Tag: Freeware

10 Tips on how to Speed Up your Computer for Free

by
Inf

I’ve never heard anybody say: “This computer is too fast! I wish it was slower”. We all wish our computers performed faster, that it booted faster to allow us to get down to gaming working in a shorter lapse of time. The thing is, computers tend to get slower after some time. Windows XP was particularly vulnerable to this. Just after installing, XP booted in around 30 seconds. A few years later, it seems it takes ages to boot. Windows 7 holds its ground better in this area.

Leaving chatter and nostalgia apart, let’s see how I can get that machine of yours performing faster, while saving you some money. I’ll assume you are on Windows Vista / 7. Especially Vista. Yes, you resource-hogging Vista.

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7 Utilities to Enhance your File Copying tasks

by
Inf

Let’s face it: Windows’ file copying functionalities haven’t improved much over the years. More details can be seen on the dialog, and the progress bar is prettier, but that’s basically it. There have not been any new functions added since… uh since forever? I have proof!

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Remote Control a computer with TeamViewer

by
Inf

Has it ever happened to you that someone requests some help with a problem regarding their computer? You will then usually try to provide assistance over the phone. However hard you try to explain, some problems are just not resolvable on phone. At that time, you wish you had just gone and meet the person. But if the person is in another country, you have a problem. Or maybe you are abroad or at a friend’s place, and want to check how your downloads are going, or do something on your machine?

In those situations, you want to “remote control” your computer.

There are a number of software that allow to do this, starting with Windows’ Remote Desktop Connection. It works well when using windows machines over local networking. However, when you take it through the Internet, it’s slow. There is also the problem of cross-platform compatibility. What if you want to help someone running Windows while you’re on Linux? For those situations, you may want a Virtual Network Computing (VNC) software. Basically, a VNC software comes in the form of two software pieces: the server and the client. You install the server on the PC you want to control, and you connect the client (viewer) to it. The problem with VNC is that it is not beginner-friendly since it requires some configuration, and the server-client concept may not be appealing to all. Also, without some tweaking, VNC can be really slow.

If you want a really simple, cross-platform and free solution, you will want TeamViewer.

TeamViewer comes as a single package, which acts as both server and client. It is also portable, in that it can run without installation (tested on Windows only).

So how do you use it? Just download the setup file (or package), choose to install or run it directly, and you’re basically done.

Now, you’ll be presented with this screen:

Two important things are shown in that screen: An ID and a password, which are unique for your machine. Password is sessional: it changes.

To connect to a person, ask them their ID and password. Put it in the box on the right, and choose what type of connection you want. As you see, you can provide “Remote Support” which will allow you to take control of their machine, “Presentation” which is like a “view-only” mode for presentations, with minimal display elements, “File Transfer”, which allows direct transfer of files between two computers, without having to upload the file first, and “VPN”, which is as if your two computers are connected to the same local network. This mode is great for LAN gaming over Internet. However, if you want only that feature, there are better software out there, like Hamachi or Tunngle.

When you click “Connect to partner”, you’ll have to put their password. And that’s it. If you chose Remote Support, you’ll have their desktop in front of you. You can now execute commands etc, as if you were working on your own machine.

TeamViewer works across Firewalls, NAT etc, so you don’t have to configure anything if your partner or yourself have those in place.

In my opinion, that is the simplest remote controlling a computer can be, so if you want to do that, give TeamViewer a try.

Clean Up Font Clutter with Font Frenzy

by
Inf

I’m the kind of dude that install fonts by the buckets. I like fonts, and I like variety in my creations. Also, some programs that I install tend to place their own fonts on my machine on their own. After a while, this creates a huge mess and your fonts list in your applications grows excessively long. If ever the applications you use have font preview, this makes the matters worse! I’ve had Wordpad and some other programs crashing on me due to some corrupt font, or some font they didn’t like while I was browsing the font list.

Also, apparently, having a ton of fonts installed can bring down the performance of your machine, so before installing that font pack with a zillion fancy fonts in it, you might re-consider. Though I have to say, I never noticed the performance hit myself, despite the 1067 fonts I had installed.

Thus, there comes a time in the life of every font freak, where they must clean up their fonts folder. The problem is that Windows has a set of fonts that it likes and cannot work without. I’ll call these system-critical fonts. If you delete those, you will have a brick of a machine on your hands, and a re-install of the OS could save it, but lot of pains involved. Thus you would want a way to clean up that font folder of yours while keeping the essential fonts, correct?

Here comes Font Frenzy! Font Frenzy is a free software that will allow you to preview what fonts you have installed, but also manage them. By manage, I mean, install new fonts, back up existing fonts and uninstall those you don’t want. All this in a very simple interface.

FontFrenzy

But the most interesting feature of Font Frenzy, something that I have not seen in other font managers, is the ability to “DeFrenzy” your font folder. What this does is uninstall all those non system-critical fonts that you have installed. Before doing that, it’ll prompt you to create a snapshot of your current fonts. I’ll explain what this does later. After that, it’ll “uninstall” all those unnecessary fonts by removing them from the OS’ font folder, and place them somewhere of your own liking. Thus, you have a backup of the fonts, but at the same time, they do not clutter. You can then pick and choose which ones to re-install at a later time.

Now about those snapshots. They are in fact saved states of your font folders. Using snapshots, you can easily add or remove sets of fonts. For example, I have a snapshot where I have “DeFrenzied” my whole font folder, returning my system to its default state. Then, when I need all my fonts back, I just “ReFrenzy” using that snapshot, and get all my fonts back. Likewise, you can have different snapshots for different installed font-sets. E.g. A set with only default+graffiti fonts for example.

Oh, if you still want to clean up the your font mess manually, this list should be helpful to know what NOT to delete.

Summarizing, the good points of Font Frenzy are:

  • Simple interface
  • Ability to remove non-essential or non-default fonts from a system automatically
  • Can restore all removed fonts via snapshots
  • Can manage fonts (install, delete)
  • Can backup fonts to a folder you like (Unload and Store) in FrenzyMan

The cons are:

  • ReFrenzy, DeFrenzy, FrenzyMan… these terms can be confusing to the new user, but you get used to them after a while.
  • DeFrenzy (remove all non-essential fonts) does not remove all non-essentials apparently. It does leave some fonts behind. I don’t know if they can be considered essential, but nevertheless, Font Frenzy does a decent job at cleaning up things.
  • If you check the Fonts folder in Windows, you will see that not all the removed fonts are gone from that folder. I think Font Frenzy just removes some entries from the registry for some fonts, so they look as if they are un-installed.

So I’d say, if you need a simple, but good font manager, give Font Frenzy a try.

In search of the ultimate desktop RSS reader

by
Inf

Yes, you read correctly. I said, desktop RSS reader. I’m old style. I’m classic. Whatever, I still want my feeds on my desktop. For one single reason: it’s so much simpler. Click the icon in the notification area, and voila! I got my news at a click. No need to load Firefox, point to some random URL to a web-based feed reader or whatever. There’s also another reason. I like my data on my computer, not on some server on the Internet. What if tomorrow, the company that manages the web-feed-reader goes out of scene? What happens to my feeds? And if ever they decide to keep usage info on my feeds so as to create spam “targetted advertising”? No thanks. I want full control over what I keep, what I share and what I want others to access. Ok, enough side-tracking. Back to the article, which by the way, is the 100th post on GeekScribes! Click below:

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Hott Notes: Get virtual post-its!

by
Inf

Post-its

Post-its. For me, nothing beats these as a simple reminder tool. I wanted something similar for reminders on my computer, and didn’t really want to stick some yellow sheets to my screen. So I went for the virtual version of post-its. These are simple floating windows that get overlayed on your desktop, and can contain some text.

There are many, many applications that can do virtual post-its for you. However, they all seemed to lack one feature or another. That was until I found Hott Notes.

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Music Recognition on PC for FREE with Tunatic!

by
Inf

Update: For an online service that works like Tunatic, check this post from us. For a roundup of identification services, check this post.

Fans of Sony Ericsson can surely boast about their TrackID service, which gives you the details of a music track currently being played, like the name of the artist, and the song title. You just have to record a few seconds of music with TrackID, and within seconds, you will automagically have the details of the song.

PC users like me have long searched for a similar application, to identify music currently being played. Sometimes, you hear a track somewhere, and would like to know which band or artist is playing.

Well rejoice, now you can!

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