Synchronise your Firefox preferences, bookmarks & passwords using Mozilla Weave
October 16, 2009 – 17:28 by Chris Wiles in News | Comments Off on Synchronise your Firefox preferences, bookmarks & passwords using Mozilla Weave

Synchronise your Mozilla Firefox bookmarks using WeaveMost of us own more than one computer, but tend to use the same browser across every machine. This is one of the reasons Firefox grew in popularity. If you own a Mac laptop, but use Windows at work, you can use the same browser across the two machines. Problem is, when we work at home, we might add a web link to our bookmarks, go to access the link at work and realise it’s not available on your work machine. Not a particularly ideal situation if you were adding bookmarks for reference purposes, perhaps to show a colleague at work.

There’s an easy way around this and that is to use a bookmark synchronisation tool that enables you to keep your bookmarks in sync, irrespective of the operating system. There are two Firefox based bookmark synchronisation add-ons, Mozilla Weave and the other Xmarks, which is also available for other browsers. We’ll get back to Xmarks, later.

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Bring order to your desktop with Stardock Fences
October 16, 2009 – 11:59 by Mike Williams in News | Comments Off on Bring order to your desktop with Stardock Fences

fences-smallIn the last few years Microsoft have spent a huge amount of effort tweaking the Windows taskbar, Start menu, Explorer, and just about every other aspect of the interface – except one. The desktop. This should be the place to organise icons in useful groups for easy access later, but Windows habit of rearranging them again in an order of its choosing means that’s a total waste of time. Unless, that is, you install Fences.

This simple free tool lets you quickly bring order to a chaotic desktop. Hold down the right mouse button, then drag around your work documents, for instance, and you can create a new “fence” to hold them. This is a shaded area of your desktop that works like a lightweight folder, so you can move the fence around, resize it, drag other icons in and out as you like. But you can create as many fences as you need, they’re always displayed, and their position and icon ordering stays the same. So once you’ve created enough fences to organise your desktop then you can be sure Windows won’t randomly rearrange everything later.

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AVG Anti-Virus Free 9; the big release we've been waiting for
October 16, 2009 – 10:20 by Chris Wiles in News | Comments Off on AVG Anti-Virus Free 9; the big release we've been waiting for

logo-160Most advanced users are well aware of the potential threats that could affect their computer. Self-awareness enables you to be wary of downloading applications from potentially malicious websites, installing new software or opening email attachments from an unknown source. For these reasons, feature-limited free anti-virus and similar security applications are all we need to protect our computer.

AVG Anti-Virus Free is one of the most highly respected and valued free security tools available. For good reason, too. It’s lightweight, doesn’t take up too many system resources and doesn’t nag and remind you to upgrade every five minutes, whilst you are working. After a year in development, the big new AVG Anti-Virus Free v9 release is now available and it’s certainly recommended.

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How to start Outlook 2007 faster
October 16, 2009 – 09:21 by Mike Williams in News | Comments Off on How to start Outlook 2007 faster

outlookIf Outlook 2007 is taking a while to launch then that sometimes means you’ve an oversized Inbox. Taking a moment to clear out unwanted emails, especially those with large attachments, can make a real difference.

But there’s another approach that’s often even more effective. By default your copy of Outlook is probably running many entirely unnecessary add-ins, each of which takes time to initialise, as well as consuming valuable system resources. But taking a moment to remove the worst offenders will reverse the process, free up memory and give your system a welcome speed boost.

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Dictionary.NET combines translation, a dictionary and Wikipedia access into one simple tool
October 15, 2009 – 19:28 by Mike Williams in News | Comments Off on Dictionary.NET combines translation, a dictionary and Wikipedia access into one simple tool

Dictionary.NET translates its own reviewsWhen you need to translate text on a web page then IE8, Google’s Toolbar and various Firefox add-ons are just some of the free solutions that you might call on to help. In our experience they’re frequently unreliable, though, and are generally less useful if you’re looking to translate text in another application. For real versatility you need Dictionary.NET.

The program is portable, so no installation is required – just download, unzip and run the executable. Then simply highlight the text of interest and click the middle mouse button (or press the hotkey combination of your choice). Dictionary.NET will immediately pop up, then use Google Translate to automatically detect the language and translate it for you. And that’s just the start.

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Softwarecrew – for software news, reviews, tips & promos
October 15, 2009 – 16:10 by Chris Wiles in News | Comments Off on Softwarecrew – for software news, reviews, tips & promos

open-200A while ago we noted that, although many commercial software developers were located in the UK, there are few online portals for software reviews, local promotions and few locations for promoting applications to end users. This the primary reason we’ve launched Softwarecrew – an online magazine designed to offer you the latest information, product news, tips, tricks, reviews and other software-related features.

Combine this with our brand new Downloadcrew online software downloads site, and you have no other reason to go elsewhere (well, you probably do, but we don’t want to admit). Downloadcrew enables you to find and seek the latest software downloads for your Windows, Mac, Linux or mobile computer. Both sites should complement each other.

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Test drive the latest 60-day extended trial of Norton Internet Security 2010
October 15, 2009 – 15:42 by Chris Wiles in News | Comments Off on Test drive the latest 60-day extended trial of Norton Internet Security 2010

Norton Internet Security 2010 extended 60-day trial

Like it or not, Norton Internet Security has had a large and loyal following. This could be attributed to the effect that the large marketing budget enables the company to keep such as presence online, within magazines and across retail shelves. Either way, it’s an effective security product.

Symantec recently announced the launch of their 2010 range of security products and the lastest Norton Internet Security is certainly faster than previous editions. Indeed, we recently moved away from Norton to a rival product and the rival causes our system to pause our streaming iTunes audio when accessing files on our computer, only to find that the other AV suite did exactly the same thing. We’ll be moving back soon.

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Replace Windows Explorer with the more powerful Directory Opus
October 15, 2009 – 15:07 by Chris Wiles in News | Comments Off on Replace Windows Explorer with the more powerful Directory Opus

Replace Windows Explorer with Directory OpusFor the people that work with multiple files, Windows Explorer has been a bit of a let down. This isn’t Microsoft or even Apple’s fault. The Explorer or Finder has to be designed to be instantly accessible for the novice user. Most people barely use Explorer, using their photo manager to open and view their photos or iTunes to control their audio tracks.

There are other options. You can replace Windows Explorer with an alternative version and there are few better than Directory Opus. It’s a commercial application and has a relative high learning curve, but don’t let that put you off. We guarantee that, if you stick it out for six or so weeks, when you go back to Windows Explorer, it will seem rather basic in comparison. The Apple Finder will leave you infuriated.

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Replace Adobe Reader with Foxit Reader, the lightweight equivalent
October 15, 2009 – 14:45 by Chris Wiles in News | Comments Off on Replace Adobe Reader with Foxit Reader, the lightweight equivalent

Replace Adobe Reader with Foxit ReaderThe PDF format excels due to the fact you can output just about any file as a PDF and it will retain the look-and-feel of the source document, retaining the fonts, images and layout, irrespective of the application used to create the file. Create a PDF and you can open the document on a Windows, Mac or Linux computer.

The downside is that most people tend to go for Adobe (PDF) Reader as their default PDF viewer. This takes ages to start up, uses a fair amount of system resources and can cause your system to take longer to boot as it insists on running as a startup process. The reason for this slowdown is that Adobe Reader is a cut-down version of the full Acrobat PDF creator. There are alternatives and there are few better than Foxit Reader.

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Manage your company finances, outstanding invoices, expenses and more using Pulse
October 15, 2009 – 14:24 by Chris Wiles in News | Comments Off on Manage your company finances, outstanding invoices, expenses and more using Pulse

pulse-200It’s far too easy to get behind on your company finances, particularly when there’s more than one person involved. Few companies are now located in the same office building and more and more are ‘virtual’, where the company is made up of a group of individuals situated across different areas of the globe. All these users want access to the finances so they can track company expenses and cash flow.

When people work outside your office, an element of trust is involved with their work. They submit their expenses and your accountant is responsible for making sure they get paid. Problem is that it’s wise to have a system that enables you to track income, expenses and current cashflow.

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Share files and other media using the latest Opera 10.10 beta preview
October 15, 2009 – 11:37 by Chris Wiles in News | Comments Off on Share files and other media using the latest Opera 10.10 beta preview

New Opera 10.10 preview releaseNot content with sitting on their laurels, since the fantastic and very recent Opera 10 release, Opera have quickly followed this with a brand new public beta preview of their latest browser, Opera 10.10. Although this version is the first public preview, the technologies included have been around since the release of Opera Unite, a fair few months ago.

What’s new in Opera 10.10? Well, it has the new sharing and media features we saw in Opera Unite. These modules enable you to share files with other users (although we strongly suggest you make sure these are legal files), includes a media player so you can play audio/video files from within the browser and more.

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