AIDA64 4.30 adds support for upcoming Windows 8.1 Update 1, debuts new graphics benchmark
March 26, 2014 – 11:30 by Nick Peers in News | No Comment

AIDA64Budapest software firm FinalWire Ltd has released AIDA64 Extreme Edition 4.30 and AIDA64 Business Edition 4.30. The latest builds of its diagnostic and benchmarking tool introduce a new graphics benchmark for measuring the SHA-1 hashing performance of modern chips and cards, plus adds support for the latest technologies.

AIDA64 4.30 also introduces support for the forthcoming Windows 8.1 Update 1 and Windows Server 2012 Update 1 releases. It also optimises and fixes three modules: ACPI query, tree enumeration and temperature measurement.

AIDA64 Extreme Edition 4.0

AIDA64 Extreme Edition continues to provide regular updates so it supports the newest technologies.

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VirtualBox 4.3.10 squashes major bugs, adds experimental native full-screen support to OS X
March 26, 2014 – 11:16 by Nick Peers in News | No Comment

VirtualBoxOracle has released VirtualBox 4.3.10, a maintenance update to its cross-platform, partly open-source virtualisation tool. Although primarily a series of bug fixes, there is one new feature of note for OS X users.

That feature is experimental support for the native full-screen mode as implemented in Mountain Lion and Mavericks – press the defined host key plus [F] to toggle this on or off, or use the View menu. This new feature is accompanied by the removal of another: the mini-toolbar minimise button that doesn’t work in full screen view.

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Black Menu for Google Chrome: an easier way to access Google tools
March 26, 2014 – 08:25 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

Google offers many different services, and switching between them isn’t difficult. If you’re at Google News, say, click the Apps icon top right and you’ll see buttons for Search, Gmail, Drive, Calendar, Maps and more: just click whatever you need to launch that page.

This is simple enough, but not ideal. You need to be at one Google service before you can launch another; whatever you select replaces the current page, and there are at least two clicks required. If you’re a Chrome user then Black Menu for Google could provide an easier solution.

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ZoneAlarm 13 enhances protection of its paid products
March 25, 2014 – 18:53 by Mike Williams in News | No Comment

Zone Labs has updated its ZoneAlarm range to version

ZoneAlarm Free users probably shouldn’t get too excited, as the only significant change they’ll notice is that the Privacy Toolbar finally works with Internet Explorer 11.

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What really happens when you press Ctrl+C? Clipboard Format Spy has the answers
March 25, 2014 – 13:56 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

In theory, the Windows clipboard seems very simple. Select something, press Ctrl+C and it’s copied there; click somewhere else, press Ctrl+V and it’s pasted. Easy.

Then again, sometimes you’ll try to paste something and find the formatting is messed up, or you just don’t get what you expected. What’s happening? The free Clipboard Format Spy may be able to help.

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CCleaner 4.12 improves Opera browser support, Registry cleaning
March 25, 2014 – 12:43 by Nick Peers in News | No Comment

CCleanerPiriform has issued the latest monthly update to its Windows cleaning tool with the release of CCleaner 4.12 and CCleaner Portable 4.12. After the excitement of last month’s release, version 4.12 is a more sedate affair.

Chief among its new features is wider support for the new Blink-based version of Opera, which joins various other tweaks, improvements and fixes.

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Study audio files in detail with Sonic Visualiser
March 25, 2014 – 10:26 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

Open an audio file, and most people just want to listen to it. If there’s a play button, a volume control, maybe a simple equaliser, they’ll be happy enough.

If you’re interested in studying the audio, though – viewing individual channels, estimating beat or tempo, checking pitch and key, extracting harmony or chords – then media players won’t be able to help. You’ll need a specialist tool like the open source Sonic Visualiser.

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Malwarebytes Anti-Malware 2.0: new look, new engine, and XP support, too
March 24, 2014 – 16:06 by Mike Williams in News | No Comment

Malwarebytes has announced the release of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware 2.0, its flagship security tool.

A new heuristics engine detects malware based on its behaviour, rather than signatures. The integration of Malwarebytes Anti-Rootkit further enhances its protection, and Anti-Malware’s interface has been completely redesigned for a simpler, more modern look.

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Stop users running specific applications with Program Blocker
March 24, 2014 – 12:04 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

AppLocker is an interesting Windows 7/ 8 feature which helps you control which installers, programs and scripts a PC user can run, while blocking everything else. It’s effective, and flexible – but only included in the high-end Windows editions (Enterprise, Ultimate and Server).

Fortunately there are other tools which also claim they can limit what users can run on a PC, and Program Blocker, from The Windows Club, is the latest example.

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Take charge of your HOSTS file with hostsController
March 24, 2014 – 11:58 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

Editing your PCs HOSTS file can help you block ads, restrict access to certain websites, or just get more control over your network traffic.

You could make all this happen with nothing more than Notepad, but it’s not exactly straightforward, and installing a copy of the free hostsController will make your life very much easier.

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Uncover hidden PC troubleshooting messages with Trace Spy
March 24, 2014 – 11:50 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

Software can fail for all kinds of reasons, but most programs will make at least some effort to explain the problem. Usually this is an error message, but it can also be worth checking the program logs, and maybe the Windows Event Viewer.

There is a more hidden option, though: some options generate debug output with low-level technical details on what they’re doing. This is intended to help developers troubleshoot any problems, but the messages are available to anyone – and all they need is a copy of Trace Spy.

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