Freeware Files: Five Unexpected Automation Apps for Windows!


There are a ton of apps out there that you can use to automate something you do on your PC. I mean, that's the central conceit of software development as a whole, correct?  To somehow ease the time burden it takes one to do a particular task in what would otherwise be a manual, labor-intensive process?


Well, when a number of new apps each seek to automate some facet of your everyday computing life, it should come as little surprise that I'm going to cover them. However, I've also hand-selected a few interesting little freeware and open-source tools that are a bit more esoteric in their operations than what you might typically think of when you ponder the word, "automation."

Case in point: Want to find a way to find and delete all the credit card information you've accidentally left open on your system?  Or would you like a method for discovering duplicate images on your system so you can nix unwanted (and space-consuming) shots you don't actually want to keep around?

These are but a few of the situations I'll be tackling in this week's Freeware Files. Let's get started!

Identity Finder

Disclaimer: This particular application isn't a panacea for your critical information. By that, I meant that you can't expect to run this scanner once and assume that it will have somehow identified every single bit of data that you wouldn't want others to get their hands on--information like social security numbers or credit card numbers that you've accidentally left in a document, readily available for anyone to grab.

In fact, the freeware version of this app does just that. You can only scan your drive for credit card numbers and passwords. Searching through your data for driver license numbers, dates of birth, or bank account numbers--amongst other info--is going to cost you. But if you're super-worried about that-which-you've-forgotten-about on your PC, perhaps Identity Finder is worth any cost?

Download it here !


With but one quick install of the Java Runtime Environment (and, of course, a quicker installation of the Mimer app itself), you can turn your system into a custom macro-recording machine. Fire up this lightweight app, hit the record button, and start doing... well, anything. When you're done with a particular activity, hit stop. Mimer will have created a repeatable task for you that you, too, can pull up and launch at a given time period. If you ask me, those guys on Lost really needed this one back in season two, eh?

Download it here !


Finding duplicate files on a system is a pretty easy process if you have the right tools for the job. But that only really works if the parameters of the files themselves are shared--the same file size, for example, or the same file name. What if you're trying to find duplicate files based on the contents of the file, like the actual text represented in a Word document or, worse yet, the picture of a particular image file?

VisiPics takes the proverbial bull by the horns and gives you a free shot at finding the latter. This powerful little app helps you identify similar images based on analyses of the shots themselves, based on however many folders you want to look through at once. An adjustable slider allows you to alter the sensitivity of this search on-the-fly.

Download it here !

Doxillion Document Converter

The name pretty much gives this one away, but in case the major clue has escaped you, here goes: Doxillion Document Converter gives you quick access to drag-and-drop conversion for a number of different document-based file types. What does that mean?  You can easily convert between.docx or .rtf files, as well as .html and .txt, or simply take the contents of any of these (plus a few more) and output them as PDFs. Ta-da.

As well, the program contains a ton of other options and customizations for your various conversions. And, hey, Doxillion Document Converter sure beats having to do this all manually!

Download it here !

Event Reader

This one goes out to all the security-focused folk out there. It's hard to find solid, real-time monitoring of events within the Windows environment--or, at least, I know of no way to acquire an instant feed of the various system events, application events, and hardware events that can occur on your machine at any given time. The freeware app Event Reader thus steps up to the plate to give you pop-up messages whenever said events occur.

This, in short, gives you quick and speedy access to the knowledge that some kind of problem is occurring on your system or that some security issue could benefit from your attention. Or, as Microsoft says, "Event logs can help you identify and diagnose the source of current system problems, or help you predict potential system problems."

Download it here !

David Murphy (@ Acererak) is a technology journalist and former Maximum PC editor. He writes weekly columns about the wide world of open-source as well as weekly roundups of awesome, freebie software. Befriend him on Twitter, especially if you have an awesome app or game you're dying to recommend!

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