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.
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
The Adbobe PDF document that is currently loading is slowing down the whole computer ? Quicktime takes ages to initialise ? Media Player is unbelievable slow and tries to phone home ? Why donÂ´t you try freeware alternatives to those heavyweight programs ? IÂ´am already using alternatives and my system became faster and more stable while keeping the same functionality.
The message "Disk Mode Ok to Disconnect" appeared suddenly on my Ipod Nano without me knowingly turning this mode on. I tried to use the buttons or the wheel to turn it off but nothing seemed to work. I was getting desperate and decided to google for a solution. Many people are using the Ipod and it was highly unlikely that I was the only one experiencing this strange disk mode.
You have got lots of different file formats on your computer: jpg, jpeg, gif, bmp and png or rtf,txt,doc and pdf for instance. The big question that comes to my mind is why do we need that many formats. Most file formats offer no gain over the other, would not it make sense to convert all files of a certain type to one format only ?
It is very handy to have a linux live CD at hand when your system crashes and your operating system of choice does not boot anymore. This could mean that either the software or the hardware fails to load the operating system. You should try to diagnose the problem with a live CD before thinking of reinstalling the operating system or exchanging parts of the hardware.
TweakUi should be one of the first programs to install after the Microsoft Windows XP Setup. It offers a wide range of features, aka tweaks, that override Windows XPs default settings. After installing the freeware you can access it in your start menu in the folder powertoys for windows xp. TweakUi consists of tabs on the left side that expand in the right main window once you click on them. Tabs include Explorer, Mouse, Logon and Templates for instance.
Password chart is an online service that helps you improve the quality of your passwords. The principle is pretty easy: You enter a phrase at the beginning which will be used to create the password chart. An example would be "Make your passwords stronger with passwordchart.com" or "https://www.ghacks.net/ is gr3at". The password chart will be displayed on the right side of the screen changing while you are adding new chars to the phrase. You can opt to add numbers and punctuation for increased security, they will be added to the chart on the right.
IÂ´am always leaving my computer for the time that it is defragmenting the hard drives, it takes way to long to sit there and wait for the process to finish. The defragmentation seems to take forever to finish on my three hard drives and I was looking for a way to speed things up a bit and reduce the time that I could not work with my computer.
Panicwipe is a one click solution to delete unwanted files securely from your system. The freeware is able to delete programs, files, folders, registry entrys, IE cache, history and cookies with one simple click. YouÂ´ve got full control over the whole process of course: you select the data that you want to delete, everything else remains.
Do you know about the differences between Blue-Ray and HD-DVD ? I mean, the real differences, not the technical mumbo jumbo that has no meaning in real life. With the releases of Training Day, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Rumor has it on Blue-Ray and HD-DVd the guys at High Def Digest were able to compare the two formats directly. All three reviews analyze the video and audio quality, the depth of supplemental content, the overall ease of use and menu navigation.
A web proxy is becoming more and more important in todays internet. Schools and Companys tend to block sites pretty quickly nowadays, especially when the blocking is directed at just a few websites and not every website in that category. Web Proxys might be able to sneak past this policies and display the site in your browser even though it is banned in the network.
The following tip might be useful for all the webmasters out there and everyone else who is having access to a ftp drive on the internet. Instead of connecting to the ftp with your ftp software you can simply mount the ftp drive in windows and access it like every other hard drive you have installed. Here is how you do that:
You see lots of file types when you right click and select new from the context menu. I will never need most of them and I think this is a common problem for most windows xp users. How many users would need the briefcase entry in that menu for instance ? I donÂ´t know a single person who would use that entry on this machine.
I found a great website that lists 150 popular Firefox extensions and checks if Opera offers their functionality as well. The main part of Rijks comparision consists of a table that has the 150 most popular (based on the most popular category on the mozilla firefox website) Firefox extensions on the left side and one of four possible results for Opera on the right side.
IÂ´am sometimes deleting files holding down the shift-key without thinking much about it. It happens that I delete a file that I did not want to be deleted at that moment because it is still needed on my system. A very easy way to restore files that have been accidentally deleted is Restoration which is a nice little freeware application that scans your hard disk and lists all files than can be either partially or fully restored.
The windows tuning freeware Fresh UI has been released in a new version and I thought this would be a good moment to write an article about the software. You can customize and tweak your windows operating system with fresh ui, every windows system since 95 is supported. You find six categories on the left side at the start of the program which expand in subcategories when you click on them.
How much time do you spend surfing the internet using firefox daily ? What ? You can only guess the amount of time ? The Timetracker extension for firefox will help you track the time you used firefox. Maybe you get paid for surfing the web and you want to keep track of the time to know how much you will earn. Maybe you are just a curious lad who wants to know how much you are surfing a day / week / month or even year.
Your friend said it is a great movie but the damn thing wonÂ´t play in your computer. The screen remains black and you hear no audio at all. Many users tend to download a huge codec package and install it on their system. Sure, the movie most likely plays fine after this method but it seems a bit like an overkill if installing one single codec would have lead to the same result.
When a work's copyright or patent restrictions expire, it enters the public domain and may be used by anyone for any purpose. All the movies, concerts, documentations and animations on the free movies website are public domain. The site holds currently 93 movies and 85 documentaries plus additional animations and concert videos.
You might have heard this story before. Microsoft was holding a press conference in which they wanted to demonstrate the voice recognition capabilities of the upcoming Windows Vista operating system. Unfortunately for Microsoft the voice recognition did not work as intended.
This freeware tool is so sweet. I hate when dozens of windows clutter my precious taskbar space with no means to minimize them to the tray. I especially donÂ´t like it when IÂ´am not using the program for a long time but want to keep it running, for example transcoding large video streams.
I have written a small php script that lookups your IP, your browser, the refering site and the remote port. The website has no ads at all and loads pretty fast. This might be useful for those who are using proxys and want to check if those proxys are spilling their IP address or not. The RIAA for example is identifying downloaders by their IP address.
I have lots of bookmarks, not only in Firefox but also in Internet Explorer and Opera. It happens sometimes when I want to open a bookmark that I have not used for a while that the link points to a dead url which makes me search for mirrors or cached versions of the page. Ultimately I remove the link from the favorites because it is dead and most likely will not be revived at a later date.
I love playing boardgames with friends, itÂ´s always funny and exciting and I enjoy those evenings very much. It is unfortunatly happening that I would like to play boardgames when none of my friends are available. I could play by myself but this is rather boring. One alternative would be to look for online versions of those games and play against computers or other human players over the internet.
Accessing keys in the registry is a lot of work, because there is no way to enter the path to the key directly. You always have to either search for the key or navigate through the structure to the key in question. RegeditX enhances the display of your registry by adding a path form field to it. This makes it way easier to work with the registry, you can simply paste complete paths into that field and are taken directly to the specified key at the end of the chain.
Microsoft Groupbar is a freeware application for windows xp that offers an enhanced window management capability. Groupbar does not need to be installed, just download the file and start GroupBar.exe. The tool automatically appears as a sidebar on the left of your screen but can be placed in the other three corners as well. The sidebar displays all running applications, you are free to sort them anyway you like.
Some Firefox extensions seem to cause problems when enabling them, like making firefox slower or even crash the browser. This is of course not intended behaviour but it still occurs rather frequently when new extensions are released. The problematic extensions web site lists known bugs and workaround for many firefox extensions.
Yeah this sounds crazy at first glance but a friend of mine and I thought of something similar just a few days ago. So, let us destroy some websites. My first target: Microsoft, the weapon: Muddy Footprints. After approximately one minute the complete site was full of mud. Great, now something more devastating. I placed some nasty landmines on the website of my good old friend Derryck from connectedinternet.
This topic might not look interesting at first glance but I promise it will be worth reading it. More than 900 readers subscribed to the feeds of ghacks.net using feedburner alone while many more are using different services to read my feeds. But what are feeds ? They are a short abstract of every article that gets posted here. This means whenever I write an article it will automatically appear in those peoples feed reader software. Many browsers for instance are able to read feeds or can be upgraded to read them.
Mozilla Firefox comes preinstalled with seven search engines which are Google, Yahoo, Amazon, Answers, Creative Commons, Ebay and Furl. Those are probably not the best selections, most probably missed that there are more search engines than Google preinstalled. Adding new search engines that might prove more useful can be easily added by going to the mozilla search engine page.
Chris asked me yesterday if I knew of a good freeware backup program for windows and I replied to him that Syncback would be such a tool. I discovered another one and thought it would be nice to share this one with everyone. The backup tool is called Drive Image XML, it is completely freeware and runs in windows xp and windows 2003 server only. If you are running a different version of windows use Syncback.
I have been recieving an email lately asking for a freeware utility that would be able to convert most known video formats into each other. When I saw the webpage for Super the first time I was reminded of that email and thought it was a big coincidence that I found such a converter that fast. The tool stands out for several reasons, first it is freeware which is always good, second it does not require that you install the needed codecs - it has all codecs on board.
You have uninstalled the program completly and are sure that no reference is left on your computer. What if there is still one left that you probably did not know about ? Every item that appears on the left side of the clock in the taskbar will be cached by windows which means that the icon of the program is still available on your system. Check this out by yourself by right-clicking the taskbar. Select properties from the menu and click on the customize button at the bottom of that screen. If customize is not active activated it by enabling Hide Inactive Icons.
One phenomenon can be observed every year when the summer begins. Many users report problems with their computers who behave strangely or even reboot unexpectedly. If you experienced this once you might already know what is causing this behaviour. Pc components become warmer than usual because the air is hotter which can lead to reboots and even damaged components.
Hard drives are critical components in every personal computer. They store the data that you are working with and a failure or defect could lead to data loss sometimes without the possibility of recovering the data. Backups are of course a good idea but monitoring the hard drives performance is another method to check if it is likely that your hard drives might be at the end of their life cycle.
Sometimes sites are not accessible maybe because they are moving to a new webserver, have problems with their hardware or simply get slashdotted / digged and canÂ´t handle that many requests which leads to timeouts for the user. This happens of course most of the time when you desperately need the information on that website.
The context menu pops up when you right click an item giving you some options based on the extension of the file. You could for instance select to rename the file, open it, open it with, take a look at the properties and so on. The tip IÂ´am explaining right now will be helpfull for instance if you perform an action over and over again while the command is not directly available from the right click menu.
This poll results did not came unexpected: 41% of all voters stated that they feared the death of net neutrality the most, followed by trojans and virii (17%), spyware, hackers and nothing (10% each), phishing (5%), spam (4%) and finally Worms with 3%.
This is an overwhelming result and I thought I explain the net(work) neutrality concept for the ones who do not know what it is. Internet providers do one thing, they provide access to the internet and make sure that you recieve all the data that you request. It does not matter if you surf to the website of a big company like ebay (amazon, microsoft) or to my blog (hehe, or even smaller websites). All data get the same treatment, none is preferred over the other.
Sometimes itÂ´s the small changes that make a big difference. IÂ´am writing a lot of articles as you all know and I find it sometimes hard to locate the cursor in my articles, especially when it is late in the evening and IÂ´am tired. Vippy is a small utility that does only one thing: It changes the color of the cursor to red. Take a look at the image to see the difference. The great thing about vippy is that it should work in nearly all windows applications including Microsoft Word and Open Office.
I can see the first question coming up pretty quickly. Special shortcuts, whatÂ´s that ? I had some trouble finding a heading that describes tooler and I decided to stick with the description that the author of this nice little tool used. Tooler is able to create shortcuts in three locations: desktop, startmenu, programs menu. You can create eleven different shortcuts with it that might speed up things a little bit.
IceSword is a new contender for the title of the best rootkit revealing and removing program out there at the moment. It is rather hard to find a working download of IceSword but as always I provide a fast way to download the latest version of Icesword named IceSword1.18.rar. Click the link to download the rootkit scanner from rapidshare. In contrast to other rootkit scanners like Blacklight Icesword can not be run automatically. Icesword only provides perhaps the most powerful utilities to scan your system for rootkits and other information.
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.