Jul 312012
 

Free Screenshot Capture (Version: 1.5.0 tested) is a freeware screenshot grabber that does a bit more. Upon install it presents a wizard (see image below) where its options and features are available at a glance. It also tries to register its default shortcuts to use. There is a likelihood that at least one (Ctrl+Shift+C for example) is taken by another application but the shortcut can be changed to something else via the Change Shortcuts options available by right clicking the program’s tray icon.

Free Screenshot Capture

Free Screenshot Capture can be invoked via its shortcuts and via right click and of course by clicking on the aforementioned wizard. It can capture the full screen, part of the screen,  full screen with delay, an elliptical region and also the webcam. Additional tools include a protractor, color picker, screen ruler, screen magnifier, screen brightness – to change screen brightness and gamma – and a whiteboard. The whiteboard is somewhat confusing, it prompts the user to choose one of the tools (text, rectangle or ellipse for example) and that tool is drawn on the screen to reserve that section of the screen for annotation or text to add to a screenshot. It seems that it works only for a full screen screenshot but that is not obvious.

After a screenshot is taken the program tools become visible. They include blur, shape, line, arrow or text. These can  be added to the screenshot. An external editor or Microsoft Paint can be opened to edit the image as well. One can also directly save or copy the image.

Free Screenshot Capture
Free Screenshot Capture also features a touch mode for tablet devices, the user can switch to it by clicking on the hand icon on the far top right of the program. It runs on Windows 2000 and newer.

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Jul 282012
 

ArchiveClipboard (Version: 12.7.17 tested) is multi-platform open source and freeware clipboard manager. It doesn’t boast many features but it does one job and that is to keep more than one clipboard item stored or archived. When an item is copied it is kept in the top section of the program, subsequent clipboard items bump the previous ones to the lower section where they are archived to be kept forever.

ArchiveClipboard

ArchiveClipboard also supports images and file paths and they are archived in separate categories. Right clicking any item in the archived section presents options to preview it – where it can also be edited – to cut it , to copy it, to paste it or to remove it forever. It feels redundant to have cut or paste operations for an archived item but nevertheless the option is available.

Mobile device apps and synchronization are on the roadmap. ArchiveClipboard is java based, runs on Windows, Mac and Linux systems and is available in both 32bit and 64bit versions.

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Jul 262012
 

NoteClip (Version: 2.50 tested) has recently become freeware. It tries to be a clipboard monitor and note keeper in one. Using it requires a bit of getting used to because it may take time to feel comfortable with how, where and within which group (post, data, essay, etc.) a note or clipboard item is kept.

NoteClip

The clipboard function of NoteClip is not exactly emphasized as by default the clipboard monitoring is off (toggle it on by clicking  the ‘more’ dropdown near the top right of the program). However the program does have a secondary way of capturing text. The Ctrl+1 keys create a new note from highlighted text and Ctrl+2 appends highlighted text to the last note.

Initially notes – captured via hot keys or created using the quick notes (Ctrl+Q) window – are sent to the draft group. New groups can be created by right clicking one of the existing groups and notes can be dragged from the draft or any other group to another.

Various options are available when a note title is right clicked (see image). Notes can be edited by clicking on the Edit column beside them and either editing them within NoteClip or using an external editor. The program also has a search function which works across all notes and groups.

NoteClip can read text files and create new notes using file names as their title,  this is done by choosing ‘Create from text files’ from the aforementioned ‘more’ dropdown menu. Additionally there is a built-in back up and restore tool (Accessed via the small arrow near the top right of the program.) NoteClip requires Windows XP and newer and does not write anything to the registry.

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Jul 112012
 

The giveaway has now ended, thanks everyone. Winners will be emailed soon.

Comment below to win a copy of Wondershare Fantashow for Windows worth $49.95!

Wondershare Fantashow is a movie or slideshow maker, with it you use your own videos, pictures and sounds to create a movie. It takes three steps to have a movie or slideshow done, viewed or shared online.

Wondershare Fantashow

First up is the Theme tab, here a movie or video background is chosen, either from the included sample or one downloaded from within the program. Preview each theme by clicking play. Once one is chosen the Apply button brings up the theme to the next step ready to be used.

The Create tab comes next. Add media, either image(s), video(s) or a combination of both. Reorder them by dragging them in the timeline section. Add Subtitles too. The use of subtitles is somewhat confusing in this case, the common meaning for subtitles is different than how they are used in Wondershare Fantashow. Subtitles refer to simple text here, for example adding a title between two segments of a movie. Click on the top right of any segment within the time line to add a text directly over a video or photo. When a photo is chosen in the timeline it can be edited – button to the right of the Add Subtitles one – to add effects to it. The available effects are Invert, Equalize, BWFilter, Glow, Soble, Canvas, VignetteWhite, SquareBlur, VideoWall, TVWall, Emboss, Cartoon, Cool, Warm, Hot, Brown, Purple, MirrorLR, MirrorTB, Distort, Enlarge, Narrow, Whirl, Snow and more. It is also possible to customize the background music and one can use either the default or any locally saved audio file.

The next and final step is the Export tab. The options are to save locally in avi, mp4, wmv or mov formats in HD or standard resolutions or save to Youtube where the program prompts for login details, category, title, description, tags and if the video is private or personal or burn to DVD where the TV standard (NTSC or PAL), disk type (D5 or D9) and video quality are chosen. It is also possible to burn an image file. Finally Wondershare Fantashow supports saving to mobile devices including iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad and HTC and Galaxy phones as well.

Supported input formats are for images bmp, jpg, png, gif, tif, ico, dib, jpeg, jpe, jfif and tiff, for videos mp4, flv, avi, vob, 3gp, asf, mov, f4v, mpg, dpg, ts, trp, m2ts, mts, dat, wmv, mkv, dvr-ms, dv, tod and evo and for audio mp3, aac, ac3, m4a, mp2, wav, ra, ram, ape, au, aiff, aif, ogg and flac. Wondershare Fantashow requires Windows XP and newer and there is a Mac version available as well.

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Jul 042012
 

MyShelf (Version:1.0) is a newer software that is available for all operating systems, iDevices and Android as well. Information can be synced across devices and across a network. It strives to be both an organizer and central storage for text and images. Its interface fulfills at least one important requirement and that is notes, pictures and everything is saved using MyShelf is at least somewhat visible and in view when the program is open.

MyShelf

Use the Add tab to add text, image or alternatively import the current clipboard entry. A shelf or rectangular area is where items are saved, each can have a subject (type it in the yellow area when adding a shelf) and each can hold one or many text snippets or images. Tags are added via the tag tab. The tags can then be added to each shelf and will appear above them beside the shelf date.

Editing or moving around shelves is done while in quick edit mode. Click the Quick Edit mode button and then click anywhere on any shelf. It can be dragged (move mouse over the red/black circle) elsewhere to change its order or it can deleted (button on bottom right of the shelf). Clicking the Open button that appears when hovering over a shelf opens a separate window to edit its contents. MyShelf also lets you save the file back to its original format. For example an image can be saved to any folder in its own format.

MyShelf

When in edit mode one can archive a shelf, this will remove it from view. Archived shelves can be viewed and if needed unarchived and brought back into the default view by switching the program view from Show Normal to Show Archived (drop down near top right of the interface).

Shelves can have one of three sizes, click one of the three squares to the left of the aforementioned dropdown to resize them. MyShelf is java based and works on XP and newer, Mac OS, Linux systems and the aforementioned mobile devices (it is available in the App Store and Google Play).

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Jul 012012
 

FTPbox uses a hosting service you the user own to store and sync files instead of being a third party cloud service, so in this sense it is almost a self hosting Dropbox clone. It is an excellent concept but it seems that it is not the finished article.  Eventhough FTPbox is at version 1.8.5 now (a beta of the version) it is still missing some key ingredients and some that are not very clear.

FTPbox

FTPbox first requires the user to fill in FTP details. After the details are entered it checks the credentials and a window opens where the full path of the files can be chosen. By looking at the window one seems to be able to choose the root of a domain (for example / or www.rgdot.com) to store files. In my test this didn’t work, the files simply didn’t exist on the host side. It is perhaps only possible to create a (sub)folder on the host space (for example /ftpbox or www.rgdot.com/ftpbox).

The options available are that a user can choose to access a file via a browser, copy its location to the clipboard or open the local version. The first didn’t work in my test therefore I am not sure what the browser interface looks like. On the local machine FTPbox creates a folder much like Dropbox, under the Documents folder. Files dropped into the folder are automatically synced.

Right clicking on the program’s tray icon brings up a ‘Recent Files’ list, clicking on any of the listed files is the equivalent of the action or option chosen (open in browser, copy path to clipboard or open local version).

Another issue with FTPbox is that many hosts do not allow the web space to be used for personal files. Many terms of service (TOS) only allow web site files to be stored.

FTPbox is an open source project and should run on all recent Windows versions.

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