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Hardwipe 4.0.1 released, drops 32-bit support, improves Recycler cleaning tool
April 15, 2014 – 11:04 | No Comment

Big Angry Dog Ltd has released HardWipe 4.0.1 and HardWipe Portable 4.0.1, a major new version of its ad-supported data wiping tool for Windows. Version 4.0.1 is notable for becoming a 64-bit only build, dropping …

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Freeplane: a versatile brainstorming tool
April 15, 2014 – 14:18 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

Whether you need to understand a problem, complete a task, or just generally get organised, mind mapping can probably help. Not least because it’s so easy.

Start with the central issue; note down any related ideas, and begin to arrange and order them. You’ll quickly come up with a structure which helps you better understand the issue.

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Run super-fast file searches with Hddb
April 15, 2014 – 10:37 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

If you need to run rapid searches for file names on NTFS drives then there’s no substitute for VoidTools’ Everything. The program’s smart use of the NTFS Master File Table (MFT) means you’ll see matching files almost as fast as you can type.

There are competing tools around, though. And the latest, Hddb (Hard Disk Database) is particularly interesting, as it claims to address and fix some Everything problems. Is it worth your time? We took a look.

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PlainEdit.NET: a Notepad replacement for technical users
April 14, 2014 – 10:06 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

PlainEdit.NET is a free portable Notepad replacement with some interesting and unusual extras.

The core feature set is familiar enough. A tabbed interface allows you to open multiple documents, and there’s support for opening ANSI, UTF-8, Unicode and Unicode big-endian files, with Windows, Mac and Unix line breaks.

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Troubleshoot USB problems with USB Device Tree Viewer
April 12, 2014 – 08:15 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

Connect a USB device to your PC and it’ll probably work right away. Even if it needs a driver, Windows may be able to find this on its own: all you’ll have to do is click a button or two, and wait.

Life isn’t always quite so easy, of course, and occasionally you might find one or more USB devices aren’t working as you expect. Device Manager isn’t great at diagnosing USB-related problems, but there are free alternatives that can help – and USB Device Tree Viewer is one of the best.

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Set up to 128 desktop alarms with Eusing Clock
April 11, 2014 – 10:23 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

Eusing Clock is a free clock gadget for your Windows desktop.

Yes, we know, there are several million of these already, but this one does have a few twists which help it stand out from the crowd.

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Optimise your PDF’s/ djvu’s for mobile reading with k2pdfopt
April 11, 2014 – 08:38 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

The value of a PDF document is, in part, that it can be read on just about any device, on any platform. Wherever you are, you can open it and see the same information, presented in the same way.

This isn’t always as good as it sounds, of course. Especially if a document has been formatted for landscape viewing on a high resolution desktop, and you’re trying to browse it on a smartphone (there’s sure to be plenty of surplus scrolling involved).

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Dropbox launches Mailbox for Android with “Auto-swipe”
April 10, 2014 – 08:45 by Mike Williams in News | No Comment

Dropbox has launched Mailbox for Android, the latest incarnation of its popular email management iOS app.

The headline addition is a new “Auto-swipe” feature which learns from your actions, which emails you want to “snooze” (hide until later), which you want to archive, then automatically handles similar messages later.

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Automatically discover and diagram your network with Netpict
April 10, 2014 – 06:23 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

Netpict is a simple free program for creating basic network diagrams using popular Cisco icons.

If you’ve ever used any other diagram tool, Netpict will seem very familiar. A panel on the left has various icons (“Cloud”, “Firewall”, “Server”, “Router”, “PC”, “Laptop”, more); you drag and drop the ones you need onto the page, right-click and drag to create connections between two elements, before finally exporting the map as an image.

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Chrome 34 FINAL supports responsive images, extends password manager
April 9, 2014 – 12:41 by Mike Williams in News | No Comment

Google has released Chrome 34 FINAL for Windows, Linux, and Mac.

The headline addition is support for srcset, a new HTML attribute which allows web developers to specify multiple copies of a single image, with a range of resolutions.

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Windows 8.1 Update 1 brings new mouse-friendliness
April 9, 2014 – 08:55 by Mike Williams in News | No Comment

Microsoft has announced the public availability of Windows 8.1 Update 1 (32-bit build is here).

The release is essentially a service pack, with security updates, performance enhancements and other low-level tweaks, but the most obvious changes are to the Windows 8.1 interface.

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CyberLink PowerDVD 14 adds HEVC support, cloud storage/ sync
April 9, 2014 – 06:07 by Mike Williams in Featured, News | No Comment

CyberLink Corp has launched PowerDVD 14, the latest edition of its universal media player.

The top-of-the-range PowerDVD 14 Ultra now includes a free year’s subscription to 10GB of space on CyberLink Cloud. There’s new support for syncing media between PC and mobile devices (iOS, Android, Windows 8), while auto-transcoding of videos, photos & music from PC to Cloud should improve performance.

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