Rufus: Create Bootable USB To Install Windows & Linux, Flash BIOS And More

Not a while back, optical discs were the real means to install new operating systems on to your machine. With the advent of thumb drives, everything changed for the better - letting users create bootable USB drives to install Windows. To install Windows from a USB flash or thumb drive, you must first prepare it for bootable drive. In the past, we have covered a number of tools to create bootable USB drive, such as Windows 7 USB/DVD Tool (to create a bootable DVD/USB for installing Windows 7 and Windows 8) and WinSetupFromUSB (to create a multi-boot setup from a folder containing the setup files).  Today, we came across another small, yet powerful bootable USB creator called Rufus. It is a portable application that enables you to create bootable USB flash drive to install Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Linux-based operating systems etc. The application comes with some advance disk format options, and a feature to check device for bad sectors. Moreover, it allows you to create extended label and icon files. Read More

Auto Lock: Automatically Lock Screen And Mute Speakers Before Leaving Your System

In various software houses, software developers usually love listening to online music such as Grooveshark or YouTube - as it pumps in more energy and boost the adrenaline within them to keep in focus with their work. But when in a hurry, if they get the urge to leave their chair for a certain reason, chances are they often leave their system unlocked or even if they lock the screen using Win + L hotkey combination, the music keeps playing in the background, which can be downright disturbing for people around. Then, in some work places, especially banks, password protecting the system login is an utmost rule that should be followed. The reason is that anyone can access the system & comprise security by stealing private information in situations where the system is left unattended without any type of login security. Although we all know the importance of system security, sometimes we forget locking the system before leaving it. Previously, we have covered some screen lock programs, such as Screen Locker for Windows, Clear Lock and Blue Lock, which automatically lock the system when the specified criteria is met. If you somehow didn't like the previous applications or they simply didn't meet your requirements, then give Auto Lock a shot. It is another portable application that lets you do a lot more than just locking the computer after the set amount of time. Albiet, very small in size, this application has a lot to offer up its sleeves. Read on to find out more about Auto Lock. Read More

XMind Is A Feature-Rich, Advanced Mind Mapping & Brainstorming Tool

A Mind Map is diagram used to represent an idea, a task or any other item linked to and arranged around a central key word or idea. Brainstorming is the process through which a group tries to find a solution for a specific problem by gathering a list of ideas spontaneously contributed by its members. This method of putting forward ideas as a group rather than working individually greatly increase the quantity and quality of the ideas produced. Mind maps are used to generate new ideas by visualizing the structure of the current ideas and organizing the available information for solving problems and making decisions. This technique is used in various organizations and is applicable in a number of different fields, relating to marketing, R&D, operations management and others. Previously, we have covered a simple mind mapping utility named Blumind that provides simple tools for create a mind map diagram. The application has a simple usage and user friendly interface. XMind is a bit more advanced open source brainstorming and mind mapping application to efficiently save time by managing brainstorming sessions. It's quite a robust application to apply various mind mapping techniques. More details up ahead. Read More

Easily Capture Complete Webpage Screenshots With TipCase Web Snapshot

One of the most useful utilities available for all major platforms are screenshot tools. Screenshots are a great way to make those boring and complicated tutorials easy. Including images with text adds color to it, and makes it more interesting for the reader. Moreover, there are times when you can explain something only with words, and a screenshot does wonders for the author in getting the message across, and for the readers to understand exactly what the writer meant. Imagine how bland the articles here at AddictiveTips would look if we stop adding screenshots with the text. I have always liked this quote, 'a picture is worth a thousand words' -  it stands true for screenshots as well. Windows also comes packed with Snipping Tool that provides all their is to capture most kind of screens. Previously, we have also covered some very good applications for taking high quality screenshots, such as Shotty, which finely preserves Aero effect in screens and Greenshot, one of the best screen taking tools. However,  both of these utilities do not allow you to take screenshots of a complete webpage. Yes, taking screenshots of entire webpage has its own good reasons. Worry not though, as TipCase Web Snapshot is here to get this job done for you . It is a portable application for Windows that lets you easily capture the full-page screenshots of web pages, with as little effort as there is. Read More

NeatMouse: Control Your Mouse With Custom-Mapped Keyboard Buttons

Sometimes, it may happen that your mouse stops working in the middle of something, or a new mouse might not get detected by Windows. In times like these, being able to control your mouse with the help of your keyboard comes in very handy. This is also applicable to netbook and laptop users who might hate relying on the trackpad for mouse movements. Even though the ease of access center in Windows allows you to control the mouse with your keyboard buttons, you don’t have options like scroll up and down in a window. NeatMouse is a portable tool for Windows that allows you to control your mouse via keyboard, and provides you with the ability to scroll up and down a page, mimic the left and right clicks of the mouse and move the pointer with different speeds. If you don’t want to use the pre-specified keys for performing different functions, you can change them individually according to your own preference. You can activate and deactivate the application directly from your keyboard anytime just with a single key. More on NeatMouse after the break. Read More

ESBUnitConv Is A Comprehensive Unit Conversion Tool For Windows

Unit conversion can get a bit confusing, especially with the Standard System being used in the US and Metric System being used elsewhere. Whether US should adopt the Metric System has been the topic of debates since a long time. Arguments, both for and against, the Metric System can be found everywhere on the web, but as long as the US continues to use the Standard System, all the rest of the world will have to bear with it. While the default calculator included with Windows allows you to convert between some basic units, should you need to perform a conversion that the default calculator doesn't allow, you have got to take a look in to Google. But what if you don't have an internet access? That's why it's advisable to keep an offline tool with your, in case you need one. If you want a tool to help you in converting a wider range of complex units of measure and works offline as well, then try ESBUnitConv It is a portable application for windows that provides you with an easy to understand GUI to easily convert between units of measurement. The application has a wide range of unit types to choose from neatly divided into separate categories for easy navigation. More on ESBUnitConv after the break, with a few included screenshots. Read More

Create & Upload Screen Area Specific Screencasts Using vTute Recorder

Screencasts, or screen capture, are digital recordings of your computer screen. You may think of them as video screenshots that record and show the changes happening on your computer screen in the form of a video. If what you are trying to explain is not that difficult to understand, you can add screenshots with your content in order to deliver your message to users, but if its something very complicated, screencasts are considered the better option. You must have seen many video tutorials explaining to you how to perform a particular action on your computer. Now, you can create and upload your own video tutorials by using vTute Recorder. It is a portable application that allows you to easily create screencasts and upload them to vTute’s website. More on vTute Recorder after the break. Read More

DShutdown: All-in-One Automatic Shutdown Tool With Remote Access

There are times when we have to leave our computer on for a download or file transfer to finish. You can easily do this if you are sure to be around your computer when the process completes and shutdown your computer, but a lot of times, we have to go out or go to sleep and are unable to wait or be there when the download, transfer, scan or defragmentation completes. Unnecessarily keeping your PC on for long periods wastes a lot of energy and it adds up to your energy bill. According to a recent study, a lot of us keep our PC's on for no apparent reasons, and if shut down, can save a lot US total power consumption every year. Automatic shutdown applications are a great way to avoid keeping your PC on when its not needed. Previously, we have covered automatic shutdown utilities, such as AllOff Lite and DownOff, that let you shutdown your PC when certain conditions are met, but the usefulness of these applications is situation-specific. If you want a portable automatic shutdown tool that allows you to perform shutdown function on local, as well as remote computers, try DShutdown. Read on to find out more about the features provided by DShutdown. Read More

FileREX Update Checker: Scan System & Update Out-of-Date Applications

Applications are the lifeblood of the systems we use, and without properly updated applications, a computer cannot do anything to make your work easier. Every now and then, updates keep coming out for the applications that you have installed in your system. With these updates come new features, as well as more stability to the application. Updates are also meant to plug holes in security that allow hackers and malicious code to get through and harm your system. Even though most application have their own update checker that notifies the user of a pending update as soon as they log in to their computer, there are some applications that require you to manually check for new updates. FileREX Update Checker is a portable application for Windows that automates the process of checking for each application update individually by providing you with a GUI, which scan for the applications installed on your system and checks for any pending updates on its online database. More on FileREX Update Checker after the jump. Read More

PrintMyFont: List, Print & Compare All Installed Fonts On Your System

Over time, a large number of fonts are collected on to your hard drive, specially if you are a web developer or a designer, since you need to keep using different fonts for different projects. If you have a lot of fonts saved up in your computer, you can get confused looking through the long list when you want to use one for something. What you usually do is select your text and change the font again and again to check how it will look. Even though this does the job, you are not able to compare. To have a proper comparison, you need to have the text in different fonts in front of you at the same time.. In order to get an overview of all the fonts installed on your machine, you can use PrintMyFonts. It is a portable application that lists all your installed fonts, as well as the arbitrary fonts found on your hard disk. This application has a lot of utility for web developers and designers who have to use a lot of different fonts while working. More on PrintMyFonts after the break. Read More

Easily Create & Manage Cascading Context Menus With Argument Support

The right click context menu allows us to greatly reduce the number of clicks by providing us with shortcuts to our favorite and most used applications. This decreases the amount of time spent on navigating to and then opening programs, and increases our productivity. By default, Windows provides you with some basic global as well as format specific options in the right click menu, such as changing view, accessing the properties and copy/cut/paste for files and folders. Previously, we have covered some very good context menu editors, such as Context Menu Editor, feature specific context menu editors like New menu Editor (only for adding and removing objects from the New context menu), and additional menus in the context menu, including Moo0 RightClicker. Today, we are adding another portable application to the list of context menu editors called Right Click Cascading Menu Creator, which provides users with the simplest method to add and manage cascading menus to the right click context menu. It lets you add items to the cascading menus by just a few clicks. Read More

mpTrim: Remove Silence & Noise From MP3 Files And Normalize Volume

Trimming MP3 files may not be something you’ll need daily, but a fair share of users out there may find a need, from time to time, to cut through certain portions of an MP3 file. Perhaps you recorded a meeting, or are a journalist who captured the audio for an interview or conference call, or maybe you recorded a music track that has some unwanted silence or background noise in the beginning. Then, there might be instances where you may want to create a ringtone out of your favorite song, or just normalize the volume of your music collection. For all these purposes, and more, mpTrim is a nifty solution. This lightweight, portable app is a simple and easy to use MP3 editor that can help improve your MP3 collection by trimming unwanted parts, adjusting volume (normalization), adding fade-in and fade-out, and more. Details after the jump.

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DHE Drive Info: Portable Tool To View Detailed Hard Drive Statistics

Preventing hard drives from failures and crashes can avert the loss of important data, but assessing the health of your hard disk manually can be time consuming. When a hard disk is working, temperatures increase during processing and read/write operations. Heavy applications, such as virtual machines, put a lot of stress on the hard disk. In order to keep the hard disk working fine and making sure that it does not crash, you have to keep an eye on how it is performing. DHE Drive Info is a portable application for Windows that lets you view the detailed information about connected hard disks according to their partitions. The application has options to view the basic information, S.M.A.R.T. data, S.M.A.R.T. Logs, Control different settings of the hard disk, view Hidden Areas and access the Sector Browser. Moreover, the system tray of DHE Drive Info shows the current temperature of the hard disk. Read on to find out more about DHE Drive Info. Read More

TED Notepad: Editor With 312 Hotkey Supported Text-Processing Features

The Windows Notepad has not seen a lot of development in the different releases of Windows. You can justify the lack of features by arguing that Notepad is supposed to be simply, as Wordpad is available in Windows for the advanced editing operations. However, we have covered a lot of Notepad replacement applications, such as Notepad7, Glass Notepad, Letterpress and EditPad. All of these programs have their own strengths and weaknesses; for instance, Glass Notepad has a transparent interface, Letterpress offers declarative customization and EditPad Lite provides you with a tabbed interface. TED Notepad is a portable tool that can be used as an alternative to Windows Notepad. It presents you with 312, easily-accessible, innovative text processing functions that allow you to save a lot of time when editing documents. Not only does it have a massive number of features, all of them can be accessed though hot key combinations, enabling you to quickly create and edit your document. Read on to find more. Read More

Paste Text Like: Change Format, Text Case & Remove Blank Spaces From Clipboard

It seems as if Windows native clipboard utility will never get support for keeping multiple items at once and users who find the need to continuously copy paste text snippets always have to look for third-party solutions. Earlier, we have covered numerous clipboard tools, for multiple operating systems, including Clipboard Magic for Windows, and TetBom for Mac OS X, both of which happened to be quite useful. Most clipboard managers are capable of recording multiple clipboard entries, whether text snippets or files paths, letting you keep spamming that Ctrl+C before pasting the required text anywhere. Last year, we also covered a software called Dolphin Text Menu, an on-screen text cleaner that performs a range of text-specific operations over any text editor, including  append and prepend text to lines, delete blank lines, change text case etc. We found it quite handy and unique, and tried to look for other similar alternatives. Today, seemed to be our lucky day and we have an open source tool for you called Paste Text Like, which lets you perform all the aforementioned functions over the clipboard content. More details regarding Paste Text Like after the break. Read More

music2pc: Download Music From A Library Of Over 100 Million MP3 Songs

Whether listening to music while working increases or decreases productivity is a much debated topic. According to some studies, listening to music seems to impair task concentration as well as the ability to remember, while others believe it helps in drowning out the background noise, thus resulting in more concentration and better work performance. Personally, I also listen to music while working, and in my opinion, it allows more concentration as long as the track is not too distracting. In the end, its all about what you are used to while working. If you belong to group that listens to music while working, we have a music downloader for you today. music2pc is a portable application for Windows that allows you to download your favorite music from a massive library of over 100 million MP3 songs. Read More

LookDisk: All-in-One Search Tool With Text, Archive & Duplicate Lookups

Previously, we have covered some very useful tools for quickly searching through files and folder by defining certain criteria and specifying parameters, such as UltraFileSearch and SearchMyFiles, and applications that allow you to search and delete duplicate files and folder on your system, like NoDupe. Today, we have a portable tool for you, called LookDisk that combines both these functions and allows you to search duplicate files, files and folder using filters, such as file size, date and attributes, search for text in any file including PDF, displays the disk overview and search within multiple archive formats. More on LookDisk after the break. Read More

StatTrends: Plot And View Numerical Data In Interactive Charts & Graphs

Graphs are a great way to simplify all those difficult-to-understand statistics. A graph is used mostly when two or more values that are taken under different conditions, or information about the same subject in different points in time needs to be represented in a visual form. For a common man, comparison of numbers and percentages become a lot easier to understand and analyze when it is displayed in graph or chart form. For instance, if you are trying to analyze the financial data of a company before buying its shares, the balance sheets and cash flow statements are sure to confuse you. However, if the same data is plotted in a graph, it will be a lot easier for you to understand how the company has been performing financially. StatTrends is a portable application for creating interactive charts and graphs. More on StatTrends after the jump. Read More

Thumbico Lets You View & Extract Icons Of Files, Videos & Applications

Icons allow you to easily differentiate file types and applications from each other by giving you a different visual for every application. Changing file icons through changing the theme is always risky, since it might modify some important and sensitive Windows' files, which can result in some system file getting corrupted. Usually, people keep the default theme offered by Windows and do not make a lot of change to the visuals, but other like to customize every aspect of their operating system in order to have a more personalized feel. If you are one of those people who regularly change their themes and icon packs, but are not satisfied with some of the icons, give Thumbico a try. It is a portable application that lets you view thumbnails of any file, image, document, video or application in your computer, and extract their icons. You can use it to experiment with icons using features like resizing and converting to use the ones that fit both your mood and the application. Keep reading to find out more about Thumbico. Read More

Metro Cheat: Get Classic Start Menu Without Losing Metro UI In Windows 8

Since the release of Windows 8 developer’s preview, there has been a debate among users regarding the utility of the Metro UI and its elements. For those users who did not like the Metro UI, tweaks such as the Windows 8 Start Menu Toggle were introduced shortly after the pre-beta release of Windows 8. However, it appears that it is not the Metro UI itself, but the start menu of the said interface, that has mostly annoyed users. Metro Cheat is a portable application, which allows you to acquire the Windows 7 style classic start menu, while keeping other Metro features intact (e.g.,  the new Task Manager, Explorer Ribbon and Metro Apps). Before using this tweak, please make sure that UAC (User Account Control) is disabled, as the application will not be able to auto start if UAC is even partially enabled. Read More