TUCOWS ARTICLE

Doc sums up some of the best tools of the year, including Winzip, GetRight and GhostSurf

Doc sums up some of the best of 2005, including Winzip, Super Flexible File Synchronizer, GetRight and GhostSurf
Software that can help Good for Cow Rating
GhostSurf Platinum 5.1
Shareware
Download Both editions of GhostSurf provide online identity protection with an anonymous, encrypted...
FeedForAll 2.0.3.1
Shareware
Download Easily create, edit and publish rss feeds and podcasts.
Super Flexible File Synchronizer 5.20c
Shareware
Download Back up your data and synchronize PCs, servers, notebooks, and online storage space - now...
Asutype 5.0
Demo
Download Type more accurately and much faster with this OS-level real time spell check and speed...
WinBackup Standard 2.1.2
Shareware
Download This program secures your files against virus attacks and computer crashes.
Macro Express 3.7d
Shareware
Download With Macro Express you can create timesaving macros for specific applications and global...
NoteTab Pro 7.1
Shareware
Download A leading-edge text and HTML editor. Handle a stack of huge files with ease, format text,...
WinZip 19.0.11293.0
Shareware
Download Manage, protect and share your files in an all-new modern interface with WinZip, the...
GetRight 6.3c
Shareware
Download Resume, accelerate, schedule, and manage your downloads.
Blaze Media Pro 8.02
Shareware
Download Powerhouse all-in-one audio and video converter; editor; recorder; CD/DVD ripper; audio,...
There are only 10 days until Christmas and it's a very busy, beautiful and festive time of year. At this time of year I always feel the need to reflect on the year that is coming to a close. In terms of picking software and doing reviews it was another very busy year for me. On December 2nd, I reviewed program number 10,219 for the year 2005. This also brought me to a grand total of 220,731 programs evaluated since 1982.I'm very proud of that. I've been able to call attention to a lot of wonderful programs over the years and I hope that's helped both users and software authors. For the next three weeks I'm going to be doing a Dr. File Finder's Picks Roundup of my Favorites of 2005. Even reviewing over 10,000 programs this year there are still some that stand out for me. So, I've gone back and picked out 30 programs that I've looked at in 2005 that I think deserve special attention. We'll take a look at 10 each week and that will bring us to the end of 2005. I hope you'll enjoy reading about these extra special programs that are my Favorites of 2005!
  • Super Flexible File Synchronizer
  • Version: 2.60
  • System Requirements: Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2000/XP/2003
  • Get more info
  • Download SuperFlexible File Synchronizer NOW!
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  • Super Flexible File Synchronizer, by Tobias Green, is a powerful toolfor synchronizing multiple computers or backing up important data. Ioften preach about the need to backup data and if you have multiplecomputers synchronizing them is one way you can backup. How? Right now I'm working on my laptop and I keep many programs on this machine synchronized with my desktop computer. In effect, when I sync them I'm creating a copy of each program on the other computer. The program lets you schedule times when programs will synchronize. The program has a really impressive list of options and features that let you do an amazing job of syncing. Suffice it to say that this is one of the more powerful and flexible synchronization and backup programs I've ever tried, and I've tried them all!

    Among it's many features, the program has a Wizard Mode that guides you through the process and an Advanced Mode for users who feel more confident. You can create profiles that keep all of the settings you determine. There are a wide range of synchronization options. Decide which folders to sync, which files to exclude and lots more. When they said the program is flexible they weren't kidding. You can have files synchronize in two directions, make one side the clone of the other side and plenty more.

    Super Flexible File Synchronizer, by Tobias Green, is a powerfulprogram that's also very easy-to-use. The interface is intuitive and theprogram is perfect for both new and experienced users. You can choosefrom a wide range of settings to get exactly the results you want,whether it's a mirror image of a program or syncing the files onmultiple computers. You can use it to sync your PC with you laptop, yourlaptop with your PC and more. The program also supports data encryption,ZIP files and even FTP sites. The scheduler is a really handyfeature that lets you keep things synchronized without intervention ifyou desire. I always recommend that you make sure you're around for afew times when scheduled items run, just to make sure. So, if you'd liketo synchronize files, folders, programs and more, take a good look atSuper Flexible File Synchronizer -- you won't be disappointed --I recommend it!


  • WinZip
  • Version: 10.0
  • System Requirements: Windows 98/ME/NT/2000/XP
  • Get more info
  • Download WinZipNOW!
  • View ascreenshot
  • WinZip, by WinZip Computing, Inc., is the best-known program for working with ZIP and other compressed files. The interface is very intuitive and the program is easy-to-use. It's perfect for all levels of users - from beginners to advanced. WinZip was the first program to support ZIP files under Microsoft Windows and it's continually gotten better and better. It's also won multiple Shareware Industry Awards and SIAF People's Choice Awards, along with many other honors. If you need to work with ZIP files this is the program you want to try. And with the release of WinZip version 10.0, WinZip just got better! This is truly a must have application!

    This new version of WinZip comes in two flavors, Standard and Pro. Which version you use will depend on your needs. The standard version has several new features. For one it offers support for the Attachment Manager found in Windows XP Service Pack 2. It also allows for quicker selection of files to work with, and can create even smaller ZIP format files. Another really slick new feature is the ability to split ZIP files so you can put them on CD-Rs and the like.

    The Pro version of WinZip has all of the features found in the standard version plus some dazzling extras! I have to say I'm really impressed with the range of new features. With Pro you can create ZIP "jobs" and then schedule those jobs to run whenever you like.This is great for always zipping up files in folder, and lots of other uses. WinZip Pro can be used to efficiently create backups and you can even create a ZIP file that goes directly to a DVD or CD. Slick! And if all that weren't enough, WinZip Pro also has built-in FTP so you can even transfer you ZIP files to your Web site. It just doesn't get any easier than that!

    WinZip 10.0, by WinZip Computing, Inc., is an impressive new release of this long-time favorite. To really appreciate all of the great, new features, you have to try it for yourself. See just what a difference this new version can make to the way you handle and work with ZIP files. Standard or Pro, the choice is yours. WinZip is truly a must have application and one of my Favorites of 2005.


    GetRight, by Headlight Software Inc., is a tool that I've used for quite some time. And, if you download anything off the Internet, you should use it too! File sizes just keep getting bigger and bigger. And what do you do if you're downloading a 40 megabyte file and your power goes out? Or your computer freezes up? Or you get disconnected from the Internet? You start over, that's what! Well, not when you're using GetRight! With this in place you can resume downloads that have stopped. And they start back up right where you left off! Very slick and also very handy! The program also lets you pause a download ... so you can start it up again at a later time. Nicely done, but there's lots more!

    GetRight can also be used to schedule downloads for a later time. So, say you're wandering around the Internet and spy a file you want. Put it in your schedule and move on. And schedule as many downloads as you want. Later, at a time you determine, GetRight can dial the Internet, download the files you've selected, and then log off!! Another neat feature of the program is that it can divide a large file into sections and download different sections from different servers. GetRight can also keep track of passwords for you, let you browse FTP sites easily, and it integrates beautifully with Netscape, Internet Explorer, Firefox and Opera. And that's perfect!

    GetRight, by Headlight Software, Inc., is a powerful tool for managing downloads on the Internet. The program is loaded with features, but it's also very easy-to-use. GetRight is the kind of program that's ideal no matter what your level of experience. It lets you resume downloads that have stopped -- whatever the reason. It lets you schedule downloads, pause them and even divide a download between multiple servers. It integrates with the most popular browsers and it's one of those programs I wouldn't be without. Another impressive product I looked at in 2005. I give it my highest recommendation!


    GhostSurf Platinum 2006, by Tenebril, Inc., is a really powerful suite of programs that work together to make your Internet experience better. And safer. I use this myself and have it on all my computers. The Privacy Control Center lets you surf the Internet anonymously. Your interaction with the Internet goes through GhostSurf and it removes any personal information. You can even encrypt your connection to the Internet, and the program uses Department of Defense standards for removing all traces of you and your activity on the Internet. There are actually two versions of the program - both versions have the Privacy Control Center, but the Platinum version also has the ability to stop ads, popups, eliminate spyware and lots more. It even provides you with a place to keep your important information safe. Really a total package.

    GhostSurf 2006 Platinum is a powerful, full-featured program that is designed from the ground up to protect you in a variety of ways. From giving you a safe area to store confidential information to letting you surf the Internet and not reveal any personal information, the program is a real powerhouse. I like the fact that in all of its modules it has so many configurable options. The program works the way you want it work. It deletes what you want, blocks what you want, erases what you want and much more. It removes spyware and stops it from coming back while at the same time blocking annoying advertising. It does it all and in one, neat package. Why buy four or five products when you can just buy one? I've been using GhostSurf Platinum since 2004 and I'm really impressed by it. It's one of my Dr. File Finder Favorites, and those are few and far between. If you're concerned about security and if you'd like to have more control over time and your entire Internet experience, this is a program you need to try. I recommend it highly for users with all levels of experience.


    Dr. File Finder Quick Picks

    Due to the Dr. File Finder's Picks Roundup of my Favorites of 2005 there won't be any Quick Picks for the last 3 weeks of 2005. Quick Picks will resume, however, the first week of 2006. I hope you'll join me then for more Picks and Quick Picks.


    As-U-Type, by Fanix Software is a neat utility that spell checks everything you type on your computer in real time. So, if you type something wrong, it catches it, and right now! But it's so much more than just another spell checker. It gradually adapts to your writing style and corrects many spelling mistakes automatically. That can be a real time saver because it means that when you're done typing something, you're totally done! You don't have to go back and check the spelling. Another neat feature is that you can go in and add things that may be peculiar to you. For example, I sometimes use "Ahh", such as "Ahh, I understand." Well, the program didn't like that so I went in and added it. Very slick.

    As-U-Type, by Fanix Software, is an interesting program that will make everything you type better. It works all the time no matter what program you're using. It learns the mistakes you make most and adapts. It will correct many mistakes automatically. And with others, it will make a sound and underline the error in red. You can insert pieces of text with shortcuts, add to the dictionary, add little phrases peculiar to yourself and more! So, if you're like many people and have trouble with spelling, this is a program you want to have! It may well be a program you need to have. I like it so much that As-U-Type is a Pick, a Dr. File Finder Favorite, and a Favorite of 2005. Try it - I recommend it.


    NoteTab Pro, by Fookes Software, has won multiple SIAF People's Choice Awards as well as several Shareware Industry Awards. If you use it, it's easy to see why it's a favorite among both users and computer professionals. The program is extremely easy-to-use and very intuitive. And it's simply loaded with features and functions. The interface is intuitive, so both new and experienced users will find it useful. I know I do.

    NoteTab Pro gives you all the tools you need to do a great job. It can load large files, do HTML code, spell check what you write, gives you a thesaurus to find new words and more. You can create bookmarks, change cases, create powerful clips, and its tabbed interface lets you have multiple documents open at one time. Right now I have 10 open and they are all accessible with just a mouse click. And, on top of all that, it has a powerful search function so you can find things, replace text and more. So, if you are looking for a powerful text and HTML editor, this is one of the best you're going to find! Try it for yourself and see.


    Macro Express , by Insight Software Solutions, Inc., is a powerful and full-featured macro utility that really takes the repetition out of your day. For those who don't know, a macro is generally a recording of keystrokes that can then be played over and over again. Macros can be used to eliminate repetitive text entry from your life by inserting text that you use often, or e-mail signatures, addresses and more. I use macros all day long and have for many years. So many things you do on a computer you do over and over again. With a macro you can create it or record it once and from then on you can do that task with a hotkey. Pretty slick.

    You can also use Macro Express to launch programs, connect to network drives, change basic Windows settings and so much more. You can assign hotkeys so you can initiate a complex series of actions with just one key. And, the real beauty of it is that once you record an action you don't ever have to manually do that action again. Pretty slick and Macro Express can make you more productive and more efficient. It won the People's Choice Award for Best Vertical Market Program or Utility in 2005. You owe it to yourself to take a look. You may just find you can simplify your life.


    Blaze Media Pro, by Mystik Media, Inc., is a really impressive product for doing anything with multimedia. With all of the growing interest in things like music, photos and video, this is a program you need to look at because it has it all. You can dump a lot of extra software and simply use this. There are so many features and functions that I'd be hard pressed to talk about all of them, so I'll try to hit what I consider the high points. First off, the program supports a huge number of file formats including AVI, MPEG, WAV, MP3, MP2, CD, WMA and lots more. Another excellent feature is that Blaze Media Pro can quickly convert files from one format to another format. And I'm talking both audio file conversions and video file conversions. The program reads the information from each file and you determine how much of that information is used. Very slick.

    Blaze Media Pro will let you record from virtually any source including cassette players, mic, 8 tracks and more. Basically any kind of input device will do. The program can also rip CDs and has support for the CDDB online database. And, another slick feature is the ability to create playlists that contain both audio and video! There's also support for drag-and-drop, the ability to edit audio files, add special effects and more. The special effects are very cool and include such things as fade in, fade out, compress, amplify, reverb and vibrato. There are also a number of filters that can be used including such things as notch filter, high pass, low pass, and more. I've watched this program change and mature over the years and it's become a real powerhouse when it comes to multi-media. Again, the list of things it can do would take pages to tell you about adequately.

    Blaze Media Pro, by Mystik Media, is a really powerful tool that works with an impressive list of audio, graphics, and video files. You can edit and enhance audio and video, and use practically anything as an input device. Convert both audio and video into different file formats, do batch operations, edit graphics, add special effects, rip CDs and more. It has support for drag and drop, the CDDB database, visual audio editing and you can even search for song lyrics. The power under the hood is impressive. So, if you like playing with audio and video and would like to get professional results, this is the program you need to try. To say it's full-featured would be an understatement. Check it out - you'll be glad you did!


    WinBackup, by UniBlue, Inc, is a backup utility that's extremely well done! The interface is intuitive and extremely easy-to-use and that makes it perfect for both new and experienced users. And while it's easy-to-use, it's still loaded with impressive features. The program allows you to make regular backups of all your most important files. And I can't stress enough just how important it is to keep your data backed up. WinBackup will let you schedule automatic backups so they can run while you're not using your computer. All you have to do is remember to put a fresh CD or DVD in the drive -- WinBackup can use both! And, if you're around when you run your backups you'll be pleased to know that WinBackup can span multiple disks. That means you can backup your entire hard disk if you want!

    WinBackup utilizes file compression to make each file smaller. That means you can get more on each disc. At the same time it keeps your data secure, allowing you to encrypt it with either 128-bit or 256-bit encryption. And, if that weren't enough, the program even lets you password protect your backups. Want to know how your last scheduled backup went? No problem because the program keeps a complete log of its activities. Very slick! Another excellent feature is that WinBackup will do an estimate and calculate the approximate size of your backups that use compression. The program works quickly and efficiently and also works very well in the background. In several of my tests I had it backing up while I worked and it did an impressive job.

    WinBackup is a backup utility that's both powerful and secure. You can password protect against unauthorized access and encrypt your data. Backups can be scheduled for different times and the program runs very well in the background. It backups up to CD or DVD, utilizes compression to save space, and keeps detailed logs of what it does. And yet, with all the things it provides, the program is still very intuitive and easy-to-use! I've evaluated a number of backup utilities, and for my money WinBackup is one of the best I've tried. So, if you've been meaning to backup all of your valuable data, don't waste another minute. Give WinBackup a try -- I think you'll be impressed!


    FeedForAll, by NotePage, Inc., is a nifty tool that makes it easy to create, publish and even edit RSS news feeds. The full term is Web logs, but it's been reduced down to blogs. A neat feature is that the program can actually repair RSS feeds that were created with another program. All of the news feeds created with FeedForAll conform to the RSS 2.0 specifications. The program is very easy-to-use and has an intuitive user interface. And if you really get into blogs the program makes it easy for you to create, post and maintain your newsfeed. Really nicely done.

    FeedForAll won a Shareware Industry Award in 2005 and that was very well-deserved. Try it out for yourself and see. It simply couldn't be much easier. And that's one of the things that makes it one of my Favorites of 2005. It's intuitive. It takes a task, like creating a blog and makes it as easy as possible for a user to create one. It makes it easy to edit your blog, get it posted, and keep it up-to-date. I like the kind of thought and passion that went into this product. So, if you'd like to join the crowd who are creating blogs, this is the program you should try. I recommend it.


    That's it for this week. Ten utility-type programs that I looked at in 2005 that left an impression. I hope you will take the time to give each of them a try. All of them are not only excellent, but make it easy to do the things they claim to do. I hope you've enjoyed part 1 of this special Dr. File Finder's Picks Roundup of my Favorites of 2005! I'll be back next week with part 2, which will cover my 10 favorite programs that are desktop-related. I hope you'll join me then. Until then, have a great week, be safe and happy downloading.


    About Michael E, Callahan

    Michael E. Callahan, known around the world by the trademarked name Dr. File Finder, is regarded as the world's leading expert on shareware. Dr. File Finder works with software programs and developers full-time, and in the average year he evaluates 10,000 programs. Since 1982 he has evaluated over 250,000 software and hardware products. Mr. Callahan began evaluating software online in 1982 and no one has been at it longer. He currently works doing online PR and marketing for software companies, and is the Senior Content Producer for Butterscotch.Com.

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