Foxmail – The Fireless Fox

logoThe email is basically the most used method to communicate today. There are plenty of email clients and each user can choose the one that suits better for his needs. I’ve chosen to test Foxmail, because I found it recently, and from some other reviews I learned that it’s quite something. The version 7.1 is expected to be lighter and faster, and is trying to cover all the needs that a user has: Standard email, Address book, and meetings, appointments, and RSS Feed.

Foxmail indeed is light and easy to use, once you figured out how to set it in english (we’ll get to that a bit later.). I’ve configured my Gmail email address very fast (just my email address and password), and the program detected automatically the port settings and all my emails were there in a flash, with all the folders set in my local language, according to my gmail settings. So, it’s a basic email client, with a basic design. On top of the menu bar, you have only 6 options: Check, Compose, Reply, Reply All, Forward and Delete. Of course, when you compose an email, you have advanced settings, like priority and so. You don’t need more from a basic email client.

foxmail

Now, the downside: The installer is in Chinese language, and you DON’T have an option to change that in the installer. I consider this a BIG drawback for the application. Even so, because it’s a standard Next-Next-Finish installer, I managed to install it and to configure the email address. And after that, I made a “blind” search to find out if there is any way to set the program to english. This is what you have to do (see the picture below about how to change this email client into english.). After all the changes applied, you have to restart the application in order the changes to take effect. EVRIKA! It worked! Now the program suddenly came out of the dark.

Foxmai-Instructions

Foxmail it is indeed the lightest email client I’ve worked with. But they really need to implement the select language option in the installer, and to set as default the english language for the application. The meeting and appointment features work great and you will be notified about every new email you get in a small and nice pop-up balloon in windows. Anyway, if you don’t want a little adventure with the Chinese language, I don’t recommend you to try it. But, if you do, and you need a basic email client, this is the right application for you.

download Foxmail

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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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Xion Audio Player

xionaudioplayerportable10Play all your music files with this cool Windows media player.

Having an alternative to Windows Media Player or other mainstream media players can be important. In many cases, WMP may not give you the performance or level of customization you want or need. Its times like these that having apps like Xion Audio Player are important. It’s a media player for your Windows PC.

Xion Audio Player is an easy to use music player with a very powerful skinning system. The app has full animation support, contains support for playlists and has seamless playback and crossfading support. You can further tweak its sound quality with is built in 10 band equalizer, with built in presets.

Xion Audio Player reminds me a great deal of WinAmp and all the cool skins that I used to use with it way back in the day. The player has decent performance and is easy on the resources. Its skinning system is said to be fairly easy to use if you’re graphically inclined, and includes the ability to customize hot keys.

XAP-01XAP-04

Xion Audio Player is really cool; but hasn’t seen an update in almost 3 years. It supports MP3 and OGG, and it also supports Shoutcast and Icecast streaming formats. Unfortunately, it doesn’t support any DRM encoded formats.

download Xion Audio Player

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A Strategy Game with Light and Sound: Neonim

Neonim

Neonim is a game of strategy in which players take turns zapping light balls randomly arranged on the screen. The game unfolds horizontally and vertically, and the secret to winning is to exercise your brain by reading your opponents’ tactics.

Nim is a mathematical game in which players take turns removing objects, such as coins or stones, from discrete piles. It is said to have originated in ancient China.

Neonim was developed based on the game of Nim. Players take turns zapping balls of light, and the player to zap the final light ball loses.

The simple structure of the game lets anyone enjoy it – but the secret is to use your brains to develop clever tactics. The CPU can be configured in three difficulty levels. While single play is fun and challenging, up to four players can play at the same time, so the greatest enjoyment comes at large get-togethers, such as parties and family gatherings.

The iPad’s intuitive operation and the sound and light display when a player zaps a ball provide for hours of enjoyment with your friends!

App Store
URL: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id411410292?mt=8

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