Dec 312013
 

Hornil Photo Viewer

Hornil Photo Viewer (version: 1.0) is a new freeware for home use image viewer from the developer who brought us the very capable Hornil StylePix photoshop alternative.

Hornil Photo Viewer is pretty much no frills and there are certainly many more better known alternatives available but it fills the need well enough for a basic image viewer. It features a file tree on the left, several ways to list or view images in the main section and a histogram, waveform, exif info (and the option to remove the info) and thumbnail viewer on the right.

Other features included are full screen mode, view in slideshow, image zoom, flip, rotate and convert and a launcher for any external image editor. The familiar keyboard shortcuts are available too, for example Ctrl+PgUp and Ctrl+PgDn to navigate through images. The supported formatted are png, jpg, tif, bmp, ico, jpc, pcx, tga, tif, ico, jpc, jp2, pcx, pgx, pnm, pgm, ppm, ras, ska, wmf and tsp. Hornil Photo Viewer runs on XP and newer.

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Dec 272013
 

I have removed the link to the Lollipic site and modified/’trimmed’ its review. Why?
Lollipic, as I mentioned when posting this review, is very obviously a clone of ShareX. ShareX is an open source software and it is possible to use its source code to create another program. However, one of the stipulations in the open source GPL license is that source code remain available by whoever uses it. As of the time of the review and this note the source code is not available on the Lollipic site.
The developers of ShareX contacted me and kindly asked that I remove this review.
Eventhough a mere review, my review, is not in any way a violation of any license I have decided to not support Lollipic and while a screenshot (and a sentence or two) remain there will not be a review or a link to its site.

Lollipic

The choices for taking screenshots and sharing them are numerous and some even look remarkably similar as to make a person wonder if he is experiencing deja vu.

*Edited/removed*

It is clear that LolliPic is a ShareX clone and naturally both are based on the same set of tools like GreenshotImageEditor.dll just to name one.

LolliPic requires the .NET Framework.

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Dec 232013
 

Gwennel

Gwennel Doc is a notebook that is WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) and supports the odt open document file format.

Start by creating a new notebook, save it with a name and start typing. It is possible to just leave it at that, type, insert images, tables and links and have notes that are portable using the aforementioned xml based standard format.

However it is also possible to define presets or styles to use to format the notes. Either through the Format menu or by right clicking any one of Text, Paragraph, Bullets and Numbering and Table different fonts, colors, margins, line spaces, table widths and other styles can be defined for use in a notebook. These new styles will be available in the toolbar drop down menus for text, paragraph and bullets.

The default font used by the program is Tahoma but if a style is created to with another font for text then it can applied to any part of the notebook. Right click Text —> New Style and choose the font. Start typing and apply the style to it by highlighting text and choosing the style from the toolbar drop down. The same can be done to a paragraph for its font, alignment, background color, line spacing, border, and indentation. Bullets and Numbering can have number or bullet styles, different spacing, alignment and others (see image below). Similarly a table’s border, width, margin, cell colors (including alternating colors) can be saved as a style and applied via the Table —> Insert Table menu.

Gwennel

Gwennel Doc (version: 0.14) is portable and very lightweight, a few sample styles are available as a separate download but the main download comes with a sample and documentation that can serve as a reference itself.

 

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Dec 182013
 

Bitdefender

Comment below for a chance to win one of 3 Bitdefender Total Security licenses courtesy of Bitdefender Antivirus!

Bitdefender is one of the better rated and tested antivirus and internet security options. Sites like av-comparatives.org which do extensive testing rate it high in detection but also high performance wise in what is termed as Impact Score on a system.

Total Security 2014 as its name indicates includes many features that go beyond a simple antivirus, some may or may not be useful or needed for every user but each does a bit more to protect the computer and the user.

For example, the wallet allows for safe storage of site details and other data used to automatically login into sites. It can be configured to do banking and other payment sensitive browsing in a separate protected browser. There is also a well rated inbound and outbound firewall and a tool to protect and scan external USB devices.

Its other features include Yahoo Messenger chat encryption and a vault for encrypting files,  a safe file eraser or shredder and an anti-phishing feature. Emails are scanned so malicious items don’t make it to a computer. Additionally an online service (MyBitdefender) provides limited free storage and remote control and recovery features for devices, including mobile, running it and attached to the user account.

All in all a very complete security and piece of mind tool Bitdefender Total Security 2014 runs on XP and newer. Bitdefender also offer other mobile, home and business software that provide theft and more extensive cloud based protection.

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Dec 142013
 

ShareX

ShareX is a multipurpose, feature rich utility geared towards sharing anything captured on a pc. At its core it is a screen grabber that does a lot more, including just uploading files.

Clipboard upload is the first in the list of its features, it auto detects urls to use a url shortener, it defaults to the bit.ly service. The Capture option features full screen, Window – with a list of open windows to choose from, monitor, rectangle, rounded rectangle, triangle, ellipse, diamond, polygon, free hand, last region, auto capture and screen recorder. The last two are configurable timed snapshots and animated gif.

After capture has options for Add image effect, Annotate image, Add watermark, Copy image to clipboard (on by default), Print image, Save image to file (on by default), Save image to file as, Copy file to clipboard, Copy file path to clipboard, Perform actions and Upload image to host. The Perform actions options is when an external program is set to open after the capture. The programs can be set in Task settings —> Actions, some of which are detected and added by ShareX.

After upload has options for Use url shortener, Post url to social networking service, Send url with email and Copy url to keyboard.

Destinations are configured per file type. Imgur.com is the default for images but they can be uploaded to imageshack, tinypic, flickr, photobucket, picasa, twitpic, twitsnaps, yfrog, imm.io, file or custom uploader. For text pastebin is the default with paste2.org, slexy.org, pastee.org, paste.ee, gist.github,com and file available. For url shortener there is the aforementioned bit.ly plus goo.gl, j.mp, is.gd, tinyurl and turl.ca and finally for social networking service twitter is the only one available as of version 8.4.1.

Almost everything is configurable, for example screenshots can be named with anything like year %y, month %mo, title of active window %t, millisecond %ms, auto increment %i, computer name %cn, random number %rn and more in their name and their default folder changed too (Application settings —> Paths). A proxy server can be added via Application settings —> Proxy. The format of the image can be changed from the default png to gif, jpg, tiff or bmp and its quality adjusted too (Task settings —> Image). The watermark and image effects are also configured via Task settings —> Image. ShareX can also watch folders and upload files placed in them automatically (Task settings —> Watch folders). The naming pattern is also available for clipboard items (Task settings —> Upload).

Hotkey settings include ones for capturing the entire screen, active window and rectangle region. Others can be added with every action configured too (see image below).

ShareX

Any of the services that do not allow anonymous uploading can be setup via the Destination settings menu. The file uploader options are dropbox, mega, box, ge.tt, rapidshare, sendspace, hostr, Atlassian Jira, Google Drive, Minus, email and ftp. The custom uploader option is an advanced feature described fully at http://getsharex.com/docs/#CustomUploader. This tool uses POST and GET methods to upload and dynamically generate urls.

The program has two separate history tools to keep a log of every use. ShareX works on XP and newer and, once again, unfortunately requires .NET Framework   4   3.5.

Update: Thanks to Jaex for mentioning the correct .NET requirement

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Dec 112013
 

Notepas

Notepas is a multiplatform free text editor with some advanced features. It is feature filled and mostly aimed at programmers. Most features are available docked by using the corresponding menu or button to make the options visible on the left hand side of the program interface. It supports several highlighters for different languages. Notepas is a solid option at version 0.9.23 and can do a lot, a few of its features are listed below.

It has several levels of code folding, the 0 button that has a drop down to 9  folds code several child or inner nodes making it very easy to view a document’s hierarchy. Code filter under Tools can search for specific strings and show only lines containing it. Code Shaper also under Tools can do some advanced text filtering by adding a comma after a string of code, trimming space, removing line breaks and more. One simple example is adding line breaks. In the first screenshot one part of the sample XML snippet is highlighted, when breaks lines before </firstname> is applied it is converted to the form in the second screenshot. Of course this example is meaningless but is one trivial example of the kind of things Notepas is capable of.

The selection menu has options to to toggle case of selected text, convert tabs to space, strip first characters, strip markup, add comment code and other text manipulations based on the word or characters in the selection.

Notepas

The program’s settings window (Settings—>Settings) is mainly for customizing the appearance of the code such as colors, character spacing and other highlight options. There is an option to increase font size or stay on top or restrict Notepas to one instance as well.

Notepas is available in portable download for both 32bit and 64bit systems as well as Linux machines.

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Dec 082013
 

list-it

List.it is a no frills notes keeper that resides inside Firefox’s sidebar. It is simple and open source and provides an option to synchronize notes but they are kept locally if the user does not use or ignores the sync option.

Install the add-on and access the sidebar interface via Ctrl+Shift+F. Enter any text and save, access the settings by clicking the gear icon. By default the top line of a note is shown, click the arrow icon to expand all. Click x if a note needs to be deleted and use the garbage can icon to view the dustbin where deleted notes can be restored or permanently deleted. It is possible to edit notes by clicking on them, and search or print them too.

Right click anywhere on a page to bookmark the page in list.it or highlight, right click and copy text to list.it. In the latter list-it will also append the url of the page the text was copied from (see first note in screenshot)

If using the synchronize option click the yellow triangle icon and sign up for their service and install list.it where you need the notes. For security quoting the About and FAQ pages:

List.it is a research project from the Haystack Group at MIT CSAIL by a small team of students led by Prof. David Karger. List.it’s chief designers are electronic Max and Greg Vargas.
List.it is released as free and open source software under the MIT License. The source code is available on our Google Code Project.

With respect to data handling policies, we use strong-grade SSL (AES-256) to encrypt all client server communications (HTTP traffic) and have signed our server with a certificate.

List-it should work on Firefox 3.0 and later.

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Dec 032013
 

MediaTab

MediaTab (version:1.2) is a simple freeware that provides information about many media files.  The feature that makes it easier to use is that it integrates with Windows Explorer.

MediaTab is based on the more widely used MediaInfo and instead of being a standalone program all is does is add a tab to the right click menu, that is a new MediaTab tab is added to the Properties window. Formats supported are numerous and include the likes of 3gp, asf, avi,divx, dpg, eac3, evo, f4v, flac, h264, m4a, mks, mkv, mov,mp3, mp4, mpc, mpeg, mpg, ogg, qt, ra, rm, swf, tp, vob, wav, wma and wmv.

The info provided in both text and tree formats is also extensive with the likes (as applicable) of file name, location, release date, duration, codecs, bit rate, resolution, metatags, encoded library and lots more. An advanced setting adds additional information like frame count, stream size, audio profile and others.

The information can be exported into a text or html file or copied to the clipboard in text, bbcode or two kinds of html (table with or without headers) files.

MediaTab runs on XP and newer on both 32bit and 64bit PCs.

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