Megathread Software Sunday (Software recommendation)

Thread Description
Weekly software recommendations #swsd

DarkMahesvara

varishangout.com
Software Sunday #10 (18/04/2021)

CrystalDiskInfo (OSS) is a Windows storage information and health monitoring tool (Disks & GSmartControl for Linux). It displays hardware data (Serial number and Model name), usage data (Hours powered on, total reads/writes), an estimation of the storage devices health using S.M.A.R.T. and much more. You can start it with the system and run it in the background to notify you about changes in your storage devices health like high temperature, high spin up time or general degradation.

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There are even official skins with cute anime girls (Shizuku Edition and Kurei Kei Edition)

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CrystalDiskMark (OSS) is a Windows benchmarking tool for drives (Disks & KDiskMark for Linux) made by the same devs.

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It also has an official cute girl skin (Shizuku Edition).

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Cayhr

varishangout.com
Artist
Regular
Software Sunday #10 (18/04/2021)

CrystalDiskInfo (OSS) is a Windows drive information and health monitoring tool (Disks & GSmartControl for Linux). It displays hardware data (Serial number and Model name), usage data (Hours powered on, total reads/writes) and an estimation of the drives health using S.M.A.R.T.. You can start it with the system and run it in the background to notify you about changes in your drives health like high temperature, high spin up time or generall degradation.

View attachment 3425

There are even official skins with cute anime girls (Shizuku Edition and Kurei Kei Edition)

View attachment 3426View attachment 3427



CrystalDiskMark (OSS) is a Windows benchmarking tool for drives (Disks & KDiskMark for Linux) made by the same devs.

View attachment 3428

It also has an official cute girl skin (Shizuku Edition).

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Cultured devs with the cute girl themes lol. I just happened to be in the cleaning mood today and some drive monitoring software kinda just adds to my maintenance toolkit, so this is a convenient post! Thanks for the recs, as always.
 

Jahy

varishangout.com
CrystalDiskInfo (OSS) is a Windows drive information and health monitoring tool (Disks & GSmartControl for Linux).
>Windows

I beg to differ, my friend! Why use those other two programs when you can wine-and-dine Shizuku in your comfy, POSIX-compliant environment?

Screenshot from 2021-04-18 18-18-33.png


In all seriousness, this is a great piece of software. I love how it is arguably the most popular hard disk monitoring tool and fully cultured weebware to boot.
 

DarkMahesvara

varishangout.com
>Windows

I beg to differ, my friend! Why use those other two programs when you can wine-and-dine Shizuku in your comfy, POSIX-compliant environment?

View attachment 3440

In all seriousness, this is a great piece of software. I love how it is arguably the most popular hard disk monitoring tool and fully cultured weebware to boot.
Indeed bless Wine :peko-bow: (wondering if the name is also for "making water to wine" :ohohoh:)
 

DarkMahesvara

varishangout.com
Software Sunday #11 (25/04/2021)

HandBrake (OSS) is a GUI video converting tool for Windows, Linux and MacOS. It can convert video and audio files in many different formats and qualities.

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This can be useful if you need a specific media codec/format (e.g. H264/MP4) or video resolution/frame rate (e.g. [email protected]) for uploading to a site or just reducing file size to save space. It can also be used to add subtitles, titles, chapters or video filters.

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Reduce file size and change format:
Here i have a pretty big (135MB) and high quality (1440P) video that is too big for uploading on some sites (e.g. discord: 8MB and this forum: 30MB) in MKV format that might be incompatible with some sites/devices (twitter only supports MP4 and MOV files).

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In HandBrake you can choose a quality preset and change the output format.

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After processing, the video shrank from 135MB ([email protected] MKV) to below 10MB ([email protected] MP4).

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Download and install it from GitHub or the official website. If you like the software please support the developer!
 

DarkMahesvara

varishangout.com
Software Sunday #12 (02/05/2021)

Today i will not focus on one specific program but multiple tools that have one common goal. EXIF (Exchangeable image file format) data is info included in image, sound and video files. This data can be benign info such as creation date, resolution/quality or compression but also the manufacturer/model name and (unique) identifier of the Device used to create the file and most critically even GPS location (most relevant for smartphones and digital cameras which can be disabled on some of them).

EXIF data has been used by authorities (NSA in XKeyscore; Parler data leak) and already lead to arrests (most famously the scammer John McAfee). But even normal user should be conscious of it to prevent this data from getting in the hands of random people (doxing) or companies (data collection).

Most big internet sites/services automatically remove sensitive or all EXIF data on upload (we do it too on our Forum and Pleroma). But that doesn't mean that you should blindly trust them and not worry about it. You can use the following tools to remove EXIF data yourself and test if they work (exif-samples).

Desktop:
Available for Windows, Linux and Mac.
Available for Windows, Linux, Mac.

Windows Install:
  • Download and unzip the file in a directory of your choice (e.g. EXIF tool)
  • create a new file (right click > New > Text Document)
  • open the text file and write the following (change the pathto to the location of your exiftool(-k).exe):
    "pathto\exiftool(-k).exe" -r -overwrite_original -all= %* pause
  • save and rename the file to Delete_all_Exif.bat
  • Drag&Drop files into the exiftool(-k).exe to display EXIF data and Delete_all_Exif.bat to remove them (test it to make sure it works (exif-samples))
Available for Linux

Mobile (Android):
Download from F-Droid and follow the app instruction.

Another much more limited way is to screenshot an image. This way at least GPS data should be removed (other data such as OS/Device names and IDs still might persist, depending on the OS/Device used to screenshot).
 

DarkMahesvara

varishangout.com
Software Sunday #13 (09/05/2021)

Cryptomator (OSS) is a client-side encryption tool to securely store data in the cloud (or your devices). It's available for Windows, Linux, macOS, Android and iOS.

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Contrary to what many cloud provider such as iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive want you to believe. Your private data is not safe from prying eyes such as the government or even the providers themselves. Even if you think you can trust the provider, your data still might be shared unknowingly with 3rd parties such as Facebook.

With Cryptomator you can be in control and encrypt the data yourself (client-side) in a Vault to store them in the Cloud (server-side).



Install the application for your platform. If you like the software please support the developer!



Setup on all platforms is simple and well documented.

Create a Vault

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Choose a location where you want to store the Vault. The location of your Cloud depends on your Provider e.g. OneDrive path on Windows is C:\Users\[username]\OneDrive\

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Choose a strong password (preferably long and randomly generated with a Password Manager like KeePass) and create a recovery key if you want.

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Unlock the Vault and save your data in it.



To access your data on another Device you just need to import it.

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Cayhr

varishangout.com
Artist
Regular
Software Sunday #13 (09/05/2021)

Cryptomator (OSS) is a client-side encryption tool to securely store data in the cloud (or your devices). It's available for Windows, Linux, macOS, Android and iOS.

Contrary to what many cloud provider such as iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive want you to believe. Your private data is not safe from prying eyes such as the government or even the providers themselves. Even if you think you can trust the provider, your data still might be shared unknowingly with 3rd parties such as Facebook.

With Cryptomator you can be in control and encrypt the data yourself (client-side) in a Vault to store them in the Cloud (server-side).



Install the application for your platform.


Setup on all platforms is simple and well documented.

Create a Vault

View attachment 4157

View attachment 4158

View attachment 4159

Choose a location where you want to store the Vault. The location of your Cloud depends on your Provider e.g. OneDrive path on Windows is C:\Users\[username]\OneDrive\

View attachment 4160

Choose a strong password (preferebly long and randomly generated with a Password Manager like KeePass) and create a recovery key if you want.

View attachment 4161

Unlock the Vault and save your data in it.



To access your data on another Device you just need to import it.

View attachment 4158
Oh hell yes, this is the absolute GOAT.
 

namedoesntfi

varishangout.com
Regular
Patron of the Forums
Software Sunday #13 (09/05/2021)

Cryptomator (OSS) is a client-side encryption tool to securely store data in the cloud (or your devices). It's available for Windows, Linux, macOS, Android and iOS.

Contrary to what many cloud provider such as iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive want you to believe. Your private data is not safe from prying eyes such as the government or even the providers themselves. Even if you think you can trust the provider, your data still might be shared unknowingly with 3rd parties such as Facebook.

With Cryptomator you can be in control and encrypt the data yourself (client-side) in a Vault to store them in the Cloud (server-side).



Install the application for your platform.


Setup on all platforms is simple and well documented.

Create a Vault

View attachment 4157

View attachment 4158

View attachment 4159

Choose a location where you want to store the Vault. The location of your Cloud depends on your Provider e.g. OneDrive path on Windows is C:\Users\[username]\OneDrive\

View attachment 4160

Choose a strong password (preferebly long and randomly generated with a Password Manager like KeePass) and create a recovery key if you want.

View attachment 4161

Unlock the Vault and save your data in it.



To access your data on another Device you just need to import it.

View attachment 4158
Thanks. Appreciate it. :puddicat-heart:
 

DarkMahesvara

varishangout.com
Software Sunday #14 (16/05/2021)

NewPipe (OSS) is a lightweight, privacy friendlier and feature rich YouTube Front-end app for Android (also supports PeerTube, SoundCloud, Bandcamp and media.ccc.de).

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Google sees and uploads everything you do in the official YouTube App such as subscribing or creating playlists. NewPipe stores everything locally on your device, the only thing known to Google is your IP address and which videos you watch (can be made worthless with a Proxy/Tor). The official YouTube App also requires a Google Account, Google Play services and has trackers and many unnecessary permissions (2 Tracker & 33 Permissions) while NewPipe needs no account, has no trackers and only the minimum required permissions to function (0 Tracker & 6 Permissions).

But even if you don't care about Google tracking there are many awesome features:
  • No Ads
  • Background Player (Listen to videos while display is off/locked)
  • Watch age restricted videos (no Account or ID/credit card required)
  • Download Videos
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  • Less Data and Power usage (No Ads an other unnecessary crap is loaded = less data and power)
  • Smaller App (~9MB vs ~100MB)



Download and install the App from GitHub or F-Droid. If you have a Google Account and want to import your subscriptions, just download your YouTube data and import it into NewPipe.

Since the Devs have made (imo) poor decisions about certain features (refuses to include BitChute & SponsorBlock), you might want to use a fork. If you like the software please support the developer!
 
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DarkMahesvara

varishangout.com
Software Sunday #15 (23/05/2021)

simplewall (OSS) is a lightweight client Firewall tool for Windows (OpenSnitch for Linux works similar).

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The main use case is to block unauthorized applications from accessing the network/internet to improve security and privacy. Many applications send data to the developers or even 3rd parties without user consent or benefit to extract (private) information. To prevent this simplewall uses the Windows Filtering Platform (WFP) used by the Windows Firewall to block all network connections by default and only permits them after explicit user consent (Whitelisting). It can also block most Windows spying/telemetry.

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When an application attempts to establish a network connection, it will get blocked automatically and the user receives a notification. Giving him the choice to either Block or Allow it. It's also possible to Allow only for a certain amount of time e.g. X minutes or X hours. This has the benefit of making it easy to control and monitor which applications phone home.

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All active connections can also be displayed.

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Setup and usage (you should at least read Windows Updates: section at the bottom):
Setup:

After installing and starting simplewall, you first need to Enable filters (this will block all connections until you allow them, so make sure you don't have anything important running that shouldn't be interrupted e.g. playing online games or some downloads/uploads).

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Leaving Disable Windows Firewall checked is default/recommended, although there seems to be no problem to run them both side by side. Disabling Windows Firewall will alert Windows Defender which you can ignore.

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After Enable filters you will probably receiver many notifications for some time about your blocked programs. Inspect them and choose if you want to allow or block them. Keep in mind that if you block an application, some features such as automatic updates may not work anymore.

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When choosing if you want to allow or block an application, there are a couple of things to look out for.

If the Name: is known to you e.g. your browser you can just allow it. But sometimes you will receive a notification about a application that you have never heard before. Chances are that it's probably a system application used by Windows. You can check this by hovering the cursor over the application name e.g. simplewall.exe which will list the location and developer name. Most Windows application are located in C:\WINDOWS\system32\ and (should) have a digital signature from Microsoft/Windows.

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If you're still uncertain, look up the application name with a search engine or follow the steps provided here.



Usage:

After allowing and blocking applications you can change or inspect your configuration in the Apps category, which will list all choices. Block = remove check mark; Allow = add check.

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To add certain applications:

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You can also save (export) or restore (import) your configuration:

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It's also possible to create custom IP and application rules:

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For example:
If you want to access an (internal) Network Share from Windows, you need to give the application System (C:\WINDOWS\system32\ntoskrnl.exe) network access. But since you can't tell what else might use that process to phone home, you can create a rule to only allow certain IPs (192.168.1.200) used by the Network share.

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Edit the configuration for the application:

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and apply the User rule to the application System:

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Packet log:
To inspect which blocked application try to phone home you can use the Packets log.

First enable it:
File > Settings > Packets log > Interface: (X) Enable packets logging interface (session only) or (X) Enable Packets logging to a file:

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Now all application that get blocked will be listed in the Packets log with more information (clear the log: right click on application > Clear log)

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Settings:

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Some settings I recommend:
  • General
    • (X) Load on system startup
    • (X) start minimized
    • (X) Skip "User Account Control" prompt warning
  • Rules
    • Advanced: (X) Check apps for digital signature
  • Blocklist
    • (X) Microsoft update servers: Allow (see Windows Updates section below)
  • Notifications
    • ( ) Enable silent-mode when full screen app in foreground
  • Packets log
    • Interface: (X) Enable packets logging interface (session only)



Windows Updates:

simplewall will also block Windows Update. To receive automatic updates you need to do the following (depends on your version. This should work on Windows 10 version 2004):
  • Allow the processes mousocoreworker.exe, systemsettings.exe, svchost.exe
  • File > Settings > Blocklist > Microsoft update servers: (X) Allow
If it works you should be able to receiver new updates (Windows Settings > Update & Security > Check for updates).

The reason you might not want to do this:
Because Microsoft is retarded/malicious/lazy the process svchost.exe is not only used by Updates, but an unknown number of other Windows Services such as Telemetry/Spying (these might get blocked by File > Settings > Blocklist > Microsoft spying and telemetry servers: (X) Block (recommended))

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There are already multiple discussions on how to handle the problem and one supposed fix (that might break in the future or won't work at all).
  1. Copy svchost.exe in C:/Windows/System32 and rename it to wusvc.exe
  2. Allow it in SW > File > Add app...
  3. Allow mpcmdrun.exe in C:/programdata/microsoft/windows defender/platform/[Version Number]/[ICODE] [*]You might have to repeat the first step after every couple of updates to apply possible changes/fixes in [ICODE]svchost.exe

If that doesn't work or is too much effort i would recommend allowing svchost.exe only for couple of minutes when you want to update (e.g. weekly/monthly) or download them yourself manually (Microsoft Update Catalog, Microsoft Defender updates, external application like wumgr).



Download and install the applications from GitHub or the official website. If you like the software please support the developer!
 

DarkMahesvara

varishangout.com
Software Sunday #16 (30/05/2021)

εxodus (Exodus) is a privacy auditing platform to analyze Android applications. You can lookup details such as tracker and permission about any free app on Google Play Store and F-Droid. Many apps (on Play Store) are riddled with tracker, sending your data to 3rd parties such as Google/Facebook and use unnecessary permission which puts your whole device/data at risk.

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The best example of this might be the infamous Flashlight Apps. Currently one of the most downloaded (+10.000.000 times) and highest rated (4.7 stars) Flashlight app called "High-Powered Flashlight - Super Bright LED Light" uses 19 trackers and 11 permissions (see report). In comparison "Simple Flashlight" on the privacy respecting F-Droid app store has 0 trackers and 2 permissions (see report).

Sadly this is already common practice in almost all apps on the Play Store. If you want to check your installed apps you can use the official Exodus app and get a report for all of them. After that you might want to look for alternative apps on F-Droid (see my rambling) that don't harvest your data and are in many cases even better.

If you like the service and software please support the developer!
 

DarkMahesvara

varishangout.com
Software Sunday #17 (06/06/2021)

GrapheneOS is a privacy and security focused mobile OS developed by Security researcher Daniel Micay based on Android (AOSP) which aims not only to remove Google dependencies but substantially improve the overall device security and privacy by implementing numerus features and changes.

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How is it different from Stock/Google Android?

It looks, feels and works exactly like Android 11 but with many security improvements and no spying.

The high security requirements of the project are currently only supported on Google Pixel Devices (ironic i know). To fully benefit from Hardware, OS and Firmware security features/updates the following devices are recommended.

Google Services are removed and if possible replaced with open source alternatives which have the benefit of completely removing Play Services (optional Sandboxed Play services are now available as an experimental preview). Which is a Black box that has full device access and transmits an ungodly amount of personal information to Google. But this may break features for some apps that require Play Services e.g. Googles Firebase Cloud Messaging (FCM) is used for Notifications is replaced with Server Push that not all apps support = no/limited notifications. This can be avoided by using privacy friendly alternative app that don't depend on Google.

Android De-Google App compatibility checker: plexus.techlore.tech

Play Store has also been removed, but installing Apps from it is still possible with Aurora Store (without google account). Since most Play Store apps have intrusive Trackers and unnecessary Permissions, its strongly recommend to use alternative apps from the privacy respecting and open source F-Droid store.

From my experience to to Stock/Google Android it also has about increased battery life and uses less (mobile) data.



How does it improve security and privacy?

As already said it come with many features. Here are the highlights in short (there is much more):



The installation is easy even for non-tech savvy users and only requires about 20 minutes (most of which are waiting for downloading the Operation System). Breaking your Device is *almost* impossible and you can always revert back to Stock Android. If you have problems or questions you can read the FAQ or join the community chats which are very active and helpful. I also made a thread for it on the Android sub-forum.

If you like the service and software please support the developer!
 
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DarkMahesvara

varishangout.com
Software Sunday #18 (13/06/2021)

SponsorBlock (OSS) is a Browser Addon/Extension to skip Sponsor sections in YouTube videos powered by crowdsourcing.

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When watching a video with a sponsor, that has already been reported by other SponsorBlock users. You will be able to skip the segment (manually or automatically).

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(different colors for different segment categories e.g. Sponsor, Self Promo, Unpaid...)


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Save your and other peoples time!

If nobody has submitted a segment or its faulty you can submit them yourself (there is even a optional leaderboard).

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There are tons of options for customization (segment colors, channel whitelists and other behavior)



Data send about requested videos are minimal and anonymized (see Privacy Policy). You can also download the Database and self host it.

Install it for your Browser. If you like the service and software please support the developer!

SponsorBlock is also integrated in other YouTube Projects like NewPipe (only in fork) and youtube-dl (only in fork) and maybe soon FreeTubeApp.
 
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NLDX

varishangout.com
Software Sunday #18 (13/06/2021)

SponsorBlock (OSS) is a Browser Addon/Extension to skip Sponsor sections in YouTube videos powered by crowdsourcing.

When watching a video with a sponsor, that has already been reported by other SponsorBlock users. You will be able to skip the segment (manually or automatically).

View attachment 5184
(different colors for different segment categories e.g. Sponsor, Self Promo, Unpaid...)


View attachment 5188
Save your and other peoples time!

If nobody has submitted a segment or its faulty you can submit them yourself (there is even a optional leaderboard).

View attachment 5186

View attachment 5187

There are tons of options for customization (segment colors, channel whitelists and other behavior)



Data send about requested videos are minimal and anonymized (see Privacy Policy). You can also download the Database and self host it.

Install it for your Browser. If you like the service and software please support the developer!

SponsorBlock is also integrated in other YouTube Projects like NewPipe (only in fork) and youtube-dl (only in fork) and maybe soon FreeTubeApp.
Only on PC ?
 
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