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Martin Brinkmann

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Martin Brinkmann is a journalist from Germany who founded Ghacks Technology News back in 2005. Martin started his career as a tech support representative at a large German financial corporation which he used to finance his college education in English, Information Technology and History.


He quit college and his job when Ghacks began to attract a large enough readership. He made the decision to become a full time blogger and webmaster, and has not looked back since.


Martin is interested in all things tech. His primary focus is on desktop operating systems, web browsers, Internet services, and privacy related topics.


He published the book The Complete Windows 10 Privacy Guide: Windows 10 Fall Creators Update version in 2017. Martin writes a weekly column for fellow tech site Betanews as well.


You can reach Martin on Facebook or on Twitter. Please use the contact form at the bottom of the page to contact the author directly.


Martin has been quoted or mentioned in many major online and print publications, including Forbes, Lifehacker.com, ComputerWorld, LinkedIn, Reddit, Betanews.com, Bleeping Computer, TechCrunch, PC World, Tom's Hardware, Slashdot, Hacker News, The Register, and more.


Martin's articles on Ghacks

ubuntu

Ubuntu 6.04 Dapper Drake released today

A new version of the popular Ubuntu linux distribution has been released to the community. You can download it from the official homepage using http connections or bittorrent. Let us hear what the developers have to say about this new release.

look up firmware version

Firmware Updates

I bought a Geforce 6600 graphic adapter last year from Asus and had the initial problem that the fan was to noisy. Even when I was surfing the internet or writing a text in Open Office. I was sure that this could not be correct and decided to search for a way to reduce the fan speed and thus the noise level when it was not needed.

cuttermaran

Cuttermaran video editing freeware

Cuttermaran is a cut program for MPEG1 or MPEG2 video streams. The streams can be cut without recalculation. The asynchronous between audio and video will be minimized. If you are looking for a freeware tool that lets you cut your mpeg1 and mpeg2 video files cuttermaran might be the program you are looking for. It requires Microsoft Net Framework to work, the download link is provided at the programs homepage as well.

bulk rename utility

Bulk Renamer

Bulk Rename Utility is a utility which allows you to easily rename files and directories, based upon extremely flexible criteria. Add date-stamps, replace numbers, insert strings, convert case, add auto-numbers, process folders and subfolders.

Stationripper Record Internet Radio Streams

It´s completly legal to record music from radio in my country and it´s also legal to record radio streams that are broadcast through the internet. Stationripper is one of those handy tools that allows you to record audio streams with ease. All you need to do is download the freeware utility and run it.

Guide to formating and installing windows

There is a good guide at lifehackers with a rather large title: "How to format your hard drive and install Windows XP from scratch". The article lists the obvious things that you need which are: A pc, a windows installation disc, other software that you would like to install, optional up to date drivers for your hardware and a (optional) backup internet connection to download drivers / other software in case of emergency.

A Free USB Drive from Microsoft

Head over to the Mystery Solved site of microsoft.com and click on the usb stick on the right where it says Get Yours. You need to sign in with passport.net and answer the following questions:

Securing Your Web Browser

A cert.org guide that helps you configure your web browser for safer surfing. It starts with the question why you should secure your web browser and explains common web browser features like Java, ActiveX and Cookies. After that introduction the important part of the article begins with chapter 3 Vulnerabilities and Attack Vectors. Common vulnerabilities like Cross-Site Scripting, Spoofing and Cross-Zone and Cross-Domain Vulnerabilities. The article does not explain everything in great detail but provides links to a in depth explanation.

How to bypass your bios password

A bios password prevents access to the bios for unauthorised users. Sometimes this password gets forgotten and you face the difficulty to find a way to enter your bios again. The article "how to bypass your bios password" explains in detail various methods that bypass the bios password. So, if you are in need, take a look and try the available methods.

Dial a Fix Freeware

Dial-a-fix is a collection of 'known fixes' that have been compiled over the past year that really knock out some serious Windows problems, all with one or two clicks. It tackles issues with SSL/Cryptography, Windows Update, Microsoft Installer, and many miscellaneous shell problems. Most of the fixes it uses are found in various Microsoft Knowledgebase articles, and articles written by Microsoft MVPs. When you see a list of DLLs that need to be registered using REGSVR32.EXE, chances are they are already listed in Dial-a-fix. Mouseover a checkbox or button to obtain more information about what will be executed, or what DLLs will be registered.

workrave

Workrave

Most of us are geeks. We work many hours a day nonstop using computers and notebooks and seldomly take breaks in that time. Well, unless we stand up to get another coffee. So, most of us work in an unhealthy environment.

hide-email-address

Hiding Email Addresses

It´s a well know fact that some spammers use automated scripts that scan websites for email addresses and include them in their list of email addresses that will be spammed. Sarven Capadisli compiled a huge list of mechanisms to hide the email address to counter those robots. Most can only be used if you have certain rights on the website for example number seven uses javascript to hide the email address and this is normally not active for site users.

Buying used notebooks

Is it a good idea to look at online marketplaces like ebay to find a (used) notebook ? Is it a good idea to buy a used one or should one go for a new one ? Buying used ones has some advantages over new models: The price will be considerably lower, even if the used one has been purchased just a few months ago. Prices for last generations notebooks drop fast, even more if they have been used already.

Recovering Scratched CDs

CDs don´t last forever. They get scratches for instance and sometimes these make the CD or some sectors become unreadable. Now, what can you do if you desperately need the data on the CD ? The article Recovering Scratched CDs from hardwaresecrets.com tries to answer this question.

Screamer Radio

Streamer Radio is an all in one internet radio tool that lets you listen to and record audio streams of your favorite internet radio stations. It´s highly configurable and works with shoutcast.com and icecast.org mp3 streams, icecasts ogg vorbis streams and even windows media audio streaming. Works great, is free, what more do you want ?

Freeware Alternatives

A good extensive list of freeware alternatives can be found at the neowin forum. The applications are sorted in categories like Cd/DVD Burning, Encryption and Data Security and Instant Messengers. All in all more than two hundred applications in 43 categories. If you are looking for a special freeware tool make sure you take a look at the neowin forum. Worth a visit.

Dvd Rootkit on the way

Some weeks ago Sony made the attempt to protect the music from some of the cd´s they distribute by adding a rootkit software which would be installed if the user wanted to play the cd on his personal computer. The technique had its flaws and was only working on windows but it still ment that a rootkit was installed on the pc and other scripts could use this rootkit for malicious purposes. After a large outcry from the web community Sony decided to pull the cd´s from the shelves and offer a tool to uninstall the rootkit. (which you would only get through a long process)

xnview

Forcevision Image Viewer

Forcevision is an image viewer and image manipulation tool that is available free for non commercial purposes. It supports 46 different image formats and is able to convert single images or multiple ones in batch mode.

Convert to pdf online

The ExpressPdf website lets you convert word and excel documents as well as websites to pdf online. It´s easy and straightforward. All you need to do is select a document or a website url to convert, provide your email address and the new pdf will be sent to the email address.

What Is That File?

When I look at my taskmanager I sometimes see filenames that I don´t know. What is that file gives you the answer to the question. It´s solely based on user submissions, just like wikipedia for instance. Just enter a filename and the following information will be displayed: Name, purpose, description and if its safe or a malicious one. Great if you are not sure why a file is running on your system.

change desktop icons

Icons for Windows and Mac

I found an interesting section at interfacelift.com which lets you icon packages for windows and macintosh. You find more than 90 pages each with 10 icon packages for macintosh and 24 pages with 10 icon packages each for microsoft windows. Downloads are free of course and icons look great. The site opens a popup with advertisment as well, if that annoys you use a popup blocker.

99 Performance Tips For Windows XP

A friend of mine asked me to take a look at his computer because it reacted slowly and took ages to boot. He was running windows xp home and shared the computer with his wife and his two lovely girls who unfortunatly decided to install lots of "female" orientated applications like riding games, animated screensavers and the like. After getting rid of 185 spyware entries I told him that he could speed up his pc which had only 256 Mb if he would disable some features of windows xp.

Google copies your hard drive content

Breaking news from the electronic frontier foundation website which warns users to use a feature called Search Across Computers of the google desktop software. This feature apparently stores copies of documents, such as word, pdf or text, on googles own servers.

7-zip

Freeware Packer Muzip

Muzip is a freware packer that supports formats like zip, gzip and tar. It´s only 460K in size and offers an explorer like interface. It also offers the possibility to backup files on your harddrive and even schedule them using the windows scheduler.

Junction, Create Symbolic Links

If you are using linux you might know the symbolic link functionality which allows you to create a (symbolic) link between two directories. A little freeware tool called junction from sysinternals adds this functionality to windows.

Viewing Hidden Comments on Myspace

This has been around for some days but its still worth an article. Myspace users have the option to hide their comments and friendlist from other users. With an easy workaround it´s possible to view them even though the user did activate the hidding feature.

Risks of selling your old pc

A study conducted by Professor Martin Gill of the University of Leicester came to the conclusion that second hand computers pose a great risk of fraud and identity theft. They purchased six computers in the course of their study from various second hand channels. Six computers may not seem to justify the results but it can be seen as an indicator. Half of them had not been securely wiped while one had not been wiped at all. Two of the three contained enough information for identity theft.

Building a better Password

Most people tend to use passwords that they can rememeber easily. If you take a deeper look many use the same password for most of their password protected activities which is a high security risk. Break one, get access to all.

Ten unknown firefox extensions

Everton from connectedinternet.co.uk compiled a list of ten firefox extensions that don´t get glamorised that much. The list includes some extensions that I never heard before, like the Colorful Tabs Extension. Make sure you head over to his site and take a look at the compilation.

play c-64 games online

Play Commodore 64 games Online

The c-64 was my first computer. I had an atari 2600 before and it seemed like a quantum leep at that time. The C-64 had many classic games that I enjoyed playing: Archon, Boulder Dash and Pirates for instance. You know have the chance to play some of the alltime classics of that era in your browser. The website c64s.com is the Eldorado for everyone who wants to play that classic games again or take a look at games of a time long forgotten.

Make your windows os faster

I´am cautious when I read another article that claims to speed up your windows operating system by simply tweaking some settings in the registry. I learned the hard way that your os sometimes becomes unstable and you will have to restore it or do a fresh install. The article "Make your windows fast as never before" is one of those articles that makes this claim.

SmartPc Recovery Tools

Sometimes you delete something and realize later that you still need the file(s) that you´ve deleted before. Its easy to recover them if they are still in your trashbin, but you need special tools to recover files that have been deleted permanently under windows.

11 things to do after a hack

Lets assume your system has been hacked. What steps would you undertake after the hacking attempt ? The article written at techtarget.com tries to answer the question and presents a checklist of things to do after being someone hacked into your system. Its more of a checklist for corporate networks than for individual computers but it would not hurt to take a look and probably get some new ideas that you did not think about.

Smart Ftp 2.0

The free ftp software Smart Ftp 2.0 has been released and is available for download at the developers website. Changes include a new graphical user interface with tabs, a new local and remote browser and support for 64 bit windows operating systems. If you are looking for a free ftp program give it a try, it might be exactly what you are looking for.

Phishing Explained

Phishing, which is a construct of the words Password and Fishing, becomes more and more common on the internet. Many people recieve daily mails from sites like ebay and paypal but also from financial sites like citibank that look authentic and direct you to a website that looks like a copy of the original site. They "phish" your login data or credit card information from that fake website.

Protecting your Search Privacy

Searchenginewatch published a rather large article about protecting your search privacy today. They provide a step-by-step guide how your search privacy gets exposed from your desktop to the sites you visit. They divided the article into six chapters beginning with Search Privacy On Your Own Computer and ending with a conclusion that gives you valuable tips on how to protect your search privacy.

From Dos/Windows to Linux Howto

When I tried to switch for the first time from windows to linux I felt left alone. The web was not what it now uses to be, tutorials and help documents were scarce and one had to have a friend who could help or try the trial and error way to get linux installed and configured. Linux is becoming more user friendly and lots of tutorials and help sites pop up that help beginners and guide them through the basic installation and configuration process.

thunderbird email headers

Tracing an Email

I posted yesterday an article about tracing an hacker, today I give you one about tracing an email. The first thing you have to do is to enable email headers. The site shows you how to do so using gmail, yahoo and msn. All software products should support this feature as well. Email Headers show you additional information about the email, for example a ip is shown.

How To Trace A Hacker

This is a nice beginners tutorial that tells you how to trace people who try to break into your computer. It covers lots of explanations to questions like "How do these people find their victim?" and "What the phrases TCP/UDP actually mean".

Your keyboard is Dirtier than your toilet

If this topic did not catch your attention at once then none will. Dr. Charles Gerba from the university of Arizona found out in a study that measured normal bacterial levels inside offices across America that the average desk harbors 400 times more bacteria than the average toilet seat.