Best Free Windows 64-bit Software

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Windows-Desktop-64bit-82-58.png 6. Best Free Windows 64-bit Desktop and System



Best Free Windows 64-bit Icon Tool


SillySol's Iconoid allows you to change the colour of text associated with your desktop icons. You can also save and restore the position of desktop icons and, optionally, hide and restore icons by clicking on the desktop.

In order to use Iconoid to change the colour of text you must first turn off drop shadows for icon text.  This must be done via Control Panel, System, Advanced System Settings, and then click on the Settings button under Performance.  Right clicking on Computer, and then choosing Properties, will only change settings until you logoff or the PC is rebooted.


IcoFX has become a commercial product but the free version remains available although it is unsupported.

IcoFX "has a wealth of tools and is equipped with more than 40 image effects. … The program allows you to create icons for your programs, setup files, or favicons for your website or blog. It also allows you to convert your favorite images to icons, or icons to images. Conversion between Macintosh and Windows icons are supported. Other features include supporting Vista icons with PNG compression, true color, transparency (alpha channel) and batch processing capability. IcoFX allows you to create icon libraries, extract and patch icons inside the executable files. However, on some executable files which I tried, the former seems work better than the latter." (Best Free Icon Editor and Replacer)


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by Anonymous on 1. February 2010 - 15:14  (42550)


by rikmayell (not verified) on 1. February 2010 - 15:27  (42551)

Despite being largely redeveloped Avast 5 is still a 32 bit application. As ever only the lowest level device drivers are 64 bit, as required to be loaded into the kernel.

Rik Mayell - Category Editor

by Anonymous on 2. February 2010 - 0:17  (42575)

buy a mac :P

by MidnightCowboy on 2. February 2010 - 10:43  (42596)

Or use one of a mass of Linux distros for free!
This one has more choices included than Microsoft can even think of.

by Anonymous on 4. February 2010 - 1:26  (42733)

I like your article, but not that I can't print it out to give to my father to read. Please fix this ASAP. Thanks.

by rikmayell (not verified) on 4. February 2010 - 8:45  (42753)

Your ability, or otherwise, to print this article is solely dependant on the facilities provided by your browser and version of Windows. Normally a simple File, Print, from the browser will suffice. You can of course be rather more exotic and use one of the on-line convert to PDF sites.

Rik Mayell - Category Editor

by Anonymous on 4. February 2010 - 12:16  (42765)

Just wondering if it was possible to add a review of Panda Cloud Anti-Virus to this discussion. It is a powerful tool with high detection rate and low requirements of system resources. However it has a slow scanning speed. Anyone else have anything to say about it?

by rikmayell (not verified) on 4. February 2010 - 13:30  (42769)

In our review Best Free Antivirus Software Panda Cloud doesn't even rate a mention, presumably for good reason. If you'd like to see this product get a mention then that is the best place to follow this up.

Rik Mayell - Category Editor

by LordRahl on 4. February 2010 - 20:53  (42821)

what about a 64 bit image mounting program?

by rikmayell (not verified) on 5. February 2010 - 1:23  (42846)

I'm afraid that I'm not aware of one. Gizmo Central works fine for me, I've yet to find anything it can't handle.

Rik Mayell - Category Editor

by Anonymous on 6. February 2010 - 5:52  (42927)

You imply I'm a newbie or worse but your slip is showing. This is true because file/print is the first thing anyone would try, and all that and print preview produce are one page of content and one blank page, which was hardly the objective. Apparently you guys are using frames or some more exotic way to lay out the page content which is not compatible with normal browser printing functions. I also tried print selection, by the way, which did not work either. Needless to say, these methods normally work just fine for me. Fortunately, I do have a fallback named FastStone Capture, last freeware version, which was able to take an image of the scrolling window that contains your article's content, so I was able to print that. However, my complaint still stands that you should have some printer-friendly way for your users to preserve the content of especially such an important article as this one. Thanks. P.S. Next time you might want to try it out for yourself to see if it works before suggesting an obvious "solution."

by rikmayell (not verified) on 6. February 2010 - 7:44  (42931)

You seem to have found a solution so that's fine. File, Print will work quite happily from Firefox, perhaps I should have mentioned that.

You seem to think that there is some sort of problem with being a new comer to computers, a 'newbie.' We all had to start somewhere and helping people is what Gizmo's is all about. You're never too old, or young, to learn.

Rik Mayell - Category Editor

by Anonymous on 6. February 2010 - 7:51  (42932)

Hi Rik,
Do you or any visitors here know of a good free 64 bit CD/DVD burning package? InfraRecorder is, frankly, a bug-ridden horror story on my system. ImgBurn is rock steady and reliable, but it is 32 bit and doesn't handle music compilations.

Alternatively, does the lack of this category here indicate that everyone is happy with the built-in Windows facility? I suppose this might have moved on since XP, where I last used it.


by Anonymous on 6. February 2010 - 10:10  (42944)
by Anonymous on 6. February 2010 - 10:38  (42945)

I'd really appreciate your recommendation for a 64-bit win7 disk defragger. I imagine you're too busy to test, but you could give us your preliminary best guess with the usual caveats.
I feel forced to turn to commercial sware, but I only want to run it once a month.

by rikmayell (not verified) on 6. February 2010 - 13:17  (42953)

In the article I recommend MyDefrag as top pick.

The mathematics of disk file placement are beyond the scope of this article but remember that 'big iron' systems, MVS, VMS as was, commercial Unix, don't seem to need to defragment disks. Obviously they know something that we don't.

Rik Mayell - Category Editor

by Anonymous on 6. February 2010 - 13:32  (42954)

That's not true! :)

If you want some precise and conprehensive info on it;

by Anonymous on 6. February 2010 - 13:52  (42957)

Fragmentation occurs on every system which uses disc storage. Obviously the VAX and other analsysis and remedial programs will not run on Windows PC's but there are analogs to these programs. for PC's. The majority of PC defragmentation programs are sufficient for most users to maintain reasonable performance. Network and server management teams often require much more specific strategies of file placement and defragmentation techniques. For some specific PC applications more specific strategies are also required.

They are not generally of much use to an average user, but system managers need this knowledge.

Most users on "Big Iron" will never come into contact with anything like this, and don't need to know anything about it. PC users who maintain and service their own machines should learn at least a little about it, as it is one of the major causes of system performance degragadation.

by Anonymous on 6. February 2010 - 14:05  (42959)

Also worth pointing out here that optimisation is not the same thing as defragmenting, although these are "lumped together" a lot on PC's.

This chapter explains the differences, explains much the same "Red Herrings" as are often used to refer to PC's and gives some background on the matter Although not always precisely analog it is of considerable use in explaining some things clearly;

by Anonymous on 6. February 2010 - 15:21  (42966)

Just a point here which may be of interest to you, it doesn't make any difference to the results whether you use a 32 BIT or a 64 BIT, or indeed any other processor in conjuncton with a defragger. The file fragmentation is removed by physically moving files on the disc, and it is irrelevant which processor happens to be involved in this process. The same applies to various optimisation techniques.

Of course, a fast 64 BIT processor may allow you to accomplish such operations a little faster, simply because it is intrinsicaly faster, but the main limitations here are dependent on the disc itself and its mechanical components.

If you want to avoid this, then you need to go for an SSD ( Solid State Disc), it has no moving conponents, and does not require defragmentation.

I imagine it wont be long before SSD's take over more or less completely anyway, as they also provide other massive performance advantages, and are being produced in larger capacities and ever cheaper., This will make defragging and optimisation software as it is presently known obsolete.

by rikmayell (not verified) on 6. February 2010 - 15:23  (42967)

Disk defragmentation and perhaps more important, optimal file placement, is a subject we could discuss for hours. I've given this some thought and I'm not entirely sure whether this could be considered an np hard / np complete problem? I doubt it matters really as long as you're happy using whatever you happen to use.

Further discussion on this matter should be carried out in the forum.

Rik Mayell - Category Editor

by rikmayell (not verified) on 6. February 2010 - 15:52  (42969)

Useful if you want to just restore the main file associations. There are other utilities that allow you to be more flexible.

Useful find. Thank you.

Rik Mayell - Category Editor

by rikmayell (not verified) on 6. February 2010 - 16:01  (42970)

I use CDBurnerXP, a 32 bit application, which gives me everything I need. The built in Windows facilities work fine but I find them less than intuitive. I am on the look out for a native 64 bit application but nothing seems to be on the horizon at present.


by rikmayell (not verified) on 6. February 2010 - 16:17  (42971)

The API used is common to both 32 and 64 bit applications although 32 bit calls carry the translation overhead. In real terms a 64 bit application will always run faster. Without testing I couldn't say by how much.

The problem with SSD is that the drive will eventually die, something that isn't a problem with standard disk drives. The limited life expectancy and high cost do little to sell this to me. Further, if you were to model the impact of SSD on an end user PC I doubt you would see much benefit as you are the slave of the somewhat jaded Windows virtual memory model and some 'well intentioned' Vista and later 'performance enhancements.'

Rik Mayell - Category Editor

by rikmayell (not verified) on 6. February 2010 - 16:26  (42975)

On MVS, I think I'd be looking at CICS and DB2 before I started reaching for my PL80 manual :)

If trying to improve the performance of a Windows PC, disk fragmentation would be at the end of a very long list.

Rik Mayell - Category Editor

by Anonymous on 6. February 2010 - 16:33  (42976)

Hmm...I don't think the application of computational complexity theory as such is really all that relevant to actually solving the problems involved. The usual approach is strictly practical, in that one finds a bottleneck and attempts to remove it. Whatever, I agree that it probably doesn't matter a great deal as long as whatever you use works.

I haven't yet found a defrag program that didn't work, but some are very slow and cumbersome. With further regard to optimal data placement, it is well nigh impossible to even define the problem, much less find a pure mathematical solution involving polynomial time calculations, hard or otherwise, or indeed anything else either, because nobody agrees on the various theories with regard to the actual optimal placement, so most simply fly by the seat of their pants.

As you obviously don't want any further discussion on the matter here, I will refrain from any further references.

by Anonymous on 6. February 2010 - 16:36  (42977)

At some point in the discussion, Gizmo used to finally say something like "I personally use product X".
What does Rik use on 64-bit Win7?
Or isn't it worth doing anymore?
Or just use the MS-provided one?

by Anonymous on 6. February 2010 - 16:52  (42979)

All true, but the actual enhancements are still quite massive. Boot time as low as 7 seconds, load times massively reduced. Other problems either removed or severely reduced. No defragging, no NOISE!!! etc.

May be of interest;

Also, the first disc drives had lousy MTBF values. In the meantime PC's and various components can be fairly considered consumable throwaways, and the average "life" ( not the expectancy, the average actual life in operation) is often much less than three years. If an SSD is guaranteed for three years, many wont care if it dies after that.

I am very happy indeed with an SSD as a system "disc" in one of my machines, and will certainly go for it again when I buy any new machines. Indeed, I may upgrade a couple of the others in the meantime.

by Anonymous on 6. February 2010 - 16:55  (42980)

My solution is only OK, since an image is not as sharp and clear as the printed text would be. I wish I could get you to actually try your "solution" so you'd see it only gives you one page of text out of the dozen or more you should get in order to have the whole article, not including comments. I have run into this on other websites, so you are not alone, but many others have recognized the problem and instituted a printer-friendly version of such scrolling window "pages" for the simple reason that they do not print out properly using the normal browser printing methods. I guess my function here today is to wake you up to these facts that are obvious to anyone who has actually tried to print this article out. BTW, I am using Firefox 3.6 with Windows XP Pro sp3, with no other problems printing, so I doubt that it is the problem, but if yours does print it all out, I'd like to know why--i.e. is there an add-on?

by rikmayell (not verified) on 6. February 2010 - 17:03  (42981)

Well I can't speak for Gizmo but personally I don't bother. Most if not all desktop applications are CPU bound or, if you're into design and stuff, bound by the graphics card. If on the other hand you're into Exchange / SQL Server then you'd know the answer anyway :)

Rik Mayell - Category Editor

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