Create contact sheets of your videos with Thumbnail me
March 21, 2014 – 07:45 by Mike Williams in Tips | Comments Off

Thumbnail me is an open source Windows and Linux tool which extracts frames from a video, then presents them as a single image, a quick and easy way to preview the movie’s contents.

The program imports most common video types: AVI, MP4, MPG, VOB, MOV, MKV, TS/ M2TS, FLV, 3GP, OGG, SWF and more.

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Blender 2.70 debuts new features, improved performance and better UI
March 20, 2014 – 09:55 by Nick Peers in News | Comments Off

Blender logoNon-profit organisation The Blender Foundation has released Blender 2.70, a major new release of its cross-platform, open-source 3D graphics tool. Version 2.70, also available in 64-bit and portable form on Windows, adds new features and begins a revamp of its user interface.

There’s initial support for volumetrics in Cycles, plus faster rendering of hair and textures. Also improved are the Motion Tracker, mesh modelling and game engine tools.

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AVAST 2014 update 3 released, concentrates on stability and compatibility improvements
March 19, 2014 – 14:23 by Nick Peers in News | Comments Off

Avast LogoAVAST Software has released the third update to its avast! 2014 range of products. avast! Free Antivirus 2014, Internet Security 2014 and Premier Security 2014 all get updated to build number 9.0.2016.

Again, there are no new features in this release, but the compatibility and stability improvements, as well as internal architecture changes, make it an essential update.

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Firefox 29 Beta debuts Australis UI, improved sync function
March 19, 2014 – 09:15 by Nick Peers in News | Comments Off

Firefox 29 BetaAfter another underwhelming update in the form of the disappointing Firefox 28.0 FINAL, Mozilla looks likely to have something to shout about with the release of Firefox 29.0 Beta 1.

Although not due to be officially unveiled until tomorrow, we’ve installed the latest version and checked it out to see what new features could be making their debut in the next stable build, and the early signs suggest Firefox 29 could be a landmark release.

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Copy websites locally for offline browsing with Cyotek WebCopy
March 19, 2014 – 07:09 by Mike Williams in Tips | Comments Off

Cyotek WebCopy is a clever tool which copies all or part of a website to your hard drive for offline browsing.

Grabbing a small and simple site is easy: just enter a URL in the “Website” box, and choose the Copy option. Cyotek WebCopy downloads that page, and any links (within the same domain), then repeats the process until it’s done. And then you’re able to view the local copy of any page, and browse it as though you were online.

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Split, combine, encrypt, compress: jPDF Tweak is a one-stop PDF toolkit
March 18, 2014 – 16:03 by Mike Williams in Tips | Comments Off

jPDF Tweak is an open source Java Swing application which provides a host of ways to customise, adjust and work with PDF files.

You can split or combine documents, for instance. There are crop, rotate and scaling options. Or you can apply text or image watermarks.

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Create, edit and process animated GIFs with Cyotek Gif Animator
March 18, 2014 – 10:58 by Mike Williams in Tips | Comments Off

From forum avatars to simple web slideshows, there’s still a place for animated GIFs. And, fortunately, they can be very easy to create. Cyotek Gif Animator provides everything you need to create, work and batch process your GIF animations.

Open an existing animation and it’s displayed in a simple vertical timeline. You can change its background colour, add or edit a text comment, and decide whether (and how often) it should loop, before viewing any results in a Preview window.

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Firefox 28 FINAL launches, but lacks notable features after Mozilla drops Metro version at the 11th hour
March 18, 2014 – 07:11 by Nick Peers in News | Comments Off

Firefox 28 FINALMozilla has unveiled Firefox 28.0 FINAL for desktop, with Firefox for Android 28.0 also due for release shortly.

The most notable feature in version 28 is a missing one, with Mozilla pulling the planned Firefox for Metro release for Windows 8/RT shortly before shipping. The end result is an underwhelming desktop update overshadowed by the new Android release.

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Pixopedia is a quirky but very interesting image editor, paint and drawing tool
March 17, 2014 – 18:49 by Mike Williams in Featured, Tips | Comments Off

Pixopedia doesn’t initially look like the most powerful of graphics tools. Small flat buttons present various ugly and cryptic icons; even the more obvious ones don’t behave as you’d expect; and there’s no bundled Help file to consult, not even any obvious menus you might browse for clues.

Don’t be tempted to give up, though. The program is quirky in the extreme, but once you’ve learned a few basic tricks then life becomes much easier.

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Microsoft OneNote launches on Mac, now free across all platforms
March 17, 2014 – 17:13 by Nick Peers in News | Comments Off

Microsoft OneNoteMicrosoft has released a Mac version of its OneNote tool to sit alongside the existing Windows release. It has also made OneNote free across all platforms, including Windows desktop as well as mobile, although some features remain the preserve of paid-for customers.

At the same time, Microsoft has also unveiled a new cloud API for easy connection from any third-party application. The API launches with a OneNote Clipper tool for saving web pages and a dedicated address for users to email notes through.

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SnipDock takes screenshots and displays them for easy reference later
March 17, 2014 – 15:57 by Mike Williams in Tips | Comments Off

Install most screen capture tools and you’ll find they run almost entirely in the background. Often you can simply press a hotkey and have your image saved, printed, uploaded to Facebook and so on, without you having to do anything else at all.

What if you just want to capture something for almost immediate reference, though: an address and phone number, a map, directions, something you want to keep in view? Saving an image means you’ll have to find and reopen it, and so you might prefer the rather simpler SnipDock.

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