Here's my collection of top 10 (un)common tools. Some of them are paid, but they're well worth the price!

1. Panda USB Vaccine

A small and free tool which will help you vaccinate any USB memory sticks, thus stopping any viruses that could be transported on them and executed automatically when you insert them into a USB port.

2. SUPERAntiSpyware

One of the best (if not the best) malware detection and removal tools in the world. The free version is good enough for most people's needs, but it is only capable of performing on-demand scans.

3. SpaceSniffer

No, this application isn't able to detect extraterrestrial intelligence. It does a much more down-to-earth job, but it does it perfectly: it shows you what files occupy the largest portions of your hard drive, using an easy to understand, graphical representation. It's another uncommon, high quality piece of freeware that very few people know about.

4. Notepad++

Think Notepad on steroids. It's the perfect text editor for web designers, programmers, and anyone who needs a cholesterol-free editor. It supports syntax highlighting and folding, including user-defined syntax, and has a highly customizable GUI.

5. Recuva

Many people pay lots of money to get their hands on a decent file recovery application. Recuva is a trusted piece of software that can easily rival its paid equivalents. It can recover pictures, music, documents, videos, emails, and more, regardless of the media type: hard drives, memory sticks, external drives, and so on.

6. Directory Opus

This is hands-down the best file manager that your money can buy! It runs in Windows, and it's got (literally) hundreds of uncommon, and yet extremely useful features. Think single or dual pane file display, tabbed user interfaces, folder filtering, sorting and grouping, color-coded file display, FTP and archive support, etc.

7. Radical Image Optimization Tool

This tool is radical indeed! It can optimize images according to your desire, helping you achieve the best size/quality compromise. Others ask monthly fees for services that deliver much worse results, so be sure to download it right now.

8. Debut Video Capture

Want to record what's happening on your screen, including high quality audio tracks? Don't pay hundreds of dollars for applications that do the same thing, when you can get this free app! You can also purchase a "Pro" version of the application if you want to, but the free version isn't limited in any way, so it is perfect for any home user.

9. Auto Vector

If you work with graphics, this inexpensive piece of software is a must! It converts raster images and regular photographs into vectors, automatically! The resulting vectors can be exported as svg, wmf and emf files.

10. XMind

A top mind mapping application. The pro version offers more features, but the free version has everything you will ever need to create fully functional, good looking mind maps.
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