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

Practical Tips to Decrease the Temperature of your Computer

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.

hdd-health

Check your Hard Drives with HDD Health

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.

Use the Cache to view dead or unavailable pages on the Internet

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 can´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.

context menu

How to create new context menu options

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 I´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.

Death of Net Neutrality the clear number 1 fear

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.

Vippy a writer friendly cursor

Sometimes it´s the small changes that make a big difference. I´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 I´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.

tooler

Create special shortcurts with Tooler

I can see the first question coming up pretty quickly. Special shortcuts, what´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 the better Rootkit Revealer?

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.

google translate

Two additional Google Proxys

You might have read about the google translate proxy that makes it possible for some to access blocked websites because the administrator did not think of blocking the translate function of google as well. What most people don´t know is that Google offers at least two additional services that can be used as a webproxy to bypass restrictions imposed upon you by your system administrator.

Backup or Restore Windows XP without new activation

You have thirty days to activate a new installation of Microsoft Windows XP before it stops working until you finally activated the installation. Activation works this way that you have to provide an installation number to Microsoft either by internet or by phone. If you change hardware or install the operating system again you will have to activate the product again as well. This does not make sense in my opinion but hey, they surely have an important reason for this procedure.

abiword

AbiWord Open Source Word Processing

Are you looking for a free lightweight alternative to Microsoft Word and Open Office ? Are you sick of endless loading times and office suits that occupy hundreds of megabytes of space on your hard drive ? AbiWord might be worth a closer look if you answered those questions with yes. What´s so different about AbiWord that I would recommend it ? There are several reasons, first it is only about five megabytes in size which is a good prerequisite for a fast loading application.

Blockstop Coral CDN Frontend

I´ve written a large article about Coral CDN just a few days ago. Here is a short introduction for those who might have missed this article. Coral CDN caches websites, basically every website that one of its users opens for the first time. After caching this website is available for all other users of the network and is accessible by appending nyud.net:8080 to the url. Now, in this article I mentioned a firefox extension which appends the nyud.net:8080 extension automatically to your links but what about the people who may not use firefox ?

newsgroupslist

Newsgroups: the ultimate P2P alternative

P2P is in the news, every day. You see organizations like the RIAA hunting down fileshares, you read about trojans and virii that are spread through P2P networks. Everything seems rather risky at the moment. A new player is emerging from the shadows which is using a very old communication system, the Usenet. You might know a part of the usenet if you ever read something from google groups. Google Groups is an archive of the part of the usenet that looks similar to bulletin boards.

foxit reader

Foxit Reader 2.0 a lightweight PDF Reader

If you are looking for a fast lightweight alternative to Adobes heavyweight pdf reader you might want to try foxit reader. A new version of foxit reader has been released a month ago and I decided to give it a try. Mainly because of the positive comments about it whenever I wrote an article about the Adobe Reader. So, why would someone want to use foxit reader 2.0 instead of the "official" pdf reader by Adobe ?

winuae

How to emulate an Amiga on your PC

I´am not sure if most of you will like this article or not. My second computer was an Amiga 500 which I used almost 100% for gaming. I loved many of the games that came out for that incredible machine and still yearn for some of them. I always wanted to play those games again but did not want to buy an Amiga because of several reasons. I don´t want to get into to much detail but it´s mainly a storage problem and a problem of availabilty. Sure, you can buy some cheap amigas on ebay and probably buy some games there as well, but most of the games are hard to come by this days.

How to disable the ad popup in AntiVir

AntiVir is probably the best free antivirus software. It´s free for non commercial use and updates its virus definitions regulary just like in the professional version. The free version however has the habit to display a advertisment popup after each update, which normally means that you see this ad every single day. It is always the same ad and I don´t see a reason for this at all, once is fine but everyday ?

cdex

Best Audio Cd Ripper CDex

When I bought my first mp3 player years ago I had to somehow transfer the music from my cd collection to my computer. I was lucky enough to find CDex pretty fast and I stick with it since then. It offers everything that I demand from an CD ripper, it´s fast, it checks CDDB for album and title information and is able to save the music in many formats including mp3 and wav. All you need is the program itself and the dll lame_enc.dll which you can download from rarewares.

disable inline pdf

Disable PDF display in Firefox

Firefox, and all other browsers as well, offers two methods to display pdf documents. The first displays the pdf file in firefox itself and uses the Adobe Reader plugin to do so. The second method would start the Adobe Reader itself and display the pdf file there. The first method might be convenient but has some disadvantages that I would like to address.

Password Exporter Firefox Extension

If you are using firefox on more than one computer you might want to take a look at the password exporter extension. What if you want to login into your favorite website and can´t remember the login details ? Would not it be great to synchronise all saved passwords between those computers ?

password generator

Secure Password Generator

Most people use easy to remember passwords that are as easy to brute force. The name of your wife, your birthday, a combination of personal data or simple words like password or god. This might be convinient and nice as long as no one tries to break into your account. When this is happening you will quickly realize that insecure passwords are a big security thread.

secure website phishing

Anti-Phishing Tips

Phishing is a popular method to capture personal data such as passwords, transaction numbers and credit card details. The company I´am working with locks several user accounts each day to prevent harm done to them due to phishing. It normaly starts with an email asking you to update your profile, to download a security update or a email that reveals that you are the highest bidder of an ebay auction (that you do not know about).

Music Industry lobbys for Copyright Shift

Nonsense. That was my thought when I first read the articles " Music industry demands the right to sue ISPs" from the Independent Online Edition and "Indie Labels want copyright shift" from the BBC Online. Several trade organisations including the Association of Independent Music (AIM), the Musicians' Union and the MCPS-PRS Alliance proposed that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) should be liable for illegal filesharing by their users. (which means that it would be possible to sue ISPs because of this liability)

disk cleaner

Erase Personal Tracks with Disk Cleaner

You are leaving traces on the computer you are working with unless you are using a live cd or software that runs from an usb stick. Traces are everywhere and it´s rather hard to clean every possible trace by hand. Disk Cleaner is a nice little freeware application that helps you in this task.

yamipod

Itunes Alternative Yamipod

Yes I do own an iPod Nano with four gigabyte space. Was using iTunes for a long time until I wanted to copy some songs from the iPod to a computer and realised that iTunes did not offer that function at all. I decided to look for alternatives and found the freeware Yamipod which is really great and has all the functions that I need.

coral cdn

Website blocked or slow? Try Coral Cdn

Coral CDN (content distribution network) might be the solution if you can´t reach a website because it is either blocked by an administrator, slow or even completly unreachable. Filters and restrictions become more common on the internet. Schools and workplaces blocking access to unwanted sites and networks is a prime example. I can understand that a company does not want you to surf at websites like Ebay during worktime but what about breaks ? What if you are in school and some class did not take place and you would like to check your mail accounts ?

experts-exchange.com premium

Free Answers from Experts-Exchange.com

You might have stumbled upon this site if you ever had a computer related question that you could not answer. First step, ask google. Second step, find websites that force you to login or even pay to see the answer. Big thanks to eonestudio for making this little trick public. The above link displays a video which shows how you can take a look at the answers for free.

How to enable all extensions in Firefox 2.0

You probably already tried the new firefox 2.0 and think it adds some great value that you would like to use immediately. Anti-Phishing enhancements, a built in spell checker, the ability to restore sessions and to undo closed tabs are great additions. If only those damn extensions would work with the new firefox 2.0 as well.

Automate and Record Tasks with Firefox

Shame on me that I did not discover this firefox extension earlier. Selenium IDE is a firefox extension that is able to automate, record and playback tasks in firefox. It has therefor more than one purposes but here is a great one that you will like. Many people do the same tasks when they start their browsers, check their webmail accounts, log into a forum they visit and check for the latest items on ebay for example.

bootskin

Change the Windows XP Boot Graphic

Don´t you hate that boring Windows XP boot screen ? Would not it be nice to have a great skin for that screen ? If you answered the questions with yes bootskin might be exactly what you are looking for. The freeware makes only temporary changes which means that after uninstallation all settings are back to default value.

Temporary Email Extension for Firefox

I´ve written an article about disposable email services in march and I suggest you go there if you are looking for a list of one-way email addresses. The system is pretty easy to understand. Many services on the internet demand an email address for verification purposes. Sometimes you just know that they will sell your email and you will recieve lots of spam afterwards.

Howto copy Blu-Ray and HD-DVD movies

Well well well. The industry tried their best to make the new competing high definition formats blue-ray and hd-dvd as secure as possible so that no one would be able to view them with insecure hardware or would be able to copy the movies. The files themselves are protected by AACS which stands for Advanced Access Content System. HDCP (High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection) makes sure that high definition playback is only available if the output device (television, monitor) is HDCP capable, if not the movie will be downsampled to 960x540p.

Unlock your Nokia Mobile Phone

Most mobile phones are locked and can only be used with sim cards from the provider that sold you the mobile in the first place. The operator is able to unlock your mobile for you so that it is working with other operators as well, but you will have to pay for it most of the times. Would not it be great if you could unlock the phone by yourself without paying money for it ?

google video

Google Video Hidden Categories

Have you ever uploaded a movie to Google Video ? You can chose one of 38 categories like sports or business for the movie. Now, when you visit the Google Video page again you only have the option to click on a few categories on the top. There is no option to search most of the 38 categories: Until now.

automatic acoustic management

Silence or Speed up your Hard Drive

Automatic Acoustic Management is a feature of most modern hard drives which reduces the seek noice at the cost of perfomance. Most hard drives have this feature disabled but it is possible to enable it using a tool like silent drive which runs on Windows Xp and 2000 only. Please note that silent drive is only working with IDE drives at the moment and that the gui is in german.

eBay bans Google Checkout

I find this rather interesting and thought I give you some insights. Google Checkout is a new google service similar to Ebays Paypal that you can use to send other people money over the net without a bank transaction between the two parties. Checkout went live a few days ago and Ebay was quick and reacted agressivly by not allowing their buyers and sellers to use Google Checkout as a method to close the transaction.

Microsoft Private Folder 1.0

Microsoft apparently released a new piece of software called private folder today. The software creates a folder called my private folder which can be password protected to keep the prying eyes of your loved ones from finding files they should not see. Windows Genuine Advantage will check twice if your computer is running a legit copy of windows xp.

desktops

Virtual Desktops and Windows Xp

Linux users are still laughing at windows users who were never able to experience how powerful a virtual desktop system might be. You have two options if you work with more information than your desktop can display. First, you could buy a second monitor and connect this one to your pc providing that your graphics adapter supports two monitors. Second, you could use a virtual desktop application that emulates a number of desktops on one monitor.

seconfig xp

Configure your Windows XP system securely with Seconfig XP

What a great little freeware application. Seconfig is only 37K in size and can be right from the location that you decided to unpack it to. The freeware has three main functions: Restrict Lan-like access, Service settings and TCP/IP settings. You may disable netbios, SMB and RPC over TCP/IP in the first, those are major entry points for worms and hackers.

Pirated Keys only cause 80% of all WGA failures

You all know windows genuine advantage (wga) which checks if you are running a legit copy of windows xp on every startup and when you try to download certain tools and updates from the microsoft website. Microsoft confirmed that only 80% of all WGA failures are caused by pirated keys which means that about 20% are not caused by pirated keys.

tour de france

Tour de France Live Tracker

Maybe some of you do like cycling and watching the Tour de France. I found a live tracker that displays every stage of the tour de france. Shown on the map are of course start and end of the current stage as well as information about mountain and sprint stations along the way.