Geek Software of the Week: JetBoost!

JetBoostJetBoost will keep your PC free and super fast in gaming or during work.

JetBoost

One Click to Boost
Shuts down all unnecessary processes and services to fit your needs with one single click.

Superb Gaming Experience
Get the maximum capacity out of your PC and focus on gaming only.

Focus on Work
Remove distractions from irrelevant applications when you’re working. All unnecessary processes and services had been shut down.

Customize Boost model
Set up your own boost model by choosing which applications you would like to shut down temporarily.

Clean and Safe
Free from any malware, spyware, and virus. Checked against various anti-virus programs and proved to be absolutely safe.

100% Free
Download and use the tool completely free.

Geek Software of the Week: Autoruns for Windows!

AutorunsThis utility, by the venerable Mark Russinovich himself, is handy to control your Windows startup autorun programs!

Autoruns for Windows

Introduction

This utility, which has the most comprehensive knowledge of auto-starting locations of any startup monitor, shows you what programs are configured to run during system bootup or login, and when you start various built-in Windows applications like Internet Explorer, Explorer and media players. These programs and drivers include ones in your startup folder, Run, RunOnce, and other Registry keys. Autoruns reports Explorer shell extensions, toolbars, browser helper objects, Winlogon notifications, auto-start services, and much more. Autoruns goes way beyond other autostart utilities.

Autoruns’ Hide Signed Microsoft Entries option helps you to zoom in on third-party auto-starting images that have been added to your system and it has support for looking at the auto-starting images configured for other accounts configured on a system. Also included in the download package is a command-line equivalent that can output in CSV format, Autorunsc.

You’ll probably be surprised at how many executables are launched automatically!

Usage

Simply run Autoruns and it shows you the currently configured auto-start applications as well as the full list of Registry and file system locations available for auto-start configuration. Autostart locations displayed by Autoruns include logon entries, Explorer add-ons, Internet Explorer add-ons including Browser Helper Objects (BHOs), Appinit DLLs, image hijacks, boot execute images, Winlogon notification DLLs, Windows Services and Winsock Layered Service Providers, media codecs, and more. Switch tabs to view autostarts from different categories.

To view the properties of an executable configured to run automatically, select it and use the Properties menu item or toolbar button. If Process Explorer is running and there is an active process executing the selected executable then the Process Explorer menu item in the Entry menu will open the process properties dialog box for the process executing the selected image.

Navigate to the Registry or file system location displayed or the configuration of an auto-start item by selecting the item and using the Jump to Entry menu item or toolbar button, and navigate to the location of an autostart image.

To disable an auto-start entry uncheck its check box. To delete an auto-start configuration entry use the Delete menu item or toolbar button.

The Options menu includes several display filtering options, such as only showing non-Windows entries, as well as access to a scan options dialog from where you can enable signature verification and Virus Total hash and file submission.

Select entries in the User menu to view auto-starting images for different user accounts.

More information on display options and additional information is available in the on-line help.”

Geek Software of the Week: TeaTV!

TeaTVIn our quest to find ways to cut the cord… of cable, that is… I’ve been looking into various applications that would give you access to TV shows and movies via the Internet. Not all are completely legal and licensed, so you have to be aware of what you have legal access to and what you do not have legal access to. This is a decision you will have to make personally, and become compliant to the law personally. However, I would be remiss from a technical point of view if I did not share with you all the options you have for viewing programs and let you decide how to best apply your own moral principles.

One of the most interesting applications that I’ve found, is TerrariumTV, it does however have it shortcomings, not the least of which is all the ads that are shown in TerrariumTV. I realize that the author of the software has to monetize his application as best he can, but the ads that come up in TerrariumTV seem more annoying than most!

This led me to a new application, called Tea, (as in the drink,) TV. What is TeaTV? It is an application that does what TerrariumTV does, but with better features, a cleaner interface, and it appears to me, way less commercials than TerrariumTV. The cleaner interface is much easier to use, and the additional information provided, such as information on the actors that are featured in TV shows and movies, is welcome as well!

If you go under the “Settings” option within the software, you also have the option to clear the cache of the application, which will free up resources on your device as well as help with any issues that you may encounter when using the software. I have found this very useful during my testing. I’ll do a demo video on the Dr. Bill.TV show to show you what I mean. Stay tuned for that!

In the meantime, here is the link to TeaTV. You will notice that there are versions for Windows, MacOS, Android, and Linux! You have to love that! It is truly a cross-platform application.

“TeaTV – Free 1080p Movies and TV Shows for Android, Windows & Mac OSX Devices

Absolutely Free!
FREE and 1080p HD TV Shows and movies. Free Movies is the latest add-on with Movies and TV Shows in Full HD 1080p & HD 720p

Watch almost all TV shows and Movies
It provides almost any TV shows and movies. Many genre such as Drama, Crime, Comedy, Adventure, Family, Horror, Thriller, Romance, Western, Animation, Biography and more.

Download videos and watch offline
All available on this site in full HD quality.
You can also download the episodes in 480p, 720p and 1080p quality.

What is TeaTV?
The fastest, easiest way to find and discover movies, actors and shows.

Awesome interface.
TeaTV has been built from the ground up with performance in mind for a fast and efficient experience to surfing your collection.

Does it cost?
TeaTV is working on your behalf and making entertainment free, at no cost to you.

Login? No need.
You don’t need to have an account when using TeaTV.

Join now
Watch trailers, read reviews and get shows seasons details, get the latest information on upcoming movie releases. Choosing the right movie has never been so easy.

Simple and Elegant
You can keep track of the movies you own, the movies you wish you had, the movies you saw and the movies you want to watch.”

Chromecast on VLC 3.0!

VLC 3.0What we have waited so long for, Chromecast on VLC, is finally here!

VLC 3.0 lands on Android, Chrome OS, and other platforms with Chromecast support in tow

9to5 Google – By: Ben Schoon – “VLC is one of the most used media programs on the planet, and today it’s getting its first major update in nearly 2 years. VLC 3.0 is available now, and it’s going to be available on all major platforms at once with some big features in tow.

VLC 3.0 is the first concurrent release the player has ever had across all its supported platforms including Android, Chrome OS, Android TV, Linux, macOS, iOS, Apple TV, and Windows.

This new update features over 1,500 bug fixes, support for HDR, 360-degree video, optimization for the iPhone X, hardware accelerated decoding, and the big one, support for Google’s Chromecast.

VLC users haven’t been quiet over the years in expressing their desire for this functionality, and after briefly showing up in a beta update last month, the functionality is now official. Unfortunately for some, this functionality is limited to the Android app only, but that includes support for Chromebooks and Samsung’s DeX environment.

As you’d expect, Chromecast support on VLC allows you to play native media on your big screen with the tap of a button, with ‘formats not supported natively’ even working with this functionality. It’s a welcome addition, no doubt, and one you can easily try out now by downloading the update via Google Play.

VLC explains in another post why Chromecast support took as long to arrive as it did, but it really comes down to the fact that Google’s streaming platform is meant for just that, streaming. Local files were never supposed to work properly with it, despite the attempts we’ve seen over the years. Video formats also proved to be a challenge.

…Chromecast only supports very few codecs number, let’s say h264. Google ensures that your video is encoded in h264 format on youtube.com, so streaming is simple. With VLC, you have media of any format. So VLC has to be a http server like youtube.com, and provide the video in a Chromecast compatible format. And of course in real time, which is challenging on Android because phones are less powerful than computers.

VLC v3.0 is available now on Google Play, and for other platforms, you can head over to VLC’s site for the respective download links.”

VLC Player Download!

To use your Chromecast to play from VLC 3.0, in VLC select “Playback,” then “Renderer” and then choose your Chromecast device. Cool!

Geek Software of the Week: UrBackup!

UrBackup Web Site
Free, Open Source Backup available for Windows, MacOS, and Linux. It can back up a running machine and create an image backup that you can then use to do a bare metal restore!

https://www.urbackup.org

“UrBackup is an easy to setup Open Source client/server backup system, that through a combination of image and file backups accomplishes both data safety and a fast restoration time.

File and image backups are made while the system is running without interrupting current processes.

UrBackup also continuously watches folders you want backed up in order to quickly find differences to previous backups. Because of that, incremental file backups are really fast.

Your files can be restored through the web interface, via the client or the Windows Explorer while the backups of drive volumes can be restored with a bootable CD or USB-Stick (bare metal restore).

A web interface makes setting up your own backup server really easy.

  • Fast. The custom client makes fast file and image backups possible. The client, for example, continuously watches file changes, so that only few files have to be looked at during incremental file backups.
  • Web interface. The backup server has an integrated web interface that shows the status of the clients, current activities and statistics. Existing file backups can be browsed and files from these backups can be extracted or restored.
  • Easy to setup. The backup server can be configured via web interface. The client via a user interface. The client can be configured from the server, making the client user interface optional.
  • Consistent backups while in use. UrBackup backups your computer while you use it. Open files, like Outlook .pst files, get backed up without problems. The image backups are done while the system is running and in use as well.
  • Space efficient. If multiple clients have the same files the UrBackup server saves them only once, leading to reduced storage requirements.
  • Backups via Internet. UrBackup can easily be configured to also backup clients via Internet. This enables backups of mobile devices wherever they currently are. You can also use UrBackup to only backup via Internet.
  • Free Software. UrBackup is Free Open Source software licensed under the OSI certified AGPLv3+. As long as you adhere to the terms and conditions of the license you are allowed to use and redistribute UrBackup in a personal and commercial setting.
  • Multi-platform. UrBackup server currently runs on Windows, GNU/Linux, FreeBSD and several Linux based NAS operating systems. The UrBackup client runs on Windows, macOS and GNU/Linux.

Here is my local UrBackup Web Management Screen:

UrBackup Web Management Screen

Geek Software of the Week: WebCam On-Off!

Web-Cam On/OffA handy little utility to turn off your webcam!

WebCam On-Off

“Webcams allow us to stay in touch with family and friends, or perhaps record and stream video from your computer to the internet or to a file. When not in use, you may wish to disable your webcam to ensure it is not making unwanted recordings. Malware can take over webcams, so there is potential for spying. Hackers can utilize trojan-horse attacks, enabling them to take control of your webcam, allowing them to record you or take pictures of you without your knowledge.

If you’re a parent, you may also wish to disable your webcam for safety reasons. Instant messengers and websites that utilize video aren’t always safe for children, thus disabling your webcam may be the best course of action. If the camera is external, you could always unplug it and hide it, but this can become tiresome if you are frequently in need of it. And what if, as on most laptops, you have a built in camera?

The Washington Post highlighted an unnerving study published at Johns Hopkins University which found that a laptop webcam can function in relative secrecy – a slightly more subtle Eye of Sauron, if you will. Webcam spying, particularly the variant that involves disabling LED indicator lights, takes quite a bit of effort, but the practice isn’t limited to the realm of academics. The FBI has publicly acknowledged its ability to employ such techniques when investigating criminal activity.

As you can see, disabling your webcam completely is the safest way to protect your privacy. Because of this, we have created “Webcam On-Off” which is both portable and freeware. With it you can easily disable or enable your webcam. Don’t let your home become someone else’s reality TV!”

Geek Software of the Week: iCast2!

This is an iPhone/iPad app to broadcast to a Streaming Internet Radio Station. A similiar app for Android is: BroadcastMySelf/Pro

iCast 2 – By Imperative Apps Pty Ltd

“iCast is the must have app for the internet broadcaster wanting to take their show on the road. Used by both the seasoned broadcaster and those seeking an entry point into the world of online broadcasting; iCast is popular amongst field correspondents to stream live interviews and is also used in a variety of not so obvious environments such as theme parks to provision live roaming announcers throughout their facilities, auctioneers use it to broadcast auctions to remote bidders and community event hosts stream live over the Internet. Use it stand alone with just your phone, add an external microphone or headset and even plug it into your compatible mixer in the studio, the possibilities are endless.”

Geek Software of the Week: SpecuCheck!

CheckAre your systems properly patched?

SpecuCheck GitHub Site

“SpecuCheck is a Windows utility for checking the state of the software mitigations against CVE-2017-5754 (Meltdown) and hardware mitigations against CVE-2017-5715 (Spectre). It uses two new information classes that were added to the NtQuerySystemInformation API call as part of the recent patches introduced in January 2018 and reports the data as seen by the Windows Kernel.

An official Microsoft Powershell Cmdlet Module now exists as well, which is the recommended and supported way to get this information.

On January 3rd 2018, Intel, AMD and ARM Holdings, as well as a number of OS Vendors reported a series of vulnerabilities that were discovered by Google Project Zero:

Variant 1: bounds check bypass (CVE-2017-5753)
Variant 2: branch target injection (CVE-2017-5715)
Variant 3: rogue data cache load (CVE-2017-5754)

Microsoft released patches for Windows 7 SP1 and higher later that same day. These patches, depending on architecture, OS version, boot settings and a number of hardware-related properties, apply a number of software and hardware mitigations against these issues. The enablement state of these mitigations, their availability, and configuration is stored by the Windows kernel in a number of global variables, and exposed to user-mode callers through an undocumented system call.

SpecuCheck takes advantage of this system call in order to confirm if a system has indeed been patched (non-patched systems will fail the call) and what the status of the mitigations are, which can be used to determine potential performance pitfalls.

Motivation
There was originally a lot of noise, hype, and marketing around thie issue, and not a lot of documentation on how to see if you were affected, and at what performance overhead. SpecuCheck aimed to make that data easily accessible by users and IT departments, to avoid having to use a Windows debugger or reverse engineer the API themselves.

Since then, Microsoft has done great work to expose that data from the kernel-mode in a concise matter, which succintly indicates the kernel’s support and usage of the various mitigating technologies and hardware features, and released a PowerShell CmdLet Module to retrieve that data. SpecuCheck therefore remains only as a research tool and is not recommended — please use the Microsoft-approved PowerShell Module instead.

Installation on Windows
To run SpecuCheck, simply execute it on the command-line:

c:\SpecuCheck.exe

Which will result in an informational screen indicating which features/mitigations are enabled. If you see the text:

Your system either does not have the appropriate patch, or it may not support the information class required

This indicates that your system is not currently patched to mitigate against these vulnerabilities.

References
If you would like to know more about my research or work, I invite you check out my blog at http://www.alex-ionescu.com as well as my training & consulting company, Winsider Seminars & Solutions Inc., at http://www.windows-internals.com.

You should also definitely read the incredibly informative Project Zero Post.

Finally, for additional information on the appropriate and required Windows patches, please read the Microsoft Advisory.

Caveats
SpecuCheck relies on undocumented system calls and information classes which are subject to change. Additionally, SpecuCheck only returns the information that the Windows Kernel is storing about the state of the mitigations and hardware features — based on policy settings (registry, boot parameters) or other compatibility flags, the Windows Kernel’s state may not match the true hardware state. The goal of this tool is to give you a Windows-specific assessment, not a hardware assessment that is OS-agnostic.

SpecuCheck is only a research tool and is not recommended for general use — please use the Microsoft-approved PowerShell Module instead.”

Geek Software of the Week: Unchecky!

Stand up for your right NOT to infected with Malware!

Unchecky

“Tired of unchecking unrelated offers while installing software?

Have you ever felt, while installing software, that the installer tries to push additional unwanted programs at all cost? Ever missed a checkbox, and spent hours afterwards removing adware? Ever opened your browser after an installation, only to find out that you have a new homepage, a new search engine, or even a new browser?

Unchecky aims to keep potentially unwanted programs out of your computer!”

Geek Software of the Week: Handy File Tool!

This is a very handy piece of software to have for managing files and file contents!

Handy File Tool

Handy File Tool“Handy File Tool benefits:

  • 100% freeware program without any adware and spyware
  • Contains integrated file tools like Finder, Renamer, Replacer
  • Multi-string search-and-replace. It can Find strings in files and replace their to anything
  • Allows to operate with files from different folders and drives
  • Quickly safely and simply operates with files
  • Easy to use intuitive interface

Handy File Tool (HFT) is a very fast and simple file manager. It has some internal utilities such as Renamer, Replacer and Finder. HFT has utilities necessary for webmasters, programmers and anybody who is concerned with computers. Imagine that you need to process hundreds of files. It would take you many hours to do this manually.

With HFT you can solve these problems with one mouse click. You can even process files from several directories or even disks simultaneously, using Basket a clipboard for files.

HFT has two-panel interface calls to mind the popular Norton Commander, but here you have the Basket, a clipboard for files. You can even process files from several directories or even disks simultaneously (see Basket drive in the help menu of the program).

The suite’s main tools, Finder, Replacer, and Renamer, help you make quick work of file searching, text replacement, and bulk renaming across a range of file formats and attributes.

Main features
Browse and manage files and folders
Copy files and folders
Move files and folders
Create new folders
Delete files and folders
Find files by file mask or files date
Rename files in several folders simultaneously
Replace text blocks in list of files in several folders simultaneously
Replace several strings in list of files in several folders simultaneously
Easy to use intuitive interface
True freeware program without any adware and spyware

System Requirements
64 MB RAM or more
2.09 MB of hard disk space

Supported Systems:
Windows 7
Windows Vista
Windows XP
Windows Server 2008
Windows Server 2003
Windows 2000

Download Information
Handy File Tool is a freeware program. This is full functionality program without any restrictions. If you have a problem or question, free support is always available.

If you are looking for a simple, fast, powerful and flexible file manager with additional tools for your business or for your personal needs on a single computer or in a networking environment, you have just found it. Download the freeware Handy File Tool and see for yourself.”

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