February 22, 2017
The majority of home based computer users use the same passwords (or easy to remember passwords) for nearly every account that they are subscribed to. Hacker’s (or criminals) know this and take advantage of these facts. If your password is easy to remember, then it is easy to hack.
To make your accounts secure, it is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED that you use a password manager to manage your accounts and the passwords associated with them. The “go to” password manager that I use (on all my computers and devices); and, have used since its’ inception is the “S10 Password Vault”. It has never let me down… The main feature I like about this software is that I have total control over my password information at the local level.
There are so many features to the S10 Password Vault that I encourage you to visit the developer’s site by clicking the source link below.S10 Password Vault is available for Windows as a standard installer and as a portable version that allows you to run directly from a USB drive (which then also contains your data file). There is also an “S10 Vault” mobile companion app for iPhone/iPad (in the App Store) and for Android devices (in the Google Play Store and Amazon App Store).
Source: S10 Software – S10 Password Vault
February 21, 2017
I have found that using synchronization software is a very easy way for the home based computer user to backup data vs. the full blown backup type software (which can hard to understand for the home computer user). I am currently messing around with the FREE synchronization program called SyncFolders; that, so far in my testing, could end up being my default (go to) backup software for my computers here at home. If you are interested in giving SyncFolders a try, the source link is reflected below. SyncFolders is also available as a portable app.
Features of SyncFolders
- Supports two-way synchronization of files and folders.
- Can easily be used as backup tool.
- Shows a preview before the actual synchronization takes place. You can override actions if desired.
- Detects conflicts or file collisions when a file has changed in both locations since the last sync operation. Therefore, SyncFolders tracks file modifications and deletions in a local database.
- Propagates deletions and detects file renames.
- File comparison by date and size or by content.
- Default actions can be defined in case of synchronization conflicts.
- Integrates with Windows’ Task Scheduler to support scheduled synchronizations.
- Supports file and folder filters.
- Can handle long file names and files of any size.
- Synchronization from or to UNC paths is supported.
- Supports multiple synchronization rules in a single rules file.
- Deleted or overwritten files can be moved to the recycle bin or to a time-stamped history folder.
- History files can be deleted after a user-defined period.
- Unlimited number of files.
- Synchronization from command line.
- Can ignore one-hour timestamp differences caused by DST switch for synchronization to FAT file systems.
- Unrestricted freeware.
- No spyware, adware or malware.
- Portable, although .NET Framework is required.
February 8, 2017
FotoSketcher is free software program that features over 20 different styles; available from pencil sketches to watercolor or oil paintings, pen & ink drawings and cartoons. Turn photos to paintings (landscapes, architecture, portraits, etc.) automatically! FotoSketcher is available as a full install or portable app.
Turn your photos into art…
Source: FotoSketcher – The best photo to art freeware program
January 5, 2017
Looking for a method to protect sensitive files and folders? If so, Hyper Crypt may be of interest to you (see source link below). Hyper Crypt consists of a standalone (portable) executable file, a pdf manual and an updater that can be run on any Windows computer (Vista and higher)…
One thing I noticed that when you encrypt a folder, the files in the folder will appear as they normally would and no copy of the original is left behind. If you attempt to open any of the files, they will not open, due to the encyption. Don’t know if that is good or not, but works for me…
By default if you encrypt a single file, a copy of the original file is left behind; however, there is an option to change that.
Hyper Crypt uses the military-grade AES-256 algorithm for file and folder encryption, along with automatic integrity validation.
With Hyper Crypt, you can easily encrypt any kind of file, from documents, to pictures and videos.
Source: Hyper Crypt | Portable Encryption Software
November 29, 2016
Here is a tech toolbox (portable app) program called NuePanel that gives you direct dial access to more than 150 Windows applets and tools.
Be aware, because this is a new program, and contains many calls to system tools, it’s highly likely it’ll be flagged as malicious by some antivirus tools.
Source: nuePanel is a comprehensive Control Panel alternative for Windows – nuetools
November 22, 2016
Nice (portable 32bit / 64 bit) screen capture utility.
Source: The Portable Freeware Collection – Snipaste
October 19, 2016
If you are experiencing issues with Google Chrome, such as frequent crashes, unexpected ads, unusual start pages or a toolbar mysteriously appears; then, you may want to download the Chrome Cleanup Tool. Simply download to your desktop (or a folder) AND run… This tool is made by Google to help track down issues with the Google Chrome browser. One important point to make here is that this tool will give you an option to set your browser settings to the default (original) settings; so, be aware of that. Otherwise, this is worth a shot if your are in a dilemma…
Chrome Cleanup Tool
October 7, 2016
If you are into minimalistic and portable, then take a look at Kaseto… This music app is a work in progress.
August 2, 2016
Took a little bit of a learning curve; but, learned how to use Snipaste in short order. Snipaste is a windows snipping (or screen capturing) tool that is different in the way that you would normally perform a screen capture that is typical of other similar software…
August 2, 2016
Often during a malware infection, the default settings on your computer can be altered to the point that your computer will not operate properly (even after it has been cleaned from an infection). A program to keep in mind, if this were to occur, is the Tweaking.com – Windows Repair tool. This tool is designed to help you automatically fix a large majority of known Windows problems. The repair tool is available as a Windows install or can be run from a flash drive, as a portable app. I also see that they have a “pro” version available now; as well as, the free version. I have used this program on several occasions and it has bailed me out…
Tweaking.com – Windows Repairs
June 28, 2016
Don’t know if this would be any use to anyone (for possibly teaching, presentations, etc…), but is sort of neat. It is called Blckbrd and what it does is that it turns your desktop into an infinite blackboard. You use the mouse to write/draw, like on a real blackboard. If you are like me, writing words with my mouse (on the screen) is a difficult task; however, I’m thinking a touchpad would make it easier. The commands for Blckbrd are reflected below. The main one to remember is “ESC” (to exit the program and continue on with life).
June 27, 2016
Noticed that PicPick, a multi-purpose design tool that features a powerful capture tool, image editor, color picker, color palette, pixel ruler, protractor, crosshair, whiteboard, etc. was recently upgraded and continues to make strides in its’ development. This is a must-have tool that is FREE for personal use. A portable version is available, as well…
June 20, 2016
PangoBright is a simple to use screen dimmer utility that I have featured on the blog in the past. Recently, while sitting in my garage watching a ballgame, in the dark, and multitasking on my notebook PC, I needed something to tone down the brightness on the notebook. I remembered PangoBright and downloaded it. When I ran PangoBright it defaulted to a 70 percent screen brightness (which made me happy); but, I noticed something when I clicked on PangoBright’s tray menu. There is now an option to select a fade out color, which further makes this small (116k) portable utility valuable (in terms of reducing eye strain). This option was not there the last time I used PangoBright.
Oh, PangoBright does work on Windows 10…
June 6, 2016
Hardly a week goes by anymore that I don’t run into someone (or assist someone) that is experiencing a malware infection of some magnitude on their computers. I typically do not commit myself to removing these infections anymore due to the time element (many hours) involved in researching the issue, gathering (and updating) the necessary removal tools, and actually attempting to remove the infection. Removing a malware infection can be frustrating and in the end it is even questionable (after an infection) whether it is completely removed. In the end, probably the best tool to have around is your OS recovery disks.
If you are someone that does provide a service for removing malware, a tool to consider (that is portable), in your tech toolbox, is the Emsisoft Emergency Kit.
The Emsisoft Emergency Kit contains a collection of programs that can be used without software installation to scan for malware and clean infected computers: Emsisoft Emergency Kit Scanner and Emsisoft Command-line Scanner.
I downloaded the kit (approx. 233mb) and launched the “Start Emergency Kit Scanner.exe”; peformed and updated the malware signature database files; and, performed a scan. What I found is that it is pretty easy to use; however, I am not sure of the how powerful the scanner is in comparison to the competitors. If you are familiar with this kit, please feel free to let us know your experiences with it. I like the idea it is portable, can be used in safe mode (or from a recovery environment) and can be run from the command-line in order to remove a particularly stubborn infection. Many malware infections will overtake your computer to the point that you may not be able to run, update and/or install malware removal software; thus, the portability of this kit and other outside the box options are a plus.
Emsisoft Emergency Kit
May 31, 2016
Here is a good explanation, as to why I use Balabolka (the FREE Text-To-Speech program)…
“We always read papers out loud—would you like to read yours, or would you like to hear me read it?” Reading aloud has many benefits that we want to share with writers. Most people have far more experience listening to and speaking English than they do reading and editing it on the printed page. When you read your draft out loud or listen to someone else read it, your brain gets the information in a new way, and you may notice things that you didn’t see before” — Source: The Writing Center at UNC-Chapel Hill
As a blogger (and writer of other documents) I have come to depend on Balabolka, a Text-To-Speech (TTS) program to have my writings read back to me. Balabolka is very easy to use and can be set up through the settings to read back any text that you copy to the clipboard. This gem of a program uses the computer voices installed on your system. The best part of Balabolka is that the on-screen text, that you copy into Balaboka, can be saved as a WAV, MP3, MP4, OGG or WMA file.
There is a full install version, portable version, as well as a console version of Balabolka.