Mike Williams

Corel VideoStudio X8 adds Freeze Frame effect, NewBlue pack

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Corel Corporation has unveiled VideoStudio Pro X8 ($79.99) and VideoStudio Ultimate X8 ($99.99), the latest versions of its versatile consumer video editor.

Both editions add a new Freeze Frame effect (just select a frame and set the duration), while the bundled NewBlue Video Essentials II brings 10 plugins, including Chroma Key, Lens Correction, Picture-in-Picture and Vignette.

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Run Android on your PC desktop with Droid4X

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Android apps aren’t just for your phone and tablet. Install Droid4X and you can run Android on your PC, too, taking full advantage of the extra screen resolution and more easily sharing files and data.

As with many similar applications, Droid4X is essentially a wrapper around VirtualBox, with Android 4.2.2 provided on a custom virtual machine. But you don’t need to know any of the low-level details, as the program manages all of those itself.

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Control Explorer’s 'Send To' menu with Send To Manager

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Windows Explorer’s "Send To" menu can be a convenient way to copy, send or open files. Just right-click, select "Send To", and chose whatever drive or application you need.

Most programs don’t make use of the menu, unfortunately, but grab a copy of Send To Manager and you can easily tweak it yourself.

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Technician's Toolbox is a portable troubleshooting toolkit

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Utilities developer Tweaking.com has released Technician’s Toolbox and Technician’s Toolbox Portable, a free-for-personal-use suite of 20+ PC maintenance, monitoring and management tools.

Networking features are a highlight, with a graphical netstat, in-depth details on your network adapters, traffic monitoring, DNS server management, an IP subnet calculator, network scanner and more.

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CCleaner 5.03 improves support for Windows 10, enhances Chrome cleaning

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Piriform Ltd has today released CCleaner 5.03 and CCleaner Portable 5.03, the latest revisions of its popular Windows maintenance tool.

The build brings new support for cleaning Google Chrome IndexedDB, a technology which websites can use to persistently store data within a visitor’s browser.

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Bitdefender Adware Removal Tool updated to remove Superfish

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Bitdefender has announced that its stand-alone Bitdefender Adware Removal Tool has been updated to remove the Superfish root certificate, while also "disinfecting drivers or executables that have been affected by the malware".

It’s not even a week since news broke that the adware had been bundled on Lenovo systems for some time, and already bigger scares are appearing, but if you’ve not yet checked your computer for problems then the new build does at least make it very easy.

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View, back up and restore PC drivers with DriverBackup!

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The average PC user doesn’t need to pay much attention to device drivers, these days, and that’s probably a good thing. Windows supports most devices natively, locates plenty of drivers on its own, and a driver disc (or a download) should add support for everything else.

If you’re managing a lot of systems, though -- or maybe you’d like to skip the usual driver installers and their unwanted extras -- then you might want to simplify the process with the open-source DriverBackup!.

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Restore files, partitions, broken PCs with Lazesoft Recovery Suite

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Install the free version of a commercial program and you expect to find some restrictions, but undelete tools often go a little too far. You might only be able to recover 250 files, perhaps. With a maximum size of 100KB. And only on Tuesdays. You know how it works.

Lazesoft Recovery Suite Home Edition is refreshingly different. Okay, it’s strictly for non-commercial use, but aside from that the only notable missing feature is one you won’t find in most of the competition, anyway (HFS+ file system data recovery).

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Quickly scan documents to PDF, TIFF, and more with NAPS2

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Buy even the most basic consumer scanner and you’ll probably get some very capable scanning software with a pile of image processing features. But while that’s great if you’re looking to scan a photo, it might not be so useful if you just need to quickly scan a document and send it somewhere else.

NAPS2 (Not Another PDF Scanner 2) is a straightforward alternative, an open source tool which is designed to scan documents to PDF, TIFF and other file types "as simply as possible".

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Patch your PC with Kaspersky Software Updater

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Kaspersky Software Updater is a free stand-alone tool which regularly checks for updates to critical software, alerts you when any are discovered, then downloads and installs them with a click.

It’s not entirely clear which software is supported, but from our tests it seems to cover the main internet-facing applications and components: browsers, Java, Flash, Adobe Air and so on.

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Watermark images easily with Photo Date Stamper

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Send a set of photos to someone and they might sometimes want to see when they were taken. This might be possible by checking their properties or otherwise displaying EXIF/ IPTC data (if they're tagged correctly, anyway), but that's not exactly convenient.

Photo Date Stamper simplifies the process by watermarking a batch of images with their "taken" date.

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NetCrunch Tools is a free network troubleshooting toolkit

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If your PC network is misbehaving then you could turn to the standard Windows troubleshooting tools. But they’re mostly console-based, not exactly comfortable or convenient to use, even if you can remember all their various command line switches.

NetCrunch Tools tries to make your life a little easier by combining 11 troubleshooting and information tools into a single straightforward application.

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Clean up Android devices with the (ad) free Droid Optimizer

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German developer Ashampoo has been producing PC cleanup tools since 1999, but now it's looking a little further. Droid Optimizer is a one-stop app for cleaning, managing and maintaining just about any Android device (2.3+).

There’s plenty of competition around, but Droid Optimizer scores immediately as it’s free, with no visible ads. The only marketing is a "More apps" button which displays some recommendations, but that’s it: leave the button alone and there’s nothing else.

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Duplicate & Same Files Searcher: not just another duplicate file finder

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Unnecessary duplicate files can waste hard drive space and cause all kinds of odd PC issues, which is probably why there are so many programs designed to help you track them down.

Duplicate & Same Files Searcher sounds like it's just going to be yet another "me too" duplicate finder, but no -- there are some interesting differences, and they're obvious from the very beginning.

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Find your PC's most space-hogging folders with Folder Size

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If your hard drive space is a little lower than expected then your first instinct might be to uninstall a few applications, maybe use CCleaner to remove any leftover junk.

If you really want to understand where you drive space has gone, though, there’s no substitute for analyzing it properly with a tool like Folder Size.

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