Tuesday, February 23, 2016

5 Alternatives for Google Play Store – Android Smartphones

1.       AndroPps

AndroPps is an alternative App Store for Android that does not impose constraints of compatibility...

2.       Aptoid

Aptoide client is an open source Android application that allows one to install software. The installed software comes from multiple sources called "repositories". Each repository has multiple applications and are distributed over different locations. Repositories contain the latest applications allowing you to control and be notified of updates.

3.       F-Droid

The F-Droid Repository is an easily installable catalogue of free and open source apps for Android. With F-Droid, it is easy to browse and install apps on your device, and keep track of updates. You can also browse the repository with a web browser, and download the app directly from there, if you cannot or do not want to run the F-Droid client on your device.

All applications in the default repository must be Free and Open Source software – for example, released under a GPL or Apache license. Every effort is made to verify that this is actually the case, both by visual inspection of the source, and by building the application from the published source.

Software that reports user activity without permission (e.g. via Google Analytics) or tracks user behavior (e.g. most advertising platforms) is specifically excluded from F-Droid’s own repository, as is software with the primary purpose of interacting with a non-Free network service. You are, of course, free to set up your own repository for this kind of software – the server source is available, and the client will allow addition or removal of repositories as you see fit.

4.       AppBrain

AppBrain is a website, which makes sense out of the high number of apps available in the Android market.
* Discover the best Android apps via search, rankings and categories
* Easily install and manage your apps directly from the web browser
* Sync your apps easily with our native Android app
* Share the apps installed on your phone with your friends

5.       FossGroid

The project's aim is to promote free and open source software on the Android platform. Fossdroid takes its data from F-Droid, but which organizes apps an attractive, Google Play-like arrangement, with the ability to view apps by popularity.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

How to fix C:\PROGRA~1\COMMON~1\System\SysMenu.dll error?

History of the Problem Appearance

The history of this problem troubleshooting was not very exciting. The contaminated with malware computer was processed through a several anti-virus and anti-malware scans, including the standard loaded antivirus program, Malwarebytes, and several other “disinfectants”. After the guilty program was removed, the following traces remained:
* Periodic error message, pointing on the C:\PROGRA~1\COMMON~1\System\SysMenu.dll error. The specified module could not be found.

There was a problem starting C:\PROGRA~1\COMMON~1\System\SysMenu.dll
The specified module could not be found.

* Size of the icons on the Desktop is small, and cannot be reset as Default for medium size.

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Why the SysMenu Issue Happens?

Well, the original problem source is, so called, PUP. PUPs – which is short for Potentially Unwanted Programs - are computer software programs that install themselves without you knowing about it and then, rather presumptuously, take it upon themselves to install new files on your PC.

After the actual malware is successfully removed, the unwanted orphan files and configuration records might still remain, causing a RunDLL C:\PROGRA~1\COMMON~1\System\SysMenu.dll error message on startup saying that the specified module could not be found.

You may be wondering why you got this nasty malware at the first place. Potentially Unwanted Programs developers apply grey (questionable) and sometimes even red (totally illegal) business practices. The might include the visually attractive option in the totally legitimate and well-respected software, they might include it as a part of the downloaded torrent, or they may hide as an option with some illegal software you are trying to use.

Having a decent anti-malware program is a must, but might be not sufficient to keep your computer free from intruders. Therefore, whenever you download and install a new software on your computer, do not mindfully click next every time, just acknowledging the developers fine print. Make sure to read the End User License Agreement very carefully. PUPs will normally be mentioned in the small print as an added 'extra' so ensure that check boxes relating to these add-ons are correctly configured so that you do not download them too. Do not automatically download and install anything you are not very sure what it is.

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How to Fix?

If your computer performance is draws your suspicion, uninstall all the recently installed programs, you are not familiar with, listing your programs by installation date in the built-in Unintsall option in your Windows OS. If you have the better uninstallation utility, like Revo Uninstaller, or similar, better you them, as they assure cleaner removal from your Hard Drive and Registry.

If the SysMenu.dll error message still appears on your computer (or started to appear after the PUP removal), use the following recommendations:

1. Download Windows Sysinternals Microsoft standard utility Autoruns for Windows, developed by Mark Russinovich, and save it to your Desktop.

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2. Launch autoruns.exe program (for Vista/Windows 7/8 users’ right-click and select Run As Administrator).
3. In the top menu, click File > Find... and type the file name SysMenu.dll, then click Find Next. Alternatively, you can scroll through the list and look for any entry related to SysMenu.dll.
4. When found the related entry, right-click on it and choose delete. Note that these entries are usually yellow highlighted.
5. Go through the list and delete all the related entries.
6. Close Autoruns and reboot your computer, when the task is completed.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Get more from Skype with Messenger Plus!

Messenger Plus! (for Skype) is a free add-on that enhances the Skype software with cool features and extras. Now you can record your calls in Skype, send winks (flash animations) and sounds to your friends, share videos, apply real-time video and voice effects, set a different style and color for your toolbar and much more!

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Animations (Winks)
Send flash video animations (winks) to your friends, family and co-workers. Add expression to your conversations and enrich your chat experience with this fun feature from Messenger Plus! (for Skype).

Call Recordings
Free video and audio call recording of unlimited duration with the choice of 3 recording quality levels. Messenger Plus! (for Skype) can configured to automatically start recording calls. Create and document special moments with video and audio archives of your family's or business' conferencing.

Video and Sound Effects
Make the most of your Skype calls with special built-in video and sound effects that put more fun into your Messenger Plus! (for Skype) calls in real-time. Preview and set the video/sound effects before applying them to your call.

Video Sharing
Share your videos directly from your computer into your live Skype conversation! Thanks to Messenger Plus! (for Skype), you can now share any WMV formatted video directly from your computer into your video call while being able to comment on it in real-time.

Overlays are decorative images that come in several patterns that can be added to your video calls in real-time. Pick one from our built-in designs or simply assign a folder with custom images on your local disk. Determine its on-screen positioning and add text to it or whether you want it to fit the screen or not.

Custom Sounds and Ringtones
Send custom sounds to your contacts from the unified Messenger Plus! Skype-Messenger sound archive. Create, assign and edit your own custom ringtones. Personalize the way your Messenger Plus! (for Skype) rings when you have incoming calls from specific contacts by editing and assigning a custom ringtone per contact.

Slick Customizable Toolbox
With its slick customizable toolbox interface, Messenger Plus! (for Skype) gives you quick access to the features you want and lets you to set a different style, theme and color for your toolbox. It can also be conveniently docked to Skype contact window with a semi-transparent display in full screen mode.

Menu Mode
Messenger Plus! (for Skype) now gives you the possibility to switch from a vertical toolbar styled interface to a more minimalistic and discreet "top menu" button style. No matter what kind of interface approach you like, Messenger Plus! (for Skype) will give you a whole new way of using Skype!

Chat Log Viewer
The Messenger Plus! (for Skype) LogViewer stores and reads the log files created by Skype during your conversations. Search, preview and print any chat log conversation.

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