Mike Williams

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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Anvisoft releases 1-click repair tool PC Plus

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Anvisoft has released PC Plus, a simple tool which provides one-click solutions for 30 common PC problems.

The issues include missing desktop icons, Internet Explorer crashes, assorted DLL error messages, can’t run Task Manager or Regedit, 3D games not running full screen, and more, all organized across five categories: Desktop, Network, System, Software, Games.

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Manage PC processes, services, drivers with Listsp

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Is your PC slow? Unstable? Whenever your system is misbehaving, it’s wise to take a look at how it’s configured, and the various processes it might be running.

You could get a basic view with Task Manager and assorted Control Panel applets. But the open source Listsp is a more complete solution, and gives you access to processes, services and driver information from a single interface.

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How far has your mouse cursor traveled today? Mousotron tells all

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Point, click, tap, tap -- using your favorite PC programs can become a near automatic process. But have you ever wondered how much work is really involved, how far your mouse is moving, how many left or right-clicks you’re making? That’s what the free system monitor Mousotron can help you find out.

After an adware-free installation the program displays a very lengthy status bar, with various statistics on your keyboard and mouse use. There’s the distance your mouse has traveled (miles/ yards/ inches, or the metric equivalent); the total numbers of left, right, middle and double-clicks; the average mouse speed, X/ Y coordinates, active and idle time, and more.

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Xshell is a one-stop SSH, SFTP terminal emulator

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Most internet resources are accessed through a web interface, which means they’re normally very easy to use. You might have menus, text prompts, graphics, maybe wizards to walk you through whatever you’re trying to achieve.

For more low-level control, though -- micro-managing your own web space, maybe setting up a remote server -- you might still need a terminal emulator like the free-for-personal-use Xshell 5.

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Get free real-time backup and versioning with AutoVer

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AutoVer is a small, simple, and surprisingly capable free backup tool. Not only can the program monitor folders, detecting new and modified files, and backing them up in real time -- it can maintain a library of their previous versions, too.

The program opens with a very straightforward interface. No menus, no complex dialogs or status displays, just a four-column table and a small toolbar.

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Select random files in Explorer with Random Selection Tool

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Launch Windows Explorer and typically you’ll have some specific task in mind: a particular folder you need check, some files you’d like to open.

Occasionally, though, your requirements might be a little more vague. You want to watch a video, maybe, or play some music, but you don’t know and can’t decide which files to choose.

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Batch rename your photos with Exif ReName

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Everyone has their own idea of how digital photos should be named. This might change from time to time, cameras usually produce something entirely different, and the end result can be a hard-to-browse tangle of mismatched images.

It's a familiar story, but the open source Exif ReName tries to restore order by renaming and sorting your pictures based on the date and time they were taken.

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Block webcam hijacking with WebCam On-Off

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Webcam hijacking has been around for a long time, but recent stories about websites streaming live footage from thousands of hacked webcams have placed it firmly back in the headlines.

Fully protecting your own webcam requires tough security measures. A quality antivirus engine, smart firewall, strong passwords.

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Handbrake 0.10 ends XP support, adds H.265 encoder

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Popular open source video transcoder Handbrake has been updated to version 0.10 with some major additions and improvements.

New encoders include Intel Quick Sync Video, a speedy hardware-based H.264 encoder. Basic H.265 support is provided by x265 1.4, while WebM's libvpx can encode VP8 to MKV files (and sees Theora deprecated).

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UnityPDF [Review]

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UnityPDF would like to be the tool of choice for batch PDF processing. It can split or merge files, extract all or selected pages, divide one file into several, rotate every page in a file, insert pages from one file into another, password-protect or set permissions for your PDFs, even display or clean metadata.

That’s a solid set of features, and we were interested to see that UnityPDF had once been a commercial product, if only briefly (it’s now free for any use). Time for a closer look.

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Take full control of Windows updates with ABC-Update

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It’s important to keep Windows up-to-date, and the easiest way to make that happen is to let the operating system handle everything. Set Windows Update to "automatic" and get on with something else.

But if you need more control, some way to install only your chosen updates, at a time that’s convenient for you, then it might be worth looking at ABC-Update.

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