Posts Tagged 'software'

Control Panel Replacement – FreeFile Review

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nuePanel is an application that attempts to organize many of the settings available in Windows. The sheer number of tools, Control Panel apps, and settings in Windows make that a daunting task, but neuPanel does a very good job of cutting through the clutter.

The Good – It appears that every possible Windows setting is available. The interface is simple, with rows of buttons in the main window and tabs across the top. The buttons are in alphabetical order, which speeds up finding things. ‘God Mode’ is available as ‘Control Panel (God Mode)’ under the ‘Troubleshooting’ tab.

The Bad – A few of the command buttons don’t work (they report ‘cannot find the file specified’). Finding what you want can still take a little time, due to the quantity of buttons available.

— — — — The Bottom Line — — — —

I’ve found neuPanel to be a timesaver. It provides one location to find the setting you need. This gets more valuable as Microsoft hides more and more settings. Most Windows users should find neuPanel useful.

Download neuPanel HERE

Read more FreeFile Reviews at DanKostecki.com

XnRetro – FreeFile Review

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XnRetro is a quirky little image editor, that I must admit I enjoy using. It seems to be a smart phone filter app that also has a desktop version. On mobile, it is available on Android and iPhone; on the desktop, it is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. I’m reviewing the Windows desktop version. It required no installation, just unzip, open folder, and click XnRetro.exe to launch the program.

The Good – Clean, simple interface. The interface is pleasant enough, and organized with basic color control sliders on the right side, and filters on the bottom. Filters include Retro color presets, Light effects (think lens flare), Vignette, and Frames. Personally, I don’t care for the Retro color filters; I found the Vignette and Frames very useful.

The Bad – The color adjustments seem to be rather slow – move a slider and wait to see the results – not a long wait, but noticeable. Quirks. Quirks aren’t necessarily bugs, but merely unexpected ways of doing things. The program will open with all of the adjustments that were applied to the last image saved. Many users may find this useful, I don’t. The Reset button on the right side only resets the color adjustment sliders; the Reset button on the top tool bar resets everything. The strength of the Light effects is controlled by a slider on the right. If the slider gets adjusted to zero, the Light effects seem to do nothing. Through experimentation, I found that it could open and edit JPG, PNG, and GIF files, but save only as JPG or PNG. Saving JPG quality is a relatively low 75%. This is fine for mobile, but it should be adjustable on the desktop. A Help file would have helped, but I couldn’t find one.

— — — — The Bottom Line — — — —

XnRetro has a number of quirks, probably due to its mobile origins. I found no real issues, and once you get used to it, XnRetro is a very nice, very useful image editor. Try it just for the Vignettes and Frames.

Download XnRetro for desktop HERE

Get XnRetro for mobile HERE

Read more FreeFile Reviews at DanKostecki.com

AbleWord – FreeFile Review

I only recently discovered a fantastic word processor called AbleWord, and have found it a pleasant surprise. Think of AbleWord as WordPad on steroids. It is a simple word prosessor with some powerful features. It is Windows only.

The Good – The install is quick with no extra software. AbleWord has a attractive Windows XP style interface. The menus and toolbars (only 2) are sparsely populated with only the basics. AbleWord’s real power lies in the formats that it works with. It will open, edit, and save in .doc .docx .pdf .html. Compatability with MS Office formats is good. It has Spell Check, Text Find, and Word Count. Tables and images can be inserted into documents. Everything seems to work well.

The Bad – I have trouble finding anything wrong with AbleWord. One thing that I found confusing was the “Open PDF Text” command. Initially, I tried to open existing PDF files with that command, and had mixed results. Later, I found that opening PDFs with the “Open” command gave excellent results. One suggestion I have is that simple drawing tools would be a welcome addition.

— — — — The Bottom Line — — — —

AbleWord is an excellent application that deserves much wider recognition. It is perfect for most pc users who have basic word processing needs. The PDF functionality make it a must have program.

Download AbleWord HERE

Read more FreeFile Reviews at DanKostecki.com

Apple II Gets Its First OS Update In 23 Years

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According to ZDNet –

If you own a working Apple II computer, there’s a new ProDOS update for the first time in 23 years, thanks to software developer John Brooks. In 1993, ProDOS version 2.0.3 was the last official release Apple delivered for the Apple II series. But on Friday, that was superseded by ProDOS 8 version 2.4, which Brooks released to mark the 30th anniversary of Apple IIGS. According to Ars Technica, remarkably the update also brings improvements to the earlier Apple ][ and ][+.

Continue reading HERE.

Many Errors In Scientific Papers Blamed On Excel’s AutoCorrect

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According to Slate –

Excel is partially responsible for errors in 20 percent of scientific papers dealing with genes, according to a new study. In an effort to “raise awareness of the problem,” three scientists published findings that suggest one-fifth of all scientific papers about genes contain detrimental typos due to an Excel default setting that converts gene names to dates or numbers.

Continue reading HERE.

 

Linux Turns 25

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TechCrunch reports –

Linux will turn 25 years old on August 25, the day Linus Torvalds sent out his fateful message asking for help with a new operating system. “I’m doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won’t be big and professional like gnu) for 386(486) AT clones. This has been brewing since april, and is starting to get ready. I’d like any feedback on things people like/dislike in minix, as my OS resembles it somewhat (same physical layout of the file-system (due to practical reasons) among other things),” he wrote in the comp.os.minix message board. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Continue reading HERE.

Happy 20th Birthday, Netscape Navigator 3.0!

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Mental_floss reported –

On August 21, 1996, Netscape released its massively popular Navigator 3.0 browser. Although Microsoft was busy amping up its Internet Explorer browser, Netscape Navigator peaked around 85% of browser marketshare in the mid-1990s. (Obviously, this changed as the browser wars raged.)

Continue reading HERE.


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