Category Archives: Software

Keyboard Shortcuts

keyboard-shortcut

For years I have been perplexed by the people that use their mouse for absolutely everything when are a number of perfectly good keyboard shortcuts that will do the job in a fraction of the time.Why people don’t take advantage of these shortcuts is arguable however I personally believe the primary reason is that most just don’t realise there is another way, otherwise why else would you hunt around for an item on a menu bar if you can quickly hit a key and achieve the same effect?

Funnily enough, now that Microsoft have hidden or moved all my commonly used menus in Windows Vista I find myself relying on these short cuts a great deal more than I used to.I’m sure that trying to convey these to you in a list format probably isn’t going to make this one of the most exciting Click articles that I’ve ever written Read the rest

OpenOffice 2.2

openoffice-2

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been driven slowly mad by Microsoft Office 2007 and its new “easier to use” interface which I just can’t get my head around.The problem is that I’ve always been used to using keyboard short cuts and knowing exactly where to look for a particular function within a given menu or sub menu.I can go for hours on end without even thinking about touching the mouse and now Microsoft have completely changed everything around and whilst it looks very pretty it is seriously slowing me down!

Don’t get my wrong, all in all Office 2007 is a lovely new piece ofsoftware, but it’s because of these teething problems that my mind started wondering back to several years ago when I first used a piece of open source software going by the name of OpenOffice and decided to give it another go.

Now up to Read the rest

Desktop Publishing

scribus

Back in the day I used to publish an amateur fanzine dedicated to the old school Commodore 64 computer and whilst it wasn’t the way most teenagers spend their time it was something I genuinely enjoyed doing.This was a fanzine which enjoyed worldwide, low scale distribution and those who are even slightly interested can still find some information about this 12 year old magazine by looking up ‘Zine 64 on Google as some of the articles were voluntarily archived by our readers online.

Rather than bringing you here to talk about the past, my reason for mentioning this old fanzine was that I used to spend a great deal of my life using the Serif PagePlus Desktop Publishing (DTP) utility to create the fanzine and since stopping publication I haven’t had the need to touch a similar piece of software.It occurred to me this week that I haven’t yet covered Read the rest

Deepburner

Deepburner_logo

Last week I felt the need to burn some information on to DVD and having just recently formatted my hard drive and installed Vista I found that I didn’t have any recording software apart from the fairly basic functionality built in to Windows. Thinking this wasn’t a problem I headed to the Ahead website (www.ahead.de) to obtain the latest version of the popular CD/DVD burning software Nero only to be greeted with a fairly hefty 190mb download.

I do have a fairly fast connection so such a download wouldn’t have taken a particularly long period of time but despite what anyone may say 190mb is a stupidly large download for a piece of recording software, no matter how good it may be.When you add to the equation the cost of Nero I went off in search of a suitable alternative and found it in the form of the Read the rest

Speech Recognition

speech-recognition

I am one of those fortunate enough to be able to touch type although having seen many people struggle with a keyboard I thought it was about time to discuss using Speech Recognition to ease the burden faced by the two finger typers left in this world.In addition to helping those not familiar with using a keyboard Speech Recognition can also be extremely useful to people that through disability physically have trouble typing.

Fortunately getting set up with Speech recognition is completely free for those that have the popular Office XP installed on their machine and to get started simply requires finding a suitable microphone.Although a standard desk microphone would be sufficient it would certainly be worthwhile investing on a dedicated headset.These can be purchased relatively cheaply through many computer stores or pop in to Refresh and I’d be happy to hook you up with one for next to nothing.Read the rest

UltraVNC

UltraVNC

Just over two years ago now I reviewed a piece of software called PC Anywhere as a solution for those that wanted to control any number of PC’s remotely.Rather naively I thought that when it came to remote control that this software was pretty much the best it got however just recently we’ve had computer repair company move in to a room in the Refresh building and they kindly introduced a piece of software called UltraVNC.They use this software for fixing customer problems without having to even leave the building and I thought this would be of interest to a number of my readers.

I personally have use for such a program as there are several computers in the office that all have different e-mail accounts and applications installed on them and it can sometimes be helpful to be able to control any computer from the one machine.Home users who Read the rest

Readers contributions

MailWasher

At the time of writing (Thursday 12th) I have just celebrated my 25th birthday and as sit in front of my laptop today I find it genuinely hard to believe that when Click started over 300 articles ago that I was a teenager - Where has the time gone?

To digress I plan on taking everything a little bit more easy today and as a couple of readers have recently contributed some interesting questions and comments I thought I would leave the article predominantly in their hands today!

With reference to your Herald Express article on copying DVD films I can tell you that last year I downloaded several free programs for backing up CDs and DVDs, although I am unfortunately still saving up for a suitable DVD writer!I thought the websites below would be of interest to your readers as there is a fair amount of Read the rest

Readers Questions Part 3

youripper

I’ve received a couple of e-mails in the last week which I thought I’d share with my Click readers.

It was interesting to read your article about YouTube last week although one of the disadvantages of this website is that it has not been possible to download the videos on YouTube for offline use.This means that you will not be able to view the videos away from an internet connection, and if one of the videos is removed for any reason you will not be able to see it again.

This problem is solved with YouRipper (free from www.snapfiles.com/get/youripper.html) which allows you to download any YouTube video as a Flash video in .flv format.YouRipper acts like a video recorder for YouTube, and allows archiving of your favourite material.

The .flv format that YouRipper will save the video as cannot be played in most of the common media players but it Read the rest

DriveImage XML

driveimage-xml

Many times in the past I have been guilty of having a ‘do as I say and not as I do’ attitude and this is especially true when it comes to the subject of backing up.When I used to fix computers for a living whenever a hard drive issue was encountered I always said in my most patronising voice ‘I’m assuming that you keep a backup’ followed by a shocked look when they invariably said that they didn’t.Truth of the matter is that I have never kept a backup and so far have been so lucky in the fact that (touch wood) so far this hasn’t really caused any problems for me.

I am getting older and wiser however and so the time seems right for me to start taking precautions when it comes to protecting my data so this week I have invested in a huge great big hard Read the rest

Fresh Software

Fresh-Download

Several pieces of software came to my attention just recently; all four of them published by the practically unheard of ‘Fresh Devices’ company and available completely free of charge from www.freshdevices.com.I spent an hour this afternoon trying them out and thought they were worthy of inclusion in Click.

Fresh Download

Fresh Download is a download manager that replaces the bog standard file downloader built in to your existing browser.It supports opening multiple connections to decrease download times off slower websites, includes the ability to pause downloads as well as resuming those that failed part way through.The program is easy to use and can be integrated with either Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera and many other browsers that work in any version of the Windows Operating System.

Fresh Diagnose

Fresh Diagnose is used to analyze and benchmark many kinds of different hardware in your machine in order to gain more information Read the rest

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