Friday, 30 November 2012

Windows 8 Start Button Alternatives

If you really cannot live with Windows 8 not having a start button, don't panic.
Here are some of the best utilities for getting back the start button.



Start8 ($4.99)
http://www.stardock.com/products/start8/index.asp
Classic Shell (FREE)
http://classicshell.sourceforge.net/
Start Menu X (FREE)
http://www.startmenux.com/

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Manage all your financial accounts in one place

OnTrees is the FREE and simple way to see all your financial accounts in one place. Over 5,000 banks are supported worldwide, as well as phone accounts, loans, etc. You can check your balances, track your spending and set up budgets and alerts to manage your money more effectively. Also available as an iPhone/iPad app. See: https://www.ontrees.com

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Top 10 iPad Apps For Education

An iPad is not just for games, it makes a brilliant educational tool for kids and adults alike. Here is my top 10 list of essential educational apps, to get you started. (NB - please use Safari as links do not work in Chrome)

Muscle & Bone Anatomy 3D
An amazing reference for anyone interested in the human musculo-skeletal system. 
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/muscle-bone-anatomy-3d/id375105666?mt=8
First aid by British Red Cross
Everyone needs to know first aid and the British Red Cross’ official app is FREE!
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/first-aid-by-british-red-cross/id483408666?mt=8
iBooks by Apple
Search through all your reference books quickly as well access thousands of FREE books.
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/ibooks/id364709193?mt=8
Kindle by Amazon
Like iBooks, plus any books purchased on a Kindle device are available on the App for FREE. 
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/kindle/id302584613?mt=8
WolframAlpha
Any question you want to know the answer to and this app will probably be able to tell you.
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/wolframalpha/id334989259?mt=8
World Atlas HD
National Geographic's atlas with flags and facts for each country.
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/world-atlas-hd/id364733950?mt=8
Solar Walk - 3D Solar System model
Everything you need to know about our solar system and so much more.
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/solar-walk-3d-solar-system/id347546771?mt=8
Scrabble for iPad
I know it's a game, but there has never been a better game for improving your spelling.
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/scrabble-for-ipad/id371808484?mt=8

WordBook XL - English Dictionary & Thesaurus for iPad
Dictionary's can get quite expensive, this is one of the best low cost ones.
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/wordbook-xl-english-dictionary/id364030280?mt=8

iTunes U
Courses and lectures from top universities around the for FREE.
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/itunes-u/id490217893?ls=1&mt=8

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Email PDF Files Directly To Your Kindle App

Did you know that every Kindle device and Kindle App has it's own email address, which you can use to send PDF files directly to it.  Apps are available for Windows, Macs, iOS & Android devices. You can only send from approved email address, which are managed at Amazon's website in: Your Account, Manage Your Kindle, Personal Document Settings, Approved Personal Document E-mail List.  See: www.amazon.com

Monday, 26 November 2012

Find The Largest Files On Your PC Quickly

WizTree is a small FREE portable app that finds the files and folders using the most disk space on your hard drive in a matter of seconds. Lists the top 1000 largest files or a standard tree view. Essential if you are thinking of upgrading your HD to a SSD. Due to the way WizTree check files, it only works on local NTFS format drives. Available for all versions of Windows, see: http://antibody-software.com

Friday, 23 November 2012

Find And Remove Duplicate Files

After a couple of years, it's amazing just how many copies of the same files you may actually have, which becomes a problem when you start to run out of disk space. AllDup is a FREE tool that helps you to find and remove duplicate files on your PC. Also available as a portable edition, see http://www.allsync.biz/alldup_help/alldup.htm

To specifically find duplicate photos, try VisiPics at http://www.visipics.info

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Rent Adobe Photoshop When You Need It

As part of their Creative Cloud offerings, Adobe now lets you take out a subscription to an individual software package on a monthly or annual contract. Photoshop CS6 normally costs $699 or £660, so if you only need it for a specific project, why not rent it out $29.99 or £27.34 per month. The price drops to $19.99 or £17.58 if you sign up for a year. See: https://creative.adobe.com/plans

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

FREE All-In-One Cloud Storage Solution

LogMeIn has expanded their FREE cloud offering with cloud storage that lets you sync, share, collaborate and store unlimited versions of your files. It's biggest trick though, is the ability to sync your data securely between your computers (PC's & Macs), avoiding the cloud if you so choose. You get 5GB for FREE, with an extra 1GB per referral (up to 25GB). See: https://www.cubby.com/

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

FREE Easy To Install Apache Web Server

Apache Friends is a non-profit project which put together XAMPP, a FREE easy to install Apache distribution containing MySQL, PHP and Perl. All features are turned on, so it's ideal for test environments. Available for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and Solaris. See: http://www.apachefriends.org/en/xampp.html

Monday, 19 November 2012

Upgrading Your Computers Memory

You don't need to open up a computer any more to see how many memory slots you have free. The Crucial System Scanner automatically analyzes your computer memory and suggests what upgrade options you may have. Available for PCs and Macs, see: http://www.crucial.com/systemscanner/

Friday, 16 November 2012

Quickly Diagnose PC Issues for FREE

The antivirus firm Webroot has FREE System Analyzer utility, which quickly highlights areas that need attention on your PC and gives a detailed report on all aspects of hardware, OS and installed applications. Works like a portable app and doesn't require installation. See: http://www.webroot.com/gb/en/business/resources/analyzer

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Searching Gmail

Searching for emails in Gmail by size, has always been a bit of a bugbear for me, but this is no longer the case. Google have now published all the advanced search parameters in a 'Searching Gmail' support page for everyone to see, at: http://support.google.com/mail/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=7190

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Design Inspiration Blog

Designbeep is a design blog dedicated to web developers, bloggers, designers and freelancers. It's a massive site full of articles, tutorials, tools and resources for web and graphic design. See: http://designbeep.com/

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

FREE Website With No Adverts

Zoho, one of the first online productivity & collaboration companies is offering FREE websites that you can use with a custom domain and is totally ad-free. Web hosting is also included, together with unlimited storage and email support. See: www.zoho.com/sites

Monday, 12 November 2012

FREE Cloud Backup

If you have a fast unlimited internet connection and loads of spare HD capacity, you can get FREE cloud backup space by offering double the amount of local space to the Symform system. Avaialble for Windows, Mac and Linux, also works with NAS drives from Synology, QNAP, Netgear and more. See: http://www.symform.com

Friday, 9 November 2012

FREE Online Meetings

join.me is LogMeIn.com’s new screen sharing service. A free account gives you screen sharing for up to 250 viewers, with chat and internet calling features. Viewers can also be on Android or iOS (iPad or iPhone) via a free app. Existing LogMeIn accounts (free & pro) are also automatically valid join.me accounts. See: https://join.me/

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Microsoft Office 365 Support Contact Numbers

Office365 support is only available to users with administrator privileges, but what do you do if they are not available.  Tracking down the telephone support number is quite difficult, the last thing you need when things aren't working. Click here to find the telephone support number for a particular country.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Unlimited Cloud Based Backup

If like me you have kids, then backing up your ever growing photo collection can become an issue. Backblaze offers unlimited storage space to backup your files for $50/year. Your backups can be continuous or scheduled and are sent and stored encrypted. Keeps up to 4 weeks of any file versions and works on Windows & Macs. See: http://www.backblaze.com

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

FREE Microsoft Team Foundation Service (Visual Studio Online)

(Now called Microsoft Visual Studio Online)
The Microsoft visual studio team foundation cloud-based solution is FREE for up to 5 developers. Integrates with all Visual Studio and Visual Studio Express, Eclipse via a plugin, or Xcode using the Git-TF command-line tools. Features team collaboration, agile planning and a customized dashboard for open bugs, test results, and build statuses. See: http://tfs.visualstudio.com

Monday, 5 November 2012

Searching the Apple iOS App Store

Buried at the bottom right of the Apple website, under iTunes is a 'Browse App Store' link to the listings of popular apps from each category. For more powerful searching I'd recommend www.appshopper.com which also has great filters for finding apps that are now free. Also consider Apple's Appstore Facebook page which features a search tool and top app charts.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Managing A Windows Phone

Microsoft have a FREE portal for managing mobile phones running Windows Phone 7.5 or 8.  From the portal you can check your app purchase history and reinstall apps. You can even choose apps to install remotely, so setting up phones for colleagues and family is really simple.  The portal also includes a 'Find My Phone' feature, which lets you Ring, Lock or Erase your phone. See: http://www.windowsphone.com/

Thursday, 1 November 2012

FREE Password Strength Checker

Check out this handy secure password checker which automatically checks the strength of any password, as well as advice to help you choose more secure passwords. See: https://howsecureismypassword.net/