Tag Archives: Utility

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

Download a Grab Bag of Free System Tools

10 + 2 free system tools to maintain your computer, and keep it in top shape.

image We talked about keeping your computer physically clean, just a few days ago. Today, we’ll focus on keeping your computer’s operating system and subsystems clean, so that you can ramp up your system’s performance.

With that in mind, I retested some of the free system tools I’ve rated and recommended, over the last year or more, that will do a great job of revitalizing your system. These free applications are at the “Top of the Class”, in my view.

There may be slight overlaps in functionality between applications, so I’m not suggesting that you download them all – choose those that best meet your specific needs.

If I’ve missed one of your favorites that you feel should be on this list, then let me know with your comments.

CCleaner

CCleaner is a freeware system optimization, privacy and cleaning tool. It removes unused files from your system – allowing Windows to run faster and freeing up valuable hard disk space.

It also cleans traces of your online activities such as your Internet history. Additionally, it contains a fully featured registry cleaner. But the best part is that it’s fast; normally taking less than a few seconds to run.

ccleaner2

Glary Utilities

Glary Utilities, a free all-in-one utility, is a terrific collection of system tools and utilities to fix, speed up, maintain and protect your PC. Personal experience with this application for the last 2+ years, has convinced me that a typical user can really benefit by having this application on their system.

With this free program you can tweak, repair, optimize and improve your system’s performance; and its ease of operation makes it ideal for less experienced users.

glary-utilities 2

Advanced SystemCare Free

Advanced SystemCare Free is a comprehensive PC care utility that takes a one-click approach to help protect, repair, and optimize your computer. It provides an all-in-one, and super convenient solution, for PC maintenance and protection.

image

WinPatrol

Do you want to get a better understanding of what programs are being added to your computer? Then WinPatrol is the program for you. With WinPatrol, in your system tray, you can monitor system areas that are often changed by malicious programs.

You can monitor your startup programs and services, cookies and current tasks. Should you need to, WinPatrol allows you to terminate processes and enable, or disable, startup programs. There are additional features that make WinPatrol a very powerful addition to your security applications.

WinPatrol 2

Revo Uninstaller

Revo Uninstaller is a superior program designed to uninstall programs from your computer. This free program with its advanced and fast algorithm scans before, and after, you uninstall an application.

After the program’s regular uninstaller runs, you can remove additional unnecessary files, folders and registry keys that are usually left over on your computer. This feature is a definite plus.

RevoUninstaller

RunAlyzer

If you’re looking to track down spyware, or speed up system startup–and you’re technically astute–then RunAlyzer may be just what you need. Run it, and it performs a thorough analysis of all programs and services that run when you start up your computer.

Note: Recommended for advanced users only.

image

Autoruns

This free utility has the most comprehensive knowledge of auto-starting locations of any startup monitor, in my view, and shows you what programs are configured to run during system boot up or login, and the order Windows processes them. These programs will include ones in your startup folder, Run, RunOnce, and other Registry keys.

You can configure Autoruns to show additional locations, including Explorer shell extensions, toolbars, browser helper objects, Winlogon notifications, auto-start services, and more.

Autoruns goes considerably beyond the MSConfig utility bundled with Windows.

Autoruns

Regseeker

The longer you use Windows, the more cluttered your registry can become, especially if you regularly install and uninstall software. Many applications, on being uninstalled, leave behind “orphan” registry entries. They don’t remove all traces of themselves which can cause problems such as sluggish performance, system lockups, or a bloated registry that takes longer to load on startup. With the click of a button, Regseeker will scan your registry for these fragmented files, and safely remove them.

Note: Recommended for advanced users only.

reg-result 2

Wise Registry Cleaner

Wise Registry Cleaner is a free, non aggressive application that, as one of my friends says, hits a home run in the safety department. As it searches the Registry for obsolete/redundant registry keys, it differentiates between those that are “safe to fix”, and those that are “not fully safe to fix”.

To provide the greatest safety factor for those who are uncomfortable, or unfamiliar, with cleaning the Registry, the application’s default removal setting is – “safe to fix”.

wise-registry-cleaner 2

Fresh UI

One of the oldest and most well established free Windows tweaking applications, Freshdevices’ Fresh UI is a powerful tool that allows you to configure and optimize your version of Windows.

This small (1.24 MB) program has a clean, easy to understand interface that gives you access to hundreds of system settings, some of which are hidden, and others that are just hard to find. The interface is organized by section for easy navigation, and it is complete with detailed descriptions for easy reference.

FreshUI 2

Auslogics Disk Defrag

The program is extremely easy to use, does not require any analysis phase and is faster than most disk defragmentation software I’ve tested in the past, and it’s free. In my view, it’s one more maintenance process in helping me get the maximum performance out of my hardware.

auslogics_disk_defrag

FixWin

If you’ve been looking for an easy way to fix issues such as, Win Explorer not starting at boot up, CD drive or DVD drive is missing or not being recognized by Windows, or other programs, or the Device Manager is not functioning correctly (not as uncommon as you might think), then the recently released FixWin freeware application, could be the perfect solution.

It’s important to note however, FixWin does NOT scan for problems. You, have to recognize that you have the problem – the application will then correct the problem, provided of course it is one of the 50 very common problems the application is designed to deal with.

image

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14 Comments

Filed under Computer Maintenance, Defraggers, downloads, Freeware, Geek Software and Tools, Registry Cleaners, Slow Computer, Software, System Tweaks, System Utilities, Uninstall Tools, Utilities, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Free DNS Jumper – Easily Change Your Default DNS Settings

Popular guest writer Rick Robinette, has a knack for finding great free applications – applications that make the Internet experience smoother, safer and more interesting. See what Rick has to say about his most recent find – DNS Jumper.

If you are a regular reader of the blog (What’s On My PC), you may have read the following articles about DNS (Domain Name System) and how changing your default DNS settings on your PC to a service such as OpenDNS or Google’s Public DNS can result in a faster (and safer) internet experience. For example I use the DNS settings that is provided by OpenDNS on all of my computers.

OpenDNS  home

OpenDNS … Something to try…

Google’s Public DNS Resolution Service

The DNS protocol is an important part of the web’s infrastructure, serving as the Internet’s phone book: every time you visit a website, your computer performs a DNS lookup. Complex pages often require multiple DNS lookups before they start loading, so your computer may be performing hundreds of lookups a day. – Google Public DNS

When I composed those articles, I wondered how many people actually followed up and changed their DNS settings, for fear they would mess up their computers?

Today, I ran across a small software utility called DNS Jumper that you simply download, run, and mouse click a button to select which DNS service you would like to use.

This little utility does all the work for you. If you desire to return to your default DNS settings, you simply mouse click on DNS Default and your settings revert to the original settings. This utility is portable and makes for a nice addition to the tech toolbox.

image

Download at: Sordum

Note: A beta version (DNS Jumper v1.0.3), is also available. Keep in mind however, that a Beta version is not necessarily a stable release.

This is a guest post by Rick Robinette, who brings a background as a security/police officer professional, and as an information technology specialist to the Blogging world.

Why not pay a visit to Rick’s site at What’s On My PC. Like me, you’re sure to become a frequent visitor.

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.

20 Comments

Filed under downloads, Freeware, Geek Software and Tools, Interconnectivity, Online Safety, Software, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

Maintain Your Machine – 10 + 1 Free Computer System Tools

Renovate Your Computer With 10 + 1 Free System Tools

As well as keeping your machine physically clean, it is always good practice to keep your computer’s operating system and subsystems clean, so that you can get maximum performance from your machine.

With that in mind, I retested some of the free system tools I’ve rated and recommended over the last year or more, that will do a great job of revitalizing your system. These free applications are “the best of breed”, in my view.

If you have favorites that you’d like to see added to this list, then let me know with your comments.

CCleaner

CCleaner is a freeware system optimization, privacy and cleaning tool. It removes unused files from your system – allowing Windows to run faster and freeing up valuable hard disk space. It also cleans traces of your online activities such as your Internet history. Additionally, it contains a fully featured registry cleaner. But the best part is that it’s fast; normally taking less than a few seconds to run.

ccleaner2

Glary Utilities

Glary Utilities, a free all-in-one utility, is a terrific collection of system tools and utilities to fix, speed up, maintain and protect your PC. Personal experience with this application for the last 18 months has convinced me that a typical user can really benefit by having this application on their system. With this free program you can tweak, repair, optimize and improve your system’s performance; and its ease of operation makes it ideal for less experienced users.

glary-utilities 2

Advanced SystemCare Free 3.3.4

Advanced SystemCare Free is a comprehensive PC care utility that takes a one-click approach to help protect, repair, and optimize your computer. It provides an all-in-one and super convenient solution for PC maintenance and protection. All work will be done with 1 click and 1 minute.

image

WinPatrol

Do you want to get a better understanding of what programs are being added to your computer? Then WinPatrol is the program for you. With WinPatrol, in your system tray, you can monitor system areas that are often changed by malicious programs.

You can monitor your startup programs and services, cookies and current tasks. Should you need to, WinPatrol allows you to terminate processes and enable, or disable, startup programs. There are additional features that make WinPatrol a very powerful addition to your security applications.

WinPatrol 2

Revo Uninstaller

Revo Uninstaller is a superior program to uninstall programs from your computer. This free program with its advanced and fast algorithm scans before, and after you uninstall an application. After the program’s regular uninstaller runs, you can remove additional unnecessary files, folders and registry keys that are usually left over on your computer. This feature is a definite plus.

RevoUninstaller

RunAlyzer

If you’re looking to track down spyware, or speed up system startup–and you’re technically astute–then RunAlyzer may be just what you need. Run it, and it performs a thorough analysis of all programs and services that run when you start up your computer.

Note: Recommended for advanced users only.

image

Autoruns

This free utility has the most comprehensive knowledge of auto-starting locations of any startup monitor, in my view, and shows you what programs are configured to run during system boot up or login, and the order Windows processes them.

These programs will include ones in your startup folder, Run, RunOnce, and other Registry keys. You can configure Autoruns to show additional locations, including Explorer shell extensions, toolbars, browser helper objects, Winlogon notifications, auto-start services, and more. Autoruns goes considerably beyond the MSConfig utility bundled with Windows.

Autoruns

Regseeker

The longer you use Windows, the more cluttered your registry can become, especially if you regularly install and uninstall software. Many applications, on being uninstalled, leave behind “orphan” registry entries. They don’t remove all traces of themselves which can cause problems such as sluggish performance, system lockups, or a bloated registry that takes longer to load on startup. With the click of a button, Regseeker will scan your registry for these fragmented files, and safely remove them.

Note: Recommended for advanced users only.

reg-result 2

Wise Registry Cleaner

Wise Registry Cleaner is a free, non aggressive application that, as one of my friends says, hits a home run in the safety department. As it searches the Registry for obsolete/redundant registry keys, it differentiates between those that are “safe to fix”, and those that are “not fully safe to fix”.

To provide the greatest safety factor for those who are uncomfortable, or unfamiliar, with cleaning the Registry, the application’s default removal setting is “safe to fix”.

wise-registry-cleaner 2

Fresh UI

One of the oldest and most well established free Windows tweaking applications, Freshdevices’ Fresh UI is a powerful tool that allows you to configure and optimize your version of Windows.

This small (1.24 MB) program has a clean, easy to understand interface that gives you access to hundreds of system settings, some of which are hidden, and others that are just hard to find. The interface is organized by section for easy navigation, and it is complete with detailed descriptions for easy reference.

FreshUI 2

Auslogics Disk Defrag

The program is extremely easy to use, does not require any analysis phase and is faster than most disk defragmentation software I’ve tested in the past, and it’s free. In my view, it’s one more maintenance process in helping me get the maximum performance out of my hardware.

auslogics_disk_defrag

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.

12 Comments

Filed under Cleaning Your Computer, Computer Maintenance, Disk Cleaners, Freeware, New Computer User Software Tools, Older Adult Computer Users, Registry Cleaners, Slow Computer, System Process Scanners, System Tweaks, System Utilities, Uninstall Managers, Uninstall Tools, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

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

      Top 10 Free Tools to Boost Your PC

      Renovate Your Computer With 10 Free System Tools

      It is always good practice to keep your computer’s operating and subsystems clean so that you can get maximum performance from your machine.

      With that in mind, I retested some of the free system tools I’ve rated and recommended over the last year or so that will do a great job of revitalizing your system. These free applications are “the best of breed”, in my view.

      To download just click on the highlighted application name.

      CCleaner

      CCleaner is a freeware system optimization, privacy and cleaning tool. It removes unused files from your system – allowing Windows to run faster and freeing up valuable hard disk space.

      It also cleans traces of your online activities such as your Internet history. Additionally, it contains a fully featured registry cleaner. But the best part is that it’s fast; normally taking less than a second to run.

      ccleaner2

      Glary Utilities

      Glary Utilities, a free all-in-one utility, is a terrific collection of system tools and utilities to fix, speed up, maintain and protect your PC. Personal experience with this application has convinced me that a typical user can really benefit by having this application on their system.

      With this free program you can tweak, repair, optimize and improve your system’s performance; and its ease of operation makes it ideal for less experienced users.

      glary-utilities 2

      Evonsoft Computer Repair

      According to the developers, with one click, Evonsoft Computer Repair will scan your computer and provide a list of the errors found by the application. You will then have the choice of cleaning each item individually, or allow the application to repair the errors automatically.

      In my own testing, I found that the application was extremely fast and that it worked as advertised. I did find however, that the lack of a clear explanation left me feeling slightly uncomfortable. I suspect that more advanced users might also feel the same way.

      On the other hand, this lack of explanation might be the very feature that the new user will find most appealing about this application. Most new computer users, in my experience, don’t want to know the details; they just want the job done.

      Evonsoft 1

      WinPatrol

      Do you want to get a better understanding of what programs are being added to your computer? Then WinPatrol is the program for you. With WinPatrol, in your system tray, you can monitor system areas that are often changed by malicious programs.

      You can monitor your startup programs and services, cookies and current tasks. Should you need to, WinPatrol allows you to terminate processes and enable, or disable, startup programs. There are additional features that make WinPatrol a very powerful addition to your security applications.

      WinPatrol 2

      Revo Uninstaller

      Revo Uninstaller is a superior program to uninstall programs from your computer. This free program with its advanced and fast algorithm scans before, and after you uninstall an application.

      After the program’s regular uninstaller runs, you can remove additional unnecessary files, folders and registry keys that are usually left over on your computer. This feature is a definite plus.

      RevoUninstaller

      Autoruns

      This free utility has the most comprehensive knowledge of auto-starting locations of any startup monitor, in my view, and shows you what programs are configured to run during system boot up or login, and the order Windows processes them. These programs will include ones in your startup folder, Run, RunOnce, and other Registry keys.

      You can configure Autoruns to show additional locations, including Explorer shell extensions, toolbars, browser helper objects, Winlogon notifications, auto-start services, and more. Autoruns goes considerably beyond the MSConfig utility bundled with Windows.

      Autoruns

      Regseeker

      The longer you use Windows, the more cluttered your registry can become, especially if you regularly install and uninstall software. Many applications, on being uninstalled, leave behind “orphan” registry entries. They don’t remove all traces of themselves; causing problems such as sluggish performance, system lockups, or a bloated registry that takes longer to load on startup. With the click of a button, Regseeker will scan your registry for these fragmented files, and safely remove them. Unless you have a good grasp of the registry however, you should stick to a less aggressive cleaner such as the one below.

      reg-result 2

      Wise Registry Cleaner

      Wise Registry Cleaner is a free, non aggressive application that, as one of my friends says, hits a home run in the safety department. As it searches the Registry for obsolete/redundant registry keys, it differentiates between those that are “safe to fix”, and those that are “not fully safe to fix”.

      To provide the greatest safety factor for those who are uncomfortable, or unfamiliar, with cleaning the Registry, the application’s default removal setting is “safe to fix”.

      wise-registry-cleaner 2

      Fresh UI

      One of the oldest and most well established free Windows tweaking applications, Freshdevices’ Fresh UI is a powerful tool that allows you to configure and optimize your version of Windows.

      This small (1.24 MB) program has a clean, easy to understand interface that gives you access to hundreds of system settings, some of which are hidden, and others that are just hard to find. The interface is organized by section for easy navigation, and it is complete with detailed descriptions for easy reference.

      FreshUI 2

      Auslogics Disk Defrag

      The program is extremely easy to use, does not require any analysis phase and is faster than most disk defragmentation software I’ve tested in the past, and it’s free. In my view, it’s one more maintenance process in helping me get the maximum performance out of my hardware.

      auslogics_disk_defrag

      9 Comments

      Filed under Cleaning Your Computer, Computer Maintenance, Free Full Versions, Freeware, Registry Cleaners, Slow Computer, Software, System Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

      Reduce Cell Phone/VoIP Background Noise With SoliCall!

      image We can often find ourselves in an environment that is not telephone friendly; noisy conferences, on the boat while at the cottage – think about the noise produced by twin Mercury outboard motors, sporting events, or dare I say it, loud raucous parties.

      Background distractions produced by unwanted environmental noises may, at a minimum, be no more than an annoyance, or in more extreme cases can lead to confusion, frustration, misunderstanding, and irritation for both parties to a telephone call. Think about the impact on the listener, while you shout to be heard over background noises.

      Often we have limited choices as to when we either make, or take, a telephone call, and circumstances may dictate that we do so despite environmental background noises which are sure to produce some degree of anxiety.

      Recently, while using my cell phone I instructed my Broker to sell all my holdings in Chrysler – not hearing me clearly, instead he bought additional shares in Chrysler. I’m only kidding you – but you see the point. Background environmental noise, while using the telephone, has the potential to produce unintended consequences.

      There’s a great new solution to this common scenario. SoliCall, a company which specializes in noise reduction, noise cancellation and noise suppression technology has developed a personalized voice filtering solution. This noise reduction software operates as a voice pass filter which can be integrated in any phone system, and in any voice call.

      image

      (Before and after the application of this technology)

      This amazing technology – I admit, I’m old enough to still be amazed by unique technology – is based on identifying the voice of the speaker – it does not center on specific noises but only on the user’s voice. To accomplish this, the application records and analyzes a sample of the user’s voice and stores the unique acoustic parameters. The end result is; all other voices, noises and sounds are filtered out.

      Unlike some existing voice filtering technologies which rely to some extent on telephone speaker position – physical contact using jaw bone sensors for example – this new technology does not rely on the position of the telephone speaker, with the obvious comfort advantage this entails.

      Installation is easy even for a novice computer user, but to ensure seamless installation the company provides a terrific FAQ page, supplemented with an application integration page, which covers more than just the basics.

      image

      Recording telephone calls can often be important for both business and personal reasons, and surprisingly (well I was surprised); the SoliCall program includes the capacity to do so.

      With SoliCall’s personalized noise reduction you can now improve voice quality and get rid of those virtually impossible to deal with background distractions, in cell phone, headset, and other telephone calls.

      There is an obvious need for this exciting technology, and the number of free downloads thus far (32,000+ at Download.com alone), speaks to this.

      Fast facts:

      Compatible with all SoftPhones

      Compatible with business centers, e.g. Gateways, PBXs and Conference bridges

      Improves sound quality on any type of VoIP call, e.g. PC-to-PC, PC-to-Phone

      Robust echo cancellation

      Transmits only your voice – personalized to your specific voice

      Screens all other voices, noises and sounds

      Becomes more efficient as it learns

      Small 1.23 MB free download

      System Requirements: Windows 2000/XP

      Download at: Download.com

      Please note, that all other products offered by SoliCall, for cell phones and for PBXs (the SDK and the PBXMate), are already in the production phase. In fact, the company recently reported on their signing three international deals in the telecom sector.

      Pay a visit to SoliCall’s new Website and checkout their full complement of noise reduction and echo cancellation technologies.

      1 Comment

      Filed under Audio Applications, Audio Software, Cell Phone Apps, Freeware, Geek Software and Tools, Interconnectivity, Mobile Applications, Software, VOIP

      Renovate Your Computer With 10 Free System Tools

      In the article immediately before this article “Spring Clean Your Computer – Step by Step Guide”, I posed the question as to how many of us are concerned with keeping our computers physically clean.

      As well as keeping your machine physically clean, it is always good practice to keep your computer’s operating and subsystems clean so that you can get maximum performance from your machine.

      With that in mind, I retested some of the free system tools I’ve rated and recommended over the last year or so that will do a great job of revitalizing your system. These free applications are “the best of breed”, in my view.

      If you have favorites that you’d like to see added to this list, then let me know with your comments.

      Click each pic for a larger view.

      CCleaner

      CCleaner is a freeware system optimization, privacy and cleaning tool. It removes unused files from your system – allowing Windows to run faster and freeing up valuable hard disk space. It also cleans traces of your online activities such as your Internet history. Additionally, it contains a fully featured registry cleaner. But the best part is that it’s fast; normally taking less than a second to run.

      ccleaner2

      Glary Utilities

      Glary Utilities, a free all-in-one utility, is a terrific collection of system tools and utilities to fix, speed up, maintain and protect your PC. Personal experience with this application for the last 8 months has convinced me that a typical user can really benefit by having this application on their system. With this free program you can tweak, repair, optimize and improve your system’s performance; and its ease of operation makes it ideal for less experienced users.

      glary-utilities 2

      Evonsoft Computer Repair

      According to the developers, with one click, Evonsoft Computer Repair will scan your computer and provide a list of the errors found by the application. You will then have the choice of cleaning each item individually, or allow the application to repair the errors automatically.

      In my own testing, I found that the application was extremely fast and that it worked as advertised. I did find however, that the lack of a clear explanation left me feeling slightly uncomfortable. I suspect that more advanced users might also feel the same way.

      On the other hand, this lack of explanation might be the very feature that the new user will find most appealing about this application. Most new computer users, in my experience, don’t want to know the details; they just want the job done.

      Evonsoft 1

      WinPatrol

      Do you want to get a better understanding of what programs are being added to your computer? Then WinPatrol is the program for you. With WinPatrol, in your system tray, you can monitor system areas that are often changed by malicious programs. You can monitor your startup programs and services, cookies and current tasks. Should you need to, WinPatrol allows you to terminate processes and enable, or disable, startup programs. There are additional features that make WinPatrol a very powerful addition to your security applications.

      WinPatrol 2

      Revo Uninstaller

      Revo Uninstaller is a superior program to uninstall programs from your computer. This free program with its advanced and fast algorithm scans before, and after you uninstall an application. After the program’s regular uninstaller runs, you can remove additional unnecessary files, folders and registry keys that are usually left over (those “orphaned” registry entries we talked about earlier), on your computer. This feature is a definite plus.

      RevoUninstaller

      Autoruns

      This free utility has the most comprehensive knowledge of auto-starting locations of any startup monitor, in my view, and shows you what programs are configured to run during system boot up or login, and the order Windows processes them. These programs will include ones in your startup folder, Run, RunOnce, and other Registry keys. You can configure Autoruns to show additional locations, including Explorer shell extensions, toolbars, browser helper objects, Winlogon notifications, auto-start services, and more. Autoruns goes considerably beyond the MSConfig utility bundled with Windows.

      Autoruns

      Regseeker

      The longer you use Windows, the more cluttered your registry can become, especially if you regularly install and uninstall software. Many applications, on being uninstalled, leave behind “orphan” registry entries. They don’t remove all traces of themselves; causing problems such as sluggish performance, system lockups, or a bloated registry that takes longer to load on startup. With the click of a button, Regseeker will scan your registry for these fragmented files, and safely remove them.

      reg-result 2

      Wise Registry Cleaner

      Wise Registry Cleaner is a free, non aggressive application that, as one of my friends says, hits a home run in the safety department. As it searches the Registry for obsolete/redundant registry keys, it differentiates between those that are “safe to fix”, and those that are “not fully safe to fix”. To provide the greatest safety factor for those who are uncomfortable, or unfamiliar, with cleaning the Registry, the application’s default removal setting is “safe to fix”.

      wise-registry-cleaner 2

      Fresh UI

      One of the oldest and most well established free Windows tweaking applications, Freshdevices’ Fresh UI is a powerful tool that allows you to configure and optimize your version of Windows.

      This small (1.24 MB) program has a clean, easy to understand interface that gives you access to hundreds of system settings, some of which are hidden, and others that are just hard to find. The interface is organized by section for easy navigation, and it is complete with detailed descriptions for easy reference.

      FreshUI 2

      Auslogics Disk Defrag

      The program is extremely easy to use, does not require any analysis phase and is faster than most disk defragmentation software I’ve tested in the past, and it’s free. In my view, it’s one more maintenance process in helping me get the maximum performance out of my hardware.

      auslogics_disk_defrag

      5 Comments

      Filed under Cleaning Your Computer, Diagnostic Software, Freeware, Hard Drive Maintenance, Operating Systems, Registry Cleaners, Slow Computer, Software, System Tweaks, System Utilities, Uninstall Managers, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

      GOM Media Player – 5 Star Rated and Free!

      Free 5.1 Channel Output. Advanced Playback Capabilities.

      Tired of Windows Media Player’s weaknesses? Fed up with its 24.5 MB bloated size? Are you unhappy with its outrageous overhead requirements? Then GOM Media Player, (the unusual name stands for Gretech Online Movie Player), may well be the tool you’ve been looking for.

      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 (download.com), with nearly 12,000,000 downloads to date.

      gom player 2

      GOM Media Player is a relatively small (4.66MB) 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. http://www.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 really 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 Me/2000/XP/2003 Server/Vista

      Note: I’m currently running this application on Windows 7 Beta with no problems what-so-ever.

      Download at: Download.com

      2 Comments

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

      10 Free System Tools to Get Your PC in Shape

      Soon, many of us will be making those dreaded New Years resolutions once again.

      Generally, our resolutions tend to run along these lines – get in shape, lose weight, quit drinking or smoking, and one that’s going to be more popular this year no doubt; get out of debt.

      One that’s on my list is the resolution to get organized. Getting organized, for me, always includes the promise that I will keep my computer systems clean, both physically and from a system perspective. Somehow, this one reappears on my list of resolutions, year after year.

      With that in mind, I revisited some of the system tools I’ve rated and recommended over the last year or so, and I’ve promised myself to make better use of them in 2009. These free applications are “the best of breed”, in my view.

      If you have favorites that you’d like to see added to this list, then let me know with your comments.

      Click each pic for a larger view.

      CCleaner

      CCleaner is a freeware system optimization, privacy and cleaning tool. It removes unused files from your system – allowing Windows to run faster and freeing up valuable hard disk space. It also cleans traces of your online activities such as your Internet history. Additionally, it contains a fully featured registry cleaner. But the best part is that it’s fast; normally taking less than a second to run.

      Glary Utilities

      Glary Utilities, a free all-in-one utility, is a terrific collection of system tools and utilities to fix, speed up, maintain and protect your PC. Personal experience with this application for the last 8 months has convinced me that a typical user can really benefit by having this application on their system. With this free program you can tweak, repair, optimize and improve your system’s performance; and its ease of operation makes it ideal for less experienced users.

      Evonsoft Computer Repair

      According to the developers, with one click, Evonsoft Computer Repair will scan your computer and provide a list of the errors found by the application. You will then have the choice of cleaning each item individually, or allow the application to repair the errors automatically.

      In my own testing, I found that the application was extremely fast and that it worked as advertised. I did find however, that the lack of a clear explanation left me feeling slightly uncomfortable. I suspect that more advanced users might also feel the same way.

      On the other hand, this lack of explanation might be the very feature that the new user will find most appealing about this application. Most new computer users, in my experience, don’t want to know the details; they just want the job done.

      WinPatrol

      Do you want to get a better understanding of what programs are being added to your computer? Then WinPatrol is the program for you. With WinPatrol, in your system tray, you can monitor system areas that are often changed by malicious programs. You can monitor your startup programs and services, cookies and current tasks. Should you need to, WinPatrol allows you to terminate processes and enable, or disable, startup programs. There are additional features that make WinPatrol a very powerful addition to your security applications.

      Revo Uninstaller

      Revo Uninstaller is a superior program to uninstall programs from your computer. This free program with its advanced and fast algorithm scans before, and after you uninstall an application. After the program’s regular uninstaller runs, you can remove additional unnecessary files, folders and registry keys that are usually left over (those “orphaned” registry entries we talked about earlier), on your computer. This feature is a definite plus.

      Autoruns

      This free utility has the most comprehensive knowledge of auto-starting locations of any startup monitor, in my view, and shows you what programs are configured to run during system boot up or login, and the order Windows processes them. These programs will include ones in your startup folder, Run, RunOnce, and other Registry keys. You can configure Autoruns to show additional locations, including Explorer shell extensions, toolbars, browser helper objects, Winlogon notifications, auto-start services, and more. Autoruns goes considerably beyond the MSConfig utility bundled with Windows.

      Regseeker

      The longer you use Windows, the more cluttered your registry can become, especially if you regularly install and uninstall software. Many applications, on being uninstalled, leave behind “orphan” registry entries. They don’t remove all traces of themselves; causing problems such as sluggish performance, system lockups, or a bloated registry that takes longer to load on startup. With the click of a button, Regseeker will scan your registry for these fragmented files, and safely remove them.

      Wise Registry Cleaner

      Wise Registry Cleaner is a free, non aggressive application that, as one of my friends says, hits a home run in the safety department. As it searches the Registry for obsolete/redundant registry keys, it differentiates between those that are “safe to fix”, and those that are “not fully safe to fix”. To provide the greatest safety factor for those who are uncomfortable, or unfamiliar, with cleaning the Registry, the application’s default removal setting is “safe to fix”.

      Fresh UI

      One of the oldest and most well established free Windows tweaking applications, Freshdevices’ Fresh UI is a powerful tool that allows you to configure and optimize your version of Windows.

      This small (1.24 MB) program has a clean, easy to understand interface that gives you access to hundreds of system settings, some of which are hidden, and others that are just hard to find. The interface is organized by section for easy navigation, and it is complete with detailed descriptions for easy reference.

      Auslogics Disk Defrag

      The program is extremely easy to use, does not require any analysis phase and is faster than most disk defragmentation software I’ve tested in the past, and it’s free. In my view, it’s one more maintenance process in helping me get the maximum performance out of my hardware.

      11 Comments

      Filed under Cleaning Your Computer, Disk Cleaners, Freeware, Hard Drive Maintenance, Registry Cleaners, Slow Computer, System Tweaks, System Utilities, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools