Tag Archives: essentials

Rewind: A look back at GEEK! so far

Well, GEEK! is just over three years old now; and during that time I’ve written over 400 posts. So, while I don’t really want to add anything too new to GEEK! while I get my backup system finalised, I thought now would be a good time to run over some of the posts have brought the most traffic to GEEK!.

By far and away, the most popular post on GEEK! is the “Get the old Windows Live Essentials back“. So many of you were fed up with the poor functionality of Essentials 2011 (including me), so I linked you up with a download and instructions to get the old 2009 version back.

Next up, it’s the tool I found that allowed you to find the biggest files on your hard drive. The tiny tool quickly locates the files that are occupying the most space on your drive, allowing you to delete anything you see as unnecessary.

My review of the Samsung N145P netbook brought the next largest amount of attention to GEEK!. A fully comprehensive review that details everything you needed to know.

Not too far behind, my finding of TVCatchup back in mid 2009 provided Freeview TV access over the internet (in the UK). I still use the site regularly when I’m on the go, as it provides live TV without a bombardment of adverts.

Last in the top five, it’s my iPod touch 4G review. Simple and sweet – it explains all the new features that were (and still are) great additions to the iPod range.

And that’s it – a round-up of the top five biggest posts on GEEK!. Normal service on GEEK! will resume soon, but I’m just optimising the backup process on my new VPS!

Prey–incredible free computer tracking software

For many months now I’ve been looking for some good value tracking software to install on my netbook and (potentially) my portable devices. As much as I hope my netbook never gets stolen – you can never be sure what might happen and it’s better to be prepared.

It was only today that I’ve finally found the answer. It’s called Prey. It’s an open-source piece of kit that runs on Windows, Mac and Linux.

Once you’ve downloaded and installed it, that’s the last you’ll see of it. Make sure when you install it to select the option not to install start menu shorcuts as it will make the software harder to find by an thief.

From here onwards, all of your settings for the program will be managed online. Log onto your account at the program’s website, and you’ll be presented with a handful of useful properties.

For example, you can get the program to take logs of any wi-fi networks it’s connected to, together with pictures from any connected webcam and screenshots of your display. These are then summarised in reports that are emailed direct to your inbox for your viewing pleasure. Believe me – you’ll be astonished at what it’ll pick up.

I happen to think this is an essential for anybody with a laptop that they care about – the software is totally FREE and could help you (and the police) in what would otherwise be a relatively hopeless situation. The program won’t hamper your computer’s performance at all (using just 5MB of RAM in Windows) and you’ll forget you’ve even installed it.

Get the old Windows Live Essentials (2009) back – Messenger, Mail, Writer etc

Update 23/03/2014, 20/08/2015: It still amazes me how much traffic this page gets (by far the most popular post on this site) – people still want Windows Live Essentials 2009! A few things to note… first of all, Windows Live Messenger is no longer supported by Microsoft and it’s now built into Skype, so use that instead. Additionally, the rest of the software still works fine (including Windows Live Mail which is the most requested item), but do bear in mind that the 2009 version isn’t designed for Windows 8/8.1/10, so you may have limited success (not tried it myself). Best of luck!

If, like me, you’ve tried Windows Live Essentials 2011 and dislike it – you’ve come to the right place.

I can’t stand the new Windows Live Messenger or the fact that Windows Live Mail now seems to display an error every time you download a new email. Microsoft clearly didn’t put enough work into this one. So until they fix the issues with it, I’m back with 2009.

Sadly, however, Microsoft have removed the download links for Windows Live Essentials 2009 which is quite annoying. You can still get the web installer from some sites on the internet, but I suspect Microsoft will remove the resources for this soon.

Have no fear though. GEEK! has the full installer which you can download and install to get the 2009 version back. You must uninstall the 2011 version first completely, and then install this version again.

Download now
File size: 134.85 MB

File is on Google servers. You will get a warning that the file can’t be scanned for viruses by Google – this is just because it’s too big for them to scan. Please see the disclaimer below.

Disclaimer: GEEK! has made every effort to ensure the safety of this download by scanning it for viruses and uploading it to a reputable server. However, GEEK! is not responsible for damage to you or your equipment through use of this download or software. Use at your own risk. This download has been provided purely for historical version provision purposes and is not in any way an intention to breach copyright.

Review: Windows Live Essentials 2009

It’s finally arrived – the finished edition of Windows Live Essentials from Microsoft Live, including the well known Windows Live Messenger, as well as Windows Live Mail, Windows Live Writer, Windows Live Photo Gallery plus the Windows Live Family Safety and toolbar.

We’ve waited not far off a year for the newest version of Windows Live Messenger to appear on our screens, so I’ll kick off with that. The new interface of Windows Live Messenger is fantasic and is also much more customizable than the last version. It looks especially good if you have a version of Windows Vista (or Windows 7 Beta – it works on that too) with the Aero glass. It doesn’t look quite as good in XP. Nevertheless, looks aren’t everything, the new features are good. There’s a new groups feature – where you can create groups of your favourite mates and they all share the group with everyone in it, as well as a new favourites group for you personally. Fans of the Sharing Folders will be disappointed, as it would appear they have been scrapped. I personally never used the Sharing Folders as I would just send a file manually.

Windows Live Mail is also very good. New improvements include a much cleaner interface which is much more user friendly. Under the hood, there aren’t many really noticeable changes, but it is still definitely worth downloading and using – especially if you use Windows Live Hotmail a lot.

Windows Live Writer is a good blog editing program, but I don’t personally use it myself as I’m quite happy to simply use the WordPress admin interface to add whatever I need to. However, it does include some neat features including picture editing, and it does have some cool plugin support. However, nothing will beat the ease of use in the WordPress dashboard, and since they are both free, I’d go for WordPress.

The Windows Live Photo Gallery has always been something I’ve used when I’ve been viewing photos from my digital camera. It’s neat and tidy, and resembles the Windows Media Player interface vaguely. It’s also a simple way of transporting photos from your camera or memory card to your computer.

If you need a good package for writing blogs, talking to friends, emailing and viewing your photos, go ahead and download this. Computer manufacturers are already dispatching this with their systems (Dell has agreed to do this recently) so you may already have these programs with a new PC. If you don’t, head over to download.live.com to get it for free.