CheckMySpecs is a free utility that scans your PC, posts its specifications online, and ranks it, letting you compare your machine to other users' PCs. The software claims it doesn't collect or post any personal data, but it does display your PC's name and all your running programs as well as a lot of information about your installed apps, Internet connection, and whether you're using a firewall. If that's not alarming enough, you're basically given no chance to review the data or decide if you want to post it online; as soon as you click … Read more
Greetings from 34,000 feet! Even while hurtling through the sky, I'm on the lookout for cheap deals. (They're easier to spot from up here.) Isn't technology amazing?
USB 3.0 is finally starting to take hold, with at least one compatible port appearing on the latest laptops and desktops. Of course, that high-speed interface is no good if you don't have devices that can take advantage of it.
Like this one: for a limited time, and while supplies last, Dell Home has the 1-terabyte Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex USB 3.0 external hard drive for $82.99 shipped. … Read more
In one sense, Microsoft has succeeded already, by demonstrating that there is a third paradigm: a transformable tablet.
That alone strikes me as a very intentional rebuttal of the Apple argument that a laptop and tablet is a "forced" convergence. (Tim Cook).
And Steve Jobs knocked the idea before that, saying it was "ergonomically terrible" and "we've done tons of user testing on this, and it turns out it doesn't work."
Well, Microsoft showed us Monday that it could work. That's all I (and consumers) need to see. (I had been … Read more
Microsoft did not skimp on specs for its new tablets.
More than any single feature, the 3mm-thick Touch Cover (see photos below) stands out. Using pressure-sensitive technology, Touch Cover senses keystrokes as gestures, allowing faster touch typing than is possible with on-screen keyboards, Microsoft claims.
The Touch Cover attaches to the tablet with a built-in magnetic connector, "forming a natural spine like you find on a book, and works as a protective cover," Microsoft said.
There is also an option for a slightly thicker 5 mm Type Cover that adds moving keys for a more traditional typing experience. … Read more
If you work in Web design, graphic design, or any other area that might require you to determine the size of a specific object on your screen, try Perfect Screen Ruler. This easy-to-use program is packed with useful features that let you quickly analyze the size, color, and angle of particular elements.
Perfect Screen Ruler opened with a set of simple instructions, and it took us no time at all to get started with it. We simply selected the window containing the object we wanted to look at and then clicked the Update Screen button in Perfect Screen Ruler's … Read more
There's no point in wasting valuable hard-drive space by keeping it cluttered with duplicate files. Duplicates happen to just about everybody at some point, whether they're the result of accidental multiple downloads, the byproduct of importing and renaming images, or some other mundane activity. Duplicate File Hunter is an easy-to-use tool that can help you locate, compare, and delete duplicate files. We've reviewed a lot of programs of this type, and Duplicate File Hunter is definitely one of the most straightforward, though not necessarily the most sophisticated.
Duplicate File Hunter's interface is all business. There are … Read more
If you have a large collection of books -- either electronic or hard copies -- it makes sense to organize them so that you can easily find what you're looking for. Alfa Ebooks Manager is a comprehensive database program with plenty of features for maintaining your library. Unfortunately, some of the more-interesting features are limited to the paid version of the program, while others simply don't seem to work.
At first glance, we were impressed with Alfa Ebooks Manager; it comes with several sample books already entered into the database, and renderings of their covers were displayed on … Read more
Does your dog have fleas? Knowing the answer to that question used to be important when learning to play the ukulele, but not anymore, thanks to the Ukulele Tool. It's one of four free tools for learning to play stringed instruments bundled together as the Tomky Tool. In addition to the Ukulele Tool, you get the Guitar Tool, the Banjo Tool, and the Mandolin Tool. Each tool is separate and runs independently of the others, yet all share the same interface and features. You'll need audio to use it.
The Tomky Tool has a single installer, but each … Read more
Ever wonder why USB 3.0 hasn't really caught on? Most flash drives and external hard drives are still chugging along on USB 2.0, and most of the latest laptops have just one USB 3.0 port. Some have none at all. (I'm looking at you, brand-new Toshiba Satellite C655D-S5511.)
That's a shame, because in real-world tests, USB 3.0 has proven to be around 3.5 times faster than USB 2.0. That means a full-system backup that previously took an hour should get done in less than 20 minutes.
Maybe things will change now … Read more
One of the nicest things about Android is that vendors can place their own user interface on top of it to deliver a unique experience to customers. And LG is taking advantage of that.
The company today introduced the Optimus UI 3.0 for Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) devices it sells. A key ingredient in the new user interface is an enhanced Quick Memo feature, allowing users to use their finger to quickly take notes. In addition, Quick Memo information can be shared via social networks, or sent as a text message or e-mail.
The update is by … Read more