Last week I was happy to be a part of a new release of
WinPatrol (v33) from “WinPatrol (Formerly Ruiware, LLC). This is the first major release since WinPatrol ownership was transferred to former lead at Sunbelt Software, Bret Lowry. The introduction of Bret’s WinPrivacy program has received a lot of attention.
At the same time, I was happy with the release of Task Catcher 2 from BillP Studios. This program has been around for many years but remained in the shadow of WinPatrol. A small number of fans have used Task Catcher for its feature of restarting programs that fail or are closed by other programs.
Task Catcher 2 is a complete rewrite but continues use the C programming language so it can run in the background without impacting performance. It continues to support older versions of Windows while taking advantage of the newest technology from Microsoft. Windows Phone and Surface RT users will be pleased when Task Catcher Universal is available.
Task Catcher Program Tracking
One new feature in Task Catcher is its ability to track usage of your favorite or even unwanted programs. The screen above shows it’s initial data which will be expanded based on user feedback and needs.
Previous features have been renamed and enhanced. Watch List is now appropriately called “Restart List” and the Black List is now called “Blocked” programs.
Task Catcher 2 has expanded the flexibility and control over blocking a program and preventing it from running. Using text which is part of a filename can be entered to block programs.
Using a small part of a filename allows Task Catcher to block all related programs. For example, using text segments like “avg”, “conduit” or “ask” will block a range of programs related to the undesirable text.
BillP Studios has also recognized the need to block programs used for online extortion. Expanding quickly are ransomware apps that encrypt a users data and require a payment to restore their files. Task Catcher checks for suspicious apps that encrypt data and offers users a chance to block program that may not be familiar.
I was happy to have a chance to work on changes for the new WinPatrol. I’ve enjoyed the break but I still know how the software works inside and out. The user interface includes some new columns that provide consistency. Startup programs and Delayed Start both include a Status column letting users know if a program is running.
One of the major enhancements comes with the updated History screen. It’s obvious that more changes to this screen are on the way.
Unlike Task Catcher 2, WinPatrol will continue using the Tab Dialog UI and standard Windows buttons. I’ve stayed with Common Dialog buttons to support users with screen readers.
As part of our affiliation agreement WinPatrol PLUS members who use Task Catcher have access to the WinPatrol PLUS Info database. WinPatrol PLUS members will have one-click access to my BitsFromBill Blog.