All posts by Clif Sipe

Promoting Freeware and Free information since 2004. Owner of FreewareWiki.com with over 2000 pages of freebies. Please subscribe to my Google Feed or follow me on Twitter @clifnotes.

Find as You Type with Listary

Last year, while trying out some Linux operating systems, I was surprised to discover a cool find-as-you-type feature in the Gnome Nautilus file browsers.

listary-icon While looking for a file, you only had to start typing and a small text box appeared in the bottom right of the window (as shown below).

find-as-you-type-nautilus

At this point I had feature envybecause I wanted to see the same feature built into Windows Explorer. However, I knew that this was not going to happen anytime soon. Windows is traditionally many years behind on cool features that appear in other operating systems.

Last week, I found that my wait was over. As usual, someone saw the need and developed a third-party app which adds this cool feature to Windows. Listary not only reproduces the find-as-you-type feature, it adds even more little time-saving tricks.

Here’s what Listary looks like in Windows 7 (or Vista):

listary-explorer-win7

As you can see, it not only lists the first match as Nautilus does in Linux, it adds a drop-down list with all the possible matches. Another great addition is that it accepts the asterisk and question mark wild-card characters that help you find files quickly.

If you were looking for only JPG files in a folder, you would start by typing *JPG in the window and your matching files would be listed below. To navigate inside the list, you can use the TAB key or the UP and DOWN arrow keys. As each file is highlighted in the Listary search box, the corresponding file in the Explorer window is also automatically shown and highlighted. If a file you wish to open is highlighted in the results box, pressing ENTER will open it.

In addition to working in Windows 7 and Vista, Listary also works in Windows XP, as shown below.

listary-explorer-winXP

Listary is a free program although there is a paid version (Listary Pro) which offers more search features. You’ll find that it’s offered as an 827kb setup file that must be installed. The installation doesn’t spring any surprises on you and you do have the ability to set several options in it.

The most important option is whether to allow Listary to start when Windows does. Listary only takes about 7mb of memory while running and is always shown as an icon in the system tray. Right clicking on the system tray icon allows you to exit the program or change settings.

Download the free version of Listary

[via DownloadSquad]

Techie Buzz Verdict:

Listary has given me the chance to try a feature I’d wished for in Windows. I like how it works and I was also surprised to find that it offers more than similar features in Linux. I can’t complain about any lack in features, because there is a Pro version and I could pay for the additional features if I need them.

Techie Buzz Rating: 3/5

Windows 7 Update – Microsoft Will Seek and Destroy Pirated Copies

Today on the Genuine Windows Blog, it was announced that Windows 7 will get an update to it’s “Windows Activation Technologies” (WAT). So what is WAT? This feature set was developed to detect if a copy of Windows 7 is “genuine“,  properly activated and has a valid license. In plain English, they want to find out if you have a pirated or cracked copy of Windows 7.

Windows 7 TipsThe new WAT update will detect over 70 “known and potentially dangerous activation exploits“. It may be true that many PCs that have been activated using a crack or hack are infected or at risk of infection. However, Microsoft is plainly stating that this update is mainly for the protection of the users. I have a feeling that there are lots of users who don’t want this protection.

According to the post, this Windows 7 update is “voluntary” and it doesn’t have to be installed. I have to take this statement as the truth, however, I’ve seen plenty of times when I had no choice but to accept updates. Have you ever shut down your PC and then discovered that it’s gone into an automatic update before it shuts down? Who has a choice when this happens?

I’m keeping my hopes up, but I would guess that we are going to see lots of problems stemming from this new update. In the past, any time a change has been made to Windows activations, even legitimate copies of Windows suddenly stop working, or start displaying warnings.

Be sure to post a comment below if you see the new update or experience a problem because of it.

How to Keep the Same Notes Everywhere – Synchronizing Tomboy with Dropbox

dropbox-icon The other day, I wrote about a free note taking application called Tomboy. As I mentioned there, Tomboy is now available for Linux, Mac and Windows. Since I frequently move between machines and jump in and out of Linux and Windows, I wanted to have the same notes in all places.

After some research, I found out that I could set Tomboy to use a local folder to synchronize notes. I am an enthusiastic Dropbox user and I have it installed on every PC that I use. To me, the next logical step was to point my Tomboy sync at Dropbox so that I was getting the same notes on all my PCs, no matter what system was running.

Here’s how it’s done.

If Tomboy is running, you can access the preferences by a right click to it’s system tray, or from the Search All Noteswindows under Edit – Preferences.

tomboy-right-click-systray

Make sure the pull-down menu is showing Local Folder, then hit the Browsebutton to choose a folder on your PC. Naturally, in this case, we will choose a folder inside of the Dropbox folder so that the files will get synchronized by Dropbox.

tomboy-preferences

Once you have the folder selected, be sure to hit the Savebutton to save the folder path.

Now you only need to do this on every PC that you have Tomboy installed on and you’re ready to go. Whenever you need to update your notes, you can find the Synchronize Notescommand in the systray icon right click or in any note window under Tools.

tomboy-sync-menu

That’s it. Have fun taking notes in Tomboy.

Create a Hyperlinked Notes Database with Tomboy

tomboy-icon I’ve been playing with Linux for a couple of years now. One of the applications on Linux that I’ve grown to use often, is Tomboy. Since I spend most of the day in Windows, I was pleased to find out that the developers of Tomboy have ported it over to Windows (and Mac). I’ll tell you a bit about this app and how to install it on your Windows PC.

What is Tomboy?

It’s a note taking application. However, it blends normal text with links and hyperlinks, such as you see while using a web browser. A link in Tomboy usually opens another Tomboy page. This feature allows you to quickly build a personal knowledge database that’s easy to navigate, organize and manage. Tomboy also allows you to use web links and email links.

Here’s what a Tomboy note looks like:

tomboy-start-here-page

When you need to create a new page in Tomboy, you can either use the “new page” button, or you can create a link using a word or several words in a page. Once you’ve created a link such as “My Personal Info”, every time you type those words into Tomboy, the text automatically turns into a link to the “My Personal Info” page.

Here are some other features of Tomboy:

  • Text Highlights
  • web links & email address links
  • Undo/redo
  • Font styling & sizing
  • Bulleted lists

When you highlight text in Tomboy, a single click can turn it into a link, or you can format the text by using the “Text” menu.

tomboy-text-format

When it’s not in use, Tomboy normally resides as an icon in the system tray. Right clicking on the system tray icon will bring up the main menu. However,   I’ve noticed that sometimes the icon disappears in Windows. Tomboy can still be accessed by using the ALT + F12 hotkey combination to pop up the Tomboy menus.

tomboy-main-menu

Take a look at the following video to get a better idea of how Tomboy works.

.

Installing Tomboy in Windows?

Tomboy requires .NET 3.5 (from Microsoft) and GTK# (from Novel) in order to run. If you are running Windows 7, you already have .NET, but XP users may need to install or update their current .NET.

Dowload GTK# for Windows and install it.

Once you have .NET and GTK# installed, you can download the Tomboy Installer and run it.

Final Note: Tomboy also has the ability to synchronize notes between operating systems and between different computers. I plan on showing you how to do this in a later article.

Techie Buzz Verdict:

I usually don’t care much for applications that have strict requirements such as .NET. In the case of Tomboy Notes, I’m willing to overlook this failing. The ability to work with the same notes when I’m using Windows, Linux or Mac is pretty valuable to me. Many would argue that several online services already allow you to do this from a web browser. Just as many people still like to have a local application to keep their private notes more secure and easier to access. If you need to keep your notes on a local drive, Tomboy can be a flexible choice for you.

Techie Buzz Rating: 3/5 (Good)

Tweak XP Security Settings with XP-Antispy

A few hours ago, Pallab told us how to Optimize Windows 7 Services with SMART. That made me wonder if there was a similar utility for XP. However, I found out that the SMART utility mentioned in Pallab’s article now supports Vista and XP. After a bit more research, I found a utility I’ve heard about for a long time and hadn’t tried until now.

XP-Antispy is a small application that lets you control some of the XP system services and registry settings. Disabling these services and settings can make your PC safer from outside threats and also keep it from contacting Microsoft when it doesn’t need to. These settings could be changed manually by a Windows user, however, tracking all of them down and changing them could take hours and hours of hard work. XP-Antispy makes it simple.

Here’s what XP-Antispy looks like:

xp-antispy-interface

As you can see, the interface is simple enough, and the operation is as simple as adding check-marks or removing them. Each setting is briefly explained so that you have an idea what each does. Antispy also allows you to keep a copy of your old settings so that you can always return to them if you need to.

There is a built in help file that is fairly detailed if you need it. I was also pleased to find that a portable version (in a zip file) is available for download as well as the typical installer based version.

Important Note: This program is not recommended for a new or casual Windows user. Many of these settings should only be changed by experienced users. As an additional precaution, you could also make a full back up the XP registry with ERUNT before making changes with this tool.

Home Page of XP-Antispy

http://www.xp-antispy.org/index.php/en/ueber

Alternate download at Download.com

Techie Buzz Verdict:

I like XP-Antispy’s simplicity and the help file that is provided. I’m also happy that the author updates this program quite often to keep it current with today’s changing security needs. However, I wish that there was more explanation for each setting. I was also disappointed by a re-directed to eBay on my first attempt to download the zip file. That’s why I included the alternate download location above.

Techie Buzz Rating: 3/5 (Good)

650 Free Wallpapers That You’ve Never Seen Before

While I was reading a newsletter from Dave’s Computer Tips, I found a link to a site that he recommended. The site is called VLADSTUDIOand it contains Desktop Wallpapers, E-Cards, T-shirts, Post cards, Greeting cards and Mugs.

The wallpapers are free and most of them are original artwork that is unique and wonderful. There are a few of the standard natural landscapes, but I can promise that many of you have never seen these wallpapers before. Below are thumbnails of a few that I found interesting.

vladstudio_airlines_200x150 vladstudio_alien_and_chameleon_200x150 vladstudio_asmallgiftforxmas_200x150

vladstudio_christmas_train_200x150 vladstudio_diving_200x150 vladstudio_dolphins_200x150

vladstudio_insiderainbow_color2_200x150 vladstudio_kiwikiwi_200x150 vladstudio_ladybug_and_chameleon_200x150

vladstudio_pianist_200x150 vladstudio_siberianwinter_200x150 vladstudio_snail_racing_200x150

vladstudio_spiderweb_waterdrops_green_200x150 vladstudio_tarsier_200x150 vladstudio_where_snowflakes_are_born_200x150

Did I mention that there are over 650 free wallpapers in various sizes? The site is easy to navigate but there are only 24 wallpapers on each page, so be prepared to do plenty of clicking. I had no trouble spending over an hour there the first time I visited.

Vladstudio is the creation of 30 year old Vlad Gerasimov, from Irkutsk, Russia, and located near lake Baikal, the deepest lake in the world. If you want to learn more, see this interview of Vlad. If you really like Vlad’s work, and want to give him a shout-out, here is Vlad’s Twitter page.

Go to VLADSTUDIO

http://www.vladstudio.com/wallpapers/

Techie Buzz Verdict:

I enjoyed nearly all of the wallpapers I saw at Vladstudio. My first wish is for more of the same, although the ability to download more than one at a time would be nice.

Techie Buzz Rating: 3/5 (Good)

Immunet Protect Offers Side by Side Compatibility with Your Current AntiVirus

When Immunet Protect came out some time last summer, I did a little research on it and then tried it. Immunet is a Cloudbased antivirus program, much like Panda Cloud Antivirus. Here’s how Immunet works, according to the home site:

Imagine for a moment that you could leverage the computers of your friends, family and a worldwide global community to harness their collective security. Every time someone in this collective community encounters a threat everyone else in the community gains protection from that same threat in real time.

I was pleased with the way that it worked and I kept it on my system for several weeks. I soon moved on to try Microsoft’s antivirus. Currently, I am running Antivir, after reading a Techie Buzz article which was titled, Avira Antivirus Is the Lightest Antivirus Software.

Recently, I received notice from TechTracker, that there’s a new version of Immunet available. Here’s the news that made me look at Immunet again.

Version 1.0.25 supports ‘side by side’ installs with over 20 new Anti-Virus products including current versions of AVG, Avira, Mcafee, Kaspersky, Avast and Trend products. It also now supports Windows 7, XP and Vista 32/64-bit installs.

Immunet has been friendly with other antivirus apps from the day it was born. The newest version simply adds more friendsto it’s list. What does this mean for the average user? It means that you can run Immunet all by itself, or you can have additional AV protection if you need it. In my case, I have installed Immunet Protect side by side with my current Avira Antivir.

So far, Immunet and Avira are acting like old buddies, but I’ll keep an eye on them. The extra load on my system seems to be about 24mb of memory and I can handle that. I’m seriously tempted to keep Immunet and dump Avira after reading that Immunet recently ranked higher than Microsoft Security Essentials And Avira In MRG Rogue AV Test.

Since we didn’t show you Immunet in our last article about it, I’ll give you a few screen shots and some more details.

Global Hotkeys for Windows Media Player

I usually listen to my MP3 collection using SysTrayPlay (STP) music player. I like the fact that it stays out of the way in my system tray and lets me control most operations by global hotkeys. If I need to pause the music, I just hit CTRL-0 or any other combination I’ve chosen.

windows media player iconOccasionally, I like to listen to music using Windows Media Player (WMP). It’s not the greatest player, but it’s already installed and I like the SRS bass boost. The only problem is that it doesn’t have global hotkeys. When WMP is minimized, there’s no way to pause, control volume, skip songs or any other function.

I got tired of this and I went out for a google search. After a few false leads, I finally found what I was looking for. There’s a great solution at SourceForge.net named WMP Keys‘.

WMP Keys is a plugin for Windows Media Player that gives you global hotkeys for the following:

• Play/Pause         Ctrl+Alt+Home
• Next                     Ctrl+Alt+Right
• Previous             Ctrl+Alt+Left
• Volume Up           Ctrl+Alt+Up
• Volume Down       Ctrl+Alt+Down
• Fast Forward     Ctrl+Alt+F
• Fast Backward   Ctrl+Alt+B
• Rate [1-5]         Ctrl+Alt+[1-5]

WMP Keys is easy to use and manage. Download and install it. The next time you open up Windows Media Player, open up the Tools menu, choose Options and the Plugins tab. Find the Backgrounds category and enable the Wmpkeys plugin with a check in it’s check-box.

At this point, you can choose the Properties button to change any of the hotkeys that are assigned to the Media Player functions.

wmp-keys-settings

These hotkeys work. It’s that simple.

Download WMP Keys

via [ghacks]

Would you like to see some of the other cool things you can do with Windows Media Player? Check out these links.

• How to Uninstall Windows Media Player 11

• Play Real Media Files in Windows Media Player

• Play FLV Files In Windows Media Player

• How To Play QuickTime Files In Windows Media Player?

• How To Play Any Video File In Windows Media Player?

Techie Buzz Verdict:

WMP Keys is small, free and open source. It solves what I considered to be a big problem. I’d like to see the plugin expanded to include more functions, but it’s fine the way it is now. I can recommend it to anyone who still loves to play their music in Windows Media Player.

techiebuzzrecommendedsoftware1

Techie Buzz Rating: 4.5/5 (Excellent)

McAfee Security Scan Plus – Advice That You May Not Want

Recently, I wrote about Secunia’s Online Software Inspector. It scanned my netbook and found several programs that it believed were out of date. As you probably know, out of date programs can give hackers an easy way to gain access to a PC. One of the programs I needed to update was Adobe Acrobat Reader.

I went to the Adobe site to get the latest updated version and while there, I saw an offer for a free copy of McAfee’s Security Scan Plus. I had never heard of it before, and my curiosity would not let me pass it up.

mcafee-sec-scan-plus

The McAfee product installed right after Adobe finished. A few days later, I finally got around to trying it out. Here’s the first thing you will see upon launching it. It’s a simple welcome screen, nothing more.

mcafee-sec-scan-plus-welcome

Next, you’ll see that you must update this product in order to use it.

mcafee-sec-scan-plus-update

The update didn’t take long and they provided an interesting animation while I waited.

mcafee-sec-scan-plus-updating

Next it started scanning my PC. I was anxious to see the results at this point.

Back Up Your Registry in Case of Disaster – ERUNT

registry icon Most of you already know what the Windows registry is and what it does. I’ll tell you about it anyway, just in case you’ve forgotten. The Windows registry is the keeper of all the settings in Windows and many of the programs you install. If something goes wrong in the registry, you can end up with a PC that won’t even boot properly.

In some of the older Windows operating systems, such as Win95, 98 and ME, your PC used to back up the registry every time you rebooted. If you are using Windows 2000, XP, Vista or Win7, this isn’t true. In those older systems, you could restore an older copy of the registry while you were booting up. In the newer systems, you can’t do that.

Many years ago, I ran into a program called ERUNT that solves this problem to some extent. The name stands for Emergency Recovery Utility NT. ERUNT allows you to back up the registry completely and restore older copies of the registry if you run into any problems. It has saved me plenty of headaches over the years.

The ERUNT program is fairly small. The installer is about 772kb when you download it. The installation is fairly standard up to the final option. You will be asked if you want ERUNT to run every time Windows starts. I always tell it No’, but it’s a great safety option.

erunt-autostart-setup

Once installed, you can launch ERUNT from your Start menu, or a shortcut. You’ll see a screen like this.

erunt-in-backup-mode

As you can see, the default location of the backup files is a folder called ERDNT inside the Windows folder. Once you click the OK button to start the backup operation, it actually does it’s job fairly quick.

erunt

Now that you have a backup, what good is it? Let’s use me as an example. I had recently tried out a new image viewer and I didn’t like it after trying it. I tried to uninstall it, and I found out that the uninstall wouldn’t work. The image viewer had changed all of my image file type settings and now there was no way to return them to the original settings.

If I had used ERUNT before installing the image viewer, I’d be able to restore the registry to make all of those changes vanish. Unfortunately, I hadn’t made any backups, and I ended up with far more trouble. Hopefully, I won’t do that again.

To recover the registry from an earlier backup, you need to go to the C:\Windows\ERDNT folder, then into one of the dated backup folders. Once inside one of the date folders, you’ll see the ERDNT.exe file.

erdnt-file

Double click the ERDNT file to launch the restore operation. Once it’s finished, you will be prompted to reboot the PC. During the reboot, Windows will load the backup copy of the registry.

Here’s what I recommend for the use of ERUNT.

• Back up the registry just before installing new programs.
• Back up the registry just before you start a Windows update.
• Back up the registry on a regular basis (like once a week).

ERUNT works in Windows NT, 2000, XP, and I’ve read it also works with Windows 7 and Vista.

When you install ERUNT, it also provides you with a utility called NTREGOPT. This is a registry optimizing tool and supposedly compacts the registry to remove wasted space in it. I don’t use it often, but you may find it useful.

Download ERUNT
http://www.larshederer.homepage.t-online.de/erunt/

Techie Buzz Verdict:

If you want to prepare for disaster, you should always keep full backups of your Windows hard drives. For smaller and quicker backups, you can use ERUNT to back up the Windows registry. It could save you hours of trouble, and I could almost say it’s a must have‘ utility.

techiebuzzrecommendedsoftware1

Techie Buzz Rating: 4/5 (Excellent)

Portable Sticky Notes for Your Desktop – hott notes

If you need to post quick notes on your desktop, you have quite a few programs to choose from. My personal pick is hott notes. Hott notes has been around for a long time and has continued to improve with each version. This may or may not be the best sticky notes program, but it does have one feature that would make it my choice. Hott notes is now available in a portable version.

Here’s a screenshot from the website:

hotnotes4-scr-shot

You can change the colors, fonts, titles, add pictures, to-do lists and more. Here’s a brief list of other features.

• Note types – Message, List, Scribble
• Transparency
• Scribbles draw your own images
• Wastebasket just like Windows Trash Bin
• Archive notes store them away
• Backup notes keep them safe
• Restore notes from Wastebasket or Archive
• Import notes from Backup files

I like the portable version, which I can take with me on a flash drive to use on any Windows PC. It’s offered as a ZIP file and can be extracted to any location.

Here are 11 more sticky note programs. If you need a sticky notes program that can be used on multiple operating systems, such as Mac or Linux, you might like to try GloboNotes, which runs on any computer with Java 6 installed on it. Another popular sticky program is called Stickies, and I’m still waiting for a portable version of it that actually works.

• Download hott notes
http://www.hottnotes.com

Techie Buzz Verdict:

Hott notes is a good way to keep track of small bits of information. Just like the real world sticky notes, they will keep you from forgetting important events or information. The only lack I’ve found so far, is that you can’t paste images into these, even though you can draw your own using the Scribbles note type.

Techie Buzz Rating: 3/5 (Good)

Hundreds of Free Smileys – The Smiley Vault

smilies0712Back in 2004, I ran into a website full of great free stuff. Naturally, I downloaded and tried a lot of it. The site is DavidPye.com, and today I’ll tell you about one of my favorite freebies from David’s site.

The Smiley Vault is a 3mb download containing nearly 1800 smiley gifs of all kinds. These free animated gifs are quite entertaining, although most of them are fairly small by today’s standards. The gifs are completely safe to use. That’s refreshing, since finding free smileys online can be dangerous for your PC’s health. Many links to free smileys and other images will lead you to evil websites that try to infect your computer with spyware and trojans.

The gif package must be installed, but the installer only unpacks the files where you want to place them. It doesn’t make any changes to the Windows registry, but it does create a convenient entry in your Start menu.

To find the smileys you want to use, you can open the Vault from the Start menu, or the index.htm file that comes with the gifs. It gives you a nice interface to view them in, and will work in any web browser. Here’s a screenshot.

smileyvault

That’s not all there is at David’s site. He has much more. If you go there, be sure to check out The Price of Freedom. It’s a diary of his father’s 3 year trial as a Japanese prisoner of war during World War II. The story is awesome, and it’s a reminder of how much we owe to the men who fought, were wounded and died during those times.

Download The Smiley Vault

Techie Buzz Verdict:

This free offer of nearly 1800 free smiley gifs is well worth the download. They can be used anywhere, in your email or in forums and blogs posts. I would have liked these better without an installer, but I won’t complain.

Techie Buzz Rating: 4/5 (Excellent)

Locking Programs and Files with a Password – SaveIt

I saw a review for a program called Empathy at Download Squad. It allows you to lock files with a password. They mentioned that this was a free version with the password feature disabled partially. You could only use a one letter password. What are they thinking?

I try out lots of free apps and I do occasionally recommend CrippleWare if it’s still useful. If there are any good alternatives I’ll mention those in the same article.

There are many free apps to let you lock down your PC and it’s applications. Below are a couple I’ve run into in the past and one I can recommend.

WindowsXpSecurityConsole – Super but mainly locks Windows resources

WinGuard Pro 2008 – NOT RECOMMENDED too many disabled features in the free edition

SaveIt! is the one I recommend if you need to lock program files.

saveit

SaveIt uses a fairly standard installer. When you launch it, you’ll be able to choose the executable file that you want to password protect. It will step you through two additional screens to get more settings from you. If you get confused about what to do at the end of each step, look in the right side panel for the link labeled Nextto advance to the next step.

When you are done, you should see the icon for your executable change to the SaveIt icon which shows a red circle with a cross-bar through it. Anyone trying to open your protected executables will have to know the password to use it.

If you decide to remove the protection on a file later, you can get to this screen (below) by launching the file and supplying the password.

saveit-options

Download location:

http://www.neroes.de/downloads/

Techie Buzz Verdict:

SaveIt is a simple and effective way to control who can access programs on your PC. It’s small. easy to use, and it’s free. I can recommend it without any reservations.

techiebuzzrecommendedsoftware1

Techie Buzz Rating: 4/5 (Excellent)

Online Security Scan in Less Than Two Minutes

A little over a year ago, we wrote about Secunia’s Personal Software Inspector (PSI). It’s a freeware application that you can download and install in Windows. It’s purpose is to scan all of the installed programs on your PC and tell you which ones need to be updated.

Keeping your programs updated is important for your security. Recently, Google and several other companies were hacked by the Chinese using security holes in older software. Your PC probably has many of the same security holes.

There are several programs that can help to keep your Windows PC safe by scanning for those out of date programs. However, many of you might like to try out a free online scanner from Secunia. Secunia Online Software Inspector (OSI) runs inside of your web browser so that you won’t have to install anything. It loads a small Java applet to do it’s work. Most PCs already have Java installed, so nothing additional should be needed.

OSI offers two scan modes. The default scan is fast, and according to the site, it scans in 5 to 40 seconds. My first scan took over a minute though. A check box on the page will allow a “thorough system inspection” that can take up to 10 minutes or more.

I’ve tried out both scans, and in the quick scan, OSI found 3 programs that I needed to update. In the more thorough scan, it detected 8 programs after running for 9 minutes. Take a look at what it found.

secunia-osi-scan-results

I’ll be spending a portion of the rest of the day getting these programs updated. After all, I don’t feel like making my PC a good target for Chinese hackers.

Try out the free Secunia OSI Scan

Techie Buzz Verdict:

Secunia OSI offers you a free, quick and easy way to test your PC for out of date software. It’s main advantage is that there’s no need to install software in most cases. If you feel your PC might be at risk, you might also want to try the full version of Secunia PSI, which is also free.

Techie Buzz Rating: 4/5

WinPatrol Lifetime License for 99¢ – One Day Only

I don’t check my Twitter very often. I was surprised to catch a tweet that I consider breaking news. The author of the excellent WinPatrol security software for Windows has gone a little crazy. Here’s what he says on his blog.

I’m curious and thinking a crazy single day experiment could be fun and may be worth the risk. So what the hell. If you want to upgrade to WinPatrol PLUS on January 29th, I’ll give you a lifetime WinPatrol membership for less than a dollar. (normally $29.95 USD)

I’ve used the free version of WinPatrol many times over the last few years. Last year we wrote an article telling you how to use WinPatrol to speed up Windows startup by delaying less important startup programs. That’s only one way to use WinPatrol. It’s been listed at Gizmo’s as a Best Free Intrusion Prevention and Detection Utility for Home Use. The PLUSedition of WinPatrol has some features in it that are going to be worth far more than a dollar to most users.

I’ll take a few moments here to tell you about some of it’s other important features.

WinPatrol-startup-window

As you can see, the program offers you 13 tabs full of information about the programs, services and settings on your PC. These include:

• Startup Programs
• Delayed Start
• ActiveX
• IE Helpers
• Scheduled Tasks
• Services
• Active Tasks
• Cookies
• File Types
• Hidden Files
• Recent
• PLUS Information
• WinPatrol Options

Each one of those tabs typically allow you to not only see what’s going on in your PC, but to also make changes to those areas. WinPatrol normally runs as an icon in your System Tray and notifies you when important PC settings are changed. Once notified, you are given the chance to deny those changes.

The PLUS section gives you access to WinPatrol’s exclusive information about the normally unknown processes that run on your PC.

There’s also a portable version of WinPatrol called WinPatrolToGo that can be taken with you on a flash drive or other portable media.

The 99 ¢ offer is available only on January 29th at:

http://www.winpatrol.com/

Techie Buzz Verdict:

The free version of WinPatrol is a great addition to the security of any Windows PC. Adding the PLUS features for a small lifetime fee of 99 cents is a real bargain that many people should consider. Remember that this offer is only good on January 29th 2010, one day only.

Techie Buzz Rating: 4/5