Transparent, See Through Windows Lock Screen [For Windows 7 & Later]

There might me many instances that you use” Windows + L” to lock your computer screen before leaving your place, it might be at your office, workplace or anywhere else. By locking your system this way, it takes you to the system logon screen and you can again log in by entering correct password (if you have set any windows password). When your system is locked, you will notice that background audio will still be playing but you will be unable to view the background activities, which could be playing of video (but you still can hear the audio), chat application and many more. But if you want that others can view your background programs running in your system without allowing them to have access to it, the best application to do so is ClearLock.

ClearLock is a small size freeware application that provides kind of transparent layer to your desktop so that others can view your background programs running in your system but they are unable to have access to your system without knowing correct password. This app barely consumes any main memory of your system.

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All you need to do is to first download ClearLock from the link provided at the end of the article. As this is a portable application, just click on ClearLock.exe to run it. Before locking your system, it will ask you to set password. After this, your system will be locked. You can see that your computer will be locked but still you can view all the background programs running on your system. To unlock your system, you will have to enter correct password. If some other person tries to unlock your system in your absence and if he will enter wrong password for three times, then he will be unable to enter to enter password for next 5 minutes, so no need to worry.

If by mistake, you forgot the password you entered, I know probability is very less, there is no need to worry. Just go to ClearLock folder and delete the ini file present there, it will reset your old password. Next time you will open ClearLock, it will again ask you to enter new password.

The one big drawback of this app which I noticed, you can call this as a bug in it, is that if you have entered wrong password for 3 times, you can access Windows Task Manager after this and Windows Task Manager allows you to end process, so anyone can unlock your system if he knows this.

ClearLock is a freeware application and is compatible with Windows Vista and 7.

Download ClearLock

Multiple Events Timer

Ten Timer is a simple multiple timer that can keep track of multiple times. This application is very easy to use and has addition of ten countdown timers. The timer resolution is one second.

It’s a portable application, so no need to install it. Download TenTimer from the link given at the end of the article, unzip it and then click on TenTimer.exe to open.

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You can use labels of the timer you want to use. Click on the “►” to start the timer. If you want to reset that timer, click on “◄◄” to reset a timer to 00:00:00. You can start/stop and reset all ten timers at the same time by clicking on “▲” of its respected column. The one thing which makes this application useful from other timers is the presence of Hotkeys. With Hotkeys, you can start/stop or reset timers with the help of keyboard. By default, hotkeys of TenTimer are:

  • Ctrl+1 through Ctrl+0 will start/stop timers. For example, ctrl+1 will start/stop timer 1, ctrl+2 will start/stop timer 2 and so on.
  • Ctrl+alt+1 through Ctrl+alt+0 will reset a timer. For example, ctrl+alt+1 will reset timer 1, ctrl+alt+2 will reset timer 2 and so on.

You can also change the appearance of this application by changing its background and foreground colour. To change its colour, just follow these steps.

  • Go to Help menu and click on Contents. Now copy the following text as shown in figure.

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  • Now go to TenTimer folder and open config.ini. Just paste the text which you copied in the previous step at the end of it and save config.ini.

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  • Now restart TenTimer. You are done.

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TenTimer is the easy to use timer and has very simple interface. The presence of Hotkeys make it even better from other timer.

Download TenTimer

Replace Windows 7 Default Boot Screen Animation

There are plenty of options available in Windows 7 using which you can customize the appearance of your desktop and other icons but it is really difficult to customize the appearance of your Window 7 boot screen using inbuilt options. So for doing it, you can use a nifty tool named Windows 7 Boot Updater.

This tool is a freeware and allows you to change your Windows 7 boot screen animations and text. Using this tool, you can give a new look to your Windows while it boots up. This tool even doesn’t requires any installation and is portable i.e you can carry it on any portable device and then run on any PC. Windows 7 Boot Updater is written in C++/CLI and it requires .NET Framework 2.0 or higher and it will use the Windows WIM library.

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This is the main window of this tool. You will need to run this tool as an admin else it won’t allow you to make changes. Now at the main window, two main options are given i.e Animation and Text. Now in Animation, this tool automatically Select bootress.dll file. The next option is to Select Animation. This option will let you choose any desires animation for your windows 7 boot screen.

There are plenty of animations available over web. You can try this Grayscale Animation which is given of this tool’s developer’s web page. So from next time when you boot up your system, you will see the new animation. You can even revert back to your original animation by downloading it from this link.

Now the next option available is Text. Here too, this tool automatically loads the Winload.exe file. Now below this option, two boxer are available with name Message and Copyright. You must have noticed this text when you boot up your system.

Windows-7-boot-screen

So you can change these two text by simply writing the new desired text in those two boxes. Once done with all these settings, click on Go to save this configuration and from the next boot up time, the changes will be reflected automatically. You can see an example below how your boot screen will appear when you apply the grey Windows 7 animation theme.

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You can see these changes which I have applied using this tool. So in similar fashion, you can change animation and text.

The size of Windows 7 Boot Updater is just 294 Kb. This freeware is compatible with Windows 7 32 bit and 64 bit editions and has been tested successfully on Windows 7 Ultimate-32 bit edition.

Download Windows 7 Boot Updater

Enable, Disable Or Change Windows Firewall Rules

Windows firewall is one such feature, I would like to remain disabled since the time it got added to windows, as it had used to cause various problem in LAN networking with other PC’s and blocking internet access for some programs and other issues etc.

Windows Firewall Control is a small freeware app which runs in the system tray, provides almost all the useful options of windows firewall like enabling or disabling firewall in very less mouse clicks, applying certain firewall rules, applying a firewall policy etc. as shown in the image below.

windows-firewall-control 

In order to configure any option related to windows firewall just right click the system tray icon and then select the desired option. This app seems to be portable application, and works with almost all the operating system including windows 7, we have just tested it in windows 7 32 bit ultimate edition.  

Download Windows Firewall Control

Keyboard Shortcut To Apply or Change Display Screen Resolution

We had already written about some tools which lets you change the screen resolution quite quickly like ResolutionKeeper, Display Tuner and Change Display Settings and Quick Resolution Changer

Today we will tell you about another free tool called HotKey Resolution Changer which supports switching to different screen resolutions through keyboard hotkeys defined for these screen resolutions. This utlity could come handy to apply a specific screen resolution quickly through some keyboard hotkeys specially every time you connect extended monitor.

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You can use this utility with a single monitor setup also and assign different keyboard hotkeys for different resolutions and switch to display resolution with just some keys press. This is a portable application runs silently in system tray, works quite effectively and worth a try.

Note: Resolutions below 800×600 and frequencies above 100 Hertz are excluded. If you need them, download the source and compile HRC yourself.

Download HotKey Resolution Changer

We hope you find this little utility useful and do let us know if you know about any other utlity which is comparable to this one or better than this one.