Tag Archives: Portable Software

How To Block Flash Videos in Opera

One of the most popular extensions for Firefox is Flashblock, which prevents flash and shockwave files from being automatically loaded. There have been quite a few ways to achieve the same in Opera, however all of them required some effort on the user’s behalf. The good news is that with Opera 11, this feature is now baked right into the browser.

Related: How To Install Opera in Portable Mode

To block flash and other plugin driven content (other embedded video files, Silverlight files etc.), simply open up Opera’s “Preferences” dialogue box (Alt+P), and browse to the “Content” tab. From here, check the “Enable plug-ins only on demand” box.

Flash-Block-Extension-Opera

Once this option is enabled, Opera will stop loading plug-in driven content automatically. However, you can still load/play the flash videos you want by clicking on the play button (see the screenshot).

Flash-Block-Opera

How To Install Opera in Portable Mode

Opera@USB is an unofficial mod of Opera, which adapts the venerable browser for installation on removable drives (USB drives). However, with Opera 11, you don’t need to use a 3rd party tool to use Opera in portable mode.

Until now, Opera Software used to offer two different setups for Windows users – one was a Classic installer, and the other was an MSI installer. With Opera 11, Opera Software has done away with both, and is instead using a custom installer. Besides being incredibly fast, the new installer also has a major benefit – it includes a portable mode.

To install Opera 11 (and beyond) in portable mode, simply follow the following steps:

Opera-Portable-Options

  • Launch the installer and click on “Options”.
  • Set “Install path” as a location on the USB drive
  • Opera-Portable-External-Devices

  • Change the “Install for” option to “External Device”.

That’s it! This mode forces Opera to simply extract the files to the specified destination, without touching any system settings. Also, it makes Opera read its profile from the installation folder.

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)

HTC Home: HTC Weather and Clock Widget for Windows

One of the most distinctive aspects of HTC’s Sense UI is the combined weather and clock widget. It has been replicated on multiple platforms by numerous applications. For example, all Android users can get enjoy a similar home screen widget thanks to the Beautiful Widget application. However, there was nothing quite as good for Windows. The good news is that a free app called HTC Home has stepped in to fill the void.

HTC Home is an open source application for Windows Vista/7 that accurately emulates the HTC weather widget. Everything from the icons and styling to weather animations have been replicated. Here’s a screenshot demonstrating the default appearance.

HTC-Home-Weather-Widget

The widget is fairly configurable. You can toggle animations, change the update interval and configure z-ordering. I am not confident about this, but the source of the weather information appears to be AccuWeather.

Techie Buzz Verdict

HTC Home is simply gorgeous. There is no doubt about that. However, its system resource usage might be of concern to users on slightly older rigs. It consistently consumed about 30 megabytes of memory. However, CPU usage was negligible. It also crashed on me on first launch, but has behaved well since. Of course, it is unfair to be too harsh on an alpha build. They are expected to behave unpredictably.

In the end, if having a beautiful desktop matters to you, you will probably appreciate HTC Home. Others, might be put off by the high memory consumption.

Techie Buzz Rating: 3.5/5 (Very Good)

[ Download HTC Home ]

via Addictive Tips

A Review of Emsisoft Free Emergency Kit

icon120_free

[Windows Only]  Emsisoft isn’t a big name in the anti-virus, anti-malware industry, but they are well respected and they’ve been offering great products since 2003. When I first ran into them, they were offering one of the best anti-trojan scanners, named A-Squared. Recently, they’ve come out with a new bundle of anti-malware called Emsisoft Emergency Kit, and it’s completely free.

The first feature of this software kit that I liked, was the fact that it’s also portable. This means that the files making up this bundle can be copied to a CD or a USB flash drive, so that it can be used easily on any PC. All you have to do is download the Zip file and extract it to any drive you want. Below is a screen shot of the files included in this package.

em-kit-files

To start up Emergency Kit, simply double click the start.exefile.   This launches a selection screen and you can choose one of the four main programs included in the kit.

em-kit-selection

Below is a list of the programs in the kit and a brief description for each.

• Emsisoft Emergency Kit Scanner

Search the infected PC for Viruses, Trojans, Spyware, Adware, Worms, Dialers, Keyloggers and other malign programs.

em-kit-scanner

• Emsisoft Commandline Scanner

This scanner contains the same functionality as the Emergency Kit Scanner but without a graphical user interface. The commandline tool is made for professional users and can be used perfectly for batch jobs.

• Emsisoft HiJackFree

HiJackFree helps advanced users to detect and remove Malware manually. With HiJackFree you can manage all active processes, services, drivers, autoruns, open ports, hosts file entries and many more. It’s a tool very similar to the old and much revered HiJackThis, except that it offers more information and the ability to consult an online analysis tool for advice.

hj-free-processes_220 hj-free-ports_220 hj-free-autoruns_220 hj-free-services_220 hj-free-addons_220 hj-free-hosts_220 hj-free-quarantine_220

• Emsisoft BlitzBlank

BlitzBlank is a tool for experienced users. BlitzBlank deletes files, Registry entries and drivers at boot time before Windows and all other programs are loaded.

Here’s the Emergency Kit home page for more details and the download: http://www.emsisoft.com/en/software/eek/

Note: Another great tool from Emsisoft is the well known Online Armor firewall (free version).

. . . . . .

Techie Buzz Verdict:

I tried out Emsisoft Emergency Kit briefly and I was not disappointed. Even though most of the tools in this kit are for experienced users, the Scanner alone can help almost anyone. It’s not a small download, but it’s portable and most importantly, it’s free. I give it a big thumbs up.

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Techie Buzz Rating: 4/5 (Excellent)


Protect Your Portable Files with USB Safeguard

usbsafeguard-ico Traveling around with a USB flash drive full of your personal files is often very useful. However, it can also be risky. These little thumb drivescan easily be lost or stolen. If you have personal information on them, the loss could cause you plenty of trouble. Fortunately, there are several free utilities designed to keep your personal files protected (encrypted) with a password.   USB Safeguard is a good option.

USB Safeguard is available as a single executable file named usbsafeguard.exe’. It’s only about 736k, so it will fit easily on most current USB drives. You’ll find that you actually have to move the usbsafeguard.exe file onto the flash drive before it will run. Once it’s started for the first time, you’ll see the following prompt for a password:

usbsafeguard-1

You can type in your password, or you can use the built in on-screen keyboard by clicking the tiny keyboard icon just above the first password field. You’ll have to enter the password twice to confirm it’s typed correctly.

Next you’ll be asked to save the password in a text file on your hard drive. This is a precaution you might want to take, just in case you forget the password later.

usbsafeguard-2

After that, you’ll get the main interface where you can add files from your flash drive that you want to encrypt. You can add files by dragging and dropping them into the large empty area, or you can use the Encrypt Allbutton to grab everything on the flash drive.

usbsafeguard-3

If you’ve added files by dragging and dropping, you’ll need to hit the Encryptbutton to move to the next step. Here’s what it looks like while it’s encrypting your files.

usbsafeguard-4

After it’s finished encrypting, the original files will need to be removed. The following screen gives you several options for dealing with them.

usbsafeguard-5

Here’s what it looks like when you are deleting files:

usbsafeguard-6

Now when you look at the files on the flash drive, you’ll only see the usbsafeguard.exe file and the encrypted archive named image.dsk. That single image file could contain hundreds of files if that’s what you want in it. The size of you flash drive is the only limitation.

usbsafeguard-7

In order to get your files back out, all you have to do is run the usbsafeguard.exe file and supply the password. You’ll see all the files listed and you can select them and decrypt(unpack) the ones you want.

Here are three other file encryption tools we’ve written about:

Keep USB Data Encrypted With SafeHouse Explorer
Encrypt and Hide Data on Flash/USB Drive with Rohos Mini Drive
TrueCrypt | A FREE file encryption utility that is useful too

Techie Buzz Verdict:

This is a good solution for protecting files. I’m not very happy with the main interface that’s used to drag and drop files into. I think it might be more useful if it was more like a Windows Explorer file browser. That said, I plan to keep a copy of it.

Techie Buzz Rating: 3/5 (Good)

Macpup Opera 2.0 is Launched – Fast Portable Linux

puppy-logoMacpup Opera is a   branch of Linux based on the famous Puppy Linux, which is known for it’s small size and portability. Puppy was designed to be able to run from a CD or portable flash drive. Macpup Opera takes the Puppy feature set and wraps it up in a beautiful and user friendly interface. The release of version 2.0 of this distro brings with it:

• e17 window manager
• Opera 10 web browser
• Gimp image editor
• Abiword word processor
• Gnumeric spreadsheet
• and dozens of other programs

In order to try out Macpup Opera, I downloaded the 163mb ISO live CD image and burned it to my 2Gb SD Flash card using Unetbootin. In a few minutes, I was running Macpup, and I had a nice little laugh, because it barked at me when it was done booting.

The first thing I had to do was to get my wifi network connected. I’ve always been disappointed with the networking wizard that comes with Puppy, but I’ve struggled with it often enough that I got it to recognize my network. Next, I opened the Opera web browser to see how it worked in Macpup.

I was amazed at the speed that I was getting compared to my Windows systems. Opera was surfing, paging, and refreshing faster than I’d ever seen it. This alone is a good reason for me to keep a copy of Macpup around. If my Windows PC ever crashes, I can always boot into a Puppy session for getting fixes off the web.

The Opera browser comes with it’s new Unity service and lots of desktop widgets that you’ll love playing with.

Instead of boring you with more details, here’s a video showing off this unique and completely free OS:

Link to video

For those who can’t see the video, here’s a screenshot:

macpup-opera2

This is one sweet looking little operating system and it’s sure to get a second glance as people pass by your PC.

Download Macpup Opera 2.0

Techie Buzz Verdict:

Many people won’t have any use for this unique Linux version. On the other hand, it’s small, fast, free and really pretty to watch. It’s a great place to start for those who’ve never used Linux before.

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Techie Buzz Rating: 4/5 (Excellent)

Create and Edit Icons with a Free Portable App – IcoFX

icofx-icon[Windows Only] Since most applications come with nice icons already embedded in them, I rarely need to create or edit icons. Once in awhile, I do need an icon editor, and I recently discovered that IcoFX is a great tool for that and more. The main reason I decided to try it was that it’s available as a portable app.

I downloaded a zip file containing IcoFX and extracted it into a folder on my flash drive.

icofx-files

I fired up IcoFX, and within 2 minutes I had created my first icon. I was astounded by how easy it was.

The IcoFX interface is easy to use and very stylish. It’s image editing tools include everything you find in Windows Paint, but it also has the tools you need to create gradients, transparency and much more.

icofx-editing

In addition to letting you create icons by hand, you can drop images into the editor, and it will walk you through converting the image into an icon.

icofx-import

When you dig into the Tools menu, you’ll find that you can:

* Convert Windows icons to Mac
* Convert Mac icons to Windows
* Extract icons from EXE and DLL files
* Create and manage ICL icon libraries
* Create compressed PNG icons for Vista/Seven
* Change the icons in EXE files

If you need help, there are several tutorials on the home site:
http://icofx.ro/tutorials/tutorial1.html

IcoFX download page: (Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7)
http://icofx.ro/downloads.html

If you need some background information on Windows icons, I’ve written a couple of tutorials for you.

How to Change the Icon for a File Extension or File Type
How to Open Up or Edit an ICO file or Icon Library

We’ve also covered several free apps that help you deal with icons.

Techie Buzz Verdict:

IcoFX is a great tool for quickly creating and editing icons. I like the fact that it’s small, portable and completely free. It may not be a must haveapplication, but I can definitely recommend it.

techiebuzzrecommendedsoftware1

Techie Buzz Rating: 4/5 (Excellent)

Everything – A Super Fast Portable File Search

[Windows Only] “Everything” is a small and portable freeware program that lets you find files in Windows with blazing speed. About two years ago, one of my readers sent me a nice comment about it, and I’ve been using it every since.

Here’s what the main window of Everything looks like after a search:

everything-search-results

As you can see in the snapshot here, Everything supports the normal Windows file context menus when you right-click on a file. This is one of my favorite features. That means that you can launch a file, open a folder, copy, move or rename a file without having to leave Everything’s search window.

There are plenty of other features in Everything, such as;

• Small installation file
• Clean and simple user interface
• Quick file indexing
• Quick searching
• Minimal resource usage
• Share files with others easily
• Real-time updating

… and much more.

One of the many features that I have rarely used, is Everything’s ability to broadcast it’s search results across a network or the internet using FTP, ETP or HTTP. That means you can set it up so that anyone on your network can search the computer that Everything is running on. Here’s what the results look like in a web browser.

everything-browser-results

You can even download the files to another PC using the web browser.

Another of my favorite features in Everything is the fact that it’s portable. When I move it from one PC to another, I only take a single file named everything.exe. Once that single file is running, it creates it’s own settings file and it’s own database file in the same folder that it’s running in.

One thing you may notice is that Everything does take a few seconds to scan your drive and while it’s doing that, the search results window is completely blank. Before you get used to this fact, you might be tempted to start typing a search query into the search field. Don’t bother, because nothing will happen until it’s done scanning your drives.

The search results are immediate and update with every character you type into the search field. It does support wild card, boolean and regex searches if you need that type of searching power.

Download Everything Search

http://www.voidtools.com

Techie Buzz Verdict:

I use Everything quite often and it’s a must-have utility for all of my PCs. It does almost everything I need but it is missing one thing that other indexed search programs have; it can’t search inside of files for matching results. I rarely need that feature, and I have no problem recommending Everything for everyone.

techiebuzzrecommendedsoftware1

Techie Buzz Rating: 4.5/5 (Excellent)

Record Last.fm Songs with Last Recorder – But is it Legal?

icon-last-fm [Windows Only] The other day, I ran into a new listing for a freeware application named Last Recorder. Here’s what the author says about this little tool.

Last Recorder is a small program that can save tracks from Last.fm audio streams into separate tagged mp3 files.

While I can’t confirm that I actually used this program to download music, I can confirm that this program does work. It does download full length mp3 songs from Last.fm while preserving the song titles. Here’s what Last Recorder looks like:

lastrecorder-interface

Last Recorder is a single executable file and no installation is needed. When it first launches, it will prompt you to enter your user ID and password. Then you can select a choice of radio stations by using the drop down on the left and these are the options:

Tag
Artist
My Tag
My Radio
My Loved Tracks
My Neighbors
My Recommendations
Custom URL

You will also have to select a download location on the right side drop down box.

Given the fact that this download tool seems to work, the question that many people will have is, Is this legal?. I did find an FAQ on the site regarding this question and the answer was I don’t know for sure.In my opinion, downloading these songs is about the same as recording music from the radio stations or television. Do I think it’s legal? It may be legal to download the information (music), but you are definitely breaking your agreement with Last.fm’s Terms of Use. Whether or not that agreement is actually binding on you may depend on where you live and which way the courts are swinging that day.

So, I’ll leave it up to you.

Last Recorder Home Page

Techie Buzz Verdict:

This application does what it says and it also portable. While those are both good features, the question of it’s legality leaves me doubting that I will use it.

Techie Buzz Rating: 2.5/5 (Average)