Top Ten Desktop Accessories

by Sally Neuman, FileWorld Sysop
June 19, 1998

It's easy to change many system features to make your desktop more useful and more stylish. You can replace boring and uninformative folder icons. Files you've deleted can be permanently purged from the Recycle Bin. You can make windows open with more flair and style, or even set up a pair of eyes to follow your mouse cursor across the desktop. This group of utilities and accessories will entertain you, assist you, and even direct you to better and more efficient ways of accomplishing your daily tasks.

  1. More Properties: Customize your Windows 95 desktop to change Windows Explorer properties and Startup options that are tough to change by hand. You can even edit your Add/Remove Programs list in Control Panel, making this freeware utility particularly useful.

  2. WinSettings 97: Change your wallpaper settings, startup and shutdown screens, and desktop shell icons with WinSettings. WinSettings also comes with a tool to automatically convert Web graphics to wallpapers. And while you're doing the 9-to-5 grind, you can also play background music, control your screen savers with hot spots, and more.

  3. PopOpen: Make your program windows spring into action like their counterparts on MacOS and OS/2. PopOpen will snap your windows open in animated style, and it can run under Windows 95 and NT.

  4. AnyFolder: Assign any icon to any folder on your system. Customize the icons' appearance for open and closed folders or assign meaningful icons to your important folders.

  5. Bar Eyes: This utility runs from the system tray and watches over your cursor as you work. A pair of eyes follow your cursor, and they can even wink if you want.

  6. Horas World Clock: View clocks for multiple time zones. Just select the locations you want to monitor and let Horas do the rest.

  7. Hot Corners: Don't let anyone sneak up on you and look over your shoulder at your screen. With Hot Corners, you designate a corner of the screen to launch your screen saver; when you move the mouse cursor into that corner, the screen saver kicks in, concealing your desktop.

  8. Alarm++ for Windows: Set multiple alarms to go off at various intervals. You can set each alarm to display a message box, play a sound, run an application, open a folder, open a Web site, or even send e-mail.

  9. Directory Snoop: Displays erased file names from your system and purges the file names left behind after deleting files. Works with FAT12 and FAT16 systems (Windows 95 only) for both hard drives and floppy disks.

  10. NoteMaid: NoteMaid opens text files that are larger than those Windows Notepad can handle, and it even lets you edit files in hex mode like you could in the old Windows Write. If you're frustrated with Windows Notepad's small file-size limitation, this free program is for you.