If your PC’s performance is currently suffering because of a few memory hogs, then a few minutes spent with Process Explorer,Process Hacker, or even just Task Manager will probably be enough to tell you what’s going on.
Those tools can be a little intimidating, though, so if you’d like something simpler – or would just like to monitor your system’s RAM usage all the time -- then you may prefer Cathargo Software’s free and extremely lightweight MemInfo.
Setting up a new PC can be a tedious experience, as you have to spend an age browsing the web, finding and downloading all your usual tools: Flash, Adobe Reader, CCleaner, Paint.NET, Dropbox, whatever you might use. DDownloads aims to simplify the process, though, by providing download links to more than 200 popular free applications, allowing you to perhaps grab everything you need without ever seeing a browser window.
Small and portable, the program launches with a simple home page which points you at a series of application groups. Click “Windows Starter Kit”, for instance, and you’ll see a list of apps which will come in very useful on most new systems: Adobe Reader, Flash, Java, DirectX, the Visual C++ 2010 redistributable package, .NET 4.5 and the Windows Essentials Codec Pack.
If you’ve just spent an age downloading a huge MKV file, then eventually discovering that it won’t play properly is always going to be, well, a little frustrating. To put it politely.
It’s best to resist your immediate urge to shout a lot and break things, though, because there may still be hope. Grab a copy of the free Meteorite and it’s just possible that the program will be able to restore your movie to its full working order.
Security vendor Anvisoft has released Anvi Rescue Disk 1.0, a free bootable Linux-based environment with tools to help detect and remove ransomware from an infected PC.
And while this isn’t exactly a new idea, the system does have a few welcome touches which make it little more appealing than some of the competition.
Buying a monitor online has plenty of obvious plus points, with the wide choice and low prices coming very high on the list. But if you’re making a purchase in person -- maybe you’re buying a second-hand system, say – then you can at least check the display for stuck pixels or similar defects, which could save you considerable time and hassle.
And that’s where the very useful and entirely free InjuredPixels comes in.
You’ve spent a long time organizing, planning and preparing, and Christmas is finally here. And it’ll be over all too quickly, of course, but if you’d like to extend the festivities, then maybe we can help. Because after kicking off the latest Downloadcrew Giveaways last week, we’re back, with two more full commercial packages which can be yours for the very appealing price of absolutely nothing at all.
To get started, for 48 hours from midday (GMT) on December 26th we’re giving away full copies of Ashampoo Burning Studio 2013. If you’re tired of overweight, bloated disc burning suites then its feature-packed yet lightweight approach could be very interesting.
If your eyes often feel tired after a lengthy session on your PC then one possible explanation is that your display isn’t using an appropriate color temperature. Monitors will be typically be set very high, which may be fine in bright daylight, but is less appropriate for night-time viewing (and may, some suggest, even contribute to sleeping problems).
You don’t have to put up with this, though. Not with a little help from F.lux, a simple free program which uses your location, the date and time of day to figure out your sunrise and sunset times, then automatically adjusts your monitor’s temperature to an appropriate level.
It’s that time of year again, when everyone feels festive and we find ourselves in the Downloadcrew Giveaway mood. This year, we’ve lined up five great software giveaways to share with you. From midday this Saturday until Jan. 4, 2013, you’ll be given the opportunity to grab up to five free commercial packages without having to pay a single cent.
We’re kicking things off with a doozy too – for 48 hours from Saturday December 22nd, we’ll be giving away free copies of O&O Defrag 15.8 Professional, worth $29.95. If your PC feels sluggish, then this powerful defrag tool is just the ticket for giving your hard drives a much needed speed boost.
CloudMagic is a superb search tool that sadly doesn’t get the attention it fully deserves. If you’ve ever complained about how long it takes Google to find a certain message in Gmail, or have wasted far too much time trying to track down a particular tweet or Facebook status update, this is the solution you need (full disclosure: I’m a massive fan and couldn’t imagine life without it).
I spoke to co-founder Rohit Nadhani about his product, how it began, and the company’s plans for the future.
BN: For the benefit of readers who may not be familiar with CloudMagic, can you tell us a bit about it?
Apple, Google, Microsoft: everyone seems to have their own app store, these days. None of these are much help if you’re running a Windows XP, Vista or 7 system, of course, but if you’re feeling left out then there’s always Pokki, a simple framework which can help you find, install and run free apps on the Windows desktop.
The program installs quickly and easily, and is so unobtrusive you might be left wondering what’s actually changed. There should now be a Pokki icon to the right of the Start button, though. Clicking this displays the Pokki launcher, currently empty, and selecting App Store will allow you to browse its various offerings.
Australian software developer Auslogics Pty Ltd has updated its flagship PC optimization product with the release of Auslogics BoostSpeed 5.5. Version 5.5, which offers a full range of PC cleaning and performance tools, boasts significant improvements to a number of key components, plus includes several Windows 8-specific enhancements.
Headline new features include support for data shredding during file cleaning, better performance finding duplicate files, more accurate Windows 8 Registry cleaning and numerous bug fixes to improve stability.
Microsoft may claim that Windows Search has improved considerably in recent years, but you don’t have to look very far to find those who disagree. Many people prefer the older XP-style interface, for instance, and PC speedup guides commonly recommend turning off the standard indexing service to save resources.
If you’ve also had enough of the standard tools then there are plenty of commercial desktop search alternatives around, of course. But if your needs are simple – you mostly search for file names, not content -- then you might prefer Locate32, an open source tool and portable which makes it easy to locate the files and folders you need.
What’s the best way to organize and launch your programs? The arrival of Windows 8 has generated endless “Start menu vs Start screen” debates on this topic, but these have tended to miss an important point: many people really don’t like either.
If you’re looking for an alternative way to arrange your applications, though, there are plenty of simple but effective options around, and sTabLauncher’s dock is an excellent example.
Seventh in a series. Welcome to another episode of what's hot and new in Windows Store. This week we have seen the release of a couple of official apps, Adobe Reader and Yahoo! Mail for instance, that made an appearance in store.
Other companies like Google or Facebook are monitoring the development of Windows 8 before they commit resources to building apps for the operating system. It is likely, however, that we will see additional official app releases for Microsoft's operating system in the weeks to come.