Nov 282016
 

Seymour

Seymour (version:0.9.10) is a freeware image viewer with basic editing features, it is also portable.

Seymour is one of the newer entries in the image viewing world and it packs a good number of features in a lightweight download and shares similarities with XnView.

Images can be rated, categorized and tagged and a separate pane is available to view and find categorized images. Files can be grouped or filtered by filename, those tagged or not and those categorized or not and folders can be bookmarked too.

Beyond viewing many formats and moving and copying them there are basic editing features like resize, crop, rotate, grayscale, brightness, hue, auto level and format conversion to name a few. Seymour also supports scripts with some included like listing of images ready to copy into the clipboard, saving views or layouts, moving files based on properties and replacing text in file names and extensions.

One additional features is Search for images online (under Tools menu or right click the image) which uses google images to find similar images, this is in addition to the local Find similar images which will filter and display similar images in the current folder.

The program does feel sluggish at times, especially in the preview pane (see screenshot for one example of two images being overlayed after one is clicked after the other) but also the menu structure, for example List artists is under both File and Scripts menus.

Seymour is sqlite based and works on Windows XP and newer and supports touchscreen gestures.

Nov 232016
 

Treek’s Password Manager

Treek’s Password Manager (version: 1.2) is a freeware password manager with strong encryption (Rijndael AES 256bit by default) and optional cloud storage and sync.

Its interface is clean and polished and at first launch it offers to create a new database, and optionally allows the user to view or modify the initilization vector and salt that go along with the user chosen master password. The option to make it a local database or online one is available here or can be chosen later. The free service allows one database in the cloud with a paid version that has more allowances and offers backups.

Treek’s Password Manager can import passwords saved in browsers automatically. Passwords and login data can be copied, via double click by default, and the associated URL opened too. For better security the program options include a setting to clear the clipboard after a number of seconds. Right clicking an entry presents other options. The most useful of these options is the auto type which will (attempt to) paste the username and password in an open browser page.

The program collects telemetry which it of course claims to not include passwords. An ID is associated with this telemetry and it can be reset to “send telemetry with new identity”. Whether or not this is a deal breaker it is up to the user but the program looks clean.

KeePass is and has been the de facto standard for local password storage and arguably the safest available, it is in many ways superior to any online alternative as well but Treek’s Password Manager is one possible option to consider.

Nov 152016
 

Super Simple Tasks

Super Simple Tasks as its name implies is a simple Google Chrome extension that is a minimalist tool for creating lists within Chrome.

As always click the extension icon and the drop down hold the items which can be color coded as a form of tagging, can be marked as done, and can be moved or dragged up and down the list. The user can open the list in a new tab instead of the drop down to get a clearer and better view of it.

Super Simple Tasks works offline and can use the users’ logged in Google account to sync with other devices and its accompanying Android app. To stay anonymous while working with others Super Simple Tasks has a sharing feature which provides a link to be sent to another user, after clicking the share icon a link in the form of http://supersimpletasks.com/?share=code will be presented, the recipient will use that code to see the list. A list can also be ‘disconnected’ and live exclusively on the device it is typed on. Syncing with Google tasks would make this more useful perhaps but as it is it remains a basic method to keep lists.

Oct 312016
 

AnnoPad

AnnoPad (version:1.5.3) or URL Specific Notepad – AnnoPad to mention its full name is a Google Chrome extension that saves notes in a drop down accessible via its icon much the same way as many other extensions.

The interface is simple, click on the icon and add a new note. The URL of the current page is automatically saved with the note. The note can be formatted in bold or italic and be an unordered or ordered numbered list. Notes are saved automatically and clicking the back button takes the user back to the notes list.

It is possible to assign a category to a note however the notes list interface does not show the category. The category is therefore only currently useful in the as you type incremental search. The same search of course finds text in the notes’ content as well. When a page or site is open notes can be filtered to those with a matching address. Saved notes can also be displayed by newest, oldest, page ascending and page descending. The latter two refer to the URLs associated with saved notes.

AnnoPad’s settings are Export to TXT, Export to PDF and Delete.

Oct 282016
 

(Un)colored

(Un)colored (version: 0.9.1) is a cross platform open source freeware or donationware text editor. It is currently tagged as beta.

It provides a distraction free interface with a toolbar or menu only becoming visible when the user hovers near the top of the window. It also features shortcuts to type or move through a document like Ctrl+1 for a XL header type text and Ctrl+Shift+C to clear formatting. A list of the shortcuts can be seen via the top menu.

(Un)colored-AV

Selecting any text will also highlight the toolbar to format the text. Clicking Alt is the alternative method of doing the same.

What makes (Un)colored more modern is support for emojis and its embed feature. Youtube, SoundCloud and others can be embedded directly into a document.

A document can be saved in HTML  or markdown format. The former supports themes, as in the saved HTML document can have different font sizes or colors. Currently there are four themes, Attitude, GitHub Style, Horizon and White Room.

As the author warns that (Un)colored can trigger antivirus warning, it did so on the Windows 10 machine it was tested on. Avast Virus Lab analyzed and returned a false positive (see screenshot). The more people use it the less likely this will happen in the future.

It is available for Mac OS X, Linux and Windows 7 (installer or portable) or newer and only in 64-bit format.

Oct 262016
 

SaMotion

SaMotion (version: 1.11 Build 325) is a minimalist and portable task manager or more simply a to do list. Just download and extract the exe, then double click it.

The program offers a dark or light theme and nothing else except categories and tasks indented. Hovering shows the + icon to add either a category or task, only one level deep. Clicking on an existing category or task makes its title or text editable. The other program settings are docking to the left or right and staying on top. The .sm file extension can be associated with the program as this is the format the lists are saved in. A task can be color coded to any one of green, orange or red colors by clicking immediately to the left of an item.

Lists or projects as they are called are encrypted (Blowfish 448Bit) and the list can be exported to a password protected PDF.

The program could use enhancements that still keep it minimalist. Two such features or improvements could be support for dates and better handling of longer text. In the screenshot above the longer item just disappears without any indication.

SaMotion runs on Windows 7 and newer.

Oct 102016
 

TreeProjects is a notes organizer, a very powerful one, that I became a fan of many years ago. It had started life as the free Smereka and grew to a full featured outliner and organizer. I wrote a brief review of it in 2011. It has many features that made and make it complete like tagging, linking nodes, global search and reminders.

After years of no development Yaroslav has made the last version, 2.9.4, freely available and paying for a licence becomes optional, if you want to help him.

Oct 042016
 

cliplogger

At version 0.3 clipLogger is a new, beta software that takes a no frills approach to capturing and storing clipboard content.

Download and extract contents to a folder, the program will create a clipLogger_settings.ini file in the same folder. Using the usual Ctrl+C text content is captured and listed with a time stamp. Files copied or dropped into the program widow will have their full paths captured. It is possible to uncheck one or the other so only text or file names are captured.

The interface is very minimalist. The program settings include system settings like fonts and start up and close to tray behaviour. The program can also backup to a text file but that is of little use as the backup file resides in the same folder with no way to configure location or back up schedule.

A bug seems to duplicate (or more) captured content and the developer does allude to it. clipLogger is one to follow and hope that it continues to be developed.

clipLogger does not requires installation and is around 130KB unzipped. It requires .NET framework.

Sep 232016
 

ZenR Notes

ZenR Notes (version: 0.2) is a recent entry in the note taking category. It presents mostly simple options for taking notes and securing them either individually or with a master password.

By default ZenR Notes uses what it calls an immersive theme that uses Windows colours. New notes are added, along with other features using big buttons. The minimal formatting options like colours and fonts are available plus a few others like creating simple lists.

Each note can be password protected (AES 256-bit) by clicking the down arrow to the top right of the note. The same menu features a reminder option to turn the note into a single non recurring reminder. The program notes that secured notes can not be reminders.

Using the same menu, notes, and the program itself, can be turned into a ‘widget’, clicking that option is similar to minimizing the note into a post it note. While in widget mode clicking X reverts the view to the program window, clicking the left arrow shows the notes list and the down arrow provides options to increase the widget size or keep it on top of other windows.

The hamburger menu present while looking at the notes list includes an option to set a master password, and to add enhanced security. The enhanced security feature acts as a complement to the ZenR Notes’ back up and restore feature also present under the same menu. The program can also be further secured by adding a recovery email. The latter makes the program look like a web app. The recovery email option was not tested for this review.

The ‘Total words’ number under the notes seems to be a bug (see screenshot). ZenR Notes should work on Windows Vista and newer, including server editions.

Sep 172016
 

Journaley

Journaley (version: 2.1) is a simple yet unusual journaling program, it is freeware and hosted on GitHub.

The unusual nature of the program is two fold, perhaps. The first is somewhat disturbing, the set up did not provide any prompts (tested on a Windows 10 64-bit computer) until the program shortcut was ready on the desktop, whether this is a bug or not is not clear and there is no mention of this behaviour on the developer’s GitHub page. The second unusual aspect of the program is that, at first launch, it suggests the dropbox folder as the location to save its database.

Add an entry by clicking the blue + sign at the bottom left of the program, change the date, to any other date if necessary, and start typing. A word and character count is displayed as is the number of entries in th journal. Images can be added to an entry as can tags and stars. Starred entries will turn yellow in the left pane view

The entry, calendar and tag views (above the + sign) provide different glimpses of the journals written. When editing an existing entry the edit button must be clicked before the text becomes editable.

The program settings include (only three) different sizes for the font and only two, Noto Sans or Noto Serif, as fonts. The included spellcheck can be disabled and a password assigned to protect the entries.

The target user for such a software may or may not be obvious but it is nevertheless one newer addition in the note keeping category. Journaley requires .NET framework 4.5 and therefore works on Windows 7 and newer.

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