Windows Compatibility Centre

Windows 7 boxThe Windows Compatibility Centre is a great first port of call if you wish to find out if one of your old software applications works with Windows 7 (the current Windows Operating System) be that 32bit or 64bit, the database of a vast array of software and hardware is listed.

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From the about on the Windows Compatibility Centre site.

“While you could sift through old installation CDs or hunt around on the web for the hardware drivers or software updates you need, we aim to make it easier. That’s why we offer a central place where you can get the drivers and updates you need to get up and running quickly.

Each product has a details page which shows its compatibility status with Windows 7. Links under the compatibility status will take you directly to a download page for the device driver or software upgrade you need. Additional links on the left side of the page go to the manufacturer’s or publisher’s homepage, support site, and contact page. For compatibility information on 32-bit versions of Windows 7, click the 32-bit tab at the top of the page”

Personally I do find it very helpful as I get asked a lot “does this software work with Windows 7” well while I’m very good and have a great memory, I cannot know everything that is compatible or not, so this site is a great one to link to, for case in point, security software is good starting point and you can just click the Security icon on the home page and you get a list of what has been tested and what is compatible or not.

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You will find a vast array of topics from Communications to Developer Tools to Hardware. So if you ever need to check if hardware or software is compatible with Windows 7, then do check this great resource out first as well as the manufacturers site.

Windows Compatibility Centre

Digital Janitor

SoftwareI like really neat small applications like this that just make your PC life that little bit easier, and Digital Janitor is one such application. Do bare in mind that this is a beta so not the final release of the application but as a starting point I think its well worth an install and test.

“Digital Janitor is an application specialized in sorting files. To use it, you have to insert the rules on which the sort will be performed and press a button. Within seconds the folder that you wanted to sort is clean, and all the files are in the right place.

Example:You have the following files in a folder: “Text File.txt”, “Another Text File.txt”, “Word Document.doc”, “Another Document.otd”, “Image.jpg”.
You set the following rules:

  • All text files (*.txt) go to C:Text Files
  • All files that contain “Document” in their description go to C:Documents
  • All images (*jpg) go to C:Images

After selecting the folder that you want to sort, press the “Sort” button and the files will be automatically moved to their place!”

I thought Digital Janitor would come in handy for me as a way to in one scenario to move files that I save that are updates or new applications to install on all my PCs as I have a network shared folder setup, so this would be a way to automatically copy these new apps or updates to the shared folder. Well it works very well in this instance, so I see no problems in setting up many sort options.

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The option to sort music may interest many who have large collections of music.

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Download from HERE                                                                                                                   works in XP/Vista/7 and needs at least .NET Framework 2.0 and Windows Installer 3.1

Disable Autorun/Autoplay

Software

Disable Autorun/Autoplay is a great free application to do just that disable Autorun/Autoplay from opening any portable media, such as a USB pen, CD etc.

I personally think that autorun should be disabled as a default for one of the very reasons in the quote below in that it can be an easy route for malware to infect many PCs.

“There are many situations where AutoRun may need to be temporarily or persistently disabled. For example:

  • AutoRun might interfere with the operation of a running application and need to be disabled for the duration.
  • Some malware maybe achieve this by copying a malicious executable in the drive and modifying the Autorun.inf file so that Windows opens the malicious file silently as soon as the drive is mounted.”

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Do note that you will have to run the application in Vista and Windows 7 as an Administrator to do this right click the application and choose “Run as Administrator” then once you have changed the settings you will need to reboot.

Download form HERE or the Developers Homepage HERE                            (works in Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7, I tested it in Windows 7 x64)

Panda Batch File Renamer

SoftwarePanda Batch File Renamer is a free application of the type I really like as it’s simple to use and a standalone application which is fantastic for use on a USB pen, as all you need to do is create yourself a Folder on your USB pen for Panda File Renamer and then extract the contents of the 7-zip download to that folder (are two files a main executable PandaBatchFileRenamer.exe  and a FotoFly.dll, cannot miss the executable file as its the Panda Icon).

Panda Batch File Renamer is an easy to use utility for changing the names of multiple files. The intuitive interface provides a flexible way to quickly alter file names. The current and final file names are shown side-by-side on the screen and any changes are displayed on screen immediately.

Information taken directly from the ID tags of photo and music files can be inserted into the file name. Multiple renaming options can be queued up to make very detailed changes to file names if required.                                                              
A history of changes is kept, allowing them to be undone if a mistake is made. Renaming options can be saved so that you do not have to repeatedly recreate them.

So as a standalone application its great for photographers.

You can add files either by browsing for them or highlighting and copying them to the clipboard, then in the clipboard way just click in the application, File > Add from the Clipboard, couldn’t be much simpler.

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You can add, remove text, change the meta tags and a fair few other details to your media files.

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As an Edit to my original post I’m adding a link to the AnimalSoftware forum HERE as the developer Ulric has added some guides to less known features of the Panda Batch File Renamer app.

Download from HERE or the Homepage HERE                                                 Note: I have tested this in Windows 7 (both 32bit and 64bit in Windows 7), did also try in Vista 32bit and you just need to make sure you are fully patched with all updates from Windows Update and at least .Net 3.5

PDFJumbler

SoftwarePDFJumbler is a free and really good simple application to allow you to open up a PDF file and re-arrange the pages, delete, merge pages. The whole interface is easy to use as its virtually drag and drop.

“A simple tool to rearrange/merge/delete pages from PDF files.”

I opened a guide I’m working on and in the first image its default and all I did was to drag page 2 to the top in the second image.

pdfjumbler 001       pdfjumbler 002

To merge two or more PDF documents together, all you need to do is to click the small folder icon to open them and they are merged, from there you can move pages around or delete if needed.

Download from HERE                                                                          (Works in Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7, I have tested in Windows 7 x64)

Note: download the Click to download setup-pdfjumbler-0.16.exe file or later version when available from the Project Feed list if you are using Windows *edit: I was informed that the version 17 link is now dead, so have changed to the previous version 16 which is still good.

FindHidden

SoftwareFindHidden is a great free small application to search and find hidden files on your PC, this maybe useful when you are troubleshooting or doing malware removal.

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“File Manager (Delete, Copy, Change Attributes).
Binary viewer.
Create Report (format Text Document).
System Tools: Show hidden files and Show protected operating system files (for Win XP).
Search files/folders by size and by date (created, modified and last accessed).”

Works in Vista and Windows 7 also, I run x64 Windows 7 and this app works ok.

Download from HERE