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software-websites-made-in-germany A label originally introduced in Great Britain to mark foreign products thought to be of inferior quality when compared to British products, Made in Germany has now become one of the most popular labels. Today it stands for reliability and quality.

Each of you is using German technology and tools. Most of you will know that, among many other things, the automobile, the Aspirin, the computer and the mp3 were invented (at least in part) by German engineers.

Recently, I came across a list of “Tools Made in Germany” and was surprised to find some fairly popular applications in that list and was enlightened to discover a few pieces of handy software I had not previously heard of. Let me give you three examples of very popular candidates that most of you will know…

(I) xp-AntiSpy, a utility built to easily disable a long list of built-in updated & authentication features as well as other annoyances in Windows XP (and meanwhile Vista, too). It has received several awards over the years and comes straight from Germany’s capital Berlin.

(II) Antivir virus protection tool, which recently received the ProtectStar Award for its Premium Security Suite, and has also constantly been receiving top ratings Top Antivirus Software. What's your Favorite? [Poll] Top Antivirus Software. What's your Favorite? [Poll] Read More and reviews for its free anti-virus program, which has been released by Avira, a company based in Bavaria, Germany.

(III) Ashampoo is a software company based in Oldenburg, Germany. It has a wide range of products, the most popular probably being its security, CD/DVD burning and media tools. The free applications include Media Player+, Internet Accelerator 2, StartUp Tuner2, Magical UnInstall, and Spam Blocker.

And here are a few tools you may not have heard about previously…

(1) PDFCreator
A small tool that, besides creating PDF’s, allows you to encrypt and merge PDFs. It can also save documents as image files (PNG, JPG, TIFF, BMP, PCX, PS, EPS).

It’s not necessarily an easy-to-use tool, since it comes with so many different options, but for those of you expecting a bit more than just “printing” a PDF, it’s the perfect choice.

The Firefox and Internet Explorer toolbar is optional but quite handy.

(2) Windows Unattended CD Creator

It’s still a beta and not available for Vista, but a great tool, nevertheless. It allows you to create a bootable ISO image for a personalized and complete Windows installation. It includes users to be set up, drivers, any piece of software, patches, hotfixes, and more.

(3) mufin MusicFinder base
Pandora is still the most popular music recommendation service based on what you like, and many others were likely inspired by this interesting concept. The MusicFinder base is your personal MP3 Manager which analyzes and categorizes the music found on your computer and provides a collection of matching tunes for each song you pick.

(4) 5star Movie Saver

A neat program to download all your favorite flash movies from an online source, for example YouTube or MySpace. It’s extremely simple and easy to use. Via the menu (top left) you can load all supported video platforms and then feed the program with the URL of the site that displays the video you wish to save to your computer.

(5) Dexpot
Dexpot simulates some Linux functionality on your Windows PC, allowing you to have up to 20 different virtual desktops on one monitor. Have different icons and open different programs in each desktop, password protect single desktops, and move program windows between them. All in all a handy tool to share a computer with others or simply to efficiently separate work and play.

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