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Kinda random collection of software [Mar. 18th, 2009|02:44 pm]
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Today at work I've been preparing to have my system reinstalled from scratch. So I've had to go through my list of apps and make sure I have all the installers I'm going to need to get my system back online once the reinstall is finished. Here they are if you're interested.

First Codec packs.
Having trouble playing this or that bit torrent file? Then go download either CCCP(wiki) or K-lite(wiki). both packs are full of numerous audio and video codecs and are designed to be a one stop shop for all things playable.
CCCP is aimed squarely at content consumers. Chances are if you have a video on your system it will play it. Which is awesome is all you want to do is play video. But if you edit videos(ever) you'll probably want to steer clear of the pack.
K-lite on the other hand is more variable, with no less than 6 possible download options. Including version specifically tailored for 64 bit windows installs and corporate environments.

Windows desktop Mods:
I do a lot of repetitive tasks for work. Things like adding new users, removing old ones, sending various weekly/monthly emails, etc. To speed these tasks up I've created macros scripts that can be run from a simple key combination. Autohotkey is the software I use. It's free, tiny, and very straightforward. It's what has kept me from having to spend 200€ on a macro enabled keyboard.

Display Fusion is a multi monitor taskbar and wallpaper manager. It allows you to do things like having different backgrounds on your various displays WITHOUT having to resort to embedding them as active desktop objects(which blow) or using a single image that spans all of your screens. You can have it randomly choose a background from either a directory, various portions of flickr, or vladstudio. But the truly killer function is it's ability to allow you to send application windows to various screens with a single click or keystroke.

Rainmeter and Rainlendar are desktop widget managers. Rainmeter is centered around a resources monitor. While Rainlendar is focused on calendar functions. Both allow for the creation of custom graphics and monitors for a large range of items including Todo lists, clocks, and calendars. Rainmeter is no longer being supported. But the existing number of themes and skins for is simply mind boggling(customize.org and deviantart are packed with them). Both use a very simple and straightforward configuration language. So simple I was able to make a system monitor from scratch in less than an hour. Look closely at the lower right hand corner of my desktop. While you're at it you might want to check out Serious Samurize.

If you've seen the plasmoid file folders in KDE 4 and thought you would like to have those in Windows XP this is the tool for you.
Fences allows you to create areas on your desktop for various icons. Once places there they won't end up on the left side of your screen every time you rearrange your desktop icons. Additionally it allows for scrolling inside these fenced off areas. More on fences from lifehacker.com.

If you run more than one computer at the same time then you aught to have a look at Synergy.
Synergy allows you to seamlessly use only a single keyboard and mouse across multiple computers and their displays, even if you happen to have a Mac, WinXP system, a Unix mainframe, and a Linux box on your desk. Once the software is installed you simply mouse off the edge of one computer screen and on to the next to change the focus. It even synchronizes the freakin clipboards between systems. Think of it as a KVM that doesn't cost a small fortune and doesn't suck. Best of all... It's completely free. As in beer.