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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Duplicate & Same Files Searcher: not just another duplicate file finder
February 19, 2015 – 15:03 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

Duplicate & Same Files SearcherUnnecessary duplicate files can waste hard drive space and cause all kinds of odd PC issues, which is probably why there are so many programs designed to help you track them down.

Duplicate & Same Files Searcher sounds like it’s just going to be yet another “me too” duplicate finder, but no – there are some interesting differences, and they’re obvious from the very beginning.

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Find your PC’s most space-hogging folders with Folder Size
February 19, 2015 – 08:43 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

Folder SizeIf your hard drive space is a little lower than expected then your first instinct might be to uninstall a few applications, maybe use CCleaner to remove any leftover junk.

If you really want to understand where you drive space has gone, though, there’s no substitute for analysing it properly with a tool like Folder Size.

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Reply to WhatsApp, Hangouts messages directly from Pushbullet notifications
February 19, 2015 – 05:43 by Mike Williams in News | No Comment

PushbulletPushbullet’s latest Android app update means it’s now possible to reply to messages from WhatsApp, Hangouts, Facebook Messenger, Telegram and Line, directly from your desktop notifications.

There’s no complex tweakery required to make this happen. As long as you’re running Android 4.4 or later (and you have the Android Wear app installed for Hangouts messages), notifications from supported services now have a Reply button: just click it and go.

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Find hidden executables with MZreveal
February 18, 2015 – 14:20 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

MZrevealMalware uses many tricks to avoid detection. Sometimes this involves ultra-complicated, super-stealthy, rootkit-like Windows hooking. But often it’s no more advanced than giving an EXE or DLL file a much less worrying extension (virus.exe > virus.txt, perhaps). A simple technique, but maybe enough to get past you and your antivirus software.

MZreveal is a tiny free tool which can expose this hidden code by scanning the content of every file, listing any executables it finds which don’t have an EXE or DLL extension.

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