Next Lock Screen: Microsoft’s take on the Android lock screen
December 30, 2014 – 08:30 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

Next Lock ScreenNext Lock Screen is an Android lock screen “built for busy professionals”.

That sounds very familiar, but what’s a little more unusual is that Next is from Microsoft Garage, an “idea factory” where employees work on whatever “wild ideas” they like.

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DAYU Disk Master 2.5 adds file backup, sync, zip tools
December 30, 2014 – 06:29 by Mike Williams in News | No Comment

DAYU Disk Master FreeDAYU Technology has released DAYU Disk Master 2.5, a major update for its all-in-one hard drive management suite.

The free-for-personal-use build now includes file-based, as well as image backups.

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Check for “too long” file paths with Path Scanner
December 29, 2014 – 05:17 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

Path ScannerIn theory, it should be easy. A quick drag and drop starts the process of copying a folder tree from one location to another, and all you have to do is watch as Explorer transfers each file.

Normally this works just fine, too – but there can be problems. In particular, if the destination path plus the file name is longer than 255 characters then you’re likely to see an error message suggesting you “shorten the file name and try again”. (And if you think that’s unhelpful, it could be worse: in some situations the copy operation fails without generating any message at all.)

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PyCmd: a smarter command line?
December 27, 2014 – 08:17 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

PyCmdThe Windows command line console is extremely basic, thanks mostly to a horrible interface which hasn’t changed significantly in years.

Windows 10 will bring some improvements, but if you don’t plan on upgrading for a while – or you just can’t wait – then the open source PyCmd delivers a smarter command prompt right now.

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Book wakeup calls from strangers with Wakie
December 26, 2014 – 08:09 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

WakieThere are a vast number of alarm clock apps available for every platform, most of which are tired variations on the same thing: choose a skin, set a wakeup sound/ method, and that’s about it.

Wakie is an iOS and Android alarm clock app with a difference. Forget custom audio files or complicated snooze functions, instead you’re called by another Wakie user, who chats, sings songs, ask you questions, or otherwise gets your day off to a much more interesting start.

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Create instant Christmas mosaics with PhotoSpills
December 24, 2014 – 10:46 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

It’s no secret that PhotoSpillsChristmas is best when it’s spent with friends and family. That’s not always possible, of course, but at least you can take photos of your favourite moments and share them with others.

You could post your pictures on Facebook, maybe Twitter, or perhaps send them via email. But if they’re really special then you could use PhotoSpills to present them in a professional photo collage.

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HoneyView 5.08 adds BPG support
December 23, 2014 – 08:10 by Mike Williams in News | No Comment

HoneyviewBandisoft has updated its free image viewer HoneyView with support for Fabrice Bellard’s new BPG image format.

BPG (Better Portable Graphics) is an efficient compressed graphics format which can deliver much smaller file sizes than JPG, while also supporting extra features like transparency.

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IObit’s Start Menu 8 v2.0 now available
December 23, 2014 – 07:19 by Mike Williams in News | No Comment

Start Menu 8IObit has announced the release of Start Menu 8 v2.0, its free alternative Start menu for Windows XP and later.

Significant enhancements include options to display recently opened items for individual applications, and a “Restart to Safe Mode” menu entry for Windows 8/ 8.1/ 10 users.

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Icecream PDF Converter 1.3 extracts text to DOC, ODT, RTF
December 23, 2014 – 06:21 by Mike Williams in News | No Comment

Icecream PDF ConverterUtilities developer Icecream Apps has released Icecream PDF Converter 1.3, extending the program with new text extraction tools.

The program can now extract the text from one or more PDFs, saving it in DOC, ODT, RTF and TXT formats.

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Explore file system mysteries with NTFSLinksView
December 22, 2014 – 10:56 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

NTFSLinksViewIf you’ve configured Windows Explorer to display hidden and system folders then you’ve probably noticed various drive-related oddities scattered around your PC.

Like the mysterious C:\ProgramData folder, for instance. It’s packed with vital files and folders for most of your installed programs, yet is also hidden, and most people never notice its existence. What’s going on?

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Detect and remove unknown malware with Ultimate Virus Sniffer
December 20, 2014 – 13:26 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

Ultimate Virus SnifferIf you run, download or otherwise access malware, then your regular antivirus software should normally detect the threat, step in and remove it for you, entirely automatically.

Brand new threats might bypass this layer of protection, though, infecting your system. Getting rid of them will then be extremely difficult, but if you’re a Windows expert, and armed with a copy of Ultimate Virus Sniffer, there just might be a chance.

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