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Synchronize files & folders between devices with SyncToy 2.1

Updated January 31, 2021

Note: SyncToy is no longer available for download from Microsoft's servers. The links at the bottom of this article have been revised to third party downloads. For an alternative file synchronization software, take a look at Allway Sync.

I recently migrated to a Google Android and needed a program to sync files between it and my workstation. I had used SyncToy 2.0 from Microsoft on Windows XP (32-bit), so I decided to give SyncToy 2.1 a try on Windows 7 (64-bit).

SyncToy 2.1

Once the installation was complete, I created a new folder on my computer to synchronize with the Android. I then opened up SyncToy and made a Folder Pair between the memory card on the Android (via USB cable) and the new folder on my computer.

SyncToy 2.1

Clicking on the Preview button will show what files and folders are synchronized, type of operation, last modified, etc. Here's a quote from the SyncToy page:

There are files from all kinds of sources that we want to store and manage. Files are created by our digital cameras, e-mail, cell phones, portable media players, camcorders, PDAs, and laptops. Increasingly, computer users are using different folders, drives, and even different computers (such as a laptop and a desktop) to store, manage, retrieve and view files. Yet managing hundreds or thousands of files is still largely a manual operation. In some cases it is necessary to regularly get copies of files from another location to add to primary location; in other cases there is a need to keep two storage locations exactly in sync. Some users manage files manually, dragging and dropping from one place to another and keeping track of whether the locations are synchronized in their heads. Other users may use two or more applications to provide this functionality.

Now there is an easier way. SyncToy, a free PowerToy for Microsoft Windows, is an easy to use, highly customizable program that helps users to do the heavy lifting involved with the copying, moving, and synchronization of different directories. Most common operations can be performed with just a few clicks of the mouse, and additional customization is available without additional complexity. SyncToy can manage multiple sets of folders at the same time; it can combine files from two folders in one case, and mimic renames and deletes in another case. Unlike other applications, SyncToy actually keeps track of renames to files and will make sure those changes get carried over to the synchronized folder.

I have used SyncToy over the years without any issues and recommend it to anyone who needs to synchronize files between devices. SyncToy runs on Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows 10 and comes in 32-bit and 64-bit versions. For more information on SyncToy, follow the links below.

SyncToy - 32-bit version

SyncToy - 64-bit version

RAW Image Viewers for Windows

When I migrated from Windows XP to Windows 7, one of the things I have missed is the Microsoft Powertoys. A couple of the functions have been integrated into Windows 7 (Open Command Window Here and Power Calculator). However, there are a few I am still looking for applications to replace them with.

One of them is the RAW Image Viewer. I am into digital photography and like to organize and work with digital RAW image files in Windows Explorer (much as you can with JPEG images). But Windows does not have support for this format built-in. Well, I am glad to say I have found a replacement for it.

FastPictureViewer is a free collection of 32 and 64-bit RAW Image Decoders for Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10.

Once installed, you have the same features for RAW image formats in Windows as you do with JPEG, BMP, PNG, GIF, and TIFF, complete with thumbnails in Explorer, preview, slide show support in Photo Gallery / Photo Viewer, and metadata search integration.

For more information and to download FastPictureViewer, please visit their web site.

Image Resizer Powertoy Clone for Windows

Updated October 13, 2020

When I migrated from Windows XP to Windows 7, one of the things I have missed is the Microsoft PowerToys. A couple of functions have been integrated into Windows 7 (Open Command Window Here and Power Calculator). However, there are a few I am still looking for applications to replace them with.

One of the applications you could integrate into Windows Explorer was Image Resizer. With a right-click on a picture, you could quickly resize a photo without opening an application. Well, I am glad to say I have found a replacement for it.

Image Resizer PowerToy Clone is, as its name implies, a clone of the original Microsoft PowerToy. Image Resizer has also been incorporated into the Windows 10 PowerToys.

Right-click on a photo and choose 'Resize Pictures' from the context menu.

Then select a size to make the pictures smaller, not larger, or to resize the originals, or make copies. Then click OK. It's that simple. And it's available in both 32 and 64-bit versions for Windows Vista and Windows 7.

For more information and to download Image Resizer PowerToy Clone for Windows, follow the links below.

Image Resizer for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1

Image Resizer (Windows 10 PowerToys) for Windows 10

Use Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome/Safari all in one browser with Lunascape

I recently came across one of the best web browsers I have ever seen, Lunascape. What sets this browser apart from the rest is that it can use any of the three browser engines available, Trident (Internet Explorer), Gecko (Firefox), and WebKit (Chrome/Safari).

Have you ever come across a web page that requires a function of a different web browser? With Lunascape, you can switch browser engines on the fly.

Lunascape is the world's first and only triple engine browser

With one click of the mouse, you can reload the web page in a different engine. Here's a list of current features from Lunascape's web site:

Unique All-in-One Approach

The comprehensive site coverage of the most broadly used engine, IE's Trident. The incredibly fast JavaScript performance speed boasted by Firefox's engine, Gecko. The equally or even faster engine of Chrome/Safari, WebKit. Lunascape is a hybrid triple engine browser equipped with all three. While other existing browsers struggle to combine any two of these engines, Lunascape is unmatched in that it is the only browser that combines the best features and speeds from these highly acclaimed browsers, seamlessly.

Triple Engine goes Triple Add-on

Lunascape is now compatible with the expanding array of Firefox add-ons in addition to the already supported Internet Explorer add-ons and Lunascape plug-ins, achieving the greatest degree of extensibility and flexibility among Web browsers. Transferring your add-ons from Firefox is very easy.

Extensible AND Fast

Lunascape6 achieves the maximum extensibility without compromising one of the fastest speeds in the market. You can browse lightning fast while enjoying great add-ons. We've also made a special effort in ensuring quick launch even with many add-ons.

Simply Refined Interface

A new interface mode, ORION, is added to version 6 as a default. This sleek minimalist interface has all the basic functions and will get you going in no time. You can still customize many aspects of the interface to your liking.

Triple Engine Side-by-Side Display

Our unique Triple Engine keeps evolving. To better support web designers and developers, we have implemented a "split tab display". You can view a web page in 3 rendering engines side-by-side to quickly check the browser compatibility.

I encourage you to take a closer look at Lunascape at their web site.

Useful USB devices for your computer

In this article, I show some of my favorite and useful USB devices.

Netbook connected to 42" plasma TV

Some of my favorite devices run through USB ports. Here are just a few:

Flash Drives:
Probably the most popular of all USB devices. They are great for storage, boot disks, etc., but have an average life of around 10,000 reads/writes.

Wired / Wireless Keyboards and Mice:
The second most popular USB device has to be the wired and wireless keyboard and mouse. Everybody needs a keyboard and mouse.

Hard Drives & DVD/CD Drives:
I use a multi-functional converter. It's a great way to mount a hard drive from a computer that has failed. Or use it with a hard drive for storage, boot drive, etc. The best one is to connect it to a standard 5.25" DVD burner and use it to create Recovery Disks on laptops/netbooks.

COM & LPT Ports:
Yes, there are still devices that require COM ports and printers that use LPT ports. And you can get USB converters to support them.

There are a ton of USB devices out there. These are but a few of my favorites.

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Geeks in Phoenix is an IT consulting company specializing in servicing laptop and desktop computers. Since 2008, our expert and knowledgeable technicians have provided excellent computer repair, virus removal, data recovery, photo manipulation, and website support to the greater Phoenix metro area.

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