Archive for the 'Software' Category


Get out your anaglyph glasses

You probably have a pair of these that were given away with a promotion. Perhaps when Channel 4 did their 3D night and you could pick them up from Sainsbury’s? Even if you don’t have a pair they are a couple of pounds on eBay.

And they have more uses than you might think*.

Taken useing IZ3D driver and DirectX Quake

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Look out Symantec, Microsoft are coming. (Updated)

I have been a user of AVG Free Anti-virus for years now but the latest version had started to irritate me. I found it unreliable and had to re-install several times in the last few months and this is before you get to the fact that the advert telling you to upgrade to the full version is not only bigger but pops up on the desktop on start-up every so often.

On Monday night it broke again and I decided I had had enough. I had heard that Microsoft are releasing a free anti-virus package this year and the beta is already available to download (though officially limited to certain countries there are download mirrors) and all it requires is that your copy of windows passes validation.

So what is Microsoft Security Essentials like? Is it a suitable replacement for AVG? Well I don’t have the technology to test if it can keep you safe, though early reviews suggest that it comes fairly high up the AV league table, but I can say what it is like for a user.
Continue reading ‘Look out Symantec, Microsoft are coming. (Updated)’


Get your old Scanner going on Vista

Time for a tech piece.

Have you recently upgraded to Vista or Windows 7 only to find that the software supplied with your scanner (or printer combo) doesn’t work? I have [1].

Drivers probably won’t be a problem, Vista detected my Hewlett Packard PSC 1410 and installed it automatically, I suspect the same will happen with yours, although you may have to let windows search on-line if you have a less common scanner. Despite the drivers being installed and windows recognising it as a scanner [2] How do you scan it? Microsoft saw fit to remove the Scan and Fax program in home versions of Vista so as far as I knew I had no software with which to initiate a scan.
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Ubuntu Netbook Remix 9.04

I have got fed up with the rubbish Linpus operating system that came on my Acer Aspire One. I tried putting XP on it but with the slow solid state hard drive of this particular Aspire One model it was painful, XP makes too many writes to be suitable for this kind of drive. As a result of this I have put up with Acer’s version of Linpus, tweaking it and editing it to make it bearable, because none of the other Linux distributions have proper support for the Aspire One [1].

Until now.

Last weekend the latest version of Ubuntu, Jaunty Jackalope (that is 9.04) was released. Apparently the desktop version is “as slick as Win7, Mac OS X“, and I’m sure it makes a very good operating system, however I’m not really interested in the desktop release, I do a lot of gaming and currently the support for this on Linux is very poor, with very few developers making native Linux versions. What does interest me is alongside the desktop and server downloads there is something new called the Netbook Remix. As they list my netbook as supported I thought I would give it a go.

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My New Computer – Part 3: The Software

I was going to leave this until after I finished the build, but with the hold up I thought I would put this together while I was waiting.

As part of my new build I obviously have to put all my favourite programs on my newly installed OS. So that I won’t loose anything I have on my current computer I made a list of everything in the program folder, I don’t tend to save installers so I will have to re-download them all but this is a good thing as often they will have been updated since I installed them last. Anyway, the following is about all the useful free software I have on my computer.

IMPORTANT! I can not guaranty the safety of the following links! Use all of this at your own risk!

GNU Image Manipulation Program. A free Photoshop alternative, so it probably isn’t good enough if you use Adobe professionally but it is still a very powerful piece of image editing software and it is getting better all the time. Some people might not like the muti-window layout of the user interface but it is quite good when you get used to it. Now up to version 2.6, there is nothing I need to use other image editing software for, well almost nothing, more on that further down the page.
For a full overview of the features have a look here.

There are many programs available to open or create archive files, but this is my favourite. Not only is it free, with no nag screens unlike winRAR, but it can also open almost anything you throw at it as well as compress files in a wide number of formats from .7z to .zip. It can also make spanned archives and self extracting .exe files, though the latter two give false positives for viruses when sent via yahoo mail.

UPDATE: The latest version of IZArc seems to be quite buggy to me so I have changed to 7zip for the time being. I don’t like the interface quite as much but at least it works. Thanks to M_the_C for the suggestion.

Continue reading ‘My New Computer – Part 3: The Software’


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