relakks

My first experience with Relakks

I signed up with Relakks yesterday and was satisfied with this clean and easy process. I had to provide only some information like name, email, password and username and was able to log on to their system. My status was inactive at that time because I did not make a purchase yet. I decided to try the service for one month and had to provide my credit card details in order to do so. One month would cost 6$ which is a good price if they live up to their promises which are a) anonymous internet experience and b) maximum speed.

Relakks the first commercial darknet

The Pirate Party is a swedish party that has three main goals: Protected Privacy, Free Knowledge and Shared Culture. They are making a bid for the Swedish parliament in the upcoming election and just introduced the worlds first commercial darknet called Relakks. Let us take a look at the definition of Relaks from the website:

drawing lessons

Drawing Lessons at Drawspace

Sometimes I´am writing about things that are great but are not that closely related to the overall theme here at ghacks.net. The approximately hundred drawing lessons at drawspace.com are one of those exemptions. After a free registration you may view a drawing lessons in the beginners, intermediate or advanced class.

Run Pandora in System Tray

I´ve written some articles on Pandora before; For those who have not heard of the service let me shortly explain what it is all about. Pandora is a music service thats looks at your choice of music and tries to find music that matches this taste. You are free to add a song title, a album or artist and Pandora creates a radio station that plays music that is like the music that you have chosen. The music plays then in your browsers window until you close it.

online tv recorder

Record and Download European TV online

Onlinetvrecorder.com is a completly legal service that allows you to record European tv shows online and download them later to view them on your computer. The main focus is on German tv but you also find Belgian, Swiss and some English stations like CNN. All you have to do is register at the website which offers a German and an English interface for its users. After creating the account you are free to create new recordings using the EPG schedule, a EPG search or a manual mode.

startup control panel

Startup Control Panel and Startup Monitor

Startup Control Panel and Startup Monitor are actually two programs not just one. The first, Startup Control Panel, is a 59K freeware that scans various paths and registry entries for programs that are run at startup. This is great if you need a quick basic overview, if you need an in depth overview try autoruns from sysinternals. Startup Control Panel lists three registry entries and two paths, those are the locations where most programs are autostarted.

Old adventures never die. They only get remade.

Back in the days before DOOM became the pop phenomenon it still is, the adventure game genre reined supreme. Adventures were cutting edge, they were. Names like Kinq’s Quest, Larry Laffer, Zak McKraken or Maniac Mansion were common household items and easily quite a bit more popular than your average garden gnome.

mikes command line

Mikes Command Line

I love little useful freeware programs, the smaller the better in my opinion. Mikes Command Line is another one of them with 72K in size. The freeware opens a single line command bar when executed. You may then type the name of a program, e.g. notepad or calc and the program window of the program that you typed in opens. This by itself is mighty useful but wait until you hear this.

Lightweight Alternatives to Heavyweight Programs

The Adbobe PDF document that is currently loading is slowing down the whole computer ? Quicktime takes ages to initialise ? Media Player is unbelievable slow and tries to phone home ? Why don´t you try freeware alternatives to those heavyweight programs ? I´am already using alternatives and my system became faster and more stable while keeping the same functionality.

Ipod Disk Mode Ok to Disconnect

The message "Disk Mode Ok to Disconnect" appeared suddenly on my Ipod Nano without me knowingly turning this mode on. I tried to use the buttons or the wheel to turn it off but nothing seemed to work. I was getting desperate and decided to google for a solution. Many people are using the Ipod and it was highly unlikely that I was the only one experiencing this strange disk mode.

omniformat

Convert your Documents into one Format

You have got lots of different file formats on your computer: jpg, jpeg, gif, bmp and png or rtf,txt,doc and pdf for instance. The big question that comes to my mind is why do we need that many formats. Most file formats offer no gain over the other, would not it make sense to convert all files of a certain type to one format only ?

The Ultimate Diagnostic Boot CD

It is very handy to have a linux live CD at hand when your system crashes and your operating system of choice does not boot anymore. This could mean that either the software or the hardware fails to load the operating system. You should try to diagnose the problem with a live CD before thinking of reinstalling the operating system or exchanging parts of the hardware.

tweakui

TweakUi Powertoys for Windows XP

TweakUi should be one of the first programs to install after the Microsoft Windows XP Setup. It offers a wide range of features, aka tweaks, that override Windows XPs default settings. After installing the freeware you can access it in your start menu in the folder powertoys for windows xp. TweakUi consists of tabs on the left side that expand in the right main window once you click on them. Tabs include Explorer, Mouse, Logon and Templates for instance.

password chart

Make your passwords stronger with a password chart

Password chart is an online service that helps you improve the quality of your passwords. The principle is pretty easy: You enter a phrase at the beginning which will be used to create the password chart. An example would be "Make your passwords stronger with passwordchart.com" or "https://www.ghacks.net/ is gr3at". The password chart will be displayed on the right side of the screen changing while you are adding new chars to the phrase. You can opt to add numbers and punctuation for increased security, they will be added to the chart on the right.

speed defrag

How to Speed Up the Defragmentation

I´am always leaving my computer for the time that it is defragmenting the hard drives, it takes way to long to sit there and wait for the process to finish. The defragmentation seems to take forever to finish on my three hard drives and I was looking for a way to speed things up a bit and reduce the time that I could not work with my computer.

Get rid of unwanted files, cache and cookies

Panicwipe is a one click solution to delete unwanted files securely from your system. The freeware is able to delete programs, files, folders, registry entrys, IE cache, history and cookies with one simple click. You´ve got full control over the whole process of course: you select the data that you want to delete, everything else remains.

Blu-Ray vs. HD-DVD comparision

Do you know about the differences between Blue-Ray and HD-DVD ? I mean, the real differences, not the technical mumbo jumbo that has no meaning in real life. With the releases of Training Day, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Rumor has it on Blue-Ray and HD-DVd the guys at High Def Digest were able to compare the two formats directly. All three reviews analyze the video and audio quality, the depth of supplemental content, the overall ease of use and menu navigation.

web proxy

Free Web Proxy List, Custom Proxy Server Guide

A web proxy is becoming more and more important in todays internet. Schools and Companys tend to block sites pretty quickly nowadays, especially when the blocking is directed at just a few websites and not every website in that category. Web Proxys might be able to sneak past this policies and display the site in your browser even though it is banned in the network.

add ftp server windows

How to mount an ftp server as a drive in Windows

The following tip might be useful for all the webmasters out there and everyone else who is having access to a ftp drive on the internet. Instead of connecting to the ftp with your ftp software you can simply mount the ftp drive in windows and access it like every other hard drive you have installed. Here is how you do that:

windows explorer new menu

Remove Unnecessary Entries From The New File Menu

You see lots of file types when you right click and select new from the context menu. I will never need most of them and I think this is a common problem for most windows xp users. How many users would need the briefcase entry in that menu for instance ? I don´t know a single person who would use that entry on this machine.

Which Firefox Extensions are available in Opera?

I found a great website that lists 150 popular Firefox extensions and checks if Opera offers their functionality as well. The main part of Rijks comparision consists of a table that has the 150 most popular (based on the most popular category on the mozilla firefox website) Firefox extensions on the left side and one of four possible results for Opera on the right side.

Restore Accidentally Deleted Files with Restoration

I´am sometimes deleting files holding down the shift-key without thinking much about it. It happens that I delete a file that I did not want to be deleted at that moment because it is still needed on my system. A very easy way to restore files that have been accidentally deleted is Restoration which is a nice little freeware application that scans your hard disk and lists all files than can be either partially or fully restored.

freshui

Tune Windows with Fresh UI

The windows tuning freeware Fresh UI has been released in a new version and I thought this would be a good moment to write an article about the software. You can customize and tweak your windows operating system with fresh ui, every windows system since 95 is supported. You find six categories on the left side at the start of the program which expand in subcategories when you click on them.

firefox time tracker

Track Your Online Time in Firefox

How much time do you spend surfing the internet using firefox daily ? What ? You can only guess the amount of time ? The Timetracker extension for firefox will help you track the time you used firefox. Maybe you get paid for surfing the web and you want to keep track of the time to know how much you will earn. Maybe you are just a curious lad who wants to know how much you are surfing a day / week / month or even year.

mediainfo

Technical Information about Video and Audio Files

Your friend said it is a great movie but the damn thing won´t play in your computer. The screen remains black and you hear no audio at all. Many users tend to download a huge codec package and install it on their system. Sure, the movie most likely plays fine after this method but it seems a bit like an overkill if installing one single codec would have lead to the same result.

public domain movies

Public Domain Movies

When a work's copyright or patent restrictions expire, it enters the public domain and may be used by anyone for any purpose. All the movies, concerts, documentations and animations on the free movies website are public domain. The site holds currently 93 movies and 85 documentaries plus additional animations and concert videos.

Vista Voice Recognition gone awry Video

You might have heard this story before. Microsoft was holding a press conference in which they wanted to demonstrate the voice recognition capabilities of the upcoming Windows Vista operating system. Unfortunately for Microsoft the voice recognition did not work as intended.

firefox minimized

How to minimize every window to the tray

This freeware tool is so sweet. I hate when dozens of windows clutter my precious taskbar space with no means to minimize them to the tray. I especially don´t like it when I´am not using the program for a long time but want to keep it running, for example transcoding large video streams.

ip-lookup

How to lookup your own IP

I have written a small php script that lookups your IP, your browser, the refering site and the remote port. The website has no ads at all and loads pretty fast. This might be useful for those who are using proxys and want to check if those proxys are spilling their IP address or not. The RIAA for example is identifying downloaders by their IP address.

check bookmarks

How to check for dead and duplicate bookmarks

I have lots of bookmarks, not only in Firefox but also in Internet Explorer and Opera. It happens sometimes when I want to open a bookmark that I have not used for a while that the link points to a dead url which makes me search for mirrors or cached versions of the page. Ultimately I remove the link from the favorites because it is dead and most likely will not be revived at a later date.

boardgames

Free Computer Versions of Board and Card Games

I love playing boardgames with friends, it´s always funny and exciting and I enjoy those evenings very much. It is unfortunatly happening that I would like to play boardgames when none of my friends are available. I could play by myself but this is rather boring. One alternative would be to look for online versions of those games and play against computers or other human players over the internet.

regeditx

How to enhance the Windows Registry

Accessing keys in the registry is a lot of work, because there is no way to enter the path to the key directly. You always have to either search for the key or navigate through the structure to the key in question. RegeditX enhances the display of your registry by adding a path form field to it. This makes it way easier to work with the registry, you can simply paste complete paths into that field and are taken directly to the specified key at the end of the chain.

groupbar

Start your favorite applications with one click

Microsoft Groupbar is a freeware application for windows xp that offers an enhanced window management capability. Groupbar does not need to be installed, just download the file and start GroupBar.exe. The tool automatically appears as a sidebar on the left of your screen but can be placed in the other three corners as well. The sidebar displays all running applications, you are free to sort them anyway you like.

firefox problematic extensions

Problematic Firefox Extensions

Some Firefox extensions seem to cause problems when enabling them, like making firefox slower or even crash the browser. This is of course not intended behaviour but it still occurs rather frequently when new extensions are released. The problematic extensions web site lists known bugs and workaround for many firefox extensions.

destroy websites

Don't like a website? Destroy it..

Yeah this sounds crazy at first glance but a friend of mine and I thought of something similar just a few days ago. So, let us destroy some websites. My first target: Microsoft, the weapon: Muddy Footprints. After approximately one minute the complete site was full of mud. Great, now something more devastating. I placed some nasty landmines on the website of my good old friend Derryck from connectedinternet.

feedreader

How to use RSS Feeds

This topic might not look interesting at first glance but I promise it will be worth reading it. More than 900 readers subscribed to the feeds of ghacks.net using feedburner alone while many more are using different services to read my feeds. But what are feeds ? They are a short abstract of every article that gets posted here. This means whenever I write an article it will automatically appear in those peoples feed reader software. Many browsers for instance are able to read feeds or can be upgraded to read them.

firefox custom search engines

Add specialized Search Engines to Firefox

Mozilla Firefox comes preinstalled with seven search engines which are Google, Yahoo, Amazon, Answers, Creative Commons, Ebay and Furl. Those are probably not the best selections, most probably missed that there are more search engines than Google preinstalled. Adding new search engines that might prove more useful can be easily added by going to the mozilla search engine page.

drive image

Backup your data with Drive Image XML

Chris asked me yesterday if I knew of a good freeware backup program for windows and I replied to him that Syncback would be such a tool. I discovered another one and thought it would be nice to share this one with everyone. The backup tool is called Drive Image XML, it is completely freeware and runs in windows xp and windows 2003 server only. If you are running a different version of windows use Syncback.

super video converter

Super the ultimate video converter

I have been recieving an email lately asking for a freeware utility that would be able to convert most known video formats into each other. When I saw the webpage for Super the first time I was reminded of that email and thought it was a big coincidence that I found such a converter that fast. The tool stands out for several reasons, first it is freeware which is always good, second it does not require that you install the needed codecs - it has all codecs on board.

How to remove past icons from the taskbar

You have uninstalled the program completly and are sure that no reference is left on your computer. What if there is still one left that you probably did not know about ? Every item that appears on the left side of the clock in the taskbar will be cached by windows which means that the icon of the program is still available on your system. Check this out by yourself by right-clicking the taskbar. Select properties from the menu and click on the customize button at the bottom of that screen. If customize is not active activated it by enabling Hide Inactive Icons.