As another week descends, we are back with the best PC utilities that made buzz over the last few days. This week, we discard the inbuilt battery meter of Windows and replace it with a powerful third party alternative. We will learn how to have better control over a network, and change the way we use windows explorer to interact with files and folders. We will also see a Chrome extension that redesigns the way our web history appears, and we will also find and remove the extensions that are crippling our browser’s performance.

With that, we also spot the apps that received an update over last 7 days. So, let’s get started.

Best software


The typical battery meter of Windows doesn’t stand on par with the standard its 3rd party counterpart has to offer. To begin with, it has limited functionality and is pretty inaccurate at times. If you are someone who relies on battery too much and need to know about its well-being, BatteryCare is a better choice. Besides the battery’s status, the app also displays other important information like, the model of the battery, its designed capacity, how much of its juice is still usable and the tension. One of the handiest information it provides is Wear Level. Wear Level tells you how much of your battery has become numb. Higher the level, sooner you should consider replacing the battery. If you will read its manual, they have documented how a battery should be used, and how often you should charge it. Along with that, the app also notifies you about CPU’s and HDD’s temperature.



Although its design is pretty sluggish, performance is certainly one of its strong suites. If you find it hard to manage your files from one screen, Q-Dir opens as four panels. You get four screens to do the task, and most of the Windows file operations seem to work fine. You might find it hard at times to figure which button does what, it’s not your fault they have made it this way. There is a magnifying tool which can help you fix that thing a little, but having to use such utility is annoying.


Strike LANState

Strike LANState pretty much looks like the network simulation app Boson, except that it isn’t a simulator, but a real time network monitoring tool. Once connected you can find information about all the devices that are on the same network. It is also helpful at providing details regarding resource usage and traffic share. This is a powerful utility as it lets you boss around a network. You can send messages to other devices, scan hosts, perform name lookups, and even get other devices off the network.


Browser extensions


This simple Firefox add-on makes it easier for you to spot links on a webpage. When you will hover your mouse over any link, it will enlarge its cursor size and turn its color to bright green.

History Timeline

Finding an article you read a week ago on your Chrome browser is a tedious task, let alone finding a monthly old activity. Some good folks over at teamed up with Google’s Creative Lab in Sydney to mush this clutter and I must say, did a good job. History timeline makes a visual demonstration of your browser’s web history using OpenGraph and traditional meta-data. For now it is only available for desktop client.



Browser extension is one of the fewer ways to enhance the functionality of a browser, but, not all the extensions are safe, and you don’t necessarily need the ones you aren’t currently using. Most of us have dozens of extensions installed on our browsers which as the time lapses we don’t remember and use. There is a good chance that some of them might be clotting the browsers’ speed. Hence it becomes too important to monitor such extensions and their remove them, if required.

Meet Guardius, an extension that lets you monitor add-ons, extensions and toolbars installed on your IE, Firefox and Chrome browser. It tells you how much clutter an extension is making, and how much you can recover if you were to remove it. It also notifies you about what other users are doing with a specific extension, and whether it is a sound choice to go ahead with that app or not. The app is in its beta phase, to be able to use it, you are required to visit their website and grab an invitation.


Software updates


This probably is the best customizing app for Windows. Whether it’s the program that runs after you login the computer, or right after the booting is done, this program has got everything, well, almost everything covered. It can also infiltrate through your internet browsers, media players, printers, image editing software, sidebar gadgets and all the processes and services that run when you execute a specific program. In the latest update 11.70, there is new option to show things for a specific logged in user account, which makes it easier to find the bottleneck.



Also known as the default media player your administrator installs on your computer, PowerDVD has driven a long way and added tons of new functionality to stand a chance of surviving in a world where open source apps like VLC and K-Lite media pack exist. The new update brings with it support for playing AVCHD 2.0 discs and improved compatibility for touch interfaces. Compressed file formats such as MKV and MP4 can now be resumed from where you last closed it. You can now also customize the features you want to have in the UI of the player.


With the recent most update, this nifty firewall for Windows computer has become even lighter on system resources. It now feels complete home on Windows 8; the issue where some of its features were inoperable has been resolved as well.


World’s most popular open source database, MySQL has got an update. This update fixes thousands of glitches in partitioning, replication, search, tabulation and other features of database.

Tip of the week: How NOT to use PowerPoint

Comedian Dan McMillan tells us the right way to use a PowerPoint by pinpointing some of the common mistakes that we unknowingly leave behind.

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Manish is an Engineering graduate in Computer Science but spends more time in writing about technology. He has written for a number of Indian and international publications including BetaNews, BGR India, WinBeta, MakeTechEasier, MediaNama, and Digit magazine among others. When not writing, you would find him ranting about the state of digital journalism on Twitter.