Slim Down and Speed Up Your Computer with SlimComputer

win [Windows Only]

Even new computers have too much junk on them. Many PC manufacturers include special software packages and trial offers that you’ll probably never need. The common term for this stuff is crapware. As time goes on, your computer may also get slower because many different programs add themselves as startup programs. This means that every time you boot your PC, you’ll have to wait while lots of hidden programs automatically start.

In the past, I’ve used a program called PC Decrapifier to get rid of crapware. I also use WinPatrol to keep a close eye on the startup programs. A new program called SlimComputer now offers to do all of this and more.

On first run, you’ll be offered a chance to scan your computer for pre-installed software that you don’t want. All you have to do is to hit the big orange Run Scanbutton to get started.

slimcomputer-first-run

When it’s done scanning, you’ll get the chance to uninstall the programs that it believes are crapware. Be sure to un-check any apps you want to keep, then click the Removebutton to continue.

slimcomputer-remove-apps

After that, the Optimize section (button on left sidebar) allows you to view your startups and services. You’ll find that many of the items listed have a color rating that will tell you if the item is good to keep or needs to be removed.

slimcomputer-optimizer

If you remove things from Startup, you can always restore them later by using the Restoresection, which can be accessed on the left sidebar. There’s not much danger to removing startup applications. However, the next tab, Services, is a little easier to deal with.

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There are only two choices when you are optimizing the Services. You can use Original Settingsor you can choose what they call SuperCharged.

Next, you can visit the Uninstaller page to remove programs from your PC. It’s not much different from the Add/Remove applet in your Windows Control Panel, except that they give you a colored rating on each app.

slimcomputer-uninstaller

Finally, there’s an interface called Windows Tools. There you’ll find most of the common tools that you can usually find in your Accessories System menu on the PC.

slimcomputer-windows-tool

arrow-down-double-3 Download SlimComputer

Techie Buzz Verdict

SlimComputer offers nearly every utility you need to speed up a computer. The only thing missing is a registry cleaner and optimizer. I might hesitate adopting this suite since it’s still a beta version, and there may still be hidden bugs. They might also decide to sell this application once it gets out of beta. It’s certainly better than most of the junk that’s offered on TV commercials.

Techie Buzz Rating: 3/5 Good

Manage Windows Services with Portable Services Suite

win[Windows Only]

If you need a fast, functional and easy way to manage the services that run on your PC, take a look at Services Suite, a portable application from RoyalFool.de. Below are some screenshots and a brief description of how it works.

To use it, you’ll have to download and extract it to a folder somewhere on your PC or on a flash drive. It’s offered as a RAR file download, so if you aren’t familiar with RAR archives, you we’ll show you how to open a RAR file.

Once you have it unpacked, all you have to do is double click the file ServicesSuite.exe to start the program.

services-suite-file

When it’s first started, you may have to select your language in order to read the menus. Right now, it’s only available in German and English.

The program interface will list all of the registered services on a PC in a three column format. The three columns are automatic, manual and deactivated, as shown next.

portable-services-manager

In order to change the status of any service, you can click on it and drag it from one list to another. When you are finished making changes, you’ll have to write these changes to the registry by clicking on the check mark icon in the top right of the application window.

portable-services-write-changes

That’s all there is to it. The only problem you might have is if you aren’t a system administrator on the PC you are using. Some services can only be changed if you are the administrator.

arrow-down-double-3 Download Services Suite (requires .NET Framework 2.0)

[via WebDomination]

Other ways to work with Windows Services:

How To Delete/Remove Services In Windows XP and Vista

Tweak Windows 7 Services With SMART | Windows 7 Services Optimiser

Advanced Windows Service Manager Plus

ServicesEditor Makes Tweaking and Restoring Windows Services Easy

Techie Buzz Verdict:

For experienced users, this may not be a huge help. After all, you can easily access the system services using the services.msc applet. However, it’s nice for quick changes and it’s so simple to use. The fact that this app is very small, portable and free, makes it a win on my score card.

Techie Buzz Rating: 3/5 (Good)

Freeware Fridays | Top Tools Of the Week #18

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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.


JumpControl Adds ShutDown, Restart, Logoff and Hibernate Options in Windows7 Taskbar

JumpControl is a free utility for Windows7 which adds Shutdown, restart, hibernate, sleep, Logoff, lock options in Windows7 Taskbar.

Read More | Comment | Tweet This | Share

HTC Home: HTC Weather and Clock Widget for Windows

HTC-Home-Weather-Widget

HTC Home is a beautiful weather widget for Windows that emulates HTC Sense UI’s combines weather and clock widget.

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Labs Crazy Experimental Stuff Now in Google Chrome Canary

canary

If you like trying out crazy experimental stuff in Google’s Chrome web browser, you might be happy to hear that Chrome Canary now has a Labs feature.

Read More | 1 Comment | Tweet This | Share

10 New Animated Screensavers Yellow, Green and Blue Themes

screensaver-ico

10 new screensavers that offer a you a nicely animated yellow, green and blue themes. Here you’ll find one of the few places that you can trust for getting safe freescreensavers.

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Voice Translation Now Available in Chrome 7

english-to-french

The newest version of Google Chrome supports speech recognition. Check out this website that translates spoken English to French.

Read More | 3 Comments | Tweet This | Share

Hardware Accelerated Browsing Experience: Chrome 7 vs. Firefox 4 vs. Internet Explorer 9

A comparison of rendering capabilities of hardware accelerated builds of Chrome 7, Internet Explorer 9 and Firefox 4.

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Initiate Alt-Tab Command Using A Simple Mouse Gesture

altedge-alt-tab-with-mouse-gesture

Learn how you can use a simple mouse gesture to switch / rotate between opened Windows.

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10 New Animated Screensavers Bugs, Birds, Fish and Flowers

screensaver-ico

10 new screensavers that offer a you a nicely animated view of bugs, birds, fish, flowers and much more. This is one of the few sites that you can trust for getting safe free screensavers.

Read More | 4 Comments | Tweet This | Share

DriveSMART : Know Your Hard Disk Health

DriveSmart is a free tool that check on the health of your hard drive. In case your drive health is deteriorating the application will alert you about the damage so that you get a chance to backup valuable data on the disk before the disk crashes.

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Aero Flip Task Switching for XP with WinFlip

aero-flip-win7

There are plenty of ways to make XP look more modern, but sometimes these tweaks make XP run slower. WinFlip is an easy way to gain a cool looking feature without paying a big price in performance.

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What are Chrome Web Apps?

chrome

I can tell you a little about the new Google Chrome web apps and the upcoming Chrome Web Store. So far, I’m not impressed with what I’ve seen. Do you want to know why?

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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.

JumpControl Adds ShutDown, Restart, Logoff and Hibernate Options in Windows7 Taskbar

[Windows only]: Windows 7   taskbar allows you to pin applications and folders to the taskbar for quicker access. You can right click an application or the respective start menu entry and pin the program to the Windows7 taskbar for one click access, which is great !

JumpControl is a free utility for Windows7 which allow you to add Shutdown, Restart, Hibernate, Sleep, Log off and Lock Computer options in Windows 7 taskbar. The idea is great, you can quickly turn off the computer or restart it without having to click the start button or use any keyboard shortcut.

The best part of JumpControl is that it’s portable, hence can be used from a removable drive without installation or modifying Windows registry.

Download JumpControl

Once you have downloaded the package, extract it and right click the JumpControl.exe file. Choose “Pin to taskbar”, as shown below:


Clicking the JumpControl icon from the taskbar allows you to handpick the different options you want to show as a taskbar item. Since I am the only user of my computer, I unchecked the “Switch user” option and checked the remaining ones which includes Shut down, Restart, Sleep, Hibernate, Lock and Logoff.


The result was a nifty little icon in Windows 7 taskbar, right clicking which shows different options to shutdown or restart the computer with just one click.

Make sure you read our earlier trick on how to shutdown the computer at a specified time using a timer. Thanks Vishal.

Techie Buzz Verdict

The options in JumpControl are cool but it’s very basic. There can be improvements e.g adding a timer, shutting down the computer at a specified time or shutting down the computer after the downloads has finished and so on.

Techie buzz Rating: 3 (Good).

Download iTunes 10 with iTunes Ping Support

At the Apple Special Event today, Steve Jobs announced the introduction of a new social networking platform for music lovers called iTunes Ping.

iTunes Ping

iTunes Ping is a social networking site for music lovers, where you can follow your favorite artists and friends and discover music they’re listening to and downloading.

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iTunes 10 also introduces new TV show rentals at 99c per episode. It also adds a new feature called AirPlay which allows you to play your favorite music anywhere in your house without having to be connected through wires.

Learn more on what is new about iTunes 10 here. You can also find out more information about iTunes Ping here and download iTunes 10 with iTunes Ping from here.

10 New Animated Screensavers – Yellow, Green and Blue Themes

screensaver-ico[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.

nfsBoobleFlower nfsClockPointer nfsColorAbstractLine nfsColorDotsYellow nfsDigitalClockClouds01_2 nfsGreen nfsGreenAbstractionBlur nfsMicrobe nfsRandomBlue nfsStarsBlue

Just a few days ago, I told you about the Bugs, Birds, Fish and Flowers screensavers. Now a new set of ten brings you some colorful themes and a unique time clock made from clouds. Another addition to the site lets you snag the top ten most popular screensavers in one easy download. It’s so tempting to try out all of these new ones, but I’m going to have to be careful that I don’t fill up my hard drive.

Over the last few months, I’ve installed twenty or thirty of the screensavers at this site, and I’ve never had a problem with any of them. All of these screensavers are safe, totally free, and there are dozens more to check out once you visit.

• Download Page

Techie Buzz Verdict:

Most of these screensavers are silent, but the ones that aren’t may not have a setting to turn off the sound. Some of these might include a tiny message at the bottom of the screen that displays the website address. It’s not very noticeable and other than that, these are all very well done.

Techie Buzz Rating: 3/5 (Good)

Initiate Alt-Tab Command Using A Simple Mouse Gesture

[Windows Only] If you keep several windows open while working on your computer, then its obvious that you often get lost while switching between them (windows). This is when a Windows user uses the most common Alt+Tab key combination that gives a simple visual display of the opened windows. This helps you to locate and move to the correct window you are looking for.

altedge-alt-tab-with-mouse-gesture

Have you ever wondered if it is possible to use this feature with a simple movement of the mouse ? Here is a tool that will help you to do that. Download and run AltEdge. Now whenever you need to switch between windows, just move your mouse pointer to the left side of the screen. You will see the all open windows listed as they are shown when Alt+Tab is used. The switching goes on automatically and whenever the pointer is on the desired window just move your mouse away to right. The window will come to focus.

[Download AltEdge]

Techie-Buzz Verdict

This is a very useful tool and is one of its kind.You can easily use the Alt+Tab feature with a simple mouse gesture. You need not remember the keyboard shortcuts, and you can also use the Alt+Tab feature if any of the keys (Alt or Tab) on the keyboard are not working.

Techie Buzz Rating : 4 / 5 (Excellent)

10 New Animated Screensavers – Bugs, Birds, Fish and Flowers

screensaver-ico[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.

nfs-birds-dragonflies nfs-clock-16hd nfs-flowers-animated nfs-fly nfs-hunting-fish nfs-running-man-and-woman nfs-sea-relax nfs-space-abstraction nfs-spider nfs-traces

The Birds screenie is fun to watch as humming birds and dragonflies swoop and flit among the flowers. The Fly and the Spider are sure to give some people the creepsas these realistic bugs crawl across the screen. The cartoon-like Fish is fun to watch as he repeatedly tries to catch other fish. The ocean-front view of Sea Relax is just what it says, relaxing to watch.

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

• Download Page

Techie Buzz Verdict:

Most of these screensavers are silent, but the ones that aren’t need a way to turn off the sound. I also noticed that the author is now including a tiny message at the bottom of the screen that displays the website address. It’s not very noticeable and other than that, these are all very well done.

Techie Buzz Rating: 3/5 (Good)

DriveSMART : Know Your Hard Disk Health

DriveSmart is a free tool that checks the health of your hard drive. In case your drive health is deteriorating, the application will alert you about the damage so that you have a chance to backup valuable data on the disk before the disk crashes. The application uses S.M.A.R.T (Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology) to track the health of your hard disk.

Why do you need it ?

S.M.A.R.T (Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology) is a technology that can be found in almost all modern hard disks. This resides inside your hard disk and keeps track of some parameters like temperature, disk heads, surface state, electronics, etc. Once it senses any danger it pings the user about the problem. The error report takes time to show up as the disk tries to recover on its own. This is where DriveSmart comes into play. It accesses the S.M.A.R.T data and lets you know about the condition, so you have enough time to get your backup.

[Download DriveSmart]

Techie-Buzz Verdict:

The tool is available for Windows (XP Home and Professional, 2K Professional and Server, Me, NT 4.0 Workstation & Server, 98, 95b, 2003 Server) and Mac (OS X 10.2 and 10.3). Unfortunately, the tool is not available yet for Windows 7 and Vista. I recommend this tool to everyone who has any of the supported OS installed.

Techie-Buzz Rating: 3.5/5 (Very Good)

Download Google Calendar Sync for Outlook 2010

I am a heavy user of Google Calendar and used to use Google Calendar Sync for Outlook. After I switched to using , Google Calendar Sync stopped working as it only supported Outlook 2007 or lower.

Google Calendar Sync Outlook 2010

However, the latest version of Google Calendar Sync now works perfectly with Outlook 2010 and can sync your Google events with your Outlook Calendar. The newer version of Google Calendar Sync for Outlook is available for only 32-bit versions of .

If you have been waiting for the update you can go ahead and download the Google Calendar Sync for Outlook 2010 from here.