10 Best PC Tools for this Week [October 27th]
What an eventful week it was! Abu Dhabi witnessed the first ever Nokia tablet, and two 6-inch Windows Phones. Then of course, the iPad Air and the new iPad mini with Retina Display were announced, alongside a new Macbook Pro. Anyhow, lots of awesome apps have emerged in the PC world as well since our last meet.
This week we’ll find a powerful alternative to replace Windows built-in Time and Calendar. We’ll also see how a freeware can help us stay anonymous on the web. An app that will let us create and modify partitions, and an app to password-protect our USB devices. And as always we have listed the best extensions, software updates and web services that you should check.
Atomic Alarm Clock (Type: Commercial, OS: Windows – all versions, Size: 8 MB)
The built-in Windows clock isn’t bad. It does what it’s supposed to do, but if you want more, you can use Atomic Alarm Clock. Using this app, you can change the way clock displays the time, and set it to display more details. The other nice feature of this app can let you set alarm reminders. So if you find yourself glued to your computer and forget to check other things going around you, this app can help you remember things. You can use the app for free for 60 days.
Burd’s Proxy Searcher (Type: Free, OS: Windows – all versions, Size: 5 MB)
Whether you want to surf web without revealing your true identity, or access geo-restricted content, Burd’s Proxy Searcher is your one stop solution. It’s a nifty tool, which consumes minimal system and network resources. Once you have opened this software, click on the Search button and the app will start searching for available proxy servers. Once the list has populated, you can select a proxy by clicking on the Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox icon. In my brief testing, I found Google Chrome working with it as well.
Sandboxie (Type: Free, OS: Windows – all versions, Size: 4 MB)
Your browser is one of the most common and vulnerable routes for letting in viruses, spyware, rootkits and other malware into your computer. Sanboxie is a software program that isolates your browser from other programs to prevent any interaction between them. This practice makes the browsing secure, as well as it protects privacy of other programs.
USB Secure 1.7 (Type: Commercial, OS: Windows – add versions, Size: 2 MB)
Don’t you find it annoying when someone picks up your USB flash drive and access the files inside it? Whatever be the reasons are, you can use USB Secure to password protect your USB flash devices. To password protect any USB device (Flash drive, USB HDD), just put the executable file inside it and execute it from there. Once you have done that, you will be asked to password protect your device. From then onwards, every time you will plug in that device in any Windows running system, unless you execute that file and provide the password, you won’t be able to access the files of it.
EASEUS Partition Master Home Edition (Type: Free, OS: Windows – all versions, Size: 13 MB)
One of the most common problems with new laptops (especially if the OEM is HP, Sony, Dell etc) is that the disk partitioning that you get by default is not something very pleasing. Most of the times, the C partition is given 95% of available storage size and the rest is used for the recovery partition at say, D. Problem is that most people don’t want to keep their files in the same drive where the OS files reside. That’s a fair point, actually. The other problem is that the built-in device management (devmgmt.msc) of Windows isn’t something which could solve this problem. This is where EASEUS Partition Master Home Edition comes into play. It is completely free, and it lets you perform ample sum of operations on your drives. You can resize a partition, merge a partition into another, convert the type of the partition (logical, primary, secondary), change the drive letter of it, defragment a drive, hide a drive, or even check it for disk errors. In addition, the app is really fast and has a very appealing interface.
Extensions and Services
It’s no secret that websites, advertisers, and even web browsers are tracking our online activities. A couple of months ago Mozilla created an extension named Collusion, which helped users know which sites are tracking them, and how many connections have they made since they started browsing. This week Mozilla released another handy extension named Lightbeam, which is an advanced version of Collusion that makes data visualization of such tracks.
The problem with installing so many extensions is that with time our browser starts lagging, and that spoils all the fun. Auslogics Browser Care is a suite that cleans your browser and does a factory reset kind of thing to undo any vicious modifications.
Browsing websites having bright interface at night can be a real jarring experience. We talked about F.lux in our last week’s issue, this week we have found this extension called Hacker Vision which instead of changing the color of your entire monitor, only inverts the color of your browser. It is as of now only available for Chrome.
A very handy add-on for Opera users, as its name suggests, Tab Close Plus helps you close the tabs. It integrates its options to the context menu and offers you better management.
Extensionizr is a web service that lets you create extensions in a matter of seconds. The service eliminates the need of writing a dozen of lines of codes to define the background page, Option page, and other permissions. So all you need is the script, and this service will provide all the other body structures and other layouts.
The popular virtualization software VMware Player got a major update this week. The update enables you to run multiple operating systems simultaneously. Data sharing between the virtual machine and the primary operating system has never been this easy. The app has extended its support and can now run 3rd party virtual machines and their images.
NetBeans too got a much awaited update this past week. The IDE now supports HTML5 development for Android and iOS devices. It also brings support for Java SE 8, and many other Java modules such as Java EE 7, java ME SDK 3.2 etc.
The system cleaning app, Cleaner is now fully compatible with Windows 8.1. If you are running the Preview version of Internet Explorer 11 on Windows 7, the app has extended its support for this browser too. Other software which have been added to CCleaner library is, ABBYY FineReader 11.0, Nero Burning ROM 2014 and Corel PainShop Pro X6. The other software to receive an update this week are Maxthon Cloud Browser, Kies, uTorrent and iTunes.
Tip of the week: Use BeeLine Reader to load truncated posts
Ars Technica recently published a 24-page review of OS X Mavericks 10.9. So as usual I thought of saving the article on my Pocket to read it later. Problem is, that Ars Technica doesn’t give the option to view the full post on a single page as it truncates the article into many parts. Surprisingly BeeLine reader fetches the entire page irrespective of the website you are accessing.