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

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.

msn email

Get a free MSN email

If you are by chance collecting email addresses or keen on recieving a free @msn.com email you might want to take a look at the following page. You are normally not able to get a msn email unless you purchase their internet service. Click in msn email for free to visit the website where you can signup for one.

check hard drive mode

How To fix slow hard drives

If you think that your IDE hard drives are slow you might want to check their transfer mode by going into Control Panel > System > Hardware > Device Manager. Click on IDE ATA / ATAPI Controllers and right click the primary ide channel (and secondary ide channel if you have hard drives there too) and select properties from the menu. Select advanced setttings from the tab and check the setting under current transfer mode. If you see Pio or a low Ultra DMA mode you might want to try the following fix to increase the speed of your drive(s).

bs player

Bsplayer 2.0 out

The multimedia player Bsplayer has been released as version 2.0 today. I was using previous versions of bsplayer and was really satisfied with it. It had some minor problems and I made the switch to VLC media player and plan on using that one even though the new version of bsplayer has been released.

uTorrent 1.6 final released

Funny. I made the switch from BitComet to uTorrent two days ago and was using the first release candidate of uTorrent 1.6 with great pleasure. It´s faster and uses less system ressources than Bitcomet.

stumbleupon

Stumble Upon Firefox Extension

I´ve been using the Stumble Upon firefox extension for some time now and must say that I´am very pleased with the extensions progression. After installation it can be activated by either hitting CTRL + F11 or using the View / Toolbars Menu. You also have to create an account at their website and select some categories that you like, e.g. shareware, windows and bizarre.

cool signatures

Signature Suggestions

You just signed up for this cool forum where everyone is having a great signature and you desperately need one as well. My advice would be to visit the coolsig website and take a look at their signature archive. Categories include People and Society, Oddballs, Humor and Geeky Signatures.

Clean your Registry

Every passing day makes it more likely that the registry file contains obsolete entries that might make your system unstable. They could also slow down your system. It is a good idea to check obsolete entries in your registry from time to time and remove them to keep the unnecessary entries to a minimum.

email notifications from paypal

Send a Fax to unsubscribe from paypals newsletter

I thought this was kind of a joke when I read this story a few minutes ago. We read about Will who is recieving a newsletter from paypal although he never dealt with them whatsoever. He looks for a way to unsubscribe and finds no other than to log into his account (which he does not have of course.)

flashget download manager

Flashget File Download Manager

The question that always comes up when I´am talking about the benefits of download managers is why would someone need to use them at all. This can´t be answered in a hurry but my initial response is always the same. First, download managers are great time safers if you download many files from a server that allows only a few connections from the same IP. It´s tiresome to wait until one download is finished to start the next.

firefox ftp client

Fireftp ftp extension for Firefox

This extension is a great time safer. Whenever I wanted to upload an image to add into my article I had to fire up an external ftp client and use it to upload the image to my ftp space. This extension adds a full features ftp client to firefox, this means you can add an unlimited number of ftp hosts, transfer / delete / rename files, set passive mode and much more.

windows update reprompt for restart

How to Remove the Restart your Computer now dialog box

Updating your computer is almost complete. You must restart your computer for the updates to take effect. Do you want to restart your computer now?

This message pop ups at the end and immediatly gets the focus, even if you are in a game or watching a fullscreen movie. You have the option to restart now or later. The first would result in an immediate reboot while the second would nag you again in 10 minutes. This will be annoying if you can´t reboot your computer at that time.

half-open limit fix

Speed up your torrent downloads

I´am not using bittorrent that often anymore but it is still a great way of transfering large files. You see less complaints of people about low download speeds but certainly there are some that are having troubles downloading at a great speed. This can be of course torrent related, if you don´t have many seeders or only seeders with low upload speeds you will experience a slow download.

whats running

What is running on my system?

What´s running 2.2. gives you an insight look into what is running on your system. It is completly free to use for non commercial usage and includes information about processes, services, modules, connections, drivers, startup and system. You can control everything with what´s running, e.g. start and stop services and processes.

How to convert Avi, Divx and Xvid to DVD

This guide might be useful for you if you have some avi / divx / xvid movie files and want to watch them on the big television screen. I don´t like watching long movies on the computer, can´t exactly describe why but it feels out of place somehow. A nice way to watch those movies on the television screen is to convert the formats to DVD.

change user account password

Howto log into Windows XP if you lost your password

I once had the problem that I changed some settings in windows which disabled my automatic login into windows xp. I was prompted to enter my login details and could not remember them at all. The following method could be working in this and similar cases. You could try using the default Administrator login and leave the password blank. This should work for every computer where the admin password has not been changed.

Make Windows XP boot faster with Bootvis

Many of you might know the discountinued freeware microsoft bootvis, for those who do not. Bootvis analyses the boot process and measures the startup time from cold boot, hibernate and standby. After analysing the startup process it will optimise it so that boot times of one or more minutes are a thing of the past. It´s a great tool if you have a computer that is slowly booting into windows xp.

rainlendar event

Free transparent calendar

The free transparent customizable calendar called Rainlendar is a great addition to every windows system. Rainlendar is a lightweight open source application which supports lots of languages (must be 30+). It displays three independent transparent windows on your desktop, the calendar showing the actual month, a todo list and an events list. You can add or edit entries by doubleclicking the window.

Howto make sure that your files are safe

It is a good idea to make sure that no one is able to find and use private files on your computer against you. I can think of several reasons why it is wise to secure private files. If you are sharing a computer you have multiple users working with it, would not it be embarrassing if your mother (wife, sister, girlfriend..) found your hidden adult picture stash ? A thief would be more than happy to use all the personal information (login details to sites like paypal or ebay for example) to make some extra bucks.

Top 100 Network Security Tools

Great list of the top 100 network security tools voted by 3243 users of the nmap-hackers mailing list. Every tool mentioned has a description, a homepage link to the developers, icons that tell you if it works on your system and if it costs money. All utilities belong to a category, you have the option to display every category. (like vulnerability scanners)

Media Coder Audio Video Transcoder

Media Coder is a free audio and video transcoder that is able to convert among many audio and video compression formats supporting on the fly batch encoding. The freeware comes with build in codec, filter and media player support making it an ideal converter for files that you can´t play on your system because of missing codecs. It supports a wide range of audio and video formats. Among them are:

dictionary tooltip

Dictionary Tooltip Firefox Extension

What´s an oxymoron again ? Who or what is quixotic ? You might find the Dictionary Tooltip Extension for Firefox useful if you happen to stumble upon words that you have never heard before (or know but have no definition at hand).

audio archive

Fabchannel Online Concert Archive

Fabchannel is offering a big online archive of concerts that took place either in Paradiso or Melkwegs. Both of which seem to be dutch clubs / concert halls. The archive consists of more than 50 concerts covering genres like Hip Hop, Rock, Metal and Pop. You are able to watch concerts of bands like Simple Minds, The Gathering and Wir sind Helden for instance.

mozilla firefox cheat sheet

Mozilla Firefox Cheat Sheet

The Mozilla Firefox Cheat Sheet is a great way to learn more about the firefox browser. New users will find this one page firefox reference useful because it lists all those little tips and workarounds that speed up your firefox workflow.

kings quest iii

King's Quest III Remake Released

I love remakes, especially when they are fan made and not a companys effort to make easy money with a well known franchise. I never played the original Kings Quest series (was more into Leisure Suit Larry at that time) but enjoyed the remakes that have been released so far. If you did not know, there are also remakes of Kings Quest 1 and Kings Quest 2 availabe at the website of ADG Interactive. (free of course)

adobe reader plug-ins

How to speed up the loading time of pdf documents in Adobe Reader

Adobe Reader is really slow when it starts. Did you ever try to view a pdf document that was available on the web ? The reader tends to load very slowly although the document itself might be only a few hundred kilobytes. This is bothering me and I suppose it´s bothing a lot of people who are using the Adobe Reader to view pdf files.

xpy

Change Windows XP Settings with XPY

Xpy is a great little freeware application that lets you change windows xp settings with ease. The normal way of changing items would be to use a registry editor, search for the relevant key and change the value of that key. Xpy aids you by offering options to change many settings with a simple click of the mouse button.

Six WiFi Security Myths

There have been lots of articles lately that explain how to secure a wireless network. Most of this articles contain at least one measure that is not enhancing security at all. This does not neccessarily mean that it is lowering the security on the other hand though. Let us take a look at the six dumbest ways to secure a Wirelss Lan.

ebay cd buy

How to boycott the Music Industry and still enjoy music

The Music Industry (from now on only called MI) is putting a lot of pressure on the consumers. They release copy protected media but fail to realise that this is a punishment for the people who buy music. Even if you don´t download music from the internet you most likely know sources where to get that music for free, without DRM and in high quality. The commercial pirates as well don´t care about copy protection.

email header part

Understanding Email Headers

Everyone knows how to send and recieve emails but only a few understand the concept behind the process. Emails are normally not send directly from your machine to the recipient. Mailservers that are setup by your ISP for instance process incoming emails and send them on their way. This information is stored in the headers of the email. Understanding email headers helps you identify spam directed at you.

Free Survival Game like Resident Evil

Yesterday we witnessed the release of Nexuiz, an incredible freeware online shooter. Today it´s a free survival game that looks and plays a lot like Resident Evil and Silent Hill. Penumbra sets you on a quest to find out more about your father who bequeathed you a mysterious book. Graphics and gameplay is great for a freeware game, make sure you grab your copy from the developers homepage.

Nexuiz Free Online Shooter

Nexuiz is a free online shooter developed by Alientrap. A new version of the shooter has been released today and is available as a download (around 200 megabytes) from the developers homepage. The game Nexuiz is a classic Deathmatch Shooter like Quake 2 and Unreal Tournament. Chose to play different maps, select different weapons to frag your opponents. Graphics are great for a free game.

download website locally

Mirror Websites on your Hard Drive

It is sometimes a good idea to keep a local copy of a website on your hard drive. A reason could be that you fear the website will be taken offline in the near future and you want to save valuable information. Another one could be that you want to save it on a computer that does not have internet access all the time.

microsoft security essentials

Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool Observations

Microsoft released a pdf file called MSRT - Progress Made Lessons Learned yesterday which provides an analysis of the data that the program reported when scanning computers. The tool itself was executed more than 2.7 billion times on at least 270 million unique computers since January 13th, 2005. The tool has removed more than 16 million instances of malicious software which means that on average every 311th computer was infected.

Dual Booting Windows Vista and XP

Microsoft released a beta version of their upcoming Microsoft Vista operating systems a few days ago. I don´t think it´s wise to install a beta version of a microsoft os as your main operating system:dual booting is the solution. You want to experience Vista and still be able to return to XP or whatever other operating system you are using ? Fine, follow this easy to understand guide to dual booting.

safe-xp

Change Security Settings with Safe XP

Safe XP which is developed by Theorica Software is a freeware application for Microsofts Windows XP operating system. It requires no installation at all and is ready to run once you unpacked it into a directory of your choice. The software makes it easy to change some security related settings of the following elements: Services, TCP & Ip and Netbios, Internet Explorer 6, Media Player, MS Office XP & 2003, Start Menu, Windows Messenger and Network.

extended statusbar

Extended Statusbar Firefox Extension

Extended Statusbar is another useful firefox extension which adds functionality to firefox. It displays additional information about the website that is currently loaded. Those information include the overall load time of the website, the amount of bytes that have been downloaded, the speed that you downloaded those bytes, the number of loaded images and finally the percentage that the site is loaded.

Delete files permanently to block file recovery tools

It is a well know fact that files that are deleted by normal means can be recovered with ease using so called file recovery utilities. This might not be a problem for most users but it surely is not nice if you sell a used computer and someone discovers private pictures, account data and the like on the formatted hard drive.

Find out if the Windows product key is legit

Microsoft introduced Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) just a month ago to Windows XP users. Once installed it checks if the running Windows XP version is genuine. If it´s not the it´s showing annonying popup messages. It´s Microsofts decision that only popups are showing, they could easily change this to force a purchase for example at a later point.