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, 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

MY BLOG EARNINGS FOR JUNE 2007

Everton and several other users are publishing their blog earnings every month and I thought that I would do a similar thing with the exception that I will not publish the absolute numbers but only the percentage of what the service is earning. I feel not that comfortable to reveal my earnings in dollars because I feel that it belongs to my private life.

10 Freeware Recommendations

I had the chance to test hundreds of freeware and open-source softwares in the last months and would like to list 20 of them that I would recommend. I'm actually using half of them on my Windows XP computer right now and I'm glad that I made the change from some respected popular programs to lesser known but better alternatives.

Get the Vista Startmenu for XP

I'm not sure why someone would want to have the Windows Vista startmenu for Windows XP because I feel that the missing run box is not properly compensated by the search box. The look and feel are nice though and this might be the main reason why some users would consider switching to the new startmenu.

popular on youtube

Preview Daily Top 25 of Youtube with SlapVid

If you ever wondered how so many users are able to watch hundreds of videos that are published on Youtube on a daily basis you might want to consider using a service like SlapVid which offers previews of the daily top 25 videos at Youtube.

Free Video Conferencing with ooVoo

Video Conferencing might not be that interesting to most of my regular readers but I know that some of them actively use it for the business they run. The free video conferencing software ooVoo offers several elements that most, if not all, free softwares of that kind do not offer.

The first and most notable is the feature that up to six participants can use ooVoo simultaneously which is great if you want to video chat with your friends or need to bring people from different locations together to take part in a meeting. It runs pretty smooth even with six users and offers a good sound quality.

crunchyroll

Crunchyroll Asian Movie site with many translations

I love Asian movies, especially the ones from South Korea and Japan which sometimes reach a quality that is on par with only the most exclusive movies from Hollywood. But there is more than Takashi Miike and Takeshi Kitano, just consider all the great Anime movies or television series that rarely make an appearance on Western television.

Weekend Fun Purgatorio

The game for this weekend is a rather dark adventure called Purgatorio created with the Adventure Game Studio. It features an Irish soldier of the peacekeeping forces who gets shot in his arm during active duty only to wake up wounded in a strangely familiar looking town not able to remember how he went there.

Universal Share Downloader

I wrote an article about the software Rapget yesterday which could be used to queue downloads for files that are hosted on file hosting websites such as rapidshare or megaupload. Rapget had the problem, that the download from rapidshare for instance was not working if you did not have a premium account.

How to create a successful rewarding blog

I got several emails the last days asking me about tips on how to start a blog or improve an already established blog which in the end led to the post that I'm currently writing. I sometimes hear the argument that it does not make sense to start a blog because there are so many blogs out there that already cover all topics that one can write about.

While this is definitely not true for all topics you will face serious difficulties if you want to create just another gadget or technology blog unless you can provide something that the other blogs can't. While it will probably not be worthwhile to just copy and paste what established sites like Gizmodo or Engadget write it could be worthwhile to write about the same topics from a different point of view.

Use Rapget to queue downloads from file hosts

Rapget is a sweat little freeware program that can be used to download multiple files at once from over 60 file hosts including Rapidshare.com, Megaupload.com, Yourfilehost.com and others. The real beauty of Rapget lies in the fact that it automatically bypasses the annoying captcha that is used on most websites to prevent access with download managers.

It is furthermore possible to add username and password of premium accounts if available which has to be done for several services unfortunately. I was not able to download files from rapidshare.com for instance without adding premium account details.

How to defeat most keyloggers on public computers

Keyloggers can generally be classified as either software or hardware keyloggers. Software keyloggers are running as a background task on the system while hardware keyloggers are little devices that are most of the time connected between pc and keyboard recording every keystroke in their own memory.

toneshared

Get free electronic ringtones at Toneshared

The distribution of ringtones for mobile phones is a very lucrative business if you consider that there are more than 3 billion mobile phones out there in the world. You can buy ringtones of every popular song in existence but it is rather hard to get those ringtones for free.

Toneshared is offering a large, free collection of electronic and alternative ringtones that can be downloaded right from their website. It is furthermore possible to listen to the ringtones before downloading them. Ringtones are sorted by artist, popularity and age. I don't know any of the artists mentioned on Toneshared but if you like electronic music you might probably know some of them.

Erase Personal Information from iTunes Plus Songs

The outcry of the Internet community was loud and clear when then information was published that songs purchased without DRM from Apple's iTunes store would contain the name and username of the buyer. Horror scenarios where created that suggested that someone could get convicted if his purchased songs would be found on P2P websites even if he did not share them personally.

speed dial options

Speed Dial Firefox Extension

The new version of Opera introduced a so called Speed Dial feature which displays nine thumbnails of websites for fast access that have been selected by the user. The nine websites are displayed when the user opens a new blank tab or a new blank window and can be accessed by either clicking on the thumbnails or pressing the corresponding numbers (1-9).

The exact same feature is now available as a Firefox extension Speed Dial. Websites can be assigned to the nine spots by using the "Set as Speed Dial" entry in the Bookmarks menu. This is slightly more uncomfortable than in Opera where it is possible to click one of the nine spots and select an entry from the bookmarks.

Use the Windows Vista style in XP

I'm not sure why someone would want to change the style of his XP installation to that of Windows Vista but it seems that the demand for this is immense. Version 7 of the Vista Transformation Package has been released yesterday which turns your ordinary XP style into one that resembles the style of Windows Vista.

Best Way to tag your mp3 music collection

Everton from Connected Internet posted a nice article where he is detailing his steps to add tags and cover artwork to his mp3 collection using a few selected freeware programs and iTunes. He suggests to use Picard for the tagging process because Picard is able to add most tags of known albums automatically.

The only information that are not added by Picard are the cover artwork and the genre. It is understandable that the genre is not being added because it is sometimes difficulty to select a genre that everyone would be comfortable with. Itunes will be used to add the cover artwork right from the iTunes store.

Optimize Firefox for Widescreen Monitors

Firefox is not optimized for widescreen or dualscreen monitors leaving lots of empty space when surfing the Internet. Jonathon Weare came up with a solid way to change the layout of Firefox to suit the needs of widescreen monitors by moving several elements of Firefox to different positions.

His first idea was to move the bar with all the tabs from the top location into the sidebar which adds two benefits. The first benefit is that the space on the sides is used to store elements that are needed for browsing while the second is that the tab bar is removed from the top location adding more space for the actual website.

tv shows

Want to watch TV Shows online? Use TV Links

TV Links is a very comprehensive up to date website that offers links to hundreds of TV shows, movies, cartoons, anime, music videos and sport shows. The main url brings you to the listing of all available TV shows which start with all episodes of 24 and end with Zoey 101.

desktop tower defense

Desktop Tower Defense Upgrade

The popular Desktop Tower Defense game has been upgraded from version 1 to 1.5 bringing new excitement and frustration to the already excellent game. Several new enemies and towers have been included that make the game more enjoyable although I think that it did not rise in difficulty that much.

I can only talk about the medium mode that I tried today which I passed at first try and the challenge mode to beat 100 levels which is tough as always. I was not able to beat the challenge mode though, it becomes extremely difficulty at levels 75+ at least with the strategies that I have tried.

The five most embarassing ways to die in an FPS

I had a good laugh when I read the article "The five most embarassing ways to die in an FPS" which describes five entertaining (for the others) and embarassing (for the one being killed) ways to die in first person shooters.

I have been playing pro level Unreal Tournament for about two years and it was always a pleasure to witness an embarassing death. Unreal Tournament however was not the only game that I was playing. I also enjoyed Quake 3 Arena, Counter Strike (Source) and many other PC shooters.

Find out which audio or video codec is missing

Nothing is more frustrating than to witness that the movie that you downloaded for hours won't play on your computer. Maybe there is only black screen, no audio, blurred pictures or out of sync audio and video. The most likely cause for this behavior is that a audio or video codec is missing on your system.

Apple iPhone commercials

I did not pay much attention to the Apple iPhone hype until now but today the newest commercial for the iPhone caught my attention on Youtube. The first thing that struck my mind was that the navigation was blazing fast. As you might know a multi-touchscreen is being used for writing and navigating through menus.

It looks more like a multimedia gadget with phone capabilities than the other way round which I personally do not like that much. I like slim, fast gadgets that are not that bloated than the iPhone. I would never for instance watch Youtube videos on such a Gadget, does not make sense to me.

Weekend fun Starshine

Starshine is a neat little browser game suitable for all ages. It is a relaxing addictive puzzle game with 50 levels. The screen consists of a outer ring that is used to fire one shooting star at neatly placed stars that send out additional shooting stars. You need to create a chain reaction to hit all stars of the level with your shooting star.

Super Fast Uncensored Image Hosting

It seems that the lovely Swedes from The Piratebay are branching more and more into different Internet services. After announcing their Youtube competitor they released an uncensored image hosting service called Bayimg.

Uncensored means that it is possible to upload all kinds of pictures as long as they are legal under Swedish law which is pretty much everything imaginable. The site is blazing fast, uses a slick ajaxified interface and tags to categorize images.

Impressive Dual Screen Wallpapers

It becomes more common to use two monitors at once to increase productivity. Several of my friends already have two monitors setup as dual monitors to be able to display twice the amount of information on the screen. This makes perfect sense for users who do need a lot of information on the screen at once.

I know some Poker players for instance who use two monitors to play eight games at once. It is actually pretty hard to find wallpapers for dual monitor setups. Sure, you could merge two wallpapers and use them as the background but it is also possible to use dual screen wallpapers from the site that I just found.

Hurrican Final a Turrican Remake

Turrican was one of the great plattform shooters on the Commodore 64 featuring awesome music, gameplay and graphics. It spawned numerous successful sequels and a group of enthusiasts decided to create a Turrican remake which they called Hurrican. They began working on the remake five years ago and released the final version today.

Epoq MP4 Wrist Watch

My immediate reaction to the Epoq MP4 wrist watch was that I thought that it was a really cool idea. I was not able to come up with a lot of applications for it but it looked really cool. The watch acts as a standard music and video player supporting formats such as mp3, wma and mp4.

Pictures can be viewed as well and everything can be uploaded using a normal USB 2.0 port. The mp4 wrist watch comes with different storage capacities, the largest being 2 Gigabytes of space which should be enough for lots of videos in that resolution. There is also the option to choose a widescreen lcd display instead of a normal one.

mp3 to m4b converter

Mp3 to iPod Audio Book Converter

Did you know that the iPod is supporting two additional audiobook features ? Audiobooks in the m4b format support the adjustment of the reading speed and pointers to the last reading position of the audiobook. Those features are not available if your audiobooks have the extension mp3.

What Online Services would you recommend?

I saw this topic at the Connected Internet blog and thought that it would be nice to round up all the Online Services that we can't live without anymore. I'm not speaking about Email, Usenet or ICQ but websites that offer something that you really enjoy, would recommend and don't want to miss anymore.

Create Custom Name Folder

Don't you hate it when Windows creates a new folder all the time with the name new folder ? This can be quite problematic if you have to create a number of folders in a row or during your daily routine.

The tiny software integrates itself seamlessly into the windows Explorer adding advanced folder creation options to the right-click menu of it. You can choose a combination from any of the following:

Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack

Microsoft Office introduced several new file formats which can't be read by older versions of the various Office products. I'm not sure why Microsoft decided to change the file formats but it is really a hassle for me. I'm running Office 2007 on my system while my girlfriend is still running an older version of Microsoft Office.

It happened twice already that she worked on my computer and saved a Microsoft Word format in the new format (.docx) and was not able to read the file on her computer. She does not have Internet access there which means that it was really problematic to get the right format on her computer.

Vispa is xpy for Vista

Vispa is a free software that lets you change and disable many features of Windows Vista that you may not like or make use of.  I'm thinking of features that phone home […]

Microsoft Video Screensaver for XP

Windows Vista Ultimate users have Dreamscene which brings video screensavers to their operating systems. Several hacked versions of Dreamscene have been published that can be installed on other Vista editions as well but not on Windows XP. Microsoft however released a video screensaver for XP in 2005 which makes me wonder why they limited Dreamscene to Vista Ultimate only.

The Microsoft Video Screensaver should work on all versions of Windows XP and includes one video from Microsoft. You can choose to use one or more of the videos located on your computer instead. You do this by pointing to a folder that contains at least one video.

Microsoft Brazilian Beaches Themes for XP

Microsoft Brazilian Beaches, also called Microsoft Praias do Brasil, is a theme collection that contains four themes for Windows XP. All four do change the general appearance of Windows XP including the background image which is showing an image of a Brazilian beach with additional information attached.

Skreemr Mp3 Search

If you are looking for a great mp3 search engine you should head over to Skreemr immediately. The interface looks pretty much like Google's interface. Just a search box and some links that point to some inner pages. All you need to do to get it working is enter a name of an artist, album or song and Skreemr searches its database for reference to your search string.

A search for Linkin Park revealed more than 2300 entries. Each search results page contains ten links to mp3's with information about the absolute link to the mp3, a description, name and details as well as a basic music player that connects and plays the mp3. The file size is the most important information next to the song name of course because it can be used as an indicator of the quality of the song.

Sync iTunes with non iPod mp3 players

I do not know why some users swear on iTunes and prefer to use it as their main software for their music collection. The biggest drawback in my opinion is that iTunes was designed to only work with iPods and not other mp3 players from different manufacturers. I personally think that it is a bit way of to install iTunes if you do not own an iPod but apparently some users are doing it.

Pstart

Use PStart to access your portable devices

PStart is a nice handy application that makes it easy to start applications or open folders on your portable devices. One of the main disadvantages of Windows is that it uses absolute paths in its shortcuts which becomes a big problem if a drive letter changes. A click on the shortcut to the portable version of Firefox would return a not found error message if the driver letter of the USB device changed after the creation of the shortcut.

Switchplanet a social, media trading site

Please note that the following article is a paid review. You can be sure that I’m only accepting reviews of products or services that I think are interesting enough to be mentioned on my website and that I would consider using myself or that I'm actually using already.

Take a look at your CD, DVD, Game or Book collection for a minute. Do you see something that you will never use again ? I bet you do. What if I was to tell you that you could trade the media that you do not need anymore against new media that you are interested in ? This is the basic concept of Switchplanet.

Weekend Fun Vector Tower Defense

It is Friday again and as usual I'm writing about one great game for the weekend that will keep you occupied for hours or even days. This time it is another Tower Defense type of game. These games have become extremely popular in the online community and we will most likely see a lot of those games in the next months.

Vector TD is a better Tower Defense game. Your objective is to destroy the enemy vectors before they can reach the exit of the level. You loose one life for every vector that reaches the exit. The game ends when you have no lives left or when you beat all the levels of the game.

No Good Television

A word of caution before I start the article. If you are easily offended by strong language or a minor you should stop reading right now and read some other articles on my site. No Good TV is a Internet TV portal that looks and feels a lot like the Joost or Bablegum with the difference that No Good TV is a web application.

All you need is your browser to view the shows. The layout of the site is rather chaotic and it takes a while to get used to it - well, unless you like to watch MTV a lot. It really reminds me of the shows that are shown on MTV all the time these days. You can select to view various channels such as Down and Dirty, Dirty Music Videos or Reel Junkies.