Ottawa PC Users' Group, Inc.
 Product Review 


System Information for Windows
by Alan German

A number of club members have indicated that they have found programs listed in OPCUG’ Free Software Guide (http://www.opcug.ca/public/LinuxSIG/freeware_guide.htm) to be very useful and several individuals have been good enough to contribute suggestions for the list. Brice Wightman further suggested that Gizmo’s Freeware Reviews (http://www.techsupportalert.com/) would provide a valuable source of information on free software. So, when I needed to identify the Ethernet controller and wireless card inside my netbook computer, it was to Gizmo’s that I turned for assistance.

The solution to my problem was quickly identified by navigating to Freeware Categories – System Info. – Best Free System Information Utility – Quick Selection Guide. The top listing in the category, with 9 out of 10 stars, and the recipient of Gizmo's Freeware award as the best product in its class, was SIW (System Information for Windows).

This program is a Canadian product, having been developed by Gabriel Topala of Vaughan, Ontario. The author says that: “SIW is an advanced System Information for Windows tool that analyzes your computer and gathers detailed information about system properties and settings and displays it in an extremely comprehensible manner.” Furthermore, PC World says of this program: “It's probably the most comprehensive free system analyzer you'll find anywhere.” So, this was good enough for me. Time to give the program a whirl.

The home edition of SIW is bundled with “InstallMonetizer” that produces an advertisement when the package is installed. While this, therefore, makes SIW a type of ad-supported software, it should be noted that Monetizer is a one-time-only feature, and no further advertisements are displayed when the program is in normal use.

Once installed, using the program couldn’t be simpler. The utility produces a list of software, hardware, and network components, each broken out by category. In my case, I was interested in the Network Adapters’ group in the Hardware section, and quickly determined that my computer was equipped with a Broadcom 802.11n Network Adapter (providing wireless access) and an Atheros AR8152/8158 PCI-E Fast Ethernet Controller (NDIS 6.20).

The system information can be viewed on screen, or a report can be produced in a variety of formats (e.g. HTML). In addition to the extensive range of system information that is automatically generated, the program provides a number of diagnostic and testing tools, including a broadband speed test, a real-time indication of CPU and memory usage, and a cookie monitor.

SIW does indeed provide a comprehensive list of system information. So, if you have a need-to-know, this free program will readily provide the information specific to your system.


Bottom Line:

SIW 2011 - System Information for Windows (Freeware)
Gabriel Topala, Vaughan, Ontario
http://www.gtopala.com/


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Ottawa Personal Computer Users' Group (OPCUG), Inc.
3 Thatcher Street, Ottawa, ON  K2G 1S6

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