Npackd is a package manager for Windows: a tool that helps you find, install, update and remove applications.
Perhaps you've decided you need a PDF viewer, for instance. Normally you'd have to go online, search for applications, find one that appeals, locate the download, tell your PC where to save the file, then launch it and work your way through the installation process.
With Npackd, though, you'd start by typing "pdf" into the search box, and the program will list the any related programs that it supports (Adobe Reader, CutePDF Writer, Foxit Reader, Ghostscript, PDF Creator, PDF-XChange Viewer).
If you spot something you'd like to try, then select it on the list, click Install - and that's it. Npackd will download and install the package, without you even seeing a hint of a setup program. And it'll then keep any software it installs updated, too.
As usual with this kind of tool, there are limitations. There's "only" support for 820+ applications, for example, many of which are variations of the same program (7-Zip, 7-Zip 64-bit, 7-Zip in command line form are all counted separately). And if an application developer changes some key aspect of their website then NpackD could be broken for that program, at least until someone notices and produces a fix.
Still, it's an impressive effort which generally works well, and could help to simplify the maintenance of your PC.
Version 1.18 brings:
•faster filling of the table (only the visible cells are filled)
•download only the necessary icons
•store and load main window size, toolbar position and column widths
•use the Windows HTTP cache for the repositories
•show a "wait" icon while loading the real package icon
•support for bigger repositories (store the data in the SQlite database)
•smaller size (static linking, use the zlib from Qt)
•provide progress information for long running package detection
•radio buttons for different package types instead of a combobox (filtering)
•show the actual error message if a shortcut cannot be created
•search for all possible matches while searching for a dependency
•show URL for file download errors
•lock the .Npackd\Uninstall.bat script during the installation. This prevents it from being deleted by an uninstaller.
•save the Install.bat/Uninstall.bat output in a file
•handle Windows registry write errors
•show the detection info on the package version details tab
As with all similar tools, it's not 100% reliable, but Npackd can help you set up and maintain a simple system with the absolute minimum of hassle