A Swiss Army Knife Of Powerful Network Tools

March 3, 2015

As a blogger there are those times when you run into what I call “writer’s block” and everything shuts down. Today, I did come across, what appears to be a pretty nice suite of network tools called Essential NetTools that will hopefully get me back on track. This set of tools is primarily geared toward the network administrator.

Essential NetTools

Essential NetTools is a set of network scanning, security, and administrator tools useful in diagnosing networks and monitoring your computer’s network connections. It’s a Swiss Army knife for everyone interested in a powerful network tool kit for everyday use.

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A Recommended Windows File Manager and Explorer Replacement

February 25, 2015

File management is a skill that I have found that most computer users have a hard time grasping. If you can understand the concept of file management and how the files (and folders) on your computer are layed out, it will boost your confidence and open up a whole new world to you when it comes to using your computer. If you are a power user when it comes to file management, then you most likely prefer a file manager that is tabbed based or dual-paned based that will allow you to perform file management operations in a more efficient manner.

Today I want to share with you a file manager that gives you the best of both worlds (tabbed based and dual-paned based) called XYplorerwith its’ friendly,beautifully engineered and easy to use interface.

XYplorer

This file manager comes to you in a FREE version and a PAID version (compare here) that is continually being improved and developed; AND, can be either installed as a normal Windows installation or installed as a portable app (that can be carried with you from PC to PC on your flash drive). In my case I use the portable version, which I know will help keep my registry a little cleaner; plus, XYplorer is one of my “go to” tools in my portable app tech toolbox.

The features of XYplorer are too numerous to list here; however, you can get a quick alphabetical overview of the features, including links to online documentations by clicking HERE. You don’t have to take my word for it, but this file manager is an excellent replacement (or supplement) to the Windows File Manager and Explorer.

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Add A Watermark Description And Date Stamp To Photos

February 24, 2015

You can add a watermark description and date stamp to a photo (or batch of photos) using the freeware Windows software application called Photo Date Stamper

Photo Date Stamper Settings

Photo Date Stamper

Photo Date Stamper gives you the choice to embed (and preview) a watermark in either the top left, top right, bottom left or bottom right of the photo. The watermarked text can be various sizes and colors. Once you save the result, the watermarked photo is saved in a folder called “New”…

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FREE Software To Password Protect And Secure The Files You Store Online

February 17, 2015

I will be the first to admit that I am skeptical of storing sensitive files on the internet and what files I do store (or backup) online are encrypted with AES256-based encryption using a small file archive utility program called PeaZip. This added level of security gives me peace of mind knowing that my files cannot be compromised in the event my online account disappears (or the account in itself is compromised).

PeaZip

After spending a considerable amount of time looking for software to carry out the encryption of my files (that I store online), I did not go for a standalone encryption utility; instead, I ended up using the file archive utility, called PeaZip (screenshots).

What I like about PeaZip is that the focus is on security where multiple strong encryption password protected archive files standards are supported, such as the AES256-based encryption standard. If you really want to make your files secure you also have option of using PeaZip’s two factor authentication where a password and keyfile are both required in order to access the archive.

Integrated into PeaZip are utilities to create random keyfiles and passwords; AND, this I really likePeaZip has a built in utility that supports secure file deletion to erase tracks of unwanted data.

If you are looking for an easy way to secure files on your computer and/or secure files you store online, I would definitely give PeaZip a try (which is available as a Windows install and portable app):

  • PeaZip is a free cross-platform file archiver that provides an unified portable GUI for many Open Source technologies like 7-Zip, FreeArc, PAQ, UPX…
  • Create 7Z, ARC, BZ2, GZ, *PAQ, PEA, QUAD/BALZ, TAR, UPX, WIM, XZ, ZIP files
  • Open and extract over 150 archive types: ACE, ARJ, CAB, DMG, ISO, LHA, RAR, UDF, ZIPX files and more…
  • Features of PeaZip includes extract, create and convert multiple archives at once, create self-extracting archives, split/join files, strong encryption with two factor authentication, encrypted password manager, secure deletion, find duplicate files, calculate hashes, export job definition as script.

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A FREE Backup Software Solution For Computers At Home

January 29, 2015

What I have found (over the years) is that most folks, who own computers at home, do not back up their files. The reason, in most instances, is that folks feel it is beyond their level of comprehension and is a difficult task.

Today, I want to share with you a FREE backup software solution that may be helpful, called Allway Snyc that is easy to learn, yet is powerful in what it can be configured to perform. I especially like that there is not only a Windows install version; but, also a portable app version (called Allway Sync ‘n’ Go). As a matter of fact, the portable version is what I use to backup my personal files to an external drive. Simply put, you enter the source path, determine what direction to perform the sync, and then enter the destination path. There are numerous configuration options (such as real-time automatic backups or syncs when file changes occur) to customize each backup job. The FREE version of Allway Sync should be enough to serve the moderate use of the typical home based user in the backing up of personal files. If not, definitely consider buying the Pro version.

Allway Sync

In a nutshell, this is what Allway Sync is about:

Allway Sync uses innovative synchronization algorithms to synchronize your data between desktop PCs, laptops, USB drives, remote FTP/SFTP servers, different online data storages, and more. Encrypted archives are supported. Allway Sync combines bulletproof reliability with extremely easy-to-use interface. Also Allway Sync can process Apple MAC data via Sync Gateway OS X software.

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Portable App Screen Reader That Is A Notch Above The Windows Accessibility Option (for screen reading)

January 24, 2015

Found this portable app, called Screen Reader that has been developed for people with visual impairment that is a notch above the built in Windows accessibility option (for screen reading). Simply download, unzip and run the executable to launch Screen Reader. I have been using Screen Reader to read back my blog posts and other documents that I compose using the “checked” setting below. To get to these settings, right mouse click the Screen Reader icon in the system tray.

Screen Reader

In my case, I unchecked everything on the menu with the exception of “Auto Read Clipboard On Change” (see screenshot above). I also went into the “Hotkeys” options, checked the box for “Use Hokeys”, and made the “End” key on the keyboard as the key that allows me to stop any text being read back, if need be (see screenshot below).  Another option to this (if you want better control), is leave everything unchecked on the menu (above); then go into the “Hot Keys” option and in the “Read Clipboard” use the “Home” key (or whatever key combo you desire) and in the “Start / Stop Reading” use the “End” key. This option allows you to start and stop any text reading.

Screen Reader Hotkeys

FEATURES:

  • Screen Reader reads all elements menus or screen text pointed by mouse.
  • This software has been done for people with visual troubles.
  • It use new microsoft SAPI 5 technologie without agent, and replace the older Agent Screen Reader software
  • It has a text free window (like the old Simple Reader software), and shortcut to read clipboard content

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Free Portable App To Search For and Download of MP3 Files

January 21, 2015

I am seeing more and more music downloaders. This one is called MusicWire, and what I like about MusicWire is that it is a portable app.

MusicWire is a free application you can use to easily search for and download MP3 files. The app allows you to search for audio books and music files from different places on the web, giving you access to over 100,000,000 MP3 files… MusicWire has a more modern interface than some of the other downloaders I have tried; has the ability to perform simultaneous downloads; AND, allows you to test and play the downloaded songs. You also have option in the settings to select the download folder.

MusicWire

 

MAIN FEATURES:

  • Search by track, author or album name
  • TOP-1000 sound tracks
  • Quick search video on YouTube
  • Quick search music information on Last.fm
  • Choose download directory
  • Automatically play downloaded songs
  • Download history
  • Friendly UI

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