Taskbar Shuffle – “No hotkey, no extra steps, drag and drop the programs on your Windows taskbar by simply… well, dragging and dropping them! Neat concept, huh? No need to get all nervous when a program crashes or if you wanna reboot; you can reorder the programs/buttons on your taskbar exactly how you like.” Apparently, this was featured on several blogs this week.

VideoInspector – “Designed to provide you with as much information as possible about your video files. With VideoInspector, you’ll know why [a] video file has no sound or refuses to play correctly. VideoInspector will help you installing the required codecs for optimal performance. [It] can also inspect your system to find which codecs are available, and it can also process multiple video files and export results in HTML or plain text files.”

MediaCoder – “MediaCoder is an open source universal audio/video batch transcoder (converter), which puts together lots of excellent audio/video codecs and tools from the open source community into an all-in-one solution, capable of transcoding among different audio/video formats. With many extra features and a expandable architecture, MediaCoder is more than a GUI of a bunch of command line tools.” Even better than free, it’s open source. Caught this gem in the SourceForge updates feed.

Paint.NET – “Paint.NET includes simple tools for drawing shapes, including an easy-to-user curve tool for drawing simple splines or Bezier curves. The facilities for creating and working with selections is powerful, yet still simple enough to be picked up quickly. Other powerful tools include the Magic Wand for selecting regions of similar color, and the Clone Stamp for copying or erasing portions of an image. There is also a simple text editor, a tool for zooming, and a Recolor tool.” This is 3.0 Alpha 1 – hot off the virtual presses.

The Wonderful Icon – “TWI has lots of wonderful features. With it, you can: assign hotkeys for common tasks such as minimize windows, restart Windows, etc.; minimize programs onto the taskbar tray instead of just onto the taskbar, either by a keystroke or by right-clicking a window’s Minimize button with your mouse; configure a menu of easily-accessible commands; increase or decrease speaker volume with the press of a button; automatically run programs at start-up, and hide them, minimize them to the taskbar tray, etc.”

WiFi SiStr – “A small and simple utility that allows you to keep an eye on your wireless connection Signal Strength. Why such a simple and un-detailed tool? The reason is because Windows already offers the possibility to have detailed status of the connection, speed, access points… but I missed a small and easy to use tool that displays only the signal strength. Why so many display options for a so small tool? Because I like software that is nice to see – even if it is small and simple.”

User Agent String Utility version 2 – “A character string called the ‘User Agent String’ identifies the major version of the browser to web sites so that the sites can offer certain functionality on particular browser versions. In some cases, websites might misidentify a new version of IE as an outdated version, with results ranging from rendering and behavior issues to total rejection of the user. This utility changes certain registry keys on an IE 7.0 installation to allow a user to emulate an IE 6.0 installation as a simple workaround until problematic sites update their code. It also offers users the option to report these problematic sites to Microsoft.”

Dial-a-fix – “Dial-a-fix is a collection of known fixes gleaned from Microsoft Knowledgebase articles, Microsoft MVPs, and other important support forums, that will assist you in repairing problems with your system. Although this tool is ordinarily meant for power users, technicians, and administrators, it is quite safe to use even without technical guidance (although guidance is recommended).” Definitely for the geekier crowds, but a welcome addition to any digital arsenal.

Okay, so – what other pieces of fantastic freeware did I miss this week?

[tags]video codec, powertoy, download, software, freeware, troubleshooting, open source, hotfixes, windows[/tags]