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

A Beginners Guide to the PC

A Beginner's Guide to What Goes on Inside that PC published by extremetech a few days ago tries to explain the components of a personal computer without the "geek" language. It aims at a audience that did not have the time or desire to understand how a pc is working. The eight-parts article begins with an introduction and goes on by encouraging everyone to take a look at their own pc. (After saving all work and the like). It would be a good way to print the article to be able to read it and look at the turned off computer at the same time.

myspace pin music player

MySpace Tips and Tricks

I thought I publish some tricks and tips for myspace, they include: How to hide personal information, How to hide and make a profile private, How to hide your friends section, How to Hide Comments, How to Hide the last login and How to Hide Extended Network.

Winamp Tweak Guide

The guys over at techspot published a large article on tweaking winamp. They focus input and output plugins but cover other areas as well. The recommended Shibatch mpg123 input plugin for instance offers better audio quality and more features than the default nullsoft mpeg decoder.

search for people

Stalkerati Search for people on the web

Stalkerati is not your usual search engine that lets you search for long lost friends, relatives and the like. It instead tries to accumulate as much data about a person as possible and save that data in a neat profile on their website. It collects data from various sources including myspace, facebook, friendster, a web and blog search and finally a photo and image search.

wobzip

Krunch compress and uncompress your files online

Krunch is a nice little service that offers you the option to upload and compress files in three different formats (zip, rar and gzip). After compressing the file you have the option to download it for yourself and mail it to other recipients either with a download link to the file or directly as an attachment. The service offers the option to upload and decompress a compressed file in the formats zip, rar and tar.gz. It seems to have problems with my rar files though.

exe library

Windows Process Information

Press CTRL + ALT + DEL, what do you see ? The windows taskmanager with lots of processes, showing a filename like svhost.exe and a memory usage of that process. Besides checking for trojans, spyware and virii: What´s a good way to check for possible causes if your computer behaves slowly ? Right, the taskmanager. Unfortunatly the process don´t give you lot´s of information which application did cause them to run on your windows version.

Cell Phone Stolen? Make it useless for the thief

This is a neat little trick that should work with most phones and phone service provider. You simply enter a code in your mobile phone that reveals the unique serial number of it. If your phone gets stolen you report the theft and the serial number to your provider and they have the means to make the phone useless. That means no one will be able to use it, at least not for phoning.

high securiy password generator

Ultra High Security Password Generator

If you´re ever in the need of a high security password the Ultra High Security Password Generator Website might be exactly what you´ve been looking for. Everytime you visit or refresh the website it will display three randomly generated passwords, one 64 random hexadecimal charakters password, one 63 random printable ASCII chars and finally a 63 random alpha-numeric characters password.

logmein

Avoid Web Filters with LogMeIn

LogMeIn is another service that gives you remote control over a computer. It uses a java applet that has to be executed be the computer that should be controlled and a website that gives you control over the computer (or more than one) with the applet. That means you don´t have to install software or use a usb stick to run programs on the other computer, you simply open a website and control the computer at home.

zfone

Secure VOIP by encrypting it with ZFone

A new public beta of Zfone has been released a few days ago for windows xp, linux and mac os x. Zfone uses a new protocol called ZRTP, which is better than the other approaches to secure VoIP. "(ZRTP) achieves security without reliance on a PKI (Public Key Infrastructure), key certification, trust models, certificate authorities, or key management complexity that bedevils the email encryption world," Zimmermann explains.

Ubuntu Guide

You might know that Ubuntu is a popular linux distribution. You might have tried installing it already or considered installing it. The Ubuntu Guide helps you with the installation process as well with running the linux distribution once it is installed. It guides you for instance through the installation process of various third party software products like Adobe Reader, Skype or a DVD player.

portable apps

Portable Apps Suite

The portable apps suite contains a collection of portable freeware applications including a web browser, email client, web editor, office suite, word processor, calendar/scheduler, instant messaging client and FTP client. The suite itself comes in two flavours, standard (117 MB) and light edition (44 MB). The difference between the standard and light suite is that the standard suite includes open office while the light suite does not.

Streams of popular TV Series

Am I the only one who is seeing a massive increase in websites that offer streams of tv series for free ? I´am not sure about the legality and to be honest: I don´t want to know. If they want to offer free tv episodes of popular series like 24, Prison Break or Desperate Housewives - so be it.

ultravnc

How to Access your Pc from work or school and visit restricted websites

Many people have problems accessing they favorite sites from work or school because access to the internet is filtered and restricted. The freeware application UltraVNC might help you in your tries to access those sites although you are working on a restricted computer. The software basically connects to and displays a image of your home computer on your restricted computer. You can now use the ressources of your home computer to surf to the websites that are forbidden.

firefox private browsing

Two hide your tracks extensions for Firefox

Yeah that´s right. I thought it would be nice to have one article for both extensions because they work rather similar. Stealther temporarily disables the following settings in firefox: Browser History, Cookies, Downloaded Files History, Disk Cache, Saved Form Information and Sending Referrer Header.

windows 8 upgrade assistant

Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor

Do you know if your system will be able to run the upcoming Microsoft operating system Windows Vista ? The minimum requirements are a cpu with at least 800 MHz, 512 MB of Ram and a DirectX 9 capable graphics processor. The requirements for the full Vista experience look like one for a modern computer game: 1Ghz Cpu, 1Gb of Ram, 128 Mb graphics adapter with Pixel Shader 2.0 support and a 40Gb hard drive with 15 Gb free space.

visual studio express download

Get your free copy of Microsoft Visual Studio Express / Community Edition

If you are from the USA or Canada you will be able to get a free copy of Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 standard edition. All you have to do is watch three webcasts after you´ve signed up at the site. What else will you get ? A Microsoft Developers Security DVD, a 50% discount on a Microsoft Certified Professional Exam and a voucher that allows you to buy Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition with an MSDN® Professional Subscription at renewal pricing (a $400 savings).

autoruns

Do I really need to to run this program at startup?

Do I really need to to run this program at startup ? That´s a question I´am asking myself from time to time. I check on my autostart entries regulary and it happens that I find a program sitting there that I´am not sure about. I simply uncheck the item most of the time, but this is not the right way to do this. I present you a good way to check on your autostart entries, it´s fast, free and easy.

windows media player

Download Windows Media Player 11 Beta

In case you are using the windows media player you probably would like to take a look at the upcoming media player 11 by downloading a beta version of it. The download is available right from the microsoft homepage. I found a list of the new features, not sure if it is correct though:

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Backup your files with VersionBackup

Versionbackup is a little free for personal use (single pc) application that lets you backup files according to a schedule that you define in the program. It would be possible to load the program at windows start and let it backup the file right after windows started for instance.

My Firefox Extensions

I thought that some people probably would like to know which firefox extensions I´am using with my firefox browser. No one will find all of them useful but if I can convert one or two of you to try a few out, well, that would be great. It would be nice to read about extensions that you are using and it could be that you mention a extension that I did not know about, this would be great for me as well. Keep it coming :)

SQL Injection Walkthrough

You might already know what sql injection means, in case you did not i post the definition of wikipedia:

SQL injection is a security vulnerability that occurs in the database layer of an application. Its source is the incorrect escaping of dynamically-generated string literals embedded in SQL statements. It is in fact an instance of a more general class of vulnerabilities that can occur whenever one programming or scripting language is embedded inside another.

Save Pandora.com MP3s with 3tunes

A visitor of my site recommended this little application in a comment and I decided to give it a try and see how well it works. 3tunes is relativly stable considering the fact that it is still in alpha development stage. All you need is to download the file which is only about 20k in size and head to the pandora website. Once the first song starts playing you double click the 3tunes executable and it automatically shows the song which is currently played.

google image ripper

Google Image Ripper

I found a nice little script that might be useful for some of you. The google image ripper script immediatly displays the full size images of your google image searches. As you know when you do the search google displays thumbnails of the images as results and you have to click on the thumbnails for the full size image.

create synchronicity

Synchronize your computers with powerfolder

Powerfolder is a great freeware application that synchronizes folders over the internet or local networks. This is for example pretty useful if you are working with a desktop pc and a notebook at the same time and want to synchronize data between them. It can be used to exchange every type of data for example music, photos, own documents or videos. PowerFolder automatically detects changes. Some key features are

Dorgem Webcam Capture Application

Are you using webcams at home or in your company ? Maybe you wondered if it would be possible to record those webcam sessions ? Dorgem is a freeware application that lets you record your webcam(s). As you can see in the screenshot it´s very easy to use.

google trends

Google Trends

Google Trends has been live for a few days and it´s time to play around with this new google service and find out what it´s all about. By entering one or more search terms you see a graph that shows the search volume and the news reference volume for about two years. This in itself isn´t that exciting but the feature to compare results by searching for multiple terms is. You could for instance compare linux distributions or windows, linux and macintosh.

How to check your system for rootkits

Rootkits have been in the press lately and it´s a good idea to be on the safe side and check your system from time to time to make sure it is not infected. I´am going to introduce two freeware utilities that scan your system and reveal rootkits if they are installed and running on your system.

firefox third party cookies

Introduction Series Part 4: Cookies

Many people consider themselves to be very secure when they are surfing the internet and that very well may be true. However, there are some things that are often forgotten about. The one thing is the cookie. This is not speaking about the edible version with chocolate chips, but instead the file that a good many web sites across the internet that put onto your system that tell the site that you have visited before and what you have done.

reveal passwords snadboys revelation

Forgot your password? Try Snadboys Revelation

Sometimes it´s a small utility that helps you the most. Did you ever forget a password from an email account, a forum account or another piece of software ? What did you do to find it out again ? Maybe the software / script had a function to mail you your password, but what if it had no option like that ?

password username

Introduction Series Part 3: User Name and Password Protection

Protecting yourself on the internet is at the forefront of nearly everyone’s mind these days yet so many people are careless when it comes to this area. It is easier than ever for hackers to break in and get all of the personal information from your computer in this day and age and few people are doing anything to counteract this theft.

AjaxWrite, Create Documents Online

AjaxWrite is a superb demonstration what Ajax can do. Ajax, which stands for Asynchronous JavaScript And XML is a web development technique for creating interactive websites. AjaxWrite offers the basic functionality of programs like Microsoft Word and OpenOffice for free on the web. No need to purchase, download or install anything. Open the website and you´re ready to go. The only requirement is firefox 1.5 or newer, the operating system itself does not matter.

open source web design

Open Source Web Design Free Templates

Maybe you have been thinking for a while to create your own website or a new website but have no idea how the design should look like. Maybe you aren´t the type to design a website at all (like me). The open source web design site offers you more than 1500 free templates that you can download right from their site. You can browse their designs by rating, date or name. Every page shows thumbnails from the website and the option to view it in fullscreen or download it directly.

Configure NT-Services Securely (for NT and XP)

Do you need network services if you are not connected to a network ever with your computer that is running windows xp or windows nt ? No you don´t. Still network services are running as default services when you run windows and this leads to security risks which can be avoided by turning them off. The configure nt services securely website has unfortunatly only a small section of their tips in english but the rest should be understandable while using a translation service.

launchy options

Launchy: Free Windows Keystroke Launcher

Launchy might come in handy for some of you. The freeware tool indexes your start menu and lets you start every program, document or other files with a few keystrokes. The tool hides in the background and you can bring it forth by holding alt and hitting space. Enter the first letters of the file you want to launch and it should be found really quickly. When launchy found it you simply hit enter and the file loads.

Introduction Series Part 2: Adware

Adware is another issue that seems to be plaguing the entire world these days and that means that people need to be aware that this is nothing anymore safe then the standard spyware is. There are many that will tell you that adware is nothing more than an advertising venue for online companies but that is false. Through adware these companies are actually collecting data about you so they can target your computer with advertising that will come up in parts as pop up windows or the computer can actually be hijacked and then all of your search options are then transported through the adware so the results that they want to bring to you can be filtered.

linux distributor chooser

Linux Distribution Chooser

I´ve been watching the E3 conferences from Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft today and had little time to update my site therefor. Just a quick link to a very nice website that helps you find the right linux distribution for your needs. The Linux Distribution Chooser asks some questions about your personal knowledge and your computer for instance and selects the best suited linux distributions that fit your profile.

Introduction Series Part 1: Spam

Spam is a big issue these days and people are always on the look out for ways to stop it. There is little that we as internet users can do about spam because there is always going to be a bunch of people that believe that spam is a good way to get people to buy things from them. There is little to this theory because so many people are so aware of spam that there is little in the way of sales from this type of email that it is going way down hill and very fast at that. There is not a matter of people actually stopping anything from going on even though there is a big field of research that is trying to help with the problem of spam and how to stop it from reaching a person.

why reboot

Find out why your system wants to reboot with Why Reboot?

Why the hell do I need to restart my computer after installing this software, it works without problems without rebooting. If you asked yourself this question the little why reboot application might be the answer. Why reboot is freeware and only 60k in size. What it does is that it will give you a listing of operations that windows will perform after rebooting. (those are the operations that the newly installed software wants to perform).

Download pictures from Webshots without logging in

Don´t you love those little tricks and tweaks that make life so much easier ? I love to download videos from google video for instance and save them as avi. A little trick does that. I also love to visit sites that let me download content without having to login or purchase a premium account. The site webshots.com has a database of more than 300 million pictures that you can browse and view as a thumbnail.