downloadable but not straightforward to find. There are also some good tutorials to be found that can teach you the basics to get you going. Price: Free
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XMPlay XMPlay

Xmplay flies. 5 stars
I like XMPlay because it is small (~300k) and does what it is supposed to do well. The default skin is a bit cheesy for my liking but there are many others to choose from and/or download. I used to use a media player for mp3s as well as video but found they took a while to start up. Now I use separate programs as sometimes the all-in-one approach is not necessarily the best. XMPlay flies. Price: Free
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Tux Paint Tux Paint

Great for kids 5 stars
TuxPaint is fantastic for kids as it has a large variety of things to play around with and even has audio feedback on a lot of tools. For example, choose a stamp of a chicken and you will hear a chicken. Younger kids will enjoy exploring this, my [autistic] 9yo loves it. It is easy for them to navigate, too, with functions laid out in a logical and straightforward way. Price: Free
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Star Downloader Free Star Downloader Free

Easy to use 4 stars
I have tried other downloaders and while they are good, they tend to be overkill for my needs. Star Downloader allows me to schedule download times and has a "download basket", a dropbox icon on the desktop that accepts dropped links. These are the two major features in my opinion and along with blistering download speeds, makes Star Downloader a great program. The only downside is that the interface is a bit plain Jane. Price: Free
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IrfanView IrfanView

Light on resources yet powerful 5 stars
One meg download, uses little ram compared to a lot of the others, has an impressive range of features (and many extensions via plugins). The only downside for me is the way the thumbnail window displays separately. An integrated one would have been better. Brilliant for creating a slide show or converting/resizing/altering/renaming a heap of image files at once. I have been using Irfanview for about a squillion years. Well, almost. Price: Free
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PopTray PopTray

Shame about yahoo 4 stars
Poptray is great, especially having rules that let you delete emails on the server before downloading them. The downside to Poptray is the inability to access some webmail providers (Yahoo for example) without installing yet another program (such as ypops). Price: Free
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7-Zip 7-Zip

Lean and mean 5 stars
If you want a no-nonsense compression tool this is it. I used to use another freeware compression tool (which was very good) until I found it choked on larger files. 7-zip handles large files beautifully. It may not have the eye candy of some other programs, but it doesn't have the bloat either. Price: Free
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FreeCommander XE FreeCommander XE

The best dual paned file manager 5 stars
It has so-o-o many features including the new ftp transfers, multiple renames, etc. It's amazing as I continually find nifty features that I have overlooked or not read about (Quickview [ctrl-Q on a selected file to view it] comes to mind here). Nothing else comes close. Price: Free
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Avira AntiVir Personal Avira AntiVir Personal

Very good, if a little annoying 4 stars
Good: It's free, it has effective virus recognition, it is not a memory hog, the database is updated frequently. Not so good: It nags every time the database updates, sometimes the update servers are borked and updates will not run for a day or so. Price: Free
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iTunes iTunes

Bloatware for noobs 2 stars
If you are an absolute beginner and want to be lead by the nose then this software was made with you in mind. If you have a little experience and just want to drag and drop mp3s and make your own playlists then steer well clear of iTunes - it is like driving and parking a huge truck when going to the supermarket on a Saturday morning - it can be done but it is not necessarily a pleasant experience. If you don't want other software installed also avoid iTunes as it puts Quicktime and Bonjour on your computer whether you like it or not. After you install iTunes, check your Task Manager (Ctrl-Alt-Del) to see services running and eating up your memory even when iTunes is not running. So, for absolute beginners, yes. Anyone else, no. Price: Free
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POP Peeper POP Peeper

Almost perfect 4 stars
This is a very nice little program. It even allows you to download attachments from webmail accounts (yahoo, etc) without having to fire up your browser and wait for pages of ads. When the next version comes out with filtering/rules, it will be perfect. Price: Free
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