Category Archives: Geek Software of the Week

Geek Software of the Week: Spybot 2.4! (Update)

Spybot 2.4This is a first! I am posting an update of SpyBot, which I have mentioned before, because it is a very different, and improved product!

Safer Networking – Spybot 2.4

“Why use the Free Edition?

If all you require is to be able to scan and remove malware and rootkits from your system. Or if you want to protect your PC by immunizing your browser and hosts file, the ‘Free Edition’ is the choice for you. If you are a more experienced user you can also check various ‘autostart’ locations using the ‘Startup Tools’. Spybot 2 can scan single files or specific folders and unlike other software it doesn’t matter if the file is located on your local drives or on a network share. Spybot 2 comes with its own whitelist which helps to identify if files are legitimate or not. This useful addition helps to speed up the scan. Even though this fully functioning product is free of charge you can still get free support by emailing our support team.

For home users who want spyware protection for their own or their families Windows based Personal Computers and do not need additional antivirus protection.

Users manually look after own updating.

Can be upgraded to the ‘Home Edition’ if required.”

Geek Software of the Week: Pandora Recovery!

PandoraThis weeks Geek Software of the Week will help you recover deleted files!

Pandora Recovery

“How does it work?

When you delete a file on FAT32 or NTFS file system, its content is not erased from disk but only reference to file data in File Allocation Table or Master File Table is marked as deleted. It means that you might be able to recover deleted files, or make it visible for file system again.

Search Deleted Files
Search Deleted Files – Click Image to Enlarge
Pandora Recovery allows you to find and recover recoverable deleted files from NTFS and FAT-formatted volumes, regardless of their type – you can recover pictures, songs, movies or documents. Pandora Recovery will scan your hard drive and build an index of existing and deleted files and directories (folders) on any logical drive of your computer with supported file format. Once the scanning is complete you have full control over which files to recover and what destination to recover them to. You can BROWSE the hierarchy of existing and deleted files, or you can use SEARCH functionality to find a deleted file if you remember at least one of the following:
– full or partial file name,
– file size,
– file creation date, or
– file last accessed date

On top of that, Pandora Recovery allows you to preview deleted files of certain type (images and text files) without performing recovery. This feature becomes really important if you are forced to recover deleted files to the same drive. Currently you can preview files having several image file types (BMP, GIF, JPG, PNG, ICO,TIF, TGA, PCX, WBMP, WMF, JP2, J2K, JBG, JPC, PGX, PNM, RAS, CUR) and several text file types (TXT, LOG, INI, BAT, RTF, XML, CSS). Quick Viewer allows you preview file contents as text if it cannot find appropriate viewer for it. To use quick viewer you can select deleted file and or click the Quick Viewer icon or right click on deleted file and select ‘Quick View’. Quick View will then display a preview of deleted file.”

Pandora Recovery Features:

  • Browse, Search, Preview and Recover deleted files
  • Surface (cluster) scan
  • Recover Archived, Hidden, Encrypted, Compressed files
  • Recover Alternate Data Streams (ADS)
  • Recover Images, Documents, Movies, or any other type of files
  • Recovery success estimate
  • Review File properties and Drive properties
  • Recover to Local Hard Drive, Network Drive, or Flash Drive
  • Recognizes FAT16, FAT32, NTFS, NTFS5 and NTFS/EFS

Geek Software of the Week: Synfig Studio

Since Geek Culture entry was animation, I thought that you would get a kick out of trying your hand at animation as well! This program is Open Source, and cross-platform!

Synfig Studio

“Synfig Studio is a free and open-source 2D animation software, designed as powerful industrial-strength solution for creating film-quality animation using a vector and bitmap artwork. It eliminates the need to create animation frame-by frame, allowing you to produce 2D animation of a higher quality with fewer people and resources. Synfig Studio is available for Windows, Linux and MacOS X.

Features

Spatial resolution-independence
Most elements are vector-based, and all layers are parametrically generated, hence even when changing the target resolution of a project, the only pixelation will occur in imported raster images, not the built-in components.

Temporal resolution independence
Animation-keyframes are automatically interpolated by the computer, resulting in smooth motion

High Dynamic-Range Imaging (HDRI)
By using floating-point math in the image calculations, HDRI processing allows canvases to internally understand a far greater range of pixel luminance, resulting in better lighting effects, and improved color composition.

Pentablet-friendly tools
The draw tool already reads the pressure sensitivity channel off your favorite tablets, for natural line weighting, and more to come!

Artist-oriented design
While it may not be obvious in this early state, Synfig (and its proprietary predecessors) has been designed from the ground up with animation workflow in mind.

Path-based Gradients
Unlike purely SVG-based vector software, and most consumer-level animation programs, Synfig has full support for gradient paths – gradients that follow along a drawn shape. This allows artists to easily add soft shading to animation without the trouble of painting it onto every frame.

Layers
Synfig supports a multitude of layers of various types; geometric, gradients, filters, distortions, transformations, fractal and a few others.”

Geek Software of the Week: Muses Radio Player for the Web!

I know not everyone does part-time, volunteer work for an Internet Radio Station, but, hey! You may want to add a player to your own web site! So, here’s the best player I’ve found! It will use HTML5, or Flash, if it is not supported. And, it is free and Open Source!

Muses Radio Player for the Web

What is Muses Radio Player?

Muses Radio Player is an open source Web Player for audio streaming (radio over the internet).

It supports the most popular Audio Codecs: MP3, OGG and AAC and works great with Shoutcast, Icecast 2, and other compatible streaming servers.

Muses also has some interesting and necessary features that makes it unique like:

  • Flash and HTML5 support.
  • Automatic reconnection in case of network errors (to ensure that your audience will never get silence).
  • Smart cache management (to avoid huge memory consumption).
  • XML Skin Support (to let you create your own skins).
  • AutoStart option.
  • HTML Code Generator for your Website (to make the player super easy to install).
  • Multi Language (with more than 20 languages available!)
  • Automatic Language Detection
  • Bidirectional Javascript API (to let you control the player and get notification events using javascript)
  • Reads Metadata directly from OGG Streamings.
  • Metadata Loader for MP3 and AAC Streamings.
  • Configurable Buffering Time.
  • Optional Fallback Streaming (to increase your service quality).
  • Introduction Audio Support (to play any audio you want before the streaming).
  • Support for blind or print-impaired users reading software.”

Geek Software of the Week: The Free Kindle Reading App

This is a strange Geek Software of the Week, but I was trying to think about free software that I use all the time, and, bam! It came to me! The Kindle App is awesome and powerful!

The Free Kindle Reading App

Take your Kindle books with you
The Kindle app is available for most major smartphones, tablets and computers. That means with our free Kindle reading apps, you can buy a Kindle book once, and read it on any device with the Kindle app installed*. You can also read that same Kindle book on a Kindle device if you own one.

Sync to the furthest read page
With Amazon’s Whispersync technology, you can automatically save and sync your furthest page read, bookmarks, notes, and highlights across all your devices. That means you can start reading a book on one device, and pick up where you left off on another device.

Load up with books and more – Sample Books Before Buying

Easily shop for eBooks and read the first chapter for free before you decide to buy.

Read Free Books
Read thousands of free books including popular classics like The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Pride and Prejudice, and Treasure Island.

Borrow Library Books
Go into your local library to check out an eBook, and have it delivered wirelessly to your Kindle app.

Read Magazines & Newspapers on Android devices
Read magazines and newspapers with high-resolution, vivid color images on Android devices. You have the flexibility to buy a single issue or a subscription.

Get the best digital reading tools
Personalize: Adjust the text size, change the screen’s brightness, choose your background color, and read in either portrait or landscape mode.

Look Up Words
Tap and hold any word in a book to view the word’s definition with the built-in dictionary or use the Google or Wikipedia links to get more information.

Collections
Organize your books, docs, and magazines into categories with a few easy taps.

EXCLUSIVE – X-Ray for Books
Tap on any page as you read to access X-Ray, an easy way to uncover more from the books you love. Instantly find chapters and locations that mention ideas, characters, and important places, as well as background info, biographies and more from Shelfari and Wikipedia.”

Geek Software of the Week: [eMo]Web Browser Optimizer

This is an odd, but simple utility to speed up your web browser.

[eMo]Web Browser Optimizer

[eMo]Web Browser Optimizer is a free software that provide means for memory optimization of browsers. It’s a handy and lightweight tool that lets you quickly and easily optimize memory for the chosen browser. [eMo]Web Browser Optimizer supports all major browsers including Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Opera Mini, Safari, GreenBrowser, Maxthon, Pale Moon etc.

Key Features of [eMo]Web Browser Optimizer:

  • Free memory optimization tool for browsers.
  • Works with all major browsers.
  • Also supports some less-popular browsers like Flock, Netscape, Avant Browser etc.
  • Adjustable optimization time.
  • Minimize to system tray.
  • Run on startup.
  • Simple interface.
  • Lightweight and handy.
  • Easy to use.
  • Save setting browsers.
  • Add Manual Others Browser. – New

Geek Software of the Week: Uderzo Software SpaceSniffer!

SpaceSnifferSpaceSniffer is our Geek Software of the Week! It provides a TON of information on your PC’s disk usage! If you are trying to clean up, this is the tool you need!

Uderzo Software SpaceSniffer

“Description

SpaceSniffer is a freeware disc space analyzer for Windows that make use of the Treemap concept to view the current disk usage. Among the most notable features you’ll find drag and drop support, intuitive structure layout (multiple views for different media), zoom elements (browser-like navigation), powerful filtering (you can filter your results based on size, file name age), customizable options (geometry, colors, behavior), fast scan of your hard drive (navigation works even when the scan didn’t finished), support for NTFS Alternate Data Streams and so on. Finally, this program is fully portable on all popular Microsoft Windows versions (doesn’t have a setup file, therefore it doesn’t mess up with your current registry – it just adds a XML configuration file). You can use the executable file on other Microsoft Windows OS, there’s no need to extract the archive each time.

SpaceSniffer Review

Install: There’s no setup file, as this software is delivered as a compressed Zip archive where all you have to do is to extract its content and run the program. If your archive manager doesn’t create (automatically) a folder for you, make sure that you first create one and extract the content of SpaceSniffer archive in it, otherwise it will extract multiple files and you’ll have to look for ‘SpaceSniffer.exe’. The current version (1.1.4.0) has been tested on Windows 7 Ultimated Edition (32-bit) and Windows 8.0 (64-bit) and it worked well on both Microsoft Windows versions.

Main usage: You’re here because you probably have no idea where the HDD drive space disappeared or you just want to see if you can delete some occupied space with all kind of files that you forgot but there are so many that it’s time consuming to manually review them. SpaceSniffer will help you to reclaim space in seconds (maybe minutes on large hard drives/partitions). For those who never used this software before, I will split the action in three categories: scan process, taking action and (optional) saving data.

Scan process: The first thing to do after you run SpaceSniffer for the first time is to choose a partition and perform a quick scan (the program will ask you to choose the drive partition or type the path). The scan should finish quickly, there’s a status indicator on the right-corner (up) of the main software interface.

Important: If you scan the system partition (the one that Windows is currently installed) make sure that you don’t delete files that are required by your operating system to run. It’s easily to feel ‘lost’ in your operating system data but you shouldn’t mess with those files, unless you really know what you’re doing.

Taking action: Once the scan is finished, you will be presented with a window containing a list of all files found grouped by their data type (free space, operating system files, other type of data). From this point, you can ‘browse’ or better said ‘zoom’ inside each file so that you can discover other files included in a certain folder until you get to the last one. For instance, if you have a folder that contains other 10 folders and each one has others folders, you can easily take a look to see what’s inside of them. Once you identified the type of the files and their size you can choose a further action: delete or keep them with a single ‘right-click’ of your mouse on that file and choose ‘Delete’. Just in case that you feel lost after browsing through your hard drive space you can always ‘Go Back’, ‘Go to upper leve’, ‘Go Home’ or even ‘Perform a new master scan’ – you have all of these buttons in the navigation bar of SpaceSniffer.

Saving data: A powerful feature that you won’t find at other similar tools is the ‘Export to file’ option. For any reason, if you want to export the data found with this tool, you can use the ‘File’ option from you menu and from there choose ‘Export to file’. To customize your export form choose your data type (please note that you have a customization option next to ‘Configuration’): ‘Grouped by folder’, ‘Simple file list’ or ‘Summary’ and save the stats.

Conclusion: There’s much more to say about SpaceSniffer. If you’re a system administrator or an advanced user you can search for specific files using filters (you can even combine multiple filters), tag certain files to keep track of examined files, exclude tagged files, etc. You can customize this program in many ways, although the Tips and Tricks section doesn’t list many of them. There are many other options included, I didn’t listed all of them. My personal opinion is that the largest base of users are regular home users that simply wants a free disk usage analyzer that can help to clean/free some occupied space on their computers. Without a doubt, this is an excellent disk usage (hard drive) visualization tool that works great for both novice and advanced users. Considering its free, clean and portable I would highly recommend a donation to the author to support his wonderful work.”

Geek Software of the Week: msconfig!

Our Geek Software of the Week this week is actually already installed on your PC! It is MSConfig! It is the built-in PC configuration utility, with a GUI, that you can active by going to “Start” and type into the “Search” area “msconfig” (no quotes.) You wil then see this screen:

msconfigOne particularly helpful option is in the “Startup” tab. You will see a list of all the utilities, etc. that run automatically on startup. You can speed thing up by trimming down the number of things listed here. Just don’t go to crazy, or something you need might not work!

Wikipedia says, “MSConfig (officially called System Configuration in Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8 or Microsoft System Configuration Utility in previous operating systems) is a system utility to troubleshoot the Microsoft Windows startup process. It can disable or re-enable software, device drivers and Windows services that run at startup, or change boot parameters.

It is bundled with all versions of Microsoft Windows operating systems since Windows 98 except Windows 2000. Windows 95 and Windows 2000 users can download the utility as well, although it was not designed for them.”

  • In Windows 98 and Windows Me, it can configure advanced troubleshooting settings pertaining to these operating systems. It can also launch common system tools.
  • In Windows 98, it can back up and restore startup files.
  • In Windows Me, it has also been updated with three new tabs called “Static VxDs”, “Environment” and “International”. The Static VxDs tab allows users to enable or disable static virtual device drivers to be loaded at startup, the Environment tab allows users to enable or disable environment variables, and the International tab allows users to set international language keyboard layout settings that were formerly set via the real-mode MS-DOS configuration files. A “Cleanup” button on the “Startup” tab allows cleaning up invalid or deleted startup entries.
  • In Windows Me and Windows XP versions, it can restore an individual file from the original Windows installation set.
  • On Windows NT-based operating systems prior to Windows Vista, it can set various BOOT.INI switches.
  • In Windows XP and Windows Vista, it can hide all operating system services for troubleshooting.
  • In Windows Vista and later, the tool gained additional support for launching a variety of tools, such as system information, other configuration areas, such as Internet options, and the ability to enable/disable UAC. An update is available for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 that adds the Tools tab. It also allows configuring various switches for Windows Boot Manager and Boot Configuration Data.

Geek Software of the Week: Linux Live USB Creator

Linux LiveHave you ever wanted to try one of the many, many Linux Distros? Now it is easy with LinuxLive USB Creator! Use it to install a distro and reboot using your USB drive as your boot drive (you will have to set your computer BIOS to boot off the USB stick first.) Very cool!

LinuxLive USB Creator

“LinuxLive USB Creator is a free and open-source software for Windows. It will help you in your journey of discovery with Linux.

For you, LiLi creates portable, bootable and virtualized USB stick running Linux.

Free and Open-source

LinuxLive USB Creator is a completely free and open-source software for Windows only. It has been built with simplicity in mind and it can be used by anyone. All you have to do is to pick up a Linux in the list and give it a try.

No reboot needed

Are you sick of having to reboot your PC to try Linux? No need with LinuxLive USB Creator. It has a built-in virtualization feature that lets you run your Linux within Windows just out of the box!

Supports many Linux distributions

Wow! Did you see that never-ending list? They are almost all there: Ubuntu, Fedora, Debian, OpenSUSE, Mint, Slax, CentOS, ArchLinux, Gentoo, PCLinuxOS, Sabayon, BackTrack, Puppy Linux …

Persistence

Having a Live USB key is better than just using a Live CD because you can even save your data and install software. This feature is called persistence (available only on selected Linux).
Read the FAQ for more information.

SmartClean & SmartDownload

SmartClean uninstalls properly any previous Live USB installations and SmartDownload lets you download any supported Linux in 2 clicks automatically selecting the best mirror to download from.SmartClean also lets you clean your USB key in 1 click.”

Geek Software of the Week: Ninite!

Ninite

My last software to perform updates may have been malware according to a viewer’s report and research, so please DO NOT USE Patch My PC! I have deleted the entry for “Patch My PC” from my Geek Software of the Week! I will cover it more in this week’s show.

The Ninite Web Site

Ninite installs and updates all your programs at once…

Trusted by Millions
We install and update over 500,000 programs each day for millions of home users and Ninite Pro subscribers like NASA, Harvard Medical School, and Tupperware.

1. Click all the apps you want
You can learn more about a program by hovering over it.

2. Click Get Installer and run it
Ninite installs apps for you in the background. No clicking next. We say NO to toolbars or other junk.

3. Run it again later
Your installer will update apps to the latest versions. If something is up-to-date we’ll skip it.

Ninite will:

  • start working as soon as you run it
  • not bother you with any choices or options
  • install apps in their default location
  • say no to toolbars or extra junk
  • install 64-bit apps on 64-bit machines
  • install apps in your PC’s language or one you choose
  • do all its work in the background
  • install the latest stable version of an app
  • skip up-to-date apps
  • skip any reboot requests from installers
  • use your proxy settings from Internet Explorer
  • download apps from each publisher’s official site
  • verify digital signatures or hashes before running anything
  • work best if you turn off any web filters or firewalls
  • save you a lot of time!
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