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A Pocketful Of Utilities 
by David Savage

Utilities are those tools that make your system easier to use. I spend a lot of time on my system and any utility which truly helps ultimately finds its way here. One of the neat things about these utilities is that most are freeware, postcardware, or shareware. If you want your system to shine and assist you at all times, then check these out.
    dot SSS is a screen saver utility. Put it in your startup folder and it installs in your system tray whenever you turn your system on. Then anytime you want to invoke your screen saver, you just double click on the icon. Pressing any key afterwards restores your system. I use this all the time instead of having a default start time for my screen saver. One double click gives you instant privacy. Created by Phil Jones of Ontario, Canada, it is freeware/postcardware. If you like it, send him a postcard. You can find it on the Internet or on the Alamo PC BBS.

    dot Topdesk version 3.0 solves the desktop clutter problem created by those of us who must have multiple utilities a click away and still want to see our wallpaper. How? Topdesk creates a small icon on your system tray, hides all your desktop icons and then displays them as a menu whenever you want with just a single click. Topdesk is freeware from Snadboy Software at or on the Alamo PC BBS.

    dot Fastexit is another system tray utility. Instead of clicking on your start button, then clicking shutdown and then clicking on close all applications and shutdown to get your system to finish, you can just double click this icon and you're done. Fast, safe, simple and effective.

    dot Hard Disk LED is a great utility if your cpu does not sit on your desktop or is out of your line of site. It simulates a hard disk light that flashes every time disk activity occurs. Hard Disk LED appears on the Windows 95 task bar and flashes every time the system accesses physical, direct access devices (ie. your hard drives).

    dot Explorer Notes is another PC Magazine / Ziff-Davis freeware utility which appeared in the November 5 1996, edition. It sets an icon in the system tray. When enabled it adds an option when you right-click a file or folder in explorer which permits you to add a note to the file. I use this for descriptive comments about files on my system. It has it's own search feature for all notes posted on your system and extensive help.

    dot Quick-Res is one of the Microsoft free power tools. It is another system tray icon which with a single click will allow you to change monitor resolutions from 640 to 800 to 1024 provided your monitor supports those resolutions. It also gives you a quick resource monitor. It's available at as well as throught the PC-Mag shareware site search under both quick-res and powertools.

    dot Edit Pad is a notepad postcardware replacement from Jan Goyvaerts of Belgium. It allows multiple file use and is not limited in size as is notepad. You can get the latest version at If you like it, send him a postcard.

All of these quick little utilities will help make your computing easier, neater and less stressfull if you spend much time bending over the keyboard. 

Happy computing.