Mike Williams

Easily explore Windows’ hidden emojis with winMoji

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Windows has come with its own set of emojis for years, but they’re so well hidden that many users don’t realize they exist. WinMoji is a tiny open-source tool which makes it easier to find and use the built-in emojis.

Install and run the program and it displays the full smiley set in a scrolling box. No need to mess around with other Windows tools, they all on view and ready to use.

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LanguageTool is an open-source proof reader for 25+ languages

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LanguageTool is an open-source spelling and grammar checker for Chrome, Firefox, the desktop (via Java) and more.

The browser extensions enable checking the text you’re entering a web text box, or any other selectable text on a web page. The system works much like other spell checks. Enter text, click the LanguageTool icon and it instantly displays a report listing any issues. Browse the list, click any corrections you’d like to accept and it’s updated in the source text.

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Convert JPEGs to ASCII art with ASCII Art Studio

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ASCII art is one of the oldest computer graphics techniques, and can create surprisingly realistic pictures from the 95 printable ASCII characters (letters, numbers and symbols).

The idea was originally used in the 1960s to produce images on the line printers of the day, but the stark and high-contrast results can still deliver interesting designs today.

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Easily trim and cut your movies with VidCutter

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VidCutter is an open-source Windows, Linux and Mac tool for trimming your videos.

The program’s use of FFMPEG enables opening just about any video type, and you’re then able to cut as many scenes as you need.

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Quickly check a bootable USB key or ISO with Bootable USB Test

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You’ve downloaded an ISO recovery disc, maybe used it to create a bootable USB key -- but does it work? Finding out can be a hassle as you close down applications, reboot, maybe tweak your BIOS, boot into the key and reboot again back to Windows.

Bootable USB Test is a portable tool which provides a quick and easy alternative.

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Instantly enable and disable Chrome extensions with Extensity

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Chrome extensions can be incredibly useful, but they also grab resources and clutter your toolbar, annoying if you only use them occasionally.

Extensity is a free Chrome extension which allows all, individual or groups of extensions to be turned on and off with a couple of clicks.

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Cyberduck 6.0 encrypts your cloud data with Cryptomator

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Iterate’s one-stop cloud storage client Cyberduck has hit version 6.0 with new support for client-side encryption.

The technology is based on the open-source Cryptomator, a powerful AES encryption tool with apps for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS and Android.

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Share screenshots and images online with ImgurSniper

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ImgurSniper is an open-source tool for sharing screenshots, desktop recordings and image files online via Imgur.

Simple tasks are very quick. Press a hotkey, draw a rectangle around an area and it’s instantly uploaded. A browser window opens at the Imgur URL, ready for sharing with anyone you like.

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Saladin is a versatile dual-pane file manager for Windows

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Veteran dual-pane Windows file manager Saladin has recently been updated to version 1.0, its first major release since 2014.

The program opens with two independent Explorer-type views on your file system. Double-clicking, right-clicking and drag-and-drop all work as you’d expect, allowing you to start using the program right away.

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Fraqtive is a fast fractal art generator

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Fraqtive is an open-source generator of gorgeous Mandelbrot and Julia fractals. It’s a crowded area and there are a lot of similar programs around, but Fraqtive has enough interesting extras to justify the download.

Speed is a plus. Launch the program, a familiar Mandelbrot view appears, and you can quickly zoom in and out by moving your mouse cursor to an interesting area and spinning the mouse wheel.

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Create professional lyrics videos with Superstring

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Superstring is a free tool for creating stylish and professional lyrics videos. Choose an audio file and Superstring displays its waveform vertically. To the right of the timeline is a table where you can type the lyrics you hear at the right point.

Playback starts automatically but you can pause and restart as required, or click back on the timeline if you need to hear a particular section again.

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Take control of Windows 10's built-in network usage monitor

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Monitoring which apps use the most network bandwidth can help you spot resource hogs, malware and more. If you’re using Windows 10, you don’t have to install any complicated network software to make this happen. The OS tracks all this information by default, and all you have to do is view it.

To check it out, launch the Settings app, click "Network & Internet", select "Data usage" in the sidebar, then click "View usage details."

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'Start' is a do-everything new tab page for Chrome

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If you’re bored with Chrome’s standard "new tab" page, there are hundreds of free extensions to make it better. Whether you’re after gorgeous photos, better searching, more productivity tools, there’s something, somewhere that can help.

If you don’t have time to look, that doesn’t have to be a problem either -- just install something like Start -- A Better New Tab, which crams in just about every feature you could possibly want.

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cdrtfe is an open-source CD, DVD and BD burner

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Veteran Windows disc burner cdrtfe has been updated to version 1.5.7. This is a maintenance release, though with some worthwhile tweaks, including smarter verification for ISO burning operations and a RAW writing mode for CUE files.

If you’ve not come across cdrtfe before, it’s is simple application for burning data discs, audio CDs, XCDs and (S)VCDs, as well as creating ISO images from discs or burning ISOs to disc.

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NirSoft unveils UninstallView 1.0

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NirSoft has released UninstallView (32-bit here), a portable tool which collects and displays information on your stored applications.

Don’t be fooled by the name. UninstallView isn’t trying to compete with GeekUninstaller and has no program-removing abilities, it’s just a better version of the standard Windows Add/ Remove Programs applet.

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