Manage Windows services from the desktop with ServiceTray
June 17, 2014 – 13:08 by Mike Williams in Tips | Comments Off

If you’re managing or troubleshooting a PC then it’s often useful to keep track of an important Windows service. The regular services applet handles the basics, but the free ServiceTray goes further with extra features and far better real-time feedback.

Setup is simple, mostly about choosing the service to be monitored (it only tracks one at a time) and your preferred system tray icon. ServiceTray can then generate an icon in the Startup folder, or your desktop, as required.

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Icaros enables Explorer thumbnails for almost any video type
June 17, 2014 – 11:21 by Mike Williams in Tips | Comments Off

Windows Explorer does a reasonable job of displaying thumbnails for standard image types, but it’s not so good with videos. You might get lucky with a few basic formats, but others – FLV, MKV – are usually ignored, leaving you with basic placeholder thumbnails which tell you nothing at all.

If that sounds familiar then Icaros may be able to help. It’s a collection of Windows shell extensions, powered by a custom version of FFmpeg which can extract thumbnails from just about any media format every created.

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Stickies 8.0a allows text notes to contain images, adds desktop stack option
June 17, 2014 – 06:55 by Nick Peers in News | Comments Off

Stickies 8.0aLooking for a digital solution to the raft of sticky notes plastered across your desk? ZHorn Software has just unveiled Stickies 8.0a, the first major update to its free desktop sticky tool for Windows since November 2012.

New features include support for inserting images in text stickies, the ability to stack desktop stickies together and periodic automatic backups.

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Extend your battery life with Comodo Battery Saver for Android
June 16, 2014 – 14:54 by Mike Williams in Tips | Comments Off

There’s no real secret to extending the battery life of your Android device: just keep your screen brightness and timeout to a minimum, while turning off, disabling or uninstalling everything you don’t really need.

Applying these tweaks at the right time is often a hassle, of course, and it could be simpler to allow the free Comodo Battery Saver to manage everything for you.

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Ashampoo Music Studio 5 adds Opus support, improves tag editor
June 16, 2014 – 11:39 by Mike Williams in Tips | Comments Off

German multimedia developer Ashampoo has announced the release of Ashampoo Music Studio 5, its all-in-one music management suite.

Improvements include an extended Analyze tool which checks your chosen audio files for common problems (missing tags, incorrect file extensions) and corrects them in a few clicks.

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MouseController records and replays your mouse actions
June 16, 2014 – 08:34 by Mike Williams in Tips | Comments Off

Tedious PC tasks can sometimes by automated by scripting, command line switches, maybe an application’s own built-in scheduler. But if those options don’t work for you then you could try MouseController, a very lightweight tool which records and replays your mouse actions.

The program is absolutely tiny – a 32KB download – and doesn’t require installation. Just unzip it, launch the single executable and you’re ready to go.

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1Password for Android 4.0 now supports on-device password editing and management
June 16, 2014 – 08:08 by Nick Peers in News | Comments Off

1Password4Mac-200x175AgileBits has unveiled 1Password for Android 4.0, a complete rebuild of its app for giving Android device users access to passwords stored securely using the 1Password service.

Previously, the app only gave users read-only access to passwords created on other platforms, including Windows, Mac and iOS, but is now a fully fledged password manager in its own right.

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Troubleshoot TCP/IP issues with “Why Can’t I Connect?”
June 15, 2014 – 18:53 by Mike Williams in Tips | Comments Off

Why Can’t I Connect? is an open source tool which can help to identify and solve TCP/IP connection errors.

Typically you’ll use the program to try and connect to one of many common server types (Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL Server, FTP, SFTP, IMAP, POP3, SMTP, IRC, LDAP and Usenet are supported, along with generic servers and clients). Why Can’t I Connect? then tries to make the connection for you, reporting on what happens at every stage, and offering possible explanations for whatever errors crop up.

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B1 Free Archiver is a friendly cross-platform archive manager
June 14, 2014 – 15:45 by Mike Williams in Tips | Comments Off

Everyone needs a good archive manager, and you’ve probably chosen one already. We’re fans of 7-Zip: the current release may be three years old, but it still performs very well.

There is some competition around, though, and B1 Free Archiver is an interesting example which really does stand out from the crowd.

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Amazon rebrands Cloud Player with launch of Amazon Music 3.0 for mobile and desktop
June 13, 2014 – 12:47 by Nick Peers in News | Comments Off

Amazon Music 3.0Amazon has refreshed its entire collection of cloud music apps with the releases of Amazon Music for Windows 3.0, Amazon Music for Mac 3.0, Amazon Music  for iPad and iPhone 3.0 and Amazon Music for Android 3.0.

All four platforms share similar updates, and accompany Amazon’s foray into music streaming with the launch of Amazon Prime Music, which initially is only available to US customers.

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Panda releases first Panda Global Protection 2015 beta
June 13, 2014 – 11:38 by Mike Williams in News | Comments Off

Panda Security has released the first public Windows beta for Panda Global Protection 2015, its all-in-one internet security suite.

A stack of new features starts with the Data Shield, a very configurable way to protect your confidential files. Specify the folders and file types to protect – Documents, PDF and DOCX, say – and the program will warn you if any unknown or untrusted applications try to gain access.

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