Monthly Archives: December 2009

Media Player Classic Home Cinema

media-player-classic-homecinema

One of the most common problems I experience when playing movies and videos on my home PC is poor lip syncing caused by the sound and video not marrying up perfectly.  Rather than performing any degree of troubleshooting I always fall back to the trusty player ‘Media Player Classic Home Theatre’ which despite a complete lack of both bells and whistles always performs admirably.

The user interface for Media Player Classic looks just like the old Windows Media Player 6.4 which was bundled with Windows ME and early versions of Windows XP.  I expect few users to know this specific version off the top of their heads so simply refer back to the version in your memory that could be described as looking ‘particularly primitive and dated’.

There are no fancy skins, no modern looking icons and no ribbon style interface; what you simply get is a blank screen along … Read the rest

Microsoft Office 2010

MS-Office-2010

Despite it being the second most used application on my work computer (behind the Mozilla Firefox browser), it’s still impossible for me to get excited about a new edition of the Microsoft Office suite.

With the final release due in a couple of months, Microsoft have provided a beta test version of Office 2010 that’s free for members of the public to download.  The beta test version will run unhindered until October 2010 at which point users must decide whether they wish to purchase the final release or have it removed from their hard drive.

For the costs involved the majority of home users may still be better off with the free OpenOffice Suite (www.openoffice.org) as it should provide all the features you are likely to need at no cost.  This having been said, the Office Suite has remained a popular flagship product over the years due to business users … Read the rest

Aviary Online Design Suite

aviary

This week we’ve been making paper penguins.  Our reasoning isn’t quite as tenuous as you would imagine; our company mascot is a penguin, we had an hour to kill, and we needed something to put on the Refresh Cartridges blog.

Of course, you never know where a journey to create a penguin template will take you and while looking for a free vector image editing program, Matt fortunately stumbled across the website www.aviary.com.  Aviary is essentially a free online design suite which consists of many powerful tools ranging from a simple audio editor to a variety of fairly sophisticated image/vector editing software.

The applications are all used online rather than being downloaded and installed on to your hard drive.  This offers a number of advantages, most notably the ability to ‘dip in’ quickly and easily, without having to install, and the fact that everything is stored on a central … Read the rest

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