Martin Brinkmann

martin photo

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,, ComputerWorld, LinkedIn, Reddit,, Bleeping Computer, TechCrunch, PC World, Tom's Hardware, Slashdot, Hacker News, The Register, and more.

Martin's articles on Ghacks

transfz search online

Perform Online Searches from any application or document

Lets say you got this nice little word document from a friend or colleague and stumble upon a word or words -like obiter dictum - that you do not know. How would you normally look it up ? You either pick up a dictionary or fire up your browser and search on the Internet for a definition of the word. This does not slow you down that much if it is only one word but what if there are more of them ? It could really slow you down unless you find a better way to lookup those words.

easy thumbnails

How to create a lot of Thumbnails

I normally do not have to create a lot of thumbnails, maybe one or two per day for my articles but that is it. I use GIMP for the purpose, definitely not the best choice because of the long loading times but good enough for the few that I have to create. Sometimes however I'm in the position to create thumbnails of hundreds of images and there is no way to create them with GIMP because it would take a very long time.

How much are you paying for your internet connection ?

After reading the BBC report about broadband prices in 30 of the most developed countries I was wondering how much you actually paid for your connection to the Internet. The BBC article unfortunately revealed only marginal information and not the complete list of prices in all of the countries examined.

Seeqpod search and listen to music

Seeqpod offers two ways to find new and exciting music. The first is the so called PodCrawler which constantly displays songs that have been found and added to the database. From what I can tell they are crawling official band and company websites as well as podcasts and probably other websites as well.

The definitive guide to Firmware updates

Did you know that it is possible to patch the firmware of many devices with an unofficial version that could increase the speed of a device or increase it's functionality ? Most firmwares are created for one of the following five device types: Motherboards. Dvd Recorders. Digital Cameras. Graphic Cards and Routers.

Five free apps that rock for your mobile phone

I got a new Nokia N73 with a USB cable recently and have been searching for games and applications that I could download without charge and install on my new mobile phone. I have never put much thought into this sector before mainly because of my laziness and an old phone that had no data cable.

fair use for windows media

FairUse4WM 1.3 works with Vista and Zune

A new version of FairUse4WM hit the Internet two days ago which is able to strip the DRM - that is Digital Rights Management - right of music files that use MS DRM IBX components up to version 11.0.6000.6324. So, if you own a Zune, use the Yahoo music service, Urge or several other services you might want to give FairUse4WM a try and get rid of the DRM in the music.

Top Utilities to Optimize your System

Optimizing a computer to improve performance while keeping everything stable is something that I really like to do. The first thing that I do when I get a new computer is to get rid of useless softwares and take a look at system settings to find ways to improve them.

Firefox still on the rise in Europe

Firefox is still on the rise in Europe where it reached an impressive overall 27.8% market share in June 2007. Finland, Slovakia and Slovenia lead the pack with 45.4%, 40.4% and 47.9% market share while Great Britain, Spain and Italy still linger at the bottom with a market share below 20%.


Interclue for Firefox

You can download and install many Firefox extensions that display a preview image or text of a link on the Internet. There are also several scripts for webmasters to enable the feature by default on their websites. Archer, who is a regular reader of my blog, send me a link to a new Firefox extension called Interclue which provides a better way of previewing links in Firefox.

Alternatives to the original Windows startmenu

After a few months of using Launchy and Rocket Dock I realized that I actually did not use the startmenu of my Windows operating system at all. I either use these great apps that give me more flexibility and speed or use icons on my desktop for certain tasks.
Another reason why I'm not using the startmenu anymore is that it really looks and feels messy after a while because every new application adds it's own folder to it. The question that came up for me is whether I needed the startmenu at all.


Add Tabs to all Windows with WinTabber

I'm using a sweet little freeware for some time now on Windows XP that tabs normal windows giving my desktop a clean look most of the time while still giving me access to all the folders that I need to work with at that time. I got used to it pretty quickly and thought that it would be a great way to expand this behavior to applications as well.

Liberated Films

Liberated Films is a movie plattform that brings independent film makers and film enthusiasts together on a single website. Independent film makers get a lot of exposure from the central plattform while viewers are able to enjoy more than 9000 films that are currently hosted on site.

Fix the missing dll error message

I think every Windows user experienced an error message like "Could not find xxx.dll" before and wondered what the hell happened with that dll. One reason could be that you used to uninstall a program that asked specifically whether you would like to remove the xxx.dll as well because it could still be needed by other applications.

Weekend Fun Freddy Pharkas

Freddy Pharkas, Frontier Pharmacist was an adventure in four acts created by Al Lowe, the creator of the Leisure Suit Larry series, for Sierra On-line back in the days when adventures were one of the hottest genres on the planet. This game is a usual Sierra On-line with stunning graphics, sounds and a point system that rewards you for puzzles solved (and gets you crazy if you miss some points and can't find the way to get them).


Customize group similar windows

Windows has a feature that groups similar windows, for example seven explorer windows, in one taskbar button which is great if you like your taskbar as clean as possible. There is however no direct way to change the amount of windows that are needed before Windows starts grouping them.

SMAC Windows MAC Address Modifying Utility

The MAC address is an identifier for most network adapters. Although several Internet websites and manufacturers claim that it is not possible to change the MAC address. SMAC leaves the hardware MAC address alone but offers a software based way to change it which remains changed even after rebooting the computer.

Huge List of Free Legal MP3 Sites

I found a very comprehensive list of sites that offer mp3's that can be legally and freely downloaded. The list is neatly categorized which aids the visitor in finding out which sites offer mp3 files that could be worth the download.

environment variables

Speed up Windows by moving the temp folder

The default temporary directory in Windows is located on the same hard drive and partition as the operating system itself. This is not really optimized and you could speed up your operating system by moving the temporary folder from the default location to another hard drive.

Use Driver Grabber to copy drivers in Windows

Driver Grabber is a small application for Microsoft Windows operating systems which grabs all device drivers except drivers from Microsoft and saves them in the same directory where Drive Grabber was executed from. This can be extremely useful but the application is mainly geared towards techies and not casual users.

Automatically backup your files

If you are looking for a quick and easy way to backup your files on your Windows operating system you should take a closer look at Everyday Auto Backup which is a basic but useful backup utility which is able to schedule backups of files and folders that you have selected.

Windows in the loop

I thought it was not possible to to improve CoolSwitch but I was obviously wrong. came out with another interesting concept that brings an interesting concept to Windows. It's a freeware application called Deskloops which offers an refreshing idea on how to handle windows in Windows.

Tune in with Tun3r

While I love Internet Radio streams I sometimes find it hard to find a station that plays the kind of music I want to listen to right now. I do have some regular stations that I normally listen to but when I want to listen to something else I have to search shoutcast and tune in into several stations to find the one that is playing music I like to hear.

Enhance your Search

When you search for something on the web you normally use Google or Yahoo (if you're not the one who stands out of the crowd) or some other website that does the job for you. Most of them have unique techniques for finding what you want and some offer additional features as well like searching for pictures, images or even sounds and videos. But none of them is ultimate in finding what you really need (Google fans calm down ;) . How about connecting the features of all sites together in a single search.. Wouldn't that be fine? It is.

Scan your WordPress blog for vulnerabilities

Site owners should always be aware of the possibility that their blog gets compromised. This can be because of an old version of Wordpress that is installed or because of vulnerabilities in plugins or themes. It is relatively time consuming to check for updates and stay up to date to make it unlikely that someone would be able to hack your blog.

Stream Music over the Internet with Vibe Streamer

A friend of mine was asking me if there was a quick and easy way to stream music over the Internet. I did some research for him and found the solution in the free software Vibe Streamer. This program makes it possible to stream music over Internet and Lan and comes equipped with all the features necessary to make it a great product.

Going Online with my Nokia N73

I never before tried to go online using my mobile phone and notebook because I always had the chance to use a wireless connection or lan network to go online. I identified several obstacles that could prevent me from going online with my N73 and Toshiba notebook.

defrag all drives

Defrag all Hard drives at once in Windows

The defragmentation tool that ships with Windows is pretty basic and does not offer features that are needed for instance if you have more than one partition or hard drive. Some users would like to defrag all of their hard drives at once while they go to work or sleep.

ebay sniper

Bid-O-Matic for eBay

Bid-O-Matic is a so called sniper tool for eBay. Sniper tools take advantage of the speed that computers use to perform tasks in contrast to humans. It takes only a fracture of a second to bid on an eBay auction for a computer while a human would need between 5-15 seconds to do the same.

Messenger Plus Live

Messenger Plus Live is an add-on for the Windows Live Messenger which adds a multitude of new features to the main program. Messenger Plus Live works with Windows Live Messenger 8 and 8.5 and can be used on Windows XP and Windows Vista.


Spamato anti spam solution for email clients

Spamato is a free software that was developed in Java which can be used to detect and delete spam found in many popular mail clients such as Thunderbird, Microsoft Outlook and others. Several clients have specialized versions for them and all others can use the standalone version which acts as a mail proxy that sits between the mail client and the mail server.

Weekend Fun Alien Breed Obliteration

The Alien Breed series was a successful action game series on the Commodore Amiga back in the good old days and several guys decided that it would be great to rewrite Alien Breed '92 from scratch and make it available on PC's as well. The game has been released for some time and really catches the Amiga spirit.

Microsoft USB Flash Drive Manager

Microsoft USB Flash Drive Manager is a free software for Windows XP created by Microsoft to make it easier to backup and restore files on USB devices that get connected to the computer. It was primarily designed as a backup and restoration utility but offers several other features that make it worthwhile.

folder 2 my pc

Add Folders to My Computer

I always thought that it would be pretty nice to be able to add the most used folders and applications to My Computer. I personally use My Computer to achieve two goals. First I use it to access my DVD and virtual drives to start applications for instance. The second use is that I access folders that I tend to use very often. Folders like my mp3 collection, profile folders and several applications fall under this category as well.

Autopatcher June 2007 for XP finally released

I mentioned three days ago in my blog that the Autopatcher team released the June 2007 patches for Windows Vista and just now they announced that the updates for XP can be downloaded as well from their sites. In case you missed the last post here is what Autopatcher does.

Torrent Swapper

Torrent Swapper is a bittorrent client with some interesting features that make it stick out of the crowd of bittorrent clients. First of all it was written in Python making it independent from any operating system. Several other clients offer this as well though and the main feature that distinguishes Torrent Swapper from other clients is the feature to share upload speed between computers.

Change the Windows System Tray Clock

The default clock that is shown on every Windows operating system in the lower left corner was always a thorn in my eyes. It displayed the time but the current date was always a click away. I always wanted to change this and customize the way the clock was displayed in the system tray leaving the boundaries of the Microsoft clock.

Kwik e mart 7 11

Simpsons promotion

Ok. I have seen lots of movie promotions but this one is topping them all. Remember the Simpsons tv series ? The Kwik-E-Mart were Apu is pressing money out of Homer and his friends ? Well, they apparently created several of those across the United States to promote the new Simpson movie.

Things that I would make different if I had the chance

I'm creating and maintaining Internet websites for a very long time and can look back to almost two years of successful blogging here at ghacks. While there is not much that I would change if I had the chance there are a few things that I would definitely made different if I had the chance to go back in the past and act again.

firefox environment backup extension febe

Firefox Environment Backup Extension

The Firefox Environment Backup Extension -short FEBE - offers a great and easy way to backup all Firefox settings, themes and extensions. I was looking for a way to synchronize all of my settings from my desktop computer to Firefox that was also installed on my notebook.