JetClean – takes the heartache out of cleaning your OS

JetCleanWe all install more programs than we need, sometimes just for the sake of exploring what’s new out there in terms of software. However, this can mess up a computer in quite a short time, not to mention the speed issues which occur after installing several apps. You’ll end up re-installing your operating system sooner than you expected. Why is that?

Well, you just can’t trust all those programs. I’m not talking about malicious software which represents the highest risk, but more about the changes made to your system by programs’ installers. They add files to existing directories such as “dll” files into your “System” folder, they change system settings, tweak the Registry and the list can continue.

I’m expecting you to say now: “then what does Add/Remove programs stand for, if not to uninstall all those programs?” Well, quite often programs’ uninstallers can leave behind files and registry keys which can slow down your computer noticeably. To solve those problems that can occur when you install/uninstall several programs, I recommend you to use JetClean.

JetClean removes unused/old entries and empty registry values, including file extensions and nonexistent paths, compacts your registry by reducing fragment, repairs structural errors, cleans temp files, history and cookies from major browsers as well as other third party programs.

1-Click Clean

Moreover, JetClean scans and displays all the programs installed on your PC and helps you identify any unwanted software/application/program or those are corrupted as a result of being half-installed/uninstalled incorrectly. It can also, identify all startup programs running in the background,  remove unwanted programs from startup list, and restore them anytime you want.

JetClean is a simple application which can help you keep your operating system in a good shape. It can also optimize the speed of your Internet connection by optimizing browser performance and helps you get the maximum capacity out of your PC. If needed, you can optimize memory usage to increase available physical memory.

Download JetClean

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Top Must Have Changes in iOS 7

iOS 7 is going to need revolutionary instead of Apple’s standard evolutionary changes. This is what I think they need to be for iOS to be innovative again

ios7

Introduction

When the iPhone was introduced in 2007, it brought PDA/PIM data together with your cell phone, your music and videos, and made everything work, and work well. Since its introduction a few years later, Android has matured, and matured well. Windows Phone has been reinvented and revisioned and now the iPhone isn’t the only player on the block that knows how to do convergence and content consumption.

The iPhone turns six soon and it’s still got the same interface and launcher introduced with. It’s time for an interface refresh. So, here are my suggestions for the upcoming release of iOS 7.

Redesigned Launcher

Currently, iOS users can put app shortcuts on any number of home pages.  Users can also organize icons and create folders to hold application icons by placing one icon on top of another. The interface has remained largely unchanged over the past 6 years.

A launcher is nothing more than a way to sort, manage and launch applications. The launcher in iOS is used on all iDevices, and its clearly in need of some improvement, update or change.  Android allows users to install a number of different 3rd party launchers; and while I’m certain that Apple isn’t going to allow users to install a custom launcher, a lot of ideas can be gleaned from apps of this type from other OS’.

Have at it Apple. Wow us and give us something modern and new.  However, choice is important. It would be nice if in giving us a new UI, Apple would allow users to revert to the current UI as well.

Changes to the Notification Tray

This is one of the most valuable features in Android, and it’s been there for quite a while.  While the iOS notification tray is nice, it could, and should, do a whole lot more.  Shortcuts to specific device functions – like turning radios on and off, or pairing with specific devices – would be very valuable.

I’d like to be able to include info from other apps, like recent phone calls or place shortcuts to favorite numbers there so I can call them quickly. I’d also like to be able to customize this a bit, so please, give me more than can fit so I can put my own personal spin on things, or change things as my needs change.

Settings Redesign

A general reorg of settings would be helpful and seen as a big improvement. Some of the options in this area  are quite buried.

One of my biggest complaints with iOS 5 was that it was really difficult to get to the settings switch to turn Bluetooth on and off. You had to go into Settings, get to General, Wireless and then Bluetooth before you could get to the switch.  iOS6 changed that a bit, by bringing both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth settings up to the top of the Settings menu.  However, you still have to dive in to each category to get to the on/off switch and any other options, like pairing with a specific device.

I’d really like to see a complete tear down and rebuild here. The way Apple has all of its underpinnings and options setup and configured is long in the tooth.  I know I’m likely not to get what I want here, but it would be nice to see some work on organization and logical groupings. It isn’t always clear what is and isn’t stuffed into Settings and what might be tweaked in the actual app.

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RunKeeper – Your personal fitness trainer.

runkeeper-elite-laptop-560These days, a runner has plenty of choices to track his workout, informations like the miles he ran, body fat loss, calories consumed, etc.
You can find many websites, smartphone applications and many other devices that can track your activity.

I’ve tried a few of these applications, but most of them are not worth paying attention to. But recently after a few feeds from my friends on facebook, I decided to try out the program they were using as their personal fitness coach. This is how I discovered RunKeeper. It’s a mobile fitness platform that leverages the location technology in smartphones to help runners and other fitness enthusiasts better track, measure, and improve their fitness training. Besides that, it’s fun, social, and helpful and has many fitness programs for any level.

The good thing is that we all love competition, and what’s better than competing with your friends? Runkeeper comes with a social ladder board, where you can see your results, achievements, and your rank among your friends using RunKeeper. Yes, achievements which are good way to motivate you. And besides that, you get professional fitness programs and reminders, so there’s no way you can miss any training session.

rkBut wait, you want some more? No problem. You can get a “premium” version too. It’s called RunKeeper Elite. For a monthly or yearly paid plan, you: “Get more from RunKeeper.com and the RunKeeper mobile app with the premium RunKeeper Elite subscription. Enjoy live activity broadcasting, discounted Training Plans and advanced reports to track your training.”

I advice you to use in the beginning the free RunKeeper edition, because it features enough options to do your workouts very well.

What I like the most about the Elite plan is the Broadcast activities and races live feature, and the fact that your followers can see live where are you running and your results in real time.

Happy running!

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Cecil – Keep your desktop organized.

C-03It began in Windows 3.x – shortcuts on your desktop. By the time many users upgraded their PC’s to Windows XP, it was hopeless. Many desktops were nothing more than row after row of shortcuts. I saw it and lost my mind. It went against everything that was in me to be neat and organized. It’s also one of the major reasons why I like applications like Cecil. It’s a desktop organizer for Windows.

Cecil is a desktop organizer, a launcher and a task automation application. It keeps everything organized in a slim, yet powerful menu, and can automate repetitive operations on-the-fly BATCH scripting and via JavaScript, if you’re up on the language.

Cecil, or Command Centered Intelligent Launcher can be used to organize or automate anything you use your computer for, from checking mail, updating your status on Facebook, or just about anything else. The app adds logic to the way commands are taken care of.C-02

Cecil is an ok application. I like the organization concept and its automation capabilities are nice, but unfortunately, the concept is somewhat out dated. While launchers are big on the Android Smartphone side of the world, they aren’t so hot on the desktop computer side of the fence. At $15, I wasn’t so hot for the app; and honestly, there are likely better apps out there at a better price point.

download Cecil 2.0.358

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View blocked internet content with Hola Unblocker

holaiconOnline video streaming is one of the more popular ways to get content to the mobile device of your choice.  However, it’s not all sunshine and daisies.  DRM issues aside, sometimes, you’re not allowed to view certain content due to your geographical region.  When you bump into this type of problem, you should take a look at Hola Unblocker. It’s a web extension for use on Windows machines.

Hola Unblocker has been available as a Chrome and Firefox extension since December 2012. It has recently been expanded to include websites like CBC, Fox and BBC’s iPlayer TV. All you have to do is installing the extension, and then go to the website with the region-blocked content you want to access. You don’t have to restart your computer.  You don’t even have to restart your browser. The main difference between Hola Unblocker and other VPN/proxy services that we’ve found so far is its ability to unblock content without slowing everything down.

HU-05

There have been some reports of the extension suddenly not working on a particular site, as well as a few glitches here and there. The developer indicates that BBC iPlayer TV worked in Chrome, but not in Firefox. Hulu also worked as advertised. The software is still technically in beta as of this writing, everything seems to be working as designed.

download Hola Unblocker

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Take control of your digital darkroom with Scarab Darkroom

Scarab DarkroomI love digital photography. Unfortunately, I was bitten by the camera bug quite a while back, and I am constantly on the lookout for a new lens, new picture tweaking or developing software and new information to help my pictures become more professional looking. Tools like Scarab Darkroom really fit the bill, too. This Windows based app is something that most every owner of a supported camera should have.

Scarab Darkroom is a digital camera file converter with support for over 100 different camera models. Many digital cameras can take pictures and save them directly as a JPG or other compressed file format, but doing so really limits your ability with what you can do to the file, post production. Many cameras have their own native formats, often called RAW. Most image editing apps don’t support them out of the box. Scarab Darkroom does.

Scarab-Darkroom

The compression algorithm in JPG’s is popular as a storage format – files are usually small and easily transported from one computing system to another. JPG’s are also very popular with web sites like Facebook , Flickr, and Shutterbug. However, when you try to tweak a JPG, you lose a lot of information and detail.

Scarab Darkroom provides support and tools for editing RAW files directly. It allows you to edit fill light, brightness, contrast and black levels and provides a way to edit simple tone curve adjustments. You can also tweak color temperatures and gives you the ability to pick white balance from a gray area in the picture, among other editing options. When you’re done, it provides a lightning fast conversion with excellent detail rendition using a proprietary demosaic algorithm. Basic editing options – crop, resize, etc. are also supported.

Scarab Darkroom is a decent application. Its support for many RAW file formats from Nikon, Sony, Canon, Olympus, Panasonic and others is something that can provide value to a great many enthusiasts. The anticipated Pro version is said to have all of the freemium features as well as others including more color controls, a grayscale mixer and noise reduction, among others. A Mac version is also anticipated next year.

Download Scarab Darkroom

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More Noise about WinRT – Microsoft Getting in its Own Way

I’ve heard more noise about Windows RT needing to die over the past few weeks. It doesn’t need to die; but MS needs to get out of its own way…

windows-rt

Despite what everyone says, Windows RT doesn’t suck. It doesn’t… IF its viewed in the right way; AND if it gets a few needed tweaks.

I’ve heard recently that Windows RT holds just .04% of the market. I’ve also heard that analysts are urging Microsoft to dump the misunderstood OS in favor of Windows 8. While that may not be a bad idea, what most people are missing is that Windows RT could be very good at what it does IF and ONLY IF it were marketed as what it truly is – a tablet OS.

The OS is misunderstood. End users don’t understand that Windows RT is the Microsoft answer to iOS. Microsoft also didn’t help itself by using the Windows branding with it, either. To most PC users, Windows is Windows, and having Windows on a tablet is an interesting experience… Provided I can get all my software on it… or at least that’s what most users think.

Windows RT’s biggest problem – aside from a really weak to non-existent software store and an anemic ecosystem – is its Desktop mode. Its needs to leave that behind. Windows RT is NOT a desktop OS, and Microsoft needs to help users get over it. Everyone I know who has seen Windows RT doesn’t understand why they can’t get their older Windows apps to work on it.

Surface RT needs a marketing remake if it’s going to survive. It needs developer subsidies so that developers write RT based applications. And I mean USEABLE applications. Windows RT doesn’t need 50 bazillion different farting and pull my virtual finger apps.

Despite what everyone might think, I really believe that Microsoft has a decent chance to compete in the tablet market. However, it needs to make a few needed changes. If it can do that, then it can crack the tablet nut. Unfortunately, the marketing blitz needed is something that I really don’t think Microsoft is going to do, and that more than anything, is the biggest disappointment I’ve seen out of Redmond is a long time.

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Identify and troubleshoot wireless networking connections with inSSIDer

inssider_iconMost everything that computes today is wireless.  There’s more wireless networks broadcasting signals near where you are right now than you might think. The problem is, connecting to a network you’re authorized to connect to isn’t always easy. Its for this reason that apps like insider are an important part of any Windows utility toolbox.

inSSIDer for Home helps you measure the signal strength of available Wi-Fi signals and networks and attempts to estimate their performance. The app can show you how walls, stairways, and doors affect your wireless network coverage, and can most likely help you choose the best place to put your wireless router, access point or signal repeater.

All Wi-Fi must share channels with other electronic devices, including other wireless networks and signals.  If there are too many networks sharing or overlapping a channel, your network speed and performance can suffer. inSSIDer helps you find the best channel for your Wi-Fi network.

inSSIDer

Many local governments and municipalities may require your Wi-Fi signal to be secured.  Running your wireless network wide open so that anyone can use it isn’t really a good idea.  If you have a bandwidth cap, it can easily be exceeded.  There have also been reports of people hacking corporate networks with unsecured Wi-Fi signals.  Securing your network is important, and inSSIDer can help you set and determine which security settings your Wi-Fi is using, reducing the risk of unauthorized access into your home network.

iSSIDer is an interesting app. I wish I had something like this on the Mac side of the world. Its displays are cool, and provide you with the information it needs to get your network running well. I had a great deal of trouble installing the software however, especially on my Windows 8 machines (I have two…) It failed to install on both of them. The app requires .NET Framework to run, but does not include the components as part of the installation file, and it needs to.

download inSSIDer

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