These days, small businesses can use a break wherever they can find one. Free business software that performs as well as pricey packages seems a good place to start looking. We've found one: DRoster Freeware Standard from Kappix. It's a full-featured employee scheduling suite that happens to be free. It's highly flexible and almost completely customizable. It has the ability to create, schedule, and track assignments; create, print, and export reports; plan shifts and schedules; and back up data to an included Firebird database. It sounds like a lot, and it is, but DRoster is far from … Read more
Wikitup is a free desktop reference tool with extensions for Google Chrome and Microsoft Internet Explorer. Wikitup uses open-source data from sites like Wikipedia, Wikitionary, and Wikiquote to deliver search results quickly to your desktop via a system tray icon. It can translate selections in more than 700 languages as well as find photos and videos and present them in a Cooliris 3D Wall display.
To access Wikitup, we clicked the W icon in our Windows notification area, also known as the system tray. We right-clicked the icon and selected Settings, which let us select languages, data sources, hot keys, … Read more
Moving is always a time-consuming, life-upending experience, but it can also be an opportunity to rework, rewire, or completely redesign your multimedia setup. Having just moved 60-odd boxes, plus furniture, from one end of SoHo to the other (well, the movers moved, but I packed), that's the situation I currently find myself in.
As a native Manhattanite, I know going into any new apartment situation requires savvy use of minimal space. And in fact, while my new place is a larger than my old one (with an extra bedroom for the summertime arrival of Ackerman Jr. and a private … Read more
Why did home theater buyers readily accept surround sound, but consistently reject multichannel music formats? From Thomas Edison's very first phonograph in 1877 through the late 1950s, monophonic sound was the only way people heard music at home.
Stereo arrived in the late 1950s on LP and analog reel-to-reel tape, and stereo has remained the most popular music format to this day. Quadraphonic (four-channel surround) debuted in the early 1970s, but didn't survive the end of the decade. People didn't want to plant four speakers in their living rooms, and the Quadraphonic Wars ensured the format's … Read more
Simnet UnInstaller 2010 is a free utility for uninstalling programs from Windows PCs. It's compact and easy to use, and removes programs as completely as the Windows uninstaller. However, it does less than the Windows uninstall tool and similar free uninstallers. It also offers to help you manage your programs, but it only uninstalls them.
Simnet UnInstaller shares a similar interface with the developer's other tools, a compact, colorful dialog with buttons marked About, Status, Programs, Settings, and Help. The Settings are limited to check boxes for automatic updates and creating a System Restore point before uninstalling software. … Read more
Barnes & Noble has begun rolling out an updated version of its Nook firmware to those who own its e-ink e-readers. Considered a major update, the company says that version 1.5 of the firmware "will dramatically increase" the page-turn speeds of the Nook 3G and Nook Wi-Fi and deliver additional feature and performance enhancements.
While the user interface has largely stayed the same, search functionality on the device has improved, password protection has been added, and you can now organize your library into categories or "shelves," as they're called on the Nook. Also, the … Read more
Apple's professional image-editing software, Aperture, has recently been updated to version 3.1 though some users running Mac OS X 10.5.8 may not be able to install the update.
Users may find that using Software Update to install Aperture 3.1 fails to upgrade the software. Similarly, attempting to use the manual update (found on CNET's Downloads site) also fails to install the update.
Should you experience this issue on your Mac, you may need to install the latest ProKit for Leopard update, version 5.1. ProKit addresses various interface and compatibility issues for Apple's … Read more
TSR Watermark Image Software from andromedaIT is a free program that can add watermarks to your images and documents. You can use it to mark the images you post online to keep them from being reused without your permission. You can make your watermarks barely visible or unmistakable, depending on your needs: a light mark for credit on images you mean to share, and heavy marking to protect images from being reused, such as when photographers post example images on their Web sites.
TSR Watermark's interface resembles a properties dialog but is really a typical three-panel Windows app in … Read more
We're continuing with our gaming theme for another week and giving away a Psyko 5.1 surround-sound PC gaming headset that has a detachable boom mic. In his review, editor Jeff Bakalar called the Psycho 5.1 "ambitious and innovative" (read full review). XBox 360 owners should also take note that Psyko is scheduled to release a version of the Psyko 5.1 for the 360 (see video below).
Normally, the Psyko 5.1 headset would cost about $300, but you have the chance to get it gratis.
So, how do you try to win this surround-sound … Read more
First, lphant and lphant 5.1 are not the same thing. lphant is a peer-to-peer file-sharing program that uses the eDonkey network and BitTorrent protocol. lphant 5.1--the subject of this review--is an imposter application that looks very much like the original lphant, but that operates on a restricted, proprietary network. This network is supposedly the first P2P network to be approved by the Recording Industry Association of America, and through some tricky maneuvers--including commandeering the original lphant's Web domain and advertisement server--lphant 5.1's operators have sought to acquire the original application's user base. As far … Read more