Speed Up Your Boot Time with Soluto

[Windows XP/Vista/7]

soluto-iconHas your PC been taking longer and longer to boot? A long boot time can cause quite a bit of frustration. I’ve seen people buy a new PC, just because the old one was taking so long to fire up. To those of us who are power users, that seems pretty silly. We know how to manage the start-up processes. That doesn’t help the millions of users who don’t know why their PC is so slow to start.

In the past, there have been many applications that have made start-up management easier. My favorite app for that is WinPatrol. However, we do have posts about the best start-up managers here.

Recently, I heard some buzz about a new start-up manager that works quite differently, and much better than the managers I’ve used. It’s called Soluto.

So what is Soluto? Let’s hear from the authors …

Having been PC users since a very young age, we were simply tired of being so frustrated from our PC usage experience.

Soluto Beta allows you to understand your boot, discover which applications are slowing it down (and keep running later in the background, affecting your ongoing experience), and allows you to significantly improve it. While Soluto Beta focuses on the boot, it already researches for frustrations and helps map the PC Genome, and allows you to share your wisdom with others.

Most start-up managers let you tweak the Windows start-up settings. Once you’ve finished, the start-up managers aren’t normally running. Soluto takes a different approach. It uses a kernel level process that runs all the time. It gathers information during boot, and during your daily use. This is a unique approach and seems to be very effective. I found out how effective it was when I installed it the other day.

After boot, this is the first screen that I saw …


Solutu looked for an internet connection, then it phoned home’ for advice about the applications it detected during start-up. Once that finished, I saw this screen …


The green section is a group of apps that Soluto has identified as no brainersor applications that you can remove from the boot without much thinking. The orange tinted category is a group of apps that you may have to get advice on. You may or may not want to remove these from the boot. The apps in the gray section can’t be removed.

Hovering over the green section, you’ll see a dialog appear …


The dialog will tell you how long an application takes to launch during boot, and it gives you the options to Pauseor Delay.


Pausing the app, takes it completely out of the boot cycle. The application isn’t deleted, and you can always start it manually from your Start menus.


Delaying the app puts it on hold during the boot process. Once the PC has booted and the system is idle for any time, the application is launched.

As you go through this process of marking apps to Pause or Delay, you’ll see your estimated new boot time appear at the top of Soluto’s main window. As you can see, I saved over a minute of boot time.


There are some other important features in Soluto, but rather than bore you by writing more, I’ll show you a cool video:

If you can’t see the video, click here.

Download Soluto

Techie Buzz Verdict:

If your PC is slow to start, and you don’t know what to do about it, Soluto could save you plenty of frustration. The only thing I don’t like about Soluto, is the fact that it does run continuously as a system process. However, if this is weighed against the problems a slow PC can cause, I’d have to give Soluto a big thumb’s up.


Techie Buzz Rating: 4/5 (Excellent)

Google Voice Desktop Application Leaked

Looks like Google Voice might be trying to take over Skype on the desktop in the future. In a video that aired on TechCrunch today, Mike Arrington got hold of the Google Voice Desktop application using which he could make and receive calls.

Google Voice Desktop

The calls were of pretty high quality and did were made using the inbuilt speaker and microphone on the computer. The Google Voice Desktop app has a definitive edge over the Skype application because it is attached to your actual phone number. If this app is released it will make it really easy for users to make phone calls from their desktop just like Skype and will definitely make Google Voice one of the best innovations ever.

Google Voice is now available to all US users without having to wait for an invite. Hopefully we should also see this app being released soon. Till then watch a video below of the Google Voice Desktop application in action. (RSS readers, click here to view the video)

(via TechCrunch)

Ubuntu Software Center UI Gets Better For Maverick

The development for Ubuntu 10.10, which is scheduled for release this  September, is going ahead at a feverish pace. The Ubuntu Software Center is one feature in Ubuntu which makes installation of software easily  manageable  for newbies. In the latest update for Maverick, the UI of the Software Center gets an overhaul.

Here is the Ubuntu Software Center before:

and here it is after the update:

Although this is not a very large change, it is a very significant change because of two reasons. First of all, the Featured Applications are, well, featured in the main page  unlike the previous one where you have to click on a button to see them. Another thing is the “Whats New?”. We can safely assume that this is where new softwares will be features. Yet another useful little feature.

[source: OMG! Ubuntu]

Evernote To Flip It’s Lid on July 14

Evernote one of my favorite note-taking application just sent out a launch notice which says that they will be releasing something big on July 14th. The launch invite says that Evernote has a big secret which will revealed on July 14, 2010 at 10AM.


It also says that "Evernote’s going to flip its lid" which means that Evernote has definitely changed a lot of things or have added some exciting new features to the already popular note-taking software.

I am a very big fan and would definitely wait for July 14 for the revelation of the secret. In the mean time we will send out our detectives to figure out what Evernote is cooking under the hood. More details to follow when our detectives report back to us.

Convert FLV Videos To Other Formats With iSkySoft FLV Converter

FLV videos have one drawback you can’t burn them in a disc and watch the videos on a DVD player plugged to your television. If you want to convert FLV videos to other video formats, check out iSkysoft Video Convertor.

iSkysoft FLV Converter for Windows is designed to convert videos to   FLV or convert FLV videos to other video formats. This FLV video converter is capable of converting most standard videos files and gives a full support to high definition videos.


The free version of the software is available for download till September 1 2010, just head over to this page and enter your email address in the space provided. After that, the website will send a code and the download link at your email address.

Once installed, enter your email address along with the licensed code in the program setup and you are ready to use the full features of the program.


Using the utility is very easy, all you have to do is add the video which you want to convert using the Add videolink from the menu bar. The profile section at the bottom lets you choose the output video format and the location where the file will be saved, once the conversion is over.


If you want to view the FLV videos on an iPod or iPhone, select the MP4 video format. The utility lets you choose between a wide range of video formats such as MP4, AVI, ASF, WMV, MPG, 3GP, 3GPP, MOV, MKV etc.

The interesting thing about iSkysoft FLV converter is that you can use it to extract audio from a video file. This will be useful when you want to convert videos to MP3 format and want to copy them in an MP3 player, just for listening the songs.

There are lots of other features which include resizing the video aspect ratio, trimming selected segments of the video or adding special effects like adjusting brightness, color, saturation or contrast.

The giveaway ends on September 1, 2010 download your free copy of iSkysoft video converter today.

Thunderbird 3.1 Available For Downloads

Mozilla has finally released the final version of Thunderbird 3.1 to general public almost a month after the Thunderbird 3.1 RC was released.


Thunderbird 3.1 adds in several new features, some of which include:

  • Faster Search Results: Message indexing is faster and provides users with faster search results.
  • Quick Filter Toolbar: Makes it faster and easier to search and sort through what’s in a user’s inbox by letting users filter against search terms, tags, starred messages, address book contacts, new emails, and attachments.
  • Migration Assistant: This release includes a completely new and easier way to migrate from Thunderbird 2. The new Migration Assistant gives Thunderbird 2 users a way to choose the new features in Thunderbird 3.1 or to keep their current features and settings.
  • Saved Files Manager: Finding a downloaded item is a cinch with the new Saved Files Manager which displays all the files users downloaded from their email to their computer.

Thunderbird 3.1 is available for downloads in over 45 languages for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux based systems. You can download Thunderbird 3.1 right now by visiting this link.

Easy Screen Rotation with iRotate


[Windows All] Most of today’s graphics cards support the ability to rotate the screen display. Many people prefer to mount their monitors sideways, so that they can more naturally edit long document pages or read long web pages. On many PCs, the graphics card may support rotation, but the display properties don’t show the rotation settings, or a specific screen utility is missing. If you need an easy way to rotate your displays, iRotate is an option you should try. Here’s what the author says about it:

iRotate provides convenient access to the native rotation capabilities present in contemporary display drivers, via a popup menu accessible from the system tray and optional system-wide hotkeys. It’s no longer necessary to resort to bloated Windows hacks, additional software layers or phantom drivers to achieve content rotation.

For example, if I’m reading an eBook in the Kindle application on my Windows netbook, iRotate allows me to turn my netbook sideways and hold it like a real book. On the left side of this post, you can see what my display looks like. It’s almost like reading a real book.

The iRotate utility resides as an icon (or icons) in your system tray when it’s running. You can either right click on the icon or use the default hotkeys as shown below.


In the image above, you can see that iRotate supports multiple monitors. This screen app works for most graphics cards, and it’s only about 125k in size. I think that’s amazing.

Download iRotate

Note: The download link is a little hard to spot. Look in the upper left corner of the web page, as shown in the image below.


Techie Buzz Verdict:

The iRotate program is small, light on resources, and works flawlessly for most graphics cards. It’s free for personal use, and I can’t think of any reason not to give it a big thumbs up.

Techie Buzz Rating: 4/5 (Excellent)

Freeware Fridays | Top Tools Of the Week #11

freeware-signIn 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.


Avast Free Antivirus is Updated to 5.0

Avast has released the new version 5 of their free Antivirus program. The new version looks very different, but it is still a great choice for home users. Check out the video.

iTunes 9.2 Software Update

iTunes 9.2 Available For Downloads

Apple has just released iTunes 9.2 through the software update as well as through the official iTunes download site.


Flock Dumps Mozilla Firefox for Chromium

Flock the popular social browser which earlier ran on the Firefox Gecko engine has dumped Mozilla for Chromium, the popular new browser which also powers Google Chrome. Read More | Tweet This


Buzzbird Yet Another Cross Platform Twitter Client

Buzzbird is an open source MIT licensed Twitter client that helps you to stay updated with the service. Read More | Tweet This


Desktop Clock 7 An Analogue Clock For Windows Desktop

Desktop Clock 7 is a free clock application that displays an analogue clock on your Windows desktop with a second’s hand and date on it.


Opera 10.60 Beta 1 Released Speed, Geolocation, WebM and More

Opera 10.60 Beta introduces improved HTML5 and standards support along with numerous performance and visual improvements.


Learn Languages and Create Your Own Tests with EasyWords

When I was in school, we never had cool programs like this to help us learn. If you are a teacher, or you simply want to learn something new, check out EasyWords.

Microsoft Security Essentials 1.0 the best security solution??

Microsoft Security Essentials 1.0 might be the best security solution available right now and it is also free


Read e-Books on Your PC, iPad, iPhone, Android, Mac or BlackBerry with Kindle Apps

If you don’t have a Kindle to read books from Amazon, here are some free Kindle reader apps that will let you shop and read on your favorite computer or mobile device.


JBS Wallpaper Switcher Better than the one in Windows 7

If you get tired of seeing the same of wallpapers on your Windows desktop, John’s Background Switcher may be the best solution for you.


How to Open and Use Windows 7 Themes in Windows XP

Are you using Windows XP? Have you ever seen a cool wallpaper in a Windows 7 theme that you’d love to have? There’s a simple way to grab those files … and I’ll show it to you.


View FLV and MP4 Videos with Wimpy FLV Player

Do you need to watch FLV or MP4 videos from Youtube? There’s no need to install QuickTime or some other large viewer. I’ll show you a small, stand-alone player.

Firefox Nightly Build Gets WebM Support

Firefox Nightly Builds are set to get WebM support to watch the WebM coded videos in the browser. WebM is a new codec which will be used by Google Chrome, Opera and Firefox.


How to Lock Windows Keyboard and Mouse

You can use kidkeylock a simple utility to lock Windows Keyboard and mouse. This is useful when you want to deactivate the keyboard and mouse functions without logging off from the system

Converter Setup

How to Convert Flac files to MP3

Easily convert heavy Flac files to small-size mp3 files that you can effortlessly sync to music players and iPods.


How to Copy DVDs the Right Way with DVDShrink

I’ve used DVDShrink for years, but I never did know the finer points to using it. Fortunately, I know someone who knows many tricks for using this freeware.

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.

iTunes 9.2 Available For Downloads

Apple has just released iTunes 9.2 through the software update as well as through the official iTunes download site. iTunes 9.2, which supports the new iOS4 can be downloaded for both PC and Mac OS X platforms.

iTunes 9.2 Software Update

iTunes 9.2 comes with several new features and improvements, including:

  • Sync with iPhone 4 to enjoy your favorite music, movies, TV shows, books and more on-the-go
  • Sync and read books with iPhone or iPod touch with iOS 4 and iBooks 1.1
  • Organize and sync PDF documents as books. Read PDFs with iBooks 1.1 on iPad and any iPhone or iPod touch with iOS 4
  • Organize your apps on your iOS 4 home screens into folders using iTunes
  • Faster back-ups while syncing an iPhone or iPod touch with iOS 4
  • Album artwork improvements make artwork appear more quickly when exploring your library

Surprisingly the iTunes 9.2 update is comparatively smaller at 67.53MB. Download iTunes 9.2 here.

Learn Languages and Create Your Own Tests with EasyWords

apple [Windows] The other day I spotted this cool app at Snapfiles and I just had to try it out. I’m always looking for good free educational software.

According to the authors:

EasyWords is a free software that helps you memorize words very easily while learning a new language. The program asks you several questions while you spend your time by your pc, and teaches you the right answer if your answer is incorrect.

The software isn’t a big download and should work in XP, Vista and 7. However, it does require .NET Framework 3.5 to run. The installation is simple and does not require any personal information. Once it’s installed and it runs the first time, you will be asked to set the language that you wish to use (as shown below).


Next you’ll be prompted to either choose a dictionary or create one.



I decided to use one of the dictionaries that comes with it by clicking the Browsebutton.



I chose to try one of the German dictionaries to see how well I would do during the testing. After I selected a dictionary, I had to confirm the settings by saving them. At this point you should note that you can make EasyWords run when you start Windows each time. If you are serious about learning, you might want to consider letting it do that.


In the settings, I had chosen to have EasyWords ask me a multiple-choice question every three minutes. Just below is an example of a question that popped up.


When you get a wrong answer, it will show you the correct answer highlighted in green.


After several questions, I was able to open the EasyWords main screen to see how well I had been doing. I don’t know German, and you can see that I didn’t do very well.


Even though I didn’t do so great, I’m sure that if I had this running every day, I’d definitely be picking up German pretty easily. After all, isn’t that why it’s called EasyWords?

Later, I decided to create my own dictionary, just for fun. Here’s what the dictionary creation interface looks like:


Do you know the answer to this next question?


Here’s a hint for you. Which language did I chose to add to the new dictionary?

pig caeser

Would you like to try EasyWords?

Download: http://www.easywords.eu

If you are interested in learning, take a look at some of our tutorials and how-to articles.

Techie Buzz Verdict:

I love EasyWords. It’s easy to use and it’s simple to adapt for other types of testing. I have a feeling that I’ll be getting plenty of use out of it. The only thing about it that I wasn’t pleased with, was the fact that it requires .NET Framework. Even after considering that, I will still give this educational app a well deserved thumbs up.


Techie Buzz Rating: 4/5 (Excellent)