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Sketch 3 for Mac adds reusable Symbols and Presentation Mode, improves Export tool
April 17, 2014 – 06:08 | No Comment

Bohemian Coding has released Sketch 3.0, a major new version of its Mac vector-based design tool. Version 3.0 adds a brand new feature called Symbols, which lets users combine multi-layered objects into a reusable group.
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Bluhell Firewall: a simple but effective ad-blocker for Firefox
April 16, 2014 – 14:47 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

Building the perfect ad-blocker is a complex business, not least because your users can have very different ideas on how it should work.

Some developers try to address this with layer after layer of features. You’ll be able to whitelist this, blacklist that, and add custom filters for just about everything else. Sounds great, until you have to spend an age learning how everything works, and start to notice how all these layers are slowing you down.

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FilExile deletes files or folders that Explorer won’t touch
April 16, 2014 – 10:29 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

Deleting files from Windows Explorer is usually very easy. Select your target, tap “Del”, click the “Yes, I really mean it” button and the object disappears forever. (Or is sent to the Recycle Bin, anyway.)

Sometimes you’ll get an “in use” error, though, usually because the file is locked by Windows or the system. It’s best to find out why – the file could be important – but if all else fails, a specialist tool like Unlocker can help you to delete it anyway.

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

HardwipeBig 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 support for legacy OSes including Windows XP in the process.

The update also sees HardWipe transition from the Qt4 to Qt5 application and UI framework as a result of becoming a native 64-bit application.

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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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Peazip 5.3 introduces File Manager improvements, updates archiving tools
April 14, 2014 – 11:11 by Nick Peers in News | No Comment

peazip-logoPeaZip srl has released PeaZip 5.3, the latest version of its open-source, cross-platform archiving tool for Windows and Linux users. The archiver supports over 178 file extensions, and is also available for Windows users in 64-bit form as well as portable builds (both 32-bit and 64-bit).

Version 5.3 launches with numerous new features and improvements to the File Manager graphical user interface as well as a wide range of improvements to its archiving and extraction tools.

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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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Inspect your PC’s drivers with InstalledDriversList
April 14, 2014 – 07:32 by Mike Williams in News | No Comment

NirSoft’s Nir Sofer has announced the release of InstallerDriversList, the latest addition to his lineup of system information tools.

As you’ll probably guess from its name, the program is a compact portable tool which displays a report on all the device drivers installed on your PC.

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System Explorer 5.0 adds free screenshot sharing
April 12, 2014 – 09:39 by Mike Williams in News | No Comment

Mister Group’s excellent system information tool System Explorer has been updated to version 5.0.

The big addition in this release is support for easy screenshot sharing. If you’re looking at some problem or error message, press PrtSc, click Share, and the grab will be uploaded to ScreenCourier.com, leaving you with a link which you can use to share it with others.

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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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