Drivers are tricky things. When they work you barely notice them, but should something go wrong, they can cause major headaches. This is especially true for machines with older hardware (we're talking Pre-Windows 7 computers). You used to be able to manually search for device drivers directly on the manufacturer's Web site. This process, however, takes both time and patience, requiring you to find the device info. and the correct driver version. At the end of the day it can still be a risky process, requiring a bit of technical savvy.
Greetings from 34,000 feet! Sometimes I still marvel at being able to get Internet access all the way up here.
So, funny story, yesterday I received a press release indicating that today, and only today, Laplink is giving away its Laplink Sync utility. It normally costs $39.99.
Update: Looks like Laplink's servers are on fire (figuratively), as many people are reporting problems claiming the offer -- not uncommon with a heavily promoted giveaway such as this. Hopefully the company will do the right thing and extend it so everyone can have a chance at it.
Or will … Read more
Apple's Disk Utility program is the built-in drive and volume management tool for OS X that is included not just in the working OS X installation but also in the OS X installation and recovery volumes for an OS X system. While useful for checking system file permissions and fixing formatting errors, there are some instances where it may not properly manage some custom drive setups on iMac and Mac Mini systems.
Flashing your BIOS on a computer is almost a rite of passage for super users. Now, you can do the same thing on your Android gadget with Auto Flasher ROM flash utility. It lets you update any part of your custom ROM if something goes wrong. It's also relatively easy for rookie rooters, but they should proceed with some caution.
Since Android doesn't let you flash stock builds, you need to root your phone to use this app. If you haven't rooted, the app will kick you out before you get a chance to explore anything. If … Read more
At Download.com, we've long recommended the excellent Mark Russinovich-created and Microsoft-supplied Process Explorer freeware, which provides scads of info on all of your Windows PC processes and options for managing them. Well, Process Lasso is like the peanut butter for Process Explorer's chocolate. It lets users set default priorities and CPU affinities for specific processes, establish rules for how processes behave, and also create alerts and automatic events for when processes misbehave or use too much memory. The interface is outdated and not beginner friendly, but Process Lasso offers very useful features in a powerful little package.… Read more
In the sea of PC optimization software, it can be hard to find the right set of tools to keep your computer in tip-top shape. Luckily, TuneUp Utilities is here. A 16-year veteran in the field of Computer Cleanup, TuneUp offers the latest revision of their famous TuneUp Utilities 2013, with some new tools and major fixes that promise to improve the performance of any PC. The best part is that TU gives you full functionality with the 15-day trial.
TuneUp Utilities installation is relatively painless while taking up no more than 80MB of disk space. The program does require … Read more
High-quality tax tools don't always come with high prices. Moose-Tech's Schedule D Tax Tool is a standalone tool for generating IRS Schedule D tax data in TXF files that can be imported into major tax preparation software. It can import XLS data and match individual transactions. It doesn't prepare your taxes for you, but it does simplify the process of entering your tax data, which frees you up to focus on more important parts of the whole taxpaying experience.
Schedule D Tax Tool's compact Main Menu offers a gentle reminder to have your personal data ready: &… Read more
Windows 8 apps are meant to be run from the Windows 8 Start screen and in full-screen mode. You can snap them to the side of the Start screen, but they're still limited to the Start screen. If you're simultaneously using desktop programs and apps, you'll have to toggle between your desktop and Start screen to use them. This inefficient back and forth can be alleviated with the use of a program called ModernMix. ModernMix, just released by StarDock as a public beta, aims to give Windows 8 users the flexibility to run Windows 8 apps right … Read more
Everything on a Mac looks so polished on the outside that it may become unclear how to fine-tune settings under the hood of its graphical interface. Cocktail for Mac allows you to access an impressive number of useful tweaks and enhancements without entering a single line of code.
Cocktail for Mac can manually trigger maintenance scripts, optimize inactive RAM manually or periodically, toggle Spotlight indexing for chosen drives, force special startup modes, and access a lot of the hidden Finder and core app settings, to name just a few options. By "hidden," we mean those settings that are … Read more
PasswordBox keeps all of your online passwords in one convenient location accessible from any computer. This application is slowly becoming a preferred tool around the office known for decreasing log-in time increasing time spent on Facebook and Tumblr.
The installation file will you set you up with the PasswordBox add-ons for popular browsers such as Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and IE. It runs from within the browser environment and works the same way across the board. PasswordBox is still in beta, and the setup is one way to make an account.
Essentially a vault for all of your online passwords, PasswordBox … Read more