Recently an associate whose PC lacked Adobe Acrobat sent me a Word file via e-mail, asking if I could convert it to PDF and e-mail it back to her. Since the process took all of about 30 seconds, I was delighted to help. Then the next day she sent two more files in need of conversion to PDF, and a couple of days after than another. After her fourth request of the week I felt compelled to tell her about two ways she could have converted the files herself for free: Adobe's own Create Adobe PDF Online free trial, … Read more
I'm always on the lookout for simple ways to manage video on the Web. One of them, called Mux has been getting some buzz lately for taking advantage of both Amazon's EC2 and S3 Web services to store data and do the crunching at the same time. Mux uses the two services together to serves as a video ripper and converter, letting you grab videos off a small handful of popular sites and save them locally or send them to your mobile phone. It'll also take any file on your computer and convert it without the need … Read more
You've got your pick of free desktop-search utilities, nearly any of which are faster and less processor-intensive than Windows' built-in file-search feature. I've used at least a half-dozen different file-search tools in the last few years, but three have stood the test of time: Google Desktop Search, Microsoft's Windows Desktop Search (or simply Windows Search in Vista, where it replaces the old Indexing Service), and the oldest and best of the bunch, Copernic Desktop Search. After bouncing between the three, I've settled on Copernic for its speed, ease of use, and relatively small footprint.
That's … Read more
Apple has confirmed a security glitch that, in many situations, will let someone with physical access to a Macintosh computer gain access to the password of the active user account.
The vulnerability arises out of a programming error that stores the account password in the computer's memory long after it's needed, meaning it can be retrieved and used to log into the computer and impersonate the user.
The New York Times reported on Wednesday that the board of directors for video game publisher Take-Two Interactive Software, facing a buyout offer from Electronic Arts, approved new compensation packages for its management firm that would take effect with a merger or acquisition.
The new measures, approved within days of EA's initial offer, concern Take-Two's agreement with management firm ZelnickMedia. Under the revised terms, in the event of a takeover, ZelnickMedia would be awarded two restricted stock grants of 780,000 shares.
At EA's $26-per-share offer, that would be worth $20 million. Additionally, Take-Two's monthly management … Read more
A few days ago, David Strom wrote an article in The New York Times about making off-site file backups over the Internet. There is no one right answer when it comes to making backups, but I'd like to expand on a few points he raised.
At the beginning of the article, Strom says that "for a few hundred dollars a year you can buy inexpensive protection." Hopefully, readers weren't scared off by the price. Many off-site storage companies will hold backup copies of your files for much less money. Personally, I started out paying $10 a … Read more
Friday, the end of the work week, the denouement, if you will, which means it's the perfect time to get Hepatitis A! Or at least that's what happened to some A-list celebrities at Ashton Kutcher's birthday party. D'oh! Also, Portal 2 might be in the works (we hope) and Jonathan Coulton's "Still Alive" will be included in a Rock Band downloadable content pack.
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Microsoft offered Mac fans both good news and bad news on Thursday, and it all depends on which version of Office for Mac one is using.
The software maker said that it plans on March 11 to deliver the first update to Office 2008 for Mac, delivering several key fixes. At the same time though, it has again pushed out the release of converters needed by users of Office 2004 to read documents saved in the new XML file formats used by Office 2007 for Windows.
"The team is mobilized to get Office 2008 updates out as soon as … Read more
I get my music from several places. Over time I've ripped most of the CDs in my collection and have also bought songs on iTunes. Though file sharing is tempting--and fairly popular judging by our Most Popular list--I've only used those applications a couple of times over the years for long lost remixes. I guess I try to stay legal out of respect for the musicians, but this article isn't about the legality of file sharing.
The problem is, when you get your music from a lot of different sources, you end up with strangely tagged tracks … Read more
Who doesn't love to right-click, especially when browsing the Web? Whether saving images we like to our local drives, copying HTML links to send to friends, or scanning downloaded files for viruses, the right-click has become an essential part of most users' computing lives.
Yet how many times have you right-clicked on a file in Windows and then painfully scoured a long list to find the only option you need; sometimes it's the only one you ever use. Wouldn't life be much simpler to have only the items you want in your right-click menu? Well, for Windows … Read more