bstrings searches files for URLs, email addresses, more
July 13, 2015 – 06:25 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

bstringsBstrings is an open source console-based tool for Windows Vista and later which makes it easy to search files for important strings: URLs, email, IP or MAC addresses, UNC paths, GUIDs, credit card numbers, US phone numbers, zip codes and more.

Basic operations are much like many similar tools. Point the program at a file – bstrings -f file.exe – and it’ll list any ASCII and Unicode strings for you.

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gImageReader extracts text from images, PDFs, more
July 11, 2015 – 15:46 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

gImageReaderExtracting text from a PDF can be very easy. Just select a section and copy it to the clipboard, or maybe – in Adobe Reader – click File > Save As Other > Text to save the entire document.

This all works just fine, too, until you come across a PDF which is all images. And that’s when you need something a little more powerful.

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Create mobile-friendly websites with Mobirise
July 10, 2015 – 06:52 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

MobiriseMobirise is a free cross-platform WYSIWYG web designer which makes it easy to build mobile-friendly, Bootstrap 3-based websites.

The interface is stripped back, more like an app than a regular desktop program. There’s no complex menu system, no hidden right-click options, just a few buttons to click and panels to explore.

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Microsoft Office for Mac 2016 officially released, free upgrade to Office 365 subscribers
July 10, 2015 – 05:09 by Nick Peers in News | No Comment

Office for Mac 2016Four months after unveiling a public pre-release version, Microsoft has released Office for Mac 2016 FINAL. The new release is available now as a free in-place upgrade for existing Office 365 subscribers, with the final standalone-purchase version held back until September.

Office for Mac 2016 ships with five components: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote. It boasts a refreshed and optimised codebase, Retina-friendly visuals and support for full-screen mode.

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AKVIS OilPaint turns ordinary pictures into works of art
July 9, 2015 – 13:43 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

AKVIS OilPaintBrowse the “Effects” or “Filters” section of most image editors and you’ll often find tools which try to convert your pictures into sketches, oil paintings and more. But they’re usually basic, short on configuration options, and don’t deliver great results.

AKVIS OilPaint (and 64-bit) is a commercial tool for Windows and Mac which specialises in transforming your images into works of art. It’s expensive – $49 to $89, depending on the license – but the 10-day trial is full and unrestricted, so if you’re interested in the idea then there’s enough to justify the download.

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VirtualBox 5.0 supports hardware virtualisation, USB 3.0
July 9, 2015 – 12:45 by Mike Williams in News | No Comment

VirtualBoxOracle has announced the release of Oracle VM VirtualBox 5.0, a significant update for its free, open-source virtualisation package.

Guests get a big speed boost with new support for hardware virtualisation.

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ImmersED: not just another Notepad replacement
July 9, 2015 – 08:39 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

ImmersEDImmersED is an interesting plain text editor for Windows XP+. It’s not another feature-heavy developer-oriented Notepad replacement – in fact, its core editor is very basic – but the program has nice extra touches which could appeal to a wide range of users.

It’s designed to run full-screen, for instance, giving you a minimal chrome, distraction-free interface. But you can also run it in a window, and either environment can be customised by adding a word count, session target, a clock, and more.

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NirSoft releases TaskSchedulerView 1.0
July 8, 2015 – 12:10 by Mike Williams in News | No Comment

TaskSchedulerViewOne-man freeware machine Nir Sofer has announced the release of TaskSchedulerView, a tiny portable tool for viewing, enabling or disabling scheduled tasks on Windows Vista through to 10.

Run the program and it displays a table listing each task and various details about it: Name, Description, Status, Hidden (Yes/No), Last Run/Next Run Times, Task Folder, EXE filename or COM handler of the task, number of missed runs, and more.

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Scan your website for SEO issues with BeamUsUp
July 8, 2015 – 09:03 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

BeamUsUpBeamUsUp is a free Java-based crawler which quickly scans a website and reports on common SEO issues: status error codes, description/ title too long or missing, missing headings, duplicate content and more.

Free? We were sceptical, but it’s true. It’s free for all uses, no adware, no flashing “Donate” button, and no annoying restrictions to persuade you to upgrade (can’t scan more than xxx links, can’t produce reports, can’t use it on Tuesdays – you know the kind of thing).

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FFmpeg is a one-stop audio/ video converter
July 7, 2015 – 06:06 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

FFmpegIf you need to convert a few audio or video files then you could try out a few freeware transcoders, do your best to avoid the adware, hope they support the formats and options you need.

Or you could just grab a copy of FFmpeg, the open-source media-processing powerhouse which is the engine behind most freeware converters, anyway.

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WinToFlash converts Windows setup discs to bootable USB keys
July 6, 2015 – 13:20 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

WinToFlashInstalling Windows normally requires a setup disc, which is just fine, unless your optical drive isn’t working. Or your system doesn’t have one at all. Or the disc is scratched and unreadable. Or you really don’t have the patience for those painfully slow data transfer rates.

One effective solution is to transfer your Windows setup files to a bootable USB key. Novicorp WinToFlash has being doing just that since 2009, and despite development stalling for some time, a recent rush of major new releases means the package is finally out of beta.

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