Voralent’s Antelope compresses JPGs and PNGs with a click
August 30, 2014 – 05:20 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

Earlier this year we looked at Voralent’s JPGMini and PNGMini, easy-to-use tools which reduced JPG and PNG file sizes without affecting image quality.

The developer has now released a replacement, Antelope, which handles JPG and PNG files, and supports both lossless and lossy compression.

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Display your internet IP on the desktop with Mr.IP
August 29, 2014 – 06:48 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

Discovering your external IP address is generally very easy. Just visit a site like WhatIsMyIP.com and it’ll give you the IP, location, ISP, and a whole lot more.

If you need speedy access to this address all the time, though, it might be simpler to use Mr.IP, a tiny free tool which permanently displays your internet IP on the desktop.

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Easily inspect DXF files with de-caff DXF Viewer
August 29, 2014 – 05:26 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

DXF is a very popular CAD file format which has been around since 1982, so you might expect there to be plenty of good viewers around by now.

Unfortunately, the reality is very different. DXF can be complex, and while there are free viewers to be found, they’re generally not much use.

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GlassWire is an easy-to-use network monitor
August 28, 2014 – 09:38 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

Whether you’re concerned about security, or just hoping to optimise your PC’s performance, understanding what’s accessing your internet connection can be very helpful.

Network monitors will tell you more, but they’re often targeted at experts, weighed down with complex details which – even if you understand them entirely – you may not really need.

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KDE Mover-Sizer brings handy Linux desktop tricks to the PC
August 28, 2014 – 07:13 by Mike Williams in Tips | No Comment

Resizing and repositioning windows on the PC desktop is such a fundamental task that you’ll almost do it without thinking. Move the mouse to the title bar/ border, click, drag, release. Very basic, very simple – but there might still be room for improvement.

KDE Mover-Sizer is an open source, portable tool which brings a common Linux desktop trick to Windows. Instead of having to move your mouse cursor to the title bar or border, you just hold down the Alt key, then left-click anywhere inside a window and drag to move it, right-click and drag to resize it.

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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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CCleaner 4.17 improves browser cleanup
August 26, 2014 – 13:51 by Mike Williams in News | No Comment

Popular system optimisation tool CCleaner has been updated to version 4.17 with a series of mostly browser-related improvements.

The official release notes say the new build – also available in a portable version – adds “Google Chrome and Opera GPU cache cleaning”. We’re not entirely sure what that involves, but it’s here anyway: let’s see if it makes a difference.

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Google unveils Google Slides for Android and iOS, view and edit Google Drive-hosted presentations offline
August 26, 2014 – 13:07 by Nick Peers in News | No Comment

Google Slides for AndroidGoogle has unveiled Google Slides for Android 1.0 and Google Slides iOS 1.0.0, new apps for accessing and editing presentations while on the move.

Both apps provide users with an option for downloading presentations to their devices for editing and viewing while offline. The iOS version is accompanied by updates to both Google Docs for iOS and Google Sheets for iOS that allow users to edit Word and Excel files.

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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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OneDrive 4.4 and Dropbox 3.3 for iOS released, promise major new features
August 26, 2014 – 08:56 by Nick Peers in News | No Comment

OneDrive for Android 2.0OneDrive and Dropbox users with access to an iPhone or iPad rejoice: both iOS apps have been updated with major improvements with the release of Microsoft OneDrive 4.4 and Dropbox 3.3.

Both apps gain new features – the ability to search within Word and PowerPoint documents in Dropbox, a brand new Photos view in OneDrive – as well as a number of improvements and stability fixes.

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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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