Students, conference attendees, lawyers, and anyone who has to transcribe recorded audio should try Listen N Write, a free tool designed specifically for transcription. It doesn't use speech recognition or automatic transcription, and Microsoft Anna doesn't speak your text files out loud. It's simply a media player bundled with a text editor, but a media player with subtle but clever differences that make it a great tool for playing back recorded lectures and speeches (for example) and writing down what you hear. To begin with, the Skip arrows move the recording forward or back just a few … Read more
With the Web having so many interesting things to look at, it can be difficult to get work done. Since you can already use Google Chrome to check your e-mail, the weather, and news stories, why not try to get some work done in it, too? Here's a serving of five distraction-free (and free in cost) text editors available in the Chrome Web Store that you can use right inside of your browser, yet still save your work for later.
This app offers that blank slate you often hear about. Working offline is no problem, … Read more
When you view the "Disk Activity" section in Activity Monitor, you can see the read and write speeds of the system's hard disks both in current values and in a small history graph. Some people have wondered if current SATA II hard drives included in modern Macs have 300 MB/sec transfer rates, then why when using them the drives only transfer at around 25-35MB/sec, even when copying large files.
The 300MB/sec transfer rate for SATA II drives is in actuality the maximum speed of the SATA bus, and not the true speed of the … Read more
LAS VEGAS--In its quest to keep your hard drive fully defragmented, Diskeeper plans to release a new program aiming to both prevent and instantly clear up fragmentation.
Being demoed at CES this week, Diskeeper 2011 will combine two features to handle disk fragmentation. First launched in Diskeeper 2010, IntelliWrite will stop up to 85 percent of most fragmentation before it happens by intelligently writing data to the disk, according to the company. And the new Instant Defrag will instantly and automatically defrag any remaining fragments, the company says.
The company sees Instant Defrag as a way to ensure continued system … Read more
Elements - Dropbox Powered Text Editor lets you share and edit text (TXT) files on your iOS device via Dropbox. Dropbox is a free program (Windows, Mac, iPhone) that lets you quickly transfer files between platforms with a folder that automatically syncs up between the devices to make moving files a breeze. You'll also need to register with Dropbox in order to use Elements. But with Elements, you'll now have a separate folder in Dropbox where you can place text files and edit them on your iPhone or iPad. Any changes you make will be automatically synced to … Read more
When the iPad first launched, we heard a lot of talk about possible uses for it in school settings. There was talk of downloading books (instead of carrying a heavy backpack); taking notes (even though the onscreen keyboard is less than ideal); and someday watching online lectures on the device (if sites would start using HTML 5 instead of Flash). So far, while the iPad has been a huge success with users, things that would really help students haven't quite come to fruition.
ExifTool is a handy, free Perl-based program for editing the Exif information in digital image files as well as the meta information in other digital files, such as music and movies. It's available in several configurations; we tested the standalone Windows executable version, which doesn't require Perl and omits some of the features of the command-line version but offers essentially the same functionality, including, notably, a command-line capability.
ExifTool downloads as a ZIP file and unpacks as a Windows executable file that we chose to park on the desktop. To use ExifTool, you simply drag and drop a … Read more
Books are here to stay, but paper is an endangered species. While libraries full of actual books won't be disappearing any time soon, electronic books like Amazon's Kindle have established a firm toehold in the market, a trend that will continue as more titles are published as e-books. That's where Visual Vision's eBookWriter Lite enters the story. It's a free tool for creating and publishing e-books, but it's not a compiler. It's a complete visual environment that requires no knowledge of coding to use, yet it creates single-source-file e-books that can be opened … Read more
Who was the last person you ever saw write anything? You know, with a pen. For me, it was Terrell Owens, when he removed his Sharpie during an NFL game, signed a ball, and thrust himself into greater posterity.
People type these days. They don't write. The issue, however, has been further exacerbated in China and Japan, where languages based on characters, rather than the alphabet, are apparently simply being forgotten by those who have dedicated their lives to keypads and screens.
DVD PixPlay from Xequte Software combines a DVD burning utility and a slideshow maker in one easy-to-use tool. With it, users can create personalized photo or video slideshows, save them, and burn them on DVD blanks or watch them on a PC or other display. The disks it creates are compatible with nearly every DVD player, so you can send them to family and friends as personal keepsakes. It can also convert your slideshows into Web-compatible videos for uploading on sites like YouTube.
The program's polite Windows-style installer notes that you need some 25 MB of free disk space … Read more