Mike Williams

Dropbox 3 brings interface revamp, long path support

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Cloud storage provider Dropbox has released a new stable build for desktop in the shape of Dropbox 3.0.3 for Windows, Linux and Mac.

The interface has been rewritten, bringing high DPI support on Windows, a revamped setup wizard for Linux, improved performance, and reportedly fixing "a large number of issues/ glitches" reported over the years.

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kchmviewer: a better way to browse CHM files

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It may be very old, but Microsoft's Compiled HTML Help (CHM) is still a common format for software documentation, as well as the occasional e-book.

Windows has a standard HTML Help viewer which should be able to display most files, but it’s a little fragile (just search the web for "regsvr32 hhctrl.ocx"). It may not work well if you need to display files in various character sets. And even if there are no problems, it's still a very basic viewer.

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Ashampoo Burning Studio 15 debuts M-DISC support

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German multimedia developer Ashampoo has unveiled the latest edition of its flagship disc mastering suite, Ashampoo Burning Studio 15.

The headline addition is new support for M-DISC, an optical media type which, in theory, can remain readable for 1,000 years.

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Quick Review: PhotoStage Slideshow Producer

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PhotoStage Slideshow Producer is a free-for-personal-use video slideshow creator with plenty of unusual extras.

Installation is quick and easy. We politely declined the bundled Google Toolbar, and a few seconds later the program launched.

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Manage disc images anywhere with Passcape ISO Burner

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It’s generally very easy to work with ISO files on a modern PC. Archiving programs can extract their contents, mastering software will burn them to disc, even Windows has offered basic support since Windows 7.

If you sometimes work on other people’s PCs, though, it’s wise to bring your own ISO application with the portable Passcape ISO Burner.

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Advanced IP Scanner gains more detailed network reports

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Famatech has announced the yearly update for its network detection tool, Advanced IP Scanner 2.4.

The program now uncovers more details about all network devices, including device type (router, printer, more) and the operating system of remote computers.

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jane is a quirky Notepad replacement

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If you’ve tried a few Notepad replacements you’ll know they typically look and feel very similar. There are the core Notepad functions for quick and easy text editing, an expanded interface (tabbed, drag and drop editing) to make life easier, and any menus and dialogs are then expanded with useful extras.

The free-for-personal-use jane (Just Another Nasty Editor) takes a very different approach, ignoring many standards to go its own way. This can be frustrating, and it’s certainly not for everyone, but the program does also have some interesting features to explore.

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Light Alloy is an ultra-configurable media player

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At first glance, Light Alloy looks and feels much like any other free media player. Drag and drop your source files, open discs, play and pause individual tracks, manage playlists, all the usual core basics.

The program handles this well, too, with strong support for just about every format you’ll ever need (and plenty you won’t). But that’s just the start. For us, Light Alloy’s real highlight is its interface.

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Build full HD animated video slideshows with Cofeshow

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Cofeshow is a free Windows and Mac program for converting your chosen images into full HD animated video slideshows.

It’s a familiar idea, but Cofeshow is a little different, and that became obvious from the moment we realized it was a 250MB+ download.

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VMware Workstation 11 gains Haswell speed boost

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VMware Inc has released VMware Workstation 11, a major update for the powerful hypervisor, along with its companion tool VMware Player 7 Pro.

The company claims new support for Haswell CPU extensions delivers up to a 45 percent speed increase for CPU-intensive applications.

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Certified True Randomizers: let one app make all your decisions

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Left, or right? Chicken, or fish? Where are we going next?

Life is full of decisions. Some you’ll want to think about, carefully evaluate and discuss. But if they’re not so important -- or you’d just prefer a more surprising life -- then you could let your phone choose the outcome, with a little help from Certified True Randomizers.

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View and convert EPS/ PS files with EPS Viewer

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Adobe’s Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) is a powerful graphics format which first appeared almost 30 years ago, so you might have expected there to be plenty of viewers around by now. But no: it’s so horribly complex that most image viewers either ignore the format entirely, or offer basic support, but with very unreliable results.

There are specialist tools which claim they’re different. The free EPS Viewer not only displays EPS/ PS files, but can also convert them to a few bitmap formats (JPEG, PNG, GIF, TIFF). Is it really better than the leading image viewers, though? We grabbed a test copy.

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Track weather for any ZIP code with WeatherDan

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Rain? Wind? Ice? Snow? Just about everyone needs to know what’s happening next with the weather, and there are a vast number of tools and websites to keep you up-to-date.

Most weather monitors try to win you over by piling on the features: multiple locations, detailed long-term graphs, customized alerts, whatever it might be. The results can be very powerful, but also bulky and complex.

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East-Tec Eraser 2015 debuts 'intelligent Risk Monitor'

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East-Tec has released East-Tec Eraser 2015, the latest edition of its comprehensive PC privacy tool.

This version introduces the Risk Monitor, which warns you of potential privacy risks as soon as they happen, removing them with a click.

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Send emails from the command line with SendSMTP

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If your PC is always running, even when you’re not around, then you might want it to alert you about important events. Some backup programs have an email notification feature, for example, which keeps you up-to-date with backup progress.

Alternatively, you could use the free SendSMTP to send emails and files directly from your own scripts, perhaps alerting you when a PC is turned on or off, an application is launched, maybe sending you a daily copy of a text log.

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