Mike Williams

Bypass annoying 'Error 404' web pages with WayBack Machine for Chrome

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You’re busy online, browsing your way through some old web site, when you find a critical link, click it, and: Error 404 -- Not Found. Annoying, isn’t it?

WayBack Machine is a free Chrome extension which detects HTTP 404 and other "missing page" error codes, checks to see if an archived copy is available at the WayBack machine and offers you a "click here to see the archived version" link.

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MComix is an easy-to-use cross-platform comic viewer

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MComix is a configurable, cross-platform comic and image viewer. The open-source program is a fork of the old Comix project, and has been under development since 2010.

The core of the viewer is much like any other. Point it at your target files or folders, or drag and drop them onto the MComix window, and image thumbnails appear in a left-hand sidebar.

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Acronis True Image Next Generation brings anti-ransomware, blockchain-based features

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Acronis has unveiled Acronis True Image Next Generation, a new premium subscription option for Acronis True Image 2017.

The product debuts Acronis Active Protection on the Windows edition. It’s a real-time behavioral monitoring system which looks for ransomware-like activity on your PC, detecting and blocking any attempted file encryption.

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Create stylish product mockups with Mockuuups Studio

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Mockuuups Studio is a simple tool which makes it easy to create professional product mockups. These are photos where your design appears on a phone, tablet, watch or other device, sometimes as it’s apparently being used.

The program doesn’t require any design skills. Just import a file and it’s instantly cropped and rotated to fit around 250 mockup templates, which are all then displayed in large preview thumbnails.

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Screeny is a versatile desktop capture tool

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Screeny is a comprehensive free-for-personal-use screen capture tool for Windows. It’s a competitive market and there are a host of free screenshot and desktop recorders around, but Screeny manages to stand out anyway with its sheer weight of features.

The program isn’t just about full-screen and active window captures, for instance. It can also grab rectangular, circle, region or freehand selections, scrolling areas, DOS windows, menu structures, Windows objects (regions, windows, controls) and more.

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Steam Cleaner wipes junk files from Steam, Origin, UPlay, GoG

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Steam Cleaner is a portable tool for removing junk game files left behind by Steam, Origin, Uplay and GoG.

The program is as simple as this kind of application can be. It’s a single executable, no installation required, no settings to think about, not even a "Scan" button -- just launch it and within a second or two you’ll see a list of any game leftovers. The developer says Steam Cleaner can clear up "gigabytes" of data in a few seconds. It found more than 100MB of junk on our tiny Steam setup, so this could be plausible.

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Hide files in images with BMP Wrap

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BMP Wrap is a free tool which can temporarily convert any file into a valid BMP image, and restore the original file later.

This is a familiar idea, but BMP Wrap does have one or two features that make it stand out. In particular, as a single 20KB executable, it’s probably the smallest steganography application we’ve ever seen.

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View and manage Windows permissions with SetACL Stud

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SetACL Studio is an industrial-strength free tool for managing all your Windows security permissions: files, folders, registry keys, printers, drives, network shares, services and more.

The program is aimed at sysadmins and other Windows experts, but you don’t have to know about DACLs to find it useful: there’s something here for everyone.

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Avast launches AVG 2017 range

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It’s less than 120 days since Avast acquired AVG, but the company has just released the first results in the 2017 editions of AVG AntiVirus FREE, AVG Internet Security and AVG TuneUp.

FREE users will benefit immediately with speedy "Pushed Priority Updates", ensuring they get the same immediate protection as users of the commercial products.

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CSearcher is a fast, portable desktop search tool

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CSearcher is a speedy portable search tool with a wide range of search options and features.

Basic operations are simple and straightforward. Type all or part of the file or folder names to search (this is plain text, not regular expressions), specify a starting folder, press Enter and wait for the results. That won’t take long -- it’s super-fast.

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Get easy Wi-Fi discovery and surveying with NetSpot

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NetSpot is a free tool for discovering local wireless devices and creating color-coded heatmaps.

Launch the program and it immediately detects all your local Wi-Fi devices, displaying their details in a table: SSID, BSSOD, Signal (current/ min/ max/ average), band, level, width, vendor, security, mode, and when it was last seen.

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Quickly generate and ping multiple IPs with sPinger

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SPinger is a portable freeware program for quickly pinging multiple IP addresses and host names.

Does the world really need another ping tool? We would have said no, but it turns out there’s more than enough here to justify the program’s existence.

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Kaspersky System Checker scans your PC for problems

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Kaspersky System Checker is a free portable tool which scans your PC for a wide range of problems: malware, missing updates, poorly configured Windows or application settings, and more.

The program is just a checker, and doesn’t provide any way to directly fix the issues it finds, but sometimes just being pointed in the right direction is useful enough.

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Image to ZX Spec takes your pictures back in time

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Image to ZX Spec is a free Java-based application which shows you how your pictures and videos might have looked on the classic old ZX Spectrum home computer.

Never heard the Spectrum? It was released almost 35 years ago so that’s no great surprise, but all you really need to know is its extremely basic graphics specs: a cramped 256×192 resolution, about a 20th of a megapixel, and a palette limited to 7 colors at two levels of brightness each, plus black.

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Easily highlight changed files with HashCheck

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HashCheck is a lightweight, open-source tool for creating and verifying file hashes. The program is tiny (an 85KB download), has no frills, and as the last version came out in 2009, probably won’t be extending its feature list any time soon. And yet, it still does a worthwhile job.

Ease of use is a plus. Select and right-click a folder or a group of files, choose "Create checksum file", and the program quickly saves their hashes to a "checksums.md5" file.

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