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Acronis True Image 2016

Friday, December 4th, 2015

Acronis is a long time player in making quality backup software. According to Acronis, this software is up to 50% faster than similar products from their competitors, it can keep history of up to 20 last system states to roll back to different points in time for peace of mind if you ever mess up your computer, which happens a lot of people sooner or later!

It offers a complete backup solution for your home computer and you can backup in multiple ways, such as only backing up the files and folders of your choice, or making a complete image backup of your entire PC. Whichever method you choose, it can be saved to places such as an FTP server online or to an external Hard Drive.

An extensive number of advanced and unique features are available including email notification when backups are successfully completed, and the ability to mount backups as if they were regular disks. It also includes a hard drive eraser tool for if you are recycling, selling or donating your computer for example, and wish to be sure of your privacy.

In addition, it has a PC cloning utility for if you’re upgrading to a new computer and want to bring everything to the new machine.

You have the option to  encrypt your backups with 256 bit encryption for additional privacy.

They also offer 5GB of free online storage for a year

Acronis True Image 2016 is available for all major Windows versions, including Windows 10 and Windows 8, as well as Mac OS X. This new version is no exception to the rules of quality that users have come to expect from Acronis software.

For full details, check it out at the official Acronis website at


Friday, December 4th, 2015

Are you someone who often finds yourself working  with a lot of windows open at the same time? If so, you’ll know how fast it can become a confusing and cluttered mess in no time at all! It’s also quite time consuming to have to be constantly minimizing, maximizing and clicking on windows to switch between projects and programs.

WindowsPager allows you the ability to neatly arrange your projects and work on their own virtual desktop space and therefore you can switch between your work environments with a quick click of your mouse, saving you time and making your screen a whole lot tidier to work with.

You can also easily move windows from one virtual desktop to another of your choosing, simply by right clicking the task bar icons or dragging the window between your desktops you’ve made in WindowsPager. These also have mini-previews which are useful for keeping track of where your applications are running. They show a miniature overview of what windows and programs are running in each of your virtual desktops, which makes it simple to manage them and move stuff between them.

Another feature is a “sticky” window setting, which can make any window show on all of your virtual desktops.  It also has keyboard commands for moving windows, if you are into keyboard commands, as well as an option to keep certain windows on top of all of the others.

This is a portable program, so it doesn’t even need any installation and you can use it on the go if working on various different computers for example.  It also has 64 bit support and support for flashing windows, (chat windows for example) another useful idea is a crash restore feature and it supports multi monitor mode too.

Check it out on SourceForge.


Thursday, December 3rd, 2015

Available for free on iOS, Android, Windows Phone and in your browser, Duolingo claims to help users learn languages in a fun and effective manner. There are currently 14 languages to choose from, but the Duolingo team are working on more as you read.

The great thing about Duolingo is that it’s really easy to use. After you’ve made a profile and chosen the language you wish to learn, the rest is straightforward. The course is then split up into categories and you can’t skip ahead until you have successfully completed the previous topic, e.g. Food or Animals. However, once you’ve finished a certain topic, Duolingo will remind you to go back and revise it every so often, in the form of a Strength Bar. When this bar begins to fade it is your job to go back and do a quick recap until the bar fills again.

To keep you motivated, you have the option of setting daily or weekly goals. If you reach your daily goal then you create a streak. You also get rewarded with lingots, which is the currency in Duolingo, but they’re not that exciting. In more common languages, i.e German, you have the option to exchange lingots for bonus lessons such as Flirting or Idioms. That’s about as good as it gets in regards to lingots though.

Overall, Duolingo is probably the best tool out there for anybody who is interested in learning a new language. And what better way to be sure then to check out the awards it won: iPhone App of the Year, 2013; Google’s Best of the Best, 2013 and 2014; TechCrunch’s Best Education Startup, 2014.

Plus, it’s totally free!

Check it out for yourself at!


Friday, August 7th, 2015

Ever noticed how being in front of your computer screen when it’s getting late and dark seems to feel a lot more draining than using it for the same amount of time during the day time? You’ve probably also experienced turning your computer on in a darkened room and being hit by the bright glare of your screen.

f.lux is a program that automatically changes your screen’s color temperature so that the display is much gentler on you eyes at night or in low light. To sum up what this software does, it switches the display to “cool” colors when its day time, and that’s the usual setting for displays anyway) and “warm” ones during the evening or night. This adjustment will have positive health effects for your eyes and mind and also make it easier to sleep afterwards.

It knows when to adjust the settings by requiring that you set the longitude and latitude for your particular area of the world. From this, it can tell when it is sunrise or sunset. The temperatures for day and night can also be adjusted in the settings.

It is most more suitable if you just work with text, as opposed to color sensitive things, such as Photoshop, etc, as in that case, it might change things a little too much when working with such color-sensitive details. Since it doesn’t actually change the brightness, just the color temperature, your screen will still be very clear and not dull, so if you find yourself working too late in the evening on writing or reading a lot of text, it may be worth testing this out as your eyes just might feel a lot more comfortable!

Check out f.lux at

DrWeb CureIt

Thursday, August 6th, 2015

DrWeb CureIt is a portable and free version of the commercial antivirus product from DrWeb antivirus.

This programs is presented as a single executable file which fully self extracts into the Windows temporary directory when you double click it and launches itself. The virus definitions are included in the package, so there is no need to be connected to the internet once you have downloaded it. There isn’t any option to update the virus definitions from within the program, so if you want to make sure you have the latest definitions, it’s important you download the latest version from the DrWeb website. The program will also prompt you do this, when it notices that your version is a bit old, it will tell you how old it is and suggest you download the latest version.

Upon launching the program, you’ll see a small nag screen, nothing too inconvenient, and also the choice to choose it’s interface language (it tries to begin with one that fits your windows regional settings, but there are also 30 languages available).

Next, it starts “Express Scan” which scans through your computer’s memory and a few usual places viruses like to put themselves. There is also the option to manually choose what you want to scan and also a complete scan that scans everything on your computer.

This is a good option if you find that your computer has a virus or malware and you were unfortunate enough to not have working antivirus software already for whatever reason. It doesn’t need to be installed, so can be up and running quickly and easily to help get your computer back on track. It is very easy to use, even for non technical users, as it keeps the options very basic as mentioned above.

Check it out at

Windows 10 Firewall Control

Friday, July 31st, 2015

When running your computer, there are usually many times when the various software you use might try to contact an outside source via your internet connection, there can be many legitimate reasons, such as checking for updates, verifying licenses, etc. But what if malware gets onto your system and is contacting an outside source with personal information for example, this is why a two-way firewall is so important.

Windows 10 Firewall Control is software developed by Sphinx Software that is free to try and developed especially for Windows based computers. It is designed to simplify the customization of a windows firewall, plus more.

The firewall exists to protect your computer from potentially undesirable network activity from applications on your PC. It does this by controlling network traffic and internet access. It prevents undesired informational incoming and outgoing leakage of applications running locally or remotely. It also provides detailed logging and notification. It also has the ability to help you to manage and synchronize port forwarding utilizing an external network (router/firewall) box with specific application activity and/or requirements.

Some of its features include blocked activity notifications, Windows Explorer integration as well as zone-based network permissions management. As well as this, it also has support for IPv6 and portable devices.

When all is said and done, Windows 10 Firewall Control is a light-weight and  easy to use but powerful firewall management program which works on Windows Vista, XP, and Windows 7, as well as Windows 10. It’s simple to understand interface makes  sure it is not too difficult to use, even for those who are not computer experts.

It has multiple editions available, including free.

For more information, check out

ACDSee Pro 8

Friday, July 31st, 2015

Considered by many to be among the premier photo editing and organizing packages, ACDSee Pro is a worthy tool when it comes to what photographers really need. Version 8 of this software has some additional useful new editing features and a subscription purchase option, as well as some online storage, even though that last option may be a tad expensive.

The basic functions of this software fulfills some basics, the organization of images, non-destructive editing with filters (called “Developing” in this program) as well as the usual “destructive” editing (which changes the original image) which is “destructive” only when the file is saved, when it overwrites the original file (you’re of course free to undo modifications up until then). It has a vast amount of filters in both Develop and Edit modes, these include split-tone editing, lens distortion and perspective correction, as well as other modern techniques.

The edit tools are similar to Photoshop, but much easier to find  (unlike in Photoshop) being nicely labeled on a pane on the left side. All things relating to file export or import are dealt with as plug-ins, this is useful should new standards or cameras come on the scene in the future. One thing that makes this particular program so popular is its ability to make it very easy to view and organize large groups of images, and also the editing of metadata such as date, location, and camera settings.

New in this version is the ability to scan in the background to add files while your computer is otherwise idle. Other new features are pixel targeting, which lets you edit only pixels of a certain color, also a new fill too that operates in the same manner. New too is an edit history window for keeping track of your changes.

As mentioned earlier, it is now also integrated with online storage, but this comes at a not-so-cheap price ($109/ 20GB, $129/40GB, and $199/100GB per year)

For more details, check out ACDSee Pro 8.

Amazon Kindle Convert

Friday, July 31st, 2015

If you have some books you’d rather have as ebooks, Amazon’s Kindle Convert will let you change them into ebook format. This is a great idea, but the downside is that it may take a little patience, as you must do it page by page. This program works with most scanners, as long as they support at least 300dpi, 8 bit depth for grayscale, and 24 bit depth for color.

Some of the features of the software are text editing capabilities as well as automatic alignment.
You can also keep the book’s original formatting and fonts, and if your book happens to have any handwritten notes or images, they’ll also be transferred over to the digital version.

Once you’ve finally scanned in all the pages of your book, the program saves your document in kindle format and uploads it to your Amazon Cloud Drive online storage. Once it’s there, it gets treated the same as any other Kindle book would, with the usual features such as notes, highlights, page sync, and a built in dictionary.

As mentioned at the beginning, the scanning process is the hardest part of all this and may take a little patience, especially with bigger books. It’s probably not going to be great for anything with more than a few dozen pages, unless you have plenty of time and patience. Also, the software is for personal use only, so you may not sell any book you scan, unless you wrote it of course!

So if you would like to lighten the amount of paper you have to carry around, it may be worth a little work.

Check it out at


Friday, July 31st, 2015

Wavepad is an audio editing program for both Windows and Mac. It covers the functional features expected in a professional sound editing program.

This software does a good job at being a full featured music and audio editor, as it lets the user edit and record sound files, whether it’s music files or any other kind of audio recording. It has the expected basic features such as cutting, copying and pasting parts of audio files, as well as adding additional effects such as various kinds of echo, amplification or even noise reduction.

While capable of analyzing and editing your audio in many ways, it can also burn discs and even convert text to speech. For the more musically inclined, it has features such as automatic beat detection, multiple chained effects, Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) and Temporal Fourier Transform (TFFT) frequency analysis.

  • Supports sample rates from 6000 to 96000Hz, stereo or mono, 8, 16, 24 or 32 bits.
  • Pre-defined audio quality suggestions when saving files such as CD Quality and Radio Quality.
  • Integrated VST plugin support

It supports WAV and MP3 files, as well as various other kinds of audio format files such as vox, gsm, wma, real audio, au, flace, ogg and others.

Design-wise, this program’s interface is quite easy to use and intuitive to figure out. It features an assortment of powerful tools that aren’t difficult for even amateur musicians and users to figure out and work with quite easily. While it may have a less flashy layout than similar programs, it is certainly an efficient one. It has an integrated media player and a large spectral display. It also lets you assign user defined keys and macros.

Check it out at WavePad.

Kaspersky Internet Security

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

Kaspersky Internet Security is the latest offering from Kaspersky Labs that is designed to be effective at protecting your computer from all the usual threats that are around these days, ranging from hacker attempts, malicious programs, as well as spam and other online risks. (more…)

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