If you're in the market for a capable antivirus, firewall, and Internet security solution for Windows, would you consider one that consistently ranks at or near the top in tests against the big names in antivirus protection? A lightweight app that's frugal with system resources? One that offers timely, automatic updates, an effective firewall that integrates with Windows, and user-friendly operation that's mostly in the background? Suppose we added the fact that it's free and that you might even have it already, and if not, it's a few clicks away? Sounds great! What is it? … Read more
Most Windows users will probably agree that it's frustrating when you can't close a malfunctioning application or process, even with the Task Manager. ProcessKO from Nenad Hrg is a free tool that can terminate nearly any running process or app, forcibly if necessary. Because it's often the same culprit that causes trouble, you can create Favorite KOs to target specific processes quickly. ProcessKO is for experienced users like developers and admins. It's easy to use, even for beginners, but that's the problem: if you're not sure what you're doing, you can kill the … Read more
If your idea of a desktop calendar is a stack of paper you can write notes on as opposed to a trifold organizer or day book, Rainy's Rainlendar Lite is probably your calendar. It's largely unobtrusive and transparent, like a widget, though you can customize its look. But unlike a simple calendar widget or gadget, Rainlendar Lite is also a personal manager that can remind you of tasks and important events. It's fully compatible with most other iCalendar apps, so you can import and export data such as events. You can back up your calendar and even … Read more
NirSoft's RegScanner is a lightweight, portable tool that searches the Windows registry for specific values, displaying its findings in a simple list view that lets you quickly access specific results. You can view the properties of registry values, open items in their containing folder, or double-click items to open them directly in the Windows Registry Editor (RegEdit). RegScanner is easy to use, even for beginners, but our usual caution about changing things in the registry applies to RegScanner since it's perfectly capable of deleting keys as well as copying, saving, and exporting them. We recommend utmost caution when … Read more
Windows has to be all things to all users, which leads to enduring compromises like the built-in Search Files and Folders module. Many third-party developers offer improved search tools for Windows. NirSoft's SearchMyFiles is a portable freeware search tool that lets you scour your system with greater accuracy and specificity than the built-in Search tool. You can search by wild card and the usual attributes as well as by content (text or binary). SearchMyFiles is a compact application that is frequently updated. The latest version we saw added a new feature, a Recent Config Files menu that lets users … Read more
Mouse gestures can automate some of your most repetitive tasks. With a mere click and a flick, you can do everything from close your browser to initiate long strings of commands. StrokesPlus is a free mouse gestures application that lets you easily draw gestures to set actions for the program to trigger. StrokesPlus is free, but there are separate downloads for 32-bit and 64-bit Windows. We tried StrokesPlus for 64-bit Windows in Windows 7 Home Premium.
StrokesPlus is a work in progress (what cutting-edge app isn't?) and improvements mean you no longer need to run the program as an … Read more
Mouse gestures can automate tedious tasks. With the click of a button and a flick of the wrist, you can fill in your shipping address, insert a long string of text you have to type over and over again, display the weather, or launch any program. StrokesPlus is a free mouse gestures application that's easy to configure and use but also highly flexible. It's available in separate downloads for 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the Windows operating system. It's also available in fully portable versions of each. While most users will probably benefit from the fully installed … Read more
It's easy to change your Windows log-on screen to match your desktop wallpaper or display any image you like with InstantLogonChanger from ArturDev. Designed to display corporate logos on a company's computers, this simple freeware lets you apply your own image as your Windows log-on background. It can handle JPEGs, BMPs, PNGs, GIFs, and TIFFs. But it does more than simply change the log-on screen's background image: It can also fit images to your screen or your taste using the familiar Fit, Fill, Stretch, Center, and Tile controls, as well as change the background color to enhance … Read more
MacFixIt Answers is a feature in which we answer questions e-mailed in by our readers.
This week readers wrote in with questions about switching between 32- and 64-bit mode in OS X, using Target Disk Mode via Thunderbolt connections, how long Snow Leopard will be supported now that Mountain Lion is released, the best route to take for upgrading to Mountain Lion, and options for adding RAM to an older iMac system. We welcome views from readers, so if you have any suggestions or alternative approaches to these problems, post them in the comments!
Question: Switching between 32- and 64-bit … Read more
A new procedure has surfaced that may allow owners of the older and unsupported Mac Pro 1,1 and 2,1 machines to run Mountain Lion natively on their systems.
When Apple initially released OS X Mountain Lion developer previews to testers and its development community, word spread that the OS would leave out some of Apple's earlier Intel-based Macs, including the first Mac Pro systems that still pack a decent amount of computing power. Apple made these requirements official more recently on its OS X up-to-date Web page for Mountain Lion.
The reason for these limitations revolved around … Read more