More than a mere rival to Microsoft Office, the open-source OpenOffice.org (for Windows and Mac) includes the powerful applications for creating text documents, spreadsheets, presentations, diagrams, and databases that make it a serious Office competitor. It lets you edit basic documents and save them in a variety of formats, it's robust enough to handle equations and complex multipart documents with bibliographies, reference tables, and indexes, and on top of all that, it's extensible and uses less RAM than MS Office. What's not to love?
One of the most promising freeware programs of 2007 was Simplify Media, a plug-in for iTunes and Winamp on both Windows and Mac that lets users share their music collections with friends and themselves via the Internet. The application is expecting an official release in June, but until then you'll have to appease your appetite for music with these beta builds.
The program still eats a voluminous amount of virtual memory--near the 100MB range, on average--but if you're not using a lot of other system processes it makes for an attractive way to get your tunes across the … Read more
For freeware productivity fans, March has ended like a lamb, not a lion. Microsoft Office replacement OpenOffice.org--download for Windows, Intel-based Macs and PowerPC-based Macs--and MS Word analogue and significantly smaller AbiWord have released updates that strengthen their functionality, expand their features, and ensure that they won't be rolling over to Web-based competitors anytime soon.
Redmond's MS Office is a behemoth of a program, but Silicon Valley-based Sun Microsystems' OpenOffice.org is hardly a lightweight. Currently, the update is only available for the Windows version of the suite, although updates for the Mac editions are expected … Read more
Long before I got into the business of writing about tech and Mac stuff, I worked with 3D graphics on Macs for my father's visual analysis firm. We were hired to create 3D models of architectural projects and superimpose them on photographs of a proposed site to study how a project would look before it was built and how it would affect its surroundings.
Some of our clients wanted to make the project look nice for city officials so it would get approved by city planning departments, while others wanted to prove that the new project would obstruct the … Read more
To paraphrase Buddy Holly, every day its a-gettin' closer--closer to Songbird leaving beta. The open source music/Web browser mashup has upgraded to version 0.5 and can be downloaded for Windows, Intel-based Macs, and PowerPC Macs. It's still in beta, so this bird's definitely got some bugs and development left to go before it's ready to take flight, but the latest build is more stable than ever and includes some key milestones.
The latest edition expands device compatibility with a new device API plug-in that comes with the browser. The new media transfer protocol supports Creative'… Read more
Mozilla has released another security patch for the Firefox browser, available for Windows and Mac. The changes are minor enough so that users probably won't notice any differences, but the holes plugged were potentially serious exploits.
If you've ever wondered how many minutes a day you spend using Microsoft Outlook, Mozilla Thunderbird, or Gmail; or how much of your day is "wasted" by community Web sites such as Digg, Slashdot, or MetaFilter, a free application called RescueTime (also available for Mac) can track that information for you, while providing several other valuable features to monitor your time.
Monitoring productivity in the Internet age has become more complicated than ever, especially if you work online. E-mail, instant messaging, and multitasking keep many of us switching constantly between projects or contacts. RescueTime combines a local application … Read more
Adobe has finally published an update to Photoshop Elements for Mac, but the 30-day trial version has yet to be released. The update includes all the features that were included in the Windows upgrade to version 6 back in September, including the dual panels for editing and organizing, the new Photomerge tool, and updates to most of the basic tool set.
There are two new price points as well. An upgrade edition will set you back $69.99, while the full program will run users another $20 extra. CNET's News.com and Download.com have reported on the Windows … Read more
It's no secret that Power Downloader's favorite Web browser is Firefox, for both Windows and Mac. Judging from the Mozilla browser's growing market share, it's not just Power's favorite, but the preferred browser of many of his fans, too. So, he's happy to recommend one of the most useful Firefox extensions he's ever come across: MR Tech Local Install.
It's a mouthful of a name, but it's got features for beginners and power users. Basically, it's the extension's extension, giving users added control over add-on behavior as well as … Read more
Torrent-watching Web site TorrentFreak is reporting a major security hole in the popular open-source media player VideoLAN, also known as the VLC Player (download for Windows and Mac. "The reported vulnerability makes it possible for a malicious user to run arbitrary code, potentially taking remote control of the host machine," according to TorrentFreak.
The hole gets exploited from a subtitle file buffer overflow, and it's platform independent--meaning it could strike users of Mac and Linux operating systems, as well as Windows fans. VLC users who avoid subtitle files won't face any problems. Another solution is to … Read more