Over the years, I’ve built a number of computer systems. In the past I’d build a new system, because my current one was outdated or I’d look to reinstall everything, because the system was running slow. In rarer circumstances, the system may just stop working, forcing me to either, attempt to rectify the problem or build a new one altogether. Whatever the reasons, there has been a number of tools that I’ve grown accustomed to using, over the many builds and years.
Some of these tools just make life a whole lot easier, while others, it’s more a matter of convenience. All are tools that I ensure are available to me, when I setup my system. For this reason, I thought it’d be a great idea to share a list of some of these tools. In hopes that you may find some use in them. Maybe you’ll find a tool that could do a job for you. So, with that said, I’d like to present to you, 5 IT tools that every power user should consider using.
- Virtual Desktops
Virtual desktops is a tool that is best suited for people who are highly organised. They are very useful, because they allow you to setup multiple virtual displays, each running different instances of programs. For example, you could have one desktop running a word processor, while another one is used for entertainment purposes, such as multimedia. You could also opt to have a display setup primarily for spread sheeting, while another is used for video editing.
Virtual desktops is a tool that is natively available on Windows 10, this, after many years of being on the Linux operating system. However, this feature is, for the most part hidden away, on Microsoft Windows, which is why many people are unaware of its existence. To access it, simply click on the Task View icon, in the taskbar, which will summon the Timeline. From there, click on the +New Desktop text, on the top-left corner of the screen. Once you’ve setup your displays, you should be able to swap them around, by using the same Task View interface.
Though work is important, you don’t want it to consume so much of your life, that you don’t have time for anything else. That’s why tools like VLC are so important. Whether it’s on a desktop unit, laptop computer, smartphone or IPad. You should use VLC as your default media player, for both video and audio files. Why? Because it’s capable of playing everything.
- WSUS Offline
If you have several Windows based systems in your home or office space, then you’ll know how time-consuming it can be for you to run updates on all of these computers. Moreover, having to download the same update for each computer naturally would consume a significant amount of bandwidth, which can be an issue, if you have a data cap.
WSUS Offline, is a tool that’s made available free of charge, which allows you to download all the latest available updates just the once. Which you can store, on a flash drive, if you like. You can then copy the updates over to as many systems as you want, and run the updates on them. Thus saving you on both bandwidth and time.
7-Zip is without a doubt, one of the leading compression tools available today. 7-Zip is everything that you could ever want in a tool. It’s quick, streamlined, and is compatible with virtually every compression format that you or I have ever heard of. It offers integration with compatible software, and is also capable of data encryption, for added security when making your own .zip files.
- Windows Reliability Monitor
This is a built-in Windows tool that, despite its usefulness, is little known amongst most Windows users. <a href=”https://www.compuchenna.co.uk/my-computer-keeps-crashing/”>Windows Reliability</a> Monitor is a tool that is capable of warning you of whether or not a disaster is about to occur, whether it be either hardware or software related. It works by providing you with a day-by-date snapshot of your systems health. It’s very useful if you’re experiencing instability issues, and would like to track down the culprit program and hardware component. On my system, it was a game that I used to play that would cause the system to randomly crash.
In order to access this program, simply type Reliability into the Windows search bar, and then click on View reliability history, and the program will load up.
Clicking on the red X’s will tell you when a software or hardware component crashed. From here, you should be able to glean a better picture of your systems overall health. Whether you need to upgrade, backup or remove something from your system.
Uchenna Ani-Okoye is a former IT Manager who now runs his own computer support website https://www.compuchenna.co.uk.