Traffic Shaper XP is a free software that is able to limit the upload and download speed of your applications and ports. This is done by creating rules similar to those known from software firewalls. You select a network adapter, choose if the rule limits upload, download or both, select a protocol and specify local and remote ports.
I have been writing about the sweet little tool Junctions before but it got somehow lost among more popular articles back then and I decided to give it another try. A Directory Symbolic Link is a link from another drive or directory to an existing directory. NTFS Junctions could be used for instance to access the folder d:\mp3 from a symbolic link in c:\mp3.
I sparsely enjoy screensavers on my computer because I tend to prefer to turn of the monitor if I take a longer break. Another reason is that I did not find a good looking lightweight screensaver that I could install on my desktop pc. That is, until I read about Flurry in the excellent Donation Coder forum.
Stick is a nice little freeware application for Windows that is able to add several tabs to the top of the screen each with its own functionality. The tabs are fully customizable and can contain any of the following five functionalities: Notes, Calendar, RSS Feeds, Calculator and Navigator tabs.
The autopatcher team finally managed to update all of their update packages for Microsoft operating systems to July 2007 which means that you can download all patches that Microsoft has released for your operating system and apply them at once instead of using automatic updates or connecting to a Microsoft server at all.
Lets say you got this nice little word document from a friend or colleague and stumble upon a word or words -like obiter dictum - that you do not know. How would you normally look it up ? You either pick up a dictionary or fire up your browser and search on the Internet for a definition of the word. This does not slow you down that much if it is only one word but what if there are more of them ? It could really slow you down unless you find a better way to lookup those words.
I normally do not have to create a lot of thumbnails, maybe one or two per day for my articles but that is it. I use GIMP for the purpose, definitely not the best choice because of the long loading times but good enough for the few that I have to create. Sometimes however I'm in the position to create thumbnails of hundreds of images and there is no way to create them with GIMP because it would take a very long time.
Optimizing a computer to improve performance while keeping everything stable is something that I really like to do. The first thing that I do when I get a new computer is to get rid of useless softwares and take a look at system settings to find ways to improve them.
After a few months of using Launchy and Rocket Dock I realized that I actually did not use the startmenu of my Windows operating system at all. I either use these great apps that give me more flexibility and speed or use icons on my desktop for certain tasks.
Another reason why I'm not using the startmenu anymore is that it really looks and feels messy after a while because every new application adds it's own folder to it. The question that came up for me is whether I needed the startmenu at all.
I'm using a sweet little freeware for some time now on Windows XP that tabs normal windows giving my desktop a clean look most of the time while still giving me access to all the folders that I need to work with at that time. I got used to it pretty quickly and thought that it would be a great way to expand this behavior to applications as well.
I think every Windows user experienced an error message like "Could not find xxx.dll" before and wondered what the hell happened with that dll. One reason could be that you used to uninstall a program that asked specifically whether you would like to remove the xxx.dll as well because it could still be needed by other applications.
Windows has a feature that groups similar windows, for example seven explorer windows, in one taskbar button which is great if you like your taskbar as clean as possible. There is however no direct way to change the amount of windows that are needed before Windows starts grouping them.
The MAC address is an identifier for most network adapters. Although several Internet websites and manufacturers claim that it is not possible to change the MAC address. SMAC leaves the hardware MAC address alone but offers a software based way to change it which remains changed even after rebooting the computer.
The default temporary directory in Windows is located on the same hard drive and partition as the operating system itself. This is not really optimized and you could speed up your operating system by moving the temporary folder from the default location to another hard drive.
Driver Grabber is a small application for Microsoft Windows operating systems which grabs all device drivers except drivers from Microsoft and saves them in the same directory where Drive Grabber was executed from. This can be extremely useful but the application is mainly geared towards techies and not casual users.
I thought it was not possible to to improve CoolSwitch but I was obviously wrong. Xilokit.com came out with another interesting concept that brings an interesting concept to Windows. It's a freeware application called Deskloops which offers an refreshing idea on how to handle windows in Windows.
The defragmentation tool that ships with Windows is pretty basic and does not offer features that are needed for instance if you have more than one partition or hard drive. Some users would like to defrag all of their hard drives at once while they go to work or sleep.
Messenger Plus Live is an add-on for the Windows Live Messenger which adds a multitude of new features to the main program. Messenger Plus Live works with Windows Live Messenger 8 and 8.5 and can be used on Windows XP and Windows Vista.
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.