(In My Opinion) – Best Dedicated Photo Resizer Out There

April 18, 2015

Needed to batch resize some photos this morning, so I immediately went to FastStone’s website and grabbed the portable version of FastStone Photo Resizer. I was able to resize a folder containing approximately 300MB of photo files (that were of high def) to 100MB without any noticeable loss of clarity in the pics (so that I could post them online to share with the family). I like the idea that this photo resizer is dedicated solely for the purpose of resizing photos and easy to learn (and navigate).

FastStone Photo Resizer

FastStone Photo Resizer is an image converter and renaming tool that intends to enable users to convert, rename, resize, crop, rotate, change color depth, add text and watermarks to images in a quick and easy batch mode. Drag and Drop mouse operation is well supported.

FEATURES:

  • Convert and Rename images in batch mode
  • Support JPEG, BMP, GIF, PNG, TIFF and JPEG2000
  • Resize, crop, change color depth, apply color effects, add text, watermark and border effects
  • Rename images with sequential number
  • Search and replace texts in the file names
  • Preview conversion and renaming
  • Support folder/non-folder structure
  • Load and save settings

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An Intelligent Android Voice Recorder App (with no advertisements)

April 6, 2015

Voice recording on our Android smartphones and tablets is a built in feature; however, a clumsy feature to find, get to and use. I wanted a voice recorder that acted and functioned similar to a real standalone voice recorder that we typically use to record a class instruction or lecture; business meeting; etc… I went on the hunt, found quite a few and then settled for the intelligent voice recorder called Skyro. As a matter of fact, I like Skyro so much, I have it set as one of my main apps on my home screen.

Skyro

Skyro is very easy to use. Simply launch the app, hit the record button and Skryo does the rest (such as timestamping the recording in various formats). You can also set Skyro to upload the recording to your Dropbox account. I am not a Dropbox user, but this app gave me a reason to use the Dropbox account that I never used. Another cool feature is that you can add pictures and notes to your recording(s) and Skyro will tie this all together with a slideshow presentation.

In the end, this app is very good looking, worked flawlessly, and is very easy to use… AND, guess what, NO ADVERTISEMENTS.

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How To Auto Hide Icons On Your Desktop

April 3, 2015

I am real particular when it comes to the organization of icons (if any) on the desktop of my computers. What I have found over the years from assisting others (especially at home) is that people do not remove the icons on their desktop; thus, disorganization and clutter results. I truly believe, for most folks, it is out of fear of not knowing what is OK to delete and what is not OK to delete. Typically, most icons are shortcuts and are safe to delete; however, there are those occasions where you may have saved an important file to the desktop (which I would not do); where if you delete it, it will go to the recycle bin (for future permanent removal). Usually in that case, you need to move the file to another folder on your computer (such as your document folder).  If you want to learn what is safe to delete and what is not I encourage you to read this article from Microsoft — CLICK HERE — titled “Add or Remove Icons From Your Desktop…

If you are someone that adamant about not removing the icons from your desktop or you use the desktop as a launching point for the programs that you use on a regular basis, I encourage you to look at the small utility called AutoHideDesktopIcons.

AutoHideDesktopIcons

This utility, after a period of time it will auto-hide the icons on your desktop so that you have full view of your wallpaper. If you want the icons to show, all you have to do is left mouse click on the desktop and icons will reappear. I typically use AutoHideDesktopIcons on my notebook computer to make launching of my programs easier when using the touchpad. Another feature in the program is that you can set the program to auto-hide the taskbar with the exception of the start button…

AutoHideDesktopIcons is a Windows based program that works on all Windows OS platforms from Windows 98 to Windows 10.

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A FREE Screen Capture Program That You Must Have

March 18, 2015

Just when I think I am running out of steam and have tried and tested all the screen capture programs out there, I find ShareX…  Really, I do not know how I missed this awesome “must have” screen capture program.

ShareX

What makes ShareX standout is that you can upload your screenshots to over 25 different file hosting services. The ShareX user interface is easy to use and understand allowing you to use hotkeys to initiate a screen grab (or capture); or you can launch the screen capture selections by right mouse clicking the ShareX icon in the system tray. ShareX can capture screenshots with different shapes such as rectangular, rectangular rounded, ellipses, triangular, diamond, polygon and freehand. There is a built in editor where you can apply different effects (such as transparency, shadowing, torn edges, text, borders, etc…).

ShareX is available as a full install and if you dig deep enough on the site you will find that there is a portable app version as well (which is what I went for)…  Really nice screen capture program that is open source and FREE.

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A FREE, Versatile and Portable Windows Multimedia Player

March 13, 2015

Anytime I can find software that meets my criteria of being multi-purpose; looks good; is available as a portable app; and, is FREE — I will grab it… The Windows multimedia player called CherryPlayer meets that criteria and more. I will definitely be following the development of this player. I threw a number of various audio and video file formats at CherryPlayer and it played them all with success.

CherryPlayer

The beauty of CherryPlayer is that the developers have combined all the features from the best media players with new modern technology. This allows you to listen directly to millions of MP3 song for free, view/download/search YouTube movies inside CherryPlayer, listen to radio or expand your music catalog by purchasing new albums and songs. I especially like the YouTube viewer where you can watch any video that is available on YouTube in a playlist format…

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Collection Of Powerful Tools To Help Both The Technician And Home User

March 12, 2015

Looking for a collection of powerful diagnostic and troubleshooting tools that is geared toward the computer tech and home user? Look no further. Go to Tweaking.com to explore their version of the Technicians Toolbox.

This toolbox is FREE for personal and non-corporate use and is available as a portable app. The goal of the Technicians Toolbox is to have the needed utilities to troubleshoot computer problems in one application. To get a good review (and feel) of what the Technicians Toolbox consists of I encourage you to review their very nicely done online Tweaking.com – Technicians Toolbox Online Help File.

Technicians Toolbox

Below is a sampling of some of the tools that this toolbox consists of:

  • Quick Tools (Windows Built-in Tools)
  • Take A Screen Shot
  • Check Disk (chkdsk) At Next Boot
  • Run As System Account
  • Netstat
  • Network Information
  • Static IPv4
  • TCP & UDP Stats
  • IP Subnet Calculator
  • IP Address Scanner
  • Manage Windows Users
  • Manage Users
  • Create New Windows User
  • User Account Properties
  • Manage Groups
  • Create New Windows Group
  • Group Properties
  • Bulk Manage Users Tool
  • Delete, Move Or Rename Locked Files At Bootup
  • Svchost.exe Lookup
  • Process Information
  • Windows Services
  • Windows Services Safe Mode
  • Windows Shutdown Timer
  • CPU Monitor
  • Drives Monitor
  • Memory Monitor
  • Network Monitor

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Three Must Have Diagnostic Tools by Windows Sysinternals

March 11, 2015

Windows Sysinternals is host to numerous advanced system utilities and technical information that is available (for FREE) to help you manage, troubleshoot and diagnose your Windows systems and applications. There are three of their utilities that I consider as “must have” utilities; and, the beauty of these three is that you can run them live from Sysinternals.

BgInfo – Displays relevant information about a Windows computer on the desktop’s background, such as the computer name, IP address, service pack version, and more. You can edit any field as well as the font and background colors, and can place it in your startup folder so that it runs every boot, or even configure it to display as the background for the logon screen. By default when you first run BgInfo it will display more than what is actually being shown in the screenshot and is very useful in getting good baseline visual information about any Windows based computer you may be troubleshooting.

BGinfo

Autoruns – Shows you what programs are configured to run during system bootup or login, and when you start various built-in Windows applications like Internet Explorer, Explorer and media players. These programs and drivers include ones in your startup folder, Run, RunOnce, and other Registry keys. Autoruns reports Explorer shell extensions, toolbars, browser helper objects, Winlogon notifications, auto-start services, and much more. Autoruns goes way beyond other autostart utilities.

Autoruns

Process Explorer – Shows you information about which handles and DLLs processes have opened or loaded AND isuseful for tracking down DLL-version problems or handle leaks, and provide insight into the way Windows and applications work.

 Process Explorer

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