July 18, 2011
Fonts are often overlooked on our computers. We accept what we have, we keep what we don’t like, and more often than not we use a horrific Comic Sans like font for most of our documents. This is not the way things should be.
With so many fonts available on the internet and a really easy font manager in Mac OS X, it couldn’t be easier to get your documents looking great. If you have a spare 15 or so minutes, then consider taking a bit of time out from your day and getting things in order. Here’s how you do it!Continue reading »
July 14, 2011
Did you know that when you empty the Trash on your Mac, there’s still a chance that your sensitive data can be accessed? It’s the same when you delete something in the Recycle Bin in Windows: although it looks as thought the file has gone, someone with the right knowledge can still rescue it from the grave and find it lurking on your hard drive until it’s physically overwritten by new data.
If you are working on a sensitive project or want to delete personal information securely, then you will want to securely empty the Trash, which overwrites the data several times after “deleting” it. Fortunately, it’s easily done, so let’s take a look.Continue reading »
July 13, 2011
iTunes, on it’s day, can be a great piece of software. It keeps your entire music collection tagged, monitored and art-worked – with a little help from you of course – and it also places a music store right on your computer that integrates with your library seamlessly when you download a track. You can manage playlists, create smart playlists and even get recommended songs, but do you need all of this functionality?
On a bad day, iTunes can be buggy and slow your computer down to a crawl if you aren’t running the latest hardware. With a few simple changes, though, you can have it running in the background without worrying about your CPU cycles too much!Continue reading »
July 12, 2011
Are you still looking at the default wallpaper every time you boot in to your Windows machine? It may be time to spruce things up a little… Windows 7 comes with some great theme options that you can edit and customise to your heart’s content, and it doesn’t take long to do at all. Here are some great, easy ways that you can customise your Windows desktop!
Getting to the personlisation window in Windows 7 is as simple as possible. Simply right click on your desktop and select the ‘Personalize’ option to be taken to tweak central in the Control Panel (it’s not actually called Tweak Central, but that would be a very awesome name for the Windows 8 version…).Continue reading »
July 10, 2011
Ah, the wonderful British summer. We get three months of it, and in that three months we’re probably lucky to get a week of sun, but we know better than to let a silly thing like the weather dampen our spirits! Summer picnics have long been a tradition in this wonderful country of ours, and although their popularity may have been on the decline in recent years, they’re still as fun as ever.
The Great British Picnics app for the iPhone aims to re-kindle our interest in summer picnics by making it easier to find great locations and give you lots of nifty tips and recipes within the application. It’s also free, which is always a big bonus.Continue reading »
July 9, 2011
When Apple first transitioned over to Intel processors in their computers, moving away from the PowerPC platform, developers had to begin supporting both architectures for their applications as many users made the transition to Intel whilst others kept their PowerPC machines going strong. This resulted in the universal binary: an application that was packaged for both PPC and Intel processors, enabling developers to ship one image of their product for all of their users.
In supporting both architectures, however, it resulted in the size of applications increasing quite substantially. Snow Leopard was the last operating system to support PowerPC application emulation through Apple’s ‘Rosetta’ software, and Lion will drop support completely when it is released this month. This means that a lot of code in your applications doesn’t need to be there, and is taking a big chunk of your hard drive space in supporting PowerPC. Fortunately, there is a way to slim down these packages and take out the un-needed code, and that’s exactly what Xslimmer does.Continue reading »
July 8, 2011
Forgive me Father for I have sinned. It’s been too long since my last confession… over a year in fact, but there’s something that I just have to get off my chest. Last summer, I committed a truly heinous act: I reviewed a security product from Norton and I enjoyed it. “Nonsense!” you cry, but I simply speak the truth.
Going against every negative feeling I used to hold about Norton products, I approached Norton 360 4.0 with a clean slate. Past crimes of sending my computer plummeting into crashes were forgiven, and I found myself looking at a product that not only seemed to be full of great features, but also light on my system resources. It was unobtrusive, efficient, and yes, I liked it.Continue reading »
July 7, 2011
You know for certain that a platform has made it when there’s security software available on its Market. Mobile malware is big bucks these days, with the potential to steal private messages and access voicemail – just ask Mr Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks, they’ll tell you I’m right – and so security software is bound to become more and more popular on our phones.
It’s no surprise, then, that BitDefender has decided to race ahead of the competition and release a beta version of their mobile security application, which allows you to scan your phone for malware and actively protect it against web threats.Continue reading »
July 5, 2011
Android has come a long way since the days of Cupcake. Four desserts later, and new Android phones are rocking Android 2.3, otherwise known as Gingerbread, which has already made its way on to lots of handsets across the world.
If you’ve recently adopted Android, you may be surprised to see that there is no dedicated application for keeping all of your data in sync with your computer, at least not on most phones. Android makes sure that everything from your contacts to your application history is synced with the cloud, but what happens when you want to transfer those contacts over to your Mac?Continue reading »
July 4, 2011
Keeping all of the data on your phone in check is hard enough without having to worry about keeping it all synced and organised across your other devices too, but without a closed system like Apple’s iOS and iTunes relationship, it’s pretty hard to keep all of your Android data in one place locally.
Despite all of your information being in the cloud, if you wanted to access your contacts locally on your PC, you’d have a pretty tough time doing so, as Microsoft doesn’t include a tool within Windows to sync with any cloud services like you can with some of Apple’s applications in Mac OS X. This means that you’ll need a bit more third party software than you would on the Mac, but it’s still manageable!Continue reading »
July 3, 2011
As much as we’d like to maintain a paperless lifestyle, it’s still pretty difficult to get by purely in the digital realm. Whether we’re being sent bills in the mail or given handouts at a conference, paper still surrounds us every day of our lives. If you do wish to maintain a paperless lifestyle, you could always scan in those documents and save them as images, but that becomes messy fairly quickly, and you can’t annotate an image either. So, what’s the answer? Optical character recognition. More commonly known as ‘OCR’, this technique is exactly what Nuance uses in its OmniPage software, which allows you to scan in your documents and have them converted to editable, digital files.Continue reading »
July 2, 2011
This time last year, we took a look at PC Tools’ Internet Security application for Windows, and I was fairly impressed by its performance when scanning your machine for malware. The dated XP style user interface, however, left a lot to be desired. One year on, we’re here again to look at the 2011 version, so have the UI issues been ironed out or is it the same old program? Let’s take a closer look.Continue reading »
June 9, 2011
The Mac has continued to grow strongly in the past 12 months thanks to increased sales influenced by the iPad and third party applications are more accessible than ever through the Mac App Store, but out of the abundance of software available for the platform, which are the best applications that no Mac should be without?
Let’s take a look at the essential applications for the Mac in 2011 and find out, as we run down apps in every category from web browsers to audio conversion programs and utilities!Continue reading »
June 9, 2011
Are you treating yourself to a new PC this summer and wondering what applications you should install to make the most out of Windows 7? Then you’re in luck, because I’m about to run-down the list of all the applications which I think should be on every Windows computer out there. From web browsers to security programs and multimedia applications, we’ve got it all covered, so are you ready for a rollercoaster ride down software lane? Buckle up, get comfy, and let’s check out the best that the Windows world has to offer!Continue reading »
June 6, 2011
Whilst it has undoubtedly been Apple’s most successful venture of late, in the eyes of many, probably most, in fact, the Cupertino company has let the platform stagnate since its introduction onto the original iPhone and subsequently the iPod Touch and finally the iPad. Annoying features have been seemingly ignored and are irritating to this day. Although, many pinned their hopes on this day, being the day, that those issues are put to bed.
A while back, we posted a list of all the things we hope to see in the next version, and many of you no doubt have your own suggestions. But, today is WWDC, and Steve Jobs has taken to the stage to enlighten us mere mortals of what’s to come in the next iteration of the world’s most sugccessful mobile OS. iOS 5.Continue reading »
June 6, 2011
Lion. The undisputed king of the jungle. The biggest, most dominant, of all the big cats, and that fact alone leaves little doubt that Mac OS X 10.7, will be the last iteration of the operating system that market the resurgence of Apple in the personal computer scene. Mac OS 9 wasn’t Apple’s finest moment, yet the strides made since then have been phenomenal, and here we are. The last hurrah from the animal kingdom. The last hurrah from Mac OS X.
And though it’s pulled into the station at the end of the line, this is certainly not the end for Apple software. New passengers are just boarding, sales figures for Mac’s are better than ever and by large, that has to be attributed to the overwhelming success of Apple’s mobile devices: the iPod, the iPhone, the iPad. The whole ecosystem has contributed to the emergence of a brand so globally renowned, that it’s very difficult to escape. So, let’s not look at this as an end, but as a new beginning, because Apple is leading the Macintosh on a whole new voyage, starting with Lion.Continue reading »
June 5, 2011
In the wake of the inaugural demo of Windows 8 this week, there’s much debate over whether employing the ‘Metro UI’ that we’ve already seen with Windows Phone 7 and the accompanying Zune software on the desktop and tablet OS is the right move from Microsoft. Obviously it’s far too early to judge the potential success of the bold step, but I’m finding it hard to put my finger on a feeling I’m having about it that doesn’t amount to at least an element of concern for the future of Windows. Let me elaborate.
The way I see it, there are a number of very valid reasons why people buy Windows computers:
1. It’s all they know, it’s familiar.
2. It’s great for business.
3. It’s great for games.
4. It’s home to a huge quantity of great third-party apps.
5. It’s compatible with a huge range of hardware.
There are probably more, but these are the key ones for me right now. And I fear that despite still offering the element of Windows that is familiar to us all these days, and the ‘Metro’ UI only really acting as a skin, despite Microsoft’s current insistence that it’s something more, this new development has all but eradicated many of those reasons.Continue reading »
June 2, 2011
We’ve been treated to a number of great interviews this week at the D9 conference which is happening in the States this week, and last night was, for many, the main event. Microsoft Windows President Steven Sinofsky gave attendees a sneak peek at the next version of Windows, codenamed ‘Windows 8′, with a focus on lower hardware requirements and a new touch-centric overlay for the operating system which makes it easier to use on tablets and other touch screen devices.
Although this was a very early demo of Windows 8 – the whole demonstration was powered by a hidden desktop computer underneath the stand, with visible wires trailing from the unit itself to interface with the machine – the touch interface shows quite a bit of promise and seems to include a number of useful features for an early release. We’ve been waiting for a true touch interface to come to Windows for quite some time now, so let’s take a look at what it consists of!Continue reading »
May 26, 2011
With so many sensitive files being stored on our hard drives, keeping our data protected should be the first priority on our computers. Despite this, most users rarely have any kind of encryption between potential thieves and their files. Any sensitive data can be easily accessed if a computer is lost or stolen, but what can users do to solve this problem?
Knox for Mac is made by AgileBits, the same company that created 1Password, and it allows you to create various ‘vaults’, which are password protected and encrypted, allowing you to drop in any file that you want to securely store. The concept is fairly simple, but how does it stack up in real life use?Continue reading »
May 18, 2011
Yet more chaos surrounding Windows Phone 7 updates has arisen today, after much speculation surrounding the unofficial updating tool ‘ChevronWP7′. Originally, Microsoft claimed that the update would leave your device in a ‘non-serviceable state’, though that evidently left many users confused.
Exactly what that meant, though, has become clear today, thanks to an outburst from Senior Director for Windows Phone, Brandon Watson. Apparently, the official update left the NoDo update incomplete, with destructive remnants of the pre-NoDo build remaining on the device, leading to the inability to achieve any further updates.Continue reading »