Learn More About “TreeSize Free 4.3: usability improvements and PDF exports” | gHacks Tech News

If you are wondering what files is consuming your drive space on your PC, you may want to download and install TreeSize Free.  gHacks has a good review on the newest version (see source link below).

treesize free

TreeSize Free analyzes disk space usage of a structure, e.g. a drive or folder, and displays information about the number of files, total size of files on the storage device, and more, in its interface.

Source: TreeSize Free 4.3: usability improvements and PDF exports – gHacks Tech News

Having Issues With Google Chrome?

If you are experiencing issues with Google Chrome, such as frequent crashes, unexpected ads, unusual start pages or a toolbar mysteriously appears; then, you may want to download the Chrome Cleanup Tool. Simply download to your desktop (or a folder) AND run… This tool is made by Google to help track down issues with the Google Chrome browser. One important point to make here is that this tool will give you an option to set your browser settings to the default (original) settings; so, be aware of that. Otherwise, this is worth a shot if your are in a dilemma…

Chrome Cleanup Tool

Chrome Cleanup Tool 

Portable Windows Security And Vulnerability Scanner

Quick post on a tool that is not only a security and vulnerability tool, but could also be used as a forensic and IT audit tool. It is called lastAudit. Take a look at it and let us know what you think. This is an audit tool that I haven’t seen before…

screenshot15

Features:

  • Free
  • Portable executable
  • Detects and lists: wrong security configuration, vulnerabilities, weak permissions, saved passwords, browser history and cookies, Outlook address book entries
  • Reveals sensitive information from: documents, source files, credential files, email files
  •  Performs WiFI audit: host localization, hotspot history, lists open hotspots
  • Performs LAN port scanning
  • Lists network resources, shares and files
  • Lists Active Directory OUs, users, servers, shares and services
  • Generates HTML reports

An Overview Of The AnVir Task Manager

I recently featured the AnVir Task Manager here on the blog and can’t say enough about its’ usefulness. If you are a tech or someone who assists other’s with their Windows based computers I highly recommend you download the portable version of this application. To explain everything that this program can do (and monitor) I have posted below a link to a tutorial video.  This program has many, many features and will even serve as a level of protection for your computer to protect you from malware and viruses. Anvir Task Manager goes over and above any task managers that I know of. 

CLICK HERE to see an extensive Overview Video 

AnVir Task Manager

 

New Version of DNS Jumper (V2.0)

Typically, changing your DNS on your computer requires configuration changes, that are actually pretty easy to do; however, most people will not attempt those changes for fear of causing problems with their PCs. Another factor to all of this is knowing what DNS servers to use and which ones are safe (which would require some research on your part).

Recently I posted an article about a utility called DNS Jumper that is engineered to change your DNS setting for you and if you are not satisfied with those changes you simply revert back to the defaults. When it comes to changing your DNS, all the work has been done for you with this utility.

Today I noticed that a new version of DNS Jumper is out there that is deserving of attention. This little utility (which is portable) has evolved into a very attractive and powerful tool where you can manually select a free DNS Service or you can let DNS Jumper find the fastest DNS service for you.

DNS Jumper 2.0

DNS Jumper 2.0

DNS – or domain name system – is the protocol on the internet that turns human-comprehensible website names such as sordum.org into addresses understandable by machines.(machine-readable “IP addresses”) , In some cases, you can increase the browsing speed or improve your security by replacing the DNS provided by your provider , DNS Jumper is a tool which makes it easy for you.

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A Must Have Android App

Probably one of the most underused functions on computers, by the everyday computer user, is the copy and paste function. I am sure this is probably true when it comes to using our smartphones. As a matter of fact, I randomly asked some of the my friends if they knew how to copy and paste text on their Android phones??? As usual when I ask these geeky type of questions they sort of look at me with that deer in the headlight look and wonder what planet I am from. Every single person I asked this question did not know that was even possible on their phones.

Copying and pasting text from one app to another on our phones is a function you need to learn and if you want to get a good start on this I suggest that you take a look at Easy Copy.

Easy Copy - 1-Tap Copy Paste - screenshot

Easy Copy is an Android app that is better than the standard built-in copy paste function in that it has the following features that makes using the copy paste function a more powerful function. After you tap on copy, a pop-up menu will be displayed and allows to:

  • locate in Google Maps
  • call the number
  • translate with Google Translate
  • create an event
  • modify the text you copied (very useful in Hangouts when you only want to copy part of a message!)
  • send by text
  • share (when not already developed in the given application)

I found that when the menu appears to perform these function, you can drag the order of the menu around to fit your personal needs. For example, on top of my menu list is the “share” function, due I use that function the most.

This app appears to be relatively new app in the Google Play store, so expect some bugaboos; however, my geek senses is telling me that this app will improve and become very, very popular…

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A 5 Stars Windows Repair Utility

First statement I need to make here is that the Tweaking.com – Windows Repair utility, featured in this article, is for those who are computer techs and the geeks in the family. Second statement I need to make is that I cannot say enough about how good this utility is.

Tweaking.com - Windows Repair

Tweaking.com – Windows Repair has helped me personally make repairs to computers where the Windows operating system has become corrupted; whether it be from end user error, a malware infection or Windows just stopped playing nice. It has served me (just recently) in repairing a Windows Update issue (where Windows stopped playing nice), a Windows Service issue (caused by a Windows Update) and in repairing a winsock/dns issue that surfaced after removal of a malware infection from a PC. I always have an updated (portable) version of this utility available.

Word of advice – Follow the steps as exactly outlined with this utility and as always use the internet to research any clues you are seeing that may be the cause of the issue. This will ensure that you can pinpoint what option to select when attempting a repair. If not sure, run the utility in its’ entirety, but be patient as it goes to work.

Tweaking.com – Windows Repair is an all-in-one repair tool to help fix a large majority of known Windows problems including:

 Unhide Non System Files
 Repair problems with .lnk (Shortcuts)
 File Association
 WMI
 Windows Firewall
 Internet Explorer
 Windows Installer (MSI)
 Hosts File
 Policies Set By Infections
 Icons
 Winsock & DNS Cache
 Proxy Settings
 Windows Updates
 CD/DVD Missing/Not Working
 Reset Registry and File Permissions
 Register System Files
 Remove Temp Files
 and more… 

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Control Your Mouse Via The Keyboard With NeatMouse

NeatMouseIf you ever wondered (or wished at times) you could control your mouse pointer via your keyboard; well, you can with NeatMouse.

I recently installed a wireless mouse and was sporadically running into a problem where it would lose its’ connection to my PC. I eventually resolved the issue; but, during the times I was without a mouse I would fire up the portable version of NeatMouse in order to navigate the computer. Did you ever try to navigate around your computer without your mouse?  It can be done, but it is not easy.

What I like about NeatMouse is that it uses the numpad keys on your keyboard and is setup in such a way that it actually will come natural to you.

NeatMouse key bindings

 

Another thing I like about NeatMouse is that it also is available as a portable app. If you are one of the techie types, NeatMouse is one of those utilities you may want to consider adding to your tech toolbox. It is also available as a full Windows software install. During the installation you will be given option to do the full install or to install as a portable app.

Features of NeatMouse are:

  1. NeatMouse can be activated by one of the following keys: Num Lock, Scroll Lock, Caps Lock, or by the custom hotkey.
  2. Select one of the Ctrl, Alt or Shift buttons for alternate speed modifiers. When this button is pressed, mouse pointer moves with alternate speed.
  3. Select one of the Ctrl, Alt or Shift for no-emulation mode. When this button is pressed and you press a keyboard button bound to the mouse action, this button performs its primary task as if there is no mouse emulation.
  4. Specify regular and alternate mouse speed.
  5. Bind keys for moving mouse left, right, up, down, and diagonally.
  6. Bind keys for left mouse button click, right mouse button click, middle mouse button click.
  7. Bind keys for scrolling up and down.
  8. Manage custom user settings: if you use portable version of NeatMouse, you can create different settings for your laptop and workstation.

By default, the mouse control keys for NeatMouse located on the keyboard numpad. The default key bindings can be altered.

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Android Version of CPU-Z (popular system information tool)

I am sure many of the techie types out there have heard of CPU-Z, a system information tool that gathers information on the main devices and components of your computer (such as CPU, Motherboard, Memory, etc…). These types of tools are not only useful for identifying components, but are useful as troubleshooting tools as well.

Today, I noticed on Google Play (the Android Store) that there is an Android version of CPU-Z that is just as good as the PC version in identifying cpu, clock speeds, sensors, battery levels, screen resolution, and much more (for your smartphone or tablet)…

CPU-Z

Android version of the popular CPU identification tool for PC/Windows., CPU-Z is a free application that reports information about your device.

– SoC (System On Chip) name, architecture, clock speed for each core ;

– System information : device brand & model, screen resolution, RAM, storage.;

– Battery information : level, status, temperature ;

– Sensors.

Requirements :

– Android 2.2 and above (version 1.03 and +)

Eject or Close The Default CD/DVD Drive On Your PC With This FREE Utility

It is the small software utilities in the world of Windows that often go unrecognized that are often the most used. Daanav Eject CD is a prime example. There are quite a few CD/DVD eject software utilities out there, but what I like about Daanav Eject CD is that it does not start with Windows. Many of the others, which many are outdated, are installed and running when Windows starts (which I do not need another application running during startup). This utility does two things and two things only. It opens and closes your default cd/dvd drive tray.

Daanav Eject CD / DVD Drive Control Software

Daanav Eject CD / DVD Drive Control Software is Compatible with Windows 8 and other versions of Microsoft Windows.

FREE Software To Quickly Retrieve The Serial Presence Detect (SPD) From Your RAM Modules

I recently came across PassMark RAMMon (FREE for personal use) to help me positively identify the RAM Modules in a PC and thought I would pass this onto my readers.

Passmark RAMMon

PassMark RAMMon generates an extensive snapshot of the manufacturer, the clockspeed and other data of their DDR2, DDR3, XMP and EPP memory devices and even some older memory types. It uses SysInfo DLL SDK to gather the SPD attributes from RAM devices. 

What is SPD?

Serial Presence Detect (SPD) is the standard set forth by JEDEC for a host system to retrieve attributes of memory modules. The SPD standard is intended for use on any memory module, independent of memory technology or module form factor.

RAMMon displays the values stored on RAM module such as the memory capacity, the manufactuer, serial number, model part number, the CAS latencies supported and the module voltage.

Also, depending on your RAM type, other specific SPD data can be retreived as well. Such as the module thickness, module width, maximum operating temperature and more.

GEEK SQUEAKS – Keep Track Of Important Dates On Your Android

I recently added a new site to Bookmarks4Techs, named Android Awesomeness; and, in doing so I noticed that they had an Android App posted, called Days that will be of great assistance to me (and you).

As I continue to age and ferment like wine, I have a tendency to forget things. I don’t know if it is the fermenting process or it is just me learning to mellow out more; however, my forgetfulness needed tended to. This is where Days will help me out.

Days

Days— is a beautiful countdown app using the popular card-based UI introduced by Google. It is designed to be an efficient as well as elegant tool for your Android device.

Days— provides all essential functionalities needed to remind you of your important dates, and gives you choices over colors if you want to keep things organized. Since this app is built based on open-source libraries, it is definitely free with no ads.

[ COMMENTS ARE WELCOME – CLICK HERE ]


MORE GEEK SQUEAKS
FROM AROUND THE NET

[ANDROID] ISSUU – Experience Millions Of The World’s Best Magazines And Catalogs – all for free, in Issuu’s beautifully crafted app for Android. Discover a world of meaningful content, created by over 1.5 million publishers around the globe. Turn millions of digital pages with the swipe of a finger… @Google Play

[NEWS] RSAC: Buying, Selling Stolen Credit Cards Online – What is striking about the carder sites where criminals sell and buy stolen credit and debit cards is the fact the entire process is so customer-friendly and easy… @PCMag

[NEWS] Windows XP draws its final breaths whilst Windows 8 gets an update – Microsoft announced a long time ago that it would be turning off  support for its most successful operating system (if by successful you mean actually worked), Windows XP.  The OS will no longer be supported as of April 8th… @gadget helpline

[WINDOWS] System Explorer Portable 4.6.0 – If you’ve ever wondered where all of your system resources have disappeared to, System Explorer can reveal all. Working like a more advanced version of Windows’ built in Task Manager, the program can reveal a tremendous amount of information about the programs and processes that are running on your computer at any given time. In addition to this you can keep an eye on the programs which are configured to start automatically with Windows, view a list of browser add-ons, and monitor drivers and services… @Download Crew

[WALLPAPER] – A great sunset evening at Cape Arago on the Oregon Coast, USA… @Interfacelift

Great Sunset

[HARDWARE] Samsung Monitors – Discover Top Savings – Having owned several Samsung Monitors, I highly recommend their products. If you are looking for a monitor, here is the place to look at their selection… @Amazon

[TECH BARGAIN] Get 40% or More Off of Select MicroSD Cards – Featuring various brand names… @Amazon


Learn a byte at a time with Geek Squeaks’ — featuring a round-up of tech products, news, software, apps, wallpapers, articles, you name it… I just plain love tech!

Be Sure To Visit Bookmarks4Techs.com

Bookmarks4Techs.com

Today’s Geek Squeaks – September 19, 2013

A summary of Today’s Geek Squeaks:

Squeak #1 – (Online File Converter): Converting from one file format to another can be a challenge, but CloudConvert has you covered. CloudConvert supports 140 file formats and can send the converted file to your email, dropbox or google drive account (see below);

Squeak #2 – (Utility To Read Browser History): NirSoft has a nice little utility available that gives you the ability to read the browsing history from 4 different type of browsers (Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and Safari). Great utility to have around to keep an eye on the kids (see below);

Squeak #3 – (How To Be Virus Free):  Dom over at Dom’s Computer & Tech Blog points out that he rarely has had to remove malware (or viruses) from his own personal computer. I really encourage you to invest a few minutes to check out what he has to say (see below); AND,

Squeak #4 – (Expand Your Home Network): Did you know it is possible to use the electrical wiring in your home to expand your home network? (see how below)…

[ CLICK HERE TO LEAVE A COMMENT ]

Geek Squeaks’, featuring a round-up of tech products, news, software, apps, wallpapers, articles, you name it;  from my favorite tech web sites… I just plain love tech!

See An Endless Stream Of Geek Squeaks’ [ HERE ]


Convert Anything To Anything

CloudConvert

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CloudConvert supports the conversion between more than 100 different audio, video, document, ebook, archive, image, spreadsheet and presentation formats. You can specify advanced options for every conversion type. Check the supported formats for more details… CHECK IT OUT HERE


BrowsingHistoryView

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BrowsingHistoryView is a utility that reads the history data of 4 different Web browsers (Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and Safari) and displays the browsing history of all these Web browsers in one table… GET IT HERE


Never Get a Virus Again

@ Dom’s Tech & Computer Blog

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…I rarely, if ever, have to remove viruses from any of my personal computers. I think that their are some distinct reasons for this. In this post, I am going to give you some of my personal tips so you never get a virus again READ MORE


Expand Your Home Network With A Powerline Adapter

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TRENDnet Powerline 200 AV Nano Adapter Kit — uses an electrical outlet to create a secure high speed network. Connect the first adapter to your network and plug the second adapter into an outlet on your electrical system for instant high speed network access… CHECK IT OUT HERE


Be Sure To Visit Bookmarks4Techs.com

Bookmarks4Techs.com

Today’s Geek Squeaks – August 14, 2013

A summary of Today’s Geek Squeaks:

Squeak #1: A huge tip on how to find important emails faster (from one of my favorite sites);

Squeak #2: In Windows XP, Vista and 7, you could invoke the Advanced Boot Options menu by pressing F8 (especially to get to Safe Mode). Did you know this is no longer possible in Windows 8; however, there is a way to bring the F8 control option back to life?

Squeak #3: A neat (portable) utility that will let you know the  Startup Time, Shutdown Time, Duration, Shutdown Reason, Shutdown Type, Shutdown Process, and Shutdown Code of a computer; AND,

Squeak #4: An inexpensive, full-size mouse, with full-size features.

[ CLICK HERE TO LEAVE A COMMENT ]

Plan on seeing  a lot more of Geek Squeaks’, featuring a round-up of tech products, news, software, apps, wallpapers, articles, you name it;  from my favorite tech web sites… I just plain love tech!


Find important emails faster

@ Tech-for Everyone

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When viewing your emails in Outlook, or the other email clients (Windows Live Mail, Thunderbird, etc.), simply (use the cursor to) “highlight” (turn blue) the unhelpful text the author put there, and type something helpful in its place… LEARN MORE HERE


How to enable the F8 key to start Safe Mode in Windows 8

@ Bleeping Computer

image

Windows 8 introduced a new boot loader that decreased the time that it takes Windows 8 to start. Unfortunately, in order to do this Microsoft needed to remove the ability to access the Advanced Boot Options screen when you press the F8 key when Windows starts. This meant that there was no easy and quick way to access Safe Mode anymore by simply pressing the F8 key… LEARN HOW TO HERE


Determine The Dates/Times
That The Computer Was Turned On

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TurnedOnTimesView is a new tool that analyses the event log of Windows operating system, and detects the time ranges that your computer was turned on… GET IT HERE


A Full-Size Laser Mouse That Does More

image

Do more, more easily with your mouse. With soft rubber grips and a contoured shape, this full size mouse provides all-day comfort, while Back/Forward buttons, side-to-side scrolling plus zoom and programmable buttons empower you to click, scroll and zoom with the flick of a finger… GET IT HERE


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Bookmarks4Techs.com

Windows Repair (All In One) – A GREAT Utility For The Tech Toolbox

imageWhen it comes to computers we can find ourselves getting into all sorts of situations where it is very difficult to assess and fix the problem.  For example, a couple of friends of mine recently ran into a situation where the windows updates service was broken on a computer they were working on and they had to resort to researching the matter on the internet in order to get a fix. The fix in this situation was not a fix that everyday computer user would want to attempt, due to edits to the registry being required.

I applaud my friends for finding the fix and making the fix work. As a result of this specific situation I started to explore around for an easier solution; and, just by chance happened across a utility called Windows Repair (All In One) , that not only will fix the Windows Update service, but a whole host of Windows OS based problems.

Windows Repair (All In One)

What I want you to keep in mind with this utility is that this utility is geared toward someone that has knowledge of the Windows operating system; however, if your back is against the wall and you know you are in deep doo doo, then what the heck, give the Windows Repair (All In One) a try.

Tweaking.com – Windows Repair can do the following:

Reset Registry Permissions
Reset File Permissions
Register System Files
Repair WMI
Repair Windows Firewall
Repair Internet Explorer
Repair MDAC & MS Jet
Repair Hosts File
Remove Policies Set By Infections
Repair Icons
Repair Winsock & DNS Cache
Remove Temp Files
Repair Proxy Settings
Unhide Non System Files
Repair Windows Updates
Repair CD/DVD Missing/Not Working
and more…

GEEK BONUS AREA

Visit Bookmarks4Techs.com

Bookmarks4Techs.com

Official Mac OSX Leopard Wallpapers

Phone for Google Voice & Gtalk (Android) –
Make Free Calls Over Wi-Fi

Reblog: Best Free Online Applications and Services

Affordable, Shared, Wireless HP LaserJet Printing
In The Home or Office

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Glary Utilities Beta 3 – NEW Design, Faster Scanning Engine, Over 20 System Utility Tools

Today’s post is an announcement of sorts! I am an advocate (and user) of the popular Glary Utilites system optimization software.  As such, I recently received notice that version 3 of Glary Utilities is currently in beta and is available for download.

The beta is touting a new design with over 20 plus system utility tools to maintain your PC and according to their site, the scanning engine, designed to scan for issues, is over 800 percent faster.

Glary Utilities Beta

  • Provides a one-stop solution for PC performance optimization
  • Boost PC speed and fixes frustrating errors, crashes and freezes
  • Features one-click functionality and easy, automated options
  • Protects your privacy and makes your computer faster and cleaner

I have tried and tested numerous system maintenance and optimization tools and I always come back to Glary Utilities to keep my computers tuned up. Glary Utilities is also available as a portable app.

GEEK BONUS AREA

Visit Bookmarks4Techs.com

Bookmarks4Techs.com

Everything You Need to Know Before Making a Backup Choice on Your Mac OS X

GEGeek – PC Tech Quick Reference

How to create and scan QR Code

Transcend 16GB Class 10 SDHC Flash Memory Card

Transcend 16GB Class 10 SDHC Flash Memory Card

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How To Save and Print A List of Installed Programs On Your Computer

I recently experienced a situation where a person’s computer, that was several years old, required a complete factory restore. When asked, “What programs did they have installed on the computer?”, the person was at a loss. Following this occurrence, I started to wonder if there was an easy way to view, save or print the programs that we have installed on our computers? This would be especially handy as a reference in the event of a computer crash. I know myself, there are many software packages I have installed; and, trying to remember what programs I installed (in the event of a computer failure) would be a real challenge, even for an ole’ geek like me.

I am sure there may be other options or methods to accomplish this task, but what I came across was a small software utility, that is portable, called MyUninstaller (by NirSoft). I know you are wondering, what does an uninstaller utility have to do with what we want to accomplish?

MyUninstaller

First, let me explain that MyUninstaller is in fact an alternative uninstaller utility to the standard Add/Remove applet of Windows operating system; HOWEVER, built into MyUninstaller is a menu options that gives you the ability to either save the list of all installed applications on your computer into a text file or HTML file (that can be viewed in your web browser).

To save the list to a text file, click on the File Menu and select Save Selected Items. To save and view the list as a HTML file, click on View and select HTML Report – All Items.

After using the options in MyUninstaller to generate a list of the programs on my computer, it has now become part of my overall backup strategy.

GEEK BONUS AREA

Bookmarks4Techs.com

Most Vulnerable Software: Is Yours On The List?

Financial Hacks Everyone Should Know About

Free Security Software

Seagate Hybrid Drives

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WinPatrol Remains The Smallest, Fastest System Monitor Of Its Kind

There are those occasions where I will rehash a FREE software product and WinPatrol is one of those occasions.  WinPatrol is a mainstay on my computers and is one of the first software products I install when setting up a new computer. It is a “must have” layer of protection that will compliment your other security software.

WinPatrol

After you install WinPatrol a snapshot of critical system locations and resources are recorded and you will find that a small Scotty dog shows up in the tray on the taskbar. This little dog is on patrol and will alert you if any changes occur to those critical system resources. The dog will even bark.

WinPatrol, in conjunction to constantly monitoring your system, also serves as a system utility that allows you to review the services and task that are running on your computer and the programs that automatically load in the background when your computer starts. There is a whole lot to this little dog, as you can see from the features below.

WinPatrol

Features of WinPatrol:

Detect and Review New Auto-Startup Programs
Alerted you to New Browser Add-Ons like BHO’s and Tool Bars
Alerts you to newly installed Window Services
Alerts you to creation of Scheduled Tasks
YesAlerts you and Locks Changes to File Type Associations
Alerts you to newly registered ActiveX components
Alerts you to changes in IE Home and Search pages
Alerts you to changes in the Windows HOST File
Lets you know if your AutoUpdate or UAC settings change
Add/Remove and Review Auto-Startup Programs
Automatically Disable Reoccuring Startup Programs
Delay Auto-Startup programs for quick bootup
Review and Remove unwanted Scheduled Tasks
Remove Unwanted Brower Add-Ons like BHO’s and Tool Bars
Review, Display and Kill Multiple Running Tasks with a single click
Review, Stop and Control Window Services
Manage and Automatically Remove Unwanted Cookies
Review and Edit your Windows HOST File
Review and Remove Hidden Files
Track Date/Time when programs are first detected on your system
Multiple System Report Options
Undocumented or HIDDEN Registry Startup Keys
Now Available FREE

GEEK BONUS AREA

Bookmarks4Techs

Frustrations With The Android Phone

How to Back Up Your PC

Site Speed | Visitors Love Speed!

A Mouse That Works In The Air

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A FREE Screen Dimmer Windows utility

Today’s post does not require a whole lot of explaining and to put it simply it is about a screen dimmer utility called PangoBright that will work with a multi-monitor setup.  It has one job and one job only: to manually dim your screens!

PangoBright

I know myself, with a LED monitor, there are times I have to tone down the brightness to keep my eyes from tiring. With, PangoBright installed (small 112 KB .exe file) and residing in the system tray, adjusting the brightness is two mouse clicks away – [ DOWNLOAD HERE ] .

GEEK BONUS AREA

Bookmarks4Techs

Microsoft’s Windows Blue Might Be Launched In August, May Have Hit Milestone 1

Free Photo Editing Software For Netbook: PicMonkey

Mobile Device Safety: A Glimmer Of Hope?

Bring home the cinema experience with the BenQ MS612ST!

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An Easy-To-Use Program To Fix, Speed Up, Maintain And Protect Your PC

One of the biggest complaints I often hear from people who use a computer at home is that over time their computer gets slower and slower. This often occurs as result of installing numerous software programs and failing to perform routine system maintenance.

When I hear this complaint, I will often help them clean up their PC and then refer them to Glary Utilities which features a 1-Click Maintenance feature that will help keep their PC clean, help protect their privacy, and even acts as a layer of protection from spyware and adware.

Glary Utilities

Glary Utilities provides an always-on, automated, all-in-one PC care service just by one click, including quick and thorough scan for issues like invalid registry keys, dangling shortcuts, unnecessary startup items, junk of temporary files, Internet history and spyware. Then a second click on “Repair Problems” and you can speed up system performance a great deal. One-click Maintenance makes it easy to optimize system immediately and doesn’t bother you with multiple steps.

Glary Utilities does not stop there. Glary Utilities features numerous other maintenance tools, referred to as modules, where you can individually select tasks that you desire to perform.

Glary Utilities

Clean Up & Repair Module – Disk Cleaner, Registry Cleaner,
Shortcuts Fixer,  and Uninstall Manager.

Optimize & Improve Module – Startup Manager, Memory Optimizer,
Context Menu Manager, and Registry Defrag.

Privacy & Security Module – Tracks Eraser, File Shredder, File Undelete, and File Encrypter – Decrypter.

Files & Folders Module – Disk Analysis, Duplicate Files Finder, Empty Folders Finder,  and File Splitter – Joiner.

System Tools Module – Process Manager, Internet Explorer Assistant,
System Information, and Windows Standard Tools..

If you are concerned that a change is made to your PC and you wish you could revert the change, it is possible with Glary Utilites through its’ built-in restore Center.

Glary Utilities

So, instead of putting out big bucks for some the PC maintenance utilities out there, you may want to consider the FREE version of Glary Utilities.  It is very easy to understand, is low on system resources, is also available as a portable app and will run on Windows 8, 7, 2000, XP, Vista. (32/64bit version).

GEEK BONUS AREA

Remove the “Ads not by this site” Browser Hijacker

Microsoft Offers Windows 8 Pro Upgrade To Students
For $70

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A Free Software Utility To Edit The Windows 8 Quick Access (WinX) Menu

Recently I posted the article, A Must Learn Windows 8 Tip: How To Get To The Quick Access Menu And To The Windows 8 Start Menu. In summary, this menu appears when you place your mouse pointer in the bottom right corner of the screen and when the the Start Screen thumbnail (or tip) pops up, right mouse click on the thumbnail and the Quick Access menu will appear. This menu serves as a convenient and quick launching point to the advanced system functions on your computer. This menu is also known in the Windows 8 environment, as the WinX menu.  If you hit the Win key on your keyboard plus X (Win + X), this menu will appear.

WinX Menu

The WinX menu, I have found to be quite convenient and began thinking it would be a real plus if I could add my own items to the WinX menu. I began researching this and found that there is a folder on your computer called WinX which holds shortcuts, in groups, to the program items you see on the menu. At first, I thought I could add or remove the shortcuts and found that they are basically locked in place by the operating system; so, that option was ruled out.

I then started thinking that someone out there probably has developed software that will allow you to edit the WinX menu and sure enough I found a FREE software utility called Win+X Menu Editor for Windows 8.

Win+X Menu Editor for Windows 8

With Win+X Menu Editor for Windows 8 you can edit the WinX menu without system files modification. You can rename, move items, add programs, add presets, add control panel items, create additional groups and remove items.

Win+X Menu Editor for Windows 8

This little program is portable, works on a 32bit or 64 bit system, and is by the same developer of a program I featured in an article yesterday, called SimpleSndVol .

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Four Ways To Easily Get To The NEW and IMPROVED Windows 8 Task Manager

The NEW and IMPROVED Task Manager that we find in Windows 8 was designed in such a way to not overwhelm the end user and can be quite useful, especially when you need to shut down a task (or program) that is not playing well with your computer. When you first open the Task Manager in Windows 8, you are going to initially find a very basic interface (see below) that will only show what tasks (or programs) are currently active. This basic interface was an on purpose design, with the idea that it makes it easy for the non-technical type of person to get to the task manager, review and shut down  tasks (or programs) quickly, then get out.

Task Manager - Basic Interface

To get to the more expanded (advanced) options to the Task Manager, you will need to click on “More Details”, which in turn will give you what you see in the screenshot below.

Task Manager - Advanced Interface

The expanded view is more for the technically inclined individual; however, I encourage new visitors to the Task Manager to not be afraid and go for the tour. You will find tabs for the processes running on your computer, performance gauges, Windows 8 App History, the programs starting up on your computer (which you can disable for troubleshooting purposes), Users, Details (on the programs and processes that are running), and Services.  I especially like the Details tab where if I see a process or program that is running that I am not sure of, I can right click on that process or program and perform a Google search to see what exactly the program or process is. So you see, the Task Manager has come a long way and can be used as a great troubleshooting tool.

Now that I have briefly covered the Task Manager, here are four ways to open the Task Manager up in Windows 8?

  1. At the Windows 8 Start Screen, simply start typing “Task Manager”.  You will see the screen populate with a “Task Manager tile.  Click on the tile…
  2. From the Windows 8 Start Screen or the Windows 8 Desktop use the hotkey Ctrl – Shift – Esc on your keyboard.
  3. At the desktop level, move your mouse pointer to the bottom left corner of the screen until you see the Start Screen Button appear. When the button appears, right mouse click on the button and select Task Manager from the menu.  Also note the other options on that menu.
  4. Believe it or not, this is the one I use the most. I guess it is because I have used it from day one when Windows was born. It is what I call the “three finger salute”.  Hit the Ctrl – Alt – Del keys simultaneously on the keyboard. You will be taken to the solid colored screen (usually blue by default) where you can select Task Manager.  To come out of that screen, simply Esc on the keyboard.

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Eliminate On Screen Information Overload With The NEW CinemaDrape

I had the developer(s) of CinemaDrape contact me to let me know that a NEW version of CinemaDrape has been released. It is a new major release, with many important improvements and changes.

If you do not know what CinemaDrape is, let me explain:

CinemaDrape helps you focus on your current task on screen, by instantly blanking or dimming the other less important areas in a web page or in the background windows.

For example, let’s say you are working on an important document, that is requiring your complete attention and focus. With CinemaDrape you can block out the external areas on the screen, leaving only your document visible, for your full attention. In other words, it blocks out the external screen noise.

I personally use this application to block out the background areas on the screen when I am watching the TV on my computer or a movie. It really makes a difference, and actually makes it easier on the eyes, especially when watching a movie.

CinemaDrape is available as a full install program or as a portable app. I personally like the portable app, where you download and run.

Also, to get you going using this program, after you get it up and running:

Just remember to use the CTRL + F11 keys to toggle CinemaDrape on an off. When you have CinemaDrape active, click the right mouse button, long tap, or press Escape to open the main CinemaDrape menu (see below). The menu, tells it all…  Great job to the developer(s) of CinemaDrape.

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Perform Much Smaller Mouse Movements or Touch Swipes To Close A Windows 8 App

Recently I posted an article, The Easy Way To Close A Windows 8 App, that explains how to close an app in Windows 8 by positioning the mouse pointer at the top of the app screen (where the pointer turns into a hand); then, dragging and dropping the app to the bottom of the screen.

On a desktop computer where the screen can be quite large and the travel distance (or threshold) to drag and drop the app (to close it) can be an exercise in itself. It was at this point I wondered if there was not a way to close the app quicker using less travel distance. Sure enough, using the analogy of “if you can think it, someone else has done it”, I came across a small portable utility called Close Threshold for Metro Apps.

Close Threshold for Metro Apps

By using Close Threshold for Metro Apps, if you set the sliders to the left, save the settings, you will find that you will not have to drag an app to the bottom of the screen. The travel distance to close an app is reduced dramatically resulting in a more efficient and faster method to close the app.

There is also an additional feature where you can completely disable the “drag and drop” method of closing an app all together.

With Close Threshold for Metro Apps you will able:

  • to speed up Metro apps closing with mouse
  • to speed up Metro apps closing with touch gestures
  • to disable Metro apps closing with mouse
  • to disable Metro apps closing with touch

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Quickly Find the Space Hogs On Your Computer With WizTree

I have featured other programs here at What’s On My PC that will scan your drive(s) and identify which files and folders are using the most disk space. They all are good, but the scanning process often can take some time to complete. Also, I have found that one of the most difficult concepts to grasp, when it comes to managing space on a computer (or tablet, or smartphone), is understanding how the disk space is gauged in terms of kilobytes, megabytes, gigabytes, terabytes, petabytes, etc…

Recently I came across another disk space analyzer, called WizTree, that I found to be very impressive and fast.

WizTree

Where WizTree excels is in its’ scanning speed; and, what makes it so fast is that WizTree does not scan the physical drive, but scans the hard drive’s Master File Table (MFT) directly from the disk.

Please Note:  When using programs such as this to identify the space hogs on your computer (or device) make sure you do not delete a spacehog (file or folder) that is needed for the operation of the computer (or other programs).  Typically, I use programs, such as WizTree, to determine what personal files I have saved (such as documents, pictures, movies, etc…) are consuming the most space. Programs such as this are also great for troubleshooting problems, as well.

The MFT is a special hidden file used by the NTFS file system to keep track of all files and folders on a hard drive. Scanning for files this way completely bypasses the operating system (Windows) and provides a huge performance boost.

Features:

  • Finds the files and folders using the most space on your hard drive
  • Work VERY Fast! We think it’s the fastest application of this type in the world!
  • Finds the top 1000 largest files on your hard drive
  • Sort the contents of your entire hard drive by folder size and optionally delete files and folders

WizTree, is a portable app that works on 32 and 64 bit versions of Windows 2000, XP, Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8 with drives that are formatted in the NTFS format (which most modern drives are formatted).

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FREE Software To Customize Windows 8 Start Screen Background

You are very limited when it comes to changing the background on the Windows 8 Start Screen; however, today I want to show you a third party utility, called Windows 8 Start Customizer, that will give you the ability to jazz up that background screen and use the images that you want.

Windows 8 Start Customizer

A couple of things to point out here is that the Windows 8 Start Customizer is in beta and can be downloaded with an installer or as a portable app. Even though this is in beta, I found it to work flawlessly on my desktop PC. If you download the portable (zipped version), you will have to rename the executable file in order for it to run (not as difficult as it sounds). Also, Windows 8 Start Customizer runs on startup and does not appear to change any registry settings that could cripple the actual Windows 8 Start Screen. Super job from the developer on this!

What you can do with this utility is this:

You can set your desktop wallpaper as background picture (not support for multimonitor, it just uses the main monitor’s desktop wallpaper)

You can select your pictures from any folder and set it as a sequence of background pictures.

There is a blur effect available, it is slow and slower on bigger resolutions, but it might work for you.

Tiles opacity can now be changed (not perfect though)

You can revert to default background

You can choose a picture and select the area to be shown as background picture.

You can set the Start Screen transparency

You can set the rows of you tiles (limited by your screen resolution)

You can run it on startup hidden, so you can see your custom background as soon as this tool starts

Save configuration to ini file.

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Hide or Show Desktop Icons, Gadgets, Taskbar OR Desktop Background In One Click

I was on the hunt for a software utility, that when watching TV on my computer (using my WinTV-HVR-1250 TV tuner card) I could easily turn off the background (make it black) so that there would be no distractions. What I found was a really cool software utility, called trimDesk, that does exactly what I needed, plus a whole lot more.

trimDesk

When you install trimDesk you are presented with a mini-dashboard on your desktop that gives you the ability to toggle on/off your desktop icons, gadgets, the taskbar, and desktop background. trimDesk is available in a FREE lite version or a PAID full version; AND, can either be installed or used as a portable app.

trimDesk

trimDesk is useful for:

  • giving presentations
  • protect your privacy at work
  • taking clean screenshots
  • demonstrating miscellaneous documents
  • processing batch files

In my case it was exactly what I was looking for.  I can pull up my TV software, size the window to the dimensions that I desire and then use trimDesk to turn off my background wallpaper and even turn off the taskbar. There are many other features to trimDesk that I didn’t even mention; therefore, I encourage you to visit the trimDesk site [click here] to learn more.

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Pin Anything To The Taskbar With Taskbar Pinner

Today I came across a one of the kind, really useful tool, called Taskbar Pinner that makes pinning anything to the Windows 7 or Windows 8 taskbar an easy task.

Taskbar Pinner

Taskbar Pinner is portable; therefore, simply download, run, and select from Pin a File, Pin a Folder, Pin a Shell Location (i.e. control panel, recycle bin, etc…) or Pin a Library (such as your document, music, picture or video folder). You can also check “Explorer context menu” which allows you to use Taskbar Pinner in Windows explorer. To read more details on Taskbar Pinner [ click here ]

  • to pin ANYfile regardless of its type;
  • to pin ANYfolder;
  • to pin drive;
  • to pin Control Panel items, all them including some hidden like God Mode/All Tasks, Network Connections;
  • to pin Libraries;
  • to pin Shell Objects like Run command, “Miminze All”, Window Switcher;
  • to pin any drive,all folders and all files via Explorer Context Menu;
  • to pin any folders or files with drag and drop. Drop them on application window.
  • to pin any folders or files via command line:taskbarpinner.exe "path\to\desired\location"

Note:One thing I ran into is that when I went to extract the dowloadable Taskbarpinner zip file (that contains the Windows 7 and Windows 8 versions), I was prompted to overwrite the files.  If that occurs, simply select “no” and the file will extract properly.  Otherwise, the program works as indicated…  Also, if you try to run the Windows 7 version on Windows 8 (and vice versus), the program will crash.

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Put Your Monitor To Sleep With Blacktop

I am a fond lover of the simple software utilities that really serve a purpose. Today I came across an application called Blacktop that, with a quick keystroke (Ctrl+Alt+B), will put your monitor into power save mode. In other words using the keystroke provided you can manually (and quickly) put your monitor to sleep (monitor will go blank). This is especially useful in the event you step away from your computer for an extended period of time.

When you install Blacktop, you will see a small icon in the system tray that is the indication that Blacktop is running.  You can set Blacktop to run at system startup by right clicking on this icon and selecting, “Run At Startup”.

Blacktop

Blacktop is available as a 32bit or 64bit application.

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A Shortcut Utility To The Windows Shut Down Menu

Today, while performing site maintenance at Bookmarks4Techs.com, I featured the site 7Tutorials.

If you have not been to Bookmarks4Techs.com lately, please visit…  I have done a complete site makeover that features a tech site on a daily basis, a ton of feeds from numerous other popular tech sites, the Bookmarks4Techs Site Collection, a FREE software page, and a Tech Deals page (featuring a Tech Product Cloud). My goal has been to set this site up to automatically and dynamically change the content on a daily basis.  In other words the site is sort of on auto pilot. If you are into computers and technology, then make sure you visit Bookmarks4techs.com.  If you are a buyer at Amazon, be sure to  use Bookmarks4Techs as your launching point to Amazon.  Each time you do, it provides support to keep the site going.

What caught my attention at 7Tutorials is that they have developed a little utility program, called Shutdown Windows, that is a shortcut to the Windows shutdown menu. It appears this program is geared toward Windows 7 and Windows 8. It may work on Windows XP; however, I was unable to test it on that platform. If you do download and find that it does run on XP, leave a comment below.

Shut Down Windows

What this is especially good for, if you are like me, is if you are into customizing windows. For example, I do not use the Windows Start Menu to launch my programs. Instead, I use a program called XLaunchPad to perform that task. Shutdown Windows is a nice addition to the XLaunchPad I have setup; however, you can setup Shutdown Windows to run directly from your desktop.  Makes it real easy to shutdown your PC.

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Tone The Brightness of Your Monitor Down With PangoBright

The illumination factor of the LCD and LED monitors of today, can be quite bright. To manage the illumination on my monitor, I use an automated utility called F.lux to manage the brightness of my monitor to match the indoor lighting.  It has been a keeper on my main PC for the past couple of years.

Today, on the hunt for other monitor related utilities, I came across a very small program (<120kb) that gives you the ability to regulate the brightness of your monitor (or monitors) from the system tray.  It is called PangoBright

PangoBright is a free “screen dimmer” Windows utility for setting the brightness of your main screen as well as external monitors. You can choose which screens will be set to the selected brightness level.

After installation, PangoBright sits in the System Tray at the bottom right of your Windows screen. Just click on the red “P” logo, and the PangoBright pop-up menu appears. Scroll down to your desired brightness level (in percentage increments) and click. That’s it!

Pangobright

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Create A Mouse Cursor Infinity Effect

If you have a large screen computer monitor, you know that moving the mouse cursor around from one side of the screen to the other can be a real exercise. To help make your mouse lazy, and at the same time increase productivity, give Mousinity a try.

Mousinity

Mousinity is a portable app that creates an infinity effect for your cursor when it reaches the edges of your screen. For example if you go to the top of your screen, your mouse will appear on the bottom, right-to-left, etc.

Takes some getting used to, but once you do, you will be using Mousinity on a regular basis.

Note:  There is no tray icon with Mousinity.  To turn it “off”, simply run Mousinity again and select “yes”.

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Quickly Turn Off / On the Internet

Typically, I turn my computer “on” in the morning, which is connected to the internet, and leave it “on” until I go to bed at night. A practice that I have gotten into is that when I am away from the computer I will disconnect (or disable) my internet connection through my network settings.  I primarily do this to prevent my computer from communicating with the internet and to prevent any opportunity for an outside intrusion (such as malware) to occur.

Recently, I came across a nice utility, called InternetOff, that makes turning the internet “on” and “off” very easy, right from the system tray (which is typically located on the right side of the taskbar).

InternetOff

After installing InternetOff, a small icon, representing a globe, will appear in the tray. Simply click on the globe and click on “Turn off the internet”. When you want to turn the internet back “on”, click on the globe icon again, and you will be presented with several options to turn the internet “on”.  You can turn it “on” for 5 minutes, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, an hour; OR, just turn it “on” (permanently).

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Get A Snapshot View of Your Network Information

Running the command IPConfig is typically a windows based command used to display all current TCP/IP network configuration values (such as the IP address, subnet mask, and default gateway for all adapters). The IPConfig command also can be run with a host of parameters that will perform various network related functions such as refreshing the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) and Domain Name System (DNS) settings.

Recently I came across another third party form of IPConfig that is also called IPConfig that will centralize and display all your network information, local and remote, in one window.

IPConfig

The purpose here with the third party form of IPConfig is to give you  a snapshot view of the following network related settings on your PC:

  • Internal & external IP addresses
  • MAC address
  • DNS server IP address
  • Subnet mask
  • Gateway IP address
  • Hostname
  • Current network speed
  • Network adapter name
  • DNS suffix
  • DNS enabled
  • DNS dynamically configured
  • Auto updating

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Permanently Delete Files With Blank and Secure

Software to recover deleted data on hard drives and other media can be easily found on the internet these days; which is a good thing. For example, one of my favorites is Recuva (by Piriform), which is FREE… I recently used Recuva, to assist a relative, to recover deleted picture files that were accidentally deleted.

However, on the flip side of the coin there are occasions where you  should take precautions to prevent deleted data from ever being recovered. For example, let’s say you are working on something that is sensitive in nature, contains private information (for your eyes only) and you decide to delete it from the computer’s hard drive or other media.  In essence, even you if you dump the recycle bin following the deletion, there is a high probability that the file can still be recovered.

To have peace of mind, I recommend using an utility such as Blank And Secure to permanently delete those sensitive files.

image

Blank And Secure is different than many of the other wiping utilities that I have tried in that it will overwrite the file your desire to delete with zeros (up to 35 times). According to the developer, recovery of a deleted file is impossible after using this utility.

To use Blank and Secure (which is portable), simply download and run; drag/drop the file onto the program interface; select the number of times to overwrite/ then hit delete. If you are not into dragging and dropping, this program may not be for you; however, if you want to delete an important file, I truly believe the concept behind this program will permanently prevent it from being recovered.

Another feature of this program is that you can fill the free space on the drive with “null” (or zeros) to remove all deletion tracks on the drive.  I would only use this option if you were going to give the computer away at the end of its’ life cycle and you want to make sure there is nothing lingering behind on the free space area of the drive.

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Automatically Unlock The Cap Locks Key

I love my Logitech K350 Wireless Keyboard, but there is one thing I do not like about it. The keyboard does not tell you when the cap locks key is activated. As a result I find myself often messing with the cap locks key to turn it off.

A solution that I came across, that is automated, is called CapsUnlocker.

image

What CapsUnlocker does is this. Let’s say I activate the cap locks key and forget to deactivate it. CapsUnlocker, after a period of 30 seconds (or whatever you set it at), will automatically turn off the caps lock key for you. I no longer have to wonder if the caps lock key is on or not.

CapsUnlocker is a portable app that can be set to load at Windows startup…

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ToolWiz Care Adds An Image Editor

Recently I did a post on ToolWiz Care, the “free tool set designed to speed up your PC and give your system full care”. I am not going to go into a long description of what ToolWiz Care is all about; however, if you have not experienced ToolWiz Care and you desire to learn more about it, I encourage you to read the original article [ HERE ] .

I have been using and closely following the development of this all-in-one super utility and can’t put it down. Today, I found that they added another feature to the program where you can perform a screen capture and following the capture the captured image will open into a newly added picture editor. It took me a bit to find the editor, but once I did I was quite impressed with the editor even though it is a new baby.

To get to the editor (if you have ToolWiz Care installed), you can right click on the ToolWiz Care icon in the tray or right click the toolbar and select screen capture from the menu.  Also, on the toolbar you will find a button to perform a screen capture.

image

After you perform a screen capture, you can open the the captured image in the editor (see below).

image

Once the captured image is opened in the editor you can perform various image editing tasks, such as adding arrows, text, etc….  I also found that I could load an image from the computer (such as a photo) and perform some basic image editing and enhancement tasks.

image

ToolWiz Care continues to fascinate me; especially, for the quality of tools I am seeing in something that is a new kid on the block. Getting to the picture editor took me some navigating around to locate it, but when I found it, I was quite impressed. The developers may want to consider adding the editor to the main program or to the floating toolbar where it can be quickly launched. I could see launching the editor to load an image from the computer (to fix a pic, add text, a watermark, etc…).

To the developers of ToolWiz Care, keep up the great work!  You have a follower here at What’s On My PC

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Automatically Get the Mouse Cursor Out Of The Way

You probably noticed that the past several days I have not posted much. This is due that I have been using my writing skills on another personal matter that has consumed, not only my time, but what brain cells I have left.

During the course of this personal writing venture, there were quite a few occasions where I had to swat the mouse pointer out of my view so that it would not distract me or change my focus. Afterwards, I started to wonder if there was an utility out there that would move the pointer out of the way for me (automatically)? In other words, I was looking for something that when I started to type, the cursor would move out of view and park itself.

Sure enough, I soon found my answer with Park Cursor Aside

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Whenever you type on keyboard, the mouse cursor is automatically parked (moved) aside to a defined screen / active window position. This way your view of the input field is not blocked by the mouse cursor.

Right click on tray icon and select Settings, to define the parking position and other values.

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Close All Running Applications With Just A Single Click

You talk about point and click…  Here is a small software utility (called Close All Windows) that gives you the ability to close all running applications with a single click. No installation is required. Simply download Close All Windows, extract the file and create a shortcut to the file on your desktop; or, if you have Windows 7, pin the shortcut to your taskbar. You can even tell Close All Windows to exclude certain windows that you do not want closed. If you are like me and end up with many applications open at the same time, this utility makes it easy to bring down the house and close all of those windows at once.

Close All Windows

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Reduce The File Size of Photos Up To 5X’s

With the camera technology today, and constantly improving, the digital photos we take are quite large in file size. This can be an issue when storing those photos (either on your computer or in the cloud) and can be an issue when sending those photos via email (due to the file size limitations by the email providers).

JPEGmini  To help you resolve this issue, I came across an online (cloud based) service called JPEGmini that has the ability to reduce the file size of a photo up to 5 times without degrading the quality of the original photo. I have used this service to reduce the file size of the graphics and pictures that I post on the blog so that I do not use up my space on WordPress.

JPEGmini

Some Facts:

JPEGmini files are optimized JPEG files, whose parameters have been tuned to significantly reduce the file size without affecting perceptual quality.

Depending on the resolution and quality of the original photo, high resolution photos produced by digital cameras, you can expect a reduction of 50%-80% in file size with JPEGmini

Each album that you upload can contain up to 1000 photos, and can be up to 200 MB in size. You can upload as many albums as you want.

The best bet with JPEGmini is to sign up for a FREE account. This will allow you to batch upload and download any photos where you desire to reduce the file sizes. If you are concerned about whether the conversion has affected your photo (or photos), with JPEGmini you can do a side-by-side comparison.

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Maintain, Optimize, Protect and Care For Your PC with ToolWiz Care

Every once in awhile, being an explorer (and tester) of FREE software, I will come across something that really gets me excited; especially, if it involves maintaining or optimizing the PC to make it run more efficiently. There are numerous maintenance and optimization suites out there right now, but I never heard of ToolWiz Care.

ToolWiz Care

Folks, after putting this utility suite through its’ paces, I have to say I am very impressed, especially for a utility of this magnitude being only at the version one level of development. The developers of ToolWiz Care have went to great lengths to come up with a package that covers all of the bases — from security utilities to protect your PC (and data) to utilities to maintain (and optimize) your PC.  I am trying to find out if ToolWiz Care can be made portable.

Everytime I use this, I find something else. For example, before I list the key features; after you install ToolWiz Care a very attractive (non-obtrusive) toolbar will appear on your screen that gives you the date, time, day, CPU Usage, Memory Usage, upload/download network activity. Double click on the toolbar and you can perform a Google search in the box that appears. This utility even offers eye protection. Now these things is just the candy! Let’s get to the key features of what ToolWiz Care can really do to help protect your PC, maintain your PC, and optimize your PC. Believe me, if you give this whirl, you will find more than what I have listed below.

As with any utility such as this, and not to scare you away, have some knowledge of what you are doing. I can tell you, I ran every utility in ToolWiz Care and did not experience any issues. If anything, it performed as it claimed it would perform.  I am very impressed with this.

Time Freeze

Time Freeze Keeps your system safe and protect your computer from unwanted changes.  NOTE:  This puts your PC into a virtual mode.  I am now using this to test software.  I’ll put the PC into the Time Freeze mode, test the software, come out of Time Freeze and my PC will be back to the original state prior to testing the software.

 Eyes Care

Eyes Care Protects your eyes with scheduled warning.


 Virtual Safe

Virtual Safe Creates a virtual safe which works like a regular drive where you can store files. The files stored in it are encrypted and cannot be accessed without the right password.

 Game Booster

Game Booster Concentrates every system resource for gaming purpose. It temporarily shuts background processes and other unnecessary Windows services & cleans out the RAM.

Password Manager

Password Manager Helps you create secure passwords that are extremely difficult to crack or guess. Also it can help you to manage your password, account and other private information.

 Password Generator

Password Generato Creates highly secure passwords with upper and lower case letters, numbers and punctuation symbols.


 Duplicate File Finder

Duplicate File Finder Allows you to scan all duplicate files in specified path. You can remove some of them and free up your disk space.

 File Undelete

File Undelete Ensures recovery of data permanently deleted from the Recycle Bin or with the help of SHIFT + DELETE key.


 Disk Doctor

Disk Doctor Helps you to check your hard disk both in I/O accesss and file system and give you a full report for the checking.

 Disk Cleaner

Disk Cleaner Cleans your hard disk from temporary files like those in the system temporary folder and the Recycle Bin.


 Registry Cleaner

Registry Cleaner Makes the PC system more stable by cleaning out the bad Registry entries.

 Registry Backup and Restore

Registry Backup and Restore Helps you to backup or restore your Regidtry with a simple click


 Registry Defrager

Registry Defrager Rebuilds PC’s Registry, making the entire system run quicker and smoother.

 Privacy Cleaner

Privacy Cleaner Protects the user’s privacy by deleting all activity history and surfing traces.


 Fast Defrag

Fast Defrag De-fragments the hard drive with it’s smart engine, keep the PC running efficiently and prevent the formation of other fragmented files.

 Checkup Module

Checkup Module Provides a full report of user’s PC system and allows the user to fix all problems with one simple click.


 Startup Report

Boot Report Provides a easy to read report that shows the start-up time of user’s system. It offers a detailed list of the processes loaded since booting.  NOTE:  Will also alert you when something new was added to the startup group that you were unaware of.

 Startup Optimizer

Startup Optimizer Allows the user to disable or delay the loading of any startup entries. It also provides the users with suggestions of standard processes.

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Windows Repair (All In One) – A Tool for the Tech Toolbox

Have you every found yourself in a jam where you have cleaned a PC from one of those rogue malware infections (AKA: scareware) only to discover that the infection, and even the cleaning process itself, caused corruption to the Windows registry and files (that control Internet Explorer, Windows Update, Firewall, etc.). My most recent experience was exactly that. I cleaned the machine only to find that the Firewall had been corrupted.

If this has occurred to you and you ran out of options, visit Tweaking.com and download their Windows Repair (All In One). As a matter of fact if you are in the position of cleaning malware from PC’s on a frequent basis, I suggest you keep Windows Repair (All In One) in your tech toolbox.

Windows Repair is an all-in-one repair tool to help fix a large majority of known Windows problems including registry errors and file permissions as well as issues with Internet Explorer, Windows Update, Windows Firewall and more. Malware and installed programs can modify your default settings. With Tweaking.com – Windows Repair you can restore Windows original settings.

I do recommend that you have some knowledge of cleaning malware from a PC before using this program; AND, that you follow the 4-step process that is built into this program before you initiate the repair process (see video).

Tweaking.com – Windows Repair can do the following:

Reset Registry Permissions
Reset File Permissions
Register System Files
Repair WMI
Repair Windows Firewall
Repair Internet Explorer
Repair MDAC & MS Jet
Repair Hosts File
Remove Policies Set By Infections
Repair Icons
Repair Winsock & DNS Cache
Remove Temp Files
Repair Proxy Settings
Unhide Non System Files
Repair Windows Updates
Repair CD/DVD Missing/Not Working
and more…

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Hide Everything Outside the Main Application with CinemaDrape

With the advent of the widescreen LCD/LED monitor we have established a visual landscape where we can easily open more than one application on the screen and take in more information. Under most circumstances this is a wonderful thing; however, I know myself there are times I wish I could create a distraction free environment and hide everything on the screen except the main task (or application) I am focused on.

Well, my wish came true with CinemaDrape

CinemaDrape helps you focus on your current task on the screen (such as a video in a web page, a photo or a document editor area) by instantly blanking or dimming the other less important areas in a web page or in the background windows.

CinemaDrape gives you the ability to turn off (or hide) the side elements by exposing a drape.  For example, let’s say you want to watch a video and hide everything else on the screen.  It is possible with CinemaDrape.  The drape will cover everything but the video.  To get the idea, watch the video [ HERE ] .

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Once you install CinemaDrape, there are two things to remember. By pressing Ctrl + F12 on your keyboard will startup CinemaDrape and by pressing Esc on your keyboard will close CinemaDrape. CinemaDrape requires no memory when the drape is not active and no extra tray icon!

Easy to start

CinemaDrape is easy to start: just move your mouse over the area you want to focus on and press Ctrl+F12 (or your own favorite custom keyboard combination). This works in any Web browser or in any other program you are using.

To focus an entire window (such as your current, active window), just move your mouse over the title bar at the top of the window and press Ctrl+F12.

To focus the previously selected area from the last time the CinemaDrape was used, use the Ctrl+Alt+F12 keyboard shortcut anywhere in Windows.

Easy to close

CinemaDrape is easy to close: just press Esc or select Quit from the context menu.

CinemaDrape is also very customizable in that you can resize the focus window, save the focus window as a favorite (to use later), and  change the color of the surrounding drape.

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A “Must Have” Portable App Suite for Techs

If you have geek in your blood, then I am sure you have heard of the utilities developed by Windows Sysinternals and NirSoft . If not, below is a description of each:

The Sysinternals web site was created in 1996 by Mark Russinovich and Bryce Cogswell to host their advanced system utilities and technical information. Whether you’re an IT Pro or a developer, you’ll find Sysinternals utilities to help you manage, troubleshoot and diagnose your Windows systems and applications.

NirSoft web site provides a unique collection of small and useful freeware utilities, all of them developed by Nir Sofer. Nir Sofer is an  experienced developer with extensive knowledge in C++, .NET Framework, Windows API, and Reverse Engineering of undocumented binary formats and encryption algorithms.

The tech utilities maintained by these two sites are phenomenal and are utilities that every tech should have available on their flash drives. As a matter of fact, there are so many of them it is a chore to keep them up to date or remember what task each utility actually performs; HOWEVER, there is a solution to this problem.

Today, I want to show you another utility called WSCC (Windows System Control Center) that will bring the Windows Sysinternals utilities, the NirSoft utilites and your Windows based (built-in) utilities together as a software suite.  WSCC is FREE and is a portable app.

Screenshot

WSCC

WSCC is a free, portable program that allows you to install, update, execute and organize the utilities from various system utility suites. WSCC can install and update the supported utilities automatically. Alternatively, WSCC can use the http protocol to download and run the programs. WSCC is portable, installation is not required. Extract the content of the downloaded zip archive to any directory on your computer.

WSCC is a must have program for techs.  WSCC serves as the gateway to downloading all of these utilities in a batch, will allow you to perform batch updates of the utilities and the best part is this; WSCC defines what the utility actually does.  There may be many utilities that you do not need, but I am telling you, this is the way to go.  This program will keep everything nice and organized (and up to date).

IMPORTANT TO POINT OUT:  When dealing with utilities such as these, it is not uncommon for your antivirus software to detect these  type of utilities as being a bad guy (or what is called a False Positive). In this case, any of the utilities developed by either of these parties are the good guys and you can tell your antivirus software that it is OK to let them through.

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FREE Portable Software To Help Solve PC Problems

TTC Shelbyville recently served up a post titled Fix your computer with IOBit’s Toolbox Portable that caught my attention and caused me to explore further.

Being a geekster I am always looking for that ultimate tool that I can slap on my flash drive;  that will serve as my personal assistant for solving PC problems or maintaining my own PC. Oftentimes, I end up with so many utilities on my flash drive, that when I do need them it actually becomes a counterproductive situation. I keep telling myself, go back to my roots and use the K.I.S.S. principle (Keep It Simple Stupid).  Trust me, it works.

If you are looking to reduce the payload of troubleshooting utilities on your flash drive and want to get back to the K.I.S.S. principle, then take a look at the IOBit Toolbox.

IObit Toolbox

Obit Toolbox is FREE portable software that system administrators and computer geeks will take along to solve PC problems anytime and anywhere. With more than 20 dedicated tools,IObit Toolbox allows you to display/diagnose PC information, enhance PC security, optimize PC performance and repair PC problems.

Folks, I was quite impressed with, not only the attractiveness of the interface (especially for a portable app), but was impressed with the actual selection and performance of the tools. There are more than 20 dedicated tools in this package and is a good application to have on any PC (or Flash Drive). The only negative I could come up with is that one of the tool selections is a prompt that takes you the IObit website to look at one of their Security apps called IObit Security 360. If you make that selection you will be directed to a site where you will be informed that IObit no longer is developing that application; otherwise the IOBit Toolbox is a great portable suite of troubleshooting, maintenance and optimization tools.

List of Tools Available in IOBit’s Toolbox:

Disk Cleaner: Analyzes unnecessary files in hard disk and cleans them up to enlarge available disk space.

Registry Cleaner: Registry Cleaner will clean up your registry database and free your system of unneeded ballast.

Privacy Sweeper: Erase your activity history and surfing traces.

Uninstaller: Helps you to uninstall programs in your computer.

File Shredder: File Shredder makes sure that no data thief can get his hands on your sensitive data.

Smart RAM: Monitors and Optimizes memory usage to increase available physical memory.

Registry Defrag: Registry Defrag determines how heavily fragmented the registry is and whether an optimization is necessary.

Internet Booster: Analyzes your internet and optimizes it.

Startup Manager: Optimize startups to accelerate your PC startup and improve your system performance.

WinFix: Analyzes your windows operation system and helps you to fix problems.

Disk Check: Disk Check performs analysis of your disks and their file systems.

Shortcut Fixer: Searches your system for non-effective shortcuts and references and fixes them.

Undelete: Undelete will restore deleted files after you have emptied the Recycle Bin.

IE Helper: Manages Internet Explorer add-ons, system context menu, and restores hijacked settings.

Process Manager: Manages running processes and displays the performance of your system.

Security Holes Scanner: Scans and fixes security holes automatically.

Cloned Files Scanner: Searches for cloned files in your system which may waste your disk space.

Empty Folder Scanner: Helps you to find empty folders in your computer and deletes them.

Disk Explorer: Analyzes your drives to show disk usage of your files and folders.

System Information: Collects and displays detail information of your system.

System Control: Helps you to change operation system settings.

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