I download and review a lot of great software, but obviously I don't keep everything. Some programs don't make the cut simply because I have a better option on my computer already or I have no use for them at work. But other applications I've downloaded have withstood the test of time and remain useful on a day-to-day basis. I'm talking about my must-have applications.
The FastStone Image Viewer is a good find for a multipurpose image tool. Although the main interface looks too cluttered with buttons at first glance, the three main windows are intuitive enough once get your bearings and several included skins make it easy on the eyes.
Clicking a thumbnail puts a larger view of the shot in the lower-left pane, and you zoom in simply by dragging the mouse around. You can resize, crop, remove red-eye, and adjust color, brightness, and contrast. You'll also find a few simple effects and filters, including Lens, Waves, and Morphs. Other nifty features … Read more
Every computer user needs a good screen capture utility at one time or another. Whether doing a Web research project, getting a slick new desktop background, or just adding to an image collection, the flexibility of these utilities make them much more useful than the full-screen capture in Windows. As a reviewer of software, I often need to take screenshots of programs I'm reviewing. A screen capture utility lets me capture the whole program, or just a section of the screen depending on what I want to call out.
Windows comes with the Print Screen function which saves a … Read more
The Windows and Mac operating systems are both intended to be easy to navigate so you can get to your files quickly. Ideally, once our computers are fully booted up it should only take us a couple of steps before we can start working (or playing, as the case may be). While Windows Explorer and the Finder are adequate for navigating apps and files, it still takes a few unnecessary steps before you can get started.
While both operating systems offer a quicker option than digging through folders--Windows has the Quick launch bar and Mac offers the Dock--they tend to … Read more
Microsoft has said it plans to continue its acquisition spree this year and it is off to a good start, having announced plans on Tuesday to buy Norway's Fast Search and Transfer.
There's no shortage of rumors of who is next on Steve Ballmer's shopping list. Earlier this week, there were separate rumors that Microsoft was interested in Yahoo as well as accessories maker Logitech.
Henry Blodget of Silicon Alley Insider added another potential name to the list, saying Friday that he's heard that Microsoft might be interested in Limelight, a publicly traded company that runs … Read more
Once I've taken care of installing security software on a new a PC, one of the first programs I end up downloading is an image editor. Whether I'm using it to make a quick edit to a screenshot, convert a digital photo to a more Web-friendly image format, or even something as mundane as cropping an image for a desktop background, an easy-to-use image editor is a must have. Those of you with recently acquired computers probably have a lot of holiday photos you've resolved to go through, so this little collection will definitely come in handy.… Read more
Well, now we know what Microsoft had originally planned to announce on Monday.
Overnight, Microsoft announced it is offering $1.2 billion to buy Fast Search & Transfer, a leader in enterprise search. Microsoft had been working on the deal, which went by the code name "Ferrari" for a while now, but discussions had heated up in recent days.
The move shows the importance of business search as part of the overall search war with Google and other competitors.
Microsoft has previously made moves in business search, largely at the lower end of the market, using its SharePoint … Read more
More than anything else, convenience fuels many businesses today. Entertainment. Software. And, as the Wall Street Journal reports on McDonalds' foray into high(er)-end coffee bars, food.
The confrontation between Starbucks Corp. and McDonald's Corp. once seemed improbable. Hailing from very different corners of the restaurant world, the two chains have gradually encroached on each other's turf. McDonald's upgraded its drip coffee and its interiors, while Starbucks added drive-through windows and hot breakfast sandwiches.
The growing overlap between the chains shows how convenience has become the dominant force shaping the food-service industry. Consumers who are unwilling to cross the street to get coffee or make a left turn to grab lunch have pushed all food purveyors to adapt the strategies of fast-food chains.
We're seeing much the same thing in the software world.… Read more
With the dust-up this week about Intel leaving the fold of OLPC, it got me to thinking: Will One Laptop Per Child become the TiVo of PCs for emerging markets? In other words, they spark the revolution but gain relatively little from it.
TiVo of course almost single-handidly created the DVR category and market. Their technology was very well executed, they created a user experience that is still unparalleled in terms of ease and joy of use, and with continual roll-out of innovative capabilities that kept stretching the definition of the product.
But ultimately their business model proved insufficient to … Read more
Forget the Slow Food movement. True geeks are in a rush to spend their cash on the latest electronics, not snobby epicure. So when we spotted a fast-food restaurant that's automated, our heart rates sped up accordingly.
Kitchen Mogu Mogu is a Singapore-based Japanese fast-food restaurant that styles itself after similar dining concepts in Japan. In fact, it feels like buying from a vending machine, only in this case it's hot Japanese grub, not sodas or candy bars.
The transaction is easy. Tap the touch screen for your orders and make your payment. You can choose to pay … Read more