Mini-reviews on the forum

This page collects various reviews that have been posted by users on our forum. They represent the views of the poster and not necessarily the views of the site administrators. To browse a more complete and up-to-date collection of mini-reviews, check out the mini-review section of our forum here.

Editorial Integrity

DonationCoder does not accept paid promotions. We have a strict policy of not accepting gifts of any kind in exchange for placing content in our blogs or newsletters, or on our forum. The content and recommendations you see on our site reflect our genuine personal interests and nothing more.

Latest Forum Posts

I honestly cannot say how I first heard of the donation coder website as it will be 10 years ago that I made my first donation to the site and I have no idea when I first visited the site.
As far why I decided to donate, I use your ScreenShot Captor program almost daily through the week and I enjoy the web site and other software as well. Thanks for the great software!
K.W.
K.W. image

Mini-reviews on the forum

This page collects various reviews that have been posted by users on our forum. To browse a more complete and up-to-date collection of mini-reviews, check out the mini-review section of our forum here.

[1] 2 3 4 5 6 ... 33next

MiniReview: Inspire Writer

inspire-writer-in-dark-mode.png
Why have I never heard of Inspire Writer?
(I suppose another way of thinking about it, is 'how did I hear about it now?' and I'm not sure I can answer that either.

It's a minimalist wysiwygish markdown editor.
And I really mean minimalist. Minimalist in looks, minimalist in features and virtually no settings that can be tweaked. Though not minimalist in cost - it's not expensive but it is paid software whereas most markdown editors on Windows are free. $30 atm, same price as iA Writer.

Many similarities to iA Writer and Ulysses to my untutored eye as a non-Mac user who tried the iA Writer trial, but never felt any value in using it. It feels as if there's a macness about it. I like the dark theme (which is what I use) much better than the iA Writer theme which always felt to starkly black and contrasty. This one is remarkably similar in tone to my preferred theme on Obsidian (Obsidian Nord).

  • It has typewriter mode, but no focus mode apart from making the edit pane full screen.
  • It has import from docx, HTML. I didn't try HTML, but the docx imports never worked.
  • There's no ability to move files around, or headers around in the outline.
  • There's no folding on headings (and it accepts a #heading instead of requiring # heading).
  • There's no way to have more than one file open at a time that I could find - only one window, no tabs, only one pane.
  • Switching view modes is slow. Slower than any markdown editor or word processor I have used before. Usable, but noticeable.
  • The markdown syntax it has available is very limited.
  • But does have images, tables etc working simply enough
  • Only two themes (light and dark). I suppose the light theme is okay, but don't use them so can't compare. I do like the dark theme.

Looking at the above, it looks much more limited than all the free editors I, and most people, use.

So why would anyone consider paying money for it?

Well, it actually looks like a neat little editor for writers. It has the necessary features (bar underline and folding) but isn't weighed down by the tonnes of useless garbage most markdown editors smother themselves with. It looks nice and easy on the eye (though would benefit from a focus mode - FocusWriter would be a good implementation; maybe adding a sentence option). There are four predefined tags - Urgent, ToDo, Draft and Published - which points to writers being their target market.

And it does have useful features.

There's an option for live spellchecking in up to three languages (not that this is something I often turn on).
There are statistics for selection and whole document (characters, sentences, paragraphs, pages - though I'm not sure how the pages are calculated).
There's a comment syntax (++ for a line/section; %% for blocks)
There's a very nice set of export options - Ghost, Medium, WordPress (+ PDF & HTML) and especially .docx. I really like this one. It presents the option of exporting into a number of styles (Modern, Elegant, Formal etc), allows a preview, and then the options are to save, to put into clipboard or to open in a selected program - such as Word. So no need to create documents if that's not needed, which suits my Workflowy purposes ideally - though I still need to do my copying from Word itself to get the paragraphs I need - Enter appears to = New Paragraph; with Shift-Enter = New Line, but the 'paragraphs' are really markdown lines, and the new lines are soft line breaks.
Autosave is quite fast (at least in external files) and it has a regular backup schedule.

So all that's quite nice. And all of that is for files living in the file explorer, being shared with other editors. There are a few more features, for those files created in or imported to the Library. (I assume that the library is some type of database. Imported files stay where they are, there's just a new copy created in the library; the new copy is not synchronised with the original file.)

Possibly the most important of these is that the files in a Library folder can be moved around the sequence easily and that individual files can be selected for export using the usual Ctrl or Shift options, which makes it very easy to put together a long document/book for export to Word or PDF. These 'sheets' can also be split or merged as desired.
There's also a note/sticky note feature (only one per sheet) and session word counts (and goals).

Do I like it?

Yes I do. Despite the lack of folding, I can imagine using it as my main writing interface. The export options to Word are great. It's very simple; all the options it has are useful to me (most writers, I imagine) and there's nothing else getting in the way. For those that want them, the Scrivener like scene/chapter/book type options seem functional. It happily works as a normal markdown editor on external files as well as those in its database, though with slightly fewer features (I think its file explorer gives it an advantage over WriteMonkey 3 in this regard). I'm happy to buy it for my writing and happy to use the other editors for notes and anything that needs their more advanced capabilities.

I came across the following review, which specifically compares it to Ulysses, so I feel that my impression of macness is probably on the mark.

Continue reading the rest of the entry and discuss..


Mini-Review: GIFExplainer

GIF Explainer Review
DISCLAIMER: Note that I was given a review copy of GIF Explainer in exchange for an unbiased, honest review.

Basic Info

App NameGIFExplainer
App URLhttps://www.gifexplainer.com/
App Version Reviewedv1.1
Test System SpecsWindows 10 64-bit
Supported OSesWindows 7/10
Support MethodsRegistered users: http://www.majormind.com/helpdesk.  Sales support: [email protected]
Upgrade Policyhttps://www.gifexpla...om/order.html#hprlic
Trial Version Available?Yes, adds watermarks.  You have to give your e-mail address to get trial link.
Pricing SchemeLifetime license: $149.00.  Subscription Price: 29.95USD
Author Donation Linkwraith808

Introduction
I must admit starting off, I went into GIF explainer with certain preconceived notions.  When I see GIF Explainer, I think that it's going to record video and turn it into a GIF for sharing.  That brings to mind certain questions- how about audio?  How large are these things going to be?  We've all seen the huge many megabyte GIF files that struggle to load in the browser as they download the image.

I'm happy to say that this isn't that.

If you've seen programs like ScreenSteps or Clarify, this is a similar concept- it documents processes in steps.  Once these processes are documented, it saves them to a GIF image instead of a PDF.

Continue reading the rest of the entry and discuss..


Mini review: The Acme editor on Debian on Windows

acme.png
Basic Info

App NameAcme
App URLhttp://acme.cat-v.org/
Supported OSesPlan 9, its forks (9atom, 9front, Harvey OS, JehanneOS et al.) and Inferno; UNIX, Linux and related operating systems are supported through plan9port. There is/was a Windows version called Acme-SAC but it does not seem to work on Windows 10 anymore.
Pricing SchemeThis is free software.
Reviewer Donation LinkGive me virtual money replacements.
Screencast Video URLhttps://www.youtube..../watch?v=dP1xVpMPn8M

Preface:

This is actually both a review and a tutorial. Please don't hurt me for partially ignoring the headline.

Intro:

After the UNIX 7th Edition which almost anything that claims to be "UNIX-like" is either based upon or inspired by had been released, the developers continued to work on it. However, the last three UNIX releases did not see much adoption: Between UNIX Version 7, released in 1979, and UNIX Version 8, released in 1985, the UCB's UNIX distribution BSD had been developed so far that it had more than twice of UNIX's system calls. In fact, the eighth UNIX was basically a reimported version of 4.1cBSD, modified to run on VAX computers.

Neither the 9th nor the 10th (and final) UNIX were ever released as a complete operating system, efforts to work on it were soon stopped in favor of what should have been UNIX's successor for operating systems research, named Plan 9 from Bell Labs, inspired by what was called "the worst movie of all times". (I will not link that.) The developers of Plan 9, mostly being recruited from the UNIX and C teams (among them, Rob Pike and Ken Thompson), continued from what they had: the graphical terminal Blit came in the 8th edition, Mk and the rc shell were there in the last UNIX version as well. Plan 9 tried to complete UNIX's approach of "everything is a file" by introducing the 9P protocol which acted as a replacement for regular APIs (including sockets and other device calls). Using the wikifs layer, even the Wikipedia could be edited as if it was a collection of files on the local machine. (Sadly, this layer does not seem to have been ported to other operating systems yet.)

Of course, since the 70s were over, the usual computer had a real screen instead of a printer and Apple, Amiga and Atari had successfully taken Xerox's revolutionary input device, the "mouse", out of obscurity by the mid-80s, this was what was considered the best way to interact with a computer: The Plan 9 operating system, including its text editors sam and acme, was developed to be used with a three-button mouse. The designers decided that light blue and light yellow were the best colors to stare at all day, so there was not much to configure. Theming was not a thing.

Click here to read the full mini-review now..


Mini review: The Journal

TheJournal7.png
The Journal to keep a diary, to write, to create reminders

App NameThe Journal
App URLhttp://www.davidrm.com/
App Version Reviewed7.0.0.1099
Test System SpecsWin 10 1803
Supported OSesWindows 10/8/7/Vista/XP
Support MethodsEmail recommended
Upgrade Policy$29.95 to upgrade from v.6 and older
Trial Version Available?45-Day full version
Pricing Scheme$64.95 US, a few paid add-ons such as a Devotional Edition and Writers Edition which include presets for keeping a journal of prayers and aid you in writing respectively
Relationship btwn. Reviewer and Product No relationship, won a copy on the April 2018 giveaway here on DonationCoder

Intro:
The Journal is most of all a record keeper, a diary or journal with added benefits of supporting reminders, images, to do lists and free form "doodles".

Click here to read the full mini-review now..


BazQux Reader - Mini-Review

Basic Info
App Name  20_128x128_3E3C308F.png   BazQux Reader service
DescriptionA service - an online $PAID RSS feed-reader or "feed-aggregator".
Thumbs-Up Rating :Thmbsup:  :Thmbsup:  :Thmbsup:  :Thmbsup:  :Thmbsup:
App URLhttps://bazqux.com
App Version ReviewedThis is an online, browser-based service, and the version is always "latest".
Test System Specs
  • Win7-64
  • Win8/8.1-64 and Pro
  • Win10-64 and Pro
- variously using:
  • old (now defunct) Firefox browser,
  • latest Slimjet (Chrome-based) browser <-- superb with display control NoSquint Plus extension,
  • IE11 browser,
  • MS Edge browser.
  • Brave browser.
Supported OSesAny web browser.
Support MethodsHelp: is via https://bazqux.com/
Trial Version Available?30-day free trial.
Pricing SchemeThis is a commercial service with a 30-day free trial period and then $19 or $29 (pay-what-you-want) annual subscription fee.

Intro and Overview:
BazQux Reader is a very fast online Web-based feed-aggregator, capable of reading Atom and RSS feeds.
It shows comments to posts, able to retrieve full article text, have several view modes, search, can subscribe to Twitter/Facebook/Instagram/Google+ pages and has sharing and bookmarking to popular services.

It is commercial service with a 30 days free trial and then $19 or $29 pay-what-you-want annual fee.
Copied from: BazQux Reader Alternatives and Similar Websites and Apps - AlternativeTo.net - <https://alternativeto.net/software/bazqux-reader/>
Someone was asking me how I arrived at using BazQux reader, and I thought it might be helpful/useful to post this review, as it could potentially save people a lot of time (if they were not already happily using a feed-reader).

Click here to read the full mini-review now..


Mini Review of jAlbum web site creator.

Interface.jpg
Intro:

The full scope of jAlbum is greater than I can address because I do not take advantage of all of its features.

Basically, this product provides a fast, easy method to create sophisticated web albums, for users not versed in the (to me) complexities of writing code.

jAlbum offers web site hosting if desired. I do not use that and so cannot comment on it other than to point out the option.

Who is this app designed for:

Those who would find it daunting to create their own web site from scratch. Those who would find it too expensive to pay an expert to create a web site. Those whose time is at a premium.

Click here to read the full mini-review now..


[1] 2 3 4 5 6 ... 33next

Share on Facebook