If you're a Flickr user, you might be unaware there's a whole world of tools that take advantage of Flickr's API to let you tweak and repurpose your shots. This morning I've been enjoying BigHugeLabs, a site that's home to about 40 tools that let you play with Flickr photos--yours and everyone else's. Several provide simple ways to add text, or a filter to your photo. Others dig deep into the heart of service to let you turn your photos into desk kitsch and conversation starters. I've picked five of my favorites.
Most software categories have their share of free and commercial, good and bad samplings. Screen capture applications, which are more powerful and specific than a PC's native Print Screen function, and which seem like they should be straightforward, are also a varied bunch.
I captured every pixel of my display a few times over while testing four screenshot products--FullShot, SnagIt, Gadwin PrintScreen, and ScreenHunter Free. Because we evaluators just love criteria, I looked at image quality, editing features, and ease of access--the quickest, most natural way to get from screen to a shareable image. Ready for some findings?… Read more
I'm sure I'm going to get in trouble with the CNET IT team for this, but I just set up my computer to run Spiceworks, a business network scanning and monitoring application. Spiceworks scans a PC's local network and reports on the health of various items. You can tell which printers are running out of ink, which PCs have out-of-date virus scanners, and so on.
To monitor PCs, you need to be a systems administrator with a network administrator login for the computers in your office. I don't have that access, but I was able to peer into the data the system returned on my own PC, as well as on printers and a few open-access computers here in the office. I found the level of information both deep and clearly presented. For example, administrators with this tool will easily be able to see which applications are installed at the company and which users are running old versions. It can also kick off Windows remote control sessions for hands-on tech support.
Spiceworks also has a full help-desk system through which users can submit service requests. The system then lets you assign and track tickets until they are done.
Last week I shouted out seven CNET Download.com staff favorites for small, straightforward software for Windows, Mac, and mobile that perform a single task simply and well. Here are five more fresh picks, suggested by you.… Read more
If you maintain a Web site or blog, you need a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) client. Mainly used for uploading and downloading files to and from a Web server, FTP clients can also download obscure files and documents from any number of servers around the world. The good ones make the process of uploading and downloading fast and painless with features that eliminate unnecessary steps and offer common security protocols.
I've tried a number of different clients and found many that work quite nicely. But the things I look for in an FTP client, like drag-and-drop support and user friendly bookmark management might not be as high on your priority list. What's most important is finding one that offers the best features for your specific needs.… Read more
Every once in a while, I come across a site that makes me do a double-take. A few weeks ago it was the unfortunate Chef Boyardee marketing site, and this week the clear winner in my book is MoanMyIP, which is a sister site (almost literally) to HearMyIP.com. Both services do just what you'd think--identifying your IP address and reading it back to you. The only difference of course is that HearMyIP uses the classic text-to-speech computer voice whereas MoanMyIP uses a female voice that announces your IP address in about as close to a not-safe-for-work/family manner … Read more
I'm a sucker for password tools. Since signing on with Webware late last year, I've since amassed a collection of site log-ins the size of a pulp romance novel, and despite my youthful brain, remembering all of them is clearly impossible. A solution I've been using for some months is Roboform, which is a small piece of software that will let you keep your user names and passwords safely tucked away, combined with a browser plug-in that will automatically log you in to each site. This morning I've been playing around with a new feature from … Read more
Sometimes less really is more, and software that does a single task well is better than a feature-rich app that bogs down performance, clogs system memory, or over-reaches its abilities. Here are seven programs that were built to do a specific job, and succeed. These downloads may not have all the fixin's, but they taste great all the same.
UPDATED: We asked for your favorite picks and you responded. Here are five fresh one-trick ponies of the software world that you just love to bits.
MediaCell Video Converter This multiformat video converter makes the list thanks to a three-part, one-pane interface from which you browse for the video file, select the mobile device you'll be watching it on, and click the large, bubbly "convert" button. No need to concern yourself with file formats, bit rates, and sound quality. While users certainly can tweak the volume and settings themselves in the app's "output" section, MediaCell Video Converter's preset optimizations per device make it unnecessary for most.… Read more
When Power Downloader recently realized his backup system was beginning to grow cluttered, he knew he needed to take action. As someone who routinely backs up case files and secret documents to separate drives for safe keeping, the first area Power decided to clean up was where there might be duplicates or outdated files. The only problem was, with so many versions of similar files on several drives, he wasn't sure what to keep and what to delete.… Read more
I've often said no matter how good a piece of software is, there's someone out there who can make it better. Sometimes a third-party add-on can be so simple that I can't figure out why the developer didn't think of it in the original program. Then, of course, I wonder why I didn't think of it myself. As the great inventor Thomas Edison once said, "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." Well, here's to an idea for which I should have donned the proverbial overalls.… Read more