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

memtest 5

MemTest review

It´s wise to check your system components when you first start your new computer. It does not matter if you build it yourself or purchased a prebuild computer. It´s always a good idea to check if everything is working as intended. MemTest 3.4 tests your systems memory to make sure it is not damaged. It´s also a great way to test it when you overclock your computer / ram. This way you can ensure that it´s still reliable and does not produce errors.

How to get a Yahoo Mail Beta account

To get Yahoo Mail Beta, just switch your content preference to Germany, Frence or UK. Then you will be asked if you want to join the beta when you log into your Yahoo Mail. Say yes, and join the beta. Then from the options menu, change your content preference what it was before. Then go to Yahoo Mail again. You should still see Yahoo Beta. If you don’t see it, go to options and click “Try Beta�? button. That’s all.

Windows Keyboard shortcuts

This little list might be helpful for some windows users. It is a detailed listing of windows keyboard shortcuts that most people don´t use because they simply don´t know about them. I´am not using many as well except maybe Ctrl+C to copy, Ctrl+V to paste the copied content and Alt+F4 to close a window. Shortcuts are a great way to work faster. The list is not complete but contains about 40 shortcuts.

Defeating Hardware Keyloggers

You probably read my article about the bank heist in London where the robbers used a hardware keylogger to recieve sensitive information that allowed them to perform wireless transfers. The bank made the decision to super glue every cable to the back of the personal computer making it impossible to add the keylooger between the keyboard and the computer

Password Security: What Users Know and What They Actually Do

The study "password security: what users know and what they actually do" was conducted by the department of psychology from the Wichita State University. The study investigated the common password generation practices of online users. All participiants took part in a survey querying (1) the types and number of different password protected accounts maintained; (2) actual practices used in generating, storing and using passwords; (3) practices believed they should use in generating and storing passwords; and (4) general demographic information.

Opera Customization Guide

I found a great guide for Opera 9 which extends Opera tremendously. The guide is divided into seven sections: Menu editing, Integrating Opera with download managers, User Javascript, Buttons, Panels, Widgets and Misc. The menu editing section for instance has some great tips that enhance opera in great ways: It gives you tips how to integrate the bugmenot website into opera, it lets you lookup the bugmenot website for login information of the page you are visiting atm. You also find tips for the following things: How to open graphics with an image viewing program like irfanview, how to open websites with internet explorer or firefox, how to create tinyurls for the current url and much more.

Hardware Keylogger

This little device has apparently been used to pull of one of the greatest bank heist in history. You attach this device to the keyboard cable at the back of the pc and it´s able to record 130000 keystrokes. The bank robbers installed this device inside the bank and got access to Sumitomo Bank's wire transfer capability. With all the information at their hand they proceeded to transfer more than 400 million $ to various foreign accounts.

bank secure website

How secure is my bank's website?

I don´t know a single large bank that does not offer its customers a way to use a website to do their transactions. There is unfortunatly no single standard set for bank websites and many companies tend to misjudge the importance of a secure website. The Secure Web Bank website did take a look at websites from US, Canadian and European institutes and check wether those provided a SSL Login page and Two Factor Auth for their customers.

Cbreak Remove Commercials from Avi Files

More and more people use their computer to record tv shows by simply installing a tv card into it and connecting the computer to the tv signal. The only problem they are now facing is that everything will be recorded and everything includedes those unnecessary commercials. The freeware application cbreak helps you to remove those commercials from the recored avi files.

Flickr AutoDownloadr

Flickr.com is a online photo service that allows users to upload, download, view and share pictures. One bad thing about it is that flickr itself does not offer a option to view or download more than one image at a time.

Gmail Drive

GMail Drive is a Shell Namespace Extension that creates a virtual filesystem around your Google Gmail account, allowing you to use Gmail as a storage medium.

Protowall

Protowalls sole purpose is to run as a system friendly background task (aka using little ressources) that blocks IP addresses. You might be saying that a firewall could do this as well and you are right, of course. But, many firewalls tend to have problems and use lots of system ressources if you add many IP addresses to them.

True Crypt 4.2 released

You might know that I´am using True Crypt for some months now to encrypt and decrypt my entire removable hard disk that has 300 Gb capacity. All happens in realtime and I can´t see and witness any slowdowns so far. I´am able to download content to the drive with 14.2 Mbps and its working like every other hard disk. Yesterday a new True Crypt version was released and it has some amazing new features, let us take a look at some of them:

HTML Page Crashes Windows

Ok this seems to be serious. If you open a webpage that contains a certain html code your windows will crash. The html is looking like this:

Ten Tips for Microsoft Words

The article "Ten things every Microsoft Word user should know" is for those of you who are still using Microsoft Word (and not Open Office or similar freeware products). I think most companies still rely on the Microsoft Office productline, also many computers come preinstalled with an OEM version. You get a great explanation and guide for every tip that shows you how to use the feature described.

How To Make Your Windows Faster Than Ever Before

I found a tutorial on the techarena forum that had some nice (standard) tips on how to speed up your windows operating system. You find tips that increase boot and shutdown speed, some that increase the overall performance by disabling certain services and features like indexing service and system restore. If you never tweaked your system before this article is for you.

encrypt uttorent traffic

How To Encrypt BitTorrent Traffic

Some ISPs are beginning to throttle bittorrent traffic. There is a possibility to overcome this throttling by encrypting your bittorrent streams. Torrentfreak.com posted a guide which tells you how to encrypt your torrent streams with three popular clients: Azureus, Bitcomet and µTorrent.

netstat

Tracing a Hacker

Tracing a Hacker is a article aimed at beginners that want to learn the basics of finding out if there is someone connected to their system who should not be connected to it. It gives a rough introduction to some basic concepts like tcp/ip, ports and how hackers find their targets. This is a good read if you don´t know what they are about. After that Omar starts of by explaining the netstat command which lists all the sources that are connected or currently connecting to your computer. If you are running p2p software this can be a lot of connections. I suggest you start of by disabling most tools that you might be running while on the internet. So, no p2p, no messengers aso.

Essential Freeware Utilities for Notebooks

The article essential utilities at laptoplogic.com lists several freeware utilities that should be useful to everyone who owns a notebook (with an intel cpu that is, a guide for amd will follow). All tools mentioned can be desribed as system tools that either show system information, test hardware or tweak it. For example tools to test the notebooks memory (Memtest86) are included as well as dead pixel tester for the lcd screen.

Charon 0.6 released

This is the follow up to the proxy filtering program Calamity. It provides a fully customisable way of filtering out unwanted proxies via control files, a proxy tester to check anonymity - and a fully functional search engine crawler to find lists of posted proxies. Included within the kit is a php checker which can be uploaded to your own webspace to spread the processor load and bandwidth of the actual testing. This is fully integrated into Charon where it will simply send your pages lists of proxies and harvest the results

MessenPass Recover Lost Instant Messenger Passwords

So you have installed that nifty messenger and have not used it for some time. Now is the time to use it again, there is just one little problem: You can´t remember your password. Creating a new account would be an idea but what if you want to keep your contacts ? Messenpass reveals the password for various instant messengers, among others are: MSN Messenger, Trillian, Miranda, Gaim and AOL Instant Messenger.

I want a freeware utility to..

I want a freeware utility to do the following. Did you ever say that to yourself and wondered if a freeware or open source application existed that did exactly what you wanted ? It seems the natural way to sort freeware applications in this way, describe what you want to do and link to a freeware application that does exactly that.

Freeware Notepad++

Notepad++ is a free source code editor (and Notepad replacement) for Microsoft Windows personal computers. The freeware application supports many programming languages like C, C++, Java, C#, XML, HTML, PHP and Javascript. It has many useful features that Notepad is lacking, some worth mentioning are auto completion, the ability to work with more than one document and a multi-view feature that shows two documents at the same time. (that you can edit of course).

gmail compact view

Google Gmail Tips

A lot of my visitors already have a google gmail account or are asking me for an invitation. I thought it would be nice to share a great site that features lots of gmail tips with you. The site gmail tips the complete collection gives a rough introduction to the google mail service and lists more than 40 tips afterwards. For example tip 27 explains to you how you would add a hotmail email to gmail, tip 11 tells you how to connect securely to gmail.

firefox tweaks

Firefox Tweaks, Extensions and Optimizations

You might still remember the little firefox tweak that reduced memory usage when minimizing firefox. Gomeler.com has some more tips that optimise firefox even more. Lets take a look at them, shall we ?

microsoft windows malicious software removal tool

Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool

A new version of the Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool has been released as well yesterday. The new version is able to remove infections by specific prevalent malicious software. It´s able to detect 64 infections, that´s three more than the previous version. The three new infections that are detected are Locksky, Reatlle and Valla according to the german newsmag pcwelt.de.

Games for Linux

Linux has a bad image when it comes to gaming. Most games are developed for windows, sometimes a linux version will be released as well but most of the time this is not the case. The site games for linux lists many games that are available for free for a linux operating system. Every game has a screenshot and some basic information like size and website of the maker included. Every game is rated by its users which should give you a first impression of the quality of the game. Unfortunatly no hint is given on how many users have voted for the game. Nevertheless it´s great as a first indicator for the game.

Pandora The Music Genome Project

Until now I´ve heard a lot about the music service pandora offers but I never happened to test the service myself. Well, I tried it today and have to say that the concept itself is fantastic. You tell them a song or artist that you like and the service tries to find similar artists using characteristics of the artist or song. So, if you enter The Beatles for instance you will be connected to a radio that plays music that offers the same characteristics as the Beatles.

250 web proxies

Lots of people are demanding more proxy sites because many have already been banned by their school or workplace. It´s not easy to find new ones but maybe the list from econsulting might help you. They have a list of 250 web proxies that might not be banned. I think it´s worth a try if you are that desperate.

angry ip scanner

Ip Scanner

Angry Ip Scanner is a small open source application that lets you scan IP addresses and ports, you can even specifiy the range of the scan by yourself. After pinging the target IP it is able to resolve other data like hostname, MAC address and open ports.

List of free MMORPG and MMO games

So, you are sick of World of Warcraft, of Battlefield 2 and Counterstrike Source ? You want to experience something new ? You´ve come to the right place my friend. I found a site that contains an extensive, and I mean extensive, list of many, and I mean many (hrhr) games that are free to play and concentrate on multiplayer experience. I don´t think it´s possible to test them all but you might just test all games that look interesting and fit the category of games that you like most.

wikibooks

Wikibooks free online books

Wikibooks is a great service that collects books that are freely available. The bookshelf (aka the listing of all available categories) provides links to categories like computing (and its subcategories like Programming languages) and Humanities and in those categories descriptions and links to those books. Some categories contain subcategories that contain the links, for example the programming language main category contains lots of subcategories that contain all the various programming languages.

Coolmon 2: display Windows information

Coolmon is a great little freeware application that monitors and displays various windows settings. Among the information that can be displayed are Processor usage (up to four CPU's) , Number of Processes , Number of Threads, Process using the most CPU time , Processor type , Used/Free/Total page file , Used/Free/Total RAM , Free/Total/Grand Total Disk space (up to sixteen disks, also mapped network drives) , Computer Uptime , Date & Time , Computer name , User name , All IP addresses , Network read and write speed (up to four NICs) , Total Bytes sent and received and Battery status.

notify

Notify file monitor

Notify is a small freeware application for windows that monitors files and directories that you specify and notifies you when those are changed. The small size of 15 Kb makes it an ideal background task, it uses almost no cpu time and little memory.

The Tweaking Firefox Guide

Tweakguides have a large article about firefox tweaking which not only explains the basic settings of firefox but also advanced settings which can be edited by entering about:config in the firefox address bar. The guide is divided into 12 chapters and starts with an introduction which helps you get in the right mood for the article. After that the optimization chapters begin with chapter 2 essential optimization and an explanation of many basic firefox settings. You learn a lot about firefox and those early chapters are clearly aimed at novice users who did not put much thought into the configuration up to now.

click crypt

ClickCrypt 2.6

Most people think it takes lots of work to encrypt files. The freeware click crypt 2.6 allows to encrypt and decrypt files with just one click. It´s unfortunatly only available in german but that does not matter a lot because the interface is simple and easy. Click on Download Sofort ausführbares Setup which starts the download. After that install the software on your system and start it. This opens a configuration window which is named Verschlüsslungsmethoden. You select the encryption algorithm that you want to use, you have three options, those are: MD2 (128bit), MD5 (128bit) and SHA (160 bit).

Home Network Router Security Secrets

Todays world is becoming a wireless one. If you signup for a new internet provider you have most of the time the choice of a modem that uses cables and one that is wireless. Now, most people tend to chose the wireless one because their homes don´t look that messy after all, cables everywhere seems to turn certain people off quite a bit.

Setting up your own proxy server

Lot´s of people complain that webproxys are not working at their works / schools computer because they have been banned by administrators. A way around this would be to setup your very own proxy server that is being hosted a) by a free webhosting service that supports either php or cgi or b) your own website that is being hosted by a webhosting company.

proxify

Proxy Sites

I know that I have not been updating the proxy list for a while and I promise to do it in the near future. For now, I post a list of new […]

IE Proxy Changer Program

I don´t think a lot of my visitors are still using the Microsoft Internet Explorer but there are some that do. My first advice would be to change the browser immediatly to firefox or opera, for those who are to lazy or have other reason to keep the insecure browser the IE Proxy Changer is a nice little addition to the internet explorer.