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User-Friendly Bandwidth Detective Gets A Welcome Update

Glasswire is one of my favourite finds of the year.  It shows you how much internet traffic your computer is producing, both inbound and outbound, and it shows you precisely which programs or services are generating it.  It's great for tracking down slow connections, and very useful if you suspect that a certain program is sending or receiving more data than it should be.  And unlike similar technically-oriented programs, this one is simple to use.  It looks good too.

Get Microsoft's Web Designer Suite For Free

A couple of years ago, Microsoft stopped selling its Expression Web product and made it freeware.  Expression Web was the company's answer to market-leading products such as Dreamweaver and, while relatively successful, didn't take the market by storm.  It was, though, a powerful product that was a great way to edit HTML, CSS, and all the other aspects of modern web pages.

Microsoft Visual Studio Now Free For Non-Commercial Use!

If you like programming, one of the major frustrations with Windows has always been the cost of obtaining development tools.  While there are admittedly many companies offering products at good value, the "gold standard" in this area has always been Microsoft, and their products are expensive.  Visual Studio 2013, for example, which is the ultimate development suite containing everything you need in order to write Windows programs, retails for upwards of $500.

Until now, at least.  

Essential Updates For Windows - Install Them Now

Each month, Microsoft issues a bunch of security patches for Windows.  Among the bugs fixes last week was one which has apparently been present since Windows 95, which launched some 19 years ago.  It's still present in all current versions of Windows, and can allow anyone to gain remote access to your computer under certain conditions.

Search A File For All Printable Characters

Sometimes when you're working on your PC, attempting to tidy up your files, you'll come across a non-document file whose purpose is unknown to you.  Maybe it's a DLL file, or an executable EXE file, or a document created in a program which you don't have a copy of.  In a search for clues as to what this file does, and whether it might be either useful or suspicious, you load it into a text editor such as NotePad, only to find that most of the characters in it are unreadable, unpronouncable rubbish.

This Superb Online Photo Editor Is Free To Use

If you've ever lusted after a product such as Adobe Lightroom, which lets you experiment with different exposure settings etc in order to produce great-looking pictures, then I strongly recommend you take a look at a brilliant web site called Polarr as soon as you can.  Simply load up one of your existing digital images, then play around with all the on-screen sliders in order to get just the effect you're looking for.  Or to discover effects that you never knew existed, or that you were unaware could enhance (or ruin!) a picture.

Free Microsoft Windows Security Tool EMET Now in Version 5.1

EMET (Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit) is a powerful free security tool from Microsoft. EMET hardens your system against various exploit techniques by making programs run in a restricted mode and has been the subject of previous tips. It has just been updated today to version 5.1.

How to Get a Free Installation Disk for Windows 8.1

If there is one question that keeps coming up, it is how to get a disk to reinstall a Windows system. Since most OEM systems don’t come with a Windows installation disk, many people find themselves wanting to reinstall Windows but having no disk. There are ways to create an installation disk from an operating Windows system (see here  and also here) but unfortunately many PC users neglect to do this.

Windows Notepad With Added Encryption Keeps Your Thoughts Safe

Secure Edit is a simple Windows notepad program with a difference.  It encrypts your text files, using the well-known Blowfish algorithm, which means that someone without the password can't read them.  This makes it useful for keeping private notes on your computer, and it's also handy for storing passwords.  

Yet Another Set Of Free World Newspaper Front Pages

My recent postings giving details of web sites which offer free scans of newspaper front pages has generated a lot of feedback from readers, which is much appreciated.  Before I retire the topic for a few months, here's one final site to try out.  It's called Kiosko and you'll find it at http://en.kiosko.net for the English language version.  The site is also available in French and Spanish if you prefer - just follow the links once you get there.

Gizmo's Freeware is Recruiting!

Gizmos Needs YouShare your knowledge of free software with millions of Gizmo's readers by joining our editing team.  Details here.

 
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