The software scene is crowded with Registry editors and cleaners, each promising to improve your system's performance and enhance your online security by deleting old, broken, invalid, and downright dangerous entries in the Windows Registry as well as cleaning your disk drives, browser caches, and other stores of sensitive information. They typically offer a free download version that will analyze your system and uncover rows and rows of malicious-looking items, which of course you want to delete because they look so threatening, highlighted in red. However, to actually clean or tweak your system, you must fork over 30 bucks … Read more
Audio Transcoder is an intuitive program that allows users to convert files between a wide variety of audio formats. It's not the fanciest program we've ever seen, but it's easy to use.
The program's interface is basic and no-frills, with its two major functions--a CD ripper and audio converter--arranged in separate tabs. We found both features easy to use, with a series of check boxes and drop-down menus allowing us to select tracks, format file names, edit meta data, and choose formats. Both ripping and converting files is as simple as choosing your preferred options and … Read more
Dictionary .NET is a small program that uses Google's dictionary and translation services. It's not very intuitive, but once you get it figured out, it's a handy tool to have around.
The program's interface is mysterious, with an empty space where you're supposed to enter your search term, and a larger empty box where we figured the search results would appear. We tried searching for some words in English, and English definitions came back. That was all well and good, but we thought that the point of the program was to translate between languages, not … Read more
FreeVimager is a simple tool for viewing photos and video and hearing music. The program is functional, but isn't anything spectacular.
We were pleased with FreeVimager's intuitive interface. Within no time we were opening our photos and utilizing the program's simple editing tools. Focusing mostly on resizing and adjusting the color composition, the program didn't let us add filters or anything fancy, but we actually liked how that kept things focused and simple. However, we didn't agree with the program description's boast that it was smaller than its competition. Frankly its size, just like … Read more
If you're one of the millions of iPhone users who've jailbroken their iPhones or iPod Touches--the desktop hacking trick that allows you to use non-Apple approved apps, access the iPhone's file system, and other tweaks--you'll want to hold off on the latest software update (3.1) that Apple announced Wednesday. Updating your iPhone or iPod Touch will break your jailbreak, meaning any services and apps you've installed via Cydia will be gone, as well as Cydia itself.
MahJongg Solitaire is a tile-matching game whose graphics and interface will please any user nostalgic for the 8-bit graphics of the '90s
In this shareware version, you can shuffle the tiles, change the background color, and undo your last move. But in order to change the tile layout, pick a new tile set, upload your own tile design, or save and restore games, you will need to cough up $10. That $10 price is on the low end for mahjong matching games, but then, that's where MahJongg Solitaire sits. The graphics are garish and bitmappy, and there are no … Read more
Tower of Hanoi is a basic game in which users must move a set of rings from one column to another one at a time, without placing a larger ring on top of a smaller one. Although the program functions just fine, it's not a whole lot of fun.
The program's interface is basic but not unattractive. On the left, a series of progressively smaller rings--between 1 and 10 of them, depending on the user's choice--is stacked on a rod. To the right are two empty rods, and the object of the game is to get all … Read more
Lock up your Excel spreadsheets and secure their formulas in binary format and protected VBA code using this compiler that converts the sheet into an EXE file. It offers options for prohibiting illegal copying and for including an end-user license agreement with the executable packet.
DoneEx XCell Compiler installs a DoneEx menu on the Microsoft Excel menu bar between the Window and Help commands. It performed well in our tests; after saving a worksheet and selecting the Compiler command from the new menu, the add-on launched a dialog box with a variety of options for compiling the sheet into an … Read more
If you're not already familiar with Vedic astrology, MB Janam Kundali will not be of much use to you. The program calculates the planets' positions at a user's time of birth, providing the results in North, South, or East Indian styles. Users who know how to use this information should find this to be a useful program, but don't expect any explanation if you're a Vedic novice.
The first screen of the program is cluttered, with the Continue button tucked in among ads and text boxes advising users how they can extend their trial period beyond … Read more
xStarter offers users a chance to customize their computers by automating certain tasks. The program is flexible and option-packed, but less experienced users should definitely spend time with the Help file.
The xStarter interface is on the plain side, but information is neatly organized and it smartly opens with preloaded sample tasks. A list on the left-hand side holds 31 possible tasks ranging from opening a Web browser to searching for files and opening the CD player. On the right side, users are shown what actions and schedules are associated with a selected task. There are an almost overwhelming number … Read more