Category Archives: Software

How to Read QR Codes on Your PC

[Windows Only]

If you are reading this, it’s likely that you already have some idea what a QR Code (or tag) is. If not, you can find out more about QR Codes on Wikipedia.

Clif's QR tag

Here’s my QR tag – what does it say?

Below, you can find out how to decode it.

People with smart phones and an internet connection, can take a snapshot of the code and find out what it says. I don’t have a smart phone, so I was feeling a little jealous every time I saw one of the tags posted somewhere. I decided to look for a way to decode these tags using my PC.

After many false turns, I finally found some freeware QR decoders that run on a PC. First I’ll tell you about bcTester, which allows you to decode QR tags in images and PDF files.

arrow-down-double-3 Download bcTester

After downloading, extract the bctester_en.zip file to a folder and run the setup file. Once installed, you’ll find the app in your Programs menu and you can launch it from there. Here’s what the main interface looks like.

bctester-with-qr-code-inside

You can open an image or PDF from the the Openicon (looks like a folder), or you can drag and drop images or PDFs onto it. Once you’ve got something to decode, you can hit the QR icon to decode it. There are several other tools to help if you run into a tag that doesn’t want to spill it’s secrets, and they offer plenty of help if you need it.

Next, I’ll show you bcWebCam. This application takes advantage of your webcam to grab images from the real world and decode the tags for you. You’ll need to install it after extracting the setup files from a zip, just like the bcTester app I mentioned above.

arrow-down-double-3 Download bcWebCam

When launched, it shows you a basic how-tofor capturing and decoding tags and bar codes.

bcWebCam-interface

I gave it a try and didn’t have much luck with it. That’s mainly because I didn’t have any good examples of codes or tags to take a picture of. I have no reason to doubt that it works like it’s supposed to, with a little practice.

Techie Buzz Verdict:

You won’t find many free applications like these. The bcTester app is a definite winner, because it’s simple to use and it works well. I’ll withhold an opinion on the bcWebCam at this time.

Techie Buzz Rating: 3/5 (Good)

WinPatrol Cloud Brings Group Intelligence to PC Security

scotty-the-windows-watchdog

[Windows Only]

One of the first security apps that I install on a new PC is WinPatrol. I don’t feel safe without Scottythe Windows watchdog in my system tray. I was getting ready to install it on my new laptop, when I noticed that there’s a new version of WinPatrol being offered. Here’s a glimpse of WinPatrol Cloud (beta).

winpatrol-cloud

As it stands now, WinPatrol already offers you the ability to track and make changes to your Windows settings. Here’s a partial list of the features.

  • Notifies you when programs are added as autorun (launch at Windows start)
  • Notifies you when changes are made to file types (such as .EXE, .JPG or .MP3)
  • Notifies you when new toolbars or helpers are added to Internet Explorer
  • Notifies you when IE’s home page is changed by a program
  • Allows you to stop applications from being autorun
  • Allows you to delay the start of autorun applications
  • Allows you to kill normally hidden applications
  • Allows you to stop and control the running of system services
  • Allows you to view and remove cookies in Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome
  • Gives you information on unknown programs and services (Plus version)
  • much more …

Even without the added information from the PLUS version, the free version of WinPatrol is a great way to retain and increase your control of Windows.

At first, I didn’t see any new features in the cloud version. After upgrading my WinPatrol Cloud to the PLUS version, I discovered some of the new cloud features. Each page of information on unknown processes and services now has a place to vote on what you think of it.

winpatrol-cloud-stats-votes

As you can see, it’s also offering statistics on what other users have done with this program. This tracking of user decisions on configuration changes is one of the best new features. As the author says, it will be like the Millionaire’s “Ask the Audience” feature.

millionaire scottycloud

* Note WinPatrol is always free to use. You must purchase a license key to unlock the PLUS features. There’s also a portable version (singe EXE file) available, called WinPatrolToGo.

arrow-down-double-3 Download WinPatrol Cloud (beta)

Techie Buzz Verdict

I’ve used WinPatrol for over 6 years. It’s on almost every Windows machine I use. The addition of these new collaborative cloud features is like icing on a cupcake to me. WinPatrol always gets a big thumb’s up here.

techiebuzzrecommendedsoftware1

Techie Buzz Rating: 4/5 (Excellent)

Buy/Pre-Order Office 2011 For Mac

Office 2011 for Mac will be released on October 26, 2010. It is the latest office suite from Microsoft for Mac OS X and will be available in two editions, Office for Mac Home and Student 2011 and Office for Mac Home and Business 2011.

Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac

Office 2011 for Mac is currently available for pre-orders on Amazon. You can place an order for the Office suite and have it delivered to you on launch date. You can pre-order or buy Office for Mac Home and Student 2011 or Office for Mac Home and Student 2011.

A single license of Mac Office 2011 Home and Student is priced at $119.99, whereas a 3 User license Family pack of Office Mac Home and Student is priced at $149.99. For Business users a Single pack of Office for Home & Business will cost $199.99, whereas a 2 license pack of Mac Office for Business will cost $279.99.

People who purchase Office 2008 for Mac today will also get a free upgrade to Office 2011 to Mac. If you haven’t seen Office 2011 for Mac in action, check out a preview video of it embedded below or check out the features of Office 2011 at the official Microsoft site.

10 New Abstract Animated Screensavers

[Windows Only]

As many of you have learned by now, not all free screensavers are created equal. Many times, free means that you have to install stupid toolbars, adware and other unwanted junk along with the screensaver. That’s not true of the ones at NewFreeScreensavers.com. Here are the most recent additions to the site.

abstraction-color-dots-black abstraction-colorful-circle abstraction-color-line-blur abstraction-diagonal-line abstraction-spirals-black abstraction-spirals-black-2 clock-night-butterfly skyscraper-clock space-funnel tunnel-black

These ten new screensavers are eye-catching and mesmerizing. Swirling colors are the most common theme, although the two clock themes were my favorites. I especially liked the butterfly clock theme. Although I didn’t hear any sound in the ones I tried, there is a mute option in the screensaver settings.

screensaver-mute

arrow-down-double-3 Screensaver Download Page

Techie Buzz Verdict:

I’ve downloaded and installed several of the screensavers at this site and never had a problem with any of them. These screensavers are safe, totally free, and there are dozens more to check out once you visit.

Techie Buzz Rating: 3/5 (Good)

Windows Live Essentials 2011 Released

Microsoft has released the final version of Windows Live Essentials 2011, their software suit for email, pictures, videos, blogging and more.

windows_live_essentials_beta

Windows Live Essentials 2011 has been released by Microsoft. The suite contains software such as Live Messenger, Live Mail, Live Writer, Photo Gallery and Movie Maker, Windows Live Mesh, Bing Bar and Outlook Connector Pack among others.

The Windows Live Essentials 2011 is a free software suite which aims to make your day to day computing easier. If you are a beta user of the software, the installed software will be upgraded. New users will be able to choose and install the software they want.

You can download and install Windows Live Essentials 2011 by visiting this link.

SystemNucleus: Consolidating Windows Admin Tools

[Windows Only] SystemNucleus is a free tool that consolidates multiple Windows system tools within a single window. You can view, edit or manage system resources and settings within the same interface.

Features :

1. The tool generates a detailed report about the system events which helps in tracking the PC status.

2. It lets you edit and fix almost all common system errors. If you are an advanced user you can tweak system properties in the Advanced mode.

3. It gives you better control over your startup items. You can delete entries or disable them if you are not sure about them. You can also re-enable items that were previously disabled.

4. You can perform all kinds of necessary backup operations. The list includes system restore point, registry hives, event logs and even drivers.

5. The app automatically scans the system for applications and sorts them into 5 categories which are Administrative Tools, Network, Security, System and Diagnostic & Repair.

6. The tool can analyze and create detailed reports on storage volumes. You can also use this app to defragment hard disk partitions.

7. Batch processing is a key feature in SystemNucleus. You can install or uninstall multiple applications simultaneously.

sytemnucleus window

[Download SystemNucleus]

Techie-Buzz Verdict:

SystemNucleus is a freeware tool that supports batch processing and offers an easy GUI (Graphical User Interface). The tool provides most of the administrative controls in a easy-to-choose categories.  The tool also offers a portable version which makes it easy to use it on any Windows computer. The tool is something every Windows user must try.

recommended

Techie-Buzz Rating: 4/5 (Excellent)

[via DownloadSquad]

Categorize Your Start menu Items with Handy Start Menu

handy start menu logo[Windows Only] Once we have lots of applications installed on our PC it becomes tough for us to locate them in the Start Menu. Since pinning items in the Start menu makes it cluttered, we try to keep them (application shortcuts) organized using shortcuts in the Quick Launch or Taskbar (in Windows 7). Sometimes they also seem to run out of places to  accommodate  any more items. Handy Start Menu is a free application that can do the job of keeping application shortcuts organized in the Start Menu as well as fitting as many items as you need.

handy start menu window

Download Handy Start Menu and install it on your PC. Start it after installation. The application will then categorize the Start Menu application shortcuts automatically. You can also choose to group them manually. To do that open the  application and click the 2nd option named “Adjust Categories of The Start Menu Items“. Now you categorize the applications as per your choice.

handy start menu example

Once the Start menu gets de-cluttered by the app, it will look like the screenshot above. There may be a problem while using this tool. When you open your Start menu ( by pressing the Windows orb or using the Windows key in the keyboard) it looks exactly as the normal cluttered one with no change. Click the “All Programs” link below to see the categorized menu. To disable the application, right-click the tray icon and choose Disable.

Techie-Buzz Verdict:

The application is  certainly  a tool to try if you have a cluttered Start menu to handle. The tool is free and consumes very little memory resources. However if you are okay with your taskbar, quicklaunch or desktop shortcuts, there is no need to increase you system overhead by installing this app.

Techie-Buzz Rating: 3/5 (Good)

FileTypesMan: Change Icon for A Filetype

[Windows Only] Filetype Manager by NirSoft is a free application that can help you change the icon associated with a specific filetype.

The tool can be downloaded from the NirSoft website. After you have downloaded the tool, unzip the pack and double-click the executable file to start the  application. As the application starts, it will automatically scan and list all kinds of filetypes that are present on your system.

extension list

You can search for a particular filetype by pressing the key combination Ctrl + F. As the search window opens, type in the extension of the filetype and hit Enter.

find filetype

Once you have found what you were looking for, right-click on the item and select “Edit Selected Filetype”. You can also press F2 to open the editing window for the selected filetype. Refer the screenshot below to see how you can change the file icon for the chosen filetype.

change icon

Techie-Buzz Verdict

The freeware is a nice utility that brings back the Windows XP folder options feature with many other options included within. Apart from changing icons you can also open selected filetype in regedit.  It works perfectly in Windows 7 and Vista. Since the tool is portable, it can be used on any PC straight away without any installation. I recommend this tool as an easy solution for changing filetype icons.

recommended

Techie-Buzz Rating: 4/5 (Excellent)

Freeware Fridays | Top Tools of the Week #21

freeware-sign2

In case you haven’t seen them, here are the most recent posts in our Freeware category. We hope you enjoy reading about these freebies, and maybe you’ll find a keeper in the mix.


9 Intoxicating Oktoberfest Screensavers

around-beer

These beer screensaver themes are perfect for getting into a thirsty mood for the upcoming October festivities. Warning: Don’t drink and operate a computer.

Add Sticky Note Reminders to Applications And Websites

sticky-notes-popups

Gumnotes is a superb application for Windows which lets you add sticky note reminders to any application, document, files or a website.

Recover Passwords from over a dozen Applications

keys2-ico

Have you lost a password? If you need to recover a password from almost any application, we’ve covered some of the best ways to do that.

What is the Best Free Online Virus Scanner?

security-high-2

According to a trusted source, three free online virus scanners to try are: McAfee’s Freescan, Trendmicro’s HouseCall, and Symantec’s Security Check. I was skeptical and decided to try them myself.

How To Uninstall Internet Explorer 9 (IE9)

Internet Explorer 9

Microsoft released Internet Explorer 9 a few days ago. If you have installed the browser and find it buggy, you cannot directly go back and uninstall IE9 from the add/remove programs.


Be sure to let us know if you have a favorite freebie you’d like to see posted here. Our comments (below) are always open to you.

9 Intoxicating Oktoberfest Screensavers

[Windows Only]

As many of you have learned by now, not all free screensavers are created equal. Many times, free means that you have to install stupid toolbars, adware and other unwanted junk along with the screensaver. That’s not true of the ones at NewFreeScreensavers.com. Here are the most recent additions to the site.

around-beer attractions-beer beer-mugs clock-beer oktoberfest oktoberfest-bubbles oktoberfest-countdown salute-oktoberfest waitress-clock

These beer themes are perfect for getting into a thirsty mood for the upcoming October festivities. If you are hosting your own little Oktoberfest party, one of these on your screen is sure to be popular. Just be sure to set a password on the screensaver. I don’t recommend letting drunk people operate your PC. There’s nothing worse than a PC with a spyware hangover.

Video: THE ULTIMATE DRUNK PEOPLE COMPILATION

• Screensaver Download Page

Techie Buzz Verdict:

I’ve downloaded and installed several of the screensavers at this site and never had a problem with any of them. These screensavers are safe, totally free, and there are dozens more to check out once you visit.

Techie Buzz Rating: 3/5 (Good)