Building the perfect ad-blocker is a complex business, not least because your users can have very different ideas on how it should work.
Some developers try to address this with layer after layer of features. You’ll be able to whitelist this, blacklist that, and add custom filters for just about everything else. Sounds great, until you have to spend an age learning how everything works, and start to notice how all these layers are slowing you down.
Deleting files from Windows Explorer is usually very easy. Select your target, tap "Del", click the "Yes, I really mean it" button and the object disappears forever. (Or is sent to the Recycle Bin, anyway.)
Sometimes you’ll get an "in use" error, though, usually because the file is locked by Windows or the system. It’s best to find out why -- the file could be important -- but if all else fails, a specialist tool like Unlocker can help you to delete it anyway.
Whether you need to understand a problem, complete a task, or just generally get organized, mind mapping can probably help. Not least because it’s so easy.
Start with the central issue; note down any related ideas, and begin to arrange and order them. You’ll quickly come up with a structure which helps you better understand the issue.
If you need to run rapid searches for file names on NTFS drives then there’s no substitute for VoidTools’ Everything. The program’s smart use of the NTFS Master File Table (MFT) means you’ll see matching files almost as fast as you can type.
There are competing tools around, though. And the latest, Hddb (Hard Disk Database) is particularly interesting, as it claims to address and fix some Everything problems. Is it worth your time? We took a look.
PlainEdit.NET is a free portable Notepad replacement with some interesting and unusual extras.
The core feature set is familiar enough. A tabbed interface allows you to open multiple documents, and there’s support for opening ANSI, UTF-8, Unicode and Unicode big-endian files, with Windows, Mac and Unix line breaks.
NirSoft’s Nir Sofer has announced the release of InstallerDriversList, the latest addition to his lineup of system information tools.
As you’ll probably guess from its name, the program is a compact portable tool which displays a report on all the device drivers installed on your PC.
Mister Group's excellent system information tool System Explorer has been updated to version 5.0.
The big addition in this release is support for easy screenshot sharing. If you're looking at some problem or error message, press PrtSc, click Share, and the grab will be uploaded to ScreenCourier.com, leaving you with a link which you can use to share with others.
Connect a USB device to your PC and it’ll probably work right away. Even if it needs a driver, Windows may be able to find this on its own: all you'll have to do is click a button or two, and wait.
Life isn't always quite so easy, of course, and occasionally you might find one or more USB devices aren't working as you expect. Device Manager isn't great at diagnosing USB-related problems, but there are free alternatives that can help -- and USB Device Tree Viewer is one of the best.
Eusing Clock is a free clock gadget for your Windows desktop. Yes, we know, there are several million of these already, but this one does have a few twists which help it stand out from the crowd.
The program doesn’t just reproduce the same old digital design, for instance. Instead it has three colored meters which fill up to represent seconds, minutes and hours, making it a more eye-catching addition to your desktop.
The value of a PDF document is, in part, that it can be read on just about any device, on any platform. Wherever you are, you can open it and see the same information, presented in the same way.
This isn’t always as good as it sounds, of course. Especially if a document has been formatted for landscape viewing on a high resolution desktop, and you’re trying to browse it on a smartphone (there’s sure to be plenty of surplus scrolling involved).
Dropbox has launched an Android version of Mailbox, its popular iOS email client.
The headline addition is a new "Auto-swipe" feature which learns from your actions, such as which emails you want to "snooze" (hide until later) and which you want to archive, then automatically handles similar messages in the future.
Netpict is a simple free program for creating basic network diagrams using popular Cisco icons.
If you’ve ever used any other diagram tool, Netpict will seem very familiar. A panel on the left has various icons ("Cloud", "Firewall", "Server", "Router", "PC", "Laptop", more); you drag and drop the ones you need onto the page, right-click and drag to create connections between two elements, before finally exporting the map as an image.
Google has released Chrome 34 FINAL for Windows, Linux, and Mac.
The headline addition is support for srcset, a new HTML attribute which allows web developers to specify multiple copies of a single image, with a range of resolutions. The idea is that the client device then requests the most appropriate version, so you might see a high-res image on your desktop, but a smaller, more bandwidth-friendly copy on your phone.
CyberLink Corp has launched PowerDVD 14, the latest edition of its universal media player.
The top-of-the-range PowerDVD 14 Ultra now includes a free year’s subscription to 10GB of space on CyberLink Cloud. There’s new support for syncing media between PC and mobile devices (iOS, Android, Windows 8), while auto-transcoding of videos, photos & music from PC to Cloud should improve performance.