August 14th, 2006
Welcome to Volume 1 of the DoyleSoft newsletter! We are excited about this re-launch. Our newsletter
focuses on simple and effective software for small business.
Look for a new issue every Monday.
- Brandon Doyle
WinDirStat: Windows Directory Statistics
WinDirStat is a disk usage statistics viewer and cleanup tool for Microsoft Windows (all current variants).
Our review: WinDirStat is cool little program. Its function is very simple: it crawls through your hard drive and displays what files and directories are using space on it.
When you first start the program, a dialog box will be displayed asking you which drive to probe. Select the correct drive (it even has an option for all scanning drives / partitions at the same time), click OK, and off it goes. It takes it a little while to crawl through all the files.
After the scan is complete, it displays the directories on the drives, in order from largest to smallest. It shows you the size of the directory, the percentage of used hard drive space, how many files and subdirectories there are, the date / time of the last change, and also displays any special attributes the operating system has granted it. WinDirStat also has a cool tree viewer feature, which will allow you to view the same stats for all subdirectories, as well as individual files.
Another interesting feature, after the scan is complete, WinDirStat shows a graphical representation of all these files. Below the directory tree is a picture that mapped all the files on the drive with colored squares. This feature is called a "treemap," meaning it maps the directory tree. The size of the square and the size of the file are proportional, which makes it easier to pinpoint individual files. You can delete right off the treemap, so just clicking on the color square and hitting your delete key will get rid of the file. It is a whole lot easier to do that for large files than having to go through subdirectory after subdirectory looking each individual file. Warning: Just because a file is big doesn't mean you can just delete it. Research what you are deleting and make sure it is not an Operating System or other critical file.
WinDirStat has several other post-scan options, including a user definable cleaning feature that runs from a DOS prompt/command line. The way the directories / files are sorted can be switched around so they can be viewed from different perspectives. It has many customizable options, so you can make it do what you need it to, and make it look how you want it to.
Overall, it is very simple and easy to use, but it is limited in its features. A few automated, cleanup tools would be nice additions. Although it is very basic, it does what it was intended to do: shows you what is on your hard drive without much fanfare.
We give it 5 out of 5 coffee cups!
Working With PDF Files
Many documents these days are delivered online in PDF form. You need a PDF reader to read these documents. You can get Acrobat Reader here.
Tired of waiting around for Adobe Acrobat to open up? Try the Foxit PDF Reader from Foxit Software. It's simple but super fast, and does its job with minimal fanfare. At this time, it won't open in browsers.
On a side note, we give Foxit 5 out of 5 coffee cups!
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