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VLC 2.2.0 adds extension manager, resume playback, auto-rotate
February 27, 2015 – 15:44 | No Comment

VideoLAN has announced the release of VLC Media Player 2.2.0 (and 64-bit) for the desktop, along with coordinated releases for iOS, Android, and the first public betas for Android TV, WinRT and Windows Phone.
The desktop …

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Run text-mode DOS apps in Windows with vDos
February 27, 2015 – 06:25 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

vDosIf you’d like to run a classic DOS game under Windows then DOSBox is the perfect solution: tiny, free, and with enough hardware emulators to support almost anything.

It’s not the only option, though, and if you’re more interested in running text-mode, business-type applications then DOSBox fork vDos may be a better choice.

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Run Android on your PC desktop with Droid4X
February 26, 2015 – 07:35 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

Droid4xAndroid apps aren’t just for your phone and tablet. Install Droid4X and you can run Android on your PC, too, taking full advantage of the extra screen resolution and more easily sharing files and data.

As with many similar applications, Droid4X is essentially a wrapper around VirtualBox, with Android 4.2.2 provided on a custom virtual machine. But you don’t need to know any of the low-level details, as the program manages all of those itself.

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Control Explorer’s “Send To” menu with Send To Manager
February 25, 2015 – 18:01 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

Send To ManagerWindows Explorer’s “Send To” menu can be a convenient way to copy, send or open files. Just right-click, select “Send To”, and chose whatever drive or application you need.

Most programs don’t make use of the menu, unfortunately, but grab a copy of Send To Manager and you can easily tweak it yourself.

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Technician’s Toolbox is a portable troubleshooting toolkit
February 25, 2015 – 08:33 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

Technician's ToolboxUtilities developer Tweaking.com has released Technician’s Toolbox and Technician’s Toolbox Portable, a free-for-personal-use suite of 20+ PC maintenance, monitoring and management tools.

Networking features are a highlight, with a graphical netstat, in-depth details on your network adapters, traffic monitoring, DNS server management, an IP subnet calculator, network scanner and more.

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View, back up and restore PC drivers with DriverBackup!
February 24, 2015 – 07:29 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

DriverBackupThe average PC user doesn’t need to pay much attention to device drivers, these days, and that’s probably a good thing. Windows supports most devices natively, locates plenty of drivers on its own, and a driver disc (or a download) should add support for everything else.

If you’re managing a lot of systems, though – or maybe you’d like to skip the usual driver installers and their unwanted extras – then you might want to simplify the process with the open-source DriverBackup!.

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Restore files, partitions, broken PCs with Lazesoft Recovery Suite
February 23, 2015 – 11:46 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

Lazesoft Recovery SuiteInstall the free version of a commercial program and you expect to find some restrictions, but undelete tools often go a little too far. You might only be able to recover 250 files, perhaps. With a maximum size of 100KB. And only on Tuesdays. You know how it works.

Lazesoft Recovery Suite Home Edition is refreshingly different. Okay, it’s strictly for non-commercial use, but aside from that the only notable missing feature is one you won’t find in most of the competition, anyway (HFS+ file system data recovery).

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Quickly scan documents to PDF, TIFF, more with NAPS2
February 23, 2015 – 04:41 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

Not Another PDF ScannerBuy even the most basic consumer scanner and you’ll probably get some very capable scanning software with a pile of image processing features. But while that’s great if you’re looking to scan a photo, it might not be so useful if you just need to quickly scan a document and send it somewhere else.

NAPS2 (Not Another PDF Scanner 2) is a straightforward alternative, an open source tool which is designed to scan documents to PDF, TIFF and other file types “as simply as possible”.

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Patch your PC with Kaspersky Software Updater
February 22, 2015 – 16:38 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

KasperskyKaspersky Software Updater is a free stand-alone tool which regularly checks for updates to critical software, alerts you when any are discovered, then downloads and installs them with a click.

It’s not entirely clear which software is supported, but from our tests it seems to cover the main internet-facing applications and components: browsers, Java, Flash, Adobe Air and so on.

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Watermark images easily with Photo Date Stamper
February 21, 2015 – 14:22 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

Photo Date StamperSend a set of photos to someone and they might sometimes want to see when they were taken. This might be possible by checking their properties or otherwise displaying EXIF/ IPTC data (if they’re tagged correctly, anyway), but that’s not exactly convenient.

Photo Date Stamper simplifies the process by watermarking a batch of images with their “taken” date.

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NetCrunch Tools is a free network troubleshooting toolkit
February 20, 2015 – 10:51 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

NetCrunch ToolsIf your PC network is misbehaving then you could turn to the standard Windows troubleshooting tools. But they’re mostly console-based, not exactly comfortable or convenient to use, even if you can remember all their various command line switches.

NetCrunch Tools tries to make your life a little easier by combining 11 troubleshooting and information tools into a single straightforward application.

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Clean up Android devices with the (ad) free Droid Optimizer
February 20, 2015 – 06:51 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

Droid OptimizerGerman developer Ashampoo has been producing PC cleanup tools since 1999, but now they’re looking a little further. Droid Optimizer is a one-stop app for cleaning, managing and maintaining just about any Android device (2.3+).

There’s plenty of competition around, but Droid Optimizer scores immediately as it’s free, with no visible ads. The only marketing is a “More apps” button which displays some recommendations, but that’s it: leave the button alone and there’s nothing else.

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