Tag Archives: replacement

Do You Need a Tablet?

imageTablets have exploded in the marketplace in the same way that smart phones did a few years ago. Just like with smart phones, Apple led the pack and soon dominated the market. However, other manufacturers have caught up, and there are now dozens of models available.

If you haven’t already purchased a tablet, you may be asking yourself whether you need to buy one. Is it a replacement for your laptop? An upgrade on your smart phone? Here are some of the reasons why you might consider buying a tablet:

Affordability

Compared to a laptop, most tablet models are quite affordable. While prices for the iPad still rival those of laptops — with the high-end iPad models costing more than low-end laptop models — there are many other tablets that are available for $200 or even less. Depending on the features you need in your laptop or tablet, you could end up saving hundreds of dollars and still get the functionality you need by choosing a tablet over a laptop.

Portability

While laptops are also portable, tablets offer more ease in portability. You don’t have to bring bulky adapters to recharge a battery, and you don’t have to find a table or other surface to setup comfortably. You don’t even need a carrying case for a tablet.

You can easily carry a tablet in your hand and work with it anywhere — no setup or surface space required.

Adaptability

A tablet combines the features of a laptop and your smart phone. You can download apps to do just about anything you need to do. Depending on the model of tablet, you can take photos, type documents, surf the web, and much more. For more advanced work, there are programs or add-ons you can purchase to expand the capabilities of your tablet.

Entertainment

Tablets are a great source of entertainment. You can use them to connect to the web, or you can download games and other fun apps. You can also use it as an e-reader, or you can watch movies and television shows on it. You can do all of these things anywhere, at any time, right in the palm of your hand.

The question of whether or not you need a tablet is a personal one that only you can definitively answer. However, a tablet offers many benefits that you can consider when making your decision, including affordability, portability, adaptability, and entertainment.

Do you own a tablet? Which model did you choose? Tell us what influenced your decision in the comments!

This guest post is contributed by Heather Green.  Heather is a Christian mom, freelance writer, pet lover and the resident blogger for OnlineNursingDegrees.org, a free informational website offering tips and advice on different types of nurses and online resources.

17 Comments

Filed under Connected Devices, Guest Writers, Interconnectivity, Tablet Computing

xplorer2 lite Freeware – Does Portable Too

imageYou might think that your stuck with the Windows Explorer version that your particular version of Windows supports – but, your not. While the Windows 7 version of Explorer is an improvement over previous versions, it still falls short in several areas – for those of us who manage files on a daily basis.

A freeware Windows Explorer replacement* xplorer2 lite (last updated October 2011), offers a number of additional functions including dual panes, and folder tabs, which should make your file management tasks more efficient.

* during installation you may choose to replace Windows Explorer, or you may install xplorer2 lite side-by-side with Windows Explorer.

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Typical Windows Explorer display – in this case Windows 7. (Click on graphic to expand).

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xplorer2 lite display in dual pane mode – showing local disk E: (Windows 8), and local disk C: (Windows 7). Click on graphic to expand.

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xplorer2 lite display in thumbnail mode.

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A very cool tip of the day function helps users learn to take advantage of the great features in xplorer2 lite. Examples are shown below.

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Fast facts:

Dual panes and folder tabs

Browse everywhere (all shell namespace)

Preview documents, pictures, music, video

Side by side views for easy file management

Filter and select with wildcards

Synchronize folders

System requirements: Windows All (32 & 64 bit) XP, Vista, 7

Languages supported: English, French, German, Japanese, Spanish, and more.

Download at: Developer’s site

xplorer2 lite edition portable version available at: SmithTechSoftware

A caveat – during installation you will be offered a Toolbar. Consider carefully as to whether installation is in your best interest.

2 Comments

Filed under 64 Bit Software, downloads, File Management, Freeware, Portable Applications, Utilities

xplorer2 lite Freeware – A Better Windows Explorer

imageYou might think that your stuck with the Windows Explorer version that your particular version of Windows supports – but, your not. While the Windows 7 version of Explorer is an improvement over previous versions, it still falls short in several areas for those of us who manage files on a daily basis.

A freeware Windows Explorer replacement* xplorer2 lite, offers a number of additional functions including dual panes, and folder tabs, which should make your file management tasks more efficient.

* during installation you may choose to replace Windows Explorer, or you may (as I have done), install xplorer2 lite side-by-side with Windows Explorer.

Typical Windows Explorer display – in this case Windows 7. (Click on graphic to expand).

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xplorer2 lite display in dual pane mode – showing local disk C: and data partition D: (Click on graphic to expand).

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xplorer2 lite display in thumbnail mode.

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A considerable list of additional display options are available through column optimization.

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A very cool tip of the day function helps users learn to take advantage of the great features in xplorer2 lite. Examples are shown below.

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Fast facts:

Dual panes and folder tabs

Browse everywhere (all shell namespace)

Preview documents, pictures, music, video

Side by side views for easy file management

Filter and select with wildcards

Synchronize folders

System requirements: Windows All (32 & 64 bit) 9x/NT/2000/XP/Vista/7

Languages supported: English, French, German, Japanese, Spanish, and more.

Download at: Developer’s site

xplorer2 lite edition portable version available at: SmithTechSoftware

A caveat – during installation you will be offered a Toolbar. As always, you should reject the offer.

My thanks to Michael F. for reacquainting me with this neat freeware application. I actually run xplorer2 on a Win XP Pro system, but since I don’t do much file management on that system, it had slipped to the back of the pack, so to speak, until Michael’s timely reminder.

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2 Comments

Filed under 64 Bit Software, Computer Tools, downloads, flash drive, Freeware, Portable Applications, Software, System Utilities, USB, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

Download Free GOM Media Player – 5.1 Channel Output and Advanced Playback Capabilities

image I’ve never really warmed up to Windows Media Player. It’s bloated size,and outrageous overhead requirements (in my view), have always left me feeling just a little bit put out.

Years ago, (in 2003), I replaced Windows Media Player with a much smaller application – GOM Media Player. Back then, virtually no one had heard of this small (6 MB), free application.

I must admit, I was not very successful, initially, in converting my friends to my view of GOM Media Player. Over the years though, GOM Media Player’s support for a diverse range of file formats, it’s built in Codecs, and its advanced playback capabilities, have made it one of the most downloaded of all Windows Media Player replacements. In fact, it’s the number one downloaded media player on CNET (download.com), with nearly 20 Million downloads to date.

gom player 2

This small application is surprisingly strong and can play most encoded video formats including AVI, DAT, FLV, MPEG, DivX, XviD, and more, with its own built-in Codec system.

For the impatient types among us, GOM Media Player can even play video files that are still in the process of being downloaded. As well, files that have been broken during the downloading process can still be played.

The right click menu is extremely comprehensive (yet very easy to understand), allowing an amazing degree of custom control over virtually every aspect of the application. I do mean – an amazing degree of control!

A built-in Screen Capture utility allows you to take screenshots of your video directly from GOM Media Player. Using the Burst Capture feature, you can take up to 999 shots continuous screenshots. I love this feature! (I just had to mention this).

gom-player new 1

Fast facts:

DVD-quality videos with 5.1 channel audio output.

Supports most Codecs (AVI, DAT, MPEG, DivX, FLI using an embedded Codec system

Plays incomplete or damaged AVI file by skipping the damaged frames

Plays Locked Media Files while downloading or sharing

Supports HTTP Streaming ASF/OGG/MP3/AAC/MPEG PS/MPEG TS

Subtitle, Overlay Mixer features, Keys Remapping, Super speed/High Mode

Play Audio CD

Play Video CD/SVCD/XCD

Enhanced Filter Rendering

Drag-and-drop support

Editable skins

Real-time index rebuilding for AVI files

Unicode support

Advanced Features:

Customizable settings on the control panel

Adjust image brightness, hue, and saturation

Sharpen and add noise to your video

Audio equalizer

Fast forward/rewind using left/right keys

Repeat a section of your video using A-B Repeat feature

System Requirements: Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7 (no indication that x64 is supported).

Download at: Download.com

This is my personal choice of media player; the application that I use primarily for playback of downloaded videos, and I have yet to be disappointed with its performance. I highly recommend this excellent free application.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

11 Comments

Filed under downloads, Freeware, Media Player Replacement, Media Players, Software, Video, Video Players, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Process Hacker 1.9 – Easier Control Over Windows Processes

If you’re running on Windows 7, no doubt you’ve noticed significant benefits in running this operating system over previous versions of Windows. One of the small improvements, in my view , is an improvement in the Windows Task Manager tool, which finally shows “running processes”.

Still, Windows Task Manager continues to fall far short of providing me with all the information that I really need to control my system more effectively.

Process Hacker 1.9 (release date, December 30, 2009), is  a free (open source), Windows Task Manager replacement which takes up the challenge where Windows Task Manager leaves off.

Installation and setup is simple – just follow the bouncing ball.

Process Hacker 1

Process Hacker 2

A very simple interface makes it easy to use Process Hacker (for both novices and pros alike), to manage computer resources and yet, this application is packed with features.

Process Hacker 3

Fast facts:

Presents information clearly – A simple, customizable tree view with highlighting which shows the processes running on your computer.

Comprehensive information for all processes.

Provides a range of process termination methods – Process Hacker can terminate, suspend, resume, restart and set the priority of processes. Processes are highlighted to provide additional information such as whether they are elevated or in a job. More interesting things you can do with processes include injecting DLLs and even replacing security tokens (XP only).

Detailed performance graphs.

A list of network connections – since I like to check my ports and connections frequently, I found this very helpful.

Finds hidden processes and allows you to terminate them. Process Hacker detects processes hidden by simple rootkits such as Hacker Defender and FU.

Modules – It can display the modules loaded by each process and their properties. It can also find the address of any exported function in a module, change page protection of the module’s memory region, and read the module’s memory.

Threads – It can also terminate, suspend, resume and set the priority of threads. Symbolic start addresses are provided, and double-clicking a thread will show its call stack.

Additionally, GUI threads (threads which have made at least one call to a GUI function) are highlighted.

Search – Process Hacker also supports saving memory search results and even intersecting (finding common items between) two sets of search results.

Handles – It can display the handles opened by processes and can close them.

Memory – It can display the memory regions in a process’ virtual memory space, and even read/write data using a built-in hex editor.

Token – It can display each process’ primary token and its user, source, groups and privileges. It even allows you to enable and disable privileges.

Following an earlier review of Process Hacker, a reader familiar with this application commented:

“Very useful tool, Bill. I really like the way in which the information is presented, it’s very easy to understand and has plenty of very useful features. The “search online”  feature is particularly useful to have, better than ProcessQuickLink, for me”.

The following is from a PC World review:

“Process Hacker is an astoundingly useful and full-featured tool for monitoring and, yes, hacking ongoing processes on your PC. There is an astonishing amount of functionality crammed into a clean, well-designed, interface”.

Systems Requirements: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 – 32-bit or 64-bit.

Additional Requirements: Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0

Note: Certain functionality including detection of hidden processes, full control over all processes, and the ability to protect/unprotect processes is only available on 32-bit systems.

Recommendation: If you need information on what’s running on your system, system resource usage, or evaluating application performance, then Process Hacker is definitely worth taking a look at.

Overall I think this is a terrific free application and I have added it to my geek toolbox. Since malware can often restrict access to the Windows Task Manager, this application is good insurance to have handy.

Special note: Provides full control over all processes, even processes protected by rootkits or security software. You can find hidden processes and terminate them. Process Hacker detects processes hidden by simple rootkits such as Hacker Defender and FU.

Download at: SourceForge

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5 Comments

Filed under downloads, Freeware, Geek Software and Tools, Open Source, Software, System Process Scanners, Utilities, Windows 7, Windows Task Manager Replacement, Windows Tips and Tools

Process Hacker 1.5 – A Worthwhile Windows Task Manager Replacement

As I have mentioned here previously, running on Windows 7 has loads of benefits over running on Windows XP Pro, including an improvement in the Windows Task Manager tool, which finally shows “running processes”. Still, Windows Task Manager continues to fall far short of providing you with all the information that you really need.

Process Hacker 1.5 is yet another free (open source), Windows Task Manager replacement which takes up the challenge where Windows Task Manager leaves off.

Installation and setup is simple – just follow the bouncing ball.

Process Hacker 1

Process Hacker 2

A very simple interface makes it easy to use Process Hacker 1.5, for both novices and pros, to manage computer resources, yet this application is packed with features.

Process Hacker 3

Fast facts:

Presents information clearly – A simple, customizable tree view with highlighting which shows the processes running on your computer.

Comprehensive information for all processes.

Provides a range of process termination methods – Process Hacker can terminate, suspend, resume, restart and set the priority of processes. Processes are highlighted to provide additional information such as whether they are elevated or in a job. More interesting things you can do with processes include injecting DLLs and even replacing security tokens (XP only).

Detailed performance graphs.

A list of network connections – since I like to check my ports and connections frequently, I found this very helpful.

Finds hidden processes and allows you to terminate them. Process Hacker detects processes hidden by simple rootkits such as Hacker Defender and FU.

Modules – It can display the modules loaded by each process and their properties. It can also find the address of any exported function in a module, change page protection of the module’s memory region, and read the module’s memory.

Threads – It can also terminate, suspend, resume and set the priority of threads. Symbolic start addresses are provided, and double-clicking a thread will show its call stack.

Additionally, GUI threads (threads which have made at least one call to a GUI function) are highlighted.

Search – Process Hacker also supports saving memory search results and even intersecting (finding common items between) two sets of search results.

Handles – It can display the handles opened by processes and can close them.

Memory – It can display the memory regions in a process’ virtual memory space, and even read/write data using a built-in hex editor.

Token – It can display each process’ primary token and its user, source, groups and privileges. It even allows you to enable and disable privileges.

Systems Requirements: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 – 32-bit or 64-bit.

Additional Requirements: Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0

Note: Certain functionality including detection of hidden processes, full control over all processes and the ability to protect/unprotect processes is only available on 32-bit systems.

Recommendation: If you need information on what’s running on your system, system resource usage, or evaluating application performance, then Process Hacker is definitely worth taking a look at.

Overall I think this is a terrific free application and I have added it to my geek toolbox. Since malware can often restrict access to the Windows Task Manager, this application is good insurance to have handy.

Download at: PC World

If you enjoyed this article, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

10 Comments

Filed under downloads, Freeware, Geek Software and Tools, Open Source, Software, System Process Scanners, System Utilities, Utilities, Windows 7, Windows Task Manager Replacement, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Free GOM Media Player – 5 Star Rated – 5.1 Channel Output

Kick Windows Media Player to the curb! Replace it and get 5.1 Channel Output, advanced playback capabilities and more, with GOM Media Player.

I’ve never really warmed up to Windows Media Player. It’s bloated size,and outrageous overhead requirements (in my view), have always left me feeling just a little bit put out.

GOM Media Player, (the unusual name stands for Gretech Online Movie Player), has been the media player I’ve relied on for years now, and it just gets better with every release.

GOM Media Player’s support for a diverse range of file formats, it’s built in Codecs, and its advanced playback capabilities, have made it one of the most downloaded of all Windows Media Player replacements. It is the number one downloaded media player on CNET, with nearly 15,000,000 downloads to date.

gom player 2

GOM Media Player is a relatively small (5.77 MB) application that can play most encoded video formats including AVI, DAT, FLV, MPEG, DivX, XviD, and more, with its own built-in Codec system.

If you’re the impatient type, GOM Media Player can even play video files that are still in the process of being downloaded. As well, files that have been broken during the downloading process can still be played.

For audio/video files that GOM Media Player can not play due to a missing Codec, (I haven’t found one yet), GOM Media Player will attempt to find one using GUID; if you are interested in seeing how GUID works then go to GUID.org. Once it finds a match, you will be redirected to a download site from which you can download and install the required Codec/s.

A built-in Screen Capture utility allows you to take screenshots of your video directly from GOM Media Player. Using the Burst Capture feature, you can take up to 999 shots continuous screenshots. I love this feature!

This is my personal choice of media player, and I have yet to be disappointed with its performance. I highly recommend this excellent free application.

Quick facts:

    • DVD-quality videos with 5.1 channel audio output.
    • Supports most Codecs (AVI, DAT, MPEG, DivX, FLI using an embedded Codec system
    • Plays incomplete or damaged AVI file by skipping the damaged frames
    • Plays Locked Media Files while downloading or sharing
    • Supports HTTP Streaming ASF/OGG/MP3/AAC/MPEG PS/MPEG TS
    • Subtitle, Overlay Mixer features, Keys Remapping, Super speed/High Mode
    • Play Audio CD
    • Play Video CD/SVCD/XCD
    • Enhanced Filter Rendering
    • Drag-and-drop support
    • Editable skins
    • Real-time index rebuilding for AVI files
    • Unicode support

    Advanced Features:

      • Customizable settings on the control panel
      • Adjust image brightness, hue, and saturation
      • Sharpen and add noise to your video
      • Audio equalizer
      • Fast forward/rewind using left/right keys
      • Repeat a section of your video using A-B Repeat feature

      System Requirements: Windows 2000, XP, Vista

      Note: I’m currently running this application on Windows 7 RC with no problems whatsoever.

      Download at: Download.com

      5 Comments

      Filed under Digital Media, Freeware, High Definition Video Players, Multimedia Tools, Software, Windows Tips and Tools