Get Instant Desktop Notification Alerts When Important Event Occurs [Growl & Snarl]

When an important event occurs, who wants to miss it? Nobody. This is exactly what this post is all about. Whether a download has finished, the next track of your music playlist has begun, the battery of your laptop is going to die, or you have received a new email, both Growl For Windows and Snarl will notify you know about it instantly. I have reviewed both free system notifications tools in details, below.

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Remove ‘Gadgets’ From Windows 7 Desktop Right-Click Context Menu

A few weeks back when I installed Windows 7, everything looked great, until I right-clicked the desktop. I always tend to keep my context menu clean and clutter-free. Since I am not a big fan of fancy Windows Gadget, removing it from the desktop right-click context menu makes sense.

Note: Before making changes to the registry, make sure you have backed up your Windows Registry, to learn how to backup, click here.

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How To Mount Blu-Ray Image As Virtual Drive

In the previous post we discussed about ripping and burning blu-ray disk, this post will focus on mounting and un-mounting blue-ray image. The tool we will use for this process will also be the same(BDDecrypter). There are various emulation tools that now support mounting of blu-ray image, but we will use this tool since it can also rip and burn blu-ray disks. Thus, making all three tasks possible from within one easy-to-use tool.

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How To Rip And Burn Blu-Ray Disc Quickly

This guide will teach you how to Rip and Burn Blu-Ray Discs using BDDecrypter. BDDecrypter, which stands for Blu-Ray & DVD Decrypter is a free tool for Windows that lets you rip, burn, and emulate the blue-ray discs, we will discuss the later in a separate post. (Update: Mounting Blu-Ray Image as Virtual Drive as been posted here)You can rip the blu-ray disk either to an ISO image file or to the m2ts file set. The same goes for burning, you can burn a writable blu-ray disk either from blu-ray image or blu-ray file set.Read More

Moovida – Powerful Open Source Media Center For Linux And Windows

Today, I finally got some time to try out Moovida(formally named Elisa Media Center). At first it looked like just another media center, but I have to confess that it got me addicted for the last 6 hours(my longest with any media center). It has a sleek design which gives it a professional eye-candy look, supports 3rd party plugins, and has a very robust and intrusive interface.Since this is a new app and has a small but growing community, the plugins available are limited. At the moment, you can view Photos from Flickr and DeviantArt, Videos from YouTube, GameTrailers and TED Talks, listen to Music from GrooveShark, Radio from Shoutcast and Yes.fm.Read More

Portable Cookie And System/Internet History Remover – ZeroTrace

Every time you browse the internet, your information is stored in cookies and browser cache. When you use an app, your activity is stored in Application History. When you simply browse the computer and open files, the activity is stored in Recent Documents in Start Menu. How would you remove all traces of user activity and history without having to remove them manually one by one?

There are many tools that can do such job, but most of them require installation. ZeroTrace is a free portable tool for Windows that has recently grabbed my attention. I can now use a public computer and simply run this tool at the end to erase all my activity and history, thus, not worrying about my privacy anymore.

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Make A Free 3D Virtual Box/Book Cover

Did you just compile your software or maybe just wrote a book? In both cases, you would want to add the image of virtual software box or book cover on your website. By adding the virtual box or book cover, it gives a more fresh and eye-candy look to the customers/visitors.

You don’t need to be an expert in Photoshop or graphic designing to make them. QuickBox is a free portable tool for Windows that let’s you make 3D box/book covers instantly. On the right sidebar you will find Front Image, Top Image, Spine Image, and Floor Image, just double-click them and add your custom images. You can change the Width, Height, and Depth of the cover depending on where you would like to place on your website.

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Hide Text In Image File With ImageHide

Want to send an important message to someone without having a fear that it will be read by someone else? ImageHide is a free portable tool for Windows that does exactly that. It can hide any written text inside the image file, without altering the image quality.

All you have to do is load the image, type the message, and hit Write Data. You can also Encrypt(Password Protect) the message in one click.

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Make A Slideshow With Music And Audio Using PhotoStage

Remember, last year we discussed about making a free DVD slideshow(with music) in Windows Vista. Well it got a lot more easier and professional with PhotoStage. It is a free tool for Windows that lets you create a professional slideshow with any media file. You can add photos, videos, music, and also add your own recorded voice to the slideshow all from within a simple-to-use interface.

The slideshow feature in Windows DVD Maker contains basic features only, while in PhotoStage you can edit every aspect of the slideshow to give it a professional look.

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Open Doc, Docx, RTF, HTML, And Txt Documents With Word Reader

Word Reader is an alternative to Microsoft Word 2003/2007, that can open documents of various formats. You can not edit the document, but only read it. If you are an impatient person and cannot wait for Microsoft Office to load up a simple document, then this tool does the trick. It opens the document 10 times faster than Office 2007.

The case here is almost similar to that of Adobe Reader, which has many 3rd party alternatives such as Foxit Reader, PDF XChange Reader, Free PDF Reader, and many others.

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Close All Open Applications Running From USB Drive With EjectUSB

If you have a lot of portable tools running from the USB Drive, how will close them all? What if a program running from the USB gets stalled and you are in a hurry to eject the drive? EjectUSB is a free portable tool for Windows that can kill all programs running from the USB drive and then eject it instantly, all with a single click. It can come handy for those users who love to carry portable tools with them and use them frequently.Once you have unzipped the content of the archive, copy it to your USB drive. Before you run the program, you can change the settings too. If you are not an advanced user, I recommend that you leave the settings as default.Read More

VueScan Is An Awesome Scanning Tool (We Have 5 Professional Licenses)

Remember, a few days back I wrote about a software that lets you scan multiple pages of a document and then converts it into a PDF file. The biggest drawback is that it only worked with ADF(Automatic Document Feed) Scanners, and that too with a limited number of brands only. I wondered if there is a software, which we can use to scan multiple pages using a standard scanner and then it automatically converts them into a single PDF file. It turns out there is and its called VueScan.It not only scans documents and converts them into a PDF file, it can also convert your scanner into a photocopier machine. Whether you want to batch scan family photos or simply want to save an image, this tool does the job. You will find the details of few common tasks here.Read More

Iconix Finds Trusted Emails By Adding Visual Identity To Your Email Inbox

Iconix is a free add-on for both Internet Explorer/Firefox browsers and Outlook Express/2003/2007 desktop clients. It solves a very unique problem. Suppose you get an email from PayPal asking for some information, how would you know if it is legit?Once Iconix is installed, it will scan all your emails when you visit your account and add Truemark icons before the sender’s name that it finds to be legit. It scans by sending some details of every email to the Iconix server and then determines whether the email is original or fake. It scans all emails in real-time and the process is relatively fast. The scanning takes place in the background and does not disturb your activity.Read More

Convert Your Computer Into Live Video Streaming Server

Services like UStream and JustinTv are a good platforms to broadcast live videos, but what if you want to convert your computer into a video streaming server? BroadCam is a free tool for Windows that let’s you stream live videos over both local network and internet. Apart from basic live streaming, you can also stream pre-recorded videos instantly. The pre-recorded videos can be either in Divx(AVI format), Windows ASF AND WMV files, or DV videos files.

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Restore Accidentally Closed Files, Programs, And Folders In Windows

Alright, so you were browsing a folder or were running an important application and it got closed by mistake, what will you do? Panic, of course. But don’t fret yet, ReOpen is a free portable tool for Windows that can restore all accidentally closed programs, folders, files, etc. It sits silently in the system tray and takes very less system resources.To restore an accidentally closed program, you can either double-click the system tray icon or hit the Hotkey(Shift+PgUp). This will open the main window, where you can select the program that you want to restore and hit Open Selected.Read More

Rip Subtitles From Blu-Ray Movie

Want to rip subtitle from a Bluray movie? SupRip can do it for you. It is a free portable tool for Windows that can rip subtitles from any blu-ray movie quickly. It has advanced features for subtitle ripping. Since Blu-ray movies use SupPicture(.SUP) files for subtitles, you will have to open the SUP file by clicking the Load button.blueOnce the file is open, click Auto-OCR and it will automatically scan the whole file leaving the unknown characters alone. If you want to check for any unknown characters, first check the ‘Automatically Continue’ checkbox and then click OCR. To save the subtitles, go to SRT tab and review the options, when done click Save.Read More

Create AVI Movie File From JPEG Images

Do you have a large sequence of Jpeg images and would like to create a time-lapse movie out of them? Luckily, I have found a tool that does exactly this.

PhotoLapse is a free portable tool for Windows that can create a movie in avi format from large sequence of jpg images. All you have to do is to browse the directories where the images are located and add them to the list. Next, you can check/uncheck the images that you would like to include/not include in the video. You can also mark every 2nd, 3rd, or any number of frame, which makes it easier to include less images in the video, thus saving the total video size.

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How To Hide A File Inside Calculator [Security]

Sometimes a person needs to hide an important file somewhere in order to protect it from unauthorized access. Making it only hidden is not the best way to hide an important file since it can be accessed by using powerful 3rd party search tools. Why not hide the file inside a calculator?Safe Calculator does exactly that. It is a portable tool that is both a calculator and a secret safe. You can save only one file inside it, if you have multiple files, you can zip them and then save it inside the calculator. This is how it works, when you enter the secret PIN, and hit MS key, it will automatically turn into a safe where you can hide/extract/view the file.Update: This post is just for fun, it won't really hide large files. The best way is to use encryption software such as Windows 7's Bitlocker or USB Safeguard.Read More

Remove Duplicate Music Files With Similarity

Removing Duplicate music files is nothing new, we have covered two posts before on removing duplicate audio files. Both DoubleKiller and Audio Comparer can find and remove similar audio files. But since no specific tool is 100% accurate in removing duplicate music files, it is always safe to test multiple software.Similarity is free tool for Windows that uses three different algorithms to find duplicate music files. These algorithms are content based, tags based and experimental respectively. It supports the following file formats, MP3, MP2, OGG, WMA, ASF, FLAC, APE, WF, and WMA, and the following tags ID3v1, ID3v2, ASF, WMA, and Vorbis.Read More

Change File/Folder Attributes, Date, And Time With Attribute Changer

Attribute Changer is a shell extension for Windows that can change the attributes, date, time, and NTFS compression of any file or folder. It is powerful tool that can also change the Image Exif data, such as, time and date. What makes it different from other tools is the ease-of-use. Once you have installed it, just right-click any file or folder and select Change Attributes from the list.The sole reason I use this tool is because it allows you to change the advanced settings of any file more easily. For e.g, you right-click any file in Windows, then go to Properties,  then select the General tab, and finally click Advanced in order to change the attributes. While with this tool, you only need to right-click the file and select Change Attributes. That’s it.Read More