Top 5 random useful utilities


A slightly odd article here, not much structure and these will probably only be useful to you if you’ve already come a cross a situation in which each might be useful.

5 – AMCap – http://goo.gl/njG5 – Firstly, this is AMCap (though the title bar on the application appears to not say that :p). This software will display the video feed from USB cameras you attach to your PC. It’s fairly basic software, but that is actually it’s advantage. I’ve used it to text if cameras are working and capturing correctly without a big fancy program in the way that could be messing things up.

I’m not quite sure how the licence for this software works, the link I’ve provided seems to want you to pay for the software, but I’ve had it bundles with webcams before for free.

4 – PTgui – http://goo.gl/qBdN – This, again is software for a specific situation. I used it to make the photos in this post I made on this blog. The software will allow you to stitch single photos together to make one big photo – That’s it!

3 – EasyBCD – http://goo.gl/cUpl – This little utility I discovered fairly recently. It’s used to edit the boot configuration file in Windows 7 and Vista. Boot configuration can be confusing at first, not necessarily to delete inputs (that just requires a quick highlight and delete). But creating a record you need to know the correct syntax.

It would have been useful to have known about this program when I wanted to get rid of the boot record for Kubuntu on my laptop. For some reason It didn’t disappear when I uninstalled the OS. I spent a good couple of hours researching how to change this problem.

2 – Split ‘Em – I couldn’t find a link for this software and the website in the readme file no longer exists so if you’d like it, download it HERE! Split ‘Em is a very basic GUI application that simply splits large files into smaller chunks. Say you have a 10Gb file you need to split to 700Mb chunks to say, put on CDs – Split ‘Em can do that. Split ‘Em also has the joiner built into the GUI to reassemble your file at the other end. Admittedly, I’ve had this program for a while (I can’t even find a website for the developer) and I don’t know where I got it. The uses for this software are now debatable, there’s very few times I’ve needed a program like this – My USB stick is 8Gb, I don’t know if I even have files that big. But I do remember having uses for it and it’s the sort of program I really like knowing about, just in case.

The other use I’ve thought about, if you’re patient enough is using it to get around file size limits. Free online services such as Skydrive offer 25Gb of cloud storage but limit file size to 50Mb. If you have a file you desperately want to backup to the cloud but are unwilling to opt into any of the paid services, this could be the tedious answer for you.

1 – Core Temp – http://goo.gl/IRdp – This program I’ve found quite useful over the years. Simply, it displays system information about your CPU. The reason I’ve listed it as my number 1 application is that it literally fixes computers.

It’s confusing when a computer randomly restarts or freezes and it’s not always obvious why, it could be a bit of software you installed but more likely some piece of hardware – Your RAM, Hard Drive, CPU or even motherboard. It’s often hard to find out which among these is halting your computer and if you keep this application running throughout your diagnostics and the CPU temperature gets abnormally high, it’ll probably be the culprit to the fault with the PC.

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