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Article title Time posted Postersort descending Comment Link
This $35 Program For Aspiring Novelists Is Now Free 2 years 11 months ago ShermanS

I wrote thousands of pages using a program on a Trash 80 Model 4. I can't even remember the name of the program, but it was the most user friendly word processing program that I have ever used. It was intuitive and easily adaptable. Special characters was a bit of a problem, unless you knew the ASCII code, but that hasn't really changed. I have tried so many other office programs and still fall back on Open Office and Libre Office. With a little work, they can do the job without costing an arm and a leg. They are not as easy to use as that original basic (and probably written in BASIC) program on that TRSDOS 8 bit 4mhz computer. WordStar might have been the program.

Best Sites To Read Books Online Without Download or Registration 6 years 5 months ago Sherryxoxo3

so far, from what i've seen from this site, it is very good, alot of things for everyone, i love it that you have a childrens Bible in here, and so many childrens book. I'd like to see more childrens books on here that is narrated :)

How to Get Your Previous System Back After You Have Upgraded to Windows 10 5 years 4 months ago sheumais

I did precisely that when Windows 8 was introduced, as I wasn't sure how enthusiastic I was with the update. I used Macrium Reflect for my Windows image, as recommended on these pages, keeping a Windows 7 and 8 image up to date until I finally decided 8 was fine for my use. It only takes a few minutes to install your image using a boot disc, so you can get used to 10 without having to depend upon it. So far, I've had no issue with Macrium Reflect back-ups or reinstallation.

Best VPN Services for 2019 5 years 3 months ago sheumais

You may find it helpful to read this, which you must have missed.

The Most Comprehensive System Audit Tool I've Ever Seen 5 years 2 weeks ago sheumais

I tried Linux (Ubuntu, I think) a couple of years ago and it disconnected Windows from the internet by disabling the modem. It did this repeatedly and, as I need Windows to run particular software, I dumped Linux, with no intention to try it again. I'm not sure I'm very enthusiastic about Windows 10, but I do need to run Windows something, so it'll have to do.

Get Two Hours of Distraction Free Music Delivered to Your Inbox for Free 1 year 9 months ago sheumais

Blume offers a variety of chill mixes on their YouTube channel, typically just over 1 hour in length, if you have a shorter attention span like me. ;0D There are also some gaming videos on there (not my thing really), so just click Videos and you'll see the chill mixes. It might be better not to ponder the choice of titles on occasion though.

Tips and Tricks for Linux Mint after Installation [Mint 18 - MATE Edition] 2 years 9 months ago shields1954

Hello. Just an old electronics tech, 63. Switched to linux about 3 years ago and have tried probably 30 distros.. Every glitch you mentioned has happened to me, with the exception of linux lite. I am trying Mint Mate 18.3 as I type on a seperate hdd. Panel icons keep moving after reboot, wifi with broadcom was a mess, expected but had to jump through the usual hoops with Mint, Cinnamon XFCE and Mate. Since 2.0 on linux lite, I can count on 1 hand the problems except for those I caused by experimentation. Oh well, back to the other hdd with lite 3.8. Thanks.

How to Harden Your Browser Against Malware and Privacy Concerns 7 years 5 months ago SHieron5

First, this is a great page, with good advice and links to valuable resources.

Second, it's a bit overwhelming. Looking at the Firefox extensions specifically, surely it's not necessary or even wise to add all of them. Perhaps you could make it clearer which ones mostly overlap or render others superfluous? (Perhaps provide a bottom line such as: 1. If you're not technically adept, install A B C, and if you're really paranoid, add D E. 2. If you are adept, install A F G , and if you're really paranoid D H.)

Best Free Digital Image Viewer 7 years 4 months ago shimself

to get Zoner v14 (and in general to get classic versions of "up"graded ie degraded/spoiled software lives up to its name, worth remembering.

I've never been here before, but I want to say this is an excellent and informative review; I'll be back (in a non-threatening way)

Best Free Digital Image Viewer 6 years 7 months ago shimself

Insofar as it doesn't support Cntrl_O for open etc, yes it's a pain. I'd like it to have a setting (like textpad sort of does) so the user can choose between regular windows keyboard shortcuts, or Irfan's (long established) idiosyncratic set.

Best Free Audio-Video Format Conversion Program 5 years 11 months ago ShinzuiUindo

Shouldn't this list be updated? It's been more than a year and also SUPER seems to be the only software that can work with the vp9 codec, but installing it makes my antivirus go crazy.

Add Falling Snow To Your Windows Desktop 6 years 11 months ago shirley hogan

How do you un-install this cute little program?

Best Free Streaming Media Recorder 5 years 7 months ago Shiro21

I think this is one of the best or it is the BEST streaming media recorder is Jing and Audacity. A friend of mine insisted me to try this and she says it has cool features and it is a great software. I doubted at first but after trying it , I 100% agreed to her.

Gizmo's is Saved! A Hearty Thanks to all who Donated 2 years 4 months ago shmulkey

How about using Patreon?

Best Free Digital Image Viewer 7 years 1 month ago shnbwmn

I'd highly recommend Faststone ... much better interface to the others and a lot of useful and easy to access features. Its never given me problems, and I'm especially fond of the full screen image preview with the tabs on the sides. The only one I'd use after Faststone is XnView. Much of the same features and has other little programs called XnConvert, XnSketch and XnRetro which are quite nice. Irfanview's interface and logo (specifically) are outdated and disgusting. Usually I don't judge programs by how they look, but I just hate the design of Irfanview in every respect.

Best Free Digital Photo Organizer 7 years 3 weeks ago shnbwmn

I'm sticking with Faststone; it's hands down the best choice. Tried digiKam ... and it was really slow and kept crashing when opening RAW files. Might be good on Linux, but a no-no on Windows.

Best Free Sticky Notes Utility 4 years 11 months ago shnbwmn

I've found the best solution to be Google Keep. Installing it as a Chrome App allows me to pin it to the taskbar, where upon opening it it has it's own window separate from Chrome. It also syncs online, so that I can access my notes whether on my phone or on a browser. It has all the kinds of formatting and organisation necessary for most types of notes, and used in conjunction with Onenote it makes a mean note and research combination. The only minor things I miss are having the notes on the desktop and having the actual app as a standalone, portable application. But I can easily live with those for all the benefits of Keep. If for whatever reason I stop using Keep, the next best thing is, hands-down, Stickies. For a note-taking app it has an amazing amount of features.

Best Free Clipboard Replacement Utility 4 years 11 months ago shnbwmn

I see that you haven't tested nor mentioned CopyQ. While it isn't as powerful as Ditto, it's certainly worthy of making the shortlist. Apart from that, it really is a shame that ClipboardHelpAndSpell doesn't support anything other than text or images, because it's a beast otherwise. In fact, I use FindAndRunRobot and LaunchBarCommander by the same author on a daily basis. The developer has a knack for including lots of options for power users.

Best Free File Manager 4 years 10 months ago shnbwmn

Q-Dir all the way for quick navigation. When I need to do some advanced things like searching and multi-renaming, then either of the TotalCommander clones (FreeCommander, MultiCommander, DoubleCommander, etc etc) do the job effectively. I really like Unreal Commander, but something this review didn't mention is that when using some tools like multi-rename it forces a nag screen for a few seconds, and requires the user to prompt out of it before showing the tool. Not a huge issue, but annoying when a large portion of the time spent using the program is for renaming file/folders.

Best Free Bible Study Software 4 years 8 months ago shnbwmn

Wow, this section is bare! Here's some more good study software:

Bible Analyser ( ... installer and portable versions
TheWord ( ... installer, with option to install to USB
BPBible ( ... installer and portable versions (from

All of these are high-quality, actively-developed and have extra packages one can download.

Also an update: Davar4 comes in a zipped package now. Extras can still be added separately.

Best Free Start Menu Replacement 7 years 1 month ago shnbwmn

Just like to recommend what a few other people have mentioned - Classic Shell. Small download, installs with no hassles, and uses hardly any system resources. It has lots of settings to fiddle around with, and (you can choose to install this or not) it adds some additional functionality to Explorer.

Best Free Billiards and Pool Game 7 years 2 weeks ago shnbwmn

After trying Foobilliard I really wasn't impressed ... the game just didn't feel or look right. Will definitely be trying these other suggestions.

Best Free Window Manager/Resizer/Arranger List 4 years 9 months ago shnbwmn

Lots of options. Too bad most of these haven't been developed in years.

I for one use a combo of AltDrag, Gridy and WindowPadX*, and it works like a charm. Gridmove is also very intriguing, with its huge number of grids available. If you have a certain window layout that you like then it's ideal.

There's also a lot of power in the default Windows hotkeys, like Win+Tab, Alt + Tab, Alt+Esc, Win + T, Win + D, and Win + arrow keys, especially in Windows 10. Power utilities like the glorious Autohotkey should also be in everyone's setup. For instance, I've scripted Win+Q to send Alt+F4, so that windows can be closed quickly; Win + F makes a program fullscreen; Win + [ minimizes all windows, while Win + ] restores all windows; Win + M minimizes only the active window ... etc.

On top of all that, one can also cut down time searching for file/folders/apps by using good launcher programs, like FindAndRunRobot and QuickAccessPopup. With the latter, a simple middle mouse click or Ctrl+Space gives me access to all my important folders or any files that I need to work on. FARR can be configured with aliases to do pretty much anything you want. Alt+Space, type in one keyword, and I can do internet searches, kill processes, open a predefined set of folders, etc.

This kind of thing works even better if you have a portable app setup. All the programs I mentioned are portable, so I have all that power even when working across different computers. I can start them up and shut them down quickly with two little .cmd files I created in the root directory of my drive. It's really amazing what can be achieved with a little thought and configuration.

* Download the master zip from GitHub (, as well as AHK_L ( Place AutoHotKey.exe in the WindowPadX folder and rename to WindowPadX.exe. You can change hotkeys in the ini folder. Also be sure to check the help file ( for more functions, like RollToggle, etc.

Best Free First-Person Shooter 7 years 1 month ago shnbwmn

This list needs some serious updating. Xonotic, Red Eclipse, 25Assist (America's Army 2.5), Black Mesa, Unvanquished, Alien Arena, Team Fortress 2 (doesn't matter if it's free2play, still should be included), AA Proving Grounds, Open Arena, etc ... there's so many, and if you include all the free2play FPSs, there's almost too much variety.

Best Freeware Download Sites 4 years 11 months ago shnbwmn

Shout-out to Freeware Files. Have trusted it for years and it hasn't let me down. Large selection, easily navigable and a good community of users and admins.

Free Arts & Crafts and Hobbies eBooks and Written Instructions 6 years 11 months ago shnbwmn

Thank you! Didn't know about this. Also, thank you to the author of this page; I was looking specifically for art-related books.

Windows 10’s Fall Update Removes User Installed Applications Without Asking 5 years 4 days ago shnbwmn

Just another reason to use portable apps. Obviously not everything can be portabilised, particularly large commercial programs required for work, but when possible it makes things so much easier, safer and faster.

Best Free Antivirus Software 4 years 11 months ago shoot_fire

I've been using Bitdefender Free for about 6 months now and while I'm an advanced [cautious] user, I've had no issues with it. It took a while to get used to just leaving it alone, as in the past I'd go in and tweak all the settings of my commercial antivirus.
As the author wrote, there's no conclusive evidence that the Bitdefender Free engine is the same as the paid, but it's pretty likely. One area that the free is much better than the paid is in usage of system resources. This is likely due to all the supplemental features the paid versions have. At idle, the Free version uses about 25 MB of memory as opposed to close to 250 MB for the paid Bitdefender AV Plus 2015. Consequently, the paid Bitdefender uses as much memory as McAfee! But I digress.
My point is, the free Bitdefender is a great product for either A) a total set it and forget it user like an elderly relative; or B) a power user who has trust in the product and who'd be able to tell if something were not right on their system.

Here's the simple, layered security setup I use on my Dell (every day) laptop:
1) Bitdefender Free A/V - set & forget
2) Windows Firewall - set & f9rget
3) Mcafee Web Advisor (aka Site Advisor) - for supplemental URL blocking and search engine result ratings (Mcafee has the best product in this category IMO, by far - far better than Bitdefender "Traffic Light" )
4) Malwarebytes Free - manual scan every 2-3 weeks

Best Free Internet Safety Check 4 years 1 month ago shoot_fire

I've tried all of these. My issue with WoT is that people vote a site poorly for security or reputation if they simply have an issue with the company/organization - even if there's no inherent security or usability issues with said site. It's a way to get revenge, and it happens all the time. For example, customer has a canceled flight and bad experience on Delta, so they see an opportunity to rate them bad, they will. As such, I won't use WoT. I want a product that warns of and/or blocks malicious / spam / phishing sites, not an add-on that tells me a completely safe link is poor due to some aggravated customer. I have had the best luck with Web Advisor. It works in all browsers and, going by reviews out there, it does a good job blocking bad sites. I've tried Norton, Trend, AVG, Traffic Light (BD), Avast and Avira's iteration of browser safety add-ons and still find Web Advisor to be most comprehensive. Imo Avira's relatively new Browser Safety extension for Chrome & FF would be a distant second.

Best Free Antivirus App for Android 3 years 4 months ago shoot_fire

I was so glad when I found Dr. Web Antivirus Light. I didn't want remote wipe/lock or any of that - just the anti-malware. I have been using this for over a year now and, along with common sense, haven't had any issues. Additionally, on a 3.5 year old phone with 2GB Ram, there was no slowdown, and per GSam Battery monitor, it uses less than almost any other app, barely 0.1% of battery life. If you just want a solid real-time and on-demand scanner, it's really one of the only options but thankfully it's a good one too

Best Free File-Based Backup Program 6 years 11 months ago ShorePatrol

My question may seem simple but I am confused.I have W/7 X64 and use the built in backup and have ticked the "Only Keep Latest Version" yet it takes twice the resources as the original -WHY- what am I missing? I have a 2nd internal drive just for backup and it is full. I also have the original OS Disc so is it possible only to keep my files? If so how? I just purchased a external 3.0 drive and do not want to clutter it up with redundancy, I know all you tech's can help so... c'mon. Is a free utility my only option which is OK but I would like to know if it is me or the software.

How to Harden Your Browser Against Malware and Privacy Concerns 7 years 3 weeks ago ShorePatrol

Please consider informing users of Waterfox's 64 bit as to whether these measures will function here. I just tried to install Window Name Eraser and I can not find it although there seems to be a variant by the name Eraser. Do you feel this is a good alternative. I use LastPass, WOT, HTTPS, Ghostery(and yes I know their Issues),StartPage,AdBlocker Plus and have Norton from Comcast.Additionally I have gone into the BIOS and changed the values as you have suggested in the past to clear cookies upon closing the browser.I never open an unknown or unsolicited email. My question is, when is it sufficient to say "I have done enough or all that I believe is possible or necessary to protect myself from these issues" aside from something totally new.

Increase Your Browsing Speed And Privacy With Ghostery 6 years 3 months ago ShorePatrol

Great info although like most others I have been using Ghostery, ABP, Greasemonkey etc.
The best part of your site are all the comments, I have learned so very much from them too.Thanks to all who comment your knowledge is invaluable. One thing others may like to know is that the images in your emails send back info on your IP address. [Commercial reference removed] There is more to not being tracked that one realizes. How about a post by commenters as to what they have found to be of use so that we may all know. To Quote "The condition upon which God has granted Liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and punishment of his guilt" by John Philpot Curran in 1790. Forgive my pontification.

NASA Image of the Day (Website of the Week) 6 years 3 months ago ShorePatrol

Thanks, forgot about this site!

Three Timesaving Tricks for Faster Use of Windows 6 years 2 months ago ShorePatrol

Always liked the shake option, not a lot of people know this one, the grand children think it is great fun.

Protect Your Online Privacy and Speed up Browsing with Privacy Badger 6 years 3 weeks ago ShorePatrol

Can or should this be used in conjunction with the other addons
ie. ABP, Ghostery,Grease Monkey, No script etc.
I also use Aviator occasionally which has many of the addons by default
would it be of value here as well?

How to Get Rid of the Ads on the Firefox New Tab Page 6 years 2 weeks ago ShorePatrol

I use Waterfox a 64 bit variant of Firefox and get no adds so if your running a 64bit this is a nice alternative plus all the addons work flawlessly.

Get Over 250 Windows Command References In One Place 2 years 6 months ago showens

Interesting that the plain 'net' command is not listed. I wonder why.

How Windows 64-bit Supports 32-bit Applications 6 years 8 months ago shriganesh

A wow article on Wow64! Thanks!

Best Free Undeletable File Remover 7 years 2 months ago shrishri

What I am really crazily looking out for is a tool that will help 'safely remove' these USB Flash drives...

Can't understand. I am the boss, the owner of the PC..., and if I want it removed..., I do...

But Windows obstinately sits on it..., refusing to let me, or even to let me know what is happening. Knowing full well, that once exasperated I have to, and will pull out the USB Flash drive and be on my way...

Even Unlocker doesn't help in this... It removes locking handles..., but even after the locking handles are removed..., very often Windows does not allow 'safely remove'.

Best Free Windows 64-bit Software 7 years 2 months ago shrishri

I use Maxthon, and I find it really so well-designed, fast and with a really neat interface. It also offers a cloud interface and various other well-thought out in-built features like Skynote that are instantly available across multiple devices. Am surprised that it is never reviewed in most of the popular freeware review sites...

Best Free Drive Cloning Software 4 years 6 months ago Shula

Macrium Reflect version 6, is in fact, free with the great features that were not available in the free version 5, such as cloning and incremental imaging and boot menu WinPE recovery environment without the use of usb or cd/dvd. I have been using version 6 free for months. Enjoy! Spread the word!

Best Free Drive Cloning Software 4 years 4 months ago Shula

Please, might someone help? The unresolved issue whiich I haved with AOMEI Backupper Standard is that it doesn't see my 2 TB Samsung USB connected external drive during an attempted restore operation. Macrium Reflect Free sees it. EaseUS Todo Backup Free also sees it. QILING Disk Master Free is another soft that doesn't see/recognize/find the external drive. Except for that issue with AOMEI I think AOMEI is fantastic and feature rich for free, I also like the very tasteful looking and easily navigated GUI.

Extract The Licence Keys From Your Installed Software 4 years 2 weeks ago Shula

I ran searches for both full registry and file based licences. The disappointing result was that many licenses were not found. I am looking at the licenses this moment because fortunately I saved them in a WordPad file at the time of installation -- not because LicenseCrawler located these licenses for me. As stated, there are many licenses LicenceCrawler did not find for me.

Best Free Antivirus Software 6 years 10 months ago shunima

As for many others (see Avast's own forum) an update to Avast 2014 made my system unstable, messed with my network connections and made the Laptop (WIN 7 pro) almost unusable during the holiday season. Few days of attempts to fix this didn't help so finally it was bye bye Avast. All the other threats about Avast 2014 indicate that lots of us became beta testers of a produce not mature enough for a full release. I used Avast for almost 5 years and was always very happy. That unfortunately changed around Christmas but what worried me was that I was not alone with it. I changed to Bitdefender free. Works great (the fact that you can't set anything manually is a bit challenging to accept though :-) )is lightweight, no annoying purchase offers upon startup and does not render the Winpatrol popups Avast triggered from time to time (which is making the misses happy) Two weeks with Bitdefender and so far, I won't go back.

Not Yet Upgraded To Windows 8.1? Beware! 6 years 7 months ago shunima

For somebody working in IT you just made a fool of yourself :-) What is all this fuzz about 'Win 8 is sooooo bad, it sucks'? One day we all have to swap. I had my 'day' when the new laptop came with Win8 and after a few days of the usual swearing guess what... you get used to it. I'm on Win7 at work and now Win8.1 at home and both is absolutely doable. If you feel nostalgic get Classic Shell and you are back to the old days in an instant (and you can swap back and forth)have a beer if that doesn't work for you.

Tips and Tricks for Linux Mint after Installation [Mint 13 to 16 - Cinnamon Edition] 6 years 7 months ago shvonder

Personally, after setup has configured the system as described here

Also set up compiz ( and the system was amazing. I'm happy with.

Site Suggestions and Feedback 6 years 10 months ago Sickboy009

Hello All... I am a 50 year old full time worker and full time college student. I started college in 2009 with no computer experience and no idea I would need a computer for academic success. Now in my 5th year, I am able to accomplish all the things I need to for school. I have also learned to utilize my computer for many other things to make life easier. I have to let you know, your website has proven the most fair, most comprehensive and most usable I have encountered in these 5 years. I learned more in the first 20 minutes of reading on your site than from all other combined resources accessed during the same 5 years. I visit your site often, especially just before the start of new semesters. I always want to do everything I can to ensure that my computer will function as needed and is safe and secure, when computer reliance is at it's highest for me. Your site has helped me do just that for several semesters now. I recommend a visit to classmates, professors, and everyone I care about. I wish I had the time to do some reviewing for you. As a relatively novice user, I'm sure I could provide some worthwhile feedback, but work and my education must come first. There is very little you could change to improve your site, just keep doing what you're doing already. I love this website! Sincerely, Sickboy009.

Best Free Digital Image Viewer 6 years 9 months ago sicknero

The main download link on Sourceforge is for v1.7 which as far as I can tell isn't portable. On the main KuView website it's named 1.7pre so I'm guessing it's a pre-release version or some such. If you go here - - you can get v1.6 portable ("Full zip pack" or "Single exe").

I tried to download v1.7 just to see if was one of those "portable installers" if you see what I mean but every attempt triggered an alert from Comodo AV. I sent the file to Virus Total and it scores 7/45 ( although confusingly Comodo is not one of those 7.

I tried 1.6 anyway (which does seem clean), it's ok but I think there are much better image viewers around.

Best Free Digital Image Viewer 6 years 7 months ago sicknero

Honeyview (updated in January for the first time in years) has been my favourite comic book viewer for ages, I've never given it a proper try as an image viewer but I will now after reading your comments.

I've always been a bit of a diehard FastStone user but I tried WildBit the other day after seeing the comment about language characters. It's very good, definitely a keeper. The portable version does write to \AppData\, for those who take note of such issues.

Best Free Digital Image Viewer 6 years 5 months ago sicknero

Gazzawazza and Marcdarkin -

"I agree with you that it would be nice to have a pop-up preview just by hovering the mouse over file names in the Explorer. You can find examples of this behavior on many websites, since it's pretty easy to implement it with Javascript. I'm sure some kind of addon for Windows Explorer must exist that may have this capability along with other features, but I don't know about it yet. Not a free one, at least."

QTTabBar does exactly that, also with audio and video files as well as pictures, although full multi-media preview does require a fairly decent codec pack. For just pictures though it will work "straight out of the box".

A possible drawback might be that it's an ambitious program that aims to enhance a great many functions in Windows Explorer (tabbed Explorer windows, toolbar buttons for instance) but it's a very small and light installation and could easily be used just for its picture tooltip previews. Preview size is unlimited as far as I know, I've had tooltips at full screen just to try it and it also has a full screen hotkey for the preview.

A nice aspect of it is that it adds tooltip submenus to Explorer folders and the preview tooltip works in those submenus too, so you could in fact browse and preview a whole picture directory full of sub-directories, without ever opening another folder.

There's an old Gizmo's article about it here -

It's actually on version 514 now which was released just this week and if you look at post number 4 in this thread here - - I posted some screenies there a while ago of the tooltip previewer.

Best Free Digital Image Viewer 6 years 5 months ago sicknero

Hi Gary, I'm glad to hear that you like it : )

You're right it isn't initially obvious how to use it but you'll soon get the hang of it.

Hide/show tabs, toolbars etc can be accessed by right-clicking the Explorer toolbar, as can the options/preferences dialog. There are variations of how and when windows are "captured" by QTTB so if people prefer, it can be run with Explorer windows opening normally instead of automatically tabbed.

I've used QTTB for a few years now, I always come back to it as there's really nothing else quite like it that I'm aware of. I know my way around it quite well now so if you need any help with it we can open a thread in the forum.


Best Free Digital Image Viewer 6 years 5 months ago sicknero

If I can find the time to really check out the program properly (at least on a variety of machines) then yes I'd give some thought to updating the article here. I've actually not used the program in a few months, it was only Gary's post here that prompted me to check Quizo's site where I found that he seems to have been quite busy lately :-)

It has indeed not been a problem-free program but the last few versions have been much improved I think. I've been running it since yesterday here and it appears to be quite solid although the media preview tooltip still seems to be a bit erratic ... a few times I've had to reload the Explorer window to make it work but that might just be me/my system. I've tried a few different codec packs and K-Lite seems to work best so far, also there might be a few more tweaks in Options that could help.

So, yes, it still isn't perfect but I think I'll keep it for a while and see how it goes. Like I say it does add some functions to Explorer which I've really not found anywhere else and so far it seems to be more reliable than not.

I notice that the article you link to covers Paul Accisano's fork of the program. This was developed quite along time ago when it seemed as if Quizo had abandoned the project but he is now actively developing it again and the fork in turn has not been updated in a long time - that one is still 1.5beta and the last word from the dev was in May last year.

I'll keep it here anyway for now and see how I get on with it, certainly for me almost everything in it does work well and I think it does deserve an up-to-date write up.

Cheers Marc.

Best Free Digital Image Viewer 6 years 4 months ago sicknero

Hi, I'm glad to hear you're getting on with it ok.

I must confess I've removed it again myself ... partly because of some of the issues you mention and also because my elderly desktop PC struggles to run it and I like consistency across my different machines. Also I think it prevents external drives being safely removed sometimes ... something in QTTB hooks onto the drive, I've not yet worked out exactly what it is.

I noticed the same issue with the previewer not always "catching" a mouseover ... observing processes shows that dllhost.exe seems to not always be triggered but I don't know enough to know if that helps at all. What I did find is that if you access files via the sub-folders menu (the small blue arrow) then the previewer works 100% reliably, or it does for me at least.

I can't comment on the group/restore tabs functions as it's not something I use but yes, the drag-drop functionality is excellent. Also the filter box is brilliant I think, much better than native Windows Search for my needs.

I don't know if you noticed but on Quizo's Wikidot page there's a help forum. I think the link is "Bug Tracker" or something similar and there's a generic password provided for sign-in.

The dev himself doesn't always respond quickly but it can be a good place to get assistance from other users.

Best of luck with it anyway, I don't doubt for a moment that I'll be trying it again at some point as it really does transform Explorer most usefully.

Best Free Digital Image Viewer 6 years 4 months ago sicknero

It's a 15 year-old homebuild but it still copes well with most tasks, although yes it could indeed do with an upgrade.

QTTB is indeed very light on resources once up and running ... the thing on my desktop is that it adds noticeably to the boot time and, opening a new Explorer window at the beginning of a new session is very slow. Not deal-breakers but I'm undecided whether the pay-off is worthwhile.

The filter box - you need to have the QTTB toolbar buttons enabled and then in the add/remove buttons dialogue there's one for a file/folder filter. I forget what it's called but it's easy enough to find.

Once there you can type any term into it and it will narrow down what files/folders are visible in the open tab. It's quick, depending on what view settings you have, I find it very useful. E.g. in \Windows\System32\, just type "scr" to see nothing but whatever screensavers you have in the folder (plus whatever else matches the term of course). I prefer it greatly to the Windows search box and results.

Best Free Digital Image Viewer 6 years 4 months ago sicknero

Nomacs seems pretty good, it has no problem with non-English characters in filenames which is a bonus and it seems quite fast and light too.

On the downside, the portable version isn't very. It writes a great many entries to the registry and plug ins only seem to work if they're located in a Nomacs folder in AppData which is a shame. I've been looking to see if there's any way around that but no luck so far.

Best Free Digital Image Viewer 6 years 4 months ago sicknero

Many thanks for doing that Marc, I was just beginning to compose a message to them when a notification of your post popped up.

I did try manually creating the plugins folder inside the Nomacs directory and also putting the plugins in the root directory but the program wouldn't recognise them there. Good to hear that the devs are on the case, I'll keep an eye out for an update as I do like this program.

Thanks again.

Best Free Digital Image Viewer 5 years 2 months ago sicknero

I tried it out a while back ... it's very good, but too lacking in features to tempt me away from FSViewer which has been my favourite viewer since I first tried it years ago.

It certainly seems quite small and light, but with any reasonably new hardware I think system resources are not much of an issue in this case.

Best Free Mega Web Browser 6 years 12 months ago sicknero

Good to see Maxthon included :-)

Can I just point out though that as of v4.2 it uses Blink instead of Webkit which they claim has given it a 30% increase in speed. Dunnon about that but it is pretty quick and solid. It's also had multi-thread downloading since (I think) 4.2 as well.

Still not my primary browser but it has functions that I find quite indespensible having got used to them, mostly the resource sniffer and the Quick Apps function which you can use to create Site Specific Browsers for whatever tabs you like. The pop-out video player is also v good.

Best Free Mega Web Browser 6 years 9 months ago sicknero

I don't think it'll be having much of an impact... the ads will be shown in the tiles of the New Tab page so anyone who is especially bothered by them can just replace that with one of the many alternatives or even just opt for a blank page instead.

I expect there will be some complaining for a while and then back to business as usual, that's what generally happens when a vendor introduces some less-than-popular change.

Best Free Mega Web Browser 6 years 4 months ago sicknero

Hi Victor, I just wanted to mention that Maxthon have been offering a portable version of their browser for quite a long time now.

v here -

Best Free RSS Reader-Aggregator 7 years 5 months ago sicknero

I wouldn't call myself an especially intrepid user but this one is still my favourite RSS reader.

My version ( portable) has no beta tag and the developer last posted in the forum just a month ago so he's still interested I guess, although the version I have is two years old.

Anyway all that being said, out of the available off-line readers/aggregators that I've tried so far, I find this one easily the most stable and least demanding on resources, and the interface/layout is pleasing too.

Best Free RSS Reader-Aggregator 7 years 5 months ago sicknero

I've been trying gpodder for about a month now, the PAF portable version. I really really like it - the layout, the GUI, the way it accepts video podcasts, the way it handles incomplete downloads.

However I don't know if it's just me but when I run it, it maxes out my CPU for ages, takes forever to load, and often has to be restarted for the downloads to work.

On balance I don't really mind this too much - I've been happy to run it when I'm on my way out or whatever a couple of times a week, so I can just leave it to it, even though I sometimes return to my PC and find that the downloads have "stuck" so I have to try it again later.

To be fair my desktop PC is rather elderly which might be the problem. I'll give gpodder a whirl on my laptop to see if it's any better, but meanwhile I just learnt in this thread that Media Monkey handles podcasts so I'll try that out as a possible alternative.

Which in turn has reminded me that Winamp does too, so I'll add that to my list of possibles.

Best Free RSS Reader-Aggregator 5 years 11 months ago sicknero

I tried Inoreader this week after persevering with Commafeed for several months.

I much prefer Commafeed's layout and visual appearance but man is it slow ... I've frequently had to wait several minutes and refresh the page a couple of times too before all my feeds are displayed properly.

Inoreader by comparison is extremely fast, it's ready to go in just a few seconds and from just a couple of days with it, it seems like a decent on-line service. My only gripe so far is that it doesn't seem to display images from Darkgate Comic Slurper but I can live with that.

For off-line I've been trying FeedReader and I'm pretty impressed. I was using Gpodder for ages to download podcasts that I want to keep, but again it's painfully slow and hogs my CPU while working. FeedReader does the same job very quickly and is considerate with resources too.

Best Free RSS Reader-Aggregator 5 years 11 months ago sicknero

I had RSSOwl running happily as a portable prog just by putting Java in it's root folder (instead of installing Java I mean).

I think I might have had to change a couple of paths in some ini or other, but it worked very well.

Best Free RSS Reader-Aggregator 5 years 11 months ago sicknero

Thanks Anupam : )

I did try Old Reader quite a while back but moved on for some reason that I've forgotten now.

It might have been the subscription limit, as I have a couple of hundred I think at the moment.

Re; Darkgate Comic Slurper, on further investigation this morning it seems that the problem is with the site rather than Inoreader. The links on that site do go down from time to time which I think is the problem now.

Best Free RSS Reader-Aggregator 5 years 11 months ago sicknero

Hehe yes I do get a bit carried away, so no I don't keep up with all of them. I just tend to browse and read what catches my interest but I might have a clear out at some point.

I'm a bit behind the times hardware-wise, my phone doesn't run any apps at all :)

Best Free RSS Reader-Aggregator 5 years 11 months ago sicknero

Another minor annoyance in Inoreader is that the "Recommended Sources" feature doesn't seem to know whether or not you're already subsribed to a feed.

Thus it will recommend feeds that you already have and, it will let you subscribe to them too so that you can easily end up with duplicate subscriptions.

Best Free Antivirus Software 7 years 2 months ago sicknero

Interesting that this announcement follows their recent relatively poor performance in AV tests. They used to be regularly in the top few but seem to have slipped lately, perhaps this is a way to offset this.

I don't use it any more though and can't say the advertising ever bothered me that much anyway.

Best Free Antivirus Software 6 years 11 months ago sicknero

Thanks for the rec, never heard of that one before.

I've had it running all day on two machines alongside Avast ... it seems very light and well behaved so far, tomorrow I'll see if I can find any reports on how well it performs and what exactly it does do.

Best Free Antivirus Software 6 years 8 months ago sicknero

The free version of Avast requires that you register with them to use it for more than 30 days.

I'm guessing that you didn't do that?

Best Free Antivirus Software 6 years 8 months ago sicknero

Isn't v7 in beta still?

Best Free Antivirus Software 6 years 8 months ago sicknero

Thanks Chiron, I'm running v6 CIS and as you say it isn't reporting any available updates.

I had a look around Comodo and FileHippo etc (the screenshots on FileHippo look like v5?) and the Comodo download appears to be v6 still, so I thought I'd ask here.


Best Free Antivirus Software 6 years 8 months ago sicknero

I run Comodo CIS on two fairly low-end machines (single-core 2 and 2.3 CPUs) and I've not found this problem myself for several versions now. Running a scan typically fluctuates between 10 and 40% rising sometimes to about 90. Later versions have the option to run scans as a background task as well. I've not found it to be noticeably slow compared to other scanners.

Best Free Antivirus Software 6 years 6 months ago sicknero

Not many AV scanners do detect OC inside installers.

For instance the FreeFileSync installer, which runs the Open Candy exec OCSetupHlp.dll, is passed by most of the major AV providers. Malwarebytes flags it as a PUP.

Best Free Antivirus Software 6 years 4 months ago sicknero

I guess you've been a bit unlucky - I've run CIS free for two or three years now with very few problems, although I do always install onto a clean system.

I've not tried GeekBuddy but the Comodo forums can be helpful.

Best Free Antivirus Software 6 years 3 months ago sicknero

According to Open Candy's own information, the OC component itself installs nothing on your system unless you accept one of the bundled offers. I've checked this for myself and it's true.

What happens is that when you run an installer that includes OC, the installer runs a dll which activates the bundled offers.

If you refuse all the offers then the dll is terminated and deleted after the original installer completes and nothing is left behind. I've also tested this for myself.

However, if you accept any of the offers then OC will install an auto-updater along with whatever offer you accepted.

The OC dll will "phone home" anyway, unless you block it, with the following information;

"A. Operating system version and language, country location and timezone of the computer running the installer, and the language of the developer’s installer
B. That the developer’s installer was initiated, and whether it was completed or canceled
C. Whether any third-party recommendations were made and if so, whether they were accepted or declined
D. If a third-party recommendation was accepted, whether the recommended app’s installer has been downloaded and the installer initiated
E. That the recommended third-party installer was initiated, and whether it was completed or canceled."

Note that the OC dll can be intercepted and blocked anyway, by programs like CIS.

Best Free Antivirus Software 6 years 3 months ago sicknero

I got the joke and enjoyed the irony too : )

I stand by my comments re; OC in general but fair cop, I hadn't properly looked into the situation with Avast in particular.

Best Free Antivirus Software 6 years 1 week ago sicknero

I tried 360 for the first time this week, and I'm really liking it.

Unusually for a "suite" I'm actually finding all of the different modules useful as well.

It took me a little while to realise that activating the Avira and Bitdefender modules seems to be a two-step process. I ticked boxes that I thought had activated them and only later found other activation switches in the actual scan dialogue.

It is a little bit buggy I think ... some of the pop-up notices appear a bit erratic as to whether they decide to show themselves or not and it also seems to fall prey to the common W7 issue of disappearing systray icons. Installing it into a clean W7 seems to have helped with that though for now.

Some of it is a little confusing to a first-time user ... for instance I ran the Cleanup module which broke ClassicShell for me, until I realised that it had quarantined the toolbar components of ClassicShell.

All in all I like it a lot though, especially the alternative Windows updater. It seems to run happily with Comodo Firewall too and performance is still good even on my elderly 2Ghz/2Gb desktop machine.

By the way Chiron, your Dennis Technology link goes to the 2013 test results.

Thanks for a great article anyway. I've been using Comodo CIS for a couple of years or so now but I was finding that the AV component was a bit demanding on my low-end hardware, so this week I've tried out most of the alternatives on this page.

Panda I liked quite a lot ... I've used their portable on-demand scanner for a while now so I thought their free AV would probably be pretty good. Which it is, although for me it lacked some configurability and I didn't really like the auto-quarantine behaviour either. I tried 360 just out of interest really but I think I'll stick with it for a while. I seem to recall some concern about their privacy practises a while back but I've not heard that mentioned since.

I noticed this week that none of these AVs seem to flag the Nirsoft suite as malware ... I don't know if this is due to Nirsoft finally getting the message through, or some other factor such as heuristic scanning.

I'll still be using Emsisoft and MBAM as on-demand scanners as these two between them seem to pick up everything.

I see by the by the way that Comodo has received its first update in some time. I really happy to find that the awful process of unblocking blocked executables and adding them to the trusted list has been changed and is much easier now. But again, a bit erratic ... some blocked files can now be trusted via a small screen pop-up, while others still require the tedious process of opening the main program and adding to trusted, etc etc. I noticed also that some execs continue to run even though they get added to the "unknown" list and I have everything set to "block".

I see the settings dialogue has changed too though, so maybe there's something there which might explain that.

Best Free Antivirus Software 5 years 10 months ago sicknero

Just a quick update ... the issue I mentioned whereby some processes triggered a "do not block again" dialogue while others have to be added to the list manually.

It seeme that this is related to system resources, so that when the machine is working hard the dialogue will take a long long time to appear.

Best Free Antivirus Software 5 years 10 months ago sicknero

Thanks for the comment. When I tried Panda some time ago I couldn't find any setting to disable auto-quarantine, although I thought I checked all the options.

Possibly I overlooked it or there has been an update but thanks for the info.

Best Free Program Launcher 6 years 10 months ago sicknero

Keep an eye out for Listary (

The latest beta now incorprates an application launcher (along the same lines as Launchy) but because Listary scans MFTs and is a search-as-you-type engine, it's very quick about it.

The launcher component in the beta is not excellently implemented yet but I'm expecting good things when it has been refined for the next stable release.

Similarly, another MFT scanning search-as-you-type engine, Everything (, now has a dropdown menu to filter results by filetype which makes it a viable option for application launching. E.g. type "iced" ... select "exe" in the filter to launch IceDragon. Or vice versa - leave the filter set to "exe" and just use it as a program finder and launcher. Very usable anyway if you have a large collection of software.

Note that MFT scanners only work on NTFS drives and require UAC permissions.

Lastly Win+R Alias Manager from WinAero ( is pretty neat although you have to add your own shortcuts.

The advantage with this one is that it uses the search box in Windows Start Menu and the existing Windows capability for exec aliases, so there's no extra autorun. For instance I might set "id" as my alias for IceDragon and then to run it just key WIN+R for the search box then type "id". Very nice program but time consuming to set up if you have a lot of software. I use it just to set aliases for programs that I use very frequently.

Best Free Program Launcher 6 years 9 months ago sicknero

Indeed, Quick Cliq is just one such free program - there are plenty of decent freeware options for such a function.

Alternatively ClassicShell allows you to organise the native Start Menu however you like as well as restoring the old XP look if you wish.

Best Free Non-Adobe PDF Reader 6 years 8 months ago sicknero

Foxit installer now runs the OpenCandy executable "OCSetupHlp.dll"

Best Free Non-Adobe PDF Reader 6 years 7 months ago sicknero

The Foxit Cloud thing can be uninstalled separately, it has its own uninstaller that you can run from, for example, Programs and Features in W7.

Sumatra is my favourite for pretty much any document that it supports. Yes it's a little unattractive but you can edit settings.txt to change some of the colours and for speed of loading it's unbeatable in my experience. It's also very handy for looking at ebooks without needing to import them first into some ebook reader's library which is how most of them (Calibre for instance) work.

Best Free Non-Adobe PDF Reader 6 years 6 months ago sicknero

Yes, they are valid Windows files. The Open Candy one runs from temp during the install process and then gets deleted.

Best Free Non-Adobe PDF Reader 6 years 5 months ago sicknero

I just wanted to mention SlimPDF which I discovered yesterday. It's the fastest and lightest reader I've yet seen and has only the most minimal controls and options. Just read/print, nothing else. I was previously using Sumatra as a quick viewer but I've found that it isn't great at printing, while SlimPDF manages perfectly.

I wanted an alternative to the built-in Firefox viewer (I've had frequent problems with that) without having to use a full-featured program as the default viewer, and Slim seems to fit the bill very well.

The download is an installer (no bundling that I could discover) but I just extracted that and ran it portably with no problems.

Best Free Non-Adobe PDF Reader 6 years 5 months ago sicknero

Hi Joe. Actually after some more testing, SlimPDF does have problems ... for instance I have a collection of classic literature scanned to pdf and Slim really struggles to load these and then fails to display them properly. However, the purpose I originally wanted it for (printing large, text-only pdfs from the internet at work) it seems to do very well so I'll probably keep it for that. I did do a proper install to see if that would fix the problems it was having but it makes no difference.

Anyway if you want to try it, yes you can just put it through Universal Extractor which will give you three folders - {app}, {cf32}, embedded, and a file named install_script.iss. I just copied all the files from {app} into another folder on the drive where I keep all my portables. {cf32} contains a file called itech.dll ... no idea what that's for but the prog seems to work fine without it.

As far as I can tell it makes no changes in appdata but it does create a registry key (HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\ Inc.)which holds recently opened file paths and a subkey for settings, although it's written nothing in that so far.

Best Free Non-Adobe PDF Reader 6 years 5 months ago sicknero

It's a curious one for sure :-)

Some files I've tried are several hundred pages of image-heavy scanned books and are displayed perfectly, while others it fails completely with. One book for instance, looks as if the ink was wet and someone's smeared it liberally about with a damp cloth.

In PDF XChange -

In SlimPDF -

Very odd :-) Something to do with different types of pdf file perhaps, I don't know anything about that though.

Best Free File Copy Utility 6 years 5 months ago sicknero

Thanks for the pointer George : )

I have trouble with TeraCopy on large jobs ... for me it tends to hang my system when left alone to copy files for several hours. I was just DuckDuckGo-ing for an alternative that has a pause option, and your comment here popped up which has made my day. I find FastCopy much more reliable than TeraCopy and the only thing missing for me was a pause function. It hadn't even occured to me try using the speed slider.

Thank you!

Best Free PDF Writer Software 7 years 6 months ago sicknero

I've been a fan of DoPDF for a long time, it's always been my favourite print-to-pdf program for various reasons ... speed, lightness, no ghostcript, and more recently the addition of a convert-to-pdf dialogue so that I don't even need to open a print dialog for some tasks.

However, today I went to check for an update and was disturbed to find that their download link now goes to a site called Soft112 which has an orange traffic light from WoT. I downloaded and installed anyway and there was nothing extra installed with DoPDF, also the site gets a green light from BitDefender Traffic Lights, so I can only assume that the site itself has a poor WoT rating for some reason.

It's a real shame as a poor WoT rating will put many people off this excellent program, not to mention it getting itself an automatic ban from being recommended on sites like this one.

Best Free PDF Writer Software 6 years 5 months ago sicknero

Hi Anumpam, I tried DoPdf v8 today as well, and on first install I found the same as you with the Office add-on being installed. On second try though I looked a bit closer and found that the tick-box for that is actually a very pale grey tick on a white background which is extremely difficult to see. Having made sure that was deselected, DoPdf did install without the add-on.

After all that I didn't like it much anyway, it seems extremely slow and resource-intensive so I tried a few others and wasn't much impressed with any of them, they all seem to take forever and most of the ghostscript ones crash at about 99% as well for some reason. I used to use DoPdf and Bullzip quite a lot, I don't remember having such problems before.

The only one I might keep is PdfCreator which seems to work ok and produce good results without topping out my CPU for ages, although this one does use ghostscript too. As far as I could tell there's nothing bundled with the installer (I got v1.7.3 from the website) except for two other programs by the same vendor ... Pdf Architect which is a payware trial version, and Images2Pdf which is freeware. Both of these can be deselected in the "Components" stage of the installation.

Best Free Startup Manager 7 years 6 months ago sicknero

Great article and helpful as always. I've been using Starter for a couple of years now, it's been an excellent replacement for StartupCPL which I used all the time in XP. One of its useful features is the ability to add a startup item from running processes rather than having to navigate to the relevant directory.

I agree that Autoruns is rather heavy for everyday use but it's still a great app when you need to check out entries that Starter doesn't cover. Also System Explorer has a very useful module for autoruns.

Anyway I just logged in to mention that the Codestuff website sadly appears to be no more so the link on this page no longer works. Starter can still be found on the usual freeware sites but I haven't been able to find the actual developer anywhere which is a shame and the program's built-in updater no longer makes contact. Would love to hear any news of what's happened to Codestuff if anyone knows.

Fwiw I've also found that Startup Delayer now works fine (has been updated I think) in W7 both x86 and x64 if you don't mind playing around with it a little, i.e. it doesn't always find all the autoruns so they need to be added manually. Still a great program and helps to ameliorate W7's annoying habit of not loading all the systray icons properly, especially on aging machines.

Best Free Data Recovery and File Un-delete Utility 6 years 5 months ago sicknero

I appreciate there's no editor for this thread right now but for anyone reading I just wanted to mention Puran File Recovery ( which is part of the Puran Utilities suite but can be downloaded as a separate portable program.

I used it over the weekend to recover almost 2 terabytes of accidentally deleted videos (don't ask...) and I was very impressed.

Firstly, it scanned the 2TB USB drive in about a minute (on standard as opposed to deep scan... deep scan is a lengthy process) and then it presents the results with each file being given a likelihood of how recoverable it is. What immediately made Puran stand out for me was that the scan results can be displayed in Explorer "tree view", i.e. with their original directory structure as opposed to the list of single files that other recovery programs offer. This made it very easy to sort through the results and select what data I wanted to recover.

Recovery speed seemed pretty good - one 25GB folder took about half an hour while the entire 2TB drive took around 28 hours in total. Resource usage on my low-end laptop was excellent I thought - CPU usage fluctuated between 10% and less than 1%, with RAM fairly steady at about 25meg. Good news because it meant my laptop wasn't tied up for the weekend with that one task.

Results also seem very good. Obviously I've not yet watched the entire 2TB of recovered videos, but some fairly extensive random testing indicates that Puran did a good job ... everything I've tried so far plays perfectly.

Lastly, Puran ran for the entire 28+ hours without a glitch or hang.

Granted, this was a fairly ideal scenario (i.e. accidental deletion and drive not used since) and neither have I tried the alternatives for such a large job but I just wanted to mention this program as being well worth a try-out.

Best Free Data Recovery and File Un-delete Utility 6 years 5 months ago sicknero

Hi Rob,

Yes ... most recovery software as far as I know has the option to recover files to their original directory structure but Puran's option to display the initial scan results in their original stucture is a definite plus and a huge time saver.

Booting from CD ... I don't think many (any?) freeware recovery programs have an option to create a bootable CD or flash drive, with the exception of MiniTool which is somewhat crippled by the data limit.

However, there is a solution which will work for a lot of portable software in general. You need to get Hiren's Boot CD which includes "MiniXP", a stripped down version of Windows XP which will run directly from a CD or USB drive. (HBCD itself has an impressive collection of freeware included - description here; and download links here; )

Once you've booted into MiniXP, then you can navigate to wherever your portable software is and (in my experience) quite a lot of it will run with no problems. I've not tried that yet with Puran but I will do later just out of interest.

Best Free Data Recovery and File Un-delete Utility 6 years 5 months ago sicknero

The portable versions of Puran and Recuva both seem to run fine in MiniXP. Recuva will run as it is while for Puran you need to find gdiplus.dll and riched20.dll on your system drive and copy them into Puran's folder.

I also discovered that Recuva does have a tree view for the scan results which I hadn't noticed before (or had forgotten about). It's in Advanced - Options and Recuva actually seems to detect more files than Puran as well.

Best Free Download Manager 6 years 5 months ago sicknero

I must agree : )

I stuck with FDM as it's been my favourite for a long time, but it does have problems integrating reliably with portable browsers. A couple of weeks ago I discovered that Eagleget has a portable version to I decided to try it and haven't looked back. Browser integration is excellent - for portable Firefox it's a simple matter of finding the xpi file in Eagleget's directory and dropping it into FF and it even works very well with less mainstream browsers like Maxthon and Avant.

I have to say I've been very impressed with it so far. My only complaint really is the ridiculously huge (to me at least) buttons on the Metro-style GUI ... if there was an option for small buttons (or even better, a choice of basic Win32 GUI) it would be perfect.

I'd also like more user-control over categories but that's not a deal breaker as I don't really use them anyway.

Best Free Download Manager 6 years 5 months ago sicknero

Thanks for the pointers George, I hadn't really looked very hard as auto-grouping isn't something I really use. It still seems to be impossible to delete the pre-set groups though.

What I've found after a few days with EG is that if I make sure everything in it is set to capture and monitor, then it works excellently and the video button works for most sites very well. It even appears unexpectedly at times, e.g. on occasion it pops up in gmail and when I clicked download just to see what it was spotting, it downloaded a mail as an empty mp3 :-)

What does happen, is that when I start a new session the monitoring options in EG have disabled themselves and have to be reset. This might be an aspect of the portable version I guess.

It's very usable for me anyway, as I don't need anything that permanently monitors my browser. Just something to handle large/numerous downloads which might potentially be interrupted by a browser/system restart.

I did see the beta version but I'm quite happy with at the moment.

FDM is excellent, I agree. It's been my favourite for several years. There's a v5 alpha version by the way, which is available for testing on the FDM forums.

Best Free File Encryption Utility 6 years 9 months ago sicknero

It's true that freeware folder lockers are on the whole not very secure but you could do a bit better than Easy File Locker.

Wise Folder Hider and Alfa Folder Locker both work even in Safe Mode although they can still be accessed with Linux and probably X-box too though I wouldn't know about that. The problem is as Philip says, that they work by using the Windows O/S therefore are vulnerable to access from non-Windows O/S's.

WFH possibly has an edge because its locked folders are set as "Protected System Directories" and thus remain hidden if Explorer is set to "Show Hidden Files and Folders". Also the folder is renamed to "..." giving you a bit more plausible deniability.

Alfa on the other hand is a bit more transparent I think (i.e. easier to understand what it does) although you do have to hide the folders manually.

None of these are a match for individual encryption though... I guess it's a trade off as locking and hiding a folder with one of these is pretty much instant regardless of how big the folder is, while encrypting a directory can take a long time if there's a lot of stuff in it.

My own favourite for encyption is Androsa File Protector. It's a bit old and unsupported for ages now but it's an excellent tool. It has a selection of encryption levels plus options for secure-deletion of temporary files created during encryption, secure-deletion of source files and scrambling of filenames on encryption. It can also create self-extracting encrypted files which means you don't need the program itself to decrypt the files, just the password.

All three are available as portable versions meaning that you can try them out without needing to install anything.

Wise Folder Hider -

Alfa Folder Locker -

Androsa Portable -

Best Free Sticky Notes Utility 6 years 9 months ago sicknero

"FileNotes" by JMSoftware might be useful to you.

It's a bit basic and no-frills and hasn't been updated in years but it works fine in x86 Windows 7.

It doesn't operate on mouse-hover though, instead it adds a context menu item to folders and files that lets you open and edit a note specific to that folder or file.

A drawback is that the note window isn't resizable, so long names can get a bit untidy. Also it won't automatically show you what's in the folder ... you would have to generate such a list yourself to copy-paste into the note, but that's easily done and you can edit the folder note directly too.

A couple of screenies -

and the download page -

Alternatively you could use the native Windows ability to add comments to folders and files.

I can't think of anything else at the moment that would do what you want ... QTTabBar comes to mind (mouse-over pop-out submenus) but that only comes as part of an Explorer shell enhancement which contains a whole load of stuff that might be superfluous to your needs.