Reader Pam is looking for a way to "clean out duplicate files, documents, pictures, etc.," but doesn't want to spend money on the project. In other words, she wants a freeware solution. I've got just the thing: Fast Duplicate File Finder. My colleague Preston Gralla wrote up FDFF earlier this year, so I won't repeat his fairly glowing review of the program.
True to its name, the utility scans selected folders on your hard drive, finds duplicate files, then gives you the option of tossing the copies into the trash. Also true to its name: it's fast. I tried it myself on my large and unruly MP3 collection, and it found some duplicates I didn't know were there. And I liked the various after-scan options the program affords, like automatically selecting the older versions of duplicate files and moving or deleting checked files.
In other words, FDFF is a smart, useful utility that works as advertised--and you can't beat the price.
Keep Your Hard Drive Defragmented With Defraggler 2.0
Want to keep your system running smoothly? The more fragmented your hard drive becomes, the harder--and slower--it works. And over time, a hard drive can be mighty fragmented indeed. Piriform's Defraggler 2.0 offers several advantages over the defragmentation tool that's built into Windows. For starters, you can choose what you want to "defrag": selected files, selected folders, or your entire hard drive.
It also has a "quick defrag" option that can give your drive a tune-up in a matter of minutes. Like Windows' Disk Defragmenter, Defraggler 2.0 can be set to run at designated times. Unlike DD, it provides a lovely visual drive map that shows just how fragmented your drive is. Version 2.0 adds various interface improvements, better Windows 7 compatibility, and the option to run "offline" when your PC boots.
Post Twitter Updates From the Firefox Address Bar
Do you still go to Twitter.com every time you want to tweet something? That, my friends, is one colossal waste of time (not to mention a hassle). If you're a Firefox user, you can tweet right from your browser's address bar. All you need is the fiendishly clever TwitterBar add-on.
What's so fiendish about it? TwitterBar makes tweeting so easy, you'll probably end up doing a lot more of it--and, if I may gently remind you, no one cares what you had for breakfast today. Not even your mom.
Anyway, TwitterBar adds a "tweet" icon to the tail end of the Firefox address bar. Just type your update, then click the icon--or mouse over it to see how many characters you have left. (As with all tweets, you're limited to 140.) If all you want to do is tweet the address of the site you're viewing, there's no typing required--just click the TwitterBar icon. Like I said: clever!
If you've got a hassle that needs solving, send it my way. I can't promise a response, but I'll definitely read every e-mail I get--and do my best to address at least some of them in the PCWorld Hassle-Free PC blog . My 411: email@example.com . You can also sign up to have the Hassle-Free PC newsletter e-mailed to you each week .