Open-source Windows file management tool DropIt 5.0 has been released. Also available as a 64-bit build and in portable form, DropIt allows users to process folders and files quickly via drag-and-drop, with up to 15 different actions (including move, copy, send by mail and upload) supported.
Version 5.0 improves the way DropIt handles relative paths, tweaks the main context menu and Options windows and promises better performance, minor feature additions and a number of bug fixes.
Paragon Software has revealed the latest edition of its excellent imaging tool, Backup & Recovery 2013 Free.
The most important addition this time around is the program’s new “Windows 8 Compatible” stamp. If you’re upgrading soon, or have done so already, then Paragon Backup & Recovery 2013 Free should work just as it always has.
At first glance, JPEGview doesn’t appear as though it’s going to be a particularly interesting image viewer. A 798KB download suggests there can’t be too much power here. And on launch the program asks you to choose an image, and then just displays it, with no menus, toolbars or other obvious signs of any interface.
First impressions aren’t always reliable, though -- and you’ll quickly realize that as you begin to explore.
It doesn’t take much to accidentally delete a file. A brief lapse of concentration, a click in the wrong place, selecting “Yes” instead of “No”, and that’s it: your data has gone.
As long as you’ve a good undelete tool to hand, though, this doesn’t have to be a disaster. And this doesn’t have to be expensive.Pandora Recovery comes with plenty of useful features and functionality, and it’s entirely free (for personal use, at least), with no adware or annoying restrictions.
There are plenty of tools around to check your PC for missing updates, but most have significant issues. Soft4Boost Update Checker is good at detecting updates, for instance, but it won’t download or install them – that’s left up to you.
OUTDATEfighter (from the makers of SPAMfighter) is a little more ambitious. Not only will it find updates, but it can also download and install them for you. There’s a Windows update checker as well. And the program is free, so there are no annoying omissions and you’re not forever being nagged to “upgrade”.
With release of OS X 10.8.3, the latest update for Mountain Lion, Apple upgraded the Boot Camp utility, which allows users to dual-boot Windows and OS X on a supported Mac, to version 5. Boot Camp 5 allows users to install either 64-bit editions of Windows 7 or 8 alongside their copy of OS X -- by downloading Boot Camp Support Software 5, you’ll have all the drivers you need to run Windows on your Mac.
One consequence of upgrading to Boot Camp 5 is that support for 32-bit versions of Windows – including XP and Vista as well as 32-bit iterations of Windows 7 and 8 – is no longer supported.
What are you doing, standing there tentatively at the edge of the pool? Come on in, the water’s lovely and warm. What, it’s not as lovely and warm as the last pool you were in? Someone says it’s as bad as the pool you were in before that? Poppycock. It’s nowhere near as rubbish as that. What’s that hulking great thing in the corner, you say? Ignore it, you don’t need it.
All of this is a rather convoluted way of saying Windows 8 is not as bad as everyone is making out. But there is that one rather large elephant in the room in the form of the Modern UI, or whatever Microsoft’s calling it these days. But here’s the trick: you can ignore it all with the help of a free -- and now portable -- tool called Skip Metro Suite 3.0.
If Firefox seems to be using a lot of memory on your system then a resource-hogging add-on could be responsible, but finding out for sure can be a challenge. Entering about:memory in the address bar will provide lots of figures on RAM allocations, for instance, but they’re extremely technical, more about "heaps" and "compartments" than providing information which most people can actually use.
About:addons-memory is a simple Firefox extension which takes a different approach. There’s no jargon, no unnecessary technical details, just install it (no restart required) and enter about:addons-memory in a new tab for an instant report on your extensions and their memory usage.
Web gallery creation tool JAlbum 11.0 has been released for Windows, Mac and Linux. Version 11.0 allows users to combine video with photos for the first time using the program. Features include support for over 160 video formats, tools for rotating and trimming clips, and preview image generation.
Version 11.0 also improves existing photo-editing tools, updates existing skins and includes a number of developer-friendly improvements, bug fixes and general tweaks.
While YouTube’s vast choice of clips means there’s always something good to watch, tracking down the best videos can take a while. Especially if you’re clicking each clip in turn, checking the ratings, then returning to your search results to try something else.
Install YouTube Ratings Preview, though, and you don’t have to worry about that any more. This smart Firefox extension (also available for Chrome) highlights the best-rated videos immediately so you can spot them at a glance.
Getting easier access to a Windows 7 shortcut is extremely easy: right-click, select "Pin to taskbar", and an icon will pop up on your taskbar, ready for immediate use.
Right-click a file, though -- or a folder, a drive, a Control Panel applet or just about anything else -- and you’ll find no "Pin" option. There are various manual workarounds you can apply, but your life will be much simpler if you grab a copy of Taskbar Pinner, which allows you to fill the taskbar with just about anything you like.
File-sharing Dropbox has updated its desktop client for Windows, Mac and Linux with the release of Dropbox 2.0 FINAL. The new build debuts a major revamp of the user interface, accessed when the user clicks the app’s menu bar or Taskbar Notification area icon.
At the present time, the new menu system is only available to Windows users running XP or later, and Mac users running Snow Leopard (OS X 10.6) or later -- it has not yet been implemented in the Linux build.
I've been a user, and a fan, of Soluto since the Tel Aviv-based PC management service launched back in 2010. It helped me reduce my boot time by a few seconds, but more importantly it halved the boot time of my in-laws' PC. A move to the cloud means the service now lets me remotely solve issues on several PCs belonging to less tech-savvy friends and family, and I'd definitely recommend it.
Soluto offers various useful features -- it can cut boot times and de-clutter browsers; it will let you remotely manage system security, and even add a Start menu to Windows 8. By collecting anonymous user data, Soluto also offers a fascinating insight into PC use around the globe. Did you know, for example, that in Vietnam the average PC takes a minute less to boot up than PCs in the US and UK? I chatted to Tomer Dvir, Co-founder and CEO of Soluto, about the service, and he told me how it's evolved and how the Soluto community is actively working to find solutions to the system and software crashes that plague PC users everywhere.
Launch some applications and they’ll display the Windows User Account Control prompt, asking "Do you want to allow the following program to make changes to this computer?". And while this is great for security, if you’re running the same trusted program on a regular basis then you might begin to find it just a little annoying.
You could avoid this by turning off UAC entirely, but that’s not ideal (it does have some security value). And so a better idea might be to use ElevatedShortcut. It’s a tiny portable tool which helps you to creates shortcuts that won’t generate a UAC prompt, no matter what you’re trying to launch.
Launch an application on the Windows desktop and you have complete freedom to position and size its window however you like (as long as it’s resizeable, anyway). But while this is all very flexible, it also brings management problems when you need to position windows precisely, set and restore a particular window size, and so on.
There are some keyboard shortcuts which might help, just a little (press Win+Shift+the up or right arrow to maximise the current window vertically or horizontally, for instance). If you need more control, though, you might like to try Gridy, which provides plenty of useful windows management features in a very compact and convenient package.