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This is a list of the most recently posted comments on the site sorted so that the most recent comments appear first. 

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Article title Time posted Postersort descending Comment Link
Our Exclusive Giveaway Worth $90. [Expired] 4 years 7 months ago Yankiwi

I wish I could explain it, but I can only say that I downloaded and installed the software on a total of three machines owned by various family members and each time it installed perfectly. One thought: When you copied the registration code from the original email, did you by any chance happen to include a space at either end of the code? If there was anything other than the exact characters in the code, even an extra space at either end, that could be the source of the problem. Computers are anal-retentive little beasts and demand that things be exactly as they want them; otherwise, if they don't get exactly the input they want, they get surly, dig in their heels, and refuse to cooperate. Not sure if that's the cause, but it might be worth a quick check.

Good luck. Hope that helps.

Use This Free Spybot Utility to Block Microsoft Monitoring in Windows 4 years 7 months ago Yankiwi

Thanks, Vic, for this excellent find. Those of us with more than a little grey hair actually remember a time when personal privacy was both valued and respected, so any reliable program or tip which helps us to maintain what few shreds are left of that privacy is hugely appreciated.

Coming Soon To Windows 10: Find My Device 4 years 6 months ago Yankiwi

Well, my friend, if you're happy with W10, I sincerely wish you the best of luck with it. However, I have a question with regard to "The privacy issues are a non-starter as far as I am concerned. Who cares?" If "privacy issues are a non-starter" for you and you don't care about them, then are we to take it that you have no objection to posting your home address, phone numbers, date of birth, medical reports, love letters, Social Security Number (if in the U.S.), pay slips, and your list of passwords to your banking and other financial accounts? I'm not asking this to be contentious, but merely to suggest that it is quite likely that privacy issues are indeed a "starter" for you, as they are for many of us.

As to your "unshaven operatives in that seedy basement with .... earphones," that's a cute image, but a little out-of-date. Think high speed servers in a shiny new office building with software that can trawl through your personal data at lightning speed to look for whatever information MS decides it wants to take from your computer without your permission. Perhaps you're comfortable with that; many of us are not.

Why do people sign in "to let everybody know how much they're not buying in?" For the same reason that W10 enthusiasts sign in to "boast" about their latest installs: We all have our individual opinions and Gizmo's kindly offers us a place to express them. It's just that not everybody worships at the MS shrine and many of us - in my case after a 30+ year "marriage" to MS software - have finally gotten tired of the abuse and, now, the unconscionable invasion of personal privacy, so we're speaking out, and in some cases, filing for a divorce. Personally, I've already started dating Linux Mint and have found that I get treated much better and my privacy is respected, which is what I want - and deserve - from an operating system. I wish you well with yours.

Windows 10’s Fall Update Removes User Installed Applications Without Asking 4 years 6 months ago Yankiwi

Agreed. After 30 years of owning PCs, from the days of DOS through to Windows 7, I've finally accepted that Microsoft cannot be trusted and that Windows will no longer be my OS in the future. Like you, I looked into Linux distros and chose Linux Mint 17.2 Cinnamon (Rafaela) 64-bit. In the little time that I've had to play with it so far, it appears very polished, functional, and complete, right out of the box. I have some Windows-specific professional software I'll continue to need, so I can run W7 within VirtualBox or on a separate machine, perhaps isolated from the Internet so that Microsoft cannot mess with it.

I will not be bullied by Microsoft into accepting W10 or letting them control which OS or updates I install, nor will I let any OS "phone home" with data from my computer without my express permission on each occasion. My privacy is not for sale.

Speechnotes - Note Taking with Style and Ease 3 years 10 months ago Yankiwi

Thanks for the review of this potentially useful app. However, I have two questions/concerns:

A) When I clicked on the link given to the full review page, the Pros and Cons section lists the following Con: "No way to delete notes in-app." If that's the case, how are unwanted or old notes deleted, or do they just accumulate forever?

B) The bigger concern I have is that this app apparently "uses Google's Speech recognition technology." Since Google has a well-deserved reputation for violating users' privacy by acquiring, storing, and using the personal information of its users when they use Google apps, is it possible for a user to use this app (perhaps in offline mode?) without Google recording and storing every spoken/written word? For those of us who still remember and value the concept of privacy, this is a make or break issue.

It would be very helpful if someone can shed light on this.

Speechnotes - Note Taking with Style and Ease 3 years 10 months ago Yankiwi


Thanks for the prompt and helpful answer. As long as I can use Speechnotes privately offline, I'll give it a try. Thanks again for letting us know about this app and your review of it.


Just Get Flux. Your Eyes Will Thank You. 3 years 9 months ago Yankiwi


As a recommendation: I NEVER download ANY software without first scanning it on VirusTotal. I use Firefox with the VTzilla add-on and ALWAYS run a fresh scan on any software file before accepting or opening the download. Even if the pop-up says that the file was just scanned on VirusTotal only an hour or two before, I always run my own fresh scan. My computer's health is way too important to me and I have neither the time nor the patience to rebuild my digital life after accidentally downloading something malicious. Some people get in a hurry and think it's unnecessary and takes too long, but it normally takes only a few seconds. As the saying goes, there's never time enough to do something right, but there's always time enough to do it over. Or, put another way, better safe than sorry.

Regarding those times when VirusTotal shows 1 or 2 of its many scanning programs reporting an issue, just go by the weight of the evidence. If, for example, the ratio is 67/1, meaning 67 programs show the software is clean and 1 says it isn't, it's highly unlikely that 67 programs are wrong and only one is right, so the 1 is almost certainly a false positive.

Hope that helps.

Adobe Launched A Smart App To Scan Documents Into PDF with Text Recognition 2 years 12 months ago Yankiwi

I've used CamScanner for years and it seems to work beautifully. Unlike Adobe Scan, it isn't tied to the Adobe Cloud, but although it shows you the result of your OCR scan, the ability to share the OCR results is a Premium (paid) feature.

Free Dictation Software Online Recognises 40 Languages. 2 years 8 months ago Yankiwi

Thanks for the find, Rob. It sounds like a great system, just as long as users don't care about the privacy of what they're speaking/writing. On the "About" page of the Speechtexter site, it says:

"SpeechTexter is based on Google's high-end speech-recognition engines. All your speech is sent to Google, there it gets interpreted using powerful parallel servers and algorithms, and gets sent back to SpeechTexter as a stream of possible transcription results."

Anything sent to Google is kept and stored on Google's servers, so as long as users don't mind Google keeping a permanent record of their spoken and written thoughts for Google to use as it sees fit, SpeechTexter should be very helpful. Those of us with enough grey hair to remember the concept of personal privacy and value it will keep in mind that "what happens through Google stays with Google" and continue to avoid Google-related products whenever possible. As always, it's a personal choice; mine is for privacy above convenience. YMMV.

If there's a free speech-to-text program that does NOT involve sending personal thoughts to Google or Micro$oft, I'd appreciate learning about it.

Linux For People Who Like The Look And Feel Of Windows 2 years 7 months ago Yankiwi

Thanks, Rob, for the info on this interesting new distro. While all the many technical advantages of Linux mentioned in the comments are convincing, my overriding reason for planning my escape to Linux can be summed up in one word: Privacy. I'm one of those with enough grey hair to remember and value the concept of personal privacy, so I refuse to surrender to Microsoft's intrusive snooping and their taking control of our computers and updating them whenever they see fit with whatever software they choose. Linux not only offers me the option of personal privacy, it allows me to configure my OS as I choose, not as some tech giant thinks best for its corporate purposes.

Accordingly, though we still use W7 Pro 64 on our business computers for the time being, I've been experimenting with Linux, loading Mint 17.2 Cinnamon in Virtual Box on two of those computers, a desktop and a laptop, and it seems to work great. I've even taken an old (2006) Dell Inspiron XP laptop with 1GB RAM and replaced XP with Mint 17.1 XFCE, as it was recommended as a good, lightweight distro for older machines. The result? An old, hopelessly slow Windows XP machine now runs much faster with Linux Mint and is a pleasure to use, though of course it's still no match for our newer, current desktops.

Unless wiser Linux heads than mine advise otherwise, my plan is ultimately to convert our W7 computers to the then-current version of Mint, then load the contents of our W7 machines into VirtualBox on each machine, both to allow us to use some Windows-only software and to give us easy access to our Windows-based documents and records if we need them. As I understand it, we can isolate the W7 in VB from the Internet to reduce the risk of malware, letting all Internet interface take place through Linux.

All in all, Linux - in whatever flavour of distro works best for a given user - seems to me like an excellent and logical OS choice for the future. Now if only Linux-based smartphones would improve enough to allow me to similarly get rid of the snooping of Google/Android......

Is 2018 the Year the Internet Finally Died? 2 years 5 months ago Yankiwi

Thank you, Gizmo, for your eloquent posting, especially with regard to the ever-tightening noose around personal privacy. Even a cursory study of human history clearly shows that individual liberty, freedom of expression, and personal privacy are extremely rare and precious flowers that can only bloom where those values are deeply valued and jealously guarded. Sadly, that is not the trend in our current age.

You say that "there are other alternatives to these services. Not quite as powerful perhaps or as convenient but they do exist. Yet most of us choose not to use these options." That is a shame, but it reflects a civilization that is so entranced by the glamour and excitement of its new technological toys that it fails to see the grimly smiling face of totalitarian control which ever lurks in the technology behind them.

For myself, I do what I can to preserve such personal privacy and liberty as can still be found. Unwilling to allow Microsoft and Apple access to my data, I have blocked W10 and am in the process of slowly trading W7, not for iOS, but for Linux, once I am sufficiently schooled in it. Until the smartphones operating on Linux are developed further and have the basic apps I need, I try to do all I can to block the privacy-devouring Google behemoth in every way possible, using VPNs and encrypted messaging services on my Android phone.

I fervently hope that your dream of a privacy-respecting "Web 3" becomes a reality, but if we want it to be so, we must all work tirelessly to that end, constantly reminding those who have forgotten - or who have never realized - the crucial importance and fragile nature of personal privacy. Those of us with enough grey hair to remember what the concept of personal privacy means must also speak out and educate those who have grown up, and are now growing up, in the Internet Age and have never known a time when personal privacy wasn't regularly invaded in return for what you rightly called a Faustian bargain. We must help them to understand that privacy is a choice, a choice worth making, and that to passively accept invasion of their privacy is in fact to choose to surrender it.

We who still care about it must fight to keep the light of personal privacy from being extinguished, lest our civilization descend into the darkness of tyranny. In the words of the poet Dylan Thomas:

"Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light."

I wish you and all the members of the Gizmo's community a very happy, healthy, peaceful - and private - 2018.

This Smart System Turns Your Address Into Just Three Words 2 years 4 months ago Yankiwi

In case it's helpful:

The What3Words "About" page gives a good overview:

Answers to most of the questions people normally ask can be found on the very informative What3Words General Questions page at:

Just click on the red link that says "See all 29 articles" and you'll find lots of info.

Seems like a profoundly useful idea, not only in rural/unmapped areas, but also in large convention centers, office complexes, apartment complexes, or theme parks. I'm not surprised that various corporations which require precise geolocation are using it.

It seems to me that the folks who dreamed up this system and created the W3W algorithm clearly had waaay too much time on their hands, but overall I think it's quite clever.

Don't Change Your Browser. Change Your Search Engine. 2 years 3 months ago Yankiwi

As others have said, I've been using DDG for several years and like it, even making it my default search engine in the search window of the various browsers I use. However, I also like the privacy offered by and, and their Advanced Search page is excellent for really refining my searches, so I've set the Startpage Advanced Search page as my Home Page in each of my browsers.

Although, as others have pointed out, there is no such thing as a guaranteed 100 percent solution to protecting our privacy on the Internet, I've found that the Epic Privacy Browser ( comes closer than anything else I've found when I really want privacy (which is nearly always). Epic has its own search engine, or you can use DDG/Startpage/Ixquick from within the Epic browser.

A Fond Farewell From Me 2 years 2 months ago Yankiwi

Many thanks, Rob, for all your excellent service and advice over the years. Your hard work in finding, testing, and writing about your Hot Finds has made my computing life much easier and better, for which I'm truly grateful, as (manifestly) are the others commenting here.

I wish you a long, peaceful, and healthy retirement, with perhaps - dare we hope? - the occasional Gizmo contribution when you come across some excellent piece of free software and just can't help yourself!

Vá com Deus!

View Almost Any Document In Your Browser 2 years 1 day ago Yankiwi

Hi, Rhiannon,

Thanks for the tip. It might be handy in an emergency if I'm using a VPN (e.g., in Opera), but if the extension is using Google Docs to open documents, I'm afraid I'll have to pass. Google has demonstrated an insatiable appetite for gathering every conceivable scrap of information from those who use any of its services and I value my privacy way too much. It's hard to avoid using absolutely everything Google, given the tentacles it has spread into the online world, but I'm sure as heck not going to surrender any info to Google knowingly if I have any alternative, and in the case of opening these documents, I do.

That issue aside, many thanks for all your hard work and the many finds you share on this site. I really appreciate everything that you and the other Gizmo contributors do to make this site so excellent.

View Almost Any Document In Your Browser 1 year 11 months ago Yankiwi

Hi, Rhiannon,

You said that "There are some add-ons I don't use in Firefox because they interfere with performance, and have consistently done so over a period of years." For those of us who find the function of Firefox to be degenerating and problematic at times, it would be great if you could provide the names of the FF add-ons on your "blacklist," as such a list might help us to troubleshoot our own FF issues. Perhaps an idea for another post? ;-)


View Almost Any Document In Your Browser 1 year 11 months ago Yankiwi

Wow! I certainly understand the value of a fresh installation, but given Firefox's breakneck pace of updates, you must be reinstalling FF about once every week or so! Do you likewise reinstall all your add-ons? If so, I probably wouldn't get all of my add-ons reinstalled before the next FF update came along and I'd have to start all over again. :)

Share Files and Clipboard Across Your Android Mobile And Linux Computer 1 year 12 months ago Yankiwi

Great find, Jojo. I currently use Dukto, which is a superb little app that works like a charm for transferring files and text between devices across a network. KDE Connect seems to have some interesting additional features, but appears to require some additional steps to go through for setup with non-KDE desktops. If anyone has any experience in setting up KDE Connect with Linux Mint (either Cinnamon or XFCE), I'd appreciate any feedback on how well it works, any issues to look out for, etc.

Thanks for all your hard work in finding these little gems and keeping us updated, Jojo. After 33 years of working with strictly MS-DOS and Windows, I now find myself a relative newbie in the Linux world as I learn and prepare to switch all our computers from W7 to Linux, so I really appreciate your insights.


Share Files and Clipboard Across Your Android Mobile And Linux Computer 1 year 12 months ago Yankiwi

Many thanks for the suggestion, Jojo. Am I correct that "&&" separates three different commands which are to copied, pasted, and executed one at a time, or can the above string be copied and pasted wholesale, then executed together? That's probably a very newbie question on my part, but there may be lots of other Linux newbies who will wonder the same thing.


Share Files and Clipboard Across Your Android Mobile And Linux Computer 1 year 12 months ago Yankiwi

Hi, Jojo,

Thanks for your very prompt and informative response, and also for the linked page. I suspected that the "&&" was an operator of some sort, but couldn't recall a "&&" operator from my DOS days in the 80s. Linux has a lot to offer to refugees from Microsoft's ever more invasive and degraded Windows operating systems, but the one big off-putting thing for many would-be Linux users is that it really does require learning a whole new language, especially if someone is going to use the command line instead of a GUI. The more I get into Linux, the more I think I need to find some super-basic "Linux for Dummies" type of books, then gradually expand my horizons.

Many thanks for your patient help.

Thank You for Donating 4 years 7 months ago Yankiwi

Gizmo's has saved me countless hours in researching software online and countless dollars which would have been spent in buying and trying second-rate software, only to end up disappointed. Many thanks to Gizmo and to all the many volunteers who make TechSupportAlert possible. You all are superb!

P.S.- If you ever need financial help again to be able to keep Gizmo's free and independent, please ask. Gizmo's is the best bargain on the web!

Best Free Folder Synchronization Utility 1 year 6 months ago yardern

What about DirSyncPro? It seems great.

The Best iPad Tips and Tricks [iOS 4 to 6] 7 years 2 weeks ago Yarnie1966

To delete photos on an iPad tap edit on the top right hand corner in your photo library then tap the pix you want to delete and it will put a tick on the ones you select then press delete on the top right hand side

Best Free DVD Ripper 5 years 9 months ago yatz

My expeience with WinX DVD Ripper was a failure. I only got to test non-encrypted disks, and it had no problem doing the job - the files were produced and I viewed them - but the program just hanged at "99% completed", and there was no way of shutting it down. Had to reboot. This problem consisted the several times I tried it. Uninstalled it - and then the uninstaller (having completed uninstallation) just hanged... At least I managed to shut it down without having to reboot.
I'm going back to the the HandBrake & DVDFab Passkey combo that has served me very well on my previous system (all Win 7 64-bit).

Create Your Own Music Mash-Up From MP3 Files 7 years 3 months ago yaya

how can i make mashup music?

Inkjet Printer Cartridges: Review of Carrot Ink 7 years 1 month ago ychen33

I bought an Xerox Laser toner and it leaks. As a result, the printer is permanently damaged. I have bought other compatible toners elsewhere, and this is the first one that leaks and causes hundreds dollars of damage. I contacted them. They said sorry. But don't expect anything from them. I think they should be removed from ISO certification and wish they go out of business soon.

Best Free PDF Writer Software 5 years 2 months ago yemulss

I came across a requirement where-in my client wants to send print command to physical printer and they want a pdf file as well created. So instead of issuing print command twice, they want it done in single print command to send print command to two printers.

I am a developer but the software being used for this printing is developed by some other company and they are not responding this requirement. If it was through coding, I would have sent print command to two printers when print is clicked.

I just wanted to know if there is any facility or utility be used to create pdf as well as send print command to printer in a single print command. There is one its commercial. I am searching freeware or opensource.

Best Free Drive Cloning Software 6 years 10 months ago YeOldOne

I have used Reflect Free for at least 4 years, lamented the loss of the verify upon creation. The latest version includes WinPE along with the Linux restore boot disk. However, the WinPE at first went to a large download but fails to complete the creation, both 3 and 4 versions. The Linux version creates OK, boots OK, runs OK until I select an image to restore. Then the screen goes blank except for “acpiphp_ibm_init: acpi_walk_namespace failed” and hangs. Several tries were made, including a Microsoft uninstall then download and install a fresh version. Note that the Macrium folder with a few sub-folders and files do not get removed and do not remove manually. Win7 x64 SP1 Device Manager is totally clean, in my home-built computer. However, to format any CD, the quick format now is grayed out, tbd as to why, how to fix. But this should not have any effect on the Recovery process.

At this time, Free owners cannot register into any forum, so we can only see past forum posts which only have a tiny amount of free content. Future posts will only be from paid owners. So, no help for any issues, such as inability to use the boot disk, which is 19.4 MB. Since this site is so excellent, perhaps it can fill in if/until Macrium allows Free owners to communicate at their Forums? With the problem I am experiencing, and if others (who should check their boot disks up to the point just short of the actual restore) do too, Macrium should no longer be recommended at all, at least for the Free version. I used to buy paid image apps, until I came across this website. Sometimes, though, it 'pays' to get a paid version for the support. I have spent many hours so far with the Reflect problem; how much is your time worth?

We all should have redundant partition backup, ie image creation tools. I also use the highly rated Paragon Free. It is not as smooth or clear, but gets the job done. One advantage is its recovery disk does both image creation and restore. For my SSD OS plus apps drive, the latest Paragon is only slightly slower than Macrium, making images slightly larger. To create the drive image, 48 G, takes less than 3 minutes when using the Windows app, longer of course when using the boot disk.

Due to the Reflect problem, I just obtained Clonezilla, thanks to your great reviews. Using the boot disk, it is surprisingly fast, taking about 5 1/2 minutes but another 7 1/2 minutes to verify. Thankfully, when selecting this option ahead of time, it goes to verify unattended. So, take a coffee break for 15 minutes, and find the entire image plus verify operation completed, except for a few more steps to end the program. Note that there is a confusing sentence at the Clonezilla-live.php website: It states “Though the image size is limited by the boot media's storage capacity...” The boot disk allows the image to be created onto any drive partition, even external USB3 HDDs (at least for my rig) such as my 2 Gig WD HDD in a Vantec HX case, which has a great, quiet fan. Also note: You can only go down one level of a sub-folder (second below root, ie D:\folder1\folder2\imagefile), and only if there are no spaces in the folder names, and the folder structure has to exist, cannot be created when running the app, unlike all the others I have used. So, plan ahead.

Image software has come a long way, such as my still-working Drive Image 5.01 (2 floppies, circa 2002) for a still-running NT4 SP6B laptop, especially with numerous free versions, both commercial and open source types.

Best Free Drive Cloning Software 6 years 10 months ago YeOldOne

Errata regarding my 15 July 2013 post about Clonezilla: It does indeed create a folder, after asking you to input your own name. It defaults to the current date-time-img, example being 2013-07-16-14-img. An undocumented feature is a warning screen comes up if you enter an already existing folder name, and asks if you want to overwrite it. The overwrite works fine. If no, it asks again for a name, defaulting again to the current date-time-img.

Paragon is clunky regarding folder naming, defaulting to an obscure and very long name, such as arc_100713031548958. I enter a shorter, dated folder name, whereupon the long folder name is created in my folder name, then the file(s) in it, with the same name, plus adding more onto the name, such as: _0001p.000, .001 etc if you split the image. At least for the Windows app.

Best Free Drive Cloning Software 6 years 10 months ago YeOldOne

Update on Macrium Reflect free:
I found an older disk, a Linux disk from ver 5.0.4995 of about one year ago. It boots and fully runs fine!

Customer Support stated the Free and paid versions of the Rescue disk is the same, that it might be a problem with my system, clearly not the case.

It seems that one needs to verify that their Rescue disk fully works. Just stop, unless you have another image app to use if Macrium does not actually restore an image, before the Rescue disk actually goes to work. That point is easy to discern. If others have the same/similar problem I am experiencing, of course this product is not useable. If Macrium fixes this issue or I find a way to get it to work, this will be communicated here.

Best Free Video Downloader [Stub] 1 year 5 months ago yesogg12

Four weeks ago I needed a downloader quickly and based on this article decided to give ClipGrab a try. It worked (almost) flawlessly for four weeks. Just now upon starting it obviously installed an update. Besides ByteFence (BOOO!) which is easy enough to un-check is requested to stop my antimalware service.

Best Free DVD Ripper 6 years 3 months ago yetanother1

I tried uRex Free DVD Ripper and in my limited testing it works great! I had an instructional DVD and tried to rip it with WinX DVD Ripper. The result was unreadable by any of the media players I had (e.g., Windows Media Player, Media Player Classic).

uRex hasn't failed me yet. It appears to be just as easy to use as WinX DVD Ripper, only it works!

Best Free DVD Ripper 6 years 3 months ago yetanother1

Thanks for the heads up. I've only had limited experience with uRex.

NASA Image of the Day (Website of the Week) 5 years 7 months ago yewome

Interesting post. You might be familiar with this site, Nasa satallite tracking. Pick a satallite from list of 100's of them and watch the earth from the balcony seats.....hope you enjoy it, and thanks for the Image of the Day!

How to get a free legal copy of a Windows 7 installation disk 6 years 1 month ago ynsdavid

I have downloaded file X17-58997.iso (win7 Home Premium 64bit). Use Windows 7 USB DVD Download Tool, then error message the downloaded file not vaild ISO file. Is there other method to burn into DVD? I want to create Windows 7 DVD Bootable disc, do I use the correct DVD tool?

How to get a free legal copy of a Windows 7 installation disk 6 years 1 month ago ynsdavid

I have try to use ImgBurn this end up turn to blue screen, I think my ISO is corrupted.
May I know how to use download manager to control the download? I click on the link then it download direct cannot attached to download manager

How to get a free legal copy of a Windows 7 installation disk 6 years 1 month ago ynsdavid

Thanks for advise. I try but it at the end turn to blue screen. May i know how you download your ISO by portableapps?

Best Free System Information Utility 6 years 8 months ago yocalif

DO NOT INSTAL PC WIZARD, IT IS more than a tool bar it has CRAP WARE! You have been WARNED!

I am very careful about what free software I put on my PC, however I thought that with Gizmo/techsupportalerts, recommendation there was some kind of effort to preview and stay up to date with current versions of their recommendations. I am wrong!

The above says: "The installer is bundled with the "Ask Toolbar". Installation of the toolbar is optional."

1st that isn't the only thing it trys to in install, there is also something called PC Health, which there is NO OPTION to NOT ACCEPT. Next there is something called Severe Weather Alert. It trys to change your browser's home page, and who knows what else.

2nd in spite of click on not accepting the tool bar, not accepting home page change, and even clicked "decline" at last page of install process, which triggered the install to initiate. Immediately I get two trojan alerts
trojan.agent /en-BHO.Process C:\users\dad\appdata\local\..\ AIR924.3x3
trojan.agent /en-BHO.Process C:\users\dad\appdata\local\micr...\webplayers[1].exe
Next I get a avast web-gen virus alert, which went off the screen before I could jot it down.

I use Winpatrol which attempts to stop process & app attaching themselves to windows startup, it also detects/stops browser home page changes, which is now popping up every 5 minutes as this install keeps trying to change IE's home page.

Oh, there is no icon or program for PC Wizard either on the desktop or Windows Start or in Control Panel > Programs-uninstall. In other words I got all the crap and not the program because I clicked "decline".

Gizmo/techsupportalert should remove PC Wizard immediately from their recommended list. I have install at least two dozen utility type apps recommended here at Gizmo without this kind of problem or headache.

Reduce The Size Of Image Files 6 years 10 months ago yogi22

If all you want to do is shrink jpg files for emailing, blogging, etc., then ShrinkPic is the way to go. It is a tiny (1.23) program that can run all the time, or as required. When running, it automatically reduces any jpg file that you attach to an email - no user input required! Very fast. Is smart, in that it does not shrink files that are already small. It leaves the original alone.

Scores 5/5 in 15 reviews on

Reduce The Size Of Image Files 6 years 10 months ago yogi22

It has worked on every one of the computers I have installed it on (xp, vista, W7<32&64>).

BTW my original post should have said, "1.23 Mb)

Still Probably The Best Free Photo Editor For Windows 4 years 6 months ago yogi22

Although it would be tedious to save all the help pages to your hard drive, here is an easy way to save individual pages. I have Foxit installed as my PDF reader, so here are instructions if you have this Adobe Reader replacement program installed.
With the desired help page open in your browser, open the Print Dialog.
Select "Foxit PDF Printer" from the list of installed printers.
Click "OK", then select a name and location for the resulting PDF file, and click "Save".
For Reader, CutePDF, or other PDF programs, Google their instructions for printing or saving a webpage to a PDF file.

A Friendly Mac-Like Program Launcher For Windows 4 years 1 month ago yogi22

Re: eikelein' comments, I sympathize entirely! My way around the problem of the "blank stare" is to say,
"Tap on the Windows Key - bottom left between Ctrl & Alt"
"Tap on the T Key - now the E Key - now the A Key, etc., etc." (until TeamViewer or the desired program is completely typed)
"Left-Click on TeamViewer in the displayed results" (or the desired program)
Then starts the fun of getting their username and password

An Update For One Of My Favourite Utilities Ever 3 years 5 months ago yogi22

I like the browser addon FireShot.

How to Bypass Paywalls at Popular News Sites 11 months 3 weeks ago yogi22

In Firefox, if the "Reader View" icon appears in the address bar, clicking on it bypasses the paywall without the need to open another tab, then copy and paste the URL. Also, I have set up a macro to run CCleaner, which saves a lot of time clearing cookies to bypass those paywall sites where the Reader View icon does not appear.

Download 16,000+ Sound Effects From The BBC 2 years 1 month ago yogiboar

Could do with a decent index, there's too much to explore easily.

How to get rid of the volume pop-up display in Windows 8.1 and 10 1 year 8 months ago yogiboar

I've never seen this on Windows 10, is it supposed to be present on all versions?

Thank You for Donating 6 years 4 months ago yogiboar

I hope these donations, small or large, allow you to continue this site we all love.

How to get a free legal copy of a Windows 7 installation disk 6 years 6 months ago yonkers

I have a Gateway SX2803 computer and no problems until last night. When I went to turn the computer back on the screen comes up black with the words: Missing Operating System. What does this mean? I cannot locate the Windows 7 installation disc which I was told would be needed. I do not remember if it came with one or not. I am not into the tech end of computers, but am trying to get info on the problem I have. Thanks, for any help you can give me, yonkers.

Best Free Download Manager 6 years 2 months ago YorkshireJumbo

I've been using FDM for a while, on Vista using FF & Chrome, and now on Windows7 64-bit with Chrome. I've noticed recently that it's been hogging a CPU, sitting in Task Manager at 25% (on a 4 CPU system) for hours on end. I've tried upgrading, and have had no response to a support request.

I've come here to look for a replacement, as FDM is no longer usable...

Best Free Digital Image Viewer 6 years 1 month ago YossiD

Just wondering why the reviewer considers "the interface has been almost the same since early versions" to be a negative point for IrfanView.

Personally I get very annoyed when interfaces change with new software versions; it just makes it harder to find the functions and features I need.

So I, for one, and delighted when new versions of IrfanView have improved functionality and features while retaining the look and feel I know.

Best Free Calculator 1 year 5 months ago YossiD

can anyone recommend a Windows calculator that can be invoked by pressing NumLock?

For years I used the marvelous EldoS AnyCalc, which had that feature, but now I can't get it to run under Windows 10, so I'm looking for a replacement.

Best Free Music Player and Organizer for Android 6 years 3 weeks ago YossiD

Seems to be some confusion with the MixZing write-up. The review says 20MB footprint but the quick selection guide says ~40MB. also the version listed is 3.7.2 but current version is 4.3.1.

[Commercial reference removed as per site rules]

Your Portal To The Best Free Online Tools 4 years 7 months ago YossiD

A good start, but lots is still missing from iTools (unless I just couldn't find it). Where are the websites for online:
* PDF creation
* Audio/video file format conversion
* Graphics files format conversion
* Drawing tools
* etc., etc. etc.

I'm guessing this is a work in progress, so I'll check back from time to time to see.

A $30 Screen Capture And Image Editor Tool That's Free For Personal Use 2 years 2 months ago YossiD

I have been using PicPick for several years and it's marvelous. Very user friendly and convenient to use.

The only problem I've had is with scrolling capture, which I use often to save large sections of web pages as graphics. many times, the page begins to scroll and then stops. I've also noticed different behavior with different browsers. On the other hand, I've found that scrolling capture in ShareX (listed here recently as well) works a treat. So far it hasn't failed me on any web page or any browser. Unfortunately, I don't find ShareX nearly as convenient to use as PicPick. It doesn't have an editor and I find saving captured files to be non-intuitive and a bit of a nuisance.

Compare your PC performance scores with Gizmo's Freeware readers 2 years 7 months ago Yottie

Verified Novabench Score: 1922
Tested on Oct 27, 2017 at 15:52

CPU Vendor Intel Core i5-8400 running at 3.8GHz
GPU Vendor NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
OS Logo Microsoft Windows 10 Pro

CPU Score

Show details

RAM Score - 16GB DDR4

RAM Speed: 29655 MB/s

Graphics Score

Direct3D 11: 96 FPS
OpenCL: 2626 FLOPS

Disk Score

Write Speed: 414 MB/s
Read Speed: 1051 MB/

I chose to rebuild my PC with a new Coffee Lake processor and chose the cheapest i5 version. Interestingly this seems to outscore most older i7 rigs in both this and Geekbench

Best Free Mega Web Browser 6 years 4 months ago youngjoe

Two killer problems (for me):

1) I download a lot of text files. Chrome won't let me do that -- it converts them all to chrome's proprietary html format. I've seen a forum discussion of this. Many people have complained. Google doesn't give a damn. The other browsers offer downloaders a choice of formats.

2) Current Firefox doesn't permit use of current Shockwave Flash. I'm a musician and I can't use a browser that won't let me view videos.

I used Firefox happily for years, but this problem kills it for me.

Best Free Mega Web Browser 6 years 3 months ago youngjoe

Thanks for the correction, Anupam. And thanks for the information! Please, would you tell me how to go about allowing it manually. When I go to the page that FF sends me to to manage add-ons, I am informed that Flash player is banned because of unspecified malware problems, and no work-around suggestion is offered.

We all use our browsers with personal ideas of what functionality is required, and I know that many, many people are happy with Chrome. I'm not one of them. I've tried a few other browsers over the last few days, and I realize that for my purposes Foxfire is very much what I need to use, so I am grateful for suggestions of how to cure the flash problem.

Best Free Mega Web Browser 6 years 3 months ago youngjoe

Gotcha joe!

The Ultimate Guide To Your PC's CPU And What It Can Do 5 years 3 months ago yrralrellim

"coreinfo' command must be within the correct directory. MOVE coreinfo.exe to the C:\drive. Change directory in window to the c:\ drive and it will run.

The Ultimate Guide To Your PC's CPU And What It Can Do 5 years 3 months ago yrralrellim

What command, if any, can I use to "PRINT" the info to a text file please?

The Ultimate Guide To Your PC's CPU And What It Can Do 5 years 3 months ago yrralrellim

You left out nothing here and for sure you know the correct terminology. Thanks much!!

Fancy A New Windows Start Menu For Free? 4 years 2 months ago yrralrellim

I too agree. Classic Shell is DEFINITELY the way to go. Also no nags like Start Menu 8.

Best Free "Second Opinion" Malware Scanner 11 months 2 weeks ago yrralrellim

Excellent review but you say to use weekly and to use only on demand -- what about a free REAL-TIME PROTECTION as opposed to just scanning on demand, IF the user remembers to do the scanning?

Wallpaper of the Week: Sun Rays Piercing Through Evergreen Forest 2 months 3 weeks ago yrralrellim

Great site! Thank you. I like it too! :)
Downloaded some wallpaper files yesterday but now I cannot get to that site!!
Perhaps too many followers went there and crashed their server ???

ExpressVPN Review 4 years 4 months ago yugrek

was on astril till it shut down all of a sudden, so far so good with express

Windows 7 Startup 5 years 9 months ago Yunga


Print An Image As Tiles With Maximum Clarity 5 years 6 months ago Yuri P.

Here is much better option:

This small program not only cuts the image, it provides the option of margins and saves the result in the multipage PDF that can be printed in a single shot.

How to Report Malware or False Positives to Multiple Antivirus Vendors 6 years 11 months ago yvonniewu

Hi Chiron,

Roboscan/AlYac Internet Security has a report form for users to report malware of false positives.
Check the link here from Roboscan's website:

If you're currently using Rooscan or has Roboscan installed in your PC regardless lifetime free version or paid Pro version, there is a "report" function available on on the lower left the configuration.

Site Suggestions and Feedback 5 years 5 months ago yyyy

Hello, Thanks for all the hard work. But,... I'd like something more.
I like pages like this one:
I can make my own religion based on the features listed. I'd love to see more tables of that type when reading from Gizmo's. Sometimes, features that look important to the editor might be pointless to me, or the opposite.
It also would be nice to be able to fill in that type of table collaboratively.

Controversial Advertising Program Now Being Embedded in More Software 7 years 2 months ago zacharia

awesome article. well written, great intent.

thank you.

Want To Learn Hacking? Hacking For Dummies Book Is Free 3 years 3 months ago zachw

Just downloaded. It's more of a general overview book with very little specific hacking information. Searched for "sql injection" and there were two matches with no explanation of what it even is much less an example! Mentions in one sentence that you can encrypt your messages with PGP (which almost nobody uses these days). A very short paragraph on honeypot, but zero info on setting one up, just a reference to google hack honeypot. Indeed, the entire book seems to be mostly a reference for software tools. Just reconfirmed my low opinion of the whole "For Dummies" genre.

Using Thunderbird For Email? There Are Add-Ins And They're Great. 2 years 9 months ago zachw

The extension warns you if you try to send to multiple recipients as a To or CC. Can prevent a disastrous mistake where a CC was used in error.

Using Thunderbird For Email? There Are Add-Ins And They're Great. 2 years 9 months ago zachw

I use few extensions in Thunderbird, but my fav is QuickFolders:

This PDF Converter Is Free Now 2 years 7 months ago zachw

ditto this ^ and ditto this v.

Back Up Gmail to Your PC for Free 9 months 2 weeks ago zachw

Mailstore Home

Perform Unit Conversions and Calculations With This Simple, Free Calculator 7 months 4 weeks ago zachw

For folks that don't know, you can do conversions and calcs in the google search bar. You can also ask Alexa (or OK Google, or Siri I presume) to do conversions which is probably the fastest way to get an answer (though not good for calcs except for simple ones.)

How to Schedule or Delay Sending Email Messages 5 months 3 weeks ago zachw

Another +1 for Send Later for Thunderbird.

Where to Download ISO Images for All Windows 10 Releases  3 months 3 weeks ago zachw

Seriously? A whois only says that it is a company registered in the Cayman Islands. EVEN IF the site didn't look sketchy as F, you are suggesting download an operating system ISO (or any executable for that matter) from such a place? Have we learned nothing about malware in 2020?

Please, rhiannon, post a link in the article itself to a legit site providing ISOs and remove the link in the comment unless you can confirm that it is 100% legitimate.

Where to Download ISO Images for All Windows 10 Releases  3 months 3 weeks ago zachw

I mentioned Cayman Islands because I could find pretty much nothing about this website except for where it was registered and CI is well-known as a notorious tax haven that is home to many thousands of bogus companies (because it is so easy to register a company there). So that just adds to the "sketchiness" of the site (I mean just look at the Donate page with russian text.)

I am glad you did your due diligence and checked hashes, but don't feel it is responsible to send readers to a site like this. If these ISOs are available on a MS page, or if there is a comprehensive set of links TO MS, THAT is where you should send folks to.

Disappointed here.

end of rant.

The Best Photo Viewer I've Seen In Years. And It's Free. 6 years 5 days ago ZacWalk

I am one of the developers of Diffractor. There is just two of us and we are only volunteers. We both have day jobs. This is a hard review to live up to but we will do our best.

Gizmo readers have been amazing and provided a lot of great feedback. If you find bugs or have suggestions please help us to make Diffractor better by reporting them at

It is expensive to run such a project and the sponsor payments are far from covering our costs. Custom indexed of folders are the only feature that is limited; 99.9% of our active users are using it for free. We have to reward supports somehow.

Diffractor is designed to take advantage of your graphics card. There are a lot of different hardware and drivers out there. We try to support as much as possible including all sorts of old Windows XP hardware. If you see problems please give us details.

There are a lot of great venerable image viewers out there. We have nothing against any of them...use what makes you happy :)

Best Free Mega Web Browser 1 year 3 weeks ago zafarakram

Download UR browser in one click for free.
UR Browser:

Edit PDF Files Online, For Free. No Download Required. 4 years 4 months ago zain.ali

how we can upload a file for editing

Best Free Email Software 6 years 4 months ago zdravko

Ok, is there anything that can handle all the correspondence with one person, incoming and outgoing, under the same folder?
I have Evolution. It has filters for incoming mail, but outgoing ignores it. Why?

Best Free Notes Organizer 6 years 4 months ago zdravko100

QuickTextPaste is the best for me. It save my time.

Best Free Digital Image Viewer 6 years 1 month ago zdub

I've tried most of these over the years. For a long term irfanview was IT. Then switched over to xnview. But for the last couple of years I've migrated to Zoner almost exclusively. And very frequently. It's a great photo/image manager. (I rarely use the editor in favor of more dedicated programs.)

However, I'm currently at version 14 Build 5 from 2012. The latest is version 16 something but I hesitate to update because of some horror stories regarding the latest version "hijacking" of image registry settings, and other intrusive behavior.

It's impossible to find version history on this product.

So what's the deal? Is there an advantage to v16? Is it as intrusive as some folks say? I hate being a guinea pig if I was so warned...

Best Free Digital Image Viewer 6 years 1 month ago zdub

Thank you for such a detailed response. It's sometimes hard to separate the horror stories of inexperienced users who blindly click Next during an install and suffer the consequences of crapware (especially, as you noted, when using cnet packages) versus truly intrusive behavior.

Based on your experience, I'll give the latest version a go!

Best Free Digital Image Viewer 4 years 1 month ago zdub

I also stuck with v14 after they made undesirable changes with v15. I used Irfanview and XnView for many years but stopped using them for Zoner. (FastStone is great but by now I forgot why I preferred Zoner.)

Best Free Antivirus Software 4 years 5 months ago zdub

Yeah, me three. Been using Avast for years on a number of computers and nothing extra has ever been installed by itself. The popups are slightly annoying but are occasional and no real biggie. The only thing you have to watch out for, besides the Chrome install option (and even that didn't show when I installed it yesterday via is that during upgrades it's easy to click install for the paid version.

While it's not usually THE top AV solution in the various AV comparisons, it is usually ranks near the top, and has a reasonable memory footprint.

Best Free Program Uninstaller 7 years 3 weeks ago zdub

Revo Uninstaller free does not uninstall or even show 64-bit programs! And you really gave it 10 stars???

Best Free Audio-Video Format Conversion Program 7 years 2 months ago zdub

Just updated Freemake to I didn't see any OpenCandy stuff bundled with it. However, they have now disabled drag & drop from the initial screen and instead have replaced it with a big button to get you to install Gold Pack by either donating or changing your Home Page/Search options in your browser. After doing a conversion, you can drag & drop (as long as you don't close the converted files info, in which case the screen reverts back to the Gold Pack install button.)

Best Free Audio-Video Format Conversion Program 7 years 2 months ago zdub

Quick followup. Looks like the main screen gets rotated a bit; sometimes it's a bit annoying, but I guess the authors have to monetize it somehow. Overall I'm quick happy with this options & the ease of use for this program. For a more sophisticated converter, folks should try MediaCoder. The number of conversion options can be daunting, but there is a large support community,

6 Free Google Reader Alternatives 7 years 2 months ago zdub

I'm now a Feedly convert. Seamless migration from Reader, plus very flexible viewing options that can be set for individual feeds and folders. It has occasionally been unavailable (only displaying a blank page!) because of all of the additional users that they now have.

Folks should note that The Old Reader only receives feed updates about once/day, which is why I gave it a pass when checking out alternatives.

This 4-In-1 File Explorer Makes Moving And Copying Files Simple 6 years 5 months ago zdub

I've been trying Explorer alternatives for years and have settled on Multicommander. Free. Powerful. Stable. Can run as portable. Very configurable. Has Norton Commander style keyboard commands if you want. Active users forum. Regularly updated. The list of features for this program is extensive and too numerous to list here.

How to Check if Somebody is Spying on Your Supposedly Secure Internet Connection 6 years 5 months ago zdub

What do you mean that eBay is not secure? It doesn't use https for browsing, but it certainly uses a certificate for logging in (which is necessary to bid), changing account info, etc.

Also, what is an "offline version"? The whole idea of a certificate is to validate a real-time internet connection.

Why Are Your Photos Upside Down? 6 years 2 weeks ago zdub

A top pick here, Zoner Photo Studio, also has the option to rotate images to match EXIF (Preferences, General) and makes it quite easy to rotate & save if need be.

The Best Photo Viewer I've Seen In Years. And It's Free. 6 years 1 week ago zdub

I tried it and it does look pretty cool. However it must be classified as crippleware since certain important features are disabled unless you sponsor it for 10 bucks. Nothing against this in principle, but since I can't find any compelling reason why I should use it instead of (or in addition to) my current fav, Zoner. Fast? Yeah, but I haven't found speed to be an issue in ANY of the popular photo viewers; they are all pretty much instant. Metadata support & search? Zoner does it. Editor? Zoner is MUCH more capable. Audio & video support? I really don't care about this in a photo viewer, but again, Zoner does it.

So I'll pass.

This Disk Activity Indicator Has An Incredible Additional Feature 5 years 11 months ago zdub

Yeah, 49 Mb is nothing these days. Thanks for the link!

Deeper into the Windows Registry 5 years 10 months ago zdub

Sorry, but that's just bizarre. You mean you would have stuck with Windows if they instead used 1000s of ini files instead of the vastly superior hierarchical database that is the registry??

My Favoured Youtube Downloader Of The Moment 5 years 10 months ago zdub

Also have never had a problem with Freemake Video Downloader (or indeed with any of their other offerings). Works great with lots of download options. You just need to take care during the install not to allow the "extras" to install also.

CryptoLocker Encryption Cracked. How To Get Your Files Back. 5 years 9 months ago zdub

No, that's not the end of it. FireEye and others got lucky in that they were able to grab a copy of the cryptolocker database.

Look at CryptoLocker as V1 of a "product" that's only going to get better and better, both in the delivery techniques (which will likely continue to rely on social engineering) and in the encryption process. Decryption (without the DB) is all but impossible without quantum computing, and will become even more "impossibler" with longer keys.

There are enough people with inadequate controls and inadequate backups to keep these crime syndicates rolling in dough for a long time to come...