Dispatch - Windows Edition
February 24, 2004
Build a better toolbox
Windows comes loaded with convenient programs and utilities,
but most don't stand the test of time. For example, Notepad
is a fine text editor--I know a number of people who have
used it as their primary HTML editor for years. However, it
offers ridiculously few features and won't even open text
documents over a certain size.
Over the years I've found replacement programs for a number
of the preloaded Windows utilities. You can do a lot more
with the programs than with their Windows counterparts, and
most are free. I use NoteTab Lite in place of Notepad. This
text editor handles large documents, uses tabs for multiple
documents, and comes with an HTML library. The Windows calculator
is another good candidate for replacement. Moffsoft FreeCalc
blows it away by including a virtual tape and a memory display.
Finally, you can improve on the Windows solitaire with 123
Free Solitaire. This game adds quite a few new games beyond
Windows' simple Klondike layout. Other Windows programs for
which I've found better, free replacements are Internet Explorer,
Outlook Express, and MSN Messenger.
Which preloaded Windows program is the most useless? Look
for our poll on the Download.com home page or on the right
side of this newsletter.