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Useful Freewares for Everyday Use

Let me share a few freewares I use every day. These helpful tools will make the part of life you spend working on computer much easier and more pleasant. Try them out.

1. doPDF – this tool allows converting documents into PDF format. doPDF adds virtual printer driver to your system. That means you can save files as PDF in any program with Print option. Simply select Print from an application and choose doPDF as a printer. The tool allows setting custom resolution and paging scaling, choosing one of predefined page sizes, etc. The great feature: doPDF creates PDF file that are searchable by both people and search engines. OS: Windows all.


2. Q-Dir – a multifunctional file manager. Its distinctive feature is unusual interface with four panels displaying files and folders. The program has to versions – for 32-bit and 64-bit systems/ This file manager lets quickly access most often used folders, generate file thumbnails, etc. Q-Dir integrates into Windows context menu. It supports working with ZIP archives and FTP links. Q-dir includes some great tools to simplify your file management. They are screen magnifier, color filter, highlight filter, file-filter, quick-link’s for fast folder access and many other. OS: Windows 98/Me/2000/XP/Vista.


3. AkelPad – small yet handy and fast text editor. It can process text documents in single or multi window mode, provides full support of Unicode strings and codepages. With AkelPad, you can edit even read-only files and preview files before opening. Other great features: column text selection, multi-level undo, fast search/replace, print option. AkelPad can be installed on Windows Vista and Windows 7 to replace NotePad.


Hope you’ll enjoy them!

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September 17, 2009 Posted by | Software | , , , , | Leave a comment

iCal calendar on your desktop

iCalendar or iCal format for calendar data exchange was initially developed for use under Apple Macintosh operating system, and you can find tons of info how to show iCal on Mac desktop. Nevertheless, iCal calendar can be displayed on Windows desktop as well and there are short reviews of Windows desktop calendar tools that support iCalendars. They let you exchange iCal data between iPhone, iPod, Google Calendar or other web apps and your PC.

1. Desktop iCalendar – desktop calendar consisting of 4 widgets – monthly calendar, events, to-do list and weather widget. Allows to sync calendar and to-do list with Google calendar, exchange data with any device which use .ics (iCalendar) format.


2. Active Desktop Calendar – desktop calendar with appointments notes, tasks, alarms and contacts. Allows data exchange with Outlook and Google Calendar. Supports iCal and CSV formats for data import \ export.


3. Screen Calendar – desktop wallpaper calendar and reminder, shows small or fullscreen calendar for one or two month. Allows easy synchronizing events with MS Outlook. Supports iCal fully that lets you subscribe to iCalendar sources, import events from iCal calendars (including Google Calendar) to the desktop and export events to .ics files.


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June 18, 2009 Posted by | Calendar, Software, Windows | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

April’s most interesting and important news

calendar_april2What’s new this April?

1. Winamp 5.552 was released. What’s new:

  • Improved iPod Sync Support
  • New iTunesLibrary Import
  • New Online Services Gallery
  • New OurStage Radio Online Services
  • New Spinner MP3 of the Day Online Service
  • New Turkish, Romanian, and Portuguese Language Packs

2. Firefox 3.0.9 and 3.0.10 stability releases were delivered to fix some security and stability issues.

3. Firefox 3.5 Beta 4 is available for download and testing. New features and changes in this milestone that require feedback include:

* Beta is now available in 70 languages .

* Private Browsing Mode.

* Better performance and stability with the new TraceMonkey JavaScript engine.

* The ability to provide Location Aware Browsing using web standards for geolocation.

* Support for native JSON, and web worker threads.

* Improvements to the Gecko layout engine, including speculative parsing for faster content rendering.

* Support for new web technologies such as: HTML5 <video> and <audio> elements, downloadable fonts and other new CSS properties, JavaScript query selectors, HTML5 offline data storage for applications, and SVG transforms.

4. Facebook opened up its developer API stream that gave third-party developers an opportuniny to  connect to their users’ streams and let their users read their streams wherever they want. Now with the Open Stream API developers are able to create new applications and services with new user interfaces for the stream. One of the first examples of using the Open Stream API is Xobni – an Outlook plug-in which enables you to keep track of your social network activity immediately from the mail client.

5. Gmail presented two new features in Labs: suggesting new recipients while composing messages and easy inserting images into mails.

6. Hitwise company published stunning data about Twitter growth.

Twitter’s growth in Australia was 1,067 percent since the start of this year. The number of visitors to Twitter has more than tripled in New Zealand since the beginning of the year. Twitter’s share of online visits in the United States and Britain had increased by 570 percent and 621 percent respectively since the start of the year.

April 28, 2009 Posted by | Browsers, e-mail, internet, Mozilla Firefox, Social Networks, Software | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Vista Start Menu – an alternative to usual Start Menu

There are lots of various Windows enhancement softwares. Today we have the new version of one of them which can enhance Windows Start menu – a small yet powerful piece of software – Vista Start Menu 3.15. This program can become an alternative to usual Start menu, especially if you have tons of programs installed and therefore spend a lot of time looking for the needed program in your Start menu list.

The Start menu appeared in Windows 95 for the first time. After that only cosmetic changes were made in it and only in Windows XP there were first worth mentioning changes. The menu was expanded to two columns: the left column for installed applications, and the right one for access to user’s documents and system functionality. In Windows Vista, Start menu was also changed – there was added Search box. Nevertheless, no changes were made concerning the most important purpose of the Start menu – launching programs.

Do you need any changes in the Start menu? No, you don’t if you have only a dozen programs installed. If there are more programs, launching one program requires time directly proportional to the number of installed programs. The problem is partially solved by the Quick Launch Panel, but it also becomes almost useless when the number of programs increases.

Vista Start Menu software was designed exactly to solve this problem. There are some key features of the program:

  • Program in the list always stay in their places and are easy to find because they are exactly where you left them. This reduces time spent finding the needed program.
  • Start menu is resizeable and can be easily moved to any part of the screen.
  • Keyboard shortcuts can be used to launch programs and to control the power. You can simply remember the shortcuts for the most often used programs and launch them in a few seconds.
  • The icons of programs are displayed near their names, that cuts search time significantly. It’s much easier and quicker to find and recognize an icon than read a program name.
  • An amazing feature is quick access to the Internet search directly from the Start menu. Usual Search box serves either for search (Google search or simple PC search) or as a run option. You may begin typing immediately when the Start menu is open and then simply use keyboard shortcuts or mouse to select what to do with the text you typed in – find on your computer, search in the Web or Run.


All in all, I seem this program to be a very convenient alternative to the usual Start menu for people who have many programs installed. Besides, the basic version is free (all the features I’ve mentioned above and a few others are included with the basic version), and the price of the Pro version is reasonable for the feature set it offers. So Start working with pleasure! 🙂

*For writing a review, materials from Vista Start Menu website were used

April 17, 2009 Posted by | Software, Windows | , , , , | 1 Comment

Interesting Software Bundle

save-moneyBeing in permanent search of interesting offers on the Web, I can’t miss the March offer of Flarium.com and want to share my find with you. This month they offer a bundle of FlashSlider – neat tool for flash slideshow making, and Watermarking – software for protecting digital images. I seem this bundle would be a happy choice for everyone who publishes digital pictures to the Web. Watermarking software adds watermarks to protect image copyrights that is very important when picture is shared on the Web to avoid its illegal use. FlashSlider turns images into an eye-catching and web-friendly swf slideshow which can be used for everything beginning from family photo album to business demonstration. Both softwares are extremely easy to use and suitable for all kinds of users.

So, hurry up not to miss the FlashSlider + Watermarking bundle at a discounted price.

March 4, 2009 Posted by | Flash, Software | , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Best Valentine’s Day Special Offers for Software

Not to break the rule, after Christmas Sales I want to make up a list of Valentine’s Day special offers and discounts for software products. So, what software developers are in the most romantic mood this year? 😉

heart_redWonderShare – time to capture and share your moment. DVD Ripper Platinum + Video Converter Platinum + Video to DVD Burner Pack for a half price.

heart_yellowiSkysoft Studio – buy one, your lover gets one free. iSkysoft offer DVD to iPod, iPhone, etc. converters for Mac. You can buy software suites with discount and provide your lover’s email so that he or she can get registration code for free.

heart_greenFlarium.com – love madly, buy wisely. Buy FlashSlider software with 35% discount and make a romantic Valentine’s slideshow of your digital photos for people you love. Show your love in slides.

heart_blueAstroGemini Software – screensavers collection on CDs. A perfect gift! You can buy only their Valentine’s Day 3D Screensaver with 20% discount at DownloadPipe.

heart_pinkTulipchart.com – Cool EasyCard is exatly what you need to make Valentine’s Day card for your lover. Lots of templates and the lowest holiday price.

Happy Valentine’s Day! Love and be loved!

February 11, 2009 Posted by | Software | 1 Comment

My Top 5 Flash Slideshow Creators

When reviewing software, the most difficult is not to pin a label on something and remember that there is no good or bad software, there is software for different needs. So, today I want to list 5 different Flash Slideshow creators. Each of them is the best – for different purpose.

Flash Slideshow Creators

1) Easy inserting into other SWF files or Power Point presentations – FlashSlider

flashsliderFlashSlider lets easy create slideshows in flash format while controlling and customizing every slideshow option. I like FlashSlider for the fact slideshows it makes are clear and perfect for further inserting into another files. Still, FlashSlider has such advanced features as adding preloader, background music, navigation controls, etc., and its library of flash transition effects is very extensive (more than 110 effects).

2) Easy embedding into website, MySpace, blog etc. – Photo Flash Maker + Go2Album

Photo Flash MakerSometimes I use online services to create web slideshows, but I still prefer desktop slideshow creators. Among them, to create flash slideshow for further embedding into a web page, I use Photo Flash Maker. It’s an easy to use tool which allows publishing slideshows to the web hosting Go2Album directly from the program. After slideshow is uploaded to the web, it can be embedded to MySpace or Bebo profile, blog or any other website. Go2Album gives you URL of your SWF slideshow, HTML code to embed it to web page and, of course, free hosting.

3) 3D Flash effects – 3D Flash Slideshow Creator

3D Flash Slideshow CreatorAre you bothered with usual slideshows and their typical transition effects? Yes, sometimes I want something else too and use Aleo 3D Flash Slideshow Creator. 3D Carousels, Rollers, Scrollers – very nice and unusual 3D slideshow templates. The program also lets customize slideshow and publish it easily as an SWF and HTML.

4) Built in photo editing – SWiSH Pix

SWiSH PixAmong other great options of this slideshow creator, the one I like most of all is built in photo editing feature. SWiSH Pix lets rotate and crop photos, adjust brightness and contrast. Edit each photo directly from a slide preview – easy and quick. That’s much easier to get perfect displaying when editing photo in a slideshow maker than when editing it with other editor and then inserting into a slideshow.

5) Cute templates and cliparts – InAlbum Deluxe

InAlbumWhen I need a cute, sweet, funny, yummy, etc. slideshow, I always use InAlbum Deluxe. More than 100 extremely cute templates, each with its preset music theme, animated cliparts, morphing faces, applying sound effects to the recorded voice or using program sounds – InAlbum has everything to have fun creating a flash slideshow.

That’s my top 5 Flash slideshow creators. Now it’s your turn to choose.

January 20, 2009 Posted by | Software | , , , , , | 4 Comments

What was hot in IT world 2008

This is a guest post from Helen Grigorieva. She is a tech writer, an author of Flash’y’mania – blog about everything concerning Flash, an assistant marketing director of international software development company, a person interested in tech and Web news and a very nice girl 🙂

The last week of the year is the best time to resume everything that happened in the tech world during the year. So, let’s look at some statistics represented as flash charts to learn what was at the top this year.

Top websites 2008
What are the most popular places of the Web world? The most popular websites according to Alexa ranking and their daily reach (% of global internet users who visit the sites):


Top search engines 2008
Search is an integral part of the Web. Search engines are the integral parts of our life. What search engines were used the most this year?


Top web browsers 2008
Thing which opens the Web for us is a web-browser. Which is the most popular this year?


Top software 2008
Top software of this year is evidently various anti-virus programs. What else was in greatest demand this year?


Top PC games 2008
Of course, computer world can’t be imagined without games. Leaders of this year among the PC games are below:


That’s how computer world lived this year.

Charts are created with Animated Chart software.

Merry Christmas!

December 25, 2008 Posted by | Browsers, Charts and Graphs, games, search engines, Software | 1 Comment

Best Software Christmas Sales 2008

It’s only one week left till Christmas, less than two weeks till the New Year. So, it’s time to buy software with Christmas discount until it’s not too late. Hurry up! I’ve composed a list of best offers and Christmas discounts on software for you.

flarium Flarium.com offers 10% discount for all products or up to 50% off on software bundles. There are flash software both for web developers and end users and calendar software.
Till December, 31th.
sothinkmedia SothinkMedia.com offers great discounts for software bundles. Here you can find everything you need to work with video – video downloaders, encoders, converters and many more. Save $15-55.
From December, 3rd.
acoolsoft2Acoolsoft offers Christmas bundle – PPT2DVD and PPT2Video software with $30 discount.

Till January, 5th.

moyeamedia_1Moyea Software offers web player software, swf and video converters and PPT to DVD burner. Save $20 on each product or up to $70 on software bundles.
Till December, 31th.
arcsoftArcSoft.com gives exactly what you need before the time of presents and greetings. Print Creations – print-projects software for creating cards, calendars, pages, scrapbooks. Save 30%.
Till December, 31th.
wondershareWondershare offers 20% discount for PPT to DVD and PPT to Video converters and free templates for PPT2DVD.
Till January, 5th.
lingvosoftLingvosoft offers great language tools – dictionaries, phrasebooks and language learning software with 10-15% discount.
Till December, 26th.

Happy Christmas shopping!

December 18, 2008 Posted by | Software | , , | Leave a comment

Google’s Chrome is out of beta. What’s the hurry?

google_chromeToday, Google announced that their Chrome leaves beta. This was really fast – about three month to make browser stable and fast enough to take off  ‘beta’ label. It is a little strange for me to see Chrome 1.0 because major release must introduce new features, and Chrome 1.0 doesn’t. Yes, Chrome is rather fast and stable, but it still doesn’t have such important features as add-ons and built-in RSS reader, although everyone expected them to be in a non-beta version. So, what’s the hurry? It’s easy to understand – beta version can’t be preinstalled on a new computers. So, now we can expect that Google will try to conclude contracts with OEM (original equipment manufacturers). Maybe, your next computer will be with preinstalled Chrome :).

In spite of all unfinished tasks, let’s congratulate Chrome developers with the 1.0 version and wish them to make Chrome even better. Chrome 1.0 can be downloaded from here.


December 12, 2008 Posted by | Browsers, Google, Software | , , , , | 5 Comments