I don't mean to regurgitate Lifehacker posts today, but this is another cool program that you should know about: Task Killer. If you're a Windows user, you know what it is like to feel the frustration wash over you as an application you were using grinds to a halt, sometimes graphically dissolving into the ether.
When this happens, you know the drill: ctrl+alt+del -> task manager -> locate offending process -> end process. Now, you can cut out some of this old song and dance by using Task Killer. It is a small application that runs from your system tray (i.e. near the clock) that allows you to quickly terminate runaway processes without having to go into task manager. The processes that have "stopped responding" should be highlighted in red so that you can easily identify them.
Also, if you're a super nerd, you will appreciate to know that there is also command line support for all of your scripting needs!