Mark Wilson

Mark Wilson has been working with computers since long before the Start menu existed, and writing about them for more than a decade. He's always on the lookout for the best software and cool new ways of achieving things - whether with Windows, iOS, Android or online. He can be found on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.

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What can you do if you find yourself with access to only a wired internet connection, but need to get devices online wirelessly? With Virtual Router Plus you can easily transform your laptop into a wireless hotspot to do just this.

This is a great option if you are able to physically connect your laptop to a network, but also want to be able to get online with your tablet or iPod. Read on to find out to use this fantastic free tool.


The best laid plans often fall by the wayside. You may start off with the intension of keep your files neatly organized so you know where everything is, but how long before you end up with folders called ‘stuff’, ‘misc’ and ‘to sort’ littering your desktop?

With DropIt, all of this could come to an end as your file organisation can be taken care of for you. Now rather than having to drag and drop file after file into suitable folders, you can define rules that sort them for you automatically. Read on to see how this tool could help you out.


f.lux – Adjust Your Monitor Throughout the Day

How many times have you been sitting at your computer late at night and thought ‘just thirty more minutes’? The next thing you know it is 4:00am and you need to be up early for work. It could be that it is your monitor that is keeping you awake due to being too bright, and it could also be the source of eye strain, headaches and much more.

Had enough of feeling this way? f.lux is a great free tool that can be used to adapt the color of your monitor to suit the time of day.


Paint a Story and Get in Touch with Your Creativity

Graphics packages can be terrifying applications. Fire up a program such as a Photoshop and the plethora of options and tools spreads before you is likely to be rather overwhelming. This is even more the case for children, but at the same time, it is only right that they are given the opportunity to experiment with computer-based painting. This is what Paint a Story offers – but there’s more to explore as well.


Screen capturing is not something that every computer user needs to do, but for others it is absolutely essential. Writing about software for AppStorm means that it’s something I need to do on a daily basis, and there are a multitude of apps available for anyone in my position.

Windows’ Sniping Tool is available to users of Windows 7 and 8, but it is very basic and I for one have found that the commercial program Snagit is amazingly versatile. But Greenshot is a free alternative which just goes to show there is no need to spend money on a screen capture tool.


Explorer is a tool that gets used every day. Few people give a second thought to looking for an alternative – there is a reasonably capable utility built into Windows for managing files, so why bother? – but when you start to investigate just what else is available, you start to realize what is missing from Microsoft’s file manager. Better Explorer is just one of many Explorer replacement tools and there’s a lot to explore.


USB drives. Few people predicted that they would become as popular and as successful as they did. These portable storage devices can be used not only to move files between computers, but also act a security tools and can even house your entire software library.

We have covered various portable apps in the past, but you may well be wondering just what the point of USB-based software is. I thought I’d take the time to explain why I think portable apps are not only so useful, but also very important.


There are a number of ways in which you can secure your computer. To help protect against online threats you’ll probably want to ensure that you have a firewall in place and anti-virus and anti-malware software installed.

But not all threats are external. If you share your computer with other people – such as your children – there is potential for settings to get changed without your consent. Many settings can be locked down by editing the registry, but you can also turn to the Group Policy Editor to put restrictions in place far more easily.


Microsoft is not a company renown for producing great image related software (Paint anyone?) but sometimes it can surprise. Fresh Paint is a touchscreen and finger friendly painting app that, while clearly aimed at kids, is great fun for anyone looking to get a little creative.

But while this is certainly an app that will be loved by kids, there is a degree of realism to the painting materials that make this worth a look even if you are slightly out of the target age bracket.


Think of web browsers for Windows and it’s the usual suspects that spring to mind – Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, et al. There are plenty of others to choose from, but generally peaking it is the same names that crop up again and again.

Move to mobile platforms and things start to get a little more fragmented. There may not be as many web browsers available for Android as for Windows, but users are often more willing to try something new. One browser that has proved very popular with owners of Android devices is UC Browser HD, and the same app is now available for Windows 8.


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