Stories by Ian Harac

PC Comparison Tool ENVy Becomes Freeware

<a href="http://www.pcworld.com/downloads/file/fid,73587/description.html">ENVy</a> (free) is an easy-to-use tool for analyzing your computer, and perhaps more important, comparing it to another computer. While this may be done just to show off how much better you computer is than your friend's, it has a much more important application in the worlds of software distribution and corporate IT--making sure that two "identical" machines really are, and tracking down seemingly insignificant differences which might lead to unexpected software incompatibilities.

DiskAnalyser Pro

A long time ago, disk storage seemed stuck at a dollar per megabyte. Now it's much less than a dollar per gigabyte, and that means most of us have nearly - or over - a terabyte of storage. It sounds wonderful, until you realise that can translate to hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of files, many buried deep in obscure directories where no sane person would ever venture. DiskAnalyzer Pro, costing NZ$41.98 for a copy of v3.2 via the website, with volume discounts, will not necessarily clean up your disk for you, but it will give you some powerful tools to help you in the process.

Uncover Disk Secrets with Drive Manager

<a href=" http://www.pcworld.com/downloads/file/fid,75834-order,3-page,1/description.html">Drive Manager</a> is a nice little utility which becomes more useful the more drives-- including USB keys and the like-- you use regularly. While Windows has some of this functionality built in, it can be a pain to access (you have to burrow through a good bit of the Control Panel to find it), and it doesn't include the level of detail you get through the free/donationware Drive Manager.