Google Chrome ships early versions for Windows 64-bit, promise better speed, stability and security
June 3, 2014 – 14:53 by Nick Peers in News | Comments Off

Google Chrome CanaryIn a move that could – and maybe should – have happened years ago, Google has finally released native 64-bit Windows builds into the Chrome release channel. While not yet available to stable or beta channel users, those wishing to take full advantage of their 64-bit processors can do so with the release of Google Chrome 37 Dev and Google Chrome Canary 37.

The 64-bit builds – according to Google – hit the spot with its three “core principles”: speed, security and stability.

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Control web access across your network with NxFilter
June 3, 2014 – 13:44 by Mike Williams in Tips | Comments Off

Install most security suites and you’ll get some form of web filter, blocking sites according to their content, a blacklist, or both. This works well enough on a single PC, but performance can be an issue, and it’s not going to help if you need to protect your whole network.

NxFilter is a DNS-based web filter, so there’s no text-based content filtering. But the program can block access to websites based on domain, category, user, time, quota and more. There’s built-in phishing protection, updated every two hours, while packet inspection can detect malware and bots. One installation can protect your entire network – and it can all be yours for free.

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Jovial Notepad is a very lightweight Notepad replacement
June 3, 2014 – 07:09 by Mike Williams in Tips | Comments Off

Jovial Notepad is a portable Notepad replacement, exceptionally small (32KB download, a single 64KB executable) yet still managing to cram in plenty of interesting features.

The program looks at first much like the standard Notepad, but you’ll soon spot some differences. URLs become highlighted and clickable as you type them; the status bar displays the date, a character and line count; and a Symbols menu allows you to enter useful symbols (copyright, pi, degrees, various currencies) in a couple of clicks.

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XXCopy is a backup, sync and cloning tool – for the command line?
June 2, 2014 – 12:44 by Mike Williams in Tips | Comments Off

XCopy is one of the most useful Windows command line tools, an easy way to copy files, folders, folder trees and more. There’s support for copying only files which have changed, and if a network connection fails then XCopy can even resume later, just where it left off.

The program is still a little basic, but if you need more power then there’s always XXCopy, a free-for-personal-use tool which supports all the usual XCopy features, and then adds a whole lot more.

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Strip metadata from your photos with JPEG & PNG Stripper
June 2, 2014 – 08:31 by Mike Williams in Tips | Comments Off

Digital photos often include metadata, hidden tags which hold more information about them: camera name, model, date taken, maybe the place (if the camera was GPS-enabled), the flash mode, ISO speed, image thumbnail and more. Add others – title, author, comments – and these can be a great help when organising and searching for photos later.

These tags also increase your image size, of course (if only by a few bytes), and can include personal information. If you’re thinking of sharing any photos with others then it could make sense to remove them with JPEG & PNG Stripper, first.

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FileSearchy is a fast desktop search tool for Windows
May 30, 2014 – 10:46 by Mike Williams in Tips | Comments Off

FileSearchy is a free-for-personal-use desktop search tool with one or two interesting and unexpected features.

After a quick and easy installation, launching FileSearchy displays a very straightforward interface. Enter part of a file name in the Search box, and the results are updated instantly, just as fast as you can type. You can then double-click any file to view it, or right-click for the usual Explorer context menu.

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Scribus 1.4.4 adds image alignment script, refines PDF export options
May 30, 2014 – 08:04 by Nick Peers in News | Comments Off

scribus_200x175Open-source, cross-platform desktop publishing package Scribus 1.4.4 has been released. Despite the seemingly minor version number, it includes a number of significant changes.

The new build – also available in portable form – adds support for exporting documents in the PDF/X-1a format. It also improves image handling, introduces a new image-alignment script and features a number of stability improvements.

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Menu Uninstaller Pro: an easier way to uninstall software
May 30, 2014 – 05:36 by Mike Williams in Tips | Comments Off

Uninstalling programs in Windows is a very common task for most people, yet can still require a little effort. Just finding the Uninstall option might take a moment as you check the Start menu first (if you have one), before heading off to Windows’ “Programs and Features” applet.

Menu Uninstaller Pro is a free alternative which could help save you time, by providing several new ways to manage and remove installed applications.

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Clean up Word, Excel, Visio and AutoCAD files with TransTools
May 29, 2014 – 11:11 by Mike Williams in Tips | Comments Off

At first glance, TransTools didn’t look like the most promising of programs. A suite “designed to help translators in various situations”? It would probably be for specialists only, and so expensive that big corporations would think twice – right?

But wait. The package is really just about cleaning up poor formatting – an OCR’ed document, say – so could be useful for anyone. It works with Word, Excel, Visio and AutoCAD documents. And while there is a commercial version, the base edition is free for personal use? Now that’s much more interesting.

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BBC iPlayer 4.0 for iOS and Android sports major new redesign, makes content easier to find
May 29, 2014 – 07:49 by Nick Peers in News | Comments Off

BBC iPlayerUK telly addicts rejoice: the BBC has unveiled a major redesign of its mobile app with the release of BBC iPlayer 4.0 for iOS and BBC iPlayer 4.0 for Android. Both apps have been updated with the specific intent of making browsing and programme discovery easier.

This has been achieved by creating new Home, Channel and Category pages, all of which sport a new design optimised for either portrait or landscape view.

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Postbox 3.0.10 adds Retina support on OS X, auto-resizes images
May 28, 2014 – 13:09 by Nick Peers in News | Comments Off

PostboxPostbox, Inc has updated its cross-platform, commercial email client with a minor update. Postbox 3.0.10 comes with added support for Retina displays in OS X.

The new release also now automatically resizes images to fit in the message pane window for readibility purposes, plus allows users to whitelist an entire domain for loading remote images.

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