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You know those mystery-box subscription services that are so popular these days? This is kind of like that. Only without the mystery. Or the box. Or the subscription. Um.
You know those software bundles that are so popular these days? This is one of those. I suppose I should have lead with that. Didn't seem as exciting, though.
For a limited time, StackSocial is offering a collection of 10 Windows programs for $39.99. Combined value: $466.74.
Let me start off by saying I doubt anyone will like everything in this bundle. It's a diverse and eclectic mix, with several genuinely useful tools and, admittedly, a few that might feel superfluous.
The hits start with CCleaner Pro, the premium version of the immensely popular (and free) Windows-optimization utility. Pro offers much more thorough cleaning, along with real-time system monitoring, automatic updates and premium support.
Then there's PhraseExpander, a truly invaluable utility that lets you create keyboard shortcuts for frequently used phrases. So, for example, if you're tired of constantly tweeting, "The Cheapskate is my favorite blog, and the author is so damn handsome," you could set up, say, Ctrl-Alt-C to paste that phrase.
Of course, you can accomplish the same thing using AutoHotKey or PhraseExpress (no relation), both of which are free. (The latter, however, is free for personal use, while PhraseExpander can be used in business. That's the key difference.)
I'm also very partial to Scrivener, which I wrote about as a standalone deal back in April. It's a really popular word processor that excels in handling long-form documents (novels, screenplays, etc.). It normally runs $40 all by itself.
Many of the other items have free or inexpensive equivalents, but as I've long maintained, there's much to be said for getting pro- or premium-level versions of software if the price is right. You get updates, you get tech support, and you get the spit and polish that comes from commercial development.
Again, this won't appeal to everyone. But I love a good software bundle, and the value here is mighty high. Your thoughts?
Bonus deal: Every car should have a Bluetooth-capable stereo, but not every car does. If you'd like to add those capabilities to your ride, check this out: For a limited time, and while supplies last, InnooDirect (via Amazon) is offering the Innoo Tech Bluetooth Hands Free Car Kit for $14.99 when you apply coupon code PDP08OFF at checkout. Shipping is free for Prime subscribers.
This multi-function device features Bluetooth 4.0 (allowing you to keep two devices paired simultaneously), NFC for fast and easy pairing, an echo-cancelling speaker for hands-free calling and two USB charging ports (1.1a and 2.1a) in the cigarette-lighter power plug. The only catch: Your car stereo must have an AUX-in jack. Worth noting: Fakespot gives the product's user reviews a failing grade. On paper, though, the product itself looks very solid.
Bonus Deal No. 2: The "Steel" versions of the Pebble smartwatches look better than their plastic counterparts and deliver better battery life. They also cost more. Today, and while supplies last, Woot has the refurbished Pebble Time Steel for $99.99, plus $5 for shipping. That's the lowest price I've seen for the second-gen Pebble in the Steel flavor, which is available in two colors. (The gold with red leather is really snazzy.)