Notes from the Net highlights some interesting articles out there on the Web, submitted by Doris Beetem, Documentation Coordinator at Schlumberger Ltd.
The TechRepublic ‘Five Apps’ Series
TechRepublic is a ZDNet-sponsored online social community geared toward IT professionals. Its articles and blogs offer a variety of best practices, commentary, and IT advice, including the ‘Five Apps’ series (http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/five-apps/), which lists 5 free, mostly free, or less-expensive applications useful for common IT or business purposes, for example:
- Five free DVD authoring tools: http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/five-apps/five-free-dvd-authoring-tools/
- Five apps for creating business graphics: http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/five-apps/five-apps-for-creating-business-graphics/
- Five Windows 7 Gadgets to keep you informed about your system: http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/five-apps/five-windows-7-gadgets-to-keep-you-informed-about-your-system/
- Five mostly free apps for compressing archive files in Windows: http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/five-apps/five-mostly-free-apps-for-compressing-archive-files-in-windows/
Five mostly free apps for compressing archive files in Windows
The ZIP format is limited in file compression capability and lacking in extra options. Here are some replacements that can support multiple archive types and handle Windows archives with power and flexibility.
The user interface is not the most intuitive, but the settings are customizable and you can take full control over 7z output settings. The software is licensed under an LGPL 2.1 license, making this suitable for home and commercial use.
The ALZip user interface is easy and WinZip-like, yet supports more archive formats. ALZip used to be a commercial product but was re-released as a free utility. Use the free product key on the download site.
PeaZip supports over a dozen different archive formats for opening and creating, and also offers an archive password manager. PeaZip is licensed under the LGPLv3 and is available as freeware.
WinRAR isn’t freeware, but trial mode is generous and lets you test out all the features. The SFX (self-extracting archive) creator is one of the better ones available. WinRAR can be purchased for only $29.99.
Although it doesn’t create archives, Universal Extractor extracts from many kinds of packages, including InstallShield archives and binary blobs as well as more exotic formats, using handy deep filescan technology.
These tools are available from many archives on the Net. CNet (Download.com), however, has now started including additional unwanted programs (bloatware) to the downloads. These programs can be very difficult to remove. CNet is not a recommended download site. http://www.groovypost.com/howto/avoid-computer-bloatware-from-cnet-download-com-crapware/