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Parallels Desktop 10 officially released, promises improved performance, adds new Disk Space Wizard
August 27, 2014 – 10:19 | No Comment

Parallels IP Holdings GmbH has unveiled Parallels Desktop 10 for Mac to the general public, one week after making it exclusively available to existing users.
The app, which makes it easy to run Windows in a …

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HDD Guardian tests and monitors your hard drive health
August 27, 2014 – 09:06 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

SMART (Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology) is a hard drive/ SSD monitoring system which reports on various reliability indicators, and sometimes highlights imminent hardware failure.

These predictions can sometimes be questionable, but SMART still has plenty to offer, and the open source HDD Guardian (also available in a portable edition) provides a simple and straightforward way to find out more.

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Design stylish, detailed diagrams with yEd
August 26, 2014 – 10:46 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

yEd Graph Editor is an interesting free diagram designer with some unusual features.

The core interface works much like many similar applications. You’ll choose your symbols from a palette (flowchart, UML, ERD, BPNM, network, computer, more), drag and drop whatever you need onto the page, and position them as you like. Symbols may then be customised with text, colours, URLs and more, before you join them up with lines to represent your structure or ideas.

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Create fun photo collages in seconds with Shape Collage
August 26, 2014 – 06:36 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

Shape Collage is a photo collage tool with a difference. You’re not restricted to creating collages with the standard rectangle or “pile of photos” look: they can use whatever shape you like.

The free-for-personal-use program crams a lot of functionality into a single window, but smart interface design means it’s still very easy to use. Click the “Add” button, choose a few photos (local, from your online accounts or a general internet search), click “Create” and that’s it: your first collage.

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Ultimate Settings Panel 1.0 released, puts key Windows shortcuts just a couple of clicks away
August 25, 2014 – 07:02 by Nick Peers in News | No Comment

Ultimate System Panel 1.0UK developers Techy Geeks Home has released Ultimate Settings Panel 1.0, a brand new collection of shortcuts to key system Control Panels and other tools for Windows users.

Version 1.0 offers easy access to key Windows shortcuts as well as useful management utilities for Microsoft Outlook 2010, System Configuration 2007 and System Configuration 2012. More categories are promised in future versions.

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Mini review: Argente Utilities
August 25, 2014 – 06:33 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

Argente Utilities is a one-stop PC maintenance suite with tools to clean, optimise, repair and generally improve your system speed and reliability.

It’s a relatively lightweight, portable package, arriving as a 7.5MB zip file, and there’s no adware or similar hassles: just a gentle “donate” screen which you can dismiss forever with a click.

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MultiHasher is an excellent file hash calculator
August 23, 2014 – 06:02 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

MultiHasher is a very well-designed file hash calculator which comes packed with essential features and functionality.

The good news starts with the download. It’s free, a compact 2.75MB and entirely portable, just unzip and run.

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PortableApps.com Platform 12 adds app menu, instant search, automatic app closing
August 22, 2014 – 09:35 by Mike Williams in News | No Comment

John Haller’s PortableApps.com has announced the release of PortableApps.com Platform 12, a major update for the all-in-one app manager.

Right-clicking the Platform system tray icon now displays a cascading menu containing all your apps, links to system folders, Backup/ Restore/ Eject functions and more.

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Transform your photos with PhotoWand (Windows 8)
August 22, 2014 – 07:33 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

PhotoWand is a free photo effects app for Windows 8. It’s not going to compete with the desktop equivalents any time soon, but there’s more than enough power here to make it genuinely useful.

There are simple and practical tools to improve your photos, for instance, including a crop function, blur and sharpen filters, and adjustments for hue, saturation, brightness and contrast.

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View images inside archives with Honeyview
August 21, 2014 – 07:49 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

There are thousands of image viewers available for Windows, and the chances are you already have more than you need. Does the free Honeyview have anything to make it worth a download? Let’s see.

One immediate plus is that the program comes from Bandisoft, developer of the excellent free archiver Bandizip, and someone who knows exactly what they’re doing.

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Auslogics Browser Care 2.0 puts you back in control of your browser’s key settings
August 20, 2014 – 16:07 by Nick Peers in News | No Comment

Auslogics Browser CareAuslogics has released Auslogics Browser Care 2.0, a major new version of its Windows browser management tool that’s aimed at novices.

Version 2.0 adds a new system health scanner tool, promises better handling of Chrome, Firefox and IE plugins, fixes all known bugs and implements an improved browser cache cleanup feature.

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Snap Clap takes better selfies with a clap of your hands [Android]
August 20, 2014 – 08:39 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

The average selfie can look a little strange, oddly framed and at a weird angle as you strain to fit everybody in. Usually no-one cares – it’s supposed to be spontaneous, that’s that point – but sometimes you just can’t get any kind of picture, no matter what you try.

Snap Clap is a simple Android app which helps out by taking a photo when you clap your hands. No stretching or contortions required, just position the camera as required, walk into shot and clap your hands. A four second countdown and a flashing light tells you Snap Clap has activated, then the photo is taken.

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