This site is maintained by Bill Hartford as a place where visitors can find applications and links that are interesting and/or helpful. I live in Canada's paradise (Prince Edward Island) and am a systems analyst, programmer and computer software guru. I am currently writing a golf course program, the Hartford Links Locator, to help golfers evaluate which golf courses they should play. When finished, it will run on any operating system (Linux, Windows, Mac, etc) and be available here to download. It will initially be populated with photos and detailed descriptions of the features of all courses in Prince Edward Island and British Columbia and many in Alberta, Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, New Zealand and Ireland. A FREE copy of many photos of the 500+ golf courses I have played WERE available to anybody to download from a public server in California - unfortunately Kodak transferred the responsibility for storing my files to Shutterfly and their orderly transfer of the photos (total size 4GB) was badly mangled :(
WGH ENTERPRISES LTD.
As soon as possible I will fix the mess at Shutterfly. To ensure high quality prints, I had uploaded high resolution, relatively large jpgs (.5 to 2 MB); unlike Kodak however, Shutterfly doesn't enable users to download the big images by right-mouse-clicking on them, you can only download small replicas :( The hi-res photos can only be bought from Shutterfly. The "typical Shutterfly treatment" can be seen here in photos I took of my concrete house. (I will be creating a short movie about the construction of that ICF house. Only Chapter 1 has been done; a download link is on the bottom of this page. If you're looking for photos I've posted on Facebook, they're hiding here ;)
For those of you who have asked me to make them available for slideshows, screensavers, wallpaper etc. I will be "shortly"(!?) posting new links to the Shutterfly albums for my birds and my journeys throughout Ireland, Portugal, Tahiti, Quebec, Arizona (Grand Canyon), Oregon, the Canadian Maritimes and many other beautiful places I've visited.
USEFUL BOOKMARKS - I am looking for the BEST, user-friendly, FREE on-line site that will enable me to synchronize and share my bookmarks with clients and friends. If you use one that you think is just absolutely the greatest, please email me! In the meantime here's a kudo to just two of my favourites. For Micro$oft applications, one of the most useful urls you can visit to easily find up-to-date advice, tips and news on MS products is Woody Leonhard's site. Secondly, do take a moment to visit Fred Langa's website and let the experts help you ensure your computer is working perfectly. THE HARTFORD TOOLKIT - In response to hundreds of requests, I have created a list of “must have” utilities. In my opinion, all of these should be installed on your computer.
- Guard against viruses and other scumware - first and foremost, you absolutely must maintain updated protection against viruses. In my opinion, the best anti-virus software is Avast. Not only is it easy to set up and use but it is FREE! In addition to Avast, another tool you must include in your kit is Malwarebytes - a FREE multi-malware removal utility that scans your pc's memory, registry and hard drives for known spyware/scumware components and safely removes them.
- Use a Firewall - do you have ANYTHING in your computer that you consider confidential (a PIN number, credit card numbers, bank account or other information)? It isn't. As soon as you connect to the Internet, you open a door to let hackers monitor your keystrokes and control your computer. For more information on this subject, see this excellent Windows Secrets report on firewalls. If you only install two utilities in your computer, make one a virus checker and make the second one a firewall. I recommend Comodo - an award winning FREE firewall. Do you think you already have a good firewall? Go to this test site and find out if your firewall is TRULY providing full protection.
- Backup Your Data - When you get "the big crash" (note I said WHEN not IF) can you easily reconstruct all data you've spent hours and so much effort inputting? Back up to a zip drive, a tape, a CD, a thumb driver or the Web - but do back up. My favorite utility to automate this task is Second Copy; it's powerful and easy to use. Check it out; for 30 days you can use all of its features for free, after that you can't make any profile changes unless you buy it ($29.95). For a completely free backup utility, I recommend Taskzip.
- Compress and Uncompress Files - if you download files, send files using email, backup your files or use "sneaker net" you need a better utility to zip and unzip files than Micro$oft provides. Jzip is one of the busiest utilities on my computer. If those of you who are novices have problems using this utility, I recommend Freezip - you might find it a little easier to understand ;)
- Get A Better Email Client - Do you enjoy installing patch after patch after patch after patch to close security holes that hackers continue to exploit in Outlook Express? Do you think that all have been found and fixed? Yeah right. Do it right; dump Outlook Express and use superior software like Pegasus for your email needs. It's FREE and very user friendly!
- Shut-out SPAM - Tired of getting email with large attachments that take ages to download? Sick and tired of spam! Delete email directly from your ISP's server so you don't have to download or read it. Get a utility that automatically rejects unsolicited email. Let Mailwasher give you control on how and what you get in your POP email. (I have configured mine to automatically designate every email as spam unless originating from a whitelisted person or company :) Works great!
- Get the Best Graphics Viewer - I often give slide shows to display photos to friends and clients. IrfanView is the best utility I've found to simplify not only this process with Fast Preview, Drag and Drop, Cut and Crop and other editing features but ........ it also very simply enables you to batch resize and/or convert any number of graphic files and to batch rename files of ANY type (not just graphics). It also includes a utility to simplify management of thumbnails. All in all, an outstanding, powerful, FREE program.
- Get A FREE, Powerful PDF Writer/Editor - Virtually print output from MS Word or Excel or other applications to a PDF file. Manipulate any PDF file(s) - edit, combine files, extract text to the clipboard, convert URLs to hotlinks, append notes and signatures and much more. PDF995 is an outstanding, FREE utility that will facilitate your sharing and processing of documents using the PDF format.
- Desktop Ultimate Reference Sources - TheSage and WordWeb are FREE dictionaries and thesauri that I consider to be must additions to your collection. TheSage is a particularly exceptional tool. Just try it once and you WILL love it!
- Software Uninstaller - When you decide to uninstall software from your computer, do you really think Micro$oft's uninstaller will actually remove all of the pertinent files and restore the registry? Not likely!! Don't depend on Micro$oft to handle that task. Get Revo Uninstaller to do the job and you can be confident that your system will be fully and completely restored to the state it was in before the unwanted software was installed.
- Autocomplete Forms - Do you really enjoy filling in webforms and offline forms? Do you always remember your login user names and passwords (and your vault combination and your ATM number)? If you answered yes, then you won't need RoboForm - a one-click web form filler and password manager with Artificial Intelligence. FREE and easy and it doesn't phone home!
- Get Karen's Power Tools - A Toolkit that didn't include all of Karen Kenworthy's Powertools wouldn't be complete. They are all very good, very useful and FREE. Check 'em out!
- Control Your Clipper - The Windows clipboard/clipbook combo just doesn't cut it. The Yankee Clipper extends and automates the clipboard's capabilities and features. Enables permanent storage of Boiler Plate clippings, instant launch of URL aware-links, "Load and Shoot" fast-action transfers, nicely word-wrapped printout of any text copied today or last month and use of a popup calendar. Again, this utility is ................. FREE and easy!
- Control Your Downloads – eliminate the frustration of slow and broken downloads. I recommend Download Accelerator Plus (DAP). Using multi-connection downloading it may speed up downloads by up to 300%. DAP can accelerate downloading in FTP and HTTP protocols (via dial-up, cable, DSL/ADSL, T1 etc.), pause/resume downloads and recover from dropped connections.
- Share Documents Easily And Securely - Want to email documents to people but you don’t want them to be able to change them? Want to email documents to friends who don’t have a copy of the creating application installed on their computer? eFax Messenger Plus is a FREE utility that enables you to email anything to anyone! It adds a new button to the menu bar or File menu of your favorite programs. One click and eFax Messenger Plus automatically does the rest.
- Efficiently capture screen images - If you have ever needed to print or email someone an image of just a small portion of a window (or all of a scrolling window) or capture a video playing on your desktop, you'll know Microsoft doesn't have the answer! I haven't yet found a good FREE utility that'll do this :( but SnagIt does do the job well - unfortunately it does cost a few bucks.
- Find It Fast - MANY Micro$oft products are woefully inadequate. A typical example is their Find/Search utility; try Agent Ransack to search your pc for files or bookmarks or text strings and you'll wonder how you ever functioned without it.
- Lift The Hood - Get FREE utilities that provide in-depth benchmarks and information about your computer's configuration and performance. AIDA and Fresh Diagnose, are excellent utilities that tell you everything you want to know about your pc. Together they cover practically all the bases and compliment each other wonderfully. Drive benchmarks, CPU speed ratings, information on cards, ports, memory and peripherals and more. You can also run the performance wizards to conduct a battery of tests and generate a comprehensive list of performance improvement tips. If you'd like an expert to do that for you (on-line), visit PCPitstop. For something just a little less daunting, use Belarc's Personal Advisor to display a detailed profile of your installed software and hardware in your browser.
- Cycle your wallpaper - Tired of seeing the same old wallpaper all day every day? Automate the shuffle to have your wallpaper change every 10 minutes or every hour or whatever! Randomize the display of your favourite photos with the Wallmaster FREE utility.
- Information Sources - Sure, everyone has heard about Wikipedia but the ultimate reference website with instant dictionary, thesaurus, encyclopedia, bios, tech terms, news, sports, weather and much more at your fingertips just might be Answers with over 1,000,000 topics at your fingertips!
- Be On Time - Need an accurate time of day resource? World Time Server tells you what time it is anywhere in the world. Their FREE utility, Atomic Clock Sync, ensures your computer's clock always shows the right time
Have I have missed a "mandatory utility"? If you think so, do feel free to email me at
Where do I live? Mouse RIGHT CLICK ... repeat ... RIGHT CLICK the following link to save (download) a short movie here 'Chapter 1 - The Site'.