Keep your PC up to date with SUMo

KCSoftwareKeeping your Mac apps up to date is easy.  If you’re using Snow Leopard or later, you’ve got the App Store. If you’ve bought software through it, it tells you when they’ve been updated and helps you get the updates installed.  If you’re not using the MAC App Store, there are other products that do similar things. On the PC side of the world we’ve got SUMo. It’s an app update utility for Windows.

SUMo stands for Software Update Monitor.  It keeps your PC’s apps up-to-date and safe by monitoring the most recent version of your favorite software and then checking for new versions on a periodic basis.  Unlike an app’s built-in auto update features, SUMo tells you if updates are available before you run or need to use your software.

SUMo_screen

SUMo is a GREAT app. I’ve been using similar tools on the Mac side and was very please when I found SUMo for my PC’s. I have five of them at the house, and with at least 6 PC users, keeping everything up to date on all of the machines isn’t easy. SUMo makes it much easier. The fact that the app is free, makes this a no brainer and a must have for any and all that PC’s that you have in your house, too.

The app comes with support for more than 20 language translations, and is certain to work on your computer and version of Windows.  If you don’t have SUMo working for you, then you’re clearly missing out.

download SUMo

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2011 Gift Guide Part 1 – OK, Great! Now What Should I Buy?

We’ve spent a lot of time talking about mobile devices and ecosystems and the companies that make and distribute them. Let’s take a quick moment and figure out what you should actually buy.

As complicated as this might seem, it isn’t really complicated at all.  We’ll get to specific goodies, next time, but I wanted to take a few moments to talk about how to determine exactly WHAT to buy, given that investing in an ecosystem largely takes you down a specific road, given that you’re likely going to want to mix and match your data on your devices.

What does this mean?

Simply put, if you start a document on your computer, at some point, you may want to shoot it to yourself via email or upload it to your choice of cloud storage (like Dropbox, Windows Live Mesh. iCloud or Amazon Cloud Drive to name a few) so that you can edit it on your laptop or tablet when you get home.  Maybe you stumble upon a bit of brilliance on the way home from work (or where ever you might be) and you stop to take a moment to jot down a few notes in it on your smartphone. A fully functioning, adopted (on your part) ecosystem allows you to do this with your data and your devices. For everything to function this way, its all gotta be connected somehow.

So, again, what should you get?  Here are my recommendations on how to figure this out.

Mac Users
This is probably the biggest no brainer of the bunch; but its not as open as other platforms.

  • Apple Ecosystem: Stick to the Apple ecosystem and iTunes, iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. The desktop tools all have iOS components and partners, and the data you create on your Mac is designed to enable you to work on all of Apple’s devices. You’d be amazed how elegant and simple it is; but then again, you’re stuck there, and you have to want to be stuck for it all to work.

 

  • Amazon Ecosystem: Since Amazon also has developed Kindle software for iOS, users wishing to move to or from parts of the Amazon ecosystem will also find a bridge here. However, since the Kindle Fire is Android based, see the Google Ecosystem, below.

 

  • Google Ecosystem: Trying to implement parts of the Google ecosystem in an Apple/iOS world isn’t going to be easy, so be ready for some challenges. You aren’t going to be using iTunes to sync content to any Android device, and if you’re a Mac user, you undoubtedly have SOME content there.

Windows and Linux Users
Windows users have a few options, as basically all ecosystems are open and available to them. Linux users (and non-iTunes users) can use doubleTwist for media and rely on Exchange or Google Sync for PIM data.

  • Apple Ecosystem: Windows users have been using iDevices for years. The Apple ecosystem is completely open to all Windows users. The only thing you need to insure is that all your iDevices and iTunes have been updated to their latest versions.

 

  • Amazon Ecosystem: Windows and Android go well together. In fact, many Windows users are also Android users and vice-versa.  Amazon has carved itself a very unique corner of the mobile market by introducing its own app store and inking deals with music labels, and movie and TV studios. The content is available through Amazon Prime, and you get a 30 day free trial with the purchase of a Kindle Fire.  Google itself hasn’t been able to nail this bit down yet, so Amazon stands apart as the most complete player in the Android space, despite the lack of an Amazon-branded smartphone.

 

  • Google Ecosystem: Despite recent developments with Google Music and Google Books, Google’s ecosystem is still somewhat disjointed.  For as much money as Google has, they really need to nail this down. Users who go with an Android tablet and smartphone should be able to exchange purchases and data with all of their devices, provided they are compatible. The only difference may be the Amazon App Store, as I’ve not bought any apps there as yet.

In the end, you shouldn’t really try to mix and match Apple and Amazon/Google devices. You’re going to run into too many challenges trying to get the data and content from one to another, especially on the media and productivity sides of things. eBooks are easy, but will require Kindle software to bridge the gap.

Come back next time, and I’ll have specific gift recommendations for your 2011 Holiday Gift recipients.

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Battleheart – a highly addictive, gorgeous looking game for Android and iPhone

A while back I wrote about Inotia 3 – my favorite RPG for Android and iOS at that moment - an addictive game with cute characters and great storyline. Meanwhile I finished the game and to be honest I thought that I won’t find a better RPG, until just a few days back I discovered Battleheart.

Battleheart is a challenging action RPG (much more harder then Inotia 3) with a great level of customization and freedom, smooth multi-touch controls and addictive fast-paced battly system. At this moment I’ve only put a couple of hours into it so far, but I can easily say that if I should choice between this and Inotia 3, I would definitely say Battleheart due to the simple fact that is more challenging and I love the multi-touch controls system.

The game has around 30 campaign levels and each battle you can choose 4 characters from your party. Your characters can equip a weapon, armore, and 2 accessories (rings, talismans, etc) some of which can be upgraded. In order to obtain rare equipment , you can try your luck in the competitive survival arena – a place where you fight until your last breath in order to make as much kills you can. After every fight, you earn gold and experience that can be spent in the merchant shop or upgrading items.

As any other typical RPG, your characters level up based on the experience you get fighting monsters and you unlock new talents and abilities. What I like is that you can change your talents at any time in-between battles (by visiting the tavern from the game menu), so you don’t have to worry about choosing the “wrong” one, or you can switch based on a battle you’re having trouble with.

Game Features

  • Easily command your army via simple touch commands.
  • Create a unique party from numerous character classes, including stealthy rogues, powerful wizards and stoic knights!
  • Customize your heroes via dozens of unique skills – literally hundreds of class and skill combinations!
  • Make the most of your party’s skills to control the battlefield – turn your opponents into frogs, stun them with poisons, or simply destroy them with meteor strikes and whirlwinds of steel!
  • Over 100 unique items to collect and equip across a 30+ level campaign, complete with epic boss battles!
  • Put your custom party to the ultimate test in survival arenas, where rare and unique rewards can be found!
  • Incredibly sharp animation and art designed specifically for cutting edge mobile devices!

Battleheart for Android | Battleheart for iOS (iPhone/iPad)

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5 iPad games that are free and really cool

Pocket Legends – is the largest 3D Massively-Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game for mobile devices such as iPad, iPhone and Android. You choose your character, pursue quests, upgrade your stats while you meet thousands of other player along the way. What makes it really cool is that while playing, you’ll be connecting not only with other iPad/iPhone players, but also with the Android users around the world. Moreover, the game plays over virtually any connection: wireless, Edge, 3G or 4G connections and most mobile devices.


Cut the Rope: Holiday Gift – is a fun puzzle game where you’ll have to find a way to get the candy to Om Nom, the adorable monster. The game combines great physics, tricky levels, and bright colorful visuals with a special winter feel. To play, simply swipe your finger across the ropes and collect the stars by touching them with the candy, but it’s not always simple. Think before you slice and be sure to avoid the enemies and obstacles. Every level is different and getting that candy to Om Nom won’t be easy!


Puzzle Planet – is a fun puzzle game recommended for anyone who enjoys doing jigsaw puzzles. Help the alien Nur and his furry friend Glood navigate the wonders of Planet Earth and solve jigsaw puzzles along the way. You get 3 scenic Puzzle Destinations to start, with 6 puzzles each. “Just so we’re clear, these aren’t your run-of-the-mill, sit-at-a-card-table-with-your-grandma-sipping-lemonade jigsaw puzzles. These are wickedly challenging and lightning fast. You’ll need lizard fingers and an alien brain to solve them fast and rack up the points.”


Fruit Ninja HD Lite – is a simple game where you swipe the screen as fruit flies around to slash and splatter fruit like a true ninja warrior. Sounds boring? Well, its not, you are not going to believe how much fun it is to play. Just try it! A little bit deeper, Fruit Ninja HD Lite features a sample of Classic Mode, as well as a taste of the local multiplayer mode – Zen Duel! You can also check out the Dojo, where your success in game can unlock awesome new backgrounds and blades! There are also a small sample of achievements to unlock, with three exclusive to Fruit Ninja HD Lite!


Simply Solitaire HD – is a styled version of Solitaire and I guess, this tells it all. The game feature rich content and polished visual style, plus natural card layout and there is much more to tell. There are 2 game modes: 1 Card Draw (for everyone) and 3 Card Draw (for experts), achievements, leaderboards and much more things I’ll let you find out on your own. Have fun!


Check back later if you like. I’ll update this article with more other cool games. Also, if you have any other suggestion, please leave a comment.

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Mac OS X Lion has been downloaded by 1 million users worldwide

1 million users have purchased Mac OS X 10.7 Lion during the first day of availability. This is the official statement made by Apple in which they also mentioned the fact that this number relates to users that have bought the product and to users that have downloaded it. It’s a questionable statement that can be easily reinterpreted.

Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing declared:

“Lion is off to a great start, user reviews and industry reaction have been fantastic.”

Well, many critics say that there is something wrong about this OS. It’s huge and slow, and many of its features are just useless especially in terms of usability. Users that have already bought it, complain about the lack of additional info regarding its features. Many of them will praise any downgrade available from Lion to any other Mac OS version. So where is the truth about this product? Will Apple become the new Internet Big Brother through its products?

In case you want an answer to these questions and you have $29.99 to spend, just visit the Mac® App Store™.

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