At first glance DriveInfo looks like another very ordinary system monitoring gadget, this time listing every drive on your system, with its free and total space. Not exactly impressive, especially as it didn’t even get all these figures right for us (a 3TB network drive was reported as -1346.80GB).
It seems the developer has realized that users need more from their gadgets, though, and in response he’s equipped DriveInfo with a host of additional features and tools.
Boris Eyrich Software has updated its popular paint tool Artweaver to version 4.5.
The new build improves integration with ArtweaverTeam.com, the companion site where several Artweaver users can collaborate on projects. The Uploader plugin is now installed by default, making it easier to get started, while team status messages are more clearly displayed on a separate status bar.
Installing a reliable antivirus package is a key part of maintaining your PC’s security, but there’s more you can do. It’s just as important to ensure you keep up-to-date with the latest software patches, blocking security vulnerabilities before malware can exploit them.
SecPod Saner is a free tool which can help automate this process by scanning applications, highlighting missing security patches, and even downloading and installing them for you.
If you're browsing the web and find an image you'd like to keep, then the procedure is almost always the same: right-click, select "Save image as", and choose your preferred destination. That's simple enough, too, but if you’re saving lots of pictures in the same session then it can get a little tedious.
SavePictureAs is an open-source tool which speeds up the image saving process (in all the main browsers, and most of the minor ones) by automating most of its steps. All you have to do is move the mouse cursor over a picture, press a customisable hotkey, and watch as the program simulates a right-click, selects "Save image as", points the browser at your favorite folder, and saves the picture with its default file name.
VirusTotal has announced the addition of AegisLab as a new file scanning engine. The Taiwanese company was already working with VirusTotal on its URL scanner, but this should raise its profile significantly.
Geotagging photographs sounds great, at least in theory. You buy a camera with GPS, and it records exactly where you take every picture, very useful when you’d like to return there later (or just if you’ve just forgotten where you saw that amazing sunset).
This isn’t quite as easy as it should be, because most image viewers and graphics tools don’t recognize or use positional data. There are some exceptions, though, and the latest, Geo-Tag Mapper, provides a very easy way to visualize your photos by their location.
PassMark Software has released its 2014 Consumer Security Products Performance Benchmarks report, the results of in-depth testing on the speed and impact on your system of 16 leading security packages.
First place in the security suite test went to Norton Internet Security 2014 for its excellent scan times, fast launch, and minimal effect on other applications and PC tasks. Kaspersky and Bitdefender Internet Security 2014 were second and third, while products from Avast, G Data, McAfee, Panda and Trend Micro trailed behind.
Opera Software has announced Opera 20′s debut in the Next stream. There’s no revolution this time, perhaps fortunately, but the new build does bring some small but welcome improvements.
A tiny 804KB network installer for Windows grabs the latest version from Opera’s servers, retries the download as required, looks for security issues and starts the installation. The regular offline installer will also remain available, though, and that’s what you’ll see if you download Opera 20 right now.
If you’re not happy with the performance of Firefox on your PC then you could try tuning the browser manually. This isn’t difficult, but could take a while, as there are many possibilities to consider.
If you’re in a hurry, then, you might prefer to grab a copy of Light, a Firefox fork where many components (developer tools, less common APIs) have been "slimmed down" or removed entirely to improve its speed.
Most PC users will need to edit the Windows Registry, at least occasionally, and the standard Registry Editor provides the basic functions you need to get the job done. It’s not always a quick or straightforward process, though, and if you regularly work in the Registry then you’ll probably benefit from the far more capable Registrar Registry Manager.
At first glance the program looks a little odd, as it opens with just a toolbar. This includes an address bar, though, so if you want to browse to a particular key -- HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Nero\Nero 15\Nero Vision\Settings\ExpressUI, say -- there’s no need to expand each folder manually. Just paste the full path into the address bar, press Enter, and a window will open at that location.
Firefox is a great browser in many ways, but malware protection isn’t one of them. The program tries to keep you away from dangerous sites, but isn’t particularly effective, and in our tests both Internet Explorer and Chrome do a much better job of keeping you safe.
This isn’t a major issue, of course, because you should also have an antivirus package to monitor your downloads, but if you’d like to add an extra layer of protection then a free Firefox add-on may be able to help.
Hornil, creator of the popular StylePix editor, has released Hornil Photo Resizer, a free batch image processing tool.
Despite its name, the program isn’t just about resizing images. It can also rotate and flip them, apply various filters (auto level/ contrast, sharpen, more), add an image watermark, and batch rename them according to various rules.
Chris P.C. has announced the release of ChrisPC DNS Switch, an easy-to-use tool for updating your PC's DNS server.
The program comes with 34 DNS presets – OpenDNS, Google, Comodo, Norton, Yandex, DynDNS and more -- and you can update the settings for one or all of your network adapters in a couple of clicks.
The Low-level PC monitoring utility PowerTool has been updated to version 1.6. This release has significantly enhanced the "force delete" option, allowing it to remove just about anything. Whether a file is locked by something, protected by Windows, malware, even antivirus software, it doesn’t seem to matter -- click File, right-click your file, select "Force Delete" and it'll disappear.
Whether it's really a good idea to delete protected or locked files is another matter, of course. Forcibly deleted files don't go to the Recycle Bin, either, so treat this option with extreme care.
Jigsaw Puzzles Free looks at first much like any other jigsaw game. It presents you with a selection of images; these can be split into 9, 25 or 64 pieces; and you solve the puzzle by dragging and dropping matching pieces next to each other. No surprises there.
Look a little closer, though, and you’ll find the program has some notable extra features to help it stand out from the crowd.