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One of the best freeware tools in its category
All told, we feel comfortable recommending Screenshot Captor as one of the best freeware tools in its category.. it offers almost everything an average user will need in a easy-to-use interface.
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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.

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Making the Switch-05: Ten Great Ideas of GNU/Linux

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Every OS comes with some great ideas, and just like software, I've always wondered: why not combine the best of each to make a super OS? Ah well, I'm sure there's a simple answer, like "because." But here are some good ideas I've seen so far in GNU/Linux.

(01) Live CDs/DVDs.
Just boot straight from the CD to test GNU/Linux in any given distribution. If you don't like it, exit, and remove the disc. You're back to Windows, no harm, no foul.

(02) If you do decide to install the distribution, it will automatically partition your drive to cooperate with Windows.
I haven't tested every distribution out, but most all of them provide this option in a clear manner during setup.

(03) "Package Managers" or software installation managers.
There are several different ones depending on your taste, but these will list all the applications known to work with your chosen distribution. Every time you boot, it updates every piece of software on your system from the package manager. No worry, no conflicts, no fuss. You don't have to mess with .exe or .msi files, and the manager even cleans up installation debris after it's done. Each Linux distribution comes with hundreds and possibly thousands of application programs included. This alone can save you thousands of dollars for each desktop system you configure. For the more technically inclined, development tools, such as compilers for the C, C++, Ada, Fortran, Pascal and other languages, are included as well as Perl, PHP, and Python interpreters. Editors and versioning tools also are included in this category. Whether you are looking for Instant Messaging clients, backup tools or Web site development packages, they likely are all included within your base Linux distribution.

(04) No rebooting upon updates.
One of the most frustrating things about installing or upgrading programs on certain operating systems is the constant need to have to reboot. This is especially true with drivers or system files. The only thing that requires a reboot is if you upgrade the kernel itself, which incidently, is named "Linux." How is this possible? When you open a file, the kernel follows the link, and assigns the inode a file descriptor (a number that it keeps track of internally). When you delete the file, you are "unlinking" the inode; the file descriptor still points to it. You can create a new file with the exact same name as the old file after deleting it, effectively "replacing" it, but it will point to a different inode. Any programs that still have the old file open can still access the old file via the file descriptor, but you have effectively upgraded the program in place. As soon as the program terminates (or closes the file), and starts up (or tries to access it again), it accesses the new file, and there you have it, a completely in-place replacement of a file!

(05) GNU/Linux runs well on old hardware.
This extends the life of your computer, and saves money. I can get behind that idea. Because of a combination of the internal design of Linux and development contributions from a diverse community, Linux tends to be more frugal in the use of computer resources. This may manifest itself in a single desktop system running faster with Linux than with another operating system, but the advantages go far beyond that. It is possible, for example, to configure a single Linux system to act as a terminal server and then use outdated hardware as what are called thin clients. This server/thin client configuration makes it possible for older, less powerful hardware to share the resources of a single powerful system thus extending the life of older machines.

(06) Way too many distros! But wait, this is good.
You have a choice — to choose a distro based on your goals and your system. For example, there's a gamer distro; server distros; graphics/video editing distros; "small" distros that install only the basics and then let you install whatever else you want to customize your system; enterprise distros; distros for education; distros for kids; 32 & 64-bit distros, and so on. Your choice. Vista sorta has this idea, but everything under Vista Ultimate merely disables features, and the Mac OS comes in one flavor: vanilla.

(07) The command line. Not as bad as it sounds for us Windows users
because of all things, I left the command line behind when I left DOS. Every time you here command line, instead think "shortcut." Every distro I've worked with so far didn't require me to even go near a command line if I didn't want to. But running a few commands allowed me to solve the mystery of where my second drive is (within the larger "filesystem"). Much like DOS, most everything you do at the command line is no more than 12-20 commands, and that's if you're the power geek.

(08) It's a Community Relationship, not a Customer Relationship.
Other operating systems are the products of single vendors. Linux, on the other hand, is openly developed, and this technology is shared among vendors. This means you become part of a community rather than a customer of a single manufacturer. Also, the supplier community easily can adjust to the needs of various user communities rather than spouting a "one size fits all" philosophy. This means you can select a Linux distro (or vendor) that best addresses your needs and feel confident that you could switch vendors at a later time without losing your investment — both in terms of costs and learning.

(09) It's free.
If you download a user-friendly distro like PCLinuxOS or Kubuntu it will fit on a single CD, so a single CD-R disc is all it will cost you. Heck, Ubuntu will even send you a CD for free. It's free in a more important sense, too: no one stops you from copying Linux: the trademark is owned by its creator Linus Torvalds, and the code is owned by many programmers worldwide, but the actual code is released under the GNU Public Licence (GPL) so anyone can do what they want with it. You can install it wherever you like on as many PCs as you want, copy it, sell it, give it away, create your very own distro and distribute it, even hack into the code and change it if you know how. You never need to activate, validate, authenticate, or register it.

(10) Interoperability.
GNU/Linux is built for networking, even beginners can connect to the internet, create a SoHo network, even communicate with Windows PCs thanks to Samba, which is software that allows Linux to act as a client on a Microsoft Windows-based network. In fact, Samba includes server facilities such that you could run a Linux system as the server for a group of Linux and Windows-based client systems. Shared printers on a Windows PC are accessible from a GNU/Linux PC and vice versa. Once again, Linux is very strong in this area. In addition, Linux includes software to network with Apple networks.

________________________________________________
Part-01: My journey from Windows to Linux
Part-02: Which Linux distro to choose?
Part-03: First impressions and first problems after installation
Part-04: The "User Guide" as life raft, more n00b problems
Part-05: Ten Great Ideas of GNU/Linux


LocatePC: Free Theft Recovery Software For Your PC

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LocatePC is free software, and runs unobtrusively on your computer, with no icons, popups or saved emails. If your computer is stolen then the thief will not even know that LocatePC is running, and as soon as they connect to the internet a secret email is sent to you containing the details that you need to track your hardware.

Freeware from Iconico, who make some really awesome screen measurement tools.

Example email
Spoiler
Message sent: 7/19/06 11:43:06 (universal time: 7/19/06 19:43:06)
Computer's host name: John_Desktop
Logged in Windows account name: John

Found 2 network connection(s) on this computer (this list may be incomplete):
   1 Name: MyISP Type: Dialup modem Phone number: (555) 555-4321 User name: JSmith
   2 Name: BigCo Type: PPPoE Service name: MySvc User name: (empty)

Computer's web IP address reported by ip.locatepc.com: 216.239.142.3
   To learn more about this IP address, use the IP tests at www.dnsstuff.com.

Computer's local IP address(es):
   Adapter 1: 101.151.8.92

Computer's MAC address(es):
   Adapter 1 (ZX-11 Ethernet): 00-21-54-17-64-26

Trace route to www.locatepc.com:
Hop Name/IP Addr
   1 Router [101.151.2.1]
   2 101.151.8.92
   3 cust-quik.pdx.or.uspops.net [216.239.161.82]
   4 fe1-1-300.gw0.pdx.or.uspops.net [216.239.161.81]
   5 206-169-234-45.gen.twtelecom.net [206.169.234.45]
   6 core-02-ge-3-1-0-508.ptld.twtelecom.net [66.192.248.108]

Identifying information (owner name/address, computer model/serial number):
This computer is the property of:
John Smith
123 Elm Street
Anyville, NY 12345

Computer brand: ABC
Computer model: Megazoom 10000

------------------------------------
IF YOU RECEIVED THIS MESSAGE AFTER YOUR COMPUTER WAS STOLEN:
Show this message to law enforcement authorities. They may be able to use it to identify the ISP, and the ISP can probably find out which account was using the computer when the email was sent. This may lead to the identification of the perpetrator(s) and the recovery of your computer.

------------------------------------
This message was automatically created and sent by LocatePC v1.4.5
LocatePC web site: http://www.iconico.com/locatePC



Zaine Ridling's Massive Word Processor Review is now Live (Jun 14, 2007) !

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Zaine's Massive Three Part Word Processor Review is now finished and live on the site.

If you enjoyed part 1 which was published a few months ago, you won't want to miss the full thing which looks at the online contenders and lesser known tools.


It's a long but great read.. A Classic.

ps. please send zaine a credit or three and a little thank you, to show him how much we appreciate his hard work.


HovText - Clipboard enhancer

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HovText is a small freeware and open source Windows application that removes any formatting from the clipboard and it also works as a simple clipboard manager. Any text in the clipboard will be pasted as raw text without any HTML code, font size, color or layout etc. HovText remembers also the last 10 copied texts (both formatted and unformatted) and you can filter out whatever text you need with regular expressions.

Some key features:
· Removes all formatting from the clipboard (removes HTML code, color and layout etc.)
· Clipboard manager that remembers the last 10 entries
· Can be activated or deactivated via a hotkey or a single mouseclick
· Possibility to remove identical lines
· Possibility to remove leading/trailing whitespaces or linebreaks
· Possibility to copy links only and choose linktype (movies, pictures, emails etc.)
· Possibility to recreate old copied text (a simple clipboard manager)
· Possibility to specify a regular expression seachstring as a linktype
· Possibility to delete all settings from the registry (no unnecessary mess)

http://hovtext.com/i...age=features&lang=en



Making the switch-02: Which Linux distro to choose?

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Part 2 brings me to which distribution, or distro, to choose, where you'll install it, and with which desktop environment (shell). Fortunately, there's lots of help here online, perhaps the two best places to start are:

(1) DistroWatch Top Ten
(2) PolishLinux.org
(3) LinuxQuestions.org Distro Reviews

First, consider for what and how you will use GNU/Linux, as a:
  • Primary system for all your major tasks, mainly productivity or programming;
  • Secondary system for background tasks, such DVD burning, Usenet, BitTorrent, running a server, domain, etc.;
  • Server, for your home network, a domain, or whatever;
  • Test system, e.g., to learn GNU/Linux.

How you will use GNU/Linux will affect which distro you select..

Continue reading and discuss..


Microsoft OneNote 2007

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App NameMicrosoft OneNote 2007
App URLhttp://office.microsoft.com/onenote
App Version Reviewed2007 (v 2.0)
Test System SpecsWindows XP SP2
Supported OSesWindows XP with SP2, Vista, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, or later
Upgrade PolicyVersion licence. Upgrade price $79.95
Trial Version Available?Yes - 60-day limit - see product home page
Pricing SchemeStandalone price $99.95. Also included in various Microsoft Office editions.


Intro: It's the GUI, stupid: Long ago, I remember posting here about how we judge new programs. I recall saying that a new program had at most 10 minutes to leave a good impression or it was dead.

A memorable recent experience showed just how wrong I was. No program has as long as ten minutes to make its mark.

I needed a program to share databases with my wife. We were researching the property market, and we were also planning a holiday. We needed to share information efficiently, seamlessly. No more scraps of paper.

I showed my wife my favourite "information dump" - Ultra Recall (http://www.ultrarecall.com). A power user's program. Robust, scalable and can share databases on a network.

She took one look at the GUI and said no. She hated it. Folders, menus, panes. Old-fashioned. Complicated. Boring. Took her less than ten seconds to dismiss it.

I only had one other program that I thought might fit the bill. Another program I'm fond of. Microsoft OneNote. My wife took one look. I explained the interface (took about 30 seconds). She loved it. Within 30 minutes she was creating a shared notebook on our home server. And she didn't even know we had a server. We've been using OneNote ever since. And my opinion of it only gets better.

Microsoft-bashing has been an international sport for many years. And quite often, they deserve it. Outlook 2007, for example, is driving me nuts. Appallingly slow compared to the 2003 version.

But in OneNote, Microsoft show just what they can do when they listen to customers. It is a triumph, and one of the company's finest products.

Continue reading the full mini-review..


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