Windoze software

Here are some links to software that makes life a little easier for those of us that have to work with Windoze.

Tarballs and zip files

BSDTar is like GNU-tar except that a special Windoze version of it has been made available.

WINZIP is not freeware (whatever that means), it is shareware. Finding evaulation versions of it to download with no strings attached is becoming increasingly difficult. PKWare have made a reader freely available that can be used to unpack zipped files.


On Unix I like to print source files using a2ps. This can also be done under Windoze using cygwin but there are some extra steps that need to be taken. Install ghostscript and GSView for Win32, which may be downloaded from the GSView website. GSView requires ghostscript. GSView comes with a command called gsprint, which does the printing. I have written a little script, p, which can be invoked from the cygwin shell, that uses a2ps and gsprint. There is also a variant, pw, for wide printing (i.e. landscape with one frame per page). I put these in my /usr/local/bin directory for cygwin to pick up.


xmllint is part of libXML2, which is usually available as standard on many development 1 machines. It can be downloaded for Windoze but not as a standalone application. The executable requires upteen DLLs and it is hard to figure out which versions of which DLLS are compatible with all the others. So, I have made available a tarball which when unpacked, creates a directory with the xmllint executable and all the required DLLs. Just add this directory to your PATH via the Control Panel.

Running out of disk space

Corporate machines rarely have enough disk space. Typically there may be less than 10GB left. And remember, Windoze does not like to defrag a partition once it is more than 80% full. So it seems that plugging in a USB drive is the only solution. However, corporate environments often make the USB drive read-only and disable regedit so that the drive cannot be reset to read/write. So you may find you need to re-enable regedit before setting the USB drive switch back to read/write. Doug Knox has written a Visual Basic script to re-enable regedit. Some corporate networks block access to this, so this web site reproduces the code. Doug Knox has also written some instructions.. Note that the script acts as a toggle. So you probably want to toggle on to set the UDB drive to read/write, then toggle back afterwards. The instructions are very brief so are also reproduced here, for readers that find access is blocked by the corporate filters etc:-

Usage: Download regtools.vbs Save the file to the folder of your choice. Double click the VBS file. The VB Script file will check for the appropriate value and if not found will create it. If the value was found, it will be toggled to its opposite state and you will be informed that you need to log off/back on or restart your computer. One note. This change is made in HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System. Disabling the tools takes effect immediately. Enabling requires a restart. This script can be viewed in Notepad or any text editor, as to the specific Registry key and value that are updated. Your antivirus software may report this script as potentially malicious, or a possible virus. This is because the script writes to the System Registry.

There are several instructions available on the web for re-enabling write access. Basically, you have to navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\StorageDevicePolicies and set WriteProtect to zero.


  • My favourite Windoze wallpaper is a beautiful picture of a bald eagle.
  • My next favourite wallpaper is a couple of grizzly bears.
  • I use Tom Revell's Yellow Stickies program for frequently used phone numbers. I provide a download link to the setup program to help in situations where the corporate environment will not allow a direct download from Tom's site. As of around September 2009 I discovered that there is an X11 application called xpad that does a similar job.
  • There is a great TodoList program by AbstractSpoon.
  • SQLDbx is a great RDBMS tool. It is available via their web page but I make it available here as well to help in situations where the corporate environment will not allow a direct download. I now prefer it over SQUirrel.
  • Sometimes one has to draw UML diagrams, maybe as part of a reverse engineering effort. In cases like this the ones from Doxygen are too low level and you need a specialist tool. I used to use ArgoUML until someone drew my attention to StarUML. It is dual-license and the free software version is quite usable.