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Ultimate Settings Panel 4.2

Access key Windows, Outlook and Configuration Manager settings easily

by Nick Peers

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License: Freeware
Operating Systems: Windows 7 (32 bit), Windows 7 (64 bit), Windows 8, Windows Vista (32 bit), Windows Vista (64 bit), Windows XP
Requirements:
Languages: English
Software Cost: Free
Date Updated: 19 June 2016
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Downloads To Date: 893
Developer: Techy Geeks Home
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Ultimate Settings Panel
Access key parts of your system from one convenient location.

Configuring parts of your system can be tricky, even if you know where to look. Windows 8 made things that bit trickier by ditching the traditional Start menu, so Ultimate Settings Panel aims to redress the balance by putting key system and selected software settings right at your fingertips.

Version 2.0 of the utility offers 5 tabs: Windows, General, Outlook, Configuration Manager and Server Admin, with more promised in future releases.

The Windows and General tabs provides shortcuts to key Control Panels and more deeply buried tools like File History in Windows 8 or ODBC Admin in XP – there’s also a shortcut to "God mode", which basically puts every single Control Panel option at your fingertips. The Outlook tab offers some handy repair and management shortcuts like cleaning the auto-complete name and email address list or restoring missing folder to the default delivery location.

System administrators will also appreciate access to key Configuration Manager options, such as opening the Client Applet or Software Center.

It’s all very simple to operate – the app is portable, so copy it somewhere convenient, double-click it (you may get a security warning or two, but the app is perfectly safe to use) and off you go.

Verdict:

Ultimate Settings Panel brings together a wide range of common Windows applets and commands. There's no Search tool, which means it still might be hard to find what you need, but once you're used to the layout the program should save you some time.

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Spotlight: Free Full Software

Spektrel Art 1.0.0

Free Full Commercial Software

Spektrel Art is a stand-alone program and Photoshop plugin which transforms digital photos into "magical art that glimmers and gleams with intersecting lines of tapered light".

What does that mean? Essentially it applies a configurable mix of effects, enhancing edges, smoothing backgrounds and emphasizing colours. Take a look at the thumbnail for one example, and the official product page has more.

Spektral Art works much like any similar tool. Open an image, click one of the thumbnails to apply a particular preset, or click a few buttons and drag some sliders to fine-tune the results.

There's surprising scope for variation, too. For example, just switching from the "Light" to "Dark" theme can transform a bright and friendly image into something dark and sinister, at least in some cases (results vary depending on the source image).

Please note, the demo version doesn't allow images to be saved.

SPECIAL OFFER: as we write, the developer is offering Spektral Art for free. The offer expires August 29th. Please note that you must provide your name, address and phone number to receive your free license.

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