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Author Topic: Windows Tweak Tool?  (Read 4630 times)

moerl

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Windows Tweak Tool?
« on: March 28, 2006, 12:30:43 AM »
I just wrote up this fat and great post about this... and then Opera crash-closes on me on spell-check. OMFG. I could KILL someone right now. Guess I'll make this short this time around. I can't believe I'm actually taking it upon me to write all this AGAIN right after having been done with it and having lost it all...

I'm looking for the best Windows tweaking tool. I used to think that's X-Setup Pro, but there are several annoying this about it. A brief list:
  • Where's the option to display only the tweaks that have been applied by the user? This would be very useful, and if memory serves me right has even been part of X-Setup's feature set in the past, but perhaps that was a different program as well
  • It displays some identical tweaks in two or even three places in the tweaks list. I understand some tweaks may fit equally well under more than one category.. but there must be a more elegant solution than to simply throw duplicate entries of those tweaks in the list. That's just evil, ugly and confusing.
  • It displays tons of irrelevant tweaks. Not only do I think the option to display Windows-version specific tweaks (WinXP in my case) does not work.. X-Setup also shows you tons of custom tweaks for applications like Nero, MS Office etc. without any of that actually being installed on your system. I understand it's not fair to expect X-Setup to be able to detect just what you have installed on your system, as cool as that would be, but it could at least allow the user to select which tweaks should be displayed in the list, and which ones should be hidden. That way I could customize the tweaks list and make looking at tweaks easier on the eyes and more efficient because I wouldn't have to wade through all the tweaks that are completely irrelevant to my system.
  • There's no love in the wizards. The wizards are simply a bunch of tweaks glued together in a chain, forced into a coherent "grouping" so as to make it look like a wizard. There's not much wizardy about it. I guess it makes sense to do this, but something about it just doesn't make it a very convincing feature. I can't exactly pinpoint what that is.

I'm familiar with TuneUp Utilities 2006 as well. Most of you must have heard of it before. While it's great for what it does, it's pretty obvious its target user audience are clueless computer users who find themselves right at home with the pretty colors and nice icons and the easy interface. It's Windows tweaking--the Fisherprice way. While there's nothing inherently bad in that attribute, it does make an advanced user question if that's the right tool for the job... I'm looking for a tweaking utility that's got the power of X-Setup, but none of the dumbness of the latter, and if possible, even more than just the lack of X-Setup's deficiencies, but some actual smartness! Does anybody know of any such tool? There are quite a few Windows tweak utilities out there and it's always been hard to pick the right one. I wonder if the DonationCoder.com crowd can help.

TIA

PS
This time I used Opera's "copy to note" feature just to make sure it doesn't crash on me again like the little beta bitch it can be... and guess what, no problems with the spell-check at all this time. Software can be so random...

kimmchii

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Re: Windows Tweak Tool?
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2006, 12:53:29 AM »
all i use is xp powertoy.
If you find a good solution and become attached to it, the solution may become your next problem.
~Robert Anthony

mouser

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Re: Windows Tweak Tool?
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2006, 05:39:29 AM »
i'd love to hear about what people think is best tweaking tool as well..
my top converns are:
  • safety - it should prevent me from making any irreversible damage and help me to undo bad setting changes
  • help - i want such a tool to explain the settings to me as much as let me change them.


ps.
moerl, i feel your pain.  i've learned when writing long posts to do like i've learned to do with any big writing - save it periodically (to clipboard or worst case a screenshot).

brotherS

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Re: Windows Tweak Tool?
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2006, 05:58:11 AM »
I just wrote up this fat and great post about this... and then Opera crash-closes on me on spell-check. OMFG. I could KILL someone right now.
Like mouser, I made it a habit to always copy big texts to the clipboard whenever I type more than just a few lines. Very helpful. Google Mail does automatically save the text you type every x seconds (saving the email as a draft), lets see when the forums start to copy this helpful feature.

Quote
I'm looking for the best Windows tweaking tool. I used to think that's X-Setup Pro, but there are several annoying this about it. A brief list:
Those aren't that annoying, http://fileforum.bet...etup_Pro/933525917/1 is probably still the best choice for pro users.


Quote
I'm familiar with TuneUp Utilities 2006 as well. Most of you must have heard of it before. While it's great for what it does, it's pretty obvious its target user audience are clueless computer users who find themselves right at home with the pretty colors and nice icons and the easy interface. It's Windows tweaking--the Fisherprice way.
Hehe, nice description :D

JeffK

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Re: Windows Tweak Tool?
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2006, 07:34:05 PM »
Has anybody tried Tweak-XP Pro from www.totalidea.com.  I'm fascinated by the interface.  I have X-Setup Pro but usually struggle to find what I want.

Jeff
« Last Edit: April 17, 2006, 03:56:40 AM by brotherS »

f0dder

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Re: Windows Tweak Tool?
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2006, 03:21:38 AM »
When writing long forum posts, they go to notepad and get a ctrl+s. I almost always start out in the quick reply, sometimes move (ctrl-a, ctrl-c, ctrl-v) to the "normal" reply (if I need to attach files etc), sometimes to notepad. I've had a browser crash/stall on me too many times with long posts.

I haven't used and tweak utilities for a while; there's only a few that I find interesting, and those are applied at system install time with the help of www.nLiteos.com and some custom scripts I've written in http://www.autoitscript.com/autoit3/ :)
- carpe noctem

brotherS

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Re: Windows Tweak Tool?
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2006, 04:00:41 AM »
When writing long forum posts, they go to notepad and get a ctrl+s. I almost always start out in the quick reply, sometimes move (ctrl-a, ctrl-c, ctrl-v) to the "normal" reply (if I need to attach files etc), sometimes to notepad. I've had a browser crash/stall on me too many times with long posts.
I'm looking forward to see the first forum software applying something like Google Mail's auto-save feature! For those who aren't using Google Mail: it automatically saves a draft of what you have typed every two minutes or when you click the save button. Just a small step for forum soft, but a giant leap for users who don't save/copy long texts often enough!

:D


kimmchii

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Re: Windows Tweak Tool?
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2006, 05:49:50 AM »

I'm looking forward to see the first forum software applying something like Google Mail's auto-save feature! For those who aren't using Google Mail: it automatically saves a draft of what you have typed every two minutes or when you click the save button. Just a small step for forum soft, but a giant leap for users who don't save/copy long texts often enough!

:D



FF has Save Text Area extension:
https://addons.mozil...rg/addon.php?id=1046

i havent tried it, probably it can autosave everything. :)
If you find a good solution and become attached to it, the solution may become your next problem.
~Robert Anthony

brotherS

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Re: Windows Tweak Tool?
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2006, 06:33:40 AM »
I'm looking forward to see the first forum software applying something like Google Mail's auto-save feature! For those who aren't using Google Mail: it automatically saves a draft of what you have typed every two minutes or when you click the save button. Just a small step for forum soft, but a giant leap for users who don't save/copy long texts often enough!

:D

FF has Save Text Area extension:
https://addons.mozil...rg/addon.php?id=1046

i havent tried it, probably it can autosave everything. :)
But the description sounds like you need to save it once manually before autosave could kick in - so it's just 50% of the solution I had in mind :)

zridling

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Re: Windows Tweak Tool?
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2006, 06:11:27 PM »
...TuneUp Utilities 2006 as well. Most of you must have heard of it before. While it's great for what it does, it's pretty obvious its target user audience are clueless computer users who find themselves right at home with the pretty colors and nice icons and the easy interface. It's Windows tweaking--the Fisherprice way.

Tia, you totally dissed TuneUp Utilities!
  — Of course it's pretty.
  — Of course you have to click-thru too many screens.
  — Of course it's overpriced.
  — Of course some of its features are miscategorized.
But it works, and that's what I care about. TuneUp's Registry cleaner is also one of the safest around. TuneUp also lets you control Explorer in ways few other tweaking tool allow. The best asset of TuneUp Utilities is that it's easy to find things. Unlike X-Setup Pro, which is mainly a telephone book-list of tweaks, I can navigate to something quickly. I won't say Tuneup is the best. Never. Check out XP Smoker Pro. I think you might like its raw power.

zridling

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Re: Windows Tweak Tool?
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2006, 06:15:22 PM »
Oh, and yes, I HATE IT WHEN A BROWSER OR FORUM TRASHES MY POST! I can't tell you how many times I've written something so eloquent and pithy only to see it evaporate into digital air. I now compose anything more than three lines in UltraEdit and then copy and paste after taking that hammer upside the head one too many times.

mouser

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Re: Windows Tweak Tool?
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2006, 07:12:09 PM »
Quote
Oh, and yes, I HATE IT WHEN A BROWSER OR FORUM TRASHES MY POST!

this is why many of us use a clipboard tool like clipboard help+spell or clipmate, or clcl, so that we can periodically while typing a log post do a Ctrl+A and then Ctrl+C, just in case, then it's always in clipboard clips, even if browser crashes, etc.  saves having to type in a separate editor.

moerl

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Re: Windows Tweak Tool?
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2006, 07:50:04 PM »
...TuneUp Utilities 2006 as well. Most of you must have heard of it before. While it's great for what it does, it's pretty obvious its target user audience are clueless computer users who find themselves right at home with the pretty colors and nice icons and the easy interface. It's Windows tweaking--the Fisherprice way.

Tia, you totally dissed TuneUp Utilities!
  — Of course it's pretty.
  — Of course you have to click-thru too many screens.
  — Of course it's overpriced.
  — Of course some of its features are miscategorized.
But it works, and that's what I care about. TuneUp's Registry cleaner is also one of the safest around. TuneUp also lets you control Explorer in ways few other tweaking tool allow. The best asset of TuneUp Utilities is that it's easy to find things. Unlike X-Setup Pro, which is mainly a telephone book-list of tweaks, I can navigate to something quickly. I won't say Tuneup is the best. Never. Check out XP Smoker Pro. I think you might like its raw power.
I didn't mean to diss it. It's very popular AND good. Its interface always made sense to me and I will even go as far as to say that I disagree with all your listed criticisms of it :). That is,
  • I don't think you have to click through too many screens. It's just right and the various screens and the ways to get there never struck me as annoying or cumbersome.
  • The price is debatable. I guess you can say it's somewhat overpriced. $29 would be about right in my book. $40 is a bit hefty for a tuning utility, but I suppose you also pay for the product's outstanding stability, ease of use, prettiness and the fact that it simply works. I don't know how many tweaking utilities there are out there where applied tweaks actually won't do anything, which renders the last point made in the sentence preceding this one somewhat pointless, but you get my point, I think.
  • Are they? I never noticed any miscategorized features. What drove me nuts about X-Setup is that some tweaks were listed twice, some even thrice, in various categories, just because they could be categorized equally well under those varying categories. That's really not how you want to go about that problem. Either describe the categories better to avoid running into this problem altogether, or then simply pick one, and don't sow the tweaks all over the place like trees do, with tree jizz, in spring.

What I've been using recently is WinXP Manager. It's very powerful, though its organization could use a TON of improvement. It could also have better descriptions of its tweaks and what they do. Roughly speaking, it is well organized, but it feels like the developers had too many ideas in too short a stretch of time, and then decided to throw the tweaks all in there. I may post some screenshots of examples in a bit. Still, it's very powerful, and one particular feature that's AMAZING and that I have found nowhere else, in no other tweaking utility to date, is this: after you a apply a tweak in most tweaking utilities that directly affects the Windows Explorer engine, the utility will tell you that a reboot to the system is required for the tweak to take effect. Not WinXP Manager. It automatically kills, then restarts explorer.exe and makes it possible to avoid reboots! Some tweaks, I suppose, do require reboots no matter what, but those that can be avoided by restarting the explorer.exe process ARE avoided with WinXP Manager. Very cool :)

I've heard of WinXP Smoker many times before but never was curious enough to check it out. I'll see if I can change that.