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

Fix for missing mails in Thunderbird

The current version of Thunderbird 1.5.0.8 has a major bug that causes some mail that is downloaded from the server to disappear. Thundebird displays the number of new mails that is in a folder but if you click in that folder the new mail that should be there is not. The first time I have read about this message was on the mozillazine forum where a user named soulek described the problem that he encountered after upgrading to Thunderbird 1.5.0.8.

test disk

Testdisk - A Free Data Recovery CD

Ever encountered a problem on your computer that made it impossible to access a partition or complete hard drive ? Or something that erased your Master Boot Record which meant that you were not able to boot your operating system as usual ? Something like this could happen if you try to install a new operating system to dual boot both systems for example. If you do not know what caused this and do not know tools that can fix this your only option is to install the operating system again.

Create a Multimedia XP Screensaver

Screensavers are boring. The default ones that ship with Windows XP either show a static picture or animated text that quickly becomes boring. Would not it be much nicer to spice up the screensaver and create something fantastic, something that everyone else who would see it would want as well ? The Windows XP Video Screensaver is the solution; This freeware is able to play video files and / or audio files that function as a screensaver.

Watch Arrested Development on MSN

The first five episodes of the tv series Arrested Development have been released on MSN and can be viewed directly from the browser. As suspected the site only supports Internet Explorer and Media Player. If you are using a different browser or movie player it will ask you to download those programs from Microsoft and use them to view the show. This if of course a big drawback but fans will surely go the extra mile for this series.

Windows Error Codes Explained

What do you do if windows pops up saying the operating was aborted because of Error Code 32 ? Not really helpful is it ? Looking it up would be one solution but this is not the best one. A register with all error codes would be helpful and Gregory Brauns Error Messages for Windows is just that. Once installed you can either type in an error code or view the complete list of codes.

dll archive

Remove old dll files from your system

The uninstallation of files does not always seem to work as intended on Windows XP, it is no secret that the system folder grows over time. If you delete a program directory by hand for example all dll files in the system directory remain where they are. There is also the case where you want to uninstall a program and a window pops up asking wether you want to delete a driver which could be used by other programs as well.

Check out your surfing habits with Page Addict

If you are interested in stats about your general surfing habits then page addict might come in handy. This firefox extension records the time that you visited a website and displays some nice graphs showing the dates, the minutes you have been on those sites and the total amount of minutes that you were using firefox on that day. That is of course not everything: You may tag a site or more than one site and check the stats of those tags as well. If you visit cnn, bbc and yahoo for work you could tag them "work" and receive the exact amount of time that you visited those sites.

reduce fan speed

How to reduce the fan speed of the Nvidia Geforce 6600 GT

This trick might actually work with more cards than just my Nvidia Geforce 6600 GT card manufactured by MSI. The default fan noise is so irritating that I was looking for ways to either turn it down by software, bios upgrades or replacing the fan. I preferred the software method over flashing the bios over buying a new fan that could replace the old one. After consulting google with searchtearms like geforce 6600 fan speed, reduce fan speed geforce and similar strings I finally found a forum entry that was about the problem I faced.

Create your own Flipbooks from Avi files

Donationcoder - do you know the website ? Mouser is a regular here at ghacks and I had the pleasure to test some of his excellent applications before. Flipbook Printer is another great idea especially for birthdays, the holiday season or other occurrences where kids are around. It makes it possible to create flipbooks from avi files and is easy to manage.

Yahoo bought a site I never heard about

Ever heard about Bix ? Bix.com to be precise. Don't be ashamed to admit that you never heard about it either. I read about the site today and decided to pay a visit to website I never heard about before. I always thought I know everything that is going on but it seems that some sites seem to slip through my grasps. Back to Bix: Bix is a contest site that seems to be pretty famous for it's Karaoke contests.

Top Xp Freeware that every user needs part 3

What ? Part 3 ? You said that there would be only two parts in the top xp series. I know that I said that but I wanted to write a third part because of the nice comments that the other two parts recieved. (access part 1 and part 2) This time I will write about the lesser known tools, special purpose ones that most users do not need but some can't live without. I thought it would be nice to give those tools some exposure as well, they are great and they deserve it.

Block windows update from automatic updating to IE7

It seems that Microsoft added the upgrade to Internet Explorer 7 to the automatic upgrade feature of Windows XP. Automatic Updates will notify the user that a new version is ready for download giving the user the option to Install, Don't Install and Ask Me Later. It seems a pressing matter to Microsoft to get a large basis of Internet Explorer 7 users in a hurry to regain lost grounds in the waging browser war against Opera and Firefox.

Ultrastar - Singstar like game for your PC

Have you ever played Singstar on the Playstation 2 ? It is a Karaoke like game that is great fun if you play it with some friends. Ultrastar looks clearly like it was inspired by Singstar. The big advantage ? It is completely free and offers many texts for songs on various websites on the internet. You need to download the Ultrastar main program from Sourceforge at the beginning, it is only 500k which means it should be a fast download even for slow connections.

Top XP Freeware that every user needs Part 2

I promised to write a second part of the article Top XP Freeware that every user needs and here it comes. I was concentrating on security aspects in the first article and will not write about every other freeware that every windows user should have on his system. I might miss one or two but I know that you will comment on this and help you me out.

cover retriever

Free Album Art Cover Downloader

Many portable media players and software players support album cover art which is displayed when a song is played from within the player. Most players unfortunately do not have a feature that automatically searches for and downloads album cover art for the album s that you have stored on your computer. One of the tools that can help you if you like to have album cover art displayed is Album Cover Art Downloader.

Nintendo Wii Launch Games

The Nintendo Wii will come out in the United States November 19th, 2006, in Japan on December 2nd, 2006 and in Europe on December 8th, 2006. The Nintendo Wii features a unique method of controlling the action on screen which could revolutionize the way games are played on video game systems. It concentrates on this aspect instead of pure horsepower like the ps3 and xbox 360.

Top XP Freeware that every user needs

Using Windows XP without those nifty little freeware programs is not a good idea. When you run it out of the box it is slow, offers many features no one needs, lacks many that everyone needs and raises privacy concerns that can only be fixed using third party tools. This is basically a listing of programs that I install everytime I setup Windows XP on a computer, the must have freeware utilities in my opinion.

Triple Boot Vista, XP and Ubuntu

I like guides like the following. The author is detailing the process to triple boot Windows Vista, Windows XP and Ubuntu with one single boot screen. I always thought how I would react when Vista comes out and I figured that I had to install it to bring you the latest and greatest tips about Vista next to XP. I always wanted to make the switch to Linux and it is a great coincidence that I decided to try Ubuntu first.

Burn Audio CDs using exotic audio formats

Most burning tools that support the creation of audio CDs support only the most common formats by default. Those formats are normally mp3, wav or wma. Some suits support other formats as well but I never found a burning suit that supported all of the formats that I needed. One way to solve this issue would be to use plugins that would increase the supported formats, one plugin pack for Nero can be downloaded here. (Click on Nero Audio-Plug-Ins..)

Why you should not buy a Zune player

Before you judge the article by looking at the title read on and you may understand why I suggest that you do not buy one of the Zune players that are offered […]

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Automatically sort files with Filesort

Do you have a folder with many files and file types in it ? Sorting those files reminds me a lot of two famous stories I heard when I was a child, namely those of Cinderella and Sisyphus. If you ever tried sorting a folder with 10000+ files you know what I mean. I always thought that it would be great to have a freeware that would help me presort the files and let me do the fine tuning afterwards.

Playstation 3 Launch Titles

I thought it would be a nice idea to take a quick look at all of the Playstation 3 launch titles. As you all know the PS3 was released yesterday in Japan and will be released in the United States on November 17th. Europe, Australia and the rest of Asia will have to wait another 4+ months before the PS3 makes its official debut. Please note that everything that follows is my impression of the launch titles, it does not necessarily mean that the games I do not like are bad, it simply means that I would never buy those games.

Get rid of obsolete drivers

Did you ever upgrade the hardware of your computer with, lets say, a new graphic or sound card ? Did you know that the drivers and registry settings of the old cards are still on your system and normally not removed ? This could let to errors especially if you did install additional utilities that try to speed up video playback for instance. I'm going to show a way to remove all those obsolete drivers and registry settings.

Xbox 360 HD can be connected to your pc

Some scene guys apparently released a driver for Windows XP that makes it capable to connect and detect the Xbox 360 HD-DVD drive that was released a few days ago in the United States. I do not own a Xbox 360 nor the HD-DVD add-on (of course) but this could be great news for some of you guys out there that do own both. All you need is to get hold of the driver which was released under the name XBOX360.HD-DVDRom.UDF.Reader.v2.5.WindowsXP-BluePrint.

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Join multiple video files into one

Websites sometimes split movies into smaller parts to make it easier for users with low bandwidth access to the internet to download the movies without facing problems like timeouts. Once downloaded it is rather tiresome to view such a movie because you have to click on each part which naturally means a short pause between the last and the next movie.

A Free Game for the Weekend: True Combat Elite

True Combat Elite is a total conversion of Enemy Territory. Both games are free which means you can just visit the developers website and download them to your computer and start playing the games. Versions for PC, MAC and Linux exist. The installation itself can be a bit tricky at first, let me guide you through that process later on in this article. True Combat is a modern warfare game similar to Counterstrike Source, you play either on the Terrorist or the Anti-Terror side.

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Faster Access to XP system tools

What do you do if you want to access one of the administrative programs in Windows XP ? You click through various menus most of the time to reach the destination. If you wanted to reach the Device Manager you would have to click on Start, Control Panel, System, Hardware Tab and then the Device Manager.

myuninstaller

An alternative uninstaller for Windows

The uninstaller that ships with Windows is slow and lacks functionality. You have to enter your control panel, click on add or remove programs and a new window with most installed programs pops up. Information in that window are scarce - only the program name and the size of the installation is displayed. You do not see the directory the software is installed, the registry keys it is using or the name of the company that developed the software.

auto window manager

Auto Window Manager

The freeware Auto Window Manager adds additional functionality to the way windows manages the windows it displays. You could for instance customize that whenever a program opens it opens in maximized, minimized or default state. This setting should work with most programs and windows, i tried it with firefox and thunderbird for example.

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Tiny Menus for Firefox

This tip is for those users who like to maximize the width and heights of web pages that they visit. You might have noticed that the menu bar in firefox takes up a complete row at the top of the screen. I always pondered with the thought that there had to be a way to make it either smaller or merge it with the navigation bar. Enter Tiny Menu.

Why it might be a good idea to use Open DNS

I decided to read more about open dns after I read Evertons article "Does open dns really speed up web pages" on his great website connected internet. He was trying to find out why a dns service that was using servers in the United States would be faster than the dns service offered by his own internet service provider. The connection to the latter is of course faster than the connection to the open dns servers - so, why would it be faster or even more reliable ?

xp iso builder

Upgrade a Windows XP Recovery CD to a full installation one

Many hardware companies sell their systems with a windows xp recovery cd which makes it most of the time impossible to install that operating system on a different system. This forces the user to either buy a new XP system or at least a standalone XP Cd, that is, unless you do what I'm going to explain here. The following steps create a bootable standalone installation system for your operating system that is not connected to the computer you purchased it with.

Ipod Errors and Freezes - how to fix them

Ipods can be compared to small computers that thankfully do not run on a windows operating system. They still tend to spit out an occasional error once in a while. Most of the time it either freezes, is stuck in disk mode or displays other errors that are not that common. (like icons that should not be there).

folder redirector

Move Special Folders like My Documents to a different path

If you want to move folders that are automatically created by windows xp on your c: drive to another path or folder you might face a problem. Simply moving the folders won't work which means there must be another way to relocate them. The easiest way that I've come up with is to use the freeware called Folder Redirector which makes it simple and fast to redirect the following folders to a different folder or drive on your system.

secure website phishing

Realtime Anti-Phishing Add-on for Firefox gone bad

Phishing, as wikipedia puts it, is a criminal activity using social engineering techniques. I receive daily mails that seem to come from respected websites like ebay, amazon or financial sites that ask me to update my software by following a link from within the email. This leads to a fake website that looks similar to the website that you normally visit. Once you enter your login data the criminals will have and use that information for their own advantage.

ametro

Add Subway maps to your iPod

I don't like those big subway maps that you get for free when you visit cities like London, Paris or New York. They are big, they tell everyone that you are a tourist (attracts criminals) and not that handy if you need a quick answer about a certain subway you need to catch.

check for new messages thunderbird

How to get mail from all thunderbird accounts at once

The email client Thunderbird does not necessarily retrieve messages from all of your mail accounts at startup. By default the first mail account will be checked on startup and all mail accounts will be checked every ten minutes. The following user.js tweak changes this behavior in the way that Thunderbird retrieves mail from all accounts at startup as well.

How to disable game intro movies

I hate game intro movies with a passion. Some games force the user to view about half a dozen of intros without giving him the change to escape them because the normal keys that cancel the playback are disabled. If you are unlucky you have to watch the producers logo, the developments team logo, nvidia, another team that worked on the game (multiplayer part for instance), the normal intro, an EA logo..

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Southpark Nintendo Wii Episode

What is going on in Southpark ? After the highly successful World of Warcraft Episode the producers published a second episode that is centered around entertainment technology. Cartman longs for the Nintendo Wii and can't wait the three weeks until it will be released in the United States. He comes to the conclusion that deep freezing himself is the only solution which reduces the wait time. The plan goes terribly wrong.. but see for yourself.

audacity mp3 ringtones

Create your own mp3 ringtones

Most teens love ringtones, new ones, unique ones that none of their friends have. It almost seems like a race for the newest coolest ringtone which starts again with every passing day. One method to get the newest ringtones would be to buy them for horrendous prices - honestly I never understood why users would pay so much money for a 20 seconds song. A better (cheaper) way would be to create the ringtones on your own which ensures two things: