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Roundup: 25 interesting downloads from the past seven days

25 November 2011, Software Publisher

For many people, the Start menu is one of the most visited aspects of Windows, but if you’re looking for an alternative program launcher, Winstep Nexus 11.10 is a great option. This free tool is not only a great time-saving dock style launcher that can be used to access your programs, it is also an extremely attractive widget manager that can be used to monitor everything from CPU usage to the weather. From the same company is Winstep Xtreme 11.10 is another step up the desktop customization ladder. It enables you to not only replace the Start menu with a new tweakable launcher, but completely replace Windows’ Explorer shell with something that is far more customizable. If you would prefer to keep your copy of Windows looking much as it normally does, but make a few tweaks here and there, Ultimate Windows Customizer v1.0 may be what you have been looking for. This free tweaking tool can be used to change the appearance and function of various elements of Windows without the need to edit the registry or work with complex settings files.

Creating a web site, like writing a novel, is something that many people express an interest in doing, and WYSIWYG Web Builder 8.0.1 is a tool that can help you to achieve at least one of these dreams. Eliminating the need to work with raw HTML code, the program provides you with DTP style tools that will enable you to create a site in next to no time. If you need help preparing images for use on your new web site, Free Image Convert and Resize 2.1.14 makes it possible to quickly resize or convert large numbers of images in batches. Should you decide to host video on your web site, Free WebM Video Converter 5.0.1 can be used to convert is to a suitable format, but it can also be used to convert videos ready to copy to a range of different devices. From the same company, Free YouTube Download 3.0.18 is a video download utility that can be used to download individual videos from YouTube, or entire channels. Also available is Free Studio 5.3.1 which includes each of these three tools in one handy package – as well as a number of extra utilities that will enables you to manage all of your different media files.

When it comes to viewing videos, it is important that you have the correct codecs installed or you may end up with no picture or sound. K-Lite Codec Pack Full 8.0.0 is a massive bundle of codecs that should enable you to playback almost any video file you come across. If you don’t feel the need for quite so many codec, K-Lite Codec Pack Standard 8.0.0 and K-Lite Codec Pack Mega 8.0.0 are also available. If you are having problems playing back a video, but you know that you have the correct codec installed, K-Lite Codec Tweak Tool 5.1.0 is a free tool that eliminate problems with broken codecs, reset incorrect codec configurations which is immensely powerful in the right hands.


There are not many things in life that are free, but Microsoft Office Starter 2010 is a cut-down version of Microsoft’s famous office suite. Comprising slightly restricted versions of Word and Excel, this is a limited suite, but one that will meet the need of anyone who does not need too much from their word processor or spreadsheet.

Speccy 1.14 is a free system analysis tool that can provide you with a wealth of information about your computer. The program can reveal details about the hardware you have installed, motherboard slots that are in use and specification for individual hardware components. If you are the sort of person that gets called on to troubleshoot and fix the computers of your friends and family, Speccy Portable 1.14 is a USB drive compatible version of the app that is well worthy carrying around with you. On the subject of USB drives, RemoveDrive 2.2 helps you to reduce the risk of data loss or corruption by providing you with a shortcut to safely eject a drive you have finished using.

Burning Studio 11

Another handy USB drive utility released this week is WinToFlash 0.7 beta which can be used to create a bootable USB drive based installer for Windows using your installation CD or DVD. It is possible that you are more comfortable with standard recordable media such as CDs and DVDs, and if this is the case, Ashampoo Burning Studio 11 can be used to create and burn disc images, backup data and much more. If you are more concerned with security, Hotspot Shield 2.16 is a free tool that can be used to ensure that you are secure when making use of wireless connections. The program also acts as a proxy, making it possible to access sites that may have been blocked by the system administrator.

Artweaver Free 3.0 is a completely free painting tool that can be used to work with Photoshop files or to create works of art from scratch. Used in conjunction with a graphics tablet – or even just with a mouse – truly stunning images can be created thanks to the wide range of realistic and customizable tools that are on hand.  When you have spent a little time getting creative, you may want to share your work with others. Should you find that your files are too large to attach to an email, you can use PeaZip 4.2 [32-bit] to shrink them down to a more manageable size. For fans of 64-bit Windows, PeaZip 4.2 [64-bit] is also available. The final title in this week’s roundup is EssentialPIM Free 4.5 which is a powerful personal information manager that can be used to organize your emails, contacts, notes and lists in one place. There is also a portable version of the app available in the form of EssentialPIM Free Portable 4.5 while EssentialPIM Pro 4.5 which adds options such as the ability to synchronize data with mobile devices.

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