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The types of software tools

This week, we look at three programs power users often say are great software tools. Each is designed to perform one important function and two of them come bundled with other features; all three are freebies.

Many of us are savvy enough to keep the operating system and anti-malware solution up to date, but what about those other third-party applications or add-ons like Java, Flash or QuickTime? What keeps them updated? Did you know some types of malware exploit deficiencies in those areas? One solution is to manually update each one, but even then something could be over-looked. Another solution is to enlist the help of Secunia Personal Software Inspector. Secunia PSI is a program that will scan a system, report such deficiencies and offer solutions. Users have the choice to download and install one version or opt for the simple scan option. Visit secunia.com for details.

The next freebie is called CCleaner. It's a "...system optimization, privacy and cleaning tool." Many Power Users feel CCleaner cleans unused files from the system better than the Windows Disk Cleanup tool. It also cleans the registry and has an uninstall function that is supposed to help remove stubborn applications. (Personally, I turn to the last tool mentioned today for uninstalling stubborn programs.) Find it at ccleaner.com.

The last tool is the Revo Uninstaller. What Revo does very well is the uninstalling of applications. It comes with other features but most users like it for its ability to remove all traces of a program. Revo also gives the user the ability to disable a process in startup list instead of uninstalling the program, which keeps the program, but prevents it from starting automatically.

There is a "Pro" version available but the freeware version does the job very well. Find it at www.revouninstaller.com/revo_uninstaller_free_download.html.

Ron Poland is a professor in the Computer Information Systems AAS program at Clinton Community College. Poland is certified in company repair and networking by the Computer Technology Industry Association (CompTIA). He is also a Cisco certified network assistant. Questions may be sent to him via e-mail at ron@ronpoland.com.

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