It’s Monday, and we know that worn-out feeling. To cheer you a bit, we have listed some tools that will make your PC faster and automatically troubleshoot all its problems, basically leaving you with one less thing to worry about. This week we also have an app that basically lets you sneak peek into others computers, and we also have a suite that has more than 100 handy tools bundled with it. And as always we have noted down all the worthy extensions that cropped up in the last seven days.
Wise PC 1stAid (Type: Free, OS: Windows – all versions, Size: 3 MB)
As the name suggests, the application is your emergency contact whenever you smell something fishy on your computer. It is not a registry cleaner or system tuning app, but is something that fixes some of the most common problems of a system. So suppose if you are having trouble opening links in your browser, or if your Internet Explorer has just refused to open any hyperlink, Wise PC 1stAid is what you need at that very moment. Additionally, if at your office or institution, your administrator has disabled Task Manager or Registry editor, this app can easily crack open a way for you.
Furthermore, the app lets you fix desktop icon errors, and speed up its start-up and operation speed as well. It also helps you speed up your internet speed by killing the add-ons and also fixes the programs that have gone into “not responding” mode. If your problem isn’t listed on the home screen of the app, you can click on “My questions” from the top of the app’s screen and submit your problem, in addition, they also have a forum. It eliminates the technical details, and all you have to do is select the problem you are having, and click “Fix now” to following window. For an app that is so light on the system, and is completely free, I don’t see why anyone should not just install and using it right away. One problem though, while installing, at the very last step, you will see that the software is prompting you to download many more apps (that didn’t feel right), just untick that option, and click Finish.
Fotosizer (Type: Free/Commercial, OS: Windows – All versions, Size: 2 MB)
Many times we find the need to resize the dimension of the image files. So whether it is an online form you are filling where the dimension and size of the image need to be exact, or you are trying to fit a wallpaper on your tablet, opening Photoshop just feels too tedious for such a tiny task. Meet Fotosizer, a minimalistic image resizing tool that lets you resize the scale of images to a specific resolution. The free version of the app provides you all the aforementioned functionality, along with some basic effects, but if you want to add watermarks to your images and want some more effects, you can pay an amount of $15.95. Although, I don’t see any pro feature that you don’t already have in Picasa.
NirLauncher 1.18.22 (Type: Free, OS: Windows – all versions, Size: 15MB)
Essentially a package, the suite houses over 100 remarkable utilities. These utilities perform variety of advance operations, for instance, BatteryInfoView is a nifty little tool that gives you more detailed information about your laptop battery. AsteriskLogger on the other hand unmasks what’s behind the asterisk. Whereas BrowsingHistoryView displays the browsing history of all your browsers at one place. NetworkTrafficView is a handy tool to keep an eye on the stats of your network adapter. ChromeCacheViewer lets you look into and manipulate and retrieve files from your cache.
OSForensics 2.1.1000 (Type: Free/Commercial, OS: Windows – all versions, Size: 43 MB)
This suite contains tools which can turn you into a detective! Once installed, the app lets you search for things within a file, emails and archived folders. You can also recover deleted files, and expose the recent activities done on a computer. In addition to that, you can get out sensitive information like login credentials and what are the files stored in the physical memory. The commercial edition supposedly has more shady features, and costs $499.
Browser extensions / services
We browse through tons of websites every day. While some of them are worth your time, few sites like Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, YouTube are mostly a time waster. Keeping this in mind, and to spike your productivity, a very neat extension has come to rescue Firefox users. The extension, unlike many of its competitors, doesn’t cut the cords with a website, but instead very politely shows a banner on the top to remind you that you have spent enough time on it already. It doesn’t even force you to close the tab, and you can close the banner if that is what suits you.
In the past weekly download lists, we have listed number of replacement for the New Tab page of Chrome browser that revamp that space and bring some cool features to it. We came across another such replacement this week. Knew Tab, unlike any of its alternatives, lets you display weather, stock market updates, and other news stories right on your New Tab page. You can also get email and Facebook notifications on it. Everything is customizable and you can tell the tool what kind of content you would want to be catered with.
Ever felt that it would have been much better had Wikipedia along with the text and images, featured videos as well? Because, WikiTube for Chrome just does that. On the popularity basis, at the top of the article you are reading, it adds up some relevant videos. In my brief testing, I found some inaccuracy though. For instance, when I was reading the wiki entry of the TV show “House”, along with videos which are germane with the show, it also showed me video clips from another TV show which share almost the same name, “House of Cards”. Anyway, you can browse through more videos by going right and clicking on the big plus button.
If you surf tons of pages on your browser, and often forget the one you were previously working on, then this add-on for Firefox is exactly what you are looking for. By pressing the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Shift + 1 you will switched to the tab you were working before the current tab.
SkyDrive has teamed up with Bing to add the OCR technology to its photo image processor. Now, you will be able to retrieve texts from your image files. So whether it is an image that you have print-screened or took a snapshot of from your camera, the image processor will retrieve the text.
The awesome video chatting service from Google got an update last week. The service now lets you stream videos at 720p HD resolution. Also, Google is switching from H.264 video codec to VP8. VP8 apparently makes it possible for Google to stream video at 720P at lesser processing power and memory consumption. To make the experience plug-in free, Google is implementing WebRTC standard, which makes the browser-server-browser interaction much more responsive.
The desktop client for Opera has got a major update. Opera is now using the latest Chromium release version 29. The improvements in stability and User Interface can be easily felt and seen. Opera 16 offers you to securely store your login credential, information about phone and email, and your credit card details. It has also added support for geo-location, letting you share your location details with the websites you visit (this feature is optional).
Popular BitTorrent client uTorrent got an update last week. Most updates are however targeted for Windows XP running machines. For XP, the crash during startup, auto-updating, and certificate authentication has been resolved.
Tip of the week: Fake mouse movements
If for some reason you don’t want your computer to sleep, and you want to pretend to be there, there is an app called Mouse Jiggler that tricks your PC into thinking that somebody is controlling the mouse. And yeah, it can be a handy tool to prank with your sibling.