Create and edit PDF files with this easy to use, affordable app – Foxit PDF Editor

When Adobe created the PDF document (PDF stands for Portable Document Format), it hoped that it would be creating a standard. I don’t think they thought it would be as successful or as lasting as it has been. I also don’t think they thought it would foster the creation of so many different applications and companies that support the format with third party products.

It’s actually quite amazing. Everyone uses PDF’s now-a-days to create near source, identically-formatted documents for secure distribution to friends and colleagues who need the information, but (authors) don’t want/need readers to edit them. This is why I like apps like Foxit PDF Editor. It’s a PDF creating and editing tool for Windows.

We all need to create or archive professional looking personal documents, collaborate with teammates, design company forms, produce company collateral, finalize agreements, apply digital signatures. Foxit PDF Editor is one of the leading solutions for home/home offices, small and medium sized businesses, and large enterprises in this space. It comes in three versions to fit the diverse use cases that different users require.

Foxit PDF Editor Express is great for home/home office or business users. It helps you create standards PDF files. You can create PDF’s directly from MS Office with one button click; or batch create PDF documents from other common formats. You can also use its convenient annotation tools to add comments, notes and other annotations. Foxit PDF Editor Express provides a quick and easy way to get the job done.

Foxit PDF Editor Standard is ideal for any size business. Foxit PDF Editor Standard expands upon Foxit PDF Editor Express by allowing you to directly edit the text in the PDF document. After you are done editing, Foxit PDF Editor Standard’s robust security features keep your business documents safe. You can include password and certificate encryption, and a digital signature. Its form design tools let you develop forms. Its import tools allow data to be automatically imported into forms; and custom JavaScript actions allow increased forms customization.

Foxit PDF Editor Business is robust for the needs of businesses. Foxit PDF Editor Business expands upon Foxit PDF Editor Standard by providing the security that helps companies meet regulatory compliance and corporate governance for their important documents and archives. It ensures documents don’t change after they are approved. You can extend the usage control benefits of Microsoft’s Active Directory Rights Management Service to all your PDF documents. Author can control document features within each PDF, where they can certify documents and set permitted actions.

Download Foxit PDF Editor

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Capture your gaming experience with Fraps

Although I have access to all kinds of software, finding a proper one for my personal use becomes an annoying thing sometimes. That’s maybe because I tend to notice only the bad things from a software or maybe because I know that there should be a better one undiscovered yet. One of these examples, that really surprised me was Fraps. A tiny but very powerful software.

With the help of Direct X and OpenGL technology, this software can capture in realtime any video source from your desktop, can capture screenshots in BMP, PNG, JPG and TGA formats and can be used also as a benchmarking software. Fraps can save your work into any folder, without any prompting message or any preview screen. This can be done by using hotkeys which can be activated from the main interface. You won’t feel anything wrong in the game while you make these screenshots.

The same goes with the video capturing. This represents the best part of this application. The game will not slow down a moment (unless you have a really poor system), and the resulting video file has an astonishing quality. All this while I was running a game at a resolution of 1280×1024. The reason for this is because the application won’t use any compression tool for capturing the video. It will be saved in a pure AVI format without compression. You won’t get any framed clips and the sound will match the image perfectly.

Fraps 3.5 adds the much requested feature to allow AVI movie files larger than 4 gigabytes. Fraps will now write hybrid OpenDML/AVI files and allow large movies on NTFS drives. There’s still an option to split at 4 gigabytes for legacy AVI 1.0 support.

Fraps can be used also as a Benchmarking Software, by monitoring the frames of any game. The FPS counter can be displayed on the screen along with the game. The statistics can be saved on your disk for further analyzes and reviews.

Please be aware that the minimum system requirements have changed in Fraps 3.5.0. We now require a CPU with SSE2 instructions (Pentium 4 & above). Windows XP or higher is also now required. If you have an older system (Win2K or non-SSE2 CPU) you can still download the previous Fraps 3.4.7 release from the Members Area.

download Fraps 3.50

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7″ iPad Rumor Analysis – Part 2: Is the Customer Always Right?

There’s are reasons why Apple hasn’t released the rumored iPad Mini. In part 2 of this 2 part series, I break down the rumors…

Apple rumors are fun. Apple’s secretive culture often sparks and breeds the development of rumors and many people in the tech journalism industry love to speculate and see how right the mill is every time Apple releases new products. Last minute speculations aside, it’s difficult to crack the Apple rumor nut. However, after slowly and carefully finishing the Steve Jobs Biography, I think I have a decent understanding of where Steve was wanting things with Apple Product Development to go.

I’ve had a couple people come to me over the past couple of weeks and either ask me about or tell me about the rumored 7″ iPad, nicknamed the “iPad Mini,” that Apple is supposedly set to release “soon.” I’ve chuckled a bit at these folks and their immediate response was, “What..? You don’t think they’re going to release it?”

My response has been, “I don’t know.”

Trying to guess what Apple is going to do with their product road map is very much like trying to predict the weather – there’s gonna be some [weather]; and forecasters have a 50-50 chance of being right.

However, you never really know if it’s going to rain or not until you stick your head out the window. In part 2 of this 2 part series, going to concentrate on Tim Cook. It all comes down to who’s the captain of the ship.

Is the Customer Always Right?
Last week, I talked a bit about why the late Steve Jobs hated the idea of a 7″ iPad. Put succinctly, Jobs felt it confused customers by blurring the lines too much between the iPod Touch and the original, 9.7″ iPad. Customers interested in that device size might be better served with the (we’ll call it) 4″ iPod Touch or by taking the plunge and moving up to the full 9.7″ screen on the iPad.

In a Jobs run Apple, there would be no ‘7″ iPad Mini.’ The game totally changes in an Apple run by Tim Cook. Here’s why…

Tim Cook is Apple’s former Chief Operating Officer. As an operations guy, Tim Cook listens to, or is at least accustomed to listening to, the voice of the customer. Customers clearly like the idea of a 7″ iOS tablet. The idea of a lighter smaller iPad, with all of its power and capabilities, appeals to a great many people.

The product confusion issues between an (about) 4″ iPod Touch, 7″ iPad Mini, and the 9.7″ iPad still exist – Is the 7″ iOS device a iPod that’s too big, or an iPad that’s too small..? The question is valid, as the iPod Touch does very well, and the iPad is currently expected to be the king of the “tablet hill” until at least 2016.

Tim Cook is the unknown element here. His good friend and confidante, Steve Jobs was very clear on his 7″ tablet stance – No. However, Tim Cook’s operations background may move him to green light the project; but you have to ask how that will effect Apple’s bottom line (manufacturing and marketing costs vs. potential sales, for example) before you start drooling over the idea of an iPad that you can carry in a jacket pocket.

I’ve been wrong before, but at the end of the day, I still don’t think we’re going to get a 7″ iOS tablet; but not because of Jobs’ product aesthetics stance. I don’t think the device has enough legs to warrant the manufacturing line and component costs.

However, we’re really going to have to wait and see… I wouldn’t be the first Apple prognosticator to be wrong about what Apple actually decides to do if they did release a 7″ iPad.

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Play LAN games through Internet with Tunngle

Let’s face it. Gaming is a lot more fun when you play with people you like. Not every networkable game supports gaming across the internet, though. This is one of the reasons why I like Tunngle. It’s a network gaming utility for Windows.

Tunngle makes multiplayer games enjoyable, regardless of your location. Tunngle is a P2P VPN gaming client, enabling LAN party mode via the Internet. Any game with a built-in LAN mode, whether old or new, can be played over the internet through Tunngle.

In order to accomplish its magic, Tunngle installs a VPN driver. The driver is included with the app. There isn’t a separate executable for this. The VPN driver is required for use with the Tunngle network. The app also requires you to create a free network account in order to access its resources.

The app’s main display has active networks on the left hand side, as well as under the Community tab. Tunngle comes with a number of these already active, of course. A double click can get you going. For users who know the games they are looking for, searching for an active game is easy.

The app also supports Calendar Dates The integrated event calendar helps you find and remind you of scheduled game. The app’s Network settings and optics adjustments can be found under the System tab. Here you can configure options for your network router, as well audio settings and the app’s general look and feel.

Download Tunngle

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Microsoft Returns the Simple to Windows 8 Editions

Microsoft has announced how it will release  Windows 8 in three different editions, two of which should be right for most.

Microsoft has always taken an unusual stance when it comes to how to distinguish between the different versions of Windows. Barring special editions that were released as a result of litigation or court proceedings, such as Windows XP Starter Edition for developing markets or Windows XP Edition N, Microsoft made it easy for most of us with just two versions of Windows XP – Windows XP Home and Windows XP Professional. It really doesn’t get much simpler than that.

Microsoft released Windows Vista with a bit more diversity.  Vista came in five different editions – Home Basic, Home Premium, Ultimate, Business and Enterprise.  Windows 7 was similar with Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise and Ultimate. Microsoft is taking a “Windows XP Editions” approach with Windows 8.  There will be two – Windows 8 and Windows 8 Professional.  Windows 8 is the edition that most everyone will use. It replaces Windows 7 Home Premium and includes the ability to switch languages on the fly, which was previously only available in Windows 7 Enterprise or Ultimate.

BitLocker and Encrypting File System support are part of Windows 8 Professional. It also has client Hyper-V virtualization and can boot from a virtual hard drive (VHD).  Windows 8 Professional is the edition you’re most likely to see in the enterprise, as it also allows you to join a Windows domain, contains support for group policies and has Remote Desktop host.  Currently, these features are only available in Windows 7 Ultimate or Enterprise.

Both Windows 8 editions will be installed at the factory, and will be sold at retail locations. They will be the only editions available to the consumer.  Microsoft also plans on releasing Windows 8 Enterprise; but it will only be available to corporate customers with a Software Assurance agreement.

Windows on ARM, or WOA, has been rebranded as Windows RT. It does not come with the Microsoft Windows 8 brand, even though it has a similar feature set and the Windows 8 code-base. It will only be installed on ARM-based computing devices at the factory. It will not be available for purchase in any retail or corporate channel. Pricing for all Windows 8 editions is still unknown.

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7″ iPad Rumor Analysis – Part 1: Why Jobs Hated the iPad Mini

There’s are reasons why Apple hasn’t released the rumored iPad Mini. Let’s break it down…

Apple rumors are fun. Apple’s secretive culture often sparks and breeds the development of rumors and many people in the tech journalism industry love to speculate and see how right the mill is every time Apple releases new products. Last minute speculations aside, it’s difficult to crack the Apple rumor nut. However, after slowly and carefully finishing the Steve Jobs Biography, I think I have a decent understanding of where Steve was wanting things with Apple Product Development to go.

I’ve had a couple people come to me over the past couple of weeks and either ask me about or tell me about the rumored 7″ iPad, nicknamed the “iPad Mini,” that Apple is supposedly set to release “soon.” I’ve chuckled a bit at these folks and their immediate response was, “What..? You don’t think they’re going to release it?”

My response has been, “I don’t know.”

Trying to guess what Apple is going to do with their product road map is very much like trying to predict the weather – there’s gonna be some [weather]; and forecasters have a 50-50 chance of being right.

However, you never really know if it’s going to rain or not until you stick your head out the window. In this 2 part series, I’m going to look at two deciding factors related to Apple’s “iPad Mini.” Part 1 will concentrate on Steve Jobs. Part 2 is going to concentrate on Tim Cook. It all comes down to who’s the captain of the ship.

Why Jobs Hated the iPad Mini

It’s a very well-known fact that Steve Jobs thought the iPad’s form-factor was perfect as is. In his estimation, around 10 inches was the right and ideal size for this size computing platform. Netbooks, which the iPad was originally thought to be when Apple was originally developing the iPad, fragment the computing landscape and muck with the ecosystem. As such, you really don’t see a lot of netbooks on the market today. That computing form has really died off. They’re too under powered, and too small to be of any real use.

At 7 inches, an iOS powered tablet sticks itself directly between the 3.7 (let’s call it 4 inches for the sake of argument) iPod Touch and the iPad. Jobs looked at this middle sized form factor and pronounced it a “piece of shit,” because it brought confusion, more than value, to iOS devices. Most people don’t understand why, and it took me to get through the Walter Isaacson biography to really get it myself.

I am almost positive that Apple put a 7″ iPad prototype together. I’m certain that there was likely more than one; and that they got passed around Jobs’ and Jony Ivy’s inner circles. Jobs killed it because it too closely blurred the lines between the 4″ iPod Touch and the 9.7″ iPad.

Ultimately, it would have cannibalized sales of both existing products, without adding any additional value or features. Jobs thought 7 inches was too small of a screen to accommodate a tablet and its use cases (games, movies, etc.) and too big to carry around as an iPod. (Face, it, you’re not going to go jogging with a 7″ device strapped to your arm.) When trying to determine which device to purchase, customers wouldn’t understand the differences between the iPod and the iPad (Mini) at that point, and from what I’ve read in Isaacson’s biography, that drove Steve bonkers.

Come back next time, and I’ll go into the other side of the coin – Tim Cook.

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Windows 8 Release Preview Due in June

Microsoft is going to give us an RC release in June before Windows 8’s planned October release.

The first week of June should see the release of Windows 8 Release Preview, as Microsoft prepares Windows 8 for a mid-Fall release some time, likely, near the end of October.

These plans were announced by Steven Sinofsky, the head of Microsoft’s Windows Development arm, at a developer’s event in Japan, according to All Things D. This release preview follows both Developer Preview late last year and a Consumer Preview in February of this year.

Microsoft is aiming to complete development work sometime this summer, with, its thought, a release in late to mid-October, though Microsoft has not made this official. Windows 8 sports a new, redesigned interface called, Metro, as well as a Windows Store and digital delivery feature designed to go head-to-head with Apple’s App Store, introduced in OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard and OS X 10.7 Lion, last year.

Apple is due to release its latest OS version OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion sometime this summer. Windows 8 is meant to directly compete with Apple’s planned OS release this year. How well it succeeds will depend on how well Metro is accepted on the desktop, as Windows tablets are not widely in circulation, if at all, as of this writing.

Soft32 is planning on reviewing the final version of Windows 8 when it is released, so stay tuned for our final thoughts and impressions on the OS later this year.

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Create instant slideshows with your digital photos, videos and music with ProShow

My daughter is getting married and will make a grandfather out of me this year.  I’m going to be taking a lot of digital pictures over the next few months. I’m certain of it. This is one of the biggest reasons why I really like ProShow Gold. It’s a slideshow creator for Windows.

With ProShow Gold, you can instantly create slide shows on your desktop with unlimited photos, videos & music. After they’re created, you can share them online or on your TV.  Slideshows are easily created drag and drop.  You can create unlimited slideshows with an unlimited amount of photos, videos or songs. ProShow Gold lets you tell your story the way you want.

Making use of different Wizards, you can get going in just a few clicks.  ProShow Gold has hundreds of effects, transitions, motion effects and fancy pre-made slide styles. You can use a single photo per slide, or have fun with multi-layered effects. When you’re done, you can easily share your slideshow online via Facebook, YouTube and Vimeo. You can also use ProShow Gold to create DVDs, Blu-ray discs or CDs to watch on your TV or your computer.

If your photos aren’t quite up to snuff, don’t worry. ProShow Gold offers a sea of built-in editing tools. You can fix flaws on the spot with crop, auto-correct and red-eye removal tools. You can transform a color photo or video into dramatic black and white. You can even do basic video editing.

download ProShow

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