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Microsoft Office for Mac 2016 Preview unveiled – final release due later this year
March 6, 2015 – 07:15 | No Comment

After a five-year gap, Microsoft has unveiled the first public beta of its forthcoming Office 2016 for Mac with the release of Microsoft Office for Mac 2016 Preview. The new release is free for all …

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Monodraw is the Visio of ASCII art
March 5, 2015 – 14:28 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

MonodrawAt first glance, Monodraw’s first public beta looks much like any other OS X diagramming tool. Choose from various themed palettes, drag and drop shapes around on the page, link them up, add captions, tweak colours and more.

The program is versatile, too, able to build flowcharts, layouts, even entity-relationship diagrams.

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List the contents of a folder with DirList
March 5, 2015 – 08:08 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

DirListWindows Explorer makes it straightforward to view the files in a folder, but if you’d like to do something with that information – share it with others, maybe save it for future reference – then life gets more difficult.

If you only need to do this occasionally, a quick workaround will probably be enough. Take a screengrab, say, or use the command line for more control (dir “c:\program files\*.exe” /b /s | clip lists all executable files under C:\Program Files, sending the results to the clipboard).

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Areca Backup is a very flexible backup tool
March 4, 2015 – 06:45 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

Areca BackupWhat do you need from a backup program? Set up in seconds, maybe? Complete system backups, full disaster recovery, maybe integration with all your favourite cloud storage providers?

Bad news: Areca Backup doesn’t provide any of that. But if you’re an experienced user who wants a more configurable way to run file-based backups then the program could still be worth a try.

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Essential NetTools: 15+ networking tools in one free suite
March 3, 2015 – 12:36 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

Essential NetToolsTroubleshooting network problems can be a nightmare, even for Windows experts, but equipping yourself with the right software can make all the difference.

As we wrote last month, NetCrunch Tools is a useful collection of common network management tools, an easier way to access old standards like Ping and Traceroute.

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Avast 2015 update brings remote access for all, integrates browser cleanup
March 3, 2015 – 09:03 by Mike Williams in News | No Comment

avastAVAST Software has released a new version of Avast Free Antivirus 2015, Avast Internet Security 2015 and Avast Premier 2015.

The big change is that the premier Access Anywhere feature has been replaced by a new Remote Control tool available via the Account screen in all editions (click Account, scroll down to My Other Devices).

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HexBrowser.NET identifies mystery files from their contents
March 2, 2015 – 17:35 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

HexBrowser.NETIdentifying a file type is normally just a matter of glancing at the extension: EXE, a program; ZIP, an archive; JPG, an image, and so on.

But what if the extension is missing, or has been changed for some reason? The free HexBrowser.NET analyses the file contents to tell you more.

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Split PDFs into separate pages with SepPDF
March 2, 2015 – 04:41 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

SepPDFIt’s happened to us all. You need to carry out a simple PC task, find and download some freeware, but then discover it’s a huge file, requires installation, comes packed with adware, has loads of functions you don’t need, yet still leaves out some that you do.

SepPDF is much more like freeware ought to be: tiny, with a single function – splitting PDFs into individual PDF pages – and absolutely no unwanted extras at all.

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VLC 2.2.0 adds extension manager, resume playback, auto-rotate
February 27, 2015 – 15:44 by Mike Williams in News | No Comment

VLCVideoLAN has announced the release of VLC Media Player 2.2.0 (and 64-bit) for the desktop, along with coordinated releases for iOS, Android, and the first public betas for Android TV, WinRT and Windows Phone.

The desktop build now features a built-in extension manager. No need for manual tweaking any more, just click Tools > Plugins and Extensions, browse and install whatever you need.

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Run text-mode DOS apps in Windows with vDos
February 27, 2015 – 06:25 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

vDosIf you’d like to run a classic DOS game under Windows then DOSBox is the perfect solution: tiny, free, and with enough hardware emulators to support almost anything.

It’s not the only option, though, and if you’re more interested in running text-mode, business-type applications then DOSBox fork vDos may be a better choice.

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Corel VideoStudio X8 adds Freeze Frame effect, NewBlue pack
February 26, 2015 – 11:58 by Mike Williams in News | No Comment

Corel VideoStudioCorel Corporation has unveiled VideoStudio Pro X8 ($79.99) and VideoStudio Ultimate X8 ($99.99), the latest versions of its versatile consumer video editor.

Both editions add a new Freeze Frame effect (just select a frame and set the duration), while the bundled NewBlue Video Essentials II brings 10 plugins, including Chroma Key, Lens Correction, Picture-in-Picture and Vignette.

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Run Android on your PC desktop with Droid4X
February 26, 2015 – 07:35 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

Droid4xAndroid apps aren’t just for your phone and tablet. Install Droid4X and you can run Android on your PC, too, taking full advantage of the extra screen resolution and more easily sharing files and data.

As with many similar applications, Droid4X is essentially a wrapper around VirtualBox, with Android 4.2.2 provided on a custom virtual machine. But you don’t need to know any of the low-level details, as the program manages all of those itself.

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