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

YubNub a social internet command line

The first time I saw the yubnub website I was thinking that no one would need this website at all but after some testing it became clear that it offers an easy way to access many services very fast without depending on bookmarks or links. If you do work with the command line in Windows or Linux you feel right at home, you enter a command and some parameters and yubnub does the rest.

iconoid

Beautify your desktop icons

It does not make much sense to have the prettiest background image if it is cluttered with shortcuts and other icons, especially the way windows handles them. Shortcuts come with an arrow in the icons and the background text that is displayed beneath the icons is not transparent. We are going to change this with a few short fixes.

Wii Sports Fitness Training

We all made our jokes when Nintendo's new system Wii emerged about how the fat video gaming kids would lose weight while playing video games. Well, someone decided to give it a try and use see if a daily Wii workout would reduce his weight and body fat. He called it the Wii Sports Experiment and had some astonishing results.

Bang Howdy Free Strategic Multiplayer Game

I seldom come upon a great freeware game with stunning graphics, gameplayer and multiplayer action. Bang Howdy has all of that and much more featuring fast based turn based action with a twist. The excellent tutorial covers all basic game elements and describes the various game modes that are available when playing online. All players choose a number of units before the game starts who all have advantages and disadvantages against certain types of units for example.

Migrate from Bitcomet to uTorrent

I finally decided to give uTorrent another try and switch from my favorite client Bitcomet to it. It seemed to me lately that Bitcomet was using more system resources than it was expected to use which is the main reason for the switch. Others are that the torrent community frowns upon Bitcomet naming it bandwidth stealer.

How to clone your hard drives

A recent forum post from ffolke at the ghacks forum asked about a free method to clone a hard drive to another one. There are actually several freeware tools out there that can do this and they distinguish each other mostly by ease of use and interface. The one tool that I would use for such a purpose is called DriveImage XML which supports SATA drivesn external hard drives and flash memory such as that of my iPod Nano.

grid move

Grid Move divides your desktop into grids

It is often a time consuming task to arrange three or more open windows on your desktop in a manner that the information of all windows is accessible. You drag them around, make one window smaller, place the next besides and reduce the size of the third one to match the remaining free space. Grid Move makes it all so much simpler.

Hey!Watch encode videos online

Hey!Watch is a great new web 2.0 service that makes it easy to convert video files online. Hey!Watch offers advanced features that no online encoding service offers at the moment. You may upload your own videos and encode them into a great selection of formats or use a bookmarklet or firefox plugin to convert videos found on websites such as youtube and dailymotion.

Odeo offers an impressive list of podcasts

I do like podcasts. I listen mostly to music when I'm traveling but I sometimes have the urge to listen to podcasts and especially those that teach me something or cover subjects that I'm interested in. Podcasts are a great way of keeping up with the latest trends and technology on the internet in a time saving manner. I do not have to be near a computer and I can learn about new stuff while sitting in a car or train.

Weather Forecast for your iPod

The iPod gets more and more functionality that only PDA and mobiles have at this time. Today it is a straightforward weather forecast which can be updated every time the iPod is connected to the computer that is running the weather for me software. Using weather for me is actually pretty simple. After you have downloaded the software you have to enter your name and email (or fake ones).

Tired of fake torrents? Block the source

We all knew and heard about the common method to upload fake torrents into the torrent system to punish downloaders of copyrighted media files. The Torrentfreak blog reports that some torrent admins were able to identify some of the IP ranges that spread fake torrents and probably also the company that is behind it. The easiest way to cope with the situation would be to block the IP ranges either in your firewall or in a utility such as Peer Guardian. Below are the information for Peer Guardian 2, simply use the IP ranges if you want to block the IPs in your firewall.

Game for the Weekeend Rumble Box

Rumble Box is a great freeware beat em up game which uses characters made of cubes and balls. Controls are pretty easy to figure out. Use the arrow keys to move your character, double tab forward for a dash, press the spacebar to hit and use Control to grab. The enemies enter the level through doors that appear in the walls that limit the box that you are fighting in. Defeated enemies stay in the level dispelled in the objects that they were composed off.

redirect remover

Use Splitlink for Firefox to check for Redirects

It is sometimes really difficulty to figure out the real url of a link. Parameters and Javascript can obscure links and mislead the user. Advanced users will know the methods to figure this out really quickly while inexperienced users will have troubles doing so. The extension Splitlink for Firefox aids the inexperienced in finding out about the links that they intend to click.

Use Orb to stream media on any device with internet access

Orb is a free software that changes your pc into a streaming server. If the Orb software is running on the pc every other device that has internet such as the Nintendo Wii, a notebook or pda can connect to a website and view any media file that is shared on the streaming server. The setup is really simple. Download the Orb software and install it on the computer that you want to use as the server.

Secure Windows XP

There are many articles floating around on the internet covering this subject and I would like to stay at the basics this time. A way to secure Windows XP with little effort. You can't make a system 100% secure, there will always be ways to beat every protection. I collected a list of things that should be done to secure the system, it is not a huge list but it covers all the necessary steps I think.

The Blob game - paint the city

I think I found a reference to the blob game in the donation coder blog. The task of the freeware game sounds simple. Collect colors and use them to colorize the city that you are in. You, the blob, roll around in the city and absorb the colors of non player characters that roam the streets. Colors get mixed if you absorb more than one of them and run out after a certain time of rolling around and coloring objects.

skype emoticons

Skype Emoticons

Did you know that there are more emoticons accessible in Skype than the 56 that are displayed during chats ? I'm not sure why those additional ones have not been included in the menu where you can choose the emoticons. The only way to add them to your text would be to enter them manually.

Pandora adds commercials

Pandora streams music over the internet which is related to a artist or song that you have entered at the beginning. The service is great to find new artists that make a similar kind of music than artists that you like to listen to. The service was completely free until now.

Wikipedia on your iPod

The iPod becomes more and more not only a music and video player but also a multi functional player which is able to display subway maps, books and now the contents of wikipedia. Wikipedia on your iPod is a huge ebook which is available in English, German and Italian. The English version is the biggest one with 1.5 GB of data followed by the German with 550 MB and the Italian with 170 MB.

shrink pictures

Resize images online

Most readers might think that it does not make sense to resize images online if you have a image viewer or image manipulation software installed which is able to perform the same task faster and without privacy concerns. I can only think of two uses where resizing images online would make sense.

Check your del.icio.us bookmarks

Checking the bookmarks that I saved at del.icio.us was a boring and long lasting task until I found the little java application called fresh del.icio.us which automatically checks the bookmarks that are stored in an account. You do need the java virtual machine to execute the jar file. After that you only have to supply your login and password to del.icio.us and click on the Fresh button.

portable sudoku

Sudoku Portable

Sudoku is a addictive puzzle game which became popular in Europe just a few years ago. The goal is to fill the nine 3x3 grids with the numbers of 1 to 9 each and exclusively for the whole row and column. The concept itself is pretty simple but there are various difficulty levels that make it quite a challenge.

dejaclick

Record Tasks with the Dejaclick add-on for Firefox

Don't we all hate those boring repetitious tasks that we perform everyday on the internet ? Open this website, log into that forum, check the ebay auctions, read mail accounts and rss feeds. Would not it be nice to start all of this with just a few clicks ? That is not the only thing that you can do with the Firefox add-on Dejaclick.

steganos locknote

Steganos Locknote standalone text encrypter

Most solutions that encrypt files require the installation of encryption software which has to be started again if you want to decrypt the encrypted files. A quick and easy way to encrypt text files would be to use the free Steganos Locknote program which encrypts text files using the 256 AES algorithm.

screengrab

Screengrab Add-on for Firefox 2.x

I have been using the Screengrab extension in Firefox 1.5 all the time. What it does is to save a website as an image. Everything is saved in the process which means that the image can become really big. I love it because I think it is so much easier and better to save a website as an image instead of saving the htm files with all the other elements using Save Page As.

Have a blog? Make it a successful one!

I have been writing about the basics of finding a domain name and creating a blog on that domain name. It can be quite frustrating however if you are full of ideas and write great articles but either no visitors show up or the earnings are not worth mentioning. Not every blog has to be monetized. I know of some that use their blogs purely for reasons such as publicity, discussion or for a reference in their resume.

wallbase

Websites with high quality wallpapers

Spam free wallpaper websites are rare these days and it does not happen every day that I find a new one which has enough quality wallpapers to get a recommendation on my site. The dont love me website is one of those which really deserves it. They offer more than 2000 quality wallpapers in about 20 categories ranging from 3D over Girls to XP wallpapers.

dvd styler

Convert and Burn Avis to DVD

I sometimes have the desire to create custom DVDs of movies that I own or that I downloaded to be able to view them on my tv using a dvd player. Many people might think that it is a rather difficult procedure to convert a avi file into a DVD compliant format and create DVD menus to be able to playback the movies on a standard DVD drive. This is not the case.

file menu tools

Change Right-Click Options with FileMenu Tools

Windows reacts in a predefined way if you right-click a folder, file or blank space. It offers all kinds of actions such as Open, Delete, Add to archive and Send to which is a convenient way but I sometimes have the feeling that some commands are missing in that dialog. The freeware FileMenu Tools makes it easy to add new entries to the file menu by offering a set of predefined actions that can be enabled with a mouse click.

etsy

Etsy the Ebay for handmade goods

Etsy is a website where people can buy and sell (only) homemade goods. Everything is neatly categorized and accessible through various innovative methods such as colors where you choose a color and the site displays everything that is offered in that color. Anyways there is also the traditional way of clicking through categories like Furniture, Children and Weddings.

ntfs disable 8dot3 name creation

Remove Ntfs Timestamps to speed up Vista

If you are using the nfts filesystem in windows xp you might know this registry hack to speed things up a little bit. The default mode is that every time you alter a file a timestamp will be saved which is for most users completely useless. Some backup programs or synchronizers use this feature but most others don't.

canto pod

Add Lyrics to your iPod

Would not it be nice to have lyrics for every song on your iPod to be able to sing along or look up some lines which were hard to understand. Canto Pod is a freeware application for Windows that makes it easy to add lyrics to most songs that you have on your iPod.

Fix Do not Disconnect on Ipod

Do not Disconnect was implemented on Apple Ipods to prevent data loss by warning the user not to disconnect the iPod while it is still in use on the computer. This message should be taken serious most of the time. If you transfer files to the iPod for instance. Removing the iPod while transferring files could lead to data loss and file corruption.

Game for the Weekend Alien Arena

Code Red Alien Arena reminds me a lot of the first Unreal Tournament and Quake 3 Arena games that came out. I think I was addicted to Unreal Tournament in 1999 playing in a high skilled CTF clan for more than a year. It was tremendous fun and we were all pretty disappointed when the successor brought shiny graphics and shitty gameplay to the community. Alien Arena has nice enough graphics for a freeware game but the most important aspect is of course the gameplay. What can I say, it is fun.

divx repair

Fix your Divx Movies

I guess one of the following situations has happened to everyone who is viewing Divx movies on his computer. If you have experienced a frozen image with the sound still playing normally or pixels that distort the image then Divx Repair is the program that you could use to fix the errors automatically.

thunderbird folder

Recover deleted or corrupted Thunderbird messages

It sometimes happens that I delete a mail by accident because it does look like spam or a message that I do not longer need. Thunderbird does not display that message anymore if it is completely deleted from the mail client. Unknown to many Thunderbird does not delete the messages but flags them only which means it is relatively easy to recover corrupted or deleted mails. This method only works if you have not compressed the mail folders because compressing removes deleted messages from the mail files.

How to create your own blog with domain Part 2

Welcome to the second part of the how to create your own blog with domain series. I would like to add some information about what I have said in the first part of this article. Hosting is essential of course but you should not be to afraid to make errors. I switched hosts three times before I found the one that offered me everything that I was looking for. The others decided to disable my website at a certain point because it was causing to much load and traffic on their network.

readyboost

Activate ReadyBoost in Windows Vista

Readyboost is a new disk caching technique in Windows Vista which uses flash memory from flash devices to boost system performance. Caching system ressources for small, random I/Os in flash ram is faster than caching them on one of your hard drives which speeds up certain disk reads by the factor 8-10.

Find out your bios password

The bios can be protected with a password to prevent others from accessing its settings. You have to enter the password to be able to access it, if you can't provide the correct one the access gets denied. The following method describes a way to recover the password if you forgot it or bought a used computer with a bios password.

How to create your own blog with domain Part 1

Creating your own blog is no big deal anymore. All you need is some time at hand to think about a topic that you want to write about. I found out that it best works with topics that you are passionate about. You could of course write about other topics but it is in my opinion much harder to output regular articles in a niche that you do not like or know that much. I'm also only writing about text blogs, not about the two other possibilities video blogs and podcasts.