"What utility should I use for . . . ?" is a question that we hear quite often. There are easily a half-dozen great applications for just about every purpose on Windows systems and to list every utility out there, with its pros and cons, would be extremely time consuming. As it is, there are a good number of web sites that offer software comparisons and we are not interested in competing with those sites.
Instead, we are offering a short list of essential applications and utilities that we recommend to our clients. This list is by no means exhaustive and will continue to grow as time goes by. Many of these are "Free-Ware" - applications that are free for the taking although the developer often suggests a donation to help fund further development and/or keep the wolf away from the door.
Then there is "Donation-Ware" - a variant of "Free-Ware" that is theoretically "free" but the developer reminds you on a regular basis that a donation to the cause will make those "nag screens" go away. A basic fact of life is that many - if not most - users download and use an application and never contribute anything. While some developers work simply for the joy of programming and providing a useful tool, others require a bit of monetary encouragement in order to keep their noses to the development grindstone.
"Share-Ware" is a concept that has been around for almost three decades. You are encouraged to down-load and try the application but the full functionality is either available only for a limited period of time or, in the case of "Cinderella-Ware", the application will no longer work after a pre-determined period of time unless you register and purchase your copy. Another name for this sort of application is "Trial-Ware".
Finally, there are applications that you simply have to purchase in order to use. May "Share-Ware:, etc. applications have gone on to be full "Pay To Play" products.
Our small list of recommended tools and utilities will indicate whenever possible, the cost and/or terms for usage. Please keep in mind that that the status of these products can change and you are encouraged to visit the product's web site to learn the full details of usage.
If there's an application that you can't live without and think would be a good addition to our list, please
and tell us all about it.
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Parsonage Data Services Recommends These Applications For Your Windows PC
- Google Chrome — Simply the fastest browser out there. While it does lack the robust suite of add-on's the FireFox boasts, this functionality is currently under development and users should start to see add-ons for Chrome in the not too distant future. In the meantime, Google's Chrome browser is extremely light-weight and ideal for general internet surfing — And it's free. Get Google Chrome
You can improve your PC's performance and start-up time by using a registry cleaner to correct and/or delete invalid entries. Not all registry cleaning applications are created equal, however, and some cleaners will pick up errors that others ignore. If you are constantly bedeviled by registry errors, we recommend that you use two different cleaning applications in tandem.
- Registry First Aid Platinum Edition — By far, the best registry cleaning application that we have found so far. While it doesn't get them all, Registry First Aid does find and correct many more registry errors than other products. You do have to pay to use this product but it is well worth the investment. Get Registry First Aid - Platinum
- Registry Mechanic — Although Registry Mechanic usually does not find and correct as many registry errors, it nonetheless does a good job and spots errors that other cleaners miss. This product works well in tandem with Registry First Aid — Platinum and is "Trial-Ware". Get Registry Mechanic