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My favorite tools

Oct 11, 2009 9:07 AM

Everybody has their own set of favorite tools, but often one is searching for even better ones. I made this overview not to tell you what to use, but what my personal favorites are. I invite you to share your experiences so that we may 'define'  a required set of tools to make your system more stable and performing even better. I have divided the tools into several categories, so you may find useful ones rather easily. It is in no way complete, there are many more tools available, but these are my favorites.

 

Hardware Monitoring

 

CPU-Z: http://www.cpuid.com/cpuz.php for monitoring clockspeed and memory timings

 

PSU Calculator Pro: http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculator.jsp for showing PSU requirements, including the ageing of PSU's

 

HWMonitor: http://www.cpuid.com/hwmonitor.php for monitoring voltages, fan speed and temperatures

 

Speedfan: http://www.almico.com/sfdownload.php for monitoring voltages, fan speed and temperatures

 

Both HWMonitor and Speedfan are advised, because they show some different measurements, especially on the voltages. Both suppliers have been informed on the discrepancy between their programs and hopefully will act on them

 

Disk Optimization

 

Perfect Disk 10: http://www.perfectdisk.com/ for disk defragging

 

Diskeeper: http://www.diskeeper.com/diskeeper/home/diskeeper.aspx for disk defragging

 

Tweaking & Cleaning

 

CCleaner: http://www.ccleaner.com/ for cleaning up temp files, cookies, registry and managing startup programs

 

1Click PC Fix: http://www.ccleaner.com/ for serious registry cleaning

 

PerfectSpeed PC Optimizer: http://www.perfectdisk.com/products/home-perfectspeed/learn-more for managing registry clean up, defragging and finding duplicates

 

SysInternals: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/default.aspx for optimizing or debugging purposes on-the-fly, most notably with Process Eplorer, Process Monitor and Autoruns, but also a lot of other usefull utilities are included.

 

TweakNow PowerPack: http://www.tweaknow.com/powerPack.html for registry tweaking and general maintenance

 

Screen capture

 

SnagIt: http://www.techsmith.com/screen-capture.asp for screen captures

 

Benchmarking & Testing

 

Cinebench R10: http://www.maxon.net/index.php?id=162&L=0 for measuring video performance

 

HDTach: http://www.maxon.net/index.php?id=162&L=0 for measuring disk performance

 

PassMark: http://www.passmark.com/products/pt.htm for measuring overall performance

 

PPBM4: http://ppbm4.com/ for measuring Premiere Pro CS4 performance

 

File Management

 

Beyond Compare: http://www.scootersoftware.com/ for file management, copying and finding duplicates

 

Treesize Professional: http://www.jam-software.com/treesize/ for disk space management

 

Total Commander: http://www.ghisler.com/ for generic file management

 

Capture

 

Scenalyzer: http://www.scenalyzer.com/main.html for capturing SD material

 

HDVSplit: http://strony.aster.pl/paviko/hdvsplit.htm for capturing HDV material

 

CD & DVD Tools

 

Easy CD-DA Extractor: http://www.poikosoft.com/ for audio ripping, conversion and disk creation

 

PowerDVD: http://www.cyberlink.com/products/powerdvd/overview_en_US.html for playing DVD and BRD's

 

Nero: http://www.nero.com/enu/nero9-introduction.html for duplicating disks on multiple burners simultaneously

 

Install tools

 

nLite: http://www.nliteos.com/ for creating slipstreamed installation disks for XP

 

vLite: http://www.vlite.net/ for creating slipstreamed installation disks for Vista

 

Video tools

 

GSpot: http://www.headbands.com/gspot/ for identifying the codec in use

 

Media Info: http://mediainfo.sourceforge.net/en for identifying the codec in use

 

Lagarith: http://lags.leetcode.net/codec.html a visually lossless codec

 

HuffYuv: http://neuron2.net/www.math.berkeley.edu/benrg/huffyuv.html another visually lossless codec

 

Bitrate calculator: http://dvd-hq.info/bitrate_calculator.php?PHPSESSID=6501b6b2b31f4c4a29 5bc8c2ba1e6f57#Calculator

 

I hope we can extend on this list with your suggestions, so in the end we may have a good list of tools that people can consult when they are looking for specific utilities. It is not my initial intention to include specific tools like ripping software, plug-ins to PR and the like, but only the more generic tools. Hence no mention of MainConcept, Morgan and the like.

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 11, 2009 9:20 AM   in reply to Harm Millaard

    Hard Drive Backup http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/image-for-linux.htm

     

    Makes a bootable CD that runs on Linux, so this program is outside Windoze and goes direct to the drive controller hardware to copy EVERYTHING to backup, even the hidden registration information that some backup programs miss

     

    Will write to CD/DVD (spans across as many discs as needed, and the 1st disk of a "set" is bootable) or to a 2nd internal hard drive or to a USB hard drive

     

    I make monthly backups of my computer (and wife's computer) and have done a restore when a drive crashed... everything was exactly as it was the date of the backup http://www.pacifier.com/~jtsmith/ADOBE.HTM

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 12, 2009 2:15 AM   in reply to Harm Millaard

    Great idea Harm.

     

    My add,

     

    1.ProShow Producer for slideshow http://www.photodex.com/products/producer

    2.Abrosoft FantaMorph for morphing http://www.fantamorph.com/

    3.Andrea mosaic for mosaic http://www.andreaplanet.com/andreamosaic/

     

    Best regards,

    lestra7

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 12, 2009 9:18 AM   in reply to Harm Millaard

    More Video Tools

     

    Avisynth http://avisynth.org/ a very powerful, free processing tool.  I use it mainly in connection with the dv2Film process.

     

    HC Encoder http://www.bitburners.com/hc-encoder/ A free and superior MPEG2 encoder for DVDs.

     

    VirtualDub http://www.virtualdub.org/ A great (and free) video processing/format conversion tool.

     

    Cedocida DV Codec  http://www.student.uni-kl.de/~dittrich/cedocida/  A free VFW DV codec, used mainly in conjunction with VDub, and better than the Panasonic DV codec.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 30, 2009 5:56 PM   in reply to Harm Millaard

    I am running Win 7 64 and HD Tach won't run. Do you have any alternatives that you like or can I "make" HD Tach run somehow. THANKS!

     

    I have answered my own question. Run in compatibility mode (right click on app). Maybe this will help someone else.

    Horatio

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 30, 2009 10:23 PM   in reply to Harm Millaard

    How would one go about trying one of the lossless codec in Premier?

     

    Is it just install then in magically appears as a option?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 30, 2009 10:30 PM   in reply to Harm Millaard

    Wow, Harm, I'm just now catching up with your many, very informative posts of late.  This is a great thread!  So much crap software out there.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 26, 2010 11:24 PM   in reply to Harm Millaard

    Thank you for posting this list... very helpful!

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 27, 2010 7:20 AM   in reply to Harm Millaard

    Greate Harm:-)

     

    Here is one more important tool which too often becomes forgotten despite the fact that many errors is precisely due to RAM errors.

     

    Memory Diagnostic Memtest86 Version 3.5: http://www.memtest86.com/

     

    Regards

    Mikael

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 27, 2010 8:27 AM   in reply to Harm Millaard

    I would add SmartSound's Sonicfire Pro (Scoring Edition) for the creation of music soundtracks from the SmartSound resource libraries, and especially from their multi-layer sets, like the Strata Series.

     

    For more background on the various aspects of SmartSound, please see this ARTICLE.

     

    Hope that this falls into the realm of your intent with this thread.

     

    Also, a big thank you for creating this list - I have linked to it from several places in other fora.

     

    Hunt

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 5, 2010 10:22 PM   in reply to Harm Millaard

    "

    HWMonitor: http://www.cpuid.com/hwmonitor.php for monitoring voltages, fan speed and temperatures

     

    Speedfan: http://www.almico.com/sfdownload.php for monitoring voltages, fan speed and temperatures

     

    Both HWMonitor and Speedfan are advised, because they show some different measurements, especially on the voltages. Both suppliers have been informed on the discrepancy between their programs and hopefully will act on them"

     

    I have downloaded both and are running them parallell and today they show the same figures for temp, fanspeed and voltage.

     

    So they have been listening to mr Harm !

     

    Thanks for the list! Great !

     

    Regards

     

    Sven

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 6, 2010 1:54 AM   in reply to Seven ltd

    This list is great, thanks for sharing Harm and others 

     

    /Ulf

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 16, 2011 7:42 AM   in reply to Harm Millaard

    Are the tools in this list still up to date?

    Or, is there an updated list hiding somewhere on the forum?

    Thanks

    James

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 16, 2011 10:00 AM   in reply to Harm Millaard

    Harm

    Have you updated list lately?  Not sure if it's still 2009 info.

     

    Is ImgBurn one of the necessary tools?  I've seen it mentioned on other forums.  Or is it redundant with PPro installed?

     

    As of now, I've just got my new system up and running and would like tune my computer for the purchase and install of CS5 Master.

     

    Thanks

    James

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 16, 2011 10:16 AM   in reply to James G Maker

    Actually, James, IMGBurn is still very useful, especially if you're going to create standard-definition DVDs onto dual- or double-layer media or high-definition AVCHD discs onto anything short of full-fledged Blu-ray (BD-R or BD-RE) media. This is because Encore, like most other DVD authoring programs, gets the layer break wrong (either splitting the data exactly in half or continuing all the way to the very edge of the first layer before switching layers, with no in-between at all whatsoever). Additionally, Adobe's authoring tools require full-fledged Blu-ray media just to author high-definition discs at all.

     
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