Posts Tagged 'review'
Tags: 2012, history, look back, Politics, review, sports, video, year end review
Tags: Color Sudoku, CR-Sudoku, FreeFile Review, freeware, game, puzzle, review, software, Sudoku, Windows
I recently took a look at two free Sudoku puzzle applications that are quite different – one is no-frills, the other is packed with options. Both programs are Windows only and require no installation. Also, both allow the player to select the level of difficulty.
The first one, CR-Sudoku is a simple Sudoku game, best for on-screen play. It generates only the standard 9×9 Sudoku grids and has no print function. The on-screen play is aided with ‘Show Errors’ and ‘Next Move’ functions as well as the option to enter small “helper numbers” with a right-click.
The other program, Color Sudoku, is a full-feature game for both on-screen and paper-and-pencil play. It will generate a printable PDF file with multiple games on each page for those who prefer paper-and-pencil. Grids are not limited to the standard 9×9, but can be configured from a simple 6×6 to a 20×20, with 8 different multiple grid layouts. Very large, very difficult games are possible. For on-screen play, ‘Show Errors’ and ‘Hint’ functions are available, but it lacks CR-Sudoku’s “helper numbers” function. One interesting feature is the option to use colors, instead of numbers. Interesting, but I don’t know if I will ever use it.
- – - – The Bottom Line – - – -
As someone who prefers paper-and-pencil Sudoku, Color Sudoku is my first choice, however, if your preference is for on-screen play on 9×9 grids, CR-Sudoku is the way to go. Since both are completely free, grab both.
Tags: Cryos, funny, Google Maps, humor, New York, NY, pic, picture, review, Sperm Bank, yogurt
Tags: data recovery, freeware, memory card, MJM, Recuva, review, SD card, software, technology, thumbdrive, Zero Assumption
If you’ve ever accidentally deleted a photo from your camera or had a memory card crap out, a data recovery program may save the day. I’ve tested 3 free ones – Recuva , MJM Photo Recovery and Zero Assumption Recovery – and here’s what I found.
Installation was quick and problem free on all three programs. Interfaces of MJM and Zero Assumption are quite similar and simple. Recuva’s interface is more refined and includes a wizard to walk you through the recovery process. I found the wizard useful. All three programs are easy to use – simply select which drive to scan, where to store recovered files and click ‘start’.
All three apps were tested for data recovery. Twenty five photos were loaded onto a brand new 4GB SD card and onto a well-used 64MB thumbdrive. In round one all 25 photos were deleted and then each program tried to recover them. In round two, the 25 photos were loaded onto the memory again, but the memory was formatted, to simulate a memory card crash. Recuva and MJM tied with 86% of the photos successfully recovered over all 4 tests. Zero Assumption recovered a dissappointing 63%.
Speed is the only other benchmark that matters. Recuva destroyed the competion by completing all 4 scans in under 5 minutes each. Zero Assumption scanned the 64MB thumbdrive in about 6 minutes, but scanning the 4GB SD card took over an hour. MJM scanned the 64MB thumbdrive in about 35 minutes, but scanning the 4GB SD card took well over an hour.
Based on my testing, Recuva is the obvious choice. It is the fastest program (by a wide margin), it tied for the best percentage of photos recovered and has the most refined interface.
Download Recuva HERE
Download MJM HERE
Download Zero Assumption HERE
Tags: browser, Chrome, Firefox, freeware, Google, IE, Internet Explorer, review
UPDATE – March 28, 2011
A new review is now available HERE. It features reviews of Firefox 4, Chrome 10 and IE 9.
June 2010 – Is Google’s Chrome the worst browser ever? It isn’t the worst ever, but it is the worst browser today. I originally took a look at Chrome on its release in 2008, and after recently reading a few glowing reviews, I decided to take another look at it. In 2008, I found the browser fast, but crashy and lacking in features. Now, in 2010, little has changed. Installation was quick and problem free. Chrome even did an excellent job importing my Links Bar from Firefox – I was impressed. It still seems to be fast at rendering pages.
Now the bad. I had heard a lot about how Chrome now has extensions ‘just like Firefox’, so I tried to find extensions similar to the six extensions that I use with Firefox, I could find only one of the six. Strike one!
Very few things in Chrome’s interface can be customized by the user. Buttons cannot be added or removed. The tab bar cannot be repositioned (even with an extension). For a tweaker like me, this Apple-like, our way or no way attitude is a major negative. Strike two!
I was unable to test on a Mac because Chrome is only available for OSX 10.5 and later. Lastly, I again found crash problems. Crashes occurred on only one of two Windows XP systems that were tested, indicating a possible software conflict on the suspect pc, but since no other applications on that pc have crash issues, that is strike three – Chrome, you’re out!
Also, Chrome has always tauted its ability to isolate a crash to the lone offending tab. I have never observed this behavior; when it chrashes, all tabs and the browser go down.
Chrome does make sense on netbooks, where its speed and light weight are big positives. However, with screen real estate scarce, Chrome’s lack of customization is even more painful. Why can’t the Download Bar be disabled?
Chrome may be a good choice if you want a no-frills browser, but I will not be using it. I still prefer Firefox for all of the customization that it offers. I even rate Internet Explorer slightly above Chrome, although I won’t be using IE either. Hopefully, my next review of Chrome will be more positive.
Download Chrome HERE