Archive for the ‘Software/Hardware Reviews’ Category

Repost: Synergy

Posted on November 2nd, 2009 in Computer software/hardware, Downloads, For Macs, Linux, Software/Hardware Reviews | 6 Comments »

Perhaps I’m just trying to get back into things…but lets start off the supposed revival of flashladybug with a repost.
I only recently, and I mean *recently* discovered the true usefulness of Synergy.
I posted this waaaay back in December, ’08. Reaaaly long time ago.
In any case, I tried this up on my desktop and laptop, stuck them side-by-side. My current setup is Left Panel, Center Panel, Laptop Display.
With synergy, I essentially have a 3 panel desk! The only thing that is missing is that I cannot move windows between the desktop and laptop screen. They are working on that, and I gotta admit, if they succeeded in doing that somehow, this would be quite an app.

In anycase, brief summary: Lets you share the use of a mouse and keyboard across computers, regardless of platform/OS. Copy paste is retained between the machines, and it works with almost no lag on a wifi network.

Synergy could be the easy way of adding productivity without having to shell out for a new video card and monitor 😛

Sweet Dreams…

Posted on April 26th, 2009 in Computer software/hardware, Downloads, PSA-Types, Sleep/Naptime!, Software/Hardware Reviews, Tech News, Things we should do more of | 1 Comment »

If you live with several people or in close proximity, such as dorms, apartments, etc, you generally will encounter at some point in time the problem of someone being loud when your trying to go to sleep. It could be intentional, but most of the time, its completely unintentional and could probably be easily fixed by popping out and asking nicely. However, if its not, or if you just don’t feel like it, Sweet Dreams can gradually lower your system volume based on a schedule.
What does this mean?
Your trying to go to sleep, set Sweet Dreams to decrease the volume on your computer over the course of 30 minutes, stopping at the final volume of 5%, and tell it to shutdown afterwards. Well…that’s exactly what it will do.
It does it quite gradually, and I really did fall asleep without even noticing that it had gotten so quiet. Very useful if you have some music you can fall asleep to, but don’t feel like having to turn it off or listening to it all night.
Check it out: Sweet Dreams

QuickPar: Reliable CD/DVD Burning

Posted on April 5th, 2009 in Computer software/hardware, Downloads, Software/Hardware Reviews, Tech News | 5 Comments »

We are in an age of information, where we have so much data, movies, music, photos, that many of us turn to DVDs and CDs to backup our data. We burn movies, copy photo collections, to DVDs in the hope that when we need them, they will be there with all our data.
However, CDs and DVDs are not a failsafe. It is very likely that with a few years, those DVDs will become unreadable, as the dyes in them degrade. By buying more reliable DVDs made by companies that use more stable dyes, and as technology moves forward, we get longer lasting DVDs.
As a secondary measure, QuickPar can create recovery volumes. QuickPar creates parity volumes which will allow you to verify and recover data if they are damaged. Since we rarely use exactly the maximum amount of data space on a DVD, you can stuff the remaining empty portion with this parity recovery data there. QuickPar will form several .par2 files which are just normally burned along with your other files.
If and when you need the files, and they are corrupt, QuickPar can open those par2 files and repair any lost data.
This is in no way a guarantee for data protection, but it is a nice feature which could save many headaches in the future.

A small tip, QuickPar only accepts files, not folders, but in a windows search window, you can search * in the folder you want and just drag the results into QuickPar.

Check out QuickPar


Posted on December 3rd, 2008 in Computer software/hardware, Downloads, For Macs, Linux, Software/Hardware Reviews, Tech News | 2 Comments »

No…not what your probably thinking.
Instead, synergy allows you to use a keyboard and a mouse to control several computers. What this lets you do on a network is use 3 or 4  computers, as a 3 or 4 monitor setup.
To make it better, a clipboard is shared across them.
You install the server software on the main computer that has the keyboard and mouse, and client software on the others. What is quite nice and lets everyone have the fun, is that you can use Macs in this wonderful array too.
Check it out, Synergy

Network Administration

Posted on November 9th, 2008 in Computer software/hardware, Downloads, Software/Hardware Reviews | 4 Comments »

I’ve found 2 new apps that should help with those who have a handful of computers to admin, mainly at a home network type, or a very small business.

Advanced IP Scanner finds and then lets you control computers on your network. Mainly useful for remote shutdown and LAN-on machines, easy ftp/ssh, etc. Granted, if you have a home network set with reserved IP’s, its kind of useless, but it does make connecting to computers a simple matter of finding it on the list and clicking on it. Best of all, its free for windows.
Check it out, Advanced IP Scanner

SoftPerfect has a nice portable network scanner. It’s small (<1 mb) but can scan the network quite quickly. It provides a list of shared folders that you can easily map as a drive, the usual Lan-wake, restart, but also provides mac addresses, but the best part?
It lets you launch applications through the network. Of course its freeware, and sadly, windows only.
Check it out, Softperfect Network Scanner

Windows Steady State

Posted on July 6th, 2008 in Computer software/hardware, Software/Hardware Reviews, Tech News, Viruses spyware and other nasty things | 4 Comments »

Here is a very nice piece of software. When you get tired of being oh so good to your computer and feel like playing with some dangerous download, or am letting someone use the computer for a while and you know their going to screw the computer up, Windows Steady State is here. What I find very odd…is that its released free by Microsoft, without any fanfare.
But heh, it works and its free. It makes a cache file which includes all the system changes, when you revert, it simply clears the cache.
Check it out: Microsoft Windows SteadState

Introducing: Firefox 3

Posted on June 9th, 2008 in Software/Hardware Reviews, Tech News | 1 Comment »

So, Firefox 3 is coming closer to release and so are all the pros and cons of an update to firefox. Theres always the problem that alot of extensions that you have come to depend on go pop, and many developers do not continually update their plugins.
For FF3, quite a few improvements are slated. A new Bookmark system is being implemented, its become more of a searchable tool and lets you filter bookmarks.
A very useful tool, Whole-page zooming is also being developed. We all know what happens when you jack up the text size, it becomes huge, layout dies, images stay tiny. Well…whole page zooming will solve that 🙂 I wonder how well this will work with multimedia, but we shall see.
Major performance fixes are in place, so hopefully it won’t start sucking ram and cpu. I know I can’t wait for this, as I check my ram usage and see that FF is using an enormous 1.3 gigs of ram (I blame too many tabs)
It’s also changed the address bar so that what you type there searches your history, be it in the page, the title, the url, its pretty nice when you can’t remember the url of a page you’ve visited in the past.

All in all, some very good features and fixes for FF3, I just hope my beloved extensions don’t all bite the dust 😉

.htaccess Editor

Posted on April 12th, 2008 in Computer software/hardware, Software/Hardware Reviews | Comments Off on .htaccess Editor

Any of you guys run a web server at home or have a host that allows you to edit .htaccess?
Here’s a nifty little thing that makes it easier for people who know next to nothing of htaccess to protect pages. It’s also for people who *could* do this by hand, but really could be doing something better than text editing .htaccess.
Theres a nice web utility that allows you to setup the basic password protection, error pages, redirects, etc. Nice and simple 🙂

Check it out: .htaccess Editor

Backuping software…..alot of it :)

Posted on April 12th, 2008 in Computer software/hardware, Downloads, Software/Hardware Reviews, Tech News, Things we should do more of | Comments Off on Backuping software…..alot of it :)

Heres some good backup software, each with its own strengths.

Hinx Backup Easy, is a small utility that lets you do local backups or FTP backuping, with schedules. Theres the option for incremental backups, and thats about it. Simple, and small 🙂 Hinx Backup Easy

DocShield has a different niche. What happens if you’re working on a giant paper, and it just goes horribly wrong? DocShield scans marked folders for changed files and saves archived versions. Its like code versioning, but for allpurpose files. This also lets you backup your versions on an ftp server. DocShield

Finally…on a slightly different note, File Alert Monitor, does what any sane human being would be able to pull out of the program name. It works on networked drives too 🙂 Check it out: File Alert Monitor

Random Utility: IE Retitler

Posted on March 25th, 2008 in Computer software/hardware, Downloads, Dumb Things That Happen, Software/Hardware Reviews, Tech News, Time Wasters | 1 Comment »

This is a REALLY useless utility. This isn’t even like there’s a possible use for it, this program honestly, was made because it COULD be made.
IE Retitler does exactly what it says. It lets you retitle the screens of IE to whatever you want.
Funny…there aren’t any preferences, plugins, or help files. Really…all you can do with it is leave cute messages to yourself when you glance down at your taskbar or the IE bar. Have fun with it 😛
Check it out: Brenton Fletcher’s Portfolio

To be frank though, there are some pretty nice little apps in this portfolio. Have fun flipping through it and downloading a few 🙂