Make web-like presentations with CD FrontEnd

CD FrontEnd PRO creates professional autorun CD DVD presentations. With it you can make self-running catalogs, brochures, simple CD menus, and much more.  When completed, the end user simply inserts the autoplay CD, then a Web-like presentation is shown. You can include video, music, hyperlinked texts, hot spots, slides, frames, popup windows, and buttons.  You can launch documents, PDF’s, or self-extracting exe files. You can show licenses, additional info, etc.

No browsers or specific programs are needed to view the presentations. The self-running CD/DVD plays on all PCs. You can create a simple custom front end menu as well as a complex CD-ROM with thousands of pages.

CD Front End Pro is a professional tool; and it’s got a professional price tag to boot. While consumers can master and use this program, I didn’t find it as intuitive as I was hoping it would be when I initially installed it.

download CD Front End Pro

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Smart Defrag the easiest way to defrag

Keep your hard drive running at peak performance with this handy piece of must have freeware. Any PC user will tell you, after a while – after installing applications and creating data files – at some point, your PC will need to be defragmented.  PC’s tend to place data anywhere it can see space. This is fine when your drive is relatively empty. Things get complicated as it fills up with data.

If your PC’s performance is bad – if it’s slow – the first thing I always check is the defrag level. If the drive is highly fragmented, the PC’s performance is going to be bad. Smart Defrag helps improve your PC’s performance by efficiently defragmenting and optimizing your hard drive. With its “Install it and forget it” feature, Smart Defrag works quietly in the background, keeping your hard disk running at its best. Performance issues and crashes will become a thing of the past.

This application is one of the very few where no cons could be easily identified. It’s free, small, fast and good at what it does. If you’re a Windows user, and are looking for a tool to defrag your hard drive with, this is a must have. It’s better than the tool that comes with Windows and is easy to use, and above all, it’s free.

download Smart Defrag

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Push your PC to its limits with AIDA64 and find out how stable it is

When it comes to personal computers, facing some problems is inevitable. Sometimes the problems are quite simple and they are mostly caused by your Operating System, other software or nasty things such as viruses, malware or spyware. But what if you suspect there is a problem with one of those different components that are connected to your motherboard? This is the case when you need to test your hardware with one of those tools out there which makes your computer run at its fastest possible speed for an extended period of time and then checks for any errors that occur. My favorite software with this purpose is AIDA64 Extreme Edition.

AIDA64 Extreme Edition is a streamlined Windows diagnostic and benchmarking software for home users and provides a wide range of features to assist in overclocking, hardware error diagnosis, stress testing, and sensor monitoring. It has unique capabilities to assess the performance of the processor, system memory, disk drives and now with the release of version 2, it offers a fully automatized online update, AVX-optimized 64-bit benchmarks for the upcoming Intel Core i7 “Sandy Bridge-E” processors, and further extends its exhaustive hardware database with Western Digital hard disk drives to cover 133,000 devices total.

AIDA64 is compatible with all current 32-bit and 64-bit Microsoft Windows operating systems, including Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 and you can get it from here.

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Valve announces second Portal 2 DLC featuring in-game map editor

Valve, creators of best-selling game franchises (such as Half-Life, Left 4 Dead, Team Fortress, and Counter-Strike), just announced that the second game add-on for Portal 2 is in development and targeted for release early next year.

The major update will feature an easy-to-use in-game map editor that will let users design, build and share their own single-player and co-op test chambers with the community, who will be able to view, play and vote on them with a simple click.

Portal 2 was released April 19, and currently holds a Metacritic score of 95%, making it one of the top-rated multiplatform game of 2011. Its first content update, “Peer Review”, came out two weeks ago. Peer Review is a free DLC which comes with an all-new co-op adventure starring Atlas, P-Body and GLaDOS and takes takes place after the events of Portal 2. You and your co-op science partner are once again awoken and assembled for a dangerous new mission.

Let’s take a look a trailer showcasing the Cooperative aspect of the game…

A hilariously mind-bending adventure that challenges you to use wits over weaponry in a funhouse of diabolical science, Portal 2 features expansive single and cooperative multiplayer game modes.

For more information on Portal 2 and its downloadable content, please take a look here. Source http://www.thinkwithportals.com

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Last week’s highlights #02

Time for last week’s summary, a week that brought us some useful system utilities to keep your PC in shape. Take a look at the summary below:

TuneUp Utilities 2012

In time, a long lasting use of your PC, without any revision, causes a sluggish behavior and it’s performance decreasing. To prevent this from happening, you can use TuneUp Utilities 2012 that reduces clutter and ensures that all systems are running as they should. TuneUp Utilities has been around for quite a while and it’s clear that this software will stay on the market due to the simple fact that it does the job and it can really optimize your computer for the best performance – not just on paper.

download TuneUp Utilities 2012

 

CyberLink PowerDirector 10

Based on a huge community, PowerDirector has been recognized the most popular video editing tool, and therefore has evolved from version to version in terms of functionality and performance. PowerDirector 10 confirms again to be the fastest video editing tool. This is the result of a revamped rendering engine that provides even faster and more efficient video production. The engine takes advantage of both hardware and software technologies to speed up video processing, harnessing system GPU power via OpenCL for incomparable effects rendering speed, while a brand new H.264 media encoder rapidly processes HD video. In addition PowerDirector 10 is the world’s first native 64-bit consumer video editor, enabling improved system efficiency and faster loading of HD video footage through parallel processing optimization.

download CyberLink PowerDirector 10

 

Defraggler

One of my favorite third party defragger and also the fastest out there is Defraggler – a tool developed by Piriform – the company behind both CCleaner and Recuva. Defraggler allows to defragment and optimize your local drives or a single file, several files or an entire folder. Defraggler is also very simply to use. If you would like to analyze your drive to determine how fragmented is prior to defragmentation, just use the Analyze button. Once the analysis will finish, it will show you the visual drive map along with the fragmented files.

download Defraggler

 

O&O SpeedCheck

O&O SpeedCheck is a free portable utility that simulates the effects of a defragmentation on your computer. It will simulate a fragmented and defragmented state on your system. This means that the program will simulate reading files that are fragmented and then re-reads them as they were defragmented. No data is written in the simulation and no real files are used for reading. O&O SpeedCheck is a simple and useful tool that might save you time in understanding the need of your system for defragmentation. But it also promotes O&O Defrag by pointing you to its download site after finishing the simulation. Good thing is that you don’t have to choose this program. Just ignore the message and carry on with your work.

download O&O SpeedCheck

 

aTube Catcher

aTube Catcher is a simple but powerful freeware that can download videos from social web sites such as YouTube, MySpace, Metacafe, Yahoo, Vimeo, etc. and convert them into a wide range of audio and video formats. aTube Catcher can also burn in DVD your videos and it has a built-in Screen Recorder to capture whatever you may see on your screen. simply copy and paste a URL of a video from YouTube (or any other supported social media web site) into aTube Catcher, select the location where you want it to be saved, set the output format and press Download. That’s all, aTube Catcher will take care of the rest.

download aTube Catcher

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Catch all of your favorite videos and convert them to almost any format with aTube Catcher

Did you ever want to download a video from YouTube, Vimeo or Metacafe? Maybe you have found numerous programs that give you a way to do this, but most of them only provide an FLV file which you’ll have to convert (with another software) to a suitable video format for your computer or mobile device. To do this with ease and completly free, let me recommend you aTube Catcher.

aTube Catcher is a simple but powerful freeware that can download videos from social web sites such as YouTube, MySpace, Metacafe, Yahoo, Vimeo, etc. and convert them into a wide range of audio and video formats. aTube Catcher can also burn in DVD your videos and it has a built-in Screen Recorder to capture whatever you may see on your screen.

The installation is simple and straightforward but at a certain moment it will ask you whether you wish to install a third party software or not. I personally have chosen not to. Once done, simply copy and paste a URL of a video from YouTube (or any other supported social media web site) into aTube Catcher, select the location where you want it to be saved, set the output format and press Download. That’s all, aTube Catcher will take care of the rest.

aTube Catcher can also burn your downloaded videos to DVD , without having to use any other program. There are just a few steps: select your DVD recorder, type a title for the disc, add the files (you can drag them to the box) and then just click ‘Burn DVD’ to start the burning process. As a plus, in case you don’t want to record the DVD right away, you can create an ISO image and burn it later.

Moreover, aTube Catcher has a screen recorder and the audio recorder. This enables you to record all the things that happen in a specific section of your screen (you can select a custom area or a specific frame) using many customization options and to record audio (from your speakers, microphone or line in).

aTube Catcher is an excellent tool for downloading online movies, converting videos (to all the major formats or those supported by mobile devices), recording the screen, creating DVDs, downloading MP3’s – all this flawlessly integrated in a simple application with an easy-to-use use interface and lots of features – I highly recommend this program.

Download aTube Catcher

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O&O SpeedCheck

Defragmentation is a necessary operation for any stable system. But its result may vary from system to system depending on each configuration. You can get a long process duration and it may not be distinguishable. So instead of doing it anyway and losing time, you may want to check if your system really needs such an operation and what are the results in case you may want to apply such an operation.

O&O SpeedCheck is a free portable utility that simulates the effects of a defragmentation on your computer. It will simulate a fragmented and defragmented state on your system. This means that the program will simulate reading files that are fragmented and then re-reads them as they were defragmented. No data is written in the simulation and no real files are used for reading.

Files are read continuously one after the other on a hard disk level from the start of partition C:. The whole process takes around 8-10 minutes depending on your harddrive capacity. At the end of the simulation you will be shown a comparison of the two test times, and the possible increase in speed available to you. In this way you will get the picture how your PC can gain speed if you will defrag your system.

Both test runs are carried out five times, in order to eliminate any side effects caused by the applications that run in the background. Anyway, you should still close all the applications that run in background in order to get a precise result. File operations in particular can lead to a distortion of the result.

O&O SpeedCheck is a simple and useful tool that might save you time in understanding the need of your system for defragmentation. But it also promotes O&O Defrag by pointing you to its download site after finishing the simulation. Good thing is that you don’t have to choose this program. Just ignore the message and carry on with your work.

download O&O SpeedCheck

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Use Defraggler to defrag your entire hard drive, or individual files

Disk defragmentation results in better performance of your computer. That’s why Windows has a build-in tool with this purpose. However, most people avoid defragmenting their disks, even if we all know that it is recommended and can improve PC performance. The reasons is simple: the process takes too long to complete.

One of my favorite third party defragger and also the fastest out there is Defraggler – a tool developed by Piriform – the company behind both CCleaner and Recuva. Defraggler allows to defragment and optimize your local drives or a single file, several files or an entire folder.

Defraggler is also very simply to use. If you would like to analyze your drive to determine how fragmented is prior to defragmentation, just use the Analyze button. Once the analysis will finish, it will show you the visual drive map along with the fragmented files. Sometimes, you simply don’t need to defragment your hard drive, expecially if you’re working with a relatively new PC, you’ve defragmented your drive recently, or you don’t use your PC much.

Your hard drive needs to be defragmented? Simply click the Defrag button. If you want to save some time, there’s is a feature called Quick Defrag, which completes the process 3-4 times faster. However, the compromise, though, is that it won’t use the most intensive, optimal algorithm to reorganize your files. To use this feature, simply click the down-arrow next to Defrag button and select Quick Defrag.

Another great feature is the ability to move large files to the end of the hard drive. Your computer can accesses files faster if they’re at the start of the drive. Defraggler can put the large files you probably don’t access that often (videos, for example) at the end of the drive so that Windows can find the smaller files faster which are accessed more often.

Download Defraggler

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