Choose your web browser with Microsoft Browser Choice
March 2, 2010 – 17:13 by Mark Wilson in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Choose your web browser with Microsoft Browser Choice

It wasn’t all that long ago that the battle of the web browsers was being waged between Internet Explorer and Netscape, but there are now a plethora of browsers to choose from. Microsoft has come under heavy criticism for its bundling of Internet Explorer with Windows, and many people viewed this as giving the company an unfair advantage in the browser market. Followed an agreement with the European Commission, Microsoft has released a tool called Browser Choice which enables users to easily download and install an alternative browser.

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Browse the web at speed with Opera 10.5
March 2, 2010 – 13:52 by Mark Wilson in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Browse the web at speed with Opera 10.5

In the web browser market there are two big names vying for attention – Internet Explorer and Firefox. But while these are certainly the most popular web browsers, they are far from being the only options available. Opera has been around for a number of years, but it is only relatively recently that it has started to receive the attention it deserves.

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Troubleshoot and speed up sluggish PCs with Process Hacker
March 1, 2010 – 18:30 by Mike Williams in News | Comments Off on Troubleshoot and speed up sluggish PCs with Process Hacker

If your PC feels slow, then you shouldn’t immediately rush off to disable services, remove startup programs, defrag your hard drive, or follow the other standard speedup tricks. A much better first step is to analyse your PC to try and identify and remove the real cause of your slowdown – and Process Hacker is the ideal tool to help.

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Review: CyberLink Media Suite 8 Ultra
February 25, 2010 – 07:53 by Mike Williams in Reviews | Comments Off on Review: CyberLink Media Suite 8 Ultra

Review: CyberLink Media Suite 8 Ultra

CyberLink Media Suite 8 Ultra is a comprehensive set of tools, no less than ten full-featured CyberLink products, that provides just about everything you’ll need to capture and edit video, watch and author DVDs and Blu-ray discs, organise and fix your digital photos. Plenty of functionality, then, but there needs to be – this is a tough market. Does Media Suite 8 have what it takes to stand out from the crowd? We took a closer look.

PowerDirector 8 HE is perhaps the lead program here, a fast video editor that’s easy to use, yet packed with interesting options. A particle effects generator can add snow to your videos, video noise reduction enhances video quality (especially low-light clips), and a speed control generates new frames to produce smooth slow motion effects.

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Manage your inboxes and social networks with Inbox2
February 24, 2010 – 17:50 by Mark Wilson in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Manage your inboxes and social networks with Inbox2

With more and more time spent online, it is little wonder that many computer users now have several email addresses and make use of one or more social networks. Many email accounts, from Google Mail and Hotmail to Yahoo and AOL, are online, and checking each of your accounts for new messages can mean having to visit several web sites. And that’s before you even start to think about social networks. Whether you are keeping in touch with friends on Facebook, tweeting and following people one Twitter or maintaining professional connections with LinkedIn, the number of sites you need to visit on a daily basis just to keep up to date soon mounts up. This is where Inbox2 can help.

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Manage your archives more effectively using PeaZip 3
February 24, 2010 – 15:43 by Chris Wiles in News | Comments Off on Manage your archives more effectively using PeaZip 3

Think of an archive format an the ubiquitous ZIP format will be one of the first that enters your mind. Although it’s the most platform-friendly archive format, it’s rather long in the tooth, doesn’t offer the best compression, doesn’t get the most from previously compressed files (JPEG images, as an example) and can be slower to work with than more recent archive formats.
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Review: Laplink PCmover Windows 7 Upgrade Assistant
February 24, 2010 – 15:09 by Mike Williams in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Laplink PCmover Windows 7 Upgrade Assistant

Upgrading to Windows 7 can be a lengthy and difficult process, especially if Microsoft doesn’t directly support your current setup. Windows 7 won’t upgrade an XP installation, move you up an edition (Vista Home Premium to Windows 7 Professional, say), or migrate a Vista 32-bit system to Windows 7 64-bit, for instance. In these, and many other upgrade scenarios, you’ll be forced to carry out a clean installation, then reinstall all your applications and data. Too much hassle? Fortunately there may be an alternative – and it’s called Laplink PCmover Windows 7 Upgrade Assistant.

In principle, the Upgrade Assistant appears much easier than the manual alternative.

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Review: TuneUp Utilities 2010
February 18, 2010 – 19:42 by Mike Williams in Reviews | Comments Off on Review: TuneUp Utilities 2010

Review: TuneUp Utilities 2010

It’s inevitable: the more you use your PC, the more it’ll slow down. Junk files clutter your hard drive, file systems fragment, unwanted startup programs extend your boot time, and performance heads in a steady downward direction. It’s depressing, but there is hope – TuneUp Utilities 2010 is a suite of maintenance tools that promises a way to fight back against this performance degradation. It has plenty of tools to explore, and they’re split into four main sections.

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Review: iolo System Mechanic 9.5
February 18, 2010 – 11:29 by Mike Williams in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: iolo System Mechanic 9.5

It’s the first law of computing: every PC slows down over time. There are many different factors behind this, however, and so figuring out how best to speed up your own system is no easy task.  Should you defrag your hard drive? Remove unwanted apps? Clean your Registry? Or something else entirely?  Install iolo System Mechanic 9.5 and you won’t have to waste any more time worrying about this, because the program will handle everything for you. We left it to run a deep scan on a test system, and after 30 minutes or so (rather longer than the suggested 5-7 minutes) it delivered a detailed report telling us what the problems were.

High on the list was 4.8GB of leftover files that the program said could safely be deleted. This surprised us, as other tools, like CCleaner, said the figure was more like 1.6GB. Inspecting the report in more detail revealed that System Mechanic had somehow found “4.03 GB of clutter in 1583 temporary Windows files”.  Which files, exactly?  There was no way to tell, but we were reluctant to wipe them without knowing.

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Review: SyncMyCal
February 13, 2010 – 21:31 by Mark Wilson in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Review: SyncMyCal

Review: SyncMyCal

Google Calendar is a fantastically useful tool as it makes it possible to maintain a calendar of appointments and access it from any computer with an internet connection. But the online service does have its limitations, and many people prefer to use a dedicated personal information manager such as Outlook to edit calendars. Google Calendars can be imported into Outlook, but there is no way to make edits and keep the two in sync. This is where SyncMyCal can help.

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Review: Laplink PCsync 6
February 8, 2010 – 15:05 by Mike Williams in Reviews | Comments Off on Review: Laplink PCsync 6

Review: Laplink PCsync 6

If you regularly use two or more PCs then you’ll know that sometimes it’s necessary to transfer files between them. Occasionally this is easy, and you’ll just need to copy some documents from your laptop to your PC, for instance. But often it’s much more complicated, requiring you to transfer files in both directions to get each system up-to-date, a time-consuming business where it’s easy to make mistakes.

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