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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Make MailStore Home Part Of Your Email Backup Strategy

March 6, 2015

Most of us never think of backing up our email and really do not have a clue to go about it. This is especially true with online email accounts where there is a false sense of security that your email will always be there, when in fact, online accounts are compromised on a daily basis.

To make backing up our email an easy task, a company called MailStore has developed a FREE Windows based software application called MailStore Home that makes backing up (and archiving) your email an easy (on-going) task with the ability to perform lightning fast searches of the archive. Another option (that I really like) is that during the install process you can select to make MailStore Home a portable app, which I personally have included in my tech toolbox (as an option to assist others with downloading and archiving their email AND as a forensic tool).

MailStore Home

In my particular case, as an example, I use the portable version of MailStore Home to backup and archive my Gmail account. The cool thing about Gmail is that I use my Gmail account to pull my email from my other online accounts such as Yahoo and Hotmail. As a result, when I perform the MailStore backup of my Gmail account I am able to capture all my email accounts in one archive session. One thing to note is that on the first go round of using MailStore, the backup (archiving) process will take some time depending on the size and number’s of email you have in your account. Typically, I start of MailStore Home, start the archiving process and then let it run while I perform other tasks on my computer.

MailStore Home Supports:

  • Internet mailboxes such as Gmail or Yahoo! Mail
  • Any POP3 and IMAP mailboxes
  • Microsoft Outlook XP, 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013
  • Microsoft Outlook ExpA Central Archive for All Emailsress and Windows Mail
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2003, 2007, 2010 and 2013 mailboxes
  • Microsoft Office 365 (Exchange Online)
  • Mozilla Thunderbird and SeaMonkey
  • .EML and other email file formats

For home users, emails are also a valuable source of information. A large amount of data and important files is saved in the form of emails. With MailStore Home you can backup all emails in a central archive, even if they are distributed across different computers, programs or mailboxes. You can do this either on your PC or on a USB drive as a “portable” option.

This way, you will never lose emails again and can search all of your emails extremely fast. You can still reply to or forward archived emails by opening them with a single mouse click in your standard email program.

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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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