RadarSync 2008 Free Edition
I'm pretty good about keeping my drivers and software up to date, but even after years of learning where to find and download them I find the process tedious at best. Automatic updaters? Unless they're the type that run as part of a program when it boots, I disable them; I don't want the little craplets running in the background stealing CPU time and memory. Hence, I was pretty psyched about RadarSync, a standalone program that checks whether you have the latest versions of your drivers and software, then downloads the most recent updates.
Despite some rookie GUI mistakes, RadarSync Free was functionally sound. A glitch in early betas where comma delimited version numbers, e.g. 3,0,0,3 (more common is 22.214.171.124) weren't compared properly has been fixed. RadarSync's scan performed flawlessly, finding that my Intel PCI and nVidia 8400 drivers were out of date, as well as my True Image, Nero, AVG, and Picasa software. It downloaded the updates, and even offered to run them for me. I especially appreciated the Details dialog (invoked by a details link next to every update in the list) provides scads of info about the file versions, version history, and even competing products.
Alas, my first glimpse of RadarSync Free wasn't pretty. I run my display in Large Font/120 dpi mode (the default is Small Font/96 dpi) and the graphics elements in several RadarSync dialogs were misaligned or truncated at 120 dpi. Another thing I most decidedly did not like about RadarSync was hitting the close button and having it minimize to the system tray instead of exiting. Offer me the option, but don't hijack me or re-task a common interface element. Read the Windows Programming Guide, folks!The company (also called RadarSync) is already working to fix the DPI problem, which will affect only a few people. Even without non-standard DPI support, RadarSync 2008 Free Edition is extremely useful--it's found a permanent place in my utility folder and that's about as complimentary as I get. That said, a caveat on updates in general; There's a lot of truth to the old axiom "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Note: You can find a list of supported hardware and software on RadarSync's company Web site.
--Jon L. Jacobi