For those of us with some technical skills who want to have a better understanding of what applications are running on a Windows workstation, the Windows Task Manager is normally the first resource we turn to. Unfortunately, while the task manager lets one know what processes are running, it does nothing to decrypt the names of the programs and make sense of them.
Similarly, with the number of spyware, and, unfortunately, legitimate programs forcing Windows to load applications automatically at startup, the ability to easily manage these nuisances is becoming more important. Msconfig, an application provided in Windows helps, but again does nothing to explain what the programs that are loaded do.
A company called Uniblue Systems has the answer, in fact it has two. At the company's website, www.liutilities.com
, it has a nifty little application available, called Wintasks, that provides a comprehensive list of all the processes running on your PC. More than merely listing them, it also offers a description of what the processes do. It even allows you to submit unknown processes for future reference. A click of a button and your start-up processes are displayed, with descriptions, allowing you to stop them loading automatically if you so decide.
There are a host of functions associated with your running processes in Wintasks that provide a useful tool for those of use wanting better control over our computers. It is one of those tools that should be part of Windows - as opposed to an 'integrated' media player.
If you do not want to buy the application and have it running on your system, the company also has another website, www.processlibrary.com
that has a library of processes (hence the name) users can refer to, to find out if things on their machines are legitimate programs or malware.
While Wintasks has a cost attached, processLibrary.com is a free service that the company says is updated weekly with new processes and descriptions. Both are extremely useful.