IrfanView 4.38 adds new features, widens support to legacy image formats
June 24, 2014 – 08:38 by Nick Peers in News | Comments Off

IrfanViewIrfan Skiljan has unveiled IrfanView 4.38, a major new build of his popular Windows image viewer and editor that’s free for personal use.

Despite the minor revision number, IrfanView 4.38 is packed with a significant number of new features, as well as newly added support (via a plugin) for legacy image formats stretching back to the days of 8-bit computing.

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Collect, organise and share your web research sources with Zotero
June 24, 2014 – 07:38 by Mike Williams in Tips | Comments Off

It’s extremely easy to research almost any topic online, but that’s not necessarily a good thing. You can be drowning in links and PDFs before you know it, and browser bookmarks simply aren’t enough to keep everything under control.

Zotero is a smarter solution for organising both online and offline research. It’s aimed at a professional audience who need a quick and easy way to create bibliographies and properly formatted citations, but the core technology really does have something for every web researcher.

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Sundance web browser lets Windows users perform advanced web searches easily
June 23, 2014 – 13:41 by Nick Peers in News | Comments Off

Sundance 4.0More than a decade into the browser wars, and they show no signs of abating. But while the behemoths of Microsoft, Google and Mozilla battle it out in the heavens for market share, closer to earth there’s still room for niche web browsers to make their mark.

One such browser is Sundance 4.0, which aims to carve itself a niche by providing easy access to advanced search tools, direct from the browser’s main interface.

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W8 Sidebar is a system monitor, task scheduler, Registry cleaner…
June 23, 2014 – 12:51 by Mike Williams in Tips | Comments Off

W8 Sidebar is a handy Windows 7/8 gadget which crams the maximum desktop-friendly power into its compact portable frame.

A simple system monitor displays your CPU and RAM usage, free drive space, upload and download speeds and external IP address, all on the same screen. Icons next to each section link to related areas, so the RAM monitor opens Task Manager, while clicking a drive icon opens that drive in Explorer.

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Instantly close or restart programs with ProcessKO
June 23, 2014 – 07:09 by Mike Williams in Tips | Comments Off

Closing one Windows process is usually straightforward. Clicking File > Exit should get the job done, Alt+F4 may also work, and Task Manager is on hand if you need it (Ctrl+Shift+Esc, right-click the process, select End Task).

Life gets a little more complicated if you want to close multiple instances of one program. Or restart them. You can still do this from Windows, but ProcessKO (64-bit version) makes it much easier to close, restart and generally work with troublesome processes.

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Xlideit excels as an image viewer
June 22, 2014 – 06:05 by Mike Williams in Tips | Comments Off

It’s tough to make an impact in the crowded Windows image viewer market, and so most newcomers try to impress users with advanced features, like their vast file format support or lengthy list of editing tools. And that would be fine, except they often forget about the basics, like building a comfortable interface which people actually want to use.

Xlideit is following a different path. There’s no RAW format support here, no red-eye removal, no automatic image correction or other extras. Instead the developer is focusing on the interface fundamentals first, and so far he’s doing a very good job.

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Capture, record or broadcast your desktop with QIP Shot
June 21, 2014 – 09:24 by Mike Williams in Tips | Comments Off

QIP Shot is an interesting screen capture tool with some unusual bonus features.

It doesn’t just capture the usual full screen, active window or freehand rectangle, for instance. You can also grab ellipses, freehand areas and even scrolling windows (web pages which are too lengthy to fit on the screen, perhaps).

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Parallels Access 2.0 lets you control your PC or Mac remotely using iPad, iPhone or Android mobile
June 20, 2014 – 12:43 by Nick Peers in News, Tips | Comments Off

Parallels Access 2.0Looking for a way to access programs on your desktop or laptop from your mobile? You could go down the route of installing something like TeamViewer, but with the best will in the world, trying to control your entire Windows or Mac desktop from your mobile is a fiddly experience at best.

A more practical solution can be found by going down the Parallels Access route, and it’s one that’s just been made even better with the release of version 2.0.

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Quickly transcribe audio or video files with easytranscript
June 20, 2014 – 12:04 by Mike Williams in Tips | Comments Off

Accurately transcribing audio and video files can be a long and difficult process. No matter how fast you can type, it seems there’s always someone who can talk faster. And then mumble half of what they say, leaving you frequently rewinding to try and figure it out.

There is no simple solution to this, but specialist transcription software should at least save you some time. It doesn’t have to be expensive, either – the open source easytranscript offers some useful starting features entirely for free.

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Convert bat/ cmd scripts to exe files with Bat To Exe Converter
June 20, 2014 – 07:50 by Mike Williams in Tips | Comments Off

Scripts can be a great way to automate tasks on your PC, and are usually very easy to create and share. Just launch Notepad, enter a few lines, and after a quick File > Save it’s ready to go.

Batch files have down sides, too. You don’t always want others to be able to view or edit them. It’s difficult to restrict their use, and of course the console window appears every time they’re launched. But fortunately the free Bat To Exe Converter can solve all these problems by converting your scripts into stand-alone executables.

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Quick review: AOMEI Backupper Standard 2.01
June 20, 2014 – 05:46 by Mike Williams in Reviews | Comments Off

When we were first looked at AOMEI Data Backuper in January 2013 it was a capable free image backup tool with some limitations – no scheduler – but a lot of promise. Now at version 2.x , and renamed to AOMEI Backupper Standard, is the program worth considering again? We checked it out.

Installation remains quick and easy. It’s the free edition of a commercial product, but there’s no adware, no nag screens, no unmarked functions which display annoying “can’t use this until you pay” messages. Only an unobtrusive “Upgrade” link on the main page reminds you there are other options available.

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