Mike Williams

MediBang Paint Pro is a powerful paint app you can use everywhere

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MediBang Paint Pro markets itself as "the world’s best free comic creation tool", which is a big claim, and -- if you're not interested in comics -- might put you off trying it at all.

Look past the headlines, though, and you’ll find a very capable free digital painting and illustration app. It has a lot of comic-friendly features -- templates, backgrounds, fonts, even speech-to-text for adding dialog -- but there’s plenty to like for the rest of us, too.

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Cent Browser is a feature-packed Chrome remake

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Cent Browser is a free Chromium-based browser for Windows with a solid range of extras and enhancements.

A Firefox-like tab bar enables you to set the minimum width of a tab, then scroll the tab bar using the mouse wheel to find whatever you need.

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Microsoft's Sway out of preview, Windows 10 app released

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Microsoft has announced its presentation building app, Sway, is now out of preview and available to anyone with a Microsoft account via Sway.com.

The company has also unveiled Sway for Windows 10 PCs and tablets, with a Windows Phone version apparently due in the "coming months".

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Automatically shut down/ wake up your PC with DShutdown

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Scheduling the shutdown of your PC can save energy, money, maybe improve your security, and you don’t need to install any extra software to make this happen. A few minutes spent with Task Scheduler and reminding yourself of shutdown.exe’s command line switches will point you in the right direction.

Choosing the right shutdown scheduler can give you much more flexibility, though. DShutdown has been around for so long that it still supports Windows 9x, but it’s still being developed, with the latest release giving you even more PC management power.

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Tweet, share and save quotes and images with Pullquote

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You’re browsing online, and find a quote you’d like to keep or share with others. Should be easy, but instead you’re copying and pasting the quote, maybe editing it for Twitter, adding a link, perhaps a bookmark. Although even then, any URLs point at the page, not the content you’re after.

Pullquote is a free Chrome extension which changes all this by providing a simple, unified way to tweet and save quotes, images and more.

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Control your PC with a webcam via Camera Mouse 2015

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Some Windows applications are keyboard-oriented, others built for touch, but the vast majority are still designed to be controlled by a mouse. And that’s a problem if you don’t have reliable control of a hand.

Camera Mouse is a free tool for Windows XP+ which allows users to control their mouse with head movements, instead. It’s been around for years, but developer Boston College has recently released an update with a couple of new features.

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.NET check and repair tools now support Windows 10

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Aaron Stebner’s .NET Framework Setup Verification Utility and .NET Framework Cleanup Tool have been updated to support .NET 4.6 and Windows 10.

The programs still support every release of .NET from 1.0 upwards, and although they’re mostly targeted at expert users, there’s something here for everyone.

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Paint.NET gains custom shapes

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Popular freeware image editor Paint.NET has hit version 4.06 with new support for installing custom shapes.

As well as the arrows, callouts, and other basic shapes, you can now equip the program with 3D objects, vehicles, company logos or anything else you can find, then scale, rotate or fill them in the usual way.

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Recover webmail logons with SterJo Mail Password

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SterJo Software has released SterJo Mail Password, a free Windows tool which recovers and displays webmail account details for Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL, GMX, Zoho and one or two more.

There’s no hacking or brute forcing involved. The program simply checks the credentials stored by your Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Opera setups, so if these aren’t saved locally then it won’t show anything at all.

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ScreenOut is an always-on-top Chrome video viewer

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You’re browsing with Chrome, and have found a great video. Ideally you’d watch it all, uninterrupted, but there’s other work to do, and so you have to resize all your various windows to fit.

ScreenOut is a Chrome extension which gives you another option. Click an address bar button and the video opens in a floating, always-on-top pane. Then you can switch to some other application while still watching the clip.

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Kaspersky 2016 adds Private Browsing, Change Control

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Kaspersky Labs has released its 2016 editions of Kaspersky Anti-Virus, Kaspersky Internet Security and Kaspersky Total Security in Canada and the USA.

The suites now have a "Change Control" system which warns you of attempts to modify your browser home or search pages, install addons or change settings, and allows you to allow or block them.

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IObit unveils first beta of Advanced SystemCare 9

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IObit has released the first public beta of IObit Advanced SystemCare 9, its flagship all-in-one PC cleanup, maintenance and security suite.

Improvements include a new "Speed Up" module, which checks your system for surplus startup programs, unwanted apps, dubious Windows settings, and anything else which might be slowing you down.

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VX Search 5.12: Quick review

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Windows Search has plenty of power these days, and there’s a whole library of capable freeware if you need more, so is there really any reason why you should bother with the free-for-personal-use VX Search?

We took the latest version for a test run to find out.

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Explore your family tree with FTAnalyzer 5

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Genealogy sites like Ancestry are great for presenting family trees, taking all that raw data and presenting it in a straightforward graphical form.

But if you want to really understand your tree, to spot problems, links, patterns you might have missed, then you’ll need to delve a little deeper.

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Plan projects, brainstorm and share ideas with MindMaple Lite

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MindMaple Lite is a free application for generating mind maps, project plans, running brainstorming sessions, and generally helping to organise, present and share your ideas.

Download and installation is straightforward – no registration, adware or other hassles here – and conveniently the program opens with a mind map explaining itself: the main features, what’s new in this edition, what you get from upgrading to the Pro edition, and more.

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